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Emma Grace Frost / White Queen

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/emma_frost.png
She doesn't need to be psychic to know where you're looking.

Other Ranks: Queen of Crystal Heart, Black Queen, Black King IV

Species: Human mutant

Debut: Uncanny X-Men #129 (1980)

"In my diamond form, I feel nothing. I've worked all my life to make my mind as perfect as my body. To be cold and hard and emotionless. And maybe that is my flaw. The emotions wash over me like icy water, and I feel it for the very first time. This is what forgiveness feels like. Here, in this place, with these incredible people... Maybe there can be such a thing as a second chance for even me."
Emma Frost
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Emma began her role in the Marvel Universe as an X-Men supervillainess under the title of the White Queen of the Hellfire Club. She first appeared in the storyline The Dark Phoenix Saga, and later becomes the primary villain in the original run of New Mutants with her own team from Massachussets Academy, the Hellions.

After she's recovered from a coma and learns that her Hellions has been slaughtered by the Sentinels led by the supervillain Trevor Fitzroy during The Phalanx Covenant crossover, her guilt over her students' deaths led to her eventual reform. Her first role as The Atoner is in Generation X (1994) where she, along with Sean Cassidy a.k.a. Banshee, becomes the mentor for the team.

In the miniseries X-Men: Phoenix - Warsong, it's revealed that during her coma, her egg cells were used as genetic templates to clone several identical telepath mutant girls, five of which would later known as the Stepford Cuckoos. The clones refer to Emma as their "mother", a title she later accepts. She also personally acts as their tutor.

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She's also one of the main characters in New X-Men where her infamous Mental Affair with Cyclops happened, endangering Cyclops' marriage to Jean Grey. In New X-Men: Academy X (2004), she becomes the leader of a new Hellions Squad, this time associated with the Xavier Institute. Her team is also the rival of a second New Mutants team, echoing the rivalry between the two original groups of the similar names. During M-Day, most of her team members retain their powers, with the exception of Tag (Brian Cruz) and Specter (Dallas Gibson). Around this time, one of the Cuckoos, Sophie, made a Heroic Sacrifice to stop Quentin Quire and his Omega Gang. This prompted another Cuckoo, Esme, to leave, but she later returned to personally try to kill Emma. Emma was shattered while in her organic diamond form by Esme who shot her with a diamond bullet, but Jean Grey managed to repair Emma at the molecular level. Esme herself is later killed by Xorn, who also killed Jean.

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Later in Astonishing X-Men Vol. 3 (2004-2013), she co-leads the X-Men alongside Cyclops after Jean Grey's death. In this series, she also has an antagonistic relationship with Kitty Pryde, who is reluctant to accept Emma as a leader and teacher.

During a conversation with Iron Man in Civil War, Emma announces that the Xavier Institute and the X-Men will not support the Superhuman Registration Act and remain neutral, as she fears that the registration of mutants would put them in more danger.

After Secret Invasion and during Dark Reign, she's introduced as a member of Norman Osborn's Cabal and X-Men (Dark X-Men), only to later betray the team during a confrontation with X-Force. She took Namor, Cloak, and Dagger along with her and rejoined the rest of the mutants. An enraged Osborn sent the Dark Avengers and Dark X-Men to kill her and Namor, but failed spectacularly.

In Avengers vs. X-Men, she's one of five mutants who are possessed by the Phoenix Force and becomes one of the Phoenix Five. Under its influence, she does several terrible things which she later regrets. She lost her portion of the Phoenix Force power after Cyclops, who became more corrupted by the Phoenix Force, forcibly took it from her. She's later placed in the custody of New Avengers members Luke Cage, Mockingbird, Daredevil, and The Thing. There, she survives an assassination attempt by the Purifiers.

She's later freed by Cyclops, Magneto, and Magik. Although she was still furious with Cyclops for what happened in the climax of Avengers vs X-Men, she agreed to join with Cyclops and Magneto once more and, along with Magik, began searching for new Mutants. She became a leader in Cyclops’ new X-Men team and was present when Cyclops freed several mutants from their human captors. The New Charles Xavier School for Mutants is founded.

Later, when the time-displaced original five X-Men came to join the school, she became the tutor for teen Jean Grey in the use of her power. Again, they began with a rather strained relationship, but to everyone’s surprise, they eventually settled their differences and actually began to bond, after a fashion.


Emma Frost appears in:

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     Notable Comics 

    Animated series 

    Film 

    Video Games 


Emma Frost provides examples of:

