In my review of the last Uncanny X-Men issue, I talked about how Uncanny has become Marvel’s answer to the current JLA. The series constantly services other titles. In the aforementioned last issue, the comic had to address nearly every other X-Book. This time, the title is hijacked by Dark Reign. But you know what? Fraction is a great writer and he makes the most of it.
This annual is two stories juxtaposed to create one awesome Emma Frost tale. One part is about Emma’s past that explores the events of X-Men #73 (Yes, someone remembers that comic) drawn by Daniel Acuna. Acuna captures the opulence of the Hellfire Club wonderfully. The other part is about Emma’s present situation with the Dark Illuminati. This is rendered by Mitch Breitweiser. He brings a gritty realism that properly demonstrates Marvel’s Dark Reign. The two artistic styles don’t mesh well at all and that works.
The story itself is all about Emma with a little help from Namor (Who’s properly rendered, thank God) and Sebastian Shaw. One would think that this is just about answering why Emma is part of the Dark Illuminati with a hint of what she might do next. The comic does cover both of those topics, but it’s so much more. It’s an intriguing tale about Emma and Namor’s (He likes blondes remember) history. It’s about Emma and Shaw’s relationship and how that changed her. This is an example of how a good writer can handle anything. So if you read this for the Dark Reign connection, you won’t be disappointed. If you read this for the X-Men connection, you’ll get an entertaining story featuring one of the most interesting mutants.