Let's be clear: no one messes with Emma Frost. She is one of the coolest, boldest, and most sophisticated characters in the entire X-franchise. Able to turn her skin into diamonds, her power set seems appropriate given her unflinching confidence and rich appetites.
For all that can be said about her, a lot of details about this complicated character's life are shrouded in mystery. She seems like a tangle of contradictions (and maybe she is) but that's just because she's such a complex character. At different times, Emma has been a villain and a hero, rich and down on her luck. Here are ten things about the Hellfire Club's White Queen that everyone forgets.
10 She Cares About Her Kids
Emma has a tough exterior. She's condescending, manipulative, sarcastic, and more than a little sadistic at times. She also genuinely cares about people, especially her students.
The best quality in Emma might very well be her devotion to those pupils in her care. She has insights into how to help them and is very protective of their well being. When writer Grant Morrison first brings her into the pages of his New X-Men series, he introduces her as a teacher first and foremost. Her cynical worldview and libertine attitudes have resulted in some unorthodox lessons, but there's nothing she wouldn't do for the kids in her care.
9 Ethics Classes
There is no delicate way to put this: the White Queen of the Hellfire Club teaches Ethics classes. Yes, a former supervillain whose virtues seem built around how best to enjoy half of the Seven Deadly Sins teaches Ethics to children. This is both terrifying and hilarious to contemplate.
After the X-Men split into two groups at the end of the Schism storyline, Kitty Pryde starts teaching her own Ethics classes at the new Jean Grey School for Gifted Youngsters. As shown in Wolverine and the X-Men, Kitty's class description in the syllabus says "Forgetting Everything You Ever Learned From Emma Frost."
8 Kitty Pryde HATES Her
If that last class description is not enough to make it clear, Kitty Pryde hates Emma Frost. In the event that Emma ever catches fire, Kitty will probably resist the urge to throw gasoline on the fire, but definitely is unlikely to put out the blaze without at least offering a snarky comment.
As Kitty tells Emma at one point, it all started on Kitty's first ever mission with the X-Men when she and her friends were kidnapped by the White Queen and the rest of the Hellfire Club back during the events of the Dark Phoenix Saga. To Kitty, Emma is the face of evil. To Emma, Kitty's morality is an annoying but still (probably) useful quality.
For all her faults, Emma Frost is deeply devoted to those she cares about. In the context of her students, this makes sense as she is nurturing to them. However, she is also devoted to her lovers, even long after they break up. Furthermore, she's loyal to her teammates, even when she joins opposing teams.
When Scott Summers dies, she preserves his memory by making the X-Men hallucinate him having a more glorious death. When Shaw loses his sense of self, she looks out for him. Emma always stands by those she cares for.
6 She Survived A Genocide
Grant Morrison's New X-Men is considered one of the great modern X-books for new readers and old fans alike (though as it's fifteen years old now, maybe "modern" no longer applies). In the opening story arc, Sentinels attack the mutant island nation of Genosha, killing everyone there.
Almost everyone, that is. Emma Frost manages to survive the genocide due to her diamond skin. This is a shock to her as much as anyone else, and while she may pretend to be okay, she is still haunted by the memory of staggering out of the wreckage of a demolished building, carrying the body of a dead student in her arms.
5 Secondary Mutation
Emma's ability to turn her skin into diamond is actually a fairly new power for her. In fact, the genocide at Genosha is the first time she demonstrates this ability. Prior to this, her only power was her telepathy (though she was one of the more powerful telepaths in the world).
Nowadays, it seems obvious to fans that Emma and diamonds go together like Beast and blue fur. However, this crystalline exoskin is a power given to her by the villain Cassandra Nova. Beast's explanation about Emma's secondary mutation is the first time anyone ever discusses them in the comics.
4 Family Troubles
To say Emma's family is possessed of a frosty disposition is an understatement. The Frost family lives in a bubble, isolated from the suffering of others by their privilege (the most distinct form of that privilege being the mountains of money they've hoarded).
Substance abuse and mental health struggles are prevalent. Her father is emotionally abusive, playing the family members against each other, resulting in her sisters being cruel and petty. While her mother is prone to taking mind-altering substances with daily regularity, her brother is finally clean--though he's also living in a room with padded walls. For all that, the Frost family are highly educated and cultured, donating their wealth to prestigious events where rich elites socialize with each other.
3 Her Dominant Side
Emma Frost definitely has a kinky side. She is a licensed sex therapist and has never been hesitant about embracing her sexuality as an empowering force to both enjoy life and use to influence others. She even uses her knockout good looks to motivate students to pay attention.
One aspect about this people often overlook is that this love of kink extends to her relationship with Scott Summers. What is more, there are clues that the leader of the X-Men seems to have embraced his submissive side in their relationship. It's nice to see a strong leader like Scott respects strong women.
2 Her Fight With Iron Man
During Avengers vs. X-Men, both teams come to blows as the Phoenix flies toward Earth. The Avengers attack the X-Men's home on the island nation of Utopia off the coast of San Francisco. During this brawl, Iron Man and Emma Frost throw down with one another.
The suit Iron Man wears to battle is worth a billion dollars. Emma Frost turns her skin to diamond. The comic explicitly states that the first blow struck in this fight set the record for the most expensive punch in history! Just a little later, Emma's powers change to a point beyond being something whose value can be measured.
1 The Phoenix
The Phoenix Force is one of the most powerful forces in the cosmos--capable of giving life or destroying whole worlds. It is a force of resurrection, change, and ultimate power. Few can wield it and survive. Emma Frost is among that rare few.
While the Phoenix is most commonly associated with Jean Grey, during the events of Avengers vs. X-Men, she gains the power to control the cosmic entity. So do Cyclops, Magik, Colossus, and Namor. Known as the Phoenix Five, they eventually all relinquish their powers, but not without first doing some serious damage to the world--and to each other.