She-Hulk, Storm, Wasp and More – Fan Art Interview w/Ayhotte

Today we take a quick jaunt around some Marvel ladies fanart with an interview with Canadian Ayhotte and a gallery of her smashing gals!

Black Widow by Ayhotte (click to see original)

Black Widow by Ayhotte (click to see original)

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Where in Canada are you from? What do you do when you’re not painting?

My name’s Audrey, I grew up in Quebec but went to school and worked in Ottawa for a few years. Drawing is a thing I took a liking to pretty early on, I think it came from watching a lot of animated shows and playing video games. Either way I never thought I could make a job of it until my late teens but hey, it worked out.

 

Spiderwoman by Ayhotte (click to see original)

Spiderwoman by Ayhotte (click to see original)

How big is art in your life, is it something you are doing professionally?

I’m presently freelancing full time so I do get to make art as a living. I enjoy the freedom it gives in some aspects, though it regularly means working long hours, nights and weekends. I wouldn’t hate having more time to put on my personal projects, haha.

 

Maybe we can start with your gorgeous Storm. We’ve seen her iterated in different ways in the comics and in the movies, what do you think about her different representations. Do you have a favorite for example?

Thank you for your kind words about my Storm painting! She’s such an iconic character, she can pull off anything they make her wear and still be recognizable decades later. I think she’d make a potato sack look hot. Personally I love the mohawk look the most. I also love seeing her in civilian/designer clothing, Kevin Wada’s pieces come to mind.

 

Storm by Ayhotte (click to visit original)

Storm by Ayhotte (click to visit original)

You’ve painted a lot of fantastic women from Marvel including your Jane Foster Thor which is to die for. Who is your favorite female character today and has that changed over the years?

My favorite character… If we’re talking favorite character in the Marvel universe I’d have to go with She-Hulk as she’s my eternal crush (and the one I have the most of on my book shelf. I would kill for a laywer/hero tv series starring her). Miss America Chavez would be a close second, she’s the main reason I liked the Young Avengers run she appeared in. I’ve been out of the loop of hero comics in the past couple of years but I hear she got her own series now, I’d love to check that out eventually.

But if we’re talking favorite characters in general then that’s a much tougher question… that has changed so much over the years, and mostly depends on what piece of entertainment I’m presently high on.

 

Marvel or DC or both, where do you stand?

Will go with Marvel for the simple reason that I’ve read and watched way more of it. Nothing against DC, it just kind of happened that way.

You have a super cute piece with Wasp, any feelings on Ant-Man‘s brief look at Wasp and the upcoming Ant-Man And The Wasp movie? Good, bad, bit of both?

Ant-man was a lot of fun despite Wasp getting benched, but I’d definitely be happy to see a sequel with more of her. Heck, I’d prefer to see her get her own movie but I’ve learned not to hope for that much in this department. I did like the costume we had a peek at. It’ll probably get redesigned though, as they always do.

 

Wasp by Ayhotte (click to see original)

Wasp by Ayhotte (click to see original)

So if you were casting a Jen Walters Netflix series…?

Oh dear, I have no idea. I’ve never put much thought into actors and casting, I just tend to cheer or complain after the fact :P. It would be nice to see some news faces. However I do wonder how they’d do her She Hulk form. Full cgi would be expensive, maybe a body builder in front of a green screen? But the fact is there are more possibilities now than ever for that. (Just not a supermodel in green please oh god.)

Oh horror if they cast some no-muscle, tiny thin girl to play Jen! OK, that doesn’t bear thinking on!!

Shulkie by Ayhotte (click to see original)

Shulkie by Ayhotte (click to see original)

 

If we’re talking Marvel Cinematic Universe which female superhero would you like to see get a movie?

I’m kind of excited for the Captain Marvel movie, it seems to be on the back burner though. Either a Kamala Khan or America Chavez movie would be pretty timely nowadays. Also I’d put up with Jeremy Renner for a buddy comedy with Kate Bishop and Hawkguy.

 

Captain Marvel by Ayhotte

Captain Marvel by Ayhotte

True, that movie is still a few years off but at least we get to see Brie Larson play the Captain in the next Avengers movie. Yeay!

