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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 56

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

In honor of our friend, AERose, we continue our special “Moments from Uncanny X-Men” theme week!

We continue with a cool scene from this year’s Uncanny X-Men Annual by Matt Fraction!

Enjoy!

The basic idea for Uncanny X-Men Annual #2 (they started the numbering over recently) is examining the untold past history of Namor and Emma Frost, which is important again since they are both in Norman Osborn’s secret cabal.

The story by writer Matt Fraction (in probably his best issue of Uncanny X-Men yet, and the second Annual by Fraction that he just killed on, after 2007′s excellent Sensational Spider-Man Annual) weaves past and present beautifully, and he is ably assisted by Daniel Acuña on the flashbacks and Mitch Breitweiser on the present-day story.

The main plot involves an attack on Namor by Sebastian Shaw years ago that ended with Emma Frost’s mind being wiped clean.

She eventually regained her memories, and in the present day, she arranges a deal with Namor to deliver his loyalty to her by gaining revenge on Shaw – to achieve this, she takes some rather…extreme measures.

Extreme but awesomely delivered by Fraction.

Enjoy (click to enlarge)…

I guess the last page would be the “moment,” but maybe when she “cuts off” Shaw’s head? Or the reveal? I’m not sure exactly, except to note that the scene as a whole was excellently written by Fraction and drawn well by Breitweiser (Acuña, by the way, delivered what I found to be the best art of his American comics career on his parts of the story).

26 Comments

That moment was made of awesome! Fraction really took me on a ride, because for a minute I thought I was having a gory/sexy flashback to the nineties but took me for something far spookier. I really think that the comics medium is at its strongest when it deals with telepathy because it can really pull the reader in with out letting up on the trick until the writer and artist want to reveal it.

Go Comics!

Yeah, I read the preview of this, and then was upset when my store didn’t have it for a few weeks. Such a great story.

Aw, come on…she should have really cut off his head.

They started over the numbering?
Jesus! No wonder people need an accountant, just only to keep track of the numbering!

i always thought Emma was more nastier then Shaw even more insane and that scene proved it espically when she had Namor believe she had beheaded Shaw

This is horrible. This is chock full of prurient sex and violence, and then they try to have it both ways by saying, ‘no, no, that was Earth-2 Amalgam universe Timeline-14 violence! All that violence you though you saw you didn’t really see! Everybody’s a hero, yay!’ This is some of the stupidest stuff there is in superhero comics.

I like how Shaw’s “Head” is a pumpkin. That’s just hilarious.

I mean, no offense to the people that are enjoying the comic, but face facts that this is here to titillate and then pull back to acceptable standards at the last second.

Dan, I respect your opinion, but I personally like this a lot. Different strokes.

For me the real moment is when it’s revealed that she didn’t actually cut off his head, but the last page is great too. I had reservations when the White Queen was taken in as part of Osborne’s secret group, but her characterization here makes up for it.

Dan, unlike Derek, I think you’re an idiot.
“The stupidest stuff in comics”? What you basically seem to be saying is “Twists are stupid, I like stories that don’t try and confuse me”

I’m not! Thanks for playing Miss-the-Point!

FunkyGreenJerusalem

February 26, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Really cool moment Brian – I haven’t checked out any of Fraction’s X-men, after being dissapointed with Brubaker’s space arc, and Carey’s first arc on;y being so-so, but even coming in cold, that was a gripping little sequence – and I was really shocked that she had cut Shaw’s head off, never even considered the alternative.
Well played by Fraction, and i may just have to check out his run when it’s collected now.

I also liked Namor trying to hit on Emma – he either just can’t say no to a blond, or really think’s he’s gods gift.
Hilarious.

This is horrible. This is chock full of prurient sex and violence, and then they try to have it both ways by saying, ‘no, no, that was Earth-2 Amalgam universe Timeline-14 violence! All that violence you though you saw you didn’t really see! Everybody’s a hero, yay!’ This is some of the stupidest stuff there is in superhero comics.

