P:R Redesign: Kris Anka’s Marvel Villain 5-Pack!

Note: Artist Kris Anka returns to Project: Rooftop to take on five of Marvel’s biggest villains — single-handedly! Be sure to read his notes on each piece below the images. – Chris A.

Thanos – This was my attempt to take all the corniness from him. I always felt his costume kept him from being a huge cosmic threat that he should be. I also added the hood to tie him to Death, visually.

Kang – He is from the future. he should look like it, and have tech that looks impossible.

Ultron – So advanced that he is a Biomech — a living robot.

Baron Von Strucker – I tried to combine his WW2 costume with that of the Hydra tights. I wanted to redesign the Hydra logo and streamline it better to better implement as a design element for the costume.

Galactus – My basic idea is that he is sort of a void of power. Make him a more visual representation of the “abstract” concept. The hole in his chest is where he eats planets. Afterwards his body physically becomes whatever main element of that planet was. So if he eats a star, his body becomes fire.

50 comments to “P:R Redesign: Kris Anka’s Marvel Villain 5-Pack!”
  1. Kris. Im going to say this once..and only once. You are a redesign god.
    These are single handedly some of the best most eloquent redesigns/re-imaginings I’ve seen. I know I’m sounding like an uber fanboy, but these really are something special.

    Aside from the stylized dimensions of the characters I love the look and the thinking behind them. Thanos LOOKS threatening, Kang LOOKS like his from the distant future, Galactus looks like an abstaction.

    My favourite is probably Baron Von Strucker. His costume is so darn Kirby and impressive. Also, as much as I love Galactus, the idea of him literally being what he eats is something so Kirby, that even though you’ve only retained the basic idea of the helmet, it still feels like Kirby thought it up.

    Beautiful work!! Can’t wait for more!!

  2. Awesome! Kang is one of my favorite villians and I love to see redesigns of him, but I find myself missing the purple.
    I love the Thanos. The hood is a genius touch.
    I’m sorry, but you can’t mess with Galactus. He’s just too iconic. Very nice looking though.

  3. Wow! These are pretty great.

    THANOS – very cool. I can see marvel using this as it looks way more intimidating and serious than the classic/current corny look.

    KANG – My favorite design of the group! Just awesome and perfect. I can see some people accusing this of having the TRON look but it really works for Kang. He needs to be used more in the comics.

    ULTRON – My least favorite of the group. I like a mechanical Ultron. Also he looks kinda over weight. The face is pretty scary, in a good way.

    BARON VON STRUCKER – Nice design. Nice reworking of the hydra logo.

    GALACTUS – I never liked his look, too human (I never bought the “we see what we can comprehend” idea). This whole concept rules! Would he still need/use his spaceship? How big is he, would a planet fit in that hole or would he just suck in the energy there? I need more info! I need a story! Gimme gimme gimme…I need!

  4. I love you Kang and Galactus redesigns. I think those two were in DESPERATE need of it. And as much as I like the other ones, they seem like they’ve been hitting the gym WAY too much . . . not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  5. I really dig these redesigns. They seem to mix Jack Kirby with contemporary elements the way the golden lines in the costumes guide down to hanging cloth. Very simple structure but complex ideas and retaining the classic and memorable appearances.

  6. These are fully fantastic! Though I second Jay’s comments on the Ultron design, it just doesn’t look mechanical enough for my tastes. Really diggin Kang and Galactus though.

  7. It’d be a shame to abandon the Kirby design for Galactus, it’s so unique… but I love this redesign. There’s plenty of chances to implement a Galactus redesign: animated series, alternate versions, I think it’d even work in movies.

  8. Strucker is very nice, and I’d be into Kang if you’d substitute purple for the dark green elements. Thanos and Ultron are both way too plain for my tastes (I like each of their heads, but the bodies just look like blobs to me), and I don’t think Galactus has any need of such a drastic redesign.

  9. I would have to say I love these! Yup! Just love them! Thanos wearing the hood to tie him to death is great, and the subtle use of black throughout the costume is perfect.

