Sunday, December 21, 2008

Back Issue: New X-Men #156

Writer: Chuck Austen
Artist: Salvador Larroca

For this bit, I'm going back in time and returning to the very last New X-Men before that team became Astonishing. Now while Chuck Austen has screwed up a lot of things X-Men-wise, I don't consider "Bright New Mourning" to be a mess, just potentially unnecessary.

Basic summary: Emma and the Cuckoos along with mutants and the mayor or owner of the Salem X-Corp are all trapped in said building. Beast and Cyclops argue about how Beast thinks Cyclops is too impulsive and moved on too fast. They go to rescue Emma and Germaine, Mindee's new boyfriend starts a fire to make things worse since the mob outside was breaking in. And he dies. And Emma says to Scott that she's starting a school with or without him. Scott goes to consult Jean's grave and talks about getting things set up to go to Astonishing.

My thoughts are this: I liked this issue because we get to see Emma yell at people a lot and insult them. Not much else happens, the Cuckoos are doing their act of "Miss Frost we don't like you" which is tired. There was an unrealistic moment in there where Cyclops gets shot in the arm and then catches diamond Emma falling three stories. Even at his strongest, catching Emma from that height would likely kill the almighty shit out of his arms.

The art in this issue is crud. Emma has a weird six pack which is yet another portrayal of her in a manly way despite the fact that it's stated often that she is DROP DEAD GORGEOUS. Overall it is kind of awkward and simple and just looks rushed.

Overall: Nothing spectacular. Good if you like hearing Emma bitch up a storm. And to see her bitch at a Storm refer to X-Treme X-Men. I only bought it to sort of complete my New X-Men collection since I'm getting New X-Men Volume 3 and that would make me only need New X-Men Annual 2001 to complete my collection.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Secret Invasion: Dark Reign

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev

To start, I read a lot of comic books, but do not have people to converse with about them since other comic book readers do not usually read the ones I do (mainly X-Men). So I have a lot to say with no one to say it too. Part of this blog that will be devoted to comic book criticism which will likely relate a lot to Emma Frost.

Anyway, this week's comic book is the one-shot Secret Invasion: Dark Reign. The only reason why I picked it up will be about the only part I'm critiquing very closely is: Emma Frost.

This issue begins with Emma in dreamland-ish landscape which is basically Emma in the Sentry's mind again meaning just white around her. But poorer art. Good to show that Emma has continued guilt over Kitty's death since certain writers seem to forget just because the guilt is addressed once does not mean it just went away.

She then wakes up and gets a telegram inviting her to Avengers Tower. She has a snipe-y moment, first time in awhile where it feels real since Fraction writes her to basically be a spoiled brat on Uncanny. She flies over to Avengers Tower and meets Doom in a basement meeting room where he acts like he's amazing. His narcissism is tired and this is only the 5th issue I've ever read with him in it. One problem with it is Emma's response to Doom after he says he's too almighty to be mind read is "Yeah. Okay." Emma Frost's way of speaking is very controlled, she glorifies being remarkable, so instead she would say something like "Whatever you say, darling."
A simple 'Yeah. Okay.' just sounds idiotic.

Then she meets Namor. Who's being drawn to look a dirty middle-aged man and apparently has a hearing problem. The Hood appears after, Emma displays that she does not care that people around her want privacy in their own heads and I absolutely love it. Then the dumbass points the gun on her, he seems really boringly over the edge, so she lets him know who's boss, favorite moment in the issue.

Loki appears followed by Norman Osbourne. He explains what's happened since Secret Invasion which is good since I do not give a damn, Secret Invasion was drawn out for way too long and seemed REALLY fucking boring. I promise I will not say boring half as many times next review. Either way, he talks a lot about nothing I cared about. Emma explains she's different, she doesn't have a kingdom she lost, then the endangered issue of mutants is brought up and Osbourne calls her the White Queen. Except that hasn't been for a LONG time now. Osbourne explains her being there keeps the mutants from being in concentration camps and she needs to make 'bold moves' which is vague and not really a reason, she can make bold moves elsewhere.

Then Osbourne continues speechifying. He walks around behind each of them, Emma's specific panel make her seems like she's getting some under the table and is just a really unlikely pose she'd make no matter how sexual she may be. Then everyone leaves. The rest I did not read since I can barely keep interest in the issue without Emma in it, egotistical men=snooze fest. Emma has the dream again and wakes up screaming, Scott does not even wake up. Fin.

Art-wise: Alex Maleev was really unremarkable, a step above the horrible artist that did Wolverine Origins when Emma appeared. In terms of colors, there were mainly light colors which does not go with the villain theme; dark colors or a lot of contrast would have worked better. The pencils seem scratchy and Emma just looks like any other blonde chick. She isn't, she should look very fierce. At least she did not have that horrible white tranny makeup that too many artists think works for her. But the light makeup with pink lips isn't her either, she'd likely had a dark upper lid and eyeliner defined lower one along with a red-pink lipstick.

Overall: Good for the parts with Emma, but the art just made the issue drag on in a really mundane way. I could have lived without owning the issue.