As I recently wrote on a blog post, I was very disappointed in how Marvel has handled Emma Frost in recent times and I especially hated the ending of Inhumans vs X-men where I felt like they destroyed the great work and excellent characterization achieved over the past 20 years for this excellent character. Emma Frost has been over almost the past 20 years a staple of X-Men comics, a leader and one of the most iconic members of the Marvel Universe. As I reminisce over how awesome she has been I have decided that it might be therapeutic to write a post explaining why she is such an iconic character.
Like many comic characters and several X-Men members, Emma Frost was originally a villain. She was the White Queen in the Hellfire Club and played a big role in making Jean Grey become the Dark Phoenix. For years she was a thorn in the side of the X-Men although as a villain she was full of shades of grey, even taking time to open a school to teach new mutant students. Emma moved to Genosha where was one of the few survivors from the genocide that happened which resulted in the death of 16 million mutants including the students in her classroom. After this traumatic event Emma Frost would join the X-Men, becoming one of the leaders of the team, entering a relationship with Cyclops and with the death of Jean Grey she became the strongest telepath on the team. Since 2001, Emma has, until recently, been one of the figureheads of the group, leading them and guiding them through some of the most difficult times the mutant species has lived through, including House of M and the Dark Reign of Norman Osborn.
Her character throughout those years became one of the most, if not the most, entertaining ones in the X-Men cast, not a small feat in a series full of amazing characters. She proved that redemption was possible and that no matter your past deeds there was always hope someone could improve. She was a strong woman who became a partner, both romantically and professionally, to the leader of the X-Men; Scott Summers. Her relationship with Cyclops made him become more confident and improved drastically his character. She was a strong feminist characters whose wit, intelligence and prowess made all of us fall in love with her and be invested in her story. To this day her role during Utopia in which the X-Men were able to defeat Norman Osborn at the height of his powers is a personal favourite as it highlighted the intelligence, power and vulnerability behind this well written character. Another favourite moment was during Civil War, when she was able to stand toe to toe with Tony Stark, calling him out for not helping mutants during the Genosha genocide.
It is those reason and her run since 2001 that made Emma Frost such an iconic character. She followed the tradition in X-Men stories of having strong female characters. She made the stories she was involved better and was a fun, relatable character. Her latest run and her return to being a villain is disappointing to say the least but I remain hopeful that someday the character of Emma Frost will return to what made it one of the best and most iconic characters in all of comics.
The new Wonder Woman trailer just dropped on us and I have to say that beyond those weird accents it looks awesome. I have to come clean, in terms of comics I have never been too much of a fan of DC. While I do enjoy some of their comics’ especially great ones such as “The Dark Knight Returns” or “Kingdom Come”, I have always had difficulty relating to their heroes. DC characters tend to be similar to Greek gods, flawed but incredibly powerful or intelligent and for some reason that has made it difficult for me to enjoy the comics. However if there is one character that I have generally always enjoyed that has been Wonder Woman, especially her run in last 15 years.
Wonder Woman is without a doubt a comic icon and a feminist icon. She is without a doubt the most famous heroine in comics and a famous pop culture figure. Wonder Woman, at least in her most recent origin, is the daughter of Amazonian queen Hippolyta and Greek god Zeus. She was raised in Themyscira alongside the other amazonians and became an incredible powerful warrior capable of going toe to toe with Superman. She wields mighty weapons including the famous Lasso of Truth and just as Superman represents, or used to, the “America Way, she is a compassionate warrior with-god-like strength, Wonder Woman prefers peace and love to war and violence despite her incredible abilities, a contradiction that has long made her a symbol of female empowerment.
Lately she has also become an icon for LGBT as in her stories in 2016 she has officiated a same-sex wedding and has been revealed in DC Rebirth to be bisexual. Through all of this information that I have written I am trying to convey the idea that she is a character that has gone beyond the comic book media. As such it has always been a tragedy that there has been no good portrayals about her in film or TV. The arrival of her movie is in my opinion a very welcome and needed action and I have really high hopes for this movie.
Let’s all be honest, the DCEU has not been great so far. The movies have not resonated with the audience and have not enjoyed the critical success that Marvel movies have had. Whilst I do not think they are as bad as people make them to be, especially “Batman v Superman” they are still very flawed movie that in my opinion, have not been able to fully capture the magic of the characters. However with that said I believe Wonder Woman was the brightest and best part of BvS. Whenever she was on screen, she stole the scene and her role during the fight against Doomsday she was portrayed perfectly, her smiles, her joy at fighting whilst also being worried about other and being a heroine, was the essence of what has made this character so great.
It is high time we get a movie with Wonder Woman. She is a member of the Justice League and alongside Batman and Superman forms the Trinity of DC, with the three of them being the most famous characters in DC and probably all of comics. I can’t wait for this movie and I truly hope it is a good one that finally becomes the critical success the DCEU has been waiting for. On June 2nd we will find out if her character has been done justice in film.
So cards on the table today I was not expecting to write on the blog. I have been very busy with work lately and today I was exhausted and thought about going to bed earlier. Before going to bed I decided to read the last issue of Inhumans vs X-Men wondering how Marvel was going to end this crossover (the latest in a series of many, many crossovers) and after reading it I have felt compelled to write about it. I am, generally, a very positive reader of comics. I accept almost all changes as long as they make sense and I tend to go along with almost all stories as long as they respect the characters and remain true to them.
Recently in my post about Logan I mentioned how thankful I was to that movie for reminding me how much I love the X-Men. However reading the ending of this story has really made me angry and upset and feeling bleak about the X-Men. Now before I go into details let me warn you that there will be plenty of spoilers on this post so read at your own peril. That said…WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK MARVEL? The ending has completely destroyed one of the greatest X-Men characters of all time and all of the character development that they did with Emma Frost since she joined the X-Men in the 2000s has been thrown down the drain. At the end of this crossover we see an Emma Frost who once she actually accomplishes her goal of ending the terrigen mists decides to kill all the Inhumans using sentinels…and in that way the authors of this series completely destroyed all of the character development that they have done with this character. Emma Frost, the survivor of Genosha, a place where she saw her students be killed by sentinels, decided to use those machines to kill the Inhumans…it makes no sense whatsoever.
I am really sad about this decision. Marvel has lately not been able to capture the magic of the X-Men, struggling to give us good stories as they attempt to give a bigger focus on the Inhumans. However this has reached a new level. They have resorted to making Emma Frost, one of the strongest, iconic and inspiring mutant leaders into a woman who is not able to get over the death of her lover and becomes crazy about it. A feminist strong character reduced to the trope of just another crazy woman.
The great X-Men runs that we had in the 2000s by Wheedon and company in which we got awesome characters and great development both of Cyclops and of Emma Frost are slowly being deleted by Marvel. We first had to suffer through Marvel completely destroying Cyclops as a character and we now seem to be heading towards a similar fate for Emma. I loved both of this characters and their relationship as I felt that it made them stronger individually and helped them grow as a character and I won’t lie that I am saddened by how Marvel has developed things.
If things keep going this way I might have to stop reading X-Men, my favourite series, for some time and hope for the return of good stories that do not spit on the face of the characters and their development throughout the years. Whilst that day comes I will be at my home rereading some of the greatest X-Men stories and enjoying Cyclops and Emma Frost, all the time thinking to myself that Cyclops and Emma Frost were right.