Full Name: Emma Frost
Codename: White Queen
Occupation: Former stripper and sex worker, former manager of Frost Enterprises, former member of the X-men, teacher
Advanced telepathic abilities that allow her to read minds, project her thoughts, and influence both cognitive and motor functions in others and ability to form unbreakable diamond shell around her body
History: Emma Grace Frost was born into a world of wealth and privilege that was often balanced with deceit and indulgence. The youngest of four children between Winston and Hazel Frost, she came into a family that had a history of greed and decadence. The origins of the Frost family fortune is not well-known, but it is believed to go back to the early 19th century. Over a number of successive generations, it has fluctuated. Emma Frost was born at a time when that wealth had declined from the billions to the hundreds of millions and she was motivated at a young age to build it back up.
As she grew up in this privlidged world, Emma Frost watched how this motivation manifested in her siblings. Her oldest sister, Adrienne, inherited great beauty that she often took advantage of. As early as age 15, she was exploiting men and women sexually for personal gain and was not shy about it. Her other sister, Cordelia, inherited great intelligence. She used her intellect in the same way Adrienne used her body, skipping several grades and learning quickly how to manage large sums of money. Her brother, Christian, responded differently to the motivation. Like Adrienne, he had a taste for decadence. But unlike her, he rarely did it for personal gain. For Emma, witnessing the excesses of her siblings helped set the tone for her own excesses.
As a child, she was somewhat reserved and often a mere observer. Watching her father make multi-million dollar deals and watching her siblings immerse themselves in the privileges of their world, she became hardened to the decadence. However, at an early age the consequences of such decadence struck early. Her mother, Hazel, was a heavy drinker who had grown distant from her husband and her family over the years. This was likely due to her husband’s many affairs and mistresses, which were well known. She had her own affairs, but eventually favored drinking to the point where she developed liver disease. Hazel eventually died when Emma was only eight-years-old. While much of her family handled it in a callous manner, Emma was deeply effected by this and it influenced her as she established herself in the Frost family.
Whatever emotional impact Emma may have incurred by her mother’s death was set aside as she drowned herself in study. She attended a prestigious private school along with Christian. In her studies, she attempted to match her sisters in learning business and finance. However, she often was overshadowed by Cordelia’s brilliance and Adrienne’s willingness to use her body to get ahead. This created increasing resentment as she grew up, leading Emma to become more distant and hostile towards her siblings. At around this time, however, her family began facing serious problems both financially and personally.
It started when Christian came out as gay to his family. He had been expelled from school for engaging in a relationship with one of his male teachers. It led to various arguments that led Emma to develop serious headaches, which she later determined were signs of her telepathy manifesting due to the stress. While Christian was later kicked out of the house, a much greater stress emerged when it was uncovered that nearly the entire Frost fortune had been lost. Winston Frost, unbeknown to his family, had invested their money in a risky venture that turned out to be a fraud. The loss was so great that he ended up taking his own life, shooting himself in the head with a shotgun. This was especially harsh on Emma because she unwittingly witnessed it. In doing so, the stress caused her telepathy to manifest.
Their father’s suicide and the loss of the family fortune had profound effect on the Frost family. While Emma was forced to deal with impact, her siblings focused on regaining what wealth they could. It became a scramble of sorts, essentially turning against one another. In order to get Emma out of the way, Cordelia had her committed to a mental hospital. Already traumatized and struggling to control her telepathy, Emma was essentially cast out. However, in doing so she was put into a position to break from her family entirely and rebuild her life on her terms.
Now motivated by her family’s treachery, Emma used the time in the mental hospital to re-focus her mind and control her powers. By the time she was 16, she was skilled enough to escape. Now armed with this power, she used a series of family contacts to establish herself in New York City. While there, she crossed paths with Christian. By this point, he was hardcore drug user and HIV positive. There was plenty of bitterness between them, but Christian clearly needed help. Rather than give it to him, Emma made the fateful decision to use her powers to attack him and take what money he had to rebuild her own fortune. This action would be the first of many in her pursuit of wealth.
For the next few years, Emma used the money she took from Christian and her telepathy to engage in extortion and blackmail. Being underage, she engaged in numerous sexual relationships that put powerful men in compromising positions. She exploited those position to their full effect. But her activities didn’t go unnoticed. Eventually, her actions drew the attention of a mysterious group known as the Inner Circle. This group reached out to Emma and led her down a new path that led to even greater deviance.
Not much is known about the Inner Circle, but they are known to wield a great deal of power and wealth. It was far beyond anything the Frost family had acquired and being so driven, Emma embraced the opportunity. It began when she was approached by a man who called himself the Black King. He trained her and taught her the ways of the Inner Circle. This first involved Emma going through a vast array of cosmetic surgery that included breast implants, skin treatments, hair removal, and face-lifts to enhance her appearance to ideal proportions.
