Storm Arcana

Relationship & Intimacy Coach

Month: November 2008

Storm Sunday: Loston Wallace

xmen2This week’s Storm Sunday features a fun sketch by Loston Wallace!  This animated inspired version of the Classic X-Men has me wishing for an X-Men cartoon in the style of Batman: The Animated Series!  Crisp lines, bold coloring, and strong character infused headshots are simply not enough!  There must be more!  Check out Loston’s site for more fun sketches!  In a strange coincidence, I discovered that Loston is from North Carolina like moi!  It’s a small, small world.

Next Storm Sunday:  X-Men & Gestalt Psychology!  Don’t miss it!

Wonder Woman Wednesday: Goodbye to the Past!

dp_ww_tpb1Wonder Woman #179 (1968) cover art by Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano.  In this issue Diana’s mother reveals that the Amazons have to leave our dimension to renew their powers.  Diana opts to stay behind, losing her Amazon abilities.  However, she quickly learns martial arts, opens a boutique and starts wearing super-hip all white costumes with major mod flair!  More information can be found at Barry Keller’s Pop Thought.  

I chose this image because it reflects how I’m feeling these days.  It’s a meme for creating a new self in the age of a newly elected government leader and a dying economy.  In many ways it feels like the magic that informed my life has had to leave the world to recharge and I must reinvent myself to adapt to the challenges ahead.  I just realized how ironic it might seem to find empowerment in a storyline in which the lead is dis-empowered, but I think it’s great that Diana chose to stay in our world when she could have gone with her Amazon sisters and retained her status as an Amazon princess.  She felt called to adapt herself to a new way of life in a world that she wanted to help change.  That’s the lesson I’m choosing to learn from this story.

Storm Sunday: The Fall of the Mutants

wmutantmassIn 1987 Marvel had their X-titles (at the time this was Uncanny X-Men, New Mutants and X-Factor;  yeah, only three!  Hard to imagine in this day and age of franchises and properties) share a “Fall of the Mutants” banner (The above image was the advertisment for the event and drawn by Alan Davis).  The three titles didn’t actually crossover with each other, but they all shared a common thematic intention of shaking the individual teams up a bit and had their own separate storylines.

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Uncanny X-Men finally saw Storm finding resolution for her power loss (You read Lifedeath like I recommended, right?) and creating the team I am most fond of in X-Men history that would be known later as The Outback X-Men (consisting of Storm, Dazzler, Psylocke, Rogue, Longshot, Havok, Colossus, Wolverine and tagalong Madelyne Pryor).  X-Men fans were also treated to amazing artwork by superstar Marc Silvestri.  A fun adventure in fashion sees Storm regaining her powers while sporting a Native American ensemble with her ex, the newly buff and shamanic spell-casting inventor Forge (as you can see in the image above).  Forge finds his past has caught up with him and the X-Men pay the price with their lives (well, sorta kinda).  The pointed eared lady is Roma and she bends magic rules to help out our favorite mutants.  

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New Mutants broke my heart as one of my favorite characters died saving the life of a character for whom I’ve never had any sort of affinity.  Not to mention that it featured some of the worst characters in New Mutants history (The Right, Ani-mator, Bird Brain) in a The Island of Dr. Moreau storyline rip-off.  I also found Bret Blevins‘ artwork too cartoonish for the themes and violence depicted in this particular storyline.  However, as you can see from the above image, Blevins’ version of Magik is pretty sweet, somehow looking cute and formidable at the same time.    

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X-Factor brought a character back from the dead in an incarnation that is still recurring in the pages of the X-titles today (check out recent issues of X-Force).  This was really hard for me as a reader back then because I shed some real tears after reading issue #15 in which said character died as a result of injuries from the Mutant Massacre crossover.  This character is also one of my top five favorite characters ever and a part of me wishes he had really died than be brought back as he was.  The villain of this storyline is not one of my favorites (not even close) but his longevity has endured somehow and he pops up every now and then in spite of his repeated failures.  Survival of the fittest?  Kinda questionable if you ask me.  At least this comic had Walt Simonson‘s artwork going for it (as seen above)!    

uncanny2251Cover art by Marc Silvestri.  One of the characters on the right does something dastardly to a character on the left involving a face mask, some magick and a knife.  You gotta see it!  Go read “Fall of the Mutants” now!

Storm Sunday: Neal Adams

gsxmen003005Neal Adams is one of comicdom’s greats.  No two ways about this, folks.  You might know him from his Green Arrow/Green Lantern work or his early X-Men work or even from his belief in the expanding earth theory.  Or maybe this is your first exposure to this comics master.  Well, no matter.  Check out his wikipedia page or his personal site for amazing work and bibliography.  Today’s Storm Sunday showcases Neal’s art from Giant Size X-Men #3 (a sort of untold tale of the All-New, All-Different crew).  

Thunderbird (the Native American with the headband on), Sunfire (with the topknot and Rising Sun motif), Nightcrawler, Colossus and Storm battle each other (but mostly (Wolverine) in the Danger Room.  I like Adams’ inventive panel layout in the above page and I like how Storm’s powers are depicted in contrast with the extreme closeup of her face in the last panel.  Storm’s emotional distress practically radiates off the page.  But, really, what the hells is she wearing?  That pantsuit is horrific.  

gsxmen003007Nightcrawler surprises Storm and Thunderbird suckerpunches Wolverine (who quickly recovers), but Banshee ends the ruckus in his inimitable fashion (by screaming, natch!)

gsxmen003008Wolverine shows off his hairy muscles and takes a walkabout.  You don’t need the dialogue to appreciate his cocksure attitude.  You can almost hear him saying, “Thanks for the workout.  Just so you know, I’m going out and I’m taking the franchise with me.”

Wonder Woman Wednesday: Dan Brereton

brenecolorStrong, sultry and simmering, this image of Wonder Woman by Nocturnals artist Dan Brereton has it all! This is one of my favorite renditions of the Amazing Amazon because she looks physically strong, but also has an emotionally volatility to her expression.  She looks like she’s resting in between battles, but her mind is working overtime.  Sure, she’s in classic pin-up pose, but Dan makes it look almost natural.  Be sure to check out Dan’s artwork for sale here!

Storm Sunday: Phil Noto

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Ororo as drawn by Phil Noto. He gives a certain gravity to her character. Not only does he depict Storm with a sturdy build, the costume seems to weigh her down, especially the capes which look more like drapery. Conversely, her hair is cloud-like and wispy. The tiara could use some thickening, but it’s nice overall.  Her expression is a bit flat, but perhaps she’s simply concentrating.  It is challenging to invoke emotion with a character who is depicted with no pupils (when she’s using her powers, natch).

notoxmenPhil Noto painted this image of the X-Men featuring Rogue, Wolverine, Archangel, Cyclops, Beast, Phoenix and Storm.  What’s interesting about this image is how it mixes together old school costumes (Phoenix, Cyclops, Storm) with the 80s Wolverine costume and the Jim Lee designed Rogue costume and the Archangel as Death costume (originally seen in the first X-Factor series).

Storm Sunday: Scott Eaton


bp15_5croptThis 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.

blap015007_col 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.  
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 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).
blap015009_colStorm has her nose stuck in the air while the Arabian and African are still fighting it out.
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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.  
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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.  
bp15_5Oh, 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?

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