An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel
Good evening, gentle reader. I was just putting this week’s White Queen Wednesday to bed when STORM phoned me with some urgent late breaking news. According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog, actress Alice Eve is set to play Emma Frost in the upcoming X-Men: First Class film.
This is intriguing news, considering the movie is supposed to explore the early years of the X-Men as the name implies. So far we know that James McAvoy will play Professor Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbender will play Magneto. I’m very curious if Emma will be portrayed as a villainous rival of Professor X or if she will be among his original crop of mutant students. Either way, it should certainly be interesting to find out.
I think Alice Eve definitely looks the part. Give her some platinum blonde hair and white lingerie and she would make a great Emma. Plus she’s British and should thus have no trouble with Emma’s affected English accent.
I like the little description of Emma in that article too.
“In comics lore, Frost was originally a villain called the White Queen who eventually became a member of X-Men, then a teacher at Xavier’s School of Gifted Students. She has telepathic powers and as the White Queen wore scantily clad costumes.”
Hopefully this Hollywood depiction of Emma will remain true to her scantily clad roots.
By the way, I also wanted to apologize to regular readers of White Queen Wednesday for my absence last week. As STORM explained, we here in the San Francisco Bay Area were a little preoccupied with Gay Pride. To make up for my radio silence, please accept this blissful sun-dappled photograph of myself with STORM, James “The Comic Pimp” Sime of San Francisco’s world-renowned Isotope Comic Book Lounge, Yabette from Swankety Swank and STORM’s pals Mindancer and Sister Kali all hanging out at the Faerie Freedom Village where we spent Sunday afternoon feeling the love.
Well gentle reader, how do you feel about this Emma Frost casting? Do you think Alice Eve has what it takes to fill Emma’s stilettos?
Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that there was no White Queen Wednesday this week. There will also be no new Storm Sunday for today. stormantic is a San Francisco-based blog and in our fabulous city, we take our Gay Pride seriously. What I’m trying to say is, Ken and STORM have been swept up in the amazing goings on that celebrate gay, lesbian, bisexual, transexual, queer, questioning and other identities and we just don’t possess the discipline to be inside blogging right now. We’ve got dancing and marching and partying to do! We encourage you to get together with your queer loved ones and do the same. Much love to you all!
Okay, so having Dazzler lead the way in this post was misleading. Alison Blaire does not identify as gay, but a lot of her fans do! Thanks, Dazzler, for lighting up our lives! And for some actual queerness, I give you Rictor and Shatterstar making out.
No Gay Pride X-post would be complete without Northstar, Marvel’s first out gay male character (who just happens to have pointy ears like a faerie! thanks a lot, Marvel). I’m not saying I love this character. It’s just if we’re gonna celebrate mutant boys who like boys, we gotta trot out the gay X-Men poster boy.
And here’s Anole, the newest Queer among the latest generation of X-Men. I have no opinion one way or another on this character. He’s not much more than a gay lizard boy at this point in his character lifespan.
Matt Silady, author/artist of the Eisner-Nominated The Homeless Channel and fellow member of Writers Old Fashioned, created this amazing image of Yours Truly to advertise my Heroic Tarot business. I love the color scheme, photographic composition, and Art Nouveau inspired design. In this artwork, I am wearing a hat and ascot by DAS, shirt by Yabette and vest by gibbous.
Appointments for Heroic Tarot take place regularly on Fridays. Other days and times are possible and I am available for parties and events. Email me at HeroicTarot (at) gmail (dot) com.
Remember that Black Panther cartoon that was supposed to air on BET? I don’t know exactly what happened to it, but Comic Book Resources has an article about the debut of the series! I thought it would be fun to share this image of Storm flanked by Cyclops, Nightcrawler (at least he’s alive somewhere!) and Wolverine. I am super excited to hear Jil Scott as the voice of Storm! What do you think about this series? Are you looking forward to it? Will you be watching it?
An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel
Imperius Rex, gentle reader! It’s time to talk about Namor the Sub-Mariner, King of Atlantis and would-be suitor of Emma Frost.
