Storm Arcana

Intuitive Visionary Coach & Founder of Arcana Academy

Tag: Hellfire Club

White Queen Wednesday: OHOTMU

An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel

White Queen OHOTMU

It is once again White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. Today I would like to share with you Emma Frost’s profile from the original Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. We’ve seen what Steve Rogers had to say about the White Queen as a hero in his assessment and follow-up, but these pages offer a less opinionated and more thorough exploration of Emma’s history and powers when she was still a villain with the Hellfire Club.

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White Queen Wednesday Extra: January Jones, Part IV

An Emma Frost Update
by Ken Kneisel

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Welcome back once again, gentle reader. It’s only been a couple of short weeks since the LA Times Hero Complex blog featured a revealing interview with January Jones, the actress who will portray Emma Frost as the White Queen in the upcoming X-Men: First Class film prequel, and now they’re back with more news from the set along with a few intriguing photographs of the cast of young mutants.

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White Queen Wednesday: Jim Lee

An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel

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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.

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White Queen Wednesday: The Outfit

An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel

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Welcome to White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. Forget the affair, the drugs, the drinking and the villainous history. Easily the most controversial element of Emma Frost’s character is her signature scandalously skimpy sartorial style. Emma’s penchant for revealing costumes is well documented, ever since she first strode onto the scene sporting little more than lingerie and a cape.

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White Queen Wednesday: Psylocke, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel

Salutations, gentle reader. In the first hard-hitting issue of the all-new all-different Uncanny X-Force, Psylocke has seemingly borrowed Emma Frost’s brutal take no prisoners tactics and appears deadset on reclaiming her crown as mutantdom’s reigning sexy telepath. But I have bad news for Psylocke, Emma is not ready to relinquish that crown just yet. There are several striking similarities between the two lady telepaths. But while I dearly love Psylocke, Emma is still better. Let me count the ways.

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White Queen Wednesday: Fabulous First

An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel

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Welcome to another installment of White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. This past Monday night, my friend Juhani and I were walking around his new neighborhood here in San Francisco. We passed Green Apple Books and he pointed out to me that they had comics available for sale. I perused their selection and was startled to find a copy of the first edition Uncanny X-Men: Dark Phoenix Saga trade paperback with the Bill Sienkiewicz cover and forward by Stan Lee marked down to just three dollars! At such a deeply discounted price, of course I snatched up this classic tome by Chris Claremont and John Byrne without a moment’s hesitation. Flipping through it I recalled, as I mentioned last week, that this storyline marked the first appearance of our Emma Frost. Although back then she was quite a different character, the wicked White Queen of the Hellfire Club, the very picture of unrepentant evil. So this week I would like to reflect for a moment on Emma’s first run-in with the X-Men.

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White Queen Wednesday: Selene

An Emma Frost Salon
by Ken Kneisel

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Good afternoon, gentle reader. Today I direct your attention to “The Sport of Queens”, a short story from X-Men Unlimited #33 written by Will Pfeifer and illustrated by the legendary Esteban Maroto who I am primarily familiar with for having previously drawn a lot of Vampirella comics back in the Seventies. This story stars Emma Frost during her time as the White Queen of the Hellfire Club and her rival Black Queen, the immortal sorceress and psionic vampire Selene.

As the story starts, Selene has grown bored with the obscene wealth and privilege associated with Hellfire Club membership when Emma espies a brutal brawny Hellfire Club guard on the monitor screen who captures both her and Selene’s attention.

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Emma proposes a gentlewomanly wager to cure Selene’s boredom. Emma bets Selene that she can’t compel the guard to declare his love for her before Emma. The ground rules are set, no magic and no mutant powers are to be used, and the game is on!

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Emma and Selene both ask Chet, the burly Hellfire Club guard, out to dinner and take him to fancy restaurants that he could never afford. They also show him Hellfire Club secrets and give him access to some of the extraordinary conspiracies that the Club has a hand in.

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When they both discover that their competitor is playing dirty, they swear that the gloves are off and they will each do whatever it takes to win.

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Naturally this means that Selene and Emma both cheat and break the ground rules by using their sorcery and mutant telepathic powers respectively on poor unsuspecting Chet.

I love Emma’s dramatic gown in this panel, with it’s personalized crowned E and WQ logos which stand for Emma and White Queen of course.

