An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel
Welcome to White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. Can we talk for a minute about how much I love X-Women? This special one-shot by veteran X-Men writer Chris Claremont and Italian artist Milo Manara was years in the making. True to the title, there is nary a male mutant in sight and Cyclops or Wolverine’s names aren’t so much as uttered even once.
The lack of hard continuity markers lends a feeling of timelessness to this tale, but the clandestine globe trotting nature of this “gal-pals only” adventure pleasantly calls to mind that late 80s Australian Outback X-Men era I loved so much as a child. Not just because Milo Manara’s gaggle of mutant girlfriends are equally as lovely as Marc Silvestri’s X-Women ever were, but when I read the part where the girls all pull Storm up onstage to sing Proud Mary I was reminded of a similar scene from Uncanny X-Men #244 where the X-Ladies took a night out on the town and wound up dragging Storm onstage to dance with a male stripper at a Chippendales or something. Which made me realize that we’re dealing with almost the exact same cast from that issue and era if only you swap out Kitty Pryde for Dazzler. But otherwise Storm, Rogue and Psylocke are all here.
While the other girls have fun in the sun on an invite only vacation to Rogue’s inherited villa on the Greek island of Kirinos, Emma spends the majority of this issue bound to a chair and locked in a bootleg Cerebra helmet, out of sight and only visible by Kitty Pryde through her mental rapport with Rachel Grey.
Although Emma does not show up in a speaking role until the last few pages of the story, her presence weighs heavily over this conversation between the X-Ladies once Kitty Pryde begins piecing together the plot.
Speaking candidly among close friends, Rogue and Kitty hold a little Emma Frost hate parade and Rogue even drops the B-word. But the situation is somewhat defused when Storm points out that whatever other issues the girls might have with Emma, she IS an X-Man now.
It really makes me smile to see Storm sticking up for her brand new bestie Emma Frost like that!
I’m also glad that Rogue only seems to have a problem with Emma’s well documented attitude and didn’t stress the fact that Emma used to be a villain, because I was so ready to get all in Rogue’s face and remind her who started out as a straight up terrorist. (That would be Rogue.)
After being bound and blindfolded for so much of the story, Emma unleashes a little pent up aggression on her captor. Baroness Krieg is flash frozen thanks to Storm’s weather manipulating powers, which is when Emma takes her cheap shot.
Unnecessary perhaps, but oh so satisfying.
When Emma notices that the sucker punch broke one of her immaculately manicured fingernails, she mercilessly kicks her opponent while she is down.
While Emma only has a handful of lines in this issue, I feel they succinctly convey the essence of modern Emma Frost.
Two pages later, Emma is still enraged over her broken nail.
It’s nice to see Rogue has come around and finally been won over by Emma as well.
Having been rescued and accepted by her once doubting female teammates, Emma and the girls party it up and make the most of the rest of their vacation.
This issue also answers the question of which X-Woman ever wears underwear, in case you were wondering. Of course it’s SPOILER ALERT! Kitty Pryde. Sometimes. Like maybe one time.
Until next week, gentle reader.