    Kang is perfect! I mean that’s exactly how he should look. And he looksp unflappable, as if nothing his primative enemies can do to him.

    Ultron is a great idea, (They went that route in the comics, but went wierd. I mean possesing Wasp? Really) and the design is cool, but he’s too bulky and the floating things by his neck remind me too muchof Kang’s look. Slim him down, but give him the ability to use any metal or machinery to enhance and upgrade himself and viola.

    Baron Von Strucker is exactly how he should look today. A little ld school, a little new school. I really like it.

    But Galactus is my personal favorite. You basically created a look and idea that could even work for the live action reboot. It’s got the colorcheme and some of the flair from the original look, but the whole void in his chest, and taking on the properties of the planets he eats is great. I’d go even further and ay he’s pure energy and the fire look you attributed to the eating a star is his powered up look after eating and the dark look is his hungry look.

  10. For those saying Kang is missing his trademark purple…isn’t his bodysuit primarily purple in the design above? Looks purple on my screen.

  11. Again, with the awesome. I could nitpick the individual designs, but fuck that noise. These are all so conceptually sound, reverentially designed, and forward thinking. BRAVO.

  12. Love ’em.
    I’ve thought for a while now that there were a boatload of Marvel characters that were sort of stuck in the 70s and a few of them wound up on this list.
    I love that the ‘otherworldly’ guys FINALLY look like they came from somewhere else— and I agree that Galactus has always seemed too human to me.

  13. I always kind of thought Thanos looked like a court jester, or something, with his blue, yellow and purple color scheme. So integrating black into the mix – and its ties to the symbolism of Death – is a welcome addition.

    The hood, though – which I think is conceptually brilliant – caused me to do a double-take and confuse Thanos with Ronan the Accuser for a second. As cosmic characters, they kind of travel in the same circles.

  14. @Jay: I guess it is purple, but not purple enough for at least a couple of us to immediately recognize it. I think recognition is the real problem with the Kang design. With the other four, you can immediately tell which character you’re looking at, but it would have taken me quite a few guesses to get to Kang. If the purple was brightened up just a little bit and then switched it with the teal, it would be a great costume.

  15. Unbelievably awesome work. I’m not too big a fan of the Kang and Ultron redesigns, but the rest of them are 5 star- especially Thanos and Galactus!


    THESE ARE INTENSE. I think the Ultron is the weakest of the bunch but the rest of them are kind of making my loose my mind with how awesome they are.

  17. The Thanos needs a bit more bulk in his head and fists in my opinion. But that hood is very clever.

    Ultron is the weakest, too plain perhaps? I’m not really familiar with the character to offer any real opinions though.

    But aside from those two quibbles. Very awesome, very cool.

  18. Thanos – I like it but it reminds me too much of Ronan.

    Kang- I think he needs a helmet to complete the outfit.

    Ultron – abit too bulky for my taste but overall awesome.

    Baron Von Strucker – Awesome

    Galactus – Maybe for an Ultimate version, but it just too damn hard to top Kirby. but i still love it.

  19. Im definitely with Jay regarding Galactus. We need stories about this guy! The possibilities are endless!

    I mean, what if he was to consume an inhabited planet? If he gained properties like water and a breathable atmosphere, would life develop on him? Would said life evolve to become sentient? Would it be a carbon copy of the culture(s) Galactus had consumed? What would happen to this life if Galactus ate something else afterwards like another planet of a star?

    Kinda brings that old Kirby sized grandness and scale back to the character.

  20. Galactus’ helmet really reminds me of something I saw somewhere, but I can’t for the life of me figure out where. Evangelion? Gurren Lagann? G Gundam?

  21. Attention, Marvel: Hire Kris Anka.

    Kris, you set out with clear objectives in each case, and achieved them with stunning clarity. I love the combination of simplicity and power in each of these villains’ new designs, but especially Baron Von Strucker and Kang. I feel like Ultron could be a little more defined and drawn less like he’s wearing a jumpsuit, but I still like the overall look a lot!

