Kris Anka on Storm's new design

Final Design

And finally, probably the most popular, and my favourite, of all my X-force designs: Storm.

The prompt with her was a subtle one. Sam dictated that he wanted her to both have the regal-ness that we’ve known her as but because of her recent divorce, showcase the turmoil in her life and that at one point she was the rebel of the team. Not only is she a queen and a goddess, but she is punk rock. I must be honest, I never grew up with Mohawk storm, so that whole era is unfamiliar to me. My first introduction of storm is the Jim lee white costume. So what I more thought to do was capture the badassness that a queen could have, and have the punk rock show through personality.

1. With this design I was getting used to the character. There wasn’t much that went into this except for it being my interpretation of a Storm costume, with just some of my bells and whistles. Although it doesn’t really show here, I tried to go with a more subtle storm cape, but two giant yellow pieces of fabric aren’t very subtle. Hey I’m trying shit out.

2. This is almost the exact costume that was used for the final. I wanted a more sport conservative look. More stream lined. Strong slender, tall silhouette. I thought maybe a ponytail might be more practical for this line of work.

3. My terrible pass at a punk storm. Only thing of note about this one was this is Sam locked onto the mohawk and fought for it.

4. Tried a different form of punk. I took the mohawk idea and went a little more modern with it. Looking back at this now this is way too similar to the look and vibe of the modern Frenzy.

5. Retained a more conservative body suit look, no capes or flowing, but I did go nuts on the awesome storm hair.

6. So after I sent it in what was chosen was the costume from 2, but the capes from 1. I mocked that up, and figured out something for the back. But I didn’t feel the capes worked in this context, so I fought for the dress thing from the 2nd design.

7. Sam won with the Mohawk. We got the go to include it, and I got the go to use the dress. Also simplified the back just a tiny bit. This was the version I would have wanted to stop at, but Nick wanted her to have a bit more of a graphic flare when she was flying, so we attached the dress pieces to her arms to allow them to open up when she is riding the wind.

(From Kris Anka's Tumblr post here)

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Kris Anka on Bishop's new design

Final Design

So Bishop time.

probably the biggest rumble came from this characters addition to the title. The pitch I was given for this character was a futuristic post-apocalyptic drifter priest, pretty much. A big key with the design as well was to implement some sort of circular symbol on him that refers to this future religion that he is now part of.

1. Tried a bit of a poncho/cardinal thing with this one.

2. Went way more religious figure looking with this, but It gets a little too far away from the drifter badass aspect.

3. Went simpler, a bit more classic with the design. show off that robot arm. (not sure if thats around anymore)

4. A subtle combo, i feel, of the drifter, priest, superhero look. but this is pretty much exactly the design they picked, save for a few edits.

5. This was the edits i received from Nick Lowe. The colour change to separate him from the team visually, and the long beard and dreads to hint at his extended amount of time driftering.

(From Kris Anka's Tumblr post here)

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Kris Anka on Spiral's new suit design

Final Design

Spiral Time!

Okay, the pitch was that she is sort of an LA clubber drug dealer badass chick. The way I sort of pictured it was this really stiff leather clad chick in the back of the club, too cool for the masses, and they are all looking to her in envy. And the fur boots, obviously. that was a must. Along with mermaid hair, and raccoon make-up.

1. So my first stab at her costume. Ive never drawn Spiral in my life, so it was fairly interesting. One thing I attempted was to have subtle changes to the sleeves to easily differentiate between them. I didn’t just want 6 identical arms. I also tried to keep the blue from the original costume, a throwback.

2. This is pretty much the costume that we went with. The only change they wanted from here was to close up the belly. I also was trying to add an interesting fur pattern for the boots. Something not so bulky as just fur everywhere. Add a bit of style to it.

3. I went more upper body heavy with the costume. Make her seem like a super tall imposing woman.

4. Just another attempt. More of a simpler top.

5. More elegant this time. Like a queen.

(From Kris Anka's Tumblr post here)

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Kris Anka on Cluster's Design. (Lady Fantomex)

Final Design

Next up, Lady Fantomex

So the prompt I got about how Nick and Sam wanted this character treated was to visually look just like a female Fantomex.

1. So with the first design I did I went for a straight up female version of the fantomex x-force costume. I altered the boots and gloves just to have some little visual differences.

2. I went a bit further with this one. I wanted more of a stealth look to her so i threw away the jacket and went for more of a ninja vibe. I also took the visual motif of the jagged stripes and ran with that a bit as well. Tried to do something a little different with it while keeping the same vibe of the original.

3. sort of a combination of the first two, but with more of a high-fashion-ness to the jacket. This is personally my favourite.

4. And then something completely out of left field. Just tried to throw something completely different in there. I still felt this was fantomex, but a huge visual departure.

