Marvel Celebrates 45th Anniversary Of Giant X-Men With Tribute

by James Ferguson

45 years ago, the landscape of mutantkind – and some would argue comics in general – was changed with the release of Giant Size X-Men #1. Written by Len Wein and illustrated by Dave Cockrum, the comic introduced a new team including now iconic characters like Storm and Nightcrawler and set the X-Men down a path to become the pop culture behemoths they are today. Now, to celebrate its anniversary, Marvel Comics is recreating this classic comic page by page with the help of 37 different artists including Alex Ross, Carmen Carnero, and Mark Brooks.

Editor Jordan D. White says:

The artists were so excited to work on it because the art in this book inspired them all. Everybody involved loves this comic book and is doing amazing work. You’ve gotta check it out.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, it’s a nice tribute to a classic comic, but on the other, it feels like a remake of sorts. It doesn’t sound like Wein’s script is changing, so why redo the artwork? No one can deny that Cockrum did some brilliant work in this book, so why reinvent the wheel? From the artists’ perspective, getting a chance to work on something like this – and to get paid for it – is probably a pretty big deal.

Artist Mark Brooks added:

As a kid the X-Men was my very first comic and Len Wein and Dave Cockrum were instrumental in influencing me to become a comic book illustrator. Being able to contribute to the recreation of a book that means so much to me is an honor and a privilege. This assignment along with the accompanying pressure to do Len and Dave justice is one I’m thrilled to take on as a thank you for showing a nerdy kid that it’s okay to be different and pave your own path.

The full list of artists includes Alex Ross, Kevin Nowlan, Chris Samnee, Marcus To, Siya Oum, Stephen Segovia, Marguerite Sauvage, Carmen Carnero, Bernard Chang, Aaron Kuder, Takeshi Miyazawa, Juann Cabal, Gurihiru, Mark Brooks, Kris Anka, Phil Noto, Valerio Schiti, Leinil Francis Yu, Matteo Lolli, Ema Lupacchino, Carlos Gómez, Iban Coello, R.b. Silva, Ramon Rosanas, Joshua Cassara, David Baldeón, Marcelo Ferreira, Javier Garrón, Rod Reis, Javier Rodríguez, Marco Checchetto, Jen Bartel, Mike Del Mundo, Rahzzah, Pepe Larraz & Mike Hawthorne. The comic features a new cover by Adi Granov.
Artist Mike Hawthorne says:

The presence Wein and Cockrum have on comics is too immense to weigh. I can honestly say their X-Men were my first love and it’s a privilege to pay homage to these two giants and their contribution to our culture. I drew my page with my heart in hand, sirs. I hope it’s enough. Thank you.

Giant Size X-Men: Tribute to Wein & Cockrum #1 is set for release on May 27th, 2020.

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