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Quote1 I am LADY MASTERMIND. The illusions I cast are perfect. Quote2
Lady Mastermind[src]

History

Lady Mastermind[]

Regan Wyngarde is the daughter of the powerful illusionist Jason Wyngarde, better known as Mastermind. As a second-generation mutant, she fully inherited her progenitor's illusion casting abilities, being able to project hyper-realistic scenarios into the mind of others.[1] Wyngarde's early life is shrouded in mystery. It is known she had a challenging and traumatic relationship with her father, who abused her in the past.[4] She also has a complicated connection with her sister Martinique, who also developed a similar illusory powerset.[5] Despite her disdain for her family members, Regan Wyngarde also embraced their legacy,[6] honoring her late father's memory by adopting the name Lady Mastermind.[1]

Similarly to her deceased father, Wyngarde became an associate of the Hellfire Club by becoming a minion of Sebastian Shaw. In Sydney, Australia, Lady Mastermind used her illusions to trick one of Shaw's rivals, Viceroy, into killing himself.[7] They also implicated the mutant thief Gambit in the murder. This led Gambit's allies in the X-Men to investigate the mysterious case.[8] In this situation, Shaw sought for revenge on his former assistant, Sage, for her betrayal of being an undercover agent for Professor Xavier. Sage operated as an intel coordinator for the X-Men, usually not going on the field. This made her vulnerable to Wyngarde, who attempted to entrap her into a mental simulation where she still served Shaw. However, being skilled in mental manipulation, Sage initially resisted the aggression.[1]

After being physically subdued by Shaw, Sage was fully vulnerable to Lady Mastermind's treachery. Instead of simply hurting Sage, Wyngarde pull ed specific memories from her mind in a cyclic way to twist and condition her mind against her allies. The powerhouse Rogue tried interrupting the attack, but fell to Shaw and Wyngarde, who decided to manipulate her into becoming their private assassin.[9] Rogue brutally assaulted the X-Men, until Thunderbird identified Mastermind and attacked her to dissolve her influence.[10] Although Wyngarde escaped, she still had hold on a catatonic Sage. The newest X-Man Lifeguard was drafted into Sage’s mind in an attempt to free her from the illusion. In the mental environment, Lady Mastermind’s tricks tormented both Lifeguard and Sage. In a deadly showdown in Sage’s psyche, Lifeguard managed to turn Wyngarde’s powers back on herself, causing a huge psychic backlash that put the illusionist in a vegetative state. The moribund Regan Wyngarde was taken into the care of a mental health facility.[7]

Going Rogue[]

The vulnerable Wyngarde was obtained by Dr. Richard Palance,[2] becoming one of his mutant subjects to be experimented on at the Fordyce Clinic.[11] She emitted a telepathic call for help that was captured by the Omega Sentinel Karima Shapandar, who also ended up being captured.[12] Being identified by Cerebra as one of the few surviving mutants following the mutant decimation, Wyngarde was rescued from an army of soldiers by the X-Men alongside Shapandar.[11] In a comatose state, she had her mental powers cybernetically hijacked by Serafina, a member of the Children of the Vault, a race of artificially evolved beings who wished to eliminate the X-Men to keep their existence a secret.[13] During the incident, Wyngarde was possessed by a mummudrai, a Shi'ar mental parasite.[4] Revived in the Xavier Institute's medical bay, Wyngarde was examined by Beast, who believed Serafina's intrusion to have been the necessary stimulus to restore the illusionist's consciousness. Thirsty for revenge, Lady Mastermind wanted to attack Serafina and her former captive. She was drafted into Rogue's strike force team of X-Men tasked with stopping the Children of the Vault's threat.[14] The team intercepted the Children's flying ship, where Mastermind psychically tricked some of the enemies into murdering each other.[15]

