Monday, August 6, 2012

The Massachusetts Mind Control Movement Part I: Emma Versus Everyone

Emma Frost has been on the side of the angels for close to two decades now. But lets not forget she started out as the White Queen of the Hellfire Club. Heck, in her first appearance she tried to snag Kitty Pryde and exterminate all the X-men.

Still, even in her first appearance Chris Claremont clearly established what Emma's deal was. Sure, she might enjoy dressing up in white leather and act like a deranged dominatrix... heck, everyone needs a hobby. But, her true concern was the children.

Y'see, Emma and Charles Xavier had similar interests. Like the professor, Emma had also created a school for young mutants. Sadly, Emma's goals weren't quite so noble. She mostly saw the mutants she helped to control their powers as potential assets for the Hellfire Club.

Long story short: Emma Frost finally managed to kidnap Kitty Pryde when her friend Doug Ramsey, a latent mutant himself, got a scholarship to Emma Frost's Massachussets Academy. Kitty accompanied him to check the place out. Needless to say, she was kidnapped quite easily.

Now, the reason professor Xavier and the X-men didn't come rushing to Kitty's aid was simple: they were off planet, fighting in the Beyonder's first Secret Wars. Still, Kitty hoped eventually Doug might discover she was missing, but Emma took care of that as well with a little mind control. 

Speaking of mind control... Why didn't Emma just use her telepathy to bring Kitty to her side? A fair question, especially since its a feat she could very easily achieve. But Emma refrained, for a specific if not creepy reason.

Yup... Kitty would fall under the White Queen's control no matter what she did. But forcing her to sit there, paralysed yet with a mind full of simmering fear, hope, loathing and panic must have been a delicious treat to so depraved a telepath as Emma. Kitty was especially despondent when she learned the X-men weren't coming and that the New Mutants had undertaken a failed rescue attempt.

Just how failed, you ask? Well... When the team learned of Kitty's ordeal through Illyana's snooping, they decided to take action. But, how does a group of underage superheroes get from New York to Snow Valley, Massachusetts? Simple... they take a bus. After a very long trip, the team arrived and very quickly encountered resistance.

Its a good thing Manuel took the codename Empath, his full name really fills up those panels. Still, meet Empath, one of Emma's mutant students and a member of the Hellions. Empath's powers are obvious, he can play his victims emotional state like a fiddle, making them extremely suggestible to his wishes.

Doug's distraction didn't have that much effect. Cannonball broke free, but Magma was firmly entranced by Empath's power. So, it was time for some good old hero versus hero fight scenes.

Its interesting to note that the White Queen's Hellions were very similar to the New Mutants. Their power sets seemed oddly compatible. The New Mutant Wolfsbane ran across the Hellion Catseye who was also able to transform into a feral creature. Empath's mind control powers aren't that far removed from Karma's mutation and the gentleman hurtling towards Cannonball in the previous panel is the Hellion Jetstream who can also fly real fast.

But after a few panels of senseless fighting, the White Queen decides to step in and take control of the situation. Who needs words when you can just mind control your entire student body?

I suppose the least dangerous man is the man who doesn't know he's been tampered with. 

This has very little to do with teaching... its mind control, pure and simple. But, lets get back to the New Mutants still in the fight. Another example of matching powersets is the confrontation between Mirage and the Hellion Tarot. While Mirage is able to manifest a person's deepest longing or fear, Tarot can bring forth the images on her set of tarot cards. It goes without saying there's a little mind control involved there too.

Dani managed to escape her new life as a tarot demon's pet when Illyana teleported them both to Limbo, where the actual demons roam. Using the dimension of neither here nor there as a staging ground, the girls planned out a rescue attempt which we'll cover in part two of The Massachusetts Mind Control Movement.

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