  • Absolute Cleavage: Several of her costumes have gone for this look. An example is her black costume at the New Charles Xavier School.
  • Abusive Parents: Her mother was a neglectful Rich Bitch and a prescription drug abuser while her father was cold and emotionless and encouraged his children to play mindgames with each other.
    Winston Frost: Greetings, Winston Frost here. Whoever you are, one thing is clear – you've gotten my attention, and thus I applaud you. To have managed a minor miracle where so many others have failed... bully for you. I have followed your instructions and have responded within the time allotted. I also refrained from contacting the police as per your order. But, really... two hundred and fifty thousand dollars? Do you really think my daughter is worth that much? The same daughter who turned her back on me? Told me my money wasn't good enough? Well... you want to know how much I think she's worth? NOTHING. Oh, and as for hanging her, I hope you brought a long enough noose. Because she's dead to me already.
  • Accuser of the Brethren: In Astonishing X-Men, Kitty Pryde's reaction to Emma as a teacher at the X-Academy is less than enthusiastic. It subsequently turned out that Emma deliberately arranged for Kitty to join the staff, because she needed to have someone around who would notice if she started turning evil again and wouldn't make excuses for her.
  • Action Girl: Emma Frost is easily one of the most powerful mutants on the team. She once kicked Thor's ass.
  • Action Mom: For the Stepford Cuckoos, her five cloned daughters. She can be protective to them, and she is quite saddened when two of them are dead (even if one of them, Esme, once betrayed and tried to kill her).
  • Adaptational Heroism: Many animated adaptations, especially the X-Men anime, take away Emma's more sociopathic personality traits. Her backstory also tends to get changed around, often giving her a Hidden Heart of Gold among other positive qualities.
  • The Ageless: Played with. Emma doesn't age while in her Diamond form, but she can't use her psionic powers. In a 2020 story arc for Captain Marvel, where Carol is trapped in an After the End future, Emma had been staying in Diamond form and when she transforms she looks the same as she does now, in contrast Jessica Drew looked well in to her 60s or 70s and was physically frailer than before (her son had to help her out a bit, when she wasn't sheltered against the cold).
  • Aloof Big Sister: Towards her younger sister Cordelia for whom she has only slightly less animousity towards than Adrienne. Deconstructed with Christian Frost, Emma's big brother, who was the only one in Emma's family to love her. When Emma abandoned her family, she also left Christian and never spoke to him again. When Emma returned to check why Christian and his abusive father seemed closer, Christian asked her why she abandoned him. Emma answered that Evil Sisters Want Happy Brothers and she was doing things that will hurt Christian. If you see Dark and Troubled Past, or if you could ask Esme's opinion, you have to concede Emma has a point.
  • Alternate Universe:
    • Age of Apocalypse: In this universe, Emma never joined the Hellfire Club and is a member of the Human High Council, with partial lobotomy suppressing her abilities.
    • Age of Ultron: She is one of the few superpowered humans hiding in the tunnels beneath Central Park.
    • Days of Future Past: She is former White Queen of the Hellfire Club. She joined Magneto and Jubilee to save Wolverine and defeat the alternate evil Psylocke who is also Red Queen of Hellfire Club. She later attempts to rehabilitate Psylocke back to the side of good.
    • In a reality visited by Exiles, Emma is wheelchair-bound and served as the heroes' chief means of communication by using her telepathy.
    • House of M: Emma is married to Scott and is a child therapist. Franklin Richards is one of her clients.
    • Marvel Adventures: Emma is a young mutant and one of the few people who knows Spider-Man's true identity. She had crush on Peter. She also briefly became costumed rogue with the alias "Silencer" (complete with Domino Mask!) to see what Spidey is capable of. Later, she joined the Blonde Phantom Detective Agency.
    • Marvel Noir: She is a warden of Genosha Bay prison.
    • In another reality visited by New Exiles, Dame Emma Frost is head of Britain's Department X and founder of Force-X. She's also wheelchair-bound.
    • Old Man Logan: She marries Doctor Doom in order to ensure the survival of her species. Together with Doctor Doom, they rule a sector of what once was the United States of America, the only place on Earth where mutants can live without fear of persecution.
    • Ultimate Marvel (Ultimate X-Men): She is former student and girlfriend of Charles Xavier. She's in charge of the Academy of Tomorrow and is secretly a part of the Hellfire Club.
    • In another world visited by Exiles, she is still in her evil Hellfire Club role and almost freed the evil Proteus from Morph. It's a long story.
  • An Arm and a Leg: In Uncanny X-Men (2011), she loses an arm against Mr. Sinister. Being in diamond form, she doesn't die from blood loss or anything, and she gets better.
  • Anti-Hero: Unscrupulous Hero or Nominal Hero. At best.
  • Anti-Hero Substitute: While she never adopted the name or costume, she essentially became this to Jean after the latter's death in New X-Men, replacing her as the team's resident telepath, the Institute's headmistress and Cyclops' bedmate. This left her perpetually in Jean's shadow, both In-Universe and out, a status that she was acutely aware of and more than one character (including a teenage Jean) has needled her about it.
  • Arch-Enemy: After he Heel–Face Turn, Emma began to have personal enmity with former Hellfire Club colleagues, especially with Sebastien Shaw and Selene.
  • The Atoner: In Generation X where she tried to atone for her past as a villain by turning her Massachusetts Academy that used to be an Academy of Evil that trained the Hellions in order to train the new generation of X-Men. This aspect of her was newly focused on by Joss Whedon.
  • Attention Whore: She wears those Stripperiffic suits on purpose.
  • Badass Teacher: Comes with being a mutant teacher, she defended or fought alongside her students on multiple occasions. She's already a teacher even before she joins the X-Men.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Inverted and invoked when Emma recruits Iceman to help her brother Christian. Emma invoked Aloof Big Sister when she abandoned Christian to become the White Queen, and she knows that she of all people is not a good influence on anyone, so she forces Iceman to help Christian to show him a good, well adjusted homosexual... and of course, after Iceman helps Christian, Emma treats Iceman like a Jerkass.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Another frequently-used feature of her costumes. The ones that haven't done this to some degree are rare, but her bodysuit in Generation X is the most noteworthy.
  • Battle Couple: With Cyclops, after the death of Phoenix. They tend to lead from the front line together, though not nearly as effective a team as Cyclops and Phoenix were.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Emma abandoned Christian, the only brother she has loved to become Hellfire's club White Queen. She did it on purpose so the evil actions Emma was planning to do would not make her a Doom Magnet to Christian. When Emma comes back for Christian, she had to manipulate Iceman to help Christian to inspire hope in him, something Emma considers herself incapable to do. The sad part is that if you see Dark and Troubled Past, or if you could ask Esme's opinion, you have to concede Emma has a point.
