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X-Men First Class: The High Hand is a comic tie-in to X-Men: First Class. It serves as a prequel to the events of the film, detailing how Emma Frost met Sebastian Shaw and joined the Hellfire Club. The comic was available as a special feature on the Blu-ray release for X-Men: First Class.


Emma Frost meets Sebastian Shaw. [1]


In 1959, at an establishment called the Hellfire Club, Sebastian Shaw wins a game of cards against a Las Vegas mob boss by the name of Vinny Lavecchia. As the two converse, Lavecchia's men kill one of Shaw's bodyguards in order to plant a bomb in his office. Lavecchia is dissatisfied with Shaw's refusal to hand money over to him and not involving him with plans concerning a man named Colonel Hendry. He calls over his mistress Emma Frost, a mutant with telepathic abilities, to probe Shaw's mind for information. Emma accidentally spills her martini on Lavecchia when she is startled by Shaw responding to her mind reading.

With Shaw refusing to do business with him, Lavecchia angrily leaves with Emma in tow. He orders his men to chain the doors to the Hellfire Club. In the meantime, Shaw expresses his admiration of Emma to his associate Riptide. When he goes to his office, Shaw is puzzled to find the door open and his guard lying dead on the floor. Outside the Hellfire Club, Lavecchia's men wait for the bomb to detonate, but it fails to do so. In the car, Lavecchia berates Emma for "getting drunk", but Emma cryptically informs him that she managed to read Shaw's mind and that his men are already dead. At the Hellfire Club, Shaw is revealed to have absorbed the bomb's energy and bursts through the chained doors. As Lavecchia's men fire their guns at him, Shaw simply absorbs the attack and blasts them with energy. Riptide uses his powers to conjure a tornado that takes care of the remaining men. Shaw then orders Riptide to take care of the fire and to inform Azazel that they will be attacking Lavecchia later that night.

At the Lavecchia Compound, Emma is being admonished by Lavecchia for only revealing to him then that Shaw was a mutant like herself. When he questions her on what Shaw's plan is, Emma tells him that Shaw is after her. Not willing to let someone else steal Emma's power away from him, Lavecchia orders Emma to tell him everything she learned about Shaw so that they can come up with a plan to defeat the mutant.

Azazel and Riptide arrive at the Lavecchia Compound and fight the men there. Riptide saves Azazel from nearly being shot by an unsuspecting sniper. When Shaw enters the compound to find Emma, she is ordered by Lavecchia to telepathically attack him. This allows Lavecchia to render Shaw unconscious with a chloroform cloth.

Shaw wakes up in an abandoned warehouse across town, where Lavecchia greets him with Emma and his right-hand man Santo present. Lavecchia tells Shaw that he would have preferred killing him with a bullet to the brain, but he intends to make Shaw suffer for defying him. With knowledge of Shaw's energy absorbing abilities, Lavecchia reveals that he plans on dismembering his enemy. Emma questions Lavecchia's choice to do so, but Shaw tells her that it is the nature of humans to not be reasoned with. This enrages Lavecchia, but before he can harm Shaw, Emma tries to convince him not to do anything so she can hear what Shaw has to say. Lavecchia responds by pointing his knife at Emma's threat, which prompts Santo to diffuse the situation. Lavecchia accuses Santo of desiring Emma for himself, and claims that he can treat her as he pleases. Shaw tells Emma that she does not belong to Lavecchia, causing the latter to physically attack her. Emma's skin suddenly transforms into diamond as Shaw proclaims her as his White Queen.

Lavecchia proceeds to fire at Emma with his gun, but the bullets are unable to penetrate her diamond-hard skin. She snaps his neck in retaliation for all the abuse she had to put up with. Santo begs Emma to spare his life, but she violently throws him into the windshield of a car for standing by and allowing Lavecchia to hurt her. Emma questions the person she has become, but Shaw assures her that it was always who she was. He tells Emma to forget about her history with Lavecchia and to join his side. Azazel warns Shaw that Emma will be more powerful than any of them. With this in mind, Shaw orders Azazel to contact their Russian allies to have them create a helmet that will protect him from Emma's powers, and to tell them that the Hellfire Club has found their queen.