Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Uncanny X-Men Annual #2
Fraction, Breitweiser & Acuna
Emma leaves the X-Men and joins the Dark Reign group. This is the big turn of her to a villain! Or is it? What we have here is a bit of a coming out party for Emma. On her own she reconciles some demons and positions herself and her allies better for the future. This was an excellent issue for an Annual.
There are two components to this story. The two are intertwined together, one set in the past and one in the present. The flashbacks cover some of Emma’s time in the Hellfire Club and her first encounters with Namor. The present story has her rekindle her flame with Namor and seek out Sebastian Shaw of the Hellfire Club.
The issue shows Emma in an interesting light in the flashbacks. She isn’t quite as a snide and cocky, but she is still determined and very strong minded on her goals. However, she is more direct with her wants.
The present storyline displays how she’s grown as a character where she uses excellent manipulation to get what she wants from multiple parties with one act of craftiness. She was challenged by Storm in a previous issue to show how she is helping the mutant cause and this issue certainly provides an answer to that task.
The overall comic had me on a roller coaster of emotions. At first, I hated that I couldn’t tell whether I was reading a flashback or not, but then about midway through, I realized this only helping in keeping the issue’s ending a mystery. I liked the style used here to tell the story. Another piece that had me riding highs and lows was how Emma acts in the end of the comic. I was stunned at her actions. Then came the twist! Wow! This was a good view into the mind of Emma for certain.
The artwork has a sketched feeling to it. Almost as if it were a charcoal drawing. This is a departure from the normal cheesecake look for Emma. However, the art shows Emma in a classy, but subtly sexy way. The art works even more when you consider the story. It involves villains turning on villains. It’s got sarcastic heroes who really don’t care much about anyone other than themselves. The style of the lines and coloring reminds me of something out of the Criminal series and that works here well where the characters are always lying to each other to further their agendas.
Annuals are a tricky lot. This one was great because it removed an X-Man from their normal environment and wrapped her into a story that ultimately will involve the bigger X-Men universe. The comic is a very good story and sits on the fringes of the X universe but advances the character of Emma in ways the normal series really can’t.
4 out of 5 geek goggles