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Quote1 I am... I am someone I don't recognize anymore. I don't know what's real and what's in my head. This isn't the first time I've lost myself... but it was so sudden. One second I was with my team, but my guard was down. And something wriggled inside my head. Something -- someone stole my life. Quote2


Early Years[]

Xuân Cao Mạnh is the daughter of a colonel in the Vietnamese army. Xuân and her older[10] twin brother, Trân Cao Mạnh, were mutants, with the power to take mental possession of the minds of others. While still a child, Xuân saw an enemy soldier threaten Tran. Not realizing she had a superhuman power, Xuân nevertheless, acting on impulsive, took possession of the soldier's mind and stopped him from killing Tran. Tran then successfully attempted the same feat and forced the soldier to kill himself. While Tran took great delight in this use of his new-found power, Xuân was frightened of her ability. Xuân kept their powers secret, but Tran told their uncle, Nguyen Ngoc Coy, a general in the Vietnamese army.[3]

General Coy later arranged for Xuân's family to leave Vietnam, which was now entirely under a Communist government, but only Tran was sent abroad. Eventually, the rest of the family left Vietnam on a small, crowded boat. Xuân's father was murdered by attacking pirates, who assaulted the women; her mother died the day the survivors were rescued by the United States Navy. Xuân, her younger brother, Leong Cao Mạnh, and her younger sister, Nga Cao Mạnh, were sent to the United States to be reunited with her Uncle Nguyen and Tran. General Coy had become a powerful and prosperous criminal in the United States (although he was publicly known as a businessman), and Tran was using his powers in his uncle's employ. When Coy asked Xuân to use her powers in his service, she refused. Xuân sought help from a Catholic priest, Father Michael Bowen, whom she had known in Vietnam. With Father Bowen's aid, Xuân secured employment and an apartment and enrolled her younger siblings in school.[3]

At that time, General Coy kidnapped Leong and Nga, in an effort to blackmail Xuân into working for him. Desperate, Xuân located Spider-Man, whom she believed to be a criminal from accounts in the New York Daily Bugle, and took possession of his mind, so she could use his powers to rescue the children. While possessed by Xuân, Spider-Man fought three members of the Fantastic Four, who were present at a party Coy was hosting, unaware that he was a criminal. Xuân was forced to release Spider-Man's mind without having freed the children, but Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four located Xuân and Bowen, learned her story, and agreed to help her. Tran used his powers to take control of the Fantastic Four and have them attack Spider-Man. To save Spider-Man, whom she now knew was no criminal, Xuân was forced to kill her brother by absorbing his life essence into herself. Xuân was then reunited with Leong and Nga.[3]

New Mutants[]

Shortly thereafter, Xuân, who now called herself Karma when using her powers, was recommended by Reed Richards and accepted the invitation of Professor Charles Xavier to enroll in his school in order to learn to use her mutant powers better. Thus, she became the first leader of the new team of young superhuman mutants he was training, the New Mutants. Although the team was originally created because the Professor was possessed by the Brood Queen egg inside of him for future embryos, they stayed together. Needing to support her two siblings, Professor Xavier also assigned her the position of secretary at the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.[4]

Xavier and Dani Moonstar (Mirage) were kidnapped by Silver Samurai and Viper, at which time Xuân agreed to one year’s service to her uncle in exchange for their whereabouts and disappeared in an explosion.[11]

Karma was thought to be missing or dead for a brief period,[12] but had fallen under the control of the Shadow King. Shadow King possessed Xuân’s body and used his and Karma's own powers to carve a criminal empire. Shadow King indulged his excessive appetites, causing Karma to become incredibly obese. After taking control of the Gladiators, Empath turned Sunspot and Magma over to Xuân, where they were forced to battle for entertainment. After learning that their former teammate was in fact alive, the New Mutants decided to rescue her. After tracking Karma to Madripoor, then Cairo, the New Mutants were joined by Storm and all of them were possessed by Karma, save Mirage, Warlock, and Magik. After Mirage was possessed, Magik and Warlock released Karma from the Shadow King and Karma fought a psychic battle, which she won, forcing the Shadow King to flee back to the Astral Plane.[13]

Later, Amora the Enchantress kidnapped the New Mutants to Asgard. While attempting to escape, Magik used her teleportation discs but the Enchantress' magics affected the destination and the New Mutants were separated through time and space. Karma found herself stranded in the desert months in the past, where she encountered a young girl, possibly the Norn Queen Karnilla, who she protected. Crossing the unforgiving desert for months, Karma managed to lose the weight she had gained under the influence of the Shadow King, and became quite formidable in the use of her power.[14]

After their adventure in Asgard, the New Mutants found themselves under the guidance of a new teacher, Magneto, and Xuân returned to her position as school secretary.[15]

