An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel
Welcome to White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. This week I discuss Emma Frost’s complicated history with her one-time foe and current X-Men teammate Magneto. Although they both began as X-Men villains, Emma and Magneto originally encountered each other during a period of time when Magneto had reformed and in fact acted as headmaster of Professor Xavier’s school in his absence and instructed the New Mutants, who Emma frequently tried to enroll in her Massachusetts Academy to join her Hellions.
It was during this time that Emma, with assistance from her emotion-manipulating student Empath, exploited Magneto’s self-doubt and the general malaise of the New Mutants after the Secret Wars II crossover to trick him into transferring his young charges over to her school. She was able to accomplish this by promising to use her telepathic powers to ease their melancholy ambivalence, which was a result of their having been killed and resurrected by the omnipotent Beyonder. Magneto eventually came to his senses and understood the extent of Emma and Empath’s manipulations, at which point Emma phoned the authorities and called the Avengers down upon him.
After the ensuing battle, Emma and Magneto worked in tandem to heal the troubled minds and souls of the New Mutants and the team willingly chose to go back with Magneto. Although Emma noted that the occasion might compel the New Mutants to view her in a more sympathetic light.
For reasons as yet unexplained, after the dissolution of Generation X, Emma wound up on Magneto’s sovereign island nation of mutants Genosha teaching a telepathy class when the entire country was wiped out by modified Sentinels under the command of Cassandra Nova. Emma was the sole survivor of the attack thanks to the spontaneous emergence of her organic diamond secondary mutation. Everyone else was killed, apparently including Magneto himself.
Later, after it was revealed that Magneto also survived the Sentinel attack on Genosha and had infiltrated the X-Men as the mutant healer Xorn, he recruited Esme, one of Emma’s coterie of prize pupils the Stepford Cuckoos. This chain of events ultimately led to Magneto using his control over magnetism to murder Esme by driving her metal earrings into her brain and she died defiantly in Emma’s arms.
Although Emma and Magneto are both currently members of the X-Men and both considered leaders of the team, inexplicably in Magneto’s case, I have not seen their complicated past addressed. I think this is a real wasted opportunity since their history together is so rich with potential. But I am still unsure why Magneto is even with the X-Men in the first place, so perhaps that explanation should come before any conversations with Emma about their past.
What do you think, gentle reader? Would you like to see some acknowledgment of Emma and Magneto’s shared history?