So this is my first blog, and frankly, I’m going to blog about just what’s on my mind. Which is Zeiss! No, not me, the Super villain to Batman. Most of what people know about me is my love for music , specifically music that was before my time. A large influence on me growing up amongst many others, was Elvis Presley. Aside from music, a lot of my childhood fun was reading Batman comics, or enjoying Batman movies/cartoons etc. Now although I had a ton of Batman comics, I had never actually purchased one for myself, most of what I owned was from my parents. On a nice day, I have always chose to go for walks to the local stores around the block, and I did just that this one fall day in Oct 2000. While strolling through the local Eckerd I came across a Batman comic that caught my eye:
Batman : 582 (Brubaker . McDaniel)
So I figure why not, I loved the way the cover was draw, the way Scott McDaniel captured every motion of the story was/is flawless, very Matrix-esc in my opinion. McDaniel also used what is my favorite Batman costume, whether it be a dark blue cowl or a black cowl, that design is my favorite. After buying the comic I immediately went home to read it; And to my surprise I find a super villain with what is in my opinion Elvis like hair, named Zeiss.
So after many years of forgetting about this character I ran across his name in a Google search. It got me wondering, what made these people develop this characters looks, and call him Zeiss. The illustrator, Mr. Scott McDaniel, was kind enough to answer what he could on the character, as well as send me a scan of the original design for the character (which I don’t believe would be right to share).
“I just don’t recall the specifics from Ed (Ed Brubaker) about the inspiration for this character. You’ll notice my visual design sheet is dated 4/00, so it goes back quite a few years! Maybe Ed can supply that missing info! Visually, the idea was to present a stylish but simple contour, and a realistic outfit for a street killer that moves in and out of the shadows. His goggles were to be his visual ‘tag,’ so I cleared his head of hair that would interfere with that distinctive band”
I then asked Mr. McDaniel what inspired him to give Zeiss that particular hair style, his reply :
“I wanted his contour to be clean, so I used his hair to articulate some energy and movement. Keeping his color scheme, naturally his hair would be black. And as a wild man at heart, his hair would wildly flow, not restrained to styling!”
Mr. McDaniel was more then helpful, and for that I thank him. While looking at the original designs, I noticed a few things, one being that Zeiss is 6’2. Zeiss being that height is further ironic, because …so am I! Then I take notice to the fact that he’s listed as 185 lbs, which I know for fact I weighed that all through high school when I bought the comic.
Major choices were also listed on the character, such as possible names, none being Zeiss. But what is there is little things like color of items, weapons he conceals, and the color of his “lenses” that are on the goggles he wears. It is my guess the name “Zeiss” was taken by the fact that he needs lenses, and Zeiss is one of the biggest lense companies in the world. If Mr. Ed Brubaker can shed some light on that, I will correct or confirm this blog.
Sum up, just very ironic to me that the first comic I buy myself for my favorite hero has a villain by the name Zeiss, who wears Elvis like hair.