Emma Grace Frost was a leading member of an old Boston mercantile family, which arrived from England in the 1600s. The second of three daughters, Emma also had an older brother, named Christian Frost, who had turned to substance abuse as an escape from the drudgery of his life. Unknown to their family or themselves, the three Frost sisters were mutants, whose telepathic abilities matured upon reaching puberty. When it came time for their father to choose a worthy heir to the family fortune, Christian was automatically dismissed due to his drug problem and because he was gay. While the older sister, Adrienne Frost, seemed the most obvious choice, their father chose Emma. Surprisingly, Emma refused, choosing to make her own way through life. Emma inherited a good deal of wealth, but most of her large fortune was the result of her business successes. Emma rose rapidly through the world of business thanks to her intelligence, drive, personal charm, and her secret use of her psionic abilities. Also, at some point, the Dark Beast met Emma, and helped her rise to wealth and power.
As a dancer/stripper at the Hellfire Club, Frost was approached by Professor Charles Xavier and Dr. Moira MacTaggart to join a new team of X-Men. When Emma refused, Professor X erased her memory of the encounter, against Kid Vulcan's judgment that Professor Xavier should have forcibly changed her mind.
Emma eventually became the majority stockholder of a multi-billion dollar conglomerate, which was been renamed Frost International after herself. Despite her youth, Emma became a chairperson of the board of Frost International and its chief executive officer. Frost International was principally involved in transportation (both the building of ships and aircraft and their use for freight and passenger transport) and electronics. Emma also became chairperson of the board of trustees of the Massachusetts Academy, a college preparatory school for grades seven through twelve located in the Berkshire Mountains in Snow Valley, Massachusetts. Frost served as the academy's headmistress and spent a great deal of her time there.
White Queen of the Hellfire Club
Emma's beauty and talents brought her an invitation to join the Hellfire Club, an elite social organization of the world's wealthy and powerful figures. Frost became the ally of Sebastian Shaw, who was a member of the Club's Council of the Chosen, a group which secretly conspired to achieve world domination through economic and political means. Like Frost, Shaw was a mutant. The Leaders of the Club and Council, it's foremost Lords Cardinal, were the White King, Edward Buckman, and the White Queen, Paris Seville. The Lords Cardinal were given titles corresponding to the names of chess pieces. Buckman threw the Council's support behind Project Armageddon, which was scientist Steven Lang's program to build Sentinel robots and have them hunt down superhuman mutants. Knowing Shaw was, himself, a mutant, Buckman told him that the Project was intended to capture superhuman mutants for use by the council in seeking power. However, Frost, through her psionic powers, learned that the Project was actually intended as a means of destroying all superhuman mutants. Together Shaw and Frost staged a coup that gave them control of the Council of the Chosen, which they renamed the Inner Circle. Shaw took the title of Black King and Frost became the new White Queen.
Under Shaw and Frost, the Inner Circle was dominated by superhuman mutants. Frost recruited young superhuman mutants and trained them in the use of their powers at her school, so that they might use those powers on the Inner Circle's behalf. Most of these mutant students were members of a team called the Hellions.
Frost first encountered the team of mutants, called the X-Men, when she attempted to recruit young mutant Kitty Pryde for her school. The Hellfire Club had hired the mercenary, Warhawk, to battle the X-Men, while leaving a device that enabled the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club to monitor the activities of Cerebro, a mutant hunting machine Professor X built. Prof. Xavier and Frost would each approach Pryde and her parents as the heads of private schools seeking to recruit her as a talented student. Neither Prof. Xavier nor Frost intended to reveal to Kitty's parents that their daughter was a mutant. While Kitty and the X-Men were at a malt shop, Frost ordered their capture and, while Kitty got away, took the X-Men to Frost International. After Kitty phoned the rest of the X-Men, Emma was defeated by the X-Men and Dazzler, another mutant the Hellfire Club was attempting to acquire.
After building the Mindtap Mechanism, a device that allowed Mastermind to beam his illusions directly into Phoenix' mind, the Phoenix fell under Mastermind and the Hellfire Club's control and transformed into the Black Queen. After the X-Men battled the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle, Phoenix underwent another transformation into the Dark Phoenix and soared through the universe.
Later, Kitty's parents reconsidered allowing her in the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters and enrolled her into the Massachusetts Academy. Emma used that opportunity to switch bodies with Storm, who had driven Kitty there, while Shaw attacked the X-Men and with a new design of Sentinels. After using Emma’s telepathy, Storm was able to gain her body back and the X-Men destroyed the Sentinels.
