Choking a bitch: The state of Emma Frost in ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ #11

Avengers vs X-Men #11 spoilers here…be forewarned, though you probably already know by now since it’s all over the internet.

Last Wednesday was a pretty big week for Emma. However way Cyclops’ intentions are interpreted, she loses the Phoenix Force after Cyclops attacks her so he could keep the power for himself.

He also murders Professor Xavier, but moving on…

So, now depowered, Emma gets taken to prison, but first here’s the quick scoop on Uncanny X-Men’s shocking (or is it not?) revelation.

Uncanny X-Men #18

Uncanny X-Men #18: Emma Frost invites Cyclops for a psychic threesomeMagik reveals she did it for the lulz (and, seriously, screwing over Colossus like that was hilarious and a great scene).

Meanwhile as Emma and Cyclops fight the X-Men and Avengers (in AvX #11), they’re so beyond their humanity that they can eat steak and Homo sapien blood (not real steak and blood, psychic stuff). Emma furthers her point that the Phoenix Force’s power is getting out of hand when she tells Cyclops she had psychic sex with Namor while he was trashing Wakanda. Any stray thought they think can happen very easily, so she tells him she’s sorry.

Cyclops tells her enough and blasts her away. He can take the full Phoenix Force himself.

Avengers vs X-Men #11

40 pages of action in summary: Captain America asks Hulk to help them win the fight against Emma and Cyclops. He then orders his teammates to keep the fight on Summers and Frost (because, apparently, there are other threats around).

Cyclops goes on a rampage and chokes the Phoenix Force out of Emma to get the full power of the Phoenix. He then kills Professor X and goes Dark Phoenix.

Avengers vs X-Men #11: Cyclops chokes the Phoenix Force out of Emma Frost

New Avengers #30

Emma Frost, under arrest for her crimes against humanity!Daredevil and Luke Cage are on a truck taking non-PF, power-suppressed Emma to an Avengers prison. She defends her actions but acts like nothing else happened and says the Phoenix Five were just trying to do what the Avengers are trying to do — save the world.

They’re interrupted when the mutant hating Purifiers try to kill Emma. While the Avengers and Purifiers are fighting, Emma tries escaping but Daredevil knocks her out with his baton.

She’s fine after the Avengers defeat the Purifiers. Iron Man is shocked the Purifiers have such tech. Emma says weapons and money aren’t a problem when religion is involved.

Brevoort interprets Cyclops’ actions in Avengers vs X-Men #11

CBR: Here we have the scene where Scott takes Emma’s Phoenix power for himself. You mentioned earlier that there was a bond between them and it was questionable whether or not the power of the Phoenix would cause it to snap. Why does it snap here? Did Scott feel that he needed Emma’s power? Did he feel that it was his to begin with?


That all having been said, in my interpretation Scott reached a moment where in essence he was weighing two factors: his commitment to what he sees as the future, betterment and survival of the mutant race on one side, and his love, affection, and relationship with Emma on the other. In that moment and weighing those two things while under attack by Professor X, the X-Men, and the Avengers he makes a choice that is sort of the culmination of the path he’s walked since “House of M” and the aftermath of M-Day.

He’s had this stalwart laser like focus of “I must save my people.” In this moment that was a stronger thing for him than his relationship with Emma. I think he did this out of a belief in necessity rather than something he needed, wanted, or did on a whim. I think this isn’t something he would have wanted to do. This is a case where he felt there was no other option and that he had to do this or else all would be lost and any hope for the mutant species would go out the window.

On the previous page we see Emma’s reaction to this, and she was surprised even though she knows Scott better than anyone else and knows how laser focused he can be.

True. This is another case where I don’t want to read too much into things for people, but I think this is a fairly substantial betrayal for Emma. For all that she may have been sort of flighty and quick to skirt the edges of the rules of her relationship with Scott, if not out and out break them, I think they had a true connection and true bond. She believed in that and I think one of the things that she found and finds attractive in him is that he is so absolutely stalwart. He is the right guy. So I don’t know that she ever truly thought he would do this.

I think there were probably moments where she thought she would do it to him. That could have been part of what was on her mind two issues back where out in the desert she said to Scott, “Something is not right. I’m not feeling right and I need to talk to you.” He was busy tracking down Hope though. So they didn’t have that conversation.

Assuming both of them survive this, does this betrayal mean their relationship is over?

Not necessarily. Emma is a character who certainly in her own way, style and personality has been just as stalwart in her protection and defense of the remaining mutants. On a metaphorical level all the mutants that are left; the X-Men and Utopia’s other inhabitants who were less active as super heroes, were all her students now in a way that she had the Generation X kids back in the day and all the kids on Genosha that were wiped out. For all that she put on certain airs, she was absolutely stalwart herself in the goal of protecting, defending, and maintaining her species.

