Nick Spencer wraps up an epic event with SECRET EMPIRE OMEGA.

Each week, we use our super sleuth skills to dig into the histories of the characters fighting on both sides of Secret Empire!

Nick Spencer kickstarted an epic tale starting with CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #1 last year and this week, he wrapped it all up with SECRET EMPIRE: OMEGA #1 along with artists Andrea Sorrentino and Joe Bennett. 

Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016) #1

Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Before getting to the main event, let’s look at a few of the side stories that found their completion in this issue. First, as Clint Barton wept over Black Widow’s casket, Bucky Barnes found himself in Madripoor looking into the upcoming assassination of a general who aligned himself with Hydra. When the guy gets shot, Barnes thinks that the killer had to be Black Widow.

At the same time, Emma Frost and Hank McCoy talked about the dissolution of the mutant nation New Tian. While McCoy said that the efforts to put forth a solid mutant society would mean a lot to younger generations, Frost regretted that they would never know who their actual queen was.

Meanwhile, we also caught up with one of the more surprising members of HydraCap’s crew: The Punisher. Feeling betrayed and used, Frank Castle decided to make it his mission to burn Hydra to the ground. As Punisher continued his crusade, Nick Fury looked on and said to Control, “He’s ready.”

With those mysterious set-ups out of the way, it’s time to talk about the main confrontation in this issue which came between Steve Rogers and his Cosmic Cube-created copy with the octopus tattoo across his chest. To do so, Cap broke into a jail holding just the one captive.

Inside, he faced the man with his face. HydraCap, still convinced that the reality he understood thanks to Red Skull’s essential brainwashing of Kobik, was the correct one and one still worth fighting for. He also brought to Steve’s attention how quickly people seemed to turn on one another and reach for the power he offered them.

Rogers, while concerned with the damage HydraCap did to his image and reputation, still saw some good in the whole situation, hoping that this whole nasty endeavor would stop some people from blindly following anyone, even himself.

Ultimately, though, the true Captain America believes in the goodness of people and the resilience of his homeland. We’ll see him trying to make up for the mistakes a man with his face made over in MARVEL LEGACY #1 and CAPTAIN AMERICA #695.

The Empire Strikes Back

Upon leaving HydraCap’s cell, Steve Rogers warned his double not to leave his cell, letting him know that he’d be able to spot him no matter the face he wore. As the guards rushed in at the very end, though, one of them whispered something in his ear: “Hail Hydra.” So, while the threat of HydraCap seems low at this point, don’t be surprised if we see him again!

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Cullen Bunn brings back a familiar face as part of Secret Empire!

Secret Empire gets the cold shoulder in the upcoming X-MEN: BLUE #7, out July 12, as writer Cullen Bunn and artist Cory Smith bring Emma Frost back into the mutants’ midst. Hiding since the war against the Inhumans, the former White Queen finds herself in a dark place despite being a ruler of the mutant homeland of New Tian.

Oh, and did we mention that she’s also receiving push back from both the X-Men and Magneto?

We spoke to Bunn about Emma’s return and some of the threats she’ll be facing, both physical and psychological.

Marvel.com: Just to catch everyone up, where has Emma Frost been hanging out before this issue?

Cullen Bunn: Emma has been in hiding since the events of [Inhumans Vs. X-Men]. But don’t think that means she’s been doing nothing. She has been very busy. She’s been building alliances and positioning herself to make some big moves. You’ll see some of that play out in the Secret Empire story. But we’re really going to be setting something really, really big up for Emma in the future. Ever since we revealed her return, I’ve been receiving messages asking me to immediately return Emma to her status as a hero. I understand the sentiment, but that’s not something I can do right away. Emma can’t just come back from where she was with the flip of a switch. She’s in a dark place right now, and if she comes back from it—that’s a big “if”—it will take time.

Marvel.com: Going off that, what’s compelling her to join the fray now?

Cullen Bunn: Emma is part of the “ruling council” of the new mutant homeland of New Tian, and she sincerely wants to see this new society succeed. But she’s still very angry—so angry—about everything that has happened of late. Sometimes when you’re full of rage, you lash out at everyone, including those closest to you.

Marvel.com: What will Ms. Frost bring to both X-MEN: BLUE and SECRET EMPIRE?

Cullen Bunn: In SECRET EMPIRE, Emma gives us a look at a world leader who has been deeply wounded. She wants what is right for her people, but she’s so hurt and angry that she is ruthless in her pursuit of her ideals. She’s an antagonist for the X-Men, without a doubt, because the X-Men simply cannot accept what she’s doing. She’s also—in my mind—a very tragic figure, because she has lost so much and she’s fallen so far.

X-Men: Blue #7 cover by Arthur Adams

Marvel.com: Do you have personal favorite aspects of her character that you enjoyed writing/exploring?

Cullen Bunn: Emma is proud and confident, and that’s always fun to write, but underneath is a great deal of pain that she is trying—unsuccessfully—to hide. That makes her a rewarding character to write. I am looking forward to exploring how she grows and changes for some time to come.

Marvel.com: What kinds of threats will she be facing and how are her powers well equipped to handle them?

Cullen Bunn: Emma can handle just about anything you throw at her. Initially, the threats she faces come from the X-Men as they make moves against her regime. But her biggest challenges in the future will be dealing with her own sense of loss without letting it drag her into madness. And she’s making some alliances that could be very, very dangerous for her in the future.

