The Body Issue

Super Heroes Edition

Every day, all over the world, Marvel's top comic book artists flex their creative muscles to illustrate the world's mightiest super heroes. In the spirit of The Magazine's visual celebration of athleticism, dedication and strength, a mix of those same artists took to their drawing boards to craft bold images of Marvel's characters like never before.


  • DEBUT: 1964
  • POWER: Superhuman Senses
  • "Sex sells; perhaps that is why the executives have not given Wolverine a beer gut."
    -Alex Maleev (Artist)
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    Captain Marvel

  • DEBUT: 1969
  • POWER: Concussive Energy Bursts
  • "I work to combine correct proportions and powerful muscle shapes with a commonly accepted idea of beauty."
    -Sara Pichelli (Artist)
    Slide to reveal


  • DEBUT: 1965
  • POWER: Superstrong, prehensile hair
  • "Women are more delicate in muscle mass definition, so the secret is to not define each muscle too much."
    -Emanuela Lupacchino (Artist)
    Slide to reveal

    Luke Cage

  • DEBUT: 1972
  • POWER: Superstrength and Durability
  • "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 (Artist)
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  • DEBUT: 1980
  • POWER: Superhuman strength, agility and speed
  • "She's a character of power, so I keep her upright: shoulders back, chest out-just a very commanding presence."
    -Frank Cho (Artist)
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    Iron Fist

  • DEBUT: 1974
  • POWER: Ancient chi-powered fighter
  • "I cast the person in my head. For Iron Fist, I kept coming back to Bruce Lee-martial arts build, compact, lean muscle, not bulky."
    -Russell Dauterman (Artist)
    Slide to reveal

    Iron Man

  • DEBUT: 1963
  • POWER: Suit of Armor
  • "Drawing super heroes? Well, they have to be perfect. They are like modern gods."
    -Mike Deodato (Artist)
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  • DEBUT: 1962
  • POWER: Limitless physical strength
  • "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 (Artist)
    Slide to reveal


  • DEBUT: 1962
  • POWER: Shrinks to the size of an insect
  • "If I need a reference, I have old bodybuilding magazines--guys like Frank Zane who have strong physiques but don't look exaggerated. I take their figures and translate them into something that can work in a comic book."
    -Greg Land (Artist)

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