As one of the most formidable psionic Mutants out there, Emma Frost is a Hellfire Club villain turned X-Man that uses her telepathic abilities and skills at manipulation to protect others, especially her fellow brethren.
A Manipulated Childhood
Emma Grace Frost grows up in a wealthy old Boston mercantile family, a family that arrived from England in the 1600s. As a teenager, Emma’s mutant mental powers manifest when she subconsciously uses them to excel at school, picking up ideas and thoughts from her classmates.
Achieving academic success, either through the use of her powers or by her father’s influence over the headmistress, Emma receives a peer teaching position by her teacher Ian Kendall, with whom she’s infatuated. When Emma tells her father, Winston, she wants to become a teacher, he becomes enraged, believing that Kendall had influenced Emma; Winston then manipulates events to have Kendall fired.
Realizing her father and sisters were dishonest schemers, Emma becomes deceitful herself. In an effort to teach Emma not to play his manipulative games, her father retaliates by manipulating Emma’s brother Christian (to whom Emma was close), eventually driving the young man to attempt suicide and turn to drugs. When Winston decides to choose a worthy heir to the family fortune, he picks Emma. Surprisingly, she refuses, choosing to make her own way through life.
Emma soon becomes romantically involved with Troy Killkelly, but discovers he owes money to Lucien, a local loan shark. Emma then becomes entangled in a kidnapping scheme to blackmail her father for money, and when it fails, Lucien kills Troy. Emma uses her powers to turn her captors against each other, then escapes and claims the ransom for herself. Beginning a new life as an Empire State University student in New York City, she uses the ransom money to give herself a makeover, including breast implants and bleaching her hair blonde.
During massive anti-mutant hysteria at the university, Emma defeats another telepath, Astrid Bloom, by instantaneously learning all of her training. After graduating, she inherits a good deal of wealth, but most of her large fortune results from her professional success. She ascends rapidly to the upper echelon of the business world on her keen intelligence, drive and personal charm, as well as the secret use of her mental powers.
Emma Frost has vast psionic powers. She can read minds and project her thoughts into the minds of others within a roughly 20-mile radius. Frost can also psionically manipulate the minds of others (for example, to make herself seem invisible), and project illusions into them. She can emit psionic force bolts that have no physical effects but can affect a victim’s mind so as to cause pain or unconsciousness. She can also induce mental pain merely by touching her victim’s brow and can cause temporary mental and/or physical paralysis, loss of particular memories or even total amnesia. At close range, Emma can manipulate almost any number of minds for such simple feats; however, she can only fully possess another being’s mind one at a time, and only if she is within that being’s physical presence. Emma can telepathically cause others to stop their hearts and “sedate” unconscious/sleeping victims so as to perpetuate that state of consciousness for as long as she wills it. It is unknown how effective her “sedating” ability is on victims who are awake. She can rearrange a person’s brain engrams so that they cannot be detected psionically or by mutant-detecting technology.
Emma can also sense the presence of other Mutants within a small radius of herself by perceiving their distinct mental radiations. In order to detect the presence of Mutants beyond this radius, she must amplify her powers. She often does this by using Cerebro, a device that is sensitive to the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that contains mental frequencies. Emma can project her astral form, the sheath of her life essence, onto abstract dimensions congruent to our own known as astral planes. There, she can use her powers to create ectoplasmic objects; however, she cannot engage in long-range astral projection on the earthly plane.
Emma can convert her entire body into an organic diamond-hard form at will, granting her enhanced speed and superhuman strength (lifting approximately 2 tons), endurance, and a high degree of resistance to bodily harm. Despite this, she can be damaged or even shattered if a projectile strikes a weak point at the proper angle with sufficient force. The transformation to diamond is virtually instantaneous, and she can remain in that form for an undetermined amount of time until she consciously wills herself back to normal; however, she reverts back to her normal form if she is rendered unconscious. Emma cannot become partially or selectively armored and her body gains additional mass from a presumably extradimensional source when she transforms. In diamond form, she can survive extremes of temperature from 70 degrees above absolute zero (-390 degrees Fahrenheit) to approximately 7362 Fahrenheit before melting. Her diamond body is virtually tireless since it does not produce fatigue-building poisons. While in diamond form, her body possesses light reflecting and transmitting properties, known as adamantine luster, which suppress her telepathic abilities. Emma’s diamond body also emits ultraviolet fluorescence, which triggers photons that end up as molecular vibrations. These vibrations are weakened by Wakandan Vibranium by disrupting her body’s vibrations and slowly reverting it to human form.
