An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel
Welcome, gentle reader, to the first installment of White Queen Wednesday. Well, technically not the very first. STORM already started this tradition in September of last year. That post was what inspired me to suggest to him that I might like to submit a whole series of articles detailing Emma’s complicated relationships with her teammates and highlighting several topics important to her character, as a companion to Storm Sunday. STORM graciously agreed to allow me a series of guest posts here on his blog, so this is the first installment written by me. I hope you find my humble submissions, and Emma herself, as interesting as I do.
While you might already be aware that I was the one who suggested to Grant Morrison that he use Emma Frost in his X-Men, you might not know that the idea originally came to me in a dream. Shortly after I had heard that Grant Morrison would be writing X-Men, I dreamed that I ran into him on a foggy San Francisco street corner under a lamp post. He was wearing a black trench coat and I was starstruck to meet him but he remained nonchalant. I told him “Ever since I heard you would be writing X-Men, I’ve been pissing myself wondering if you have any plans for Emma Frost!” at which point the dream dissipated. Not long after that I emailed him and told him what I had said in the dream, prettied up a bit and without mentioning the dream itself. He posted my email on his website and replied “I had no plans at all for Emma Frost but now that you mention it, man…” The rest, as they say, is X-History. So the story of Emma Frost is, for me, very literally a dream come true! I later met Grant Morrison in person at San Diego Comic-Con several years ago. I explained to him about the dream and he told me Emma was his “muse”. (He also told me she was my “karma” for what happened to Flex Mentallo, but that’s a story for another time, perhaps some Flex Mentallo Friday?) It sometimes amazes me when I stop to consider how very different the entire X-Men landscape, the entire Marvel UNIVERSE, would be had I not dreamed that dream or submitted that email. But enough about me. Let’s talk about Emma Frost!
White Queen Wednesday is whatever I want to talk about regarding Miss Emma Frost. I will be exploring a variety of topics including her complicated history with many other characters, friends and foes alike including lots of her fellow X-Men on both sides of that divide, several artists who have graced us with some of the most striking and memorable depictions of Emma over the years and various other topics of interest to me on the subject of Emma Frost. Her remarkable character evolution from one of the X-Men’s most despicable villains into one of the Marvel Universe’s staunchest heroes fascinates me. Like coal into diamond, she was transformed from the wicked White Queen of the decadently corrupt Hellfire Club into a good queen, the benevolent Auntie Emma. She is the Bad Girl Gone Good, in many ways the opposite of Dark Phoenix who was the Good Girl Gone Bad. It’s inspiring that someone so wicked and evil could transform her life and station in the world so completely.
But she was an unforgettable villain, exhilaratingly evil, as cruel and ruthless in the boardroom as she was in the classroom or that room where she kept the X-Men stripped down to their underwear in cages. She has also committed some truly heinous and reprehensible acts of villainy which I will not shy away from in exploring her past. She owns damn near every scene she is in with her sharp and sarcastic dry wit. She uses her sexuality like a weapon as coldly as she wields her mutant telepathic talents and brilliant mind. One thing that is often overlooked in examining Emma’s history is that she’s something of an electronics genius as well. She designed Multivac, a mutant locating computer not unlike Professor Xavier’s Cerebro, a mechanism that augmented Mastermind’s illusory powers to assist him in corrupting Jean Grey and the body-swapping gun she used to trade minds with Storm. (See next week’s White Queen Wednesday for more about that!)
And now, gentle reader, I bid you adieu. Until next week, when I will discuss Emma’s tumultuous history with STORM’s namesake and their eventual hard-fought friendship.