Tuesday, April 24, 2018 • Evening Edition • "Still Kardashian free!"

Prelude to the Dark Phoenix Saga - Chris Claremont John Byrne

Written by Arion on Monday, October 15 2012 and posted in Blog

Prelude to the Dark Phoenix Saga - Chris Claremont John Byrne
John Byrne & John Romita Jr. (covers / portadas)
One of the most brilliant initiatives of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men was to include Emma Frost (The White Queen) as part of the regular X-Men cast, creating a fascinating love triangle between Scott Summers and Jean Grey. In 30 years characters should change and evolve, but it’s always interesting to observe how they were initially conceived. 

When Claremont and Byrne penned down “God Spare the Child” (Uncanny X-Men # 129, January 1980), they introduced a unique character: Emma Frost, White Queen of the Hellfire Club and one of Earth’s most powerful psychics. Cold, haughty, manipulative and ruthless, Emma was a formidable foe. When the X-Men return from Scotland they find Professor X waiting for them at the mansion, worried about the Phoenix Force, Xavier had decided that it was time for him to go back to Earth. Just like it used to happen on the first X-Men issues, Xavier detects two powerful mutants in his Cerebro machine, and thus he promptly sends two teams to meet these new mutants.

Charles Xavier, Colossus, Storm and Wolverine head for the Chicago’s suburbs, while Cyclops, Jean Grey and Nightcrawler go to New York. It is in Chicago where they first see Emma Frost, disguised as a stuck-up teacher. And it’s also in Chicago where they first meet Kitty Pride, a young 13-year-old girl who immediately feels attracted to the good looks of Colossus (coincidentally, the readers would have to wait almost 30 years to see the physical consummation of that love in Whedon and Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men).

John Byrne always had a great sense of humor, and I guess it was his idea to include a most amusing scene that takes place while Storm and Kitty are talking on the Malte Shoppe. As we can see in the last panel of that page, Storm and Kitty are prominently displayed on the foreground, meanwhile, on the background we have Wolverine looking at a pornographic magazine (apparently the Hustler’s centerfold), and Colossus is behind him, absolutely shocked by the pictures of a naked model (let’s keep in mind that Colossus didn’t even know such publications existed, after all, he was raised on an isolated Russian collective farm). Of course, in the next page, nothing changes. Wolverine grabs a Penthouse and keeps looking at porn, eventually, the owner of the place tells him that he’s not running a library, and as Wolverine leaves the Penthouse next to a Playboy the Hellfire Club’s mercenaries make their entrance.

Prelude to the Dark Phoenix Saga - Chris Claremont John Byrne
Wolverine looking at a porn magazine (last frame) /
Wolverine mirando una revista porno (última viñeta)
Wolverine, Colossus and Storm defeat the armored men, but the White Queen subdues them with a psychic attack. After undressing them and placing them on cages designed to debilitate them, Emma Frost quickly forgets about Kitty, but it’s precisely this young lady who warns the team in New York about what’s happening. In “Dazzler” (Uncanny X-Men # 130), Cyclops, Jean Grey and Nightcrawler meet Dazzler (Alison Blaire), a young woman with the ability to convert sound vibrations into light and energy beams. Even with a fraction of the Phoenix power, Jean Grey has no problems in vanquishing her opponents. However, very slowly, Jason Wyngarde has been tapping into Jean Grey’s dark side. He started doing it months ago, and now Jean is almost completely under his control.
Prelude to the Dark Phoenix Saga - Chris Claremont John Byrne
Wolverine prefers Penthouse over Playboy (frames 2 & 3) /
Wolverine prefiere Penthouse en vez de Playboy (viñetas 2 & 3)
In “Run For Your Life” (Uncanny X-Men # 131), Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler and Dazzler find Kitty Pride. Together, they rescue Wolverine, Storm, Colossus and Professor X, while Jean Grey fights against the White Queen. For all her power, Emma Frost is only human, and Jean Grey has access to the Phoenix force, something that makes her even more powerful than the gods. In the end, the result can only be one, the defeat of the White Queen. However, due to Jason Wyngarde’s influence, Jean embraces her own viciousness and sadism, and as she tortures the White Queen, the readers can’t help but to feel sorry for the villainess. Finally, in a surprising act of courage, Emma Frost channels all her “remaining power into [a] telepathic psi-bolt”. Her gambit pays off as she barely manages to escape alive. 

