Marvel’s next big X-Men event, Inhumans vs X-Men, will lead into a relaunch of titles in X-line, and—as IvX has officially kicked off—Marvel has started to release information about the various series in the upcoming rebrand. And I’ve started speculating about what role Emma Frost might play. So far, there’s very little to go on. Emma is playing a pivotal role in IvX, and I suspect that—wanting to keep her ultimate fate (failure, success, life, death, heroics, villainy) secret for the time being—her character is off limits as a topic of conversation.
But, naturally, that won’t stop me from wildly speculating.
X-Men: Gold and Blue Rosters and Creative Teams Revealed (IGN):
While details on [X-Men: Gold]’s story are minimal, we know that Kitty will be returning from her adventures with the Guardians of the Galaxy to help the X-Men rebound after their war with the Inhumans. The first big threat they will face will be a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants with members that [Marc] Guggenheim says ought to surprise readers.
If Marvel has decided to make Emma a villain again, this would be my best bet for where she ends up: headlining a new generation of the Brotherhood of Mutants. With her years spent as a member of the Hellfire Club, she certainly has the pedigree for the Brotherhood. Nevertheless, while I could see it, I don’t think it’s the best use of her. She’s been a hero far longer than she’s been a villain (she was sporadically a villain for fifteen years and consistently a hero for twenty), and being a hero—specifically a hero who fights for mutant children—is far more ingrained in her personality than being a villain is.
(As a side-note, I’m a little uneasy about Guggenhein’s comments on trying to justify racism against mutants in the 21st century and using the Brotherhood to explore why people would still hate and fear them. It’s a potentially interesting take on the philosophical heart of the X-Men series—the measured debate between the respective merits of revolution and reform—but, based on this description, it feels like the series might lean too heavily in the direction of vilifying revolutionary tactics. In the context of modern-day US politics, where protest is a deeply contested freedom, the conflict might come off as tone deaf. It’s not necessarily a bad tack to take, but it’s going to require some finesse, and it could easily go very wrong, I think.)
And then there’s X-Men Blue…
[X-Men: Blue] will mark Jean Grey’s first time taking charge as a leader of the X-Men. Currently she is a member of Storm’s Extraordinary X-Men team, while the other original X-Men are on a roadtrip across the nation with Genesis, Oya, and Wolverine (Laura Kinney), but she’ll make the decision to re-assemble the team and step up as leader in the aftermath of Inhumans vs. X-Men.
“Jean is really the catalyst for bringing them all together. She gets this new team back together and Jean actually takes the leadership role. I kind of feel like readers of X-Men have always felt that Jean was supposed to be the leader of the team. And now Jean is definitely taking the leadership role in this group,” Bunn said.
We asked if the story would explore young Jean’s relationship with the Phoenix Force, but Bunn declined to give comment.
If, on the other hand, Emma is not going to turn out to be a villain, it’s not unreasonable to suppose she’ll turn up here from time to time considering her relationship with Jean Grey (more on that below).
EXCLUSIVE: Generation X Creative Team, Roster Revealed (CBR):
Christina Strain: And then we’ve got Benjamin Deeds. The best thing that’s ever happened to that kid was Emma Frost steamrolling all over him in Atlantic City. I want more of that. And then maybe afterwards, for him to grow a fully-formed spine.
This probably has no bearing on the series, but you never know. It’s encouraging, however, to see Strain speak so glowingly of Emma. She was the best thing that ever happened to Benjamin Deeds, and she has a long and storied past with the Generation X crew.
ICEMAN Creative Team Talks the X-MEN Hero’s First Ongoing Series and Coming Out (Nerdist):
Despite being one of Marvel’s fabled “Twelve” (their upper echelon of the most powerful mutants), Iceman has never really seemed all that powerful. Sometimes his powers are crazy and off the charts, but most of the time they’re just kind of adequate. On the subject of whether or not the new Iceman series would definitively address Bobby’s power levels, [Sina] Grace said, “With this series, you’ll see how much knowing yourself and understanding yourself helps inform the scope of your abilities, both as a human being and also as a superhero. We are gonna play with it to be sure, because this guy is an Omega Level mutant at the end of the day.”
