Storm Arcana

Intuitive Visionary Coach & Founder of Arcana Academy

Tag: Anole

Storm Sunday: Coipel, McLeod & Djurdjević

Storm by Olivier Coipel

This Storm Sunday we look at three awesome images by three awesome artists!  First up, we have Olivier Coipel (who also drew an amazing gatefold image for the House of M series).  This commission from this year’s Toronto convention is simply stunning!  Storm does look a lot younger than I am accustomed to seeing her portrayed and she is supermodel runway thin, but I think it all works.  Love the white highlights depicting lighting (lightning?).  I looked for a definitive website for this superstar artist, but didn’t come across anything substantial (even his Wikipedia entry needs massive updating).  I enjoyed his early work on Legion Lost and his most recent run on Thor.

Storm McLeod

Bob McLeod is no stranger to comics, having worked on a number of projects since the early 1970s.  I learned about him from his work on the New Mutants graphic novel and first three issues of the ongoing series.  His version of Storm (above) is classic curvy Ororo (a la John Byrne).

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Marko Djurdjević has been creating covers for Marvel for years after gaining recognition and notoriety for his redesigns of the X-Men.  Now he is known for creating definitive X-Men images like the giant poster above  (click on it for a much larger view).

In 2009, he published a book detailing his Marvel art.  Comic Should Be Good has some great examples of Djurdjević’s pencils and painted work.  Djurdjević has drawing videos on YouTube and his art DVD, Character Ideation, is now available as a download.  I love his Warlock redesign.

Anole by David Yardin

David Yardin Anole

Artist David Yardin always brings his best to the characters he draws and this portrait of young mutant Anole is no exception!  Anole’s Wikipedia entry is an interesting read because it covers in continuity stories as well as behind the scenes information.  Although he is known as one of the few openly gay characters in the Marvel Universe, his creators (Christina Weir and Nunzio DeFilippis)  intended to have him commit suicide after not finding acceptance.  Editorial nixed the idea and had them rewrite the issues.

I’m so glad that that old trope was discarded because popular culture needs more positive role models for gay teens, not less.   Subsequent writers and artists have made Anole’s sexuality just one more aspect of a multi-faceted character, although they have not shied away from incorporating it into the narrative.  In an interesting twist, Anole’s community (before he came to the X-Men) had no problem with him being gay or a mutant until anti-mutant hysteria spreads to his town, creating problems for the young man.

Just as the writers have invested in making Anole multi-dimensional, David Yardin’s artwork depicts a realistic look at the character.  Make sure you check out David Yardin’s artwork on his Deviant Art account!

Alpha Male: Northstar

David Yardin Northstar

Northstar (Jean-Paul Beaubier) debuted as a member of Canadian super-team Alpha Flight in Uncanny X-Men #120.  He is now a full-fledged member of the X-Men and is also one of the first comic book characters to be openly gay.  Whether he is the first or not depends on whether one counts creator intent versus actual in-comic revelation.  Creator John Byrne has said that he meant for Northstar to be gay from his inception in 1979 (but then Marvel Editor Jim Shooter had a no gays policy in Marvel Comics).  Northstar didn’t actually come out until 1992 in Alpha Flight #106.   The portrait above is by extraordinary artist David Yardin.

Northstar John Byrne

Comicvine has a intensive summary of Northstar’s history, comics fan Eric A. Diaz waxes rhapsodic about the mutant speedster on Gayscape, and Uncanny X-Men.net has a great entry about Jean-Paul (including a costumes checklist).   Above, Northstar looks appropriately pleased with himself (the character has a history of being smug) in a fan commission piece by character creator John Byrne.

