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Quote1 I assess. I plan. I act. Hope is for X-Men. I -- am SAGE! Quote2
Sage[src]

The woman simply known as Sage is a mutant whose brain functions operate similarly to a computer, granting her perfect memory and rapid analytical abilities.[4] A survivor from a village torn by war, she found the telepath Charles Xavier by chance in the Hindu Kush mountain range right after he had his legs crushed by an attack.[5] Xavier mentored her in the use of her abilities to become a spy, forging the identity of "Tessa" and ordering her to infiltrate the nefarious Hellfire Club as Sebastian Shaw's secretary and counselor.[6]

For years, "Tessa" worked as Shaw's loyal right hand.[7] Having become a target for the mutant predator Elias Bogan, she was rescued by one of Xavier's students, the X-Man Storm[8] and offered her services to the X-Men.[9] Still holding grudge against Xavier for having submitted her to the depreciative work of a spy, she joined Storm's splinter group, the X-Treme X-Men, as Sage.[10] Sage left the X-Men after staging a coup to seize influence over the Hellfire Club,[11] which occasionally led her to join the British group known as Excalibur[12] and then the multiversal Exiles.[13]

After returning home,[14] Sage has been involved in functionalities of the mutant nation of Krakoa, being in charge of monitoring the transit of citizens through Krakoan gateways.[15] As such, Sage works as an intelligence agent for X-Force and has become deeply entrenched in matters regarding national security.[16]

History

Origins[]

As a young girl, the woman who would be known as Sage struggled by herself to survive in a war-torn Balkan village. Although she was able to put the threat of landmines and snipers from her mind at times, enemy troops eventually invaded her home and she was forced to flee the only life she had known and leave no relationships behind.[17][18][19] She was unable to escape war, being forged by it in becoming a teenage loner rebel. During this period, her mutant abilities manifested, though their nature were a mystery to her. Gifted with a computer-like mind, she could store perfect recollections of her experiences and analyze available information in order to achieve precise conclusions.[5][7]

Caught up in the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, the peculiar teenage girl had to survive encounters with both soldiers from Kabul and local bandits by scavenging weapons and equipment from combatants who had fallen. One day, amidst a battle, she was contacted by a presence, being compelled to enter a cave in the Hindu Kush mountain range. There, she was met by the powerful telepathic mutant Charles Xavier, who had just had his legs crushed by an encounter with a "demon". Being wary of him at first, the girl learned about her unique condition as a mutant and chose to save the injured man. While freeing Xavier, she found a Shaw Industries / United Nations aid convoy being attacked by terrorists. Although she initially planned to evade them, she picked off the attackers from her hillside vantage point after noticing their cruel methods. Standing horrified over the body of a brutalized young aid worker, she chose no mercy for the attackers and eliminated them, despite their pleas for mercy.[5]

Xavier survived the incident partially thanks to the mutant girl's intervention. In return, he brought her to America, right when he had begun forming the first iteration of his team of teenage mutants, the X-Men. While the X-Men operated in public as heroes, the deadly girl had her presence kept as a secret. Instead, Xavier trained her as his personal spy. Her mission was to infiltrate the influential organization formed by the rich and the powerful known as the Hellfire Club. Renamed as "Tessa", she would use her facetious skills to pretend to be Sebastian Shaw's trusted secretary and counselor. A mutant himself, Shaw planned to elevate his positions inside the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle, and Xavier would have access to privileged information about his actions through Tessa.[6][5]

Hellfire Club[]

Shaw had gathered other mutants around himself inside the Hellfire Club, including Tessa, his lover Lourdes Chantel, and the formidable telepath Emma Frost, and Harry Leland. In order to make his way to the Hellfire Club's higher ranks, Shaw cooperated with the president of the club, Edward Buckman, supporting Project: Armageddon to apparently commercialize mutant powers. In her analysis, Tessa suggested Shaw to possibly regard Buckman as an enemy. Her suspicions proved to be true when Frost learned that Buckman worked in coalition with Stephen Lang to eradicate the mutant race by weaponizing Sentinels. As a response, a Sentinel attacked one of Shaw's properties, which culminated with Chantel's sacrifice to save Shaw and her allies. In response, Shaw assassinated Buckman with Frost's help, and they ascended as the Lord Cardinals of the Hellfire Club. Tessa observed the coup and became the personal assistant of the new president of the Hellfire Club, the Black King Sebastian Shaw.[7]

As Lords Cardinal, Shaw and Frost ran afoul one of the Hellfire Club's most valued patrons, the reclusive billionaire and psychic predator Elias Bogan. Shaw proposed a wager with Bogan's minions, Oliver Ryland. If Shaw won, his fortune would be made, whereupon if he lost, Frost would belong to Bogan. The confident Bogan did not anticipate Tessa's analytical skills would certainly guarantee Shaw's improbable victory. Even though Bogan honored the outcome, he decided to get revenge on Tessa.[8]

