Askani

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Clan Askani/Askani Sisterhood
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance X-Factor #66
Created by Chris Claremont
In-story information
Type of organization Religion, resistance group
Base(s) Various
Leader(s) Mother Askani
Agent(s) Cable
Jenskot
Madame Sanctity
Blaquesmith
Malachi Hark
Lexii
Ozana
Qua
Sister Askani
Boak
Carly Alvarez (unconfirmed)

The Askani is a fictional organization in the Marvel Universe in the future/alternate timeline designated as Earth-4935, also known as Earth Askani. It is also the name of several characters working for the organisation and its philosophy.

The Askani play an important role in the series The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix, Askani'son, The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix and Cable.

Fictional character biography[edit]

The Askani was originally a small group, founded 2000 years in the future, by Rachel Summers. Rachel had been a member of Excalibur and was drawn into the timestream to the future when she switched places with Captain Britain. Arriving in the future, Rachel found a world dominated by the immortal mutant Apocalypse. She stumbled upon a mutant boy named Blaquesmith, who, because of her kindness, led her to a group called the "Order of Witnesses". They offered to help her in her mission to kill Apocalypse, whose forces had defeated a number of resistance groups such as the Xavier Collective, the Scions of Xavier, and even the Xavier Security Enforcers. Over several months, she gathered a ragtag band of followers and was almost killed by Diamanda Nero, Apocalypse's second-in-command. Diamanda went to the Order and killed all but their leader and a band of children before Rachel could stop her. After that her followers began to call her "Mother Askani", "Askani" meaning "outsider," as well as "Bright Lady".

Rachel led her group, called the Askani after her nickname, in an attempt to emulate the X-Men. Being empowered by the remains of the Phoenix-entity, Rachel was one of the most powerful beings on the planet and under her leadership the Askani became a threat to Apocalypse. She recruited another time-traveler, Tanya Trask, now known as "Sanctity", who became her second-in-command over time. As she grew older, Rachel grew weaker though, while Apocalypse, being immortal, stayed as powerful as ever, so she devised a plan to stop Apocalypse once and for all.

Back in the 20th century, Rachel had a brother, Nathan Christopher Summers, whose latent powers rivaled Rachel's own. Nathan was still a child back then, but Rachel knew that Apocalypse feared the child's powers and would try to kill him. One of the Askani volunteered and was turned into a being of pure energy, giving up her body. This woman, known only as Sister Askani, went back in time to the 20th century, but found that she was too late; Apocalypse had already infected Nathan with a lethal, techno-organic disease. To Cyclops, Nathan's father, Askani offered to take the child to the future where he could be cured, but warned that the child would never return. Faced with either his son's death or never seeing him again, Cyclops made the only possible choice and handed over the child.

Askani took the child (and the being known as Ship now living within Nathan's techno-organic body-parts) and returned to her own time. Arriving, the Askani discovered that the disease was more serious than expected and the decision was made to clone the child (despite protests by several members that cloning was against the Askani belief system). The child was cloned, but the Askani then noticed something odd. Somehow, the cloning process had stabilized the disease in Nathan. They had little time to investigate, as the Askani's base was attacked by Apocalypse's troops (it would later be revealed that Sanctity had betrayed them). With her last strength Mother Askani spirited Cyclops and his wife Jean Grey to the future into cloned bodies to raise the young Nathan. Cyclops and Jean, calling themselves "Slym" and "Redd," left with the child. The clone was captured by Apocalypse's troops and would later become Stryfe, enemy to both Apocalypse and the Askani. Mother Askani went into a coma shortly afterwards and would never physically awaken again, though her spirit would assist Nathan at times.

The remains of the Askani were taken over by Sanctity, who now called herself Madame Sanctity. She turned it into the Askani Sisterhood. Though officially called a Sisterhood, the Askani also had many males working for them. She experimented more with time-travel, and founded a cult based on the Askani principles in the 20th century. She also sent Cyclops and Jean back in time to the 19th century to ensure the creation of Mister Sinister, who had been instrumental in Nathan's birth. After Apocalypse was defeated, Cyclops and Jean returned to the present and Nathan remained on his own.

