I was planning to do this lengthy intro but i'll just let the photos tell the story....so sit back and enjoy!
(side note: This version of the team line up was primarily inspired by the 2001-2006 TV series but with a twist of the comics added)
Apokolips. A planet of burning fire pits and Parademons that's separated from the rest of the universe and only accessible through a teleportation device known as a boom tube. A planet that is also ruled by an evil dictator bent on domination and destruction....
First comic appearance: (cameo) Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen # 134 (1970), (full) Forever People #1 (1971)
Darkseid is the all powerful ruler of Apokolips who has conquered many planets throughout the universe. He feeds off the misery and destruction of others and is evil personified. Despite these facts, the people of his world fear him and serve him loyally as they look at him as a god. Darkseid possesses great physical strength and the ability to fire beams from his eyes known as Omega Beams, which is powerful enough to wipe many living beings from existence.
The shoe was a last minute addition to this series...I got the idea to add an antagonist for the heroes. Not much planning went into these as I tried working off memory. The base shoe was the Jordan 7 DMP Magic.
Using his boom tube technology, Darkseid opens a portal for himself and his Parademons to invade the Earth. His plan: to take over Earth and enslave the citizens of the planet.
As a result, the call is sent out to the world's greatest super heroes....The Justice League!
THE JUSTICE LEAGUE SERIES
Alias: Clark Kent (Earth name), Kal-El (Kryptonian birth name)
First appearance: Action Comics #1 (1938)
Baby Kal-El was sent to Earth by his parents, Jor-El and Lara of Krypton. This was done as scientist Jor-El learned of Krypton's eminent destruction. Although he was unable to save himself and his wife, he was able to build a rocket ship to send his infant son to the planet Earth, where he would later be discovered & adopted by Johnathan and Martha Kent when his ship crash landed in a field in Smallville. Kal-El, later named Clark by his new parents, would not only learn of his Kryptonian heritage but would also discover his developing powers as a result of living on a planet with a yellow sun. With the values instilled in him by both his adoptive parents and his birth parents via footage that was stored in the rocket ship he landed in, Clark Kent would later relocate to Metropolis, where he works disguised as a reporter for the famed Daily Planet, he would adopt the identity of Superman! Superman possesses many abilities such as incredible superhuman strength, invulnerability, super speed, super breath, heat vision, and super hearing. He is seen by many as Earth's greatest hero and is a true symbol of truth and justice.
The base shoe for these was the Jordan 6 Infrared. This design was fairly easy to come up with but I did end up adding some last minute ideas after I started working on these, such as turning the Jumpman logos on the back into his birth parents Jor-El and Lara, each holding a globe of the planet Krypton. I also added looked up and added Kryptonian lettering to the backs of the shoes as well (the left says "Jor-El" and the right says "Lara")
Alias: Bruce Wayne
First Appearance: Detective Comics #1 (1939)
As a young child, young Bruce Wayne witnessed the brutal murder of his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne at the hands of a mugger as the trio were leaving a movie theater in a section of Gotham City. The area where the murders occurred was dubbed as Crime Alley, a name which came as a result of those murders taking place in the nearby alley where the family decided to take a shortcut. Bruce would become the heir to his father's company, Wayne Industries. Although now-billionaire Bruce Wayne would go on to run his father's company and take it to even bigger heights, the death of his parents would continue to stay on his mind as he became consumed with vengeance. At a young age, Wayne dedicated himself to intense physical training and honed his combat skills to unheard of levels (this also included an extended stay in Japan as part of that training). Using his resources and the help of his butler, Alfred Pennyworth (who also worked for his parents and had pretty much become extended family), Bruce Wayne would eventually don the cape and cowl and become the vigilante of the night striking fear in the hearts of criminals. Although he possesses no superhuman abilities, Batman is one of the world's smartest human beings and possesses some of the most cutting edge technology and weaponry in the world. He is trained in multiple forms of martial arts and is seen as the world's greatest detective.
The original base was the Wolf Grey Jordan 3s. The shade of grey on the finished product is different from the original grey (my shade is a lighter one) and the clear bottom soles were dyed black as well. I've always been a fan of the black and grey look for the character over the blue and grey look. I just always felt the black cape and cowl fit the Batman image a lot more.
