Monday, October 29, 2012

Secrets Behind The X-Men

Instead of posting some unpublished artwork today, I decided to draw your attention to a blog called Secrets Behind The X-Men.  It has several well researched articles regarding stories and concepts that didn't make it to print.  One of the most recent articles mentions Sketch, a character who was originally designed to become a new X-Man.
Sketch and the X-Men by Adam Kubert
The entry reads: "When Claremont took over Uncanny X-Men and X-Men vol. 2 in 2000, the idea was to introduce a new X-Man in each series. The one was Thunderbird in X-Men vol. 2. Claremont told about the other in Wizard #103: “She’s actually an animation artist from Japan. She draws things and they come to life. We call her Reanimator.”  However, when she was introduced in Uncanny X-Men #383, it was under the name Sketch. And then she was never seen again. Claremont commented on it to in 2001: ”Also lost in the shuffle: More on Sketch.”

The site is filled with tons of information about ideas that never came to fruition.  As a fan of Chris Claremont's X-Men stories, I was sorry that his return to the X-Men was cut short.  However, counting X-Treme X-Men, X-Men Forever, a third turn on Uncanny X-Men, Excalibur, New Excalibur, Exiles and GeNext, his output on X-Men related titles nearly equaled the number of issues on his first historic run.  For further reading, check out :

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Updates and corrections

The good news is, I have located the color version of the cover for X-Men 75 posted on Monday.  As for yesterday's post, I discovered that the art was published as a variant cover for Avengers Vs. X-Men #9.  Both posts are being updated with new information.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Avenger Angel - Updated

Now that Avengers VS X-Men is over, I presume it's safe to call this promotional image by Salvador Larroca unpublished.  This image appeared along with other alternate covers on various comic news websites, but did not appear as an alternate cover for any of the issues.  The likely reason is that by the time the series came out, Angel no longer appeared in this costume.
Shortly after posting this, I discovered that this image was used as an alternate cover for Avengers Vs. X-Men #9.  The cover image is posted below the promo art.  Unpublished X-Men promises more diligence in our fact checking, we stand unwavering against the army of variant covers coming at us from all sides!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dusty Abell and Drew Geraci -Updated!

This unused cover for X-Men 75 by Dusty Abell and Drew Geraci comes to us courtesy of Drew's website. Drew writes: "For whatever reason, this was pencilled, inked, colored, then rejected, used instead in a reduced format for Diamond distributor's solicitations catalogue for X-Men #75. Maggot and Marrow, the ones with the smoking potato bugs and bones respectively, have a special place in history as the LEAST popular X-men members ever. It was fun seeing Dusty audaciously sign his name in the style of the X-men logo."

Drew's site can be found here:
For the record, I thought it was a refreshing change of pace to see new X-Men introduced after years of the same cast.  However, Marvel seems quick to dismiss new characters and rehash the ideas of Stan and Jack. On the other side of the coin, these days the X-Men change cast members at least every time they change writers.  Which is to say a lot. //End rant


I finally located the color version that Drew spoke about!  The image appeared in Marvel Vision, their monthly catalog, and the right side was unfortunately chopped off.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Spécial Strange

Several readers wrote to inform us that Marvel Trois-Dans-Un was not a french comic, but was actually published in Canada.  Patrick from Montreal took the time to write to us with a lot of detailed information about Canadian and French X-Men comics:

X-MEN in French

The reprint series «X-Men, Marvel Trois-dans-un» may have found its way through some buyers or collectors in France with the years, but, like a blogger has written before, it was printed, and mostly sold, in the province of Québec, Canada, where I grew up. The publishing house Héritage has closed its super-heroes division in 1987 and X-Men was one of the last titles they have published.  Two years ago, 4 collectors have written a very detailed guide of the super-heroes titles but this guide is out of print. In the guide they explained that, sometimes, copies of the covers were late in the shipping from Marvel and that Héritage had to use panels from the inside to make their deadline. That can explain that some X-Men Héritage issues have a different cover than the original. At first, the Triple feature offered Defenders and Nova issues as back-ups. That's why some issues have a Defenders cover.

Before the Marvel Essentials were launched, Héritage copies offered the chance to appreciate the art in black and white (color came later in the reprint run, starting with the double issue 27/28, the first issue where the Triple feature was abandoned). They reprinted Giant Size #1 and X-Men #94-162 in 66 issues of Héritage. Some can be found on ebay by using the names «Héritage» and «X-Men».
You may know that FRANCE has it own version of the X-Men in french. A part of the Claremont/Cockrum/Byrne saga was put together in a kind of graphic novel format (mostly 4 comics in one "album" - sometimes:  2 X-Men stories and 2 back ups)  by:   Éditions LUG.    This series of color albums were named "Spécial Strange" and X-Men started to appear in the #6.  (Silver Age X-Men were reprinted before in a comic called simply "Strange").

Interesting fact for you: new covers versions were painted (probably all by an artist named Jean Frisano) for Lug in a style sometimes close to Bob Larkin (like the cover of Dazzler #1). The mag Comic Book Marketplace #54 has a good feature on Frisano with some of its covers.

This would make a good feature of Unpublished X-Men.

Have fun. Regards,

- Patrick (from Montreal)

References for all:

-  Héritage fansite and forum:

- For the Lug «Special Strange» issues (you can take a look at the covers. Note that they are not ALL  X-Men covers):

- For a few X-Men Silver Age covers of the comic «Strange», like Strange #40:

- An analysis of a Steranko cover recreated by Frisano:

- A good ebay store run by a nice collector, with comics from France and Québec:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Citizen Cain

Professor H has traveled in his wayback machine all the way to 1965 to bring us this glimpse of the Juggernaut's original design by Jack Kirby and Alex Toth.  

The image was found in blue line under the original art.  Alex Toth used blue line pencils while Kirby usually did not, so it's unclear who actually came up with the final design for Juggernaut.  The article accompanying the image also mentions that the notes on the border of the artwork imply that Kirby intended to have Juggernaut be the one to cripple Professor X.  Kirby didn't yet realize that Stan had revealed that Lucifer crippled Professor X just three issues earlier, since that apparently wasn't part of Kirby's original plot for that issue.  Juggernaut's real name, Cain Marko, was most likely an allusion to the biblical Cain who invented murder by killing his own brother.

The complete article appears at the Kirby Museum:
And as always, Professor H's marvelous wayback machine can be accessed via the link that follows:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Marc Silvestri Sketch

Here's a character that Marc Silvestri only drew a few times - Gambit.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Days of Silvestri Past

The Marvel Age 1990 Preview book contained a preview for the Days of Future Present event running through the X-Men annuals that year.  Marc Silvestri didn't do any artwork for the annuals, but he did do this promotional image.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Marc Silvestri Week

I don't have any new information on this art that was apparently produced for the Fall of the Mutants story in Uncanny X-Men 225-227.  This colored art by Marc Silvestri and Dan Green appeared in Classic X-Men #28.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Todd McFarlane X-Men

Todd Mcfarlane didn't produce much X-Men artwork, but he did do a few covers for the reprint series Marvel Tales.
Issue 233 reprints X-Men #35.

Issue 235 reprints material from Marvel Team-Up Annual #1.

Monday, October 1, 2012

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