Hello, friends! This is the first of (hopefully) many blog posts we're writing to give you an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at our design process. A #designthescenes, if you will.
As die-hard fans and supreme nerds, we wanted to share some insight into how our iteration of the Pokevengers were developed. These posts explain, among other things, why we chose what Pokemon to combine with which superhero, what were some other likely candidates, and design elements we wanted to include. We always liked it whenever artists share their rationale and process, so we thought you would, too!
Obviously the concept of crossing over the Pokemon franchise with the powerhouse that is Marvel's Avengers is nothing new. However, we chose to do a lot of things stylistically different to pay homage to both fandoms. We're both die-hard fans of Pokemon and Marvel, and it was important for the designs to reflect this!
A tale as old as time!
Although the two members of Mewses are both equally handsome, there is a caveat! One half of the Mewses team is a Marvel dweeb with no experience with Pokemon (living under a rock); the other half is a Pokemon dweeb with little exposure to Marvel (basically illiterate). But, with the Avengers: Endgame hype and the newest announcement of Pokemon Sword & Shield, we both knew we wanted to design something we were both excited about. And so, the Pokevengers crossover began with lukewarm shrugs as we wore each other down.
Admittedly, needing to fill in the other half probably helped out our design process. We had to talk to each other about not only what combination made sense (to someone who only had experience with one!), and we needed to think about what made the hero the hero. Usually that meant considering the person behind the mask.
Why Scorbunny + Captain Marvel?
We designed Captain Scorvel following the hype of one Miss Carol Danvers aka: Captain Marvel. Honestly, we hadn't even heard much about her until she made a 'cameo' at the end of Infinity War. In fact, our first (officially released) collection of Captain Marvel enamel pins and embroidered patches was literally conceived from the pager Nick Fury used at the end, and the trailers featuring Goose the cat. So, since we already had a growing fanbase of Captain Marvel fans, it made sense to start our Pokevengers with an homage to her.
Based on her movie, we knew Carol was an aloof badass who had a lot of her potential locked and hidden from her. We'll let you read into that potential social commentary on your own time, but all we took away was she basically had the hero mentality: she has powers, she has enemies, she has a moral compass, and she's going to apply herself. Hooray!
But did that make choosing a Pokemon any easier or harder? Who could we choose? Well, stop yelling and let us tell you the candidates, of which there were several! Among them:
- Torchic / Blaziken - aesthetically, we already knew we wanted our Pokevengers to be cute and not too serious. After all, this idea had been done before and there were a plethora of Pokevengers looking badass. We wanted to be more in line with Ken Sugimori (the original artist for Pokemon) and to pay tribute to the Marvel’s comic books in terms of costuming or posing. With this in mind, Torchic was definitely high up on the list because of the cuteness factor -- but perhaps it was too cute and not threatening enough? Would Torchic make Thanos's butt clench, or would he want to rest her on his finger and feed her crackers? Blaziken was also a strong candidate because of it: 1) being bipedal, 2) the ‘V’ on its head was reminiscent to Captain Marvel’s insignia, the 8-pointed star, and 3) it already looked like it was wearing a costume that would read pretty well if we chose to adapt Carol's outfit.
- Braixen - a witchy fire-type that was also bipedal and would probably look pretty cool with photon blasts coming out of its wand. However, we decided against it since that definitely suggests magic (something Scarlet Witch is known for) and not energy beams. We'll save you for a Harry Potter crossover!
- Lopunny - considered if only because other people had already done Captain Marvel/Lopunny crossovers. However, it didn’t really make sense to us. Lopunny looks like one of those Pokemon that can be crossed over with any superhero.
But Scorbunny really sold it for us. Here are some more bullet points to tell you why!
- It just made sense that the newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be represented by one of the newest Pokemon starters.
- In the Pokemon Sword and Shield trailer, Scorbunny kicks out flames. It’s reminiscent of how Captain Marvel (spoilers?) can basically turn into a rocket and fly into space.
- It’s also bipedal, and the ears look similar to how Captain Marvel wears her hair like a mohawk when her helmet is up.
- The idea of Scorbunny adapting Captain Marvel’s powers and shooting energy from its feet tickled us.
- Pretty stinkin' cute.
On top of that, it worked with Captain Marvel’s tagline: higher, further, faster. What could Captain Scorvel's tagline be? Higher, furrier, faster?
Scorbunny, it is!
We had a couple of (rough) sketches mocked up of Captain Marvel before we landed on this one. One involved her with flames around her hands, like Carol (but that didn't work because why? Surprise quiz!). Another sketch had her flying pose, more akin to Superman. But we ended up with what you see now because it fulfills all of the things we wanted:
- It has a dynamic pose to show off her powers (and reference some of what was shown in the trailer/movie) similar to how Scorbunny showed off its abilities; in this case, it was the energy blasts shooting her into space via her feet. No socks? No problem!
- It shows off the 8-pointed star (or the Hala star) that represents her and (spoilers!) the Kree that helped give her her powers (shown on her outfit and as the launch point in the background)
- It allowed us to feature her iconic red sash, which is more faithful to Captain Marvel's comic book costume
- Pink flames with glitter details, to boot! (It's probably not important to you, but it sure was to one half of the team... especially since there were multiple complaints of the design being "too warm"!)
That about concludes this blog post. What do you think when you hear 'Captain Marvel as a Pokemon'? Which Pokemon best represents Captain Marvel to you, and why? Let us know in the comments!