Thursday, 27 November 2008

Twelve Vital X-Men Characters You Probably Don't Know

1: Emma Frost

The overwhelming winner of the list is Emma Frost.

Who Is She?

Once upon a time, there was a villain called The White Queen, who used her considerable telepathic powers to cause mayhem within the ranks of the X-Men. Her real name? Emma Frost. The White Queen served as a villain for a long time with the X-Men, alongside her allies in ‘The Hellfire Club’. After this, she opened up a school for mutants which was designed to compete with Xavier, leading to several fights with the X-Men over her teaching practises (she’d bugged the device Xavier used to find new mutants so she could get to them first). However, she really did like teaching her students, which si what made it so devastating when they were all killed during an attack that she wasn’t present for. This was the event which pushed her towards becoming a more heroic character, and she started to help teach mutants alongside the X-Men. Eventually, after another incident happened, she moved away to Magneto’s island (yes, he has an island), called Genosha. And she started teaching there - but history repeated itself, and the entire island was destroyed by sentinel robots, who killed sixteen million mutants in one strike. Frost herself survived the attack, due to a secondary mutation that gave her the ability to transform her skin into diamond. This gave her survivor’s guilt something rotten, although she hid it as well as she could. After this, she transferred to the main academy, to teach there.

Her personality matches her ability to turn into diamond, as she is cold, cruel, and sharp. She spends most of her time sarcastically laughing at anyone she doesn’t like, and is generally an upper-class bitch. However, inside the diamond she’s still human, and these weaknesses eat away at her every day – when you witness your students get killed, it’s liable to weigh on your mind. So, when she moved to Xavier’s academy, her main priority was to make sure that the students wouldn’t be hurt anymore.

Alongside everything else, she also fell in love with Cyclops (yes, him again), much to her despair. However, he reciprocated, and they had an affair behind his wife’s – Jean Grey, fact fans – back. When Jean found out, she was not best pleased, and Emma was preparing to leave the academy once and forever when Magneto attacked, and killed Jean Grey. Cyclops, a widower for the second time, chose to be with Emma, and they took over running the school together. That’s when House of M happened. Most of the students were depowered, and then the Purifier group of religious nutjobs started trying to kill off the depowered kids – blowing up a busload of them in front of Emma’s eyes. She’s really pissed off about this. Seriously.

Did I mention her sense of fashion? She’s easily the most fashionable X-Man character around at the moment, even if her choice of fashion does leave her a little… uh… exposed. This is the sort of thing that she tends to wear. In public. She has no shame:

Why Is She Important?

Emma Frost is the only alpha-female character left on the team. Jean Grey is dead; Storm is married off to another character, and trapped in his book; Kitty is lost in space; Rogue is AWOL, and Psylocke is in a parallel dimension. So really, Emma is the lone female around here, running things all on her own without much help. However, it’s pretty likely that this is the way she likes it. As the dominant female in the books, and as the girlfriend of Cyclops, she’s now taken over the role that Jean Grey had. She appears regularly in three or four different books, and is headmistress of the Xavier Academy. She’s also in the main team of X-Men, which means she gets to appear in the ‘flash’ comic – Astonishing X-Men. She’s been written by Grant Morrison, Joss Whedon, and now Warren Ellis, and is completely crucially vital to everything that the X-Men are doing.

She’s so important now, in fact, that in the new X-Men cartoon to be made – Wolverine and the X-Men – she is one of the main characters, taking the place of Jean Grey. With her villainous past, great selection of pithy one-liners, and revealing choice of clothes, she became a fan-favourite character who got promoted through the ranks incredibly quickly. Now, of course, there is a backlash because she appears so often, but for now and the immediate future, Emma Frost is going to be one of the most important characters to the franchise. And now you know who she is.

To sum her up. As she once said – “I can turn into diamond. I am, by definition, my own best friend.”


  1. Why is it that the writers seem to hate female mutants? I mean really, what is wrong with having several strong female leads?

  2. It's annoying, it really is - I think plans are coming in to reinvigorate the X-Men, though, and bring back most of the missing ladies. Mostly though, I blame the equal rights people - this is all Joss Whedon's fault!