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Quote1 I assess. I plan. I act. Hope is for X-Men. I -- am SAGE! Quote2
-- Sage src
 

Little is known of the life of the woman known as Sage except that she had lived in a small village in the Balkan region of Europe whilst still a young girl.[1]

Just prior to her teenage years, Sage found herself caught up in the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. She was forced to learn to fight to survive encounters with both soldiers and local bandits, and took weapons and equipment from the bodies of fallen combatants wherever she finds them. One day, Sage felt herself compelled to enter a cave in the nearby Hindu Kush mountain range. There, she found the powerful telepathic mutant Charles Xavier, his legs crushed by a "demon". Initially wary of him, Sage rescued the critically injured mutant but soon after they encountered a United Nations aid convoy being attacked by bandits. Using her rifle, she picked-off the attackers from her hill-side vantage point until they fled. Down at the site of the attack, she briefly stood over the body of a female aid worker she was too late to save. Then, sensing she was about to be attacked from behind, she spun and shot one of the convoy's guards. Despite begging for his life, she killed him.[2]

Hellfire Club

Years later, Xavier recruited Sage at the same time that he formed his original team of teenage mutant students he called the X-Men. Xavier kept Sage's presence at his mansion a secret as he intended to utilize her own mutant talents as a spy in his fight for peaceful coexistence between mutants and humans. Sage's mission was to infiltrate the organization for the rich and powerful known as the Hellfire Club and to gain the trust of Sebastian Shaw, then Black Bishop of the New York branch of the Hellfire Club.[3]

For years, Sage acted as Shaw's familiar, advising and counseling him in both his legitimate and illegal business practices, all the while gathering information for Xavier. Shaw found Sage's ability to function as a living computer invaluable and kept her in his employ for many years, even during the time he was deposed as leader of the Club.

Early in Sage’s time with the Club, its renegade White Bishop, Donald Pierce, attempted a coup of the Club's leadership. Pierce kidnapped Sage, believing that without her Shaw's position could more easily be compromised. She was rescued by Xavier and his team of New Mutants and, upon her return to the Club, Pierce was expelled.[4]

Later, Sage ran afoul of one of the Club’s regular and valued patrons, a reclusive billionaire named Elias Bogan. Shaw had made a wager with Bogan during a game of cards whereupon if Shaw lost, Bogan would win the Club's then-White Queen, the telepathic mutant Emma Frost. Bogan had never lost a game before, but with Sage’s help Shaw won the bet.[5]

Bogan honored the wager, but knew who was truly responsible for his defeat and exacted his revenge on Sage, capturing her and branding her face with facial tattoos. Rescued by the X-Man Storm[5], Sage soon affiliated herself with the X-Men, acting as part of their support crew. In order to shield herself from detection by Bogan, Sage consciously shut down her telepathic abilities, relying solely on her computer-like mind to assist her new teammates.

When Senator Robert Kelly announced his intention to run for the Presidency on an anti-mutant platform, Sage met with him to persuade him otherwise by convincing him that his actions were no different to those of the mutant terrorist Magneto.[6] Kelly was not so easily swayed.[7]

X-Men

Storm soon recruited her into a splinter group of X-Treme X-Men who set out to search for the diaries of the blind mutant seer named Destiny that predicted the future of mutantkind.[8] On the new team's first mission, Sage was instrumental in saving the life of her teammate the Beast after an encounter with the self-professed enhanced human named Vargas. Sage used a heretofore-unseen ability to advance the Beast's evolution to its next stage, healing him of his injuries and activating his latent Secondary Mutation.[9]

Eventually learning of Sage's deception, Shaw allied himself with Lady Mastermind, the daughter of former Hellfire Club member Mastermind (Jason Wyngarde), to exact revenge on his former assistant. Lady Mastermind trapped Sage in a convincing illusion, making her believe that she was once again Shaw's assistant back in the Hellfire Club. Sage was freed thanks to the efforts of Heather Cameron, an Australian mutant with the ability to manifest various super-human powers depending on what the current situation called for, and the X-Men defeated Shaw once more.[1]

In response to an invasion from a parallel universe taking place in Madripoor, Sage catalyzed the latent mutant powers of Heather’s brother Davis, who subsequently joined the X-Treme X-Men as Slipstream[10]. In order to better combat the invaders, Rogue soon demanded Sage's assistance in enhancing her mutant ability to grant her control over the manifestation of the powers and abilities she has absorbed over the years.[11]. Sage's infiltration of the invaders' data network was instrumental in rescuing Storm from the invader's commander, Khan.[12]

