SDCC 09: Acuña Draws on X-Men's LEGACY

The X-Men is one. Not just a single team or even a series, the X-Men has become almost a line unto itself. Built up over the years by everyone from Stan Lee to Grant Morrison, it has a multi-faceted world that fans consistently find is one of the most intriguing of it’s kind in comics. Writer Mike Carey has been exploring that in the Marvel series X-Men: Legacy crisscrossing both the globe and time (thanks to flashbacks) to see events new and old in a new light, revealing new mystery in old stories that have become modern classics.

Coming into that legacy is an artist who’s quickly building up a legacy of his own, Daniel Acuña. This Spanish artist was just announced as the new regular artist for this Mike Carey-penned series X-Men: Legacy, and Acuña steps in at a time where the book itself is re-orienting itself from following Charles Xavier to chronicling the story of Rogue.

Rogue, one of the most popular X-men, is at a unique time; for the first time she’s fully in control of her powers and reunited with Gambit. But while she’s trying to come to terms with that herself, she’s pulled back into the mutant struggle thanks to Dark Reign, the X-Men, and the constant persecution mutants endure.

Newsarama had the opportunity to interview the Spanish-speaking Acuña thanks to his agent, David Macho Gómez. So let’s go!

Newsarama: In our last interview, you mentioned that one of your dream books was doing X-Men.. and here you are! How’d this all come together, Daniel?

Daniel Acuña:I really don't know how to answer that. I mean, I wanted to draw an X-men book, and I guess the work I did in The Eternals has brought me to X-Men, but that would be a question for Nick Lowe, my editor... I imagine they liked my work enough to give me this book!

NRAMA: This is your first big foray into X-men titles, after dipping your toe in the water so to speak working on Uncanny X-Men Annual #2. Have you been a big fan of the X-men books?

Acuña: I've liked the X-Men since like, forever, but never above other books, or as my favorite, I mean, but I always remember the first comic-book I bought as a kid was X-Men: God loves, Man Kills...

NRAMA: That’s quite an introduction to the X-Men.

When we spoke to you back in February your next project was under wraps. Is this the project, and how long have you been working on it?

Acuña: Yep, it was this one... I've been some months working on designs (while I was doing some covers and short stories) and a shorter time with covers and interior pages...

NRAMA: Now that you’re “officially” on the book, I have to ask what you’ll be bringing to it. This is a definite jump from your previous major works – you had a more comedic style in The Flash, and your work on The Eternals was in a more grandiose and stoic style. How would you describe what you’re doing here with X-Men Legacy?

Acuña: It's very soon for me to define the style for this book, but it's something that also comes from reading the script and seeing the "mood / scope" it asks me for. My primary idea is to keep exploring what I tried to do in The Eternals, because X-Men is also a book full of epics and drama, and with a very interesting script, I gotta add... The script focuses a lot on the characters' emotions and that's a big motivation for me... I'm very happy with the work I've done so far. At the beginning, I always go slower than usual, because I'm very focused on getting a hang on the characters (and oh my god, they're so many! :)) and above that, the backgrounds and fight scenes are also very important, too... I don't want to disappoint anybody, and less than anybody, myself... But with these characters and this script my motivation is over the top, and I hope to do my best possible work...

 NRAMA: You’re coming onto this book at a time where the book is shifting to feature Rogue more front and central. Tell us about drawing her – how do you see her, and what makes her unique?

Acuña: I've drawn her so little yet that I can't really tell you too much about that... Ask me in a couple months! But my main objective would be exactly that, to be able to make her unique, with unique features... But I know that will be VERY difficult...

NRAMA: I’ve seen your work, I know you can pull it off.

Before I let you get back to those pages, can you give us a sneak peek at the kinds of things you’re drawing in the new book? Any particular characters, moments or panels jumping out at you?

Acuña: I can only answer that Rogue will wear a new suit (the one you can see on the cover) and that Gambit will have some small changes, more than that, I'm not allowed to say.

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