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38 Comments

Who Loves Steampunk Characters?

Dare I say, I'm all steamy over it.

 Look this up. Buy it. You'll love it. Trust me.

One of the most memorable cosplayers I saw at NYCC was a “steampunk Iron Man” who was walking around the Marvel booth. When G-Man pointed my attention to a steampunk R2-D2 that’s popped up online, it got us both thinking about how the steampunk genre’s experiencing a bit of a craze in these circles, right now. Haven’t we been seeing a lot of steampunk versions of heroes lately?

Me, myself… I first became aware of the genre through Joe Kelly and Chris Bachalo’s eponymous (and superlative) series, STEAMPUNK. Anybody who’s a fan of the genre would do well to go pick up the trades of that series, as it’s a serious tour du force for this kind of thing. Unfortunately, the team hasn’t been able to finish the series; so I can only hope that the new popularity of the genre will allow the story to be finished.

That comic came out about ten years ago, but the genre’s been around since the 80s, at least. NUEROMANCER author William Gibson’s novel, THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE, is arguably the most seminal example - - the term “steampunk” itself is a riff on the “cyberpunk” genre he pioneered.  And, of course, less self-aware predecessors can be found in the likes of the WILD, WILD WEST TV show and Jules Vernes’ novels (which would’ve just been called plain science fiction at the time.)

But, getting back on point…. Why? Where’s in the interest in these alternate versions come from? Would these characters be any different if they existed in such a bygone, anachronistic era? == TEASER ==

I think the answer’s a combination of fashion and tension. Men and woman had a lot more license to accessorize in this time - - be it with monocles, corsets, vests, umbrellas or even wild facial hair. It’s a distinct look that we don’t have as much freedom to enjoy today, so it's naturally exotic. Also, I think the milieu has an inherently greater sense of danger and, thus,  excitement. A steam-powered Iron Man is probably going to run out of fuel or break a gear while battling a coal-powered Crimson Dynamo - - and he isn't going to be able to call anybody on his cell phone for help. 

And so are my thoughts on the matter. If you're into this aesthetic, how about you enjoy some anachronistic visions of Iron Man, Batman and the JLA I found...?  

 Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of   HYBRID BASTARDS!  &   UNIMAGINABLE . Order them on Amazon   here   &     here .

38 Comments
Posted by The Psyentist

I guess you could say the Steampunk genre has been gaining steam. ;) YAY! I personally find steampunk intriguing because it tends to be victorian-era science fiction (such as Jules Vernes' novels). It is like cyberpunk only more awesome (IMO) because of the vintage feel of it. And I love the clothes. ;)

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Posted by Journey Into Chaos

My friend showed me some steam-punk stuff and personally i think it's awesome. Plus it makes my brain happy!

Posted by Aiden Cross

I do see it popping up around me a lot more, and i find it kind of intruiging. But I can't say i've really 'delved' into the subject. Maybe it's time for that.

Posted by ComicMan24

I like it quite a lot. The versions look nice.

Posted by Vance Astro

The Steampunk JLA is awesome.

Moderator
Posted by Nashnir

Love it.

Posted by InnerVenom123

Steampunk is awesome.
Posted by Sammo21

Steampunk has been around for a long time.  My fiancé (wife next month) and I have a passion for it.  Right now I am working on my steampunk revolver and she has her bustle dress and a few other things.  Our wedding next month is even steampunk/victorian!

Posted by bobtv
@The Psyentist said:
" . It is like cyberpunk only more awesome (IMO) because of the vintage feel of it. And I love the clothes. ;) "
hahaha, the clothes.
 I think this genre is appealing because is a way to look at the past and reinvent it in a refreshing way. Giving endless possibilities by exaggerating the use of materials of that age. more than "Steampunk" (the comic) "Steamboy"  (the animation), is the one comes to my mind, as the steam iron man also.
Edited by ComicMan24

Are they Batman from Gotham by Gaslight and WW from Wonder Woman: Amazonia?

Posted by xerox_kitty

I also became aware of steampunk as a style from the Chris Bachalo series.  Even when I hear the term now I still think of that cover :)  Although I wasn't crazy about the comic series, I do love steampunk :)

Posted by The Psyentist
@bobtv said:
" @The Psyentist said:
" . It is like cyberpunk only more awesome (IMO) because of the vintage feel of it. And I love the clothes. ;) "
hahaha, the clothes. I think this genre is appealing because is a way to look at the past and reinvent it in a refreshing way. Giving endless possibilities by exaggerating the use of materials of that age. more than "Steampunk" (the comic) "Steamboy"  (the animation), is the one comes to my mind, as the steam iron man also. "
What? I'm a girl. I'm allowed to like the clothes. :P I wear the victorian-inspired clothes. People look at me strange, but always give me compliments. Haha.
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Posted by The Mighty Monarch
@ComicMan24 said:
" Are they Batman from Gotham by Gaslight and WW from Wonder Woman: Amazonia? "
Yes. At least, I can tell that's Gotham By Gaslight Batman. Or more specifically from it's sequel, Master of the Future. The difference is the stitches. Mike Mignola's GBG Batman doesn't seem to have them, which is carried over into Countdown: Arena. But Master of the Future has the stitches, and interestingly enough the COVER to Countdown: Arena has the stitches. 
 
