Willis decided to "monster-up" the Atomic Beetle "suit-guy," thus resulting in this bruiser.
In this version, you can see the "spires" develop in the character; here, these spires are the ends of the "elytra", which are hard, shell-like coverings over the more delicate wings of the beetle. These spires replicate the horns of the adult male Ox Beetle. The females don't have horns.
Willis convinced me the Atomic Beetle should fly. It sets up a nice contrast with the Beetle being a "burrower" with the thorny protrusions on the arms and legs used to dig beneath the earth. Coupled with a clumsy, ridiculous ability for such a creature to fly, and I started digging the concept.
As Willis indicated, when a beetle flies, it's like a tank with wings. The beetle is not aerodynamic, and is more likely to not only batter into objects while flying, bouncing off and continuing on, but usually crashes when it lands.
My only caveat with "full-on beetle" is the eradication of so much of the "man" aspect to get the creature part. Plus, truth to tell, I'm reminded very much of THE FLY, with Vincent Price. Not that I don't like THE FLY, mind you, I love it...but I wanted more distinction for a character who is actually a beetle, which has its own distinct look.
And, Willis and I were of the same mind about the aspect of a "suit" melded with the beetle aspect, a man trying to hide a deformity behind a mask, and also plating to potentially protect the more vulnerable belly of the creature, which is not quite as tough as that armor shell.
Version 3 begins to reveal the true Atomic Beetle. Stay tuned.
Appendium: I'm reminded again of the Internet Culture, and the improbable nature of such a culture to find fault, even insult, in two characters with the same name.
I realize "Atomic Beetle" is the name of a character in a role-playing game, which I did not know existed before coming up with "Atomic Beetle." Because of the Internet, I looked up the name to see where and how it might have been appropriated, and was met with a costumed crimefighter from the "Virtue Universe."
There's a simple reason that I do not think anyone will mistake my Atomic Beetle with the gamer's version: it's not that version. That is lame, this is cool. Trust me.