Storm Arcana

Heroic Tarot & Arcana Academy

Category: Phoenix (Page 2 of 4)

White Queen Wednesday: La Belle et la Bête

An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel

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Welcome to White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. Today I discuss Emma Frost’s fast friendship with Henry McCoy, the brilliant bouncing blue Beast. After so much discussion of Emma’s animosities with characters like Storm, Firestar and Jean Grey, it will make a nice change of pace to talk about her much more pleasant relationship with Beast. It’s really no surprise that they’re such good friends, considering they share such sparkling intellect and wry wit. Beast has been one of Emma’s staunchest and most vocal supporters from the moment she first joined the X-Men, helping her understand the secondary mutation to transform her body into living organic diamond which she had recently aquired.

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Storm Sunday: “No, Scott, I Am Terrified! But I Shall Cope.”

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“That’s the spirit.”

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Once upon a time, Marvel and DC Comics used to play well together (or at least well enough to produce some amazing comics).  One of the comics they made together showcased the X-Men and the Teen Titans in a crossover that made history!  The Uncanny X-Men and the New Teen Titans was written by X-scribe Chris Claremont, drawn by Walt Simonson (a page of his excellent linework is above) and inked by Terry Austin.  Both titles were in their prime, being very popular at the time due to their excellent scripting and artwork.  The parallels between the two teams was amazing!  Both teams had cool level-headed leaders (Cyclops and Robin), larger than life women with big hair (Storm and Starfire) and young naive members (Kitty Pryde and Changeling).  The story combined the best that both comic companies had to offer and the stakes were high for both teams.

The plot consisted of Darkseid resurrecting Dark Phoenix for his own nefarioys power-hungry purposes and the team-up between comicdom’s most popular heroes (well, at least at the time) is a milestone for the ages.  I love the panel between Storm and Cyclops in which Scott asks about Ororo’s claustrophobia.  I loved it so much I made it today’s subject heading.  The line speaks to me because I am seeing many people around me right now looking truly terrified (myself included) and yet, I see them working with their challenges as best as they can.  This is a time to anticipate challenge rather than avoid it.  It is a time for heroes and the universe is asking for nothing less than our best.  This page celebrates the nature of Storm being able to move ahead in a strenuous time and rise above her fears.  We can do no less.

Today we look at the original artwork of many artists, including Rick Leonardi, Leinil Francis Yu, Chris Bachalo, Salvador Larroca, Phil Jimenez, Sal Buscema and more!

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Storm Sunday Extra: Felipe Massafera

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Artist Felipe Massafera created this wonderful painting which features many classic X-Men heroes and villains.  Sharing center stage are Storm and Dark (!) Phoenix and just look at all of that hair!  I’m a bit baffled as to why Storm is wearing her classic costume while folks like Psylocke and Bishop are in their 90s era costumes.  And then there’s Phoenix in her red costume (which means she’s evil) instead of her green one (which means she’s good) just floating in the midst of the good guys.  It’s a bit jarring but every time I start to continuity nitpick, the sheer beauty of this artwork shuts me up my inner critic.

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White Queen Wednesday: Like a Phoenix

An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel

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Welcome to White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. This week I would like to discuss Emma Frost’s tempestuous relationship with her dear departed fiery fellow telepath and teammate Jean Grey, sometimes known as Phoenix. Theirs was an intense rivalry stretching back to Emma’s earliest appearances, deeply intertwined with notions of life and death and resurrection just like Phoenix herself.

When they first tangled way back during the Dark Phoenix Saga, their psychic battle left Emma seemingly dead. Although obviously this apparent demise would prove to be less permanent than it initially appeared.

The next time they interacted was when Emma invited the X-Men to her Hellfire Club to propose a truce and alliance against the Upstarts whose deadly game threatened both organizations. However, this proposed arrangement was strangled in the crib when the Upstart Trevor Fitzroy and his Sentinels invaded the Hellfire Club, massacred Emma’s beloved Hellions and seemingly killed both Emma and Jean. Keeping both of their bodies in stasis, Professor X would later discover that Jean saved herself by swapping minds with Emma, who remained in a coma for a good long while after Jean’s psyche was restored to her rightful body.

But perhaps the most significant interactions between Jean and Emma occurred during Grant Morrison’s New X-Men era. These stories redefined Emma and the X-Men and their effects can still be felt today. When they first became teammates, Emma and Jean were far from friends. As should be expected based on their adversarial history, Jean harbored a healthy suspicion of Emma’s motives and attitude.

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Heroic Tarot Tuesday: Jean Grey

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Greetings, dear reader! This post is the eigth in a series revealing my Heroic Tarot process.  Today we take a look at all of the cards featuring Jean Grey!

The X-Men playing card deck is adorned with images of Marvel’s Merry Mutants.  I have created a system combining traditional Minor Arcana meaning with my vast knowledge of X-Men comic book stories.  The archetypal roles the X-Men represent bring the energy of the missing Major Arcana to the overall calculation.  I reveal the superheroic tales relevant to your path.   This dual reading is amplified by the elemental nature of whatever suit is pulled in addition to the numeralogical/feudal court energy contained therein.

One of the interesting aspects of the X-Men cards that I use is that every character gets to be represented four times.  For example, Cyclops is all of the Kings, Storm is all of the Queens, Wolverine is all of the Jacks, etcetera.  Jean Grey is represented on the face of all of the nines, which makes a lot of sense since the number nine symbolizes wisdom, spirituality and enlightenment.  Who better than the former wielder of the cosmic Phoenix Force to give us insight about these concepts?