Byrne’s pages are absolutely beautiful. I could stare at them for hours and never get tired. But we shouldn’t forget the work of the rest of the artistic team. As Claremont explains, “inker Terry Austin matched him [Byrne] stroke by stroke, complementing his work in a way that was perfect for this book. Same goes for Glynis [Wein], and for Tom [Orzechowski], whose skills and talents have strangely never received the recognition they have more than amply earned over the course of his career”. Indeed, John Byrne (pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Glynis Wein (color) and Tom Orzechowski (letters) did a magnificent job together. It would be fair to affirm that these stories “set the standard for all that followed and defined the book for the following quarter century”. Looking at Grant Morrison’s New X-Men (2001-2004) or Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men (2004-2008), I’d say the Claremont - Byrne legacy is still very much alive.
Prelude to the Dark Phoenix Saga - Chris Claremont John Byrne
Caged X-Men / los X-Men enjaulados

Una de las más brillantes iniciativas de los "New X-Men" de Grant Morrison fue incluir a Emma Frost (White Queen) como parte del elenco regular de los X-Men, creando un fascinante triángulo amoroso entre Scott Summers y Jean Grey. En 30 años los personajes deberían cambiar y evolucionar, pero siempre es interesante observar cómo fueron concebidos inicialmente.

Cuando Claremont y Byrne redactaron "Dios salve al niño" (Uncanny X-Men # 129, enero de 1980), presentaron un personaje único: Emma Frost, la Reina Blanca del Club de Fuego Infernal y una de las psíquicas más poderosas de la Tierra. Fría, arrogante, manipuladora y despiadada, Emma era una enemiga formidable. Cuando los X-Men regresan de Escocia encuentran al Profesor X esperándolos en la mansión, preocupado por la Fuerza Fénix, Xavier había decidido que era el momento de regresar a la Tierra. Tal como solía suceder en los primeros números de X-Men, Xavier detecta dos poderosos mutantes en la máquina Cerebro, y rápidamente envía a dos equipos a contactar con estos nuevos mutantes. 

Prelude to the Dark Phoenix Saga - Chris Claremont John Byrne
Charles Xavier, Colossus, Storm y Wolverine se dirigen a los suburbios de Chicago, mientras que Cyclops, Jean Grey y Nightcrawler van a New York. Es en Chicago donde ven por primera vez a Emma Frost, disfrazada como una antipática profesora. Y es también en Chicago donde ven por primera vez a Kitty Pride, una jovencita de 13 años que inmediatamente se siente atraída por la buena apariencia de Colossus (por cierto, los lectores tendrían que esperar casi 30 años para ver la consumación física de este amor en "Astonishing X-Men" de Whedon y Cassaday). 

John Byrne siempre tuvo un gran sentido del humor, y supongo que fue su idea incluir una divertidísima escena que ocurre mientras Storm y Kitty están conversando en una cafetería. Como podemos ver en la última viñeta de esa página, Storm y Kitty están prominentemente en un primer plano, mientras tanto, en un segundo plano distinguimos a Wolverine ojeando una revista pornográfica (aparentemente las páginas centrales de Hustler) y, detrás de él, Colossus se escandaliza al ver las fotos de una modelo desnuda (tengamos en mente que Colossus ni siquiera sabía que existían este tipo de publicaciones, después de todo, fue criado en una aislada granja rusa). Por supuesto, en la siguiente página, nada cambia. Wolverine agarra una Penthouse y sigue mirando más porno, eventualmente, el propietario del local le dice que no están en una librería, y cuando Wolverine deja la Penthouse al lado de una Playboy, aparecen los mercenarios del Club de Fuego Infernal.

