Since Art Asylum had already released New X-Men Minimates of Wolverine and Phoenix in series 6, it was only fair that they release a pair of Cyclops and Emma Frost in series 9.
Grant Morrison took some big risks with his run on the renamed New X-Men. He played around with continuity and characters, mostly unafraid to shake things up that had been taken for granted for years. For instance, the relationship between Scott Summers and Jean Grey.
Scott and Jean had been paired up nearly since the beginning of the X-Books. Sure, originally all the boys were trying to get her attention, but it didn't take long for the writers to have her settle down, and that's how it remained for over 30 years.
NXM Cyclops is based on artist Frank Quitely's designs, so he's got a great graphic look. The majority of the figure is black (not grey, like Wolverine and Phoenix) with big yellow X's. The point of the new costumes was to make the X-Men a brand, just like Nike or McDonalds, so the uniforms are supposed to stand out. There's one giant X across his chest, a pair on his legs, an X-logo belt buckle and a few more details painted on.
Cyke's face is much more haggard than previous versions, which makes sense since he's supposed to be an adult, now - that and there's no real way to get a Quitely-style head onto a smooth cylinder. His hair and mask are one piece, and can be removed to reveal his dark red eyes. It all looks very nice.
Though Scott and Jean had been nearly inviolate for years, Morrison took the brave step of changing their status quo. It wasn't Wolverine who finally came between them, but former villain Emma Frost. She and Scott began a psychic affair that drove a wedge further between the team leader and his wife.
Quitely designed an interesting costume for Emma, one steeped in sexuality (if not physical plausability) that brought in the team's X-logo through the use of negative space. That, however, is not what this Minimate represents. This is Emma in her traditional White Queen get-up: thong, bustier, thigh-high boots, white gloves and fur-trimmed cape. This is the Emma Frost of Chris Claremont, not Grant Morrison.
There is a variant of this set available, featuring a clear Emma that represents the character in her organic diamond state. Organic whatwhat? It's her secondary mutation, a gimmick invented by Morrison to let him use the characters he wanted while assigning them new powers. However, this variant would have made more sense if Art Asylum had given her her new costume.
Emma, in Morrison's run, can be seen to stand in for the author himself - the outsider, joining the team with the intention of shaking things up, who finds herself (or himself) falling in love with them and what they stand for, making her (his) job that much harder.
Marvel Minimates all share the same body with different paint decos, and they all move at the same 14 points: neck, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles. Cyclops' jacket and Emma's cape are removable, if you pop their heads off.
A lot of long-time fans were upset that Morrison put Cyclops and Emma Frost together - I guess it was okay for Wolverine to always be sniffing around looking to get a little action on the side, but if Cyclops' eye should wander, well, then he's just an awful human being, even if Jean did give her approval.
Emma and Scott: good idea or bad? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.