Early Frost: Valerie D'Orazio on X-Men Origins: Emma Frost

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Already having made her mark at Marvel with her debut on the Punisher MAX: Butterfly one-shot, writer Valerie D'Orazio now turns her attentions to the X-Men's corner of the universe. Debuting in May, X-Men Origins: Emma Frost will serve to encapsulate the history of the sometime-villainness, sometime-heroine, as well as reveal a few surprises to fans of the character. Broken Frontier spoke with Valerie about her plans for Marvel's Mutant Mistress of the Mind.

BROKEN FRONTIER: How did you wind up working on this project?

VALERIE D'ORAZIO: After I finished my one-shot Punisher MAX: Butterfly, I was asked if I wanted to try my hand at an Emma Frost story. I jumped at the chance, because I always thought she was such a classic character; very complex and interesting.

BF: What are your goals with this story? Is it mainly to sum up what we know of her history in one coherent story, or are you looking to reveal new things about Emma's background?

VD: It's a little bit of both. I took my inspiration from her preestablished history and expanded on certain things, filled in the missing moments and motivations. The framework of the story is her background within a set time period: childhood to one of her first encounters with the X-Men. 

BF: Did you read the Emma Frost series from a few years ago, or any other past stories, to prepare for writing it?

VD: I read comics like the Emma Frost series, the Byrne/Claremont X-Men, early New Mutants, and the Firestar mini-series. I was trying to get a real "feel" for her early years, and her years with the Hellfire Club/Hellions. But at the same time I also read a lot of the new stuff so I could get a good sense of who she would become.

BF: Early on in her portrayals, Emma seemed pretty cruel and sadistic, but in recent years she's been on the side of the angels. How do you see her as a character?

VD: I think Emma's core is good, but it's been layered upon by her experiences. When she's been bad, I don't think she's done it believing that she was actually being bad; I think she was more of an ends-justify-the-means type of person, whether it was for defending mutantkind, or pushing her students to excel, or just self-preservation. What's great about her as a character is that she's been able to grow and evolve, the readers watching as those layers are peeled back and we can see the good person under it. That said, I don't 100% trust her; but I do like her!

BF: Karl Moline's the artist on the book; are you a fan of his work?

VD: I've loved Karl's work on Buffy The Vampire Slayer & Firefly, and am honored to have him illustrate this story. His art is detailed and gorgeous – and he draws a great Emma!

BF: What else is coming up for you?

VD: I've got several things in the pipeline, more news as it develops!

X-Men Origins: Emma Frost goes on sale May 5th, 2010

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  • Andy Oliver

    Andy Oliver Mar 19, 2010 at 3:49pm

    I would certainly recommend Valerie's PUNISHER MAX: BUTTERFLY one-shot with great visuals from the ever-reliable Laurence Campbell. On the strength of that issue I may well give this one a look-see.

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