This Spring, X-Men: Blue will take the five original X-Men back to their roots - with a big twist. In the series, one of two core titles of Marvel's "ResurrXion" relauch, time-displaced original five X-Men will come back together as a team under the tutelage of Magneto, their one-time arch-enemy.
X-Men: Blue unites two veteran X-Men creators in writer Cullen Bunn and artist Jorge Molina. Molina has drawn the X-Men several times before, with an extended run on the title a few years ago. However, he's never worked on an X-Men team or story as, in his words, "classic" as the one in X-Men: Blue.
Newsarama spoke to Molina ahead of the April 12 release of X-Men: Blue #1 about his baseline for the "classic" X-Men, the hardest thing he's had to draw yet, and the villain he can't wait to bring back.
Newsarama: Jorge, you’ve got a long history of drawing the X-Men. What sets X-Men: Blue apart from other X-books you’ve worked on?
Jorge Molina: X-Men Blue has a more “classic X-Men” feel, with the original line up. Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I can relate more to all these characters.
Nrama: As you said, the line-up and premise of X-Men: Blue harkens back to the original Lee/Kirby X-Men stories. What are some of the influences you’re drawing on to define the book’s aesthetic?
Molina: I’ve tried to avoid the classic look, and am trying to go for something fresh and new. Coming out of having just done Star Wars, I had to rely a lot on reference and aim for a more realistic look while trying to keep my style on the characters. With X-Men Blue, I’m try to avoid the realistic looking aspects and go for a more stylized anime look to it, while also keeping the traditional comic book look.
In the end I get to relate more to the characters since I’m putting my own spin on their aesthetics.
Nrama: You’re working with writer Cullen Bunn, who also has a long history with these characters. What’s the most challenging scene he’s had you draw yet?
Molina: There is a casual scene in issue #2 where I have to draw one of the main characters in a suit. It is hard to keep the balance of making them look casual and sleek, but at the same time somehow heroic.
Nrama: Who is your favorite of the young X-Men to draw? Is there a team member that you see as your POV character?
Molina: I really enjoy Cyclops, I think he has a great character design in this book. I just hope I get to draw Wolverine and Gambit at some point.
Nrama: Who is the rest of your art team? How have you adapted to each other, stylistically?
Molina: So far I have been penciling and inking my own work, and collaborating with Matt Milla on the color. Working with Matt on both A-Force and Star Wars, we have really gotten comfortable with each other. When I first started working on the series, I worked with Matt and the editors to figure out the tone of the book by pulling references from stuff we enjoyed, some from animation, some from other comics.
Nrama: Solicitations for upcoming issues mention both Wolverine and Sentinels – some classic X-Men characters. What other threats and guest stars can we expect in the future?
Molina: In the first issue you can expect a BIG one, that’s all I can say. As far as the rest of the series I think the creative team is aiming to bring some of those classic X-Men villains back to the forefront again.
Nrama: Which X-Man or X-Men villain would be your top choice to bring into the book?
Molina: I really loved Omega Red when I watched the 90’s cartoon. I really think he has cool powers and a menacing look. I would love to give my own spin on the character.
Nrama: What are you most excited about with X-Men: Blue? What can you tease fans with for the series?
Molina: I’m really excited to see how these characters evolve in these new adventures and how they manage their personal relathionships.
Like I said before expect a lot of classic X-Men villains making their way back while also giving the X-Men a lot of headaches just like the old times.