Nice Day for a Sprite Wedding
Here's another homage/parody cover of mine for CAPA-Alpha, done around the same time as the one I shared the other day.
This one's much less of a straight copy, adding characters and foregoing the logo. It uses as its springboard Marvel Comics' The Uncanny X-Men #179 — dated Mar. 1984, penciled by John Romita Jr., and inked by Dan Green. I drew it for Rich Rubenstein's 'zine after we had a discussion about superheroes who were explicitly identified as Jewish.
Rich suggested that I take the X-Men cover and replace the mutant Morlock known as Caliban with Infinity Inc.'s Al Rothstein, a.k.a. Nuklon, keeping Kitty Pryde — who by this point probably officially went by the codename Ariel, John Byrne's original suggestion for the character (making her pairing with Caliban all the more Tempestuous), but who originally used the codename Sprite.
I don't know which of us first came up with using Irving Forbush, Marvel's longtime mascot, to officiate the blessed event in his costumed identity of Forbush Man, but he was kind-of a gimme. So was DC's Ambush Bug, the villain turned antihero turned self-aware mischief-making comic-book character whose civilian identity was Irwin Schwab. Ambush Bug is a favorite character of mine and one whom you'll see pop up fairly often as my art dribbles out onto the blog — including in the Amalgam-inspired mashup Forbush Bug.
Rich said that he thought a member of DC's Legion of Super-Heroes was Jewish, which I'm pretty sure the K-a collective successfully sussed out as being Gim Allon, Colossal Boy (whose mother eventually became President of Earth, so one more point in favor of the Legion's optimistic future). I recalled having him and other Jewish characters filling out the congregation with Ambush Bug, but that must have been in a preliminary sketch; if I dig it up, or if, when I come across the 'zine of my own that came out when Rich's 'zine with the above cover did, that 'zine turns out to have sketches for the cover, then I will share.
I wanted to color the piece and put that version up here, too, but last night Blogger started giving me all kinds of hell, reverting yesterday's post to a previous draft when I went in to fix something small and forcing me to rewrite half of it from memory since I had uncharacteristically, stupidly typed the post up in the Compose window rather than writing it offline in TextEdit and pasting it in like usual, and I hadn't yet saved the HTML to disk.
Nuklon did indeed have a mohawk, by the way, which is what that wave of hair upsetting his kipa, or yarmulke, is. Originally I'd completely forgot to give him a tallis, the "ritual prayer shawl" worn by most Jewish men in synagogue, but that was rectified. What I don't think ever occurred to me or Rich was how wrong it might be to show the very tall man bursting through the top of the chupah, a canopy on four posts under which Jewish couples traditionally get married; it's not exactly sacrilegious to show it tearing, at least not unless it is itself adorned with old tallitot (which often happens), but it's clear that I wasn't letting anything get in the way of a good sight gag — and that I hadn't yet been married myself.
Cover to The Uncanny X-Men #179 © 1984 Marvel Comics. X-Men logo, head shots, Kitty Pryde, Caliban, and Forbush Man TM/® Marvel Comics. Nuklon and Ambush Bug TM/® DC Comics. Nuklon & Kitty Pryde wedding cartoon art © 1995 Brian Saner Lamken.