Fallen Superhero: Iron Meng
Model: Mario Durant
Mario D is one of my favorite people in Los Angeles. He’s a rapper, a bartender and an all around good guy. He’s totally captivating on camera so he was a natural as a subject in the Fallen Superhero world.
This costume was one of the most fun ones to make. I didn’t sketch anything, just got the stuff I wanted to build the character out of and went for it. I started with an XXLarge blue body suit and a crap load of tubing, bolts and other stuff from Home Depot.
Iron Meng’s mask is a combination of a Man in the Iron Mask mask, a welder’s mask,some tubing, flashlights, duct tape, a broken wine opener and some pimp-ass headphones. I had to build it on Mario so it fit right. Since this is still photography the costume just had to look good on, not necessarily be easy to get on or off. I did try my best to keep the comfort factor as friendly as possible.
His shoulder armor is actually a floor mat from Home Depot, sprayed gold, cut and folded to the shape you see in the pics. It had the look of a tamale husk which really worked out better than imagined. His left shoulder gun is a Frankensteined old tripod and his right chest laser sighted impulse blaster is leftover bits of the old tripod mounted on a reshaped Hannibal Lector mask with some big gold washers…. all of it hot glued together and zip tied to the mat.
His belly piece, an homage to Iron Man’s ARC reactor embedded in his chest, is a spray painted stovetop drip pan with a gaudy giant “Mexican” diamond in it. I call it a “Mexican” diamond because it has all the colors you see Mexican women wearing if you ever go down to Mexico.
Throw in some knee bads, PVC pipe, chemical gloves, duct tape and boots and the whole suit came together quite nicely. The belt is all duct tape with a buckle made out of carabiner locks.
The decision to write all of his captions in Spanish was a gut thing. Just happened when I sat down to write and it’s one of those things I think add to the uniqueness and humor of the book. I wrote everything in English, dropped it into Google translate, then had Arturo at Medallion Press check it for accuracy. I’ll give props to Google translate for being about 97% accurate.
As far as backstory goes I just went with the notion that Iron Meng is a superhero who could totally kickass but is focused on being a hip hop artist. Just like so many people out there who take the road of struggle to pursue their art instead of the easy road, Iron Meng follows his heart even though he never breaks through on the music scene to achieve the notoriety he desires.
The song lyrics and all other info is totally made up, just went with the theme and it worked out great. Definitely one of my favorite costumes and totally stoked that it came together so quickly and didn’t fall apart. And Mario D was amazing. The shot of him taking in the garbage is one of Eric Curtis’ most brilliant 11th hour creations and the humdrum vibe that Mario gives off in the photo just hammers the character home even more.
NEXT UP: Jupiter Boy & Captain Sensitivity modeled by real life son and father Lucas Dick and Andy Dick