Little is known about the early history of the mutant girl known as Sophia "Chat" Sanduval save that she was raised by an unknown mother and has an affluent older sister.
Upon reaching her teens, Chat's mutant ability to communicate with animals manifested. Although this caused her some embarrassment - as birds and squirrels sensed she could understand them and became excessively friendly around her - Chat embraced her gift and helped run a traveling zoo that visited all the orphanages in New York.
Even though she genuinely loved her animals, at some point Chat felt herself "falling apart" and decided she needed more human friends in her life. Becoming a runaway, she met and befriended Emma Frost, another young mutant with the ability to read and manipulate minds.
Together the two traveled through New York using Emma's powers to rob affluent people. While Chat disapproved of Emma's criminal activities (and regularly apologized to their victims) she lacked the self-confidence to truly stand up to Emma.
During one of the pair's criminal sprees, Chat and Emma were saved from a falling sign by Spider-Man, a masked superhero who kept his real identity as a high school student secret. Using her telepathy, Emma discovered Peter's secret and convinced Chat to visit Peter's school and learn more about him.
Posing as a Harvard research scientist, Emma interviewed Peter as she read his mind and created a mental link between Chat and herself, enabling the girls to learn how the death of Peter's Uncle Ben motivated him to become a superhero. Yet while Emma found herself enamored by Peter's power and confidence, Chat was more attracted to his nobility and decency.
Peter Parker's girlfriend
Convincing Emma to help her enroll in Peter's school, Chat befriended Peter and the two began dating. She also volunteered at an animal rescue center and started living with her sister in a posh New York apartment, although her sister's frequent absences often gave Chat the full run of their residence.
While Chat never told Peter she knew about his double life, she often aided Spider-Man – by getting dogs and birds to stop a carjacker Spider-Man was chasing, or by defending him from Cloak & Dagger, a pair of vigilantes who believed Spider-Man was a criminal.
As Chat's feelings for Peter grew stronger, her guilt over keeping so many secrets from him troubled her and she often tried to tell him the truth. Unfortunately, her fear of how he might react to her knowledge of his alter ego and her mutant identity kept her from being completely honest with him.
Eventually Peter figured out the truth on his own and left Chat for a time. They soon reconciled, however, and Peter became happy that he now had a girlfriend he could share his secret with.
Confronting Emma Frost
However Chat still had not told Peter about Emma, who had since become The Silencer, a super villain at large in New York. Jealous of Peter and Chat's relationship, Emma tried to break the two of them up, first by making Gwen Stacy, a girl from Peter's school, believe she and Peter were dating.
When this failed to put a wedge between Chat and Peter, Emma erased all of Chat's memories of ever dating Peter. Fortunately, Chat's animal friends, who were immune to Emma's telepathy, told Chat the truth and helped her recover her lost memories.
Furious over Emma's manipulation, Chat publicly confronted her friend and got several birds to attack her, keeping Emma off-balance long enough for Spider-Man to subdue her. Defeated, Emma claimed she was attracted to Peter and hoped that by ending his relationship with Chat she might be able to start a relationship with him. At Spider-Man's urging, she gave herself up to the police.
Ashamed by her own role in Emma's criminal activities and not wanting to complicate Peter's life any further, Chat tearfully tried to end her relationship with him. But Peter, deciding that Chat was too special to lose, refused to break up and suggested they give themselves a new, more honest, beginning.
Since then, Chat has become a much more confident and assertive person who involves herself in both Peter Parker and Spider-Man's lives. She has been hired by the Blonde Phantom Detective Agency, a private investigator firm that employs superhuman operatives, and uses its resources to aid Peter in his continuing fight against the Torino Family, a powerful New York mob.
Recently, Spider-Man was injured in a fight with Bullseye, a professional assassin hired by the Torinos, and would have been killed had not Chat's pet owl Flapper sacrificed himself to keep Peter from being fatally stabbed. Subsequently, Chat and her animals searched the entire city for a barely-conscious Spider-Man and, with the help of a repentant mob enforcer, saved Peter from being found by the Torinos.
Chat is currently using her powers to combat the recent rise in New York crime, giving Peter a chance to heal from the multiple injuries he sustained from Bullseye. She has also reconciled with Emma Frost who may also be joining the Blonde Phantom Detective Agency.