On a related note, MORE GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT! DC should capitalize on the Steampunk craze and bring back Gotham By Gaslight as a running title, or at least a mini. There's still tons of things they could explore in that universe, and I'd just love to see what they would do with it.
Posted by rlmay3

I actually saw Adam Hughes quoted as saying "Steam Punk is when goths discover the color brown" LOL. Not sure if he actually said it, but funny all the same. When It's done right, it's great!! But I've seen too many pictures of people wearing leather aprons with gears glued to top hats to say it's an entirely great look, haha. 
 
Gotham by Gaslight and Amazonia are both awesome ideas and both great costume designs. I like the idea of it, but it can be easily over done. It does make me wonder, why weren't people in the actual steam-era this awesome.

Posted by ComicMan24
@The Mighty Monarch: Thanks.
Posted by Methos

Because Steampunk has always been amazingly cool :D 
 
M

Posted by Seraphim84

My friend and I have been championing a way smaller movement called Dieselpunk.  Essentially your 1930s and 40s looks, pulp-y, before you get to the Atomic Age.

Posted by blaakmawf

I'm a gamer, so that pretty much means I have to like steampunk right?

Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir

I love steampunk, always have

Posted by The Psyentist
@rlmay3 said:
" I actually saw Adam Hughes quoted as saying "Steam Punk is when goths discover the color brown"
I had a friend who said something similar. He just said, "steampunk is like goth only brown." It made me laugh.
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Posted by Mainline

The steampunk that I like has a tangibility to the technology... that simply by glancing at a device- where the atheistic is for a lot of its mechanisms to be exposed and its guts to be hanging out- you can intuit how it would and should work. 
 
The steampunk that's ostensibly technobabble-magic with period clothing is a bit less compelling to me. 
 
In terms of similar movements, I'm a big fan of "NASA-punk" as one sees in "The Big Guy and Rusty The Boy Robot" or "The Middleman".

Posted by Fantasgasmic

I liked Gotham by Gaslight, and I love the aesthetic of steampunk, but i haven't really found a real steampunk comic that i've liked. Anyone have suggestions?

Posted by Final Arrow

Steampunk is awesome and the Steampunk comic that you have there is also pretty sweet.
Posted by bobtv
@The Psyentist said:
" @rlmay3 said:
" I actually saw Adam Hughes quoted as saying "Steam Punk is when goths discover the color brown"
I had a friend who said something similar. He just said, "steampunk is like goth only brown." It made me laugh. "
Thinking it through, it really makes sense.
Posted by ironshadow

We need more stempunk, Marvel and DC should make a steampunk universe each. 

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt

I love Steampunk stuff, I actually used to play (before I had no one to play it with, stupid Uni) a Steampunk miniatures game called War Machine. Twas good fun.

Posted by Planewalker

steampunk is the best genre, wish there's more projects on the subject

Posted by Green Flash

Check out Lady Mechanika from Aspen Comics.

Posted by Dracade102

This One's My Personal Favorite...
Posted by Deadcool

I prefer the Cyberpunk, but the Steampunk has awesome art...

Posted by GothamBat

I'm a huge steampunk fan. My first real big intro to it was that anime Steam Boy. I've been hooked ever since. I've found where people have made steampunk themed computers, guitars, motorcycles. I wish I could remember where I saw them from.

Posted by Crom-Cruach

Steampunk is awesome that is all.
Posted by IrishX
@Green Flash said:
"Check out Lady Mechanika from Aspen Comics. "

Surprised it took that long for someone to mention her comic....
 


 
Posted by Mediant

I've been a big fan of the Steampunk aesthetic (and grnre by extension) for years now. I'm glad to see it picking up greater prominence.

Posted by Nocton

I've been wanting a mainstream steampunk comic for years... Girl Genius is the closest I've gotten to that. I'm going to dig up the comics mentioned. I hope editions are still available. 

Definitely looking forward to Lady Mechanika :)

Edited by brc2000

I've been a huge fan of Steampunk (and Steampunk-ish) stuff ever since I played Thief: The Dark project back when I was 10. It is getting kind of trendy of late, though, and I don't like that it's being made into a kind of  fashion/subculture (like goths). It's alright if you want to dress that way at conventions, parties and stuff, but otherwise I'm sorry but I'm just going to laugh at you. In short, I love Steampunk as a setting for films, movies, books, video games, tabletop games, comics, art etc, but as a fashion style, no thanks.

Posted by drgnx

Posted by drgnx