  • Berserk Button: Don't call her "old". Or mess with her students.
  • Betty and Veronica: Veronica for Cyclops to Jean Grey (Betty).
  • Big Bad: One of several in the original run of New Mutants.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Winston and Hazel Frost were Abusive Parents. Their four children were Christian, Adrienne, Emma and Cordelia. Emma and Adrienne became Cain and Abel, Winston was Christian's Archnemesis Dad and Christian was forced to become a Self-Made Orphan. Cordelia cannot care less about any of her siblings, but that doesn't mean she wouldn't attack them in the future. Not to mention Emma herself has five clone daughters...
  • Bitter Wedding Speech: In X-Men Unlimited #4, Emma is invited to the wedding of her former friend from college, and Wolverine tags along. The two are treated with scorn for being known mutants and for Emma's sexual past with the groom. After the best man embarrasses her in his speech, Emma takes the mic and gives a nice little speech of her own... and outs the groom as a mutant. The guests are all shocked and the visibly-pregnant bride is particularly horrified. Emma and Logan leave right after, and he goes all "What the Hell, Hero?" during the drive back. She says he can now join the fight, but turns away and looks out the window with mixed regret.
  • Brains and Bondage: She worked as a Dominatrix at the Hellfire Club and has degrees in several fields, including a Bachelor of Science in Education with a minor in Business Administration from the prominent Marvel Universe's Empire State University. She was also founder and CEO of Frost Enterprises, a major multinational conglomerate headquartered in New York City that rivaled Stark Enterprises and Worthington Industries and specialized in shipping, aerospace engineering and new technology R&D.
  • Breaking the Cycle of Bad Parenting: In contrast from her own neglectful and abusive parents, Emma has shown great care to many of the younger mutants she has mentored. She also cares deeply for her own clones/daughters The Stepford Cuckoos.
  • Break the Cutie: Her retconned backstory qualifies, due to all she endured in her childhood at the hands of her father.
  • Break Them by Talking: Emma is incredibly good at this, given she uses her telepathy to known exactly what to say to her opponents. A great example of this can be found when after finding Kimura sneaking around the X-Mansion getting ready to kill X23:
    Emma: Do you ever wonder why you take such pleasure from abusing a little girl who can't hurt you, let alone defeat you? No, I thought not. You'll notice that you cannot move. I've shut down all your motor control so you can listen while I enlighten you. You are a bully, plain and simple. A product of your past. Being kicked around your whole life by an alcoholic father and an uncaring mother at home, only to find the same waiting for you from your peers in the schoolyard, day in and day out. You were born into a life you did not deserve... a life no child deserves... Someone needs to fill the role of victim and you played that part for so many... until your grandmother came to your rescue. But sadly she came too late. All the hope and good you held onto was beaten out of you long ago. After your grandmother's heart attack, you found your way to the Facility to the men that could give you what you wanted so badly... Revenge. A hollow prize, but one you begged for and once you'd gotten the best of those who wronged you, you became the very person you hated and feared growing up. And X-23 played the role of your victim. Like you, Laura didn't deserve that horrible life. No child does, remember? But you didn't care. Even though you know all too well the pain she suffered, you enjoyed inflicting it. You still enjoy it. That's why you're a bully.
    Kimura: Why are you telling me this?
    Emma: Because today you go back to being the victim. It's a shame that the people that perfected your body didn't do enough to safeguard your mind...
  • Breakout Character: Easily the most prominent and popular 21st-century addition to the X-Men. From a supervillain and foe of the X-Men, to a superhero and one of the X-Men's most central members and leaders.
  • Broken Pedestal: When Sophie Cuckoo died, the other Cuckoos blames Emma for the death. One of the remaining four even tries to kill Emma.
  • Byronic Hero: Emma is a rare female example, being highly cynical and jaded, having a Dark and Troubled Past and an intense drive and determination to live out her philosophy. Depending on the Writer, it can be well done or extremely disturbing.
  • Cain and Abel: She and her sister Adrienne. Adrienne's very nearly the perfect Cain, being the firstborn daughter who broke her back trying to please her parents onto to come up short to her younger sibling Emma and became murderously resentful of her. Ironically, Adrienne was the one who was eventually killed by Emma.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: The Stepford Cuckoos used to refer to their biological mother Emma as "Miss Frost". They eventually did start calling her "Mother" or "Mom" instead.
  • The Chick: In New X-Men. Also in Avengers vs. X-Men before she becomes one of the Phoenix Five.
  • Cleavage Window: Her Phoenix Five costume in Avengers vs. X-Men has an enclosed opening on the top portion right above her cleavage.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Though she acts like she's above it, Emma is occasionally shown to be pretty jealous of Jean and Scott's love. If that wasn't enough Emma frequently trash talks Jean in front of Scott even when she's dead and is pissed at Cyclops and Wolverine fighting over Jean, bitching egotistically that despite all her beauty and fame "she ranks below a corpse".
  • Cloning Blues: The Stepford Cuckoos are a set of clones of Emma that were created by the Weapon Plus Program. For a time, these girls didn't have a home or any family other than each other. However, Emma took them under her wing and surprisingly showered them with love and affection.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: One of her favorite psionic experiences is inducing extreme levels of pain, often in people already held captive. She has continued to violate and traumatize people over the years, frequently in combination with Smug Super One Liners.
  • Combo Platter Powers: One of the first mutants to have a secondary mutation, allowing her to take on a diamond form, while losing her psionic powers in the process. This can of course be reverted
  • Contemptible Cover: Her 2003-5 solo series became notorious for hypersexualised pin-up covers that did not reflect the content (the series depicted Emma as a teenager, wearing normal clothes) and actively alienated the young female audience that might have enjoyed it.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: She will make you do some really weird things using telepathy: for example, 48 hours of uncontrollable vomiting upon hearing the word "parsley".