Emma is a superb businesswoman, an electronics expert and a skilled inventor of electronic devices utilizing psionic energy for various effects. She devised the mechanism by which her Hellfire Club cohort Jason Wyngarde, AKA Mastermind, projected his illusions directly into the mind of the Phoenix Force; the Hallucinator, used to induce hypnotic hallucinations to brainwash others; a gun-like device enabling her to exchange minds with another person; and her own mutant detector capable of monitoring the psionic levels of Mutants.
During Emma’s upbringing, she learns from her domineering father Winston to be manipulative, and they go head to head at times. When Emma attends high school and shows interest in her teacher, Ian Kendall, and in teaching as well, Winston blackmails her by threatening to destroy Kendall’s career and then does so anyway.
Trevor Fitzroy of Reality-1191 uses Sentinels to attack Emma Frost and her Hellions. The attack puts Emma into a coma for a time and the Sentinels slaughter some of her students.
Emma briefly allies with the Cabal led by Norman Osborn, AKA Green Goblin, a group that wants to control the superhuman community, but secretly undermines his plans and defeats his agenda. She also aids the X-Men in defeating Madelyne Pryor and her Sisterhood.
After the Inhumans release Terrigen clouds and one of them kills Cyclops, Emma creates a hero’s death by projecting an image of Cyclops and has it battle and die by the Inhuman King Blackagar Boltagon, AKA Black Bolt. She then incites the X-Men to go to war with them and After the Inhuman Queen Medusalith Amaquelin Boltagon, AKA Medusa, realizes how the Terrigen clouds affect Mutants, she destroys it. Emma’s anger over Cyclops’ death outweighs this positive development and she releases Sentinels upon the Inhumans. The Inhumans and X-Men team up and defeat Emma but she’s saved by Alex Summers, AKA Havok, in memory of his fallen brother.
Merry Mutant Allies
Born to Winston and Hazel Frost, Emma grows up in a manipulative environment alongside her sisters, Cordelia and Adrienne, and her brother Christian. Having a mind for business and learning how to manipulate people from her father and siblings, Emma inherits his company Frost International and serves as chairman and CEO.
She later works under the scrupulous Hellfire Club alongside mutant Sebastian Shaw. Together they stage a coup and seize control of the Hellfire Club’s Council of the Chosen, renaming it the Inner Circle. Frost becomes the new White Queen, Shaw the Black King. Under their leadership, Mutants dominate the Inner Circle. Emma starts a school, Massachusetts Academy and recruits genetically-gifted youngsters. She helps them hone their abilities and most become members of the Hellions, Emma’s first mutant super-team.
Emma often crosses paths with the X-Men and the New Mutants as their adversary. But when she is attacked by Fitzroy and Sentinels kill her students, she allows X-Men’s founder, Charles Xavier, AKA Professor X, to merge her school with his, the Xavier Institute. After recovering from her coma, she becomes headmistress and works alongside X-Man Sean Cassidy, AKA Banshee, to train Generation X, a new group of young Mutants.
Later, Emma mentors the telepathic quintuplets known as the Stepford Cuckoos, who are actually five of Emma’s Sublime-harvested genetic “daughters”: Esme, Sophie, Celeste, Mindee, and Phoebe. Esme though telepathically forces Barnell Bohusk, AKA Beak to kill Emma but Emma is saved by Jean-Grey Summers, AKA Phoenix).
Despite her time as the White Queen, she eventually gains the trust of the X-Men and shares leadership of the school with X-Man Scott Summers, AKA Cyclops. Emma falls in love with and shares a romantic relationship with Scott while he’s married to Jean. This affair leads to tension between Emma and Jean but Jean ultimately saves Emma’s life when it’s threatened. Jean later dies and Emma continues her relationship with Scott and they run Xavier’s school together. When Jean is later resurrected, Emma and Jean work together on Krakoa, a mutant nation-state, and bury the hatchet.
She has also been a part of Norman Osborn, AKA Green Goblin’s X-Men known as the Cabal and Legion Accursed. The Cabal proves to be anti-mutant in that it seeks to control the superhuman community, and Emma leaves her membership behind but not before she upends their schemes.