RetroFix: Thomas Fummo’s Zina of Koroka!

Note: RetroFix is back, and this week we have Thomas Fummo making his second solo appearance on the site with a revisionist take on the forgotten public domain heroine Zina of Koroka. She might look like a female Flash Gordon, but creator Mike Roy made her more than that in aid of Buster Crabbe, and Fummo takes the ball and runs with it. – Chris A.

Who was Zina of Koroka?

From Public Domain Superheroes Wiki entry on Zina of Zoroka:

Zina was a native of the planet Koroka and a space scout for the United Planets of the Universe. She was assigned to investigate covert operations of the reptilians from the planet Kakukik, who had set up a base in the Andes on Earth. Zina was discovered and captured by Reptilians, but with the help of the Earth man, Buster Crabbe, she was able to escape and alert the UPU of the reptilians nefarious plan to conquer the Earth.

Zina was a skilled pilot and capable of speaking fluent English, and possibly all other languages of the planet Earth. She was also handy with a disintegrator ray.

Thomas Fummo: Now see, I thought that sounded pretty interesting. An alien secret agent super-heroine with special ops training and a disintegration ray? Sounds pretty cool, right? However, if you click on the link to her page, you’ll see that her outfit certainly didn’t live up to her awesome description. The amazing Zina of Koroka, wearing what amounts to a bathing suit and a fishbowl in space. Pretty lame. But then again, this was the 50s and a time where if a female character appeared in a comic, chances were she’d be showing skin, and practicality and taste went out the window along with physics and scientific credibility.

So anyway, I decided to try my hand at giving Zina a better, more appropriate outfit.

She’s a professional space scout for an interplanetary military/government/exploration agency/consortium? Then she needs a proper armored space-suit. That was basically it with regards to this redesign. I liked her hair-do and facial features, so I left them the same, but completely overhauled her suit. I wanted it to look sturdy yet comfortable, something that can protect her from explosions and laser-fire, but also something she can jump around and kick ass in. I added a U.P.U. logo just to stress her allegiance.”

Note: Below is Fummo’s sketches, finishing with the final design he created.


The RetroFix

14 comments on “RetroFix: Thomas Fummo’s Zina of Koroka!
  1. Killer drawing, Thomas.

    Would it look weird if the scales pointed in different directions? I find it distracting that they all point up even when their surface is at a different angle.

  2. This looks awesome, but for some reason because of the red hair and pointy ears, this looks like some kind of heavy artillary version of Holly from “Atermis Fowl”.

    Regardless, awesome suit, and a great revamp, I’d definitely read something with her in it!

  3. Jim Gitman: Killer drawing, Thomas.
    Would it look weird if the scales pointed in different directions? I find it distracting that they all point up even when their surface is at a different angle.

    Thanks Jim :)
    I hadn’t even really thought of them as scales. They’re just one of the surface patterns I like to use, along with cross-hatching and spirals. I suppose that they can look distracting facing upwards, but it was also my hope to make the suit look other-wordly: hopefully the weird upwards-facing scale-loop thingies accomplish that :D

  4. I like it, but I wish it had a bit more of a retro-space look and integrated those flares/fins on the legs of her original suit.

  5. I wonder if Tanga – the character DC was trying to push in their new Weird Tales book that just kinda disappeared before the relaunch – was inspired by her. They look remarkably similar and Tanga’s whole deal was that she had a mysterious past.

  6. The suit is interesting, and I like how it can be gender neutral. However, I do feel like it’s also character neutral. There is also a problem of the questions of how often she’s wearing this. Is this her general outfit on planets or ships? You might want to consider adding another layer for her to have as street clothes/action clothes/ non-bulk. It can still be a space suit thanks to the development of bio-suits by MIT.

  7. Edwin: The suit is interesting, and I like how it can be gender neutral.However, I do feel like it’s also character neutral.There is also a problem of the questions of how often she’s wearing this.Is this her general outfit on planets or ships?You might want to consider adding another layer for her to have as street clothes/action clothes/ non-bulk.It can still be a space suit thanks to the development of bio-suits by MIT.

    Excellent points, Edwin :) the character neutral aspect is, believe it or not, actually something I was going for. I tried to give her a uniform rather than a superhero costume, so I wanted it to be a bit less personal, letting her character come through more in her pose and expression. You’re quite right about an under-layer of more casual or at least less bulky clothes. I’ll definitely try and come up with something now you’d planted the seed in my brain :D Thanks for all the feedback, everyone!

  8. That’s a hell of a drawing, Thomas. Excellent work. The only minor quibble I have is that the UPU insignia reads rather like one of the other illuminated elements on the suit; I wouldn’t have necessarily known it was an organisation’s emblem without the accompanying sketch. I think I get what you were going for with that approach, but I think perhaps a more obviously painted logo might’ve served the purpose better.

    I LOVE the design of the suit, though (those boots!) and the texturing is completely berserk.

  9. I like that you kept the retro feel and scale of the ray gun. I’m not a fan of the disproportionately large weapons some space heroes manage to carry about (unless they’re a alien raccoon. :)

  10. @Toom: Thanks so much, Luke :) I can see what you’re saying about the U.P.U. logo and now I cannot un-see it :D Oh well. I was trying to go for a very simple, stylized insignia, kind of like a lantern corps symbol… but it definitely would have stood out a bit more if I had drawn it in a different colour.

    @Ken: I’m not a fan of them either (save for the alien raccoons of course) :) Zina doesn’t need any unnecessary back-pain! Besides the ray gun was probably the thing I liked best about her original design: the most I could bring myself to do was tweak it slightly :)

  11. The day Space Heroes stopped carrying ray guns was a sad day in the Latorre household. Practicality is so overrated in speculative fiction

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