This is my cover for Extraordinary X-Men issue 20.
I was rushing to get the colours in for solicitation, but didn’t get to do everything I wanted with the rendering, and the sky until after. Top image is the final colours, bottom left is the solicitation copy, and bottom right the line art.
EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #20 JEFF LEMIRE (W) • VICTOR IBANEZ (A) Cover by DAVID YARDIN
Storm once referred to JEAN GREY as the heart of the X-Men, and she was ultimately the catalyst for bringing this team of X-Men together. But in the aftermath of their war with the Inhumans, the X-Men’s resolve is faltering…and Jean Grey is doubting her place with them. The X-MEN may have survived the war…but at what cost?
“What do you do in a world where you are not the so-called norm? Not only are you a mutant but you are a gay, teen mutant with a visible mutation? You try to fit in as best you can. Maybe go on a date while you are at it. But you forgot not only are you a mutant but you are an X-Men member and that means you have enemies all around you. And they can feel your insecurities. What happens when they reveal your worst fears and those of two of your mentors?”
I enjoyedreading thiscomic. I love these types of stories where you have to deal with your inner feelings and fears, causing you become more than just a reader.It tackles several common issues we all face; self imagebeing a huge one.Not only is it a question for the young Anole, the mutant at the heart of the story but also for Nightcrawler and Northstar.
The trio are a perfect selection for such a story. Nightcrawler is a devout Christian despite his devilish appearance; an appearance that has caused him to be persecuted for his entire life. Unlike his Ultimate counterpart he is much more accepting of homosexuals. Northstar is also a mutant and an openly gay man. Despite his own confident exterior he still carries numerous fears, one of which is his peers secretly loathing him.
Then there is Anole who is a mixture of the two previously mentioned characters. He is a young man who wants to do normal stuff, which he honestly has the right to do but the problem is he is the one not giving himself the chance due to the fear of rejection which in this case comes in the form of a young, openly gay man called Noam.
Noam and Anole have been talking for quite sometime over the internet but the latter i afraid that Noam believes he is one of the “pretty” mutants. His appearance is to him, his greatest weakness, which coupled with his sexual orientation leads him to think he will never be anyone’s ideal. It was that part of the comic that I had to just stop and look for awhile because I could identify with his feelings. The X-Men stories tend to be like that.
How does the world perceive you? Are we more than our outer appearances and labels? Can we overcome the fears deep within us? All of these are questions that come up in some fashion for the heroes and also for the reader. Many of the questions they ask, we may ask ourselves as well and that is why I love this story. Yeah it is a stand alone tale but one with a very good message. Accepting one’s self. In this day and age, that is a message alot of us could use.
If you ever do get the chance, do give this one a read, it is worth it.
I’m not going to lie, I loved most of these kids up until Wolverine and the X-Men hit. They had a fantastic growing-up arc that was derailed and then aborted just shy of the final step – leaving the X-Men to find their own way. Then they became regressed wallpaper because Marvel thinks that “continuity” is a dirty word. They’re (arguably, of course) the generation of students worst served by Xavier’s dream, and there were a hundred stories that could have come out of that conflict. Ugh. So much wasted potential…
i feel like victor is more often than not drawn as a pretty handsome kid which is surprising considering he’s green and scaly (not that those things would prevent one from being good looking, more like physical mutations simply get some strange interpretations by artists). which leads me to believe hes just canonically real cute.
also i enjoyed that one issue where magik forced him to sit in the desert for like four days.