Marvel’s X-Men titles have by far the highest number of iconic female characters in all of comics — whether it be the superhero genre or elsewhere. It’s thanks in no small part to the work of writer Chris Claremont and artists like John Byrne and Paul Smith, but man others followed, and added to the ensemble, including Joss Whedon and John Cassaday, who created Abigail Brand. And now artist Kris Anka is paying tribute to these X-Men in an expansive, limited-edition print called “Ladies of X 2.”
The title isn’t a nod to the second X-Men film, but rather a reference to a less-populated version of this piece created last summer. Both pieces were inspired by Adam Hughes’ “Women of DC” from 2008, but Anka takes the cake in this new illustration by featuring 19 women affiliated with the X-Men titles, all wearing haute-couture fashions reflecting their personalities.
Going beyond Anka’s illustration, it’s interesting to try to name all of the characters listed here without googling — but also to note the number of female X-Men not featured here, showing just how large Marvel’s mutant bench is.
Anka produced just 39 prints of “Ladies of X 2,” but says online that if he sells out, he’ll consider making more. See the full image blow, and visit his blog for ordering details.