It’s not much of a secret that I’m an X-men fan. That said, I’m not always a lover of the most beloved characters. I find Wolverine fun at times but mostly one-note. I don’t even find Deadpool funny. Obviously I’m not as drawn to the beautiful, often half-naked female characters as a great deal of their audience. Yet I often find myself fascinated by one such individual, Emma Frost amazing telepath who can also turn her skin into diamond, becoming virtually indestructible.
I met Ms. Frost in Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-men, the comic that got me interested in the medium initially. Like many gay men, I on occasion find myself drawn to strong women, and lets face it when it comes to strong women Joss is kind of the master. I found myself loving Frost’s character, with her sarcastic comments, bitching nature and slightly wavering moral compass. I also found her relationship with Scott intriguing, neither seeming to trust the other fully though there was clearly love there. It was a far more interesting love story than the Scott/Jean romance had ever been.
Emma was first introduced as a supervillain as part of one of the classic X-men story lines, The Dark Phoenix Saga in which Jean Grey is overtaken by a powerful alien force and turns on her teammates. Frost is a member of the Hellfire Club, one of those nice supervillain teams that show up from time to time, who essentially manipulate Jean forcing her to go over the edge. She originally only had the power to read minds, being a powerful telepath though not as powerful as Professor Xavier or Jean. Later Emma reformed, finding a passion for teaching young mutants joining Magneto (who was evidently going through one of his less evil phases) to start a school on his island nation, Genosha, safe haven for mutants. The island was tragically destroyed in New X-men, a mutant hunting sentinel obliterating the island and most of its inhabitants.
It was here that Emma Frost demonstrated a new ability, a secondary mutation that turned her skin into diamond, saving her life. Quite amusingly, the only reason for this new mutation or her inclusion in the storyline at all was that Grant Morrison wanted to use the character of Colossus, who was currently dead, at a time when Marvel had decreed that characters couldn’t be resurrected. So, as a second option, he chose to use Emma, giving her a similar power to Colossus’ ability to turn into metal. She gained herself a bit of a bad reputation throughout this series, as previously mentioned she broke up Scott and Jean by seducing Cyclops.
During Astonishing X-men she was manipulated by psychopathic telepath Cassandra Nova (Professor Xavier’s evil twin) in the ‘Torn’ storyline, making her betray the X-men to free the imprisoned Nova. The whole series questioned whether Frost had truly joined the X-men, it being revealed following her being freed of Nova’s control that she was in fact on the side of good, joining the X-men again to save the world. Storylines have since played with the notion of her allegiance, though none quite as effectively.
Emma had long had favourite pupils, in the group of identical siblings the Stepford Cuckoos, three (originally five before two were killed) powerful telepaths who can use their powers in unison to overwhelm opponents. Phoenix: Warsong revealed they were clones, created secretly by Weapon Plus, the people who made Wolverine the killing machine everyone knows and loves. Emma wished to make them her equals, strong women who couldn’t be manipulated by men. The events of Warsong saw them controlled by a fragment of the Phoenix. After they caused much destruction they chose to use their diamond powers to seal the Phoenix inside each of their hearts, making them incapable of any emotion. Emma was heartbroken by their choice, wishing there could have been another solution.
The recent big event Avengers Vs X-men featured Frost and many other X-men being controlled by the Phoenix, the results of which left them severely weakened. Emma suffered more than the rest of her teammates, losing the ability to read minds, something she had become accustomed to. She also lost the love of Scott, who in a Phoenix-fuelled rage tried to kill her, so understandably she decided the relationship wouldn’t work. This opens up a whole new era for Emma, in which she has to find herself and new worth without all the things she had come to rely on.
You can currently check out Emma Frost in Uncanny X-men and big event Age of Ultron.