Esme was one of the many new students enrolled at the Xavier Institute when the school's function was made public knowledge. She, alongside her sisters, shared a special psychic bond which drew the attention of Emma Frost who personally took them under her wing to teach them to use their gift.
Esme was created by Grant Morrison and Ethan van Sciver and first appeared in New X-Men #118 alongside her four sisters.
Esme was introduced as one of the Five-in-One and she went on to slowly become one of the main antagonists in Grant Morrison's run on New X-Men. When she was killed during Planet X, she became the second sister to die. Following her death, she continues to appear infrequently in comics and her origins have been explored through her three surviving sisters.
Major Story Arcs
The rest of the sisters became concerned when Esme began dating a mysterious boy at the Xavier Institute. When it was later exposed that the boy Esme was with was actually Stuff from the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, spying on the Institute, Esme was incredibly embarrassed and humiliated. She began to secretly want revenge on her sisters for having made a fool of her and wished to replace Sophie as the dominant sister within their Hive mind.
Riot at Xavier's
Quentin Quire's gang of "New X-Men" staged a riot at the Xavier Institute during an open day and the Cuckoo Sisters resolved to use Cerebro to try and stymie Quire and his omega-level mutant powers. Sophie naturally took the lead and was given some of the Kick drug to help enhance her powers by Esme. While Sophie managed to pacify Quire, she also died of an overdose. The sisters blamed their mentor Emma for her death and Esme began distancing herself even more from her sisters, secretly taking Kick herself to boost her own mental powers so she could assert dominance over her sisters.
Murder at the Mansion
Esme next masterminded a plan to get revenge on Emma, beginning with her shooting her former mentor with a special bullet that shattered her diamond form. Esme further manipulated two of the students from the school's Special Class, Angel and Beak, to take the fall for the murder. Former X-Men members Bishop and Sage were brought in to solve the mystery of Emma's apparent murder and in fear Esme fled from the school and joined forces with an unseen accomplice.
Esme was revealed to have been helping Magneto undermine the Xavier Institute all along and she had apparently "fallen in love" with the terrorist. Esme joined Magneto's new Brotherhood of Mutants, but made no effort to disguise her own belief of superiority to the other members whom she believed were "freaks". Esme saw herself to be Magneto's equal and offered him substantial amounts of Kick but as Magneto staged an attack on New York, he became more and more dependent on the drug. Succumbing to stress, he revealed Esme meant nothing to him and she is a foolish child to think they could ever sit on thrones together.
When the X-Men attacked Magneto, Esme (along with the rest of the Brotherhood) refused to intervene and help Magneto - all of them having been treat poorly and bullied by the villain. After Magneto battled Cyclops and in the scuffle lost his helmet, Esme confronted Magneto and began trying to torture him using her psychic powers. Threatening to make him suffer alzheimer's disease at an accelerated speed, Magneto responded by using his powers to control Esme's earrings and pierce through her head and into her brain with them.
As Esme died a slow death and Magneto's war waged on, Emma arrived at the side of the dying Esme. Esme's final words were her insistence she was nothing like Emma, but as she died, Emma told her she was the Cuckoo sister she was most proud of.
It was later revealed the person whom everyone believed to be Magneto, had actually been an imposter - really a drugged up Xorn truly believing himself to be Magneto.
When the Chaos King destroyed the realm of the dead, several deceased X-Men returned from beyond the grave. Esme and Sophie both were resurrected and banded together with a team of similarly "dead" X-Men consisting of Banshee, Moira MacTaggert, some of Multiple Man's duplicates and led by Thunderbird.
The team were attacked by the Native American god called the Carrion Crow while searching the Xavier Institute. After failing to put up much of a fight, Thunderbird's X-Men were forced to retreat but Sophie perishes after sacrificing herself to save Esme. Discovering Sophie transformed into a crow-like creature under the sway of the Carrion Crow, Esme later sacrifices herself to free her sister from the control of Carrion Crow.
Powers and Abilities
Esme shares a telepathic hive mind with her sisters Sophie, Phoebe, Mindee and Celeste and both together and apart they are each gifted with strong telepathic and psychic abilites. While abusing the power enhancing drug Kick, Esme was able to exert dominance over the sisters Hive mind and influence their actions.
The Stepford Cuckoos are part of the United Nations in the House of M reality.
In the reality where the Hulk wages war on Earth with Annihilus' forces, Esme is among the few heroes still alive on Earth. Ironically, in this world, it is she and Sophie who are the only surviving sisters.
Wolverine and the X-Men
In Wolverine and the X-Men, the Stepford Cuckoos are members of the Hellfire Club and were used by Emma Frost to release the Phoenix from Jean Grey to prevent the destruction that will be caused by the aforementioned entity. The Cuckoos had difficulty releasing the Phoenix and were consumed by the entity. They went on to cause trouble in the city and Emma, Scott, and Jean had to join forces to fight them. Scott blasted them with his optic blast to capture their attention, then Emma and Jean used their combined powers to trap the Phoenix Force in Emma's diamond form, freeing the Cuckoos. As confessed by Selene to Scott, the mysterious explosion in the Institute that caused the X-Men's temporary disbandment was caused by Emma with the help of the Cuckoos. Wolverine also sensed a vision of Emma and the Cuckoos taking Jean.
The Stepford Cuckoos debuted in the first season of the serie, playing a major rol. Only 3 of them appeared so far: Esme, Sophie and Phoebe. Their last name is Frost. They are played by Skyler Samuels.
X-Men Legends 2 Rise of Apocalypse
The Stepford Cuckoos appear as boss battles in the game X-Men Legends 2: Rise of Apocalypse. The player encounters the Cuckoos in the Madri Temple as they fight alongside Holocaust.