Under new mutant management, the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club made their way into direct conflict with the X-Men as the illusionist Jason Wyngarde brought the X-Man Jean Grey under his influence and presented her as a potential Black Queen to assure his own bid for membership.[3] While Tessa was in no position to defend one of Xavier's students, she would still regret her inaction.[20] The rise of Sebastian Shaw also caused British S.T.R.I.K.E. secret agent, Betsy Braddock, to be assigned to infiltrate the Hellfire Club. Tessa, seeing her as brave and innocent as Jean Grey, confronted her, reflecting a psychic attack and convinced her to abandon her mission as a way not to have Braddock corrupted.[20]

During an arms deal between the Hellfire Club and Peter Coelho, Tessa spotted Ms. Marvel spying on the deal, which was enough to startle her into revealing herself. Ms. Marvel was defeated by the Hellfire Bishops Harry Leland and Donald Pierce, being forced to flee. Ms. Marvel then boarded a flight to Hong Kong to seduce Coelho for information. In the following days, Tessa secretly watched Ms. Marvel's interacting with Coelho to gather data. After Tessa informed Shaw that Coelho was reselling the armaments to Mystique's Brotherhood, he died at Shaw's hands.[21]

As the mutant-hating member of the Inner Circle, Pierce ultimately showed his true colors when staging a coup to compromise Shaw's position. He kidnapped Tessa, keeping Shaw under-resourced. As part of his plan, he targeted young mutants and made Xavier his second hostage. Xavier's newest proteges, the New Mutants, defeated Pierce to free Tessa and Xavier. Upon her return to the Hellfire Club, Pierce was brought into custody at the Shaw Industries.[22] Soon after, Wyngarde went rogue as well and psychically attacked Emma Frost. Tessa took care of a harmed Frost when she looked for help.[23]

A new contender for the Inner Circle, Selene, in order to prove her power, offered Shaw an entranced Rachel Summers and Magma as slaves. Tessa instantly recognized in Rachel a resemblance to Jean Grey. Before Tessa could advise Shaw to accept the deal to use the powerful mutant girls to overpower Selene, Rachel and Magma broke free and were rescued by Xavier and the X-Men.[24] Despite this setback, Selene became the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club,[25] forcing Tessa to mediate between Shaw's and Selene's egos. With Tessa's support, Selene convinced the Inner Circle to hunt down Rachel, who had tapped into the Phoenix powers. The X-Men did the same and their hunts were interrupted by Nimrod.[26] As a result, the Inner Circle was left heavily injured. Threatened with the arrival of the police, Tessa offered sanctuary to the X-Men at the Hellfire Club.[27]

Gradually, the X-Men got closer to the Hellfire Club and their members Magneto and Storm jointly joined the Hellfire Club as its White King.[28] As the headmaster of Xavier's School, Magneto brought the New Mutants to a Hellfire Gala. Seeing an opportunity, Karma stole away from the party and into the Club's depths. She attempted to psychically possess Tessa, succeeding only through surprise. Tessa was commanded to use the Hellfire Club's systems to search for Karma's missing siblings. Unsuccessful, Karma was caught by Magneto and Shaw. Tessa freed herself unaffected by the possession and asked for the Hellfire Kings to be compassionate about the situation. Additionally, she revealed that she had already been searching for Karma's siblings at Magneto's request with no success. Devastated, Karma asked Tessa to deliver a farewell letter to Mirage as she left the New Mutants.[29]

Tessa investigated Pierce's escape from Shaw Industries and concluded that he was not business to the Hellfire Club.[30] Soon after, she accompanied Shaw as he met with Senator Robert Kelly at the Hellfire Club. Kelly's wife, Sharon, perished in an attack carried out by the Master Mold against the X-Men after the meeting.[31] Tessa analyzed the situation for Shaw and foreseeable predicament was a harsher stance against mutants by Kelly's part in the government.[32]

Death of Shaw[]

For a period of time, Shaw was murdered at the hands of his son, Shinobi.[33] As the membership passed on to Shinobi, Tessa served him in his father's place. During Betsy Braddock's and Warren Worthington III's visit to the Hellfire Club during a Gala, Tessa psychically knocked out them as per Shinobi's request, allowing Worthington to be offered the status of White King in private.[34]

