- —Karolina Dean[src]
Karolina Dean was raised by her parents Frank and Leslie Dean, two actors from TV's General Hospital, in Hollywood, California. Unbeknownst to Karolina, Frank and Leslie were aliens exiled from their home planet of Majesdane for criminal activities. Karolina's true nature was suppressed by a specialized medical alert bracelet which is made of a special metal that dampens her energy points. Additionally, the Deans were members of The Pride, a secret cabal involved in criminal and occult activities. Despite growing up with two famous parents, Karolina was untouched by Hollywood scandal and developed a compassionate nature and strong moral compass.
When Karolina and the other children of the Pride witnessed their parents' murdering a girl as part of a ritual sacrifice, they ran away from home, determined to defy their evil legacy. Karolina discovered her Alien heritage, which gave her the ability to fly and manipulate solar energy, powers that were inhibited for most of her life by a Medical alert jewelry bracelet forged from an alien metal. The Deans, wishing to give their daughter a normal life, told her she has a deadly allergy and instructed her to never take the bracelet off. After learning the truth, Karolina was ashamed of her alien heritage and didn't put much value in her life. She offered to sacrifice herself to save her friends when they were attacked by a vampire. The vampire was killed when he drank her blood, due to the solar energy stored in her blood.
After their parents' destruction, Karolina's friends were split up by California Social Services. Karolina Dean was sent to a foster family that was addicted to prescription painkillers, and she was forced to see a psychologist. Missing her friends, Karolina organized a reunion, asking the team to meet her at the James Dean memorial where they had decided to run away the first time. The teenagers escaped their new homes to regroup and fight the supervillains that have filled the void in Los Angeles left by their parents' departure.
Karolina was plagued by insecurities about her status as an extraterrestrial, and keeping the fact that she was a lesbian secret, although she has become more well-adjusted and open about her alien heritage.
Karolina misread some signs and unsuccessfully tried to kiss her friend Nico. Her love life became more complicated with the arrival of Super-Skrull-in-training Prince Xavin, her fiancée through an arranged marriage. After fighting Karolina's friends, Xavin told her that they wouldn't force her to marry them, but they had hoped that their marriage might end the war between the Skrulls and the Majesdanians. Karolina revealed that she is not attracted to men and doesn't want to live a lie, so Xavin altered their form to that of a human woman and persuaded her to leave with them. Karolina returned to her parents' home planet with Xavin, hoping to stop the war, which was triggered by her parents. She gave her medical alert bracelet to Nico as a gift and remained in contact with her friends via voice transmissions.
Though Karolina and Xavin grew close, Karolina continued to miss her friends. Karolina and Xavin prepared for their wedding, but unfortunately during the ceremony a Skrullos guest insulted a Majesdanian bridesmaid's dresses leading to more fighting.
After the conflict escalated, Karolina and Xavin returned to Earth. Once the wedding and talks of peace failed, a Skrull Battleship launched to thermonutron missiles at Majesdane destroying it. To avenge Majesdane, the remaining members of the Light Brigade, Majesdane elite military force, traveled to Earth to force Karolina Dean to stand trial in place of her parents. To save Karolina, and hopefully finally end the Skrullos-Majesdanian conflict, Xavin disguised themselves as Karolina and left Earth with the Light Brigade.
Julie Power & Runaways Disbanded
When Chase started to sense that Old Lace was still alive, the Runaways followed the trail straight to the Avengers Academy campus. When Justin Seyfert detected the Ultron tech within Victor, the Runaways were attacked. The fighting ceased and they made an effort to recover Old Lace. Much to the Runaways' joy, they found Old Lace alive and well. They then came into conflict with the Academy again as their plans to force Klara and Molly to stay were revealed. They soon stopped fighting again, and Nico used a spell to share their memories. This lead to a mutual understanding and their differences were peacefully resolved. Karolina made plans to go on a date with Julie Power.
Karolina and Julie continued to date, and things have progressed well between them. When Nico and Chase disappeared with little notice, Karolina took over the leadership role of the Runaways and was unalarmed by their departure, unlike Molly. Eventually, the team disbanded. Karolina enrolled in Pomona College to live an ordinary and happy civilian life. She also started seeing a therapist to cope with her traumatic life experiences.
Runaways Back Together
When Gert Yorkes returned to life, she rallied Nico and Chase to reform the Runaways. When they visited Karolina, she initially declined the offer. Karolina eventually gave the offer a second thought and returned to the team in time to help them save Molly from her mad scientist grandmother. Karolina moved to The Hostel's main underground building with the rest of the Runaways, but continued attending college. During this time, Julie broke up with Karolina since she felt she was inattentive. Not long afterwards, Nico decided to act on her feelings for Karolina, and they started dating.
