I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something incredibly horny about Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men run so far. From the juicy pod babies in House of X #1 to swoony Cyclops in Powers of X #2, Hickman and his collaborators seem to be going out of their way to make these books about a new mutant nation and war between organic and artificial life as steamy as possible.
Well, the steaminess was cranked up to 11 this week with House of X #3. It took six issues, half of the total HOX/POX story currently unfolding, for the first appearance of a familiar X-Men team, but the real heavyweight moment this week comes courtesy of Emma Frost, the White Queen herself. In just three pages, Pepe Larraz and Marte Gracia give readers an Emma that is so sumptuously drawn that her attitude essentially drips off the page. It’s clear from her relaxed body language and the way she casually looks at her nails while asserting her demands that Emma isn’t putting up with anyone’s guff.
Not only does she make a stunning introduction, literally halting the events of a court room for everyone to turn and notice her entrance, but she looks incredible doing it. In addition to her standard, flowing jumpsuit, Emma is rocking a pair of sunglasses inside and is adorned with a gold “X” on her chest that presumably represents her status as a Krakoan diplomat. Flanked by two of the Stepford Cuckoos, Emma’s bright, white outfit is a clear contrast from the grays and blacks the guards are wearing, a distinction that immediately positions her as a controlling force before a single word is uttered.
Hickman excels at writing Emma Frost as a strong, biting character who is multiple steps ahead of everyone else in the room. Serving as an ambassador for the new Krakoan nation, Emma immediately voices her demands and makes it clear that she will not be taking no for an answer. Her harsh, belittling language seems better suited for a villain taking a room hostage, but Emma’s really just making it unambiguous that she
is a dominatrix holds all the cards.
It’s clear that Emma could mutilate or exploit the secrets of every person in the room, but the biting restraint she shows is both fitting of her diplomatic status and symbolic of a deeper, self-righteous belief brewing among the mutants that the children of Krakoa can do no wrong.
As odd as it may seem, things are proceeding somewhat normally. Now that Krakoa is a nation with protected status, it is well within Emma’s rights to assert Sabretooth’s diplomatic immunity and insist that mutants will handle the prosecution of all mutant crimes. While being tried by a jury of one’s peers is undoubtedly an important part of a fair legal process, the clear message being sent here is that mutants are no longer afraid of humans or willing to participate in their structures.
Having Emma — a character who has switched back and forth between being honorable and shady so many times it’s hard to keep track sometimes — be the harbinger of this new reality is a power move that shows just how serious the mutants are about their sovereignty. No matter how uncomfortable a mutant nation and the new international order it orchestrates may make humans feel, Emma Frost wants to make sure that you know she doesn’t really care.
Things are certainly heating up for the X-Men as we pass the halfway mark in the HOX/POX saga, but don’t forget to reminiscence on everything that’s come before and check out last week’s column on Wolverine’s self-sacrificial nature. Until then, see you neXt week, muties!