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White Queen Wednesday: Jim Lee

An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel

Emma Jim Lee card

Welcome to White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. This week I will focus on the handful of Emma Frost images drawn by Jim Lee. Considering that Jim Lee was such a massively popular and influential X-Men artist who really redefined the team for an entire generation, it’s interesting to note that he never drew the White Queen in any actual comic book story appearances that I am aware of. So today we will look at a few trading card images he drew of Emma Frost.

I really love this first picture of Emma from her own trading card. The roaring fire, the jewel-encrusted goblet filled with some undoubtedly intoxicating beverage, Emma’s hiked-up leg and knee-high white leather stiletto boots, her luxurious sweeping fur cape and laced-up bodice. All of these details point to the Hellfire Club’s decadence and extravagant opulence. This is such a great snapshot of Emma’s time as the wicked White Queen.

Emma Jim Lee back

Here is the back of Emma’s trading card with her power stats and a brief bio along with a closeup head shot by Jim Lee. Emma looks menacing with her face partially obscured by shadow. She concentrates and her telepathic powers manifest themselves in a green flash. It looks like someone is in trouble and will soon regret crossing the White Queen.

Hellfire Club Jim Lee card

This card depicts several notable members of the villainous Hellfire Club, including Emma Frost of course. From left to right we have Graydon Creed (for some random reason, since we was not affiliated with the Hellfire Club but rather their would-be assassins, the Upstarts), the White Queen Emma Frost, the Black King Sebastian Shaw, longtime X-Men foe and sometimes X-Men ally Magneto who temporarily acted as the Inner Circle’s White (and later Grey) King and finally Emma’s scheming rival Black Queen, the immortal sorceress and psychic vampire Selene.

JimLeeVillainPoster

This is the only other published image of Emma Frost drawn by Jim Lee, which originally appeared as one of four variant centerfolds in X-Men #1 and was later reproduced as a full size poster. Emma appears on the lower left hand corner of this image in her unmistakable outfit alongside the Black King Sebastian Shaw and a motley crew of well over a dozen other notorious X-Men villains. Can you name them all?

That’s all the Jim Lee artwork I have to share with you today, gentle reader. Until next week…

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3 Comments

  1. Ingonyama

    I love that massive spread of the X-Men’s Rogues Gallery. A little twisted to see Madelyne Pryor all rubbed up against Sinister like that, especially when you consider the fact that he’s the 0nly person on Earth she hated as much as Scott Summers.

    It’s interesting to consider how many of those baddies have had at least a brief turn as good guys…aside from Emma, we’ve had Juggernaut, Magneto, Mystique, Sabretooth, and even the Sentinels on the X-Men’s side for at least short stints. Of additional irony is the fact that even ineffectual villains like Toad and Mesmero can look menacing under Lee’s pen.

    The White Queen card itself is a truly iconic image of her. I’d have loved to see Lee tackle the Hellfire Club in at least one story arc…his highly sexualized style seems to scream to be applied there.

  2. NB

    I never really cared for Jim Lee’s art. Might be because that’s when the X-Men (from my perspective) started going downhill.

    I also blame him (perhaps unfairly) for bringing in the barbie doll look for female characters. If not himself, then his imitators, but his White Queen above is a good example.

  3. Juan Carlos Montiel

    Emma was a pretty bad girl when she was a member of the Hellfire Club. When she went up against Phoenix, she didn’t turn out to be as strong as she thought. I think it was kind of cool when she joined the X-Men, but she still had that bad girl streak to her. Emma Frost helped the X-Men fight against the Phalanx, and also helped to form Generation X. As a member of the X-Men, she’s still got that bad girl streak. Naughty blonde.

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