This Sunday we take a look at some nicely rendered Black Panther pages featuring Storm during the “Bride of the Panther” storyline. Now, regardless of what you think about T’Challa and Ororo’s marriage, you have got to give Eaton credit for presenting the story (written by Reginald Hudlin) in crisp, dynamic lines. Eaton gives the pages a storytelling fluidity with strong characterization. Anatomy, costumes and background are spot on. Frankly, I think I would’ve enjoyed his run on the title without the words infinitely more.
Scot Eaton draws a gorgeous Storm! There’s nothing to criticize here. He makes the shape of her face look like an African American woman, he’s got a handle on her tiara and costume (check out the jump ring for her trademark lightning bolt earrings) and he gives her a variety of expressions. It’s just too bad that the script called for her to act aloof and a tad dismissive.
I tried to find a website for Scott Eaton but came up with nothing, so if you know I could properly link to Scott’s current work please let me know. The images from today’s post are from Black Panther #15.
Here the Arabian Knight interrupts Black Panther’s marriage proposal with some random sword action. What could have been an emotionally moving moment is reduced to a cheesy super-villain attack. Storm also comes across as snooty, like she’s making T’Challa beg which seems way out of character for such a compassionate heroine. Having the Arabian Knight attack out of the blue reduces him to a simpleton, a cliche in a time when our culture (especially pop culture) needs better representation when depicting characters from the Middle East. Who in their right mind would just attack the Black Panther out in the open with no other tactical advantage other than a flying carpet? Let’s just pretend he’s mind-controlled, okay? And, yes, I’m surprised I’m defending the Arabian Knight too.
Storm leaves the attack to her suitor (At least the hand to hand part is prolonged to show the reader T’Challa’s skills, but the fight feels forced overall. It simply doesn’t make any sense. It’s random at best).
Storm has her nose stuck in the air while the Arabian and African are still fighting it out.
Black Panther leaves a little bit of fight left in the Arabian Knight and Storm blasts it out of him. Then they get back to their “will they or won’t they” moment. They would, they did and fandom is still arguing about it.
Black Panther proposes to Storm and she makes him beg. This is not the Ororo I am accustomed to. Sorry, Hudlin, it doesn’t wash.
Oh, the witty banter! T’Challa is sooooo superior! He’s soooo smart. Duh. We know that. At least it doesn’t seem to bother Storm in the least. She’s too busy to worry about his correction to give him an answer to his proposition! That’s cold. Here’s the thing. I love Storm and Black Panther together. I have always liked the idea of them as a couple. However, I am not a fan of how quickly Marvel rushed them into marriage. I would’ve liked Storm as a guest star in his book and T’Challa as a guest in X-Men, courting each other and discussing their relationship. Better yet, I needed scenes (besides a mini-series of a brief moment in their childhood) of them being in love with one another. I wanted to understand why they decided to commit to this partnership when they’d pushed away before. I needed to see a properly drawn wedding with the X-Men playing a larger role. I needed to see a Wakanda/Mutant cultural exchange. I’m still hoping for such a thing. The first issue of the mini-series (out now) X-Men: Worlds Apart seems to be addressing some of these issues, even if Marvel didn’t have the stones to put Storm’s name on the cover as it was solicited. What do you think of Storm and Black Panther’s wedding?