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Sooraya Qadir (Earth-616)

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Quote1 We are still X-Men, aren't we? Quote2
-- Dust src
 
Dust 016

Sooraya

Origin

Sooraya Qadir was born in Afghanistan. As a child she was kidnapped and then sold into slavery.[3] Few years later Sooraya was rescued by Wolverine and Fantomex from a slave-trading ring.[4] She was sent to the Indian X-Corporation base in Mumbai. Sooraya hid herself from the X-Men who were stationed there by turning into sand and spreading herself around the complex. Phoenix sensed Sooraya's presence and telepathically convinced her to reveal herself to everyone present. Sooraya announced her presence by speaking a single word: "Turaab" ("Dust" in Arabic).

Xavier Institute

Ultimately, Dust was enrolled at the Xavier Institute in Westchester County, New York. Quiet and nervous, she experienced difficulty adapting to her new surroundings - particularly after being placed into Xorn's Special Class, which at the time was becoming increasingly radicalized as Xorn prepared to usurp Xavier. Xorn attempted to indoctrinate Sooraya, but she resisted because he demanded that she renounce her faith and embrace his vision of a world dominated by mutants, which she refused to do. She attempted to alert Xavier about Xorn's plans, but Xorn convinced the Professor that she was out of control, and thus Xavier used his powers to calm her enough so that she could be gathered into a jar. Even after being contained, the Professor could sense her panic, and shortly after, Xorn crippled him and began his destructive campaign to reverse the Earth's magnetic poles.

Some time later, when the school was rebuilt, Sooraya was given the loud and rebellious Surge as a roommate. This turned out to be a disaster, as the two often came to disagreements over the traditional garb which Surge believed to be an affront to women's rights. She was also made a member of the Hellions Training Squad, which seemed an odd choice given leader Julian Keller's penchant for causing trouble. Her discomfort with questioning Keller's authority, even as he prepared the Hellions for an attack against the FBI, further soured relations between her and Surge. By the time Hellions and the New Mutants battled each other outside Salem Central Station, Surge despised her roommate so badly that Wind Dancer blew Sooraya in her granular form all the way back to campus to prevent Surge from hurting her. This had the unfortunate effect that Sooraya ended up naked when she materialized back at the Academy. Seeing how badly she had humiliated her roommate, Noriko resolved to at least tolerating her till the end of the term. Meanwhile, despite her discomfort around others, Sooraya forged a friendship with Icarus. He asked her to the school dance, but she declined since the idea of the dance made her uncomfortable, but he was not insulted.

M-Day and Decimation

After M-Day, which depowered over 90% of the mutant population, the population of Xavier's student body was reduced to only 27 students. The squad system was dissolved, and the remaining students were merged into one large group. Sooraya was paired as roommates with X-23.

Dust 011

Dust

Sooraya became a target of William Stryker's crusade against the Xavier Institute, as he expressed his need to "eliminate the Muslim." Icarus gave her a note, which X-23 told Sooraya not to trust, as Icarus "smells like death". When Icarus visited the church of William Stryker he was shown why Dust was his next target. Nimrod had a vision of an altered future in his memory banks which showed Dust killing all the Purifiers by turning into a sand storm and ripping the flesh from their bones. After entering the church of Reverend Stryker, she was shown being shot down though it was revealed to be X-23 wearing one of her niqabs. When Stryker's team infiltrated the school, Dust reappeared, surprising Stryker and playing a key role in defeating his Purifiers after all.

With the help of the rest of the New X-Men, Sooraya would later defeat Nimrod at Forge's place. Given the fact that the mission was unsanctioned and caused damages in Dallas, Texas, Sooraya Qadir was red-flagged by the O*N*E.[5]

Sooraya cried with Icarus's mother Lucinda Guthrie when she came to the Institute, and apologized for not being able to do more to save her son. His mother told her that Icarus thought she was beautiful person (a significant statement, since he had never seen her without her veil on).[6]

In Limbo

Dust was shown praying to Allah before being teleported with the other students to Limbo where she was being held captive by Belasco and his demons. X-23 broke free and urged Dust and Mercury to join her in fighting Belasco. Dust was too afraid of the demon that she thought of as the Devil, but when X-23 was seemingly killed, Dust broke free and attacked Belasco, saying that if she was to die, she would make Allah proud.[7]

