X-Men: Gals on the Run

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Milo Manara
Letterers: Andrea Accardi

Milo Manara is a bit of a god when it comes to the smutty books. His highly rendered pencils have blessed the pages of many European erotic comics, in my limited *cough* experience his work ranges from the titillating to the downright filthy. Given that he’s such a “name” and what his name is known for I was frankly surprised when I heard that he was working on a book featuring the female X-Men characters and that it was with Marvel’s full consent. In some way it’s like a pornstar being cast in a Marvel movie…it’s not impossible but frankly you don’t expect it to happen. That he’s done this book with legendary* X-Men writer Chris Claremont is yet another surprise.

This Panini version costs £11.99 and has about 54 pages of content, so it’s not particularly large but it’s oversized HC in a hybrid between the UK annual and European formats. The foreword’s by Joe Q and there’s an interview and supplemental material…I didn’t feel cheated having picked it up slightly below RRP.

The books opens with a ready reckoner of the characters involved (Marvel Girl, Psylocke, White Queen, Rogue, Shadowcat and Storm all get the opportunity to showcase the sexy) which uses artwork from the likes of Cassaday, Paquette and J Scott Campbell.

The plot has a member of the team kidnapped and the other members going on the rescue mission. We’re thrown into the action only to see that the kidnapper has handily given Marvel Girl a slutty makeover, let’s be honest it’s not unexpected. Manara’s art is solid but at times I feel he’s out of his depth with the fight scenes, it very much feels like he’s on unfamiliar territory and the posing of the characters is artificial in a way that they aren’t when he’s drawing them embracing (which happens a lot). A convenient plot element takes the superpowers out of the fight and grounds the characters which plays to Manara’s strengths.

Obviously this is out of continuity which helps as the characterisation is a bit loose…Storm “cutting loose” with a karaoke rendition of a Tina Turner song and even the more restrained characters like Kitty are “in heat”. As some who has read Click (and reviewed on an episode of WFTT) I had to suppress a smirk when a male character points a handheld device at Rachel which makes a clicking sound and then she starts to writhe in pain/pleasure.

The adoption/capture of the girls by cargo cultists gives us an almost fetishistic montage sequence with bikini clad X-Women carrying out a variety of duties.

We get the needed confrontation between the femme fatale protagonist and the team but in all honesty the plot is pretty nonsensical with the cargo cultists section in particular seeming tacked on. I expected better of Claremont even though he’s not at the height of his prowess. It smacks a little of someone trying to write “wacky and European”.

Ultimate though you’re probably not buying this for the story and Manara delivers what you’d expect…54 pages of X-Women looking like they’re in the middle of having a “happy moment”. Job done.


*and that’s a term I don’t use often.
Reviewer: Dave Williams

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One comment

  1. Well, I’m certainly intrigued by the art (there are at least four characters here I have serious hots for!), but the plot… I dunno, I’m still not sure this is worth dropping hard cash on (but I probably will, I’m a bit of an X-Junkie!)

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