As the one-time White Queen faces off against young Jean Grey, look back to how Emma got there!

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

Emma Frost continues to have a rough go of it lately. She lost her love, Cyclops, back in INHUMANS VS. X-MEN and took on the huge responsibility of governing New Tian during Secret Empire. Now she’s facing off against an alternate reality version of Jean Grey in the 9th issue of that character’s series.

Longtime readers know, though, that Emma’s had more than her fair share of dark times. In fact, when she first debuted back in 1980’s UNCANNY X-MEN #129 by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, she pledged to take on the X-Men for the Hellfire Club as the White Queen. 

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #129

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #129

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Part of that mission involved trying to recruit Kitty Pryde – also in her first appearance – for The Massachusetts Academy instead of Xavier’s School. She even sent some minions to attack the X-Men while Storm, Wolverine and Colossus took the future Shadowcat out for ice cream. The Club made off with the mutants, but didn’t realize that Pryde had used her phasing abilities to stow away on their getaway ship.

In #131, while still holding some of the X-Men captive, Jean Grey showed up as Phoenix and the two entered into a battle that literally brought the building down around them both. As we learned in #151, Frost used the opportunity and her own abilities to make her enemies think she’d died in the process. In reality, she returned to the Massachusetts Academy where she would use her mind-control powers to make Kitty’s folks transfer her to the school Frost acted as the head mistress for. 

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #131

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #131

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Emma’s plan didn’t just involve transferring Kitty, though, she also took the opportunity to switch minds with Storm! After much scheming and subterfuge, Frost eventually realized just how much power Ororo wielded and resorted to her own body. 

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #152

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #152

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From there, Emma Frost continued to cause trouble for the X-Men and their younger members known as the New Mutants. As seen for the first time in NEW MUTANTS #16, she even put together her own group of powered teens that she trained her own unique way. 

New Mutants (1983) #16

New Mutants (1983) #16

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Truly dedicated to these young people, Frost felt devastated when they were slaughtered in UNCANNY X-MEN #281282. In fact, she used that guilt to fuel her desire to switch sides and joined the X-Men during The Phalanx Covenant, going on to take a teacherly role in GENERATION X.

Since then, Frost has continued to align herself with the X-Men and has become a major feature in the X-World making her one of the more multi-faceted characters around and not just because of her diamond form!

Flash Forward

For an even more in-depth at Emma’s early days, check out the Karl Bollers-penned EMMA FROST series from 2003-2005. With art by Randy Green, Carlo Pagulayan and Adriana Melo, the series began by examining a meek, brunette, high school age Emma as she started developing her incredible mutant psychic powers. From there, she develops the basis for the character we’d come to meet in her first appearance.


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Christina Strain reconvenes the original squad for Marvel Legacy!

Reunited and it feels so good!

Or not.

When Monet finds herself in danger of becoming a vampire, the original GENERATION X squad reemerges to help save one of their oldest friends from the undead. On December 20, writer Christina Strain and artist Amilar Pinna jump into Marvel Legacy as they unite the past and present in GENERATION X #85!

We caught up with Christina to learn more about the upcoming issue. Catch us up with what’s been going on in GENERATION X!

Christina Strain: Oh man, where do we start? Jubilee has been doing her best to wrastle her students in line, despite running on no sleep ‘cause she’s the single parent of a toddler. Quentin Quire is…a mess, so that’s not new. Benjamin Deeds still feels too scared to ask out Nathaniel Carver, who’s still too scared of his powers to even think of dating Ben. Roxy is dealing with some trauma from her past, Trevor is realizing he’s a great babysitter, and Lin’s starting to think that humans (particularly Trevor) might not be all bad.

We’re nine issues in and it’s like they’re actually starting to learn things! What does it feel like to write for the original team roster? How does the book’s dynamic change?

Christina Strain: It’s fun! I mean, I grew up with the O.G. GENERATION X cast and, now that I’m older, I’ve applied a lot of lessons I’ve learned through the years to them and it seems to work. And it’s fun taking a character like Paige (Husk) and everything she’s been through and use her as a foil for someone like Roxy, who’s younger and been through less. I’m loving it! What’s the deal with poor Monet?