After emerging victorious, the unusual squad of X-Men cut ties with the Xavier Institute to operate independently.[15] Their first mission was tracking down the Fordyce Clinic's owner. Mastermind used her illusion powers to expose Calvin Goynes, one of the hospital workers, in order to pinpoint the mastermind's whereabouts. Her mean streak became apparent for all X-Men to see, leading Rogue to reprimand her for her actions and remind her that she was only on the team because she had a personal stake in the mission.[2] The X-Men tracked Palance to Calcutta after he kidnapped Rogue and knocked the rest of the team out. His psychically cloaked headquarters was revealed by Mastermind. In the building, when fighting Palance's personnel alongside the other X-Men, Wyngarde displayed offensive psychic abilities, a sign of her parasitical infection.[16] Eventually, Palance incapacitated Wyngarde using her own illusions against her. She was to be vivisected by some scientists, but was saved by Mystique. Meanwhile, the X-Men took down Palance. Before Rogue could deal justice, she fell unconscious as a result of his macabre experiments. Lady Mastermind happily got payback and trapped Pan in a persistent illusion where he was lost in a giant maze.[17]

With Rogue in critical condition, Cable had the X-Men land on his island-nation Providence. An alarmed Lady Mastermind took the opportunity to find a psychiatric unit to investigate the reason behind her recent headaches and power fluctuations. The resident psychiatrist was coerced into using hypnosis to allow her to telepathically probe her own mind. She located and forced the mummudrai parasite out of her psyche. The creature had been crossing galaxies for eons to escape the Hecatomb, an ancient Shi’ar psychic weapon that fed on minds, which was about to descend on Earth.[4] The alien monstrosity ruined Providence, feasting on its residents' brains.[18] Wyngarde considered abandoning the fight to preserve her life, but her cowardice was derided by Mystique, since there was nowhere safe in the planet. The sick Rogue destroyed the Hecatomb by absorbing the billions of minds within it into herself.[19]

The X-Men took Rogue to her old home in Mississippi to recover from her ordeal with assistance from the remaining X-Men. They realized interlopers were around, cloaked from their senses. In the last minute, Lady Mastermind revealed she had been using her illusion powers to hide the Marauders, who brutally overpowered the X-Men.[20] Unbeknownst to the X-Men, Mystique and Wyngarde secretly worked alongside Mister Sinister. His plan was taking out any knowledge of the future to have privileged intel about an upcoming event. With the X-Men defeated and Rogue captured, Lady Mastermind and the Marauders returned to Mister Sinister to wait for the next stage in their plan.[21] Mister Sinister’s actions became apparent after the first mutant baby was born since the decimation. Some Marauders were sent to claim the child but were outmatched by Cable. When the X-Men raided the Marauders' base in Antarctica, Wyngarde stood by the Marauders to take on her former allies, personally knocking Wolverine out. The Marauders retreated to Muir Island to prepare for an endgame battle for the child. Once again, Wyngarde cast an illusion to hid any traces of the Marauders on the Muir Island. This time, however, Wolverine proved to have become well versed in identifying her tricks, stabbing her through the torso. Bleeding out and at death’s door, Lady Mastermind had no use in the following fight that saw the defeat of Mister Sinister and the splintering of the X-Men.[22]

Sisterhood[]

With Sinister and many of the Marauders dead, Regan went off alone and kept a low profile as she healed. She was eventually brought back into the X-Men’s lives thanks to Madelyne Pryor, who was looking to form her own Sisterhood of Mutants. Madelyne found Regan in a rare moment of reflection at her father’s grave and offered to bring him back to life in return for her services. Regan was angered to see her half-sister Martinique amongst the Sisterhood and immediately was put off the idea. Martinique spoke up, though, and vouched for Madelyne, saying that regardless of their feelings towards one another their father could be brought back. Regan still wanted proof and so that night the Sisterhood stole the body of Revanche to use as a demonstration. Using the life forces of the Sisterhood, Madelyne cast a spell and healed the body, transferring the mind of Psylocke inside it[5]. Regan’s doubts were extinguished and Madelyne explained that the next stage in her plan required the Sisterhood to storm the X-Men’s base. They waited for everyone to go to bed and then they struck, with Spiral teleporting everyone inside. Regan was key in trapping the X-Men in a group illusion so that they wouldn’t interfere with the Sisterhood’s plan. She even managed to catch Emma Frost off-guard and trap her in a special illusion before she could put her psychic defenses up. Regan’s undoing, though, was her arrogance, as she taunted Emma but underestimated her power. Emma broke free of the illusion and turned into her diamond form, beating Regan black and blue for her troubles. Emma then freed everyone else from Regan’s group illusion, after which the Sisterhood had to escape quickly.[23]

