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Why Emma Frost Is Better Off Without Scott Summers

Emma frost was an interesting character before Scott Summers, but what happened?

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?

'Schism' #4

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.

'Astonishing X-Men' #35

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.

'X-Men' #130

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.

'Astonishing X-Men' #1

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.

'Uncanny X-Men' #542

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?

252 Comments
Posted by ARMIV2

X-Men: Civil War...

But anyway, I (like it matters what I say) think that Emma and Scott should split and Jean should come back and actually not die for once in her many lives.

Edited by HexThis

@The Dark Huntress said:

@HexThis

Babs is 100% correct.

Emma Frost has spent a good portion of her duration with the X-men apologizing for everything that she is or ever was (evil, icy, not Jean). She's reached a complete impasse where she's really just designated as the bitchy trophy wife who picks people's brains and turns into solid diamond every now and then. Constantly replaying the cycle of neuroses she has about living up to Scott's expectations just makes her seem pathetic.

Magneto, Namor, and Wolverine don't need a living salvation to wrap their legs around in repentance so then why should Emma? I say that Emma and Magneto should create a the third break in the mutant population where all the cool juvenile kids go...they're a bit too good for Scott's generic-B-movie-action-flick style tactics.

And...actually, I think Jean should get with Namor.

Are you serious with this? I'm gonna assume that all you've read is Fraction's run, because this couldn't be more off base to who Emma is.

What I said was in reference to her time with the X-men, not Emma as a whole. I'm aware Fraction is not a person I look to for good characterizations.

Edited by ApatheticAvenger

@god_spawn: The only thing I've ever liked about Namor is when he recently told Emma that, no matter what, she would always be a queen. That's what so great about Emma Frost, she could go from being a beautiful, rich, and powerful woman to being powerless and lacking any material possessions and still be the baddest b*tch on the block. She's easily one of the strongest female characters in all of comics, I just hope Gillen will start showing that on a regular basis with the new Uncanny. As much as I love the Cyclops/Emma relationship, that doesn't mean I would object to seeing it end if it meant Emma getting her groove back. That being said, there's no reason she shouldn't start being awesome again and still be with Scott. Man, I really WISH she would tell off Namor for hitting on her nonstop.

Posted by EmmaGrace

@ApatheticAvenger said:

@god_spawn: The only thing I've ever liked about Namor is when he recently told Emma that, no matter what, she would always be a queen. That's what so great about Emma Frost, she could go from being a beautiful, rich, and powerful woman to being powerless and lacking any material possessions and still be the baddest b*tch on the block. She's easily one of the strongest female characters in all of comics, I just hope Gillen will start showing that on a regular basis with the new Uncanny. As much as I love the Cyclops/Emma relationship, that doesn't mean I would object to seeing it end if it meant Emma getting her groove back. That being said, there's no reason she shouldn't start being awesome again and still be with Scott. Man, I really WISH she would tell off Namor for hitting on her nonstop.

<33333333333333

Posted by Omegalpha

Really grasping at straws here. Emma Frost is great in her current role and Scott knows his place. Just because she has had slightly less focus in the Fear Itself issues does not back-up this theory.

Posted by randalmeister

@The Dark Huntress: Thx. You ain't so bad, either. :) BTW: I totally agree with you about Fraction's handling of Emma. I don't have a general distaste for his work but it's pretty obvious he either didn't know what to do with Emma or didn't care to do involve her much.

Posted by Gambit1024

Can I just say I absolutely loved that dialogue before Wolverine and Scott had it out in the last issue of Schism?

Posted by God_Spawn

@ApatheticAvenger said:

@god_spawn: The only thing I've ever liked about Namor is when he recently told Emma that, no matter what, she would always be a queen. That is what's so great about Emma, she could go from being a beautiful, rich, and powerful woman to being powerless and lacking any material possessions, yet still be the baddest b*tch on the block. She's easily one of the strongest female characters in all of comics, I just hope Gillen will start showing that on a regular basis with the new Uncanny. As much as I love the Cyclops/Emma relationship, that doesn't mean I would object to seeing it end if it meant Emma getting her groove back. That being said, there's absolutely no reason she couldn't start being awesome again and still be with Scott. Man, I really WISH she would tell off Namor for hitting on her nonstop.

Agreed on all counts, but we have to wait and see, Marvel's been focusing on 2 big events along side each other. Focusing on those are more important than a romance at the moment but if anyone can rekindle things or at least get the ball rolling it's Gillen, I'm happy he is on Uncanny for the start of the relaunch even if there could be better people.

Moderator
Posted by The Stegman

this is speaking from pure bias and hatred toward the supreme b*tch that is Emma Frost, but i actually think Scott can do better than her

Posted by fivestarga

So we get an article criticizing Scott's ability to lead this new group of X-men and a few days later one criticizing his relationship...Ugh Babs, change the record.  
 

