With Regan’s reintroduction into the Marvel storyline in ANXM #9, I have come to see a few bits of commentary in her tag regarding the very, very similar design between her and Emma’s costumes. While obviously this isn’t all that new since Uncanny #1 got teased with Emma’s new look, the fact that it seems people are confusing who had the design first is quite frustrating, particularly for a huge Lady M fan such as myself. So I feel a compelling need to address the confusion, though I highly doubt it’ll stop the commentary.
First and foremost, Regan had the BLACK design first (take note of the black, that’s the key word in there). When she was brought into the X-Men plot in the Supernovas storyline, Bachalo gave her the design she currently sports in ANXM.
Now then, this was back in 2006 that Regan got this design. Since then, her appearances in Uncanny X-Men as a member of the Sisterhood (2009), and Pixie Strikes Back limited series when linking Pixie to the Mastermind family (2009/2010), have had her in this same design, just slight variations by the artists of Land and Pichelli, respectively.
As it stands, the two later artists, who kept close to Bachalo’s original redesign of Regan, made the artistic decision to also put her sister Martinique in the same costume, something I feel the sisters would never allow if they were real, but I understand the design choice. Regan is the better known of the two now because of her involvement in the X-Men and subsequent betrayal to the Marauders, she’s more popular (sorry Marti, but it’s true), and that design has come to be associated with Lady Mastermind for those that are familiar with her.
As for Emma being put into the outfit that in Sisterhood she had called low-class, it isn’t a first. Bachalo has a tendency to recycle his designs, really all artists do because there are only so many gravity defying designs you can come up with to accentuate a woman’s chest (a key design element for Emma ever since Hellfire). In Age of Apocalypse (2005), Bachalo placed Dazzler in the exact same outfit he later puts Regan in, only in white.
Now then, before you all start saying that this means Regan stole the design (which is stupid since it’s the same artist just reusing a design, in a sense comparing the characters’ similarities and differences with them), people need to remember how Regan came about obtaining her costume in the plot.
It is an X-Men uniform, one she was given since she had nothing else. The fact that it belonged to the team, essentially explains the identical designs. Why does Regan continue to wear it in Sisterhood and Pixie? Partially I think it’s because the artists either didn’t want to tackle a redesign, or because they felt it had become synonymous with her. I like to imagine it’s because of the above interaction with Rogue, she loves to rub it in the X-Men’s faces that they never did get it back from her. Also, she does hold some modicum of pride in her short lived title as an X-Man, not much, and it’s mostly just to piss them off by reminding them of that, but it’s still there.
As for Emma’s current design, which is merely a rehashing of one of Bachalo’s favorite designs, there are some key differences in the jacket, collar, and lack of real pants in hers. The more I look at it, the more I see the differences in them, though they are horrendously similar, and almost bordering on insulting for both Lady M and Emma Frost fans considering the relationship between the two women has been far from stellar.
So now that Regan’s been reintroduce by the same writer, just different title, with another amazing artist who is definitely up to the task of making a bold redesign of Regan to once more differentiate her from Frost; the big question would be why didn’t he? I think the key thing here is to look at the plot Bendis is setting up for her in ANXM. She has just broken out of the Raft, which we have no clue why she was in there in the first place considering she was a free bird in Sisterhood and Pixie. Taking the character design into account, something I think Immonen did beautifully, keeping her old style far more in line with Bachalo’s than previous artists did, I believe Bendis might be planning to ignore Sisterhood, and unfortunately also Pixie. I might be wrong, I hope I am, and I hope I get more development between the three sisters, but I don’t think Bendis has any plans, whatsoever, to do so. I think he’s going to write this as if Regan was sent to the Raft after the Marauders, thus why she also has the X belt from her original redesign.
Personally, I think Regan totally rocks this outfit, she owns it and probably because it is from the X-men, and what better for a bitch like her to do than rub that in their faces. BUT, I highly doubt this look will last for long. I firmly believe that now she’s free from the Raft, Immonen will tackle the design for her in ANXM. As I said before, he is very much up to the challenge, and I’m interested to see if he plans to make a nod to her first design when Claremont first created her and Larroca drew her back in X-Treme X-Men. Bachalo did address that original design when going inside Regan’s head, where she once more sported the more covered look, so Immonen could very well bring back a new version of it, but maybe with some original twists to keep some of the extra appeal of Bachalo’s design.
In conclusion, quit bitching about the similar designs for the blondes, it’s not the first time, nor will it be the last, I’m sure. Just sit and wait to see if Immonen does something spectacular with Regan, which I have no doubt that he will accomplish if he tries. If he doesn’t try, then personally I’m not complaining since he really did do the design justice and made it far more appealing than the artists that came between him and Bachalo.
Also, I’m absolutely in love with the longer hair since it’s so similar to a half-assed little sketch of Regan I did at work weeks ago, so really happy to see an artist give her the look I envisioned her with.