Marvel.com: Are there any more epic mutant returns in the cards?

Cullen Bunn: Oh, yes! We know about Emma and we know about Polaris. But even in the Secret Empire arc, there will be several other mutant returns. Some of the mutants that will be popping up will be changed in mysterious ways. These changes play into something big that we’ve already been building in X-MEN: BLUE and we’ll be exploring in future issues of the series.

Face the return of Emma Frost with writer Cullen Bunn and artist Cory Smith next week in July 12’s X-MEN: BLUE #7!

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Trace the evolution of the former White Queen to X-Man and beyond!

This March, we celebrate Women’s History Month by spotlighting some of the most iconic characters and creators from the Marvel Universe.

Created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne in the pages of 1980’s UNCANNY X-MEN #129, Emma Frost first entered the Marvel Universe as the Hellfire Club’s telepathic powerhouse, The White Queen. At the time, the nefarious group intended to bring the X-Men to their knees, even going so far as to put a tap on Cerebro.

With information stolen from Professor X’s machine, Ms. Frost headed to Deerfield, Illinois to meet a young woman also making her first appearance: Kitty Pryde! There under the pretense of offering Ms. Pryde a place at a school in Massachusetts, Frost happened to be there when Kitty manifested her mutant phasing powers. However, the child didn’t seem convinced, which left Emma in a bad spot as Professor X, Storm, Colossus, and Wolverine appeared for their own recruitment drive.

While Kitty grabbed a malt with the students, Frost sent armored goons in to rough them up. Though the X-Men easily handled these intruders, they remained unprepared for White Queen’s telepathic force bolt which left them unconscious. However, in the fray, Kitty phased out of the building, but stowed away on the fleeing ship to save her eventual teammates.

Kitty figured out how to contact the other X-Men and they made their way to the place where Frost held their teammates as well as Professor Xavier. During the ensuing battle, Emma fought Jean Grey and her Phoenix Force for the first time, seemingly dying in the process, but really surviving to fight another day.

For years after, Emma Frost battled the X-Men as part of the Hellfire Club. She also really did run a Massachusetts school for gifted youngsters, training them and building them into a group called the Hellions. The destruction of this young team came as a result of Trevor Fitzroy unleashing the Sentinels on them. Feeling intense guilt as the only surviving member of her squad, Frost soon teamed up with Sean Cassidy to save a group of new mutants who would eventually star in GENERATION X. Emma stuck around as the team’s mentor, but murdering her own sister, a murderer herself, didn’t sit well with the kids and the team disbanded.

However, that did not directly lead back to a life of crime with the Hellfire Club. Instead, she moved to Genosha where she taught young mutants how to use their powers. That is until another Sentinel attack left her the only survivor on the entire island nation. During the NEW X-MEN series, she not only became an important member of the main mutant team, but also started a relationship with Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, that continued up to his death.

While Scott seemingly died at the hands of Black Bolt as the X-Men tried to destroy one of the mutant-killing Terrigen mists, he actually perished earlier upon exposure to the cloud. The version seen on the battle field turned out to be an illusion that Emma cast in an effort to fulfill Cyclops’ last wishes. This, of course, led directly into the pages of INHUMANS VS. X-MEN. In that series, Frost made a number of moves that have many wondering if the intensity of the past few months has left her teetering between good and evil. Only time will tell.

Over the years, Emma Frost’s unparalleled power, whip-smart wit, and incredible fortitude have allowed her to make the transition from a hated enemy to a fan-favorite X-Man, a feat that few others have actually accomplished.

The Women of Marvel

Emma Frost survived the Sentinel attack on Genosha because she exhibited one of the first known examples of secondary mutation. In her case, she turned into a being of pure diamond. In this form, she cannot use her telepathic powers, but does become almost completely impervious to harm, temperature, psychic attacks, and even the need to breathe. This alternate form also allowed for super strength, the ability to never tire, and even a numbness to emotions and pain.

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These mainstay X-Men debuted as enemies way back in 1980!

Nowadays, you’d be hard pressed to find two more A-List X-Men than Emma Frost and Kitty Pryde. The two have served together on various X-Men teams over the past decade, including rosters both astonishing and uncanny. Both of them are united by their passion for educating young mutants, and they each possess a fierce loyalty to the greater good of both man and mutantkind.

But that hasn’t always been the case.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #129

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #129

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Kitty Pryde and Emma Frost first appeared 35 years ago this month in UNCANNY X-MEN #129 by Chris Claremont and John Byrne. That issue become known as one of the most important issues of any X-Men series for that reason, and also because this installment kicks off the iconic “Dark Phoenix Saga” storyline.

The issue picks up with the X-Men as they recover from an epic battle against the nearly all-powerful mutant Proteus. The team’s mutant-tracking device Cerebro alerts them to the emergence of a mutant just outside Chicago. Half the team decides to check out the signal, unaware that the evil Hellfire Club had bugged Cerebro.

Art from Uncanny X-Men #129

Art from Uncanny X-Men #129

The mutant soon to be caught between the X-Men and the Hellfire Club turned out to be Kitty Pryde, a 13-and-a-half-year old girl from Deerfield, Illinois. Kitty encountered Emma Frost upon returning home from dance class and immediately had a bad feeling about the icy adult.

Art from Uncanny X-Men #129

Art from Uncanny X-Men #129

Kitty retreated to her bedroom as another splitting migraine attacked her head. The teenager tried to fight the headache by laying down on her bed, but things only got weirder.

