July 18, 2010

Comparing Emma Frost to Doctor Nemesis

Ok, It's been a long time coming. There is just certain similitude between James Nicola Bradley a.k.a. Dr. Nemesis and Emma Frost that I can't ignore. I have to note, that both this characters are very capable of standing on their own and are not connected to each other, even being in the same book - "Uncanny X-Men". Bradley first appeared in "UXM" in the issue #504, a very long time after Emma Frost did, but it should be noted that Dr. Nemesis had been in the comics since the forties, so nobody is a ripoff. I want to thank Mr. Hellfire for the whole concept of comparing characters, it was always fun to read and it made me want to actually write my thoughts down myself.
I like Dr. Nemesis mostly for his comments and because he has no crazy oh-my-god-he's-so-smart-he's-my-idol-because-well-i'm-a-scientist-too-respect for Reed Richards, which is VERY rare and beautiful, but he's also good at other things, too. First of all - James Bradley happens to be one of a few characters that Matt Fraction can write without making me suicidal. Like Frost, Bradley is a pet of Fraction, however, unlike her, Nemesis actually IS allowed to be an asshole just for the hell of it, and Emma is damned to behave like an old woman and only be a bitch in her diamond form. After reading "X-Men Revelations: Blind Science" I was surprised even more - the guy made me laugh almost every time he opened his mouth.

Reasons to love the man:

So - shall we begin?

Well, obviously they both wear white (thank you for you attention, goodbye, lol), which is their trend mark, are blond and wear white gloves all the time. Aside from that they both are very fixed on how they look (losing a hat is a tragedy for James ("Blind Science") and he also needs his surgical mask for no good reason), it resembles Emma's corsets and cape - accessories that are meaningless and not helping in a fight, either). Our heroes are very sensitive of people touching their clothes and other additions to their looks. (In the "UXM #504" Doctor threatened to spay Beast if he grabs his jacket again, in "New X-Men v1 #120" Emma flipped out and spread pain and suffering around because her nose was broken, in "X-Women" one-shot she kicked a helpless woman's ass, broke a nail and kicked her some more and kept whining the whole day after that).
Surprisingly, this article doesn't stop on that =) I know, right?


The way they became part of the famous mutant team is very similar, too. Both Ms. Frost and Dr. Nemesis were asked to stay but refused to join the X-Men with a lot of insulting remarks ("UXM #504" and "New X-Men 116", and yet they still agreed to stay because without them the team would be screwed. The funny (well, not for the mutants anyway) part is - they both joined after a horrible genocide has happened to the mutant race. Emma - after Cassandra Nova destroyed Genosha and Dr. Nemesis - after the M-Day). They have a connection to the Hellfire Club - Emma was a White Queen and his father was hired by the Club ("UXM #512"). And they annoyed the hell out of the team with their presence (Nemesis made Angel very angry with his rants the first second they met and Emma angered Jean, Scott, Wolverine and pretty much everyone else in other comic books). Oh, and by the way, being a freak about this comparison and all - the joining involved holding Beast's paw in both cases =)


Both Emma and Dr. Nemesis are underestimated very often - he is a nerd and she is blond and a telepath, so people are not expecting them to be good at hand-to-hand combat, which they pretty much are. ("Invaders" mini, "Generation X #43"). Their appearance is mischievous, but only as long as you don't try to see what happens if you screw with them. However - most of the time, Emma and James do not take part in a rough fist-fights, they prefer to act from a distance and with their dignity intact - she uses her telepathy and he uses his crazy guns. By the way - during her time as the White Queen of the Hellfire Club Emma invented some guns of her own.

Well, and there also are their wittiness and humor that mostly makes other people get angry and that people try very hard just to ignore because they don't have the guts and words to answer. Plus - they don't give a crap if someone likes them or not and make absolutely no effort in gaining someone's love, but they can admit their mistakes in an unfriendly way.

