Alex Ross Homages Jim Lee's Iconic X-Men #1 Cover

Jim Lee's gatefold cover of 1991's X-Men #1 is the focus of a new variant cover by legendary artist Alex Ross. 2023 marks the 60th anniversaries of the Avengers and X-Men, and Marvel is celebrating with new titles, collections, and more for fans. One of those items is a series of connecting variant covers by Ross. exclusively revealed Alex Ross' Avengers and X-Men 60th anniversary variant covers in February, when they were previewed at the ComicsPro retailer conference. Now, both pieces of artwork are revealed in their full-colored glory.

The first part of the Alex Ross commemorative covers will come on August's Uncanny Avengers #1, which reunites Earth's Mightiest Heroes and mutantkind under the Unity Squad banner yet again. "With the X-Men piece, I didn't originally make the design. I copied an existing classic cover design that everybody would know and connect to," Ross explained. "The X-Men piece is showing an accentuation of the action, where it's a split second difference later. Wolverine is completing a full attack swipe and everybody is attacking harder. I added in the bit with lightning coming from Storm, which would be a split second of movement."

As for the Avengers cover, Alex Ross came up with an original idea that covers the first 30 years of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. "In the case of the Avengers, I wanted to capture something of the era I grew up with, but also something extensive," Ross said. "So I captured the first 30 years of that team, from the '60s through the '80s. I end where 1989 closes. I'm trying to make sure my work is aligning with how the character looked and also the attitudes the characters had."

(Photo: Marvel Comics)
(Photo: Marvel Comics)

Uncanny Avengers Returns in August

The Avengers Unity Squad is back in a new volume of Uncanny Avengers. For those who may not remember, Uncanny Avengers first launched in the aftermath of the epic Avengers vs. X-Men crossover event, helmed by Rick Remender and John Cassady. The team featured members of the Avengers and X-Men, who wanted to present a united front after the war both franchises fought against each other. The lineup evolved over time to later include Inhumans, but it appears Uncanny Avengers is making a comeback later this year, just in time for the next era of X-Men comics, the Fall of X.

Marvel announced Uncanny Avengers by writer Gerry Duggan (X-Men) and artist Javier Garron (Avengers) during Marvel Unlimited's X-Men: 60 Uncanny Years Live Virtual Event Thursday evening. This year's Free Comic Book Day: Avengers/X-Men #1 will include a special lead-in story for Uncanny Avengers, which officially launches in August. The Unity Squad will consist of Captain America, Rogue, Deadpool, Quicksilver, Psylocke, and Penance. Captain America, Rogue, Deadpool, and Quicksilver are all former members of Uncanny Avengers, and Gerry Duggan penned the last iteration of the series.