With the final issue of Schism set to hit stores next Wednesday, it seems this is the end of the X-Men as we know it -- so to speak. See what happens when you read so many press releases from Marvel? You start sounding like one. Okay, so perhaps I'm being overly dramatic, but with Cyclops and Wolverine at each others' throats (over a woman who has been dead for the last 7 years), what does it mean for the leadership and future of the X-Men?
The stark contrast in the respective ideals and visions these two characters hold for mutant-kind is exactly why a rift in the entire X-Men family is inevitable -- so it's not like it's something we didn't see coming. Like it or not, the fight between these two determines the fate of most of the X-Men universe. Who will side with Wolverine versus those who will stay at Cyclops' side. The release of the teaser images for both 'Uncanny X-Men #1 and #2' and 'Wolverine and the X-Men #1 and #2' (both due this October) showed the rosters for the two respective teams, and I must confess my disappointment when I first saw the cover for Uncanny X-Men featuring Cyclops in the foreground, and Emma Frost behind. I was hoping that Emma would use the rift in the X-Men as an opportunity to leave Cyclops and go out on her own again; but alas, that was not to be.
Oh dear, darling Emma Frost. She used to be so poised, calculating, impenetrable and now, they have turned her into a mere shell of her former self; living out her existence in the shadow of Scott Summers. Oh Emma. She could do so much better than him. I mean, she could be a "Queen" again, if she really wanted it. She could be with Namor.
In all seriousness, though, what did happen to Emma Frost? She was practically second in command to Sebastian Shaw in the Hellfire Club and now she's lucky if she gets one line in an issue of Uncanny X-Men. I mean, the only time she has appeared in more than one panel as of late has been to suck face with Namor -- and I'm not saying that's a bad thing, I'm just saying that she used to be more interesting when she was a strong, independent, commanding female character.
When John Byrne and Chris Claremont first created Emma Frost they managed to make her sexy and a force to be reckoned with, all rolled into one. Byrne and Claremont clearly developed Emma to be strong from the beginning; evidence of this can be seen in Emma's earliest appearances (X-Men #130) where she had managed to take control of the X-Men -- even putting Wolverine in a cage. While she did answer to Sebastian Shaw, Shaw still treated her with respect and gave Emma flexibility as a leader of the Hellfire Club in her own right. She was a villain, but she was also dangerous and interesting. There was more depth to Emma, and we got to see just how manipulative she could be. She was such a threat that the X-Men were forced to bring in the Phoenix to defeat her.
Adversity allows for character growth, and the adverse conditions of her youth and coming to be certainly explain why Emma developed such a stoic and cold nature in the future. In 2003, Marvel released an Emma Frost series that gave fans a back story to compliment the "Ice Queen." Although her family was wealthy, she still had a hard time growing up, trying to fit in with her peers. The events she experienced in her youth led to her hard exterior and sharp tongue that would later serve to protect her.
She learned how to get what she wanted, but she was also (to some extent) compassionate; and her desire to teach developed when she was very young. She would later take that ambition to share knowledge by becoming the headmistress of her own school, The Massachusetts Academy. From her early appearances, Frost exuded leadership abilities. Following Jean's death she not only became a member of the X-Men, but a leader. In Astonishing X-Men v. 3 (2004) Emma becomes the co-leader of the X-Men with Scott, "acting as the school's head" while Professor Xavier was on sabbatical. Throughout this series Emma seemed to have it together, and you actually felt she was a co-leader; but her leadership of the team quickly diminished and she took a back seat while Scott took charge.
It seems as her relationship with Scott Summers progressed, her own character development took a back seat to their relationship. Not only that, but based on the initial fight sequence between Wolverine and Cyclops in 'Schism' #4, Scott still harbors some feelings for Jean because that's what sends him over the edge. Frankly, I can't imagine why a woman like Emma Frost would want to stick around a guy who is still hung up on his ex. Not only is it bad for her development as a character, it's also a lousy use of her overall abilities. Emma has all this potential to be awesome, but she flat-lines because she's got to be Scott's right hand girl. When was the last time we saw Emma talk about what she wanted? What her goals and ambitions are?
What do you think will happen with Schism, and do you think it would have been a good opportunity to see the Scott and Emma relationship come to an end? Do you completely disagree with my argument, and if so, why?