Art from Uncanny X-Men #129

Art from Uncanny X-Men #129

After somehow instantaneously traveling from her bedroom to the living room (she had actually become intangible and phased through the ceiling), Kitty scrambled back into hiding. Ms. Frost left the Pryde household and crossed paths with Professor Xavier and three of his students – Wolverine, Colossus, and Storm. While Xavier tried his hand at persuading Kitty’s parents to let her attend his school, the rest of the undercover X-Men took the teen to a local malt shoppe.

Art from Uncanny X-Men #129

Art from Uncanny X-Men #129

Kitty hit it off with Storm immediately, and the super hero told the potential recruit of her true mutant identity. A trio of henchmen in mech-suits interrupted the bonding session and put the X-Men to work. Kitty kicked herself clear of the danger – and right through the building’s walls. Even though the X-Men defeated the henchmen, they proved defenseless against the White Queen’s mental power.

Art from Uncanny X-Men #129

Art from Uncanny X-Men #129

Frost and her Hellfire Guards loaded the X-Men into their vehicle and took them hostage. They immediately dismissed the missing Kitty as a non-threat – a move that would prove to be Emma’s undoing.

Art from Uncanny X-Men #129

Art from Uncanny X-Men #129

Kitty freed the captives with the help of the remaining X-Men and Dazzler in the following two issues. She joined the team a bit later in UNCANNY X-MEN #139. Emma Frost’s road to redemption, on the other hand, took a while to get started. She first allied herself with the team in UNCANNY X-MEN #316, and later became a full-time member in NEW X-MEN #116.

You can check out Emma and Kitty’s current adventures in UNCANNY X-MEN!

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See which heroes from the Marvel Universe made their mark with us during this crucial decade!

As we continue to celebrate Marvel’s 75th anniversary all year long on Marvel.com, we move into the 1980’s, and “Marvel’s Main Event,” where established characters exploded, often times spinning off in new directions and encountering exciting new friends and foes while attempting to survive tumultuous events.


This week, we count down our top 10 Marvel heroes to debut during the 1980’s. Have your own thoughts? Let us know on Twitter using the hash tag #Marvel75!

Excalibur by Alan Davis

Excalibur by Alan Davis

10. EXCALIBUR
First Appearance: EXCALIBUR SPECIAL EDITION #1
Why They’re #10: “For comic fans outside of the United States it’s often exciting to see their own country represented in their favorite books—even when they’re not always represented very accurately! As a Brit I was always thrilled to read the adventures of Captain Britain, but I was also a big X-Men fan, so when those two worlds collided in Excalibur, the United Kingdom-based team created to replace the feared-dead X-Men, it felt like a comic made just for me. Kitty, Kurt, Brian, Meggan, Rachel and Lockheed were all such great characters that any of them could easily be my favorite, and together this oddball family went on some of the wildest adventures I’d ever read. Creators Chris Claremont and Alan Davis did some of their all-time best work on Excalibur—and because they were both born in the UK, their version of Britain was actually recognizable!” – Andrew Wheeler 
Digital Comics Spotlight: EXCALIBUR (1988) #1

Dazzler (1981) #1

Dazzler (1981) #1

  • Published: March 10, 1981
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Writer: Tom DeFalco
  • Penciler: John Romita
What is Marvel Unlimited?

9. DAZZLER
First Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN #130
Why She’s #9: “Whit Stilman chronicled the torrid early 1980’s in his 1998 film ‘The Last Days of Disco.’ It was into that time of transition and dusky rhinestones that Alison Blaire first brandished a microphone. Originally envisioned at the height of disco’s popularity in the mid-70’s, Dazzler didn’t see her first single and series of duets hit the charts until February of 1980. Pitched as a multi-media tie-in meant to coincide with a flesh-and-blood songstress, the character transcended her origins and original purpose with a level of staying power none could have predicted. As a member of the X-Men, Excalibur, and even S.H.I.E.L.D., the ever adaptable pop sensation provides her own pyrotechnics with the mutant ability to reprise sonic vibrations as light emissions. The last scion of disco, once pegged as a potential one-hit wonder, outshone all her critics and continues to serve as the mutant ambassador in the world of glamour and celebrity.” – Paul Montgomery
Digital Comics Spotlight:
DAZZLER (1981) #1

New Mutants (1983) #21

New Mutants (1983) #21

What is Marvel Unlimited?

8. THE NEW MUTANTS
First Appearance: MARVEL GRAPHIC NOVEL #4
Why They’re #8: “The first ever X-Men spin-off series featured characters from all over the world as Professor Xavier continued his mission to help mutantkind by welcoming a new batch of students. The five original New Mutants—the Brazilian Sunspot, Vietnamese Karma, Dani Moonstar of the Cheyenne Nation, the Scottish Wolfsbane, and Cannonball from Kentucky—constitute one of the most diverse mutant teams ever. As their ranks grew to include a number of fan favorite female characters—Magma and Magik—as well as the dynamic duo of Cypher and Warlock, the teenagers experienced a dramatic shift when Magneto assumed headmaster duties from Xavier. Their education continued through triumph and tragedy, and they eventually struck out on their own, only to find a new purpose with the militaristic Cable. By learning from three drastically different mentors, the no longer new mutants possess diverse skill sets that now benefit such teams as X-Factor, the X-Men, and the Avengers.” – Brett White
Digital Comics Spotlight: NEW MUTANTS (1983) #1

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #171

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #171

What is Marvel Unlimited?