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: At one point, she was in the Hellfire Club.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Being rejected by the man she loved was the straw that broke the camel's back for Emma and was what led to her becoming the ruthless villain she was known for.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Her father was cold, uncaring, sadistic and physically abusive, her mother was a neglectful drug user, her older sister was identical to their father, and her younger sister couldn't care less about her. The only family member who cared about her became a drug addict (thanks to his father's horrible treatment to him), and when she thought things would be better for her, her friend was killed in front of her, another friend was a bitch who manipulated her, and her Love Interest dumped her because she was a mutant. She also used to enjoy torture, mind-rape, followed by setting hunting dogs on the nightly victims (yes, really), corporate corruption, manipulation, deceit, and forcing opponents to kill themselves during her villain years. Shaw required her to help killing her two best friends to become White Queen.
  • Dark Chick: Of Norman Osborn's Cabal in Dark Reign. Eventually turns into Sixth Ranger Traitor.
  • Deadpan Snarker: It makes her appear even colder at some points.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: She is in no danger of defrosting completely anytime soon. She was already defrosting in Generation X, but then Morrison reverted her into even more of an ice queen than when she was a villain; any defrosting now still seems like a regression. However, in some chapters, she seems to be melting.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • Scott Lobdell's version had almost nothing in common with the Corrupt Corporate Executive supremacist Mind Rape Cold-Blooded Torture fetishist that she used to be. Instead, she became a excellent teacher doing genuinely good actions while feeling good about it. However, later in Generation X, she was strongly hinted to have murdered a police officer looking into her sister's death (at Emma's hands). Grant Morrison and some other writers returned her closer to her roots again, according to some it made her more interesting, but played her as a complete hedonistic Jerkass, which sat badly with those who were introduced to her through Generation X, because it put all the Character Development she had during seven years in a trash bin. Later other writers attempted to either return her to the less extreme portrayal or attempt to integrate the two.
    • How villainous she is post-Inhumans vs. X-Men tends to vary wildly. One comic might portray her as a genocidal lunatic, and the next she'll be palling around with Iceman or flirting with Jessica Jones.
  • Dirt Forcefield: Emma's costumes are always a pristine white no matter what she goes through on a mission. It's possible she may be using her psychic powers to merely APPEAR pristine in the minds of those around her.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Towards plenty of regular people who have simply somewhat annoyed her.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Her stated reason for dressing the way she does: automatically flustering people gives her an advantage right off the bat and makes it much easier for her to negotiate her way into a favorable deal. In issue #10 of Marauders, she states that it is easier to use her mind control on a large group of men if they're all focused on her body.
  • Domino Mask: Her alternate self in Marvel Adventures wore this when she's in disguise as costumed rogue with the alias "Silencer".
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: The infamous Cyclops/Emma Frost affair essentially started as this. Long story short: Cyke wasn't mentally in the best of health, Emma offered him therapy, then she uses this as an excuse to telepathically bang him. Seriously. Now flip their genders; what would happen to a male therapist if they convinced their female patient to have sex with them to deal with their issues? What makes this example even worse: Emma is treated like the victim and Romantic Sue in the resulting love triangle with all her seriously out-of-order behavior being ignored because 'she was in love with him', and Cyclops is still getting crap, in-universe and out, for cheating on his wife. It might not help that he got together with Emma immediately after his wife's death, but that was literally because Jean (who contacts him telepathically from a distant Bad Future) made him get together with her to avoid the X-Men falling apart.
  • The Dragon: After she's possessed by the Phoenix Force in Avengers vs. X-Men, she becomes The Dragon to Cyclops' Big Bad.
  • Dude Magnet: Besides Cyclops, she was once romantically involved with Sebastian Shaw, Namor, and Tony Stark.
  • Dressed Like a Dominatrix: Her White Queen outfit, which combines thigh-high boots, opera gloves, and a corset as her supervillain costume.
  • Dye Hard: In-Universe example. Her natural hair color is brown, but she dyes it blonde.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Emma was a straight-up villain in her early appearances, rather than the morally gray character she became in The '90s. Readers familiar with her Mama Bear tendencies and her love of children would probably be shocked to see the early New Mutants storyline where Emma kidnapped Kitty Pryde and tried to forcibly brainwash the young mutant into joining the Hellions. In fact, this would seem especially odd given the later X-Force issue where Emma told Warpath that she approved of his decision to leave the Hellions, and that she never would've forced any of her students to stay with her if they hadn't wanted to.
  • Elemental Motifs: Ice. She is a blonde dressed in all-white, her surname is "Frost", she has a cool and cynical personality, and her organic diamond form can look like ice. It is also a point of contrast against her fellow telepath, sometimes-ally, and sometimes-romantic-rival Jean Grey, a Fiery Redhead whose Phoenix powers often manifest as flames.
  • Emotionless Girl: She frequently comes across as this due to her detached, cynical persona.
  • Evil Feels Good: More intensely during the Hellfire Club days, but Depending on the Writer, still maintains similar patterns.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Emma takes mentorship as her true call in life, and is very confused when she offers Kitty Pride her guidance to become like Emma and Kitty rejects her.
  • Evil Costume Switch: As one of the Phoenix Five. Subverted when she becomes Black Queen during Dark Reign as she betrayed Norman Osborn there.
  • Evil Mentor:
    • Sebastian Shaw was this to her when she first joined The Hellfire Club as he encouraged all her worst tedencies.
    • Served as this herself to the Hellions, as she used to be the headmistress of the Massachusetts Academy where they were trained.
    • She tried to be one to Firestar and Kitty Pryde. She manipulated Firestar since the beginning of her relationship, but was sincere with Kitty, without any mind control, offering Kitty her mentorship. The point is that Emma is very serious about Mentorship, a ruthless way of life to survive and thrive in a ruthless and corrupt world, but she was very confused about why Kitty rejected her.
  • Evil Parents Want Good Kids: "Evil Sisters Want Happy Brothers" in her case. The only member of Emma's family she loves is her brother Christian, and she invoked Aloof Big Sister with him to spare him the consequences of the evil acts that Emma was planning to do. The sad part is that if you see Dark and Troubled Past, or if you could ask Esme's opinion, you have to concede Emma has a point.
