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White Queen Wednesday: Warren Ellis

An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel

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Welcome to White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. With the final issue of the Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis miniseries released last week, today I would like to take a look back at Emma Frost as penned by Warren Ellis.

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Warren Ellis wrote Emma wonderfully well in all three of his Astonishing X-Men story arcs: Ghost Box, Exogenetic and Xenogenesis. But this was not the first time Warren Ellis wrote Emma. He also plotmastered and co-wrote the last dozen or so issues of Generation X along with Brian Wood.

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In all of these appearances, Ellis’s Emma was note perfect, displaying her characteristic sparkling intellect and sharp sarcastic wit. It is my opinion that Warren Ellis is one of the greatest writers of Emma Frost and I hold him in the same esteem as Grant Morrison and classic Chris Claremont in this regard. I also dearly loved the touching friendship between Emma and Storm which he carefully cultivated after so many years of bitterness between them.

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Ellis wrote Emma with her attitude very much intact, not as the defanged arm candy and opinionless yeswoman of Cyclops like the Emma we sometimes see in other recent comics, and I shall miss her terribly.

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In fact, with the completion of Warren Ellis’s final Astonishing X-Men storyline, there is no longer an Emma Frost in publication that I truly admire. Which means that this will most likely be the last regular edition of White Queen Wednesday I will write for the time being, although I do still have one or two potential surprises in mind. I will continue to contribute to stormantic in the form of things like my recent interview with RJ Danvers and I am also very excited about upcoming plans to share some of my current comic book passions like Ed Luce’s delightful Wuvable Oaf with you all. But for all intents and purposes this Emma Frost salon can be considered closed, gentle reader. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Au revoir for now!

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3 Comments

  1. Ingonyama

    Warren Ellis gives Emma just the right touch of bitchiness, snobbery, and just-under-the-surface evil. These things, though they can be more charitably defined, are what made her work wonderfully as a villain, and even better as an X-Man.

    I have been sorely, sorely let down by writers like Fraction, who seek to whitewash (there’s that word again) Emma into a bleach blonde, flavorless clone of Jean Grey. Jean at her absolute nadir was never as lacking in personality as Fraction’s Emma.

    Ellis writes exactly the Emma Frost I love…the clever, snotty rich girl from grade school, all grown up into an indomitable, elegant bitch. And when I use the term ‘bitch’ in regard to Ellis’s Emma, I am always smiling. 😀 She’s wonderful at what she does.

    (Joss Whedon is a very close second…I love “Torn” more than any other Emma Frost story I’ve ever read. But as good as he is, Ellis might edge him out just that tiniest bit…Joss does love his angst, and sometimes it screws with his characterization.)

    I’m going to miss her. I hope another writer comes along who brings back the magnificent Emma we know, love, and (I) love to hate. ^_^

  2. Yeah, really sad to see Ellis leave, even if his comics had some unfortunate scheduling issues. 🙁

    But I will be optimistic and hope that Gillen and Way can write some good Emma in their upcoming Uncanny and Astonishing runs.

    If nothing else, I guess there will be a new WQW after the movie comes out! 🙂

  3. Aww, well thank you so much for White Queen Wednesday! I enjoyed every post. Thanks again.

    -Aimee

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