woensdag 4 januari 2012

Emma Frost Ultimate Collection

Once in a while you come across a comic you enjpy so much, you want to tell the world about it. Now, I`m a Marvel afficionado, and own complete collections of Excalibur and all Captain Britain spin-offs (yes, even the Marvel UK`s Knights of Pendragon) and Alpha Flight - never can say I am a mainstreamer now can we -, as well as a lot of Spider-Man, X-men and other series.

Recently I picked up in my local comic store Mekanik Strip in Antwerp (hell, I`ve been a client there now for over 20 years, when the store was 1/4th the size it is now... maybe I should ask Linda if it is permitted to take a few pictures to show you how big it is...) the collecting trade paperback of the Emma Frost series.

I must admit, I find those TPB bundles a stroke of genious, that way I can keep buying my loose comics for my `I love them` series, and pick up the bundled ones for things that intrest me without having to scour and search for a missing volume.

Emma Frost probably got `known` by the general public in last year`s X-Men First Class movie, which sorry to say is actually the best they did in the whole X-men franchise, though it ain`t to true to the original comic either. The telepath that can turn to diamond seductress however has a long career in the X-men history, starting out as the White Queen of the Helfire Club, a smathering of mutants and industrialists using political and economical manipulation to control or steer the world. Less known perhaps, but there are several of those `clubs` around the world, and even Brian Braddock (aka Captain Britain) was a member by heritage of the London chapter. Later on, she first became an X-men and teacher at Xavier`s school, then proceeded to become the `leading telepath` of the team when Professor X was defeated by Bastion.

By the way, there is actually another `first ever` X-men movie before the trilogy of the last decennium. Generation X handles about a bunch of New Mutants including Jubilee, thought by Emma and Sean Cassidy, the Banshee. Sure, being rather low budget it ain`t a great special effects flick, but it is enjoyable to watch though, google it and look for your copy in your dvd collection (mind you, it is from the VHS era, so your gonna have a long search and probably only find it in regio 1 dvd`s).

The TPB bundles the 18 volumes of Emma`s `origin` stories, combining all 18 comics into one, and divided into three sections.

The first one tells the tale of how high school student Emma, from the wealthy Frost family, has her powers starting to emerge albeit slowly. This results in her using them to slowly up her grades, but her tyranical and powercrazed father twarths her in all future plans, wanting to groom her to take his place once he`s gone, while she just wants to become a teacher.
The dominant personality of her father results in her older brother and trusted confidiant Christian suffering a breakdown, attempt suicide and turn to drugs, resulting in her running away, especcially when her dad sets her and her mentor up.

That brings us to the second volume, in which a now broke and cast out Emma arrives in Boston city, and befriends a dishwasher. This guy, however nice to her, has debts with a local loanshark and this makes Emma learn to use her powers to manipulate poker games, and later on people.
When in a scheme to make money she is kidnapped, her father states he doesn`t know her and won`t pay the ransom money. When her friend gets murdered by the gangsters she uses her powers to et out and steal the money for herself to make a new life in New York.

Part three brings us to her university years. Here she befriends another telepath, Astrid Bloom, who teaches her step by step to use her powers, and she meets again with her high school crush and former mentor, Ian. Astrid however, having Magneto`esque tendencies to see the Homo Superior above the `meat puppets` and believing mutants having to look out for their own, causes her date Max to assault her, and Ian facing charges of assault.
When Astrid however locks Emma in her own psyche, Emma for the first time hints at her true potential, overcomming the lock down and leaving Astrid completely catatonic after a psychic assault...

The series, by Bollers, Green and Pagulayan, is a nice read and a good story, letting us see how the sexy seductress came into being, yet only scratches the surface of how she became as cool and deadly as during her Helfire days.

It`s drawing style is stylish and easy to the eye, and I can definitly recommend this volume to people looking for a nice Marvel sidestory to read and enjoy!

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