Wolverine, Colossus y Storm derrotan a los hombres con armadura, pero White Queen los somete con un ataque psíquico. Luego de desvestirlos y colocarlos en jaulas especialmente diseñadas para debilitarlos, Emma Frost se olvida rápidamente de Kitty, pero es precisamente esta muchachita quien advierte al equipo de New York sobre lo que está pasando. En “Dazzler” (Uncanny X-Men # 130), Cyclops, Jean Grey y Nightcrawler conocen a Alison Blaire (alias Dazzler), una joven con la habilidad de convertir las vibraciones sonoras en luz y rayos de energía. Incluso con una fracción del poder de Fénix, Jean Grey vence a sus oponentes sin problemas. Sin embargo, muy lentamente, Jason Wyngarde ha estado fortaleciendo el lado oscuro de Jean. Empezó a hacerlo hace meses, y ahora ella está casi completamente bajo su control.
Prelude to the Dark Phoenix Saga - Chris Claremont John Byrne
Phoenix (Jean Grey) versus White Queen (Emma Frost)

En "Corre por tu vida" (Uncanny X-Men # 131), Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler y Dazzler encuentran a Kitty Pride. Juntos rescatan a Wolverine, Storm, Colossus y al Profesor X, mientras que Jean Grey pelea contra White Queen. A pesar de todo su poder, Emma Frost es solamente humana, y Jean Grey tiene acceso a la fuerza Fénix, algo que la hace incluso más poderosa que los dioses. Al final, el resultado sólo puede ser uno, la derrota de White Queen. Sin embargo, a causa de la influencia de Jason Wyngarde, Jean se aferra a su lado vicioso y sádico, y al torturar a White Queen los lectores no pueden evitar compadecer a la villana. Finalmente, en un sorprendente acto de coraje, Emma Frost canaliza todo su "poder psíquico restante en un rayo telepático". Su estratagema rinde frutos y logra escapar con vida a duras penas.

Las páginas de Byrne son absolutamente hermosas. Podría contemplarlas por horas sin cansarme. Pero no deberíamos olvidar el trabajo del resto del equipo artístico. Como explica Claremont, el "entintador Terry Austin se mantuvo a la par con Byrne pincelada a pincelada, complementando su trabajo de una manera que era perfecta para este título. Lo mismo va para Glynis Wein y Tom Orzechowski, cuyas habilidades y talentos extrañamente nunca han recibido el reconocimiento que han ganado ampliamente durante el curso de sus carreras". De hecho, John Byrne (lápices), Terry Austin (tintas), Glynis Wein (color) y Tom Orzechowski (rotulado) hicieron juntos un magnífico trabajo. Sería justo afirmar que estas historias "elevaron el standard de todo lo que vino después y definieron la colección para el próximo cuarto de siglo". Al mirar el "New X-Men" de Grant Morrison (2001-2004) o el "Astonishing X-Men" de Joss Whedon y John Cassaday (2004-2008), diría que el legado Claremont - Byrne continúa vivo.

Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/10/prelude-to-dark-phoenix-saga-chris.html


Help spread the word, loyal readers! Share this story on social media:

Comment without an Outhouse Account using Facebook

We get it. You don't feel like signing up for an Outhouse account, even though it's FREE and EASY! That's okay. You can comment with your Facebook account below and we'll take care of adding it to the stream above. But you really should consider getting a full Outhouse account, which will allow you to quote posts, choose an avatar and sig, and comment on our forums too. If that sounds good to you, sign up for an Outhouse account by clicking here.

Note: while you are welcome to speak your mind freely on any topic, we do ask that you keep discussion civil between each other. Nasty personal attacks against other commenters is strongly discouraged. Thanks!
Help spread the word, loyal readers! Share this story on social media:

About the Author - Arion

Arion, who is either from Chile or New York (it’s not really clear) writes a blog that the Outhouse steals on a regular basis.  Arion is by far the nicest of all the staff writers and the most well behaved only having been banned from one country.  One thing we really appreciate about Aroin is that he writes his reviews in English and Spanish and we hope someday he’ll translate this blurb for us.  We’re not so good at languages, just look at how well we write in English if you need proof.  You should bookmark Arion’s blog -  http://artbyarion.blogspot.com – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.


More articles from Arion
The Outhouse is not responsible for any butthurt incurred by reading this website. All original content copyright the author. Banner by Ali Jaffery - he's available for commission!