M. Bison, known otherwise as The Dictator, knew his body was failing him. The Psycho Power that ran through his blood granted him insane strength at the cost of his health. When Bison heard that Team Rocket was developing a creature from DNA of legendary origin, he knew he had to investigate...
The creation of a living weapon heralded to be the strongest being on the Earth intrigued the Mighty Bison. He could not only learn the secrets of the sciences being developed at Rocket Labs to combat his own health problems, but also enslave whatever this "Mewtwo" was and have it fight under his banner. Bison personally made his way to Team Rocket HQ, thanks to knowledge obtained from his limitless connections to meet with Giovanni, leader of the Rocket criminal syndicate.
Bison attempted to peacefully negotiate with Giovanni for control of the creature, to which – wait, what? Peaceful negotiations? Just kidding. Bison straight up murdered Giovanni, throwing his lifeless body to the side and made his way to the laboratory where the cloning project was underway. Mewtwo, sensing the impending danger began to break free of his constraints but was rendered immobile by intense psychic pressure.
This was Bison's Psycho Power at display. Mewtwo, as strong as he was, could not escape the relentless control that crippled his mind and powers. He only felt seething hatred and darkness, and realized that even the disdain he possessed for humans was no where near the disregard Bison had for life. From then on, Mewtwo's mind came under ownership of Bison, and a struggle for control would ensue throughout the rest of his days.
The dictator quickly established himself the new head of Team Rocket, and used it as yet another front and base of operations for Shadowloo. He immediately forced Rocket Labs to merge with S.I.N, and funded both new and old projects gained from test data that Mewtwo would gather with fights.
Mewtwo to this day fights to break free of the hold. Even when given the Psycho Power Bison employs amplifies his strength, he finds the task daunting and exhausting and ultimately fruitless. The cruel Bison uses his abilities to force Mewtwo from ever looking up at him, reminding him that the two are and will never be equal.
Design and Concept
Bison is a power monger. Mewtwo is a symbol for unstable and uncontrollable power.
These two are locked in a battle of attrition beyond face value - two minds are at war.
I love Mewtwo. I honored him with a badass illustration for One a Day, if I may say so myself. That said, it was against my wishes to make him a pawn to M. Bison but I really liked the story I had in mind and it sets up well for an illustration. I think Mewtwo is the perfect "partner" for Bison, and sorta see it as an obvious pick. Bison is a good, if not the best substitute for Giovanni. Bison could actually keep Mewtwo in check with his psychic powers, and furthermore employ him in his stead which Giovanni could never do.
The pairing in relation to the others is just cold hard OP. This duo cannot be beaten on paper. But, because this is a for fun video game concept, I had to think of ways to scale them back in mock battles. You already know that them last bosses be cheap as hell, and this team is that and then some. Teleports, virtually no lag on hits, long range physical and special attacks...Yeah.
The one major drawback and gameplay mechanic for this team is that at random moments of the battle, Mewtwo breaks free of Bison's hold and shatters the mind link that controls the genetic Pokemon like a marionette. This does damage to Bison's HP and interrupts their combo strings or simply leave them open before attacking. Seize that opportunity to punish!
In terms of depiction, Bison is seen adjust his hat, showcasing how little he needs to prepare for the battle. He stares down his opponent from above with his iconic gaze and smile, standing in a rigid firm position despite the fact that he's floating. Mewtwo is positioned below him, to showcase literally that he is beneath him in rank and power in this duo. In previous illustrations, I had explored concepts of really making him his slave, having him on knees as if he were physically being crushed by the mental weight that is brought by the psycho power connection.
Also, I wanted to show a small change/detail that I felt went a long way:
Notice the stance; the positioning of the legs. Originally, I had Bison have his legs split apart with his feet outward and hanging. I switched it to the right because 1) it's more in tune to his usual pose when he's flying in the games and 2) it further accentuates his power and ownership over Mewtwo. How could that be with such a small change?
Well, Bison is a dictator. He has an image of military and rank about him. Posture and stance can give away a person's habits/personality/traits, and with the case of Bison, whose power is seemingly absolute and unmoving, having the legs pressed together gives the image that he cannot be pushed. Thus, when he's floating above Mewtwo, he has an air of dignity with just that detail - he's floating, but he also looks very grounded. By standing above Mewtwo, who is also levitating, he is depicted as being on a pedestal of sorts. Cool, right?
The first attempt was an altogether different concept – I had M. Bison with arms crossed leaving the scene of the battle – halfway through a wormhole leaving Mewtwo in his place. Mewtwo in this concept is completely owned by Bison's Psycho power, and his own psychic powers are amplified to such an extent that he is able to create a Bison clone to fight with him. The inspiration for having the clone Bison is straight from the imagery of the game – when Bison teleports, you see a afterimage (or beforeimage? haha) where he's about to land- so I wanted to just bring that back in a fun and interesting way.
This was the original set up, done up in a draft over a year ago.
Some more exploratory work:
Returning to the final work - I decided to have the ground detail that of a lab floor. It sort of ended up looking like the training stage from SF4, and I guess I just had to deal with it since the pristine look is what I wanted. For the BG strip, I took a panaromic screenshot of the SF4 lab stage and altered the colors a bit to play around with the red and purple of the duo in the foreground.
And there you have it! The fourth day of this mini series has now concluded! I hope you enjoyed the work and the design/thought process that went behind it all.
Who do you think could defeat this team? Any of the previously introduced duos? Otherwise, tell me a dream duo that could stand a chance! As usual, be sure to leave critiques if you have any or let's talk about Street Fighter/Pokemon, whatever you want!