- 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.
- -- Karma src
Xi'an Coy Manh is the daughter of a colonel in the Vietnamese army. Xi'an and her twin brother, Tran Coy Manh, were mutants, with the power to take mental possession of the minds of others. While still a child, Xi'an saw an enemy soldier threaten Tran. Not realizing she had a superhuman power, Xi'an 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, Xi'an was frightened of her ability. Xi'an kept their powers secret, but Tran told their uncle, Nguyen Ngoc Coy, a general in the Vietnamese army.
General Coy later arranged for Xi'an'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. Xi'an'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. Xi'an, her younger brother, Leong Coy Manh, and her younger sister, Nga Coy Manh, 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 Xi'an to use her powers in his service, she refused. Xi'an sought help from a Catholic priest, Father Michael Bowen, whom she had known in Vietnam. With Father Bowen's aid, Xi'an secured employment and an apartment and enrolled her younger siblings in school.
At that time, General Coy kidnapped Leong and Nga, in an effort to blackmail Xi'an into working for him. Desperate, Xi'an 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 Xi'an, Spider-Man fought three members of the Fantastic Four, who were present at a party Coy was hosting, unaware that he was a criminal. Xi'an was forced to release Spider-Man's mind without having freed the children, but Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four located Xi'an 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, Xi'an was forced to kill her brother, by absorbing his life essence into herself. Xi'an was then reunited with Leong and Nga.
Shortly thereafter, Xi'an, 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.
Xavier and Dani Moonstar (Mirage) was kidnapped by Silver Samurai and Viper, at which time Xi'an agreed to one year’s service to her uncle in exchange for their whereabouts and disappeared in an explosion.
Karma was thought to be missing or dead for a brief period, but had fallen under the control of the Shadow King. Shadow King possessed Shan’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 Shan, 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 of the Shadow King and Karma fought a psychic battle, which she won, forcing the Shadow King to flee back to the Astral Plane.
Later, Amora the Enchantress kidnapped the New Mutants to Asgard. While attempting to escape, Magik used her teleportation discs and 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.
After their adventure in Asgard, the New Mutants found themselves under the guidance of a new teacher, Magneto, and Xi'an returned to her position as school secretary.
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.
During the massacre of the Morlocks by the Marauders, the New Mutants were charged with aiding the wounded. Later, Shan asked Illyana Rasputin to teleport her to check on her younger brother and sister, only to discover they disappeared. A bomb rigged to their apartment’s light switch destroyed all possible clues to their whereabouts.
At a Hellfire Club event, Xi'an possessed Tessa to desperately search for her siblings in the Hellfire Club's database. Xi'an found no information. After being caught by Sebastian Shaw, the Black King, Xi'an 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, Xi'an 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.
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, Xi'an encountered Patch, the X-Man Wolverine in disguise. Patch was attempting to stop General Coy from over-throwing the current crimelord of Madripoor, Tyger Tiger, and Xi'an even assisted him, by taking control of Roughbouse and Bloodsport for Patch and Tyger to escape a beating. While attempting to rescue Lindsay McCabe, Tyger Tiger and Jessica Drew, Xi'an ran into Patch again and assisted in the down-fall 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 worked together, to stop a power vacuum and warzone 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 Xi'an needed him to help her find her missing brother and sister. Xi'an accompanied Patch to the airport to witness the arrival of Joe Fixit, who Patch smelled right away and recognized as the Hulk.
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.
Karma dyed her hair pink had some body piercing done. She met most of her former New Mutant teammates who were now members of X-Force at the Burning Man festival. She was accompanied by two lesbian friends.
While studying and working at Chicago University as a librarian, Xi'an crossed paths with Shadowcat and helped her fight the Purity and Sentinel menaces. Shortly after Karma's graduation, Moonstar arrived in an attempt to recruit David Alleyne for the Xavier Institute. Xi'an 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 reciprocated attraction to Kitty Pryde. At the school, Karma briefly reunited with the original New Mutants to battle Donald Pierce.
Xi'an 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).
Karma joined the rest of the X-Men in San Francisco at the new headquarters. She was at a weak state and was unable to gain proper control over her powers.
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, then, 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, Xi'an 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 Xi'an used her Soulsword and killed one of the personalities, saved Xi'an. 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.
After the return of the mutant messiah, Hope Summers, and Cable to the mainstream timeline, 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. She was badly injured, and her left leg had to later be amputated. After Bastion's forces were prevented from carrying out the mutant genocide that he planned, Madison Jefferies used his mutant abilities to create a new bionic leg for Xi'an. 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 Xi'an showed Face what Project Purgatory had done to him and he freed Illyana and Xi'an. The two of them, with Pixie, returned to Utopia, where Legion was being held and Illyana plunged her Soulsword into Xi'an's chest and she ended-up in Legion's mind. There, Shan 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.
After the schism in the X-Men between Cyclops and Wolverine, Xi'an chose to go back to Westchester with Wolverine, thinking that the school was the best place for her and Face to be. She's currently a Junior Staff Member at the school.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Xi'an is a mutant.
Mind Possession: The psionic ability project a psionic energy surge that overwhelms her victims' consciousness while placing her mind in command, allowing her to alter their perceptions and memories, command entranced opponents to divulge information, or operate their bodies as if they were an extension of her own. She can control her subject's actions and experience 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. 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. When Karma first takes possession of someone, she can only move her subject's body awkwardly until she acclimates herself to her new host.
- Sensory Link: Karma may establish a partial possession and gain the feeling’s and sensations of the target.
Psychic Shield: Generates a psychic shield that disrupts incoming psi-signatures, protecting her from all manner of psychic assaults.
|Power Grid |
Strength levelKarma possesses the normal human strength of a woman of her age, height, and build who engages in moderate regular exercise.
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.
- Post - Messiah Complex Karma was believed to be part of the new incarnation of The Brotherhood along with the other Original New Mutants, but this has not been confirmed.
- Karma is a known lesbian. Although her sexual preference had been mentioned before, she was never explicitly shown with another woman until Uncanny X-Men #508.
- Appearances of Xi'an Coy Manh (Earth-616)
- Images featuring Xi'an Coy Manh (Earth-616)
- Quotations by or about Xi'an Coy Manh (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Xi'an Coy Manh (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Xi'an Coy Manh (Earth-616)
- Characters killed by Karma
- Marvel Directory
- UncannyXmen.net, Spotlight feature on Karma
- Gay League Profile
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