Storm Arcana

Intuitive Visionary Coach & Founder of Arcana Academy

Tag: Marvel Girl

Storm Sunday: Yildiray Cinar

storm by cinar

Today we celebrate the artwork of Yildiray Cinar, an artist from Istanbul, Turkey.  Although Cinar works for DC Comics (currently penciling The Legion of Super-Heroes), today we look at the art of many (and I mean many) Marvel characters he drew for Rittenhouse Archives.  Usually, Storm Sunday focuses solely on our weather maven (and she’s in here, I promise), but she’s going to share the spotlight with her Marvel Universe compatriots.  I will list the names of the characters for the uninitiated, but comments will be sparse as we let the art speak for itself!  If you have a favorite, let me know in the comments.  Let’s go!

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Storm Sunday: Olivier Coipel

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I was a bit surprised to realize that I have not dedicated a Storm Sunday to the amazing linework of Olivier Coipel, an omission that will be corrected today!  You’ve seen this variant cover of X-Men #1 (Volume 2)in all of its colored glory, now feast your eyes on the original pencils featuring Storm, Pixie, Wolverine, Emma Frost, Jubilee and Cyclops.  Coipel never fails to make Storm look like a supermodel!

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Storm Sunday: Alan Davis, Part IV

alan davis x-men annual part 2

Today we look at a great selection of  X-Men artwork by the legendary Alan Davis.  Previously we have looked at his work here, here and here.

I recall finding Uncanny X-Men Annual #11 at a book trader (when it was new on the stands) and jumping up in glee at the image.  Alan Davis was already a favorite illustrator of mine and seeing Wolverine, Storm and Psylocke featured so prominently made me squeal.  I had a similar reaction a week ago when I discovered that the art for this Annual actually had separate pieces!  So cool to find this out years later.  Above, we witness our heroes fighting Horde, an alien warlord who made the X-Men travel to the Citadel of Light and Shadow where they had to fight against their hearts’ desires. However, this is not the complete cover.  The background artwork was drawn separately and is featured below.

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Storm Sunday: Paul Smith, Part II

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Paul Smith is a god. There, I said it.  Seriously, his lines are clean, his characters solid and his style has a fluidity perhaps only seen in Cliff Chiang today.  Smith’s Uncanny X-Men run illustrated some great Chris Claremont stories and is fondly remembered by fans and critics alike.  Today we take a look at some of his classic images of Marvel’s mutants.

Above, the whole gang is comin’ atcha with Wolverine (naturally) leading the charge.  Smith left his mark on some of these characters, especially the female X-Men.  Smith had the challenge of softening Rogue’s look while still maintaining her rough edges (she was in transition between bad girl to hero), while conversely he had to harden Storm while still retaining her feminine mystique (who was leaving some of her earth mother behind to become a better leader).  Also, Kitty was growing up a bit as an X-Man and Smith designed costumes for her that spoke to her spunky spitfire personality as well as her playful sensibility.  And Lockheed the dragon, well, no one draws him better than Paul Smith (although Art Adams comes close).

Paul Smith X-MenPinup
That’s not to say that Smith didn’t lend his amazing talents to the male characters of the team as well as well.  Smith’s Colossus was quite the gentle giant, Wolverine looked like a scrapper with the outfits to  match, and one could actually believe that Cyclops was once nicknamed “Slim” due to the narrow athletic build Smith gave him.  The above sketch to a lucky Leo conveys the individuality of each X-Men member to which I am referring.  Facial shapes and structures are unique to each character (not just hair and costumes).  No one even has the same eyebrows!  I love this image because it reminds me of the family dynamic the X-Men once had.  Paul Smith took the Cockrum and Byrne illustration styles and made them his own.
Paul Smith Colossus & Doc
I believe this above image was a commission for a fan and if so, what a great piece to have in one’s collection!  Just as Paul Smith made the X-Men his own, his work on Doctor Strange is classic!  In this image, Colossus asks Doctor Strange for assistance in finding his little sister, the New Mutant Magik!
Paul Smith Colossus Kitty

A sweet sketch of lovebirds Kitty and Piotr.  I love this costume for Kitty, probably because the V’s look nice with her curves and I have always loved billowy sleeves on her. I think they give her phasing abilities a pleasing visual.
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This X-Men Unlimited cover told the story of Kitty coping with the death of Colossus (don’t worry, he got better).  Who better than Paul Smith to provide the cover?  His run on the X-Men depicted the struggles of their once new relationship and Kitty’s challenges at becoming an X-Man despite the naivete of her youth.

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Ah, the infamous mohawk!  This look still polarizes fans of Storm and although it too, passed into obscurity for quite some time.  Recent art from Kaare Andrews’ Astonishing X-Men has depicted Storm rockin’ the ‘hawk once again.  However, no where else in Storm’s appearances does she have the ‘hawk, so it remains to be seen if this is in continuity or whether Marvel simply is ignoring it altogether.

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I chose to include this image because I love how Smith drew Storm in reverse mode.  Storm is technically bodiless in this part of the story and is learning the story of the outer space dwelling Acanti, so drawing her in a more ethereal mode certainly works here.

