Born in Maui, Hawaii, Alani Ryan quickly developed a talent for surfing under the tutelage of her father Alaka'i Ryan Jr.. One day while surfing off the coast, Alani and her father were attacked by a shark-training, albino villain calling himself Great White. Great White sent one of his sharks after Alani's father. To protect him, she jumped into the shark. At that moment Alani's mutant power to move through solid matter manifested and she caused the shark to crumble. Before Great White could launch another attack, Namor the Sub-Mariner came to the rescue. Following the battle, Alani's grandmother Alice Ryan was revealed to be a former acquaintance of Namor's from the 1940s and a close friend of Namor's former lover Betty Dean. Alani began to learn all she could about Namor and Atlantean culture.
Loa became a student at the Xavier Institute and adopted the codename Loa. Along with her fellow students, Anole, Rubber Maid, Kidogo, Network, and Indra, she was assigned to Alpha Squadron, the training squad advised by former Alpha Flight member, Northstar. When Northstar was apparently killed by a brainwashed Wolverine, advising duties for Alpha Squadron were taken over by Karma.
After M-Day, when 91.4% of the world's mutant population lost their powers overnight, Alani was one of the twenty-seven students to retain her powers. She was one of the students Emma Frost placed in a fateful all-out brawl that would determine who would become the new X-Men trainees. Loa failed to make the New X-Men team. Before the fight, she threatened to "crumble" Anole's tongue if he touched her with it. Despite this, Loa remained close friends with Anole, as well as Rockslide.
Loa and several other students were sucked down into Limbo. There, a demon was killed trying to attack her. She moved to protect Anole as Magik decided she needed to take one of their souls to make a new Soulsword. When Magik went to confront Pixie, Alani jumped to attack her, but Magik blasted her to the ground with her powers. Loa survived the final fight against Belasco and returned to the school with the rest of the students.
Like most of the world's remaining mutant population, Loa moved to the Bay area when Cyclops and the X-Men named San Francisco the new mutant safe haven. At Graymalkin Industries she tried to help Colossus recover from the loss of Kitty Pryde. Loa, along with fellow students Mercury and Onyxx, was tasked with keeping peace at the riots on Telegraph Hill after the mutant-hate group "Humanity Now!" marched from Sacramento to San Francisco to promote "Proposition X," a bill designed to regulate mutant breeding, displeasing many citizens of San Francisco, mutant and non-mutant alike.
Later after the X-Men moved to the island base, Utopia, Loa was sorting donated books for the Utopia library with Rockslide when she found a remarkable likeness of Cable in the pages of a book about the American Revolutionary War. Loa was among the students exploring the island when Mercury was attacked by a holographic recording of a younger Magneto. One night, Loa led a secret mission to raid the Utopia food rations with the help of Rockslide and Match. They were opposed by Warpath, but were finally successful in indulging their sweet tooth.
During the attack of Selene's undead forces on Utopia, Alani was attacked by the reanimated Cortez, Mellencamp, and Delgado. She was saved by Deadpool, who had been in her room playing with her toys and reading her diary (which he denied) when he heard her screams. Together, they eviscerated the reanimated mutants.
Loa accompanied Indra, Rogue, Magneto, and Anole to Mumbai, India when the Gavaskar family called Indra back home. While there Loa took down a Sentinel on her own. Loa helped defeat the Children of the Vault and saved Mumbai from destruction.
During the Vampire siege on San Francisco and Utopia, Loa assisted King Namor in defeating the Aqueos. It was during a battle with the Aqueos that she learned the Atlantean Amulet allowed her to breathe underwater. King Namor and the Atlanteans seem to have adopted her as an honorary citizen of Atlantis since that time.
After studying her, Dr. Nemesis concluded that the Amulet had permanently changed Alani's physiology due to the way it reacted with her X-Gene; even without it, she could breathe underwater. However, the transformation had not ceased when the Amulet was removed. Within four to five hours, she would be unable to breathe air. Namor himself broke the news to Alani, who took the news badly. Inexplicably, spectres emerged from the Amulet and dragged Namor back inside to Hell. Psychic probes from Emma Frost determined that Alani had not done anything consciously or subconsciously to cause it.
Doctor Doom, Loa, and Abira traveled to Hell to attempt to bring Namor back. During their trek to find him, Doom asked what Loa had planned to say to Namor to listen to her. She said she'd talk some sense into him. This caused Doom to laugh and said if she managed this then he would kneel before her. The trio helped Namor find himself again and the four of them battled their way out of Hell and back to Atlantis.
Later when the Serpent transformed Attuma into Nerkkod, one of his Worthy, Namor found himself facing a great foe. A new incarnation of the Defenders was formed, with Loa herself becoming a member. Thanks to more magical interventions, Loa was again altered so she could breathe above water again. She was forced to kill Aradnea to save the life of Doctor Strange.
After the Avengers attacked the X-Men on Utopia, they captured their younger members. Hoping to keep them out of the conflict, they placed them in the custody of the Avengers Academy. While there, Loa formed a close relationship with a fellow Hawaiian, Mettle. Although most of the younger X-Men decided to leave, Loa chose to remain at and enrol in the Avengers Academy.
Death and return
Loa was resurrected by the hand of The Five, a group of mutants capable of combining their powers into a process of resurrection, brought together by Xavier as part of his plans for mutant ascension and became a citizen of the island nation Krakoa.
Powers and Abilities
Loa is a mutant with powers that manifested around puberty. Her current powers include:
- Molecular Distortion: Loa possesses the ability to move through solid matter by disabling binding forces. This causes the matter to crumble, or break down around as she passes through it.
- Tattoo Markings: Loa's body is covered in several red tattoo markings. These markings appeared when she first used her mutant powers, but their function is unknown.
- Loa is a skilled surfer.
- Loa possessed knowledge on the occult, from her reading of the Necronomicon.
- Underwater Breathing: Alani can breathe underwater indefinitely but only when wearing the Amulet.
- Amphibious Physiological Adaptation: The Amulet also appears to change Alani's body to be developed for underwater conditions such as compensating for pressure and temperature changes. Additionally, Alani vision seems to enhance which enables her to penetrate the ocean's depths and see through murky water.
- Loa was dating Elixir, until his disappearance.
- Loa's origin story is revealed in Namor: The First Mutant #5.
- "Loa" comes from the name of the Hawaiian volcano, Mauna Loa.
- According to the New X-Men Yearbook Special, Loa's likes include surfing, the ocean, and laying in the sun. She dislikes chemistry and big cities. She was voted "Most Laid-Back."
- Loa was once briefly roommates with Wallflower.
- For several years it remained unclear whether Alani's "tattoos" were a manifestation of her mutant powers, or man-made. Eventually, her origin story confirmed that the "tattoo" markings on her skin are in fact an aspect of her mutation and appeared at the time her powers first manifested.
- 80 appearance(s) of Alani Ryan (Earth-616)
- 3 minor appearance(s) of Alani Ryan (Earth-616)
- 5 mention(s) of Alani Ryan (Earth-616)
- 43 image(s) of Alani Ryan (Earth-616)
- 3 quotation(s) by or about Alani Ryan (Earth-616)
- 1 item(s) used/owned by Alani Ryan (Earth-616)