In her initial appearance, Chat was very timid and insecure, particularly around Emma Frost. Although Chat frequently expressed misgivings about Emma's tendency to invade and control other people's minds, she made only the feeblest attempts to stop Emma and tended to go along with whatever her friend wanted to do, no matter how illegal.
This all changed when Chat, through a mind link set up by Emma, touched Peter Parker's mind. Although Emma believed Chat would only be able to see images from Peter's memory and not hear his thoughts (since Chat was not a telepath), Chat immediately picked up on Peter's sense of responsibility and drew both strength and inspiration from the experience. Shortly after, she finally stood up to Emma by telling her she did not want to spend the rest of her life stealing and wanted to go back to school.
Chat continued exhibiting this more assertive attitude in school, aggressively flirting with Peter and making dates with him. Although dating Spider-Man proved dangerous, (Chat was kidnapped by a carjacker on their first date and had to be rescued by Spider-Man) she demonstrated considerable courage and began creatively using her rapport with animals to aid Spider-Man in catching crooks and protecting others.
While basically kind and gentle, Chat could also be, as Emma Frost put it, "manipulative and sneaky." She thought nothing about asking birds to eavesdrop on Peter's phone conversations and even sent a bird to spy on Spider-Man's activities. She has since matured and now uses her "sneaky side" primarily to aid the Blonde Phantom and Spider-Man in their investigations.
Chat is fiercely devoted to her animals and once asked to be paid in birdseed when the birds helping told her that was what they wanted. This devotion extends to her human friends, a fact that has gotten her into trouble when she convinced Spider-Man not to arrest Emma Frost (who was hiding in Chat's apartment), but has also proved to be one of her greatest strengths (as shown when she went to great lengths to not only save an injured Spider-Man but also keep his identity hidden from others).
Powers and Abilities
Chat possesses the mutant power to communicate with animals, although whether this ability is based on an superhuman understanding of animal verbal/non-verbal communication or a form of human-animal telepathy has yet to be determined. Thus far, Chat has communicated primarily with birds, cats, dogs, raccoon's, and squirrels, so it is unknown if she can speak with non-mammal types of animal life (such as insects or fish).
Animals sense that Chat can understand them and become very friendly around her. This enables her to gain the trust of even normally wild creatures (such as owls) very quickly. Even when an animal is trained to be aggressive, Chat can often gain that animal's allegiance; she once convinced a criminal's bulldog to turn on his master after telling him that his owner was "bad". Chat frequently uses this aspect of her power to calm frightened animals at animal rescue centers.
Her natural affinity with animals (coupled with Chat's willingness to feed any stray who comes to visit her) makes animals very accommodating when Chat asks them to do favors for her. In the past, Chat has asked pigeons eavesdrop on conversations and trail people for long distances. She has convinced dogs to attack criminals and once mobilized a group of squirrels to steal letters from a mansion.
Even when Chat is not around to tell animals what to do, animals who have been around her will continue to act in her interests, usually by protecting her friends. As a result, many stray dogs, cats, and birds in New York aid and protect Spider-Man regardless of whether Chat is nearby or not. This may have more to do with the positive image animals have of Spider-Man himself, however, as Chat once mentioned dogs perceive Spider-Man as a "distinctly marked alpha male."
Chat enjoys vegetarian cooking and claims she is the "Queen of Picnics." She frequently concocts creative dishes ranging from the tasty (almond-olive-cheese sandwiches dipped in hummus), to the unusual (salads with ice cream dressing), to the downright bizarre (olive-and-peanut butter shakes).
As an operative of the Blonde Phantom Detective Agency, Chat has been receiving some self-defense training from the Blonde Phantom.
Spider-Man's injuries have motivated Chat to pick up some basic medical skills, humorously calling herself the "Ninja of Nursing."
Unlike many of Peter Parker's other love interests, Chat accepts Peter as both Spider-Man and Peter Parker and makes no attempt to try and get him to stop being Spider-Man.
Chat first appeared in Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #53 and is a regular character in its relaunch Spider-Man Marvel Adventures.
- 31 appearance(s) of Sophia Sanduval (Earth-20051)
- 3 image(s) of Sophia Sanduval (Earth-20051)
- 3 quotation(s) by or about Sophia Sanduval (Earth-20051)