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Danielle Moonstar, originally codenamed Psyche and later Mirage, is a fictional Marvel Comics superheroine associated with the X-Men. Created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Bob McLeod, she first appeared in Marvel Graphic Novel #4: The New Mutants (1982).

A mutant, Moonstar originally possessed the ability to create illusions of her opponents’ fears or wishes. She later developed a wide range of psionic and energy manipulation powers. She was a member of the X-Men's 1980s junior team the New Mutants and, after a long absence, its reincarnation X-Force.

More than many other Native American superheroes, Moonstar is in touch with her Native American (specifically Cheyenne) heritage.

Fictional character biographyEdit

OriginEdit

Danielle Moonstar is a Native American (specifically, Cheyenne), and was born in Boulder, Colorado. As with most mutants, Dani's mutant powers manifested during puberty. One of her first manifestations is a vision of her parents' death, killed by a demonic bear. Shortly afterwards, her parents disappear and Dani is taken in by her grandfather, Black Eagle. The Hellfire Club attempt to capture her, and in the melee, her grandfather is killed. Luckily, he has already contacted Professor X to take care of Dani. Xavier, who had been a close friend of Moonstar's father, offers to teach Dani control over her powers. She joins his group of students called the New Mutants,[1] and shortly afterwards becomes the co-leader of the group, together with Cannonball. There, she develops a deep friendship with Wolfsbane.

New MutantsEdit

While with the New Mutants, Moonstar starts to have nightmares again about the Demon Bear, who until then had been kept from her due to Black Eagle's protective spells. Her fear over the entity causes her to contemplate suicide. One night, she is attacked by the entity and taken to the hospital. The other New Mutants wait for her in the hospital and are tracked down by the Bear. Its magics affect the team, drawing them into another dimension of rolling fields and clear skies. The New Mutant Magik manages to pierce the Demon Bear with her magical sword and the Demon Bear returns to his original form: William and Peg Lonestar. Dani is reunited with her parents, but decides to stay at Xavier's school

Dani develops as co-leader of the team, along with Samuel Guthrie. In some of her early adventures, she visits a lost society in the Amazon called Nova Roma where she meets one of the citizens, Magma, and is nearly killed by Selene.[2] Dani helps Magma come back to Xavier's to learn how to control her powers. They develop an intense rivalry with the Hellions, a super-powered team of young mutants led by the White Queen. This rivalry is later somewhat cooled when Danielle bonds with the Hellions's leader, Proudstar, over similar Native American heritage. Proudstar would later go on to be the X-Man Warpath.

The group rescues their friend Karma from the Shadow King and take a vacation on a remote Greek island with Storm. The Asgardian Trickster god Loki, in revenge for a past defeat by the X-Men, sends the Enchantress to kidnap Storm and the X-Men. The sorceress mistakenly believes the children are the X-Men and takes them with Storm.

Magik uses one of her teleportation disks but it reacts with the Enchantress' magic, dumping most of the team in random spots and times around the Asgardian realm. Danielle finds herself in rolling plains under clear skies. She soon finds a winged horse trapped in mud and barbed wire. With hard work, she frees the grateful animal, but they are attacked by other forces. Saving her from deaths are other women on winged horses. The women invite Danielle to stay with her at their castle and she does. She spends a few weeks bonding with the horse she rescued, Brightwind, and flying with her new friends. An incident where her presence scared other people makes her curious. She learns the reasons for this after overhearing a conversation. Danielle has become a Valkyrie, selected by Brightwind, one of the 'Choosers of the slain'. Some of the other women do not agree, but they can do nothing as it was Brightwind's choice. This gives Danielle supernatural powers, such as being able to see and even combat Death itself.Template:Issue

Danielle uses her powers and her allies to help rescue her friends and confront Loki himself. Eventually the New Mutants, and the X-Men who came to rescue them, are returned safely to Earth.

She confronts Death twice. In one incident, the Power Pack had called the New Mutants in order to garner help against a group of demonic creatures. The Pack's mother was gravely ill and Danielle fights off Death outside her hospital window, gaining the mother a new lease on lifeTemplate:Issue. Later, on a trip back home to see her parents, she encounters an old childhood friend. Unfortunately, this friend has become racist and mentally ill during the time she was gone. He was also a diabetic and when he fails to take his medicine, he crashes. Danielle confronts Death outside the doors to the operating room, but Death talks her into letting her friend go.

