Today the spotlight falls on David Yardin who, judging from his artwork, must have a special place in his heart for our Weather Witch! This piece featuring Storm and Rogue in the Savage Land is gorgeous! I am loving the details from the clothing to the fern to the dinosaur lurking in the background. Click on any image to see it larger.
Storm and Nightcrawler on the offensive! Such great expressions! Check out David Yardin’s Deviant Art profile for more of his work featuring many Marvel characters!
David Yardin’s artwork graces the recent covers of X-Factor and he drew the absolutely breathtaking issue of X-Men Origins: Gambit. He also drew the cover for X-Men: Worlds Apart #2 and many Ms. Marvel covers. And Ken Kneisel (and other White Queen fans), you should click here.
Yardin’s artistic contributions to the Marvel Universe are far reaching! While researching him, I discovered he designed one of my favorite Wolverine: First Class covers!
This convention sketch has me green with envy. Storm’s profile is simply perfect! Marvel, give Storm a solo ongoing and get Yardin to pencil it! ’Nuff said!
Swankety Swank presents SwankSpeak! The Official Voice from the House of Swankety Swank! This ‘zine is chock-full of amazing goodness that speaks to the creative forces driving our conscious consumer commodities boutique/art gallery. Inside you will find an interview with gibbous fashion house conducted by yours truly, my new column Creative Genius and a one page comic of Galaxy Runway: Supermodel Sorceress of the Cosmic Catwalk (spinning off from my Princess Witch Boy comic book!). If you are in San Francisco, come on down and visit Swankety Swank for your free copy! If you aren’t in the city, you can order your own copy of this premier issue or a year’s subscription!
I never get tired of looking at the art of Arthur Adams! This Magik piece is from 1985 and all you have to do is pick up an issue of Ultimate X to see that the man is continuing his tradition of remaining an artistic powerhouse! Read an interview (from 2001) with the comics master at Comic Book Artist Magazine!
The following pictures are from Dolce & Gabbana‘s Man Fashion Show for their Winter 2011 line. D&G said they were inspired by Baaria, a movie about three generations in a Sicilian village coping with fascism, war, communism and the Mafia.
All of the clothes have a depression era working class kind of look to them.
Nice boots! Is this model wearing a D&G version of long johns?
This guy was the centerpiece for the show. He even led all of the models out for the group runway walk.
More questioning faces. I do like these clothes. There’s something about them that says casual and expressive at the same time. Like you could go visit a vineyard in Italy or read poetry in Greenwich Village. A bit Bohemian, perhaps even Beatnik, but definitely a throwback to another time. These designs seem steeped in nostalgia. I’ve never paid attention to a men’s fashion line like this before, nor been so captivated. I find myself going back to it again and again.
As shop manager of Swankety Swank, I do my best to stay informed about the work of artists in San Francisco. I came across the photography of Marco Walker while reading a copy of inGEN magazine and was blown away. His website has some beautiful work, but here’s two of my favorites!
This image has a captivating story to it with the anguished boy and the fire behind him. I love how the foggy atmosphere adds an ethereal quality to the narrative.
This young woman reminds me of the myths of Persephone, Gaia and Demeter as she appears to be rising from the hay field. Her makeup is minimal but still striking and I like the minimal color palette in this photograph. There’s many more gorgeous photos awaiting you at Marco Walker’s site!
I recently featured Paul Abrams on a Storm Sunday highlighting his amazing pencils of our most esteemed Weather Goddess. He also does a great rendition of Wolverine!
Cleans up well, doesn’t he? I almost forgot Logan could be handsome. Now go check out Abrams’ berserker version, suited up, haunted, smoking, angry, inked, and trading card versions of Wolvie! Buy something from the man! And while you’re at it, make Paul Abrams his own wikipedia page! ’Nuff said!
Before I comment on today’s featured artwork, I would like to take a moment and thank you, dear reader, for taking the time to read this blog! Whether you are a Facebook friend, a Twitter follower, or a diehard X-Men fan, I appreciate you stopping by! I especially would like to thank those of you who take the the time to leave comments! Thank you to Ken Kneisel, Cynjon, Akeeko, Astra, Scarlett, Ted, Ingonyama, Phil Green, Jake Fritch, Emily Stackhouse, Ryan Haupt, Gregorio, Jeysu, DAX!, Cassandra, Norah, Aaron Frey, David Salomon, CHUNK, Diego Gomez, Kevin Patterson, Juba Kalamka, Mrs. Finney, Afghanant, Yabette, CGeezy, Greg, Cosmic Falcon, Simonn, Wubing, Richard MacKinnon and anyone else who I am forgetting! Your interaction with stormantic means a lot to me!
