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Jidaigeki X-Men: Core Roster by genesischant Jidaigeki X-Men: Core Roster by genesischant
The core members of my Jidaigeki X-men-- Marvel's premier mutant superhero team reimagined/translated into samurai period-drama characters.

NOTES:
When reimagining with the X-Men, one must choose which X-Men to reimagine. I decided to use the 90's animated series line-up, which combined most of the old classic characters with many of the best second generation characters. A solid nine-man group.

Marvel's X-Men are much more down-to-Earth characters compared to many superheroes. Contrasting with the larger-than-life figures of the Sengoku era, this time around I chose the relatively stable Edo Period in Japanese history, arguably the cultural high point in feudal Japan. Despite the lack of large-scale wars that marked the preceding years, social unrest was brewing that would eventually lead to the revolutionary changes of the Meiji era. Class stratification and government control was very strict, and those outside the bounds of society suffered prejudice and persecution. Against this political backdrop I set my X-men, outcasts from the mainstream, with powers and backstories that combine fanciful folklore, historical figures, and other culturally relevant stuff.

(Left to Right)

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My Beast is Komainu. The character needed to be blue and monstrous, and I first thought to use some sort of oni or youkai, but I decided that it would be too far removed from reality (I needed to save the wild stuff for characters that really needed it). I was inspired by real-life Sengoku samurai Yoshitsugu Otani whose leprosy and loyalty are legendary. The mask fit the appearance I wanted, and the disease explained the desperate search for a "cure" that Beast is known for. The 'komainu' is a heavenly guardian dog (or lion) statue brought over from China with the spread of Buddhism.

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Gambit was reinterpreted as Chouhan. I knew I wanted to use the 'bakuto' yakuza gambler archetype-- famous blind swordsman "Zatoichi" is one of my favorite characters ever. The popular dice game 'Chou-han' was a good substitute for cards, and small bombs explain his 'power'. The 'kitsune' (fox) lineage is a rumor common to some great men and women of unusual ability or attraction (kitsune made a habit of transforming and seducing humans). I thought 'Dorobou' (thief) was a fun match for 'LeBeau', and a good reference to the comics' 'Thieves Guild'.

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Rogue is Onryou. I needed a character with vampiric powers, a white streak in her hair, and a no-touching complex. An 'onryou', or vengeful ghost seemed to be the answer. The reversed kimono, white head kerchief, lack of feet, and 'hitodama' ghost flames are all classic ghost traits. I meant for the character to be an escaped 'oiran' (high class courtesan) from Edo's famous red-light district.

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Storm becomes Kaminchu. I've always liked Storm's early life as a goddess, so I decided to actually make her one. She hails from the (certainly at the time) exotic Ryukyu islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu. The language, religion, and culture differ from the mainland, with considerable difference island to island. 'Kaminchu' means 'god person', and is a general term for a variety of priestess/shaman/medium roles. I gave her an obi made from a 'shimenawa' (sacred rope) that marks out a holy site in Shinto.

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'Professor X' is translated into 'Master Zenji'. When I began this project, the question of what the X-men group was going to actually *be* loomed large. I decided that a sword school was the best option. It was the right size, the right level of independence, the right potential for secret motives. So Professor X would need to be an old swordmaster- one who had retired to teach his art. The manipulation of 'ki' (life force) is a high-level technique in many martial arts, and seemed a good fit for Xavier's powers. (Oh, and check out that sword-cane!)

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My 'Jean Grey' is reimagined as 'Miko'. I've reinterpreted Jean Grey before (in occult Edwardian style), and I made her a spirit medium. This time, she is a 'miko', a Shinto shrine maiden. She works at the 'Hououza' (legendary bird, phoenix) Shrine, where they have enshrined the guardian animal of the southern sky, a vermillion bird. Jean has no real consistent costume details, save for her (very non-Japanese) red hair. I decided to trust in the concept-- and apart from the X-'mon' on her top, the decorative patterning, and the bird motif she is dressed in classic miko attire.

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'Cyclops' transforms into Dokugan. 'Dokugan' means 'one-eyed'. I drew from the story of Date Masamune, who famously plucked out his own smallpox blinded eye. Where Masasmune was successful, my Dokugan would be forced out of the leadership of his clan. His power is based on the 'tatarime' or 'jyashi', the Japanese variant of the culturally universal 'evil eye'.

