Welcome, X-Fans, to another uncanny edition of X-Men Monday at AiPT! And yes, darlings, this week is all about Emma Frost. All hail the Black King!
Since the very first call for X-Men Monday questions, X-Fans have inundated AiPT! with tweets about their beloved Ms. Frost. With Emma set to make her long-awaited return to the pages of Uncanny X-Men this week, it felt like the perfect time to talk about the current leader of the Hellfire Club with X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White.
AiPT!: Let’s kick things off with thedefaultlocation’s (@defaultlocation) question: What are your favorite Emma Frost stories?
Jordan: I think pretty much anything she was in written by either Grant Morrison or Kieron Gillen is awesome. Reading Grant’s book is what made me first start liking her–I didn’t read Generation X when it was coming out, so I missed the boat on her in that series. But yeah, in New X-Men she was definitely a really interesting character. I really loved the revelation of Cyclops cheating on Jean with her, and I’ve enjoyed all the developments to come from that. Both Grant and Kieron gave her such a great attitude and made her feel really real. I have said so many times how much I loved Kieron’s Extinction Team Uncanny X-Men series (which I still think was kind of a secret New Brotherhood book) and I think Emma was one of the highlights of the series. And I think her and Scott falling out during AVX in the Uncanny tie-in issues might be one of the best parts of the whole event.
Oh, and you know–I also enjoyed reading her solo series, her origin series. It was a really different kind of book for Marvel, and I am glad it got to come out while there was a chance to do so.
Jordan: That was all Leah. I reached out to her about writing an Emma one-shot, and she came back with that being what she wanted to do with it. I thought it sounded terrific, so we made it happen. Working on that issue was a real delight.
AiPT!: Jumpyshark (@Jumpyshark) said that Emma is a psychic, a teacher, she weaponizes her femininity, she can be both cruel and loving, and she is businesswoman who isn’t afraid to throw down in a fight. Do you think her multifaceted character is difficult to convey in limited panel time?
Jordan: Oh yeah, for sure. That’s why, even though I have said in the past (much to Emma fans’ chagrin) that I don’t prefer her as an X-Man… when asked for my favorite Emma stories, I name stories where she is an X-Man. Because she is complicated, and she needs room to breathe to really show off how interesting she is. And I still think I prefer her not on the X-Men team, I think she is better suited to doing things her own way, which is not the way I think the X-Men are meant to go about them. The X-Men Black one-shot is a good example of that–she’s the main character, and she gets done what she needs to, but she doesn’t do it as a member of the X-Men. Indeed, she gets the X-Men to help her achieve her goals in a way they are not sure how to feel about. They were used… but to achieve something that is probably a good thing? Plus, they got gift baskets, which was a delightful touch on Leah’s part.
But yeah, as we move forward, how to strike that balance–giving Emma, one of the best characters in X-Men, the screen time she needs to show off how great she is without necessarily putting her on the traditional X-Men team–is something we have put a lot of thought into. And I am probably not talking about the story you think I am talking about.
AiPT!: tired (@PixelGengar) said Emma is one of the wealthiest mutants. Given her firm stance on Mutant rights, how does she use this wealth to further the cause?
Jordan: Great question. And there are plans to explore exactly that in a comic you don’t know about yet.
AiPT!: Uncannily yours, (@MarvelMan616) said we hear a lot about how the New Mutants and Kitty feel about Emma, and it leans heavy in the negative, but we haven’t had much in the way of how her Generation X students feel about her. Do you think they recall their time as troubled as the New Mutants did or do they have a fonder take?
Jordan: I think the Gen X folks do have more of a fondness for her. Again, as we’ve been discussing, Emma is a complicated character. If you’re her enemy, it’s easy to just see her in a bad light and hate her. If you’re on her side… she isn’t an easy person to be friends with, she can be cold, she can be pushy, she can be a jerk and make you feel awful about yourself… but under that, you can come to see what is underneath. I think her Generation X kids, and later some of her X-charges, were with her long enough to see what is behind the mask.
AiPT!: Hussy (@Hussy28733480) wanted to know how you see Xavier’s relationship with Emma?
Jordan: To me, it looks like Charles respects her in many ways but thinks she is misguided in how she goes about things. I think that’s why every once in a while he has reached out to try to give her a push in the right direction. It’s not dissimilar to his relationship with Magneto, except I think Emma is less prone to the occasional psychotic outburst, so Charles doesn’t consider her quite as dangerous as Erik. But yes, I think he knows that at heart she wants to help her people and teach the future generation… I just think he has a few notes on her methods.
AiPT!: What were your initial thoughts on secondary mutations like Emma’s and have they changed since you joined the X-Office?
Jordan: I kind of hate them? I’ve said many times how much I enjoyed Morrison’s X-Men, but secondary mutations are one thing I wasn’t big on. They just seemed too unfocused and random. Sometimes they were just an amplification of the mutant’s regular powers (like Iceman being able to become ice instead of just covered by it) but other times, as with Emma, it seems completely random and unrelated.
That said–I would not dream of taking Emma’s diamond form away from her. It is by far the most well-received secondary mutation, and pretty immediately became a huge part of her.
AiPT!: X-Men but Gay (@xmenbutgay) asked what was the impetus behind the return of Christian Frost, and does his return factor into any future plans besides Sina Grace’s now-finished story?
Jordan: I believe that was Sina’s idea, but I could be wrong. I know that Christian’s appearance in that story was already in place when I first read an outline for the series, so it definitely was put in place when Sina and the editor of that book, Darren Shan, planned things out. It’s possible that Darren suggested Christian, but I couldn’t say for sure. As for his future, he’s established in the X-Men world now, so who knows when he might pop up again.
AiPT!: As AiPT! is a Boston-based website, we had to ask Te X’s (@cafenightwing) question: How heavy is Emma’s real Boston accent and does it come out when she’s angry?
Jordan: When she’s decked out for a Pats game, enjoying a grinder, and Brady blows a sketchy pass, it can get wicked heavy while she whips the clicker at the set.
AiPT!: What happened to that helmet Emma put on at the end of Inhumans Vs. X-Men and never wore again?
Jordan: I can only assume the internet made snide remarks about it and she quietly had it destroyed.
AiPT!: We covered X-Couples last week, and you know Emma and Cyclops is a favorite X-Romance for many X-Fans. So, without spoiling too much, how juicy will the long-awaited reunion between Emma and Scott be in upcoming issues of Uncanny X-Men?
Jordan: Who the hell is Emma Frost?
AiPT!: She got to you too… OK, fine. Jordan, what song makes you think of Emma Frost?
Jordan: A toughie, but here’s a go at it–this one is a classic, so I will go with a cover version I enjoy, just to change it up a little for people:
AiPT!: I’m sure the people appreciate it, Jordan. Thank you for another eXcellent week of answers and, of course, thanks to the X-Fans who submitted questions!
Next week’s X-Men Monday will be very special… but we can’t say why just yet. Head over to AiPT!’s Twitter tomorrow afternoon (May 14) for details and our latest call for questions. Don’t worry, Emma, the wait will be worth it.