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Jamie McKelvie may be spending his days working on his new creator-owned series The Wicked + The Divine, but that doesn’t mean he’s not still thinking about superheroes from time to time. The artist, who had a successful run at Marvel on Young Avengers, The Defenders and X-Men: Season One, has unveiled an Iron Man redesign he came up with the other night, just for fun.
McKelvie’s concept harks back to the “Silver Centurion” armor used almost exclusively from 1985 to 1987, culminating in the “Armor Wars” arc. Like that design, McKelvie’s uses a form-fitting body sheath supplemented by bulkier elements, like the shoulder pieces. What really stands out for me, however, is the face mask: from the slightly frowning mouth-slit to the vacant white eyes (echoing the chest Unibeam) to the silver elements swooping all the way back, giving an exaggerated widows peak-type visual. Maybe it’s my own projection, but I see shades of the Vision in this.
Although McKelvie is known equally as a realistic artistic of works like Phonogram and now The Wicked + The Divine (both with frequent collaborator Kieron Gillen), during his time at Marvel he was called on for numerous redesigns. That ball started rolling when Marvel jumped at the private commission McKelvie did for Kelly Sue DeConnick as part of a pitch for the 2012 Captain Marvel series. He went on to design the new Ms. Marvel in 2014, as well as to significantly revise the core cast of Young Avengers, including the re-aged Loki.
McKelvie has shown an interest for redesigning superheroes going back well before his superhero comics debut, creating fan renditions of Marvel’s Psylocke and DC’s Wonder Woman.