Whew, this one was rough! When will I learn not to go overboard with detail? Why did I just start inking on a thumbnail? The time I could have saved!!! Oh well it was interesting to let this one form very organically from only the most basic of sketches but that also made for many alterations and changes as I worked in my "inks" in illustrator and even after that I ended up making many corrections when I switched over to photoshop for the coloring process. But what the hell, sometimes you have to experiment. Now on to the process of building this guy.
Firstly research is the conerstone of my revamps. I study many images of things I wish to reference and study the subect via stills, film and available written info. Ive long considered Megalon a cyborg like Gigan given his oddly mechanical appendages but in truth he is a god. The Godzilla movies have hosted at least 4 kaiju that are considered gods and though I like to reference plausible living creatures supernatural beings get to break the laws of physics. Even so I do try to ground them in reality where I can.
Now initially my Megalon was a cyborg until my research proved him a god. This changed my whole approach, Megalon became a biomechanical monster instead of a cybernetic one. The first thing that came to my mind when blending monsters and tech was the Guyver series. I dug out my old manga and considered how biotech weaponry would work on Megalon, that decided it was time to study some creatures that would inform my design.
Megalon looks like a cross between a cockroach and a rhinoceros beetle, so those were the fist things studied. Ive seen too many artists however depict him as both a beetle and a biped and I wanted to do something very original. At the risk of alienating his fans I decided early on my version would have mantis style arms for a much better attack and digging profile that the movie monster. The legs were the tricky bit but I finally figured that I wanted two legs but they would end with four feet. This gives him a both bipedal and spider-like stance at the stance at the same time for increased mobility and agility. Wondering why Megalon even needed a tail (in the films it is never shown to have any purpose or function) I decided to weaponize it in the form of a prehensile stinger tail. Now he would have more guarding his back than just a hard shell. As a bonus because of his leg structure it could also be used to attack foes in front of him. Now seeing as how this is Megalon I couldnt resist changing my stinger into another drill!
All that done further reference was sought out which included bugs from Starship Troopers and District 9. Both were good for certain design ideas and color applications. I reviewed the biomechanical suits of the Engineers from Prometheus as well as both live action film and manga versions of the Guyver and zoanoids. This reminded me to add some drippy stuff on my organic weapons and like the Guyver, Megalon has a number of medallions embedded in his alien flesh to serve as power conduits. The inside of his mouth glows with the napalms spheres waiting to be released and his face mandibles ended up being inspired by Optimus Prime of all things. His horn still throws lightning, I just felt showing that was overkill and would be distracting from the other goodies included. So there you have it, a Megalon who is no longer clumsy or stupid but fast and lethal. Id always hoped he would appear in more films, despite the goofiness of the film he was a pretty unique monster for that era.