Today I’m here with a Patron’s Choice guide for all Patrons of CK that I originally intended to launch back in September, before life got in the way. I always love a deep dive into an X-Men character’s history, and after reading 40+ years and over 1,200 issues of this queen of the X-Men franchise I love her even more than before! I’m happy to share the February 2023 Patron’s Choice: Guide to Emma Frost, The White Queen!
This Emma Frost Guide was unique for me to put together in a way few other guides will ever be.
That’s because I knew Emma Frost as a villain – or, at least, an antagonist – from my initial comic reading years that ended in 1996. But, at the time I never had access to all of her exploits beyond the Dark Phoenix Saga since back issues were so pricey. I more knew her by reputation – and, of course, from fighting her in the classic X-Men arcade game!
Later, I knew about her as an X-Men from my return to reading Astonishing X-Men in the 00s before diving full-time back into X-Men in 2010 starting from Grant Morrison’s New X-Men. But, I remained ignorant of anything that happened with her in the five years from 1996 to 2005.
That meant my White Queen knowledge was sort of a figure-eight-shaped, with a pair of big holes in the 80s and the latter half of the 90s. And, those are two periods that were huge for Emma Frost!
Today I have an update to one of the first guides that I created for the site, 12 years ago in August 2010 – my Guide to Astonishing X-Men & Amazing X-Men!
No new collections have been released for the three series in this guide – Astonishing X-Men (2004), Amazing X-Men (2014), and Astonishing X-Men (2017). However, that doesn’t mean there was nothing to update and improve! The guide now includes ISBNs for all collections, links for digital purchasing options, links to read on Marvel Unlimited, an improved table of contents, and more-specific information about creators and release dates.
Updating the Guide to Astonishing X-Men always makes me feel old in X-Men years, because hen I first penned this guide it was entirely about Joss Whedon & John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men! I launched my original X-Men guides before “Second Coming” was over in 2010, and was just catch up on the team’s move from San Francisco in general to Utopia in specific.
One of the great things about both Astonishing X-Men and Amazing X-Men is that they were always books that appealed to mega-fans but were easy to pick up for casual readers. Every creator change on either title brings a new jumping-on point, whether that’s Whedon’s self-contained run, Marjorie Liu’s character-focus, or Christopher Yost’s throwback to vintage Claremontian themes.
If you’re a multi-media X-Men fan who has always wanted to check out their comics, even single section of the Guide to Astonishing X-Men & Amazing X-Men could be a good place for you to start.
In today’s episode I unwrap my final omnibus, which (as many of you have likely surmised through a process of elimination) is Astonishing X-Men. I use this famously self-contained, blockbuster run as an opportunity to muse on getting back into comics and the surprisingly limited scope of the comic book market.
Want to start from the beginning of this season of videos? Here’s the complete Season 1 playlist of Crushing Comics.
(Yes, I skipped posting Episode 84 – it was just a episode prompting folks to guess the final omnibus.)
The Pull List was slightly lighter this week than the past three, partially due to me not managing to pick up any additional ongoings from Marvel or DC. I made a heroic effort to catch all the way up with Doctor Strange, but fell an arc short.
This week’s comics felt a little ho-hum for me, with even typical standouts like Flash and Paradiso falling flat. However, it also brought not one but two near-perfect comics, plus one unexpectedly great debut.
Here’s The Pull List for the 14th of March, 2018. New adds to the pull list are marked with *; dropped titles are marked with #.
- DC Comics
- Action Comics (2016) #999
- Batgirl and The Birds of Prey (2016) #20
- Detective Comics (2016) #976
- *Eternity Girl (2018) #1
- The Flash (2016) #42
- Mister Miracle (2017) #7
- Sideways (2018) #2
- Suicide Squad (2016) #37
- Titans (2016) #21
- Trinity (2016) #19
- Wonder Woman (2016) #42
- Image Comics
- Bonehead (2018) #3
- *#Dry County (2018) #1
- *Infidel (2018) #1
- Paradiso (2017) #4
- #Sleepless (2017) #4
- Slots (2017) #6
- VS (2018) #2
- Marvel Comics
- All-New Wolverine (2016) #32
- Astonishing X-Men (2017) #9
- Avengers (2017) #684
- Marvel Two-in-One (2018) #4
- New Mutants – Dead Souls (2018) #1
- Old Man Logan (2016) #36
- Weapon X (2017) #15
- X-Men: Blue (2017) #23
- Smaller Publishers: Aftershock Comics, Archie Comics, Black Mask Studios, & Boom! Studios
- Judas (2017) #4, Boom! Studios
- *Come Into Me (2018) #1, Black Mask Studios
- *Vampironica (2018) #1, Archie Comics
- *Betrothed (2018) #1, Aftershock Comics
Before we begin, a reminder that 2.5 stars on my rating scale is an average comic book and my bell curve distribution peaks at 3/5 stars! Don’t freak out and assume a comic book is terrible because it has 2 stars. That means it’s just a hair below average (and there are a lot of those this week)
Picks of the Pull
Big Two (Marvel/DC) Pick of the Week:
Action Comics (2016) #999, DC Comics
Dan Jurgens leaves us with a truly perfect, contemplative issue of Superman that puts a wrap on his stellar Rebirth run but also addresses his writing from over 25 years ago, as beautifully rendered by artist Will Conrad and colorist Ivan Nunes.
In Metropolis, Lois is newly reunited with her estranged Army General father after saving him from execution in the last arc. It’s his first time meeting Jon (sort of), but General Lane isn’t in on the Superman secret, so he thinks Jon is a regular kid. That makes it even more tense as Lois and her father square off across the dinner table about the philosophy of Superman. Jon has never been exposed to this kind of hatred and xenophobia about his father before – which is also, by extension, aimed at him.
Meanwhile, Superman is in space dealing with a routine chore of breaking up an asteroid that will stray a bit too close to Earth for STAR Labs liking. Superman is thinking about fathers – General Lane, his own father Jor-El, as well as Zod – all of whom were tangled in the cross-time plot he just wrapped with Booster Gold.
Superman can see the errors in the ways of each of those parents and they in turn reflect his errors back upon him. Clark Kent is good-natured to a fault, but he’s not always right. General Lane isn’t entirely wrong about him – sometimes his absolute power corrupts him, both in how he metes out justice and in how he isn’t accustomed to apologizing for his actions.
As a result, Superman decides to put right two wrongs. One is with Hank Henshaw, the Cyborg Superman, who he currently has imprisoned in the Phantom Zone. The other, eventually is General Lane. [Read more…] about The Pull List: Action Comics, Avengers, Eternity Girl, Infidel, Judas, Marvel Two-in-One, Vampironica, & more!