Writer: Karl Bollers
Artists: Randy Green and Rick Ketcham
Karl Bollers continues to impress me with his consistent, entertaining take on Emma Frost's early years. When the title first started, I was a bit concerned if the premise would be in cleavage or adventure, and luckily, it has turned out to be the latter. Although Karl continues to put suggestive material in the book (i.e. a head on a plate, lots of skin showing) to justify the PSR+ rating, it continues to be a read of universal appeal.
Emma's mind powers have developed to the point where she can read people's memories at close range, rather than just their thoughts. Through this newly found gift, she learns her brother is gay, somewhat of a parallel to her own secret of the "headaches." I'm very happy that Karl Bollers did not make Christian and Dante stereotypical feminine cross-dressers, but actually a respectable relationship, which fits in with the story rather than stirring needless controversy. The revelation fits the characterization of Emma quite well, and serves as yet another interesting subplot of the book.
This issue has a few minor problems however, mostly in the obvious nature of Emma's family members. Snobbish Adrienne is almost too proud to be believed with phrases like, "so middle class", and her father continues to be exactly what we'd expect from him. There's also some reminiscing of "Brady Bunch"-like camp, with each family member conveniently acquiring "dirt" on another at just the proper time. Only instead of a complete reconciliation, it appears that all hell will break loose with issue #5. Still, it certainly feels good to the reader that Emma will get some revenge, and Karl Bollers does not cease to please.
Randy Green's art is fairly realistic, with a bit of a cartoonish twist which fits the simplistic storytelling. Characters are rather consistently drawn in good taste, and the coloring certainly suits the pictures in their straightforward approach.
While #4 is certainly better than average with Karl Bollers' clever take, it comes off as slightly contrived in the end with some of its more important elements. It's not a must read, but certainly something to try if you're looking for a break from less worthy titles.
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