Later, while watching the Wildways, Leong and Nga were captured by Spiral and Mojo, matured into the adults, Template, and mentally controlled by Psylocke into joining a new show, the Bratpack. After a brief battle with the New Mutants, Psylocke was freed from her mind control and freed the others as well.[16]

During the massacre of the Morlocks by the Marauders, the New Mutants were charged with aiding the wounded. Later, Xuân asked Illyana Rasputin to teleport her to check on her younger brother and sister, only to discover they had disappeared. A bomb rigged to their apartment’s light switch destroyed all possible clues to their whereabouts.[17]

At a Hellfire Club event, Xuân possessed Tessa to desperately search for her siblings in the Hellfire Club's database. Xuân found no information. After being caught by Sebastian Shaw, the Black King, Xuân declined helping the New Mutants in their contest against the Hellions to find who sold a forged statue of Selene to a member of the Hellfire Club before sunrise, stating that she had too many things on her mind. While the team was gone, Xuân left a letter for Dani, co-leader of the New Mutants, stating that she was leaving the team to work for her uncle and search for her siblings.[18]

Searching for Siblings[]

Karma left the New Mutants and subsequently embarked on a long search for Leong and Nga. For a time she served General Coy in Madripoor, in the hope that he could locate her brother and sister. While working for her Uncle, Xuân encountered Patch, the X-Man Wolverine in disguise. Patch was attempting to stop General Coy from overthrowing the current crime lord of Madripoor, Tyger Tiger, and Xuân even assisted him by taking control of Roughouse and Bloodsport for Patch and Tyger to escape a beating. While attempting to rescue Lindsay McCabe, Tyger Tiger, and Jessica Drew, Xuân ran into Patch again and assisted in the downfall of her uncle's empire. Patch had General Coy at his mercy, until Prince Baran intervened and, thanks to Lindsay, considered them all honored guests of his. The prince offered that Tyger and General Coy work together to stop a power vacuum and war zone in Madripoor, and Patch convinced Tyger to accept. Next, Patch began his quest to save Karma from her uncle's service, but was sidetracked when he learned that disrupting General Coy's drug activities planted a target on the general's head and Xuân needed him to help her find her missing brother and sister. Xuân accompanied Patch to the airport to witness the arrival of Joe Fixit, who Patch smelled right away and recognized as the Hulk.[19]

For a time Leong and Nga were the prisoners of Shinobi Shaw, who made them the subjects of genetic experiments. He then turned them over to Karma's longtime foe, the terrorist known as the Viper, and the extra-dimensional being Spiral. Karma and the X-Man Beast eventually joined forces to rescue the two children, but Beast was unable to undo Spiral's genetic tinkering. Karma later found a doctor who was able to undo the damage her siblings had suffered.[20][21]


Karma dyed her hair pink had some body piercing done. She met most of her former New Mutants teammates who were now members of X-Force at the Burning Man festival. She was accompanied by two lesbian friends.[21]

While studying and working at Chicago University as a librarian, Xuân crossed paths with Shadowcat and helped her fight the Purity and Sentinel menaces.[citation needed] Shortly after Karma's graduation, Moonstar arrived in an attempt to recruit David Alleyne for the Xavier Institute. Xuân introduced the two, and headed back to the relative safety of the Institute along with her siblings. It was also at around this time that Karma confirmed her lesbianism to Dani and confessed to an unreciprocated attraction to Kitty Pryde.[9] At the school, Karma briefly reunited with the original New Mutants to battle Donald Pierce.[22]

Xuân Cao Mạnh (Earth-616) from New X-Men Academy X Yearbook Vol 1 1 0001

Karma as the adviser of the Alpha Squadron

Xuân had lots of responsibility at the Institute. She was the school's librarian, French teacher, and adviser for students too young to be assigned to a squad. With Northstar believed dead and Wolfsbane leaving the Institute after her affair with a student was exposed, Karma was also supervising their squads (Alpha Squadron and the Paragons).[23]

Karma joined the rest of the X-Men in San Francisco at their new headquarters.[24]

New Mutants X-Men Squad[]

Magik later returned, stating that she was from shortly in the future and that the world and New Mutants would die without her intervention. Cyclops allowed Cannonball to reorganize the original New Mutants squad. Their first mission was to subdue a recently returned Legion. While attempting to save a young girl that was absorbed into Legion's mind, Xuân was also absorbed into Legion's mind and battled to protect the young girl, Marci, from all of David's personalities, until Magik arrived and, after Xuân used her Soulsword and killed one of the personalities, saved Xuân. After battling their resurrected teammate, Doug Ramsey, and the Hellions, Doug was freed from Eli Bard's control by Warlock wielding Magik's Soulsword and they rejoined their former teammates.[25]