When Emma and Namor were called to a meeting along with several major baddies like Loki and Doctor Doom by Norman Osborn at the start of his Dark Reign over the Marvel Universe to make them all an offer they couldn’t refuse, Namor behaved as if he had never met Emma before. Emma was unfazed and made a disparaging remark about the way he smelled.
But Namor was only pretending not to recognize Emma in order to protect her from the assembled villains in the room.
In fact, it turned out that Namor and Emma share a sexy secret past from when she was still the White Queen. Namor was invited to the Hellfire Club by the Black King Sebastian Shaw to offer him the role of White King. When Emma laid eyes on Namor, it was lust at first sight.
Namor flatly turned down Shaw’s offer of membership in the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle, although he was immediately infatuated with Emma. So Shaw asked Emma to recruit Namor by whatever means necessary. Emma then seduced Namor and shared his bed for a time, although he still didn’t join the Hellfire Club and Shaw had Emma’s recollection of these events wiped from her memory so that she could not recall them until some time later.
Getting back to the present day and Norman Osborn’s secret cabal of villains, including Emma and Namor in his machinations proved to be a mistake when those plans backfired on him. Emma played Osborn for a fool and used the opportunity to recruit Namor into the X-Men and form an alliance between the mutants and Namor’s Atlantean race.
Since Namor joined the X-Men there have been several hints of an unresolved romantic tension between him and Emma. I’m of two minds on the subject. On one hand, there is already the widespread perception of Emma as a man-stealing home-wrecking trollop based on the telepathic tryst she entered into with Cyclops while he was still involved with Jean Grey. So for Emma to be flirting with her former fling so recently after having fallen in love with Cyclops does not exactly look good. But on the other hand the X-Men have always been at their best when it’s one big mutant soap opera so this is precisely the kind of thing we fans seem to thrive on. At the very least it feels more like Namor is pursuing Emma but not the other way around so far, and Emma has remained steadfastly faithful to Scott.
My immediate impression of this pair is that Emma and Namor seem mismatched. Emma is so perfect and pristine and particular about her looks and it seems like Namor would just get her hair and clothes all wet and make her smell like a fish market. Although I suppose there is a certain bodice ripping romance novel cover quality to that particular dichotomy, as expertly illustrated by Terry & Rachel Dodson on the upcoming cover of Uncanny X-Men #527 at the beginning of this installment.
But this is not the first time Namor tried to come between a prominent supercouple. He has persistently attempted to woo the Fantastic Four’s Susan Storm from her husband Reed Richards for years now, so it seems he has a thing for blondes who are already in a relationship. I suppose everyone wants what they can’t have on some level, but I don’t like the way this makes it appear as if Emma is some kind of second rate replacement since Namor can never obtain Sue.
I hope Emma does not stray from Scott or leave him for Namor. What she has with Scott is so much deeper than any superficial infatuation she might share with Namor. Plus I can’t imagine that Emma has any intention of becoming Namor’s Queen of Atlantis and being shipped off into exile away from her students and fellow X-Men like what happened with Ororo when she married the Black Panther and became the Queen of Wakanda. (Sorry, STORM!)
However, there is another somewhat more intriguing option. What if Emma and Scott discussed the situation and decided to have an open relationship so that Emma was able to take Namor as a lover on the side while maintaining her relationship with Scott? They are living in San Francisco now, after all! Then perhaps when Scott’s dead wife Jean Grey is inevitably resurrected again, perhaps Scott could get back together with her while staying with Emma as well. I’m not suggesting this situation would necessarily be ideal for any of the parties involved, and I sincerely doubt it would ever happen in the first place. For one thing, Scott seems way too square to even entertain the idea of agreeing to such an arrangement. I could kind of see Emma maybe going for it though. It was suggested that she had a “friends with benefits” relationship with Tony Stark AKA Iron Man while she was with the Hellfire Club, so she might be more amenable to such a non-traditional romantic entanglement. I really don’t think this will ever happen, but it would be interesting.
