Madelyn Pryor

Powers: Telepathy, telekinesis, and Sorcery

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What!?: All of Jean Grey’s powers, plus magic

Origin: Madelyne Pryor, or the Red Queen, or the Goblin Queen, was originally a failed clone of Jean Grey created by Mr. Sinister until the Phoenix Force accidentally gave her life. The Phoenix also left a portion of Jean Grey’s essence in Madelyne, granting her a small percentage of past memories and personality. Pryor was planted as a pilot for Cyclops’s grandfather, thus ensuring that Pryor and Cyclops would meet and fall in love. This was part of an experiment by Mr. Sinister to create a superior mutant. Needless to say, the experiment prove a success, as Madelyn and Summer married and gave birth to the extremely powerful Nathan Summers.

Pryor’s young marriage was strained by Cyclops’s sense of duty to the X-Men. In fact, Cyclops missed the birth of his son due to being on a mission. Madelyn convinced Cyclops to leave the X-Men and return to Alaska, though this was partly due to a mental suggestion from Mr. Sinister in order to better study Nathan Summers. The final straw was broken when Cyclops left Madelyn and his son to join X-Factor alongside the original X-Men after learning that Jean Grey had come back from the dead. Mr. Sinister took the opportunity to eliminate Madelyn and finally take Nathan Summers. Left for dead, Madelyn was taken in by the X-Men.

Madelyn gave herself permanent monitor duty while the X-Men went on missions. One night, she saw a telecast of Cyclops and Jean Grey. This began her slow descent into madness. Madelyn started sleeping with Alex Summers, Cyclop’s younger brother, and made a deal with the demons S’ym and N’Astirth to find her missing son in exchange for entry into Earth. Right before the demon’s attack, Madelyn discovered her origins, finally shredding any sanity she had left. During the demon invasion, Madelyn declared herself the Goblin Queen and attempted to sacrifice her own son to permanently open a portal between the demons and Earth. Madelyn was finally defeated by her own powers, with the portion of Jean Grey left within her returning to the original. Madelyn would return from time to time as a psychic ghost attempting to destroy the X-men.

Her Deal: Madelyn Pryor is one of the great tragedies of the X-Men. She was created to be a tool by Mr. Sinister to create a new kind of mutant. Even during her marriage with Cyclops, she was always in the shadow of Jean Grey. She survives mainly as a dark memory driven by hatred and jealousy. Many characters often commented on her resemblance to Jean Grey. As the Red Queen, she had one of the most revealing costumes in comics. She is neither human nor mutant. She was Cyclops’s first wife. She also had a relationship with Alex Summers. She is the biological mother of Nathan Summers, also known as Cable.

Personality: As the clone of Jean Grey, Madelyn Pryor had many of Grey’s memories and personality. She was kind, intelligent, strong, all the traits that attracted Scott Summers. Part of her actions were determined by Mr. Sinister, who implanted mental suggestions into her in order to facilitate his experiments. However, she had two undoubtedly true emotions, her love for her son Nathan Summers and her jealousy towards Jean Grey. Madelyn always felt out of place with Cyclops and the X-Men due to their history with Jean Grey. Many time, she felt they would prefer to trade her for Grey. She seem to have an inferiority complex. She may have subconsciously known that she just an imitation of Jean Grey, thus feeling defensive. However, many in the X-Men actually liked her, and felt sympathetic for her situation. Nevertheless, Madelyn has succumb to her feelings of anger and resentment, blaming Cyclops (arguably rightly so) and his X-Men for her terrible life.

Fun Fact: Madelyn Pryor was originally created to give Cyclops a happy ending, but her story was complicated when it was decided to bring back Jean Grey as part of X-Factor.

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First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #168 (1983)

Death: Madelyn was killed by self-destructing in order to kill off the rest of the X-Men

Greatest Crime: Attempting to sacrifice 9 mutant babies to open a portal to hell

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