That said, let’s reminisce about the All New, All Different X-Men, back when the new characters were still mysterious and fresh!
It is strange to me to “hear” Storm calling someone a “fool,” especially Colossus, but she was quick to judge Piotr’s actions in this page’s first panel from Giant Size X-Men #1. I like to think that since all life is precious to Storm and she thinks Colossus is being rash that she couldn’t help but call him a fool in a mothering kind of way. It’s cool to see Thunderbird and Cyclops team up because I like how Thunderbird is having the same negative thoughts about their situation except he’s actually stating his misgivings while Cyclops keeps them to himself. I really liked Thunderbird and his death had a big impact on me when I read these stories as reprints in Classic X-Men. Artwork by Dave Cockrum.
Unlike the original 5 students of Xavier’s the new crew already know how to use their powers, needing little in the way of training. Working together as a team, well that’s another story. I love this page from Uncanny X-Men #98 because it shows the reader that Storm is quite capable of utilizing her powers in amazing and effective ways. ”…I have total control over my abilities…’” she tells Cyclops after she wreaks havoc on a Sentinel. I miss seeing Storm portrayed like she is in panel 4, with her hair and cape flowing upwards. And just like the page before, this one ends with Cyclops freaking out. I never get tired of Cyclops losing his cool. Artwork by Dave Cockrum.
This is the first page of Marvel Team Up #100 which tells a story from Storm’s past involving the Black Panther. This is the little tale that rationalized Marvel’s decision to wed Storm to the Black Panther. Artwork by John Byrne & Bob McLeod.
When Marvel and DC Comics decided to merge their respective universes into one, they created Amalgam Comics. This issue starred Storm as Wonder Woman and was written and drawn by John Byrne with inks by Terry Austin. I enjoyed the story which placed Ororo on Paradise Island as a sister to Diana. It’s worth checking out if you come across it. I do like the combined visual of Ororo’s trademark cape and Diana’s accoutrements.
Kitty and Storm have a heart to heart–in the sky, naturally–after Storm changes from den mother to punk rocker. It looks like artists Paul Smith is the artist of this issue of Uncanny X-Men #180, but it is actually John Romita, Jr. inked by Bob Wiacek. I remember reading this issue and realizing I had never read an exchange like this one in a comic book before. It brought me to tears thinking about the concepts Ororo and Kitty were discussing. I had only read about identity, change and love like this in novels before. Interpersonal relationships like this one were what kept me enthralled with the X-Men for a long time.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re taking a look at some of the more prominent couplings of the X-Men. Although the X-Men’s goal is to bridge the gap between humans and mutants, when it comes to dating they don’t stray too far from their racial or class groups. They also seem to gravitate towards other members who have endured similar traumatic experiences. Why go into therapy? Just find another damaged soul and cling to them as long as you can!
Jean Grey (Marvel Girl/Phoenix) and Scott Summers (Cyclops) were the first X-Men romance story and since they debuted in 1963 they are basically the Barbie and Ken of the mutant set. Jean’s Phoenix/Dark Phoenix storyline was the best of her character career, but since Phoenix was retconned to not be Jean after all, that leaves us with a dearth of amazing Jean stories to celebrate her, with or without Scott. Frankly, I find their romance to be little more than a romantic template for the stories that came later. Jean and Scott, although a classic X-Men couple, have evolved beyond high school sweethearts. If and when Jean returns from the White Hot Room, I’d love to see her stay single for a while and perhaps join the Avengers. I’d rather her be with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes instead of enabling Scott’s current fascist dictatorship, er, I mean Utopia. Art by Greg & Tim Hildebrandt.
Rogue and Remy Le Beau (Gambit) are both from the South so they have to date one another, right? I mean, they both have ridiculous accents and martyr complexes! Hey ya’ll, mon chere, sugah, mah petite, etcetera….you can’t touch me, but I care for you…I have dark secrets, but I still love you…..Mystique is my mother and she raised me to be bad, but I didn’t mean to permanently absorb Ms. Marvel’s powers. I don’t wanna be bad…..I made a deal with Mr. Sinister, but I didn’t mean to lead the Marauders to kill off the Morlocks. I don’t wanna be bad….Ugh. Perhaps it’s true that like attracts like, but this is ridiculous. The less said about these two the better. Art by Mike Choi.
