Mind Games: An Astonishing X-Men Sketchbook
Artist Mike Deodato unleashes The Shadow King on Marvel’s mighty mutants!
Nightmares often fuel our fears even during the daytime. As the fragments float through our heads, we spin around to see something glimpsed only in the corner of our eye and then gone.
The Shadow King brings those bad dreams to life as he takes over bodies and plays with victims’ minds. In the pages of today’s ASTONISHING X-MEN #2, by Charles Soule and Mike Deodato, he plagues the newly gathered X-team consisting of Old Man Logan, Psylocke, Fantomex, Archangel, Rogue, Mystique, Bishop, and Gambit.
The first issue of ASTONISHING X-MEN featured the artistic talents of Jim Cheung and the next will see the baton tossed to Ed McGuinness, but right now we’re talking with Deodato about jumping in on this unique project, playing some of the best loved X-folks off of each other, and chronicling these adventures with Soule.
Marvel.com: This book has an interesting approach with different artists tackling each issue. Did that offer any unique challenges?
Mike Deodato: I think the bigger challenges are with the editors who have to coordinate everything and make sure we are all on the same page. Me, I just have to worry about keeping up with the quality of art of the previous artist, which in my case was a tough one to follow.
Marvel.com: The book features Psylocke, Old Man Logan, Bishop, Fantomex, Rogue, Archangel, Mystique, and Gambit. That’s an eclectic team with varying degrees of history between them; do you enjoy playing with all that on the page?
Mike Deodato: Charles did such a great job on the dialogue and interactions between them that made it quite easy for me to figure that out on paper.
Marvel.com: The villain of the piece happens to be The Shadow King. How has it been putting your spin on that classic character?
Mike Deodato: We see his astral version of himself and it is a quite scary one. My approach for the whole story was based on his visual. I wanted it all to look like a very weird and scary nightmare, so I used all that I had learned from books like Eerie and Creepy and all of those masters of horror like Ortiz, Maroto, Wrightson, Sanchez, Corben, and so forth.
Marvel.com: Your cover to issue #2 with the X-Men sitting in a theater with skull faces is very striking. Can you talk about how that may connect with the story inside?
Mike Deodato: I dunno if I can say anything without spoiling it actually. It will make sense after you read it. It was Mark Pannicia’s idea. A lot of covers I do are ideas given to me by writers or editors but I get all the credit in the end.
Marvel.com: How has it been working with Charles on this issue?
Mike Deodato: Very nice and supportive guy. It is a very complex issue to be translated for the artist but he made it look very simple. I hope we can do it again in the future.
Get your hands on Charles Soule and Mike Deodato’s ASTONISHING X-MEN #2 today!
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