When Benedict Kine challenged Shinobi Shaw to kill John Jonah Jameson over an expose on the Hellfire Club, Tessa summoned Hellfire Knights to perform the action, either murder or save Jameson. Secretly, she sent an anonymous telepathic call to the X-Men, forcing them to interfere with the plot by teaming up with Spider-Man. In the end, Tessa's plan was revealed by Jean Grey. Tessa shared her intentions, claiming that for the Hellfire Club's best interests no battle should have been carried out.[35]

With the return of Sebastian Shaw, who had actually survived the murder attempt, Tessa rejoined him. Together, they provided an exosuit to Holocaust at Shaw Industries, in order to keep his powers in check. Shaw relied on Tessa's to keep the violently unpredictable Holocaust in check. In return, Shaw had Holocaust help him capture X-Force.[36] Tessa mentally conditioned X-Force to kill their leader Cable. Ultimately, Cable overwhelmed X-Factor with his own immense but untrained telepathy, freeing them from their brainwashing.[37] Their alliance with Holocaust came to an abrupt end when they were attacked and Tessa was effortlessly defeated by Onslaught, who had come to entreat Holocaust to capture Nate Grey.[38]

Shaw and Selene gathered together again, having Tessa to recruit teleporting time-traveller Trevor Fitzroy to form a new inner circle for the Hellfire Club in order to combat the threat of Bastion's anti-mutant Operation: Zero Tolerance.[39] Selene presented Shaw and Tessa with a revived Madelyne Pryor. Tessa immediately recognized her and prompted the dismissive Sebastian to reconsider her membership.[40] Tessa sought to unravel the mystery of Pryor's revival by looking into her mind during her sleep, but Pryor woke up and defeated Tessa in a psychic duel. Initially considering to slay Tessa, Pryor just seemingly erased her memory of the event as a way not to raise suspicion from Shaw. Tessa's intrusion restored Pryor's memories, giving her the impetus to start her own schemes.[41] Tessa watched from the shadows as Pryor used her wiles to secure for herself Shaw's backing at Selene's expense.[42] Tessa expressed her concern about the alliance between Shaw and Pryor, and was approached by Selene to jeopardize Pryor's influence.[43] However, Pryor and Shaw lost interest in the new Inner Circle eventually.

Still assessing data concerning artificial intelligence for Shaw's best interests, Tessa came upon knowledge about the reactivation of the robot X-51. As she sent Hellfire Knights to collect him, they failed in their mission and Shaw ordered her to insist on gathering the specimen.[44] Tessa hired Mystique's Brotherhood to perform the mission, but since X-51 had been rebuilt with anti-mutant Sentinel technology, they failed.[45] X-51's update got rid of Shaw's previous restrictions to prevent him from being recognized by Sentinel technology as a mutant,[46] making his destruction a priority for Shaw and Tessa. Tessa compiled all information about X-51's existence to provide Shaw with information that could undermine the robot's activities.[47] She contacted Shaw's ally Otomo to attack X-51 and passed the data she had collected to him, but Otomo was also defeated.[48] Eventually, with the intervention of the X-Men, X-51 got rid of his Sentinel programming, and Shaw and Tessa lost their interest in the ordeal.[49]

When Irene Merryweather investigated the origins and intentions of the Hellfire Club, she was kidnapped by Tessa. Under Shaw's suggestion, Tessa shared with Merryweather details about Shaw's ascension to the rank of the Black King of the Inner Circle. As the truth unfolded, Tessa and Shaw managed to persuade Merryweather not to publish the secrets behind the Hellfire Club.[50]

X-Treme X-Men[]

After years of patient waiting, Bogan exacted his revenge on Tessa, by capturing her, torturing her and branding her face with scars in the form of tears. Shaw chose not to save Tessa, for it could cost him to get into conflict against Bogan. Ironically, Tessa was rescued by an adversary, the leader of the X-Men Storm.[8] At Storm's side, Tessa affiliated herself with the X-Men, acting as part of their support crew and having completely parted ways with Shaw. Based at the Xavier Institute, she provided the X-Men with analysis and assistance during their training and missions.[51][52][53] During this period, she briefly met with Senator Robert Kelly to discuss his plans of running for president. Motivated by the death of his wife, he intended to promote an anti-mutant platform, but Tessa alerted him that his attitude was no different from the extremism of the terrorist Magneto.[9]

X-Treme X-Men Vol 1 21 Textless

Storm decided to collect Destiny's Diaries, a series of prophetic relates that inconsistently described the future of mutantkind, for not trusting Xavier's idealism with such knowledge. Having formed a splinter group of X-Men, Storm had Tessa to join them as Sage, the team's intel support. As Sage, the identity that had been forced upon her was finally behind her.[10] Sage's resentment for Xavier was a strong motivation for her to follow Storm.[20][54] In their first mission, the new team of X-Men was led to Valencia, Spain. There, they were ambushed by the military as their moves had been predicted by the enhanced warrior Vargas, who had had access to the diaries and wished to execute the X-Men. Sage managed to escape,[4] but the attack was tragic for her teammates: Psylocke was slain and Beast was mortally wounded by Vargas.[55] In order to save Beast's life, Sage analyzed his genome to jumpstart and advance in his mutation and heal him of his injuries.[20]

