This is my entry for a Metroid Database contest. I found out about the contest late, so I had a grand total of about 50 hours to design and draw this image, including time spent sleeping/eating/working out/working. Needles to say, it's been a bit stressful...
(Edited in: I GOT THIRD PLACE! WOOT! ([link]
I based my entire development process around the first rule. "Redesign the star of the Metroid series: Samus Aran." This made me think about the core logic behind the suits she wears. I figured the Fusion Suit would be the best to receive this redesign treatment, as it gets little art.
When I think of the Fusion Suit, I always remember how it was created. A trained "super-hunter" infused with Chozo blood is infected by a parasite that overwhelms her own cells. This would undoubtedly cause permanent dis-configuration, not to mention the fact that her Power Suit had to be surgically removed. Samus is then infused with Metroid DNA, causing further mutilation of her body. When I look at the original Fusion Suit, none of this is evident: it simply looks like someone stretched the Zero Suit over her existing Power Suit.
I went into detail of how the Metroid DNA would come to posses Samus' body, making her an unstoppable warrior. Similar to how Metroids in the wild evolve, this suit would also evolve. It began by augmenting Samus' existing muscular structure, increasing her strength. Over time the suit will grow bony plates, similar to how the higher level of evolution in Metroids increases 'armor' plating.
The Metroid DNA is rejected by Samus' natural cell defenses however, and in places it becomes yellow and starts to rot away. As she began this process as a human, she has no offensive capabilities. These come from further evolution's of the suit, along with a re-built Arm Cannon that is designed to fit her much larger Metroid-infused arm.
The image I chose to portray is from the opening scene of Metroid: Fusion. This is the dark BSL station, while Samus tracks down what creature caused the explosion. The only illumination during this scene is a spotlight provided by the ship's computer.