Diamond Lil (comics)
Diamond Lil in X-Force, vol. 3 #23
Art by Clayton Crain
|First appearance||Alpha Flight #1 (Aug 1983)
(identified) Alpha Flight #11
|Created by||John Byrne|
|Alter ego||Lillian Crawley-Jeffries|
|Team affiliations||The 198
|Notable aliases||Creepy Crawley|
|Abilities||Superhuman physical resistance|
Diamond Lil (Lillian Crawley-Jeffries) is a fictional mutant character created by writer and artist John Byrne for the ongoing comic book series Alpha Flight published by Marvel Comics. Since her debut, Diamond Lil has been portrayed as both hero and villain.
Fictional character biography
Little is known about Lillian Crawley before she joined Canada's Flight Program, though it is known that she was born in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and that she later worked as a waitress. Given the nature of her powers, she was a prime candidate for Alpha Flight, but was put in the third-tier training group known as Gamma Flight. When the government lost funding and closed the Flight programs, Lil dropped off of the map without a trace.
Soon after, a man named Jerome Jaxon—an old rival of Alpha Flight's leader Guardian—gathered up the former members of Gamma Flight and formed a team of his own with the hopes of crushing the Canadian superhero team. They were called Omega Flight. Lil was easily able to defeat Snowbird, but Shaman found that her weakness was her mind. She may have even been defeated if not for an unfortunate turn of events. During the battle, Guardian's suit malfunctioned and exploded, supposedly killing the man.
Jaxon's android assistant, Delphine Courtney, reassembled Omega Flight shortly after her creator's death with the purpose of finally crushing Alpha Flight. Lil and her teammates battled Alpha Flight in West Edmonton Mall and succeeded in defeating the heroes. However, in another unfortunate event, Delphine Courtney turned Shaman's medicine bag inside out, creating a vortex that consumed all of reality. Omega Flight tried to run, but their escape was blocked by Madison Jeffries. After dismantling the robotic woman with his mechanical melding powers, Jeffries told Omega Flight that even though their behavior had been modified by a computer chip in Delphine's body, they were still accomplices to murder. This resulted in all members of Omega Flight being incarcerated.
Several months later, Lil received a call from the government wishing to have her join a new sanctioned premier Canadian team using the name Gamma Flight in exchange for a full pardon for her past crimes. She jumped at the chance; however, her arrival was not timely. Alpha Flight, now led by Guardian's wife Heather Hudson—also called Guardian, was facing a mystical invasion by Llan the Sorcerer. The Alphans recruited Gamma Flight to help them in the ordeal and were left stranded in an inter-dimensional plane called The Crossroads. Guardian was not too happy about being trapped with the woman who helped murder her husband, but the two worked out their differences after traveling through many realities to find their way home. Lil also attempted to renew her relationship with Madison Jeffries at this time.
The government approached Madison Jeffries with a secret mission, which Lil jumped in to help on. It involved taking down a rogue piece of technological experimentation gone wrong that was causing Roxxon—a big government manufacturer—many problems. Along with Windshear and Forge they discovered that this being was in fact Guardian who had been bonded to parts of his suit during the explosion, making him a cyborg. Roxxon had further tampered with his body and added technological components to it in the hopes of using him for their purposes. Alpha Flight and Wolverine also fought the Master of the World at this time.
After they freed him, the Alphans decided that they needed to change their line-up. Lil was one of the candidates for the main roster, and she proved herself worthy of that position—not wanted to be separated from her love. However, this was not a good time for her as she found a lump on her left breast, believing it to be cancer. Her mutation was now a curse, as her impenetrable skin could not be cut by any scalpel to biopsy the lump. Diamond Lil and Vindicator were attacked by Scorpion, Owl, Asp, and Nekra during the Acts of Vengeance.
