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Wizard World Los Angeles 2008

WWLA 2008: Behold the Future of Astonishing X-Men

Get your first look at Simone Bianchi's Astonishing X-Men art, plus comments from editor Axel Alonso

By Frank DeAngelo Prepare to be astonished all over again.

X-MEN by
Simone Bianchi

Fans at Wizard World Los Angeles who attended the X-Men Panel got treated to a special first look at art from the upcoming ASTONISHING X-MEN artist Simone Bianchi. Marvel.com caught up with both Bianchi and Executive Editor Axel Alonso for a quick chat about the ASTONISHING. When ASTONISHING X-MEN first made the scene, the cast got tricked out with all new costumes and when the series returns under Bianchi and writer Warren Ellis this summer, history will repeat. "It was really an honor that Marvel chose just me to redefine the characters' costumes that in the last four years have been the most successful ones in the business," remarks Bianchi on the redesigns. "Simone never cuts any corners," praises Alonso. "There's a saying in sports, that a player leaves it all on the field. Well, that's definitely true to Simone. He leaves it all on the page." "I have done very patient, detailed research that took me a very long time," Bianchi notes. "I have re-drawn every single costume, trying to make small changes, that could be significant for the style I would draw them and the story."

Cyclops designs
by Simone Bianchi

While he's working hard at making sure the X-Men's look continues to astonish, Bianchi also doesn't hide that he's having a blast. "I think a careful observer can deduce my fun in drawing [Beast] by looking at the pages," says the Italian artist. "He does not have a human anatomy so I'm able to play with and exaggerate his expressions and anatomy all the time." Axel makes no bones about ogling Bianchi's pencils for the team, but it's not Beast's anatomy that piques his interest most. "As a 'civilian,' I'd have to say Emma Frost [is my favorite]," deadpans Alonso. "There's just something about her eyes. Yep, that's right-definitely her eyes. As X-Men Group Editor, I'd say Cyclops." As beautiful as the final product looks, Bianchi admits he did run into some trouble getting his design down for the characters: "For the same reasons why [Beast] is the one I have the most fun drawing, [he] can sometimes create difficulties for me as well, in the sense that there are no schemes to follow, in a way."

Nightcrawler designs
by Simone Bianchi

Keeping all the juicy the details to himself, Alonso could only tease at some of his favorite sequences upcoming in the series. "I don't know where to start," agonizes the editor. "Page one of ASTONISHING X-MEN #25? Page two? Page three? Trust me, it's a feast for the eyes." For all the Marvel news spinning out of Wizard World L.A., visit our news hub. And for a great way to kill time in between announcements, check out Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!

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