Issue #497, Page 22: X-Men Captured

Uncanny X-Men
©2008 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
by Ed Brubaker& Michael Choi
Issue #497, Page 22: X-Men Divided Part 2
Wolverine, Colossus & Nightcrawler Captured Splash Page
Graphite on board
11" x 17"

When Wolverine, Colossus and Nightcrawler were introduced as X-Men back in 1975, they quickly became fan favorites and remained at the core of the team for the next twelve years. The first splash page to re-feature all three would ironically be drawn by the former assistant of the man who had last drawn them together –twenty years later!

Mike Choi got his start in comics as Top Cow president Mark Silvestri’s background assistant during the conclusion to Grant Morrison’s run on New X Men. His first solo gig was the popular X-23: Target X mini-series, which launched him onto Wizard’s Hot Ten List and established the look and history of one the most popular characters to debut in the past decade. Based on this initial success, he was entrusted with Marvel’s flagship mutant book, Uncanny X-Men.

Ed Brubaker, who has won just about every award for which a comic book writer can be nominated, took the reigns from classic Uncanny X-Men scribe Chris Claremont following the legend’s third departure from the title he popularized in 2006. By then, there were close to a dozen ongoing mutant titles requiring tenacious continuity –which the many delays in the publication schedule of Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men threw temporarily out of synch. As a result, events intended to be revealed in Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1 were referenced in Uncanny X-Men two weeks earlier. As the next step forward in X-mythology, the collaboration of Brubaker and Choi is a pivotal bridge; by disbanding Whedon’s team, ensuing scribe Warren Ellis was given a clean slate to establish his own direction on Astonishing X-Men. Brubaker won an Eisner Award for Best Writer in 2008 for the totality of his scripted comics, which included Captain America, Daredevil and Criminal.

On page 22 (the final page) of issue #497, Brubaker and Choi pay a special tribute to the original Claremont team, and the layout is pure John Byrne: the three most popular characters from the Bronze Age team are captured and held in a curious perspective as the issue draws to a close. And even after over 400 issues since these characters were introduced, there are probably less than a dozen splash pages featuring all three of them in full-bodied action. That this page should come from such a gifted penciler via a script by one of the medium’s all-time greatest writers is truly uncanny.


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