Note: RetroFix is a recently added column here at P:R where a writer and an artist team up to redesign and re-imagine public domain heroes and villains from the past. In this edition, artist Jason Reeves and I take on the 1940s Centaur character Zardi the Eternal Man. – Chris Arrant
Who was Zardi the Eternal Man?
FIRST APPEARANCE: Amazing Man Comics #11 (April 1940, Centaur)
Thousands of years ago, Zardi was the prince and ruler of the city of Zandipore. He left the city for a time to learn, practice and eventually master “the intellectual and magical arts,” and when he returned to his homeland he discovered it was no more. In the time since, Zardi has criss-crossed the globe using his abilities fighting evil and slowly his aging process to a crawl. His normal appearance is that of a wizened old man in a tuxedo and top hat, but he also has a mystic cape which gives him the appearance of youth. He carries with him several magical accoutrements such as the aforementioned cape, a medallion, and a magical cane that can become any weapon he desires.
Why Zardi the Eternal Man?
Chris: Looking through the immense list of public domain super-heroes accumulated by some research from Vito, what drew me first to this character was the name: Zardi, The Eternal Man. It sounded like a stage magician purported to be from the mystic east, looking just like David Carradine.
Jason: His initial look is kinda dorky, right?
Chris: Right. But when I began reading his backstory and the few available comics of his that were online, I saw a more modern interpretation coming that was inspired by the pulp comics of his time.
Jason: Yeah. He’s 12,000 yrs. old, he can perform different kinds of magic from different cultures, the items he uses and wears on his person all have magical prowess of their own, and he has a servant/follower, Nogi, that potentially has his own abilities. I just saw in this character a wealth of possibility, the layers you could add to him, to create an interesting, globetrotting, action/adventure style comic. Imagining the things he and Nogi could get into was really enticing to me.
Chris: So after having some brief conversations, I worked up a rough one-sheet about the character as we would develop him.
[Read on after the jump for Chris and Jason's discussion, as well as the initial sketch and final RetroFix redesign! - Dean Trippe]
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