Reviewer: James Hatton
Story Title: Bloom
Written by: Karl Bollers
Penciled by: Carlo Pagulayan
Inked by: Dennis Crisotomo
Colored by: Transparency Digital
Lettered by: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Art by: Greg Horn
Publisher: Marvel Comics
A year and a half ago, a book started with little fanfare. It started with the Tsunami logo in the corner, but soon ditched that in order to be seen as more of a mainstream title. It was the story of what happens when a spoiled little rich girl gets powers and us X-fans know that when she grows up – she will run the gamut from being a Dominatrix Clad White Queen to the Dominatrix Clad school matriarch.
Her name is Emma Frost – and this is the end of that story.
Before we jump into the story, let me just say that this title was fun, but faltered in having no real niche market. It tried to be a romance title, and didn’t do so well – it tried to be an action book, and didn’t do so well. When it comes down to it though, it covered the character of Emma well, and every action and reaction as the story went on, came closer to the Emma we’ve come to know and love/hate.
Over the last few months, Emma has watched her world crumble as she turned her back on family and friends to disappear. She had run-ins with gangsters, and other mutants – and here she is at college. What’s a girl to do when she finds out she has powers that make her live in a world that fears her?
Well, running into her old high school crush, Ian, who is now dating her current roommate, Christie, the world starts to spin out of control. She injects her prim little nose in and breaks up Ian and Christie, and in response Christie has threatened Ian to break it off with Emma or else she’s going directly to the university administration. Ian gets a bit hot under the collar and starts to choke the living snot out of her. Emma’s beau is in trouble.
One final character of note is Astrid Bloom, telepath who trained Emma in the use of her powers, and ‘true’ friend. At least, that’s what Astrid would want you to believe. We come to find out fairly quickly, that Emma’s one true friend just wants to keep Emma for herself, so she’s been causing problem after problem for Emma and her friends. What’s Emma do? You’ll have to read the book to find out, but I will tell you this – the Emma that you get to know during the Dark Phoenix Saga, and the Emma who ran the Hellions is waiting for you. The ending, I will admit seems a bit rushed, but you can never expect anything less from a comic’s last issue… who knows what kind of evil we would have seen Emma do.
A note on the covers of Emma: Greg Horn is all the rage lately when it comes to books with hot ladies on the cover. With Emma he has tried to give us a mix of current pop poses, as well as the young Emma turning into the White Queen. Both have been excellent, and even in an age where covers have nothing to do with their internals – they have always been eye-catching.
Internally speaking, Emma has also been consistant. It’s not going to change the world with it’s art, but it has told you a consistent tale in Pagulayan’s artwork. His facial expressions and body poses are archtypical, but with a book like Emma that deals more with character interaction than it does with high action – it’s completely fine. I would almost say ideal.
I had to search around for the credits of this book as they don’t appear ANYWHERE IN THE ISSUE. No name credit, no ‘thanks for reading’, no nothing. That makes me a bit perturbed, given that Bollers, Pagulayan, Crisostomo, and Horn have been on this book long enough to get a legitimate sign-off.
This book has been 18-issues of decent storytelling. The problem with it was it’s audience is so undefinable that it fell on me to be the only person who read it – and that’s just because I have a weird White Queen obsession. Honestly, it was a fun title while it lasted and I’m sorry to see it go – but it was a book that is going to fall to the dollar bins of time for it’s ability to be easily forgotten.