Nevertheless, the Sisterhood succeeded in its plan of obtaining a DNA sample of Jean Grey, the woman Madelyne had been cloned from many years ago. Madelyne was currently nothing more than a realistic-looking astral entity and was looking for a suitable body to be reborn again into the world. The Sisterhood teleported back to base but, with the X-Men hot on their tails, Madelyne needed to act fast. She left Regan and her sister at the base while she went off to try and execute the final stage in the plan. Regan wasn’t happy at being left as bait and in fact they were soon set upon by the X-Men, who beat the girls easily. Madelyne failed in her attempt to be reborn and so Spiral grabbed the remaining Sisterhood, including Regan, and teleported away before any more damage was done.[23]

Pixie[]

The Sisterhood went their separate ways but Regan and her sister stuck together, despite their animosity towards one another. They went back to living in their father’s house and it was here that they received an unlikely visitor in the form of a fairy woman. The woman was looking for her daughter and had come to the Mastermind sisters, as they held the key to finding her. Regan discovered she had another half-sister in the form of Pixie, one of the X-Men’s students. Regan was disgusted at being related to the perky Pixie but not exactly surprised, given their father’s reputation. Regan wasn’t particularly keen on helping the woman either, especially if it meant getting involved with the X-Men, but Pixie’s mother appealed to her ego. After seeing they could be more powerful as a trio, the sisters reluctantly agreed to help and, using the genetic bond the girls shared, a spell was cast to locate Pixie. They found Pixie and discovered she had been kidnapped by demons who were using her to get to her fairy mother’s magic. Despite their different moral compasses, the three girls managed to work together briefly to defeat the demon leader. Pixie even took pity on Regan when the X-Men turned their attention to the villainous illusionists, as she teleported her sisters away before they could be apprehended.[24]

All-New X-Men[]

Unfortunately for them, both sisters were apprehended at some point and put into prisons for their crimes. Whilst Martinique was sent to a regular prison for super-powered individuals, Regan was deemed more of a threat and ended up on the Raft, a maximum security prison. Her salvation came in the form of Mystique, who had need of Regan’s powers and lethal attitude. Regan’s first act upon being released from her cell was to trap the guards in an illusion where they were attacked by zombie super-heroes. Mystique had recently had an epiphany and realized mutants were in the same place they were many years before, so she may as well make her own life comfortable instead. Regan joined her and, along with Sabretooth, they set about stealing large amounts of money from various banks and businesses. Each had their own role in the raids. While Mystique was the infiltrator, Sabretooth would act as the muscle, and Regan was used as a distraction. Upon Mystique’s order, Regan used illusions of the X-Men attacking the various locations to distract the civilians inside and to also implicate the X-Men in the thefts. Soon enough, though, Regan became suspicious of Mystique’s true motives and the fact that she always had to use the X-Men as antagonists.[25]

Mystique’s endgame was soon revealed when she set a meeting up with Madame Hydra, the current ruler of Madripoor, and offered to buy the island. During the negotiations, though, the X-Men found the villains and stormed the warehouse they were using to store the money. Regan was shocked to see Jean Grey amongst the X-Men and learned that the young girl had been brought from the past to the present. She saw an opportunity to take revenge on Jean, as it had been the actions of her older, future self that destroyed her family and drove her father insane. She created an illusion of her father Jason and caused Jean to think she had become the Phoenix again. She edged Jean to use her powerful telekinetic blasts on her friends but Wolverine managed to snap the young girl out of it, much to Regan’s disappointment. Jean was angry at being manipulated and lashed out at Regan, knocking her down. When the tides turned against the villains, Regan tricked everyone into thinking the Avengers had arrived and she made her escape. Unfortunately for her, Kitty Pryde found her trying to fly a jet away and knocked her out cold. Whilst Mystique was put in prison, it would seem Regan gave the authorities the slip once more, as she was soon seen causing trouble again.[26]

