Finished Winter 2010, Manga Studio, Illustrator, & Photoshop.
The people demanded it, and so with much thought and deliberation through taking suggestions from fans, I have finally delivered the ultimate team of villains who have united to oppose the Justice League of Anime. This image is meant to act as a counter-point to my Anime Justice League Returns artwork and is in some ways a mirror of that composition. Of course, this group is based on the concept seen in the Justice League tv series episode "Injustice for All"
Many suggestions for which characters should appear in the Gang were given over a period of about a year, and I used those suggestions with my own ideas to determine the final villainous line up. I wanted for each member of the Gang to, in one way or another, act as a counterpoint to a member of the Anime Justice League, and perhaps even come from a completely different series than the hero to create the ultimate impossible rivalry. I also wanted a good mix of colors, powers, personalities, and original creators. Finally, characters from historical or alternate universes were not eligible due to logistics. Sorry, Naraku and Orochimaru.
So, with that in mind let's introduce our villainous cast of characters. Don't worry if you don't recognize one, I've included links to more information, and you will hopefully see why I gave each character a spot on the Gang. We'll work our way upwards, starting front and center with what might be the most controversial of all the characters I selected.
ROCK HOLMES: From the world of Osamu Tezuka comes this sociopath of a villain, who would no doubt be the mastermind behind forming a gang to take on the Justice League. Rock does not come from one story in particular, but is rather a reoccurring figure in many of Tezuka's works. Throughout the character's history, Rock was not always portrayed as a villain, but when he was, he was truly evil. If you don't understand why, just read this. I see Rock as the perfect counterpoint to Lupin III. They visually match up well against each other and I am very intrigued by the prospect of a Heroic Thief vs Evil Detective match-up. I used Rock's design from the 2003 Astro Boy anime here, simply to create some color variety.
VICIOUS: This Cowboy Bebop villain was suggested a few times and when it was brought up that he was a great swordsman, I thought he'd be perfect as a rival for Captain Harlock. With his hair, scowly face, and uniform, he really does look like an evil counterpoint to Harlock, so much so that I wonder if that was the intention all along.
DORONJO: It was a regret of mine that I was not able to work any heroes from Tatsunoko Productions into the Anime Justice League, so I endeavored to fix that with the Injustice Gang. Who better than Doronjo, the villainess from Yatterman? To me, she is the perfect opponent for Cutie Honey. Doronjo is to sexy evil what Honey is to sexy justice! Don't you want to see them fight? Someone did suggest this character, but after I had already decided to use her.
HAKAIDER: The Mechanical Violator from the Kikaider franchise appears here, based on his animated form. I brought him on board to oppose Astro Boy and Cyborg 009, and I have an interesting story in mind about how that would happen. I always figured I'd use Hakaider if I ever did an Injustice Gang. A brain behind a glass dome is just too cool of a visual to pass up.
TOGURO: The younger of the Toguro brothers from Yu Yu Hakusho. This character came up often as a suggestion, and since I didn't really know who else to use, I just relented and gave the fans what they wanted. He's a demon and a fighter, so he should provide a good fight for the super-powered League members like Goku.
CELL: Well, this should be self explanatory. Of course there is a Dragon Ball villain, and I picked Cell instead of Freeza because Cell just appealed to me more. The way I figure it, Cell and Hakaider were resurrected as experiments by the Black Ghost Organization. Rock knew about this, had the Gang break into an abandoned secret facility, and set them free to unite against the League. But are Cell and Hakaider really interested in fighting for Rock's goals?
RUBY MOON: I thought a CLAMP villain would make a great opponent for Sailor Moon, and Ruby Moon from Card Captor Sakura fits the bill. She really looks like an evil counterpart to Sailor Moon and fits in well with the rest of the gang. Even the name Ruby Moon makes me wonder if she was in fact meant to be a villainous answer to Sailor Moon. Perhaps this is the destined battle!
Will the Injustice Gang succeed in their quest to defeat the Justice League and demoralize the world of Anime? Probably not, but it sure has been fun to think about! Hope you enjoyed it too!