The Black King Rises In Uncanny X-Men #19

by Tony Thornley

One missing element of the last five or so years of X-Men stories is Emma Frost, the former White Queen who had become one of the greatest members of the team. However, since the death of Scott Summers, she had virtually vanished from the franchise. This issue of Uncanny X-Men brings her back in a big way.

Cover by Whilce Portacio & Erick Arciniega

Matthew Rosenberg, Carlos Villa, Carlos Gomez, Bob Quinn, Juan Vlasco, Adriano Di Benedetto, Michelle Delecki, GURU-eFX, and Joe Caramagna show us the rise of Emma Frost as the Black King.

Months ago, Emma Frost began building her new empire as the Black King of the Hellfire Club. However, the Office of National Emergency has risen to prominence alongside her, and they make her an offer she can’t refuse- literally. Can she preserve her own life and goals, and how will it bring her in conflict with the X-Men?

Simply put, this is the best issue of Rosenberg’s run to date. He gets Emma, making her sympathetic but showing her driven and ruthless. She’s not a cackling villain, but a woman trying to accomplish her own goals, while dealing with deep loss in many different ways. The supporting cast also perfectly compliments her, using morally grey mutants who are not outright villains.

The art team does a great job. Each style is complementary to the point that it took me a few panels each time the artist switched and I couldn’t pick out exactly who was working on which pages easily. They each have a great sense for action, but were able to depict Emma’s pain just as well. I normally turn my nose up at artist jam issues, but this one works.

The X-Men are on the verge of getting answers for the misery they’ve gone through, and it’s going to be quite a ride from here.

Uncanny X-Men #19 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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