7. ROGUE
First Appearance: AVENGERS ANNUAL #10
Why She’s #7: “The enigmatic Rogue made first contact as a villainous pawn of Mystique and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in November of 1981. Like the streak of white coursing through her russet mane, she sent a violent shockwave through the mutant community, robbing opponents of their minds and talents with the slightest touch. At the behest of the Brotherhood, she attacked Carol Danvers, and in the process permanently assumed her traits of resilient skin, augmented strength, and flight. In time, she fell under the wing of the Xavier School, where, over the course of many years, she learned to control the abilities that left her a pariah from an early age. Rogue remains a quintessential example of the mutant metaphor, overcoming the stigma of fear others attached to her uniqueness. Now this irrepressible Mississippi firebrand removes her gloves with her teeth, unashamed and eager to put her skill to good use, to contribute to the cause of her adopted family.” – Paul Montgomery
Digital Comics Spotlight:
UNCANNY X-MEN #173

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #131

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #131

What is Marvel Unlimited?

6. EMMA FROST
First Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN #129
Why She’s #6: “Revealed yet guarded, cold but passionate, seemingly a pawn but always the master—few mutants revel in contradictions the way that Emma Frost does. Frost made her debut as the White Queen of the power hungry Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club, a villainess holding her own in the most patriarchal mutant group in the Marvel Universe. She subverted expectations with her revealing wardrobe and manipulated both her ‘superiors’ in the Club and her adversaries in the X-Men, usually without the aid of her telepathy. Even as one of the X-Men’s fiercest opponents, Emma still shared common ideology with the mutant heroes: the belief that young mutants should be protected, educated, and empowered to live their best lives. This shared belief eventually brought Emma to the X-Men as she became the team’s leading educator and, eventually, one of their most passionate and prominent faces.” – Brett White
Digital Comics Spotlight: UNCANNY X-MEN #151

Cloak and Dagger (1983) #2

Cloak and Dagger (1983) #2

  • Published: November 01, 1983
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: July 14, 2009
What is Marvel Unlimited?

5. CLOAK & DAGGER
First Appearance: PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #64
Why They’re #5: “Two societal concerns of the early 1980’s—drug peddling and teenage runaways—proved the perfect combination as the foundation for the origin of Cloak and Dagger. While vastly different childhoods prompt the two 17-year-olds’ arrival in New York, circumstances quickly intertwined Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen’s separate paths into one. Maggia henchmen ensnare the naive teens as test subjects for a new synthetic heroin. The normally fatal experimental drug actually triggers their powers: Johnson envelops evildoers in darkness while Bowen harnesses light as a weapon in the form of debilitating blades. While Cloak and Dagger burst into the Marvel universe within the pages of SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, the vigilantes’ war on drugs grew to a limited series before long. The bond between Tyrone and Tandy runs deeper than their respective symbolic opposite powers, as Cloak finds himself constantly hungry to feed his dark powers with Dagger able to temporarily satiate him with her light. Indeed over time Dagger also convinced Cloak to lighten their vigilante approach to a more acceptable pursuit of justice. While born in the 1980’s, this duo still fights evil, winning new fans with every victory.” – Tim O’Shea
Digital Comics Spotlight:
CLOAK AND DAGGER (1983) #1

Fantastic Four (1961) #275

Fantastic Four (1961) #275

  • Published: February 10, 1985
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: February 19, 2010
  • Writer: John Byrne
  • Cover Artist: John Byrne
What is Marvel Unlimited?

4. SHE-HULK
First Appearance: SAVAGE SHE-HULK #1
Why She’s #4: “By placing herself in harm’s way while going head to head with the mob in a court battle, lawyer Jennifer Walters ended up with a bullet in her side. A blood transfusion from her cousin Bruce Banner—the Incredible Hulk—saved her life and gave her powers, but she already possessed a hero’s heart and determination. Unlike her gamma-irradiated cousin, Jen quickly learned how to control her transformations and utilized that knowledge to become the person she always aspired to be. Confident, inspiring, compassionate—you’ll be hard pressed to find a super hero more loved by her peers than She-Hulk. She never backs down from a fight, she’s always the last to leave any party, and she spends her time away from the Avengers fighting for justice in a courtroom. Just as the Hulk represents the danger of male repression, She-Hulk represents the strength and confidence that can be found in unrestrained femininity.” – Brett White
Digital Comics Spotlight:
FANTASTIC FOUR #265

Daredevil (1964) #179

Daredevil (1964) #179

What is Marvel Unlimited?

3. ELEKTRA
First Appearance: DAREDEVIL #168
Why She’s #3: “The flash of red, the whisper of steel, and she arrived. In 1981, Elektra Natchios slipped silently and lethally into the annals of Marvel history in the pages of DAREDEVIL. Despite her talents for stealth, she quickly asserted herself as the sort of character who could not be ignored, an antagonist as complex as the book’s titular hero. In less than a year, she became an icon of Marvel publishing, helped contribute to the dramatic reinvention of the Man Without Fear, and participated in one of the most brutal, tragic fights in the House of Ideas’ history. Then she would return some five years later, starring in ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN. A dose of surreal, mind altering storytelling, it remains one of the best second acts in Marvel Comics history. Importance must be measured in impact, not just ubiquity, and Elektra’s brief moments in the spotlight in the 80’s hit hard and left a mark for years to come.” – Tim Stevens
Digital Comics Spotlight:
DAREDEVIL #181

Thor (1966) #339

Thor (1966) #339

What is Marvel Unlimited?

