Every Sunday, I celebrate my favorite character ever by focusing on an artist, an era or aspect of Ororo Munroe, aka Storm, of the X-Men! Today we look at the work of Brent Anderson! As always, click on the images if you’d like to see them larger!!
The first time I saw the cover of the Official Marvel Index #9A I was mesmerized! I was in awe of the sheer amount of characters who fill up the page and spill around to the back cover! I was inspired by how the personality of each character shines off the page! Nightcrawler is playfully hanging from the X-Men logo and tweaking Wolverine’s mask, Kitty Pryde is kneeling oh so cutely in front of everyone, Cyclops has his hand placed firmly on Professor X’s shoulders reassuringly, and Colossus stands proud and confident. It’s a great change of pace to see Wolverine being annoyed on a cover instead of posing menacingly. There’s more to Logan than kicking butt and this image is proof! I was also impressed at how lithe Storm looks. There’s more than a hint of John Byrne‘s style in the image, but Brent Anderson makes it his own by physically elongating the characters with a soft, perhaps one could say lush, linework. Byrne’s figures at this time were a bit more rounded, his Storm and Phoenix more bubbly in their babeness (Not a word, I know, but roll with me here). I think it really helps that Terry Austin (longtime collaborator with John Byrne) inked this image. The slender Storm figure in this image is not at odds with Byrne’s style.
Brent Anderson is perhaps best known among X-Fans for penciling the X-Men graphic novel, God Loves, Man Kills. This book is a great example of the themes of prejudice and persecution that Chris Claremont made famous in the X-Men. Anderson’s art depicts the human side of Marvel’s mutants brilliantly. His facial and figure work give the story’s philosophical underpinnings emotional depth. This is a classic for many reasons and make no mistake, Anderson’s art is equally as important as Claremont’s writing.
You probably already know that the Skrulls are scapegoats for everything evil in the Marvel Universe, but there was also a time when the Badoon were used as the “We can kill them ’cause they’re evil” bad guy standin (The Badoon are actually older than the Skrulls!). I don’t believe any Badoon were killed in this issue, but they were a great plot device to bring the X-Men and the Fantastic Four together, so that’s good. I’m super into how Anderson drew Storm on this X-Men Annual #5. Her gestures are regal and strong and her hair just goes on and on like it should. The unstable molecules of her costume are working overtime to make her cape stretch that large! That’s a mighty Colossus paired up with Mr. Fantastic’s giant fist and Anderson’s Wolverine looks ferocious! I think that many fans of Anderson’s work are partial to his rendition of Nightcrawler and from this cover it is easy to see why! Kurt looks simply dynamic!
In issue Uncanny X-Men #160 the demon lord Belasco shows up to menace Colossus’ little sister Illyana. He kidnaps her and she ages seven years into the teleporting demon sorceress we know and love today as Magik! I never grow tired of covers with a giant hand attacking a team of heroes and this cover is no exception!
I found this image of a recent Kitty Pryde commission floating around the internet and was happy to see that the date is so recent! I bet Brent gets a lot of requests for his work from this era! If you are unfamiliar with Brent Anderson, check out his website which has a great gallery of his work from Astro City, Green Lantern: Legacy, Strikeforce Morituri, Batman and Gen13! There’s also a great sketchbook you can order from his site as well!