Nezhno Abidemi is the son of a Wakandan woman and a Russian man. All his life Nezhno was persecuted and rejected, even by his own mother, because his father was an outsider, and it was from him whom Nezhno inherited his X-Gene. Nezhno was raised at the Royal Court of Wakanda. When his mutant powers manifested, Ororo Munroe, the new queen of Wakanda, advised her husband King T'Challa to send Nezhno to the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning to learn how to control his powers.
As a consequence of the abuse he endured when he was a kid, Nezhno developed a psychological trauma, which caused him to suffer great pain and seizures. To ease his condition, Nezhno's entire body was covered with Vibranium tattoos to prevent him from over-exerting and killing himself with his power.
Nezhno found the atmosphere at the Xavier Institute to be very distracting, and tried to distance himself from other students, rarely talking with them, considering them too unfocused and chaotic. Trying to subdue his emotions and powers, he spent all his free time meditating. Perhaps for that, and because he was a pacifist, he was given the codename Gentle, and was immediately placed on Storm's squad so she could take a hands on role in his development.
In the aftermath of M-Day, Nezhno was one of the 27 remaining students from the Institute to retain their powers. In response to the increasingly desperate situation that mutants now faced, Emma Frost disbanded all of the former training squads. She decided to select an elite team of New X-Men trainees and organized an all out battle in the Danger Room between the remaining students. Due to the nature of Nezhno's powers, he was exempt from the session.
One night at the school, Gentle tried to meditate, but was constantly distracted by loud chatter of other students, who listened to a horror story told by Blindfold. It soon became clear that this wasn't just a tale, but rather Blindfold's visions of past, present, and future events about Illyana Rasputina, and the Demon Lord Belasco. As soon as the tale ended, Gentle and other students were teleported to Limbo and immediately attacked by demons. Even so, Nezhno was able to stay calm, and was reluctant to use his powers. Only when Darkchild arrived did Gentle follow the advice of Blindfold and, for the first time in his school days, used his powers. He tried to protect Pixie from demon N'Astirh, but the pain and spasms quickly brought him out of action. After the students returned to the school, Pixie thanked him for his help. She was delighted with his powers and surprised that Nezhno never used them before. In response to that, Nezhno told her that every time he uses his powers he approaches his own death.
When the first mutant since M-Day was born, most of the X-Men went looking for her; only students and several members of the team stayed in the Institute. Shortly thereafter it was attacked by an out of control Sentinel Squad O*N*E. Believing that the Sentinels planned to kill them all, Gentle decided to fight at full strength, regardless of the consequences for his health or life. Nezhno fought with the Sentinels on equal terms, but still in the end he was blasted away and lost consciousness. Later, he once again used his powers to protect fellow students from Predator X.
Return to Wakanda
After the X-Men were disbanded, Nezhno, together with Queen Ororo, returned to Wakanda. Doctors examined his body and found that his condition worsened during his time in the United States and, therefore, he needed more tattoos. All he ever wanted was to be accepted by his own people and had hoped that during his absence the Wakandans changed their opinion of him. Unfortunately, Nezhno quickly ascertained that everything remained the same and even his mother, whom he hadn't seen for many years, berated him for returning to Wakanda. Once again rejected by his country, Gentle finally realized that the only people who ever accepted him were the X-Men, and regretted that he pushed away those who tried to be his friends.
These negative emotions allowed the Shadow King to possess Gentle's body and use it to kill the soul reader B'Chaku. Nezhno was arrested, but Storm freed him from prison, believing that he could not commit murder. Unfortunately, the Shadow King was able to take possession of T'Challa and declared that Storm and Gentle were traitors and ordered for their detention. At first Nezhno was ready to surrender, and to be executed for his crime, but Storm forced him to fight and flee. In the end, they managed to defeat the Shadow King and saved not only Wakanda, but also the X-Men. After that, Nezhno decided to return to America.
San Francisco & Utopia
He joined the X-Men at Graymalkin Industries in San Francisco and later relocated with them to Utopia. When the island was attacked by Predators X, Nezhno with a few other students lent his powers to Rogue so she could fight the Predators. After the return of the Mutant Messiah and subsequent attack of the Nimrod Sentinels, Gentle was amongst those who fought back at Golden Gate Bridge.
Jean Grey School for Higher Learning
After the schism between Cyclops and Wolverine, Gentle decided to join Logan's Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, thinking that in order to create a better world for mutants, they needed to live as if it already existed, not preparing everyday to war for survival.
