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Madelyne Pryor (Joint Venture)
Madelyne-JV
Real Name Grey Replicant, M-series, Iteration #1982
Current Alias Madelyne Jennifer Pryor
Alias(es) Anodyne, Goblyn Queen, Infernal Empress, Black Rook
Relatives Jean Grey (genetic template), Scott Summers (ex-husband, alternate universe), Nathan Christopher Charles Summers (son, alternate universe)
Affiliation Inferno, Hellfire Club, X-Men (alternate universe, former)
Base Of Operations Limbo; Hellgate Hall, Northampton
Alignment Evil, formerly Chaotic Good
Universe Joint Venture Universe (adjacent variant)
Gender Female
Eyes Green
Hair Red
Unusual Features Identical physical match for Jean Grey, eyes glow orange when she uses her powers.
Madelyne Pryor is a long-time foe of the X-Men and the ex-wife of Cyclops. This is the Joint Venture Universe version of the character.

History

Madelyne Pryor is a woman with no past or records of existence in the Joint Venture Universe. This is because she hails from yet another unnumbered alternate timeline, and only exists in that universe due to a combination of extremely unlikely factors.

Flight 137

The story of Madelyne Pryor starts with a plane crash. Oncemerely an exceptional charter pilot with years of sterling service under her belt, Madelyne was landing a passenger plane at San Francisco Airport when one of her plane's engines exploded. She might have landed safely anyway, but the explosion detonated an illegally smuggled cache of explosive cargo in her plane's hold, and the entire aircraft exploded, crashing the last five hundred feet to the ground in a burning heap of twisted metal and charred bodies.

There were no survivors, save Madelyne herself, who despite being in the cockpit when it was engulfed in flames from the devastated instruments, walked out of the wreckage without a scratch on her. Witnesses say they saw the fire make a bird-like shape behind her as she emerged, but no video evidence exists that can confirm or debunk this.

The sole survivor of the crash, a devastated Madelyne spent a great deal of time receiving psychological therapy for her survivor's guilt.

Pole Star Airlines - Return to the Skies

Finally, some three years after the disaster, Madelyne returned to her job as a piot, this time operating out of Anchorage, Alaska. She worked for Phillip and Deborah Summers' privately-owned and operated Pole Star Airlines, sticking to small, private planes and short flights until she could regain her self-confidence. Over time, the pain and misery of her past slowly faded, and she even managed to save a young boy, Toby Ridge, from a plane crash similar to the one she had survived. In gratitude, Toby's father Colton invited her to take up permanent residence in his resort, free of charge. With few housing options, Madelyne accepted, since her current position had her spend less time in the air and away from home than her previous, and she would need a place to stay when not in the air.

It was on one of these flights that she met Phillip and Deborah's long-lost son, Air Force Major Christopher Summers, and his own adult children, Alex and Scott.

Scott & Madelyne

Madelyne felt an immediate attraction to Scott Summers, the quiet, troubled man who hid his face and feelings behind a pair of unique red sunglasses. However, he was initially cold and terse with her. keeping her at arm's length while simultaneously watching her intently when he thought she wouldn't notice. Despite this initial gulf, the attraction between the two was instant, and mutual, and within a matter of days they had gotten close. Scott seemed to know Madelyne inside and out almost overnight; he knew her taste in food and clothing, her temperament, her favorite colors, movies, and music, seemingly by guesswork alone.

Their first real date was something out of Madelyne's fondest dreams, and she started to wonder if Scott could somehow read her mind. However, that night she learned a chilling truth: that Scott had been in love with another woman, the late Jean Grey, who had had everything in common with Madelyne, right down to a nearly identical appearance. Unsure now if he loved her for who she was or who she resembled, Madelyne let Scott go. He planned to leave the next morning, a full two weeks before he was scheduled to fly back to New York. However, something happened that night that would change both of them forever.

Cyclops v. D'Spayre

While walking home that night, an awkward silence hanging between them, Scott and Madelyne were ambushed by a terrifying being known only as D'Spayre, who fed off negative emotions like loss, grief, and (as one might expect) despair. While Madelyne, a civilian, was utterly unprepared for this, Scott took this moment to reveal his true identity to her: Scott Summers was Cyclops, a mutant with powerful optic blasts, and the former leader of the superhero team known as the X-Men. During the battle, Madelyne saw a recreation of Scott's worst nightmare; the death of Jean Grey on the moon, sacrificing herself to save the universe from her terrifying alter ego, Dark Phoenix. In the throes of his emotional turmoil, he asked Madelyne if she was Phoenix reborn. She responded with an angry right cross to the face, which shocked Scott out of his fugue state and galvanized him into defeating the demon. With his worst fear faced and overcome, Scott expressed a desire to keep seeing Madelyne, to get to know her for herself, and an overjoyed Madelyne accepted.

