• Uncanny X-Men Art Gallery: Part 1

    I figured someone should take a look at the art pulled from the comics themselves to be used in the upcoming Uncanny X-Men set. Being a comic lover and a bit of an artist myself, that someone is me. Just a few things to consider as Iím evaluating the art, trying to determine which cards are good and bad, so you know where Iím coming from with my evaluations.

    -Costume: Should probably be the most recognizable. In some instances, the current costume could be the way to go to show people how the character has changed from what they once knew.
    -Pose:Action pose is preferred, but a solid display of the costume in a classic looking standing pose is acceptable.
    -Background: I hate plain or empty backgrounds. Other characters can be acceptable in the background, but no random limbs.
    -Thematic: Does it have any cohesion with the cardís abilities?
    -Opinion: My personal thoughts and feelings about specific characters may alter my judgment. Iím not sorry.

    We are starting in the basement, and working our way up. Iíve divided the cards in to four groups. We will do the bottom two groups today, then the top two groups next week, just before the official release. Letísdive right in.

    <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Cards:[/b]
    <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">

    Apocalypse: What a way to start this analysis. This one is my honorary ďWorst in ShowĒ. What kind of pose is that? You canít even see his face. The whole image tilted 45* doesnít help either. I think Apocalypse is one of the X-Menís greatest foes, and I love the characterÖ but the picture they used for this cardÖ ugh. Awful. Just awful.

    Juggernaut: I love the Juggernaut. Heís one of my favorite comic book characters, let alone villains, of all time. But this image of him just doesnít make him look very indestructible or unstoppable. He is just standing still. Heís unstoppable for crying out loud. I really think they should have used a picture of him charging straight ahead.

    Magik: First off, lame background. I feel like these cards that use images with no to little background are just being lazy. Second, what costume is that? Thatís not her classic X-Men outfit, her original X-Men outfit, or even her modern all black outfit. I get the feeling they selected a rare costume of hers that she only wore once or twice, because when I googled ďx-men magik costumeĒ I got through 7 or 8 pages, and still couldnít find the one on this card. And itís not even a cool action shot of her. There are countless other images of Magik that would have been better than the one they selected. Obscure costumes are cool, once we get a more traditional version of the character first. (EDIT: This is an alternate version of Magik from the comic series Exiles. Exiles was about a bunch of heroes from various realities and timelines coming together, travelling to said realities and timelines to save the day. So this isn't even the "real" Magik, this is an alternate reality Magik.)

    Psylocke: Psylocke is a confusing character, because every writer that handles her brings out a different aspect of her personality. She started out as a British mid-level psychic with some telekinetic abilities. But then her mind and abilities were merged with a Japanese woman named Kwannon who was a great ninja assassin. Is she British or Japanese? Psychic or assassin? All of the above. To further complicate things, Psylocke was experimented on by the terrorist/assassin group known as the Hand, which gave her ninja-like attributes in the first place. Such is the backstory of an <strike>X-Man</strike> X-Woman. The image on this card tries to convey thatÖ But I would rather just have a kick-butt picture of her leaping with her weapons forged out of telekinetic energy. This image tries to tell too much of her history, and not enough of what sheís capable of.

    Sabertooth: Much like my gripe with Juggernaut above, I donít think this captures the essence of Sabertooth. He is fierce, powerful, merciless, strongÖ The image just doesnít make me ďfearĒ him. Based on the cardís abilities, I think they should have used an image of a wounded Sabertooth, smiling, ready for more as his healing factor kicks in. And make him look a little more buff than the image they used. Heís supposed to be bigger, stronger, and faster than Wolverine. This one doesnít cut it for me.

    <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">The Adequate, Mediocre, and Forgettable:[/b]
    <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">
    Black Panther: Whatís this? A character all dressed in black crouching? This is a lame pose, you're not Batman. A decent display of his costume though. If you just wanted Black Panther standing to display his costume, Iíd rather have a more arrogant stance. Maybe have his arms crossed. He IS a king after all.

    Captain America: Wow, Captain America, looking all iconic holding an American flag. Weíve seen this beforeÖ last set actually. The card looks alright, but zero originality. The only real difference is heís wearing a more modern, but not quite current, costume that is more akin to what we see in the movies.

    Emma Frost: I hate Emma Frost. I think sheís a second rate telepath who dresses like a slut. She could never be as good of a psychic as Jean Grey was, and thatís why sheís with Cyclops. So she can tell herself that sheís better than Jean, even though itís a lie. And Cyclops is only with her because Jean is dead. And If Jean is deadÖ wellÖ you could do a lot worse for yourself than be with someone who looks the way Emma does. The art on this card looks good. Emma is wearing her classic X-Men garb. Much like others I will discuss, this is a solid looking card, with way too much empty space in the background. Maybe it should be in the next group upÖ but I donít care for Emma.