  • Exposed to the Elements: She wears her Stripperiffic anywhere, paying no heed to the weather. In the miniseries Phoenix: Endsong, Emma doesn't seem the least bit bothered traipsing around the Arctic half-naked. She is Emma Frost, after all.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Has danced on the edge of this a few times following her Hellfire Club days. Finally jumped over the edge following her Sanity Slippage after Present!Scott's death from Terrigen poisoning, manufactured the events of Inhumans vs. X-Men and tried to wipe out the Inhumans. However, since then, she has been an ally to mutants and the X-Men on several occasions.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Katherine Pryde. They start off hating eachother, but by the time of Jonathan Hickman's X-men they are very close friends.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: Used to contrast her with Jean when she first enters Scott's life. Emma is constantly associated with ice and the cold because of her surname "Frost", her all-white attire and her cool temperament, and she resembles an ice sculpture when in her organic diamond form; Jean is constantly associated with fire and warmth because of her red hair, her codename "Phoenix" and her unpredictable temper, and her psionic powers frequently manifest as flames. Lampshaded in Marvel Heroes with one of her random dialogues near Jean Grey: "Ah, the Fiery Redhead. Oh, Jean, could you be more trite?"
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: She was rather fond of this during her time as a villain.
    • Pulled off one with Storm in her Hellfire Club days, in an attempt to destroy the X-Men from within.
    • Years later, she accidentally swapped bodies with Iceman, and then proceeded to fuel his (already significant) insecurities by using his powers far more effectively than he ever had.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: At X-Men: Black Emma asks the X-Men leader, Rogue, for help to destroy the Hellfire Club. Rogue chuckles and orders Emma to go to a corner until she consults with her team. The X-Men hangs out with Emma for necessity and proximity, because being a Jerkass Manipulative Bitch has that effect in any team of people. Cue Emma's sudden but inevitable betrayal.
  • Friend to All Children: Emma was a villain for years. The main thing that led to her Heel–Face Turn, and her chief saving grace, is that she cares deeply about any children placed in her care — partly because her own childhood was lousy, but mainly because she feels overwhelming guilt for the death of the Hellions, the Hellfire Club's answer to the New Mutants, who were under her command when they died. She even snapped and killed her older sister, Adrienne, after she caused the death of Synch, one of Emma's students from Generation X.
  • Gemstone Assault: She gained the ability to turn her skin into diamond during Grant Morrison's run.
  • Genius Bruiser: Her Diamond form allows her a certain degree of Super Strength (less than someone like Colossus, whom she is meant to be an expy of in that runnote ), as Emma can move her dense form just as easily and quickly as she can her flesh and blood body. Her Super Toughness gets more of a spotlight than her strength, and even when she was briefly shattered it's explicitly stated that a specialized bullet was used in addition to exploiting the literal flaw in her body.
  • Genre Savvy: If you see Emma's Jerk Justifications, she knows pretty well she is a Nominal Hero at best, if not the Token Evil Teammate. So she has to rely on true heros to keep her in check:
    • Accuser of the Brethren: She manipulates Kitty Pride into being this so Emma would not have excuses for her sociopathy.
    • Good Guys do the Clean Work: Emma manipulates Iceman to help Emma's brother Christian because Iceman is a truly good person capable of giving hope to others, and Emma invoked Aloof Big Sister in Christian because Emma knows she is not.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Her father had her compete with her sisters for the right to be his heir (her brother had the good sense to stay out of it. Consequently, he was the sibling she was closest to). Her rivalry with her eldest sister, Adrienne, became so bad that it eventually went fatal.
  • Good Feels Good: On a number of occasions, she had expressed how much she was trying to be a good person and liked to do "the right things". She does have an uneasy conscience though, enjoys earning approval from Scott, and has been praised for a number of good deeds, although recurrently a bit extreme. However, she seems to enjoy earning approval from Scott, and some of her teammates or students.
  • Grand Theft Me: Happened once involuntarily with Iceman. Back then Iceman really wasn't living up to the potential of his powers. The minute Emma entered his body, she used his abilities in ways he couldn't imagine, which eventually left Iceman more than a little envious.
  • The Hedonist: In her first appearances as a villain. She still often displays hedonistic tendencies, how much is a case of Depending on the Writer.
  • Heroic Seductress: She frequently uses her sex appeal to her advantage, even after her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Hero with an F in Good: Occasionally improves.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After a fashion. It's kind of funny, she just sort of "fell into" hanging with the X-Men. She was comatose for a long while and in their care, and revived right in the middle of the big Phalanx mega-crossover. She escaped with the rest of the X-Men and, having nowhere else to go, just wound up helping them. She officially joined the X-Men after the Genosha genocide caused by Cassandra Nova.
  • Hot Teacher: She's a Head-Turning Beauty teacher that certainly has the attention of several of her male students. And she doesn't change how she dresses while teaching at all.
  • Impossibly-Low Neckline: Several of her costumes feature this. When she first joined the X-Men, her costume was an a mix of this and Absolute Cleavage, leaving a few strategically-placed scraps of clothing that formed a reverse "X" with her exposed skin.
  • Immune to Mind Control: Emma's secondary mutation gives her an organic diamond form. While it prevents her from using her own telepathy, it renders her immune to anyone else's.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: John Byrne based her look on Diana Rigg as Emma Peel.
  • Instant Armor: Her secondary mutant powers allow her to instantly gives her an organic diamond skin.
  • Jerk Justifications: Emma was originally presented as a textbook sociopath, somebody extremely inclined towards being very bad, who has no illusions about the "severe warts on her soul", on-off trying to learn how to be good, and stumbling along the way a lot.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite her aloof behavior and extreme methods, she genuinely cares about the mutant race and her students.
  • Junkie Parent: Her mother Hazel Frost abuses prescription drugs to cope with the tensions of the household.
  • Karma Houdini: She used to torture captive people to death for sexual gratification and telepathically manipulated Scott, her patient, into a relationship with her when he was married to Jean. Yet isn't serving multiple life-sentences. She pays in occasional bad conscience for some of the many horrible things she does, and the tragedies of losing her students, but it's never enough to make her stop doing very morally objectionable things.
  • Killed Off for Real: In the Ultimate Marvel universe, during Ultimatum.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Maybe not exactly kindhearted, but she's a cat lover.
  • Knight Templar: She's incredibly ruthless, brutal, and uncompromising, but she's fiercely protective of her students and allies and is greatly invested in helping mutantkind advance and have a better tomorrow. She's just FAR less touchy about using extreme force to achieve her goals and deal with anyone who tries to harm her or those she has sworn to protect.
