Storm Arcana

Intuitive Visionary Coach & Founder of Arcana Academy

Tag: Cable

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

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“That’s the spirit.”

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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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Storm Sunday Extra: Felipe Massafera

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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: 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.

Storm Sunday Extra: X-Men Second Coming #2

X-Men Second Coming 2

Last week X-Men Second Coming #2 came out, bringing to a close the most recent X-Men crossover/event.  There are four different stories in this issue.  Chapter 1 is written by Zeb Wells who is the writer of New Mutants.  Chapter 2 is told by Mike Carey, writer of X-Men: Legacy.  Chapter 3 is written by X-Force scribes Craig Kyle and Chris Yost.  Chapter 4 is told by Matt Fraction.  It is satisfying to read the respective X-writers tying up the storylines relating to their titles.  The chapter I found most satisfying was Chapter 3 by Kyle and Yost.  These gentlemen have a gift for writing X-characters in a manner that is infused by their history.  The voices simply ring true to me.  This is not to say that Kyle and Yost rest on their laurels regarding plot or character development.  Somehow, there is a sense that every sentence and action is moving the characters forward.  There is reverence for continuity, but also an awareness of looking to the future.  There is momentum in every story they write and that has made them one of my favorite writing teams.

In Chapter 3 of X-Men Second Coming #2, Wolverine is sitting on the floor of recently departed X-Men member Nightcrawler’s room drinking a lot of beers.  Storm enters the room.  The following is a transcript of their dialogue for the first two pages of this chapter.

WOLVERINE:  Leave me alone.

STORM:  I can’t do that….What are you doing, Logan?

WOLVERINE:  I came down here, all lit up.  Had it in my head that people were going to come take his stuff.  Nearly killed one of the students, thinking they were taking something, like a damn souvenir.  They were leaving a candle, making a shrine.  I keep saying he was the  only one that treated me like I wasn’t some kind of animal, but he died…he died knowing that’s exactly what I am.

STORM:  Was he wrong?

WOLVERINE:  No.

STORM:  I spoke with Scott about X-Force.  He said he ordered you to do it.  He took full responsibility.  I laughed at him.  I laughed at the thought of someone making you do something.  Even Scott.

(STORM picks up a framed photo from the All-New, All-Different era.  CYCLOPS, NIGHTCRAWLER, STORM, JEAN GREY and WOLVERINE are laughing and smiling.)

STORM:  Goddess help me.  I feel old, Logan.  Every time I feel like I’ve cried all the tears I have to cry…there he is again. I am taking this picture.  You may try and kill me if you like.  Isn’t that what you do now?

WOLVERINE:  ‘Ro…

STORM:  You hunt down our enemies and murder them before they can act against us.  That is what your X-Force does, correct?  Because right now, the only thing that’s separating you from our enemies is semantics.  Tell me I’m wrong, Logan.

WOLVERINE:  You’re not wrong.  But you weren’t exactly there, were you?  You want to judge us from up on your throne?  Go ahead, but X-Force was out there trying to prevent all this.  Trying to prevent genocide, any way we could.  If that makes us the bad guys, I’ll take the heat for that.

STORM:  X-Men don’t kill, we always said.  Yes, that line has blurred over the years, but what you and Scott did here…and involving Rahne and James and Laura…

WOLVERINE:  I didn’t want that.  I didn’t even want Summers involved.  The thought of him killing people like that?  That’s not him.  That’s me.  And you know what?  If I had to do it all over again, I’d kill more of them.  Because maybe if I had killed more of them, Kurt would still be alive.

STORM:  I’m sorry to hear that.  Because that means this could very well be the last drink we will ever share together.

End scene.

This conversation about X-Force’s secret wetworks missions has been a long time in coming.  I thought Logan and Ororo’s voices were very much in character  (Well, as much as a characters who appear in multiple comics and are written by a number of writers can be.  Incidentally, I also enjoy Warren Ellis’ take on these two X-Men in the Astonishing title).  The hallmarks of Kyle and Yost’s writing style that I mentioned are evident.  The past is referenced to contrast with the current situation which is influencing the future relationships of the characters.  Brilliant!

However, as fascinating as this conversation was to me, my favorite moment came a few pages later, when Cyclops is talking to Wolverine and says:

CYCLOPS:  They all came and talked to me, individually.  The old crew, Storm, Colossus, Iceman…Professor Xavier…he could see it in my thoughts that I didn’t regret anything we did.  And he looked at me like he was seeing a stranger.  Storm…it was weird.  She laughed, and asked me what I thought Jean would think about X-Force.  And Hank…he’s not coming back.

Wow.  It’s interesting to me that the writers chose to tell the reader about this moment twice instead of showing it.  Hearing Storm and Cyclop’s perspectives separately gives the scene a Rashomon effect.  I really enjoyed this issue.  I found it to be a quite capstone on a crossover that was epic in its action and casualties.  I’m still not a fan of Hope and didn’t really expect this storyline to make me interested in her as she’s still primarily depicted as an object rather than a person, but I’m interested to see how this event changes the X-Men for better or worse.  I’m rather joyous that (SPOILER ALERT) Cable bit the dust, but bitter about Nightcrawler’s death.  And Rogue totally got shafted by Cyclops in the end for a decision that she made that any of us in her position would have made.  (END SPOILER ALERT)

This crossover is definitely worth a read.  It has plenty of pathos and just enough human elements to keep you interested in Marvel’s (not so merry these days) mutants.

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