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My version of Wolverine is called Mujina. 'Mujina' is an old word for badger, but it can refer to a whole range of similar creatures and has a supernatural connotation. The cursed swords replace the trademark claws, and draw their inspiration from swordsmith Muramasa's infamous blades. Mujina himself is based on the wandering ronin archetype, with Miyamoto Musashi (2-blade style) as a major source. The 'manji' (spiral swastika-like symbol) patterning is a reference to my Weapon X team, the 'Manji-kai'.

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Finally, Jubilee is transmogrified into Hanabi. Jubilee's power is often compared to fireworks, so made her the heir to a fireworks guild. The two most famous fireworks guilds in real-life Edo-era were the Tamaya and Kagiya. They had a fierce rivalry, and they used to stage big fireworks battles, with supporters yelling "Tamaya!" or "Kagiya!". Today, people still yell 'Tamaya' and 'Kagiya' while watching fireworks. I was very happy with how right-on her costume was. The yellow trenchcoat becomes a festival 'happi' jacket common for workers, likely her grandfather's.

Wow, if anyone is still reading, thanks for the interest and support. More upcoming!
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:iconsaber360:
saber360 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2017
Impressive :)
Reply
:iconraistlin82:
Raistlin82 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2016
Brilliant concept and masterful realization.
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:iconrazrangel:
razrangel Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2016
Ahhh I just love your work!!
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:iconamarmehta22:
amarmehta22 Featured By Owner May 20, 2016
You could have used the word Kuzuri. it means Wolverine in Japanese
Reply
:icondrawseeker:
drawseeker Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2016

I thought the first was Nightcrawler :D (Big Grin) 
Reply
:iconapcomics:
apcomics Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2015
Must say 1 thing, Cyclops.

I have seen few reimaginings that hint at this: tho never in the edo era.

Is it possible he could be a Master of Zen archery?.... i mean you aim with the 1 eye, and they was known for there amazing accuracy, adding to the whole meeting his gaze would be deadly, since if he can see you, he cud probably put an arrow through your face.... Also adds to his projectile combat nature....  I mean Cyclops was ok in melee, but we all know his true power was his ranged kinetic blasts.

Maybe his arrows have red flights?  so when fired, all people would see was a flash of red as the arrow flew through the air in a line/arc.
Reply
:iconapcomics:
apcomics Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2015
Must say loved all of it. And was nice to see Jubilee getting some love, she turned out really well.  (usually she get's neglected or omitted)

Was kinda thrown by Jean/Miko.... I know red hair isnt indicative of Japan (especially back then) but surprised did find a work around, like say some kinda of ribben or hair ornaments..... beyond the 1 token bit.... I can understand the problem though, Jean had so many outfits. maybe 1 of her old marvel girl costumes would haev worked, green and yellow... or her more generic blue/black with yellow trim.

Not cristism works amazing.... given me motivation to keep working on so of my re-imaginings i been working on.
Reply
:icondevilkais:
devilkais Featured By Owner May 2, 2014
Now this is one fantastic concept my good fellow ! Huge 90's X-men fan here !
Reply
:icondannyjarratt:
DannyJarratt Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
jubilee looks awesome!!
who is the priest (im actually not a massive xmen fan)
Reply
:icongenesischant:
genesischant Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
That's my Hank McCoy, aka Beast.
Reply
:icondannyjarratt:
DannyJarratt Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i ment miko but i read you description. :) great work man
Reply
:icongenesischant:
genesischant Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Oh! Sorry, haha!
And thank you! 
Reply
:icondoga-87:
Doga-87 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2014
Awesome - is all I got.
Reply
:icongenesischant:
genesischant Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconavary18:
Avary18 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013
This is an awesome reimagning of the xmen
Reply
:iconfoxw1ns:
Foxw1ns Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013
dude, you are so cool!
this re-imaging rocks man,
story, art & all!
Reply
:iconsvstrauser:
svstrauser Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013
Wow!

