X-Men fans on Twitter dropped a number of examples by everyone from Akiman to Jim Lee when discussing their favorite depiction of mutantdom.
X-Men fans on Twitter ended 2022 by debating the greatest illustration of Marvel’s most uncanny heroes, posting a variety of examples from all across mutant history.
The discussion was kicked off by artist Louie Joyce (A Fistful of Pain, Haphaven), who shared an image by Japanese illustrator Akira Yasuda — better known as Akiman — for the 1994 Capcom arcade and console game X-Men: Children of the Atom. The drawing shows many of the leading members of X-Men’s popular ’90s incarnation — Colossus, Cyclops, Iceman, Psylocke, Storm and Wolverine — standing by the remains of a decapitated Sentinel, and was used as the Japanese cover art for the game’s Sega Saturn release. X-Men: Children of the Atom would later go on to usher in a wave of Capcom fighting games that pit Marvel’s heroes against the Street Fighter characters, eventually culminating in the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise.
In responses to Joyce’s tweet, other Twitter users dropped images that included a poster of Wolverine and Cable that Mike Mignola illustrated and Mark Chiarello colored in 1991, and the full panorama spread that appeared on the cover of The Uncanny X-Men #275, which was also released in 1991 and illustrated by Jim Lee, with inks by Scott Williams. Notably, The Uncanny X-Men #275’s cover was resized by Marvel’s editorial team before printing, and Lee and Williams confirmed in 2021 that the art running horizontally at the bottom of the full panorama was redrawn in-house.
Some of the Best X-Men Artists
Lee’s artwork remained a popular choice as others chimed in, citing the pages that the now-DC Chief Creative Officer drew for 1991’s X-Men #1, a seminal book that reintroduced Marvel’s mutants to a new audience with colorful, customized outfits. Lee’s X-Men #1 — accompanied by Chris Claremont’s writing and Williams’ inks — sold around eight million copies and received the Guinness World Record in 2010 for the Highest Selling Single Comic Book. It also inspired the fan-favorite ’90s X-Men cartoon series.
Other artists to receive acclaim for their X-Men work included Joe Madureira, John Cassaday, Stuart Immonen, and Gil Kane & Dave Cockrum, whose cover for 1975’s Giant-Size X-Men #1 proved to be one of the oldest picks among all of the high-quality illustrations posted.