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Quote1.png The Cuckoo is one of us. So get the hell away from her or I will light you up like a #$%&# Christmas tree. Quote2.png


Noriko Ashida (芦田 則子 Ashida Noriko) was born in Tokyo, Japan, where her family still lives. She was close to her brother, Keitaro (芦田 景太郎 Ashida Keitarō), but she ran away from home when she was thirteen-years-old after her powers manifested; she claimed that her father "doesn't believe in mutants."[1][2] How she came to the United States of America is unknown, but she was living homeless on the streets of New York City when, four years later, she went up to the Xavier Institute gates - only to be turned away by student Hellion for being homeless.[3]

Elixir gathered the rest of the group to try and find Nori that night, and they reluctantly went to try and keep her out of trouble. They eventually found her buying drugs and assuming that was what was causing her to go out of control, Sofia blew the capsules away. In reality, it was the other way around, and without the pills, Surge completely lost control of her powers. Between Wallflower's powers, and the fact that she was mostly discharged by that point, they managed to subdue her and take her back to the X-Mansion. There, Beast designed gauntlets that could regulate her absorption of ambient electricity, and that she could discharge through/into as required to prevent further mental overloads - to her less-than-complete gratitude.[4]

Noriko became a student of the Xavier Institute and, when the school adopted a squad system, was assigned to the New Mutants Squad led by Dani Moonstar. She reluctantly was required to share a room with Dust; the two young women disagreed upon the accepted role of women and tension arose from their disagreement.[5]

Soon afterward, the romantic relationship between teammate Josh Foley and teacher Rahne Sinclair was revealed. Returning Rahne's lost power with his own, Josh was severely injured by the feral Sinclair. Noriko proved herself innovative when she suggested she use her powers on teammate Josh Foley in order to shock his body into healing himself. Her plan successful, Josh awoke. Surprised by the taboo relationship, the New Mutants squad - except Noriko herself - ostracized Josh. Eventually, the conflict was dissolved.[citation needed]


The events of House of M left over 90% of the world's mutant population depowered and Noriko with yet another glimpse of what a relationship between her and Prodigy would be like. With only 27 students with their powers intact, Emma Frost, fearing for their safety, ordered the depowered students and staff including Noriko's adviser Danielle Moonstar to leave the Institute. Iceman, while talking to Noriko's father on the phone, confirmed that she was one of the "lucky ones" who retained their powers. As it departed, one bus of depowered students was bombed by anti-mutant zealot Reverend William Stryker, killing all on board. Though depowered, David was not killed, and he and Nori furthered their romantic relationship.[citation needed]

Most of the remaining students were organized by Emma Frost into a melee fight to determine who would become a member of Frost's X-Men-in-training. Much to her surprise, Surge was chosen by Frost to be the team's leader.[6] Soon afterwards, Nori received new, lighter, and more effective gauntlets from Forge.[citation needed]


The remaining students at the Institute became the targets of Stryker's crusade against mutants. After killing two more students, capturing others, luring one to his side, and finally attacking the Institute, Surge was able to lead her team against the attackers. Josh, enraged by Stryker's murder of Laurie, killed Stryker and ended his plot.[7]

Upon discovering that the advanced Sentinel Nimrod was alive and threatening Forge, Surge, as team leader, made the decision for the New X-Men to confront Nimrod themselves. In the end, she removed her gauntlets and poured all her power into Nimrod causing him to jaunt backward in time. Noriko then went to the hospital wing to talk to Elixir and David. She asked if he could still kill, and he said yes. Elixir said that he wanted to learn how to control the new increase in his abilities. Nori went to the memorial service to remember all the students lost in Stryker's attack.[8]

Noriko and David were kept busy at the mansion trying to recruit some of their fellow classmates to their squad. Their occupation with recruitment left them unaware of other school events: Emma threatening Laura, Mercury taking X-23 out on the town and being captured by Kimura, and Laura returning and taking Julian with her to go after Cessily. They had asked Bling! who had blatantly refused because of the things that had been happening to anyone wishing to be a member of the X-Men. Onyxx blurted out something about Laura coming in all bloody without Cessily and panicking; Surge and Prodigy rushed to Dust who told them what had happened to Cessily and the others. Surge took Rockslide and Dust with her outside of the Institute to look for their teammates. Lexington refused to let them pass and Surge began to command Rockslide and Dust to attack; Shadowcat arrived and took them inside where they strategized. Before long, Surge, Rockslide, Dust, Elixir, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus, and Shadowcat crashed into the Facility saving the hostage students.[9]