X-Men Legacy Vol 1 235 Textless

Karma battles Cameron Hodge

After the return of the mutant messiah, Hope Summers, and Cable to Earth-616, Bastion and his members of the Human Council attacked her tirelessly. Cyclops ordered the New Mutants to attack one of Cameron Hodge's Right facilities, where Hodge attacked her and almost killed her before Warlock killed him.[26] She was badly injured however, losing her left leg just above the shin as a consequence.[27][26] After Bastion's forces were prevented from carrying out the mutant genocide that he planned, Madison Jeffries used his mutant abilities to create a new bionic leg for Xuân.[5] After the attack from Bastion, the team took a vacation and Illyana sensed that Pixie had been captured. Illyana sent Warlock to warn the X-Men and the rest of the team battled the Inferno Babies. After being beaten, they were about to be taken to Limbo, until Xuân showed Face what Project Purgatory had done to him, and he freed Illyana and Xuân. The two of them, with Pixie, returned to Utopia, where Legion was being held and Illyana plunged her Soulsword into Xuân's chest and she ended up in Legion's mind. There, Xuân released the true David Haller personality and it was revealed that Illyana brought Legion back into the mainstream reality to use against the Elder Gods that the General Ulysses and Project Purgatory were planning to unleash.[28]

Xuân left the New Mutants to take care of Face, and when Kuurth attacked San Francisco, they were among those who tried to stop him, but even Face's devastating powers were ineffective.[29][30]


After the schism in the X-Men between Cyclops and Wolverine, Xuân chose to go back to Westchester with Wolverine, thinking that the school was the best place for her and Face to be. She became a Junior Staff Member at the school.[31]


Some time following the conflict between the Avengers against the X-Men, after which Utopia was abandoned, Karma formed part of the Utopians, a group of mutants that started inhabiting the ruins of the island.[32]

The X-Men were contacted by S.H.I.E.L.D. to investigate the island after a recon team went missing. The X-Men teleported to the island and initially engaged the Utopians. After talking it out and discovering the Utopians wanted nothing but to be safe and undisturbed, the X-Men offered them a place at the New Charles Xavier School, which they gladly accepted.[33]


Karma joined the mutant nation of Krakoa. Alongside some of her old teammates, and a few new members, the New Mutants were reformed on Krakoa. Realizing how good their life on Krakoa was, the New Mutants decided to go on a space mission to the Shi'ar Empire with the intent of bringing their teammate Cannonball back to Earth to show him life on Krakoa.[34]

After a visit to Otherworld, Karma decided to enter the Crucible in order to allow her brother the chance to be resurrected.[35] She fought Dani Moonstar and, once she accepted that she would not be responsible for her brother's potential actions once he was resurrected, she died at Dani's hands and was resurrected.[8]

At the Hellfire Gala, Karma met Galura, and the two appeared to have a romantic connection.[36]


Power Grid[47]
: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/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Learned


New Mutants Vol 2 4 Textless

Mind Possession

Xuân is a mutant with telepathic and psionic based powers dealing in possession, mind scanning and limited telepathy. Her powers include:

  • Telepathy: Xuân has limited to moderate telepathic and empathic capabilities which were never truly touched upon by Professor Xavier. She's received some training with Emma Frost in that regard but her psychic prowess was nowhere near that of the White Queen's. Like most telepaths, Karma can read an individual's thoughts and feelings, sift through memories, or discharge mental blasts to overwhelm opponents. It's been speculated Karma's possession abilities stem not as a her core mutation but a sub-power of which her other mental abilities take in the background.[37]
    • Psychic Possession: This psionic ability allows her to project a mental energy surge that overwhelms her victims' consciousness while placing her mind in command, operating their bodies as if they were an extension of her own, experiencing what the subject's senses perceive. During the possession, her subject's higher brain functions revert to diminished levels, similar to their state in a dreamless sleep, and the subject is left with no memory of the actual possession. When Karma first takes possession of someone, she can only move her subject's body awkwardly until she acclimates herself to her new host.[22]
      • Mass Possession: Although Karma can possess multiple subjects simultaneously, her control over her subjects is fragmented as she shifts her attention from one to another. Possibly she will overcome this handicap as her experience in using her powers grows.[citation needed]
      • Remote Possession: Xuân can host individuals over a distance while maintaining her original body, but her control is limited.[citation needed]
    • Mind Control: She can control her subject's actions and thought patterns allowing her to alter their perceptions and memories, and command entranced opponents to divulge information.[citation needed]
    • Sensory Link: Karma may establish a scrying link either through partial or remote possession and gain the feelings and sensations of the target. While ranged possession means controlling a body in another location and requires her to see through her victim's eyes, she needs greater focus to control them and has sometimes appeared to be in a meditative state.[citation needed]
  • Psychic Shield: Generates a psychic shield that disrupts incoming psi-signatures, protecting her from all manner of psychic assaults.[citation needed]