I hope you don't mind, but some of those guys are going straight to my Legend of the Five Rings campaign!
Reply
:icongenesischant:
genesischant Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I don't mind!  Have a good time with them.
Reply
:iconkatzentatzen:
Katzentatzen Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013
Very creative and beautiful! I love your take on Gambit and Rogue. 
Reply
:icongenesischant:
genesischant Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconfeatherspiral:
FeatherSpiral Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Japanese traditional art and culture stuffed with comic superheroes and topped by a sprinkle of history.
Reply
:icondeadshotomega:
deadshotomega Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love sengoku versions of everything and you do them so well, maybe a thunder cats version would interest you in making? or megaman maybe
Reply
:iconjgraphic1:
JGraphic1 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013   Interface Designer
cool
Reply
:iconchronicler-of-soul:
Chronicler-of-Soul Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013
Did you know Marvel wrote a Cyclops-as-Momotaro story? I think it was an issue of Marvel Fairy Tales.
Reply
:iconelfkid:
Elfkid Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013
Love the originality of this, not just your style but the subject matter!
Reply
:iconstrangerataru:
Strangerataru Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Love your Jubilee and Storm ideas in this one...Wolvie is Wolvie, what more can I say?
Reply
:iconsaintjeane:
SaintjeanE Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
this is unbelievably sick man, you're a genius brother, I like this so much
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:iconvacuitymechanica:
VacuityMechanica Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Student Artist
Ah, very nice! Have you read Ronin 5? It's a similar premise Marvel did, but it's only got Wolverine and Psyclocke from the X-Men in it. Other than that it's got the Hulk, Punisher, and Deadpool as it's other characters. I wish Ronin 5 went for longer than 5 issues.
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:icongrimlockmegatron:
GrimlockMegatron Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Needs Nightcrawler and Deadpool
Reply
:iconadriandra-00:
Adriandra-00 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Student
very cool, you should make the comic!
Reply
:iconashimbabbar:
ashimbabbar Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012
I guess the cool stuff about Japan that you DON'T know might maybe fill a postage stamp…
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:icongenesischant:
genesischant Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! There's still a good bit I don't know. I do a lot of internet research for these projects, and I'm always surprised by new and interesting facts.
Reply
:icondanielriggle:
DanielRiggle Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
Very cool. Though you could explain Miko having red hair by saying she has ainu blood.
Reply
:iconsailmaster-seion:
Sailmaster-Seion Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Heh-heh. Nice. I would love to see a Dazzler in this setting, maybe in full geisha regalia and carrying a shimasen. It'd also be interesting to see your takes on some of the other X-men. Maybe if you do a second set of them? :)

And Wolverine as a samurai fits him very well, as he did train to be one. :) And Jubilee with the hand cannon? Priceless. :)
Reply
:iconfoayasha:
Foayasha Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a wonderful concept, very thought out and well translated. I love it!
Reply
:icongenesischant:
genesischant Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconssg-scorps:
SSG-Scorps Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012
Shouldn't Wolverine have Tekko-Kagi? Katana are great, but seeing how hand claws are an actual thing...
Reply
:icongenesischant:
genesischant Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I thought about it. I decided that swords were a more believable and threatening weapon for a 'killing machine'-type character. An unconventional weapon like the tekko-kagi would be more suitable for a ninja- it's a weapon for blocking and wounding, not nearly as lethal as a sword. I probably could have written the Weapon X project as a ninja organization, but I had a different view of the characters.
Reply
:iconssg-scorps:
SSG-Scorps Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012
Ah, right. Well okay, this is pretty good otherwise.
Reply
:iconsevero7:
severo7 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012
How do I buy a poster?
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:iconcandylyn1975:
Candylyn1975 Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012
Lovely!
Reply
:iconmariamjolnir:
MariaMjolnir Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2012
Very cool concept and drawings are awesome as well!!! It'd be cool to see more of such concepts. For example Fantasy-like X-men or sci-fi or maybe even X-men as the pantheon of gods (Japanese pantheon) *___*
Reply
:icondio-03:
dio-03 Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012  Student Artist
SUCH a great line-up. really great interpretations all around.
Reply
:iconthatsnotinthescript:
ThatsNotInTheScript Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012
your designs are always so original and always absolutely gorgeous!
Reply
:iconhappysorceress:
happysorceress Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012
I genuinely love these. You put such care & detail into each character. Keep up the good work!...so I can keep on enjoying them.
Reply
:iconi-kingpin:
i-kingpin Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012
Fantastic re-imagining. Cyclops, Wolverine and Jubilee are making me want to rewatch Samurai Champloo.
Reply
:iconpaldipaldi:
paldipaldi Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012   General Artist
F-ING AWESOME! i'm your biggest fan for your sengoku/jidaigeki artworks!
"... thanks for the interest and support. More upcoming!" >> I'LL WAIT!
YOU RAWK! :horns:
Reply
:iconthe-travis:
The-Travis Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012
This so far up my alley, I almost passed out when all the blood rushed from my head to my dick. Thank you for this.
Reply
:iconrobotmaster3:
RobotMaster3 Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2012
X-men, assemble! Wrong group, I know, but it just fits here.
Reply
:icongenesischant:
genesischant Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Works for me.
Reply
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