Storm Arcana

Intuitive Visionary Coach & Founder of Arcana Academy

Tag: X-Men Forever

Storm Sunday: X-Men Forever (For Now)

Dave Cockrum Storm X-Men Forever

Oh, X-Men Forever, how I want to love you!  Really, I do!  I love the concept and I love the era in which the comic takes place (The conceit of this title is that it picks up right after legendary author Chris Claremont was forced off the title 16 years ago).  Having Dave Cockrum covers like the one above is certainly a nice treat!   However, I have not been loving this series.  It was a refreshing switcheroo to have Wolverine taken off the playing board right off the bat, and I even enjoyed the “evil” Storm that came out of nowhere.  It was a bit madcap and perhaps it was done for shock value, but it certainly got my attention.  I started off reading the series with the excitement I used to feel when I was a younger reader, but that excitement diminished with each issue.  Kitty somehow absorbs/phases one of Wolverine’s claws?  There’s a possible child clone of Storm?  And to add insult to injury, she’s going to be called Lil ‘Ro? Professor Xavier is keeping secrets?  Nick Fury is going to be a mainstay character in the title?  A whole issue is dedicated to exploring the background of another Trask descendant?  Oh, but wait, the real clone may be the evil Storm?  It’s all too much.  It feels like Claremont decided to jettison all the elements that made the old X-Men stories beloved.  Killing off Wolverine (although we’ve been treated to flashback stories about Logan and Nick Fury after his death) in favor of a toothless Sabretooth falls flat for me.  Evil Storm and child Storm are two Storms too many (I can’t believe I just said that!) and the fact that one of them might be a clone is an old chestnut that has lost its flavor.  Breaking up Jean and Scott over an affair that never happened feels forced to me.  Okay, Jean held a torch for Logan and was keeping his secrets.  And how many more stories do we need about Xavier keeping secrets?  

*shakes head*

I want to like this title.  I really want to love it.  But upcoming solicits like the following aren’t going to make me hold my breath for a glimmer of excellence. 

X-MEN FOREVER 15

X-MEN FOREVER #15 & 16

Written by CHRIS CLAREMONT
Penciled by PETER VALE (#15) & TBA (#16)
Cover by TOM GRUMMETT
GREAT JUMPING ON POINT…the fate of PERFECT STORM! The last time we saw Storm, she was fleeing from the X-Men, having blinded Sabretooth and killed Logan. Now, we turn our focus to Wakanda to see what became of the evil clone of the woman that the X-Men loved and trusted. ALSO: new two-part story starting with Issue 16 as CHRIS CLAREMONT continues his landmark run on X-MEN FOREVER! Don’t miss a single panel! Plus, an extra feature detailing a timeline of what other Marvel Universe stories were occurring during the current X-Men Forever saga!
#15 – 40 PGS./Rated A …$3.99
#16 – 32 PGS./Rated A …$3.99

Tom Grummett is certainly a capable artist and I have read that Claremont enjoys collaborating with him.  However, Grummett’s art, while serviceable, doesn’t excite me.  I find his figures to be pretty standard, lacking a sense of pizzaz.  Costume design is rather generic as the above image represents.  This Storm must be pretty evil as she’s wearing hand me downs from Captain Universe.  It doesn’t bode well that the artist for #16 is To Be Announced.  Hopefully Paul Smith will pick up the pencil for a few more issues, but even his art has been more than a bit loose for my taste.  I was willing to drink from the well of super-scribe Claremont, but in regards to this series at least, the well seems a bit shallow.  

The Uncanny X-Men #97

I miss this Storm (words by Claremont and art by Cockrum).  Fierce, determined, and fueled by naivete and outrage.  This is a character worth reading about with no need of clones or alignment changes to make her interesting.