Christina Strain: Monet learned a bit of a lesson in humility when her brother (Emplate) basically possessed and merged with her the way those St. Croix siblings do. And unfortunately for Monet, her humanity has lost out to Emplate’s hunger, so now she has become basically a mutant vampire. So, like Emplate, Monet now hunts mutants so she can suck on their bone marrow to keep herself and Emplate close to our dimension. What proved to be the most challenging element of writing this issue for you?

Christina Strain: Page count. Honestly, 20 pages isn’t a lot of pages to work with…I’d kill for a few more! And when I look back at old GENERATION X issues, like issue #1—which had 38 pages, by the way—I sob all over my carpet at the thought of how much more I could do if I just had the page real estate! What emerged as your favorite part to write?

Christina Strain: Any of the scenes with feelings. Fighting can be cool, sure. But I’m a big fan of feeling like my heart’s been punched right in the aorta. How does the concept of Legacy come into the story?

Christina Strain: Good question. I just looked at it from the same perspective I’ve had since the very beginning of GENERATION X with Jubilee: “How does this original character reflect the future of these new characters? What can she teach them about who they’ll become?” What does the Legacy of Marvel mean to you—as a writer and as a person?

Christina Strain: GENERATION X has always been a very special book to a lot of people, and being able to write this iteration of it has been such a big honor for me. I genuinely love the original GEN X as well as all our “lovable losers,” so I just hope we’ve made something at least one or two kids will love as much as [editor] Daniel Ketchum, Amilcar, [colorist] Felipe Ramos Sobreiro, [letterer] Clayton Cowles, [artist] Terry Dodson, and I all loved the original run of GENERATION X.

Find out the fate of Monet St. Croix in GENERATION X #85, by Christina Strain and artist Amilcar Pinna, on December 20!

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Amilcar Pinna helps bring back Gen X alumni as part of Marvel Legacy!

Marvel Legacy continues to reintroduce concepts and characters that have played important parts during the House of Ideas’ storied history. When it comes to GENERATION X that means that Jubilee’s crew of outsider mutants will come face to face with their 90s namesakes.

In other words, writer Christina Strain and artist Amilcar Pinna plan to reintroduce many OG Gen Xers—like Monet, Husk, Chamber and a few other surprises—as they continue with the story began earlier this month in GENERATION X #8. As the book picks up its classic numbering with December 20’s issue #85, everyone will be dealing with M-Plate, the combined might of siblings Monet and Emplate.

We talked with Pinna about integrating the classic characters into the series, returning to work with Strain, and using the “natural approach” to drawing these characters together. You worked with Christina to launch this series, working on the first three issues. How is it returning after some time away?

Amilcar Pinna: It feels good to be back. These characters have a special place in my heart now! I love drawing those kids! As the book shifts into Marvel Legacy territory, you’ll also be dealing with members of the original Generation X team. How has it been working them into the book?

Amilcar Pinna: It’s been really fun for me to have the opportunity to draw such classic characters! The classic Generation X members have had a variety of looks over the years. What was the process like for nailing down the ones this time around?

Amilcar Pinna: I did try to stay faithful to the classic looks and at the same time give them a more “natural approach” since almost every time [we see them] they wear regular clothes instead of classic spandex uniforms. A major part of the story revolves around the bonding of Monet to Emplate. How does this new relationship between the siblings change how they carry themselves?

Amilcar Pinna: Actually, I’m getting to know Monet/Emplate as I work on GENERATION X—such cool characters! They are new to me. All that I can say is that I love to draw that type of character. Monet gives a darker mood to the series and I like that! How has it been integrating the classic Gen Xers with the new crop?

Amilcar Pinna: Christina makes it seem very natural, integrating them with her writing. The relationships between the new and the classic [characters] always [work] fine and natural for me.

Kick it old school with Christina Strain and Amilcar Pinna on GENERATION X #85, headed your way December 20!

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Writer Christina Strain details a homecoming for Husk!

Having made her debut as the younger sister of the mutant Cannonball, she became a fan favorite when her own mutation morphed her into the hero called Husk. Now, after a long hiatus, Paige Guthrie returns.