The world was now ruled by the New-Canaanites, a faction who followed Apocalypse's philosophy. Nathan came into contact with the Askani Sisterhood when he was a teenager. The Askani wanted the boy to join, being the prophesied "Askani'Son". He discovered that Sanctity was only interested in her own power and well-being though, and he refused to join. He did fall in love with one of Sanctity's followers, Aliya, who would eventually take the name Jenskot to honor both of Nathan's parents (Jean + Scott= Jenskot). Disagreeing with Sanctity's philosophies, Nathan, Aliya, and Nathan's best friend Tetherblood decided to split off to create their own version of what the Askani should be. Several of Sanctity's followers would join them later. Meanwhile, Sanctity was approached by Nathan's clone, Stryfe, and the mad woman accepted to train him.

The New Canaanites almost wiped out the remains of the Askani, and a small group remained under the leadership of Nathan, now known as the Askani Clan Chosen. Nathan started to call himself Cable, and after Aliya died and Stryfe kidnapped their son, Tyler, Cable came to see time-travel as the way to stop Apocalypse. Cable made several trips to other time periods, finally deciding on the end of the 20th century/beginning of the 21st century as the critical period where the future was shaped. During these time-travels the Clan Chosen was further and further reduced, only half a dozen members were remaining when last seen. Cable brought his friend Garrison Kane to the future to be healed. He returned a year later to pick up Garrison again and lead the Clan Chosen in a raid on the final time machine available. The raid succeeded and Cable and Kane went back in time. It was thought that Cable's actions in the past had eradicated this timeline, but since then it has been stated (in Marvel's Alternate Realities Handbook) that the Askani reality still exists as a divergent timeline.

Cable has been spreading the Askani philosophy and ideas in the present, seeing Askani as a way to build a strong foundation on the future.

Culture and technology[edit]

The tenet of the Askani is "What is, is.", meaning that one should not waste time with complaining about a situation, but accept the situation as it is, so that one can either move on or do something about it. The Askani philosophy is focused on self-responsibility in the first place, something which many of Sanctity's Sisterhood, such as Sanctity herself, have used as a way to deny their responsibility towards others, while Rachel and Cable think it only increases their responsibility towards others. The Askani religion uses the flaming bird of the Phoenix as their symbol: the Phoenix is used as a symbol of life and respect to their founder.

The Askani have their own martial art, which includes a fighting form called swarming (using teamwork to quickly overwhelm multiple opponents) and the use of the Psimitar, a spear-like weapon that can focus and enhance the psionic potential of the wielder.

Time-travel is very important to the Askani. According to Blaquesmith, a trained Askani can travel through time at will and Cable has once made a short jump in time in a combat situation. It is unclear whether the use of time-travel usually is incorporated in the Askani martial art.

The Askani have a unique way of meditating; they sit in the lotus position, but levitate upside down.

The Askani technology has its own unique appearance, while made out of metal and plastics, it has an almost organic look to it, it appears to be based on Apocalypse's technology, which in turn was based on the technology of the Celestials. The Askani have various forms of artificial life to assist them like the synthorgs—synthetic organisms—with complete sentience and ADAM-units, androids using a number as a name and programmed for peacekeeping. The most famous of these androids is the prototype Zero, who served Stryfe. ADAM-units can teleport and absorb or nullify energy.

Incarnations[edit]

Throughout the decades in which Apocalypse ruled the world and following his defeat, there were many Askani groups fighting for Xavier's dream, as well as preceding teams following Xavier's philosophy as well:

Pre and Non-Askani anti-Apocalypse groups

  • Order of Witnesses: A group of telepaths and precogs gathered in the Savage Land that awaited the arrival of Rachel Summers. Ultimately massacred by Diamanda Nero. Diogenes Chang, a member of the Order, helped Rachel found Clan Askani.
  • Xavier Collective: One of the many rebel groups fighting for Xavier's dream. The Collective's last member, Obsydian, was killed by Diamanda Nero herself.
  • Xavier Security Enforcers: Listed in the Books of Askani one-shot as one of the anti-Apocalypse forces.
  • Scions of Xavier: Mentioned in Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix #1.
  • Scions of Genetics: Also mentioned in Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix #1.
  • Clan Rebellion: An anti-Apocalypse rebel group which included Prior Turrin and later received Cable, Cyclops and Phoenix. Existed at the same time as Mother Askani's clan

Askani Groups

  • Clan Askani: The original cell founded by Rachel, formed by individuals of many races, including Blaquesmith, the first male following the ways of the Askani.
  • Sisterhood of the Askani: The Sisterhood led by Madame Sanctity following Mother Askani's death. Jenskot and the two time-travelling Askani Sisters were part of the Sisterhood. Unlike Clan Askani, the Sisterhood remained in secret and did not opposed the New Canaanite government openly. Ultimately destroyed by the New Canaanite forces led by Strator Umbridge.
  • Clan Chosen: Cable's group, which replaced the Sisterhood.