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Speaking of lovely and dramatic gowns, I also love the formal evening wear sported by Emma and Selene in these next few panels with their matching but not identical dresses and Selene’s long black feather cape complimenting Emma’s sweeping white fur. It really gives a sense of the debauched decadence of Emma’s old Hellfire Club days.

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Emma and Selene’s rivalry has a definite Betty and Veronica kind of vibe in this story with their petty squabbling over a boy’s affection. Although I don’t recall any Betty and Veronica stories that ended with Archie’s head exploding from combined magical and telepathic backlash.

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As our tale ends, Emma cleverly asserts that she won the wager since the bet was that Selene could not convince Chet to declare his love for her first and he won’t be declaring anything to anyone in his present state. I like how Selene is at first infuriated by Emma’s temerity but that quickly gives way to a grudging respect and camaraderie between the two villainesses.

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Well that’s all for this White Queen Wednesday, gentle reader. I hope you enjoyed this look back at one of the ways Emma kept herself entertained during her tenure with the Hellfire Club. Until next week…

White Queen Wednesday: John Bolton

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While I was putting together this week’s Storm Sunday’s focus on John Bolton, I kept coming across his drawings of Emma Frost, also known as the White Queen of the Hellfire Club!  This post is dedicated to comicdom’s notorious fan and my friend Ken Kneisel, one of the most diehard fans of Emma I have ever met!  I hope he and you, dear reader, find some enjoyment in the images from today’s post which were originally featured in a backup story in Classic X-Men #34 and that they compel you to enter into the discussion I have proposed at the end of this post!

BoltonQueen1John Bolton certainly knows how to pare a scene down to its essentials.  In these two pages, the emotional situation is readily apparent.   Captions and word balloons are simply not necessary to know that there is an obvious power struggle going on here and the White Queen certainly has the upper hand!  I really like the strong use of design in these pages, especially the wallpaper.  The delicate swirls are in direct contrast to the severe body stance of the White Queen.

Emma used to be such a great villainess and in today’s continuity she is a heroine.  I think her character’s journey has been intriguing, but I think it is a delicate balance to maintain the snarky wit of a rather jaded woman with her desire to teach the next generation of mutant children.  Grant Morrison certainly left his mark on her when he used her for New X-Men, but he had a great template to work with from her creators (Chris Claremont and John Byrne).  Joss Whedon obviously had a lot of fun writing her in Astonishing X-Men and Warren Ellis reaps the benefits on that title now.

As far as the character has come, I would not want to see all of her development ruined by having the character return to her villainous roots.  I think it is much more interesting to read about her new life as a mutant leader with dreams of reformation (One could argue that she is, in fact, already redeemed by proof of her position in the X-Men alongside Cyclops).  Her retconned past with Namor (the Sub-Mariner) and Tony Stark (Iron Man) seemed a bit shoehorned to me at first, but these revelations have grown on me.  I find it makes her character tapestry all the richer.  Out of all of the Dark Reign tie ins, I have enjoyed Emma’s interactions with Norman Osborn the most.  I think she’s the kind of woman who could really find a way to topple his rule.  I don’t see it ever happening as I assume that Spider-Man is destined to defeat Osborn as the Green Goblin is his villain, but I hope that if and when Norman falls, that Emma is there to jab a spiked heel into his ribs.

WhitequeenboltonAbove is a scaled down version of the back cover of Classic X-Men #7.  Emma looks right at home.  At this time in her life she has no idea that she will fall in love with Scott Summers (Cyclops) and therefore make his character compelling (at least to me).   And just think, if she hadn’t been in a coma when her students (the Hellions) died, she might not have teamed up with Banshee, Jubilee and Sabretooth to save the next generation of mutants.  And then she might not have joined Generation X as headmistress, which would not have led her down the road to her redemption.

What do you think, dear reader?  Do you like reformed Emma or do you miss the evil to the bone White Queen of her Hellfire Club days?  Do you think her character arc makes sense considering how she was introduced back in the days when she was body swapping with Storm, harassing the New Mutants and trying to make Firestar into her personal weapon?  What do you like most about her and what do you think is essential to the core of the character?  There’s no denying Emma’s popularity.  I’m just curious from where it stems.

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