RetroFix: Patrice Martinez’ The Blue Lady!

Note: Once again we return to the dusty corners of the comics bin, finding those discarded characters that have fallen into the public domain and brought them back with new life, new vigor — and a new design! Project: Rooftop’s RetroFix returns with theBlue Lady by Patrice Martinez!

Who was the Blue Lady?

from the Public Domain Super Heroes Wikia

Lucille Martin, an adventurous novelist, was returning from a vacation in China when she met an elegant Chinese lady. This lady asked Lucille to safeguard a package for her. In the event that she should be meet with foul-play, she was to deliver the package to Chin Liang in Washington, DC. The lady also gave her a bluebird-shaped ring which was said to grant superpowers to the wearer. One night, the power went out, and Martin knew that people had come for the package. While hiding in her bedroom, she began playing with the Bluebird Ring, but it fell off and she then stepped on it in the dark. This released some of the gas within it, which Lucille breathed in, not noticing until it was too late. The gas she inhaled gave her the strength of ten men, resistance to up to .38 caliber bullets, and heightened reflexes. The effect lasted for at least a day.

Note: Check out the RetroFix and final design after the jump! – Chris A.

The RetroFix

Click to enlarge.

Patrice Martinez: For the character’s origin, I thought that keeping the Blue Lady’s original Golden Age story works very well. Working journalist Lucille Martin is tasked to bring a mysterious blue bird ring from China to Washington, D.C. But along the way, she discovers that the ring exudes a special gas that gives her the strength of ten men and semi-invulnerability for a full day. Owing to her natural curiosity as a journalist, Martin begins investigating the origins of the ring and discovers that it was created accidentally by a Chinese chemist. The chemist hid these powers in thee ring to avoid it being taken by the Chinese Army and the local mafia, confiding it to his daughter before disappearing. It was the chemist’s daughter that gave the then-unknowing Martin the ring with the task to deliver it out of Chinese hands and to Washington, D.C. to be given to an American colleague of her father’s. Taking the name ‘The Blue Lady,’ Martin fights against those who wish to seize the ring while also working to uncover the long-term effects of the gas the ring exudes.

For the design, I took the symbol of the blue bird related to the ring and reflected that in the mask; however, that is the aspect that caused me the most trouble.

For the costume itself, I first tried to create one that was very close to the Golden Age look. With the blue color, I also thought the small cape/wing shape would be great but it didn’t satisfy me completely. Finally, I realized that the suit needed to be more stylized. I removed the cape and made it a cross between the Black Widow and the Falcon.

The Final Design

23 comments to “RetroFix: Patrice Martinez’ The Blue Lady!”
  1. It’s been a long time since we’ve had one of these RetroFix articles. Blue Lady looks fantastic. I like the design of the costume and the varying shades of blue fit perfectly. Hope we see more RetroFix in the near future.

  2. It’s a nice design on its own, but it feels a bit too much like Blue Beetle to me. I would have liked the cape/wings left in to break up the silhouette.

  3. I actually prefer some of the preliminary sketches to the final design, but I really like the slightly re-worked origin.
    I love these retro-fix articles and hope to see more soon!

  4. So glad that someone took the RetroFix baton and ran with it. This is fantastic! I love the thinking behind it, and the new design is something I could see in a new comic today. Great job, Patrice!

  5. It’s nice, but I feel like it’s a little big generic. There’s no personality or character here. I also feel like the ring- a central part of her power set- needs to be somehow available or visible. I also agree that it does need some of the gold from the original to pop visually.

    Then there are my usual hang-ups. How does the outfit go on? What happens if she runs into a situation where part of it is hindering her, can parts be removed or swapped out? How is she going to transport it under her clothing? How is she stuffing her hair (which you drew long and wavy) into that mask?

  6. I agree with Dedpool: just a touch of gold, maybe on the mask, would be nice. Regardless, this is a really slick and well thought out design.
    I recently did a retro-fix of my own (Zina of Koroka), however I didn’t do as many preparatory sketches as Patrice: are they a requisite for submitting a retro-fix redesign or may I submit it anyway? Thanks :)

  7. I like the redesign in general, but I think an opportunity was missed. She’s called The Blue Lady, but I don’t see anything lady-like or feminine in the final design. This could have been a great opportunity to do something feminine, but strong and modest.

  8. I see a real heavy Hawk and Dove influence but that might just be because they all share a bird motif

  9. I agree with Dedpool that it could use some yellow or gold, and that would definitely help to make it look less akin to Blue Beetle, as Mike pointed out. I also agree with Edwin as far as making the ring a little more visible.

  10. i love that she can only withstand bullets up to .38 caliber. sort of weirdly specific.

    the final design is solid, but i’ll be honest with you, i much prefer the Gatchaman-esque and manga styled designs. that first and second panel are chocked-full of goodness.

  11. I’ve got mixed feelings on this, because there’s so much “right” happening in the exploration sketches and so much “wrong” happening in the final design. (In my opinion, of course.) The artist is obviously talented, and I like the thought that went into updating the story – If I didn’t see the sketches, I’d probably like the update. But that sketch in the upper right corner of the first page is gorgeous, and I like the “Hawk and Dove” direction of the second sketch. But the final product feels like what Spider-Woman would look like as a member of the Bat-family.

  12. Tim: I like the redesign in general, but I think an opportunity was missed. She’s called The Blue Lady, but I don’t see anything lady-like or feminine in the final design. This could have been a great opportunity to do something feminine, but strong and modest.

    I think you’re being too literal. What should she have instead, high heels or a skirt? I agree with some of the other posters that some of the preliminary sketches are more interesting, especially the ones with a cape, but I think going out of the way to make her stereotypically “feminine” would be a mistake.

  13. Erin, I think the costume looks very gender neutral. You could put that on a man and it would still look great. I think a woman character can look feminine and strong without it being a cliched high-heels and skirt look.

  14. Hello every body and thanks for the comments. I’m actually like sketches more too, but I think the first design looks too much like Black Canary and the second is much too similar to Nighthawk of the classic Defenders. I agree that the addition of a yellow/gold element would have improved the overall costume.

  15. i have been practicing so hard! ihave a art gernel at my house!!!!

    I would love a” ART” lesson from you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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