By Ben Morse
Last week in his MyCup o' Joe
column on MySpace Comic Books
, Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada announced the latest sextet of burgeoning artistic stars who would be notching their guns as the House of Ideas' latest round of Young Guns in 2009: Daniel Acuña (ETERNALS), Stefano Casselli (AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE), Mike Choi (X-FORCE), Marko Djurdjevic (DAREDEVIL covers), Rafa Sandoval (INCREDIBLE HERCULES) and Khoi Pham (MIGHTY AVENGERS).
These six superstars-in-the-making will join an elite class of amazing artists upon their assumption of the Young Guns label. Begun in 2004 and continued in 2006, the Young Guns program has produced some of the hottest creators working in comics today, including the draftsmen responsible for bringing CIVIL WAR, SECRET INVASION and other blockbuster Marvel events to life. Before we check in with the new class later this week, let's take a look at the trails blazed by the first crop of Young Guns and enjoy a gallery of their gorgeous work.
CLASS OF 2004
Months after being named one of the initial Young Guns, Jimmy Cheung made a lasting impression on the Marvel Universe, co-creating the Young Avengers with writer Allan Heinberg and illustrating 10 issues of the initial YOUNG AVENGERS series. Cheung's next major assignment came with NEW AVENGERS: ILLUMINATI, a five-issue 2007 limited series co-written by Brian Michael Bendis and Brian Reed that told the secret history of Marvel's hidden team of power brokers and paved the way for Secret Invasion. More recently, Cheung worked on several issues of NEW AVENGERS during Secret Invasion and has provided covers for AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE as well as several other one-shots and variants.
Hot on the heels of his Young Guns appointment, Olivier Coipel provided art on writer Brian Michael Bendis' eight-part HOUSE OF M limited series, cementing him as a legitimate superstar in the field. In 2006, Coipel would re-team with Bendis on NEW AVENGERS ANNUAL #1, chronicling the long-awaited wedding of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. In 2007, alongside J. Michael Straczynski, Coipel launched a new THOR series that would bring the Thunder God to new heights of popularity and re-establish the character for a new generation of fans.
Already in the midst of a fan favorite run on NEW AVENGERS with writer Brian Michael Bendis upon being named a Young Gun, David Finch would continue helping transform Earth's Mightiest Heroes into Marvel's premiere franchise with his ultra-detailed, hard-hitting art. In 2006, Finch would take on a new challenge, helping writer Charlie Huston propel a perpetual cult favorite to unheard of levels of success as artist on the first eight issues of MOON KNIGHT. Finch has also made a name for himself as one of Marvel's most popular cover artists, notably depicting every mutant to ever serve on the X-Men for the historic X-MEN #200. In November of 2008, Finch began his latest assignment, helping writer Jeph Loeb to end the Ultimate Universe as we know it in ULTIMATUM.
Adi Granov's unique cutting edge style had already brought him attention thanks to his cover work on IRON MAN by the time he became a Young Gun, but his six-part "Extremis" collaboration with writer Warren Ellis linked him inextricably with the Armored Avenger. While Granov has continued to turn heads for Marvel as cover artist on titles including FANTASTIC FOUR and NOVA, perhaps his most notable contribution to comic book lore came when he served as a designer and consultant on the 2008 hit "Iron Man" movie, helping to design the armor worn by Robert Downey Jr. Of late, Granov has provided full interior art for IRON MAN: VIVA LAS VEGAS, a limited series being written by "Iron Man" director Jon Favreau.
After wowing American audiences with his work on CAPTAIN AMERICA and ULTIMATE SIX, British-born Trevor Hairsine earned his Young Guns spurs and kept impressing with his gritty, primal visual storytelling skills. In 2005, Hairsine scored a one-two punch, terrifying the Ultimate Universe alongside writer Warren Ellis on ULTIMATE NIGHTMARE and then bringing Ed Brubaker's story of the X-Men's dark past to life with X-MEN: DEADLY GENESIS. More recently, Hairsine helped countryman Paul Cornell lay the groundwork for CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI13 with 2007's WISDOM limited series.
Coming off rave reviews to his work on MARVEL KNIGHTS 4 and well-received stints on NEW AVENGERS, Steve McNiven followed up his Young Guns coronation by helping writer Mark Millar shatter sales records and rack up critical acclaim with the CIVIL WAR limited series. McNiven earned praise from all corners for his painstakingly beautiful work and contributed to Civil War becoming one of the hallmark events in Marvel history. For an encore, McNiven helped launch Spider-Man into his "Brand New Day" with a three-issue run on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN in 2008 and has since reunited with Millar on the "Old Man Logan" arc in WOLVERINE.
Join us later this week when we take a look at the 2006 iteration of the Young Guns!
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