And they have problems in personal life because there's nobody good enough (well, Emma was single until she really fell in love for the first time and James is still trying not to pull Dr. Rao's hair to show her that he likes her a bit, like a man-child he is). By the way - when Emma liked Iceman for a short time in the "Generation X" she teased him a lot, she kicked Banshee's ass on a daily basis and insulted him, of course, one can argue forever if there was some romantic involved in this two cases, but personally I think there was a tension. So, when Bradley rants about stupidity of Dr. Rao or even threatens her with a gun ("Blind Science") it totally resembles the relationships between Emma and Banshee and Iceman. It all the cases, both Emma and Nemesis manged (with a big amount of suffering and creepiness) to somehow apologize afterwards.

Also, even if they both aren't the nicest adults in the world if this concerns the children (being a teacher does not stop Emma from being a real bitch towards the kids sometimes), they do have their favourites. In Emma's case it's the Stepford Cuckoos and Hellion, she also sees Armor and Pixie as her pets, in the "New X-Men" she bought clothes for a rebel girl named Angel. Nemesis is not that nice, yet sometimes he doesn't insult some children, like X-23 in "Necrosha" one-shot where he tells that he likes her because she surgically removed her own claws.
James and Emma are also good team leaders if they are motivated and put their minds to it, but they don't get a chance to play boss very often, because there is always someone to steal their show. Nemesis is actually a leader of the X-Club now, but he wasn't one "on paper" when Beast was still an X-Man, even if he should've been. Emma lead a find-and-rescue team in "X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back" and kicked ass doing it. And yet they both don't get to lead. To be completely fair I have to say that our white heroes are bad with people (they are, however, good at them), and have a history of making huge mistakes (Nemesis not noticing a trap in "Blind Science", Emma losing her children over and over again), so it's probably for the best.

I'm happy to say, that it's always nice to have two people in the same franchise and even in the same comic book that are so incredibly alike, and yet to never even notice the likeness for a long time. These two characters have a lot in common, but still have many differences and little things that make them unique and very fun to read. All the colors and habits aside, Emma Frost and Doctor Nemesis still are completely independent and interesting on their own and that is a cool thing.
So, that would be it) Some of the points are a little overdone, but still, it was fun writing it, far more fan than I thought it would be! I hope you enjoyed reading it, too. And, as a little bonus I would love to include this pictures =) 'Till next time!


  1. Well, now you know why Fraction has toned down Emma's bitchiness. One per team is more than enough :)

    Were does the last two pictures come from? I don't recall seeing them before.

  2. The pics are from Nightcrawler's mini)

  3. A really interesting comparison, I never really thought about it like that. While I have this opportunity, I'd like to get others' thoughts on the sisterhood incident of UXM back in summer of 2008. That whole thing went by so quickly, and left me a bit stumped.

  4. Wonderful post, I especially adore the fact that you got images of Emma and Nemesis that mirror each other in pose.

    And of course the scans from Nightcrawler series with her looking like Nemesis is something I would've never caught (I see those scans often and never realized) so good eye!

  5. 2 alx
    Thank you, I haven't really thought about it either, it just somehow came to mind.
    Oh, this Sisterhood monstrosity was that long ago? xxD Yeah, this arc was the worse of the bunch - I think the only things it consisted of were tits, horribly disfigured hips, porno-faces and pathetic one-liners. I only liked the Emma/Scott sex scene (I like my girl with the attitude) and... and that's pretty much it. By the way, after reading Second Coming #2 something from this arc becomes more clear (end at the same time somehow more unclear), don't know if you read it already, so I won't spoil you the fun.

    2 Mr. Hellfire
    Thank you very much. The funny thing is that I noticed the pics with Emma with the surgical mask on AFTER I almost wrote the post down!) I wasn't somehow surprised - It seemed like fate, so I just smiled and went for it. And it was hard to find some decent pictures of Nemesis, without the bubbles and stuff, but I was lucky again)