When it was discovered that the Terrigen Mists spread throughout the atmosphere of the Earth were lethal to mutants, Storm moved the Jean Grey School to the extra-dimensional realm of Limbo, in order to protect its students from both the mists and the ever-growing anti-mutant hysteria. Gentle was one of those mutants living in X-Haven, the portion of Limbo used as the new grounds for the school.
Nezhno eventually returned to Wakanda. He assisted Jean Grey's team of X-Men after they were attacked by a brainwashed Storm when they were returning to Wakanda from a mission, since they had been offered asylum by King T'Challa. Nezhno even shielded Storm from lightning of her own making after the Sentinite controlling her mind pushed her into trying to commit suicide. Jean later convinced Gentle to join her team, both because of his strength and his compassion, and offered to help him work on blocking his pain so he could unlock his full potential. During Nezhno's first session of telepathic therapy, Jean found out that the pain he suffered when he used his powers was not tied to them, but was actually a subconscious mechanism to prevent himself from using his powers. His mother would hit him everytime he manifested his mutation, causing Nezhno to develop the psychosomatic block. Jean used her powers to heal Nezhno's psychological wounds, which also allowed him to regain his sense of touch.
- Extreme Strength: The upper limit of Nezhno's strength has not been categorized, and he has shown himself strong enough to hold his own in battle against a Sentinel, as well as Predator X. Storm stated that his physical strength rivals that of Colossus, placing him at least Class 100 strength. Nezhno's resting strength gradually increases every time he uses his powers.
- Superhuman Durability: Nezhno's body is very tough; he is able to withstand high atmospheric pressure, point-blank shot, Cyclops' optic blast, and Sentinel laser blast. It was stated that at his peak, he could go toe-to-toe with the Hulk.
- Vibranium Tattoos: Nezhno has tattoos all over his body, which were adapted from molten raw vibranium, using an ancient Wakandan technique developed to alleviate seizures and tremors. Usually tattoos were temporary, however, Gentle's mutation caused vibranium to bond with his flesh down into the muscle. According to Nezhno these tattoos keep his powers in check and is the only thing that keeps him alive, but at some point it will no longer be able to help him. When he uses his powers, the tattoos glow with blue light. Recently all Wakandan vibranium was rendered inert and useless, but it is yet unclear what effect it had on Nezhno.
- Nezhno was the last-revealed of the 27 remaining powered Xavier students, and it was unknown if he was cataloged among the 198 (as he wasn't among the mutants presented in the 198 Files).
- His name "Nezhno" (Russian: Нежно) is a Russian word meaning "tenderly" or "gently", while his surname "Abidemi" is a Yoruba word meaning "born during father's absence".
- He is the first X-Men member to come from a country that only exists within the Marvel Universe.
- Nezhno was originally planned to be killed off by writers Christopher Yost and Craig Kyle, but they were not allowed to.
- 81 Appearances of Nezhno Abidemi (Earth-616)
- 3 Minor Appearances of Nezhno Abidemi (Earth-616)
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- 78 Images featuring Nezhno Abidemi (Earth-616)
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- Character Gallery: Nezhno Abidemi (Earth-616)
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- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 New X-Men Vol 2 #42
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Uncanny X-Men #493
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 X-Men Divided We Stand #1
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 X-Men: Worlds Apart #2
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 X-Men: Worlds Apart #1
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 X-Men: Red #6
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 New X-Men Vol 2 #39
- ↑ X-Men: Worlds Apart #3
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 New X-Men Vol 2 #37
- ↑ Heroic Age: X-Men #1
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 New X-Men Vol 2 #38
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #13
- ↑ New X-Men Vol 2 #23
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 New X-Men Vol 2 #46
- ↑ X-Men: Worlds Apart #1-4
- ↑ Uncanny X-Men #509
- ↑ Dark Avengers / Uncanny X-Men: Exodus #1
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Uncanny X-Men #517
- ↑ New Mutants Vol 3 #14
- ↑ X-Men: Regenesis #1
- ↑ Extraordinary X-Men #1
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 X-Men: Red #2
- ↑ X-Men: Red #4
- ↑ X-Men: Schism #5
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 X-Men: Worlds Apart #4
- ↑ Doomwar #6
- ↑ Abidemi. Behind The Name (2013-01-25). Retrieved on 2018-08-03.
- ↑ X-Position: Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost
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