World War Hulk

Dust is one of the students that goes up against the Hulk during the World War Hulk. She attacks him after he defeats Hellion but she too, is defeated when Hulk pulls a water pipe up from the ground and sprays water on her.[8]

Messiah Complex

Regrouping after their failed attack under the leadership of Matthew Risman, the Purifiers were keeping track of the escaped Predator X. Horribly scarred by Dust's attack, Matthew was fixated on training Predator X to seek out and kill Sooraya by using abayas and niqabs bearing some recognizable quality of hers (possibly her scent). While being trained to seek out and kill Dust, Predator X sensed the mutant it was originally created to destroy and the Purifiers followed. Dust iwas crucial in the success of the battle against the Marauders as she helps take out the massively powerful and dangerous Exodus, by entering his body in her sand form and lacerating his lungs.

Young X-Men & Ink

She then joined the newly-formed team of Young X-Men along with Rockslide, Wolf Cub, Blindfold, as well as new students Ink, Cipher and Graymalkin. However, the team disbanded after it was discovered that the person who formed the team, Cyclops, was really Donald Pierce in disguise. It was during this time the team was ordered to capture the original New Mutants by the false Cyclops. During their battle with Magma, Dust was turned to glass by Magma using extreme heat, and subsequently shattered. However, Magma was able to heat up all the broken glass turning it into sand again and Dust returned to her human form unconscious. However, the change is also causing her cells to die. Dust tried to help the captured Donald Pierce to escape in exchange for him to find a cure for her condition, but she subsequently changed her mind and attacked Pierce. It was her last act as she died in front of her friends. Ink tried to use his Caduceus tattoo to heal Dust but she was already dead. Later, Ink used his Phoenix tattoo and was able to apparently resurrect Dust. However, the effort cause Ink and Leon Nunez, the tattoo artist to fall into a coma. The healing of Dust has created an alternate future designated as Earth-90411.

San Francisco & Utopia

Together with other mutants Dust relocated to the Graymalkin Industries in San Francisco and later to Utopia. She fought alongside the X-Men during the Skrull invasion of Earth.[9] When Selene's Inner Circle attacked Utopia, Sooraya was forced to fight with a former teammate Wither, and was heartbroken when he coolly killed Onyxx in front of her eyes.[10] After return of the Mutant Messiah and subsequent attack of the Nimrod Sentinels, Dust was amongst those who fought back at Golden Gate Bridge.[11]

Age of X

Later, during Legion's reality warp, Sooraya was a member of the Moonstar Cadre. Once the alteration of reality was undone, Sooraya asked Emma Frost to remove those memories, afraid of the cruelty she had displayed.[12]

Schism

After the Schism Sooraya at first wanted to go with most of her friends to the Jean Grey School but quickly realized that Logan's team just deluding themselves, thinking that there is other choice but to spend their lives fighting for survival, pretending so is asking for a repeat of the previous tragedy.[13] She stayed with Cyclops' team on Utopia and with other former students was assigned to the Street Team, to fought street crime, protecting the San Francisco under the guidance of experienced X-Men.[14] She later assist the Lights to beat Exodus.[15]

Jean Grey School

Following the end of war between the Avengers and the X-Men Sooraya joined the Jean Grey School.[16]

Post-Secret Wars

Dust is one of the mutants who survived after Secret Wars and spreading of Terrigen Mists and retained her powers.[17]

Powers

Dust

Sooraya

Dust is a mutant.

Sand Form: Dust has the ability to convert herself into a destructive sand blast by simultaneously transforming the substance of her body into loose silicon particles and creating an explosive release at her center, expelling her sandy mass at high velocity in all directions, then cause her particles to reassemble themselves back into her human form. With apparent telepathic control, she can then move at high velocity resembling a sand storm. The sand storm effect is strong enough to destroy steel and rip the flesh from one's bones, this is helped by the microscopic edges of the sand particles acting as tiny blades. She can also enter peoples lungs and scouring them from the inside.