Later, while attempting to give Shaw an important message, Frost collapsed into a catatonic schizophrenia and remained in a coma, due to Mastermind. Emma awoke from her coma and invited Doug Ramsey to her school, bringing her back into contact with Kitty. After capturing Kitty and Doug, Emma was unaware that Kitty and Magikshared a rapport and the New Mutants came to their rescue. After having the New Mutants battle the Hellions, Kitty caused enough chaos for Magik to teleport them all away. Emma continued to have problems with Empath, her best and most reckless student, and gained a leader for her Hellions in Thunderbird, a powerful Native American who blamed Professor Xavier for the death of his brother.
While battling with the virtually omnipotent Beyonder, the New Mutants were killed, then obliterated from existence by the Beyonder and then recreated by him. In being recreated, the New Mutants, somehow, lost much of the proficiency in using their superhuman powers that they had learned at Prof. Xavier's school and seemed detached. Emma used this opportunity and sent her astral form to speak with the new headmaster, Magneto, and offered her services with rehabilitating the children. Emma also had Empath effect Magneto's emotions of fears, insecurities, paranoia, and temperament, until he transferred all of the New Mutants, except Mirage and Warlock, to the Massachusetts Academy. The New Mutants, with the exception of Magik, adjusted surprisingly well and Emma made a lot of progress in their mental therapy. Upon realizing the manipulation, Magneto raced to rescue the children and Emma placed an anonymous call to the Avengers. After the New Mutants left to rescue Magneto, Emma and Magneto worked together to cure the children of their trauma at the hands of the Beyonder and they returned to Professor Xavier's. Emma later met with Magneto, as Shaw had offered him a position in the Inner Circle.
After the New Mutant, Magma, received a letter from her father, stating that she had learned enough from the outside world and it was time to return home and marry, she fantasized life among the Hellions, at the Massachusetts Academy again. After hearing of an animal creature that was being mistreated after capture, Emma allowed the Hellions to participate in a contest with the New Mutants to abduct Bird Brain, where Magma and Empath revealed their mutual attraction to each other, and, after returning home victorious, Magma decided to return to the Massachusetts Academy. While picking-up Magma, Emma suggested to Magneto that Magma was better suited for the Massachusetts Academy and possibly some of her students were better accustomed to the Xavier's School. While living with the Hellions, Magma was ordered by her father to return home, to her arranged marriage, and Emma suggested she comply. Emma also ordered Empath to accompany Magma.
After sensing the psychic distress of a mutant Moloid, Val-Or, Emma received a message from Empath, stating that Magma had been kidnapped. After arguing with Magma's father, Emma contacted the Hellfire Club and Magneto. Emma, Magneto, and the Inner Circle left to rescue Magma, unaware that the New Mutants had already rescued her. Later, Emma contacted Magneto about a coming danger and the recklessness of his students, suggesting that he accompany her to the Hellfire Club. During the meeting, Shaw berated Magneto for his students' rash acts and Emma came to his defense. The Inner Circle battled a rein of demons that descended upon Manhattan from a portal in Times Square. After the portal was closed, the Inner Circle was approached by the demon, N'Astirh, who offered a truce with the Hellfire Club and proposed that if they would allow him Manhattan, he would give them the rest of the world.
Returning to the Xavier School, the Inner Circle and Magneto arrived just in time to save the New Mutants from the Marauder, Sabretooth, who explained that Mr. Sinister destroyed the mansion. A battle between the Inner Circle and the New Mutants began, until Magneto trapped all of the New Mutants in a metal ball. Shaw accused Magneto of having lost all of the control the Hellfire Club petitioned his membership for and the two battled. After defeating Shaw, Shaw stated to the other Inner Circle members that if Magneto stayed, then he would not and Emma stated that his funding of the Sentinels inadvertently created Nimrod and killed Harry Leland and Friedrich von Roehm, weakening the Hellfire Club, and Shaw was voted out of the Inner Circle. It is also possible that the White Queen was manipulating Magneto.
Later, the X-Men joined with the Hellions in order to protect the White Queen from a time-traveling attacker known as Trevor Fitzroy, but not before Fitzroy's brutal assault plunged Frost into a deep coma and brought about the untimely demise of the majority of the Hellions. Frost's consciousness was apparently still active on the material plane and her body was kept in the Med-lab at the X-Men's mansion.
Seeking to insure the welfare of her students and the future of the school, Frost foresightedly willed the care of the Academy to Professor Charles Xavier. It was during her psychic incapacitation that The Massachusetts Academy was legally added to the rapidly expanding Xavier Institute. While in the Med-lab an accident caused Emma Frost to possess the body of the X-Man Iceman, and likewise, his mind was transferred into her body. Emma believed herself to be a prisoner of the X-Men and tried to escape, using Iceman's powers in ways even he never imagined. When she discovered the fate of her Hellions, she broke down. She began to realize that her training had been insufficient and Xavier’s may have been the right approach.