2. BETA RAY BILL
First Appearance: THOR #337
Why He’s #2: “Created by the legendary Walt Simonson, Beta Ray Bill is so heroic and selfless that he’s one of the very few people in the universe worthy enough to wield the enchanted uru hammer Mjolnir and take on the powers of Thor. He’s so worthy that he even bested Thor in combat, and Odin gave him his own hammer, Stormbreaker, that is the equal of Mjolnir. And on top of all that—he’s a golden horse-faced alien called Beta Ray Bill! Honestly, it doesn’t get much more awesome than that. Simonson designed Bill to appear like a monster, to demonstrate that heroes don’t always look the way you expect, and that’s still a useful message to take to heart today. The character also helped establish another idea that’s still very relevant today: Mjolnir can bestow the title and power of Thor on anyone, so long as he—or she—is worthy.” – Andrew Wheeler
Digital Comics Spotlight:
THOR #338

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #168

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #168

What is Marvel Unlimited?

1. KITTY PRYDE
First Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN #129
Why She’s #1: “Katherine Anne Pryde developed severe headaches in adolescence, as her latent mutant abilities began flickering into being. To her own dismay, Kitty discovered she could turn immaterial long enough to ‘phase’ through solid objects like a living specter. In time she would master such abilities and slink through walls, nimbly as a ‘Sprite,’ stealthily as a ‘Shadowcat.’ But at age 13 in January of 1980, she emerged as a reluctant yet highly valued free agent in the ongoing battle between Charles Xavier’s X-Men and Emma Frost’s Hellfire Club. It played out like a fairy tale, with Frost as the imperious, predatory White Queen, and the X-Men as the young woman’s motley protectors. Kitty eventually enrolled as the youngest student at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, a new role model for young readers. The character offered a more contemporary voice, overcame prejudices, and found community and family amongst the X-Men. Wolverine and Storm came to present parental figures and mentors while Colossus arrived as the love of her life.

“Young fans lived vicariously through Kitty’s misadventures and relationships, representing the ultimate fulfillment of youthful daydreams. That someone so unassuming and ordinary, from a household not so different from those we passed through every day, could take flight with our heroes and enjoy their respect and camaraderie, was tantamount to personally donning the blue and gold. So many readers grew up with Kitty, stared down the dissolution of family, wrestled with the natural—and supernatural—ebb and flow of relationships.

“In 1981, just a year after her first appearance, Kitty headlined ‘Days of Future Past,’ a landmark story line from Chris Claremont and John Byrne that practically rewrote the very DNA of the X-Men saga. It stands not only as one of the most pivotal works of the 1980’s, but continues to influence the topsy turvy timeline to this day.

“Kitty Pryde still gets headaches, though now they stem from ill-timed video calls from Star-Lord or a student’s request for an extension on their paper. Once a pawn, she now holds sway over her own allegiances, her own comings and goings, as well as the shepherding of young mutants fearful of the walls closing in on them. If she knows anything, it’s that there’s often more than one way around—or through—every obstacle and she’s keen to share that knowledge in good faith.

“Her power is intangible. Her impact is anything but.” – Paul Montgomery
Digital Comics Spotlight:
UNCANNY X-MEN #143

Share your thoughts on Twitter with the hash tag #Marvel75 and keep up on Marvel’s 75th anniversary celebration at marvel.com/75

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Despite her diamond demeanor, the former White Queen has a soft spot for education!

It’s Monday, and that means that you’ve had to find the strength to shake off the after effects of a weekend well spent just to get back into shape for the weekday work-athon. It’s tough, sure, but it’s a fact of life – one that isn’t lost on super humans either. Yep, Mondays mean back to work for super heroes too, as they trade in their uniforms for something more business casual.

And then there’s Emma Frost, the schoolteacher that pushes the limits of “casual” workwear Monday through Friday. In contrast with her formerly villainous ways and powerfully suggestive attire, Ms. Frost has always put the interests of her students before her own—even if her ice-cold demeanor has hinted otherwise. Nearly every position she’s held both within and outside of the X-Men’s ranks has involved her instructing a young generation of mutants.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #152

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #152

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Emma Frost first debuted as the White Queen of the Hellfire Club in UNCANNY X-MEN #129, wherein she tried to recruit a young mutant named Kitty Pryde into her own Massachusetts Academy. Her persuasive tactics failed and the youngster ended up enrolling at Xavier’s—but that didn’t stop Emma from attempting it again a few years later. Her scheme to lure Kitty to her school involved switching bodies with Storm, a feat that would nearly end up costing the White Queen her life. Frost’s plans for her student body would reveal themselves later in NEW MUTANTS #16, when her own teen team of mutants—the Hellions—made their debut.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #331

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #331

What is Marvel Unlimited?

After waking up from a lengthy coma only to find out that the Hellions had been murdered, Emma found a new purpose in life as the headmistress of the new Xavier’s School. GENERATION X saw the former villainess creep closer to the side of good as Charles Xavier’s dream of peaceful co-existence began to influence her lesson plans. She still clashed with the X-Men, as best evidenced in this issue detailing a confrontational yet educational run-in with Iceman.