As Sage kept track of all X-Men, she learned that Gambit has been framed for the murder of Australian crime-lord Viceroy.[56] While the X-Men investigated, Sage found herself trapped in an illusion of her time as Shaw's assistant in the Hellfire Club. Being able to see through the ruse, Sage knocked out the illusionist, Regan Wyngarde, who was under Shaw's service. Shaw planned to get revenge on Sage for deserting him.[57] Sage was freed thanks to the efforts of Heather Cameron, an Australian mutant with the ability to manifest various superhuman powers depending on what the current situation called for, and the X-Men defeated Shaw once more.[17]

In response to an invasion from a parallel universe taking place in Madripoor, Sage catalyzed the latent mutant powers of Heather's brother Davis, who subsequently joined the X-Treme X-Men as Slipstream.[58] In order to better combat the invaders, Rogue soon demanded Sage's assistance in enhancing her mutant ability to grant her control over the manifestation of the powers and abilities she had absorbed over the years.[59] Sage's infiltration of the invader's data network was instrumental in rescuing Storm from the invader's commander, Khan.[60]

During the initial invasion, Viper nearly paralyzed Storm so she could attack captured prisoners. After the invasion was defeated, Sage humiliated Viper and threatened her life if she ever crossed them again.[61]

Hunting Bogan[]

Later, the X-Treme team encountered Elias Bogan once more. After a murder at his Alaskan estate, Sage and Bishop took it upon themselves to investigate.[62] A young mutant named Jeffrey Garrett was wanted for questioning after Bogan had his family killed and, in retaliation, he teleported Bogan's associates onto the nearby glacier where they froze to death. Garrett fled to the Xavier Institute where he came under the protection of Frost. However, Bogan had secretly possessed the young boy and when Frost scanned his mind, Bogan took possession of her.[63] Sage and Bishop followed the trail to the mansion where Bogan captured them, but the timely arrival of Storm allowed them to escape and defeat the villain.[54]

Though Sage and Bishop had departed the Institute on poor terms, they still returned to investigate the murder of Emma Frost.[64]

Bogan soon returned to plague the X-Treme X-Men when he captured and mentally enslaved Bishop, hoping to use him as a weapon against his teammates. Sage and Bishop had actually planned Bishop's capture, and the assault Sage planned on Bogan's L.A. residence culminated with the rescue of Bogan's enslaved telepath, Rachel Summers. Before departing L.A., Sage restored Gambit's mutant ability.[5]

Chasing Hellfire[]

Wishing to officially police mutant-related affairs, Storm sanctioned her X-Men team as a unit sponsored by the United Nations known as the X-Treme Sanctions Executive, or X.S.E..[65] As such, the team counted with full authority on mutant situations around the globe, being based at the Carriage House in the woods of the Xavier Institute, home of the other X-Men. Xavier was no longer headmaster of the Institute, having relinquished his position to Frost and Cyclops, which made Sage's return more comfortable. Sage operated a computer system that monitored the team's activities and analyzed relevant data for their operations. In her tower in the Carriage House, Sage counted with immediate access to information from multiple privileged databases in order to assist X.S.E.[66]

During one of their missions, Sage instructed the team to contact Brian Braddock, the champion Captain Britain, at Braddock Manor. There, the team was easily subdued by the cybiote hero-killer known as the Fury.[67] Having access to the cybernetic sunglasses X.S.E. used for communications and intel, the Fury infected Sage's database with nanites and assimilated her. Taken over by the Fury, Sage proved a formidable threat to her fellow X-Men at the Xavier Institute until they were able to sever the connection established through the glasses.[68] Free from the mind control, the X-Men travelled to the Braddock Manor, where Sage acquired the Fury's core processing unit. She formulated a plan to combine the team's powersets to help Marvel Girl create a miniature black hole effect, which finally defeated the Fury.[69]

Before leaving the United Kingdom, the X.S.E. members were captured by Viper, who sought for revenge on the team, especially Sage, for the incidents in Madripoor. She trapped the group in one of Arcade's Murderworlds, where Sage was apparently executed by Viper herself.[70] It was soon revealed that Wolverine had used an image inducer to take Sage's place for they had been aware of Viper's plans prior to the kidnapping. This incident led Sage to learn that Sebastian Shaw was reforming the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle, since Viper was shown to have formed an association with Courtney Ross, the new White Queen. However, Sage kept the information a secret from her teammates.[71]