Posted by FoxxFireArt

@The Dark Huntress said:

@Babs This is a good discussion piece. I don't necessarily agree with your viewpoint, but I respect it. Well done article.

I agree with this sentiment.

Edited by ApatheticAvenger

@EmmaGrace: ^_^

@god_spawn: Agreed, Gillen may not be the best in the biz (Grant Morrison ftw) but I have no objections to him starting up the new Uncanny. Assuming, of course, he puts Emma in a stronger leadership role again while keeping Namor in the background with Danger. I just wish Mike Carey would write Uncanny...

Posted by MrUnknown

No offense to anyone personally, but Cyclops and Emma have the best relationship that either of them has had prior and most people that seem to complain about it seem to be ones that aren't even reading the book.

Posted by Mercy_

@ApatheticAvenger said:

@EmmaGrace: ^_^

@god_spawn: Agreed, Gillen may not be the best in the biz (Grant Morrison ftw) but I have no objections to him starting up the new Uncanny. Assuming, of course, he puts Emma in a stronger leadership role again while keeping Namor in the background with Danger. I just wish Mike Carey would write Uncanny...

I'd actually choose Whedon over Morrison. <__<

And yes please to Carey on Uncanny.

@MrUnknown said:

No offense to anyone personally, but Cyclops and Emma have the best relationship that either of them has had prior and most people that seem to complain about it seem to be ones that aren't even reading the book.

Moderator
Edited by ApatheticAvenger

@MrUnknown: You have officially earned my respect.

@The Dark Huntress: Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Whedon. While Morrison put Emma and Scott together, it was Whedon who perfected their relationship.

Posted by fivestarga
@MrUnknown
 
THIS^
Posted by entropy_aegis

KILL Namor(bangs fist).He's a troublemaker whereever he goes.

Posted by Mercy_

@ApatheticAvenger said:

@MrUnknown: You have officially earned my respect.

@The Dark Huntress: Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Whedon. While Morrison put Emma and Scott together, it was Whedon who perfected their relationship.

Agreed. They both played important roles in Emma being where she is today. It's a shame that Fraction had to undo so much work.

Morrison's run was absolutely amazing. Aside from that whole unfortunate Xorneto mess.

Moderator
Posted by Saren

Funny, I was going to say Scott Summers is better off without Emma Frost. Whining about how Scott loved Jean more than her is about 80% of her personality these days. Also, Namor? Seriously? How much would you have to hate yourself to hook up with that guy? When he said "This is but the tiniest sample of what Namor has to offer" in UXM 543 I facepalmed so hard I got a nosebleed.

Moderator
Posted by fivestarga
@god_spawn
 
I couldn't have said it any better myself! I love seeing so many people call Cyclops a jerk but never seem to acknowledge the fact of what he's accomplished...saving the mutant race.  
 
Posted by ApatheticAvenger

@The Dark Huntress: I didn't mind the whole Xorneto thing once it was official that he WASN'T Magneto. Sure, it was obnoxious and confusing, but dammit Morrison Magneto isn't THAT bat-s**t.

Posted by Mercy_

@ApatheticAvenger said:

@The Dark Huntress: I didn't mind the whole Xorneto thing once it was official that he WASN'T Magneto. Sure, it was obnoxious and confusing, but dammit Morrison Magneto isn't THAT bat-s**t.

I just didn't like the whole retcon nonsense, because it was originally intended to be him.

Everybody's that batsh!t when Morrison's writing them :D

@fivestarga said:

@god_spawn: I couldn't have said it any better myself! I love seeing so many people call Cyclops a jerk but never seem to acknowledge the fact of what he's accomplished...saving the mutant race.

Agree with this. When you become the leader of a dying, hunted people there are certain luxuries and niceties that have to go out the window if you want to survive. Nobody seems to take this into account.

@CitizenBane said:

Funny, I was going to say Scott Summers is better off without Emma Frost. Whining about how Scott loved Jean more than her is about 80% of her personality these days. Also, Namor? Seriously? How much would you have to hate yourself to hook up with that guy? When he said "This is but the tiniest sample of what Namor has to offer" in UXM 543 I facepalmed so hard I got a nosebleed.

She hasn't hooked up with Namor anytime recently.

And the "whining" happened what, once, twice? I remember Namor mentioning the "he always marries the redhead" thing, but when in recent times has Emma mentioned it?

Moderator
Posted by GREGalicious

She's falling into that same category that JEAN was into...the writers dont seem to know how to keep her paired with SCOTT, and keep her storylines fresh. EMMA (like Jean) is a really good character but writers cant stop bouncing her off Scott and going back with that Hellfire Club mess.

