Royal Mail will honour the 60th anniversary of the X-Men franchise with a special 17-stamp set collection featuring some of the most popular characters from the Marvel comic book series.
The group’s founder Professor X will star in the collection as well as original members Cyclops, Angel, Iceman and Beast. Other favourite characters including Wolverine, Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Jubilee, Jean Grey, Storm and Rogue also feature in the collection.
British comic book artist Mike McKone created the main set of 12 stamps, but an additional set of five stamps - in the form of a miniature sheet - has also been designed by comic book artist Lee Garbett.
Mr Garbett’s sheet features some of the mutant enemies faced by the X-Men – Juggernaut, Mystique, Magneto, Emma Frost and Sabretooth.
The stamp for Professor X, otherwise known as Charles Francis Xavier, shows the founder of the superhero team in a blue suit with one hand to his temple and the other outstretched, demonstrating his telepathic powers. He was first featured in the book series, published in 1963.
Sir Patrick Stewart played the character in the first three films of the 20th Century Fox X-Men film series as well as in a number of spin-off movies. James McAvoy portrayed a younger version of the character in a series of X-Men films, after first debuting in 2011’s X-Men: First Class.
The stamp of Wolverine, who was played by Hugh Jackman in the film adaptations, shows the character wearing a yellow-and-black superhero suit with his signature metal claws on show.
Magneto - who has been portrayed by both Sir Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender in the films - sees the character in his classic red superhero suit and purple cape.
David Gold, director of external affairs and policy at Royal Mail, said: “Generations have grown up, enamoured by the adventures and the personalities of the X-Men and their enemies.
“We celebrate the X-Men Universe with these stylish new stamps featuring some of its iconic characters.”
The X-Men superheroes were created by the late writer Stan Lee alongside artist and co-writer Jack Kirby.
They depicted the group as being founded by mutant telepath Professor X, with his original team consisting of Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Angel, Beast and Iceman.
They were based in the professor’s home, which was transformed into the School for Gifted Youngsters and dubbed the X-Mansion.
After many of the original X-Men were captured by the mutant island of Krakoa, Professor X formed a new squad to rescue them, bringing heroes such as Wolverine and Storm into a new international team.
The professor’s school later became a refuge for mutants from all over the world, forming teams such as the New Mutants, Excalibur and Generation X.
The first film adaptation, X-Men, was released in 2000 and a host of movies and spin-offs have followed since.
All 17 stamps will be available to buy in a presentation pack which goes on general sale from 16 February at £16.35 and are available to pre-order from the Royal Mail website.