"From the Ashes"

Scott and Madelyne continued to date each other, their relationship growing deeper and more intense, to the point that when Scott finally did return to New York, Madelyne came with him. He even took her to the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, where he had spent his adolescence (and met Jean for the first time), to meet the X-Men, whom he considered as much his family as his blood relatives. After their initial shock at seeing her had passed, Madelyne was surprised at how quickly she ended up fitting in with the team, despite not being a mutant or having any superhuman powers of her own.

It was here that the specter of Jean Grey reared its head again. Mastermind, an old enemy of the team, and the man responsible for her corruption into Dark Phoenix in the first place, trapped the X-Men in illusions, making them believe that Madelyne was Dark Phoenix reborn, and further, that she had killed Cyclops (as well as the entire population of New York City). However, Mastermind had not taken into account that Scott had made peace with the memory of Jean Grey, and thanks to the battle with D'Spayre, knew that Madelyne was not she.

Surviving Mastermind's initial attack, Cyclops took it upon himself to save both Madelyne and the team. He managed to get Rogue, the newest X-Man, to absorb Xavier's powers and use his telepathy to break through Mastermind's deceptions. When the villain attempted to retaliate, the X-Men's current leader, Storm, subjected him to the equivalent of a hurricane at point-blank range, nearly killing him and breaking his hold on the team once and for all. Now having proved his love to Madelyne twice over, Scott proposed to her in front of his friends, and she accepted. They were married on the Institute grounds, with Colton Ridge acting as father of the bride, since Madelyne had no parents of her own.

Honeymoon's End

Now happily married, Scott and Madelyne enjoyed a brief honeymoon in Mykonos, Greece, before returning to New York. Madelyne returned to piloting full-time, the specter of the plane crash of years ago now all but gone, and Scott attempted to return to being Cyclops, leader of the X-Men, full time. However, the X-Men already had a leader, Storm, who had been elected in his absence, and contnued to lead even despite the loss of her atmokinetic powers. When Madelyne discovered she was pregnant during an adventure with Alpha Flight (during which she had temporarily gained magical healing powers and taken the identity of Anodyne), the conflict between Scott's duties as Cyclops and his duties as a husband and father intensified.

Eventually, Madelyne gave birth to a son, Nathan Christopher Charles Summers. Unfortunately, the childbirth was difficult, as the X-Men were on a mission, and she was alone at the Institute. While she managed to give birth safely, tensions between her and Scott ran high when he returned, as well as tensions between Scott and the X-Men. Finally, Storm challenged Cyclops to a duel for leadership, one that she won handily, even despite her lack of powers at the time. With the choice clearly made for him, Cyclops and Madelyne left the institute and returned to Anchorage, where Madelyne took up her job with Pole Star again, and Scott attempted to be a stay-at-home father.

Despite returning to the place where they had fallen in love, Scott and Madelyne found themselves at loose ends. They still loved each other with everything they had, but Scott's sense of responsibility would never let him completely retire from being Cyclops. There would always be a pull to return to that life.

Additionally, there seemed to be a growing gulf between them. Despite his assurances that he knew Madelyne was not Jean, and that he loved her for herself, Scott seemed to continually be pining for his first love on some level, sometimes thinking about Jean so strongly Madelyne almost thought she could hear it.

What happened next would come as no surprise to either of them, but it would change both their lives forever regardless.

Phoenix Rising

Barely eighteen months after leaving the X-Men, Scott received a phone call from an unknown number. When he picked up, Madelyne knew her marriage was over, because the voice on the other end of the phone was a perfect match for her own. Jean Grey had somehow, miracuously, returned from the dead after three years.

Scott Summers rushed out the door and to the airport without so much as a backward glance at his wife, his infant son, or the life he had made with them. There had been no discussion, no ultimatums, not even an explanation. Scott was there when the phone rang, and within three minutes, he'd packed everything he owned and dashed back to New York. It was like he'd never lived in Anchorage at all, except for the gaping hole in Madelyne's heart, and the child he'd left behind for her to raise alone.

Ambush at SFO

Despite the sudden, wrenching loss of her husband, Madelyne had to persevere. Colton Ridge was still letting her and Nathan live in his resort free of charge, but they still needed to eat, so she still had to fly. Whenever he was available, Colton's son Toby offered to babysit while Madelyne was away, and she tried to keep her charters short, so that her son didn't feel abandoned by both his parents.

Eventually, though, a job came that Madelyne couldn't refuse. An unknown client was paying an exorbitant amount of money to Pole Star to secure a cargo flight from Anchorage to San Francisco. Their only stipulation was that Madelyne Pryor had to be the pilot. They were even willing to pay her a personal gratuity upon arrival, one that would set her and her son up for life.