Sage (Tessa) (Earth-616) from Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 454 001

Sage ultimately accepted Shaw's invitation to return to the Hellfire Club and left the X-Men,[72] causing them to pursue her with Emma Frost's assistance.[73] Through Sage's machinations, Frost and Marvel Girl went to Ross and Viper in Hong Kong to dismantle a slaver operation in the Hellfire Club. Meanwhile, by having Bishop to track Shaw, the other X-Men found Sage at the Hellfire Club Mansion. Sage had placed Roberto da Costa as the new Black King of the Hellfire Club. Before X.S.E. could decide on a position to take in these events, the obscene Donald Pierce intervened against them.[74] Pierce was defeated, but at the cost of Shaw's health. Sage then revealed that she had known the attack was likely all along, having predicted Shaw's incapacitation as a probable outcome. Her betrayal of Shaw led da Costa to ascend as the new Lord Imperial of the Hellfire Club. Sage permanently left the X.S.E. to advise and guide da Costa, believing she could ensure he was not to be corrupted by power, as Sebastian Shaw had been. However, her shady acts cost her the trust of her former teammates in the X-Men and in the X.S.E.[11]

Excalibur[]

That Christmas, Sage used an image inducer to trick Gambit into kissing her, once again using his emotions as a catalyst to jump-start his mutant regenerative ability, curing his blindness.[75] Six months before M-Day, the White Queen ("Courtney Ross") and Viper were in England discussing their plans to take control of the devastated island of Genosha. Despite Courtney's fiery insistence that she wasn't afraid of potential meddling from Sage, she still ordered Viper not to send any electronic communications, evading Sage's attention.[76]

The day after M-Day, Sage compiled all the information available to her. Expanding on Emma Frost's initial findings, Sage was the first to say that humanity's Mutant potential had been erased.[77]

Sage (Earth-616) from X-Men Unlimited Vol 2 1 001

Some time later, Sage had moved to England, abandoning her mentorship of Roberto. Sage and Courtney soon arrived at the hospital where the X-Men had come under attack. By offering her assistance, Courtney seemed to be using her connection with Sage to improve her standing in the eyes of Captain Britain.[78]

Sage quickly took operational command of the pursuit of the perpetrators, black-clad versions of the original X-Men. With the threat neutralized, Pete Wisdom offered asylum to all present. Excalibur was once again reformed, with Sage alongside Dazzler, then-reformed Juggernaut, and former Exile Nocturne.[79]

She helped them on various missions such as battling the Shadow King[80] and returning to ancient Camelot to prevent it from being prematurely destroyed.[81] Sage also played a key role in Nocturne's recovery from a debilitating stroke.[82]

In order to learn more about a new foe, Albion, and thwart his attempt to conquer Britain, Sage created the new cover identity and persona of Diana Fox. This persona appeared to be fully devoted to Albion and his goals. Notwithstanding the concerns of Pete Wisdom, her infiltration was a success and she quickly gained seniority among Albion's Shadow Captains as "Britannia", in doing so making a rival of Lionheart. Sage was given a special suit as a member of Albion's army, which gave her flight and super-human physical strength. After touching Albion's technology-disabling artefact, only her manufactured personality, Diana Fox, was conscious. Diana, fully committed to Albion, slew two of Excalibur's erstwhile allies in Shadow-X, Dark Cyclops and Dark Beast. Finally, a violent confrontation with her teammates in Excalibur helped Sage's original personality reassert itself. Together with Excalibur, Shadow-X, and Lionheart, Sage defeated Albion and his Shadow Captains.[83]

New Exiles[]

Immediately after the defeat of the Shadow Captains, a party was held in honor of Excalibur. While the team enjoyed the party, Sage felt guilt for her actions. The party was suddenly crashed by Psylocke and an alternate universe Thunderbird, members of the dimension-hopping Exiles team.[84] They were then attacked by Rouge-Mort and drawn into a battle to save the multiverse from Merlyn and Sage's old foe The Fury. Joining forces with the rest of the Exiles, Roma, and the Captain Britain Corps, the team defeated Merlyn, but not before he managed to kill Roma. In her final moments, Roma managed to surprise transfer all of her knowledge about the multiverse into Sage's mind. Sage was overwhelmed and she feared for her sanity. Fearful of what would happen if someone on Earth ever gained the knowledge in her mind, Sage joined the Exiles.[13]

