Yes! Make Northstar an Avenger! I would love to see him teaching at Avengers Academy too! What if Northstar and Aurora became the Heroic Age equivalent to Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch? The possibilities are staggering!
An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel
Hello again, gentle reader. For this edition of White Queen Wednesday Extra, I would like to spotlight Emma’s file card from last week’s Heroic Age: Superheroes. Composed by former Captain America Steve Rogers in a peyote-induced haze, this represents the view of the current “top cop” of the Marvel Universe and director of all things Avengers on Emma Frost and her place as a hero in the Marvel Universe.
In marked contrast to some of the unkind things Steve said in this issue about other heroes (and heroines in particular), his profile of Emma is surprisingly flattering. I’m really glad that he didn’t dwell on her history as a villain when she was the White Queen of the Hellfire Club. That seems to be something many of her fellow X-Men have had a hard time getting past, although perhaps it isn’t as much of an issue for Steve Rogers since he never faced her in battle when she was with the Hellfire Club as far as I am aware.
In fact, Steve goes so far as to suggest that Emma might have a future as an Avenger. This is intriguing, although not entirely without precedent since Emma has assisted the New Avengers on a couple of noteworthy occasions, once when the leading minds of the Marvel Universe had no idea how to resolve the Sentry/Void situation and again when they were at a loss as for what to do with Wanda Maximoff during House of M.
Her power grid ratings are also noticeably high, with especially strong showings in the categories of wisdom, courage, determination and free will. I have no argument with this.
However, I must take issue with the way Steve characterizes Emma’s loyalty to mutants as a drawback. There is a troubling whiff of underlying racism to that statement, the perception that minorities will always stick together no matter what and at the expense of any other concerns. While Emma is fiercely protective of her mutant students and teammates, I do not believe that this must be seen as a negative trait or in any way suggest that she does not think humans are equally worthy of her protection.
Although sometimes puzzling, like the seemingly arbitrary power grid rankings which are entirely open to interpretation, Heroic Age: Superheroes is definitely entertaining. What could have been a collection of dry handbook entries is livened up by Steve’s opinionated drug-fueled rambling, often saying more about Steve and his frequently outdated attitudes towards certain topics than they do about his subjects.
I hope you enjoyed this glance at Emma’s place in the larger Marvel Universe, gentle reader. Until next week…
Last WonderCon, NPR Producer Stephanie Foo had one question on her mind: What was the first superhero that you created? She asked this question to many comic book artists and I was one of them. I found it rather serendipitous that she wanted to know about the heroes I created as a kid as I am drawing them now as an adult for my self-published memoir fantasy comic Princess Witch Boy! A week later, Stephanie wrote me, asking for images from my childhood of Replica, Velvet and Galaxy Runway and I was super psyched to share them with her and thereby the world! Isn’t the internet still a marvel at which to be in awe?!
I found Stephanie’s project to be quite extraordinary and I was excited that the pop culture zeitgeist of comics had reached National Public Radio in such a way as to warrant its own segment, but I had no idea about the level of comic brilliance in which I would be included! I have been a fan of David Mack ever since my first issue of Kabuki and the art of Paul Maybury is super inspirational (I’ve even blogged about him)! I adore Miriam Libicki and have much love for my fellow compatriot in Writers Old Fashioned Stephenny Godfrey! In fact, all of the creators involved are amazing and everyone shares some great stories! Listen to the interviews and watch the artist slideshow which compares the artists’ childhood drawings with their adult work. Episode 107 of Snap Judgment has more stories tied to the theme of Superheroes: Origin Stories.
I thought it might be fun to show you the images that Snap Judgment shared paired with their modern day representations.
This was the first image I ever drew of Galaxy Runway. Eagle-eyed comic readers (or longtime fans of this blog) might recognize Gigi’s pose from a certain Classic X-Men issue that I used to trace over many many times. You see, dear reader, that my Arthur Adams obsession is intricately interwoven with my adolescence. There’s just no escaping it. Who would want to?
And here’s Galaxy Runway as she appears today, fresh from her adventures in the back pages of SwankSpeak!, the magazine of San Francisco boutique/gallery Swankety Swank. Gigi (her first name) is joined by her travelling companion Mishkiva. Expect to see more of her soon as a new issue of SwankSpeak! will be coming out at the end of September. At the end of this year, I have plans to share the collected Galaxy Runway strips online.
This is the first drawing I made of Replica, shape-shifting super-spy of the Interstellar Data Coalition. She was traced from a drawing of Susan Storm, the Invisible Woman of Marvel Comics’ Fantastic Four. The image was from The Official Marvel Comics Try-Out Book.
This is Replica’s modern version as seen in Princess Witch Boy issue #2. The cover above is from a Team Valor limited edition which has sold out. A new run (with a new cover and more interior art) will be on sale at San Francisco’s Alternative Press Expo this October and available for purchase online after the convention.