  • Lady of War: Has an elegant, haughty, and ruthless demeanor, and still looks gorgeous when fighting with her psychic powers or diamond form.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Invoked. She (almost) always wears a white costume whereas Selene, the Black queen, usually wears a black version of it.
  • Light Is Good: She wears white and is a hero, albiet not a very friendly one.
  • Light Is Not Good: When she was a villain.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Done by one of her five cloned daughters, Esme, who shot her with a diamond bullet. Thanks to Jean, she gets better.
  • Logical Weakness: Her organic diamond form gives her Super Toughness and while she's yet to be actually "beaten down" the occasional writer remembers that diamonds are hard but they're brittle. When struck properly her form cracks, and she was once completely shattered, needing the walking Deus ex Machina known as the Phoenix Force to be put back together.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: She's almost always conceited, extremely critical, and absolutely ruthless in any kind of fight. Not to mention she intentionally wears all those skimpy outfits just to get attention. However, she's a Mama Bear to anyone who's officially or unofficially her student, and she's almost always been a loyal, reliable member of the various teams she's belonged to.
  • Mama Bear:
    • Seriously, do NOT threaten her students. ... She once erased every happy memory in an assassin's mind to protect X-23 from the assassin. On the other hand, originally (as per the Firestar miniseries) she regularly tortured them when dissatisfied with their progress or wanted to get a point across. She then became a better teacher, however, but is still not above occasionally violating them if she deems it necessary, such as the Elixir case. In her defense, Elixir had just attacked Colossus, one of her best friends, and other X-Men had done worst threats to their own students.
    • She can even becomes this for teen Jean Grey if she wants to. When teen Jean is among those who have been psychically attacked by Lady Xorn, a.k.a. older Jean Grey in Battle of the Atom:
      Emma: No one said anything about a metal-masked Jean Grey from the future and no one said anything about you beating the hell out of yourself. You want to psychically battle someone, pick on someone who absolutely despises you.
    • One of the actions that ultimately led to the dissolution of Generation X was Emma killing her sister Adrienne after her machinations caused Synch's death.
    • Emma's relationship with X-23 is one of her most complicated relationships with fellow X-Women. But mess with the young girl and you'll wish you were dead, as Kimura finds out the hard way.
    • Shows this in Warsong after the death of her clones/daughters by the hands of the Phoenix Force. She swears revenge for what happened and appear genuinely sadden by their deaths.
  • Meaningful Name: In her villain days, she wasn't really evil in an "ice queen" manner, and in fact outwardly played the role of a benevolent friendly and somewhat nerdy headmaster, so "Frost" didn't really mean anything until Morrison decided it did. Post-Morrison, her surname also serves to highlight the Opposites Attract nature of her relationship with Scott ("Frost" and "Summers"—get it?). There's also the later addition of turning herself into a diamond (frost sorta being related to ice, which doubles as a slang term for diamonds).
  • Mental Affair: That one happened in New X-Men between her and Scott, some time before Jean Grey's death. Really, though, it was more of a case of Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male, considering that Scott had been sent to her for therapy following months of Mind Rape at the hands of Apocalypse, whereupon she took advantage.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Inverted, as she has a tendency to outlive her students, something that gives her a lot of guilt.
  • Mind Rape: She thoroughly loves this trope. She has done this to a lot of people on many different occasions and for many different reasons, sometimes good, sometimes bad.
  • Most Common Superpower: Frost is one of the very few superheroines known to have breast implants.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She almost always makes it to the top of any list discussing the sexiest women in comics. Since her inception back in the ’80s, she’s pretty much worn variations on white lingerie, sometimes far more revealing than most of the other Marvel women. She gets quite a few scenes where she's wearing even less than usual and seems to be fully shameless about this. Downplayed in Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man. Due to being aged down into a teenager, her outfits are less Stripperiffic, trading her trademark white lingerie for a skintight catsuit that highlights her Adaptational Curves rather than revealing skin. She's still a Ms. Fanservice, just an age-appropriate one.
  • Moral Myopia:
    • Emma started out heavily into torture, bondage, brainwashing, and slavery, but she was later shown as extremely opposed to the real-world variants.
    • A lot of Emma's Alternate Universe counterparts actively oppose tyranny. Those who don't, don't do it because in that reality she is the tyrant.
  • My Greatest Failure: She did not take the deaths of the original Hellions well. In fact, this is partly what precipitated her Heel–Face Turn.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Morrison's run in New X-Men introduced the concept of "secondary mutations", with a few of the X-Men gaining new powers. Conveniently, Emma discovers her ability to transform into diamond right after a building falls on her.
  • Non-Indicative Name: She doesn't have any actual ice/cold based powers, unless you count turning into diamond which kind of looks like ice.
  • Not a Morning Person: She has specifically instructed her students (who, keep in mind, are knowingly being taught by a group of fugitives) to never wake her. Not to mention her sleeping position.
  • Not So Stoic: At the end of Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men, she is seen shedding tears after Kitty Pryde sacrifices herself to save the world.
  • The Obi-Wannabe: Emma has modeled herself as a teacher ever since the 90s when she decided her previous career choice of "Rich Bitch supervillainess" was going nowhere. Problem is, her track record as a teacher is spotty at best, with multiple students having died under her watch and at least one incident where she went mad with power and mentally enslaved her students outright.
  • Odd Friendship:
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Hellfire Club days.
  • Orgasmatron: She's able to use her telepathic powers to stimulate the pleasure centers in a person's brain. In New X-Men she used these powers to neutralize a hostile group of protestors, male and female, by "pushing their bliss buttons" causing a mass simultaneous case of Jizzed in My Pants so strong all of them orgasmed themselves into a faint.
  • Parental Substitute: In X-Men anime, she plays the role of maternal figure for Hisako Ichiki/Armor, mostly because the girl's parents ask Emma to help control Armor's powers.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Takes this attitude towards many things.
  • Pet the Dog:
  • Plastic Bitch: She has mentioned getting breast implants to explain her rather large bust size. She's also very much a Rich Bitch, being cold, arrogant, and snobby. She keeps these traits even after her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Pride: Even post Heel–Face Turn she's rather arrogant.
