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Quote1 ...You turned into such a wonderful little femme fatale in the end, didn't you? I'm ever so proud of all my girls. But you...You are the one I am the most proud of. Quote2
-- Emma Frost src
 

Origin

While Emma Frost 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 the girls were incubated and artificially aged inside the subterranean level of The World.[1] 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 purposes.[2][3]

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

Esme and her sisters strutting in the halls of the Institute

Xavier Institute

After the Xavier Institute went public,[4] Esme and her sisters were enrolled as orphan quintuplet sisters.[3] To protect their secret origins, the girls unconsciously placed mental blocks in the minds of the faculty to prevent them from investigating their background.[5]

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.[6][7]

Esme began to distinguish herself from her sisters when she developed a crush on student that turned out to be Stuff, an advanced guard of the Shi'ar.[8] Due to embarrassment over her crush and jealousy of Sophie's power and influence, Esme began secretly using Kick and working with Xorn. Esme began subtly influencing her sisters to gain control of their hive mind. When Quentin Quire led a Kick fueled student rebellion at the X-Mansion, Sophie and the other Cuckoos covertly snuck into Cerebra. Using Kick to amp up her powers, Esme and her sisters were able to stop Quire. Unfortunately, Sophie died in the process.[9] Unbeknownst to the others, Sophie was actually being influenced into these actions by Esme, who was also using Kick.[10]

Stepford Cuckoos (Earth-616) from New X-Men Vol 1 141 001

Esme leaving her sisters and the Institute

Shortly after the death of Sophie, Esme attempted to murder Emma by shooting her with a diamond bullet. While Bishop and Sage investigated the murder, Esme fled the X-Mansion fearing that the truth of her involvement in the deaths of Sophie and Emma would be revealed.[11]

Brotherhood of Mutants

When Esme returned, it was alongside her lover Xorn posing as Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants. Esme and Xorn had both become mentally unstable through excessive use of Kick. When Xorn's affections were withheld from her, Esme turned on him, and Xorn killed her by burying her metal earrings in her brain.[12]

Death of Esme Cuckoo (Earth-616) 01

The death of Esme

Resurrection

When an unstable fraction of the Phoenix Force sparked inside the girls, the 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. Sophie and Esme were later killed by Celeste wielding the Phoenix.[13]

Esme Cuckoo (Earth-616) 01

Esme psychically battling a Carrion Crow-possessed Sophie

When the Chaos King put the living asleep and opened the underworld, Esme, Sophie, Thunderbird, Banshee, Moira MacTaggert, and several of Multiple Man's duplicates were among the resurrected. Sophie confronted Esme about her death with little resolution. While searching for answers among the remains of the Xavier Institute, the former X-Men were attacked by the Carrion Crow. Sophie sacrificed herself to save the others,[14] and Esme later sacrificed herself to save her sister.[15]

Clash with X-23

Esme and Sophie returned from death to celebrate their birthday; however she selfishly wanted to regain her full strength and manipulated her sisters into helping her. To make sure no one got in the way, she killed Sophie so she could manipulate Mindee, Pheobe, and Celeste again [16]

House of X

Following the foundation of a mutant state in Krakoa by the hand of Charles Xavier and his allies, Esme resurfaced as a citizen of the nation, having been presumably reborn 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.

The Stepford Cuckoos accompanied Magneto for a meeting with a delegation of international ambassadors and representatives at the Jerusalem Habitat, in order to assert the new status quo of mutantkind, and set the terms of the new mutant state and its relationship to humanity.[17]

Power Grid [19]
Intelligence
 3
Strength*
 2
Speed
 2
Durability*
 2
Energy Projection
Fighting Skills
 2
* Higher strength, durability in diamond form

Powers

Esme's powers are identical to those of her sisters.


Weaknesses

Arrogance: Esme has always been the most selfish of the Cuckoos. She was too focused on her own needs and desires regardless of who gets hurt or killed in the crossfire, including her family, causing even her own sisters to resent her which lead to her downfall.[18]


Equipment

  • Kick: Pheobe used drug Kick to enhance her own telepathic powers and dominate the hive mind of her sisters including Sophie who was normally in charge.

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