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Quote1 I...I am Phoenix. I...hnh hnh hnnnn...No. I'm just Celeste. Quote2
-- Celeste[1]
 

Origin

While Emma Frost was lay in a comatose state, Dr. John Sublime harvested eggs from her to begin experimentation. The Weapon Plus program began the cloning to develop a powerful weapon capable of killing every mutant on Earth by combining their telepathic abilities. The project was designated Weapon XIV, and girls were incubated and artificially aged inside the subterranean level of The World.[2] Thousands of girls were cloned from the ovum, but while the others remained dormant, five girls were sent to infiltrate the Xavier Institute as student sisters to hone their talents for Sublime's purpose.[3][4]

Xavier Institute

After the Xavier Institute went public,[5] Celeste and her sisters were enrolled as orphan quintuplet sisters.[4] To protect their secret origins, the girls unconsciously placed mental blocks in the minds of the faculty, preventing them from investigating their background.[6]

Stepford Cuckoos (Earth-616) from New X-Men Vol 1 134 001

Celeste and her sisters strutting in the halls of the Institute

The girls quickly gained the moniker "The Stepford Cuckoos", though their chosen codename was the Five-In-One. Emma Frost took a special interest in the girls, and the Cuckoos became her protégés.[7][8]

When Kid Omega led a rebellion of students at the X-Mansion, Sophie encouraged Celeste and the other Cuckoos to take action, and they covertly snuck into Cerebra. Using Kick to amp up her powers, Sophie and her sisters were able to stop Quire. Unfortunately, Sophie died in the process.[9]

With the death of Sophie, the Five-In-One became the Four-In-One. The girls were furious with Emma Frost, whom they blamed for Sophie's death.[10] This mourning and anger was multiplied when Esme attempted to murder Emma, fled the X-Mansion,[11] and joined Xorn's Brotherhood. With the departure of Esme, the Four-In-One became the Three-In-One.[12]

Stepford Cuckoos (Earth-616) from New X-Men Vol 2 15 0001

The Three-In-One as students in the Corsairs Squad

Corsairs Squad

When the Institute was rebuilt under the leadership of co-headmasters Cyclops and Emma Frost, the students were organized into several training squads with an assigned mentor staff member.[13][14] Celeste and her sisters were assigned to the Corsairs Squad under the tutelage of Cyclops with the girls serving equally as co-leaders of the squad.[15]

M-Day

On M-Day the vast majority of the world's mutant population was depowered. Celeste and her sisters retained their powers, but they were three of only twenty-seven students to retain their powers. Fearing for the students' safety, Emma Frost ordered that the depowered students and staff leave the Institute. For their safety, the depowered students were brought through the Morlock Tunnels to an awaiting bus. Unfortunately, the bus of depowered students was bombed by anti-mutant zealot Rev. William Stryker, killing all forty-two of the former students on board.[16]

The remaining students were placed by Emma Frost into an all-out brawl, and the ones deemed the best by Emma would become a group of New X-Men in-training. This entire exercise was met with disgust by the Three-In-One, who promptly informed Cyclops of Emma's actions.[17]

Celeste Cuckoo (Earth-616) from X-Men Phoenix Warsong Vol 1 5 0002

Celeste as the Phoenix

Warsong

When an unstable fraction of the Phoenix Force sparked inside the girls, their dormant Weapon Plus nanotech inside their bones was activated. This nanotech briefly reanimated Sophie and Esme, who directed their sisters back to The World to activate Sublime's plan for the destruction of the mutant race.[18]

The Phoenix and Sublime both wrestled for control of the Cuckoos when the X-Men arrived. While Mindee appeared consigned to her fate as part of Sublime's weapon, Phoebe fought to embrace the Phoenix. Soon Phoebe was captured and integrated into Sublime's machine, but the Phoenix was able to possess Celeste. When Celeste was finally merged into the machine, the Phoenix was divided between all the Cuckoos and trapped in their newly emerged secondary mutation, organic diamond hearts. This event finally activated the Thousand-In-One.[18]

Celeste continued to resist the Phoenix and Sublime's machine long enough for the X-Men to forcibly disconect them. In a rage, Phoebe triggered a power surge causing an explosion. However, Celeste was able take full control of the Phoenix, destroyed her sisters, and trapped the Phoenix fragments inside the Three-In-One's flawless diamond hearts rendering them emotionless.[1]

Stepford Cuckoos (Earth-616) from X-Force Vol 3 11 0001

Celeste and her sisters teaching

The Quest for Magik

After returning to the Institute, the girls adopted a rebellious/mischievous streak. They helped Elixir telepathically gain a Ph.D. level knowledge of science and biology from Beast's brain.[19] Along with the other students, they were pulled into Limbo, where they were rescued by Prodigy.[20] To repay his kindness, the Cuckoos restored all of the knowledge he had previously gain with the use of his powers despite his powers being deactivated.[21] Celeste and her sister were briefly considered as potential candidate recruits for the Initiative.[22]

Messiah Complex

After the birth of the Mutant Messiah, the Stepford sisters were stationed in Cerebra to search for the baby and act as central communication for the various X-squads.[23]

Utopia

The Stepford Cuckoos rejoined the X-Men and the last of mutantkind in San Francisco. During the Skrull Invasion, they assisted in the evacuation of a San Francisco Hospital, and later offered remote support to Emma while bringing down the Skrulls' psychic blockade.[24]

Stepford Cuckoos (Earth-616) and Scott Summers (Earth-616) from Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 517 0001

