Storm Arcana

Intuitive Visionary Coach & Founder of Arcana Academy

Marvel Presents “X-Men Evolutions” Variant Covers!

The Evolution of STORM

Marvel recently sent out an Official Press Release about some pretty cool variant covers they have planned to celebrate their newest X-Men event:

Just in time for X-Men: First To Last, the next big X-epic from Chris Yost, Paco Medina & Dalibor Talajic, Marvel is proud to unveil new X-Men Evolutions variants! Brought to you by some of the best artists in the industry, get ready for a unique look at your favorite mutants and their iconic costume designs from every era! No fan can miss out on these great covers spotlighting the rich history of the X-Men while X-Men: First To Last gives fans a chance to relive the exciting action of Xavier’s first class and experience the thrill of Cyclops’ current team!

The amazing image of Storm through the years is by the underrated David Yardin! I am so glad that Marvel hired him to do this variant cover for The Mighty Thor #2. Now if they could get him to draw a Storm ongoing series, that would be a step in the right direction.  I love the versions of Storm that Yardin chose to highlight.  One subtlety I enjoy is how Ororo’s hands are channeling lightning in every version except for her mohawk self which represents her powerless period (though she started out with her powers when she debuted the ‘hawk).  Storm’s is the best of the crop, in my not so humble opinion, but there were definitely some others that I enjoyed.

The Evolution of ANGEL

After Storm’s image, I was most interested in checking out if there was an Angel cover, and there was this image by John Tyler Christopher for the Variant Cover to Herc #3.  My favorite era of Angel is from The New Defenders, but I am partial to the way Walt Simonson drew him in X-Factor (although this cover made me cry).  I am not a fan of Archangel in any form.  I quit reading X-Factor right before Apocalypse turned him into the Horseman of Death.  I realize that for many people the shift from Angel to Archangel is when Warren became interesting to them, but I prefer the old-fashioned billionaire playboy to the murderous bipolar drama queen he is now.  Nice job by John Tyler Christopher on this artwork.  The static poses and the balanced composition reminds me of Renaissance painting and I wonder if this is an influence for Tyler.  If so, it is certainly appropriate for the subject matter.

The Evolution of Havok

In a surprise move, Marvel is honoring the other Summers brother (What’s that? Vulcan who?) in this Havok piece by Larry Stroman.  Stroman is known for drawing Havok during his tenure as leader of X-Factor.  The second costume in this image is from that time and is still my favorite version for Alex.  Does this focus on Havok mean that the X-Office is going to actually do something with him, Polaris and Rachel?  We shall see.

The Evolution of BEAST

Lee Weeks brings a barrage of bouncing Beasts! Good ‘ole Hank McCoy actually gets to be on the cover of a comic that he is featured in, unlike everyone else in this variant madness.  This cover is perfect.

The Evolution of JEAN GREY

Looking at this Jean Grey cover by Paul Renaud for The Avengers #13 reminds of my wish to have Jean Grey return as a member of the World’s Greatest Heroes.  I would love to see Jean date another alpha male boy scout but not Scott.  I think it would be interesting if she started going out with Super-Soldier (and soon to be Captain America again) Steve Rogers (sorry, Sharon Carter).  Nothing serious mind you, just something to mix it up a little.

The Evolution Emma Frost

Here’s Emma Frost by Greg Tocchini.  I do like the fluidity of the image, but I found it an odd design choice for Emma.  I asked White Queen maven Ken Kneisel what he thought of this image and he said:

It’s very pretty but perhaps a bit whimsical or ethereal for Emma. The way she’s leaping around doesn’t convey her attitude.

I think Ken certainly has a point here.  This sort of character presentation would be cooler for a speedster like Northstar or a shapechanger like Meggan.  One more quibble, why isn’t Emma’s Generation X headmistress costume included?

