We’ve already looked at The Heroic Age: X-Men file cards of Storm and Emma Frost, and now we look at the rest of mutants who appear to be the official roster of the X-Men. These mini-dossiers are “written” by former Captain America Steve Rogers as he assesses every super-powered individual on the planet. Wolverine leads the pack. I find Steve’s worries about Wolverine to be similarly expressed in his writeup about Storm and her loyalties to the X-Men and the Black Panther. Hasn’t Steve been balancing his loyalties to S.H.I.E.L.D., the Avengers and his country all of these years? Surely he knows people can belong to more than one organization and still fulfill their duties. What I find rather hilarious (in a purely hypocritical way) is how the former Captain (and World War II veteran) professes to be against Wolverine’s killer ways (and acknowledges that having him on the Avengers is bad publicity) but he chooses to ignore it because he’s a “valuable resource.” I suppose it would take a mind smarter than Steve’s to reconcile the paradox that is Wolverine. Wolvie is just one of the eighteen heroes (counting Storm and Emma)–who are considered active X-Men–looked at through the eyes of a super-soldier…
An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel
Greetings, gentle reader. This week I present you with several illustrations of Emma Frost by Jae Lee. I like the dreamlike quality of this cover for the upcoming Wolverine #6, the start of a storyline titled Wolverine vs. The X-Men. It certainly looks like the X-Men’s current ruling council (which consists of Emma Frost, Cyclops, Namor and Magneto) have it in for Wolverine judging by this image.
There is a delicately ethereal and uncharacteristically girlish quality to Jae Lee’s depiction of Emma Frost. She looks less like the malevolent evil queen and more like a ruddy-cheeked fairy princess, an unusual yet interesting interpretation.
What’s coming up for Marvel’s mutants? Something called the “Age of X.” Writer Mike Carey spoke with Comic Book Resources a little bit about the roster and what the crossover (running through X-Men: Legacy and New Mutants) might or might not be. Details were hard to come by, and the creators were especially coy, but this information is interesting:
The Scarlet Witch is one of my favorite Marvel Super-Heroes and I am so excited about her return being written by the creator of the Young Avengers Allan Heinberg and drawn by Jim Cheung! I am in a highly excited state of anticipation for this story!
Wolfsbane returns to X-Factor! There’s gonna be drama! ‘Nuff said!
Wolverine must complete a task set forth in Nightcrawler’s will. I am curious at to what it might be. Ought to be interesting (RIP Kurt).
Uh oh. Are Emma and Namor gonna get together? It is a fascinating prospect and could shake up the X-Men leadership status quo.
Words cannot express how amped I am to read Milo Manara‘s adaptation of a Chris Claremont script featuring the women of the X.
I am loving the New Mutants title and am excited about what’s next on the horizon for Xavier’s gifted youngsters. Part nostalgia for sure, but also very fresh and current in relation to what’s going on in the X-titles. The X-Men are in it deep these days and the New Mutants are front and center. Good stuff.
The junior X-Men get their own Forever title! I am so excited about Selene being featured in this title! She’s my favorite Hellfire Club member and one of my favorite Marvel baddies! I look forward to her leadership of the New Mutants! This cover by Bill Sienkiewicz is amazing!
Another cover variant of New Mutants Forever #1 (by Al Rio).
What’s this? Spider-Man is not a mutant! So true, but I couldn’t pass up sharing this amazing cover from Amazing Spider-Man #641 with you, dear reader! What an inventive use of color and negative space!
One of my favorite super teams is The New Defenders and it’s no small part due to the amazing covers of Kevin Nowlan. His take on Valkyrie alone is enough to leave me breathless, but his Doctor Strange is classic and elegant. I’ve never been much of a Hulk fan, but I like the over-sized hands and feet and raw expression of anger on his face (although he does look a bit small to me overall). Thank goodness Nowlan is sharing some of his past artwork and process on his blog.
This image is from cover of The New Defenders #134. The colored version is beautiful, but I love the simplicity of the inks alone. Nowlan’s covers were haunting and eerie, well-suited for a team consisting of a valkyrie, a gragoyle and an angel. You can check out all of the covers of the series here. The strange lanky man stepping on Valkyrie is Manslaughter, a minor villain whose powers were telepathic in nature. His claim to fame is invading the Defenders’ headquarters twice. He had a bit of a Joker vibe to him. (For those who might not know, the defeated heroes are Angel, Beast, Cloud and Valkyrie).
More amazing Doctor Strange goodness with different hungry tentacles! I love the lightning bolt effects around Stephen’s hands and the window behind him. Doctor Strange is loaded with symbols and iconic imagery and a truly talented draftsman/designer like Nowlan knows how to incorporate them into the overall image! We all benefit from the result!
I love the amazing lines in Nowlan’s inks–the heavy use of shadow, the tiny lines denoting muscles on Namor, the Sub-Mariner, and the Hulk, even the crescent and stars around Dr. Strange’s hand representing his magical prowess–they all add up to a spectacular pin-up of the original Defenders.
Here’s the pencil drawing of the above inked version. It’s so much fun to compare and contrast the differences. They are both pretty amazing. Awesome art by an industry legend! One more thing: here’s a fun X-Men Vs. Apocalypse image (featuring Storm!).
It seems that Kevin Nowlan has not drawn Storm often. At least, I had a difficult time finding images of her drawn by him. I found this one quite by accident as it is an image from New Mutants #51 (page 30). Storm looks more severe than was usual during her punk phase. I do find Magneto’s shirt-ripping tantrum to be rather amusing.