So while this is a harsh moment and there will certainly have to be after effects, I could see a world in which Emma looked at this moment and would say to Scott, “You did what you had to do. I would have done the same thing.”So I don’t think their relationship is necessarily done. Or it could go horribly awry and now we have two characters that are eternally opposed to one another moving into a new chapter of the Marvel Universe. We just won’t know for a few more weeks.

CBR’s full interview is here, so go ahead and read it as I’m not going to copy and paste the entire article.

What just happened?

I’m just dumbstruck by this entire event, so I will leave a wonderful comment left by Khino.

I’m not talking about the “fight” per see, nor the result. Pushing a character is fine, heck, it’s what happened with Emma right until Dark Reign. But X-Men is still a team book, whoever’s writing it has to at least try to write in a way there’s no “main character”. Emma was the character marvel was pushing during Whedon’s run, and they still allowed Kitty and Cyclops to shine. Emma’s fanbase has never been so big in feats, so even if I think it’s laughable when they try to write it as if Scott had more control than her, that’s not the problem.

What I mean is that there’s no problem with using Cyclops as the main character for this event, but that’s no excuse for mistreating the other characters involved. And I do know Emma had more presence than any character not called Cyclops so far, but the way I see it that’s not really a good thing. It means she’s getting part of the blame and will suffer the consequences of a storyline that wasn’t really taking her character in account.

Marvel went out of their way to keep Emma and Cyclops together. They made her stay on Utopia when she herself said she should be at the school. Yet most of the time what we got is how hard it is to Cyclops to be viewed as “new Magneto”, not how she feels about her sacrifice, not about how Storm faces the problem of being the moral compass of the team, etc. Now Emma was pretty much the only character on Utopia who was strictly against using the phoenix. Did they take that into account at any time of the event? Or the various phoenix signs she alone received before that? Nope. Even as a guest character, if the character in question is even more tied to the subject of the event (the phoenix) than the main character himself, isn’t it expected that said character will have more impact than Emma got?

And from another spoiler I’ve seen (I think it was the #30 issue of an Avengers book), after losing her part of the bird, while being taken by the avengers, she talks as if she too was willing to use the phoenix. That has nothing to do with this being Cyclops’ story or not, it’s just that marvel is disregarding Emma’s own development because it’s apparently not that important for them. While it’s absolutely important for her to admit to Scott she had psychic sex with Namor right at the middle of the battle.

All the other X-Men are rebuilding post Marvel Now, with potential new storylines and hopefully get written in a way where none of the main characters has to be held back so the writers’ favorite will shine. Emma, just like the rest of the P5, is still not on any of the revealed upcoming titles (All New X-Men is still a maybe). I’m sure she is appearing, I have no doubt about that, but as the titles get revealed, it looks more and more like she’ll be stuck in Cyclops’ team again. If that’s how it is, from all the X-Men, she is the one that already has the worst start of all, since her motivation will be once again just an extension of Cyclops’ own motivations.

I hate to be that guy to say these things, I know it sounds pessimistic, but Emma has been held back for around 3 years now, ever since Cyclops has become undisputably the main character. And now that it seems the focus won’t be on him anymore, when her character gets a chance to go back to her own story, all I see are signs that they are dragging her down with him.

My “be strong, people” was more of me expressing how I think Emma’s character won’t be at a very good position in Marvel Now, though that’s of course just my prediction

Now get your drama violin out because here is a song for all of us.


  • VenomMelendez

    If they arrested Emma, is the same true for the rest of the P5?

    • Khino

      Not really sure. The only one that was shown to be arrested so far is Emma.

    • Aimee

      Magik mentioned to Colossus in UXM 18 that she was surprised they escaped from the Avengers.

  • Khino

    Wow, you used my post, that’s an honor! And I think you highlighted most of the important points too.

    I should’ve learned by now, but as far as comics go, I better just ignore it every time marvel teases or promotes Emma as an important character.
    I frankly stopped reading regularly because I think the team aspect I mentioned on that post is really what defines the X-Men. I didn’t rage-quit or anything, I’m patient, I know that sooner or later they will get back on track. If that time comes during a time Emma is not able to take part in the story, well, it’s a sad irony for me.

    Oh well, enough with this mood. Has the voting for those AvX minimates (that was posted months ago) come to an end?

    • Aimee

      I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for Emma to get better too. But this may just be a break point for me if this gets worse than it already is. And I just don’t know if UXM 18 made Emma’s situation better or worse…

      • airdreams

        I love Gillen’s work on X-Men but his UXM
        18 just pissed me off.

