What are superhero cars, you ask? They're the quirky-cool comic book visions of ten Fiesta Agents (a decahedron of dreamers asked by Ford to come up with their own versions of a superhero car). In return, we got a Justice League-esque group of cars fit for its own one-shot. Top Cow Productions CEO Marc Silvestri and Hot Wheels VP of Design Felix Holst teamed up with the Studio@Gawker to determine our favorite concepts. Then, hotshot Hot Wheels designer Bryan Benedict gave each one the superhero treatment. Have a look at the results below. Warning: one of them reads minds.
First thing first: What qualifies a person to judge a superhero car? Well, it takes a certain pedigree — you'd need to be well versed in what gives a hero Asgardian status or how to design a truly out-of-this-world car.
Our first judge, Marc Silvestri, is a man with some serious street cred in the comic book industry. As founder of Image Comic's Top Cow Productions, he's known not only for creating his own stories – like Witchblade and The Darkness – but also for bringing other creator’s stories to life in comic books – like Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft. He looked for cars that he most wanted to bring to life in a comic.
Our second judge, Felix Holst, is vice president of design for the Mattel Wheels Division. Felix is responsible for the strategic design direction of product, packaging and entertainment for the Hot Wheels and Matchbox brands. In this role, Holst oversees a team of more than 50 designers to ensure the Wheels product continues to inspire and excite in the same way they have for nearly 60 years. As judge, he chose the cars that had the most "Hot Wheels" potential.
From a character development perspective, it's easy to imagine Jared Oban's telepathic Syncar as the trickster of the group (especially considering Jared's own comedic sensibilities). The car can connect to the technology around it, and keep anyone in the driver's seat in sync with the outside world. Plus, it has plenty of sex appeal.
Alex Carpenter didn't just turn a car into a superhero. He turned a human being into a supercar. The Flow is really Florence Grace, but a freak storm/gamma ray explosion imbued her with flight, agility, and freeze breath...and the body of a car. From a storytelling perspective, the tone throughout has an epic quality that would suit the kind of excellent cinematic origin stories we've seen in the past decade. He really got the superhero spirit right.
Shane took a darker, more Nolanesque tack with his Fiesta Hero short — it's almost like he's a police commissioner recounting the legend of his city's cowled vigilante. His grittier take makes his descriptions of the Fiesta's real-world capabilities dryly funny and all the more entertaining. That neo-noir sensibility pervades the short's aesthetic, and informs how we imagine the car. Domino mask? Check. Scalloped cape? Check. It definitely looks like it's prepared to defend a dying city.
Thanks to Bryan Benedict for making these collector's edition-worthy ideas come to life! And there's still so much in store, including Live Conversations with Marc and Felix, behind-the-scenes at Hot Wheels HQ, visits with the mad geniuses at Image Comics, and more. Keep up with the Fiesta Movement's adventures right here.
Kwame Opam is the Tech Content Producer for the Studio@Gawker.