Written by Christina Strain with art by Amilcar Pinna, Husk rejoins her original companions on November 22 in GENERATION X #9!

You’ve got questions—and we got Christina to spill some answers. How would you describe Husk’s essential components?

Christina Strain: I’d say the most important things to know about Paige are that she’s driven, resilient, and an all-around boss. Kind of like the girl next door who’s a born leader. And what about those crazy mutant abilities of hers?

Christina Strain: Her powers are that she can “husk” off her outer skin for “a new form beneath.” Including undamaged skin, metal, stone—the list goes on. I guess she’s kind of like an iPhone with a million different cases you can take off to reveal a new one underneath? I just made this answer really weird, didn’t I? Just how we like ‘em in the X-Universe! So, who would you say Paige has missed the most among her former teammates?

Christina Strain: Jubilee! Ride or die! Who has she maybe missed the least?

Christina Strain: I dunno about missed the least… It’s hard to say because personally, I think enough time’s passed since the original Gen X that whatever bad feelings she might’ve had in the past are in the past? In my mind, she feels fine with Chamber, because they haven’t been a thing in years. I mean, he seems like the boy you date before you know any better—and now Paige knows better. And then with Monet…she just wants to save Monet from her crazy brother Emplate. So there’s that. In the past, Husk could be sensitive about her simple Kentucky heritage. Does that influence her actions in this story?

Christina Strain: Not really. But my editor, Darren Shan, keeps reminding me that she’s from the south so I try to throw in a few things here and there. For him. You’re welcome, Darren. Now, overall, what have you found to be the greatest joy in writing GENERATION X?

Christina Strain: The characters! I knew I loved them going in, but I’ve really enjoyed exploring them more thoroughly. They’re all just such good kids and I’m just so proud to call them mine!

Husk returns in GENERATION X #9, by Christina Strain and artist Amilcar Pinna, on November 22!

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Christina Strain unites the original team with the current mutant squad!

The original team returns in GENERATION X #85—and they’ve come together to help one of their own!

On December 20, writer Christina Strain and artist Amilcar Pinna cross mutant generations as Marvel Legacy begins! Jubilee’s students at The Xavier Institute for Higher Learning will meet their predecessors as she, Chamber, and Husk look to assist a former teammate, Monet.

Can they save her? What role with Jubilee’s students play? We met up with Christina Strain to find out. How has writing GENERATION X been? List a few of your favorite moments so far.  

Christina Strain: It’s been stressful—but good. It’s crazy juggling writing a monthly book while also writing for TV and being a new mom…but, hey! It’s almost October, which means I’ve almost survived the year!

But through it all, there have been some really rewarding moments. Roxy’s struggles feel near and dear to my heart—and probably most encapsulate what we want to say with this book. The relationship between Quentin, Benjamin, and Nathaniel also represents something I’ve had mapped out from the beginning, so watching that unfold on the page has been so satisfying. And because Trevor and Lin are so much fun, they made writing issue #5 some of the most fun I’ve ever had doing this job.

Then with Jubilee…look, as an Asian kid, she meant a lot to me as one of the few visible—and awesome—Asian X-Men characters. And now that I’m an adult, with an adopted child, juggling a lot of responsibilities, it’s crazy, because I still identify with her—just on a totally different level. So getting to write her right now in particular has been incredible for me. What’s it like working with Amilcar Pinna on the title? 

Christina Strain: A dream! He’s so sweet and so good and he works so hard. His enthusiasm feels totally infectious and every time he turns in new pages, he gives me life.

I’ve been killing myself with work this year, and every time I feel like I’ve about died, Amilcar turns in pages and I am resurrected. Like, it makes me legit annoyed that people haven’t seen the most recent issues he’s drawn yet. They look gorgeous! Who can we expect to see from the old team as part of this new storyline?

Christina Strain: I hate spoilers! So I’m going to say this: You can search for [artist] Terry Dodson’s Legacy covers and that’ll tell you for sure who’s showing up—but something to keep in mind is that he drew it forever ago, before I finished outlining this arc…and I won’t say any more than that. I can’t imagine the new kids will just sit back while Jubilee and her friends go to work. What will their role be in the story?