    • Aimee

      About the AvX minimates…I checked the voting a couple weeks ago. It looks like the poll is still open, but they removed the notification on their frontpage. I have no idea what’s going on with it.

      I really liked your post. As I just replied to @facebook-11708695:disqus, I don’t think Emma and Namor are that big of a deal because there’s so much else going on. My problem is that it’s going to end up being about how Cyclops feels, where, like you said, Emma’s feelings become secondary. I know we’re all fans, but, like you pointed out, Emma has her own views on mutants and we never got to see how she feels about it. It’s all about Cyclops.

    • Aimee

      Whoops, I replied to the wrong comment….

      What’s also disturbing is the possible punishment Emma faces for revealing her tryst with Namor at such an irrelevant time. Maybe Emma was trying to push Cyclops’ buttons to get him to kill the Avengers (she did say she’ll let Scott do all the worrying), but the outcome of what actually happened seems like Emma got nearly choked to death because she revealed to her boyfriend she had a psychic affair with a fish king. A few issues before, Cyclops told Emma he knows what it’s like to have your mind wander. Maybe Gillen added that in there to not throw Emma completely under the bus.

      Maybe Cyclops wasn’t even listening to the conversation at all. His reaction to Emma’s comments made no absolute sense. I’m afraid we’re going to find out that Cyclops really wasn’t paying attention to Emma (again) and that he was so focused on the battle that he just needed Emma’s power to help save the mutant race.

      Either outcome (whether Cyclops choked her out of revenge or just wanted power, or a cumulation of it all) looks terribly drab for Emma because it becomes all about Cyclops…again. I don’t know if I’ll be following the comics anymore if Emma’s role in Marvel isn’t portrayed as her own character. This sounds dramatic (I know, but hey! We’re fans!), and I’m totally joking about the Youtube video I posted ;), but I’m tired of waiting for something good to happen.

      At the same time, this entire series is absolute ridiculous. The flow and plotline of it all are just very disjointed. I almost feel we’re giving it too much credit by taking it seriously, however, Emma has been suffering character development for the sake of Cyclops for quite some time, so this isn’t something new we’re complaining about.

      • Niklas B

        I have a feeling the triangle with Namor will end now after AvX whatever else happens.

        That might be way it happened now, Gillen had to deliver some pay-off and bring resolution to this long-running plotline (started all the way back in 2009 I think) before he finalizes his Uncanny run and gives the reins over to Bendis. I don’t see Namor being in ANXM.

      • Khino

        My post was a bit more dramatic than I wanted too. I guess it’s because this event marks the end of an era, so I was kinda expecting a more balanced story (not just in regards to Emma but yeah).

  • airdreams

    I love your comment Khino!

    The dissension between Scott and Wolverine led the schism of X-Men; Scott considered Hope as the Messiah of whole mutantkind; Scott insisted to let the Phoenix host Hope; Scott commanded X-Men to fight with Avengers; Scott led Emma, Colossonaut, Magik and Namor on to the moon; Scott declared “no more Avengers; Scott refused to offer the PF to Hope in AvX 5… The whole AvX is about Scott, but now they wanna blame Emma for those messes and make her suffer the consequences, isn’t it ridiculous?!

    Having psychic sex with Namor? Yea I can actually live with it, but writers put it in the story only wanna make Scott seem not that bad: look! It’s the fucking reason why he choked Emma! WTF.

    Emma/Scott relationship, which has always been portrayed extremely Scott-centered, has been depowered Emma all along, especially after Scott becoming the undisputed leader. Emma should and need to stay single post-AvX!

    But the sad thing is that Marvel seems wanna keep them together after it. If it’s coming inevitable, I guess we’d better look on the bright side of it: Emma/Scott was portrayed quite well before the king-Scott thing, so if he’s not the so-called leader any more after the event, perhaps writers can balance their relationship to do what Whedon did in his WXM run.

    • Aimee

      See, it’s interesting Emma didn’t mention she brain-fried a human in front of his family.

      • Niklas B

        She mentioned that cannibal she killed (but not before taking a look at his memories!) instead. Both of those probably fall under the same category.

        Not so sure she was actually there when she brain-fried that hit-and-run guy, his family only looked at him, they probably never saw her at all.

  • Cedric Adams

    The sheer amount of disrespect Emma has received since Dark Reign has been galling. She’s been transformed from a character of powerful and singular will into an extension of Scott. Their relationship used to be one of mutual support and reciprocity, now its consumption and control of Emma. Cheater?! What a contrived villainous characterization for a female. I’m disappointed and wish they would let Emma go somewhere else away from Scott’s characterization.

