Archive for the 'x-men' Category

the French for “grenade” is “grenade”

Michaela Colette Zacchilli’s recent entry on Rob Goodin’s awesome Covered blog has got me reminiscing about Mark Texeira.

(images below from Texeira’s own site; go visit him)

I’m showing my roots here: I came of age reading Marvel comics in the mid-90s, and one of my favorite mini-series was the unfortunately titled Sabretooth: Death Hunt, created in 1993 by Larry Hama and Mark Texeira. A lot of Marvel’s work during that period is absurdly inconsistent, but there’s some good stuff lurking in the mini-series (if only because the consistent creative team and clearly-defined parameters mean that you get a coherent artistic statement).

sabretooth_interior_0 sabretooth_interior_3

Texeira’s art here is like a bizarre hybrid of Frank Miller, Todd McFarlane, and Rob Liefeld — often pretty close to the filthy lumpy style of Sam Kieth (apparently they both worked on Marvel Comics Presents in ’90-91). Hama’s over-the-top script is matched by a ferocious energy on the part of Texeira, as befitting a Sabretooth story. I think the first issue has Sabretooth coming home to find his mansion overrun by ninjas (it happens), so he and his personal assistant have to shred and blast their way through a couple hundred ninjas before settling down to dinner or something.

sabretooth_interior_4 sabretooth_interior_5

Issue three had Wolverine in a suit. Who draws Wolverine in a suit?! I love it.

sabretooth_interior_9

The other reason I wanted to mention this is not Texeira exactly, but rather the cover:

sabretooth 1

It was the age of gimmicks, so the cardstock cover is die-cut to reveal a painting of the titular character (I have a MMPB airport thriller from 1995 that does the same thing). But the whole thing is actually kind of admirably restrained — would Marvel run something like this today? — and I especially want to appreciate the text layout in the sidebar to the left.

This sort of type-play is a very early-90s graphic design idea, made possible by the rise of desktop publishing software and digital typography. And in most cases it doesn’t age well, now that the novelty has worn off. But here it’s pretty restrained, keeping everything right-side-up and using only 2 or 3 font families. I remember seeing the same design used in a bunch of house ads for “Bloodties,” the X-Men/Avengers crossover from 1993. I’ll have to dig those out sometime: the story itself was forgettable, but those house ads (I’m remembering punch-out trading cads with pull-quotes from Nick Fury commenting on various characters) made the whole thing sound immensely important.

Hey, I was seven.

But I’m still fond of the design.

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Oh, Lord.

This is what I get for Googling “Killed by my EYES! My cursed, mutant, energy-blasting EYES!”

The “Swarthmore Warders of Imaginative Literature” of 1986 present: “The Rocky Horror Mutant Show.”

Highlights:

         Scott:            The X-Men make a wonderful team, Jean
                           So why can't I just say what I mean, Jean?
                           I think that you're pretty keen, Jean.
                           If I weren't such a coward I'd scream, Jean,
         (aside)           I love you.

         (aloud)           I'm less confident than I seem, Jean.
                           My courage just runs out of steam, Jean.
                           You're all that I ever could dream, Jean.
                           I'm trying so hard to come clean, Jean,
                           And tell you.
                                 [...]
         Jean:             I really like the way that you fought, Scott,
                           If it weren't for you I'd have been caught, Scott.
                           But Magneto's plans came to naught, Scott.
                           Now Warren's asked me to lunch--but
                           Hey, Scott! why not?
                           Come eat too!

And then:

Jean:                      It's astounding--
                           I'm still breathing!
                           I thought I'd lost it all.
                           I feel it in me,
                           The power's growing--
                           I've got to keep control.

                           I remember
                           I was dying--
                           I knew it was the end.
                           Then it hit me
                           The power came flooding--
                           I'll be an X-Man again!
                           I'll be an X-Man again!

                           I just rose from the dead
                           To a new incarnation.
                           Now I'm a god
                           Of my own creation.
                           Marvel Girl is gone,
                           But the Phoenix power lives on.
                           I'll be an X-Man again!
                           I'll be an X-Man again!

And of course:

         Dark Phoenix:     I used to be so frail
                           Wan and pale. (--bleah!)
                           I'd only been Marvel Girl before.

         Galactus:         You mean she's--?

         (Watcher nods.)

         Galactus:         Oh SHIT!

         Dark Phoenix:     But now the Phoenix power
                           Just grows by the hour,
                           Now it desires to soar...and devour.

                           I already know
                           Just where to go,
                           I've tasted blood but I need more.

         Watcher:          More, more, more!

         Dark Phoenix:     I don't need assistence,
                           Just some real subsistance,
                           I think perhaps I'll eat
                           That star, for instance!

                           Fear, oh fear, oh fear, oh fear me!
                           Don't dare to come near me!
                           I am no longer your Jeannie--
                           I am incarnate power!

Leigh Walton talks comics and maybe other arts. (RSS)
He also works for the very excellent publisher Top Shelf Productions (which does not necessarily endorse the views and opinions, etc, herein).

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Header by me. Contains an interpolation of the final panel from All-Star Superman #1 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Speaking of which.