The X-Men have been around for decades fighting for equality and justice for their mutant peers. They’ve resonated with every reader who has felt downtrodden or discriminated against — it’s one of the reasons they’re so popular. The films brought about the new generation of superhero movies. And although there are plenty of timeline and continuity problems, they still hold up as good films, save for a handful of entries that were less than subpar. Okay, they’ve had a few bad films too — but also some excellent ones, such as Deadpool and Logan.
Regardless, the ideas from the comics and the films have inspired artists the world over to create their own versions of the X-Men. Some artists have transported them across timelines, or been influenced by other TV series and franchises — the possibilities are endless when it comes to characters with hundreds of stories, costumes, identities and universes. We’d just like to point out though, that all of these artists have made the list because we love their work, they’re not ranked, as each one is spectacular in their own way. You could even say that some of them are uncanny. Here are 15 fan-designed versions of the X-Men.
A design from Nate Hallinan that sees Ororo Munroe as a priestess that can control the weather as ‘Stormbringer’. It’s the first of a few medieval/fantasy reimagining of an X-Men charactera that works wonderfully. Like some you’ll see down the line, the artist has written a backstory for her inclusion into the “Order of X”.
“Many presume that she is a witch from a distant land, even worse, some even fear that she has control of Xavier’s mind with a spell. Unwavering to these rumors, Xavier considers Ororoas one of his most trusted counselors.” How cool is that? Since prejudice and fear go hand in hand, a character like Storm would obviously face some scrutiny in a medieval world. The idea that she’s a witch is a great translation of how people in the comics worshipped her as a goddess.
14. X-MEN INTERNATIONAL
This team illustration of Psylocke, Nightcrawler, Storm, Northstar and Colossus by cspencey immediately reminds us of Young Justice. It’s almost like a combination between X-Men: Evolution and Young Justice. Each ‘X” on the character’s costume stands out in a vibrant way whilst hugging their figures. Nightcrawler, Northstar and Colossus’ outfits look tactical, with pouches and armored padding for combat.
But Psylocke and Storms’ costumes are a little more revealing. The artist said she wanted Storm to look more regal as a leader figure and with her tattoos, hair and crown she certainly looks the part. Northstar does look slightly Nightwing-esque, but still very slick. And the beard that Colossus is rocking just fits perfectly. If there was a whole X-Men TV series illustrated in this style, we’d be pretty lucky.
13. SILVER JUGGERNAUT
This is one intimidating piece of art. It’s also a step away from the typical red domed look that we’re used to the Juggernaut wearing as a villain. Instead, dtran has opted to give Cain Marko a silver outfit that makes him look almost horrifying. Then there’s the equally terrifying expression on his face — it looks like pure rage. This version of the Juggernaut would definitely be unstoppable.
Juggernaut was a powerful villain anyway, but with that huge brute-like armor added on top, the X-Men (and any other superhero team) would have a hard time bringing this giant down. Remember when Spidey lured him into the liquid cement foundations of a building that sealed him away for a while? We doubt that would hold this menacing villain.
12. X-MEN FUSED
Why have a group of X-Men when you can combine a group of them into one entity? This is the exact thought that freelance illustrator and concept artist Sandro Si must have had when he created this jaw-dropping piece of work.
Fusing together the looks and traits of X-Men team members Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Colossus and Cyclops, this character certainly looks like a force to be reckoned with. Imagine having him fire an optic blast to distract an enemy just so he can teleport behind an enemy and then stab a villain with the force of a punch from Colossus. We don’t think anyone could last after that and after looking at this bonkers design, it’s definitely something that we wish we could see one day.
11. DAYS OF FUTURE BEAST
We’ve seen Beast suited up in his X-Men uniform a few times in the X-Men franchise, but during Days of Future Past Hank McCoy didn’t get an outfit to wear. Instead, he fought in casual clothes because Xavier had shut down the school. But this costume designed by Ademir Leal shows what a futuristic Beast would look like.
His costume matches the style of the other X-Men that we see in the apocalyptic future where the Sentinels hunt mutants. The yellow portions of the outfit are downplayed, with the majority of the costume in a metallic gray and shades of blue. Beast himself looks like a combination between Nicholas Hoult (the actor who plays the young Hank) and Kelsey Grammar from the original trilogy. Great pose too.
10. COVERT WOLVERINE
Cspensey is back again with more designs, this time with multiple Wolverine costumes. The first uses the classic colors of his original costume and adds them to an updated costume. This suit looks more tactical, with the straps and pouches attached to his suit. The orange version looks slightly influenced by the X-Men: Evolution series. And like the previous designs by Cspensey, this Wolverine would fit perfectly into a modern X-Men animated series.
Although, that final design looks like a combination between Black Panther and Batman. And with the way Wolverine’s cowl has the chin strap, it looks like the Batman design from the recent DC animated movies. The artist specifies that the black suit is his covert gear when he’s working with X-Force. We’ll say it again — we want a new X-Men series in this style.
9. ARMORED ROGUE
The southern belle is one of the most popular X-Men characters, known for her green and yellow outfit, strong southern accent and absorbing abilities. This illustration of the hero gives us a realistic version of the costume. The main green color of her costume has been dulled down, and with some armor added on her shoulders, this is a Rogue who has already seen a few fights.
The hairstyle and the moody expression on her face look a little similar to how she appeared in X-Men: Evolution as a goth. The way that the design is painted works beautifully for the character. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see Rogue in a proper comics accurate costume during the original trilogy, because something like this would have looked great on screen.