During the initial invasion attack, Viper nearly paralyzed Storm so she could attack captured prisoners. After the invasion was defeated, Sage humiliated Viper and threatened her life if she ever crossed them again.[13]

Later, the X-Treme team encountered Elias Bogan once more. After a murder at his Alaskan estate, Sage and Bishop took it upon themselves to investigate.[14] A young mutant named Jeffrey Garrett was wanted for questioning after Bogan had his family killed and, in retaliation, he teleported Bogan's associates onto the nearby glacier where they froze to death. Garrett fled to the Xavier Institute where he came under the protection of Frost. However, Bogan had secretly possessed the young boy and when Frost scanned his mind, Bogan took possession of her.[15] Sage and Bishop followed the trail to the mansion where Bogan captured them, but the timely arrival of Storm allowed them to escape and defeat the villain.[16]

Though Sage and Bishop had departed the Institute on poor terms, they still returned to investigate the murder of Emma Frost.[17]

Bogan soon returned to plague the X-Treme X-Men when he captured and mentally enslaved Bishop, hoping to use him as a weapon against his teammates. Sage and Bishop had actually planned Bishop's capture, and the assault Sage planned on Bogan's L.A. residence culminated with the rescue of Bogan's enslaved telepath, Rachel Summers. Before departing L.A., Sage restored Gambit's mutant ability.[2]

Sage then accompanied her teammates back to New York to assist in the rebuilding of the mansion following an attack by Magneto, after which they rejoined the core X-Men team. Sage remained with Storm's team, which were now called the X.S.E. (X-Treme Sanctions Executive), who operated as international government-approved team, with full authority on mutant situations around the globe. Sage operated a computer system that monitored the team's activities and analyzed relevant data.[18]

That Christmas, Sage used an image transducer to trick Gambit into kissing her, once again using his emotions as a catalyst to heal his blindness.[19]

When the X-Men were attacked by The Fury, it infected Sage with nannites through the glasses she used to keep in contact with her teammates. Taken over by the Fury, Sage proved a formidable threat to her fellow X-Men until they were able to damage the connection established through the glasses, allowing Sage to free herself from the mind control.[20] Sage formulated a plan to use the team's powers to help Rachel Summers create a miniature black hole effect, which finally defeated the Fury.[21]

After the Fury's defeat, Viper captured X.S.E. to exact revenge on the team, especially Sage, by trapping them in one of Arcade's Murderworlds.[22] Viper appeared to kill Sage, but it was soon seen that Wolverine had used an image transducer to take Sage's place.[23]

Meanwhile, Sage learned that Sebastian Shaw was reforming the Hellfire Club with the help of Viper and Courtney Ross as White Queen. She accepted Shaw's invitation to return[24], causing her former teammates to pursue. When they finally found her and Shaw, they discovered that Roberto da Costa was the new Black King of the Hellfire Club. Before X.S.E. could decide on a position to take in these events, Shaw, Storm, Sage and Roberto were captured by Donald Pierce.[25]

After Pierce was defeated, Sage confirmed to Shaw that she knew the attack was likely. Her betrayal of Shaw left da Costa as Lord Imperial of the Hellfire club. Sage left the X-Men to stay and keep an eye on Sunspot to make sure he was not corrupted by power, as Sebastian had been.[26]

Six months before M-Day, the White Queen ("Courtney Ross") and Viper were in England discussing their plans to take control of the devastated island of Genosha. Despite Courtney's fiery insistence that she wasn't afraid of potential meddling from Sage, she still ordered Viper not to send any electronic communications, evading Sage's attention.[27]

The day after M-Day, Sage compiled all the information available to her. Expanding on Emma Frost's initial findings, Sage was the first to say that humanity's Mutant potential had been erased.[28]

New Excalibur

Sage diana fox

Sage as "Diana Fox" a.k.a. Britannia.

Some time later, Sage had moved to England, abandoning her mentorship of Roberto. Sage and Courtney soon arrived at the hospital where the X-Men had come under attack. By offering her assistance, Courtney seemed to be using her connection with Sage to improve her standing in the eyes of Captain Britain.[29]

Sage quickly took operational command of the pursuit of the perpetrators, black-clad versions of the original X-Men. With the threat neutralized, Pete Wisdom offered asylum to all present. Excalibur was once again formed, with Sage alongside Dazzler, then-reformed Juggernaut and former Exile Nocturne.[30]

She helped them on various missions such as battling the Shadow King[31] and returning to ancient Camelot to prevent it from being prematurely destroyed.[32] Sage also played a key role in Nocture's recovery from a debilitating stroke.[33]

