Mutants Go Wild in Claremont’s X-Women

Grab your ruby quartz Ray-Bans and some SPF-30, because the mutants are ready to hit the beach this July.

An intercontinental side project for legendary X-scribe Chris Claremont is finally making its way to English translation after some five years in development. July sees the release of Marvel's X-Women, a collaboration between Claremont and Italian artist Milo Manara, perhaps best known for the more erotic fair a weird friend of your cousin brought along to a sleepover. Previously released in black and white as X-Men: Ragazze In Fuga in Italy by Marvel's European publisher Panini, this new translation of the 48-page one-shot will feature full color treatment from Dave Stewart. 

X-Women, an out-of-continuity romp set in sunny Madripoor, focuses on the kidnapping and rescue of Rachel Summers. As the title implies, the rescue team consists of an all-female cast including Kitty Pryde, Storm, Rogue, and Psylocke. The undeniably gorgeous preview art showcases both a sun-soaked vacation sequence as well as a down and dirty battle scenario featuring tanks and mortar fire. Both also include a number of panty shots, making the most of both swimwear and work attire. 

Remember, kids, it's not necessarily costume design that makes something exploitative. It's all in the camera angle. How's it goin', Psylocke?


It might be too early to condemn this as a flimsy excuse for T & A, but is it that much loftier than the Marvel Illustrated Swimsuit editions of yore simply because it features an action plot? Have we reached a point where we're nostalgic for those spreads? There's no denying that the ongoing X-Men saga is sudsier than an Irish Spring ad and that, as an extended metaphor for the ch-ch-ch-changes of adolescence, the story of mutantdom is rife with sexual tension and power-play. But the fact remains that those old books and pinups still exist and continue to thrive and multiply on Deviantart. Do we need an update? That argument might be hypocritical since I gladly snap up many of the countless neo-noir rehashings of the even more prolific era of crime comics. At the end of the day it's all entertainment and escapism, so is it wishy-washy to decry a little bikini bravado? Maybe my consternation comes from the title itself. Shouldn't a bold title like X-Women mean something else in 2010? Something more forward thinking than this project, which by all accounts is a light, if beautifully illustrated, bit of guilty pleasure nostalgia?  


  1. I’ve heard about this for years, and I’m thrilled to finally be able to read it! And Dave Stewart to boot!

     Yes, it’s mildly exploitative, but Manara is an amazing talent and I’m excited to feast my eyes upon this.

  2. Aww geez…

  3. If you compare those pages to something from Queen & Country it is very hard to view it as anything other than "a flimsy excuse for T&A", but if it is actually written in a respectful fashion than I’m all for highlighting the strengths of some of the most interesting (regardless of gender) characters in all of comics.

  4. Jean Grey would not put up with this bullshit.

    No, I mean, seriously. . .being forced into Mastermind’s S&M/Regency fantasies is literally what drove her out of her mind in the Dark Phoenix Saga.  At least that story had. . .some kind of awareness of the problems it was dealing with, even if Claremont has always been a bit hamhanded about this kind of stuff.

    And a word for the Swimsuit issues — they equally opportunity cheese; lots of muscled up heroes in tight-fitting Speedos as well. 

  5. Nobody draws women like Milo Manara… I will always be grateful to him for his comics during those lonely teenage years in Italy 🙂

  6. I still remember that AWESOM pinup that Jim Lee did. I remember being 13 and staring at it for hours. 

  7. Nice vagina Kitty.

  8. Because they dare not let him do anything in-continuity ever again.

  9. I think I’ve seen more of some of these characters than I care for. Plus aren’t these all the X-Women Claremont is obsessed with? Little creepy. Also, I think Rogue and Psylocke’s power sets have been confused on that one page. Count me out of this.
    However, this is just another in a long line of Mutant Exploitation beach pin-ups. 😉 Need I remind us of these wonders: Not pictured there is a creep-inducing picture of Jubilee rubbing suntan lotion on Prof. X’s head. 
    @OhCaroline That entire storyline is rather unabashedly based/ripped off on an episode of the 60s Avengers involving the Hellfire Club and Emma Peel (Yep, that’s where Frost gets her name from, too.), which was equally as "Yay Women! But wait? Hey why’s she in a (relatively for a 60s show) skimpy S&M outfit?"
  10. @PraxJarvin  Oh, that’s really interesting!  I should check out classic Avengers, I bet it would be up my alley.  (I even liked the stupid remake with Uma Thurman.  Yes, really).

  11. How did those two panels make it from penciler to inker to colorer to editor and nobody said "hey, since when can Psylocke do that?"

    Oh, and I like Kitty Pryde quite a bit… but that’s not cool.  She could give somebody a heart attack or something. Unless of course that boat’s got a bunch of baddies on it, then who cares…

  12. so many people quick to point out the rogue/psylocke "error" clearly this is set in x-men forever continuity

    no I think the big deal here is the guy beneath storm is getting ready to snipe those guys running away from the tank 

  13. Why else would Milo Manara deign to work on X-Men comics if not for this?

  14. Manara is a tour de force. His work is among the best in contemporary erotica. That said, it’s a little odd seeing him on an X-men book. I’ll reserve judgment until I read it (and I’ll for sure be buying it), but it could come off a bit as fanfic.