The Evolution of WOLVERINE

And because no one demanded it, here’s Wolverine by Patrick Zircher.  I suppose we should all be happy that he didn’t take over all of the covers all by his over-represented self.  This one is okay, I suppose.  I am not loving the strange twists and turns Logan’s body is sporting in this image.  It’s hard to get a bead on his original costume and the fourth version is presented at an odd angle.  I think the brown and tan costume should have had more prominence.  I have to say that this variant is miles above the rest that I have not shown, but if you would like to see the rest, check out this Comic Book Resources article and pity Rogue, Cyclops and Iceman while wondering why the hell Marvel gave the non-entity Hope her own cover (Wolverine’s no less).  Share your thoughts in the comments section.


Valkyrie by Adi Granov


A Mighty Thor Portfolio by Charles Vess


  1. Some characters have been through more drastic changes than others, IMHO. I understand Beast, Storm, Angel, and Emma getting their own costume gallery covers, moreso than I do Cyclops or Iceman.

    That said, showing Wolverine is kind of pointless…his character has never changed all that dramatically. Also, Magneto’s costume gallery is a parade of wrong. It’s so sad that the only costume he has that isn’t a crime against good taste is the one he wears at his worst.

    I agree, Hope getting a cover is a huge waste of space. Ditto for Sabretooth, who isn’t even alive anymore (granted, neither is Jean, but she’s been there from the start while he’s a one-note baddie who passed his prime in the 90s!)

    Unsurprisingly, I feel Psylocke would have been a better choice, in terms of showing the drastic changes she’s undergone. But I suppose no one wants to draw Alan Davis’ poofy-sleeved pink pajama costume anymore. Shame. :\ (unless the image just isn’t loading for me, in which case I’d like someone who does see it to share, PLEASE!!)

  2. stormantic

    Hey Ingonyama, as far as I know, there is not a Psylocke cover…but maybe someone else has more information…

  3. Those covers run the gamut from “quite nice” to “what were they thinking?” The Rogue one in particular is just painful.

    Hmn, Jean Grey in Avengers…I could totally see it! That would be a fun litte shift-around of the status-quo. Well, once she’s back, that is.

    On a similar note, have you seen the Thor movie tribute covers yet? Worth it for the Volstagg and Sif interpretation of Saturday Night Fever!

  4. Christian

    Hmm… I remember seeing this promo on ComicVine a couple months ago. They had revealed most of the images in this post, but they also had a Shadowcat cover; which IMO is just a couple steps above the Rogue cover. But that’s just me.

    As you said, I’m not a particular fan of the Iceman and Wolverine images. While it does make sense for both characters to be featured (Iceman being one of the original X-Men and Wolverine… well, y’know), their costuming just seems a little redundant. And c’mon now. Hope? AND Sabertooth? I think those were two wasted opportunities to use characters whose images have drastically changed over the years.

    Besides Storm, my favorites are Jean and Beast. Jean’s is just so beautifully drawn and captures her image very well. From playful to stoic. Plus I remember seeing it on Paul Renaud’s deviantArt page some time ago. Beast’s image is just so kinetic, with each “evolution,” as it were, moving from one figure to another.
    I remember seeing David Yardin’s WIP image for this not too long ago as well. Somehow I knew it was gonna be for this event. And I’m quite happy about that. Yardin really plays up her features well and he draws Ororo consistently. If there was any gripe I had with his Storm, it’s that sometimes he can make her look a little too old for my taste.

    I’m sure you’ve noticed this too, but I also love how the lightning in her hands gets progressively brighter. In her classic Cockrum-designed costume, we can just make faint details of her fingers; compared to her current design, where her hands are a hot blue-white, serving as the main light source for the picture. This composition is LOVE!!!

    I do hope we get to see more. And I agree with Ingonyama, my heart pines for a supermodel Psylocke cover as well 🙂

    • stormantic

      Oooh, nice flashbacks, Aimee! I love those designs as well! Thanks for posting them!

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