P:R Approved: Declan Shalvey’s Underbolts!

Note: Frequent P:R contributor Declan Shalvey has been tearing it up at Marvel drawing Thunderbolts, and he recently got the opportunity to redesign several classic villains for the beta team of Thunderbolts, called aptly enough — Underbolts. Shalvey shared these designs with us, as well as his thoughts on each. Jordie Bellaire provided colors for each. – Chris A.


I stayed pretty close to Shocker’s original costume; just tried to streamline it a bit. He had these areas on his torso that looked like suspenders, so I got rid of them. I actually tried to make this costume more similar to Kev Walker’s costume design for Fixer, to give some continuity to the team. I thought the big metal belt he had was very awkward, so gave him a little dial that is also his T-Bolts communicator. In the book, I ended up separating his gauntlets at the wrist, to give more dexterity to his hands.

Mister Hyde

If I recall, writer Jeff Parker described him as ‘a raging monster in fine Victorian apparel’ or something to that effect. I like the contradiction of how bestial he is along with how refined his wardrobe is. I thought the little hat and cane added a lot of class.


Man, that was a challenge. Trying to figure out a way to incorporate boomerangs in a somewhat believable way into that costume was difficult. In the end, I tried to place them in areas that complimented the design of his figure. The white area on his chest is essentially an upside-down boomerang, for example. The rest of the design went on from there. I had his face covered completely in an earlier pass, but Jeff wanted his expressions to be readable, so I made a boomerang-ish visor to cover his eyes, leaving his mouth visible.


This is totally Kev Walker’s design, I just had to figure out a way to draw her.


I looked up the original costume design and proceeded to scratch my head for a while. I tried to make his armour more shell-like, so that it could lift and separate for various uses. I incorporated design elements from the original costume but left out all the needlessly complicated parts. My first pass was much closer to the original design, with the helmet and blue goggles, but Jeff wanted me to change up the look. He pointed out how many black characters in comics have blue goggles and once I noticed that, we both wanted to stray away from that.

12 comments to “P:R Approved: Declan Shalvey’s Underbolts!”
  1. These are awesome! Declan is a real talent.

    I really appreciate artists who subtly update costumes that aren’t too bad to begin with (Shocker). But that update on Mr. Hyde is also brilliant… taking something intrinsically linked to the character’s concept, and pulling it out.

    Nice work here!

  2. The artist didn’t have much to work with here but did a pretty good job. The real challenge will be for the writers, can they make the readers interested in these guys?

    Hey, finally a team that Dazzler could lead, what a bunch of third stringers! Besides Hyde, do any of them even have actual powers? I’m not familiar with Troll.

  3. Nice to see here some less notorious villains. I wonder if there would be a way to make them less of a patchwork team and have an element of cohesion other then the belt buckle.

  4. Love Mr. Hyde, the tweaks to the Shocker and Centurius really make the characters look a lot better.

  5. For some reason (and I’m certainly not disrespecting Mr. Shalvey’s work, it’s just an impression) Shocker looks short. No idea why, but my brain said “Young Masters”. They all look very good. I’m especially pleased to see Centurius is back. He’s an old-school “oh crap” superbaddy, and I applaud whoever chose him.

  6. I like these costumes A LOT. And for some reason I’m ecstatic that The Shocker is on the reserve Thunderbolts team.

  7. I wish Hyde were an imp rather than Hulk-like, but other that Centurius costume upgrade is incredible. I’m not at all familiar with the character so I had to google that original costume. Really nice work.
    Anybody not reading Thunderbolts should be, I’ve been reading it since the Warren Ellis run, just because the concept and appealed to me, especially during the post-Civil War stat quo, but I wasn’t really a fan of the art during that run. The book is perfect right now, and thanks to Jeff Parker’s sensibilities it’s filling that Agents of Atlas gap nicely.

  8. Play by play commentary
    Shocker- awesome, has always needed more love
    Mister Hyde- Needs less love he basically looks like LoEG Hyde.
    Troll- Give as much love as possible, any story she would be in writes itself.
    Boomerang- Was cool as Out back but anything Dc can do marvel can do so much better
    Centurius- Who came first the High Evolutionary or this guy? Know the answer but the potential future for one up menship…

  9. I like of of the redesighs excepts Boomerang’s mainly becasue he had purple(it’s my favorite color) on his suit before,but I understand he needed a redesigh.

  10. Very nice indeed. I wonder how good an idea it is for some of these guys to even be given the chance to be a Underbolt as a few of them seem to never really wanted to be rehabilitated. But great deing all around. Especially Boomerang and Centurious

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