- —Cassandra Nova[src]
Cassandra Nova Xavier is what the Shi'ar call "Mummudrai", the spirit that is the equal and opposite of a person. However, due to the amazing genetic potential of Professor Charles Xavier, his Mummudrai was able to create a physical form, effectively a twin. While gestating in her mother Sharon Xavier's, womb, Cassandra was recognized by Charles as an evil presence, and he preemptively tried to kill her with his nascent psychic abilities. Cassandra was barely able to defend herself and the shock of the roiling battle caused Sharon to have a miscarriage. Though the doctors pronounced her stillborn, Cassandra in fact survived and spent the next decades as a growing mass of cells in a sewer wall, building a new body for herself and planning her revenge on her brother.
When she emerged, Cassandra located a secret "wild" Master Mold in the South American jungles that was able to adapt existing technology into a wide variety of lethal Sentinel forms. She convinced Bolivar Trask's cousin Donald Trask III to accompany her to the Master Mold, where his voice activated the control protocols. After killing Trask by merging herself into his body, she dispatched giant Sentinels to Genosha, resulting in the genocidal massacre of over sixteen million mutants (seemingly including Magneto). Her Wild Sentinels also attacked the X-Wing, downing it with Cyclops, Wolverine, and their passenger Ugly John aboard. The two X-Men subdued Nova, but Ugly John suffered mortal wounds and was mercy killed by Cyclops. Wolverine severed Cassandra's vocal cords and she was brought to the Institute, where she began to exert telekinetic and telepathic control over the X-Men, making her way to Cerebra by phasing in an effort to destroy all mutants. Then Emma Frost snapped her neck, stunning Cassandra, who was finally put down by six gunshots from Charles.
What no one realised at the time was that just before the shots, Cassandra switched her mind into Charles's body and vice versa. Using Charles's form, Cassandra "outed" him and the X-Men to the world, then left Earth with Lilandra for a "vacation." While in the Shi'ar Empire, Cassandra used her powers to take control of the Imperial Fleet and began to destroy the Empire from within. Lilandra made for Earth, but Cassandra destroyed the ship, and upon arrival back at the Institute took down the Superguardians as well. By this point, Cassandra (in Charles's body) had constructed a psychic monster around herself, seemingly made up of the flailing body parts of all the people she had absorbed or controlled.
After beating off all crossed her path, Cassandra again visited Cerebra. She tried to use Cerebra to access the minds of all Earth's mutants, but Charles's mind was waiting for her (put there by Jean Grey) and he forced her out of his body. Formless and with no life support, Cassandra flailed about until Emma came in with Cassandra's body. The entity entered, only to be trapped inside, as her real body was dead and this body was in fact the Imperial Superguardian shapeshifter Stuff. Her mind was blanked, and she began a mental process of re-education by psychic simulations of Professor X and Jean Grey while her body was put into a virtually impenetrable metal box.
As Emma placed her psyche into the form of Stuff, Nova used her powers in a last act of desperation to plant a suggestion deep into Emma's mind. She played on her fears, doubts, and guilt to create a psychic delusion in which Emma believed that Nova had recruited her into a new Hellfire Club and survived, alongside Sebastian Shaw and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Emma then tortured the X-Men with illusions and incited Kitty Pryde to release Cassandra from the lock-box. Freed, Nova sought a new host. She tried to possess Kitty's body, but didn't succeed. Before the X-Men could stop her, they were teleported on board The Peak. Sydren from the S.W.O.R.D. studied Emma's psyche and didn't find any trace of Nova's mind.
The Hate Machine
With the revival of Jean Grey, Cassandra began stoking acts of mutant hate crime all across the world through psychic suggestion. She went so far as to send Jean a cryptic, threatening message through a senator of the United Nations before causing the senator's head to explode, incriminating Jean and her movement for an act of terrorism. Nova furthered her goal with the creation of Sentinites, microscopic machines developed by Forge while under Cassandra's control which, once installed in a person's brain, allowed them to detect mutants in their vicinity and sent them into a murderous rage. She infected both normal people and heads of nations. Nova also used these Sentinites to directly attack the X-Men, once infecting Storm to have her attack Jean Grey's X-Men in Wakanda, and a second time using Teen Abomination after the X-Men had moved near Atlantis.
After Jean managed to clear her name, Cassandra prepared to launch swarms of Sentinites on all major cities. The X-Men thwarted her plan with the help of one of their newest recruits, the technopath Trinary, who also located Cassandra's new base of operations in the abandoned Genosha. In retaliation, Cassandra took control of Prestige, Jean's daughter in an alternate timeline, to have them face off, but Jean rescued her.
Using her powers, Cassandra took hostage several commercial planes and hijacked the Helicarrier of the South Korean National Intelligence Service to turn it into her personal army. Cassandra intended to force Jean to go to war, but before going to Genosha, she enlisted Tony Stark's help to create a supply of countless replicas of Magneto's Helmet to force into the people under Nova's sway to break them free. Due to this turn of events, Nova caused one of the nuclear reactors aboard the Hellicarier to explode, with the intention to bring down the aircraft on the island. With the help of the Avengers, the X-Men managed to detonate the Helicarrier before it reached the ground. Nova was ultimately defeated when Jean installed a reprogrammed Sentinite into her mind to make her feel empathy for the first time in her life. Cassandra was instantly filled with regret for her actions, and Jean promised to help her atone.
