There was certain things this character had to have, as I envisioned it.
A "gas mask" type face/mask with goggly eyes, preferably a filter effect over the mouth, for one.
A "hunchback" appearance, lumbering, brutish, long-armed and short-legged, for two.
Taking it way further, as an artist, Willis incoporated the spiny projections on the Beetle's arms, just like the actual Ox Beetle. He added rivets in the face/mask and chest area, to give the illusion the Beetle is wearing a protective suit over these more "vulnerable" areas.
The lightning bolt effect is a kind of simple, "racing car" stripe to symbolize the "atomic" in the Beetle's name.
When I saw this thing, I believed without a doubt that, indeed, this is the Atomic Beetle.
Personally, I think this is one of Willis' best designs. The character is evocative without being derivative. Everything about the design screams "functionality" instead of "cool for the sake of it." There's a reason why the Beetle looks like he does, whereas many designs today worry too much over straps and buckles and treads and belts and sh*t that serve only to give the artist something else to draw.
Color schemes are next, and I hope to be able to show those soon. There may even be a poll to find out which scheme appeals more to whatever prospective people actually care.
I have stories to tell with this character, but I'm not sure where they'd be seen. Willis might certainly be able to pull off the sequential art aspect of an actual comic, and in reality any forging ahead would occur through the art, not my script. Comic book companies ain't interested in scripts. They want art. It's a visual medium. I understand.
Who's to say? What is there to say? The Atomic Beetle does exist, but only to two guys. Existence is 9/10ths of the law.