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Young Allies #6

A comic review article by: Ray Tate
Most of what I know about Firestar derives from my watching Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Of course, the Marvel proper Firestar is a mutant. So that probably means she's somehow entangled in X-Men continuity. Given that Emma Frost was 99.9% villain until Grant Morrison decided she wasn't, I'm guessing Firestar was Emma's protege. Am I close?

For this farewell issue of Young Allies writer Sean McKeever makes Firestar the focus character. We get to see the many plates she spins while trying to be herself. Gravity looks to Firestar for partnership in superhero action. Nomad hopes she'll lead the team that's not a team. Emma wants her to join the mutant colony on Utopia.

McKeever's Emma Frost is an outstanding bitch. Her one saving grace is that she actually enjoys the novelty of getting put in her place by Firestar. McKeever clarifies their relationship even for someone ignorant of X-Men continuity and, given the morass, that's not an easy thing to do.

Baldeon, Bowling, and Sotomayor strengthen McKeever's intent. Just one look at Emma's face, however beauteous, broadcasts, “Stay away, you are beneath me.” Likewise, she has the body language of somebody who believes themselves superior. She doesn't walk. She struts. Even when Firestar burns off Emma's gown, she seems nonplussed. Temper is for lesser people. In contrast, Firestar at first looks intimidated, but then in her final confrontation with Emma, her manner becomes inscrutable. She acts almost like Columbo. Letting Emma think that she has the upper hand only to reveal that she has been in control all along.

Although McKeever spotlights Firestar, he does occasionally pop in on the other Allies. In an amusing scene, Spider-Girl gets used to her new name. I can reveal now that last issue, Spider-Woman granted Arana the ultimate compliment by asking her if she was called Spider-Girl. Facing Spider-Woman, Arana could not bring herself to say no. I look forward to her new series and I hope the Allies will still be part of her life.

It's nice to read a book that's actually about something. That said, McKeever doesn't forget that superheroes entertain with superpowers and stopping crime. The deeper bits of writing surge under the heroics to fortify the entirety.

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