  22. Well I must say that these are some of the best interpretations that I have ever seen. It is about time that some one did something with these guys they were far to campy before. my favorites we Galactus and Ultron

  23. They’re all beautiful.

    Every comment about Thanos is dead on. He just looks more threatening this way.

    I think I’d prefer if Ultron looked a little more “hard”. The biomechanical thing is neat, but it just makes it hard to sell him as “robot”.

    Your Kang is just about perfect.

    I’m not really sold on Galactus, though. The Kirby design is silly, but it is the over-the-top spectacle of him that really sells him to me as a larger than life SPACE GOD. Maybe if the helmet were exaggerated more. I don’t know…

    I would love to see you apply this aesthetic to the Fourth World characters- especially Mister Miracle.

  24. Outstanding work! The Kang design in particular is a wonderful improvement on his usual, and ridiculous, look. Galactus is another standout: I can just see this guy hovering over an entire hemisphere like an inescapable force of nature. Modern Kirbytech!

    I also agree with the poster that suggested Kris take on an Apocalypse redesign as his next project: I’m sure it would be something to see!

  25. I love them all, especially the Galctus one.

    But I must say, when I saw Baron Von Strucker I instantly thought Warhammer 40k Commissar.

  26. Normally, Kris Anka’s re-designs hit the mark. This is not one of those times.

    Except for Baron Strucker, all of them share too much of a similar minimalist aesthetic that makes little sense given how different each character should be. I like the thoughts behind them, and the illustration themselves are gorgeous in their simplicity, but…

    1) Thanos. I like the hood, but the streamlined approach feels slim, manga – and not threatening at all. It’s a huge upgrade over the original Thanos, but also so Apple-minimalist styled that it feels soulless.

    2) Kang. Again, the simplistic minimalist style is so soulless here that it doesn’t say KANG to me. He looks like a Batman Beyond villain to me. I like the regal elements of the outfit but nothing in this illustration differentiates it from the hundreds of concept art out there that echo the same design sensibilities. You say you try to make him look impossible but he looks concept-art-standard. Ultimately very boring.

    3) Ultron. His bulkiness is interesting but I don’t find it exciting. Maybe it’s down to the details?

    4) Baron. The best of this lot, because your streamlined aesthetic fits his Nazi/supervillain sensibilities perfectly. Still not loving those boots but the top is something gorgeous.

    5) Galactus. Maybe it’s the sense of scale, but again, if you’re going to take on Kirby, you go big. And this isn’t big. It feels like you’re hitting some Evangelion but then you might as well ape the wonderfully bizarre beast qualities those had, because this one feels staid. The void-concept is fascinating – actually, wouldn’t it be even cooler than rather just absorbing the main element of the planet, it BECOMES what the planet was on a magnified scale…his arms are landmasses, full of teeming life and forests, his body the ocean, legs covered in mountain ranges…the irony of the planet destroyer becoming an uber planet itself is just so much fun – but it feels again like you’re playing with your own aesthetic as opposed to Galactus’s. It’s not a comfortable mix here. Other artists have managed to turn Kirby’s unique design into some truly awe inspiring work – see what they did on Nova – but here just feels a lesser being. Finding that sweet spot between Kirby’s over the top Kirbiness and your own is going to be difficult but I think you can pull it off.

    Just wanted to end saying that I’m a big fan and visit your site all the time. I’ll leave a post sometime :)

  27. @Scalfin I’m seeing elements of Patlabor in it, may be that’s what you’re thinking of.

    Absolutely love the designs, especially Galactus. A bit more detail on Ultron would have been cool, but I like the sheer size of him.

  28. That Galactus one looks a little like an Elite from the first Halo game. These are all awesome redesigns. Some of the best I’ve ever seen, retaining that awesome Kirby look that the best Marvel characters have, while still seeming threatening and even realistic. Incredible work.

  29. nice images! really like the design concept. however, i have a little problem with thanos’ head being soooo small (despite the awesome costume) and the bigger issue is that galactus’ head is too reminiscent of the ingram robots in patlabor.

