Rogue’s design has barely changed from ’92 to ’97. Her face looks noticeably younger, and her hair is shorter and more modernized. Of course, the shadow accents on her body are a bit more natural and less sexualized. Interestingly, the animators decided to keep her boots at the same height (which was not the case for all the other characters).
At first glance, Gambit also seems to have barely changed. But if you look at the legs from ’92, Gambit has some crazy long lower legs. Thankfully ’97’s shins are a more realistic length and his knees are back where they belong. Also he looks cooler with spiky hair now, so that’s a big win for anime hair representation in American media. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.
Wolverine looks almost the same, just with smaller accents on his boots, shoulders, and cowl. Cosmic Circus writer Tucker Watkins pointed out that his claws may have moved to his knuckles instead of the back of his hand as they were in 1992. I think it’s hard to tell but knuckle claws are in fact superior, so I hope he’s right!
Jubilee’s features are distinctly Asian now and she has greater boot detail. Like Rogue and Gambit, her hair is shorter and spikes up more than down. In the announcement image, her coat interior is the same color as its exterior, but that could be just a coloring mistake.
I honestly don’t think Cyclops changed at all. One pattern across all the characters is cleaner details and less emphasis on the undies area, but other than that, I don’t really see anything different here.
The most noticeable change about Storm is that her hair is a more natural height. I think her body pose and accent shadows are also more natural and less sexualized. Her facial expression and body language have more power and confidence. One minor difference is also that her boots are shorter now, stopping below her knees to give her legs a full range of motion.
Jean’s changes are the most obvious. Her face is more feminine and her ponytail from 1992 has been replaced with a more classic hairstyle, which reminded me of her design from X-Men: Evolution. The weird bikini area has been replaced with a thicker belt. Also her shoulder pads are shorter, her arm gauntlets don’t wrap around her hands anymore, and her belt buckle has a red X on a dark background instead of vice versa. I guess they changed the colors so it would stand out from her new belt?
Beast’s face is slightly more demonic and his toenails have turned blue.
Beast is still Beast.
An interesting pattern is that every character’s design has been updated to be more natural, from their posture to the shadow accents, to their body features. The most noticeable change is in how the women are drawn, especially with new faces that are more representative of each character.
How many design differences did you notice? Did I miss anything? Let me know on social media (@vinwriteswords)!