Storm Arcana

Heroic Tarot & Arcana Academy

Month: November 2010 (Page 1 of 2)

Heroic Tarot Tuesday: Cyclops

Jim Lee Cyclops

Greetings, dear reader!  This post is the thirteenth in a series about my process regarding my X-Men Tarot.  Today we take a look at all of the cards featuring Cyclops!

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, Wolverine is all of the Jacks, Jubilee is all of the Twos, Iceman is all of the Threes, etcetera.  Cyclops is represented on the face of all of the Kings.  If we think about how Kings represent mastery, wisdom and control then it makes a lot of sense for Scott Summers, known for his battle ready skill and tactics, to be featured on them.  Kings are leaders who understand the process and power of manifestation.  With a nurturing Queen by their side, they are a force with which to be reckoned.

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

XmenTitans46

“That’s the spirit.”

XmenTitans46

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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White Queen Wednesday: Giving Thanks

An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel

I appreciate you joining me for this Thanksgiving edition of White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. I had already written about an entirely different subject when I remembered this Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float from the late 1980s which included Emma Frost as the White Queen, and decided it would be fun to share this vintage video footage with you instead.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EYyVB9F5-w&fs=1&hl=en_US]

It is interesting to see Emma represented alongside other more established and recognizable Marvel Comics characters like Spider-Man and Captain America, considering at the time she hadn’t really made all that many appearances in the comic books themselves. Perhaps this can be seen as foreshadowing her recent rise to prominence as a major player in the modern Marvel Universe.

In fact, the only other X-Men characters I see on that float are Wolverine and Magneto. So Emma stands among a select few representatives of Marvel’s mutant contingent.

Although that one announcer clearly doesn’t know what she’s talking about. I’m willing to give her a pass on Dr Strange’s “explosive underground lab”, although I’ve personally never heard of any such thing in reference to the Sorcerer Supreme’s Sanctum Sanctorum. But Metropolis and Wonder Woman belong to the DC Comics stable of concepts and characters, not Marvel. Willard Scott seems to be aware of this fact when he jokes back “Hulk and Wonder Woman. Who knew?”

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Heroic Tarot Tuesday: Professor X

Professor X by Jim Lee

Greetings, dear reader!  This post is the first in a series about my process regarding my X-Men Tarot.  Today we take a look at all of the cards featuring Professor X.

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, Wolverine is all of the Jacks, Jubilee is all of the Twos, etcetera.  Professor X is represented on the face of all of the Aces.  If we think about how Aces represent the beginning of an idea or situation, it is proper that Xavier, the founder of a school for mutants to successfully integrate with humans, is on each of these cards.  Also, Aces trump other cards and Xavier is the most powerful telepath on the planet.  With his mutant detecting computer system Cerebro amplifying his powers, there is no where to hide from his powerful mind.  In fact, his onetime friend and oftentimes enemy, Magneto had to create a special helmet to protect himself from Charles Xavier’s mental prowess.

Aces also represent renewal and the Professor has a history of starting over many times.  His school has been blown up countless times and yet he rebuilds.  Many times he has regained his ability to walk and then lost it again.  It is interesting to think that a character in a fantasy universe, who lives in a world of cybernetic limbs, nanotech and clones, has to remain paralyzed.   But every time Professor X found a way to overcome his mobility challenge (even moving his consciousness into a cloned body), something has happened to return him to his wheelchair.  Perhaps the idea of the world’s most powerful mind combined with a physical handicap is too strong a metaphor to leave alone.  Marvel certainly has gone back to this well many times.

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Wiccan + Hulkling = ♥

hulklingwiccankameurashima

I have become obsessed with Young Avengers, due in no small part to the characters of Wiccan and Hulkling.  Writer Allan Heinberg and artist Jimmy Cheung bring the goods when it comes to these groundbreaking characters, but many artists have developed an affinity for them as well and have drawn their own versions.  It comes as no surprise to me that two mainstream comic book superheroes have developed such a large fan base, as heroic gay male characters (especially ones in a relationship) are scarce.   There’s still a lot of work to be done, but Wiccan and Hulkling are leading the charge for change.  Above, Kame Urashima draws a particularly starstruck Hulkling and Wiccan.  I found Urashima on deviant ART in addition to many awesome artists who have created work featuring these Young Avengers.  

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Storm Sunday Extra: Felipe Massafera

x-men by felipe massafera

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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Storm Sunday: Clever, Classy & Cute

Age of X

What’s coming up for Marvel’s mutants?  Something called the “Age of X.”  Writer Mike Carey spoke with Comic Book Resources a little bit about the roster and what the crossover (running through X-Men: Legacy and New Mutants) might or might not be.  Details were hard to come by, and the creators were especially coy, but this information is interesting:

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The Gift of Heroic Tarot

Gambit by stormantic

Gambit as drawn by STORM (after Jim Lee)

“Allow the surface noise to fade.  I am here waiting.”  ~Solus (The Faeries’ Oracle)

Today I had great difficulty putting my thoughts down, so I asked the Faeries’ Oracle for assistance in how to best approach my writing.  I was very excited when I drew the bright fiery face of Solus, representative of Knowledge, Consciousness, Synthesis, and Spiritual Empowerment.  His presence in a reading lends us energy, revitalizes us so that we may shine brighter than before.  He reminds us that we are lightbringers.  As I type this, I feel brighter than I did before I drew his card.

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White Queen Wednesday: Like a Phoenix

An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel

jeanA

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: Storm

Jim Lee Storm 1

Greetings, dear reader!  This post is the twelth in a series about my process regarding my X-Men Tarot.  Today we take a look at all of the cards featuring Storm!

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, Wolverine is all of the Jacks, Professor X is all of the Aces, etcetera.  Storm is represented on the face of all of the Queens, which if we consider that Queens symbolize maturity, competence and devotion, makes a lot of sense.  Who better than the former tribal “goddess” and current co-regent of Wakanda to bring the wisdom of these concepts?  Another role that Queens play is that of counselor.  Reflecting back on all of the X-Men who have bent our weather goddess’ ear over the years (Wolverine, Professor X, Nightcrawler, Gambit, Kitty Pryde, etcetera) for sage advice, this aspect also perfectly aligns Storm as Queen (Ororo also become Queen in name as well as role when she married the Black Panther, although that title is up for some debate in recent comic storylines).

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