8. PSYLOCKE MERGES WITH FANTOMEX
This is a weird one, but in a good way. The combination of Fantomex (a techno-organic super sentinel) fused with Psylocke. Although this character is mainly focused on the look of Psylocke, the smaller details give us a Fantomex twist. Psylomex? Anyway, her iconic purple hair has been dialed up to a neon color, whilst the inside of the white leather waistcoat matches it. And although she’s carrying her iconic katana, she’s also armed to the teeth with various pistols, ammo and another knife.
The white elements of her costume are also pulled from Fantomex’s white look, bringing the two formidable characters together into one intimidating hero. Although those straps look like the might chafe a bit. Ouch. Imagine Olivia Munn in this outfit with better character development in X-Men: Apocalypse — it would have been a lot more entertaining!
Artist kevinwada has done some amazing work (just look at his gallery on Deviantart) so when he decided to give the wonderful ladies of the X-Men (plus Carol Danvers) a high-fashion makeover, it should come as no surprise that the results are simply stunning. Looking like they’re posing for the cover of a fashion magazine, the leading ladies of the mutant team never looked better.
Using hard lines and a beautiful mix of bright and dark tones, Rogue, Emma Frost, Psylocke, Sage, Storm, Polaris and, for good measure, non X-Man Ms. Marvel, this is the fiercest any of these ladies have ever looked, and that’s saying a lot considering all the evil they’ve had to combat in their lifetime. Kevinwada’s work is simply stunning and it’s worth browsing everything he’s ever done.
For some reason, this one just makes sense. This piece of art by Benedick Bana gives us a robotic version of Magneto. Whether it’s an exo-suit or just a complete robot isn’t made clear because we can’t actually see anything underneath the armor. But that makes him all the more intimidating. We can’t see his eyes, so there’s nothing to really connect with.
The red light in his visor gives off a menacing appearance for sure. Add that with the single arm raised controlling his powers — and this is an unnerving interpretation of the master of magnetism. Don’t let the wonderfully bright colors fool you, this isn’t a Magneto you’d want to mess with. One way of looking at this would be a Horseman for a futuristic Apocalypse.
5. SWASHBUCKLING NIGHTCRAWLER
Again, this is another design that just seems to be obviously perfect. Nightcrawler is already a mutant with an otherworldly appearance, but to make him an elf just seems natural. But since the artist, Nate Hallinan, crafted a whole backstory for him, so we’ll shut up: “Kyrt V’wagnyr roughly translates from elven as Nightcrawler. Kyrt never knew his real parents. He was found by a band of elves as an infant. They happily adopted him seeing that he was part elf. His enchanting midnight appearances and mysterious abilities makes him highly regarded among elves.”
It’s like Lord of the Rings meets X-Men in a perfect combination. The swords, the leather outfit and boots all just blend together wonderfully Plus, with the goatee does Kyrt V’wagnyr not look a little similar to Orlando Bloom? Just a thought.
4. LAURA REDESIGNED
Logan is undeniably one of the better comic book movies to be produced over the last ten years. It ditches the tights and costumes for a bleak, realistic style. And when X-23 is introduced, she’s just a little girl, dressed normally. But, if she was to don an X-Men costume, this is what she would look like.
Akiel Guzman gives her a very tactical looking suit, with armor and protection whilst also looking quite flexible. And since we saw just what Laura can do during Logan, she needs the flexibility when taking out bad guys. She was already a strong character, but dressed like this she looks truly formidable. The yellow streak on her arms and the small yellow flares are a smart way of bringing the comics costume to life.
3. MECH WOLVERINE
Anyone remember Gundam Wing? The Manga/Anime series about fighting robots? Well this piece by Jeff Chen looks like Wolverine’s comic costume crossed with a Gundam Wing suit. And to be honest, we can’t get enough of it. The face of the suit almost looks demonic with its pointed features and brutish figure. It isn’t clear on the photo whether this has any other weaponized capabilities like guns or rockets — but with the size of those claws it probably doesn’t need any extra strength.
If Wolverine needed an exo-suit for some reason, it means that the threat is undeniably serious. A threat that would warrant a suit so powerful it could only be piloted by Wolverine? Now that’s a fight we would absolutely want to see. And our money is on Logan.
2. LORD OF HOUSE X
Okay last one from Nate Hallinan, we promise. His designs just genuinely captivated us and we couldn’t not bring them into our list! This final piece shows off Lord Xavier. He’s got a regal look, with his throne also doubling as his wheelchair. Once again, the artist included a little backstory for him.
“Tragically, Charles was mortally wounded in an encounter with a black dragon as a young adult. Before the dragon could kill Xavier and his soldiers, Xavier forced his mind onto the dragon’s. Not only did this stop the dragon but Xavier was able to tame it.” So as well as transporting all these characters into a medieval/fantasy setting — he’s even brought the Blackbird Jet into it. Clever. But we love the royalty element that Xavier has here. Plus, the “X” medallion fits into his outfit perfectly.
1. ARMED CYCLOPS
In recent years, Cyclops has gone from being the dedicated and fearless leader of the X-Men, to becoming somewhat of a jerk that would stop at nothing to make sure that mutants survive. While there’s nothing wrong with that amount of dedication, some of his actions have been questionable and no doubt factored in his demise. Artist Joseph Canedo might have decided that with all the new enemies Cyclops has made, he’s going to need some armor.
Outfitting Scott Summers in what looks to be a Robocop-inspired suit of armor to protect him from any threats, Cyclops has never looked more ready for war. We love the gritty, realistic look to the suit and if Summers would ever lead a whole group of X-Men looking like this, mutantkind would never have anything to worry about.
Which of these crazy designs is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
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