New X-Men (2001) #116

New X-Men (2001) #116

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Emma lost another class of students during the massacre on Genosha; she only survived because of her diamond-hard skin. With no school to return to and more mutants than ever in need of an education, Emma finally joined the main X-Men team and helped the Xavier Institute open up its doors to the biggest student body it had ever seen before.

Find out how Emma Frost reacts to the last will and testament of Charles Xavier in UNCANNY X-MEN #24!

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Read the mind of the X-Men's volatile former psychic!

The client, Emma Frost, is an adult woman who presents as being in excellent physical shape. She dresses in a manner that can be charitably described as inappropriate for sessions, but does fit with her typical style. As such, although it may be beyond norms, it is not beyond her norms and is therefore not considered a high therapeutic priority.

Frost often speaks in a patrician manner that seems almost British in syntax if not accent. Although born and raised in Massachusetts, she does seem to have come to this manner “honestly.” Her family was well-established and moneyed and she was raised in an environment of cold privilege. Although she eventually rejected those trappings to strike out on her own, her presentation remains indelibly connected to her childhood environment. This is not just seen in her manner of speaking but in how she interacts with most others, with what can be best described as a sense of superiority that ranges from vague to aggressively expressed, depending on with whom she is speaking. It also informs how she arranges her world, the way she chooses to move through life, the things she values, the people she chooses to interact with.

On the other hand, she has demonstrated in the past that she can be someone of great loyalty who is protective of the people she cares for. She also clearly values education, even if her definition of what that means is a bit askew. After being told she could not be a teacher by her father, she has dedicated her life to doing exactly that, be it with the Hellions (students of the Massachusetts Academy who were dedicated to a belief in mutant superiority), the so-called Generation X class (also of the Massachusetts Academy but embracing the Xavier Doctrine of peaceful co-existence), or various incarnations of the Xavier Institute.

Untitled Image

Untitled Image

As a client, Frost lives up to her namesake. While she confesses a certain respect for therapists—although she does so because she believes the profession is full of “great manipulators”—she is loath to engage with or open up to the therapeutic process. She does have brief moments of vulnerability that indicate she has strong reservoirs of pain running through those ice water veins, but she seems miles away from allowing herself to acknowledge that pain long enough to truly begin to work on it. This is particularly the case with anything that touches her father’s treatment of her or the recent disintegration of her romantic relationship with Scott Summers, the mutant rights activist turned terrorist and fugitive Cyclops.

And yet, it is undeniable that Frost came in for therapy of her own accord and continues to show up for ongoing therapy. Her demeanor suggests there is a part of her that wants to unburden herself; that wants to acknowledge or give voice to buried pain and secrets. For this alone, this writer remains optimistic.

For further information on the client, look to file UNCANNY X-MEN #21, prepared for review by Doctors Brian Michael Bendis and Chris Bachalo and available on May 21. Also available on May 21 is file ORIGINAL SIN #2 by Doctors Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant and Psychology intern at a small(ish) university in New York City. He wears a special helmet created by Reed Richards while providing therapy to psychics and mindreaders.

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The Apache X-Man first appeared back in 1984 â€" and he didn't play nice!

There aren’t many legacy heroes filling out the ranks of the uncanny X-Men, which makes the mutant known as Warpath truly unique amongst the unique. With his superhuman strength, speed, durability, and fighting skills, James Proudstar has served on a number of X-Men affiliated teams: X-Force, the X-Corps, Wolverine’s black ops X-Force squad, and the X-Men proper. But as the younger brother of the fallen X-Man codenamed Thunderbird, he hasn’t always been a stalwart supporter of Professor Xavier’s dream.

Art from New Mutants #16

Art from New Mutants #16

James Proudstar first appeared thirty years ago in NEW MUTANTS #16, by Chris Claremont and Sal Buscema. The issue marked the debut of the Hellions, the Hellfire Club’s teen team of misguided mutants, with Proudstar following the White Queen‘s wishes. Using his deceased brother’s codename, Thunderbird II joined the Hellions as part of an elaborate plan for vengeance. But first, T-Bird had to tangle with Xavier’s protégés, the New Mutants, who had snuck onto the Massachusetts Academy campus to rescue Kitty Pryde from the White Queen.

Art from New Mutants #16

Art from New Mutants #16

Proudstar took out Sunspot, the team’s heavy-hitter, with one hit, demonstrating that John Proudstar’s little brother packed a big punch.

Art from New Mutants #16

Art from New Mutants #16

But James’ inexperience got the better of him when he let Rahne Sinclair’s half wolf form catch him off guard. Go easy on the kid – he’d just come to Massachusetts and they didn’t have half-wolf girls with thick Irish accents on the Apache reservation he grew up on.

Art from New Mutants #16

Art from New Mutants #16

The crack’s in Proudstar’s tough demeanor began to show when Sunspot went up against the Hellion called Roulette. She took great pleasure in throwing the New Mutant into a state of agony, but her ruthlessness didn’t sit right with James.

New Mutants (1983) #17

New Mutants (1983) #17

What is Marvel Unlimited?

James Proudstar’s connection to the X-Man Thunderbird became clear in the next issue, when the White Queen confronted her charges about their skirmish with the now captive New Mutants.

Art from New Mutants #17

Art from New Mutants #17

Proudstar’s protests fell on deaf ears, and before he knew it he found himself in another altercation with Xavier’s students. The Mutants hastened their escape plan as soon as big time baddie Sebastian Shaw arrived on the scene.