  15. Women in bikinis? Josh will hate this.

  16. @convoy83 …. well that’d explain it. Who reads that? 😉 

  17. so they just ride around on jet skis in thongs?

  18. Yeah, why does this article have Claremont’s name in the title, as if it’s all his fault? This is the sort of work this artist does. Pure and simple.

    "Plus aren’t these the X-Women Claremont’s obsessed with?" Uh, Claremont’s obsessed with like 90% of the X-characters, period.

    These same damn poses could be in the most recent issue of Uncanny–drawn by Land or Dodson–and people would barely bat an eye. Because then they’d be written by Matt Fraction, who is a sacred cow.

    So this is just another excuse to pile on Claremont. Because I’m sure his script gave explicit directions to show just the right angles of certain characters’ asses. Funny how no one ever ever piles on Fraction for telling Greg Land to trace pornstars. Oh wait, that’s because criticizing Fraction for that would be ridiculous and crazy because he obviously has little to nothing to do with how the art in Uncanny looks. So why put Claremont’s name in the headline and blame him for this?

    It’s all because of the artist. This is the art this guy does. Some people like it, and especially over in Europe they’re not as offended by it. It even bleeds sorta into how Alan Moore talked about making pornography an art (though this isn’t as x-rated, obviously, pardon the pun).

  19. @flapjaxx — So you think Claremont wrote this comic accidentally???

  20. Plenty of people bash Fraction’s Uncanny X-men. He doesn’t seem to have a good grasp of most of the characters and generally seems ill-suited for writing such a giant, sprawling team story. It is true they rarely critique Fraction for allowing the Land (and to lesser extent) Dodson cheesecake, but it is a big part of the "Fraction run" (and that is not a good thing). Now Iron Man fans do deify him, but he has been a lot better on that title…

  21. Fraction’s X-Men is great. He "gets" the characters just fine and can write them with a light touch and without each one orating a soliloquoy every time they open their mouths. (Until we hit a crossover.)

    As for Claremont’s obsessions… he has been writing X-Men literally for my entire life. And I’m pretty old now. I don’t know which is the chicken and which is the egg, but if he does seem a little too keyed into some of them it’s hard not to see why after year thirty-four.

  22. @jimski ‘older’ you bastard, not old;)  I’m only 1 year behind you.

  23. This doesn’t appeal to me much. I had heard what an amazing artist Manara is, but I don’t especially see it here. But I do think it’s kind of silly to hand-wring over the sexy poses. Yes, they are gratuitous and drawn from extremely improbable angles, but this is the kind of stuff he’s known for. Are you gonna hate a bird for flying?

  24. Rachel Summers?

    Sold. I’ll be buying it.


  25. You know…. books of this type are the norm in the comic market of japan and manga sold in stores in the U.S. and we all know how huge the following there turned out to be. I think marvel made a good move doing this solely from a business standpoint. Yes, it’s exploitative, and yeah, it’s probably shallow, BUT it sells and unfortunately in today’s market that’s all that really matters.

  26. it’s as simple as this: can a woman not be sexy, intelligent, strong, and possibly even super-powered all at once? 

  27. Lets face it all super heroines in anything skintight are basically a hue change away from being swimwear or nude models in the first place.


  28. Oh so that’s Psylocke?

    Nice vagina Psylocke.

  29. I don’t see how that art is any more "exploitive" or "shallow" than what you’d usually find in an X-Men comic. Any issue with Rouge or Psylocke is usually like this. Actually, and issue with Psylocke is like this, especially when Jim Lee is drawing her. And let’s not forget Emma Frost whose only mutant ability it to be a walking Fredrick’s of Hollywood catalogue and give blue balls to all the male mutants. People joke about super heroes wearing their long johns on the outside, but she’s the only one who’s costume is actual underwear.

  30. I never realized this until @PraxJarvin pointed it out but……Claremont did try to have every oppertunity to get the women in X-Men either naked or semi-clothed. He really loved Storm in bikini’s….

    So yeah this has the potential to be the greatest thing ever or the wrost thing ever. Or both! You don’t know anymore with Claremont these days.

  31. Everyone keeps calling this exploitative.

    Who’s being exploited?  Drawings?  Is that even possible?

    The only being exploited here is my wallet, cause I will purchase this.

    (and…it’s entirely possible that Rogue absorbed those enegy shooting powers, it’s what she does.  The flying Psylocke is puzzling though.)

  32. I think the implication is that it’s not exploiting any one inparticular but that it’s exploiting women, as in the entire gender.

  33. When is Psylockes ass not in your face? This is a little gratuitous but I don’t think its any different than many books out there and the "real world". To say it exploits the gender is too much, we will have to read to find out… How can you complain about sweet ass in your face? it’s great but of course too much can kill it story wise, for me at least.