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The Saga of Sun Man

Picture this: A hardcore comic book, and Superman nerd who also was something of an obsessive artist who drew all the time. By the time I was thirteen I’d created a whole universe of heroes and villains that never became comics mainly because—eh—they were kind of take offs on my favorite superheroes. Kind of like how “Deadpool” was originally a “take off” on Deathstroke: The Terminator. 

In either case, in 1996, I got together with a classmate of mine and we created Sun Man. Sun Man was an egg shaped superhero and avenger who was powered by the sun, and even had a family of other superheroes a la “Shazam.” Superman always influenced me a lot more than any other superhero I’ve ever been in to. It was almost to the point where everything I created was in some form or another, completely inspired by the man of steel. Back when I was in middle school in 1996, I got together with a friend of mine one day and we created a comic strip called “Sun Man” that I was seriously hoping to publish someday.

The so NOT influenced by Superman "Sun Man" S

Of course while “Sun Man” looked nothing like Superman, a lot of his origin was taken from Superman, from the part of his costume where he wore a cape, and even had a big S on his chest. He even was powered by the sun and had the powers of the sun. When I was a kid, art was my absolute obsession, so I spent a lot of my time creating various characters and superheroes for my own use. My friend and I got together one day to create Sun Man and he became one of my favorite original characters that never actually saw print.

In either case, the name of the hero was Sun Man and he had high hair, a beard, and a mask, and for some reason was egg shaped. I managed to also create a whole universe of supporting characters, which included Sun Boy, a bowl cut haired younger version of Sun Man, and Sun Girl who, oddly enough, I always drew like an actual woman. Sun Man’s main villain was Reptile Man, an egg shaped monster with a mask that made him look like a Mortal Kombat villain of some kind. He also had a cybernetic leg and electric powers!

I also made sure to include a grittier version of Sun Man from the future that looked exactly the same but had a long scar over his left eye because, you know, scars are cool. Ask Anakin Skywalker. While my friend always took it as some sort of fun hobby, I kind of took the character very seriously, even drawing pages of the characters adventures during class. Sadly, my friend took the comics home one day to work on them, and he never brought them back.

That said, I did continue on without him, despite losing all that hard work, and started considering making Sun Man in to an actual comic. At one time when I collected Power Rangers cards, I took it upon myself to make Sun Man Collector’s Cards. I cut out the centers of the Power Rangers cards, and kept the glittery borders, and pasted the Sun Man character pictures behind the frame. Voila, I had my very own Sun Man trading cards.

I modeled a lot of Sun Man’s world on Superman, even making Sun Man just an average working man who became a superhero with the ability to fly, and use immense strength. All of his powers were, yes, helped by the yellow sun of our planet. He was egg shaped but had muscles, and there was his Dilbert nose, and the high hair, which just fit the character to me at the time. And I still kind of dig it, in all honesty. 

It’s always kind of funny how some creations just stick with us, even when we know that there’s no real way we can sell them to an audience, or even make them appealing to even a niche audience. “Sun Man” is one of those characters that took major inspiration from Superman while also being its own entity. I’m not sure why he had high hair, or even a beard, but I just loved drawing him. Sun Man was always one of my favorite original superheroes, even if he’s been dormant for about fifteen years. Maybe it’s just because he’s easy to draw and brings me back to my childhood almost instantly.

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Hoju Koolander Posted on Sep 15, 2017 at 02:37 AM

Your process for creating Sun Man trading cards was genius. I totally remember those glittery Power Ranger borders.

Superman Posted on Aug 25, 2017 at 12:53 PM

A Superman inspired original character? I can approve of that.

Benjanime Posted on Aug 24, 2017 at 01:42 AM

it's always neat to try and make your own original character try to stand out, i liked the idea of the comic book and trading cards. when i designed my first character lars, i'd wanted to have a similar concept but i only ever had time to draw when i was in study hall. whenever i got home my stepdad would drag me outside to do boring hardware fixing out in the garage as soon as i finished my homework.

NLogan Posted on Aug 22, 2017 at 02:29 PM

To the future arch-nemesis of Sun Man, become friends with Luna his girlfriend. Because the best time to beat him is during a lunar eclipse.

Vaporman87 Posted on Aug 22, 2017 at 08:11 AM

Sun Man is hilariously awesome! I didn't start branching out into sillier shapes and more cartoon-like characters until much later. I was so focused on the He-Man/Superhero style of character for so long, I didn't much consider anything else. But when I did, that is when I realized that I should have done it much sooner. It fit my style better.

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