Karolina became more aimless and anxious as time went on, until she powered up to save a young girl from being run over. After that, Karolina dropped out of college and started dabbling in super-heroics, gaining some traction online and becoming dubbed "Sparkles" by social media. When Nico found out about Karolina's secret hobby, she was eager to join her, and the two started patrolling the uneventful streets of Los Angeles. Karolina's exploits caught the attention of the local hero Doc Justice, who offered the team a place at his manor after the Runaways were forced out of the Hostel by an inadvertent public drainage work.
The Runaways accepted to operate as crime-fighters under Doc Justice's wing, becoming a new incarnation of the hero's former squad, the J-Team. During this time, Karolina adopted the mantle of Princess Justice. The Runaways were unaware that Doc Justice thrived off sensationalizing his super hero life to the point that throughout the fifty years of his career he routinely orchestrated the death of his young protégés to raise his own profile. After making this discovery, Gert convinced Doc Justice's son and assistant, Matthew Caniglia, to interrupt a staged mission that resulted in Karolina being drained of her solar energies by Doc Justice's ally Ashley Pearson. This encounter ended with Doc Justice's death at the fangs of Old Lace. Nico managed to save Karolina's life by using the Staff of One to make the sun rise.
The team returned to the Hostel with their morale battered by Doc Justice's betrayal, and Nico accompanied Karolina as she struggled to recover from her injury by taking in sunlight. Karolina's condition alerted the Light Brigade and they traveled to Earth to assist her, having let go of their grudge after Xavin had won Karolina's acquital. Karolina agreed to temporarily leave with the Majesdanians so they could treat her and invited the Runaways to join her, but Nico turned her down since she felt the team needed stability. However, the two girls promised to wait for each other.
Powers and Abilities
Because of her Majesdanian physiology, Karolina has powers common to other members of her species, including:
- Solar Energy Manipulation: She is able to absorb solar radiation and convert it into a unique energy type which she can manipulate for various uses. Karolina's powers are stronger related to her exposure to sunlight. It is possible this is absorption of some sort of cosmic energy. She is able to store the solar energy in every cell of her body, even her blood.
- Bioluminescent: In her natural state, Karolina's skin and hair are luminescent with a shimmering, rainbow-colored light of solar radiation. Originally, Karolina was unable to control this vibrant appearance and required her medical alert bracelet to suppress this ability. With practice, Karolina was able to appear human without her bracelet, but still employs the use of her bracelet at times.
- Light Energy Blasts: Karolina can also project the solar energy in a beam of variable intensity and diameter, from a wide, devastating, concussive blast to a thin laser-like cutting beam.
- Force Fields: She can control the projected energy to a limited degree forming defensive/protective shields/barriers.
- Heat Resistance: Karolina can both withstand extremely high temperatures and emit warmth.
- Flight: Karolina is able to propel herself into the air leaving a rainbow-like trail behind. The upper limits of her speed have yet to be determined. She is also able to carry others while flying.
- Solar Energy Dependent: Excessive use of her powers drains her stored solar energy reserves. In daylight, the depletion is negligible given that she is constantly replacing the used energy. At night, it is possible for her to completely use up her stored energy and not have access to any special abilities until she is again exposed to sunlight.
- Power Suppression: Her powers can also be suppressed via contact with some specific metallic materials.
- Leapfrog (formerly)
- Karolina's Car: Prior to running away from their parents, Karolina possessed a car.
- Karolina is a lesbian.
- She had developed romantic feelings for Nico Minoru early on though she was rebuffed when she tried to act on these feelings. However, Nico and Karolina were able to resolve this misunderstanding and remain very close friends. After breaking up with Julie, Nico eventually confessed her feelings to her, having finally accepted them, and the two got together.
- When she learned she was betrothed to Xavin, she openly admitted that she likes girls. To accommodate her, Xavin, a shape-shifting Skrull, was able to transform into a female form.
- She showed some interest in Lightspeed when the Runaways met Excelsior. Later the two began to date and were in a relationship.
- Karolina is vegan.
- Karolina is betrothed to Xavin, but their wedding was interrupted by an escalation in the Majesdanian-Skrullos conflict.
- She was stated to be a half-breed by the Skrulls.
- Karolina once wanted to be an actress like her mother.
- Karolina is a fan of the Beatles especially the song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". Her chosen codename was Lucy in the Sky, and Xavin chose "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" as their wedding song for Karolina.
- Karolina's father was a fan of the actor James Dean, and this is likely why her parents chose the surname "Dean" after arriving on Earth.
- Karolina is still able to legally claim royalties from her parents movies.
- 118 appearance(s) of Karolina Dean (Earth-616)
- 10 minor appearance(s) of Karolina Dean (Earth-616)
- 7 mention(s) of Karolina Dean (Earth-616)
- 232 image(s) of Karolina Dean (Earth-616)
- 15 quotation(s) by or about Karolina Dean (Earth-616)
- 2 item(s) used/owned by Karolina Dean (Earth-616)