Blue ain’t your color… A Comic Book Retrospective

When creating a character for a comic book, one of the important things writers and artists decide on is color. What does this character look like? What color is he or she and why? Most comic book efficionados know for instance that when the Incredible Hulk first appeared in May of 1962, he was grey. It was only in the 2nd issue that he became the “Green Goliath” that fans know now. Of course he has went thru a rainbow of different colors since then but green has never gone out of style. During those early days it was the green Hulk in purple pants. Why always purple? Perhaps Bruce Banner borrowed from Einstein’s reported fashion system of having seven of the same outfits so no thought was required when getting dressed. In his case, purple was his fashion statement, thus it became the Hulk’s. No wonder he was always mad at “puny Banner.”

Another color switcheroo happened when the android “Vision” first appeared in Avenger’s #57 in

October 1968. Writer Roy Thomas, who was working with Stan Lee during that time and wanted the Vision to be white (to go with his ghostly name). Unfortunately, limitations in printing at the time would have rendered him colorless. They settled for a Red face instead of green because they did not want the character to be like the Hulk. (They didn’t seem to worry later, but we’ll talk about that). In addition, apparently they were fresh out of purple pants. They did make his costume green, however. Later on, in the “Vision Quest” series, circumstances allowed them to introduce a rebuilt Vision in the white that Thomas had  “envisioned”…so to speak. However it was the original red face and green suit that Marvel based the MCU Vision on.

That brings us to Drax the Destroyer. Drax premiered in The Invincible Iron Man# 55 in 1973. As originally created by Jim Starlin and writer Mike Friedrich, he was, you guessed it, GREEN. What is it with green? In spite of what Kermit the Frog sings, it is apparently too easy to be green. At that time, he too sported the green skin along with red markings (kind of like Kratos in God of War) and a purple costume. I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but come ON! It was probably this similarity to the “Big Guy” that made the brain trust for the MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxy to make the decision to redesign Drax’s look and coloring to not so closely resemble our favorite “Smashing”machine. Although since the Hulk is in hiding, maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference.

Then we have the Kree. I give them credit for one thing. They are NOT

green. In this case they are both blue and in some cases flesh toned. This I did not know until I researched it. Most instances when I saw the Kree in either Agents of Shield or the MCU (Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 1) they were blue. Although they must not have been too happy with it since they were always painting around their eyes with either white or black. So I thought, ok…the Kree are blue. Then I started researching the “Marvel” version of Captain Marvel and how they kept referring to him as a Kree. KREE?? Sorry dudes, not blue enough. So I then discover there was actually two types of Kree. The blue-skinned version we’ve all come to know and love, i.e. Ronan the Accuser, the Kasius family, and Sinara and the more human looking version of which Captain Marvel was one. Someone forgot to tell the MCU and the Marvel Television because all we’ve seen thus far is the “Bluer than Blue, Sadder than Sad” variety. (With respects to Michael Johnson for allowing me to use a snippet of his song…Wait, he doesn’t know? Shhhhh.)

So with these few examples, we see that color plays a strong role in defining different characters. It’s just for many of them…”Blue ain’t your color.” (Yes, I know…Keith Urban doesn’t know either.)