In order to learn more about a new foe, Albion, and thwart his attempt to conquer Britain, Sage created the new cover identity and persona of Diana Fox. This persona appeared to be fully devoted to Albion and his goals. Despite the concerns of Pete Wisdom, her infiltration was a success and she quickly gained seniority among Albion's Shadow Captains, as "Britannia", in doing so making a rival of Lionheart. Sage was given a special suit as a member of Albion's army, which gave her flight and super-human physical strength. After touching Albion's technology-disabling artifact, only her manufactured personality, Diana Fox, was conscious. Diana, fully committed to Albion, slew two of Excalibur's erstwhile allies in Shadow-X, Dark Cyclops and Dark Beast. Finally, a violent confrontation with her teammates in Excalibur helped Sage's original personality reassert itself. Together with Excalibur, Shadow-X, and Lionheart, Sage defeated Albion and his Shadow Captains.[34]

New Exiles

Immediately after the defeat of the Shadow Captains, a party was held in honor of Excalibur. While the team enjoyed the party, Sage felt guilt for her actions. The party was suddenly crashed by Psylocke and an alternate universe Thunderbird, members of the dimension-hopping Exiles team.[35] They were then attacked by Rouge-Mort and drawn into a battle to save the multiverse from Merlyn and Sage's old foe The Fury. Joining forces with the rest of the Exiles, Roma and the Captain Britain Corps, the team defeated Merlyn, but not before he managed to kill Roma. In her final moments, Roma managed to transfer all of her knowledge about the multiverse into Sage's mind by surprise. Sage was overwhelmed and she feared for her sanity. Fearful of what would happen if someone on Earth ever gained the knowledge in her mind, Sage joined the Exiles.[36]

The knowledge imparted to her by Roma caused her to suffer from hallucinations, as well as a re-emergence of the Diana Fox persona, attempting to take control of her again.[37] Sage fought these, staying in the Panoptichron rather than accompanying the other Exiles on missions. After she attempted to suppress the Diana Fox personality, and later fought and defeated it, the Diana Fox personality ultimately sacrificed itself to save Sage when she was almost killed by Merlyn. Sage then saved the multiverse by merging with the Crystal Palace, becoming one with the Exiles team's computer base.[38]

While merged with the Crystal Palace, Sage ran holographic simulations to train Psylocke to be able to defeat Slaymaster.[39]

Long term exposure to the Panoptichron was later shown to be extremely hazardous. Like Sage, The rest of the exiles were absorbed into its crystal structure, and all entered a state of suspended animation.[40]

Multiversal X-Men

Sage revived from this state, without explanation. Referred to as "Ambassador Sage", she had assumed a leadership position in the S.W.O.R.D. of an alternate reality in which sentient robots, led by Prime Minister Danger, had exterminated the human population. Sage observed her old teammate Dazzler and an alternate reality Wolverine called Howlett attempting to rescue Kurt Waggoner from the robots, and rescued them in a space-faring robot mech stolen from S.W.O.R.D.[41]

With her diplomatic role no longer viable, Sage joined Dazzler's group of multiverse-hopping X-Men. She continued to pilot the stolen space-ship as they hunted down. At Dazzler's request, Sage also lent the team her capabilities as a telepath.[42] When the sorcerer Lord Xavier possessed the team's own "Disembodied Xavier Head" and resurrected "Nazi Xavier", he then proceeded to feed a multidimensional rift that contributed to the Exterminators to escaping their prison.[43]

As the team attempted to deal with this threat they were joined by teams from other realities, and Sage and Dazzler were reunited with some of their former colleagues, including Wolverine and Gambit. Sage was teleported back to her home reality, where she interfaced with the "black box" of the Dreaming Celestial, uncovering the Exterminators' lost history. In doing so, she also ascertained that the only way to defeat them was once again to imprison them within a single universe.[44] When this was accomplished, Sage was left in her home reality with her fellow X-Men.[45]

Power Grid [71]
Intelligence*
Strength*
 2
Speed*
 2
Durability*
 2
Energy Projection
Fighting Skills
* Heightened intelligence, strength, and durability when fused with Crystal Palace; Heightened speed as hologram

Powers

Computer Mind: Sage is a mutant with astonishingly advanced intellectual capabilities forged from a mind that works in the same way as a supercomputer would.