Ordinarily, Madelyne would have been suspicious. Pole Star was a local Alaskan flight company, and rarely made flights any farther than western Canada. Furthermore, she had stayed well clear of the City by the Bay ever since that disastrous plane crash so long ago. But in her bereaved, isolated state, Madelyne was desperate to prove that she didn't need Scott to make her way in the world. As this flight was far longer than her usual sojourns, Madelyne elected to bring Nathan along rather than leave him with Toby. She never suspected that her son was the true cargo the client was after.

Upon landing at SFO International Airport, Madelyne was attacked by the Marauders, a squad of mutant assassins. In the confusion, she was separated from Nathan, who seemed to disappear into thin air. When she realized he was gone, Madelyne became enraged. While it's unknown what exactly happened, news stations reported a massive explosion, almost identical to the one that had claimed Flight 137 years before, with the same firebird image at the center.

Madelyne herself had no idea what had happened, only that she blacked out. She came to at San Francisco General Hospital, having been written off as a comatose Jane Doe. Madelyne recieved another brutal shock then; not only had her son been taken from her, but all records of her history had been erased, from her birth certificate to her marriage license. Even her wedding ring was gone from her finger.

With nowhere else to turn, she called the Xavier Institute, and the X-Men flew across the country as quickly as they could. Cyclops may have abandoned her, but his friends did not...and neither did his brother Alex, who had recently joined the team under the name of Havok. Thus, when the Marauders attacked the hospital with the intent to finish the job of murdering her, Madelyne was no longer alone, but now had allies in the form of the X-Men.

Genosha and the Fall to Power

Now on the run, with her history erased, a contract on her life, and no idea where her son was, Madelyne began to despair. Seeing no hope in her future, she stood atop the Golden Gate Bridge and, for a dark moment, considered jumping off. Although Havok talked her off the ledge, they were surprised by a squad of Genoshan Magistrates who, mistaking Madelyne for a refugee from their country, abducted her via an enslaved mutant teleporter named Pipeline.

Madelyne endured all manner of indignities at the hands of the Genoshans; despite not having any powers, her DNA read unclearly as to whether she was mutant or human, so the "Genegineers" attempted to brainwash her into a mutate slave. Somewhere during the process, in a flash of telepathic insight, Madelyne learned that Jean Grey was alive. She passed out, as much from the revelation as from the privations she was enduring, and had a nightmare...

She was an angeic being, soaring high above the world with her baby son in her arms. She landed in what she thought was her husband's embrace...only to find first her wings, then her son, torn violently away from her by Scott, the man she loved, and given to a faceless, formless mannequin, until Jean Grey stood before him whole and intact and Madelyne herself was abandoned, everything taken from her...a nothing being in a nowhere place.

The world grew hot then - burning like the sun, like the flames of the plane crash she'd walked away from. it melted the figure like wax, revealing Madelyne beneath, reforged, whole again, but harder, her drive for justice, for vengeance burning within her. It was then, after she had pulled herself out of hell, that she was approached with an offer too horrific to contemplate and too delicious to pass up.

In the real world, the X-Men came to her rescue, but they were too late; by the time they reached Genosha, the mutant processing facility where Madelyne had been taken had been destroyed, everyone there - Genegineers, technicians, mutate slaves - slaughtered to a one, in horrific ways none of the team were willing to contemplate. Only Madelyne remained, alone, seemingly terrified. Refusing to speak about what had happened, she returned with the X-Men to San Francisco.

Sinister Strikes A Match

As time went on, and she wound up in deadly situation after deadly situation, Madelyne found something growing deep inside her - a power unlike any she'd experienced before, one different from, and yet identical to, the mysterious energy that had saved her at SFO and in Genosha. As she practiced with it in secret, using it to surreptitiously save the X-Men's lives on multiple occasions. The team thought it odd that she remained suspiciously silent on a number of things - how she had survived either trial, her reaction to learning that Jean Grey was alive and on a team with Cyclops, and perhaps most troublingly, the fate of her son. However, assuming that these were all simply extremely sensitive subjects, they did not press her, instead treating her like a valued member of the team, especially as she became their computer expert, training herself on how to use their extremely advanced technology seemingly overnight.

Their lack of curiosity proved their downfall.

Eventually, Madelyne teleported to Nebraska, under her own power, to the surprise of her supposed teammates. There, she confronted a man named Mister Sinister, who claimed to be her father...of a sort. Madelyne, Sinister claimed, was a close, force-grown to adulthood by a sample of Jean Grey's cells and brought to life by some powerful, unknown force. This added revelation broke Madelyne's spirit even further...her husband, her memories, her friends, her very life was a lie, all in the service of making a facsimile of the very woman Scott had abandoned her to be with. It would have been a great deal for anyone to take in. For Madelyne, it was the final straw.