    • Aimee

      I don’t think the Emma and Namor reveal was that big of a deal, given the scope of things. Emma said that anything can happen with just thinking the slightest stray thought. My problem is that they had to make her mention it at the most irrelevant time.

      Maybe Emma was trying to manipulate Cyclops into getting rid of the Avengers and humans (because she was talking about taking over the world), but she grossly miscalculated what Cyclops would do. Maybe. Maybe Cyclops wasn’t even listening to what Emma was saying and was too busy with the battle.

      We’ll all have more answers after this is over, but I’m just so disappointed that the focus is going to be all about Cyclops again — leading Emma to be an extension of Cyclops’ actions.

      • Niklas B

        “…leading Emma to be an extension of Cyclops’ actions”

        That is mostly true, but it’s not the case just for her, the same goes for everyone else. Even Xavier, Cap and Wolverine imo. So I wouldn’t feel bad about it. At least she’s gotten more characterization than most everyone else. I’ve found her struggles with the Phoenix pretty enjoyable and interesting.

        And it’s a great story of Cyclops’ rise and fall. Hope he sticks it to the Avengers in the next issue as a final act ;)

        • Cedric Adams

          I suppose what distresses me is that Emma who had dealings with the Phoenix Force, just bows to the idea that they should wield it. It’s the complete disregard of her history combined with her lack of self motivation beyond “Scott’s my boyfriend. I love him. Must follow him” that disturbs me. Why is everything so Scott-centric? I’d like my favorite character to be more than a cheerleader for her lover. My desires aside I have enjoyed Scott’s corruption, it was a fresh direction for him and while I wish Emma could step out of his shadow, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t the teensiest bit interested in seeing the consequences of Scott’s actions.

          • Niklas B

            Everyone in the story has had dealings with the Phoenix Force before, and most of them were ignored. Feels like only DPS counted as background in this story.

            She did go behind his back with Namor & Wakanda, so it’s not as if she followed him uncritically here. And I doubt giving up the Phoenix Force was a real option for any of them even if they wanted. It’s probably too addictive for that.

            Anyway, seeing how Bendis wrote Emma & Scott in House of M, I don’t think he’ll write her in his shadow too much. The story setup dictates that he get a big part of the panel time though. He’ll have to deal with killing his father and getting some visits from his past after all.

  • Tony Alexander

    I think it’s BS that they’re arresting Emma! Did they arrest Wolverine when he killed Northstar back in the day? Or when the Scarlet Witch killed a good chunk of her OWN TEAMMATES in the Avengers? TOTAL RUBBISH that she’s being arrested.

    • Aimee

      They’re going to be arresting Cyclops and will probably on the lookout for the rest of the P5. But, again, the focus looks like it’s going to be ALL on Cyclops’ feelings and how he has to deal with it, with everyone else being an extension of Cyclops’ feelings.

    • Niklas B

      Why is her being arrested a problem?

      If was fun to see her interact with Luke and DD that way in the New Avengers issue. And we all know she won’t be locked up for long. (And hey, no Cyclops in sight there nor even mentioned!)

      • Khino

        I agree. I think her being in prison opens up a lot of good possibilities story-wise. As the White Queen her crimes were not public, it’s the first time ever she’s facing the law.

  • mikey

    Just sayin’, Avengers vs X-Men is on Avengers Alliance

    • Aimee

      I know, I know. I’ve been so busy IRL!

  • EmmaFan

    I will always favor Emma. I feel that her relationship with Scott has diminished her attitude and personality a bit by conforming to what Scott wants. That being said, I do hope their relationship can be fixed for the better or end it altogether because Emma was a much more wonderful bitch when she wasn’t hiding in Scott’s shadow. The fact that she had psychic sex with Namor actually kinda makes me happy because Scott’s been acting like a brat as of late and seemed to kind of ignore Emma. She needs to be let off, “Scott-free.”

  • Cyke

    I think the Namor thing was just a cop out for Marvel to respond to Emma not having her own character with Scott. It kind of backfires, because it’s like, oh so she needs the validation of an affair with another man to be her own person?!? I think she is her own person, and she chooses in her own will to love Scott and support him, like he does her, or did. I liked her character GROWTH with him, and they make a united, complimenting strong couple. I hate what happened with Namor, I don’t take AVX seriously, I honestly haven’t even read it, I just saw what I needed to and boycotted anything after that. This makes me hate Emma so much! Maybe that’s the objective, but I was a huge fan of her and her strong personality! She doesn’t need to be slutty and lusty to be her own person.

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