Zarana was a young woman going from bad to worse. With little purpose or direction, but an overabundance of cleverness and resourcefulness, she was becoming increasingly involved in the criminal underworld. When she finally did find herself facing severe punishment for her crimes, her brother, Zartan, offered her a way out. The organization he worked for, COBRA, would solve her problems in exchange for her loyalty and service. Like her brother Zandar, Zarana was also suffering from a rare form of exaggerated erythropoietic porphyria, an almost fatal "allergy" to sunlight. COBRA offered her a cure in addition to a clean slate. Zarana accepted.
The treatment was extreme, revolutionary, and ultimately successful. A side effect left both brother and sister both with artificial albinism, leaving their eyes, skin, and hair without pigment. The operation had a tremendous effect on their mentality as well.
The siblings regarded the life-saving procedure as nothing less than a rebirth, a second chance. Determined to repay the organization that provided them with that opportunity, Zandar and Zarana were recruited by their brother Zartan for rigorous training. When Zartan was finished with them, they had both been molded into masters of stealth and espionage. Their original identities were erased, there is no record the two even exist.
Zarana has become an expert covert operative. Cunning and quick, she has a knack for getting into a trouble and making a clean get away. Unlike her brother Zandar, she's fond of the direct approach, and often engages an operation with guns blazing. Zarana often works with some of the Dreadnok mercenaries, and fancies herself their leader (though few would agree with the thought).
Zarana was a last minute switch from the SAW Viper, once I'd come up with a concept for Zandar I really like. Luckily, Zarana went up for grabs so I decided to make a matched set. That's when the two really started to come together. I knew their background would involve the color change gimmick from their original figures, and I was stumped on a way to convey their "cured" condition. In the meantime, I was resculpting both heads (removing Zandar's 80's headband, and Zarana's earrings and over sized hairdo). After giving Zarana the short "pixie-cut", I thought it would look neat very light blond or white... and then I settled on making them both albino's as a result of the treatment for their skin condition. I was originally going to have them be hardcore "wetworks" types, but realized it's pretty cliche to have albino characters portrayed as psychopaths and madmen... so I went the other direction and decided that the cure, despite severely changing their outward appearance, really did effect them both as a rebirth. After conferring with BadAsh about his MirrorUniverse Zartan, it was decided the three trained together. This filled in the blank space of their backgrounds between the operation and their service to COBRA as covert operatives. I wish I had the foresight to contact some of the people working on the various Dreadnoks (especially RoadPig or Buzzer), or maybe even Mainframe to tie in her character from the cartoon.
The figures were mostly RIT dye jobs, with silver accents. Most of the work went into the heads, which I'm actually really proud of. The skin tone came out great, the hair is the exact shade I want it to be, and the changes to the sculpt blend in nicely. Eyes were the frustrating part, on both figures, the right eye (from the viewer's perspective) was done first, and I felt like I'd NAILED it on the first attempt. But try as I might, I couldn't duplicate the effect on the left side of the face. Still, in the photos, they look mostly even. Zarana would not take white for her undershirt despite numerous coats, but again, in the photograph it's hardly noticeable. I put all my effort into these two, and ended up not completing either Joe for the project... but I still feel like it was a successful return to the group projects (having not completed a figure for one since the Nightmares).