Emma Frost returned to her own body and when she fully recovered she resumed her role as headmistress of the academy. Together with Banshee, they trained the new class of mutants, Generation X.
During a battle with Post, Iceman received a massive chest wound so severe that he dared not to transform back to flesh, fearing that he would die. Bobby demanded to know how Emma would use his powers to repair such damage, but Emma refused to help him. She knew that Bobby would have to do it himself, so she confronted him with his own innermost insecurities in the forms of ex-girlfriend Opal and his father until Bobby realized that he himself had been holding back all this time. He managed to transform back with his chest fully intact.
The Massachusetts Academy closed its doors following a bold revenge plan by Adrienne Frost that ended in Synch's death and Emma murdering her sister. Emma began teaching in Genosha, and became one of a handful of survivors of the Sentinel massacre due to her Secondary Mutation.
Joining the X-Men
Emma once again returned to the Xavier Institute to teach. She immediately took the quintuplet psychic sisters, the Stepford Cuckoos (Now Three-In-One), under her wing. Emma and Henry McCoy struck up a friendship, while many others resented her presence at the school. During a riot at the school by Quentin Quire and his Omega Gang the Cuckoo Sophie died when using the drug Kick and Cerebra to subdue Quentin. Blaming Emma's emphasis on heroism for Sophie's death the Cuckoos abandoned her.
Meanwhile, with a void growing between Scott Summers and Jean Grey, Emma began to have a psychic affair with Scott. The Cuckoos took out their anger by tipping off Jean. When Jean discovered the two together on the astral plane she brutally tore through Emma's memories, forcing her to remember all the things she repressed in her past including her failure to keep the Hellions alive. Breaking down, Emma admitted to Wolverine that she had fallen in love with Scott.
Phoenix was killed by the Magneto impostor, Kuan-Yin Xorn, and she encouraged Cyclops from the White Hot Room to begin a new chapter of his life with Emma. Presently, the couple acts as headmaster and headmistress of the Xavier Institute and are active members on the X-Men squad. Emma also acts as supervisor to a new set of Hellions, as all students that attend the school were assigned to squads.
Due to Emma's extremely refined telepathic abilities, she beat the alternate future daughter of Phoenix and Cyclops, Rachel Grey, in a contest on the astral plane, despite Rachel's vastly superior power. However, she then rather peacefully offered Rachel the chance to help her hone her telepathic skills since there was now no one else to do so. Rachel, though still wary, accepted the proposal.
House of M
In the House of M reality, caused the reality warp by Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, Emma was married to Scott and the pair had three children. Also notably, she was the first X-Man Wolverine contacted for help. She was the only other reawakened individual to side with Wolverine in a controversial opinion to kill the Scarlet Witch in order to return to the world to normal. Emma was among the relative few mutants to retain her powers following M-Day.
The New Hellfire Club
Emma's unusually antagonistic relationship with Kitty Pryde and possible domination of Scott Summers were given as possible evidence of disloyalty. Her secretive relationship with the surviving Stepford Cuckoos was also been presented as "evidence," and accusations were frequently made by others having reason to distrust her motives. The question of Emma's "true loyalties" were brought into focus as Emma abandoned the team during a fight to confer with a shadowy figure, revealed to be one of a group of four individuals watching from the shadows. The group containd Sebastian Shaw, Cassandra Nova, Negasonic Teenage Warhead (a girl who apparently died in Genosha), and a cloaked figure called Perfection, who discussed among themselves Emma's impending betrayal of the team.
It was later discovered that Emma's survival of the destruction of Genosha was due to Cassandra Nova creating Emma's secondary mutation as part of a scheme to infiltrate the X-Men as a sleeper agent, Nova having erased the memory of their encounter and only restoring it recently. Ellie, Shaw and Perfection were actually psionic projections created by Emma under Cassandra's influence. Cassandra Nova had placed a portion of her mind in Emma's before being trapped in the body of Stuff.
Emma began using her telepathy on Cyclops to appear as Phoenix, trying to reveal the lack of control he had over his optic blasts. Shortly after Scott fell out of a plane with his younger brother Havok, Scott had placed a deep mental block in his mind which prevented the controlled use of his powers. Encouraged by Emma, Scott revisited that moment in his life and reversed the decision.
For a brief time during, Emma was host to the Phoenix Force.