  • Hand-to-Hand Combat (moderate): As an X-Man, Karma has been trained tutored in various self defense practices by great many militant specialists ranging from Cable, Magneto and to her own father from an early age.[38] Over the course of decades as a mutant rights activist, a gladiator in the Underground Mutant Theatre and life in general she has broadened her combat capability and become a very capable fighter in her own right.[32][39]
  • Firearm Expertise: Being an avid guerrilla fighter and costumed adventurer Xuân is very adept at using various long-range batteries while locked in combat with an opposing force.[38]
  • Businesswoman: As the only eligible heir to the Hatchi Corporation after her sister Susan/Dao's passing.[40] Ms. Cao Mạnh has stepped up to inherit the multi-billion dollar weapons designing conglomerate,[41] becoming an avid company head whom can run her industry while maintaining a stable foothold in other areas of R&D.[42]
  • Mechanical Engineering: Ever since she lost her leg to a Nimrod Sentinel in the battle of "Second Coming".[43] Xuân has had to keep up in maintenance regarding her bionic replacement.[44]
  • Multilingual: Karma speaks Vietnamese, English and French[45]


  • Subordinate Personality: If she remains in possession of a host for too long, she will begin to think and act as her host would, and eventually her own personality would become subordinate to one identical to the host's.[citation needed]
  • Tran's Influence: It is revealed that ever since Xuân had assimilated her malefic twin brother into her genetic matrix that her personality has considerably darkened.[46] To the point that her evil sibling barely even needs to exert his influence over her actions from time to time as a consequence of their fusion.[41]




  • Up until January 5, 2023, "Xi'an Coy Manh" was believed to be Karma's real name, even though the name does not exist in the Vietnamese language. Love Unlimited Infinity Comic #31, written and drawn by Vietnamese-American cartoonist Trung Lê Capecchi-Nguyễn, revealed that her actual real name is "Xuân" (pronounced similarly to "Swun"), with the original name being a mispronunciation. On Twitter, Nguyễn confirmed her full name is now Mạnh Cao Xuân.[2] The pronunciation of the full name in the Hue dialect is [mɛɲ˨˩ʔ kaːw˧˧ swəŋ˧˧], while in the Hanoi dialect it is [majŋ˧˨ʔ kaːw˧˧ swən˧˧].


Xuân Cao Mạnh (Earth-616) from Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 508 0001

Karma with another woman

  • It was quietly confirmed Karma was a lesbian in Mekanix #1. However, Karma was never explicitly shown with another woman until Uncanny X-Men #508.

See Also

Links and References


  1. Love Unlimited Infinity Comic #31
  2. 2.0 2.1 Nguyễn, Trung (5 January 2023) It would be Mạnh Cao Xuân Twitter. Retrieved on 5 January 2023.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Marvel Team-Up #100
  4. 4.0 4.1 Marvel Graphic Novel #4
  5. 5.0 5.1 X-Men: Second Coming #2
  6. New Mutants #37
  7. Secret Wars II #9
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 New Mutants (Vol. 4) #18
  9. 9.0 9.1 New Mutants (Vol. 2) #4
  10. Love Unlimited Infinity Comic #36
  11. New Mutants #56
  12. New Mutants #730
  13. New Mutants #2934
  14. New Mutants Special Edition #1
  15. New Mutants #35
  16. New Mutants Annual #2
  17. New Mutants #46
  18. New Mutants #5355
  19. Wolverine (Vol. 2) #49
  20. Beast #13
  21. 21.0 21.1 X-Force #75
  22. 22.0 22.1 New Mutants (Vol. 2) #13
  23. New X-Men (Vol. 2) #13
  24. Uncanny X-Men #501
  25. New Mutants (Vol. 3) #16
  26. 26.0 26.1 X-Men: Legacy #235
  27. New Mutants (Vol. 3) #12
  28. New Mutants (Vol. 3) #1622
  29. New Mutants (Vol. 3) #25
  30. Uncanny X-Men #542
  31. Astonishing X-Men (Vol. 3) #48
  32. 32.0 32.1 All-New X-Men #40
  33. All-New X-Men #41
  34. New Mutants (Vol. 4) #1
  35. New Mutants (Vol. 4) #17
  36. Marvel's Voices: Pride #1
  37. New Mutants (Vol. 4) #7
  38. 38.0 38.1 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #11
  39. New Mutants #2832
  40. Astonishing X-Men (Vol. 3) #56
  41. 41.0 41.1 Uncanny X-Men (Vol. 5) #18
  42. New Mutants: Dead Souls #16
  43. X-Men: Legacy #234
  44. Astonishing X-Men (Vol. 3) #52
  45. X-Men: Manifest Destiny #1
  46. New Mutants: Dead Souls #6
  47. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol 1 6