Marvel is getting the UNIQLO treatment with the release of MARVEL X POLAN, a t-shirt collection designed by New York-based freelance artist Jason Polan.
The collection features Polan’s signature art style, which takes a page from comic book illustrations and cartoon art. Each t-shirt will contain an original design based on a Marvel superhero. The heroes’ unique poses look to be taken straight from 1960s comics, giving the shirts a Silver Age kind of look to them. UNIQLO’s website is showcasing shirt designs for Black Panther, Hulk, Spider-Man, Fin Fang Fum, and Iron Man.
The Black Panther shirt in particular looks like its based on a Jack Kirby drawing of the character. The Fin Fang Foom design, on the other hand, seems to be inspired by the monster’s appearance in Fantasy Masterpieces #2 (1966).
As part of the collection, customers will get a free Amazing Spider-Man #20 comic with an exclusive cover by Polan with the purchase of two shirts from the collection. Adult shirt process are set at $14.90 and kids shirts at $9.90. There are kids’ sized mesh caps for $9.90 as well.
In an interview found on the collection’s page at Uniqlo.com, Polan states that even though he wasn’t a comic book reader growing up, he did spend hours looking at the illustrations. He reveals Spider-Man to be his favorite, mostly due to his costume and high-flying antics.
UNIQLO is in a very good spot right now with its graphic tees collections. On April 29th it will premiere its Star Wars UT collection, as part of the Masters of Graphics series. The collection was designed by Jun Takahashi, Nigo, and Tetsu Nishiyama. It’s a playful and experimental take on that universe’s symbols, characters, and quotes.
In addition, they also have a much sought-after Disney collection called Magic for All which is digging into its archives for old favorites. Monster’s Inc., Toy Story, Dumbo, and Mickey Mouse lead the pack in that set of shirts.
With the current state of our popular culture being what it is, both ubiquitous and in-your-face, these type of projects are sure to remain successful business ventures for the foreseeable future. Expect the Polan shirts to run out fast. Endgame is approaching, and with it comes the desire to make everything you own Marvel.
The MARVEL X POLAN collection is out now, with the free comic being available from April 24 onwards.
A sample of shirts from the collection follows below.
Ricardo Serrano is a Social Studies teacher with a Master’s Degree in Comic Books from the University of Dundee in Scotland. He’s also the co-creator of Se Habla Comics, a Puerto Rican podcast geared towards Spanish-speaking comic book readers.