Soon, she and the other New Mutants attempt to save former teammate Magma from the High Evolutionary. During the fight, Moonstar is thrown into a machine intended to strip mutants of their powers. Instead, the machine (which had been reset by two other victims of the Evolutionary's plan), enhances her mutation; it gives her the ability to make the telepathic images manifest in reality, becoming solid. This ability was limited in that Danielle could only sustain one illusion at a time. She often carried around a "dream spear", in order to destroy previous illusions.

Moonstar continues as a member of the New Mutants for several years. For a time, the team is taken care of by the original X-Men, now called X-Factor. The group is seemingly settled into Ship, a sentient flying headquarters.Template:Issue Danielle is getting worse and worse headaches, which causes concern with the team but all this is interrupted by many things, including X-Factor being drawn away in battle.

Hela, the death goddess of Asgard, creates a plan to take over the realm and kill the Allfather Odin, who is in a healing sleep at the time. Hela's magics drive Danielle mad and she has to be restrained by her friends, allies, and the unseen help of Doctor Strange. The battle is soon moved to Asgard. The New Mutants, along with the wolf-prince Hrimhari and the Valkyrie, Mist, who resist Hela, ultimately triumph. Danielle seemingly loses her winged horse Brightwind in the battle, which concludes in Odin's very bedroom.

In the end, she chooses to stay behind in Asgard. This angers Hotamitanio, one of her Cheyenne deities, who comes to Asgard itself to bring her back. He interrupts Danielle and Mist in the middle of a training session. He is later satisfied with Danielle's promise to eventually return to Earth and he leaves peacefully.[3]

X-ForceEdit

When she does return, she joins S.H.I.E.L.D. and infiltrates the Mutant Liberation Front. At this point, she refines her psychic ability so that she could cast "psychic arrows," which incapacitate their targets, and rides Darkwind, a dark version of her former steed Brightwind.Template:Issue Her assignment brings her into many conflicts with old allies, mostly X-Force (a continuation of her old team the New Mutants), Excalibur, and Moira MacTaggert. Despite the Front's malicious missions, Danielle seems to develop a genuine friendship with the mutate Forearm.[citation needed]


Later, X-Force helps with a third foray into Asgard to help stamp out another take-over attempt. Once that ends, she joins up with X-Force for an extensive road-trip, that ends with the creation of a new base of operations. She also gains the ability to manipulate quantum energy as concussive blasts, but this power apparently disappears.Template:Issue She leaves the team when they contact Pete Wisdom, hoping that he will help them become more pro-active, a direction she disagrees with.

New X-MenEdit

File:Moonstar Elixir.png

After a short time as part-time X-Man, Moonstar becomes the mentor of a new New Mutants squad at the Xavier Institute (and the legal guardian of Elixir), as well as the Institute's American History teacher.Template:Issue During this time she enjoys a reunion with Karma and then later, Wolfsbane. She helps Wolfsbane deal with the traumatic return of her lycanthropic powers, but an ill-thought romantic liaison between Wolfsbane and Elixir drives a deep wedge between the two women.

She also appears alongside Polaris and Iceman when Northstar is killed by Wolverine. She is quickly taken out by Hand ninjas along with Polaris.[4]

During her appearances in the second volume of New Mutants (vol. 2) and New X-Men (vol. 2) the bulk of Danielle's powers appear to have reverted to their original form. She still retained some of her Valkyrie abilities, namely the ability to sense the dead, but they are not as strong as they once were.

The InitiativeEdit

In the wake of the House of M crossover, the Scarlet Witch causes many mutants to lose their powers. Moonstar is one of the many who lose their powers, and is fired by Emma Frost who feels that as a human, she is no longer safe nor has any right to remain at the school.Template:Issue She briefly reappears in Generation M #5, in which she revealed she hasn't dreamt since M-Day.

