Longshot by David Lackey

Character: Longshot
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Artist: David Lackey
Reviewer: Chris Arrant

At his essence, Longshot is an interesting character; especially when placed in comparison with the ‘regular’ mutants of the X-men corner (or half) of Marvel’s Universe; A four-fingered rogue neither mutant nor magic with luck on his side, and a relatively innocent mind in an imperfect world. Created in 1985 by Art Adams and Ann Nocenti, the alien from an alternate dimension had a fashion sense seemly inextricably tied to the fashion of the time: namely, the haircut. While a feathered look on top with flowing locks in the back might have been a no-brainer in the cultural landscape of 1985, it proved to be a shortlived and long-cliched choice. Although Longshot’s appearance has generally remained the same during his infrequent appearances in the modern Marvel Universe, a major visual overhaul was given to the character in the Ultimate Universe by the hands of artist & Project: Rooftop Stuart Immonen.

With David Lackey’s design shown here, we see a long-overdue updating of the hairstyle to something more modern (and probably easier to draw in repetition and in various angles). But Lackey’s not just given his hair the Project: Rooftop treatment, but has taken his jacket a more personalized variation with the storage of Longshot’s cleaver-like blades on the shoulders and arms instead as a separate bandolier outside Longshot’s original jacket. The trademark glowing scar over his left eye wisely remains, as does the graphic representation as a logo on the breast of the jacket.

Overall, I think this design shows remarkable awareness of the original character and a clear delineating of what is timeless and what as a product of the time. While a radical change of hairstyle is an apprehensive moment before-hand and a sometimes slow acquiescence, Lackey has give Longshot what he needs to take on the 21st Century.

14 comments to “Longshot by David Lackey”
  1. Great redesign! I’ve always liked Longshot as a solo character…his joining the X-Men was fun at the time, but kind of a shame in retrospect, as it’s pigeonholed him as a “mutant book” character.

    This look kind of hints at a more manga-esque treatment, IMHO, and the character’s personality and backstory would be great for such a thing.

  2. I like the outfit well enough. The bandolier is an interesting way to streamline the character’s look, although something about it strikes me as a little goofy. In real life an arrangement like that would probably look awfully impractical, but maybe it works for comics. Perhaps it’s just the original notion of popsicle throwing blades that I’m reacting to.

    As far as the haircut, this strikes me as every bit as soon-to-be-dated as the space mullet. In fact, isn’t that cut-to-different-lengths-and-slathered-in-product-maybe-he’s-in-a-boy-band thing kinda long in the tooth already?

    In the interests of full disclosure: For most of 1985, fourteen-year-old Joel wanted desperately to draw like Art Adams and look like Longshot. Oh, how I yearned for the space mullet! And the glowing eye. Maybe the leather pants. And a crazy multi-armed girlfriend.

  3. Longshot…

    One of the coolest (potentially) characters ever. I was just talking with one my cohorts about whipping up a redesign for him and submitting it, then I catch this.

    I agree that a more ‘manga’ style is fitting for the character given his background, and this does fall in line with that to an extent. The bandolier-esque gear is clever, even if really impractical (what with stiff blades acting against muscles and joints) and the gloves are a welcomed addition.

    It’s tough for me to buy the footwear, though. I know that it could very well be a style thing mostly but they’re awfully clunky and counterproductive to Longshot’s agility and hollow bones. I know he’s stronger/faster and more Six Million Dollar Man than most, but nimbly leaping over obstacles and deftly escaping attacks seems kinda hard in–albeit cool looking–clown shoes.

    The biggest thing, though, like Joel mentioned previously is the hair. Now, I’m with everybody that the mullet is ridiculous, and the most lauded part of th character but this haircut is likely to become just as cliche twenty years down the road.

    Another thing against it, is it seems–if I could borrow a term–rather ‘metrosexual’. While Longshot IS a media icon, he’s rather clueless about what it is to be pop on Earth and as ridiculous as it was, the mullet showed that. Maybe Dazzler showed him a thing or two, but it seems, at least to me, contradictory to the character.

    An admirable attempt on a character who really did need a makeover.


  4. Thanks for the comments everyone. I really appreciate the feedback.
    Looking back, I’m not sure what hairstyle would’ve worked best here. Obviously, the mullet had to go but no particular “style” seemed appropriate. What I was shooting for was more Peter Pan than boy band. For me, Longshot’s rockstar semblance was always so effortless. One of his most endearing qualities was that he was cool without trying to be. This chopped up ‘do was intended to reflect that childlike naivety that wouldn’t ever consider styling his hair.

  5. longshot never fit in with the xmen. that’s because
    his power’s invisible. only adams and nocenti could EVER write for him.

    the haircut was what defined him. removing it basically neutralizes the character, showing the trendy greed so associated with marvel entertainment in the years since Mr. Lee was forced to sue them to get his due. Bad nerd, bad.

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