3. Wonder Woman
Alias: Diana Prince / Diana of Themyscira
First Appearance: All Star Comics #8 (1941)
She is as beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, strong as Hercules, and swift as Hermes. The first female super hero and daughter of Hippolyta, Diana earned her role as Wonder Woman after winning a contest of skill that took place among the amazons of Themyscira (aka Paradise Island). Originally forbidden by her mother to take part in this competition, Diana competed under a disguise and emerged victorious, not revealing her identity to Hippolyta until after the contest. Diana was given the costume and identity of Wonder Woman, who is the ultimate symbol of the strength of women as well as an ambassador of peace among all the people of the world. Wonder Woman possesses many super abilities such as superhuman strength, speed, flight, and superior combat skills. She also possesses weaponry such as a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara (headband) which can serve as a projectile, and the indestructible Magic Lasso of Truth, which compels anyone entangled in it to tell the truth and obey her commands. She has also been known on occasion to use a shield and magical sword forged by Hephaestus as well as the now seldom used Invisible Jet. Although Diana was raised on an island of women, Diana, with the blessings of her mother, operates in mans world as an ambassador spreading the amazons message of strength and love.
Originally I planned to use a Jordan shoe for the custom but felt like it wouldn't fit the style I had in mind for it. I went with a simpler silhouette in the Air Max 90 since it has a much cleaner look for what I had in mind. Wonder Woman's had many costume alterations over the decades but I wanted something that screamed "Iconic". I wanted it to be familiar to both those who read the comics as well as those who grew up on the cartoons and the Lynda Carter TV series...something classic but modern at the same time.
4. The Flash
Alias: Barry Allen (Wally West in the cartoon series)
First Appearance: Flash Comics #1 (1940 - Jay Garrick Version), Showcase #4 (1956 - Barry Allen Version)
Barry Allen is an assistant forensics specialist with the Central City Police Department. One night while preparing to leave his lab, a strange lightning bolt struck a nearby shelf and doused him with a number of unnamed chemicals. He later discovered that the freak accident gave him such abilities as being able to run and move at unheard of speeds, a rapid healing factor, the ability to vibrate through objects, and at his most extreme speeds, the ability to break the time barrier. He would soon don the costume and was labeled as The Flash, who is loved and admired as the protector of Central City. The Flash channels an energy known as the Speed Force, which grants him his incredible abilities.
(note: In the Justice League animated series, it was Wally West who operated as The Flash. In the comics, Wally is the nephew of Barry Allen and was originally the Flash's sidekick Kid Flash).
Originally I planned to use the Jordan 6 as the base for these....in fact, i'd still like to do a Jordan 6 variation of them. The thing was, I had a pair of Jordan 3s nearby that weren't being used so I decided to see how the theme would look on those. I feel like they came out great but i'm still interested in doing a follow up to these in the future.
5. Green Lantern
Alias: John Stewart
First Appearance: Green Lantern, Vol. 2, #87 (1971)
Most people are more familiar with Green Lantern Hal Jordan, but there are a number of Green Lanterns representing the Green Lantern Corps, which is an intergalactic police force with members stationed on different worlds across the galaxy, including Earth. A former U.S. Marine, Stewart was originally selected by the Guardians as a backup Green Lantern to Jordan when another Earth stationed lantern, Guy Gardner, had gotten injured. Stewart would later be upgraded to full time duty when Jordan temporarily relinquished his spot in the Green Lantern Corps. Stewart, Jordan, Gardner, and Kyle Rayner are the Green Lanterns that have served as members of the Justice League. Jordan and Stewart have over the years built a strong friendship and have even served as members of the team simultaneously. The Green Lantern power rings are seen as the most powerful weapons in the universe, as the ring works off the will of the owner. The ring, when active, encases the owner with a force field to protect them from harm, and provides them with abilities such as flight, travel through space, the ability to conjure up any object through will, and can generate the owner's costume.
(Note: In the Justice League animated series, Stewart was also the love interest of fellow teammate Shayera Hol aka Hawkgirl. In an episode titled "Once And Future Thing", Batman and Green Lantern traveled to the future to stop a time traveling villain named Chronos. In doing so, they would team up with a future version of the League. One of those members was a man named Warhawk, who is discovered to be the future son of John Stewart and Shayera Hol.)