The knowledge imparted to her by Roma caused her to suffer from hallucinations, as well as a re-emergence of the Diana Fox persona, attempting to take control of her again.[85] Sage fought these, staying in the Panoptichron rather than accompanying the other Exiles on missions. After she attempted to suppress the Diana Fox personality, and later fought and defeated it, the Diana Fox personality ultimately sacrificed itself to save Sage when she was almost killed by Merlyn. Sage then saved the multiverse by merging with the Crystal Palace, becoming one with the Exiles team's computer base.[19]

While merged with the Crystal Palace, Sage ran holographic simulations to train Psylocke to be able to defeat Slaymaster.[86]

Long term exposure to the Panoptichron was later shown to be extremely hazardous. Like Sage, the rest of the Exiles were absorbed into its crystal structure, and all entered a state of suspended animation.[87] Morph avoided this fate while Psylocke had previously been abducted by Madelyne Pryor's ghost.[88]

Multiversal X-Men[]

X-Treme X-Men Vol 1 4 Textless

Sage revived from this state, without explanation. Referred to as "Ambassador Sage", she had assumed a leadership position in the S.W.O.R.D. of an alternate reality in which sentient robots, led by Prime Minister Danger, had exterminated the human population. Sage observed her old teammate Dazzler and an alternate reality Wolverine called Howlett attempting to rescue Kurt Waggoner from the robots, and rescued them in a space-faring robot mech stolen from S.W.O.R.D.[89]

With her diplomatic role no longer viable, Sage joined Dazzler's group of multiverse-hopping X-Men. She continued to pilot the stolen space-ship as they hunted down "evil" versions of Charles Xavier. At Dazzler's request, Sage also lent the team her capabilities as a telepath.[90] When the sorcerer Lord Xavier possessed the team's own "Disembodied Xavier Head" and resurrected "Nazi Xavier", he then proceeded to feed a multidimensional rift that contributed to the Exterminators escaping their prison.[91]

As the team attempted to deal with this threat they were joined by teams from other realities, and Sage and Dazzler were reunited with some of their former colleagues, including Wolverine and Gambit. Sage was teleported back to her home reality, where she interfaced with the "black box" of the Dreaming Celestial, uncovering the Exterminators' lost history. In doing so, she also ascertained that the only way to defeat them was once again to imprison them within a single universe.[92] When this was accomplished, Sage was left in her home reality with her fellow X-Men.[14]

Age of X-Man[]

Several years of no-contact with her fellow X-Men ended when Jean Grey's worldwide call for all former X-Men to battle a Life Seed-altered X-Man. Sage combined her psychic offense with that of Jean, the Stepford Cuckoos, No-Girl, and Psylocke, together ending X-Man's possession of Legion. Despite this, X-Man released a final blast of energy that appeared to completely annihilate all of his opponents.[93]

Those caught in the blast were transported by X-Man to a reality he created through the power of a Life Seed and given new lives.[94] It's unrevealed if Sage was transported to the reality with the others. If she was, she would have been released by X-Man after realizing the flaws in his new world.[95]

Krakoa[]

Sage (Earth-616) from X-Force Vol 6 6 001

Sage later went to live on the sovereign Mutant nation-state of Krakoa, created by Charles Xavier, Magneto, and Moira X, where she worked with Cypher in the center of the interface for the Krakoa's gateway system.[15] She was also a member of Krakoa's X-Force, which served as the nation's equivalent to the CIA. [16]

Sage would spend many months as X-Force's "girl in the chair", serving under its leader Beast and advising and assisting field operatives including Wolverine, Domino, Deadpool, Omega Red, and Kid Omega.[96] But, after a number of horrific acts committed by Beast in Krakoa's national interest came to light, Beast would be forced to leave Krakoa and go into hiding, with Sage replacing him as head of X-Force.[97]

Personality

Quote1 The foundation of my life has always been control. The world around me may be chaos but I was always grounded, always in control-- of my life, of my destiny. Quote2
Sage[src]

It is important to consider that Sage lost her home at a young age, and only a few years later, was a lone wanderer in a war-zone hundreds of miles away. Exactly what traumas she experienced are unknown, but her experiences made her intensely self-reliant to the point that she rarely displays any weakness, nor does she readily ask others for assistance.[5]

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sage does not value a sense of belonging over that of her cause, and will easily sacrifice her interpersonal relationships for her perception of the greater good.[98]

Sage wants to be in complete control of her situation at all times. To this end, she will engage in widespread surveillance while simultaneously employing secrecy even from those with which she works. Unfortunately, her allies are typically not soldiers, and as such, often resent being used as ignorant pawns, no matter how heroic the outcome or how justified the need for operational security.[99][98][100]