Nori took Julian outside to talk and ended up slapping some sense into him, yelling at him for sneaking off behind her back to go with Laura to rescue Cessily.[10]


As a result, Surge and Hellion were the only students that were not teleported to Limbo. Trance used her powers to get a message to the two, hastily informing them that the Institute students had been taken into Limbo by Belasco, and that "Belasco killed David," much to Surge's grief. Coordinating with O*N*E, Surge and Hellion discovered that Amanda Sefton had been expelled from Limbo and was in a coma in Germany. Upon learning of David's "death", Surge became somewhat impulsive and angry; she threatened the O*N*E troopers when they attempted to block her from seeing Sefton, used her electrical powers to revive the sorceress despite the risks, and generally behaved rather belligerent towards her allies.[11] When asked by Hellion if she was going to be alright, Surge replied with, "Ask me again when I've turned Belasco into a smoking black pile of ash." Surge, Hellion, Amanda Sefton, and the O*N*E Megaton Sentinel were confronted by a horde of demons. At Lexington's behest, Surge and Hellion stopped fighting demons and headed for the castle.[12] In the final battle against Belasco, Surge led the united Xavier Institute students against the demonic hordes, even engaging the twisted sorcerer in single combat before Belasco was killed by Pixie and Darkchild. After the Institute was returned to Earth, at Santo's insistence, Surge and Cyclops offered Pixie and Anole positions on the team in response to their bravery in Limbo, which they gladly accepted.[13]

After their return from Limbo, the New X-Men were debriefed and consoled by the senior Institute staff, Noriko amongst them. While Cyclops praised her for her excellent work in Limbo, Surge still dealt with anger issues and her inner conflict over Prodigy. Shortly thereafter, Surge passionately kissed Hellion in front of the other students as a means of driving David away from her and out of harm's way, in hopes of sparing them the pain of losing each other.[14] This ploy, however, backfired as David regained his memories of abilities he once had and copied up until he lost his power. In the aftermath, David decided to stay at the Institute and also ended their relationship.[15]

Messiah CompleX

Furious at being left on the sidelines, Surge organized the New X-Men (and Armor) in a strike against the Purifiers in Washington D.C. in hopes of finding information about the mutant baby and avenging the dead students. Elixir, Dust, and Prodigy opted not to go, thinking Surge was going for vengeance. The New X-Men infiltrated a Purifier church, while Anole searched on the status of the baby.[16] After rampaging through the lower levels of the church, the team was attacked by Lady Deathstrike and her Reavers, but managed to be teleported out in time by Pixie.[17] Returning to the school after the attack by the Nano-Sentinel infected O*N*E Sentinels, Surge blamed herself for her team's injuries, in particular, Hellion. Emma Frost explained to Surge that everyone was blindsided and that the important thing was to continue to survive. Surge asked Emma why she chose her as the team leader and Emma responded, "Because I knew you'd protect them, no matter what. Even from me."[18]

When Predator X attacked the Institute, Surge leapt to the defense of Indra, ordering the Institute students towards safety while she drew the creature's attention. Saved from being a quick meal by Anole and Prodigy, Surge led the team against Predator X in an attempt to stop it from attacking the injured students and was teleported alongside the other combatants to Muir Island with Pixie's spell.[19]


Surge joined the rest of the mutant community as they worked to build their new home on Utopia. Noriko continued to have many adventures and battles with the rest of the X-Men, including the X-Men's battle with Marrina, joining Cyclops' attack against the Hidden City of the Agents of Atlas in order to retrieve the stolen Cerebro, leading the New X-Men to free some of their captured teammates from the mutant Sack, and helping fight off the resurrected Rusty Collins when Utopia was attacked by Selene's Transmode-revived mutant servitors.[citation needed]

Schism and Regenesis

After Wolverine left Utopia, Surge remained in San Francisco with Cyclops.[20]

Avengers vs. X-Men

During the Avengers' invasion of Utopia, Surge and some of the other students were tasked with defending Hope.[21] After Hope escaped, the Avengers placed the remaining students, and Shaw, in the custody of the Avengers Academy. Surge felt the internment was discriminatory and took the X-students to leave, which resulted in a fight between the two factions. Laura stepped up and voiced that the X-Men should be able to make their own choices, which led to the Avengers staff deciding to let the students go free after a mock fight.[22] Surge was later seen helping the Phoenix Five around the world.[citation needed]

Jean Grey School

After Cyclops was beaten at the end of AvX, Surge relocated to the Jean Grey School.[23] While not holding the leadership role she once had, Noriko still remained a proud member of the X-Men. She also temporarily joined the Thin Spandex Line and helped the Young Avengers defeat Mother and her army.[24] She was also present for the after-party.[25][26]