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Storm feels a bit shut out of Kitty’s life in this page from Uncanny X-Men #167. The Kitty/Ororo dynamic would eventually change even more as their daughter/mother relationship shifted as both women transformed into warrior versions of themselves.  Check out panel two with Sikorsky speaking like Yoda and Moira MacTaggert calmly informing the X-Men that they are going to transplant Xavier’s mind into a cloned body of himself.  Too bad they didn’t do the same for her when she contracted the Legacy Virus (a disease that was only supposed to plague mutants and Moria is a human). *shakes head*

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Smith covers Uncanny X-Men years later, featuring Storm with Rachel Grey/Summers (Marvel Girl/Phoenix) and Tessa/Sage.

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A sketch of Rogue and Storm (who appears to be wearing an amalgam of a few different versions of her costumes).

Next week, Storm Sunday will look at more Paul Smith X-Men goodness!

X-Men First Class: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

One might think that as much as I spotlight the “All-New, All-Different” X-Men that I don’t have any love for the Original 5!  However, that simply isn’t true!  I am a big fan of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s X-Men!  What a quirky team with visually unique characters!  As you can see below (click on the image for a larger version), our mutant heroes were significantly different to how we know them now.

XMEN1P1Professor Xavier looks a bit creepy in this image if I may say so.  He’s just sitting there, rigid as a corpse, eyes forward, not paying attention to any of the X-Men as they come bursting into the room.  Gotta love Iceman’s fireman’s pole and Beast swinging in through the window.

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Of course, as soon as the boys get together, they have to start bickering.  What other way to give the reader a taste of their personalities?  That’s so Stan Lee.

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Cyclops tries to make friends with the military while Jean Grey, oops, I mean, Marvel Girl, makes her costumed debut in on this page!  Love how she’s just telekinetically lifting army men out of her way.

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Magneto serves up a heavy helping of self righteous indignation.  What a diva!  The X-Men sure have come a long way from these times, but there’s a lot that’s still the same.  It’s fun to compare and contrast the different eras of adventure!

Storm Sunday: Franchesco!

Franchesco, X-Women Color

Today’s Storm Sunday would not have been possible without the help of Comics Historian Extraordinaire Ken Kneisel!  Ken forwarded me a link to the Deviant Art site of an artist named Franchesco, and thus was history made!  All I can say about the above image is WOW!  Hellooooo, X-Ladies!  I would like to personally thank Franchesco for putting Storm front and center and surrounding her with all of the women of the X.  I think it is also a very nice gesture that he included Jean Grey by having Storm “holding” the holoempathic crystal ball.  Gone, but not forgotten indeed!  (Click on any image to see them larger)

Franchesco, X-Women B&W

Here’s the black and white version of the same image, showcasing Franchesco’s sleek and ornate lines.  I like what he does with fabric and hair.  Everything seems larger than life, almost fantastical.  There’s not a lot of characterization going on here, it’s more like the X-Women have become glamorous Strepford Wives lined up in a never ending crowd, but he’s got Emma practically bursting at the seams and Rogue seems more than a little bit coy, and that I like.  Besides, I didn’t choose to spotlight Franchesco because I was looking for personality in his depiction of women.  I wanted to share his work because I found it otherworldly in its depiction of beauty.  His aesthetic is strong and you can tell that he enjoys creating his work.  This is a celebration of the super feminine, sparkling like the Fourth of July–Hey!  Where’s Jubilee!  (Grrrr…)
Jean Greys by FranchescoFor you Jean Grey fans, here’s every incarnation to be had!  They’re all screaming for some reason, but it is fun to check them out and name their place within comics continuity.  There’s X-Factor Jean!  Marvel Girl Jean!  Black Queen Jean!  Phoenix Jean!  And so on…

Storm as Phoenix by Franchesco

Speaking of Storm and Jean, Franchesco was the artist for What If? #79, which asked, “What If Storm Had the Power of Phoenix?”   Here’s the cover of that issue by Mike Wieringo.  I like what he did with the tiara to reflect the styles of both Storm & Phoenix.

She-Dragon by Franchesco

Here’s She-Dragon #1 (One-Shot) Written by Erik Larsen and drawn by Franchesco.  The aforementioned Mr. Kneisel remarked to me that she bears more than a passing glance to a certain Wind Rider during the X-Men Asgardian Wars.

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There is a definite correlation between the hairstyles and the wings, that is true.  However, I think She-Dragon’s attire was heavily influenced by a certain She Devil (with a sword).

Red Sonja 1

Hello, chain mail bikini!  The above art is by Frank Thorne who is known for popularizing Red Sonja.  She was quite the pin up girl in the 1970s alongside Storm.  Storm & Red Sonja

In fact, check out this image by Dave Cockrum in which Red Sonja & Storm change costumes!  Click on it to read the word balloons.  Dave had a great sense of humor!

Thanks to Ken Kneisel for today’s post suggestion and be sure to check out Franchesco’s Deviant Art page!  He has a lot of amazing art, including Wonder Woman, The Defenders, Teela and his own voluptuous creations!  His site is a lot of fun, too!  Cheers!

The Uncanny X-Men by Michael Cho

I came across this super cool image of the first five X-Men (plus the Professor, natch!) a while back and had to share! You can see it colored in red on Michael Cho’s blog here.

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