ClassicXmen12_5 COCKRUM btw 3 n 4 of 104

The page above comes from the Classic X-Men reprint series and is drawn by Dave Cockrum.  It was inserted in between pages 3 and 4 of Uncanny X-Men #104.  I always love seeing the human touches on original art pages even if it’s just the series title and page numbers.  It’s a glimpse of the magic behind the scenes that makes the art process relatable.  I find it inspirational.  Part of me wishes that Claremont had run with a Logan and Ororo romance in X-Men Forever.  What other place could this relationship be properly explored?  And Banshee’s alive in this alternate reality!  Hopefully he’ll return to the team, but I highly doubt it.  He was briefly seen at Wolverine’s funeral, but he was canoodling with Moira MacTaggert.  I’m still going to keep reading X-Men Forever, but I hope the series tightens up its cast and plotlines.  This book has the enviable position to explore new territory with some of the most interesting characters in comics.  I hope it gets around to it.

Storm Sunday: A Portrait of the Goddess as a Young Thief

young-storm-500x255Storm has been many things in her storied career:  thief, goddess, superhero, leader, queen, and even sorceress (although the latter was an alternate timeline version of her; see the Magik miniseries for more).  Many a comic has explored Ororo’s life as an X-Man, but ever since Chris Claremont told her origin story in Uncanny X-Men #102 (and further explored her childhood on the streets of Cairo in #117), there has existed a precedent to mine the stories from Storm’s past.  Perhaps it is simply a fascination to delve into the humble beginnings of a character destined for greatness.  I think it’s important to note that the “All-New, All-Different” Uncanny X-Men were already adults when they joined the team unlike the original 5 members, and I think that made their backstories much more fascinating, adding mystery to the characters (especially Wolverine, who’s past was a secret for a very long time).

Speaking of Wolverine, the image above is a scene from Wolverine: Origins featuring Storm as a child.  It was cut from the final movie and has been rumored to be included with the extras when it is released on DVD.  I’m curious to see what the scene was about, but not anxious to have to see that movie again *sigh*. 

uncanny 266Chris Claremont de-aged Storm in a story involving Nanny and the Orphanmaker.  Storm escaped, but was still a youth and began to live her life as a thief again (but this time, instead of Cairo, Egypt she was was in Cairo, Illinois).  She later was returned to adulthood in Uncanny X-Men #272 during the X-tinction Agenda crossover.  The above image is Gambit’s first appearance and is drawn by Andy Kubert.

ORORO003The Ororo: Before the Storm 4 issue mini-series (cover by Patrick Zircher) also went back in time for stories about Storm’s past.  I chose this cover to share because I love the Egyptian hieroglyphics on the wall behind ‘lil Ororo.  It’s so iconic and a great storytelling device!

805368-85_x_men_forever_6_superIn recent issues of X-Men Forever, X-Scribe Chris Claremont is revisiting the concept of young Storm.  X-Men Forever is a title that grants Claremont an alternate timeline of the X-Men Universe as if the writer never left (picking up fresh from X-Men #3).  I found some annotations of X-Men Forever #4 here that I found interesting.  I appreciate all the work that Paul Steven Brown puts into his articles about the title.  The above image is by Tom Grummett

I’m interested in seeing where Claremont takes this storyline.  What do you think, dear reader? Do you like reading about young Storm? Or would you rather see stories that delve into the modern woman a la X-Men Worlds Apart by Chris Yost?  I’m thinking we’re getting the best of (literally) both worlds since Claremont can write about both the young and the older Storm in his title (and yes, that is a kind of spoiler, sorry; but at least I didn’t tell you why the older one is not a Storm I can really get behind, although I love reading about her;  you can read the title and see for yourself) and then we can read about Storm in the regular Marvel Universe (although her appearances these days in Uncanny X-MenBlack Panther are spotty at best (I suppose I should be grateful for that one panel of Storm watching the news about her team whole she sits at T’Challa’s hospital bed), but I do love Warren Ellis’ take on her in Astonishing X-Men).  Oh yeah, and there’s Marvel Adventures Avengers where Storm is actually an engaging respected member of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!  So, there’s a lot of Storm but also not enough (at least not in a cohesive,, scene stealing, centerstage way).  It’s confounding!  I’ll end this post by simply giving thanks that there’s this much to talk about!  Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Storm Sunday: Arthur Adams, Part IV

Storm_(by_Arthur_Adams)Today’s Storm Sunday is short and sweet, folks.  I simply had to share this gem of a drawing by Arthur Adams from 1991.  Art uses Ororo’s cape to great effect, rippling it into butterfly wings while her hair rises to the sky in stylistic solidarity.  Storm is all curves (as she should be when wearing this costume).  The tiara is perfect.  That is all.

