When Venus Williams met Jim Lee for DC Fandome a new superhero was born.
Venus has always been a DC fan. “It’s my happy place.”
Jim has been the artist for hundreds of comics and graphic novels, including Batman, and Venus revealed that Christian Bale is her favourite movie Batman.
But it is Wonderwoman who inspired the new line for her EleVen clothing range.
“Superheroes show us the strong commanding side of women…In movies they often have to wait to be saved. I’ve never waited to be saved. Save yourself and save the world.”
Of course, Jim offered to draw Venus as a superhero character. “I have a good name for a comic book hero already. I thought she could be Celestial?”
Before beginning to sketch Celestial, he asked Venus how she imagined herself as a superhero.
“I could be the anti-matter and the matter.” she said. “My back story could be that I come from both sides and I get powers from both. Maybe both sides are fighting for me to see if they can pull me over.”
Jim ran with the idea, “You could live in the space between matter and anti-matter, creating a third kind of energy that only you would possess.
“With some kind of celestial armour…do you want anything that plays to tennis? Is the staff elliptical? I’ll make it look cool so it’s not going look like a giant tennis racquet, but do you want to pay homage to that a little bit?”
Venus deferred to Jim’s 33 years in the comic book biz. “I’ll leave that up to you.”
As he presented his initial sketch to Venus, Jim told her, “I love creating new metaphysical aspects to the mythology. You think about the multiverse and all these different versions of our characters.
“We are not beholden to reality. The idea of something existing between matter and anti-matter, I think that’s brilliant.”
Venus jumped in, “I know they’re not real but they’re so real to me”.
“I agree,” said Jim. “And even when we kill characters I think they still live on in fans’ heads. They say bring back this character, do this character justice.
“The characters may not live the way we do, but they do live conceptually and they demand to have stories be told about them.”
Jim and Venus finished their chat by agreeing to get together again to work out how Celestial should be integrated into the multiverse.
Illustration of Venus Williams as Celestial by Jim Lee