ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 54: The Origins of X-Men’s Emma Frost

Emma Frost is arguably one of the most polarizing female characters in X-Men for men and women alike. After reading the 18 issues that make up the origin story — EMMA FROST by Karl Bollers, as well as FIRESTAR, GENERATION X, and UNCANNY X-MEN, we found that not everybody thoroughly enjoys her for the same reasons. The CEO of ComicsVerse, Justin Gilbert Alba, is joined by fantastic editor and contributor Jamie Rice, along with Kay Honda, Malia Knight, Brian Delpozo, and Nolan Bensen for her character analysis based on her origin story. We have an in-depth discussion that delves into her history, characterization and why she allows — and seemingly embraces — the heavily sexualized permutation of her identity. I, personally, don’t believe it can just be dismissed as “daddy-issues,” although her tenuous relationship with her father contributes to why she presents herself as the icy White Queen that can play both villainess and heroine. In fact, it is arguable that she can fulfill any role that a person desires. Although her diamond shape-shifting ability is not discussed in the origin story, it is clear that the power and control she gains over her mutation very cleverly reflect her defense mechanisms in emotional situations. She keeps what’s “hers” deep inside, while reflecting what people want of her off her appearance.

LISTEN: Want more Emma Frost? We discussed the beginning of her relationship with Cyclops at length in Grant Morrison’s NEW X-MEN podcast.

We also use excerpts from Susan Batson’s Truth: Personas, Needs, and Flaws in The Art of Building Actors and Creating Characters as a reference when analyzing Emma. These excerpts including discussing the three specific facets of her identity: The “Public Persona”(the identity she presents to everyone around her), the “Need” (the identity most authentic to the self but most vulnerable to the world), and the “Tragic Flaw” (the result of the conflict between the “Public Persona” and the “Need”).

Despite the various silly digressions, we go into analyzing her familial relationships, but also how her interactions with peers and other authority figures shape her attitudes toward trust, intimacy, and control. As a personal favorite of Justin’s, as well as various other contributors, Emma Frost is given a shot in this podcast to prove that there’s a true and personable identity and reasoning beneath all the skin, legs, and breasts. It’s easy enough to discount a female character in any medium as being a sexual play-thing at the mercy of the men around her. Fortunately, Emma is not at all such a submissive character, unless that’s what she desires at the time.

HEAR: We know you want more X-Men podcasts, and we have more to give you! Check out one of our first podcasts ever on the DARK PHOENIX SAGA!

Hope you enjoy another one of our great X-Men podcasts! Don’t forget to show us some love by leaving a comment and letting us know your thoughts! It’s your comments that help us to figure out if we’re giving you what you want!

The following members of the ComicsVerse family appeared in this podcast:
Justin Gilbert Alba, Kay Honda, Jamie Rice, Brian Delpozo, Nolan Bensen and Malia Knight.

For your convenience, the ComicsVerse Podcast is also available on iTunes!

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