    Falcon: Now, this one isnít too bad honestly. But nothing stands out about it. I think the image is cropped too small. Zoom out a little, letís see him from toe to wing-tip, so we get a feel for how sleek he is. Iíd prefer something a little grander, with wings outstretched. Fast and aerodynamic isnít bad, but letís zoom out and really see him swooping through the city streets.

    Namor: I like the background and costume in this one. (Better than his green underwear.) The characterís pose is nothing special, but whatís up with that goatee? Iím not a huge Namor follower, but I really donít remember him ever having a goatee.

    Quicksilver: Even though his light blue costume is his most widely recognizable, I really appreciate the use of his original green costume on this card. I think using the olive green over the light blue makes his die stand out a little more when compared to the rest of the set. And thatís where the praise for this art ends. It looks like he is running, but all we get is a close up torso shot. We donít really see his powers on display, or a full body image. Also, we get a random limb of another character in the background.

    Red Hulk: Hulk lunging towards the viewer, ready to smash. I donít know why it looks like one eye is glowing here. Iíd rather see something that makes him stand apart from his green counterpart. Red Hulk seems smarter, more in control, and a little more devious than Green Hulk. I know itís clichť for the Hulk to rampage, but if Red Hulk is more controlled, then show him calm and confident. All we need is a smirk to let us know ďThis isnít just a reckless rampaging Hulk. This guy enjoys this.Ē

    Toad: On one hand, I HATE the background. The random character limbs take away from the focus character. On the other, this Toad looks creepy. He might not attack you head on, but you definitely donít feel safe with him around. And thatís PERFECT. But I bet there was a better image of Toad floating around out there that gave off the creepy vibe just as much. As for the costume, classic Toad. (Side note: Iím super psyched to use this character. He wins the award for ďCharacter I Care Least About Whose Card Iím Most Excited For In This SetĒ.) (Side note #2: If you look close, it looks like Toad and Quicksilver were both taken from the same image. Thatís could be cool if the cards matched up. Like if a future set contained the Fantastic Four, and all four characters could be laid down side-by-side to complete the original picture.)

    Vision: Ah, Marvelís counterpart to the D.C.ís Martian Manhunter. (Iím a Marvel guy, but it would seem to me that Marvelís non-human character, who phases through walls and flies, with odd colored skin and a cape, on the companyís marquee super team is based on D.C.ís non-human character, who phases through walls and flies, with odd colored skin and a cape, on the companyís marquee super team. Just my observation.) I like the idea, concept, history, and stories about Vision much more than I enjoy actually seeing the Vision as a member of the Avengers. Personal feelings aside, I want more from this card. I feel like the phasing ability part of the image is cut off by the cardís text. Other than that, the card just feels too plain; like nothing is happening in this picture, but the pose isnít cool enough to warrant that.

    X-23: I really donít have any clue where to rank this card. So, I will rank it as my top-end forgettable. I donít like the close up on the face. However, I LOVE the parallel to the iconic Wolverine #1 cover. Even if you donít know who X-23 is, you can immediately tell, ďOh, sheís like a girl Wolverine.Ē And youíre ready to go. If I were a bigger Wolverine fan, I might rank this one higher with the apparent nod to the comic mentioned above. I just do not like the mugshot style cards.

    That last one got me thinking (and actually Wizkids is already doing it now), but Iíd like to see cards that use some of comicsí most iconic and memorable scenes, ripped straight from the original artwork. The one they are already doing this for is the upcoming OP Wolverine. Days of Future Past is one of the, if not THE, most memorable X-Men storylines ever. Here we see the cover of that comic on one of the UXM event prize cards. YES! Give me more! I want cards that use older comic artwork from the Ď60s, Ď70s, and Ď80s. I know it looks dated, but I think that would be a great addition. Ideally, I would love to see all event prize cards simply be existing cards with new limited artwork. Participation prize cards can still be unique actions or even characters. But the prizes that are handed out to the winners would just be existing cards with new artwork. Iíd like to see a Spider-Man card using the art from the cover of Secret Wars #8, or a Juggernaut that uses art from the interiors of his first appearance in Uncanny X-Men #12, or maybe a basic action that lets you knock out a character that uses the famous scene of Bullseye killing Elektra from Daredevil #181.

    Well, thereís my rant. Obviously, itís just my opinion. But if youíve read this whole thing then you either like my opinion, or at the very least, you find it entertaining. Iíll take what I can get. Next time I will review all of the UXM cards that I think are better than the ones posted above. Roll on.
    This article was originally published in blog: Uncanny X-Men Art Gallery: Part 1 started by Randy