  30. I’m loving the Von Strucker uniform, but I have to agree with some of the other comments re: Ultron (a little too simplistic for my tastes). And I like the Kang redesign and the thought behind it, but the TRON-like glowing line look has been used so often that it’s lost its novelty… at least, for me.

  31. Some of these work for me, some don’t… the further the deviation from the original design, the less it works for me. I find it’s important to not deviate too far. Otherwise, you might as well be creating a brand new character.

    Thanos – Pretty good. The hood gives it a bit of an omnimous feel that works well with the character.

    Kang – While the design is good, there’s no resemblance to Kang’s initial recognizable look. If I were to see this look applied to him in a random book that I was flipping through, then I probably wouldn’t realize it was him right away unless I started reading it.

    Ultron – You did a great job of recognizing the iconic elements that identify the character. This is what you need to do in any re-design to make it work most effectively. While I like that you’ve done that, you haven’t more beyond that in the design (But that’s partly due to the re-conceptualization, and not the re-design). I woulda liked to have seen that extra step, instead of seeing just the iconic elements put on a non-descript body… just my preference.

    Baron Strucker – Really well done. The re-design is really good, and you could tell who he was if you were familiar with the character.

    Galactus – I can understand if some people don’t like his original design. That’s understandable – it is unusual. I feel it’s a look that shouldn’t get changed. Galactus is just too iconic to re-design. This is a good design, but it just doesn’t speak “Galactus” to me, even if I erased the original from my mind and thought just of the conept.

  32. I L.O.V.E. them!!

    expecially Thanos,Kang is awesome too but i think a mix with the classic design would be better to preserve his identity.
    Galactus is fantastic for an Ultimate version,i magine him bigger than a whole planet,putting the planet in his chest hole with his bare hands

  33. I like the Kang design. In general, I just think he needs a new design. I always thought his helmet is too goofy, and that’s something coming from me.

  34. Great design work!

    Contrary to some, i feel your anatomical styling works best with Thanos & Kang. Sure Thanos head is too small, his center mass too bulky, his legs weird… the guy is an alien! Most alien humanoids should be revised in comics, as currently they are simply human bodies with different colors and some details added. Things like Kang’s neck create easy identifiable silhouettes and add to the non-human effect. Von Strucker being a human could use some bigger legs but the caricature effect works with this golden age character.

    I cannot fathom why people find this designs minimalistic when so many lines are there for decoration purposes only, and given the nature of the characters (impossible-alien-future tech) it would be hard to create truly minimal functional designs without streamlining-defining their capabilities and limits as well.

    The last pickle in the jar is this TRON argument, Light lines are no longer an innovation but they were already extremely common when the movie came out. Those lines came originally from automotive design, then used in video game vehicle design, then migrated into some video game character designs then finally used in TRON which took this design element and applied it everywhere to create a video game look. Wolverine’s costume redesign winner on this site already (2009) had this light lines which many already found overused. It’s a good element to use, same as transparencies, patterns, tubing, textures and so on.

  35. thank you for injecting respect into Thanos. and for making Galactus, practical, but beyond unfathomable.

    i am curious as to where you might take my next villain cosplay/costumes… Mysterio.

    regardless, you’re re-imaginings are worthy of their own cosplay/costuming.

  36. As far as creativity and justifying your designs within the world of practicality all “A’s”.I’m inclined, however, to agree with a lot of what Law posted. These individually have strengths but I can’t buy into the seeming uniformity. These villians aren’t just baddies like Goblin, or Wiplash, these are some of the biggest and badest guys out there. I think the style is amazing and would work wonders for an original concept or characters, stand alone. But as chracters in an exsisting universe with exsisting ideas of what the characters represent already, eh. Also I feel like some of these designs are extremely top heavy. Like the streamlining but these guys aren’t known for being “light on their feet” if you know what I mean. I need badass combat armored boots, for some serious HERO ASS KICKING!

  37. Kris, were you inspired at all by Zone of the Enders and/or Evangelion ? Ultron, Kang, and Galactus remind me of some of their robot/creature designs.

  38. I like the Thanos and Baron Strucker redesign, but the Kang, Galactus and Ultron pieces are too disconnected with the original designs.

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