Ororo Munroe (Storm) is a native African with white hair and blue eyes, while Forge is a Native American. Add them together and you have a minority romance made in heaven! Except you don’t really. I’ve already written about how I feel about this coupling, but now that I look at the cover to Lifedeath again, it occurs to me how having Storm kneeling in front of Forge is a symbol for her entire role in their relationship. Can we say servitude, anyone? Art by Barry Windsor-Smith.
Betsy Braddock (Psylocke) is a rich white British model & Warren Kenneth Worthington III (Angel/Archangel) is a rich white American playboy. Their parents even have ties to the decadent underground party playground known as the Hellfire Club. Betsy gets tortured and brainwashed after entering the Siege Perilous and becomes the evil Lady Mandarin. Warren gets tortured and brainwashed after attempting suicide and becomes Apocalypse’s fourth horseman, Death! Don’t forget the subsequent Crimson Dawn fiasco and then the Kwannon/Psylocke double identity mess. Or the fact that Warren’s metal wings fall off (not kidding) and his feathered wings return. And then his metal wings return and his feathered ones remain, so Warren can switch back and forth. Wow, with all this body mutilation, it’s no wonder Betsy and Warren were/might still be a couple! They have so much in common! Art by Andy Kubert.
Piotr Rasputin (Colossus) & Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat, but no one calls her by her code name). He’s Russian, she’s Jewish. Make your own conclusions about that. Peter was Kitty’s first love. There was a ruckus for a minute because he “dated” some healer lady in a crossover that took place in outer space. Then he was dead for a minute and Kitty dated another guy named Peter who was everything Peter #1 was not. Colossus and Kitty were reunited in a storyline basically lifted from Claremont’s oeuvre and then she went to outer space and got fused to a giant magic bullet. No, really. When Kitty returns, I bet she and Colossus get together again. The writer’s clause that states, “This is how it was when I first read the Claremont stories and that’s how it should be” will be to blame for this reunion. Frankly, I find Kitty’s attraction to Piotr to stem from her adolescent letdown of her parent’s divorce and since her dad is dead, she’s more in need of a father figure than ever. Not that Piotr knows anything about that, he couldn’t even figure out he fathered a child in the Savage Land (Even after the mother named the child after him). This couple seems to be doomed to remain together due to nostalgia rather than character progression. Just stay out of outer space you two! Art by John Cassaday.
Alex Summers (Havok) & Lorna Dane (Polaris). He suffers from an inferiority complex because he’ll never be as cool or together as his brother Scott (Cyclops). Lorna suffers from an inferiority complex because she’ll never be as cool or together as her father Magneto (also known as Max Eisenhardt, Magnus and Erik Lehnsherr). She’s been evil/possessed by Erik the Red and Malice. He conveniently dated his brother’s estranged wife Madelyne while pretending to be dead in Australia. Then he was seemingly killed, but actually shunted to another dimension where he dated an alternate reality version of Madelyne Pryor, only to “date” a nurse in his mind (Her son was telepathic and was playing matchmaker). Havok left the dimension and came out of his coma and tried to marry this nurse, but Polaris interrupted the wedding because her mind had snapped due to absorbing the deaths of millions of mutants on Genosha. Havok and Polaris are now in outer space fighting aliens alongside some other aliens and are getting along just fine. Art by Billy Tan.
Alison Blaire (Dazzler) & Longshot became a couple not long after a random teleportational explosion dropped off Longshot in the Danger Room. Both of them are refugees (She from Disco, he from Mojoworld) and best of all they are both blonde! There was some flirtation between Longshot and Rogue (And every other female thanks to Longshot’s innate something or other), but Dazzler quickly staked her claim on him. They were a couple for a little while and then Professor X revealed that Alison was pregnant. The two lovers moved to Mojoworld (Worst vacation spot ever) and the pregnancy was never mentioned again (Unless all those X-Babies are hers! I kid, I kid!). Longshot lost his memories of their relationship and is now a member of X-Factor. Alison is back with the X-Men living on Utopia. They reconnected in the flesh in the recent X-Factor Nation X crossover. Art by Valentine De Landro.
Emma Frost (White Queen) & Scott Summers (Cyclops) are certainly the poster children for a post modern X-Men couple. After years of trying to kill the X-Men, Emma now leads them alongside Scott. Scott had a mental affair with Emma when Jean was still alive, but was given Jean’s blessing (from the afterlife) to be with Emma. Convenient, yes? Emma certainly gives Scott an edge and makes him more interesting to read about (Is his new Utopia stance a result of her influence? I don’t mean to say I think she’s controlling him. Not at all. I just think his tactics are more similar to her Hellfire Club ways). Cyclops is no fool; he knows Emma’s past and present peccadillos and still trusts her. The heart of the ice queen may have melted, but only for Scott. One wonders if Emma’s reformation would revert without Scott to love her, but perhaps the memory of her dead students (the Hellions and those lost in Genosha) is enough to inspire her to continue leading the remaining mutants left over from M Day. At the moment, she and Scott are the world’s premier mutant couple and one of the top power couples in the Marvel Universe. Art by John Cassaday.
