. . . until I ran into this comicbookresources article, and lo and behold! Greg Land's cover for Uncanny X-Men 500 punched me in the face! If I wasn't awake then, I definitely am now.
My first experience with Land's art was in Phoenix: Endsong, a five-issue miniseries about Jean's rebirth (again).
I loved it.
His subsequent projects involved Ultimate Fantastic Four and Ultimate Power. I loved to look at his art so much, that I began to notice something.
They were all imitations of each other. Sue Storm looked like Jean Grey looked like Emma Frost looked like Kitty Pryde.
But that's not the problem. Poses were similar, and this occurred across publishers. Lara Croft was in the same pose as Jean. And then people began to reveal that Land was photo-referencing pornography for many of his works. Arcanna looked like she was in the middle of anal sex, and Kitty Pryde in constant oral sex in Ultimate Power.
Suffice to say, a very beautiful artist turned sour in my eyes. Every time I look at his art now, there's the hint of a previous work (and sex), and not much else can jar you out of a story like that.
But Land's copying isn't the problem, not anymore. It's the continuation that's the problem now. Why is Marvel allowing this to go on? Does Marvel even care about its integrity that it keeps giving Land work?
You really have to wonder if the creators take their art seriously anymore. This worries me a lot about the state of comic books.
If you put your mouse over those images, you can find their sources. The first is from Uncanny X-Men #500, the second from Ultimate Power #2, the third from Ultimate Power #7. I think it's time for a Tempered but Not Overtly Angry Letter to Marvel. I suggest you to do one as well, as Marvel won't really listen unless we tell them.
That's the hard part. May I treat you to the easy part, now: some Greg Land Swiping Fun:
The guy can draw a pretty face, to be sure, but you really have to wonder if he has any grain of respect for the industry.
(the sources are all in the title-text: just hold your mouse over the picture, and some text will pop up)
Things like these really make me sad. There's always a certain amount of emotional investment into sequential art, and to see that the artist doesn't give a damn about it (the art) forces a feeling of betrayal.
However, to counter all this negativity, there is the fact that writer Matt Fraction is co-writing over Uncanny. That ought to please some people.