What do you think about the possibility of Emma and Namor hooking up, gentle reader? Let me know how you feel in the comments, and I hope you join me again next White Queen Wednesday!
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade is on my short list of highly anticipated upcoming mini-series. I am so excited about Allan Heinberg re-teaming with Jim Cheung to tell more stories about the Young Avengers that my heart is racing as I type this! I’m elated that this mini-series will focus on Wiccan, one of the team’s two openly gay characters (The other one is Hulking and yes, they do happen to be boyfriends). Thing is, when Heinberg crafted the Young Avengers team, he created one of the most diverse teams in comics. The team has one African-American member (Patriot, who is also the leader), two strong female characters (Stature and Hawkeye), a synthezoid (Vision) and two gay characters (the aforementioned Wiccan and Hulking). Wiccan’s twin brother Speed is also a member. However, none of these characters are completely defined by these aspects of these characters. I read this book because I am interested in how these kids try their best to follow in the footsteps of their heroes. Patriot believes in Captain America’s ethos and has an awesome connection to the star-spangled hero’s legacy. Hawkeye was given permission by the original Marvel archer to use his name (she even donned a purple costume in honor of Clint Barton), but now that he’s back (and using his old codename) will she have to create a new identity? Stature has her father’s size-changing abilities, but is still coming to terms with his death. Hulkling is half Kree and half Skrull, and the son of the deceased Captain Marvel. His metamorph abilities are nothing compared to his ties to two very distinct and often warring cultures. The fact that he has a stable loving relationship with Wiccan (whose magic powers seemed tied to his will) is a great part of why I read this book. Comics love the lesbians (whether they portray them accurately is another post), but it’s rare to see gay male leads and even rarer still to see them portrayed as well rounded people with loved ones just like straight people. It’s a testament to Heinberg’s writing that these characters come across as multi-faceted kids facing a barrage of problems to which any reader can relate.
The team is back! Jim Cheung’s art is terrific! I love his sense of action, his design sense and his layouts! It is a joy to read his work and his rendition of Scarlet Witch is out of the ballpark! Read this awesome article from Comic Book Resources about what to expect from this mini-series! Then go ask your local comic retailer to reserve you a copy!
Since a lot of this storyline revolves around the Scarlet Witch and whether or not Wiccan (who may or may not be her son) can control his powers (which may or may not be the same as hers), I am really hoping that Wanda Maximoff gets redeemed. I say reveal that it was the demon Chthon influencing her all along and be done with it (a la Hal Jordan and Parallax). Chthon is the demon that lives in Wundagore Mountain where Wanda was born. He’s always had a hand in nefarious things regarding her and it would be a nod to her origins and history. However, I am confident in Heinberg’s storytelling that whatever he decides will be a great read! Bring on The Children’s Crusade!
It looks like the ragin’ Cajun might sink his teeth into the X-Men’s Southern belle. Anyone else out there looking at this image (by Mike Mayhew) and picturing Anna Paquin (who played Rogue in the movies) as her True Blood character instead of Rogue? It’s totally got me chuckling how derivative pop culture entertainment can be sometimes. The parallels are fascinating to be sure, but I just don’t think I am sold on this whole X-Men versus Vampires thing.
Gambit and Storm have their own One-Shot wherein they are charged with stealing something from the vampires. Does Gambit turn vampy on this mission, run away from Storm only to stalk Rogue later? Goddess, I hope not. Seriously, let “Anna” and Remy do something else than pine over each other for a change. And what’s with this teaser and the one featuring Emma all vamped out focusing on couples? Should we be expecting a Black Panther and Storm teaser? That most likely won’t happen because T’Challa doesn’t show up in X-Men books as wallpaper even though Storm is relegated to background status in his book. Heck, I’m sure T’Challa has an anti-vampire suit lying around somewhere or maybe his new mystical sigil powers would be helpful. Anyway, I digress. I’m sure we’ll see what the next teaser has to offer soon enough. Thanks to Comic Book Resources for this teaser.
