Here's a bit of an oddity: I'm posting a low-res scan of a layout page from LIVEWIRES, the ill-fated and low-selling miniseries I wrote (and occasionally drew) for Marvel back in 2004/05. You may be asking, why do this now?
Answer #1: Because my editor on LIVEWIRES, Tom Brevoort, recently posted a very interesting piece about the miniseries on his blog at Marvel.com: [link]
He details the somewhat bizarre process by which the project came about, and has some kind words to say about the doomed title. Sadly, hes very much on-target about the fact that each issue was, for all intents and purposes, written and drawn TWICE. Ouch. Anyhoo, if you liked LIVEWIRES, be sure and check out the piece, as one almost never hears about such projects from the editors point of view.... which is one of several reasons why Toms fascinating blog entries are always worth a gander, even when the subject unaccountably fails to be my own work. (Yes, that was a joke, kids. Im not quite THAT self-absorbed, Im happy to say.)
Also, you can see that Marvel might well have wanted to continue LIVEWIRES, but the titles sales figures were just so brutally low that this wasnt really an option... and the wee, digest-sized trade paperback collection of the miniseries* failed to sell well enough on its own to warrant a continuation of the project (also known colloquially as pulling a RUNAWAYS, as that books strong TPB sales managed to keep the title afloat until its individual-issue sales stabilized at viable levels). In fairness, the title was part of a whole LINE of new Marvel Next comics that tanked simultaneously... with the notable exception being the book that introduced X-23, the cloned female teen Wolverine who went on to bigger and better things elsewhere.
Anyhoo, for more of the LIVEWIRES experience, check out the various covers [link]
and design pages [link]
scattered throughout my DA gallery. Also, if you wanna read the actual book, Amazon.com (or possibly your local comics store?) does carry the collection at a reasonable price (only $7.99!)...
Answer #2: This particular layout page, from issue #2 of the LIVEWIRES miniseries, features the humanform combat mecha Social Butterfly altering her appearance to suit the tastes of a targeted scientist. After drawing the resulting, very long-haired version of Social throughout the issue (and on the issues cover as well), I said to myself, Yknow, I really like this particular hairstyle a lot... Hmm. Thus, two weeks later, while waiting for cover approval from Marvel over the weekend of July 4th, 2004, I incorporated said look into the character design for a bunch of commissioned damsel in distress sketches I was hastily finishing up... and, lo and behold, the future title character from EMPOWERED** was born! Huzzah!
*Note that, in my humble opinion, the LIVEWIRES trade-paperback collection shouldve been titled LIVEWIRES: SEE THESE EYES SO RED instead of LIVEWIRES: CLOCKWORK THUGS, YO! (both of which were individual-issue titles, BTW). Alas, I forgot to say anything to Marvel about this before the collection was solicited under the latter title... Not that this made any difference with the TPBs sales, of course. And yep, in case youre wondering, SEE THESE EYES SO RED is indeed a reference to lyrics from Bowies Theme from CAT PEOPLE (Putting Out Fire), which was a big influence (for reasons not easily explained) when I was creating the concept of the Livewires. Note also that the final issues title quotes the next line in the song, RED LIKE JUNGLE BURNING BRIGHT..
**EMPOWERED being my sexy superhero comedy published by Dark Horse Comics, of course. Volumes 1 through 3 are, at least in theory, available at your local comics retailer or bookstore...