Christina Strain: No, they won’t. As excited as I am to get into it with the OG crew, this book still feels primarily about Jubilee, Quentin, Roxy, Benjamin, Nathaniel, Trevor, and Lin—and what goes on with them, so they’ll still be front and center. The arc really focuses more on continuing the story we set out to tell while simultaneously using the OG character’s arcs as a foil. What old and new Generation X pairings have you enjoyed most?

Christina Strain: The interactions between Roxy and the group of Chamber, Husk, and Jubilee have probably been my favorite scenes to write. Because, for me, Roxy’s had the most complicated arc of all the characters and it really touches on several of the OG character’s own arcs. So there’s a lot to mine there. There’s also an interaction between Jubilee and Quentin in issue #85 that I’ve really loved writing and I’ll be curious to see how people react to that.

Read Christina Strain and artist Amilcar Pinna’s GENERATION X #85 on December 20!

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Artist Amilcar Pinna joins Jubilee and friends in a new series!

Not everyone can be a super-cool super hero. Some just aren’t born with the abilities to run around saving the world with epic powers. Some have eyes on their tongue, but still need some guidance when it comes to dealing with a world that fears and hates them.

That’s the basic idea behind writer Christina Strain and artist Amilcar Pinna’s May 17-launching GENERATION X series. Though it stars Jubilee in a kind of leader-teacher role, the rest of the cast includes Quentin Quire, Eye-Boy, Nature Girl, Bling!, Benjamin Deeds, and the brand new creation Nathaniel Carver.

We talked with Pinna about bringing together such an unusual team, working with Strain to put their own spin on these characters, and the joys of working with misfits of the mutant world. You’ve done team books before; what sets GENERATION X apart from some of the others?

Amilcar Pinna: The approach and mood, I think, it is more like NYX or RUNAWAYS, young characters dealing with emotions and tough situations. I like that! I loved RUNAWAYS, and working on something like GENERATION X is like a dream! This take on Generation X revolves around misfit mutants who don’t fit in anywhere else. How does that come across when they’re working together?

Amilcar Pinna: It is really challenging and fun. Every character is so well written! The chemistry between them is really fun to draw, how each one of them deals with things and situations. I’m trying to deliver those differences between characters on the pages the best that I can. Two of the more well-known members of the team are Jubilee and Quentin Quire. How do they play off of one another in both the quieter and more action oriented scenes?

Amilcar Pinna: Jubilee is more like an older sister. A tough single mom too! She can be fun but she is a tough mother and sometimes she has to make some order in the house. Also she kicks ass when needed.

Quentin is a “too cool for school” kind [of] guy and such a cool character to draw. He is powerful and sometimes does not make good judgment calls when it comes to dealing with dangerous situations, so Jubilee has to play that older sister to him. You’re also dealing with existing characters like Eye-Boy, Benjamin Deeds, Nature Girl, and Bling! How was it getting their looks down and putting your own spin on them?

Amilcar Pinna: I had so much fun doing studies for them. When I was doing sketches Christina helped me a lot with ideas for them, and I really relate to her ideas about clothing and personality types, so it was really fun! GENERATION X also features a new creation in Nathaniel Carver. Did you have a hand in designing him? If so what was that like?

Amilcar Pinna: Same process: I did sketches with some guidance from Christina. Like what he likes to wear and so on. Christina has a good sense of fashion, that is so nice! With this book you’re juggling mutants, adventures, drama, and even a new school set in Central Park. Do you enjoy playing with all of those elements and making them work on the page?

Amilcar Pinna: Oh yeah, this title is so much fun! I really enjoy the mutant universe and GENERATION X is the kind of work that I’ve always wanted it to do! It’s quite a nice experience! It sounds like you and Christina work well together. Does she approach scripts differently than other writers given her experience as a colorist and artist herself?

Amilcar Pinna: I believe the fact that she is a colorist and artist does change the way that she approaches the script, definitely. She has a great sense of what is going to look cool on a page! I always have fun reading the scripts and want to know what will come next! I’m loving working with her on this!

To see what Christina Strain and Amilcar Pinna have in store for this new band of mutant misfits, check out GENERATION X #1 on May 17!

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