Redesign Rewind: Alt-Reality X-Force From X-FORCE ANNUAL #1

Note: Some of the best designs in comics were one-off creations for an alternate reality story, and one of the best (in my own opinion) was the X-Force seen in the 1992 X-Force Annual #1. The designs for Shatterstar, a merged Power Pack heroine called Powerpax and a mature Magik by Greg Capullo were inspired. The other X-Force redesigns aren’t anything to talk about, but these three still stick in my mind. See my thoughts below. – Chris A.

When he was introduced, Shatterstar was little more than a teen version of Longshot and his costume by Rob Liefeld had a lot to complain about. This redesign by Capullo reconciles Liefeld’s ideas into a more cohesive design, and adds a more swashbuckling aspect to it. I like the loose top with the tight pants, and the armored headgear, shoulderpad and gauntlets work better than the previous leather ones.

Going by the name Darkchild in this continuity, Illyana Rasputin seems more level-headed and mature than her 616-counterpart, and this design brings in her armored elements with a nod to her brother’s metal visage is a good thing. The buccaneer gloves and boots might need to be reigned in a bit, but overall it’s memorable and functional.

SCarrying the mantle of Power Pack, this heroine Powerpax is a hereto-unknown new character called Francine Powers carrying the powers of the entire Power Pack team. The story’s too short to get into this unique amalgamation, but the design is solid.

12 comments to “Redesign Rewind: Alt-Reality X-Force From X-FORCE ANNUAL #1”
  1. Shatterstar? *checks calendar* is it April 1st?

    I don’t mean to troll, I really don’t, it’s just…that is truly hideous. Giant metal things everywhere! The “thigh cuff” may be the single worst thing comics have EVER done. And just in case you were not staring at his groin (which is hard due to the “speed lines” originating from it), here’s a front belt knife to conjure more phallic imagery. Unless your Batman-esque, the giant utility pouches is a no-no in my book. He also needs to have something done with that hair, it’s just too much. With hair that long, you better have superpowers pertaining to it.

    Illyana I like. This piece has some anatomy issues that rub me the wrong way (arms way too skinny, face too long) but that has nothing to do with the costume, and I find the design to be rather good. I like the way it looks (although I do agree an upgrade on gloves/boots would be a big improvement).

    Powerpax is simple but powerful. No complaints, I could easily see her as a major character.

  2. I remember this when it first came out. I’ve always thought Greg Capull had a great sense of design since I first saw his work on Quasar. I loved the Powerpax design especially, lovely use of elements from the original Power Pack uniforms.

  3. Sorry, but there is nothing you can do to hepl Liefeld designs, except wad them up and toss them in the trash. Uggh. Wish the 90’s could be retconned from my memory.

  4. Illyana’s last line must have made sense in context, but out of context, it’s almost as funny as Captain America’s classic, “Only one of us is walking out of here…AND IT WON’T BE ME!”

    I believe her costume as presented here, however, is not great. The whole “banded metal” thing has never worked for me. The “two different colored legs” thing paired with the skin-tight maillot swimsuit doesn’t work. Blue with brown doesn’t work. The flared off-the-shoulder collar-thing is…I don’t know what it’s supposed to mean. The gloves look like they would get in the way more than they would help.

    The pentagram choker isn’t bad, but it looks like she could have picked it up at an alternate-reality mall before the fight. And her butt looks nice, but the way it’s lined up with the rest of her body…did she break her lumbar vertebrae, or in the alternate universe, is her mutant power scoliosis?

  5. None of these are Liefeld designs. Yes, Shatterstar was created by Liefeld but this is a redesign by Capullo. Illyana and Powerpax aren’t affiliated with Liefeld.

  6. (@Chris A.)
    Does that mean people should recant and decide these are as killer as you claim? They range from mediocre to awful. Or from awful to mediocre, as presented here.

  7. Jim Gitman: No, you’re inferring that. My reply was simply to refute what an earlier commenter had said, attributing the three designs shown above to Rob Liefeld. I’m not asking anyone to change their opinion. I simply posted this art on Project: Rooftop because I thought it notable and positive. You are free to do the same to designs you like on any website you have.

  8. Didn’t say they were Leifeld designs, just that nothing can help them. Greg Capullo proved that.

    Chris A.:
    None of these are Liefeld designs. Yes, Shatterstar was created by Liefeld but this is a redesign by Capullo. Illyana and Powerpax aren’t affiliated with Liefeld.

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