  • Progressively Prettier: In-Universe example: she was Hollywood Homely in her teenage years (her origin mini-series had her shown and treated as 'Girl Next Door' pretty) but has made several plastic surgeries to look beautiful. Lampshaded in Marvel Heroes, in which she may comment upon defeating an enemy "I've had plastic surgery more dangerous than you."
  • Proud Beauty: She is a Head-Turning Beauty who is very proud of her appearance and enjoys flaunting her good looks.
  • The Proud Elite: As a member of the Hellfire Club, she was literally one of the most influential people in the world, and is known to be incredibly wealthy. She herself says she has the best body money can buy, and is a very powerful telepath, and- since she got together with Scott- basically second-in-command of the X-Men. She's also a complete bitch who can't go a day without acting like one. But no matter her flaws, she genuinely cares for all her students, and genuinely loved Scott.
  • Psychic Block Defense:
    • She's a powerful enough telepath to be able to disable the telepathic powers of others.
    • She can protect herself from psychic powers when she activates her secondary mutation and covers herself in her diamond skin.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: She constantly got severe nosebleeds as her Psychic Powers were awakening.
  • Psychic Powers: Emma Frost possesses telepathic abilities of a similar, or slightly lower, caliber to those of Charles Xavier, over which she had an extremely refined level of skillnote . Frost has been cited as a "World-class telepath", "Omega Class Telepath" and a "Psi of the Highest Order" capable of extraordinary telepathic feats. When Wolverine thought to be protected from her thanks to Level 9 Psi-Shields created by Charles Xavier, she stated she was herself Level 10. More specifically, since her introduction, Emma has displayed the telepathic standards of broadcasting and receiving thoughts, mind-control, altering perceptions and memories, projection of offensive blasts of psionic energy causing mental pain or unconsciousness, Astral Projection, mind switching, brain engram modification, mental sedation of unconscious victims, induction of mental pain by touch and limited psychometry...in short, every form of Mind Rape. However she can't use them when in her Nigh Invulnerable mode.
  • Psychometry: Emma has displayed limited psychometric powers, enough to have taught a class of young mutants about it. Her sister, Adrienne Frost is the psychometric expert on the family.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Handed a brutal one out to Kimura.
    • Received a brutal one in turn from Teen Jean, who accurately noted that Emma resented her because she knew that while Scott was the love of Emma's life, Jean was the love of Scott's and always would be.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Emma started as a villainess who is cold, aloof, arrogant, sociopathic, and likes to underdress. Even after she joins the X-Men,t her attitude and behavior doesn't change that much, although she seems to let her coldness melt a little and becomes slightly less sociopathic.
  • Rich Bitch: Even post Heel–Face Turn. At first her bitchiness was from extreme ambition. Now her bitchiness is from being a spoiled and bratty Smug Super.
  • The Rival: What she was to Selene, back in her Hellfire days. Selene was also her Foil back then, but now she's more Emma's Evil Counterpart.
  • Sanity Slippage: After Cyclop's death in Death of X, she lose her mind (she also fooled everyone into thinking that Scott was alive and, later, killed by Black Bolt) and this led to her Face–Heel Turn in Inhumans vs. X-Men where she tries to kill all the Inhumans.
  • Second Love: She was Cyclops's second longest-lasting girlfriend after Jean Grey, but alas, it didn't work out in the end.
  • Secret Public Identity: Since joining the X-Men, she dropped her codename "White Queen". Justified in that "White Queen" isn't just a name, it's a rank in the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club, which she left to join the X-Men. However, in House of X, she has apparently adopted "White Queen" as an actual codename and warns the Stepford Cuckoos to only address her as such while in the human world.
  • Sex Goddess: She's frequently portrayed as a skilled lover, mostly due to her willingness to use her powers to enhance her sex life, such as using her telepathy to figure exactly what her lovers want or even directly stimulating their pleasure centers with her psionic powers.
  • Sexy Mentor: In Uncanny X-Men (2013), she decides to wear a sexy punk-ish outfit when comforting Benjamin after his fight with Scott. It just makes him incredibly uncomfortable since he's only wearing a Modesty Towel at the time and she adopts a No Sense of Personal Space attitude, with the whole thing being a ploy on her part to make him uncomfortable enough to trigger his Voluntary Shapeshifting powers.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Emma doesn't have much body modesty, being deliberately dressed in Stripperiffic costumes and she scoffs at anyone who questions them. And while she's no exhibitionist, she doesn't really care about being seen naked. In New Mutants she didn't mind when Sean caught her sleeping in the buff and teased him for it and in Wolverine: The Best There Is, she didn't bother to put any clothes on when an emergency required her quick presence and ignored Scott's requests of Please Put Some Clothes On and she and Hank even start joking about how much of a prude Scott can be.
  • Sleeps in the Nude: In Generation X, Sean discovers Emma does this when he confronts her one night about an issue. She answers the door nude while holding a Modesty Bedsheet to her chest, and very angry since she hates getting interrupted while sleeping. After discussing the issue, Emma then intentionally drops the sheet before shutting the door, seemingly just to frustrate him.
  • Smug Super: Her problem is that she's good and she knows it.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Had this dynamic with Kitty Pryde during Astonishing X-Men:
    Emma: This children, is Kitty Pryde, who apparently feels the need to make a grand entrance.
    Kitty: I'm sorry. I was busy remembering to put on the rest of my clothes.
    Emma: So gushingly glad you could join us.
  • So Proud of You: To Kitty in Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1 and Hisako in the anime.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Seems to get more attention in the comics now, than women who've been on the team far longer.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Emma is 5'10 Head-Turning Beauty and tends to be drawn as the taller one when interacting with most other X-Women, especially Kitty Pryde and Jean Grey (both 5'6).
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Averted. Just because her surname is 'Frost' doesn't mean she uses ice powers.
  • Stripperiffic: Her overall body of costumes are some of the most revealing and overtly sexual of any character in the Marvel universe. She does it on purpose as a way of making it easier to distract and manipulate men; as far as she's concerned, it's just another way of automatically putting the ball in her court. Again, lampshaded in Marvel Heroes, where Jean may comment "You know, Emma, I can read minds with my clothes on."
  • Super Toughness: She eventually gained a "secondary mutation" that lets her shapeshift into a form that is living diamond. This makes her extremely difficult to hurt, but disables her Psychic Powers until she reverts to her fleshy form.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: During Generation X, beneath her aloof and apathetic behavior, Emma was a tortured soul who just wanted to be loved and trusted by her teammates. This was carried over by some writers in later X-Books.