Igniting the Inferno

Lashing out with all her newfound power, Madelyne fought Sinister to a standstill. The only reason she didn't kill him then and there was because her servant, the demon N'Astirh, had found the son she had so desperately been seeking...only now it was hatred and spite, not love, that drove her. With a cruel smile and one final curse at Sinister, Madelyne teleported herself and baby Nathan from Nebraska to New York CIty.

There, she completely transformed, not only herself, but the entire city, unleasing a torrent of magic and demons from the dimension of Limbo in an "Inferno" that drove the city mad. Objects came to life and attacked people, people turned on each other and became demonic creatures, and everyone's worst instincts and impulses were brought to the forefront, warping most of the city into an irrecognizable Hellscape...and at its center, Madelyne, the Goblyn Queen, now a powerful sorceress, telepath and telekinetic, and the absolute monarch of this chaotic nightmare version of New York.

The only way to make this permanent, Madelyne knew, was to sacrifice her son. The only thing in the world that truly belonged to her, the one thing Scott Summers could never bear to lose, She placed him on the altar, wielding the sacrificial knife, and drove the blade downward with a victorious laugh...

...Right into Scott Summers' heart, her husband having leapt into the way of her blade to protect their son.

Sputtering Flames

Madelyne was aghast at what had transpired. Cyclops' act of self-sacrifice, an act of atonement rather than the slaughter of an innocent, broke the spell over the city of New York, undoing everything that had happened and dragging all the demon hordes back to Limbo. Madelyne, now part demon herself, went with them, willingly sealing herself in the otherdimensional realm forever rather than live on the same world as the son she'd tried to murder and the woman she was made from, whom she hated with all her heart.

Madelyne Pryor never saw her home dimension again.

Scourge of Limbo

Madelyne has spent years since that night traversing Limbo. She avoids direct contact with Belasco or Magik, having no interest in the politics and power struggles of Limbo itself. Occasionally, she finds herself in a parallel Earth, as Limbo crosses all places, times, and dimensions. When she is there, she will almost always attempt to find and murder that world's Cyclops, an act of petty vengeance against the man who took everything from her, even though he himself is long dead at her hand.

She has not seen her son in years, so she has no way of knowing that her son, Nathan Christopher Charles Summers, grew up to become Cable, the time-travelling super-soldier who is himself a leader of the Lost.

Powers

Madelyne is a clone of Jean Grey, infused with a portion of the Phoenix Force, and then trained in dark magic by the demons of Limbo. As such, she has a wide array of powers.

Empathy: The first power of Madelyne's to manifest, the ability to sense the emotional states of those around her. In a similar manner to Jean Grey's telepathy, this occured during a period of heightened emotional stress; during her last fight with Scott Summers before he walked out of her life, Madelyne could sense his love for Jean Grey, and how his feelings for her paled in comparison. Eventually, she gained the ability to influence the emotions of others as well.

Telekinesis: When she became separated from her son in the Marauders' SFO ambush, Madelyne's power of telekinesis manifested violently. While she can lift and move objects like any telekinetic, her specialty seems to be the deconstruction and reconstruction of matter on the molecular level; she can quickly change her clothes into any style she wishes, shape solid matter ike wood, metal, or stone as if it were clay, and (as the SFO ambush proved) violently agitate matter with her telekinesis, causing devastating explosions with only the power of her mind.

Telepathy: Madelyne Pryor possesses one of the strongest telepathic minds in the world, comparable to her genetic template, Jean Grey. She can read minds, astrally project her consciousness outside her body, communicate across vast distances with words or images, link the minds of others through her own as a kind of "psychic switchboard", and influence the minds of others in various ways. Madelyne can also attack people's minds with "psi-bolts", which can stun, disorient, paralyze, cause intense pain, and even kill.

Unlike Jean Grey, who was trained by Professor Charles Xavier and thus does not injure or kill telepathically without reason, Madelyne revels in the flaying and destruction of the minds of others, likely due to the psychological trauma she herself has endured.

While telepathy is common in the Joint Venture Universe, each telepath takes a different approach to the use of their powers, practicing different specializations and excelling in different things. In addition to her devastating psychic attacks, Madelyne in particular possesses a kind of "dream-vision" that lets her experience events through a lens of surreal, dreamlike imagery, either gleaning valuable knowledge or influencing events, consciously or subconsciously, whie in a trance-like state. Thanks to the demonic influences of Limbo, these often take the form of nightmares.

Demon Sorcery: Due to making a deal with the demons N'astirh and S'ym at her lowest point, Madelyne has access to the demonic magics of the otherworldly dimension known as Limbo, adding to her already-impressive repertoire of powers with a range of dark and destructive spells, including:

  • Pyrokinesis
  • Teleportation
  • Flight
  • Corruption
  • Illusions
  • Transmutation
  • Demonic Summoning & Mastery
  • Blood Magic
  • Time Magic
  • Gateways
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