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Behind the Scenes

B-Cell transformation to BioWarrior mode

The B-Cells are the vanguard of the body’s defenses—and when they go into battle against some invasive microbe, they transform into their BioWarrior mode.

What we’re showing in the Biowars storyline is based on real world biology. B-Cells in real life do go into a ‘warrior’ mode when they are activated by a pathogen agent like a virus. We needed this transformation in our story to look both organic...and freakin’ cool.

Here again is another example of an idea imagined by the creator, written by Mark, and that posed a creative challenge for our artists.

Take a look at how we describe the B-Cells’ transformation the first time we see it in the series:  


Panel One

The bodies of Humron, Blastor, and the other B-Cells swell. Plates of armor melt over their bodies and harden, sensory enhancers unfolding over their preceptors. Antibody cannons emerge from their massive forearms, the barrels extending menacingly.

HUMRON: …let’s do it!

CAPTION: Blastor and his cadre of B-Cells possess incredibly unique abilities.

CAPTION: To prepare for the imminent battle, plates of armor melt over their bodies, sensory enhancers cover their eyes, and organic weaponry emerges from their forearms—but that is only the beginning.  

Panel Two

Biggest panel on the page: The transformation takes on an even more amazing facet as Blastor and co. begin to clone themselves: their bodies tense as the armor plates over their backs open, and duplicates pull themselves apart from the exposed cytoplasm.

CAPTION: To increase their numbers, they are able to create genetic duplicates of themselves.

CAPTION: Their exoskeletons shift and unfold, allowing clones to emerge from exposed cytoplasm, each fully armed and prepared to wage war.  

Panel Three

Moments later, Humron stands surrounded by clones of himself. They resemble him, we can tell they're his clones, but they're not an exact match—their colors are more muted versions of Humron's, they're just a wee bit smaller (I'm talking like 5%). They are B-Cell clones, and we can tell they're clones, not as powerful, nor permanent, their temporary existence is to aid in battle..

CAPTION: The B-Cell clones' offensive capabilities are similar to, though less powerful than those of their creators'.

CAPTION: And while life itself is a battle for the BioWarriors, the clones' lifespans will last only as long as this battle.

  Cool, right? But also difficult to visualize. How does this happen? What does it mean for the armor to “envelop” their bodies? Where does it come from? Should we go with a Venom or X-O Manowar-type scene? Or something like Iron Man? It’s hard not to think of those types of visuals, but we knew we needed something distinct, something that better fit the unique environment in which our conflict takes place. We gave our artist only two pages to depict this. Here’s some initial versions of what Lucius, our storyboard artist, came up with: B Cell BioWarrior Transformation - Artist Version 1 B Cell BioWarrior Transformation - Artist Version 2 We thought that was cool, but as this is the first time the readers are seeing this, we thought to try something a bit more straightforward that depicts the transformation the old-fashioned way. Hope the readers like it! Comic Book Spread: B Cell TransformationCheers,
Gabriel & Mark