This week’s Storm Sunday actually falls on a Monday due to my having back to back to back fun things to do yesterday (and I’ve been recovering all day, but hey, it’s not the next day if I haven’t gone to sleep yet, right?). First, I went makeup shopping with a friend at the MAC Cosmetics counter at Nordstrom department store. Afterwards, I attended a WHAM! tribute (full of amazing burlesque performances by Miss Indigo Blue, Jukie Sunshine and many many more!) at the GLBT Center. Then I joined up with amazing friends for a birthday bash at the DNA Lounge which featured a fun party called Pop Roxx. In addition to really fun music (I always dance my ass off at DNA, thank you deejays!) there was a live band called Rocket that blew me away! These five girls had me moving along with their beats in no time! Visually, they all had a cool glam look reminiscent of The Misfits (from Jem), Josie & The Pussycats, Barbie & The Rockers, Joan Jett and Pat Benatar. I want dolls made of them so I can keep them with me all the time. But that’s probably not happening for a while yet, so I’ll just content myself with “friending” them on MySpace. *sigh*
Anyway, today’s featured artist is Salvador Larroca and he’s most notable for drawing Storm on X-Treme X-men. Yeah, the title is pretty bad. What makes an X-Men X-treme, you may wonder. Well, Storm decided to lead a team of mutants to find diaries written by a precognitive mutant (the still dead Destiny, former partner of Mystique). What? Hunting diaries is tres extreme, dude!
Larroca was the main artist on the three year run of the title and he designed the costumes for all of the characters which included Psylocke, Gambit, Rogue, Beast, Sage, Bishop, Lifeguard, Slipstream (if you said, “Who?” for the last two names, that is perfectly fine. It would take another post to explain the extreme suck that was those two characters.) Also, Cannonball, Shadowcat, and many other mutants showed up. I really liked the design for Gambit in particular as the black bodysuit made more sense for a thief (unlike, say, his fuchsia breastplate with the Sh’iar crisscross lines–now that’s subtle) and he still wore his signature brown trenchcoat.
Storm’s X-treme costume is a mixed bag. I love the color combination: mostly black with red and yellow accents (that’s the best color scheme for Storm and the X-Men in general). The tiara is a nice shape and frames her face well, but it evokes Scarlet Witch more than Storm (Side Note: Wouldn’t it be great to read a story about Scarlet Witch, Snowbird, and Storm shopping for tiaras? They could fight a battle with the Enchantress for the best headpiece. Yeah, yeah, only I would buy it.).
I like the yellow lightning bolt design across the front, and I love how he incorporated Storm’s ruby into the outfit. It was her mother’s you know, and I think she she always be wearing it. It’s magical! Why would you leave that at home? (Another Side Note: Let’s explore Storm’s magical possibilities, people! Ororo’s potential for sorcery has been established for a long, long time. Why not have Doctor Strange help a girl out? Then she’d be a true Weather Witch! Or even better yet, Ororo Munroe, Sorceress Supreme! Watch out, Clea!)
I’m not exactly a big fan of the puffy sleeves, but they are reminiscent of the animated Storm (another post for another day) in the white costume, so I don’t exactly hate them. It’s the red bands around them that kill it for me. Too much going on there, methinks. I like the cape though. Larroca knew how to draw the folds in the yards of fabric he gave her.
What I am so not a fan of is how Larroca chose to give Storm the thong from hell with this costume. I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before that I love Storm in thigh boots, but can a girl get some coverage for her ass, please? Where is she supposed to sit down with her cheeks hanging out like that? Unfortunately, it’s become quite de rigeur for female characters to rock the butt floss (I’m looking at you Ms. Marvel!). I think women look much sexier with a bit more coverage.
Here’s Storm with Rogue on her right and Sage (Tessa) on her left. One of X-Treme X-Men’s conceits was that Tessa (who readers knew from the comics as the personal assistant of Sebastian Shaw from The Hellfire Club) was really a spy for Professor Xavier and was actually his first X-Man. Riiiiiiight. Well, thinking about this retcon (even from the venerable Godfather of all things X himself, Chris Claremont) leaves me rolling my eyes. Sage is also revealed to be a living supercomputer that can jumpstart one’s mutant abilities. Uh huh. Whatever. I liked her better as a bad guy’s executive assistant. What with some alien overlord named Khan trying to make Storm his queen, Storm dating a surfer dude (The aforementioned Slipstream) and Storm going berserker in the Savage Land and other shenanigans, I guess the most extreme thing about X-Treme X-Men is the bizarre stories the reader had to wade through to get a sometimes decent storyline with what was a pretty good (for the most part) lineup of X-characters. It didn’t help that some storylines were apparently editorially mandated (Such as the follow up arc to “God Loves, Man Kills“).
One more thing I’ll say about Larroca: his work is lovely in pencil. He recently drew some issues of Uncanny X-Men and the work was really hit or miss for me and I think it’s because of the way his work was inked and colored. As you can see from just the character design for Storm, his work has excellent line control and a delicate rendering. And no matter what quibbles I may have with the costume, Storm remained a majestic beauty during his tenure as artist. Perhaps that is why the thong is so jarring for me. Everything else about her looks regal (Butt floss is not regal, dear reader. That’s a whole ‘nother kind of queen).