Emma's a former member of the Inner Circle and she's with Scott now. Ok we get it now move on and give us some new layers but her being with Scott isnt the problem (tho she is better without him).

Jean's the Phoenix and formely with Scott. We get it now give us something else. People are quick to say that phoenix is the problem with her...ITS NOT! Having a ultra-powered character is horrible; Bad writing is.

Posted by Son Of Storm

@entropy_aegis said:

KILL Namor(bangs fist).He's a troublemaker whereever he goes.

Edited by ApatheticAvenger

@Son Of Storm said:

@entropy_aegis said:

KILL Namor(bangs fist).He's a troublemaker whereever he goes.

Spider-Man is amused.
Posted by MrUnknown

@ApatheticAvenger: Only just now?! That's got to be a bummer in some sense ;p

Posted by ApatheticAvenger

@MrUnknown: It takes time. x]

Posted by Game_Baron

I enjoyed reading this, thanks.

Posted by stepford

Emma is better off on her own . I like her so much more as a villain . I want my Emma back .

Posted by JoseDRiveraTCR7

@Doveland:Obligatory post:

Posted by jhazzroucher

I disagree. Emma is more interesting with Scott. She's like a villain still because some people still want Cyclops and Jean. but come on, Jean is dead and prolly guys wouldn't want a girl (Phoenix) who keeps on dying and living again. I also don't see Emma interesting if she didn't have a relationship with Scott. Emma would also have less appearances if she wasn't in love with Cyclops. Emma is faithful partner of Cyclops. Also we need somebody who will stand for Cyclops principles and that could only be her. I'm happy for Emma that she got what she really wants. I also believe Emma could say she is the happiest woman in the world because of Cyclops. Now all they need is marriage. But i don't know if that will happen cos i haven't really seen Cyclops showing his love and affection to Emma. I haven't seen Cyclops saying "i love you" to Emma. I've seen actions but action and words speak loudest.

Posted by _transgojobot_

Wondering what happened to that strong, purposeful Emma Frost, has me asking the same about Ororo Munroe. This is why I think the next ComicVine editorial about an X-Woman should be called 'Why Ororo Munroe Should Be Leading an X-Team (Again)' (re: Wolverine 'Storm and The X-Men').

Posted by fivestarga
@JoseDRiveraTCR7
 
I love this...
Posted by sputnik

emma is a kick ass character who doesn't deserve to be pulled back by a guy as pathetic as scott summers.

Edited by The Devil Tiger

Matt Fraction. 
 
That's what's happened 
 
No seriously, I never liked the couple Emma/Scott, because it was first a ripoff of Scott/Jean. Now, I feel like babs, more than that, Emma is becoming the cheerleader of scott, and I regret the loss of the capability to being haugty, bitchy but in hand of his own emotions. 

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

As the McDonald's commercial says, I'm lovin' it! All silliness aside though, it is better if Emma doesn't have Scott in her life, and mostly that's just a personal taste thing for me since it never sat right with me, them two together. So with the aftermath of Schism, lets see a good clean split.

Posted by Doveland
@JoseDRiveraTCR7 said:

@Doveland:Obligatory post:

Now I feel like the jerk...
Posted by Edgeworth_11

Lets give Gillen a chance. He has been doing a fine job recently. ANd with the new Uncanny set to launch, Emma is set the play a big role.

Posted by No_Name_

@fivestarga said:

@Icon: I was just thinking that bud. Babs is beginning to annoy me...

OK.

Posted by Mercy_

@_transgojobot_ said:

Wondering what happened to that strong, purposeful Emma Frost

The answer to that question would be Matt Fraction.

@Edgeworth_11: I'm relatively pleased with what we've seen from him so far. He's slowly bringing back her old personality, which is how it should be handled, IMO.

@The Devil Tiger said:

Matt Fraction. That's what's happened No seriously, I never liked the couple Emma/Scott, because it was first a ripoff of Scott/Jean. Now, I feel like babs, more than that, Emma is becoming the cheerleader of scott, and I regret the loss of the capability to being haugty, bitchy but in hand of his own emotions.

How is it a rip off?

Agree with your other point.

Moderator
Posted by ApatheticAvenger

Fraction just needs to stick to Iron Man and NEVER AGAIN touch the X-Men.

Posted by JonesDeini

@The Dark Huntress said:

She's better for Scott than Jean ever was. That being said, Emma would be better off without Scott than Scott would be without her. That doesn't necessarily mean that she'd be better off alone than she is with him. They bring out the best in each other and they support each other.