I specifically wanted the Air Force 1 mid to be the shoe of choice for these (as you can see, I didn't want every shoe to be a Jordan shoe). I used a variety of green shades for the design...one of which glows in the dark to give off the vibe of the power ring in use.
Alias: Shayera Hol (pronounced "Shy-hear-uh Hall")
First Appearance: Flash Comics #1 (1940)
(Note: There have been many different incarnations and origins of the character in the comics so for this series I decided to go with the cartoon version's bio)
Shayera Hol served as an undercover detective on her home planet of Thanagar. While in pursuit of some bandits who were trafficking forbidden technology, she was zapped by a dimensional transport beam which ripped apart her molecular structure and sent her halfway across the galaxy, finding herself on Earth once she had awaken. Using her survival training, she adopted a human identity and learned to blend in with the native population. Hol developed a bond with the people of Earth and as Hawkgirl, uses her abilities to serve and protect her adopted home. Hawkgirl is a fierce combatant with lethal combat skills, the power of flight, and possesses a mystic mace made from a Thanagarian metal known as the Nth Metal, which can protect its owner/wearer from the elements and speed the healing process, increase their strength, allow flight abilities, and protect them from extremes in temperatures.
Since Hawkgirl's costume isn't particularly over the top fancy (at least not this version of her), I decided to keep the shoes simple too. Just the color scheme, the logo, and a pattern around the front of the shoe inspired by Hawkgirl's wings. The base shoe was a pair of kid's Air Force 1 Lows.
7. Martian Manhunter
Alias: J'onn J'onzz (pronounced "John Jones")
First Appearance: Detective Comics (Vol. 1) #225 (1955)
(Note: Martian Manhunter's comic origin story has varied over the years with the different DC reboots so I decided to reference the animated version for him as well)
J'onn J'onzz is the sole survivor of an ancient race from the planet Mars. J'onzz came to Earth to warn the people of an invasion by the the same evil race that eradicated his people on Mars. Despite being captured, he was able to telepathically contact Superman, who along with Batman, was able to free him from captivity. Soon after, the other heroes were summoned and as a unit, were able to defeat the alien invasion. Being without a home, J'onn would adopt Earth as his new home and become a founding member of the Justice League while learning to adapt to life on Earth. Although he has bonded with his teammates, he sometimes remains alone and reclusive while at the same time being fascinated with and studying the nature of the human race. J'onn is one of the most powerful members of the League, possessing such abilities as mental telepathy, shapeshifting abilities, superhuman strength, flight, and intangibility.
Martian Manhunter's costume is a bit unusual when it comes to translating it to a shoe theme so I decided to primarily focus on the color scheme and add my own design idea that I had at the time. I wanted it to be something that stood out without being too complex. I thought the jumpman designs and head portrait on the sides would be a nice touch. With the jumpman silhouettes, the design on the tongues feature J'onn in his original Martian form while the ones on the back feature him in his more familiar super hero look. The base shoe was the Jordan 3 Fire Red (black tongue version).
And last but not least, I feel like this series wouldn't be complete without a group shot. Ladies and Gentlemen...the world's greatest super heroes....The Justice League!
This was honestly the most fun i've ever had doing a series. I'm proud of the others done in the past...some came out perfect, some didn't, but being a huge comic book fan along with the fact that it was my love of comics as a child that originally made me want to be an artist and the fact that this was my first real sneaker project featuring DC Comics characters, I was super excited to do these. A crazy amount of work went into not only the shoes but the presentation...doing individual photo shoots for each pair on different days, having to bear cold weather temperatures and weather elements on those days (outdoor winter shoots are trickier than other times of the year), finding the right backgrounds to fit each character (I did the Batman ones in the wee hours of the morning), editing, and even putting together this post and the character bios (most of which were done off memory and just years of knowing the characters from comic reading). Not to mention lugging a suitcase full of shoes and props out by myself to do the group shots...setting up everything solo and all (i'm a one person show)....who says making art isn't real work? And the thing is, i'd do it all again in a heartbeat....in fact, I plan to do so...not only is this just the beginning but I hope in the future to do it on an even bigger level. No details right now but stay tuned....
Thanks for viewing!