The Royal Mail is joining in with this year’s 60th anniversary celebrations of Marvel‘s X-Men franchise, with the release of a special stamp collection this month, featuring art by two British comic artists, Mike McKone and Lee Garbett.
The set offers 17 stamps, featuring some of the most popular characters from the Marvel comic series, which was first published in September 1963.
The main set of 12 stamps, drawn by Mike McKone, includes the group’s founder Professor X, as well as original members – Cyclops, Angel, Iceman and Beast. Wolverine, Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Jubilee, Jean Grey, Storm and Rogue are other popular characters that feature in the collection.
British artist Mike McKone‘s first published works for the major US companies included DC Comics’ Justice League of America and Justice League International for DC Comics and The Punisher War Zone for Marvel Comics. It was his work on Marvel’s Exiles which brought him deserved attention.
Now living in the US, McKone is working on a creator-owned project while providing covers and merchandising illustrations for clients such as Marvel, DC, Dynamite, Valiant, Dorling Kindersley, and Converse.
Lee Garbett has also designed an additional set of five stamps in the form of a miniature sheet, which features some of the mutant enemies faced by the X-Men – Juggernaut, Mystique, Magneto, Emma Frost and Sabretooth.
All 17 of the stamps will be available to buy in a presentation pack for £16.35 and go on general sale on 16th February 2023, and there are options of Limited Edition presentation packs, too.
“Generations have grown up, enamoured by the adventures and the personalities of the X-Men and their enemies,” commented David Gold, director of external affairs and policy at Royal Mail.
“We celebrate the X-Men Universe with these stylish new stamps featuring some of its iconic characters.”
Lee Garbett is a New York Times best-selling artist, best known for his work on Batman, Lucifer and Batgirl for DC and Spider-Man, Loki: Agent of Asgard and Defenders for Marvel Comics and much praised for his comics cover work.
His current project is a co-creator owned title, SKYWARD. Written by Joe Henderson (show runner of Lucifer on Netflix) and published by Image comics, it has been optioned by Sony Entertainment for movie development.
The Highwaymen – another co-creator owned title for DC/Wildstorm, is currently in development with New Line Cinema.
Lee has produced concept design and promotional imagery for several movies, including X-Men: Days of Future Past and Mile 22 and worked on various ad campaigns and poster designs for the likes of Lucasfilm, Warner Bros and The Jim Henson Company.
Late writer Stan Lee, working alongside artist and co-writer Jack Kirby, created the original X-Men superheroes. Founded by mutant telepath Professor X, his original team consisting of Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Angel, Beast and Iceman. They were based in the professor’s home, which was transformed into the School for Gifted Youngsters and dubbed the X-Mansion.
After many of the original X-Men were captured by the mutant island of Krakoa, Professor X formed a new squad to rescue them, bringing heroes such as Wolverine and Storm into a new international team.
The professor’s school later became a refuge for mutants from all over the world, forming teams such as the New Mutants, Excalibur and Generation X.
The first film adaptation, X-Men, was released in 2000 and since then we’ve seen the release of a host of movies and spin-offs.
Alongside the Mint Stamp Set and Miniature Sheet, there’s a complementary range of licensed collectibles including a Presentation Pack and Prestige Stamp Book written by Marvel author Alan Cowsill.
A set of Framed Stamps of the X-Men and their mutant enemies, a Collectors Sheet celebrating the X-Men artwork, Fan Sheets featuring iconic characters, and limited-edition Medal Covers and Ingots, also feature, all celebrating Marvel Comics’ legendary creations.
The X-Men stamps can be pre-ordered now, via the Royal Mail online shop
This won’t be the last X-Men anniversary event by any stretch, with X-Men Marvel Legends action figures due for release in May, available to pre-order now from Forbidden Planet (affiliate link) and other comic retailers.
Past Royal Mail Comic-Related Stamp Issues
This X-Men release is the latest Royal Mail stamp set to feature comic heroes in recent years. A set of Marvel Superheroes stamps, including Captain Britain, drawn by Alan Davis, was released in March 2019, still available to buy here (and here on AmazonUK); Rupert Bear stamps were released in September 2020 (available here on AmazonUK).
Anniversary Beano stamps were released in July 2021, some sets still available from Royal Mail, and a DC Heroes set following in September the same year.
A set of Transformers stamps, was released in September 2022, which are also still available, the work of created by artists who worked on the Marvel UK comics – Andrew Wildman (on pencils), Stephen Baskerville (inks) and and JP Bove (colour).
• The X-Men stamps can be pre-ordered now, via the Royal Mail online shop
• Follow Mike McKone on Twitter @Mike2112McKone | DeviantArt | Facebook | Instagram | Buy art from TD Art
• Lee Garbett is online at leegarbett.com | Twitter
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Nice. I see they picked a modest outfit for Emma.
How disappointing. While it’s admirable that the Royal Mail has chosen British artists it would have made more sense to highlight BRITISH comic characters. This is just a sell-out.
As noted, they have issued a BEANO set in recent years. The X-Men have featured in comics published in the UK for decades, too.
It’s the anniversary of these characters, why would they highlight British characters? British characters have featured on stamps before and these are by British artists… oh sorry, I mean BRITISH artists.