Scarlet Witch is one my personal favorites. You drew her in her traditional costume, how do you feel about Elizabeth Olsson’s SW and the look and movement design Joss Whedon imbued the character with?

Haha this is a character I love too so I might be overly critical, but here goes: I thought Wanda’s design in Age of Ultron wasn’t bad. Not really sold on the Civil War look though, maybe I’m just too in love with the red and pink suit. Regarding Olsen, I love her in everything but I wish they had considered keeping in Wanda and Pietro’s Romani heritage. The Avengers as a team doesn’t have that much diversity to play with already.

 

Scarlet Witch by Ayhotte (click to visit original)

Scarlet Witch by Ayhotte (click to visit original)

Jane Foster’s Thor is quickly becoming as iconic a look as Mjolnir itself ever was. Not a light hearted story for sure but what do you think of Jane’s new Valkyrie look?
Where else would you like to see a drastic change in look applied? If you could anything?

I love Jane Foster’s Thor form, impracticalities aside. It’s fun to look at, it’s fun to paint, can’t ask for more.

 

Thor by Ayhotte (click to visit original)

Thor by Ayhotte (click to visit original)

 

Thank you so much for sharing your art and thoughts with us, Audrey! I appreciate being able to share these fabulous portraits with my readers and I hope you’ll find time for lots more fan art in the future!

 

You can see more of Audrey’s art and fan art by visiting her gallery on devianART.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Marvel Fan Art Interview For Black History Month – John Gallagher!

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In honor of black history month, I wanted to tailor a fan art collection and interview on some of the fantastic black superheroes we have in Marvel. I wish there were more people of color in comics or in my favorite genres of sci-fi and fantasy for that matter, but that lack of representation is being chipped away at. Even if the process can seem slow from the readers or viewers perspective.

John Gallagher is a very prolific entertainment illustrator from Continue reading

GAMES – Marvel Heroes 2016 Iron Man

After a too long hiatus without internet, I find myself back online and faced with the wide and varying offerings of Free-to-Play games. My first concern was to zoom straight back into Star Wars: The Old Republic but found that my enthusiasm paled quite a bit with the prospect of playing its F2P version. It’s obviously not an easy aspect to crack for an MMO but I think it’s safe to say that SWTOR has a lot of cracking to do before its F2P services stop feeling like it’s hammering your face into your wallet like a puppy with a shameful carpet stain.

So where do you go when you’re broke, want to play a game for free and not be treated like a bum? I know of no better gaming home-away-from-home than Gazillion’s Marvel Heroes 2016. And unsurprisingly that makes it the only F2P game I’ve dropped money on freely and happily. Go figure!

If you’ve never played it, the game in very short is much like Diablo 2 except prettier, faster, smarter and simultaneously easier and harder. Confused? Well, it’s free to play so why not spend an evening trying it out?

Iron Man - Marvel Heroes 2016

Iron Man – Marvel Heroes 2016

It does help if you are also, as I am, a fan of Marvel’s roster of heroes. Interestingly, this is one of if not THE only game to include both Xmen and Avengers in the same game. Usually this is not the case, thanks to Fox Studios owning the rights to certain heroes including Xmen and Fantastic Four (which is why they keep pumping out terribad FF4 movies so the rights don’t reverse to Marvel who is proving so adept at making superhero movies).

There are different ways you can spend your time playing in this game. You can play the story which feels a lot like walking through the pages of a comic book. You can train in simulators such as the Xmen’s Danger Room or S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Holosim, you can battle bad guys in different constantly running areas of the world or you can go raiding with a big group of people (once you have a toon at the appropriate level).

And you never have to buy anything to play. That’s not to say there aren’t things for sale. Gazillion’s employees have to eat too. And boy is there stuff worth spending money* on from inventory space to, pets, to team-up heroes, to a wealth of costumes from throughout a character’s evolution on and off screen. Personally, I have spent money on inventory size and a movie version costume for Scarlet Witch because I never was a fan of the swimsuit look. And the Bamf pet because it’s too adorable to resist!