And just how does Bobby Drake see himself as a hero? Despite being considered an “Omega Level” mutant, he’s never fulfilled his true potential.
Way back in Uncanny X-Men vol. 1, no. 314 (1994), Emma used Bobby’s powers in ways he’d never even imagined were possible. They went on to have a very frank (and very intense) conversation about her use of his powers in Uncanny no. 331 (1996). If he’s serious about fulfilling his true potential—and if Marvel are going the hero rather than villain route with Emma—getting back in touch with her would probably be a good start to that project.
JEAN GREY’s First-Ever Ongoing Is Coming (And So Is THE PHOENIX) (Newsarama):
“It’s a sort of trials of Hercules story. Jean gets a premonition of sorts. She’s told the Phoenix is back in play and that the Earth is doomed unless Jean Grey can step up,” [Dennis] Hopeless tells Newsarama. “Unfortunately, the Jean Grey we have is a wildly unprepared teenager. Our Jean needs to level up in a hurry. She needs to step into those huge shoes and become the full grown badass we all know she will eventually. So… she straps in and heads out to get some life experience.”
If Emma is going to fit in anywhere in the new X-Verse, I think this series is the best and most logical place for her to be. The Jean Grey title could provide an opportunity to explore the burgeoning friendship that was starting to form between Emma and Jean during Bendis’ run on All-New X-Men. Additionally, if Jean is looking to get trained up to confront the Phoenix force, Emma Frost is an ideal candidate to serve as her mentor given that she a) has the most controlled mind on the planet and b) has worked with Jean before on honing her abilities, and c) has real-life experience of being possessed by the Phoenix.
Additionally, here’s what Hopeless had to say about his preparation…
“The first thing I reread was Brian Michael Bendis’s All-New X-Men run… I’m obviously pretty familiar with it, but Teen Jean was born there and I want to make sure I have her,” Hopeless continued. “I love the Scott/Jean/Emma triangle from Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s New X-Men. I pulled that back out. Then a ton of Classic Claremont issues. I don’t clean my office very often so I was actually able to pull out my X-Men: Season One Jean notes (from five years ago) which helped a lot. I’ll keep reading stuff as we go to make sure we’re not leaving any cool on table.”
Although Grey will be front-and-center in her solo title, her teammates from the upcoming X-Men: Blue will appear, as well as some more obscure choices inside and outside the X-sphere.
So Hopeless is definitely familiar with Bendis’ take on the Emma/Jean relationship, and is generally interested in the history of that relationship. Furthermore, with his plan to bring in the members of the Blue team (who are all male), he really needs to incorporate more female characters, and Emma is the obvious choice. I only hope that, should Hopeless bring Emma into the series, he won’t rehash the Scott/Jean/Emma triangle because ew.
ResurrXion Files: Weapon X (Marvel.com)
Marvel.com: Will the team come up against any familiar foes or team up with any friendly faces?
Greg Pak: I’m not quite at liberty to disclose anything beyond our team just yet, but I can say for sure there will be some familiar faces and some totally new surprises. That’s always the most fun way for me to tackle: drawing some fun stuff from classic continuity while creating new threats from new angles. But who exactly is the figure behind this new Weapon X program? That’s a big part of the ongoing mystery of the book.
As with Generation X, there’s very little to go on here. However, the Weapon X creative team (Greg Pak and Greg Land) is the same team that headed the 2005 X-Men: Phoenix – Endsong miniseries, which featured Emma as a major character, so they are familiar with her at least. If she’s still in the mix after IvX, an anti-hero series would be a good place for her to turn up from time to time.
Originally posted (in a slightly modified form) here.