In other Storm related comics reading, did anyone read the first issue of X-Men Forever?  I found it rather good fun.  I had forgotten how much I liked thought balloons.  It’s a flashback to a different time/style of storytelling.  I love the eight panel grids where every member is aboard the Blackbird and they are each reflecting about their motivations/actions.  Many subplots are introduced this way and I am looking forward to seeing how Chris Claremont moves all of them forward.  I have never found Fabian Cortez interesting but using him as a first issue adversary gives the reader an idea of what everyone’s powers and relationships are.  

The only thing that stuck in my craw was Gambit’s last name.  In the 616 Universe, Gambit is known as Remy LeBeau.  In X-Men Forever, he’s listed as Remy Picard.  Really?  His last name is the same as a certain Starship Captain who just happens to look like the movie universe’s version of Professor X?  It’s too much.  However, that is a minor quibble as I really enjoyed the rest of the issue.  It was nice to see Excalibur era Kitty Pryde and Nightcrawler hanging out with the 90s X-Men again.  Hells, it’s just nice to see Kitty Pryde again.  It looks like Wolverine will not be a part of the story and if upcoming covers are to be believed, then Sabretooth will be a member instead.  I’m interested in seeing how that plays out.  Not much stuff about Storm in this issue to write about.  There’s a moment in the battle where Cortez throws Rogue into Storm and their skins touch.  Later, Storm wants to talk about it ad Rogue doesn’t.  That’s it.  Definitely going to check out issue #2.

In the pages of Black Panther this month, Storm makes a deal with Death (?) to save T’Challa from the spirit realm.   That ought to go well.  Riiiight.

Uncanny X-Men has a grotesque panel or two of Storm fighting alongside the X-Men in the Sisterhood arc.  Seriously, it is painful to look upon.

I don’t have my stack of comics beside me right now, so I’m unsure if there’s some other comics I missed with Storm in them these last couple of weeks (Marvel Adventures Avengers, maybe?), but those are the ones that I recall.  I sure do wish that Arthur Adams was drawing Storm monthly these days!

Storm Sunday: Bits & Pieces

xmforev_01cov_colv2Above we have an image drawn by Tom Grummett for Chris Claremont’s new X-Men series, X-Men Forever.  This series will pick up from X-Men #3 (18 years ago) when Claremont was forced off the title. It’s basically an alternate reality series.  I am looking forward to seeing what Claremont does with the characters, especially Storm and Gambit.  Now here’s a bunch of internet links relating to Storm and the X-Men!  Enjoy!

Supercute Mini Marvels & Tiny Titans X-Over by Chris Giarrusso & Art Baltazar!

X-Men Chibis?!?

A gorgeous rendition of the 90s X-Men era plus the White Queen by chriss2d.  Eye-popping mutant goodness!

Fred Hembeck‘s All-New, All-Different crew, X-Men baddies, and Mohawk Storm! And one more All-New, All-Different crew.  His versions of Dr. Strange and the original Avengers are also really fun!  

xfor2

More Tom Grummet X-Men Forever art.  I expect to see a lot of Kitty Pryde in this comic.  Judging by this cover, I do not think I will be disappointed.

Paul Abrams’ pencils Storm and boy, howdy, does she look sensuous!

Storm and Nightcrawler commission by Chris Batista.

It’s a little messed up that I kinda want one of these.  I do NOT want one of these.

And I really love this statue of Storm, but it’s disappointing how her legs are cut off.  The top half is so cool with her arms thrown up like that.

Rafael Kayanan draws a sweet Thunderbird (the original).  Check out his gallery for more goodness!

I had this doll of Storm.  It was great to have an official Storm doll, but she looks positively crone-like.  Too much, folks.  

DragonCon yields a gorgeous Storm cosplayer.

And, finally, a very Sex & the City version of three mutant ladies.

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