This week on Face Off, the 13 remaining makeup artists were challenged to design original superheroes for the DC universe. The winner’s original character will be included in an upcoming issue of Justice League Dark. The contestants also had the opportunity to work on their initial designs with actual DC comic artists.The DC issue is a key component of the challenge. Many of the contestants missed the mark because their superhero creations weren’t appropriate for the DC universe. Most of the safe contestants designed Marvel-style heroes, which really have a different aesthetic. The winner was the only well-executed makeup that could fit into a DC comic without much alteration. The loser also would have fit into the DC universe, but there were major technical problems that gave the judges no other choice on the elimination.
The top looks for the superhero challenge were Anthony, Eric F., and House.
Anthony’s hero was The Infernal Core, a crackling character filled with the power of the Earth’s core. He looked DC, but only by chance. The big leathery tunic and dark aesthetic work. The tunic was only included because he couldn’t get his chest and back prosthetics molded in time. This might be the first time in the history of the show that an improvised solution was far better than the original design. Comics are all about unique silhouettes and The Core stands out from most of the DC characters at this time.
Eric F.’s hero was Dick Gritty, a techno-throwback noir detective with visible but contained organs. This cyborg concept was very well executed given the time constraints of this show and featured visible working lungs. The clear plastic covering the lungs and exposed brain read very well. It was a bit dark, like a Dark Horse horror title, but it still read superhero.
House’s hero was Robot Girl, an anime-styled cyborg fighter. The styling was very Tank Girl meets low-budget monster movie and it looked great onstage. It was off-mark for this challenge solely because of the anime aesthetic. The backstory, the sci-fi elements, even the styling choices were all anime. The judges warmed up to the design close-up when they realized the head was not bloodied but actually showed off exposed musculature and wires in the body.
Anthony was named the winner because he had the only DC-styled hero in the top group. Autumn probably had the most superhero looking creation on the stage, but it was straight up Marvel, down to the cut of the costume. Alam’s design was great, but her back prosthetic wouldn’t stick and her quick paint job covering for the mistake didn’t hold.
The bottom three looks were Katie, Meagan, and Michael.
Katie’s hero was ReVolt, a punk rock vigilante who could shoot electricity. The concept was cool. She just had poor execution on everything. Her facial prosthetics for scars and injuries distorted the face like a bad Halloween mask and the mask she made for the costume was way too floppy to look right. A sewn fabric hood would have had the same effect without looking like a rubber dog treat.
Meagan’s hero was Freedom Fighter, a man with armor constructed from the remains of the Twin Towers. Poor subject matter aside, the execution was terrible. The facial prosthetic was really uneven and she used duct tape to fasten her prosthetics. The saving grace here was a really cool collar piece that showed where the rest of the design should have gone.
Michael’s hero was Elijah: Bringer of Plagues, a mythical hero who could absorb and shoot out disease. It felt very DC to me. It was just really poorly executed. Michael struggled in the work room to create the signature plague mask of his character and barely put any makeup on his model. That’s bad. This is a makeup competition. How do you do a design without real makeup work on it? The character was screaming for some disgusting face and body paint but only a few random squirts of green could be seen.
Michael was sent home for not doing makeup on a makeup reality show. Simple as that. It’s just really odd that SyFy has used this makeup for weeks to tease the show and it’s the worst in the challenge.
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