- "Excellent question. Though I wouldn't call it a war, exactly. That suggests both sides stand an equal chance of winning."
- ―Emma to CIA operatives
During the 1950s, Emma Frost was the mistress of Vinny Lavecchia, a Mafia boss based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Aware of her mutant abilities, Lavecchia used her telepathy in order to advance his career, eventually becoming the youngest boss in Nevada - with a significant influence around the Las Vegas strip.
One evening in 1959, Lavecchia visits the Hellfire Club, a small gambling establishment run by Sebastian Shaw in Las Vegas. Shaw had previously refused to pay Lavecchia insurance/protection money as per Mafia tradition. During a game with Shaw, Lavecchia suspects the former of swindling him, and calls for Emma in order read Shaw's intentions. To her surprise, she discovers that Shaw is a mutant - her first-time encounter with one. When Shaw once again refuses to pay, Lavecchia leaves in anger and quietly orders his men to kill Shaw. Shaw, however, escapes unscathed because of his mutant abilities, and soon makes plans to defeat Lavecchia and rescue Emma.
Back at his home, Lavecchia coerces Emma to reveal everything she gained from reading Shaw's mind in order to defeat him. After Azazel and Riptide defeat the security detail around Lavecchia's home, Shaw attempts to "rescue" Emma. However, she knocks him out with a psychic concussive blast. Shaw is then taken to a remote warehouse. At the warehouse, Lavecchia intends to kill Shaw by slowly cutting him into pieces - something that Shaw's kinetic energy absorption can't adapt to. Emma, however, begs that Shaw be dealt a quick death so as not to suffer. As Shaw implores Emma to abandon Lavecchia, the latter begins to physically abuse her. In defence, Emma converts to her diamond form, killing both Lavecchia and his bodyguard Santo in a rage.
Now convinced by Shaw's rhetoric of mutant superiority, Emma becomes associated with him and the Hellfire Club.
By 1962, Emma Frost was a full-fledged member of the Hellfire Club and one of Sebastian Shaw's most trusted allies. When CIA agent Moira MacTaggert was investigating the Hellfire Club in Las Vegas, she infiltrated a function Shaw was hosting disguised as one of Frost's dancers. While there, she witnesses Frost turn into her diamond form, which alerts MacTaggert to the existence of mutants and prompts her to contact Charles Xavier.
When Erik Lehnsherr came to kill Shaw aboard his yacht, she went into his mind, hurting him and then throwing him off the boat. She then escaped with Shaw into the submarine. She is shown Shaw's helmet the Soviets had given him and asks her to read his mind, she says that she can not while he is wearing the helmet. Shaw then tells her she is the most beautiful woman in the world, then says that his drink needs ice.
As Emma feels Xavier's telepathy expand, she looks to see whether he is close by and asks Azazel if there is anything on radar or sonar. After he says no, she tells Shaw about it. Shaw tells her to go to Russia while he takes care of the mutants at the CIA.
While in Russia, she uses her seduction skills to get the Russian General into bed. She then uses her telepathy to make the General believe that he and Emma are groping and kissing one another, with her sexually straddling him on his bed, wearing only her lingerie, but she is really sitting and eating crackers, watching him hugging and kissing the air. Xavier and Lehnsherr barge in and she turns into diamond form. She attempts to escape but Charles and Erik stop her and Erik makes the metal bed hold her. Magneto starts to crack her diamond form but Charles tells him to stop. Under the pressure, her diamond form starts to break but after the release, she goes back to normal form. She then gets sent to the CIA headquarters.
After the death of Shaw, Lehnsherr (now known as Magneto) starts his own team called the Brotherhood of Mutants and invites Emma to join after setting her free. Seeing her remaining Hellfire teammates with Magneto, she accepts.
Erik mentions that Emma Frost, along with Azazel and Angel Salvadore, had been killed in 1963 and blames Charles for their deaths. She was most likely among those experimented on and killed by Bolivar Trask, since Mystique seeks revenge on Trask and a Sentinel is shown to use her powers.
Despite being fiercely loyal to Shaw, Frost is perceptive and does not have a problem switching sides if it benefits her. This is shown when she joins Erik after seeing her other teammates with him. Frost is also shown to be quite calm and collected in life or death situations.
Emma is also shown to be quite intuitive even without her abilities. She is highly intelligent with a cunning edge. Frost is also shown to be quite manipulative, displayed when she kept the FBI guessing what the Hellfire Club was planning. Even with her powers damaged for a short time, Emma was able to take care of herself using her intellect.
Powers, Abilities, and Weaknesses
- Organic Diamond Transformation: Emma possesses the ability to transform her body into a flexible organic diamond form. She can also selectively transform parts of her body into diamond.
- Enhanced Strength - Emma was able to send Magneto flying backward over the side of Shaw’s yacht with a simple shove.
- Enhanced Durability - While in her diamond form she is much more durable, although she is not completely invulnerable as this form can be cracked with extreme force, she also still requires oxygen.
- Telepathic Immunity - In her diamond form Emma becomes immune to telepathic attacks, not even Charles Xavier could penetrate her mind.
- Telepathy: Emma has displayed the telepathic standards of broadcasting and receiving thoughts, mind-control, and altering perceptions and memories. It appeared she was an even stronger telepath than Charles Xavier at the time. However, since Xavier has been honing his telepathy over the years, which is now strong enough without the aid of Cerebro, his telepathy is probably superior to Emma Frost’s.
- Psionic/Mental Blast: Emma can produce telepathic blasts which can induce pain or knock out a person. Magneto suffered great mental pain from Emma's Psionic Blast, whereas Professor X only showed some level of pain or discomfort when trying to enter Emma's mind.
- Illusion Casting: She can create realistic and powerful illusions which she uses to please the Russian General.
- Limited Durability - While Emma's diamond form has shown great durablility, it is not invulnerable however. She was damaged from being constricted by the metal bars that Magneto contracted around her neck, suggesting Emma has greater durability to blades than to blunt force.
- Limited Strength - Despite the increased strength that Emma's diamond form grants her, she's capable of being overpowered, by at least two people, as both Professor X and Magneto pulled her to the floor in order for Magneto to restrain her with metal bars.
- A Blu-ray featurette of X-Men: First Class depicts Tahyna Tozzi's Emma as the younger self of January Jones' Emma Frost, which coincides with a Blu-ray extra of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where the character calls herself "Emma Frost". The timeline of the two films are inconsistent, considering the fact that Jones' Emma Frost was an adult in 1962 and stated to be dead by 1973 , whereas Tozzi's Emma was portrayed as a teenager in 1979. Bryan Singer, a producer on X-Men: First Class, revealed that they took some creative liberties regarding the film's continuity with other movies in the series. Executive producer Lauren Schuler Donner has also stated that the two characters have no connection to each other . The only aspect Tozzi's Emma shares with Jones' Emma Frost is that they are both blonde-haired, blue-eyed mutants who can shift into diamond form. Tozzi's Emma, however, lacks the telepathic abilities of Jones' Emma Frost.
- Before January Jones got the part. Alice Eve was originally cast as Emma Frost, but a deal couldn't be reached and Sarah Harding was called back three times for the role of Emma Frost.
- When Bryan Singer was still slated to direct the third installment of the X-Men film series the role of Emma Frost was intended for Sigourney Weaver. After Singer left the project in favor of making Superman Returns, the character was dropped completely.
- In 2006, a movie based on Emma Frost was being considered with director David O. Russell as a potential spin-off from the X-Men movie franchise.
- In the comic books and various animated versions, Emma Frost was depicted with an English accent, but this accent is not present in X-Men: First Class.