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White Queen Wednesday: Xenogenesis

An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel

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Welcome back to White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. This week I am celebrating Emma’s appearance in the new Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis miniseries, the first issue of which is scheduled to be released today and should be available for sale in finer funnybook stores everywhere even as you read this!  All artwork presented here is by the amazing Kaare Andrews.

This miniseries represents a radical visual departure from the team’s current design, although in rebelling against their most recent looks many of the team have simply reverted back to their roots. Emma in particular is simply rocking a slightly more covered up version of her Frank Quitely designed latex cutout club kid stripper ensemble complete with sky high platform boots. If she had to trade in her trademark stiletto high heels for something, I’m glad it was at least ridiculously impractical platforms and not boring flats or short pumps. I’m also thrilled that Emma finally ditched her matronly cape for a look that I feel is more befitting her playfully sexy personality.

While Storm seems to have adopted a look very reminiscent of that mid to late 80s era when I first discovered the X-Men and comic books in general and thus holds a special sense of nostalgia for me. From her punky mohawk and big hippie feather earrings to all those skinny belts and chunky boots over a black bodysuit, Storm is rocking that mid to late 80s look hard. Her outfit is strikingly similar to the styles sported by Storm herself along with Rogue and Shadowcat back then, particularly during the Mutant Massacre and Fall of the Mutants storylines, with their multiple crisscrossing skinny belts and chunky leg warmer looking boots.

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I love this page from the preview for this first issue over at Comic Book Resources. You know better than that, Logan. Emma always wears what she likes no matter what the occasion!

I literally laughed out loud when Scott told Ororo that she’s been spending too much time with Emma. Hopefully sometime soon we will get to see some more of that time they are spending together. STORM and I both simply adore the way Warren Ellis handles this new friendlier dynamic between Storm and Emma. In fact if I recall correctly it was one of the first things we really bonded over, along with our general love of the X-Men, when I first met STORM at the Isotope a few years ago.

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Emma doesn’t appear to be too thrilled with getting mutant baby vomit all over her decolletage on this cover of the second issue.

These paramilitary fatigue style uniforms, or at least something similar, were actually introduced in the very first issue of Warren Ellis’s Astonishing X-Men and worn for a few pages before being promptly discarded in favor of more traditional supersuits all around. So it’s interesting to see them returning to this look. Everyone but Emma, of course.

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Now here’s a striking and eye-catching cover! There’s definitely something bizarrely kinky about this image, but that’s par for the course with Emma I suppose. The sultry way that Emma is eating those sticky syrupy pancakes is certainly suggestive. This cover just brings to mind so many questions. Why pancakes? Is Emma going to spank Scott or is she simply using him as a human chair? I guess we’ll find out in the third issue!

It is a little odd that this new miniseries is being released before the last arc drawn by Phil Jimenez, Exogenetic, has even finished. But such confusing scheduling snafus are to be expected these days.

I hope you’re as excited for Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis as I am, gentle reader! Go out and pick up a copy for yourself and share your thoughts about the first issue in the comments. I look forward to comparing our reactions!

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4 Comments

  1. I *just* finished reading this, and I think it was one of the more enjoyable X-books out recently! There are some real gems in it.

    A lot of people aren’t happy with Kaare’s over-the-top style, but I love it. It’s reminiscent of Sam Kieth at times. I adore Emma plopping her rather ample breasts on top of the seat, right in Wolverine’s face…hey, if you’re going to display them, you might as well *really* display them!

    Now if only we could see the mohawk transfer over to the rest of the books….

  2. Ken Kneisel

    Thanks for the comment, Judah! (Cynjon?)

    I definitely agree that this was one of the more enjoyable X-Men comics I’ve read recently! I think what I preferred here was the continuing focus on a small and manageable cast where everyone has their chance to shine and a return to that old school globe-hopping style instead of just hanging around on a man-made island waiting to be attacked.

    I’ve also seen a lot of criticism for Kaare Andrews’s bold style but I am personally loving it as well! I especially like the way everyone is so differentiated and not just the same guy in a different costume, all the character designs are so unique and yet they all fit together so well.

    I totally loved that scene you mentioned where Emma flops her amble bosom over the top of the seat. My favorite bit there was Hisako making the “gag me” gesture! hahaha

    And I certainly hope Storm’s mohawk and personality transfers over. It’s so much more interesting than having her be Black Panther’s doting wifey and stay at home Queen. Ororo really stole the show and took center stage in this issue and her interaction with T’Challa seemed to hint at some type of trouble in that particular paradise. All the more reason for me to want to see more of Storm and Emma hanging out and gossiping about the men in their lives! Get those queens some cocktails (or better yet, that champagne Storm promised to drink with Emma so many issues ago!) and let them dish! 😉

  3. (yup, this is the former Cynjon…had a bit of re-naming for my Bday…I’d been Cynjon for 22 years, time for a change!)

    “the way everyone is so differentiated”

    That’s one of my main gripes with a lot of the art out there…how interchangeable the individuals (poor choice of words!) are. I prefer to *not* have to see someone’s costume to be able to tell who they’re supposed to be. Or haircolor/style or whatever.

    Give me hyper-stylized any day of the week!

    The only one I didn’t care for was Hisako. At least in the earlier scenes, she looked like she was 7 or so.

    Ellis’ take on the relationship between Emma and Storm has been the most spot-on so far, in my opinion…and here’s to hoping for some champagne drinking and trash-talking in the future!

  4. Ken Kneisel

    Cynjon is NO MORE!
    NOW… There is only JUDAH!!!

    hahaha Forgive me that little Claremontism. 😉

    Yeah, I did notice that Hisako looked exaggeratedly young here.

    And I really can’t say enough good things about the way Warren Ellis rehabilitated the relationship between Emma and Storm. It’s one of the main things I am loving about his Astonishing X-Men so far and I really hope other writers take notice and follow his lead on that front. As the two leading ladies of the mutant world, I would prefer to see them as friends and not nursing ancient grudges!

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