  • Survivor Guilt: She already had a major case of this after Mountjoy murdered The Hellions and then she became the Sole Survivor of the mutant massacre in Genosha, and exhibits varying degrees of mild depression to full-on psychotic behavior.
  • Tamer and Chaster:
    • During Generation X, Emma's outfits showed far less skin than usual.
    • Her costume in Marauders, while having an admittedly low neckline, covers all of her torso and legs, unlike most iterations of her outfit.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Emma Frost (2003) miniseries has a teenage Emma developing a crush on her art teacher Ian Kendall — and when her mind-reading powers set in, she learns that he's attracted to her as well. Emma's Control Freak of a father gets the teacher fired (and forbids him from ever seeing Emma again). They later meet again when Emma ends up attending a college where he is teaching. There the teacher, Emma, her telepathic roommate, and Emma's new best friend get involved in a love rectangle where the roommate telepathically manipulates the best friend into accusing Emma of sexual advances in order to remove the two people standing between her and Emma. In response to this revelation, Emma mind wipes her roommate, then uses her own psychic power to hijack her best friend's mind and make everyone think she's a lying, crazy stalker. Afterward, Emma confesses to Ian what she did in order to protect him, in the name of being honest with the man she loves in hopes that he would not hold it against her in the event he wanted to begin a relationship with her at last. Unfortunately, finding out that Emma was a mutant AND had used her psychic powers to get her best friend labelled insane causes him to reject Emma, turning her into the cold-blooded villain she would become.
  • Team Mom: To her students at least.
  • Telepathy: The specialty of her Psychic Powers. She's known as being one of the most powerful telepaths on Earth, being considered to be an "Omega Class Telepath". She's able to create a Psychic Link between multiple people and across large distances, even being able to broadcast a person's thoughts to others. She can even psionically shut off another's person's telepathy.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: A rather dark variation with her sisters. She's the Mother: caring, nurturing and experienced but also tough-as-nails and pragmatic. Adrienne is the narcissistic, ambitious, manipulative, envious and heartless Seductress. Cordelia is the immature, faithless, Attention Whore-like and unthinking Child.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: In an issue of X-Men, at one point during a battle between her and Iceman, he binds her to the wall with ice shackles. Far from being intimidated, the White Queen mentions that she used to pay good money for just such an experience.
  • Tragic Heroine: Eventually in Avengers vs. X-Men, she's horrified by her actions in the Phoenix Five.
  • Trigger Phrase: She can use her telepathic powers to give people these, usually as a form of Cool and Unusual Punishment
    • In Astonishing X-Men, she her powers to shut down two armed guards' pain centers after a fight with Wolverine, which seems like a nice thing to do, but then she stuck something extra in:
    Emma Frost: You feel no pain. You will go straight to a hospital. Remember nothing of this place. And every time you hear the words "parsley", "intractable", and "longitude", you will vomit uncontrollably for 48 hours.
    Cyclops: Nice work, X-Men... My girlfriend is very weird.
    • Emma used this same trick in A+X #13 while on a personal mission with Black Widow, with a slight twist to it. Rather than a trigger phrase, she used her telepathy to implant a pervert (by the name of Frank) who was blackmailing her with a supposed sex tape with a trigger sight. Now, every time he sees a pair of bare breasts, he projectile vomits. Every time. Natasha finds it so amusing that she feints having left something behind just to go back and flash the guy again.
      Black Widow: I forgot something, just be a second.
      Frank: [offscreen] BLOOORRRCHHHH!!!
      Emma: What'd you forget?
      Black Widow: I just had to see that again. Some things just never get old.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Subverted or played straight, Depending on the Writer.
  • Too Desperate to Be Picky: The one and only reason why she swallowed her pride and asked her older sister Adrienne for a bailout when her school was in financial jeopardy. It was the last resort indeed before having to consider crime.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Since House of X, she's been considerably nicer.
  • Underwear of Power: Her black costume in Uncanny X-Men vol. 3, followed with Stocking Filler to cover her remaining legs.
  • Vapor Wear: Her Phoenix Five costume lacks bra and panties.
  • Villain Ball Magnet: Emma struggles to fight her darker urges, and on a few occasions she gives in. It should be noted, however, that for as often as she sometimes indulges in her old lifestyle, she always finds a way to go back to being a true and loyal X-Man.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Her relationship with certain other X-women. In the mini-series that reintroduced Nova (the flaming Herald of Galactus, not that guy), she's this to quite a few superheroines in the Marvel Universe given the number that showed up to her birthday party. They might not like the way she does things, but respect what she can do and she's nothing if not interesting to the more straight-laced heroines.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Emma's telepathy isn't as powerful as Xavier's or members of the Grey family but she makes up for it in being crafty and ruthless. She was able to defeat Rachel Grey in a telepathic battle simply by being more experienced.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: She genuinely seeks to help mutantkind and protect her students, but has some serious flaws in the way she goes about it.
  • Wolverine Publicity: She has been appearing in a great deal of comics, often just so that she can be there. The worst example is the time when she showed up in one page of one issue of White Tiger's miniseries to tell her that white wasn't her color (after several thugs had mistaken her for Emma... because a dark-haired Hispanic woman and a blonde Caucasian woman are so alike).
  • Working with the Ex: Keeps being a part of the Cyclops-led faction of the X-Men even after they broke up.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: The Torn arc in Astonishing X-Men is a more complex example than most. At first it seems like Emma has betrayed the X-Men and rejoined the Hellfire Club, but it turns out all of them, except for Cassandra Nova, are manifestations of Emma's guilt over being a former villain and her fear of falling back to her old ways. She projects these mental images into the X-Men too, so it seems like individual members of the Hellfire Club are the ones fighting them and messing with their heads. Cassandra had planted a suggestion in her mind before being imprisoned in a cocoon, and simply took advantage of these doubts and fears.
  • Your Worst Memory: Getting caught having a psychic affair with Cyclops gets her forced into reliving her worst memories, courtesy of Jean; her failure to save the Hellions is apparently chief among them.

Alternative Title(s): Emma Frost

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