alan davis x-men annual part 2

Today we look at a great selection of  X-Men artwork by the legendary Alan Davis.  Previously we have looked at his work here, here and here.

I recall finding Uncanny X-Men Annual #11 at a book trader (when it was new on the stands) and jumping up in glee at the image.  Alan Davis was already a favorite illustrator of mine and seeing Wolverine, Storm and Psylocke featured so prominently made me squeal.  I had a similar reaction a week ago when I discovered that the art for this Annual actually had separate pieces!  So cool to find this out years later.  Above, we witness our heroes fighting Horde, an alien warlord who made the X-Men travel to the Citadel of Light and Shadow where they had to fight against their hearts’ desires. However, this is not the complete cover.  The background artwork was drawn separately and is featured below.

alan davis x-men annual part 1

This is the second piece of art from Uncanny X-Men Annual #11 featuring Dazzler (lower left corner and continuing clockwise), Longshot, Meggan, Captain Britain, Havok and Rogue.

alan davis x-men annual

Here’s the pieces assembled to create the complete cover!  The final printed cover can be found here.

UncannyX-MenAnnual11Page29

This page from that Annual gave readers a true taste of the discipline and destiny lying beneath Psylocke’s pretty in pink demeanor.  This is my favorite incarnation of Elisabeth Braddock and this Annual quickly established her place within the X-Men for me.  In the pages of Captain Britain, Betsy always seemed somewhat out of place, trying to hard to follow in her brother’s footsteps.  In this moment of revelation, she chooses a different life, truly separate from her twin brother and his sweetheart, Meggan.  In her new metallic persona, Psylocke reminds me a bit of the Avenger Jocasta.

DavisXmen213p3

The Mutant Massacre by the Marauders left the X-Men in a bad state.  Nightcrawler was beaten so bad he fell into a coma, Colossus was paralyzed in his organic metal form, and Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde) was stuck in her intangible phasing form (pretty much a ghost).  Above, page 3 from Uncanny X-Men #213, Psylocke (in her psychic butterfly form) visits the injured X-Men as she fills in the reader on what has transpired in previous issues.

DavisXmen213p11

A few pages later, we see Psylocke on her own having to fight the ruthless Sabretooth!  This spotlight was the first time we saw a glimpse of the warrior that Psylocke was to become.

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Psylocke holds her own against Sabretooth long enough to be rescued by Wolverine.  Even Storm (at the time without her weather powers) gets in on the fight, helping Psylocke escape while Wolverine engages his longtime rival.  Storm trained hand to hand combat from Wolverine and it certainly pays off in this moment.

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Wolverine’s battle with Sabretooth gives Psylocke the opportunity to probe the Marauder’s mind for information regarding his mysterious master (later to be revealed as Mr. Sinister).

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Psylocke continues to probe Sabretooth’s mind for the information she needs, but Wolverine has to take a beating while she does it.  Luckily, he gives as good as he gets.

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In Uncanny X-Men #215 (“Old Soldiers”), page 13, Alan Davis draws Storm facing off three war veterans who hunt others for sport.  She fights for her life against Crimson Commando, Stonewall and Super Sabre.

Alan Davis Splash X-Men 94 page 4 mark farmer

In X-Men 94, page 4, Kitty Pryde rifles through Destiny‘s things and comes across her mask.  I love the simplicity of this splash page, especially the reflection of Kitty in the mask.  Notice the framed picture of Destiny with Mystique and Rogue in the background.  The pair of dice and the crystal ball are nice additions and speak to the mystery of Destiny’s precognitive powers.

x-men 98 davis

In X-Men #98 (page 5), Alan Davis draws the X-Men of an alternate future.  In this timeline, for which Davis also wrote the script, Storm has evolved into a pure elemental.

xmen 98 davis

I found the idea of Storm as an elemental super intriguing and wished we could have seen it explored more.   (Above, X-Men #98, page 11)

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A splash page from Alan Davis’ creator-owned Clandestine series (in their crossover with the X-Men).  In this part of the story, both teams find themselves fighting against a slew of past and present X-Men members.

alan davis - Uncannyxmen 451pg2

In this page of Uncanny X-Men #451, Storm’s team of Rachel Grey (Marvel Girl), Bishop and Nightcrawler find themselves literally swept up in a murder mystery.  I enjoy these tall panels that Davis employs to heighten the sense of drama.

xmen462pg14

In Uncanny X-Men #462 (page 14) Davis draws an alternate universe in which female members of the X-Men are actual men.  In the top panel we see male versions of Rachel Grey, Polaris, Psylocke, Rogue, Shadowcat and Storm.  A fascinating concept that was given short shrift.

Storm by Alan Davis & Mark Farmer

I leave you, dear reader, with this beautiful portrait of Ororo drawn by Alan Davis and inked by Mark Farmer, longtime collaborator of Davis.

6 Responses to Storm Sunday: Alan Davis, Part IV

  1. Ingonyama says:

    Claremont’s collaboration with Alan Davis on X-Men is probably best remembered for bringing Psylocke to the forefront as a premier character, rather than the second-string support group she had been relegated to during her time in Captain Britain’s book, and during the heat of the Mutant Massacre. I am thrilled beyond words by this, because regardless of my distaste for the pink costume, Betsy Braddock will always have a special place in my heart, and it was her British incarnation that instilled such a strong feeling of loyalty to the character in me.

    One of the most amazing things to me about Davis’ work is that he can take a character during two completely separate periods in their growth and not only do both well, but make it obvious that for all the superficial differences, their core remains the same. See Storm in his work from the 80s…this is the height of her Mohawk phase, without powers, operating purely as a warrior, strategist, and leader. Yet for all the outward accoutrements of “tough-girl,” she still retains the dignity, regality, and poise she exhibits during her various “cape-and-tiara” incarnations. Compare her stances in “Old Soldiers” with those of “elemental”-Storm (which, I agree, is a fantastic idea for an alternate Ororo!) or from her appearances in the ReLoad. The same holds true for Psylocke, when Davis drew her return from the grave in Uncanny #455 and 456. Despite her completely different physical appearance, he kept elements of British Betsy in her design and her mannerisms, so that we knew we were looking at the same woman he codified way back in the day. Even Rachel Grey has fundamental similarities between her Marvel Girl and Phoenix personae, though on the surface they couldn’t be more different.

    I’ve always loved him for his ability to retain the familiarity of beloved characters, whatever they dress like. Give him a team of X-Men from any era, and you know he’ll make them recognizable as the mutants we know and love.

  2. lucas cantino says:

    Hello friends, I read the story in X-Men # 215 “Old Soldiers”, was designed by Jackson Guice, it has been redesigned?

    • stormantic says:

      Hi Lucas,

      Thanks for reading stormantic!

      I am a fan of Jackson Guice as well, but the art and cover in Uncanny X-Men #215 (published in 1987) was drawn by Alan Davis and inked by Dan Green.

      Cheers,
      ~S

  3. lucas cantino says:

    is the same, sorry I rushed

  4. shadow says:

    These are some samples that X-MEN definitely achieved its perfection in the 80s, the 90s were ok, but the 2000s and the 2010s is been so shitty.

    If you can’t improve something, better let it as its been reached and don’t mess it up.

  5. shadow says:

    And watch up the seventh picture, Storm is sexiest than ever. Did you see her bottom? That’s a bottom as goddess commands.

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StormArcana : Writer. Artist. Heroic Tarot Reader.
Storm Arcana is a San Francisco-based Writer, Artist and Tarot reader.