Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My World : The Volcano Monsters

No one is quite sure how the Volcano Monsters exist in the first place. They are apparently a small tribe of semi-intelligent, rock-based humanoids that live within certain volcanoes scattered around the globe. The logistics of how this works are mind-bending.

When the Invincible Alliance journeyed to Japan to investigate suspicious activity originating from Mt. Aso, they had no idea that the case would change one of their members forever. But that is exactly what happened when the Volcano Monsters emerged from the simmering crater. Firegirl took the full brunt of a blast of magma from a Volcano Monster and tumbled into the boiling lava below.

Not only did Firegirl miraculously survive this experience, but she somehow gained the ability to manipulate heat and fire through her body rather than her Pyro Pistol. Blue Behemoth and Drone Man would later theorize that the Volcano Monsters’ magma possesses special properties that interacted with innate alterations in Firegirl’s body chemistry due to prolonged exposure to the Pyro Pistol. Firegirl sort of nodded silently at that explanation.

Using her newfound flame powers, Firegirl aided the rest of the Alliance in turning back the threat of a Volcano Monster rampage, and the creatures retreated back into the earth. There have been no subsequent sightings of the Volcano Monsters since that incident. However, it just seems like a matter of time until they crawl out of another venthole somewhere.

The Volcano Monsters are an awesome example of the good that input from others can provide you.

To backtrack, I introduced the idea of the Volcano Monsters in the "Firegirl's Internet Diary" story. They were given as the reason for her previously unexplained acquisition of fire powers, but nothing was revealed about them in this context. The name "Volcano Monsters" was inspired by an unmade film that would have used footage from the first Godzilla sequel in the context of an American-produced movie. That project never came to be, and instead we got GIGANTIS THE FIRE MONSTER (GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN). But I liked the term and decided to use it for myself.

I finished a previous picture exploring this concept, but ultimately scrapped it as a representation of the Volcano Monsters. You can see it here. I was offered some valuable suggestions by Kabuki & Sara regarding that guy, and they made me rethink both my approach and my decision to go in a different direction (possibly with dinosaurs or dragons) with the name.

One thing that is important to remember is that influences are great, but they can also chain your imagination. I was sort of stuck on the Lava Men (Marvel Comics) and Moltar and the Magma Men (from Crystar toys & comics), and that limited where I could take the Volcano Monsters. It took two people unfamiliar with either to free my thinking.

Conceptually, the Volcano Monsters are no longer straight magma men, but rather living and walking humanoid volcanoes! I went in a slightly different direction from the suggestions, but they were my springboard. I did, however, make the Volcano Monsters both rocky AND goopy.

The Volcano Monsters have rock-based bodies, fueled by a fiery "heart" at their core. That isn't an insignia on the chest, but rather a hole through their body to lessen the internal pressure. (Pseudo-science!) Their extremities are formed by magma which they can manipulate. That includes their heads, though I couldn't resist giving them li'l rock hats.

I kept some elements of the old design and applied them to this guy. I might tweak it further eventually, but I like where we are so far. Thanks for the assistance in making it happen, folks!

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