@pyrofn: It's a matter of principle for me. The Phoenix Force represents uncontrollable good and uncontrollable evil. It's a primeval force that stands the test of time and can raze planets on a long, drawn out whim.
Meanwhile, Jean Grey can willingly part with it at no ill-consequence.
Devaluing a major 'villain' and plot point that easily just rings wrong to me honestly. Scott withers back to nothing as soon as the Phoenix Force is gone, but Jean Grey is completely fine despite being brought back by the Phoenix Force itself.
Death and resurrections are one thing, talking down cosmic villains is another. Phoenix Resurrection was a drawn out (I daresay for the trade paperback) labour that ended with - admittedly, a decently emotional - but counter-productive narrative.
Emma Frost has a sliver of the Void in her - frozen in her diamond form. If she shifts out, it'll probably take over her. While in Diamond Form, Emma is noticeably colder emotionally.
Scott is on edge because the realities of being a leader, a governer, and a strategist wear down on him. He has typically relied on a select few for support - something Emma does quite often in other aspects of San Francisco - but she can't give it to him because of her own predicament.
This is actually a good character building moment.
Meanwhile, as above, Jean plays loosey goosey with Scott, throws him away, and breaks up with a cosmic entity that could easily control her.
@microsoft: Thanks, yeah I did draw them. I cheated a bit though as I traced their outlines from existing images, but I did it as proof of concept for the costumes, not for the art.
I think Jean's original green and gold X-Factor costume (minus the mask) would work well on Rogue, with a jacket or a hoodie over the top. It was suggested by J. G. Jones in his excellent splash page in All-New X-Men 25. Rogue is behind Nightcrawler, under Beast's arm.
Jean Grey's green and gold is her more iconic color palettes, yeah. That said, it also shares colors with Iron Fist and HYDRA, so it's mostly the Gold and Phoenix motiff that tends to stay true.
Also, I notice Emma Frost (as a consummate fan of such) and I just love that pose of her just signing autographs while looking damn fabulous.
Then I notice Psylocke squatting and the magic is gone.
I'd say for a pair or trio, individual attire is important.
For a team of five or more who regularly team-up, a unifying color scheme should be important as time progresses. I.e. have them be in their individual attire to begin with, then, as the team forms, introduce the new uniform.
Also surprised I missed this thread, but then again, this place moves like quicksilver sometimes.
OG Emma Frost is mine. She's a perfect case of 'contrast' in the superhero genre. She's just inbetween hero and villain, and brings out the best and worst in everyone other character. When written well, she's a softly snarky, interesting intelligent and astoundingly angry addition to the team. She pushes her own attractiveness to the limit where others go 'natural', and it saddens me whenever she's written badly.
Pure Good Writing: Again from X-Men San Francisco, Uncanny X-Men 2012: 1-2. I've got this in Hardcover, and it stands as the first comic, let alone TPB, I bought.
The issue sets up the team, a bit on their past, a bit on their goals. It establishes an astronomical threat, an overwhelming villain, and puts all the characters powers into perspective - Hopes weapons, Magneto's magnetism, Emma's diamond hard invulnerability and vulnerability, and so on.
This is equal parts characterization, stakes, villainy, and heroism. Dialogue is concise, reactive and expressive. Putting the pretty good art aside, the writing is peak X-Men, and peak comics, for me.
Good and Bad: Inhumans vs X-Men.
This is probably one of the more controversial picks. When I knuckle down and think it through, Inhumans vs X-Mens had a good story from issues 1-5. It drove Emma with the X-Men on a warpath - and a well motivated and impressively dire situation. It had the Inhumans on the back foot, constantly getting out of containment, fights and one sided battles.
Again, characterization, stakes, villainy, and heroism. Colossus walking through fire like a badass? Check. Havok knowing to draw the line at utter revenge? Check. The classic Dazzler fighting Black Bolt gimmick? Check.
But it dropped the ending so, SO damn hard. It put Inhuman pandering above X-Men finality. If one is completely set on Deus Ex Machina character breaking Inhuman hunting Sentinels, they could fire warning shots - to prove that when she choose between revenge and survival, she takes Scott's path. She could have maimed or killed Black Bolt while he was imprisoned, to directly avenge Scott. She could have Mind-controlled someone who actually injures an Inhuman. Hell, have SHIELD come in, or some other villain, to try and wipe out two troublesome enhanced groups at once.
And the mcguffin that the Inhuman royals are immune to telepathy seemed entirely there to stop Emma from having true revenge on her terms. She had managed to telepathically fool them in Death of X, yet isn't able to in IvX for the sake of Medusa and Black Bolt having a contrived upper hand. Consistency matters,
Instead every bit of characterization and stakes is uptuned by nonsensical villainy and stupidly bland heroism. Turning Emma Frost into an anti-hero or anti-villain is kind of appropriate, but the path it takes has to be relatable, not ... well, comical.
The Ugly: X-Men Red Annual
I know a fair few people like Jean Grey. I know a fair few people like X-Men Red.
However, there comes a time when a comic is so smug, snide and full of itself, that I have to use it as my example for terribad writing.
It's an annual, but not an annual.
It follows off Phoenix Resurrection, but ... it's in X-Men Red
It gives Jean Grey a preachy monologue against a cardboard cutout.
It turns Nightcrawler into the uber driver of the issue.
It goes well out of its way to ingratiate X-23 and Honeybadger - Tom Taylor's pet projects - into the story.
It sets up said ingratiation while making shallow dives at her relationships with people she actually does no - and strands those people out in desert.
It goes even further out of its way to make Jean Grey frame Black Bolt's apology, as if he has no persona of his own.
Honestly, if you want to make Jean Grey puff piece and call it 'Jean Grey Homecoming', you can. Calling it an X-Men Red Annual is completely disingenuous.
But bad writing bad. Thank god they stopped it before it became a baker's dozen.
1) Emma Frost. I won't accept her as anything less than the White Queen or Black Queen though. 2) Havok 3) Selene Selene, the Black Club Queen. 4) Madelyne Pryor 5) Psylocke 6) Juggernaut (even if he isn't really a mutant) 7) Stepford Cuckoos 8) Magik 9) Colossus 10) Polaris