African Queen

African Queen

or: Mohawk and Leathers


The first time I drew Storm in Marvel Fanfare #4 it never occurred to me that she wasn’t supposed to look black. I’m as much a Dave Cockrum fan as anyone but what made Storm black at the time was the color note in the margin. Had the colorist not seen the note and colored her pink you never would have known she was African.


I didn’t get any death threats but there were a lot of folks who were… unamused. The only thing Dave said to me directly was that she was somebody’s cat. His cat, his wife’s cat, his Mom’s cat… somebody’s cat. I couldn’t see drawing such a strong character as a helpless kitty so I went with the baddest African cat around and made a lioness out of her.


All of that was nothing compared to when Chris burned most of her hair off. As discussed here earlier, the mohawk was a joke that got out of hand. Once I was stuck with it I did what I could. When life hands you lemons it’s time to grill lobsters. Chris wanted to drop her inhibitions and explore the wilder side of her personality. I wanted something visual that said we weren’t in Kansas anymore. Black leather has long been the style of the outsider, the bad girl. Add the mohawk and Punk Storm was born.


At the time I was just trying to make the best of a bad situation but, over the years, she’s grown on me. 


Happy Trails


1 Comment so far

Dusty abell's picture

I LOVE this pose, this is one of my favorite illustrations of her you’ve ever done honestly. Punk Storm was SUCH a crazy radical departure at the time, 14 year old me was a full bore X fan at that point and the shift in her character was so dramatic, it totally reimagined the character while still connecting her to her classic persona….. I have a gorgeous Bowen design statuette of Punk Storm that was very much modeled after your Handbook I’ll, I’m sure you’ve seen it….. it’s a real favorite of my near 60+ collection!


Add new comment