SEX AND VIOLENCE IN A SUPERHERO COMIC???

OMG! WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

THEY ARE SEDUCING OUR INNOCENT!

This is X-men man, it’s always been sex and violence… the fact there are the characters of Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw are a pretty good testament to that.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

February 26, 2009 at 4:58 pm

I mean, no offense to the people that are enjoying the comic, but face facts that this is here to titillate and then pull back to acceptable standards at the last second.

No, you’re meant too go holy shit, she killed Shaw’, and then you find out she’s being super manipulative.

It’s not pulling back to anything – that panel with a head on a plate is still there.
If this were getting rated/classified, it would still be treated exactly the same as if there wasn’t the twist that Namor only thought he saw it happen.

I keep hearing mixed reviews on Fraction’s X-stuff from people like Burgas, but if it regularly has moments like that I’m sold! That was really cool.

That’s the problem, T. – it doesn’t. For every six pages like this that are pretty nifty, there are 15-20 pages that aren’t. The cool moments are still there, but that’s all they are – moments. The rest of the comic doesn’t measure up, and the coolness of each individual moment isn’t enough to overcome the banality of the rest of it.

What banal moments were in this Annual?

This Annual was awesome all throughout!

Kind of funny – in Dark Reign, Namor comes on to Emma Frost like he’s never met her before, and Frost replies that they’ve met and that he smells. It was a good way for Bendis to hedge his bets without searching the archives for backstory.

“chock full of prurient sex and violence”

I know, it’s terrible. Like that other book full of sex and violence with a dancer and a head on a platter. Things with sex and violence really have no value.

“I know, it’s terrible. Like that other book full of sex and violence with a dancer and a head on a platter. Things with sex and violence really have no value.”

Hi Ted–that’s not really what I’m getting at. I don’t want to seem petty here, but I want to be clear. Sex and violence can have powerful and fundamental values in art. Prurient is defined, “marked by or arousing an immoderate or unwholesome interest or desire.” I used that phrase to mean sex and violence that is included without furthering themes, characterization, plot, etc.

I think we’re getting at exactly the same thing, that violence does have a place in art, but I think that this is done sloppily and haphazardly, falling below the threshold of value to include it. Matt Fraction obviously disagrees with me.

You happened to pick a great example for me: the story of John the Baptist is portrayed excellently in comics by P. Craig Russell in his adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s Salome (http://www.comicbookdb.com/issue.php?ID=59668). Russell uses a comparable amount of sex and violence to make complex statements on love, desire, duty, revenge, and religion (it’s beautiful, to boot!). He uses violence as a tool to enhance the story, it’s not the story itself.

Likewise, if you really do compare the Bible to Uncanny X-Men Annual #2, I think one can tell where violence is used with value and where it is used valuelessly (though I admit, I haven’t read the whole issue :) ).

hardcore.

surprised the reception fraction gets on this book (i don’t pick it up so i wouldn’t know…)

his iron man is GREAT!

“Likewise, if you really do compare the Bible to Uncanny X-Men Annual #2, I think one can tell where violence is used with value and where it is used valuelessly ”

I’m personally backing the annual here.

Dan, I guess its fair enough if you think the sex and violence is gratuitous (I would agree with you more on the sex than the violence) but you did say “this is some of the stupidest stuff there is in superhero comics” rather than “this is somewhat more gratuitous is a medium that already has alot of gratuitous sex and violence.” I well may have misunderstood you but I think that’s more your fault than mine.

Is it bad that my thought wasn’t, “She killed Shaw” but, “That is the wrong kind of blade to cut his head off without a huge swinging chop, which wouldn’t work because of his power to absorb kinetic energy. Something must be up.”

Theno

The artist did a good job of drawing Namor sexy.

This was ok. The Emma-Shaw dynamic seemed a bit off, but it was ok.

BladeOfTheMortal

January 29, 2010 at 11:38 am

I can dig the bluff …but why does Emma’s costume keep changing? Surely it’s not hard to keep continuity in one scene.

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