Tuesday, 20 July 2010

X-Women: Like X-Men but European and Pornier

Story by Chris Claremont
Art by Milo Manara

As you may know, Marvel has branded 2010 it's "Year of Women" and have decided to spotlight the other half of the global population for a change, which has mainly consisted of one-shots and mini series spotlighting women creators and/or characters; It's an odd thing; a slightly patronising concept that has yielded some nonsense, and some internet chatter, but mainly some pretty decent comic books. I found Girl Comics to be hit and miss, but what anthology isn't? And the recent Namora One-Shot was pretty good despite it being another fucking submarine story. I skipped on Heralds and Firestar, but what I've seen of the artwork has me regretting that, and I hear Dazzler was fun. The less said about Her-oes the better.

Anyway... This brings us to X-Women; A kind of a cheat because it was commissioned by Marvel's European publishers, and reprinted here. It's a One shot by legendary X-Men scribe Chis Claremont and drawn by popular European artist Milo Manara. The story sta- Waitafugginminute! Did that say Milo Manara? Italian porno comics Milo Manara? Vatican erotica Milo Manara? "The Smutty Sexcapades of the Invisible Nympho" Milo Manara? Doing X Men... With Chris Claremont?

That makes no fucking sense whatsoever.

So obviously I bought it

I must admit that being a naturally curious and red bloodedly pretentious teen it was not my first encounter with Manara's work, but certainly the tamest. I won’t get into it too much now, but I am of the opinion that editors are good. Editors are needed. And sometimes a little self censorship. Look at the work produced by Warren Ellis for example; arguably his best work is done when he has to behave and try and write a story that can be printed by a mainstream company. Does anyone but the die hard read all his Avatar Press stuff?*

So enough about the creative team, is it any good? Yes it is actually. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot is... I forget. Basically it's an excuse for an eastern adventure romp; beautiful women, exotic locations, roguishly charming pirates and naughty villains whao are probably foreign. The X-Women are cast as (somewhat more nubile) Tintins trying to stop Nefarious McBadgirl from launching her deadly McGuffinator in deepest darkest Madripoor. Manara excels drawing the exotic locales and shockingly, the action sequences. The underlying perviness does detract from it a bit, but it's more because you know Manara's previous form (I think it's worth noting that they don’t have a list of his other publications alongside Joe Quesada’s Afterword). It really made me want to read some more non-porn Manara.

Oh, I almost forgot the sheer lameness of the Storm as Tina Turner karaoke scene. Cringe.

Two pasties, a clam shell and a fascinator out of a possible full frontal.

*Answer: No