  • Telepathic Resistance: Dust is very hard to telepathically detect or influence while in her sand-like form, even for more powerful telepaths like Professor Xavier and Jean Grey.[4]
  • Enhanced Durability: Dust's skin, bone and muscle augmented to make it stronger and harder than human; impervious to injury to a certain extent.
  • Magical Resistance: Dust is very hard to magically detect or influence while in sand-life form.[18]

Sooraya was considered a General Threat by the O*N*E, at the time of the M-Day.[19] Nimrod classified her as a Threat Level: Medium,[20] and after defeating him, she was red-flagged and allegedly reclassified by the O*N*E.[5]

Abilities

  • Dust speaks Arabic and English fluently.
  • She has shown to be a good hand-to-hand combatant.

Strength level

Sooraya possesses the normal human strength of a woman of her age, height, and build who engages in moderate regular exercise.

Weaknesses

While in her granular form, Sooraya can be weakened by wind or water. Her sand form is also vulnerable to extremes of heat, causing it to crystallise into glass, paralysing her. Like many transmorphs, she reverts to her human form if exhausted or knocked unconscious.


  • Normally, Dust appears to be able to convert her clothing to granular form. However, during the fight between the Hellions and the New Mutants outside the Salem Center Station, Wind Dancer trapped her in a wind while she was in the middle of her transformation and sent her all the way back to campus before she could convert her clothing. This effectively left her naked back at campus. Ironically, Wind Dancer's intentions were good - Sooraya was being attacked by Noriko and refused to fight back.
  • Dust is a devout Sunni Muslim.[21][22]
  • There are some similarities between Dust's powers and the powers of Sandman. Dust's typical state while using her powers, however, is that of an airborne dust storm, while Sandman typically maintains a more ground-based solid and roughly-humanoid form.
  • In line with Sooraya's character as a traditional Muslim, she chooses to observe Islamic hijab by donning traditional dress. Sooraya explains to her mother that she always observes hijab because of the modesty it affords her from men, and never did it because of the Taliban's enforcement of hijab on women. Her mother is happy that she lives somewhere where she is able to make those choices, unlike in Afghanistan.[23]
    • Characters in the comics refer to Dust's traditional Muslim outfit as a burqa.[4][24][25][26] Actually the outfit Dust wears is an abaya with a niqab veil for her face,[26] an ensemble originating in and worn mostly by Muslim women in the Persian Gulf states of the Middle East, with a few slight modifications depending on the story (like a yellow waist sash added to the abaya, for example).
    • Nezhno Abidemi is the first to get it right while correcting fellow student Pixie.[26]
    • Even Dust,[24] and her mother Mirah called it a burqa.[23]
  • Dust appears in Deadpool's ending in Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. Though she's not an available character, yet appears with most characters in the game during the ending.
  • During the Scarlet Witch's House of M-reality warp, a decidedly more secular, less reserved version of Sooraya was a member of the New Mutants Leadership Institute. Whether this was a manifestation of her secret desires or not is unclear. After M-Day, she retained no memory of these events.

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. New X-Men Vol 2 #27
  2. Dust in Arabic
  3. New X-Men Hellions #1
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 New X-Men #133
  5. 5.0 5.1 New X-Men Vol 2 #33
  6. New X-Men Vol 2 #32
  7. New X-Men Vol 2 #41
  8. World War Hulk: X-Men #1
  9. Secret Invasion: X-Men #1-2
  10. X-Force Vol 3 #23
  11. X-Force Vol 3 #27
  12. X-Men: Legacy #248
  13. X-Men: Legacy #263
  14. Uncanny X-Men Vol 2 #1
  15. X-Men: Legacy #262-263
  16. Wolverine and the X-Men #15
  17. Extraordinary X-Men #1
  18. New X-Men Vol 2 #39
  19. X-Men: The 198 Files #1
  20. New X-Men Vol 2 #31
  21. New X-Men #146
  22. New X-Men Vol 2 #22
  23. 23.0 23.1 New X-Men Hellions #2
  24. 24.0 24.1 New X-Men Vol 2 #2
  25. New X-Men Vol 2 #6
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 New X-Men Vol 2 #42
  27. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #3
  28. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 3



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