  • Photographic Memory: Sage perfectly remembers everything she experiences. She can instantaneously retrieve every memory and any information she has perceived.[46]
  • Multitasking: Sage is able to perform multiple tasks at once by allocating a partition of her brain to each task. For example, Sage can use her mind to replay a movie she had watched previously, play a game of internet chess, and focus on battling an opponent without any one task distracting her from another.[46]
  • Kinetic Memory: Sage can perfectly execute any skill she has had a single lesson in without the need for practice.[46]
  • Self Mastery: Sage has complete control over her body.[47] She once consciously used her immune system to purge herself of mind-controlling nannites.[20]


Biokinesis:

  • Genetic Sight: Sage can perceive the DNA in cells, living or dead, within close range. Combined with her innate analytical capabiities, this allows her to determine familial relationships between people[14] and to understand a person's current and potential abilities.[10][48]
  • Jump-start: After analyzing the DNA of another mutant, Sage is able to unleash latent mutant powers or enhance existing mutant powers. The process is irreversible and can often result in unpredictable side-effects.[9][10][11] She can also restore mutant abilities lost due to injury.[49]


Telepathy: Trained by Xavier himself, Sage learned a great degree of telepathic talents that include detecting minds, mind-reading, projecting thoughts, astral projection, casting realistic mental illusions and a level of psionic defense unique to her.

  • Firewall: Sage is capable of creating her own unique psionic protection against outside mental influence. By erecting a psionic "firewall" Sage is able effectively protect herself from direct mental attacks, probes and detection of the mental variety while creating a defensive force that reflects any offensive mental action back at her attacker.[9] The wall is effective in both directions, nearly eliminating her own psionic abilities while active.[5]


Abilities

  • Gifted Intelligence: While Sage she has displayed remarkable technical aptitude, all she has built can be considered derivatives of existing works. Examples include miniaturizing the advanced technology contained within her cybernetic sunglasses, familiarity with repairing components of the X-Men's Blackbird[50], improvement upon an image transducer[18] and creation an autonomous support artificial intelligence.[51] Despite her mutation making her one of the smartest people on the planet, she does not display the creativity and intuition associated with the word "genius".[52]
    • Peerless Hacker: Sage has access to countless digital records, public and private. She claimed she had access to any data network on the planet.[53] Her more impressive feats include gaining full access to the surveillance systems of a multiversal alien invasion force[54] and retrieving information from the "black box" of a deceased Celestial.[44]
    • Hyperpolyglot: Sage is fluent in over 123 different languages.[55]
  • Indomitable Will: Sage was born with an indomitable will. This has allowed her to resist being controlled by nannites[20][56], usurp possession[33][57] and prevent telepaths from reading or influencing her mind.
  • Master Martial Artist: Sage is skilled in the martial arts, and is a formidable hand-to-hand combatant[5] due to her having complete conscious control over her own body.[47]
  • Weapons Expert: Sage is also self-taught in a wide range of firearms, which she can use with considerable skill and accuracy.
  • Interrogator: Sage's cold demeanour and ability to detect lies through body language has proven so intimidating that thugs and soldiers give up information quickly.[58]




Equipment

Cybernetic Sunglasses: Sage wears a pair of custom-built cyber shades that function as a wireless broadband computer network among like models.[3] The shades provide an audio/video feed via an in-built computer system outfitted with miniaturized conventional microphones and cameras, and can also project a three-dimensional image into the visual field of the wearer that can be expanded to allow others to see with whom the wearer is communicating or information they are reviewing.[5] The shades provide input by means of an augmented reality iconographic keyboard, and have an alternate visual input system for when a user’s hands are otherwise occupied. The shades can be interfaced with any external data network whether terrestrial or alien in origin.[54] The shades also possess various sensors for detecting telepathic resonance patterns[15], tracking energy trails[14], and analyzing electronic circuitry, among others.

Weapons

Sage wields knives and a pair of handguns.