Ororo Iqadi T’Challa, née Munroe (Storm) & T’Challa (Black Panther). Black Panther is not a mutant and is not a member of the X-Men. However, since this Sunday is dedicated to Storm, I could not pass this one up. In an ideal world, Ororo and T’Challa’s relationship would have been given time and story to develop so their marriage could have been more accepted, perhaps even supported, by fandom. In an ideal world, Storm and the Black Panther would be given equal billing on the cover of a comic to reflect their power couple status of the world, much like Emma and Cyclops are at the moment. Unfortunately, their marriage is seen as a rush job by some, with some fans feeling that Storm was paired with the Black Panther based on their cultural heritage alone or as a sales stunt. The fact that their marriage was part of the Civil War crossover demeans their union (Iron Man & Captain America face off on their wedding cover!!!) .
As far as comic canon continuity goes, there isn’t much to base a romance on besides a youthful flirtation and then a retconned mini-series of that adventure of years past. Nothing was written in the Black Panther or X-Men titles to help me understand why Storm, a leader who has consistently put her mutant tribe before her own desires, suddenly decides to marry a man with a kingdom of responsibilities. This came at a time when mutants were more vulnerable than ever. To many fans, it seemed that Storm abandoned her friends, her community and Xavier’s dream all at once, just so she could become the “Bride of the Panther.” I do think Ororo and T’Challa are compatible. However, I do not think this is a marriage of equals. T’Challa is too used to being unanswerable to anyone. As a patriarchal ruler, his condescending “my lady” outdated chivalrous behavior treats her more as a figurehead or object. He needs to recognize that Storm is more than capable of holding her own and that if she helps him fight his battles that makes him no less of a man. I would hold that the opposite is true. It takes a strong man to recognize a strong woman can be his teammate and his beloved, and to give her the respect she is due as his equal. It would also help if writers quit writing them as Beyonce and Jay-Z (No thanks to Reggie Hudlin for creating that out of character meme). Art by Salvador Larroca.
We’ve learned that the X-Men are a dysfunctional group, especially when it comes to dating. It’s hard being a superhero and one’s love life certainly takes a beating in the process. I’ve summarized what I think of a lot of X-Men relationships, and before anyone asks about Husk and Angel (eww!) or Magneto and Rogue (huh?), let me just say that I focused on the couplings that seemed to have the most “screen time.” I also chose to not feature any human/mutant pairings like Nightcrawler and Amanda Sefton or Archangel and Charlotte Jones. Out of the couples represented in this post, which do you think still have some life left in them? Are there some that you were fans of for a while, but then grew tired of? Do you think it’s odd that the white folks, Southerners, minorities and body-damaged seem to only seriously date each other? Let me know in the comments and in this poll!
This song has been on my mind all day! So I thought by sharing it with you, dear reader, that it might find it’s way back to the musical ether from which it came. Consider it an internet exorcism if you will. No, I have no opinion on the Bond film it is from. I’m more apt to remember a Bond film song than the film. The one exception is perhaps “A View to a Kill” because it had Grace Jones in it! She was awesome! I did own the title song by Duran Duran on an actual record which is unusual for me because I never really collected records. However, I did play that 45 single over and over again! Regardless, here is Sheena Easton serving some serious face while shadow assassins spar around closeups of her lips!
For Your Eyes Only by Sheena Easton
For your eyes only, can see me through the night
For your eyes only, I never need to hide
You can see so much in me, so much in me that`s new
I never felt until I looked at you
For your eyes only, only for you
You`ll see what noone else can see, and now I`m breaking free
For your eyes only, only for you
The love I know you need in me, the fantasy you`ve freed in me
Only for you, only for you
For your eyes only, the nights are never cold
You really know me, that`s all I need to know
Maybe I`m an open book because I know you`re mine
But you won`t need to read between the lines
For your eyes only, only for you
You see what no one else can see, and now I`m breaking free
For your eyes only, only for you
The passions that collide in me, the wild abandoned side of me
Only for you, for your eyes only
Help your friends and lovers find their inner superhero!