My preference so far has been to level heroes one after the other and discover which ones I like playing the best. So far, my favorites include but are not limited to:

Scarlet Witch for her life drain and huge hoover ball of destruction.

Psylocke because pink killer butterflies are epic!

Deadpool because he stands on one hand and shoots if you hold the shoot key down long enough and he has the best lines of course.

Iron Man's Mark 46 Costume. Snapshot by Gloc9

Iron Man’s Mark 46 Costume. Snapshot by Gloc9

The last hero I got through a random hero box (which I saved up for by simply playing!) was Iron Man. I have a huge weak spot for Tony Stark because he’s an engineer and a scientist and portrayed with a hugely flippant attitude towards superstition and magic and downright derogatory towards anti-intellectualism. What’s not to like?  Ok so he’s also (in the comics) a womanizing alcoholic dick with more money than manners, but that makes him seem more real to me. He’s flawed, he’s real and he stands up for things very important to me: Knowledge over ignorance. Science, discovery and exploration over fearful regression into medieval ignorance.

I have a huge weak spot for Tony Stark because he’s an engineer and a scientist and portrayed with a hugely flippant attitude towards superstition and magic and downright derogatory towards anti-intellectualism. What’s not to like?  Ok so he’s also (in the comics) a womanizing alcoholic dick with more money than manners, but that makes him seem more real to me. He’s flawed, he’s real and he stands up for things very important to me: Knowledge over ignorance. Science, discovery and exploration over fearful regression into medieval ignorance. Yeay!

So I went into leveling Iron Man with the expectation that I would like playing him and on the bonus side his voice and lines are every bit as funny and awesome as Deadpool’s.

His flight ability too was as smooth and enjoyable as I’d expected.It really can mess with my enjoyment of a character if their Go-Fast-ability is jarring or annoying. Hulk’s old Bound, for example, was just short of nauseating in my opinion.

But as for the rest of his gameplay, I felt he was a bit limp in truth. With the exception of his signature ability The One Off, his abilities weren’t really that spectacular to look at and I suppose I’d expected him to pack a lot more punch and in particular efficiency in his AOE’s.

This may come down to not having tried enough builds and were we not facing a soonish huge update in the game that’s likely to completely change how abilities work in the game I’d have spent more time experimenting. But in a way that’s what I’m expressing my hopes about here:

I hope MHO will give Iron Man an extra once-over as they are working through all the heroes. He deserves to be A Big Deal in the line-up of Marvel Heroes and he should feel like the entirety of modern artillery packed into a Ferrari red vehicle, that cuts tomatoes and folds and fits beneath your bed. And alternates witty comebacks with juvenile na-na’s at his fallen enemies!

I think therefore that Iron Man will be one of the first characters I try out once this update finally hits. The drop date of that is yet to be determined, but from the comments the dev’s have made on the forums, and in their (really good, find them on Twitch!) live streams, these updates are incredibly far reaching and are consuming a lot of man hours. So it’s both understandable if the date is still a bit wooly and IMO wholly acceptable as well!

With that let me end this post with a gorgeous piece of fan art by MaryRiotJane that deserves all your likes and shares:

Iron Man by MaryRiotJane. Click the image to see her gallery!

Iron Man by MaryRiotJane.
Click the image to see her gallery!

Notes:

  • That link isn’t actually great for showing off what you can buy in the game. The in-game store is a lot, LOT bigger and more fun. You’ll just have to go look for yourselves, sorry!

Fan Focus – Scarlet Witch

Long (long) overdue post celebrating the fanart of Wanda Maximoff aka The Scarlet Witch. I wanted to post this before Avengers: Age of Ultron came out but life happened as it so often does.

The Scarlet Witch was introduced in X-Men #4 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in March, 1964. Here she shows up with her twin brother Pietro (Quicksilver) as part of a new group of villains, the subtly named Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Interestingly her costume is green though her headpiece already has its iconic (Magneto-esque) shape.

X-Men #4. March, 1964 Front Page.

X-Men #4. March, 1964 Front Page.

The daughter of Magneto and Magda has been featured in the Marvel universe for over fifty years, battling her probability altering powers and contending with her and her brother’s tragic past.