@Dark_Phoenix00x said:

Poor writing is her problem. I thought she was great thru Whedon's run in Astonishing, potrayed her well, it's the writers that have taken her since, have no idea how to write a powerful, posh, confident, b!tchy woman. Makes me cringe the way she is portrayed as of late, some dumb-blonde that lacks any of the "White Queen" in her

This is all Fraction. Gillen (who is now writing Uncanny) does a pretty decent job with her, although he doesn't (nor will anybody ever, really) get her like Morrison and especially Whedon.

Bingo!!!! All this , write it up as as scripture!!! Gillen does a better job by comparison with Emma, BUT he's still not doing as good a job as he should and could.

@SC said:

When a good writer like Grant Morrison manages to pull off a compelling story and character interaction between characters and this resonates with a lot of fans (and also sparks controversy - which creates a lot of talk) its no surprise that some editors behind the scene will try to deconstruct what they considered what worked and was successful and then try to bottle that and force onto other writers to use. Apparently what they interpreted from Morrisons run was fans loved Cyclops the Alpha dog who is put into morally ambiguous situations but is always right because being right is always more interesting then carefully constructed tension and character balance, and that fans love when Emma says Darling and wears lingerie and cheer leads. Some writers since Morrison have wrote a decent Emma (and Scott), but a lot of them just lacked severely and a lot of them who lacked, were the ones who steered the direction of the characters (and the franchise)

I often feel like you live in my head when it comes to X-Men! Co-sign pretty much everything you've said in blood here! Hell I really wasn't a fan of the New X-Men stuff I read from Morrison (may revisit it again someday) but I do feel like he nailed Emma down perfect. He also perfectly handled her relationship with Scott. Hell I'd even go as far as to say that in his first few issues the much maligned Chuck Austen got it right and really showed the dominating, powerful woman Emma can (and should be) without emasculating Scott. When done well both bring out the best in each other and make X-Men books a joy to read.

Posted by stepford
@Babs
This is a terrific article . I love it ! Thanks . : )
Posted by Mercy_

@JonesDeini said:

@The Dark Huntress said:

She's better for Scott than Jean ever was. That being said, Emma would be better off without Scott than Scott would be without her. That doesn't necessarily mean that she'd be better off alone than she is with him. They bring out the best in each other and they support each other.

@Dark_Phoenix00x said:

Poor writing is her problem. I thought she was great thru Whedon's run in Astonishing, potrayed her well, it's the writers that have taken her since, have no idea how to write a powerful, posh, confident, b!tchy woman. Makes me cringe the way she is portrayed as of late, some dumb-blonde that lacks any of the "White Queen" in her

This is all Fraction. Gillen (who is now writing Uncanny) does a pretty decent job with her, although he doesn't (nor will anybody ever, really) get her like Morrison and especially Whedon.

Bingo!!!! All this , write it up as as scripture!!! Gillen does a better job by comparison with Emma, BUT he's still not doing as good a job as he should and could.

I think this is intentional so that there isn't a culture shock, so to speak. Readers who have only ever read Fraction's run really aren't accustomed to Emma's actual personality. It's my opinion that Gillen's slowly working her back to where she should be.

And thank you :)

Moderator
Posted by God_Spawn

@The Dark Huntress:

How is it a rip off?

They are both telepaths duuuuuh

Moderator
Posted by ApatheticAvenger

@The Dark Huntress said:

It's my opinion that Gillen's slowly working her back to where she should be.

Here's hoping, he's got my support for now.

Posted by fivestarga

Also, now that the X-men are not fighting for the very survival maybe it'll give characters like Emma a chance to step out of Cyke's shadow. He was the messiah, the general, and did what needed to be done when I doubt Emma of Logan or Xavier could have. With the changing of the roster and the threats not being nearly as bad as the purifiers I could see Cycke taking a bit of a back seat for a while.
Posted by Mercy_

@god_spawn said:

@The Dark Huntress:

How is it a rip off?

They are both telepaths duuuuuh

Obvs

Moderator
Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

While I still like the idea of Scott and Emma as a couple (their natures seem to mesh far better than Jean and Scott's ever did), I completely agree that she needs far better writing. Maybe the split teams will allow her to resume a higher amount of responsibilities (and hopefully mean more face time and better characterization), but ideally, I'd like to see her as the head of a team herself. Maybe not another X-Men faction or the like, but taking the reins along with Scott again would certainly make sense as I feel there's still quite a bit of potential in stories centering around those two and their disciples.

Posted by JonesDeini

@The Dark Huntress:

Not outright but in the last issue she tells Namor not to mention her trying to murder hope or what she says. I love how she says, roughly, "Murder is one thing, but allowing my insecurity and jealousy to be exposed is unbecoming" see when Gillen writes lines in that vein for her it gives me hope.