The next step involved her becoming a stripper and sex worker at the Hellfire Club, a high end strip club that was frequented by New York’s wealthy elite. Part of this process involved her training both physically and mentally to be skilled both in terms of sex and telepathy. She is believed to have been trained in these various talents by a mysterious woman who called herself the Black Queen. It is not known what this training entailed, but Emma appeared to master it and even developed a new power in the process that allowed her to form a diamond hard shell. This is what gave her the stage name White Queen and by all accounts, she was very skilled at her job. Using both her powers and her body, she extracted secrets from men and women alike. She also frequently indulged in the Inner Circle’s decadent ceremonies, which put her on the fast track to join their ranks. However, this path was interrupted when she met up with the X-men.
During a meeting of wealthy families in New York, Emma attempted to seduce Charles Xavier. She failed, but Xavier managed to overpower her telepathic talents and uncover her role with the Inner Circle. Rather than fight her, he offered to help her. He believed that there was good in her that the Inner Circle hadn’t realized. At first, Emma scoffed at the notion. But Xavier remained in constant contact with her after the incident. His influence would affect her profoundly because shortly after, she was approached by the Black King. He offered her a chance to become his Queen. He revealed himself to be Sebastian Shaw, a very wealthy man with a very devious history. He also prepared a final test of sorts. It’s not clear what this test entailed, but in the end Emma refused Shaw’s offer. Outraged, he attempted to punish her for her defiance. Emma tried to run and would have been captured, but Charles Xavier sensed her distress and the X-men rescued her.
She was left jaded, disgusted with herself for what she almost became. Once again rejected from the decadent world of wealth and indulgence, Emma accepted Xavier’s offer to build a new life with the X-men. While not a regular on missions, she became Xavier’s financier and used her knowledge of money to build his wealth. It is believed that much of this wealth helped build the Xavier Institute facilities as the X-men evolved. During that time, she reassessed many of the values that her family and the Inner Circle had instilled. She remained bitter at first, but her outlook was later influenced heavily by an unexpected lover in Scott Summers.
The relationship began shortly after Emma joined the institute. Having been heavily involved in her rescue, Emma showed only a superficial intrigue in Scott. At first he was a means of satisfying her physical desires and providing companionship that was the opposite of what she had experienced. His influence on her helped her in rebuilding her jaded spirit. While Scott was deeply smitten with her, Emma didn’t fall in love with him initially. However, she eventually did. But by then, Jean Grey began influencing his heart. It created some tension for a while, but that tension was overshadowed by the re-emergence of her past misdeeds.
Despite maintaining a low profile with the X-men, Sebastian Shaw tracked her down. He later reached out to her and for reasons not clear, he forced her to quit the X-men. She didn’t divulge the details to Scott, Professor Xavier, or her teammates. But for whatever leverage Shaw utilized, it worked and Emma left the X-men. Shaw didn’t give her any other tasks aside from staying away from the X-men. In that time, Emma got a new job at an up and coming hedge fund in New York where she quickly rose in the ranks. She cut off most of her ties with the X-men, choosing instead to drown her bitterness in business.
However, Shaw eventually returned to her life and used his leverage over her to attack the X-men during the Phoenix affair. While an unwitting participant, the subsequent defeat of Shaw and the Inner Circle allowed Emma Frost to once again break away from their decadent world and establish a new ambitious pursuit, the details of which are unknown at the time.
Character Breakdown: Emma Frost displays a very superficial and material-centered personality. She places a great deal of emphasis on her outward appearance and the material wealth she acquires. Her various goals and pursuits are often tied to the acquisition and maintenance of her looks and wealth. Such pursuits result in a persona that is driven, controlled, and focused. It isn’t enough for Emma to merely be good at her pursuits. She strives to master them as a means of setting herself apart. This in part drives the arrogant and coarse nature of her personality. It is indicative of a persona that is heavily motivated by hedonistic tendencies. However, this aspect of Emma’s persona is only part of her mentality. Were the circumstances of her life different, that personality would be much more prominent. But a number of those circumstances have resulted in traits that balance this superficial materialism with a strong sense of selfless dedication and a capacity for altruism.
Emma’s persona is largely influenced by two significant circumstances. The first is the influence of her family. The Frost family and the environment they came from embodies an extremes of the wealthy upper class. Her family inherited most of their money and either sought to earn more or exploit it. Many of Emma’s siblings followed this legacy. For a time, Emma did as well. But being ill-equipped both physically and mentally to compete with her sisters put her in a position to be somewhat jaded by this world. This uncertainty would later be the key to the second circumstance that influenced her, namely the X-men. They offered her a way out of the world created by her family and the Inner Circle. Because of those uncertainties, Emma took that chance and came to learn a different way of reaching her goals. Along the way, many of these goals had to be re-assessed. It caused her to become more repulsed by the world she came from, instilling in her a desire to both rise above them and ensure others don’t follow a similar path.
Given the extremes of Emma’s circumstances and the lengths she’s had to go to in order to balance them, she is often forced to maintain strong control over her emotions and her mind. This in part is what helps her manage her telepathy. It also manifests in her diamond hard shell, which allows her to stop feeling too much when she’s overwhelmed. Because of what she had to escape with her family and the Inner Circle, Emma maintains strong control over her faculties. She’s not prone to being influenced, manipulated, or bullied. This creates a very tough mindset and one that allows her to confront the challenges thrust before her better than most could in her position.