A couple of years ago, I featured a bit of childlike show-and-tell here on Crimson Lightning when I proudly posted a crayon drawing lovingly crafted by my niece. The illustration was a bit rough around the edges, its details understandably simplified, but it unmistakably featured Superman racing the Flash. Naturally, it's a drawing that I cherish. After arriving for another visit just the other week, it didn't take long for the eager six-year-old comic book fan to demand access to her uncle's action figures and piles of back issues. She was particularly thrilled the day that The Flash: Rebirth #3 arrived in the mail. "Is this one new?" she asked, eyes full of wonder, covetously examining the crisp, shiny cover for the issue. With such materials on hand to provide inspiration, it wasn't long before I grabbed her crayons and a few sheets of paper and commissioned another sketch from her.
The new illustration features the same set-up as before, but my how she's developing as an artist! The Flash is unmistakable in his crimson costume, and his legs are bowed in preparation for a super-speed sprint. I appreciate her conception of the character; with that broad grin, the crimson comet looks so bright, cheerful, and friendly. Now there's a superhero to adore and admire! Conversely, she's done her best to portray Superman with stern, resolute determination--perhaps inspired by Ethan Van Sciver's own work. Her uncle, of course, chooses to interpret the man of steel's dour mug as an expression of bitter defeat. There can be, after all, only one fastest man alive!
Some relatives choose to measure a child's progress by marking off height on a scale along a wall. I, on the other hand, choose to catalog a series of evolving superhero illustrations rendered in crayon. My niece has completed an entire series of illustrations during her latest visit chronicling the adventures of the "SOOPERFRENDS," including individual portraits of Superman and the Flash. I promise to post a few others sometime next week. Stay tuned!