Today we celebrate the artwork of Yildiray Cinar, an artist from Istanbul, Turkey. Although Cinar works for DC Comics (currently penciling The Legion of Super-Heroes), today we look at the art of many (and I mean many) Marvel characters he drew for Rittenhouse Archives. Usually, Storm Sunday focuses solely on our weather maven (and she’s in here, I promise), but she’s going to share the spotlight with her Marvel Universe compatriots. I will list the names of the characters for the uninitiated, but comments will be sparse as we let the art speak for itself! If you have a favorite, let me know in the comments. Let’s go!
An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel
Thank you for joining me this White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. This week I would like to discuss Emma Frost’s guest appearance and interaction with her former student Firestar in the just released Young Allies #6, written by Sean McKeever with art by David Baldeon. This reunion has been a long time coming, since the last time they encountered each other was back when Emma was still running her Massachusetts Academy under the auspices of Professor Xavier, and her mutant stock has risen considerably over the intervening years to the point that she is now co-leader of the X-Men. It’s somewhat unusual to see Emma so fully clothed, although she still manages to draw attention to her décolletage with a tasteful jeweled necklace.
An Emma Frost Update
by Ken Kneisel
One more for the triple threat, gentle reader! Marvel’s solicitations for items scheduled to ship this November were released yesterday, including one surprising and fairly significant Emma Frost related development that I am excited to share with you. Emma will guest star in Young Allies #6 for a confrontation with her former student Angelica Jones, also known as Firestar! The issue is described thus:
“Emma Frost guest stars! Just as the Young Allies have found themselves thrust together, the Uncanny X-Men’s devious Emma Frost threatens to pull them apart! Are her plans for former pupil Firestar sincere…or sincerely evil?”
Judging from the cover illustration by Takeshi Miyazawa, Emma exudes her trademark haughty and self-satisfied attitude as always, but Firestar doesn’t look too terribly excited to see Emma again. It’s been quite a while since their last encounter in Generation X #59, just over ten years our time while a significant amount of time has passed in the Marvel Universe as well. When last they met, Firestar was a member of the Avengers and Emma was still headmistress of her Massachusetts Academy which she had reopened under the auspices of Professor X. Back then, Firestar reluctantly accepted Emma’s remarkable transformation from villain to hero based solely on the fact that Professor X vouched for her and had entrusted her with a new crop of mutant students. But Angelica swore that she would keep an eye on Emma just in case she returned to her evil roots. These days, Firestar is running with the Young Allies and Emma is co-leader of the X-Men and self-appointed spokesperson for the entire mutant race along with her boyfriend Cyclops.
Based on recent events, I can only imagine that Emma might approach Firestar with an offer to join her fellow mutants on Utopia, the X-Men’s island sanctuary just off the coast of San Francisco. Just as I imagine that Firestar might refuse and will most likely have a few choice words for Emma as well, possibly regarding unresolved issues from Emma’s past as a villain when she attempted to brainwash young Angelica into becoming her personal assassin and bodyguard. Or perhaps not. Either way, I am eagerly anticipating this reunion and look forward to discovering the status of Emma and Angelica’s relationship in the current state of affairs.
Incidentally, stormantic favorite Art Adams provides a hot and bubbly variant cover image of Firestar for this issue.
Who is that masked girl behind Spider-Man? No, it’s not Stature of the Young Avengers, much as she might resemble her. Apparently she is Emma Frost, although not the same Emma you or I might be familiar with. This Emma is not an X-Man or White Queen but resides in the Marvel Adventures Universe in her costumed identity as the Silencer. I’ve never read Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, but apparently she is close friends with Spider-Man’s girlfriend Sophia Sandoval and used her telepathic powers to discover Spider-Man’s secret identity while attempting to come between him and Sophia. Although unlike our Emma’s successful courtship of Cyclops, this Emma wound up arrested for her trouble. But it looks like she is back.
Now here is the Emma Frost we are all familiar with, at Cyclops’s side and surrounded by all her fellow X-Men teammates. This is the only other cover on which Emma appears this month, and I actually really like this team shot. Mainly because it really feels like a cohesive team where each member has their own individual role to play, and not just a random assemblage of every vaguely mutant-related character you could imagine.
Well anyway, that’s all for the extras and updates today, gentle reader. I mainly just wanted to let you know about that upcoming interaction between Emma and Firestar and how excited I am to read it. I will meet you here again next week with more to discuss on the subject of Miss Emma Frost.
An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel
Welcome once again to White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. This subject, the Hellions, has been a long time coming. Let this be an introduction to the team if you have never heard of them before, and if you have then this will act as a refresher course. Between their debut and tragic wholesale slaughter at the hands of Trevor Fitzroy and his Sentinels, the Hellions made precious few appearances in a comparative handful of stories. But today we celebrate the brief lives of Emma’s gang of menacing young punks.
It’s interesting to note that, while Emma’s Hellions and their opposite numbers among Professor X’s New Mutants were undoubtedly rivals, they also shared a lot in common as teenage mutant misfits and frequently socialized at least as much as they engaged in battle. Emma often threw school dances or parties and invited the New Mutants to fraternize with her Hellions. These interactions produced a few lasting friendships and even loves.
By contrast with Professor X’s more peaceful exhortations, Emma taught her Hellions how to dominate their would be human oppressors and exploit their individual mutant talents for their own personal gain. As the White Queen, Emma sometimes gave lip service to the concept of the Hellions as mutant pawns or merely assets of the Hellfire Club. But, in her own arbitrarily mindblasting way, Emma truly was devoted to her students and seemed to want to teach them how to not just survive but thrive in a world that hated and feared them. If Emma Frost is Lady Gaga, the Hellions were her beloved Little Monsters.
