Captain Marvel’s arrival in the future reveals a version of Emma Frost that doesn’t use her telepathy, and remains in her diamond form permanently.
In the future, Captain Marvel meets a version of the X-Men‘s Emma Frost, who embraces her diamond form over her other impressive abilities. The White Queen is known to be superficial, but that vanity weakens the team trying to save their post-apocalyptic world.
During a mission with War Machine, Spider-Woman and Hazmat, in Captain Marvel #22 by creative team Kelly Thompson, Lee Garbett, and Tamra Bonvillain, Carol Danvers is unexpectedly pulled about 30 years into the future. Captain Marvel quickly makes contact with an eclectic band of heroes who have survived this future’s trials, and tries to acclimate to the vast differences. Between wars, sickness and radiation, many of the heroes Captain Marvel knew, including James Rhodes, have died, and the Carol of this has future sacrificed herself to save Earth. The X-Men’s Emma Frost is one of survivors providing leadership to the remaining champions, however she is no longer operating at her full capacity.
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This world’s Emma Frost remains in her diamond form constantly, and therefore no longer has access to her powerful telepathic abilities. Frost is nearly invulnerable while she’s a living diamond, and requires no food or water, but she is unable to use telepathy. In Captain Marvel #23, Carol inquires about her choice and Emma claims she remains in her diamond form to protect her vulnerable body from the environment. Knowing the others on their team have survived without that same protection, Danvers doesn’t buy this explanation. However, while battling Ove, the son of Namor and Enchantress, in a moment of desperation Frost finally drops her diamond to help free Luke Cage from being mentally controlled. After Captain Marvel’s team is victorious, Emma admits that staying in her diamond form also prevents her from aging. In a bleak future where the heroes needed every bit of help they can get, Emma has chosen to prioritize her own beauty.
In this future, Ove uses Enchantress to control and manipulate people to operate in his service. Clearly, the heroes of this world are in need of talented telepaths to fight back against those manipulations. Sora, the daughter of Forge and Kwannon, has filled the role as best she can, but has limited telepathic abilities. At points during their crusade, Emma has put her team at risk by not bringing her powerful abilities to the table. When she finally relents, Emma is out of practice and becomes fatigued while using her telepathy. But she is still powerful enough to break through to the Enchantress-controlled Luke Cage. During this adventure many heroes have made tremendous sacrifices—Jessica Drew gives her life to send Carol back to her own time—so it’s disappointing to learn that Emma Frost could have had a bigger impact had she elected to rise to her full potential.
At times, self-preservation has been a part of the iconic X-Men member’s character as much as being calculating and gorgeous. Self-preservation is the reason Emma acquired her secondary mutation to turn into diamond form. The heroes of the future that Captain Marvel arrives in have had lost so much and have had so many things taken from them. Considering that, it’s understandable that Emma Frost would want to hold on to something she has valued for as long as possible.
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