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Barry Windsor-Smith Week: The Uncanny X-Men

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My first issue of The Uncanny X-Men was #201, but I had a school friend who loaned me all of the issues from Giant Size X-Men #1 to the comic you see above.  I read all of them in one weekend and my immersion in all things mutant began.  This image is a scan of the original artwork of #200’s cover and it’s awesome to see Barry Windsor-Smith’s use of whiteout or paint to create the bloody effects.  Click on it to see it larger.
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The complexity of this cover is astounding!  BWS proves again that he is a master of depicting technology.  Wolverine is so out of his depth on this cover that one can’t help feeling sorry for the guy.
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From what I understand, this drawing shows us a part of an X-Men story that was not used.  Psylocke gets really ticked at Wolverine only to find that he was testing her abilities.  She passes Logan’s test and earns his respect.  Take a look at the notes in the margins for what the characters are saying.  It’s an awesome document of one artist’s creative process.
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Dire Wraiths are vile disgusting creatures and I wished they had just stayed in the pages of Rom The Space Knight.  Ugh.
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Storm runs out on Forge after learning that he uses his mutant powers to make weapons that strip mutants of their powers and sells them to the government.  Whattaguy!  I remember reading this the first time and being taken aback that Storm spent the entire issue in a pair of overalls.  Even as a youngster I was a fashionista.
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Pay close attention to this page’s middle panel.  That’s Storm walking on a glass floor over an illusion of a cityscape.  Incredible.  The last panel is positively kinetic with the “BLAM” composed within the blast of the explosion.  BWS truly left a legacy behind with his impressive body of work on Marvel’s mutants.  I encourage you, dear reader, to seek it out!

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1 Comment

  1. Ken Kneisel

    My very first issue of Uncanny X-Men was #207, so not that much longer after yours.

    That unused story page depicitng Wolverine and Psylocke’s mock battle is really cool!

    And I always loved the striking visual of Eagle Plaza, Forge’s base of operations with it’s glass floors and walls which made the furniture appear to seemingly float in midair, particularly since I grew up in Dallas and could imagine exactly where it might have been located in downtown Dallas. By my reckoning, that would be 901 Main Street, what is now known as Bank of America Plaza. http://www.dallassky.com/bldg01.htm

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