Is the White Queen going to take a bite out of Cyclops? If this image by Mike Mayhew is any indication, the answer is yes. Dracula is back! Vampires are invading San Francisco! The X-Men are the only defense! While this artwork is stunning, I am so over story tropes that rely on whether Emma might be evil once again. Then again, if Emma becomes a vampire, she wouldn’t be culpable for whatever diabolical actions she takes against the X-Men or others. Kind of a loophole for dastardly doings and then an easy out for redemption. Of course, I think it would be much more interesting if this artwork had Cyclops all vamped out and Emma in diamond form holding him back. That’s just me. What do you all think of this image and about the whole vampires versus X-Men idea? Thanks to Comic Book Resources for the information.
An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel
Welcome back to White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. This week I shine the artist spotlight on Sara Pichelli’s depiction of Emma Frost. She has drawn several Marvel comics over the last few years. A little NYX, some Runaways, a fun Dazzler short story and the recently concluded X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back miniseries. I like her style a lot and I must say she gives great Emma!
Emma also made a guest appearance along with the rest of the X-Men in an issue of Runaways drawn by Sara Pichelli and written by Terry Moore. All artwork presented here was colored by Christina Strain.
You can really feel Emma’s sneering sarcasm, eye-rolling exasperation and gentle concern for her students even without Kathryn Immonen’s playful dialogue on these black and white pages from X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back.
I admire the way Sara Pichelli draws Emma’s costume with her own particular stamp on it. Modified details like the lower cut bodice that also covers up her midriff a bit more than usual, big hooded cape and swinging 70s gold coin belt. It leads me to imagine that Emma has several closets full of many different variations on her standard costume at any given time. Because she would get bored wearing the same thing every day.
Sara Pichelli seems to enjoy drawing Emma Frost because there are a few lovely Emma sketches on her blog!
She used Copic markers on that last sketch, to dramatic effect! I really love the stylized X bustiers on those other costume variations and the sumptuous overflowing art deco sensuality of Emma wearing her old Hellfire Club outfit.
Well that concludes this White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. I do hope you join me once again next week.
Hace you read Aqua Leung? It’s a graphic novel about an undersea prince who must train to avenge his family’s murder. If you are familiar with the classic hero’s journey a la Joseph Campbell you will recognize it in this story as written by Mark Andrew Smith. Aqua Leung is an action packed thrill ride with quirky characters that’s not afraid to be bombastic or over the top. Heck, that’s part of it’s charm. The art of Paul Maybury makes this underwater based fantasy epic truly memorable. The energy of Maybury’s linework practically radiates off the page! Check out some of the art for yourself! Tom Spurgeon interviewed the creators when the book came out in 2008. He asks some great questions (as always) and it’s fun to learn about what Smith and Maybury did before Aqua Leung.
It is my understanding that there are no plans for a second installment and that is truly a shame. When I first bought this graphic novel I carried it around with me for a week, taking time in between my activities to feast my eyes on the art. As an artist, I find it inspirational. As a writer, I find it affirming that a well-known fantasy story can still be reinterpreted in a successful manner.
Aqua Leung is reason enough to talk excitedly about Paul Maybury, but what got me to actually blog about the artist is the Storm image you see above these paragraphs. This unique take on our Windrider is particularly attractive to me thanks to the playful quality of Storm sitting on the cloud and how the lightning itself spells out the sound effects. Ororo almost has a My Little Pony mane going on here and I’m not saying that is a bad thing. Thanks to Greg Hinkle for sending me the link to Maybury’s Deviant Art site. Read Maybury’s site & blog. Stalk him on Twitter.
I was totally psyched to share the Storm image with you, dear reader, and then I came across Maybury’s version of Magik! Storm and Illyana have shared a mini-series before, so I thought it would be fun to celebrate both art pieces today! Magik looks scrappy and determined. And again, Maybury incorporates words into the artwork itself. Great stuff.
Help your friends and lovers find their inner superhero!