Inspired by May’s designation as Older Americans Month, and with a nod to current blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past, Seattle comic artist Tatiana Gill has created a series of senior superhero illustrations celebrating the continued contributions of older citizens. Gill felt compelled to draw elder versions of the familiar characters, “since seniors are vibrant, valuable members of society, yet they are under-represented in comics and the superhero genre.”
Basing her drawings on original comic characters, Gill meticulously aged each persona while maintaining their unique powers and personalities. According to Gill, her depiction of senior Wolverine reflects the X-Men character’s slow aging process due to his mutant healing powers, but notes, “He does age.” Gill’s collection also includes a senior Wonder Woman illustration inspired by the silver age of comic art; it portrays the familiar heroine advanced in age, but as vibrant and powerful as ever.
In illustrating a senior version of Emma Frost, The White Queen from the X-Men series, Gill says she reimagined her as a powerful senior African American woman, adding “There is so little racial and body-type diversity in comics, I decided to create some.” Senior Rachel Summers, also known as Phoenix of X-Men and Excalibur fame, is the time-traveling future daughter of Jean Grey and Scott Summers who burns brightly with the cosmic power of the Phoenix—at any age.
To support Older Americans Month and because she believes “real-life seniors are inspirational heroes and heroines in our communities,” Gill will be donating 10% from any commissioned portrait of a senior citizen now through August 1, with proceeds going to Senior Services, an organization promoting positive aging for older adults throughout King County. “It’s a great way to support the senior community,” says Gill, and “to bring out the superhero in your favorite senior or yourself.”
Additional illustrations and information on commissioning a portrait available on the artist’s website, tatianagill.com.