Comics
Published April 14, 2023

Storm vs. Emma Frost: Their Greatest Battles in X-Men History

As Emma Frost and Storm battle for the fate of the Marvel Universe in 'Sins of Sinister,' revisit a few of their other skirmishes from X-Men history.

Storm and Emma Frost are both X-Men icons, but they were bitter enemies long before they were teammates. These two mutants originally met when Emma attacked the X-Men as the Hellfire Club’s villainous White Queen. Since their early encounters, Storm and Emma have both evolved into two of the X-Men’s most influential leaders, following each other into battle countless times. But with radically different personalities and approaches to saving mutants, Storm and Emma have a lingering rivalry that’s boiled over into full-on fights more than once. 

Now, Storm and the White Queen’s feud is the backbone for a conflict of cosmic proportions in STORM AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF MUTANTS (2023) #3 by Al Ewing, Alessandro Vitti, Rain Beredo, and VC's Ariana Maher, which takes place 1,000 years into the twisted future of SINS OF SINISTER. With these two X-Women facing off in their most brutal battle ever, let’s take a look back at some of the most memorable encounters between Storm and the White Queen.

EMMA FROST VS. THE X-MEN

Emma Frost met the X-Men when she debuted in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #129 by Chris Claremont, John Byrne, and Terry Kevin Austin. At the start of the iconic “Dark Phoenix Saga,” Frost bumped into Storm and her teammates while trying to recruit Kitty Pryde as a student at the Hellfire Club’s Massachusetts Academy. As the X-Men worked on convincing Kitty to join them at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters instead, Frost and her soldiers kidnapped Storm, Wolverine, and Colossus by knocking them out with a telepathic bolt. 

While Mastermind tried to use his illusion powers to lure Phoenix into joining the Hellfire Club, the White Queen subjected Storm to brutal telepathic probes in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #131 by Claremont, Byrne, and Austin. When Cyclops, Phoenix, and Dazzler team broke into the Hellfire compound to rescue their teammates, Frost started to erase Storm’s mind. However, Phoenix found Frost and attacked her with a massive blast of psychic energy that leveled the Hellfire Club building. While Storm and Phoenix emerged from the rubble, they mistakenly believed that Frost was dead.

STORM AND WHITE QUEEN’S BODY SWAP

After their first encounter left Storm traumatized, Ororo Munroe and Emma Frost experienced one of their most intense conflicts when they swapped bodies in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #151-152 by Chris Claremont, Jim Sherman, Bob McLeod, and Joe Rubinstein. After Frost recovered from Phoenix's attack, she tried to get her revenge on the X-Men by manipulating Kitty Pryde’s parents into transferring the young mutant to her Massachusetts Academy. When Storm drove Kitty there, Frost captured her and used the Hellfire Club’s Persona Exchange Module to swap their minds. 

With Storm’s body, the White Queen reveled in her new powers as she tried to infiltrate the X-Men. Meanwhile, as Storm adjusted to Frost’s body and telepathic powers, she rescued Kitty and escaped from the Hellfire compound. After a brief skirmish with Storm, Emma lost control of her weather-manipulating powers in the middle a confrontation with the X-Men. By drawing on her conversations with Jean Grey about telepathy, Storm built a psychic rapport with Emma and calmed the wild weather around them. 

Storm used the machine to swap her and Emma’s minds back into their natural bodies and attacked the White Queen with a powerful lightning bolt. Although the enraged Storm came close to killing Emma, Wolverine convinced her to stand down. While Kitty remained at Xavier's, the X-Men ultimately let Emma return to her school.

X-TREME X-MEN VS. EMMA FROST

Despite her villainous past, Emma Frost eventually joined the X-Men and became a trusted teacher at the Xavier Institute. Around this time, Storm formed an independent team that tried to work more closely with human law enforcement and existing legal frameworks. When one young mutant sought refuge at Xavier’s school after he was accused of murder, Storm and Emma clashed again in X-TREME X-MEN (2001) #22 by Chris Claremont and Salvador Larroca.

