P:R Approved: Aaron Diaz’s X-Men!

Note: Most of the designs we show here are intended to fit inside existing continue, but some artists push the boundaries and re-create an entire character/title/team from the ground up. Today, popular P:R featured artist Aaron Diaz returns showing off his diverse and in-depth designs for an all-new, all-different take on the X-Men. We’re showing all the art here, and you can head over to his site to read his detailed pitch of the story surrounding his new take. That Apocalypse at the bottom is particularly impressive! – Chris A.

35 comments on “P:R Approved: Aaron Diaz’s X-Men!
  1. Anyone hating on these really should go read the backgrounds for this re-imagining. It’s actually kind of inspired. And it gives a lot of context

  2. Very Ben-10 reiteration of the characters, with each sporting alien DNA. Design wise i really like scarlet witch’s modern look, and the x-team suit, color and texture cohesion. Not so sure about apocalypse’s 4 arms (unless angel sports wings and has therefore 6 limbs)…

  3. Love that pitch. The connections and mythos behind it seems so logical, yet so different than anything else we’ve heard before.
    As for the designs, I really like them, although I think I’m just not a fan of the illustration style. Not saying it’s not well-done, just not what I normally prefer. I love the take on the Brotherhood (Mystique being Rogue’s possible final mutation is genius) and the Faculty (thumbs up for taking Wolverine out of the field). I really like the team look–cohesive, yet individualized. Not sure if I like Storm’s head trenches, so my only complaint is Colossus’ look, from the teeth, to cape, and high boots, I’m just not sure it’s working for me. I’d like to see if other familiar characters could fit into this reimagining.

  4. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this, which is pretty normal for my relationship with Aaron Diaz’s recreations. Some of the things are okay and others just have me scratching my head.

  5. This is not just a redesign, it’s a fully realized reimagining, literally going back and explaining all their super powers in depth, and actually making sense of years of confusing explanations. This is just absolutely brilliant and there were more than a few times while reading this I stopped to think, “Well hey that is a really great idea.”
    Absolutely brilliant.

  6. I like the way Diaz bases these redesigns on ground-up, coherent rethinkings of the mythos. Even if I might have quibbles with minor elements (Storm’s origin story suggests he perhaps does not know very much about modern Egypt?) what he comes up with is always compelling, the raw material for what could be very entertaining series of comics.

  7. I think I like the concept of the origin of mutants in this re-boot concept more than the art… and I like the art a hell of a lot. Everyone should go read the concept to get a better idea of which characters are which and why they look as they do, there’s some downright brilliant thought gone into this.

  8. Way to go Man. The new back story for these are A1! and the designs are uber cool (yes I said uber). The only thing, and I mean “only”, that I found distracting was the Storm head thing. That is however nit picking. Good Job.

  9. As usual, Diaz’ designs are very well thought out and illustrated. As he’s essentially recreating the characters, it’s hard to differ with any of his character choices. Havok and Cyclops are probably my favorites, it’s really an interesting angle on their powers. Visually interesting, as well, though nothing beats Havok’s original costume. I like Magneto a lot, more sinister than usual. Not a fan of Colossus (overly buffoonish) or Storm (overly grotesque, and I think it’s weird to make the one black hero so unsightly).

    It’s too bad that Diaz is so derisive toward the idea of working on properties that he doesn’t own. Working professionally, I mean; he certainly seems to spend a lot of time thinking about and drawing them for fun.

  10. @Dedpool: You are absolutely right! I was a little tepid on the designs, but now that I understand the thinking behind them, they’re great!

  11. If you’re wearing a helmet, a hood is a redundant design element.

    The Kurt/Logan/Emma plate is my favorite here. I love Nightcrawler’s retro look.

  12. I read through the whole article. There are a lot of interesting ideas, but I’m still not sure how I feel about a lot of his character interpretations. It helps that the X-Men are pretty fluid in what you can do with them and what they stand for (nice guy one writer can be a complete tool for the next). I like that he’s really put thought into how things work, but not everything clicks yet.

  13. I wanna see the rest of Juggernaut!! Love these designs and the fact that they upped the mutant aspect and left a lot of them not so pretty boys and girls like they are in the comics.

  14. Jim Gitman: Working professionally, I mean; he certainly seems to spend a lot of time thinking about and drawing them for fun.

    The most authentic work one can produce is always just for fun.

  15. Yeah, these a pretty damn epic. Aaron has basically taken almost every aspect of the X-Men mythos, turned it on it’s own head and made it better. Design wise, everything works. If I had a complaint it would be the cape on Colossus’ outfit, but even that is beautifully explained away that you’d hate to see it go.

