Tag Archives: shatterstar


30 Aug

(I’ve been using the term panorama for this piece, but I have a nagging feeling that’s the wrong term… collage maybe?)

Here in its entirety, courtesy of Demon Geek, is the whole Danger Room Test Seqeuence composition that had been comprised of cards 91-99:

To read the capsule reviews of these cards, check out the previous 3 entries:

Looking at all 9 cards together actually looks much better, now that you can see how the various details spill over into each card, making them feel less like individual half-assed cards. For example I never noticed how Wolverine, Cyclops, and Gambit were all attacking the same robot (which Colossus may have thrown at them from the bottom right).

The top three cards are a little more disparate, with Nightcrawler and Archangel not doing much of anything at all. It would’ve been great if Nightcrawler had teleported into his current spot from a previous spot (between Wolverine and Cable, for example), and we saw the bamf explosion from where he disappeared; Meanwhile, Archangel could’ve been unleashing his feather blades, which would’ve nicely crossed over into several cards.

And finally, it’s hard to not notice Storm being the only woman of the nine characters, since Lee seemed to relish drawing women. I wouldn’t even necessarily count Storm as being the most popular female character at the time (Rogue, Jean Grey, and Psylocke could all be in the running), though she can definitely hold her own.

Trivia 1: there are 26 individual female character cards (counting Jean and Dark Phoenix as separate cards), compared to 50 male cards (counting the robots as anthropomorphically male, including Widget, but not counting the Brood), which means proportionally three of these nine cards should’ve been occupied by women.

Trivia 2: If someone were to ask you how many characters are in this composition, the correct answer is ten: Professor X can be seen in the window behind Gambit.


94,95,96 – DANGER ROOM: Gambit, Wolverine, Shatterstar

26 Aug

Subject: Gambit

We get another Gambit card where he’s only using martial arts, not his card-charging powers. Granted this is a much cooler pose than his original card’s, but it’s not until this card’s side-B do we see him handling cards at all (the side-B portrait is pretty badass, I admit; there’s something about how Lee draws side-views that’s alluring to me).

Interestingly, this card’s bio also downplays his kinetic energy powers and focuses on his athletic abilities. I guess since this is a card featuring the Danger Room such acrobatics would be showcased, but even with metallic boots, if I were Gambit I’d totally use my cards on that big robot instead of kicking it (but I guess he’s just that bad ass).

Subject: Wolverine

Lee handles this mid-air slashing pose of Wolvie‘s pretty well, it’s a pose he’s done before, and he probably does it better than anybody. Wolvie also gets the maskless treatment here, which again Lee does very well. Again, too bad the original art for this card probably wasn’t too much bigger than how it’s printed here; you can see how he just clearly can’t fit details where he would normally, and the drawing feels sketchy.

Logan’s side-b portrait is that cool side view again, but his eyes just look a a little TOO far away from the center of his face… Wolverine looks like a fish here.

The X-Tra fact on this card refers to the the customizability of the Danger Room to be tailored to the trainee’s abilities; Gambit’s card refers to the room’s holographic capabilities. Aren’t both of these facts already essentially established (indirectly) by the other cards that came before them? I’m concerned for the quality of trivia for the remaining four cards in this subset.

Subject: Shatterstar

Shatterstar is unique in this panorama for being the only non-mutant of the bunch, which is good because otherwise this blade-swinger gets to pose next to the X-Men’s most iconic slasher; he just doesn’t look as badass (and definitely looks fruity). But wait, what’s that? Is Shatterstar shooting energy beams from his sword’s handguard??? Was such an ability ever mentioned before???

74 – X-FORCE

15 Jul

Subject: X-Force
Roster: Cable, Cannonball, Feral, Boom Boom, Warpath, Shatterstar, Siryn
First Appearance: New Mutants #100, April 1991

One thing you can say about Liefeld and X-Force, they desperately demanded your attention, even when in the end, that’s about all they were good for. Hell, I fell for it pretty hard as a kid, though clearly my artistic allegiance lay elsewhere.

Speaking of which, this is a terrible team picture, with a third of the card taken up by a miniature Cable carrying a HUGE gun. The weird proportions and unimaginative composition almost seems like an homage or fuck-you to Liefeld himself. Everyone’s individual cards are expressive masterpieces by comparison.

The card’s back again forgoes a picture of the team’s base, even though it specifically states in the X-Tra Card that they were operating “out of an abandoned Sentinel base in the Adirondack mountains.”

I have two copies of X-Force #1. One is one I’ve had for years (since read and reread), and another still sealed in its polybag with the trading card inside. I got that one in a huge box of comics selling for a dollar each at a Goodwill store (I also picked up two copies of the deluxe X-Men #1 in that same box). Earlier this year I attended a signing with the original Image founders celebrating Spawn #200. I brought my X-Force, but there on the counter the store had another pile of X-Force #1’s, still sealed, selling for a dollar each, and they didn’t seem to be running out.

God knows how many of those they printed (this link claims around 1.75 million, dwarfed by X-Men #1’s 8 million!), and with a 1991 cover price of $1.50, it just goes to show how much of a bubble the 90’s speculator market really was.