Powers and Abilities
Cassandra possesses telepathy comparable to Charles Xavier. After copying the DNA of Charles Xavier, the mummudrai Cassandra Nova accessed the full spectrum of latent mutant functions in his genome (this means she has the powers of Charles Xavier, the ones he could have had and the ones he might receive, as a result of latent mutation), granting itself vast psionic powers. These powers include: telepathy, telekinesis, and the ability to release an astral form, which she focuses both her telepathy and telekinesis. She has all the powers of the "average" mummudrai as well.
DNA Duplication: She is able to copy the DNA of sentient beings and use it to construct physical bodies for themselves. Also capable of accessing the full spectrum of latent mutant functions in ones genome.
- DNA Manipulation: She can manipulate the DNA of others, breaking it down at the molecular level.
- Jumpstart: After analyzing the DNA of another superhuman mutant, Cassandra is able to selectively evolve their existing genetic traits as well as catalyze the untapped genetic potential of latent mutants. Once begun, the procedure is irreversible and can often result in unpredictable side effects.
- Phasing: She has the ability to pass through solid matter by passing her atoms through the spaces between the atoms of the object through which she is moving. In this way she and the object through which she is passing can temporarily merge without interacting, and each is unharmed when Cassandra has finished passing through the object. This process is called "phasing". When Cassandra is phasing she is intangible.
- Metahuman Regeneration: She regenerates and heals hundreds of times faster than a normal human. Thanks to this superhumanly regenerative "healing factor," she has been able to completely recover from injuries which would prove fatal to most humans, even those with superhuman abilities. She can regenerate organs such as eyes or large portions of flesh, regenerate limbs, such as feet and arms, which have been completely severed.
- Trask DNA: Using her powers, she was able to duplicate the Trask DNA, and therefore include herself in the Prime Command Protocols of the Sentinels, "Preserve Trask DNA".
Astral Form Projection: She has the ability to release her astral form, which she uses to focus her telepathy and telekinesis.
- Telepathy: She can read minds and project her thoughts into other minds within a vast, potentially limitless radius.
- Telepathic Cloak: She can mask her presence from being detected by others. Her abilities can at times go undetected or be counteracted by other more powerful telepaths depending on their level of skill in using their own psi abilities. She can extend these defenses to others around her as well.
- Mind Control: She has the ability to control the minds of others upon mere concentration.
- Mind Possession: She has the ability to possess the mind of another, and use that beings body as her own.
- Mind Alteration: She has the ability to alter the minds of others by force of will.
- Psionic Shield: She has the ability to erect a psychic shield for protection of herself and of others minds.
- Telepathic Illusions: She has the ability to create illusions to make herself seem to be invisible, look like someone else, or make others experience events that are not truly happening.
- Mental Paralysis: She has the ability to induce temporary mental or physical paralysis
- Mental Amnesia: She can erase any awareness of particular memories or cause total amnesia.
- Psionic Blasts: She can project psionic force bolts which have no physical effects but which can affect a victim's mind so as to cause the victim pain or unconsciousness and turning someone brain-dead.
- Astral Projection: She can project her astral form from her body onto astral planes or the physical planes. In the physical plane she can only travel in astral form over short distances. In the astral plane, she can mentally create psionic objects and manipulate the aspects of her environment.
- Mind Transferal: She is able to transfer both her mind and powers into other host bodies should her own physical body be somehow killed.
- Mental Detection: She can sense the presence of another superhuman mutant within a small but as yet undefined radius of herself by perceiving the distinctive mental radiations emitted by such a being.
- Telekinesis: She possesses telekinetic abilities enabling her to levitate and manipulate living beings, inanimate objects, and to some extent energy psionically. She can levitate herself or other persons or project a telekinetic shield capable of withstanding missile blasts. By focusing her mental energy at a specific target, she can release devastating force blasts.
- It was suggested that Nova used her vast psionic powers to awaken or even create Emma Frost's Secondary Mutation which granted her the ability to turn herself into "living diamond".
- In order to disable Charles Xavier while being in his body, Cassandra Nova infected her own body (hosting Charles) by Motor Neuron disease, a rapid form of Alzheimer's disease and Creutzfeld-Jacob disease.
- Writer and Cassandra Nova's co-creator Grant Morrison originally intended for Nova to be rehabilitated, with the former villain assuming the alias of Ernst. The most blatant hint to this comes from New X-Men #153, set in the alternate future of Earth-15104, in which Cassandra Nova tells No-Girl that she "can still call [her] Ernst." This hint also establishes that as an alias, Ernst would've originated from the German artist Max Ernst.
- 27 appearance(s) of Cassandra Nova Xavier (Earth-616)
- 17 minor appearance(s) of Cassandra Nova Xavier (Earth-616)
- 17 mention(s) of Cassandra Nova Xavier (Earth-616)
- 36 image(s) of Cassandra Nova Xavier (Earth-616)
- 7 quotation(s) by or about Cassandra Nova Xavier (Earth-616)
Links and References
- Cassandra Nova Xavier (Earth-616) on Wikipedia.org
- uncannyxmen.net Bring on the Bad Guys: Cassandra Complexities