After following the Stepford Cuckoos, including the resurrected Sophie and Esme, to The World, Emma Frost discovered that the Cuckoos and hundreds of others had been cloned from her eggs.
During the new Marauders attack on the X-Men, Omega Sentinel was possessed by an entity known as Malice and attacked her. Later, when the new Acolytes team invaded the mansion for the books of Destiny, Shadowcat thought she had the books, but the books had no words, and Exodus realized that Emma Frost was responsible.
Emma and Scott were called to San Francisco when Warren realized someone was telepathically making everyone think they were in the 60's. It was actually Martinque tricking them. The X-Men and any remaining mutants came to San Francisco, where the mayor had offered them refuge, ignoring the Fifty State Initiative. Things got complicated as Magneto was working with the High Evolutionary and a Hellfire Cult run by Empath.
Emma felt that something was wrong with Scott and looked into his mind. She found that his psycho-geography had formed itself as topsy-turny hotel, filled with projection of every woman Scott cast a furtive glance upon. She managed to locate the source, a mysterious black box that Scott claimed was a place for secrets -- not relationship secrets but tactical secrets that could result in death.
After Norman Osborn was appointed as the USA's top cop, he immediately convened a group of supposedly like-minded individuals (later dubbed the Cabal) to consolidate his grip on power. Emma joined the group consisting of Norman, Namor, Doctor Doom, Loki, and the Hood as part of Scott's master plan.
Following a series of pro versus anti-mutant protests and riots instigated by Simon Trask in San Francisco, Emma was tasked by Norman Osborn to lead a civil peacekeeping group of X-Men, one sanctioned by himself. She was given a black costume and was given command over Wolverine's son Daken, Weapon Omega, Mimic, and the duo of Cloak and Dagger. Emma brought a final element to the team, Namor, with whom she had previously shared a romantic relationship with prior to her time with the X-Men. Though not an official member of her team, a person appearing to be none other than Prof. Xavier served as the team's spokesman and moral backup. Emma easily saw through the ploy (in the process claiming that she was an omega-class telepath) and the "professor" was revealed to be Mystique, who was working with Osborn only because they had injected explosive nanobots into her bloodstream.
Emma's first sortie with the team occurred when she arrested a group of mutant vandals led by her own formerly favorite student, Hellion. Even at that early stage, tensions already arose, particularly when Daken almost did a lethal attack to one of the other mutant rioters. Emma prevented any fatalities, and the prisoners were brought in.
While more tensions rose between the Avengers and the new X-Men team, enhanced by the aggression of Daken and Hawkeye, Emma put emphasis that she would only continue to be a party to this strategy of Osborn's if all the mutants were treated humanely. She insisted on touring the facility to see how the prisoners were being treated. She was then contacted, weakly, by Prof-X, who informed her that he and Hank were being kept prisoner there. He also told her that the Omega Chair developed by the Dark Beast had horrible side effects, and that Osborn wasn't telling her everything. Emma then discovered that the presence of Hank and Prof-X was being kept secret from her using hologram projectors. Remaining in diamond form for protection, and unable to speak telepathically, she verbally reassured the Professor that she believed him, and that she would make sure everything would be all right.
Over the next several days, she then took her team of X-Men around San Francisco, not only stopping Trask and his human-conversion bio sentinels, but also clearing up the residual riots and rounding up the remaining mutants from the streets. Her motives came into greater doubt when she and Namor stood idly by when they witnessed the Dark Beast using his Omega Machine to torture and power drain the captives, while Cloak and Dagger could barely look on.
However, Emma's true motivations and interests behind her recent actions were revealed when, after another session draining Henry McCoy with the machine, Dark Beast and Weapon Omega discovered that all the mutant captives had disappeared. They discover that Mindee Cuckoo had allowed herself to get arrested just so she could lead the rest of the X-Men there. Teleporting in and out via Magik's portals, X-Force freed the prisoners. After raising the alarm, Emma led Osborn's X-Men to stop X-Force, then surprised everyone by betraying her own team. Daken and Mimic were taken down in the process, and Emma took Cloak, Dagger and Namor with her and X-Force to rejoined the rest of the mutants. Emma then rejoined Scott with the rest of the mutant community and their sympathizers on a mobile island/vessel, reminiscent of Magneto's Asteroid M, which had been dubbed Utopia. With his Cabal crippled due to the loss of two key members, an enraged Osborn ordered the Dark Avengers and Dark X-Men to bring him Namor's head and Frost's heart. However, the X-Men outnumbered Osborn's Avengers and X-Men, forcing them back. Emma personally freed Xavier. She then telepathically access the "white room" she had stored in the Sentry's mind, so that she could contain the Void while he made his escape. Unfortunately, the Void proved too strong for Emma and escaped, chasing after the Sentry. Worse, a small sliver of the Void was trapped in her forehead, forcing Emma to remain in diamond form so it wouldn't control her.
