WHITE QUEEN I: Page 3 of 10

Last Updated: 
5th January 2005

The Inner Circle’s last recruit was Jason Wyngarde, aka Mastermind, who claimed to be able to seduce Phoenix, the X-Men’s most powerful member, into serving the Hellfire Club as their Black Queen. Equipped with a mindtap device designed by Emma Frost, to perfectly match his illusions with Jean’s own innermost fantasies, he slowly wormed his way into her head over long weeks. The Club also had planted a bug within Xavier’s mansion and, when Cerebro alerted the X-Men of two new mutant signatures, the Hellfire Club tried to recruit them too.

In Chicago, Emma got to the parents of Kitty Pryde, even before the X-Men managed too, and offered her parents to have Kitty educated at her Massachusetts Academy. Unknown to the parents, Emma used the school as a cover for training young operatives for the Hellfire Club. Upon leaving, Emma ran into Professor Xavier, Colossus, Storm and Wolverine in civilian clothes. While the Professor talked with the Prydes, the three X-Men took Kitty to a nearby mall, where they were ambushed by Emma and her forces. Only Kitty escaped and she alerted the other half of the X-Men, who had gone to New York to contact Dazzler. Finally, it came down to a telepathic battle between the White Queen and Phoenix, after Emma had tried to destroy the mind of her prisoner, Storm. At first, it seemed that the two women were evenly matched, but finally Emma was overpowered and the building crashed in on her. [X-Men (1st series) #129-131] When the X-Men later encountered the rest of the Hellfire Club, Emma Frost was still recovering from Phoenix’s mental attack.

With Frost back at full health and Phoenix having committed suicide, the Hellfire Club wanted a rematch with the X-Men. The White Queen telepathically forced Kitty Pryde’s parents to transfer her to the Massachusetts Academy. Since Kitty was still a minor, she had to obey and Ororo agreed to drive her over. Once there, Emma Frost switched minds with Storm. Meanwhile, Shaw’s Sentinels attacked the rest of the X-Men. After "Storm" helped to defeat them, she turned on the X-Men, who ended up as helpless prisoners of the Hellfire Club. However, the real Ororo, stuck in Frost's body, was able to get a handle on her telepathic powers and took Kitty back to the mansion. In the final battle, Storm proved to be the better woman and got her body back. She calmed the small blizzard Emma had created and saved her from falling from a great height. When the Queen again used her telepathy for another attack, Storm fried her with an electric bolt and was ready to kill her, but her fellow X-Men held her back. Instead, they made Emma promise to leave Kitty and the X-Men alone. [Uncanny X-Men #151-152]

Emma Frost beat Xavier in a race to contact the newly discovered mutant, Angelica Jones. She enlisted her in the Massachusetts Academy and, once she had realized Angelica’s high power potential, the White Queen decided to keep her separate from the other young mutants she was secretly training at the Academy. [Firestar #1]

Soon after, Emma was attacked by an unseen assailant, who later turned out to be Mastermind. Blaming others for his own failures, he was on a personal revenge mission against Emma, Mystique and the X-Men. He probably blamed Emma’s mindtap device for him losing control over Phoenix and, with his mental illusions, he caused Emma to fall into a coma for months. [Uncanny X-Men #169] When Professor Xavier learned of Emma’s state, he offered to help but was refused. The Hellfire Club didn’t want to be in their enemy’s debt. [Uncanny X-Men Annual #7]

Shortly afterwards, Kitty Pryde’s friend, Doug Ramsey, received an invitation to the Massachusetts Academy and wanted to accept. Since they could not reveal the Academy’s dark secrets to the boy, Kitty at least wanted to accompany him for a visit and, given the condition the White Queen was last seen in, the X-Men believed them safe. Additionally, Xavier stayed in mental contact with Kitty, only the X-Men were whisked away by the Beyonder for the Secret Wars. When Emma Frost was revealed to have made a full recovery, Kitty was easily defeated, especially since the villain could threaten to harm Doug Ramsey. Learning of her friend’s fate, Illyana Rasputin alerted her fellow New Mutants and, since none of the big hero teams were still on Earth, they themselves traveled to the Massachusetts Academy for a rescue mission. Still, most of the New Mutants were caught, as they were surprised by the White Queen and her Hellions. While Emma Frost went to visit Shaw to inform him about their potential new recruits, the Hellions and the Mutants settled for a duel between Jetstream and Cannonball. Even though Sam won, Frost and Shaw didn't want to let the mutants go. Fortunately, Kitty was able to cause a confusion that allowed Magik to teleport them all to safety. [Uncanny X-Men #180, New Mutants (1st series) #15-17]

Emma continued to isolate Firestar from the other students and trained her secretly and alone. However, she introduced her to the other Hellions and used a possible future membership as incentive for Angelica to make fast progress. Also, she gave her a special bracelet, which caused the girl nightmares that increased her own doubts and made her easier to control. When Selene joined the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club as the new Black Queen, Frost and Shaw regarded her as too powerful and a potential threat to their own positions. Therefore, they planned to make Angelica kill Selene. Yet, shortly before she performed the murder, Firestar saw through the deception and left the Massachusetts Academy. Threatening to reveal the academy's secrets, she made Emma Frost promise to never interfere with her again. [Firestar #2-4]

After being killed and later again resurrected by the Beyonder, the New Mutants were left shocked and apathetic, most of the team totally lost their will to live. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for Emma Frost. She offered telepathic treatment in case they joined the Hellions. Giving in to feelings of guilt, fear and helplessness, Magneto accepted; unaware that he was emotionally manipulated by Frost’s student Empath. The White Queen welcomed her new students at the Massachusetts Academy and immediately started to erase their memories of the painful events. On a surface level, it seemed that the teenagers were themselves again but Emma sensed that there was still something amiss. Meanwhile, Magneto found out that he had been tricked by Empath and tried to get the kids back. Emma Frost called the local authorities, who in turn summoned the Avengers to detain Magneto. Luckily, the New Mutants learned about the fight and, after Illyana teleported them to the battlesite, they helped him. The White Queen decided to try another approach and offered to help the kids together with Magneto. This time, they were successful. Her telepathic powers and Magneto’s emotional concern restored them to their old selves. With the Mutants deciding to return to Xavier’s school, Emma departed peacefully. However, she left her invitation open, well aware that she now seemed generous in the New Mutants’ eyes and they possibly would not believe Magneto when he would try to tell them about her being evil. [New Mutants (1st series) #38-40]