Attributes

Power Grid[131]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Master: Several Forms of Combat:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/Single Type: Medium Range:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Superhuman:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Warp:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Superhuman (800 lbs-25 ton):Category:Power Grid/Strength/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Super-Genius:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Gifted

Powers

  • Mental Computation: Sage is a mutant with astonishingly advanced intellectual capabilities forged from a mind that works in the same way as a supercomputer would.
    • Photographic Memory: Sage perfectly remembers everything she experiences. She can instantaneously retrieve every memory and any information she has perceived.[101]
    • Multitasking: Sage is able to perform multiple tasks at once by allocating a partition of her brain to each task. For example, Sage can use her mind to replay a movie she had watched previously, play a game of internet chess, and focus on battling an opponent without any one task distracting her from another.[101]
    • Kinetic Memory: Sage can perfectly execute any skill she has had a single lesson in without the need for practice.[101]
  • DNA Perception: Sage can perceive the DNA in cells, living or dead, within close range. Combined with her innate analytical capabilities, this allows her to determine familial relationships between people[62] and to understand a person's current and potential abilities.[58][102]
    • Jump-start: After analyzing the DNA of another mutant, Sage is able to unleash latent mutant powers or enhance existing mutant powers. The process is irreversible and can often result in unpredictable side-effects.[20][58][59] She can also restore mutant abilities lost due to injury.[65]
  • Self-Cellular Manipulation: Sage has complete control over her personal physiology.[103] She once consciously used her immune system to purge herself of mind controlling nanites.[68]
Sage (Earth-616) and Elizabeth Braddock (Earth-616) from X-Treme X-Men Vol 1 3 001

Sage — as Tessa — reflecting Psylocke's psychic attack

  • Telepathy: Trained by Xavier himself, Sage learned a great degree of telepathic talents that included reading[43] and detecting minds, communicating telepathically with others, counteracting psychic invisibility[90] and attacking others with mental blasts.[105]
    • Astral Projection[104]
    • Illusions[citation needed]
    • Telepathic Immunity: Sage is capable of creating her own unique psionic protection against outside mental influence. By erecting a psionic "firewall" Sage is able to effectively protect herself from direct mental attacks, probes and detection of the mental variety while creating a defensive force that reflects any offensive mental action back at her attacker.[20] The wall is effective in both directions, nearly eliminating her own psionic abilities while active.[8]



Abilities

Gifted Intelligence: Sage's mutant intelligence makes her one of the smartest people on the planet through raw computational power and perfect recollection. This allows her to be an expert in every field that is well-documented or calculable, such as combat and technology, but less so for others, such as sociology and psychology.
Examples include:

  • Expert Engineer: Sage has displayed remarkable technical aptitude for electronics and mechanics, though she typically improves on existing designs rather than innovating new devices.
    Examples include miniaturizing the advanced technology contained within her cybernetic sunglasses, familiarity with repairing components of the X-Men's Blackbird,[109] and creating a solid-light version of an image inducer[110] and an autonomous support artificial intelligence.[111]
  • Peerless Hacker: Sage has access to countless digital records, public and private. She claimed she had access to any data network on the planet.[112] Her more impressive feats include gaining full access to the surveillance systems of a multiversal alien invasion force[113] and retrieving information from the "black box" of a deceased Celestial.[92]
  • Hyperpolyglot: Sage is fluent in over 123 different languages.[114]
  • Master Martial Artist: Sage is skilled in the martial arts, and is a formidable hand-to-hand combatant[8] due to her having complete conscious control over her own body.[103]
  • Weapons Expert: Sage is also self-taught in a wide range of firearms, which she can use with considerable skill and accuracy.
  • Interrogator: Sage's cold demeanor and ability to detect lies through body language has proven so intimidating that thugs and soldiers give up information quickly.[115][66]
  • Pilot: Sage was seen to skillfully pilot the X-Men's Blackbird,[116] and a space-mech.[90]
  • Medical Expertise
    • Trauma Treatment: Sage treated Captain Britain after he was nearly killed by Rouge-Mort.[117]
    • Forensics Expert: Sage is able to instantly and expertly identify a type of wound by its blood spatter pattern, pinpoint a shooter's position from bullet holes and determine causes of death of corpses.[118][62]
    • Mutant Genetics Expert: Sage is able to identify all kinds of genetic material, human, mutant and alien and, to a limited extent, simulate the effects of changing a genome.[20][119]


Indomitable Will: Sage was born with an indomitable will and was trained by Charles Xavier to enhance it further. This has allowed her to resist being controlled by nanites,[68][120] usurp possession,[82][121] and prevent telepaths from reading or influencing her mind.