Post-Secret Wars

In the wake of a massive wave of anti-mutant sentiment, combined with the discovery that the Terrigen Mist spread in the atmosphere were harmful to mutants, Surge was one of the many mutants who were sheltered on a sanctuary called X-Haven.[5]

During the aftermath of the X-Men's war with the Inhumans, Noriko was seen playing basketball with Jia and Nezhno. When Kitty Pryde relocated the school to Central Park in New York City, and renamed it the Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach, Surge decided to attend as a student.[27]

X-Men Disassembled

Surge was one of the mutants that answered Jean's call to Quadra Island to fight X-Man and his Horsemen of Salvation. Backed into a corner, Nate wiped the entire battlefield out and brought everyone to a new world formed from the Life Seed.[4]

Age of X-Man

In a new plane of existence, a world where all forms of love was deemed illegal, Noriko was an actress with Mastermind Studios. Being part of a rivalry to Studio X, Noriko joined fellow members and studio head, Regan Wyngarde, during a meeting with Nightcrawler in hopes to have both studios come together and work with each other. Noriko listened at the table as Regan and Kurt went back and forth fighting over the joint effort. Kurt said no to the proposition, which forced Regan to leave the room along with Noriko, who quickly told Meggan Puceanu that she loved her work.[28]

Later, Studio X held a press tour before they were ambushed by Mastermind Studios. The two studios quickly came into conflict, which lead to Mastermind Studio’s retreat.[29] Noriko, under the telepathic control of the Stepford Cuckoos alongside Cessily and mutants from both studios, later showed up to confront Nightcrawler and Meggan over falling in love again. After a fight and talk with the Cuckoos, Kurt agreed to wipe his memory of his time with Meggan and the existence of their daughter, Tenia Jean. The Cuckoos let Meggan and TJ leave so the former was able to take care of her daughter, then erased everyone else's memory of the incident. Surge left Mastermind Studios to become the new leading lady at Studio X in Meggan's stead.[30]

Over time, as X-Man grew weaker due to the strain on his body, both the X-Men and X-Tracts regained their memories and confronted Nate about what he took away from them. He eventually gave everyone back their memories, which included Noriko, who made a red carpet appearance for her work on Studio X's Mission Mutation series. X-Man then used himself as a portal to allow everyone to return to Earth.[31]

House of X

Surge was seen discharging her gauntlets at the party on Krakoa following the first meeting of the Quiet Council, dancing in the thick of the crowd near Anole and Wolverine.[32]

Noriko was in attendance at the Academy X party at the Boneyard.[33] She was a candidate to become an X-Man.[34]


Power Grid[38]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Some Training:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/Single Type: Long Range:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Superhuman:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Normal


Surge is a mutant. She was considered a General Threat by the O*N*E, at the time of the M-Day.[35] Nimrod classified her as a Threat Level: High,[36] and after defeating him, she was red-flagged and allegedly reclassified by the O*N*E.[37]

Electrical Absorption: She absorbs electricity at all times: from static in the air, electrical appliances, outlets, etc. (often causing lights to flicker, etc). She can't control the absorption and thus must wear specifically-designed gauntlets at all times to regulate it.

  • Lightning Blasts: She can discharge the energy through lightning blasts from her hands or other parts of her body. The upper limits of this power have yet to be determined, though these attacks remain considerably powerful when used effectively.
  • Superhuman Speed: She has the ability to channel the energy into bursts of super-speed. Her top speed has not been officially calculated, but she once ran from upper New York to the mountains of Colorado in one afternoon. Apparently, she can run at several hundred miles per hour and retain that speed for several hours.


Surge is a native Japanese speaker who speaks English fluently, with little trace of an accent. She has an aptitude for leadership and has had some training from Wolverine in hand-to-hand combat.


If Noriko doesn't discharge the electricity that builds in her body and mind, her mind starts to race, making her speak very fast in a jittery, electronic fashion. This worsens her control over her discharges and radically alters the electrical impulses in her nervous system.[citation needed]



Power Gauntlets: The latest version of her gauntlets were made by Forge. They are lightweight and more efficient as they have a adjustable knob to change the level of intensity in her blasts, as well as allowing her to control the input of electricity at a more stable rate.


X-Men Blackbird, her own speed, Pixie's teleportation



  • According to her creators, Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir, Noriko was seventeen years old at the beginning of the first series. As an entire school year has passed, it might be assumed that she is now eighteen. However, given Marvel's floating timeline policy, that may not be the case.[citation needed]

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