“Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the ‘hero’ within us is revealed.” -Bob Riley
And yet we all have our heroes: people we look up to, admire, or aspire to emulate in some aspect of their lives. And these heroes can be real, they can be fictional, or they can tread the fine line that separates fact-from-fiction as legends, actors or “based-on-a-true-story” fictionalized versions of people and events. Have a listen to the Dropkick Murphys as they sing about the Heroes From Our Past,
while I share with you the amazing creature designs of Alex Tuis.
A big fan of superheroes, legendary actors and mutant / alien / otherworldly humanoid monsters, Alex has no shortage of imagination or artistic ability.
But his latest project (discovered thanks to LaughingSquid) has really fired my imagination!
Like Alex, I was a fan of a number of comic book superheroes as a kid, and some characters I found really compelling, often for unusual reasons.
The idea of an alien — from a different time, a different culture — being thrust into a chaotic world and fighting to do good despite not fully understanding the context of what’s going on around him really appealed to me: that was the mighty Thor.
And who better to play him than Rutger Hauer, the striking, powerful, tragically sad but imposing main antagonist (but really, a hero in his own right) of Blade Runner? (And, more recently, as Niall Brigant in True Blood.)
It was Bill Bixby’s portrayal of Dr. David Banner (it’s Bruce Banner in the comics) that lured me into the Hulk: someone striving for control of their life and their emotions, but who’s fighting an unwinnable battle. As the Hulk, he’s unstoppably powerful and can’t really be defeated, but whenever he turns back into Banner, he discovers that all he’s done is add havoc and destruction to the world, often wrecking Banner’s dearests interests in the process. So it goes with anger for us all.
Unfortunately, Bixby died of cancer in 1993, so this dream of Alex’s will have to go unrealized.
Captain America was a hero of a bygone age to me, but how do people who find themselves out-of-touch with the modern world still find a quality place for themselves in it? Surprisingly, Captain America didn’t shy away from dealing with this, and often had to think his way out of situations when he was out-gunned or out-powered, yet his combination of resourcefulness and altruism finally began to appeal to me.
I only know Alan Ritchson from his recent villainous role in the Hunger Games movie, so it would be quite a switch to see him as the embodiment of all that’s good in America.
And — like practically all American boys born in the 1970s — I was a huge Bruce Lee fan! Who wouldn’t be a fan of the agility, the speed, the strength and dexterity, and the unshakeable confidence he exuded no matter what the obstacle was facing him? You just knew, if there was a fully loaded tank coming at him, he’d find a way to win and look cool doing it. Bruce Lee, more than anyone else, made you believe that he could make the impossible happen with ease.
So who better to bring some confidence and spark to the indecisive, woe-is-me, Hamlet-of-our-generation superhero: Spider-Man? Yes, I admit it: not since I was maybe five years old have I been a Spider-Man fan. But you put Bruce Lee into those shoes? I’m there.
There are some other really good ones, too, and this has given me occasion to look up some of the actors I wasn’t so familiar with to find out more about them. Some of them are amazing, like the original Zorro (Guy Williams), above, and one of the memorable stars of 28 Days Later and Skyfall, Naomie Harris (below).
Go view the whole set, and thanks to Alex for such a creative jaunt!