RAVEN – Grappling Hook Concept Art

For a story about a boy and his monster…


The Mazinkert, the ageing cargo starship carrying the Raven and his fellow refugees from their wrecked home to ¬†the safety of the nearby world Benn, comes under attack by a mysterious predator. This ‘Mysteryship’ latches onto the Mazinkert, boarding it and killing the crew — leaving the refugees trapped in the lower decks.


The grappling hook is fired at a target ship; the main hook pulls along the thick umbilical line, while the two smaller lines anchor the Mysteryship.


The idea originally came from hearing of a species of wasp that lays its eggs in other insects; the eggs hatch and the insects feed on the host’s guts before bursting out of its stomach as young adults (sound familiar?). Wow! I mean, wasps are frightening enough without pulling a Ridley Scott on the insect kingdom.


From this wonderfully (fiendishly)¬†clever trick came the concept that the Mysteryship boards the heroes’ ship using a grappling hook with a twist! Instead of just trailing an anchor cable back to the attacking vessel, what if the grappling hook contains an umbilical line that the aliens can travel through and use to board the ship?


So the hook shoots out from the Mysteryship, pierces the Mazinkert’s hull and spreads its arms to anchor, revealing a hollow tube (boarding ramp) from which alien invaders pour out! (You can tell from all the exclamation marks that I’m patting my back on this one).


The first concepts were quite blunt and rough, but they grew more sleek as the mechanics of the device were refined…


And even became the model for the overall styling of the Mysteryship.


The Grappling hook resides like a wasp’s sting in its mounting on the Mysteryship; note on either side of the apparatus is a smaller hook on a seperate line (inset drawing)…


And a closeup of the final(ish) design for the grappling hook:



  • Kathy

    so the umbilical channel, does it work like an accordion thing as it’s being pulled back to the mysteryship?

    It’s kick ass =)

  • Lucas Greenscreen

    Yeah! like one of those fabric tubes they use in the obstacle course in the dog show! (except more spacey)

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