Saturday, July 17, 2010

X-Women #1

Chris Claremont & Milo Manara

X-Women is a 48-page one-shot featuring several of the female members of the X-Men, specifically Kitty Pryde (who narrates much of the story), Storm, Rogue, Psylocke, Rachel Summers and a short cameo by Emma Frost.  It's a pretty big story that sees the ladies maneuver through all sorts of exotic locales.  They fall over waterfalls, travel by riverboat and encounter a tribe that worships airplanes.  Oh, and party, which is how one of their own is kidnapped in the first place, beginning their adventure to rescue her.  I'm delighted to say that I actually enjoyed this story.  Chris Claremont has disappointed me over and over again lately, but he provides a compelling adventure with X-Women, although we all know who the real draw of this project is: Milo Manara.  Manara is a European artist known for his sexy cartooning.  Just looking at that cover, you know it's going to be sexy.  But it's also very, very beautiful.  And the action is top-notch.  I was pretty breathless reading the panels of the girls catching one another as they slip over the waterfall, caught in all sorts of compromising positions, and the inventive ways that he depicted them sliding through the mud of a landslide, both in how their bodies were positioned and how the panels were arranged.  Manara draws realistic environments and fun, flirty women.  At every opportunity, he draws them scantily-clad with their butts hanging out of their short shorts, or just in their underwear and a long t-shirt.  But through all of this, he depicts them as very capable, particularly Storm, who does her best goddess impression throughout this story.  Yes, it's a little weird and sexist, but as a gay man who doesn't care to see women in tattered clothing, I was thoroughly entertained by this tale.  It reminded me more of an old-fashioned adventure strip like Terry and the Pirates than anything, very fun, full of adventure and intrigue, and eye-popping scenery.  A lovely comic.

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