Fearless Defenders Week: Will Sliney Profiles Misty Knight

misty1

Steve: Aside from the obvious differences, how do you distinguish Misty apart from Valkyrie? As an artist, do you prefer to exaggerate the differences between the two, or do you prefer a more realistic approach?

Will Sliney: Yes I think I do exaggerate the differences. People go on in comics about the fault of characters having the same faces. I want to take this a step further and rarely have Val and Misty in the same pose. I want the reader to be able to pick them apart from their body language alone. It’s funny, I don’t think that there is a single Irish person here that could carry themselves in the way I draw Misty, it’s just not in our culture.

I spent a year in New York basically studying everybody. I used to bring a sketchbook onto the Subway, and spent each hour long journey constantly studying everybody. It was such a diverse mixture of cultures and hopefully now it is paying off.

Steve: Where are you taking the basics of the character design from? I imagine David Aja’s recent work on her in Immortal Iron Fist is the modern-day touchstone, perhaps. Was there anything you made a conscious decision to change for this series?

Will: No changes yet, but our characters are going to grow in this series so that will affect a lot of things.

Steve: Misty is a street-level fighter, with a different style of fighting to Valkyrie. How do you research for a character like this, in terms of fight sequencing and body language?

Will: I think of the difference more like a modern character and one from the days of the Vikings. Val’s movements are calculated, almost cold. She was born into a world of warriors and has had centuries to perfect it. Misty’s is a little different, it’s more fluid and when using her fists I picture her constantly moving. She comes from a world where someone with a knife could appear behind her at any point in a fight.

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Steve: The character strikes me as one you could have a lot of fun with, as even when she isn’t speaking, you know she’ll be having over-the-top facial reactions to characters and dialogue. Have you played with this at all? 

Will: That’s my favourite thing about Misty. Already after a few issues in there are a lot of things for her to roll her eyes at.

Steve: Finally – and most importantly – can Misty’s afro ever be TOO big?

Will: Haha! I try to keep a watchful eye over it, but it has a life of its own.

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