Marvel Comics has announced Stormbreakers, a new artist-centric program intended to shine a light on the publisher’s newest crop of breakout and up-and-coming artists. Announced by Marvel’s editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski and creative director Joe Quesada, the inaugural Stormbreakers group includes eight artists:
- X-book artists R.B. Silva and Joshua Cassara
- Amazing Spider-Man artists Patrick Gleason and Iban Coello
- Captain Marvel and Miles Morales: Spider-Man artist Carmen Carnero
- Guardians of the Galaxy artist Juann Cabal
- Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur artist Natacha Bustos
- Variant cover artist Peach Momoko
A statement announcing Stormbreakers touts it as a two-year-long program, in which “the prominence of these eight artists will grow even higher in the world of Marvel Comics.” Stormbreakers is the latest artist-focus initiative from Marvel, after their previous Young Guns program. That program typically yielded for each class of artists a sketchbook featuring work from each Young Guns, as well as, in more recent years, a series of variant covers spotlighting the artists.
One notable difference between the Stormbreakers and the Young Guns is the gender makeup of the artists. Over the fifteen years of the Young Guns program, only one non-male artist, Sara Pichelli, was included among the 36 total spotlighted artists. The inclusion of Carnero, Momoko, and Bustos in the Stormbreakers program highlights strides that Marvel has taken in recognizing and spotlighting talent from non-male creators, as well as the overall changing face of comics in general.
Cebulski sang the praises of the artists included in the inaugural class of Stormbreakers in the statement:
“This year’s Stormbreakers embody pure talent and creativity that, time and time again, have shown us all there are no limits to what visual storytelling can do. We are continuously blown away by their innovative styles and by the power in how they capture the heart, humor, and humanity of our characters,” said Cebulski. “These eight artists have proven their unrivaled talent and passion for storytelling, and much like Beta Ray Bill, they are truly worthy of taking up the mantle as one of Marvel’s Stormbreakers, the next generation of elite artists. We can’t wait to show you all what’s next. And to all our Stormbreakers – take up your hammer!”
Quesada also waxed poetic on what this group of artists has that makes them worthy of the title Stormbreaker:
“There’s a special skill set you need to have in order to draw comics at the highest level,” said Quesada. “Like the finest illustrators, you must be able to draw anything and everything at any given moment, have the keen storytelling eye of a master film director, the ability to convey emotion in characters like the world’s greatest performers, and the imagination of the greatest storytellers in history. But to be a Marvel comic artist, you need all of that as well as the ability to make your characters and stories jump off the page. They need to be larger than life, yet grounded enough that we all see ourselves within them. We’re thrilled to bring together Marvel’s Stormbreakers, a team of super up-and-coming talents who will continue that legacy.”
Each of the artists included in the Stormbreakers program is exceptionally talented, and their work is well-worth the added attention inclusion in the program will bring them. Look for each of these artists to be spotlighted by Marvel over the next two years.