||This comics-related article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (October 2009)|
|First appearance||Rom Annual #3 (1984)|
|Created by||Bill Mantlo
|Alter ego||Joshua "Jay" Guthrie|
Hellions training squad
New Mutants training squad
|Abilities||Flight via feathered wings
Accelerated healing factor
Icarus (Joshua "Jay" Guthrie), is a fictional character, a mutant superhero appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. He was a member of the student body at the Xavier Institute and a member of the New Mutants training squad.
Fictional character biography
Jay was the son of Thomas and Lucinda Guthrie. Thomas dies early in Jay's life due to black lung, developed from working in local Kentucky coal mines. Jay's older siblings Sam (Cannonball) and Paige (Husk) are mutants as well, and both have been members of the X-Men. Another of their siblings, Jeb, has developed the mutant ability to project electricity from his eyes, as well as his sister Melody (Aero), were both de-powered during M-Day. He has several other brothers and sisters, and his whole family is generally hated by his home town because they all seem to be developing mutant powers. When Sam and Paige left home to become X-Men, Jay took over the role of the father in the house, feeling that he had to protect his younger brothers and sisters.
Before Jay developed powers, he helped his brother Sam rescue the mutant musician Lila Cheney, the mutant Dazzler and a third band member from a plane crash. Lila had been knocked unconscious, rendering her unable to use her teleportation abilities. Dazzler had run out of the sound needed to fuel her light based powers. Josh, risking his own safety, played some music, giving Dazzler sufficient power to help blast an escape route.
When he himself developed mutant powers, he hid them from his family. However, when performing in his band, playing guitar, he exposed his wings to the crowd as a 'stage gimmick'.
"She Lies with Angels"
Jay fell in love with Julia Cabot, but due to a long feud between the Guthries and the Cabots a fight broke out. Jay was struck down by Julia's father, who had acquired and modified super-powered armor. Believing Jay to be dead, Julia dragged Jay's body to the river. She wrapped his arms around her, heading for the deepest part of the river. The two sank to the river's bottom and Julia subsequently drowned. Neither Jay nor Julia were aware of Jay's mutant regenerative powers, but when Jay sank to the bottom of the river, these powers manifested. Jay awoke at the bottom of the river with Julia in his arms. He swam to the surface with her and brought her to the riverbank. When he discovered she was dead, he tried (unsuccessfully due to his healing factor) to stab himself in the heart with a sharp piece of wood. Warren Worthington arrived on the scene, found Jay, and helped him carry Julia's body back to the Guthrie house.
"She Lies with Angels" was an intended homage to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The feud between the Guthries and the Cabots was designed to parallel the feud between the Montagues and Capulets, respectively, though in Shakespeare's play none of the families are actually "good" or "evil", in fact both of them represent an oppressive, power-seeking system that the young lovers rebel against. Additionally, the climax of "She Lies with Angels" is remarkably similar to the climax of Romeo and Juliet (With the exception that, unlike Romeo, Jay survived his suicide attempt). Issue 439 has a scene with Jay and Julia that is similar to the famous "balcony scene." Many of the comic's lines are modern incarnations of their Shakespearian counterparts. For example, Romeo says in Act II, SceneII:
|“||"As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night."
Jay says in the scene:
|“||"...there was so much light, the birds were singing as I flew here... confused by your brilliance into thinking the sun had already risen."||”|
After Julia's death, Jay attempted to kill himself a few more times, hoping his healing factor would fail. Eventually his mother sent him to the Xavier Institute against his will. Jay speculated this was just so she wouldn't feel guilty if he tried to hurt himself again. Originally placed with the Hellions squad, he traded places with Wither and joined the New Mutants. In New X-Men: Academy X, he is portrayed as a sullen, withdrawn loner who keeps mostly to himself, but he always reminds his teammates how fortunate they are to be a "family" when they feud. His team seems to talk to him about their problems, as he isn't usually one to join the fights.[volume & issue needed]
Decimation and Death
After the events of Decimation, Icarus was one of the few of the New Mutants team who kept their powers. However, he appeared later with his wings amputated and bleeding at the doorsteps of the mansion. His healing factor did not cure these injuries, as it was later revealed by Dr. McCoy that his healing powers came from his wings. Jay rebuffed efforts by his friend Elixir to heal his wings.[volume & issue needed]
Jay was seemingly tricked by William Stryker with the promise that if Jay gave his wings "back to God" his friends would be saved by Stryker. Jay called to inform him the children were leaving on a bus, which led to its bombing. Many of the de-powered students died in the blast. Further attacks led to the assassination of Wallflower, as she was the one in Nimrod's vision of the future that killed the Purifiers. As X-23 put it to Dust after he gave her a piece of paper containing the address of Stryker's church, he shouldn't be trusted because "he smells like death." Choosing to trust Jay, Sooraya seemingly proceeded to the church, only to be gunned down upon entering (though it was later revealed to be X-23 dressed in one of her niqab.) When Jay later confronted Stryker, he confessed to Jay that he was the one who gave the Cabots the armors and so the actual person responsible for the death of Julia Cabot. Stryker then proceeded to shoot Jay, leaving him for dead. Icarus was then shown dying with Nimrod deciding whether or not to finish him off. Nimrod left Jay alone, calculating that he was already mortally wounded. After that, Icarus was found dead by Ms. Marvel and Iron Man in Stryker's church with his hand in a position of writing, he was able to write "Nimr" plus half of the "o" with his own blood before he died.[volume & issue needed]
It was eventually revealed that Icarus' wings were removed because Nimrod had provided Stryker with a "vision" of the future, to seek an "angel" and use his wings to create an army. Stryker had hoped to use Icarus' wings to graft onto Purifier soldiers to create The Choir. Upon amputation, Jay's healing factor was negated and the wings were just dead bone and feather. The Purifiers moved on to targeting Angel for his wings.[volume & issue needed]
Powers and abilities
Believed to be descended from the ancient race of Cheyarafim mutants. Icarus possesses red-colored, feathered angel-like wings which allow flight and produce extensive regenerative enzymes allowing him to recover from normally fatal injuries. However, this healing factor comes from his wings; when his wings were removed, he lost this ability. His powers are closely similar to the X-Man Angel. His voice is capable of producing sonic frequency beyond the range of human capability as well as creating multiple sounds or voices at once.
On the tenth anniversary of the "Age of Apocalypse," the Guthrie family made a reappearance with the addition of "Jay." In this reality, they were agents of Apocalypse. Here, Jay (with bionic wings similar to Archangel's) joined his elder siblings Cannonball, Amazon (his sister Elizabeth, who has not yet manifested powers in the mainstream Marvel Universe,) and Husk as a terrorist. After they attempted to harm Magneto's son Charles and wife Rogue, Magneto killed Jay and Cannonball.[volume & issue needed]
In What If #92, a non-mutant Jay finds and fixes up a broken Sentinel, reprogramming it to serve and protect him, and using it to make himself a "special" like his super-powered siblings. When Cannonball and Husk come home, the sentinel (which has been reconstructing its memory banks) identifies them as mutants and attacks them, but when it realizes it is a danger to Jay it has to "protect" him by destroying itself. This story is similar to the later comic series Sentinel by Sean McKeever and UDON.[volume & issue needed]
- New Mutants #42 (August 1986)
- X-Force #36 (August 1994)
- Uncanny X-Men #437–441, written by Chuck Austen
- New X-Men: Academy X #16 (Sept. 2005).