John Byrne Northstar457

This illustration by John Byrne was used for Northstar’s entry in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (an invaluable resource for learning about the decades of Marvel character history).  You can also read more about Northstar and the behind the scenes stories regarding his depiction at Lonely Gods (scroll down until you see Jean-Paul).

northstarswimsuit1994

P. Craig Russell created this amazing artwork for a 1994 Marvel Swimsuit Special.  Strangely enough, the final result was altered before publication. Compare the original above with this image.  The one you see here is more playful, almost a little goofy.  It is rare to see Northstar at ease.  The final result is a more serious portrait, devoid of humor and whimsy.

northstar_beefcake

Joe Phillips shows the sexy side of Northstar in this commission piece from 2009.  It would be nice to see more of this aspect of Jean-Paul’s personality in the mainstream comics.  Tim Fish recently explored Northstar’s personal life in Nation X #2 (and talked about it for Comicus).  Marvel has a great post about it with selected art.

Northstar by Dave Ross

Dave Ross drew a more beefcake version of Northstar, who also looks more contemplative than usual.  Jean-Paul is not usually depicted as thoughtful or deep, but there’s always room for improvement!

Northstar_1_COVER by Dario Carrasco Jr and Mark McKenna

Here’s the cover to Northstar #1 by Dario Carrasco, Jr. and Mark McKenna.  Interestingly enough, Marvel chose not to mention Northstar’s sexuality at all in this four issue mini-series.  I remember being extremely disappointed in this series especially after the coming out hype from the Alpha Flight series.

Northstar and Aurora by Tom Burgos

Aurora is twin sister to Northstar and has an equally complicated character history as her brother.  Their storylines are often about each other (Northstar spent a lot of time searching for Aurora).   Check out this bio about Aurora.  The above image of the French-Canadian siblings is by Tom Burgos.

Mark Brooks Northstar & Aurora 382

Mark Brooks drew the Beaubier twins for X-Men Annual #1.  It was a monumental storyline  for the twins by Mike Carey, restoring them to their most basic character templates.  Check out a preview of the comic on Comic Book Resources.

Mark Brooks Northstar & Aurora prelim 380

Another Mark Brooks portrait of Aurora and Northstar, this one a preliminary sketch.

Northstar by j. bone

Toronto based illustrator and comic book artist J. Bone draws an awesome Northstar!  Jean-Paul looks beefy, but streamlined; cocky, but also heroic.  I say let him draw the character regularly.  Fans of more manly beefcake should check out Bone’s blog Man’s Adventure.

For more about gay characters in comics check out this Comics Alliance article, Prism Comics, and the Gay League!

Happy Gay Pride!

Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that there was no White Queen Wednesday this week.  There will also be no new Storm Sunday for today.  stormantic is a San Francisco-based blog and in our fabulous city, we take our Gay Pride seriously.  What I’m trying to say is, Ken and STORM have been swept up in the amazing goings on that celebrate gay, lesbian, bisexual, transexual, queer, questioning and other identities and we just don’t possess the discipline to be inside blogging right now.  We’ve got dancing and marching and partying to do!  We encourage you to get together with your queer loved ones and do the same.  Much love to you all!

Okay, so having Dazzler lead the way in this post was misleading.  Alison Blaire does not identify as gay, but a lot of her fans do!  Thanks, Dazzler, for lighting up our lives!  And for some actual queerness, I give you Rictor and Shatterstar making out.

No Gay Pride X-post would be complete without Northstar, Marvel’s first out gay male character (who just happens to have pointy ears like a faerie! thanks a lot, Marvel).  I’m not saying I love this character.  It’s just if we’re gonna celebrate mutant boys who like boys, we gotta trot out the gay X-Men poster boy.

And here’s Anole, the newest Queer among the latest generation of X-Men.  I have no opinion one way or another on this character.  He’s not much more than a gay lizard boy at this point in his character lifespan.

And we close with an image of Karma, lovely lesbian of the New Mutants.  I love this girl.  She’s mature, thoughtful and her power kicks ass (she can possess people).  Let’s hope she finds a girlfriend that is cool with artificial limbs (Karma lost a leg in the recent X-Men: Second Coming crossover).
That’s it for now, dear readers.  Ken and I will be back on track with Emma and Ororo, respectively, this coming week!  Thanks for your understanding!

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