Introduction by Vito Delsante.
Corsair is probably not the first person you think of when you think of the X-Men. He’s Cyclops, Havoc and now, Vulcan‘s absent daddy who leads a ragtag group of misfits called the Starjammers against the Shi’Ar Empire. Created by Chris Claremont and the late, great Dave Cockrum, Corsair has been seen in nearly every X-Men space opera, including the Death of Phoenix. He’s getting major league play lately in Ed Brubaker and Billy Tan’s Uncanny X-Men (highly recommended by yours truly). Today, we’re going to look at two artists’ take on the popular supporting cast member.
Nuno Alves, Lisbon, Portugal.
Dean Trippe: Alves takes his familiar streamlined approach here, designing a rather stylish, swashbuckling tracksuit for Corsair. There’s a lot to be said for Alves’ simple style, but I also think this suit could be handled well in the hands of a more detailed artist, like Alan Davis (though it may just be the collar that’s making me wonder). I also dig the slight transparency of Corsair’s sword, which makes me think it’s some sweet alien holo-blade or something. I Nuno’s Corsair looks a good deal younger than our next entry, so I’m thinking this might be a good costume for a younger Corsair, untold adventures kinda reboot.
Chris Arrant: Nuno’s design here portrays a more clean and sleek era of Space. The color scheme is nice, but I’m still at a loss to think of what the red elements are to the suit functionally. The sneer he has reminds me of the excellent Nikolai Dante from 2000AD, and that’s not a bad thing.
Joel Priddy: Good, fun stuff. This design keeps the “Space” placed firmly before the “Pirate,” giving Ol’ Man Summers a distinctly science-fictiony look. I like the sleek style, and the bold graphic quality of the suit. The collar is an interesting—and dashing—contrast to the rest of the outfit. Nice placement of the insignia. I’d like to see some different shoes, though. Similar broken-sole shoe designs have been showing up on a lot of superheroes, lately, and, in general, I like them, but I think they look too of-the-moment for far-flung Starjammers Space Opera. The thing on his upper leg looks a bit unneccessary, as well. In general, I prefer the red elements that don’t break the silouhette. You know what’d be cool? If the red wasn’t just a design, but tech that flowed around his body and made different patterns based on what sort of task it was preforming.
Vito Delsante: Wow, what a striking image! I think we all could overuse the word “streamline” here, but it’s so smooth. It flows from head to toe, and you would think that using three colors wouldn’t do that, but it does in this case. I still think the shoes look a little clunky, but I’m willing to look past it and look at the design as a whole. I’m just impressed that Nuno looked at what Corsair has now, and just minimized it and simplified it to the point of being criminal. All costume designs should be this easy!
Art Grafunkel, Antwerp, Belgium.
Dean Trippe: Grafunkel takes some cues from a more historical (and Deppified) pirate look, layering Corair’s familiar color scheme with fun accessories and details. This look screams ‘pirate,’ and I think if we could look a bit closer at his belt tech, medals, and boots, we’d be getting the ‘space’ element as well. I also really like the sword Art designed here.
Chris Arrant: Of the two designs, this one is definitely more up my alley. I have a thing for the characters who are unabashedly past their prime, a little worn around the edges, but still have the experience on their side. Art’s style really hits home for me, and I’d love to see more on what he would do with the character.
Joel Priddy: …And on the other end of the “Space Pirate” spectrum: another great design, and one that I’d be just as eager to see in action as Nuno’s. How great would it be to have a two-fer book featuring both the care-free adventures of the young, swashbuckling Corsair in his high-tech tighties and tales of this older run-down, world-weary Corsair? Beautiful boots and a badass sword—it looks like a real brawler’s weapon. The ribbed shirt is a nice texture among the various layers, and the lace at the cuffs is just enough. The gold badge incorporates the Starjammers insignia in a way that adds to the dishevealed look. I wonder what those other doo-dads are attached to his coat?
Vito Delsante: What grabs me here isn’t the overt pirate accoutrements, but rather the costume we can barely see under the coat. Because the important thing to remember is that Corsair is the epitome of space pirate in the Marvel Universe. He is the Han Solo of the X-Universe, and he has to have something…spacey. But what Art does is combine the two…and in doing so, he creates a very good X-Men specific design. What do I mean? Well, look at the original Gambit design. If you look at the both of the designs, it’s easy to see how both characters would occupy the same universe, and that’s more important than you think. When the X-Men debuted, they all wore the same uniform or variations on the same theme…it’s what defined them as a team. Same principal here. I wish all the X-characters had a little more “outlaw” thrown into their costumes. Art takes a step in that direction and I’m more than willing to follow and see what his other X-designs would be.
Joel Priddy: I’d like to see both artists’ takes on the rest of the Starjammers, who are pretty much boilerplate rag-tag space heroes. They could use a touch of Alves and Grafunkel.
Dean Trippe: Grafunkel actually sent us his take on the Starjammers lineup. I’d love to see one by Alves, too.