Catseye was disarmingly cute and had a particular childlike manner of speaking which might have made her seem a little slow, although she had a photographic memory and was probably one of the brightest Hellions. Emma found her as an orphaned alley kitten in the streets of New England and taught her that she was a mutant girl who could transform into a cat and not the other way around. She was probably my favorite Hellion if only for her striking pastel purple visual. I just love her look and I always wanted a little Catseye doll so I could brush her flowing violet mane like a My Little Pony.
Empath was Emma’s emotion manipulating protege, frighteningly sadistic and vindictive. His name might have been Empath but he wasn’t terribly empathetic. He could control the emotions of others, a power which he recklessly abused to often terrifying effect. Emma and Empath had a pretty screwed up relationship. It seemed that he was her prize pupil but at the same time he also harbored a treacherous streak so that Emma had to watch her back around him.
Roulette was the blonde bad girl of the Hellions. Her luck changing disks provided her target with a temporary dose of good luck or bad luck, but more often than not she chose to use her bad luck disks to cause mischief just for the sake of it. She was also not opposed to using her bad luck disks on her own teammates when she was bored simply to start trouble.
Jetstream was exceedingly proud and arrogant, always eager to test his human rocket powers against those of his rival New Mutant Cannonball. Cannonball might have been the faster of the two, but Jetstream achieved more precision thanks to his cybernetic enhancements.
Tarot was able to physically manifest images from her tarot deck for use in combat. She was also able to use her tarot cards to divine the future and seemed to base her decisions around them, which sometimes made Emma wary as it threw Tarot’s true loyalties into question.
Thunderbird II joined the Hellions to take revenge on Charles Xavier because he blamed Professor X for the death of his older brother John Proudstar AKA Thunderbird I. Like Emma, James eventually reformed and joined up with X-Force and the X-Men. I will talk a little bit more about him in his own installment of White Queen Wednesday.
We were also introduced to two brand new Hellions just before the team’s demise. Beef and Bevatron had super strength and electricity generating powers respectively, but not a lot of personality between them.
I really loved the Hellions. It must also be said that I always felt like the Hellions uniform was more than a little gay, pink and purple with a low cut V-neck and little triangle motif. I liked that too.
Thank you for joining me for this examination of the lives of Emma’s original class of mutant students, gentle reader. Do you have a favorite Hellion? If so then I would love to know what you liked about them and why, so please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel
Welcome back, gentle reader, to White Queen Wednesday. This week we turn our attention to Angelica Jones AKA Firestar. I bet you thought I was talking about Phoenix when I mentioned a fiery redhead last week! Well Jean Grey is not the only fiery redhead that Emma has crossed. I’ve been especially looking forward to this installment, since Emma’s interaction with Firestar produced her single most despicable act of villainy if you ask me. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Most people are probably aware of Firestar from the popular early 80s cartoon Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends. That was actually her first appearance, before she ever showed up in any comics. When she did appear in the comics, she was immediately recruited by the White Queen to attend her Massachusetts Academy and train with her Hellions. This was Emma at perhaps her most wicked, the cruel caricature of a storybook evil queen, tormenting young Angelica and mindblasting her Hellions over the slightest perceived offense. However, Emma had particular plans for Firestar. She instructed Angelica privately and attempted to brainwash her into becoming Emma’s personal bodyguard with designs on killing Emma’s rival Selene AKA the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club. To this end, she committed that most vile and reprehensible act I mentioned earlier. There’s no easy way to say this so instead I will simply show you.
That’s right. In order to manipulate Firestar into becoming a cold-blooded killer, Emma telepathically murdered the young girl’s beloved pony Butter Rum and caused Angelica to believe that she had killed the horse herself with her burgeoning microwave powers. There is no possible way for me to justify or excuse this depraved act of villainy so I will not attempt to do so. However, I will highly recommend the Firestar miniseries which has been collected into a convenient digest format. This is required reading if you would like a good long look at what Emma was like during her days as the evil White Queen of the Hellfire Club or if you are at all interested in her Hellions.
Much later, after Angelica had long since left the Massachusetts Academy and the Hellions and joined up with a team of teenage heroes the New Warriors, Emma and her Hellions confronted the new team to retrieve Firestar. Of course, Angelica chose to stay with her friends in the New Warriors over the Hellions. Emma swore that one day Angelica would return to her school. But that day never came.
The next time Emma encountered Firestar was in the pages of Generation X. This was after Emma had reformed and allied herself with Professor Xavier, transforming her Massachusetts Academy into a subsidiary of his school, but before she officially joined the X-Men. Two of Emma’s young students were running loose in New York City and eventually found their way to Avengers Mansion where Emma was called to come pick them up. That was when she ran into Firestar who was a member of the Avengers at this point.
Firestar seemed startled by Emma’s shocking reformation but they talked it out and eventually came to terms. Angelica said that if Professor Xavier trusted Emma enough to put her in charge of his students then she would also give Emma the benefit of the doubt. But Firestar also swore that she would bring the Avengers down on Emma if she ever heard of her messing with another child’s head again. But that day also never came to pass and this would seem to be the extent of Emma’s interactions with Firestar as far as I’m aware.
Well thank you once again for joining me this White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. I’m not fully sure exactly what I’ll be discussing next week, but after all this talk of telepathic horse murder I should think I would like to talk about something a little lighter instead.