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Storm Sunday: Jess K

Storm by Jess K

I had an awesome time at last weekend’s Alternative Press Expo!  I sold issues of Princess Witch Boy #2 and read a lot of Heroic Tarot for folks.  I was so busy at the Writers Old Fashioned booth that I did not get a chance to see the rest of the show until the last hour on Sunday.  Mr. Ken Kneisel accompanied me as we flew from table to table, hoping to catch a glimpse of something amazing to take home with us.  At the Lovekiller table, we found awesome paintings of our favorite Marvel superheroines created by Jess K!  The most amazing thing about her artwork is how tiny it is.  The above image of Storm was scanned from the original, measuring only 2″ x 3″!

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Storm Sunday: Jim Lee, Part VI

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Uncanny X-Men #270, page 18

I miss Jean Grey.  I miss her a lot.  There is no doubt in my mind that Ororo does too.  It would be great to see a word balloon here or there that reminds the reader that Jean was the first real friend that Storm had outside of her celebrated goddess role in Kenya.  Jean represents serenity to me.  Since the onset of her telepathic powers, she’s had to find her center and keep it so as not to go crazy from the thoughts of everyone else.  Beginner’s mind?  She’s got it.  And I’m not just saying that because she’s had to rebuild her life countless times from death, clones and cosmic entities.  Jean understands that in order to find peace with the world, one has to have it first within one’s self.  Jean also represents compassion to me.  She does not judge, she is kind.  Jean is ethically and morally forthright and her inner compass guides and inspires those around her.  That’s why half the male X-Men from the First Class to the All-New, All-Different team have fallen for her.  When I read Heroic Tarot with my X-Men deck, I see Jean Grey as embodying the Empress.  She simply is love.

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White Queen Wednesday: Fabulous First

An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel

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Welcome to another installment of White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. This past Monday night, my friend Juhani and I were walking around his new neighborhood here in San Francisco. We passed Green Apple Books and he pointed out to me that they had comics available for sale. I perused their selection and was startled to find a copy of the first edition Uncanny X-Men: Dark Phoenix Saga trade paperback with the Bill Sienkiewicz cover and forward by Stan Lee marked down to just three dollars! At such a deeply discounted price, of course I snatched up this classic tome by Chris Claremont and John Byrne without a moment’s hesitation. Flipping through it I recalled, as I mentioned last week, that this storyline marked the first appearance of our Emma Frost. Although back then she was quite a different character, the wicked White Queen of the Hellfire Club, the very picture of unrepentant evil. So this week I would like to reflect for a moment on Emma’s first run-in with the X-Men.

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Storm Sunday: Coipel, McLeod & Djurdjević

Storm by Olivier Coipel

This Storm Sunday we look at three awesome images by three awesome artists!  First up, we have Olivier Coipel (who also drew an amazing gatefold image for the House of M series).  This commission from this year’s Toronto convention is simply stunning!  Storm does look a lot younger than I am accustomed to seeing her portrayed and she is supermodel runway thin, but I think it all works.  Love the white highlights depicting lighting (lightning?).  I looked for a definitive website for this superstar artist, but didn’t come across anything substantial (even his Wikipedia entry needs massive updating).  I enjoyed his early work on Legion Lost and his most recent run on Thor.

Storm McLeod

Bob McLeod is no stranger to comics, having worked on a number of projects since the early 1970s.  I learned about him from his work on the New Mutants graphic novel and first three issues of the ongoing series.  His version of Storm (above) is classic curvy Ororo (a la John Byrne).

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Marko Djurdjević has been creating covers for Marvel for years after gaining recognition and notoriety for his redesigns of the X-Men.  Now he is known for creating definitive X-Men images like the giant poster above  (click on it for a much larger view).

In 2009, he published a book detailing his Marvel art.  Comic Should Be Good has some great examples of Djurdjević’s pencils and painted work.  Djurdjević has drawing videos on YouTube and his art DVD, Character Ideation, is now available as a download.  I love his Warlock redesign.

Storm Sunday: Adam Hughes, Part III

Storm by Adam Hughes Adam Hughes is often called a modern master for his depiction of beautiful women and this post is just one more testament to his artistic abilities!  Whether he’s rocking the covers on DC Comics (like Catwoman, Power Girl or Wonder Woman),  commemorating the many girlfriends of Spider-Man or illustrating pop culture icons (like She-Ra, Chun Li or Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Adam Hughes brings the goods!

The above incredible image of Storm is from Adam’s Deviant Art site and the note from Allison Sohn reads, “Another piece from Adam’s upcoming sketchbook. The amazing thing, I think, about this piece is that there is no real color used. Adam rendered this one with both warm and cool gray scale markers. Together, they read like desaturated color.”

storm2Storm and Jean Grey from the Grant Morrison era.
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The winsome Wasp kicks off this collection of Adam Hughes Women of Marvel art cards, followed by Storm (the next three), The Invisible Woman, Mary Jane Watson/Parker (the next three) and ending with Polaris!  Fantastic illos of these awesome characters!
storm3Have you read the WildC.A.T.s/X-Men crossover?  Adam Hughes did the interiors for issue #3 and his cover featuring Voodoo and Wolverine is simply stunning!
XbabesPhoenix takes center stage flanked by Rogue (also here) and Psylocke (also here)!  Be sure to check out this amazing Kitty Pryde sketch and this Black Queen illo (Jean Grey) for more X-Women goodness!

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