Created in 1962 by the artist Steve Ditko, Spider-Man made his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15. Since then, this superhero has gone on to great popularity spawning cartoons, movies (how many reboots are we at now?) and countless comics and toys. Does Spider-Man’s longevity stem from the fact that his iconic wraparound eyes on his mask are based on a prevalent image of an alien?
“Alchemy is the art of manipulating life, and consciousness in matter, to help it evolve, or to solve problems of inner disharmonies.” ~Jean Dubuis
I have been fascinated by both super-heroes and the Tarot since I was thirteen years old. I loved to immerse myself in Spider-Man’s ongoing dilemmas and the soap opera sagas of the X-Men. I also felt a strong connection to the richly detailed figures in the Tarot. Now that I am older, I have more clarity in how these two subjects relate to one another. Let us explore these worlds of wonder together!
10 Reasons Why I Love Marvel Adventures Avengers:
1. Since it is an All Ages title, I can give the comic to the kids I know.
2. Captain America is Steve Rogers and not dead.
3. Storm is finally an Avenger (!), still single and co-leads the team with Captain America (in a well-designed costume that stays true to all her past fashions).
4. Writer Jeff Parker brings the funny. Seriously.
5. Giant-Girl rocks! (You might know her as the Wasp in regular Marvel continuity.)
6. The MODOC issue. It was strange, unsettling and super entertaining!
7. Spider-Man is angst free.
8. Iron Man is not a fascist.
9. Hulk is not a gladiator.
10. There have been no skrulls (yet).
The first three covers I have shared with you, dear reader, are by Aaron Lopresti. The last two are by Leonard Kirk. They both have great styles and do a great job rendering all the different characters unique (dare I say Iconic) looks!
Yeah, the storylines are sometimes rather silly and a little bit like a sitcom, but I find myself laughing out loud at many of the fun character interactions. This is the Spider-Man I know and love quipping wisecracks with gruff Wolverine and irascible Hulk. Where else can you see Hulk wearing giant headphones listening to a story cd so he doesn’t destroy the Quinjet in route to a bad guy confrontation? Giant-Girl adds so much to the mix as a visible female presence on a very testosterone laden lineup. And with her bubbly personality, she’s a great contrast to Storm’s grounded regal presence (but even Storm is portrayed in a more likable fashion; she’s more like a princess than a Queen). I only wish they had added the Scarlet Witch to the mix or given us another female besides the two (Although I think I read somewhere that Jeff had to insist on getting Storm and Giant-Girl in the first place).
The heroes in Marvel Adventures Avengers are truly heroic. There’s a real sense of camaraderie among them. They aren’t embroiled in secret cabals (The Illuminati), divisive skirmishes (Civil War) or paranoid wars (Secret Invasion). The stories are contained in one issue (sometimes there’s two stories) and are a satisfying read. This title goes to the top of my comics pile each month.
After Dave Cockrum, John Byrne is the artist who really shaped the way the X-Men looked in their All-New, All Different incarnation! He started on issue #108 in 1977 and worked his magic for many years. In fact, John Byrne’s influence can still be felt from his runs on The Fantastic Four, Captain America, The Avengers. So, what better way to celebrate the man and his legacy than the above image which combines all of the just mentioned titles into one happy Marvel “photo op” ?
A lovely pencil sketch of Storm by Byrne. His rendition of the wind rider just bubbles over with circular design. From the curls of her hair to the oval cutouts in her boots, this Storm is one curvy woman and I love it! She looks healthy, sexy and powerful. I especially love how high Byrne drew her hair, like it’s almost made of clouds. And check out that profile! This should be the model sheet from which other artists draw inspiration!
John Byrne drew a run of The Avengers (#181-191) while pencilling X-Men. Here we have the hex-casting Scarlet Witch with Storm! You gotta love those boots with the low heels, so late seventies!
Hipalicious Storm in the clutches of energy stealing Sauron during one of the X-Men’s many visits to the Savage Land. Remember, Storm was fulfilling the token girl role on the team here and although her character was draw with a lot of sex appeal, she was still being portrayed as the naive “stranger in a strange land” character.
Storm talks to her plants in her attic apartment, a character trait that really endeared me to her. I was jealous that she got to make it rain inside. Check out Banshee an Moira being all lovey-dovey. *sigh* I love that couple.