Notable members[edit]

Askani in the present[edit]

  • Cable, the Askani'son (Nathan Summers/Nathan Dayspring): third and final leader of the Askani.
  • Blaquesmith: mentor of Cable and one of the founding members of Clan Askani, sent to the 20th century to assist him in his mission to stop Apocalypse and create a better future.
  • Carly Alvarez: Infiltrated the presidential campaign of Graydon Creed. She says the Askani motto "What is... is" to Iceman and Cannonball. Scott Lobdell originally intended that Creed would be killed by an Askani sister. However, Lobdell left and Fabian Nicieza resolved Creed's death in X-Men Forever.
  • Risque(death): Hinted to be a member of the Askani (or at least a time-travelling character) in the present. In her thoughts she refers to the X-Men as "The Legendary Ones". Also, Sinister is surprised to meet a mutant he did not know of. Sinister was also surprised by Bishop, another time-traveller of whom Sinister had no knowledge.

Askani in the future[edit]

It was assumed that these characters and their timeline had ceased to exist when Cable killed Apocalypse. However, Apocalypse's recent resurrection once again raises questions about the ultimate fate of these characters.

  • Mother Askani (Rachel Summers): founder of the Askani and worshipped as a divine figure years after her death. Due to Cable's actions, a new timeline was created where Rachel never became Mother Askani, but returned to the 20th century. This Rachel now calls herself Rachel Grey and possesses certain memories of Mother Askani and is a member of the X-Men.
  • Madame Sanctity (Tanya Trask): The mad and ruthless leader of the Sisterhood of the Askani, the organization that succeeded the original Clan Askani. Decades before her ascent to leadership she travelled to the past in order to program Master Mold with the identities of The Twelve so they would be destroyed and Apocalypse's rise to power would be halted. She also trained Stryfe in the use of his powers and sent Cyclops and Jean Grey back in time ensure Nathaniel Essex's transformation into Sinister and his subsequent rebellion against Apocalypse, thus ensuring the birth of Cable.
  • Sister Askani (name unknown): time-travelling sister of the Askani, gave up her physical body to serve the Askani. Saved the baby Nathan Summers and took him to the future
  • Sister Askani II (name unknown): A second time-travelling sister of the Askani, who suffered a similar fate to the first one.
  • Jenskot (Aliya Dayspring): Student of Madame Sanctity. She was not only Cable's wife, but also his teacher in the ways of the Askani, deceased.
  • Boak: a synthcon (or synthezoid). This mechanoid being was attached to the Clan Askani, at one point charged with safeguarding the infant Nathan's clone although he failed in this task resulting in capture and deactivation by Apocalypse's troops. Boak was eventually salvaged and rebuilt by the Askani, and continued active with the Clan Chosen for decades. Having the ability to generate an energy absorption field which transfers power to internal storage banks and then processes such as explosive plasma, Boak temporarily sacrificed himself to save the Clan Chosen on a mission to stop the cyborg Sinsear.
  • Malachi Hark: a mutant lycanthrope with a quasi-beast form who was among Rachel's first followers, the original Clan Askani.
  • Qua: a "liquid Atlantean" who was among Rachel's first followers, the original Clan Askani.
  • Lexii: a "clone warrior" who was among Rachel's first followers, the original Clan Askani.
  • Ozana: a rare "Gibson-9 warbot" who was among Rachel's first followers, the original Clan Askani.

Clan Chosen[edit]

Main article: Clan Chosen

It was assumed that these characters and their timeline had ceased to exist when Cable killed Apocalypse. However, Apocalypse's recent resurrection once again raises questions about the ultimate fate of these characters.

  • Boak: Rebuilt version of the Boak that was part of the Askani Sisterhood.
  • Dawnsilk: female warrior. She had been taken hostage by a brainwashed Tyler Dayspring and was mentally linked to him, when Cable shot Tyler. The link resulted in brain damage for Dawnsilk.
  • Eleven: An ADAM (Ambient-energy Dampening Automated peacekeeping Mechanisms) unit.
  • Hope: 'Sister' to Jenskot. She blamed Cable for Jenskot's death. Hope was one of the few who could operate a time-machine, using her ability to scan different timelines.
  • Garrison Kane: spent one year with the Clan Chosen, before returning to the 20th century.
  • Tetherblood: best friend of Cable.

See also[edit]