This one I'm posting as i create; a gazillion sketches for one slightly more finished drawing. I do that in order to study the shapes i like and to get the hand practice needed for a more free hand rendering. Here are some:
And so here is the best i could come up today with this oh so complicated concept: Martian Manhunter.
The real problem with redesigning the martian is his ability to shape-shift. To keep this version linked with the initial design i decided to keep only the iconography. All the colors red, blue, green and yellow gold as well as the cape and the X.
This super has the capability to assume any shape, size & color or, by becoming both ethereal and invisible , he can virtually become a boundless conscience. His humanoid shape comes from the will to resemble humans but after 50 years of living among them, a change is in order.
I see him taking the time to think this through and get inspired by his fellow supers. Superman is bold, Batman is scary and Wonder-woman is Godly.
I wanted him to be representative of what he is: an ether elemental. So i wanted all states of matter (solid-liquid-gas-energy) to be represented on this physical manifestation. The body is a green solid amalgam of floating pieces divided not by two orbits, or X's but by an infinity ribbon. From within it, a red light beam can turn indefinitely in one direction, scanning space all around and replacing his martian vision. This energy core fumes through the openings creating a virtual cape, this is not smoke, it is part of the martian and completely under his control. Lastly his senses come in form of this gold liquid and make up for his facial features.
The mask and neck resemble tribal masks and jewelry as to evoke lost & unknown cultures, something he knows only too well.