X-Men Fan Art Project Recreates Your Favorite Mutant (Among 449 Others)

The amazing “Mutant Icon Project” by Carl Broaddus collects every mutant in the Marvel Universe into a single ongoing compilation of X-Men fanart.

An amazing piece of fanartthe never-ending “Mutant Icon Project” by artist Carl Broaddus, compiles every known X-Men spirit Marvel Comics mutant into a massive ongoing collection. The X-Men are known for having an endless series of evolving characters and costumes, plus new mutant heroes and villains popping up constantly, which makes art like the “Mutant Icon Project” a series that may never end.

While some Marvel heroes costumes have remained relatively similar over the years, like the main core of the Avengers cast, the X-Men have massive costume changes for almost every era they exist within, which means the “Mutant Icon Project” will always have new looks to draw on for inspiration. Since Jonathan Hickman’s acclaimed 2019 relaunch of the X-Men franchise in House of X / Powers of X not only have there been a slew of newly introduced mutants such as Somnus, Escapade, and the Arakkii mutants, but there are also long-dead mutants being revived, such as Thunderbird, Skin, and Synch. Marvel Comics first began introducing mutants into their universe in 1963’s X-Men # 1 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and since then the X-Men have become one of the most beloved superhero teams in the world, and have received endless reboots, adaptations, and evolutions.

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Now, Carl Broaddusa talented artist who also illustrated incredible fan imaginings of lesser-known mutants’ Hellfire Gala looks, first began the “Mutant Icon Project” back in 2019 after being inspired by Hickman’s massive relaunch, and the hope that Krakoa brought to the X-Men books. At first the “Mutant Icon Project” began as a much more complicated project, a way for Broaddus to analyze X-Men data to find interesting insights since their debut in 1963, but eventually, he decided to just continue the project focusing on creating ” cute icons “of the legendary X-Men, having now made 450 mutant icons in total. When writing a fascinating Medium article about the “Mutant Icon Project” Carl Broaddus had this to say about the project’s origins:


So at this turning point I thought it interesting to look back on who made up the X-Men in the books from 1963 to just prior to House of X, and how they were called to serve across the various X-books. To do so, I analyzed 56 years of X-characters and whittled that list down to 28 mutants based on some balance of number of X-appearances, longevity, and my personal experience reading the books. I excluded non-mutants (Longshot, Warlock), characters almost exclusively appearing on splinter teams, and characters who’ve yet to make it onto a core team.

Mutants who have been around for decades, like Nightcrawler or Charles Xavier, have gone through so many character redesigns that one could make an entire art project just examining the shifting aesthetics of Marvel’s Merry Mutants. While Broaddus’ project began by mainly creating “icons” of the most classic, legendary X-Men characters, in recent months he has expanded the compilation to include lesser known mutants such as Black Womb (Amanda Mueller), Brutha Nature, and the Age of Apocalypse villain Sugar-Man. He has also started to add completely new characters, like the brand new trans mutant Escapade debuting in Marvel’s Voices: Pride 2022 # 1, as well as compiling a pretty comprehensive set of the newly introduced Arakkii mutants. Broaddus’ icon art, for being faceless, almost 8-bit recreations of the X-Men are surprisingly detailed, with gorgeous visuals added for small things like Warlock on Cypher’s arm, Nekra’s unique costume, and Nightcrawler’s new Legion of X outfit.


As the X-Men continue to evolve and grow, Carl Broaddus’ brilliant and adorable “Mutant Icon Project” will expand even further, and unless he decides to stop one day, the only thing stopping this fanart series from ending maybe Marvel Comics itself.

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Source: Carl BroaddusMedium

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