    I think it’s needless to say that Aaron knows what he’s doing and I would be more than happy (and willing) to read this if it was made into a book.

  16. Sentinels remind me a lot Ispector Gadget ROTFL

    Now talking seriously,compliments for real,I don’t have to say nothing about the design because they’re perfect the way the are,I have only to notice that in your notes you call Colossus first look “eurotrash” but as european I have to say he reminds me much more the american “guidos”.

    I totally like the background story,I would just implement the ancient 4 mutants background,portraing them like gods in the ancient societies,their names should be known untill today as gods and miths,they could be a mix between mutants and ancient astronauts miths,so their images could be sculpted in ancient cities on walls http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zOV5fl_qv_0/T7umhYYSFoI/AAAAAAAAAZc/KU5BP5aIFqY/s1600/palenq1.jpg like the maya rocket man and statues,likethe japanese alien statue http://i56.tinypic.com/57kee.jpg,their stories can be portrayed as religios miths like the Indian Gods miths and there could be theories about they could be no gods but aliens,something this guy http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m660mlkQzJ1qioucx.jpg would study and write books about

  17. LOVE the concept of Cyclops’ eye being a galactic portal. So many interesting applications and story ideas there. Also, giving the energy of his eyebeams a specific origin and a “built-in” on-off switch deals with all the headscratch-y questions 616 Cyclops raises (has it ever been addressed that his eyelids have got to be stronger than the Hulk? I mean, he can hold in his optic blasts by closing his eyes, right?)

    The four ancient mutants arc would be really interesting, and making secondary mutations an intrinsic part of the mythos opens up a lot of possibilities.

  18. These really confused me until I read the pitch. Now I am only slightly confused. All in all very creative. I wish that didn’t all look quite so emo… but ten agan they are all social outcasts .

  19. Mike Lake: I wish that didn’t all look quite so emo… but ten agan they are all social outcasts .

    While I hate emos too,I have to say that the emo look fits for this “all new all different” X-men,emos BELIEVE to be outcast,weird and misunderstood by society and other people are not like them,those guys ARE weird and misunderstood and other people aren’t actually like them,plus reading the notes there are no other superheroes to make a paragon with,so they really are cursed freaks like emos think to be

  20. The thing with Cyclops’s eyelids has been addressed in the past, but it’s still kind of obscure. The basic idea is that his whole body is coated with a tiny, invisible layer of energy which prevents his energy blasts from harming himself and allows him to hold them in by closing his eyes. This is also the reason why he is immune to Havok’s powers, and visa versa.

    Alexi: LOVE the concept of Cyclops’ eye being a galactic portal. So many interesting applications and story ideas there. Also, giving the energy of his eyebeams a specific origin and a “built-in” on-off switch deals with all the headscratch-y questions 616 Cyclops raises (has it ever been addressed that his eyelids have got to be stronger than the Hulk? I mean, he can hold in his optic blasts by closing his eyes, right?)The four ancient mutants arc would be really interesting, and making secondary mutations an intrinsic part of the mythos opens up a lot of possibilities.

  21. I might suggest that maybe Diaz should reconsider having his one black character (who is also a woman and from africa I might add) needing to be humbled by a white british/american man.

    Otherwise I love all of this!

  22. I usually love Aaron’s take on designs, but I felt like this one fell flat. While it has a great pitch and is very detailed it isn’t really a redesign so much as completely changing the characters. Also a lot of these redesigns are hard to tell who they are on their own (a no-no in the P:R rules, if you can’t who a character is you went to far).

    A lot of the designs are nice and I like the uniforms of the x-men, but there is a little to much variation between them for it to be a true uniform (although this is a problem with uniforms in the comic as well).

    Some of these designs just seem off. The Colossus design is just odd. The thigh high boots don’t really work with his new outfit and his 2/3rds of a cape is really out of place. Wolverine looks like he has rugs on his arms. Magneto is basically his costume from the movies with a hood (as someone else pointed out a redundant design element and actually really impractical). While Scarlet Witch looks good she doesn’t really fit with the look of the other designs and looks out of place/time. I assume the Beast and Todd designs were purposely left with such little detail. I actually really like the Apocalypse look (although multiple arms aren’t my favorite).

    Where he really lost me was the sentinel design which looks to me like Inspector Gadget. Like a lot like Inspector Gadget. It really threw me for a loop when I saw that.

    All in all I like the designs and I love the passion and detail put into the pitch, but as redesigns of X-men I think they fall short of what I expect to see here.

  23. Once i read the backstory, i lost any hope of saving myself from loving this. I so desperately want to throw all my money at in just to get a glimpse of the full picture. So well thought out and interesting, it would make a great comic.

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