Weaknesses

Alcoholism: Sage is an alcoholic, and uses drunkenness to give herself a break from the constant overstimulation of her computer-like brain. While drunk she is prone to fits of impulsiveness and rage, having destroyed some of her own research and physically assaulted Gorgeous George.[122]

Paraphernalia

Equipment

Cybernetic Sunglasses: Sage wears a pair of custom-built cyber shades that function as a wireless broadband computer network among like models.[6] The shades provide an audio/video feed via an in-built computer system outfitted with miniaturized conventional microphones and cameras, and can also project a three-dimensional image into the visual field of the wearer that can be expanded to allow others to see with whom the wearer is communicating or information they are reviewing.[8] The shades provide input by means of an augmented reality iconographic keyboard, and have an alternate visual input system for when a user's hands are otherwise occupied. The shades can be interfaced with any external data network whether terrestrial or alien in origin.[113] The shades also possess various sensors for detecting telepathic resonance patterns,[63] tracking energy trails,[62] and analyzing electronic circuitry, among others.

Weapons

Sage wields knives and a pair of handguns. She had a scoped rifle capable of holding stun ammunition, but she has yet to be seen firing it. Her accuracy was so precise, and her knowledge of anatomy so complete, that the X-Men did not object to her carrying guns, with the mutual understanding that she would not kill anyone while working with them.

Notes

  • The tattoo-like scars on her face have disappeared at various times. They had vanished after defeating Elias Bogan, but would reappear in times of stress, such as when she discovered Sebastian Shaw and Courtney Ross planning to take over the Hellfire Club.[123] After betraying Shaw they had again vanished, but they reappeared while she was under attack by the Shadow King.[77][80] A letters page — written by Jordan D. White[124] — with the conceit that the letters were being answered by Sage herself, wrote these off as her wearing makeup to conceal them.[125]
  • At an unspecified time in her life, Sage was sold to a harem, but escaped.[103]
  • Many telepaths demonstrate variants of her enhanced intelligence,[126] and rapid information absorption.[127][128] It could be concluded that her computer-like mind is derived from her telepathy.
  • While her rogue, manufactured personality, Diana Fox, was attempting to take over Sage's mind, Sage lost her detached emotional state,[129] lost control of her telepathy,[130] demonstrated self-propelled flight,[108] and, when Diana briefly took control, her hair and eyes changed color and she demonstrated a feat of super-strength.[104] This incident could suggest Sage's underlying powers are the combined telepathy/telekinesis suite seen in many other mutants, but maintaining her computer-mind state reduces the potential of her telekinesis to sensing and manipulating microscopic molecules.
  • Sage has a pressure point on her body that allows her to reboot her mind like a computer.[64]
  • There is often a misconception that Sage is able to control computers with her mind (cyberpathy/technopathy), or that she is a cyborg. Neither is the case. Sage must interact with computers in a normal fashion, or through her augmented-reality glasses. Though she possesses computer or machine-like attributes, these abilities are all functions of her mutant powers.[6][17] The term "cyberpathy" was used to refer to the mental processing abilities and advanced control over her bodily functions rather than the ability to mentally control computers.[112] Sage is fully human (mutant) without any cybernetic enhancements.[68]

Trivia

  • Sage and Beast are the same age.[20]
  • She has faded markings reminiscent of her facial scars around her upper left arm.[20]
  • The license plate on Sage's car was in binary: 0010110.[12]
  • Prior to her re-appearance in Uncanny X-Men (Vol. 5) #10, Jordan D. White posted a Twitter poll for a character to return. Sage won the poll with 32.5% against the other contenders: Adam-X, Maggott, and Marrow.
  • Sage (as Tessa) would have had her debut in Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 25 had the series not been canceled with issue 23. Apparently she, along with other members of the Hellfire Club, were scripted for that issue but it never saw print until Marvel Super-Heroes (Vol. 2) #11. Following Ms. Marvel's bi-monthly publication schedule, issue 25 would have had an Aug. 1979 cover date, which precedes Tessa's actual print debut in X-Men #132 (Jan. 1980).

See Also

Recommended Reading

  • X-Treme X-Men #13: Sage augments Rogue's abilities and creates false identities in the invading aliens' computer surveillance systems.
  • X-Treme X-Men #44: Sage's backstory and defeat of Elias Bogan.
  • Uncanny X-Men #446: Sage is possessed by The Fury. This issue puts her traps and fighting prowess on display against Storm, Nightcrawler and Wolverine.

Links and References

References

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  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 X-Treme X-Men #7
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Classic X-Men #7
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 X-Treme X-Men #41
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  10. 10.0 10.1 X-Men (Vol. 2) #109
  11. 11.0 11.1 Uncanny X-Men #454
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  22. Marvel Graphic Novel #4
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