When Storm’s team suspected the young teleporter Jeffrey Garrett of killing seven people, Emma tried to block their investigation while under the influence of telepathic predator Elias Bogan, who had kept Jeffrey imprisoned at his Alaskan home. Although she was still haunted by their earlier encounters, Storm traveled to the X-Mansion and confronted Emma, who struck her with a psychic blast and tried to telepathically control her mind. As their long-simmering tensions finally came to a head, Storm struck Emma with a lightning bolt and pinned her against a wall with hurricane-force winds. When Emma shifted into her diamond form, Storm threatened to shatter her before relenting. 

Although Storm felt betrayed when Emma joined the X-Men, Ororo told her old enemy that she owed her the chance to prove herself as an X-Man. After starting to argue about what to do with Jeffrey, the mutant leaders jumped into action together when Bogan took several students hostage. Xavier ultimately decided to keep Jeffrey at the school, but this incident led Storm to accept Emma as part of the X-Men, despite their differences.

AVENGERS VS. X-MEN 

Although Storm and Emma were never particularly close, they served together on multiple X-Men teams and even advised each other on a few occasions. But after Emma bonded with a portion of the Phoenix Force in AVENGERS VS. X-MEN, the overwhelming cosmic power of the Phoenix turned the telepath and the rest of the Phoenix Five into tyrants who tried to reshape the world in their image. After the Phoenix-controlled Emma and Cyclops turned against their fellow mutants, the X-Men teamed up with the Avengers to take them down in AVENGERS VS. X-MEN (2012) #11 by Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel, and Mark Morales.  

While Xavier confronted Cyclops, Storm struck the Phoenix-empowered Emma with a massive lightning bolt, quipping that she had been waiting to do that again for years. As the battle waged on around them, Emma and Storm traded a few more blows before the Hulk tried to crush the telepath. 

Ultimately, Cyclops siphoned off Emma’s Phoenix power as he fell into the Dark Phoenix persona. While Storm remained dedicated to the X-Men and Xavier’s school following this event, Emma joined the more militaristic faction of X-Men and occasionally slipped into outright villainy once more.

SINS OF SINISTER

Storm and Emma Frost teamed up again on the Quiet Council, where they helped lead the mutant nation Krakoa and took a mutual interest in Pryde and her Marauders. However, that positive working relationship did not last into the distant future of SINS OF SINISTER

After Mister Sinister killed Emma, Xavier, Exodus, and Hope Summers, he corrupted Krakoa’s resurrection process by genetically inserting his personality into them so that, when they were revived, they would return to life as his agents. Together, they took over Krakoa and conquered the world in Sinister’s name, but Emma and the rest of the Sinister Quiet Council ultimately rebelled against Sinister and forged a cosmic empire of their own. Over time, their mutual enemies died or faded into obscurity, and the members of the Sinister Quiet Council started feuding with each other instead. 

After 1,000 years, Emma absorbed the power of the god Cyttorak and established herself as the Red Queen, the Empress of the Red Diamond. After Sinister and Storm’s surviving Arakki allies resurrected Storm with a limited set of memories, the Red Queen attacked her old rival for the last time in STORM AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF MUTANTS (2023) #3 by Al Ewing, Alessandro Vitti, Rain Beredo, and VC's Ariana Maher

As her army attacked the last remnants of Arakko, Emma took control of a giant diamond mech designed in her image. But with a final power boost from Khora of the Burning Heart, Storm summoned a massive bolt of cosmic lightning that destroyed Emma and her machine with the force of a nuclear strike. However, the attack burned out Storm’s new body, and she perished shortly thereafter. Although this fight did not involve either Storm or Emma in their purest form, this battle proves that these two X-Men could turn back into rivals at any time.

Witness Storm and Emma Frost's greatest battle yet in STORM AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF MUTANTS (2023) #3, on sale now!

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