Friday, February 17, 2012

Black Manta - Branding – Ryan K Lindsay


1. Black Manta sits in a corporate board room. He is wearing his full regalia of helmet, etc, but he also has a suit and tie on over the top – and the tie is loosened and Manta looks kind of rumpled.. He is watching a corporate slideshow but we don’t see any of that, we just see the man slumped in his chair, it is not going well.
Exec(op): As you can see, we use the already established colour tones and we make you the mystery man on the scene.

2. Cut to a smug exec standing in front of slideshow projected on the wall. Think Barney Stinson, if you must. On the projected image is an artist’s rendition of Manta looking like some sort of midnight Miami Vice throwback.
Exec: You’ll be B.Manta, the midnight ghost who doesn’t take any crap from anyone.

3. The exec now isn’t sure.
Exec: No? Okay, here’s the last one.

4. The biggest panel of the page. Exec stands in front of a new image, it’s one of those sweet GI Joe style box graphics – this one shows Manta riding on top of his aqua jeep that’s got all sorts of inappropriate gaudy colours and yellow torpedoes. Manta is on top firing the mounted massive machine gun. I’d research the actual gun if I had the energy.
Exec: How boss are those torpedoes?

5. Manta is walking out of the room, he is pulling his tie completely loose.
Exec(op): C’mon, Manta, it’s right downstairs. Let’s hit Cabo and see how it feels on you.

Yeah, I just had nothing with this guy. My usual schtick is to take a loony character and maybe make him a little more serious, maybe even credible. But Manta’s been raped and made Autistic and pretty much just trashed by the whole grim and gritty thing. I didn’t feel there was much left to do with him so I dropped this on him. Basically, this was all just for Panel 4. I really dig Panel 4. It helps that the exec quickly grew on me.


  1. Strangely your passionate for the character, all be it passion for how much you hate what has been done to the character makes for a powerful page.

    Using Black manta as a catalyst to show how comic book characters are sometimes manipulated and changed just to seem cool, not for any real storytelling reason is a topic worth highlighting.

    The page itself also reads really well, with the exec character in particular seeming scarily true of the times.

    Bold use of the character and a great page.

  2. Interesting page. The undercurrent (no pun intended) commentary Sean alludes to in his comment pretty much apply to Aquaman too, re-branding, image changed, direction of the book changed, to 'fit in'.

    Dig the line about the torpedoes.

  3. There's a nice Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, vibe going on here. I like the mixture of the superheroic and the mundane. Always a winning combination in my books.

  4. I like the fact that you took this week's featured image as a literal starting point for your story. Points for that.


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