Eventually, things came to the decision to remove the sliver form Emma, given that the X-Men needed a telepath in place of the Stepford Cuckoos, who were rendered unconscious when the Phoenix fragments escaped from their bodies. Cyclops attempted to go into her mind to extract the sliver. Unfortunately, the Void changed tactics and attempted to take control of him. Luckily, Cyclops was able to seal the Void within his black box.
Powers and Abilities
Emma Frost possesses telepathy abilities matching those of Charles Xavier. Frost has been cited as a "World-class telepath", "Omega Class Telepath" and a "Psi of the Highest Order" capable of extraordinary telepathic feats.
Telepathy: Since her introduction, Frost has displayed the telepathic standards of broadcasting and receiving thoughts, mind-control, altering perceptions and memories, projection of offensive blasts of psionic energy causing mental pain or unconsciousness, astral projection, mind switching, brain engram modification, mental sedation of unconscious victims, induction of mental pain by touch, and limited pychometry. Frost is also very adept at performing 'psychic surgery': the utilization of pin-pointed psionic energy to exert absolute control over individual brain functions such that the physical form can be manipulated (i.e., injuries healed, disabilities repaired, the nervous system, etc), a sub-skill of telepathy unusual for even the most powerful of telepaths, but one that Emma is keen to utilize whenever the occasion benefits her. Frost's abilities rival that of Charles Xavier, her incredible power and conniving ways are evident in her first appearance whereby she manages to capture and sedate him. Frost has been cited as a "World-class telepath" and a "Psi of the Highest Order" capable of extraordinary telepathic feats.
- Psychic Surgery: the utilization of pin-pointed psionic energy to exert absolute control over individual brain functions such that the physical form can be manipulated (i.e., injuries healed, disabilities repaired, the nervous system, etc), a sub-skill of telepathy unusual for even the most powerful of telepaths, but one that Emma is keen to utilize whenever the occasion benefits her.
- Limited psychometry
Latent Telekinesis: Emma was also stated to be a potential telekinetic. During the Onslaught Saga, Emma unintentionally levitated some utensils while facing a nightmare. Synch then used this ability to telekinetically levitate objects. After further clarifications, it was stated that this phenomenon is one of Frost's powers that potentially lies within her mutation.
Organic Diamond Form: As a result of undergoing a body-wide secondary mutation, Frost now possesses the ability to transform her body into a flexible organic diamond form. In many ways, this is similar to Colossus' organic steel form. She must transform all parts of her body, rather than selectively transforming certain areas and can remain in this form for an indetermined amount of time. If she is rendered unconscious, Frost's body will automatically transform into its normal state. This transformation also alters Frost's personality, causing her to become rather cold hearted and to lose her empathy for others. Emma does not have access to her telepathy while in her diamond form.
- Superhuman Strength: In her diamond form, Frost's physical strength is increased to superhuman levels. At her peak, she is able to lift approximately 2 tons.
- Superhuman Stamina: While transformed, Frost's muscle tissue becomes infinitely more efficient than the organic musculature of normal humans, or most other organic beings for that matter. Her muscles produce almost no fatigue toxins during physical activity, granting her almost limitless superhuman stamina, or at least until or unless she is forced to resume her normal state.
- Superhuman Durability: Frost's diamond form renders her highly resistant to most forms of physical injury. She is able to resist great impact forces, such as being repeatedly struck with superhuman force, without being injured. Her body is also resistant to temperature extremes, able to withstand temperatures as cold as -320 degrees Fahrenheit or as hot as approximately 7,362 degrees Fahrenheit before her form begins to melt. Frost is also self contained while transformed, requiring no food, water or oxygen.
Expert Technician: Emma Frost is highly skilled in electronic theory and electronics and has learned how to build devices that can amplify psionic energy and utilize psionic energy for various effects. She devised the mechanism by which Mastermind projected his illusions directly into the mind of the Phoenix Force.
Defense Training:Emma Frost is an above average athlete and has had some training in hand-to-hand combat. Master Astral Combatant: Emma Frost is trained and excels in astral combat.
While in her normal state, Frost has all the physical frailties and vulnerabilities any ordinary human has. While she is much stronger and more durable in her diamond form, her body can be shattered if she were to be hit in a certain area that has a flaw, much as an actual diamond will. Also, while in her diamond form, Frost is unable to access her telepathic abilities.