(From Kris Anka's Tumblr post here)

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Kris Anka on Psylocke's new suit design

Final Design

So I just got the clearance to post all my roughs for my X-force designs.

First up! Psylocke!

fitting because I started with her when I approached these designs. As the leader of the team I wanted to nail her design first and allow that to be the foundation for the rest of the team.

I think that this would be a good moment to talk about my design style. I have heard a criticism for my designs being that I rely on a go-to stylings and shapes in my designs, and I completely agree. I’m the first person who would own up to my own design style-ings. It was definitely something daunting when they first approached me to do the designs for this; I was worried that these designs would stick out like a sore thumb of something I designed. What sort of turned me around on it are that some of the other marvel now designs are also completely out-there compared to what had come before (im thinking about cable and the x-force, the new ironman design, cap, the hulk, etc), and you know what: they picked me to do this. They obviously know my designs, take a minute to look for my art and you’ll find a ton of them. So what this meant to me was that they know what sort of stuff that they’d get out of me, and wanted me anyway. So i took that to heart and thought “By god, if I’m doing this, then I’m making these designs me all over”.

So with that, onto the designs

1. I started off with a straight up tactical suit. The image in my head was her descending out of the ceiling into a dark room to assassinate someone; So I tried to create a design that I could believe in that situation.

2. With this one I tried to help break up all the black of the costume, and re-impliment some of the skin-stripes that are so quintessential to the Psylocke-look. But I didnt want them to be completely separated from the costume as per the Jim Lee design. I tried to take a page from the design Opena (I’m assuming) designed for the first volume of the Uncanny X-force. But add a bit more “me” to the shapes of those cut-outs.

3. More of the same. Trying to break up the black.

4. Tried something way more stealth. Visually a lot more effective for an assassin in the dark.

5. And then obviously the design that was picked. With absolutely no notes, I think. This looks pretty much exactly how the final design turned out.

So I’ll be posting the rest of the team over time.

( From Kris Anka's Tumblr post here)

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Marvel Chooses Psylocke As Their Second Favorite Hero of 2011!

2. PSYLOCKE Appeared In: UNCANNY X-FORCE, X-MEN, UNCANNY X-MEN

2011 in Review: As a member of X-Force, Betsy Braddock journeyed to the Age of Apocalypse and back seeking a way to save her lover, Warren Worthington, from permanently transforming into the evil Archangel. When these efforts failed, Psylocke found herself facing off against Warren on both the physical and psychic planes, fighting to save not only him but herself as well, and ultimately needing to sacrifice their love in order to save reality. With the X-Men, Betsy faced off against the survivors of Breakworld and a Serpent-powered Juggernaut before siding with Cyclops after Schism and joining Storm’s team on a mission in Eastern Europe to destroy a private army of Sentinels.

Why She Makes the List: Heroes in the Marvel Universe make sacrifices every day, but Betsy Braddock gave up the man she loved and perhaps any shot she ever had at finding happiness in order to save the world this year, and in our eyes it’s not an action that should be overlooked. It’s first worth noting that Psylocke went to every possible extreme to save Archangel from himself, diving into his treacherous mindscape as well as traversing dimensions to seek a cure, but when the chips came down and all other options fell off the table to the point where even her own life—which she would have gladly given—would not do the job, she killed the person she loved the most. That he returned to her without any memory of their love twisted the knife harder, but also reminded us of Psylocke’s tremendous and thankless heroism.

Check out their full list HERE

I'm so proud of Betsy and I'm glad that my favorite heroine is finally getting the recognition she deserves. Now if only this was reason enough for her to be DLC in UMvC3! 2011 was a great year for her under the pen of Rick Remender and I expect greater things to come for her 2012. It is indeed a great time to be a Psylocke fan!

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Psylocke's Facade

As we know, Wolverine's X-Force's existence has been hidden from the X-Men ever since Cyclops disbanded them after the events of Second Coming. However a few members, namely Psylocke, Wolverine and Archangel, also have roles on the usual X-Men roster as well. I took this into consideration while looking at the silhouettes on the covers of the new X-Men Regenesis titles and found something interesting concerning my favorite X-Woman.  Take a look at these covers.  
  

Here is the cover for Uncanny X-Force. The female is obviously Psylocke. The glowing pink telekinetic katanas are a dead giveaway and Remender had already confirmed that she would be around for UXF year two.  
  
Now look at this cover. Next to Jubilee there is a woman, and what do we have there at the top? It's seems like a pink, glowing sword.   

Could that be Psylocke on the team with Jubilee? The sword is held straight into the sky in a powerful and authoritative manner. Could she possibly be the leader of this team? What do you guys think about this?

 

EDIT: It is her. Replaced the pic with the updated version. 

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