Art from New Mutants #17

Art from New Mutants #17

The New Mutants and Kitty Pryde’s extreme desire to escape from the Hellions planted a seed of doubt in James Proudstar’s mind. He wouldn’t remain with the villainess for much longer; in fact, after a failed attempt on Xavier’s life in UNCANNY X-MEN #193, Proudstar would forever flee from the influence of the Hellfire Club. He changed his name to Warpath and joined up with the remnants of the New Mutants in NEW MUTANTS #99, just in time for that team to turn into Cable’s X-Force. Since then, Warpath’s been a force for good in the Marvel Universe as he continues to honor his brother’s memory.

Check out some of Warpath’s more heroic adventures in X-FORCE and X-MEN!

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Get the latest Augmented Reality updates from Moon Knight, Wolverine & The X-Men and more!

Have you taken the next step in your comics reading experience by experiencing Augmented Reality via the Marvel AR App for iOS and Android devices? If not, you’re missing out! Here’s Marvel Content Producer & Manager of the AR App Judy Stephens to give you the overview:

“The Marvel AR App brings new, exciting and free content to your print comics by using an iOS or Android device. To access any of the content, all you need is your phone/tablet, the app and an internet connection. Hold your device over the panel with the AR icon and watch the future unfold! With Marvel NOW!, we’re kicking off a schedule of even more Marvel goodness for your eyes and ears! Each week stay tuned for bonus content including videos from the creators, original sketches & pencils, art evolutions, surprise celebrity appearances and more! 

Got an idea for a Marvel AR video or bonus content? Let us know on twitter @Marvel!”

Have you got your Marvel AR App downloaded and your iOS and Android ready to go? Then check out the exciting AR content available this week!

IRON MAN #22
It’s the conclusion to “Iron Metropolitan” by Kieron Gillen and Joe Bennett! Life coach Anne Cooleen offers advice to the Stark brothers on working with family members.

MAGNETO #1
Cullen Bunn and Gabriel Hernandez Walta give the Master of Magnetism his own series! Watch a special trailer and hear from Bunn.

MOON KNIGHT #1
It’s Marc Spector as you’ve never seen him before, courtesy of Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey! Get a sneak peek and what’s to come, plus Shalvey shares his thoughts.

UNCANNY X-MEN #18
Brian Michael Bendis and Marco Rudy bring Cyclops into conflict with Kitty Pryde! See a conversation between Emma Frost and Magik come to life through animation.

WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #1
It’s a new semester with Jason Latour and Mahmud Asrar sounding the school bell! Preview what’s next and get the scoop from Latour.

To see Marvel AR video executions from this week and more, visit our YouTube playlist and keep checking back for new additions!

Each Marvel NOW! comic with Marvel AR also features a special look at what’s led up to the issue and what to expect within that you can access just by aiming your device at the cover.

Enjoy this week’s AR, and we’ll see you next week for another round!

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From Reed and Sue to Luke and Jessica plus everybody in between, take a look back at over seven decades of love and loss!

From the tender travails of Timely upstart MILLIE THE MODEL to the cerebral liaisons of Legion and Blindfold, love springs eternal in the pages of Marvel Comics.

Though some may balk at the very notion of “kissing books,” longtime readers know that romance churns at the very heart of adventure; that a heady rush of pheromones ferments between flesh and spandex like nowhere else in the known world. Try as they might, the privates entrenched on love’s battlefield can hardly hide their longing—even with a carefully placed Hawkeye head—for dedicated teammates, for some time enemies, for the boy or girl next door. Our heroes pair off early, sometimes often. They form tragic triangles. They build empires. They win at love and just as often lose.

This Valentine’s Day, we celebrate the many loves of Marvel.

Spider-Man: Blue (2002) #5

Spider-Man: Blue (2002) #5

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Prolific Peter Parker—aka Spider-Man—got friendly with much of the neighborhood, as young writer Stan Lee transitioned from traditional romance comics to the universal concerns of the hot-blooded American teenager. Peter found himself bitten not just by a radioactive spider. He first flirted with Betty Brant at the Daily Bugle before a tragic romance with Gwen Stacy ended in the girl’s death. That loss, mingled with the earlier murder of his uncle, continues to inform Peter’s mission. All the while, his Aunt May labored to orchestrate an introduction between her nephew and Mary Jane Watson, the emerald-eyed starlet who came to catch the tiger by the tail. Peter and MJ eventually married, ushering comics’ most eligible—if consistently penniless—bachelor to a new epoch of steadfast adulthood. This fairytale union dissolved in the only way it could: through the shearing of reality’s very fabric by cruel Mephisto. MJ agreed to sacrifice all history and memory of their bond in return for Aunt May’s life and Peter’s opportunity to find hew happiness, resulting in as devastating tabula rasa as ever swept clean.

Brian Michael Bendis’ and Mark Bagley’s ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN saw a return to Peter’s period of teenage longing and romantic exploration for a new generation, even pairing him with the mutant Kitty Pryde for a time.

