The Tsunami line from Marvel Comics has been hitting fans fast and furiously with new releases each month and this July sees the debut of "Emma Frost." With writing from Karl Bollers, who spoke about the series recently with CBR News, artist Randy Green is hoping to show X-fans a different side of the former villainess. With the series exploring Emma Frost's past, Green explains how this character will look much different from the sex therapist in "New X-Men."
"From an artistic standpoint, I try and let the characters take on a look of their own," explains Green. "It takes drawing them a few times before they start to emerge. In this case, Emma, being the main character, starts off thin and 'mousey' before she blossoms into the beautiful woman we know her as. I still try and make her attractive to the reader, but it's an innocent beauty, not glamorous. I'm definitely trying to give each of the other characters their own distinguishing look."
Green may have been well liked on "Tomb Raider," but he might not have been the first person that came to mind when "Emma Frost" was rumored. "I heard through the grapevine about Marvel planning to do the Emma series on-going, so I gave Mike Marts, the editor a call and asked for the job," said Green. "It's worked out really well, the entire team working on the book has a great chemistry."
Like his comrade Bollers, Green says that he's been a long-time Emma Frost fans. "Who isn't?! Yes, I always thought it would be great to draw a comic with the White Queen. She's got that cool, sexy attitude that makes her so interesting."
And while he's a fan of her past adventures, Bollers says that he's looking forward to telling stories in the present day, though the tales in the past will flesh out Emma. "As far as I know, the series will eventually catch up to current continuity. We're going back at first and telling her origin and finding out what makes her tick."
It's Green's belief that the examination of Emma's past isn't "milking" a popular character- he says that it'll help make her a well developed character. "To me, Emma is a truly 'good' person that gets beat down on all sides by everyone in her life, and survives by developing a hard emotional exterior. Whether or not that 'good' person is still there underneath when she's an adult is up to the individual reader, but should be fairly obvious. The fans will connect with her because of hardships in their own lives they've had to overcome."
Those layers that Green sees in Emma are the reasons why he believes she's been such a hit with fans through the years... other than he overt sexuality of course. "I think there is an appeal to characters that have a dark side and have to deal with that while trying to do good. Their motivations aren't always pure. We like the pure-of-heart characters that always do the right thing as well, but we like variety. I definitely think this is the same Emma that everyone is used to, except everyone will get to see another side of her that hasn't been there before. It's important as the title character, that the fans can relate to her."
Some critics have said that the art in "Emma Frost" seems a bit sexually gratuitous, especially the covers by Greg Horn, but Green says the content of the comics precludes it from being a cheesecake comic. "That's really not the case. We're dealing with a younger version of Emma starting off so there's no need to show her in an overtly sexual way, although I'm sure that as the story dictates she will develop some along those lines. The covers will depict Emma in a way the fans can recognize the book since the interiors show a younger Emma they haven't seen before.
"I always strive for an 'ideal' form in my drawings. It's not only the females, but also the males who are presented in better than perfect fashion. Sure the women are beautiful and sexy, but I'm looking more for an iconic beauty as opposed to a sexual one. Too much realism can rob the art of its 'fantasy' elements which draw the reader into the story. Have you ever seen a comic adaptation where they used photo stills from a movie instead of art? Remember how extremely boring it was to look at? 'Nuff said."
With that all in mind, Green says he's out to show people what he's made of and show the critics that he's more than just another artist drawing pretty women. "I'm doing the best art I've ever done for a comic before. I'm really challenging myself to grow in new ways. After every few pages, I take a look to see where I can continue to make improvements like adding in more details pertinent to the story and more blacks and shadows which I feel have been lacking in the past. I owe alot to the inker and colorist which are also doing a great job to make each page better than the last. Seeing the finished pages come back has me really excited!"
In this day and age of creators coming and going from books within issues, Green says he's committed to the series for the forseeable future. "Yes, I'm ready to stay in this book for a long time. The most important thing for me is to meet my deadlines, which I'm determined to do. This is a very good opportunity for me to show the fans that I can produce on a regular basis and continue to grow as an artist to help make this a successful book. "
X-Men fans are, at the very least, a dedicated and vocal bunch, but Green isn't worried about possible negative reaction. "Nah. Confidence is high. They'll have to stick around and see things develop though, they won't be able to make assumptions based on a single issue."
While Green is the first to admit that "Emma Frost" isn't going to be an epiphany, he thinks it'll be a fun ride for anyone who tries the series. "We're not trying to save the world here, but the story and character development should make this very interesting for the fans. I can't explain how exciting it's been for me to work on this book and see Emma developed, opposed to some characters that stay the same for 30 years. And.... hopefully they'll like the artwork too!"