Following the events of the superhuman Civil War, Danielle is recruited by the Initiative program to serve as an instructor to the next generation of superheroes, alongside her former mentor and colleague, Beast.[5] She is the person brought in to train Trauma in the use of his similar powers. However, due to her belief that Trauma could and should use his powers in a therapeutic nature, Henry Peter Gyrich is quick to dismiss her from Camp Hammond once Trauma gains enough training in his powers; Gyrich instead intends for Trauma to be a powerful weapon for the Initiative.[6]

Divided We StandEdit

Following the dissolution of the X-Men, Surge runs to Colorado seeking help from Dani Moonstar. Dani allows her to vent and tries to provide her with a fresh perspective on how to use the pain they deal with as mutants and X-Men. She shares a bit about her own pain and struggles and the Native American philosophies that guide her. Nori thanks Dani for sharing but is not yet ready to embrace her former teacher’s more optimistic view of the pain inherent to life’s cycle.[7]

Young X-MenEdit

Danielle later becomes a member of the latest incarnation of the Hellfire Club brought together by Sunspot. Blindfold and Ink, deceived by Donald Pierce in the guise of Cyclops, are put in charge of capturing her until Ink betrays Blindfold and knocks her out and delivers both of them to Donald Pierce. After the Young X-Men defeat Pierce, Danielle moves to San Francisco along with the rest of the X-Men and is told by Cyclops that she and Sunspot will train the Young X-Men. She persuades an apprehensive Anole to join the Young X-Men and move to San Francisco.[8]

Reforming the New MutantsEdit

After receiving an anonymous tip in Colorado about a young mutant endangering a small town, Dani and Xi'an are sent to investigate and calm the locals. During their mission, Magik reappears back at the X-Men's base in San Francisco after teleporting off into the future after the events of "X-Infernus". Upon her return she informs Sam and Roberto, Xi'an and Dani are in trouble and it will result in their deaths. Sam assembles a team consisting of himself, Sunspot, Magma and Magik to go find them. While searching for them, Sam and Roberto come across a tied up and unconcious Xi'an in the back of a bar, while Magik and Magma are tricked into freeing Legion from a box.[9] The personalities in Legion's mind want to kill Dani because she can help Legion get them under control. Legion locates Dani in a jail cell and is about to kill her when Sam stops him. Dani tells Sam to let her out but Sam refuses, saying she'll be safer in the cell since she doesn't have her powers anymore. Sam and Roberto go off to fight Legion leaving Dani behind. Unbeknownst to them, one of Legion's personalities has the ability to project himself and is stalling them while he prepares to kill Dani but is stopped my Magik and Magma. They free Dani as Legion retreats, Sam apologizes but get's punched in the face by an angry Dani. When asked where she's going Dani replies "to make myself useful" she returns brandishing numerous firearms and tells the others that they're going after Legion.

Powers and abilitiesEdit

Moonstar is a mutant who formerly had an empathic psi ability to create three-dimensional images of visual concepts from within the minds of herself and others. Her talent allowed her to manifest people's emotions as realistic illusions. It began as manifesting people's worst fears, many times in an uncontrollable fashion, against the will of both involved. Soon she gained the ability to control this and to manifest a person's "deepest desire." She can even create illusions by channeling residual thought and emotional impressions in an area (such as showing Wolverine a battle scene between Mister Sinister and unknown assailants, simply by entering the area where the battle had recently taken place). At first, Mirage could not control her image projecting powers and would draw and project images without consciously willing to do so. She has since gained control through training and maturity.

She also had for a time the ability to make the telepathic images manifest as psionic energy, becoming tangible entities of solid psionic force. This ability was limited in that Danielle could only sustain one illusion at a time. She often carried around a "dream spear," in order to destroy previous illusions. Many times, her powers caused her to experience sharp, blinding headaches.

Danielle later gained the ability to focus her psionic powers into energy arrows which could stun an opponent by disrupting their central nervous system, or force them to relive a traumatic memory. She can also project images of objects of fear or desire from the minds of vertebrate animals and certain insects, but only the animal from which she derives the image will be able to see it. Moonstar had a quasi-telepathic talent that allowed her to form a rapport with higher animals, including her horse Brightwind, primates, canines, felines, and avians. She can sense their feelings, consciously perceive images in their minds, and even see through their eyes. This has proven to be a very useful ability, as it enabled her to communicate with Wolfsbane in her transitional half-lupine form or transformed into her full wolf form. She has also been able to exist peacefully with wild animals.

For a short time, a young mutant girl[1] with reality warping abilities gave Moonstar the ability to manipulate quantum energies to affect energy and matter on a subatomic level and fire powerful energy blasts, but these powers were only temporary.

