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Uncanny X-Men Art Gallery: Part 1

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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]
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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]
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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.
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  1. Mathew Tucker imported's Avatar
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  2. Mathew Tucker imported's Avatar

    Love this type of evaluation. I can't do that. I'm too text critical, but you know that because you obviously read mine as these pictures are from that very review. HA HA HA~ Love it. Glad to be of service. I'll have all new uploaded pictures this next week as I now have all the cards.

    I love your point with Vision. The best part of the picture, showing his density control, is cut off by the text. Terribly edited picture. Same with Apoc and Juggs.

    Your knowledge of Marvel is thorough. You even reminded me of things I'd completely forgotten about a few characters like Psylocke. If nothing else, thoroughly entertaining review!

    May the rolls be with you,
  3. Marvel Sutantio imported's Avatar
    Going along with Matthew, I completely agree with you here Randy. The art for Quicksilver and Toad (like most of MDM's artworks came from the comic covers). It's from X-Men: Legacy #209. Wanda's there too with her pink legging / stocking. Speaking of Pietro, yeah his art doesn't really convey his super speed powers, even the Avengers 2 AoU poster counterpart does a lot better job in showing his powers.

    Agree that it would be cool if two or more cards can be put side by side to create a complete art. Like the MtG unglued Card B.F.M. or the various comic book covers. Personally, I'm disappointed with Cycke's art, he's just... standing there. Doing nothing, what the heck man? Sinister's clearly plotting something, but not Slim. Ditto with Apoc, his iconic &quot;joker-like&quot; mouth is not even shown in the art, what the heck? X-23 is a mixed bag, no arguing with that. On one hand it's a homage to Wolverine #1, but on the other hand, her no-joke pheromone induced ferociousness and big attack stats is no where to be seen on the art.

    Oh yeah, wanna share some trivia here while I'm at it;

    Black Widow's art from AvX is from Black Widow #2 (2010 run). Her alternate art is also from issue #2 of the 2014 run.

    The Alternate art cable is from the pages of A+X vol 1, just as he's interrupting a Traks from disrupting WW2 with Sentinels (helping Cap & Bucky along the way). His Ripley / Aliens 2 homage came from his 2008 run.

    AvX's Magneto came from the pages of AvX Versus vol.1 while he's bringing down a big Utopia building over poor Tony

    Colossus's OP month 5 art is from Uncanny X-Men #543 while his normal AvX art is from Uncanny X-Men #507

    Psylocke's art is from Uncanny X-Men #509

    AvX's Wolverine art is from Wolverine (2013 run) #1

    The Thing's art is from (strangely enough) Ultimate FF #57 which is funny because it's from the Ultimate verse, instead of the 616...

    The Basic Action Reckless Melee is from the cover of Uncanny X-Force #29, Possession is from the cover of Avengers vs X-Men #6, Selective Shield is from the cover of Avengers vs X-Men #11.

    That's all I could remember off the top of my head, with the help of my handy dandy Marvel Unlimited app to confirm them (which is definitely worth to subscribe to).
  4. Randy imported's Avatar
    Heck yea man. Nice memory. I hold the new Cyclops in slightly higher regard than you do. But that's in large part of the comic that the image is taken from and my love of the character and his growth since putting on the new red and black duds. Check back next week to see my review of him. (That's what we call a teaser.) I suppose if I wanted to give a more thorough review I should have gone back and found each source comic for the images. So, we have Ultimate Thing and Magik from the Exiles... I wonder if there are any other non-616 characters hiding in MDM so far.
  5. Randy imported's Avatar
    Thanks. Yea, I had a hard time finding a picture of each character, then Dave here at the Reserve Pool pointed me to your site. I'm not a &quot;gamer&quot;. I'm a &quot;comic geek&quot;. So I'm more concerned with the art and how the character is portrayed. Like Apocalypse... He's going to have to be a perfect fit for me to want him on my team because I just do not like his card. Thanks for posting the art that you have, and I already have everything for my next article.
  6. Mathew Tucker imported's Avatar
    I was more just giving you a hard time to give you a hard time. HA HA. It took a lot of effort over two weeks ago to get even those pictures. So I understand your reasoning. Regardless, I loved the thought process in the review.
  7. Mathew Tucker imported's Avatar

    You surprise me every time. Where you have the time to learn, let alone remember all that stuff is beyond me. Nice addiction to Randy's work!
  8. Marvel Sutantio imported's Avatar
    Aw shucks Randy & Matthew, thanks guys. But seriously, you two gave me too much credit, lol. I only remember the series that the art came from, for some I remember the issue # (like Cableís alternate art, Avx Wolverine, Tsarinaís alternate art, AvX covers, AvX Versus, Colossus OP 5, etc). But for the rest, I have to scroll around and confirm them using Marvel Unlimited itís those ďI couldíve sworn Iíve seen it somewhereĒ thingie.

    Well, the reason I donít like Cykeís card art is more than just the pose (which shouldíve been the Power Bolt art), I love his current Uncanny X-Men run look too, but the problem with MDM is the choice of art for the characters are annoyingly inconsistent. The main promotional art and the name supposed to refer to the classic 90ís X-Men, with Jean, Pietro, Wanda, Toad donning their first, classic costumes. Those are done right. But Scottís wearing his current getup,Ö. while Warren wears his classic red, Champions one, what the heck man? Iíd rather have the whole set being based on the current Uncanny X-Men + All New X-Men run. I love Illyanaís new costume for the young, time displaced X-Men.

    About the non 616, I'm pretty sure the Johnny Storm art is taken from the pages of Ultimate FF, but couldn't figure out which one.

    Oh and Iím looking forward to part 2 Randy, if you got the time, it would be great if you can put the source too. But regardless of that, great job on the article.

    Thanks Matthew, it was nothing really. Just a matter of roughly remembering / estimating, then searching and confirming the art within the Marvel Unlimited library lol.