The Phoenix fragments abandoning the Three-In-One

Once they relocated to Utopia, the Stepford Cuckoos frequently manned Cerebra.[25][26] When Lobe, with Scalphunter, brought a group of Predator Xs to attack Utopia, the X-Men were forced to battle the mutant eating creatures. The Cuckoos served as telepathic communication for the team, but during the battle the Phoenix fragments that were contained inside their diamond hearts escaped, mysteriously returned to space, and left the girls unconscious.[27] With the loss of the Phoenix, the girls fell into a depressive funk.[28]

Stepford Cuckoos (Earth-616) from Uncanny X-Men Vol 3 5 0001

The Three-In-One moving to the New Xavier School

Schism

After Cyclops and Wolverine decided to part ways, Phoebe wanted to return to Westchester while Mindee wanted to remain on Utopia. The deciding vote fell to Celeste, and she opted to stay on Utopia, partly because of Quentin Quire's presence at the school.[29][30]

AvX & Jean Grey School

When the Phoenix Force returned to Earth searching for a new host leading to the war between the Avengers and the X-Men, the Stepford Cuckoos were among the younger X-Men detained in the Avengers Compound with the Avengers Academy.[31] Afterword they were reluctantly recruited to the new Jean Grey School where they manned Cerebra and witnessed the death of Professor X and the reemergence of mutantkind.[32][33][34]

The girls were very displeased with the new school.[35] Celeste attempted to telepathically reach out to Emma Frost and when she couldn't contact her, she became extremely angry.[36] When Cyclops and his X-Men came to the school looking for recruits to their mutant rebellion, the Stepford sisters and Angel volunteered to go.[18]

Celeste Cuckoo (Earth-616) 03

X-Men Disassembled

Celeste was one of the many mutants that opposed the crazed X-Man from remaking the world in his image. When X-Man realized that his vision of the world would never come about with the X-Men around, X-Man made his enemies vanish in an instant, including Celeste.[37]

Age of X-Man

Celeste and the others were transported to another plane of existence by X-Man created in an attempt at a utopia where they and all other mutants would be at peace, altering their memories so they wouldn't resist.[38] Celeste was made a producer and a professional assistant for Studio X. She and her sister, Irma , made sure that the studio was running smoothly and she also handled the needs of stars like Nightcrawler and Meggan Puceanu. She attended an after party for one of Kurt's movies where she and Celeste helped out a little girl named Tiffany who wanted to attend the party also.[39]

While not observed, Irma was presumably returned to the real world when X-Man decided to release the mutants he forced to live in his plane of existence.[40]

House of X

Celeste and her sisters joined the mutant-only nation of Krakoa. One of their duties was escorting a group of human ambassadors through one Krakoan Gateway so they could meet with Magneto and Emma Frost to discuss potential recognition of Krakoa as an official nation.[41]

Power Grid [42]
Intelligence
 3
Strength*
 2
Speed
 2
Durability*
 2
Energy Projection
Fighting Skills
 2
* Higher strength, durability in diamond form

Powers

Celeste's powers are identical to that of her sisters.

Abilities

Those of her her sisters.



  • Celeste was initially the most timid and affectionate of the Cuckoos.
  • According to her sisters, Celeste has begun to think she's "better" than them.[28]
  • Since the X-Men Phoenix Warsong Vol 1, Celeste has taken more of a leadership role, including casting the deciding vote to remain on Utopia,[29] and later speaking for the Three-In-One as a whole.[36]
  • Celeste felt some very overt physical attraction to Agent Jake Oh.[18]
  • Celeste has shown some romantic interest in Hellion.[25]
  • Celeste was the only Cuckoo powerful enough to take control of the Phoenix.[18]
  • Celeste has urged her sisters to watch something a bit more self-improving than Glee.[26]

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 X-Men Phoenix Warsong #5
  2. X-Men Phoenix Warsong #4
  3. X-Men Phoenix Warsong #3
  4. 4.0 4.1 New X-Men #118
  5. New X-Men #117
  6. X-Men Phoenix Warsong #2
  7. New X-Men #126
  8. New X-Men #134
  9. New X-Men #134#137
  10. New X-Men #138
  11. New X-Men #139#141
  12. New X-Men #146#150
  13. New X-Men Vol 2 #1-#3
  14. X-Men Vol 2 #157
  15. New X-Men Yearbook Special #1
  16. New X-Men Vol 2 #24
  17. New X-Men Vol 2 #23
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 X-Men Phoenix Warsong #2-#5
  19. New X-Men Vol 2 #38
  20. New X-Men Vol 2 #37-#41
  21. New X-Men Vol 2 #42
  22. Civil War Battle Damage Report #1
  23. Uncanny X-Men #493#494
  24. Secret Invasion: X-Men #1-#4
  25. 25.0 25.1 Nation X #2
  26. 26.0 26.1 Generation Hope #9
  27. Uncanny X-Men #517
  28. 28.0 28.1 Nation X #4
  29. 29.0 29.1 X-Men: Regenesis #1
  30. X-Men: Schism #5
  31. Avengers Academy #30-#33
  32. Avengers vs. X-Men #12
  33. Wolverine and the X-Men #18
  34. Uncanny X-Men Vol 2 #19
  35. Wolverine and the X-Men #15
  36. 36.0 36.1 Uncanny X-Men Vol 3 #4
  37. Uncanny X-Men Vol 5 #9-10
  38. Age of X-Man Alpha #1
  39. Age of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler #1
  40. Age of X Omega #1
  41. House of X #1
  42. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 11



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