Happy Sunday, dear reader! Today we take a look at the artistry of John Romita, Jr.! Above we see the original artwork for the cover of Uncanny X-Men #185 in which former bad girl Rogue absorbs Storm’s powers. This cover is misleading as the Storm actually allows Rogue to borrow her powers with her permission. This issue was quite the shocker as Rogue’s criminal past catches up to her. Storm saves Rogue from being shot by Henry Peter Gyrich who is armed with a power-nullifying gun (created by Forge). Storm’s powers are stripped from her and she falls into the Mississippi River and is saved, interestingly enough, by Forge. This begins one of the most unhealthy and codependent relationships in comics. Romita has a great handle on fashion and his depiction of Storm’s punk look is on target. Romita’s take on 1980’s fashion is evocative of the trends of those times, so one has to take that into consideration when judging Rogue’s costume. However, one of the best looks Romita gave Storm predates this comic by 5 issues…
During his tenure on Uncanny X-Men, John Romita, Jr. wasn’t afraid to give the team members their own individual looks. His fashion for Storm was representative of her punk style at the time, and he outfitted her in clothes that followed in that aesthetic. I love the fishnet ensemble he drew her in for Uncanny X-Men #180. The over-sized jacket, cropped boots and single feathered earring are a great look for our weather goddess. Still in retainment of her mutant powers, Storm visits the Bronx Botanical Gardens and rescues an elderly couple from some gang members.
Storm takes time to think over the changes in her life (she’s had to make some tough decisions as leader of the X-Men and feels she may have given away too much of herself in the process). I miss the days when comics let us in on the thoughts/motivations/concerns of the characters. I know captions have replaced thought balloons, but I would love to see a bit more into the thought processes of our heroes. This was something in which writer Chris Claremont excelled. Besides, when the last time we saw Storm commune with plants? Panel three of this page is hauntingly beautiful. Storm looks both wild and composed.
Storm gives the robbers a show they won’t soon forget as she unleashes a taste of her elemental fury, which also frightens the people she is saving. Such is the life of a mutant superhero. This page also features the quote that Marvel chose to spotlight in their ridiculous Steve Rogers “penned” Heroic Age file for Storm. I initially thought the quote was from this comic, but dismissed my intuition, thinking there was no way Marvel would choose a quote of Storm from 1984 when she’s had quite a few quotables since then. Just goes to show, one should always listen to one’s intuition, and perhaps Marvel needs better interns. Check out panel two and revel in the glory of Storm in fence-net with garters, a sight we’re not likely to see ever again now that she’s married. I keep staring at the elderly couple in panel five and wondering if you go out to the botanical gardens in hair rollers, just exactly where are you going when your hair is actually done? Like what is the point of curling your hair in the first place? Am I alone in thinking this?
Uncanny X-Men #304 prominently features Storm and a bevy of mutants in the crossover “Fatal Attractions”. Storm is wearing her Jim Lee costume and Romita gives her hair an independence that would make Medusa of the Inhumans proud.
While we’re on the subject of John Romita, Jr., let us go back to 1981 and take a look at original art from Dazzler #1 (page 9). I think every book that the X-Men guest starred in back then had to feature them training in the Danger Room. It was a great way to learn about the characters and their powers.
A sassy sketch of Storm with Spider-Man. I’ve always been fascinated by Romita’s depiction of women’s cheekbones as if they were carved into their faces from ear to mouth. It’s a bit intense and a bit drag queen, in my opinion. Not saying that is a bad thing, but it does divide the face in half. However, he does draw Storm’s eyes (and the lines on the outside) better than most and I appreciate how thick he inks her mascara.
And I leave you today soaking in suds with wannabe Phoenix/Rachel Summers/Grey/Marvel Girl. She’s having a fun time with Lockheed as Storm provides fresh rain for bath time . I love how Storm is just barely holding her towel on in a faux attempt at modesty. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next Sunday for more Storm appreciation!