When Moonstar rescued Brightwind, she became a valkyrie, and became endowed with the Valkyrie power to perceive and sense the coming of Death. As such, Moonstar could perceive a "deathglow" surrounding a person in serious danger of dying, a dark cloud or graphic visual image over people who were in mortal peril. This allowed her to save many lives. She could also perceive Death incarnate and even do physical battle with Death itself and her Valkyrie arrows were shown capable of causing pain to Hela. She has created an illusory "Cheyenne ghost-staff" drawing upon an image in her own mind and has successfully wielded it as a weapon against Death itself and the Asgardian death-goddess Hela.

Because of the Scarlet Witch's powers and actions, Moonstar lost her powers. In addition, she lost her Valkyrie powers due to the fall of Asgard[10]. Her Asgardian winged steed, Brightwind, has not been seen since Asgard fell.

However, due to her training at Xavier's and her time as a Valkyrie in Asgard, she is still physically fit and an excellent hand-to-hand combatant. In addition, she is experienced in the use of such weapons as a bow, spear, and sword, which she carried as a Valkyrie. She is a good equestrian and swimmer, a good marksman with a rifle, and an excellent archer.

Other versionsEdit

Age of ApocalypseEdit

In the Age of Apocalypse, Moonstar became one of Apocalypse's followers and a member of the Pale Riders, one of the Dark Lord's team of assassins. She earned the position due to her sadism and ruthlessness. Due to her origins, she was capable of infiltrating John Proudstar's Ghost Dance, learning that Nightcrawler was seeking a way to reach Avalon.

Apocalypse sent the Pale Riders to follow Nightcrawler and destroy Avalon, however, during the journey, the sadistic Moonstar began to torture Dead Man Wade for fun, as his healing factor would regenerate any kind of wound. This angered Damask, the Pale Riders leader, who killed Moonstar after she refused to stop.

In this timeline unlike the Main Reality, Danielle had a sister named Dana Moonstar who also possessed the same powers as Danielle.

House of MEdit

Dani is an instructor for S.H.I.E.L.D., training the next generation of soldiers. She finds herself at odds with Xi’an Coy Manh, headmistress of the New Mutant Leadership Institute. She works closely with her squad and has lost her left eye to anti-mutant terrorists. She helps her charges and the runaway mutants from the New Mutant Leadership Institute take down Project Genesis.[11]

Marvel MangaverseEdit

In the Marvel Mangaverse, Mirage is a mutant sorceress and a member of the X-Men along with Wolverine, Storm, Jean Grey, Cyclops, and formerly Rogue. In this universe, she apparently has the ability to summon small monsters, and is from India instead of being Native American.Template:Issue

X-Men: The EndEdit

In the alternate future depicted in X-Men: The End, Dani was imprisoned in Neverland, a concentration camp for mutants. Upon sensing Rahne's death, Dani chants a mixture of Norse and Cheyenne words and Mister Sinister has her terminated. She revives as a Valkyrie and destroys Neverland before leaving for Asgard.[12]

In other mediaEdit

TelevisionEdit

In the X-Men: Evolution animated series, Moonstar appeared in the episode, "Ghost of a Chance". In the episode, Moonstar repeatedly calls Shadowcat in her dreams to save her after she is lost for almost two years in a cavern. She was voiced by Tabitha St. Germain.

FilmEdit

In the sequel X2: X-Men United, her name appears on a list of names Mystique scrolls through on Stryker's computer while looking for Magneto's file. She can be seen in the deleted museum scene, involving Jubilee[citation needed] .

NovelsEdit

In the novelization of X-Men 3, Moonstar is recruited as a future X-Man, alongside Cannonball, Sage, Gambit, and others.

FootnotesEdit

  1. Marvel Graphic Novel #4
  2. New Mutants #8-11
  3. Marvel Comics Presents #121, 1993
  4. Wolverine #26
  5. Template:Comic book reference
  6. Avengers: The Initiative #5
  7. X-Men: Divided We Stand #2
  8. Young X-Men #6
  9. New Mutants Vol. 3 #1
  10. Avengers: The Initiative #9
  11. New X-Men: Academy X #16 - 19
  12. X-Men: The End, Heroes and Martyrs #4

ReferencesEdit

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