Daredevil (1964) #182

Daredevil (1964) #182

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Daredevil might represent an even darker side of New York’s singles scene, blindly hurtling from one doomed dalliance to the next. Matt Murdock nearly lost his former secretary and one-time love interest Karen Page to drug addiction, betrayal, a deadly pornography ring, and an HIV diagnosis, before ultimately failing to protect her from the murderous Bullseye. Matt’s heartbreakingly succinct and resigned eulogy at Karen’s wake stands out as a sobering coda to a troubled love story, and to the collateral damage so often wrought but rarely appreciated by our caped heroes. Prior to those events, Frank Miller cast the Man Without Fear alongside the assassin Elektra in what has become Marvel’s quintessential Greek tragedy; a wound routinely salted with her every return to his journey.

Some love simply fades, dimming rather than burning out in a dramatic display. Though the lingering trauma of Skrull abduction and the archer’s man-child behavior likely contribute in some way, Bobbi “Mockingbird” Morse never quite recaptured that old magic with “Hawkeye” Clint Barton after her return. The two remain divorced, though they share the occasional clandestine S.H.I.E.L.D. field operation. Bobbi stuck the landing into post-marriage life, though Hawkeye’s quiver lacks Cupid’s surefire punch, leaving his flirtation with Spider-Woman as complicated as it probably ought to be. Jessica Drew see-saws over a relationship she knows bears the weight of two fully-stocked Samsonite warehouses.

Black Panther (2005) #18

Black Panther (2005) #18

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Ororo Munroe, known to the world as Storm, united mutant Utopia with the African superpower of Wakanda when she wed stoic Black Panther T’Challa amidst the throes of Civil War. The marriage came as a surprise to many, but none were caught nearly as unaware as Storm when her husband announced he annulled their marriage in the wake of a fiery conflict between the Avengers and X-Men. She ultimately turned to her longtime comrade Wolverine, finding a warm partnership built on years of friendship.

Wolverine, of course, arrived at this mature relationship only after decades of torrid affairs. Some consider Mariko Yashida his truest, most profound love. Her soul currently resides in Hell, incidentally the locale of their most recent reunion. Still, the relationship that defines Logan’s role in the X-Men continues to undoubtedly be his affection for Jean Grey and his place in that sordid triangle with her eventual husband Cyclops. In the years following Jean’s death, Scott Summers became involved with the X-Men’s former adversary Emma Frost, a relationship continually tested by erratic ambitions from either side. For his part, Logan built and named a school for Jean.

Mutants prove particularly unlucky in love. The same romance with Colossus that sent Kitty Pryde phasing through floors itself turned intangible when Piotr’s near-nihilistic penchant for self-sacrifice drove her away. 

Fantastic Four Annual (1963) #3

Fantastic Four Annual (1963) #3

  • Published: October 01, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Not every romance ends in tears, of course. Some relationships stand the test of time. Sue Storm and Reed Richards’ early bickering quickly evolved into the bedrock union of the Marvel Universe. Their marriage remains at the center of Marvel’s First Family, weathering the upheaval of Civil War and the advances of lusty Atlantean Prince Namor.

Alpha Flight and X-Men stalwart Northstar wed his civilian partner Kyle when New York City—home to throngs of super-heroes—legalized marriage equality. Their happiness endures, tempered only by the strain felt by any couple where one’s vocation demands running toward danger.

Luke Cage and Jessica Jones found each other in their time as disillusioned heroes fighting the good fight closer to the pavement. They married and conceived a child, Luke pursuing opportunities as an Avenger and the new handler for a Thunderbolts unit while Jessica distanced herself even further from her previous life as the Avenger called Jewel. With the arrival of their daughter Danielle, Luke, too, considered stepping back from reckless adventure, only to rally again with Thanos’ arrival on an unprecedentedly vulnerable Earth.

Thanos Rising (2013) #3

Thanos Rising (2013) #3

  • Published: June 05, 2013
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: December 02, 2013
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Jason Aaron
  • Cover Artist: Simone Bianchi
What is Marvel Unlimited?

It’s worth examining the aforementioned Mad Titan’s efforts in love as well. Blackhearted Thanos plundered whole worlds, sundered the very cosmos in the name of his unrequited ardor. Unfortunately, the dour lady Death never returned his affection, no matter how high he heaped the corpses, no matter how many rings—or Infinity gems—he put on it. Equally sinister Morgan Le Fay shared something like a romance with a time-traveling Doctor Doom, proving one of Marvel’s deadliest, unholiest flings.

Strange as those villainous pairings might seem, love arises in the most curious of places between the unlikeliest of partners. Professor Charles Xavier carried on the ultimate star-crossed, long-distance romance with the extraterrestrial Shi’ar warrior called Lilandra. His son David found companionship with the precog Blindfold, now the only person in the world to remember his existence after he sacrificed himself for a people that always shunned him. The mutant sorceress Wanda Maximoff wed the android Vision, a pairing that resulted in unlikely offspring.

Astonishing X-Men (2004) #51

Astonishing X-Men (2004) #51

  • Published: June 20, 2012
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 08, 2013
  • Rating: T
  • Writer: Marjorie Liu
  • Cover Artist: Dustin Weaver
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Reality, of course, never stops shuffling, least of all in the Marvel Universe. Love changes like a Skrull sleeper agent in the night just as often as it persists against all odds. That’s the gamble. That’s the potential to feel love’s sting in pursuit of its caress. But as Tennyson wrote, “’Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all.”

Nuff said, Lord Alfie. Nuff said.

All year-long, keep your eyes on marvel.com/75 for the latest videos, podcasts, galleries, retrospectives and more celebrating Marvel’s 75th anniversary!

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