  • At an unspecified time in her life, Sage was sold to a harem, but escaped.[47]
  • Many telepaths demonstrate variants of her enhanced intelligence[59], and rapid information absorption[60][61]. It could be concluded that her computer-like mind is derived from her telepathy.
  • While her rogue, manufactured personality, Diana Fox, was attempting to take over Sage's mind, Sage lost her detached emotional state[62], lost control of her telepathy[63][64], demonstrated self-propelled flight[65] and, when Diana briefly took control, her hair and eyes changed colour and she demonstrated a feat of super-strength.[66] This incident could suggest Sage's underlying powers are the combined telepathy/telekinesis suite seen in many other mutants, but maintaining her computer-mind state reduces the potential of her telekinesis to sensing and manipulating microscopic molecules.
  • Sage has a pressure point on her body that allows her to reboot her mind like a computer.[17]
  • There is often a misconception that Sage is able to control computers with her mind (cyberpathy/technopathy), or that she is a cyborg. Neither is the case. Sage must interact with computers in a normal fashion, or through her augmented-reality glasses. Though she possesses computer or machine-like attributes, these abilities are all functions of her mutant powers.[3][1] The term "cyberpathy" was used to refer to the mental processing abilities and advanced over control her bodily functions rather than the ability to mentally control computers.[53] Sage is fully human (mutant) without any cybernetic enhancements.
  • Xavier encountered Sage around the same time he located Beast.[9] In some accounts he found Sage first followed by Magneto, Amelia Voght and Storm while travelling through Asia and Africa.
  • Sage and Xavier met a young Sebastian Shaw while in Afghanistan, who was working with the relief efforts before Xavier would assign her to spy on him and the Hellfire Club.[67] It would be Shaw who would give Sage the moniker "Tessa".[68] It is not known if Tessa is a derivative of her actual name.
  • Karma once possessed Tessa to search the Hellfire Club's computers for her missing family.[69] Subsequent revelations about Sage's abilities and allegiances suggest she may have allowed this to occur.
  • Tessa was given the codename Sage by Storm who recruited her.[8]
  • Apart from the scars on her face, she has a faded scar with a similar pattern around her upper left arm.[9]
  • The licence plate on Sage's car was in binary: 0010110.[70]
  • Sage has appeared in the X-Men spin-off show 'The Gifted' as a member of the Mutant Underground.

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 X-Treme X-Men #9
  2. 2.0 2.1 X-Treme X-Men #44
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 X-Treme X-Men #7
  4. Marvel Graphic Novel #4
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 X-Treme X-Men #41
  6. X-Men Vol 2 #102
  7. X-Men Vol 2 #103
  8. 8.0 8.1 X-Men Vol 2 #109
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 X-Treme X-Men #3
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 X-Treme X-Men #10
  11. 11.0 11.1 X-Treme X-Men #13
  12. X-Treme X-Men #16
  13. X-Treme X-Men #17
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 X-Treme X-Men #20
  15. 15.0 15.1 X-Treme X-Men #21
  16. X-Treme X-Men #23
  17. 17.0 17.1 New X-Men #140
  18. 18.0 18.1 Uncanny X-Men #444
  19. X-Men Vol 2 #165
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Uncanny X-Men #446
  21. Uncanny X-Men #447
  22. Uncanny X-Men #448
  23. Uncanny X-Men #449
  24. Uncanny X-Men #451
  25. Uncanny X-Men #453
  26. Uncanny X-Men #454
  27. Excalibur Vol 3 #11
  28. House of M The Day After #1
  29. New Excalibur #2-3
  30. New Excalibur #3-5
  31. New Excalibur #6
  32. New Excalibur #12
  33. 33.0 33.1 New Excalibur #17
  34. New Excalibur #20-24
  35. X-Men: Die by the Sword #1
  36. X-Men: Die by the Sword #5
  37. New Exiles #1
  38. New Exiles #18
  39. X-Men: Sword of the Braddocks #1
  40. Exiles Vol 2 #6
  41. X-Treme X-Men Vol 2 #7
  42. X-Treme X-Men Vol 2 #7.1
  43. X-Treme X-Men Vol 2 #12
  44. 44.0 44.1 Astonishing X-Men Vol 3 #61
  45. X-Termination #2
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 X-Men Unlimited Vol 2 #1
  47. 47.0 47.1 47.2 X-Treme X-Men #14
  48. X-Treme X-Men #33
  49. X-Treme X-Men #46
  50. X-Treme X-Men: Savage Land #3
  51. Uncanny X-Men #460
  52. Wikipedia article on "Genius"
  53. 53.0 53.1 X-Treme X-Men #40
  54. 54.0 54.1 X-Treme X-Men #12
  55. New Excalibur #14
  56. X-Treme X-Men Annual #2001
  57. New Exiles #17
  58. X-Treme X-Men #26
  59. Quentin Quire (Earth-616)#Powers
  60. Charles Xavier (Earth-616)#Powers
  61. Emma Frost (Earth-616)#Powers
  62. New Exiles #9
  63. New Exiles #5
  64. New Exiles #7
  65. New Exiles #8
  66. New Exiles #10
  67. X-Treme X-Men #44, the Shaw Industries logo is visible on the aid convoy vehicles in Sage's flashback
  68. Uncanny X-Men #453-454
  69. New Mutants #54
  70. New Excalibur #2
  71. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #9



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