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Williams & Bachalo Explore the Brutal Heart of Emma Frost in X-Men Black

One of the great things about these X-Men Black one-shots is they allow you to take deep dives into your focus character. How did it feel to get a chance to do that with Emma?

Williams: I’ve always said that Emma is as complex and nuanced as Magneto and deserves to be elevated as such. I feel like I wrote a breathless love letter to Emma wherein I unabashedly gush at all the potential for her power and spirit. She’s incredibly strong, and not afraid to get her hands dirty. She does it because she can already see the world as a better place and is not going to rest on her laurels waiting for everyone to catch up.

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Bachalo: In the times that I’ve spent with Emma Frost, she’s always felt like a VP -- to Banshee in Generation X and Scott in Uncanny X-Men. Here it was nice to see her define herself -- to find her in a role where she has a preconceived, clear agenda -- and doesn’t need anyone’s approval to do it. It was very satisfying to see where she ends up and how she got there.

Williams: I completely agree with what Chris said. It was immensely cathartic to write her like this. I wrote the last page in tears because of what she was finally saying, and how it was always something I longed for her to say and the unbelievable fact that I was the one helping her say it.

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Chris, what can you tell about your artistic approach to this issue? How does it compare to some of your recent Marvel work?

Bachalo: I’d say that it’s a similar approach that I took with the Uncanny work I did with Brian. Similar in layout, pacing and style. I was originally on with colors, but due to the aforementioned deadline we brought in some ambitious colorists to help get it in. As much as I could, I wanted the color palette of the book to reflect Emma’s colors, to be as stark and white as possible, with very little color other than white, grays and a compliment of Hellfire red. I put in a very subtle nod to the direction the story is going with a red rose about midway through. It might have been nice to have a little more time on this, to make the art in the book perfect in every way, but I think the final came out reasonably well. I’m very proud of it, especially of Leah’s story.

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Finally, as we discussed, Emma is a character who can and has played a lot of roles. She's also had an ongoing series before and has a lot of fans. If those fans respond to this story, would you be interested in telling more stories with Emma? Do you know where you'd want to take her next?

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Bachalo: I don’t know the plans Marvel has for Emma beyond X-Men Black, but if Leah was on board I’d be happy to consider. I’d really like to see where she would take this. I bet it would be very good.

Williams: I have a million and one ideas of where to go with Emma. Sometimes these story ideas grip me so much that they keep me awake at night and I have to, like, lob a pitch to Jordan to exorcise them from my system and function again. I do know there are more plans with her already, but I will keep my fingers crossed that someday I could get to work with her and Chris Bachalo again because each on their own would have been a dream come true for me, let alone the fact that it happened together.

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