An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel
Hello again, gentle reader. For this edition of White Queen Wednesday Extra, I would like to spotlight Emma’s file card from last week’s Heroic Age: Superheroes. Composed by former Captain America Steve Rogers in a peyote-induced haze, this represents the view of the current “top cop” of the Marvel Universe and director of all things Avengers on Emma Frost and her place as a hero in the Marvel Universe.
In marked contrast to some of the unkind things Steve said in this issue about other heroes (and heroines in particular), his profile of Emma is surprisingly flattering. I’m really glad that he didn’t dwell on her history as a villain when she was the White Queen of the Hellfire Club. That seems to be something many of her fellow X-Men have had a hard time getting past, although perhaps it isn’t as much of an issue for Steve Rogers since he never faced her in battle when she was with the Hellfire Club as far as I am aware.
In fact, Steve goes so far as to suggest that Emma might have a future as an Avenger. This is intriguing, although not entirely without precedent since Emma has assisted the New Avengers on a couple of noteworthy occasions, once when the leading minds of the Marvel Universe had no idea how to resolve the Sentry/Void situation and again when they were at a loss as for what to do with Wanda Maximoff during House of M.
Her power grid ratings are also noticeably high, with especially strong showings in the categories of wisdom, courage, determination and free will. I have no argument with this.
However, I must take issue with the way Steve characterizes Emma’s loyalty to mutants as a drawback. There is a troubling whiff of underlying racism to that statement, the perception that minorities will always stick together no matter what and at the expense of any other concerns. While Emma is fiercely protective of her mutant students and teammates, I do not believe that this must be seen as a negative trait or in any way suggest that she does not think humans are equally worthy of her protection.
Although sometimes puzzling, like the seemingly arbitrary power grid rankings which are entirely open to interpretation, Heroic Age: Superheroes is definitely entertaining. What could have been a collection of dry handbook entries is livened up by Steve’s opinionated drug-fueled rambling, often saying more about Steve and his frequently outdated attitudes towards certain topics than they do about his subjects.
I hope you enjoyed this glance at Emma’s place in the larger Marvel Universe, gentle reader. Until next week…