Vision and Scarlet by Bill Mantlo and Rick Leonard 1982

Vision and Scarlet by Bill Mantlo and Rick Leonard 1982

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has now given us a reinvented Scarlet Witch. Unsurprisingly doing, so has its proponents and detractors. Personally, I crushed hard on Elizabeth Olson‘s Wanda. The old House of M tragedy, while huge for its time is now a depressing slog for a first time read and I would much, much rather have a new, fresh take on the character. Also Wanda’s story has been pretzel severely with Magneto now not being her father, Pietro may or may not have been her lover, she may or may not actually be a mutant at all and Magda (her mum) may or may not be still alive. /wince

The new Wanda Maximoff and her twin brother Pietro who, spoiler alert, croaks in Avengers: Age of Ultron, are now from the made up Russian mainland-esque Sekovia. This doesn’t preclude Romano ties, and I hope they didn’t drop those entirely but so far there’s been no mention of such a tie-in.

Her powers are presumably a result of Hydra experimentation which she and Pietro volunteered for and this is a young, untried woman still feeling her way into the world.

Her look too has received a much-needed modernization with bordeaux colored leather tops or flaring coats and lovely boho silver rings and dark makeup. Best yet is the choreography Joss Whedon invented for the role. Her hands and arms move with a clawing yet dance-like quality that is subtly unsettling and beautiful all the same!

Video compilation via Marvel & DC Heroes – L Picture Avengers

But who was the original Scarlet Witch and what did she look like?

Scarlet Witch is a mutant who can tap into mystic energy for reality-altering effects. Additionally being born on Mount Wundergore has given her magic abilities which she later trains with her mentor, the witch Agatha Harkness. A little bad, a little good as is so often the case with Marvel characters, Wanda has certainly led a life with ample reason for stepping off the straight and narrow.
Pregnant with Wanda and Pietro, Magda — flees to Mount Wundagore in Transia after seeing her husband Magneto use his magnetic powers.

Scarlet Witch - Ultimate Power #6 by Greg Land. September, 2007.

Scarlet Witch – Ultimate Power #6 by Greg Land. September, 2007.

Mt. Wundagore was the prison of the Elder God Chthon, and the children are brought into the world in the middle of his attempt to escape.
Cthon altered Wanda later, giving her the ability to use magic in addition to her mutant abilities, preparing her to become his vessel when she reached maturity, a vessel with both mutant and magical powers. In a panic that Magneto might discover the children, Magda flees yet again and subsequently dies of exposure to the elements.

Scarlet Witch and Ms Marvel by Mike Mayhew. ROUGH STUFF #8 cover. April, 2008

Scarlet Witch and Ms Marvel by Mike Mayhew. ROUGH STUFF #8 cover.
April, 2008

A quick aside, google Mike Mayhew covers for an absolute deluge of gorgeous!

The twins are placed in the care of the Romani Django and Marya Maximoff, who raise them as their own children. The kids are forced to flee a mob when Wanda uses her powers to protect herself and accidentally causes a fire that kills their adoptive Roma mother. After which Magneto picks them up for his newly formed Brotherhood.

Scarlet Witch Variant cover for Ultimates 3 #3 by Fran Cho. Jan 30, 2008

Scarlet Witch Variant cover for Ultimates 3 #3 by Fran Cho. Jan 30, 2008

Her redemption from not just her own very real guilt but Magneto’s later manipulations and Cthon who repeatedly sticks his oar in, is a long, bitter and dark story. And that’s not even going into the tales about just how close she and Pietro were presumably. Let’s just say Cercei and Jamie didn’t invent the tales of incest. Neither did comics of course!

But comics are just for kids, right?

 

'House of M' by Joe Quesada and Danny Miki. June, 2005

‘House of M’ by Joe Quesada and Danny Miki. June, 2005

Now that you are armed with some of Marvel’s iterations of what Wanda Maximoff has looked like over the decades, it’s time to have a look at the offerings of fan artists!

Gallery

Scarlet Witch Commission by Artgerm

Scarlet Witch Commission by Artgerm

Scarlet Witch Commission by Artgerm

I love Artgerm’s take on Wanda. Just a little muted and faded in the colors which draws the eye especially in a vibrant collection like this one. And her eyes are just spectacular with hints of humor and seriousness.

