The Revealing Team Up Between ESPN & Marvel Comics

ESPN 2015

Tomorrow a special edition of the annual Body Issue of ESPN The Magazine will be hitting stores and there is a special surprise of comic fans hidden inside. The magazine will include an insert that features Iron Man, She-Hulk, Ant-Man, Captain Marvel, Daredevil, Medusa, Hulk, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage. You’ll also be able to check out an exclusive digital sketch book that gives a look at how the artists collaborated to create the images. The Body Issue: Super Heroes Edition focuses on honoring the male and female form through anatomical drawings.

I personally love the She-Hulk image by Frank Cho. It shows just how powerful her shoulders and back are without trying to sexy it up. She’s big, she’s green, and she’s a badass. I also think that the choice to have the Ant-Man drawing focus only on his legs is very interesting. All of the other images went for full body detail, but the selection of only part of the body highlights the precise focus that Greg Land used in his art.



ESPN 2015

ESPN and Marvel had a few comments on the project:

“For a comic book artist drawing the human anatomy is an everyday job,” says Marvel Comics artist Sara Pichelli. “But here it was matter of celebrating the maximum expression of human muscles and shapes. Creating believable, powerful, and at the same time harmonic bodies is always a challenge, that’s why I wanted to be part of this.”

“While The Body Issue itself celebrates the unique characteristics of each athlete’s physique, we thought it made perfect sense to extend this theme to these Marvel characters,” says ESPN The Magazine Deputy Editor Otto Strong.

“When comic book artists imagine the physical ideal, they have to start somewhere,” says Editor In Chief Axel Alonso. “And let’s face it, professional athletes, whose bodies are fine-tuned instruments, are the closest thing to real-life Super Heroes. Marvel’s Body Issue insert is a celebration of the most iconic Super Heroes in the world and the athletes that inspired them.”


The artists also weighed in on their creations:


“My goal is to make super heroes more human. We look to see ourselves in many masked vigilantes. Not only with Daredevil, but many characters I draw are based on real people. —Alex Maleev



“I work to combine correct proportions and powerful muscle shapes with a commonly accepted idea of beauty.” —Sara Pichelli



“Women are more delicate in muscle mass definition, so the secret is to not define each muscle too much.” —Emanuela Lupacchino



“I tend to gravitate toward athletes when it comes to getting a reference for my artwork. Particularly MMA fighters, who have a more functional physique.” —Leinil Francis Yu



“She’s a character of power, so I keep her upright: shoulders back, chest out—just a very commanding presence.” —Frank Cho



“I do tons of reference. I try to get a variety of artists from different time periods to see how different people represented the character. —Russell Dauterman



“Drawing super heroes? Well, they have to be perfect. They are like modern gods.” —Mike Deodato



“When I’m illustrating such dynamic figures, background explosions help sell the impact the character is having on the environment around him. The toughest part is trying to show the kinetic energy in a static image.” —Jim Cheung



“I always try to have the musculature of something that could possibly exist. Even though everything looks extremely exaggerated, I still want him to look like he can move and be functional.” —Greg Land


It is really cool to see the different ways the artists chose to represent their characters. If you get a chance pick up the upcoming copy of ESPN’s Body Issue: Super Heroes Edition to check out the fun.


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