ComicsVerse is celebrating the 12 Days of X-Mas by taking a look at some of our favorite X-Men holiday-themed issues! Today, we’re talking about how Emma Frost celebrated Christmas pre-2000’s in GENERATION X #24.

How did Emma Frost celebrate the holidays back when she was the leader of Generation X? In short, she didn’t. Later in her teaching career, Emma did occasionally take up an interest in acknowledging Christmas, but in GENERATION X #24, she wasn’t quite at that point in her journey towards morality. While she’s beyond stealing gifts from little kids (something Hellfire Emma would’ve reveled in), she still delights in dramatic monologues about the failures of the Christmas season. The Emma of GENERATION X wasn’t a villain, but she wasn’t really a hero either.

So, what does someone like her do for the holidays? In GENERATION X #24, aptly named “Home for the Holidays,” the female half of the team vacations to Monet’s Monaco home for Christmas Eve. From the beginning of the issue, it’s fairly obvious that none of them are enjoying the break from crime fighting or the fact that they’re all cooped up together. Being on a team together doesn’t always equate to immediate friendship. After all, this isn’t 1963.

To mediate the constant bickering, Jubilee suggests bonding over a game of sorts. According to Jubes, teammates should share things with each other that they’ve never told anyone else. Emma, who always loves a juicy secret, is quick to agree, which means her young charges have to join in too.

GENERATION X #24
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

An Untold Story

To no one’s surprise, most of the stories are a little depressing (or just plain weird). Jubilee recounts using her firework powers for the first time while running from the cops. Although she got away, she remembers feeling terrified of her own powers. Oppositely, Paige recalls her mutant manifestation more positively. Since most of her siblings were mutants, Paige wanted to be a mutant too. When her ability to turn into different substances surfaced, she was ecstatic. Monet was also pleased with her mutant abilities, as was (most of) her family.

GENERATION X #24
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Emma’s story is a little different. As one of the older characters in the issue, readers had already seen most of her backstory. Writer Scott Lobdell has to bring in something completely different to keep up the validity of the “firsts” game. Emma recounts going to an insane asylum, where wealthy families would send their “troubled” sons and daughters. She doesn’t go on about why exactly her parents called her “crazy,” but we can assume it was because her telepathic powers were emerging.

Emma’s X-Mas Miracle

Compared to the X-MEN ORIGINS: EMMA FROST one-shot, Emma’s story doesn’t make any sense. However, it still says a lot about Emma’s character, pre-Hellfire days. In GENERATION X #24, Emma isn’t the woman who first appeared in UNCANNY X-MEN #109. She’s changed and become so much better (not perfect but better).

GENERATION X #24
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The question this issue seems to be asking its readers is why? Emma’s childhood was horrible. Her parents sent her to a literal insane asylum and told her she was crazy. In the various other instances of Emma Frost origin stories, her father abused her, and her classmates bullied her relentlessly. Very few things in her life have gone the way anyone would want them to go, so why is she, after many years, a relatively “good” person?

As cheesy as it sounds, it’s a bit of a Christmas miracle. The stimulus for her transformation into a decent human being are the three kids she’s spending the holidays with. Well, not them particularly, but every student Emma’s ever taught. Her love for teaching and helping mutantkind better themselves motivates her.

Although Emma enjoys poking fun at Christmas, I think even at this stage of her character’s history, she is beginning to understand the importance of what the holidays can offer. She’d never say it, but having honest conversations with her students seems, at least in GENERATION X #24, very fulfilling for her. In her own weird way, it’s her love for her students that keeps her from lingering on those painful memories of her past.

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