Shortly after, a collection of alien bounty hunters called the Consortium came to Canada looking for a mysterious entity named Kismet. Alongside Alpha Flight and the Avengers, she defended Kismet against the bounty hunters .In a fight with one of the aliens, Lil's skin was cut by their laser. Seeing this as her chance of hope, Lil chased down the alien and ripped the grafted laser out of his body. The technology department of Department H found a way to modify the laser for surgical purposes and was successfully able to biopsy the lump, which turned out to be an infected cyst filled with clotted blood and not cancer.
On a later battle against their enemy Diablo, Madison was gravely injured. Lil refused to leave his side even though they faced certain death, and in that moment they professed their love for one another. Madison asked Lil to marry him if they made it out alive, to which she agreed. The couple survived and announced their engagement, as well as their retirement from the hero life, to the rest of the team.
Marriage and Retirement
However, things were not as easy as they seemed. Although they had retired from the hero life Madison missed it too much. He would sometimes sneak out of the house late at night in his Boxbot uniform or run to the aid of Alpha Flight when his presence wasn't even necessary. This caused a lot of strain on the couple's marriage, and Lil even threatened to divorce him if he did not change. However, soon after the couple was forced into hiding when the Canadian government passed a Superhero Registration Act.
Later when the government decided to restart the Flight programs (again), Madison joined the active roster, which infuriated Lil. One day she decided to pay him a visit at the Department H headquarters, but was kidnapped by Department H's head scientist to be a test subject for his experiments. The government had changed since Lil had last been around and was not above brainwashing the Alphans when they had learned too much information. In fact, Madison had been kidnapped by the members of the Zodiac—becoming the next Gemini—and they had no recollection of it. In fact, it took several weeks for the Alphans to find Lil, who had been infected with a serious virus to test its effects. Luckily Lil's powers saved her from dying and the virus was contained once she was rescued.
Captive of Weapon X
In a series of unknown events, Lil wound up captured by the revamped Weapon X Program. When she first entered the concentration camp she attempted to incite a revolt along with Random. However, the pair was unaware that the camp had been blanketed by Leech's dampening powers and were severely beaten by the guards.
Later when the Weapon X program was about to be discovered, those responsible attempted to erase all information surrounding it by killing most of the prisoners. During the event, M-Day happened but Lil survived and escaped during the riots.
After the events of M-Day, Cyclops offered sanctuary to all remaining mutants and Lil fled to the Xavier Institute for protection. However, she became very dissatisfied with the way that the Office of National Emergency (O*N*E*) was handling the situation and was one of the many to leave the estate grounds with the mutant messiah figure Mister M.
During an attack by Selene's Inner Circle, Lil attempts to attack them after tending to a wounded Iceman. She is easily killed by Mortis with a touch, leaving Madison devastated. She is later buried at sea, Madison using his mutant powers to create a glass coffin for her.
Powers and abilities
Lillian Crawley is a mutant whose powers grant her a homeostatic bio-aura, which continually perpetuates an impenetrable field around all parts of her body (even those that are removed, like a strand of hair) rendering them impervious to all forms of physical and energy attacks; however, she is vulnerable to telepathic attacks. An example of the extent of her powers is that a strand of her hair alone is tensile enough to be used to choke someone. Although she does not have super-strength, none of the impact energy of her punches or kicks is absorbed into her body; instead it is all directed into her target, effectively doubling the force of her blows. Diamond Lil's invulnerability limits her ability to derive sensory perceptions through her sense of touch.
She is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, using street-fighting techniques.
House of M: Masters of Evil
- Alpha Flight #1
- Alpha Flight #11-13
- Alpha Flight #26-28
- Alpha Flight #71-75
- Avengers #320-324
- Alpha Flight #88-90
- Alpha Flight #95
- Alpha Flight #97-100
- Alpha Flight #101
- Alpha Flight #104
- Weapon X #5
- New Excalibur #9
- X-Men #183 (2006)
- X-Men: The 198 #4 (2006)
- Nation X #3 (2010)
- X-Force #23 (2010)
- Nation X #3
- House of M: Masters of Evil #4