Despite Regan’s apathetic attitude, at times she clearly wanted to become better at using her powers and strived to push herself to create even more realistic illusions. To that end, when she saw Anole, one of the X-Men’s students, she realized she had found the perfect guinea-pig. Anole had skipped out on a first date with a guy because he was afraid that his reptilian appearance would scare him off. Regan latched onto this insecurity and trapped Anole in an illusion that preyed on his fears of rejection. She had a wonderful time watching the boy succumb to his fears and it got better when a couple of X-Men turned up to help. She immediately trapped them in their own fear-based illusions and the trick worked, for a while at least. As he had faced his fears numerous times, Nightcrawler broke out of Regan’s illusion and forced Anole to do the same. Regan’s over-confidence worked against her once more when she allowed herself to get too close to the X-Men and she was knocked unconscious by Anole.[27]

Inhumanity[]

Following the rebirth of the Marvel Universe, Regan was revealed to be one of the many mutants poisoned by the Terrigen Cloud roaming the Earth's atmosphere. Suffering from the M-Pox and fearing to die alone, she trapped as many people as she could in illusions, and planned to take them with her. Moonstar however found Regan and tried to reason with her to release the people she put under and let the X-Men help her. At first Regan refused and tried to trap Moonstar in an illusion. As Moonstar resisted her illusion, Regan begged her to stop fighting, stating if she was going to die she wouldn't die alone. The persistent Moonstar told her that she understood her fear and pain more than she knew. Regan found that hard to believe, saying to the hero that she had no idea what it was like to live with fear. To show how much she understood, Moonstar revealed to Regan her memories and all the pain she went through, cancelling the illusion in the process. As the M-Pox began killing Regan, she begged Moonstar to end her suffering, unwilling to live with the pain. Moonstar convinced her however not to give up and maintain her courage no matter what happened. Moonstar transported Regan to X-Haven, where the healers managed to stabilize her condition. As Moonstar leaves, Regan thanked her for making her see the error of her ways.[28]

Sidri[]

Lady Mastermind was eventually welcomed to the new mutant island of Krakoa, created by Xavier, Magneto, and Moira X. She originally tried to enter using the doorway located inside of the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, but was captured by a colony of alien Sidri that had made their home there. She was eventually rescued by Nightcrawler, Prestige, Cypher, Eye-Boy, and Lockheed and moved to Krakoa.[29] She was next seen helping protect the island of Genosha from the Cotati.[30]

Attributes

Power Grid[32]
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Powers

Telepathic Illusions: Lady Mastermind possesses the mutant power to project extremely convincing and realistic illusions into the minds of others, a stronger variation of the same ability her father had.

Her illusions are hypnotic, and her victims tend to accept them as fact, even when the images and scenarios they are confronted with involve sudden changes to the world around them, or are inconsistent or improbable. For example, Rogue, when under Lady Mastermind's control, did not question the sudden existence of a multitude of Vargases, or the random jumps in location and time she experienced. As such, the illusions can be used as a very effective brainwashing tool. In addition, unlike her father, Regan have a limited telepathic ability that enables her to read her foes' minds and make illusions all the more accurate for it.[9] Regan's illusions have also been shown to persist even after she has been rendered unconscious.[citation needed]

  • Psychosomatic Symptoms: Regan's powers can also kill, as her victims bodies respond as if her illusions are real. She confronted Viceroy with the illusion that he was drowning, and, believing it to be real, he suffocated, despite having no physical injuries and being in a room with sufficient oxygen. Heather Cameron's body also responded in a similar way, bleeding through the pores in her back when she was under the illusion she had been stabbed.[7]
  • Telepathic Camouflage: Regan can also use her powers to make herself and others invisible and change others' perception of her to look like anyone she pleases. Once she tricked Fuego into killing his own teammate Aguja by making Aguja look like Regan.[15]

Abilities

Regan is noted as an impressive combatant.

Paraphernalia

Weapons

A pair of handguns.

Notes

  • Lady Mastermind originated due to a mix-up between Chris Claremont and Joe Casey, writers of X-Treme X-Men and Uncanny X-Men, respectively. Both writers initially intended to use the second Mastermind, Martinique Jason, at the same time without knowledge of the other's plans. When both writers realized that happened, Claremont worked a new character, Lady Mastermind, into the role originally meant for Martinique.[31]

See Also

Links and References

References

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