 

Scarlet Witch portrait by Xia Taptara

Scarlet Witch portrait by Xia Taptara

Portrait of Scarlet Witch by Xia Taptara

Xia Tapara’s portrait has such a feel of reality to it you could almost believe a real Wanda had sat for it. Her features are a lot more exotic than she is usually shown with which I can’t help but appreciate a lot. After all, a Romano mother and Central European father there ought to be more character to her face than American Everybody-looks-the-same beauty standards.

Please note that Xia use the portrait above for a step-by-step guide of how to paint Marvel faces! Do visit!

Scarlet by Xia Taptara

Scarlet by Xia Taptara

Scarlet by Xiaman

If you liked the portrait above by Xia, this piece of a much younger Wanda should blow your mind. Fantastic energy and liveliness and my gosh her hair!

And you can see a lot more of Xia’s amazing work by following the link above to his deviantART gallery.

 

Scarlet Witch Commission by Aethibert and Giuliapriori

Scarlet Witch Commission by Aethibert and Giuliapriori

Scarlet Witch By Aethibert Colors By Giuliapriori
Aethibert and Giuliapriori’s Scarlet Witch is pinker than you’ll be used to seeing her but the fae-like quality of her features makes this portrait very memorable. Aethibert has a vast gallery of superhero fanart which is definitely worth a visit!

 

Scarlet Witch by Claudia-SG

Scarlet Witch by Claudia-SG

Scarlet Witch by Claudia-SG

This is a wicked, wicked Wanda created by Claudia-SG on deviantART. In fact if I didn’t know any better I would almost say that was Cat Woman dressed up for Halloween! /fans herself

 Scarlet Witch painting by diablo2003

Scarlet Witch painting by diablo2003

Scarlet Witch painting by diablo2003

While we are on the topic of Wicked Wanda… This very smoking piece is an acrylic wash painting which was later enhanced in Photoshop. With a costume like hers it really is hard to not portray her as a pinup. Sorry, bad pun there.

 

Scarlet Witch by KevinTUT

Scarlet Witch by KevinTUT

Scarlet Witch by kevinTUT

It is important to remember Wanda didn’t just struggle with her powers but with her morality. Kevin’s Wanda is powerful, implacable and not very friendly! Gotta love her!

 

 Wanda, the Scarlet Witch by flipation

Wanda, the Scarlet Witch by flipation

Wanda, the Scarlet Witch by flipation
Flippation’s Wanda isn’t the cool, controlled professional so often portrayed, which I think shows his love for a character who is always one oupsie away from unmaking all of reality.

 

Witch by Irvintustin

Witch by Irvintustin

Scarlet Witch by irvintustin
Here is a very interesting piece that brings 1950s Americana posters forcibly to mind. Not simply in the dusty pinks and reds but also with her gorgeous curves. Wanda was never a woman who was supposed to have a starvation-gap between her thighs and Irvin celebrates that with this portrait!

Scarlet Witch by gammaknight

Scarlet Witch by gammaknight

Scarlet Witch by gammaknight

Gammaknight’s Scarlet Witch line art brings us back to her earlier iterations but her features here are cuter and almost cat-like.

Wanda Maximoff by niabolla

Scarlet Witch Wanda Maximoff by niabolla

Let us end with a return to Elizabeth Olson’s Scarlet Witch here depicted by niabolla in full glorious rage. It’s ok to fan girl at fan art!

A special thank you to Calvin’s Canadian Cave of Coolness for supplying me with additional beauty for this post and points to think about! Also that is the best blog name – EVER!

 

 

Rumour Mill: Moon Knight Might Come to Netflix

According to Heroic Hollywood’s Umberto Gonzalez it is very likely we will see the tormented vessel of the god Khonshu aka Mark Spectre aka Moon Knight show up on Netflix.

Possibly we will get to encounter the white cloaked crime fighter in a backdoor pilot sometime in the next few years. He will need a positive reception from viewers before any stand-alone series are greenlit but who wouldn’t want to watch a series about a guy possessed by an ancient Egyptian god?
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