So, Fowldom, let’s talk about Opal.
Specifically, our depictions of her.
As I’ve been designing my version of our least favorite pixie, I’ve been revisiting the books description, as well as other artists’ renditions of the mastermind. The book describes Opal as, and I’m going from memory here,
around two feet tall
eventually passes herself off as a human child.
Remember that last one. Now, here are some artists’ versions of Opal, starting with a book cover:
Notice her adult, curvy physique. I think this really influenced a lot of the fanart, as “curvy” and “seductive” are not words used to describe Opal. And yet, they became a popular motif in her design by other creators.
And, to be fair, here’s my design of Opal in 2009:
I was the worst offender.
There are many more designs like this, portraying Opal as a femme fatale, which isn’t what she is. She never once uses her gender or sexuality to get her way, though she does often reference her beauty. Actually, I think Opal would not accept victory if it was achieved through any other means but her own intelligence. Which reminded me of another dark-haired genius.
Upon speculation, the two are rather similar. Both grew up under a successful and overbearing father, both were underestimated (Artemis for his age, Opal for her gender and species), both embraced criminal careers, both are show offs. However, while Artemis looked up to his father, Opal saw her father as an obstacle. Artemis took responsibility for his actions, Opal always saw herself as the victim. Opal is who Artemis would have become if he had no good influences in his life. Which makes her a more interesting character, and makes an accurate portrayal of her all the more important.
Opal is not an adult woman looking down on Artemis like all the other adults do. She is a small, childlike person with an intellect and ego to rival the hero’s. She was Minerva before Minerva even showed up.
Additional notes: If we show that we, the fans, want an adult, sexy Opal, that’s how they’ll portray her in the film. And if they do that, the potential Opal Deception movie will be screwed out of the gate.
If a childlike Opal is designed and acted well, she could be many times more creepy than any adult villain. Scary children are the worst.
I love all the other designs of Opal I’ve seen, especially the ones shown here (excluding mine). But they aren’t book accurate.