Storm Arcana

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White Queen Wednesday: X-Women

An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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3 Comments

  1. SR

    I don’t mean this in an attacking way at all but… did you not find that they kind of always have the female characters finding salvation from working in things like throwing their hands in the air, flipping their hair around and dancing? I mean, yeah, that’s fun, I do that too but, is that all that there ever will be to the non super side of these ladies?
    Sure Emma is KNOWN for the character she plays in this comic… but the rest of the women? I know of feel as if this is a “bimbo” version of some of the women.
    I thought that the comic was going to be a really fun adult humored female including story but in the end I was left wondering the same question… no underwear? EVER? And what’s up with the sex faces? And poses? Sometimes it felt as if it was kind of soft-core-ish. That never got to the sex. Just me?

  2. Ingonyama

    Nope, not just you.

    Then again, Milo Manara’s known for his porn. Go Google him sometime. >.<

    Honestly, it seems to be all right for what it's meant to be, but I'd like something that pays a little more tribute to these characters as heroines and characters, and less focus on the "sexy women" aspect of it.

    Oh well, the problems with a patriarchal entertainment company and all.

  3. SR

    Now that I Googled him, yes I would have known what to expect. People wanting the “pays a little more tribute to these characters as heroines and characters” are not the intended audience.
    …As I said to a friend of mine, sex, porn, and the whole lot can be wonderful things, but I know where to get them when I want them and wish I didn’t find it here. But I can take it for what it is now. :]

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