Madelyne Pryor

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Madelyne Pryor
Madelyne PryorX-Men11.jpg
The return of Madelyne Pryor, from X-Men #11.
Art by Terry Dodson.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Uncanny X-Men #168 (April 1983)
Created by Chris Claremont
Paul Smith
In-story information
Alter ego Madelyne "Maddie" Jennifer Pryor-Summers (née Pryor)
Species Human mutant (latent), clone
Team affiliations X-Men
Hellfire Club
Hellfire Cult
Sisterhood of Mutants
Notable aliases Anodyne, Goblin Queen,
Black Rook, Red Queen
Abilities Telepathy
Psionic energy channeling
Magic abilities

Madelyne Jennifer Pryor-Summers is a fictional character in books published by Marvel Comics, in particular those featuring the X-Men. As the love interest and first wife of X-Men leader Cyclops (Scott Summers), she became a long-standing member of the X-Men supporting cast, until a series of traumas—being abandoned by her husband, losing her infant son, and discovering that she was a clone of Jean Grey—eventually led to her being manipulated into becoming a supervillain. She and Cyclops are the parents of Nathan Summers.

Her biography has been rendered particularly complicated because of the many retcons involved in the publication history of both her character and that of Jean Grey.

Publication history[edit]

Madelyne Pryor was introduced during the acclaimed 1983 Uncanny X-Men run that saw long-time writer Chris Claremont pair with artist Paul Smith for a series of issues that would see the Jean Grey look-alike marry the retired X-Men leader Scott Summers (Cyclops).

Madelyne's hairstyle was modeled after the book's editor, Louise Jones (later Louise Simonson)[1]—a look the character would retain until 1988. Claremont named the character after Steeleye Span singer Maddy Prior. Claremont had already created a character named "Maddy Pryor", a little girl that appeared very briefly in Avengers Annual #10 (1981), and has no in-story connections to the X-Men character. Claremont, nonetheless, years later used the opportunity to indulge in an in-joke: in Uncanny X-Men #238 (1988), a similar child would appear as Madelyne's mental image of herself, wearing the same clothes as the little girl from Avengers Annual #10, repeating the girl's same line of dialogue, but also singing "Gone to America," one of Steeleye Span's biggest hits.

According to Claremont, the original link between Madelyne Pryor and Jean Grey was entirely the product of Mastermind. Seeking revenge against the X-Men after Jean (as Phoenix) had driven him insane, Mastermind uses his powers of illusion to convince Scott and the others that Madelyne is Phoenix incarnate—a cosmic threat—in an attempt to have the team kill her. Mastermind's plan fails, and Madelyne and Cyclops are married shortly after.[2][3] Claremont had conceived Madelyne as a device to write Scott Summers out of the X-Men and have him retire "happily ever after" with Madelyne and their child.

The story became more complicated in 1986 when moves by the editors and other writers to reunite the original X-Men, for the new title X-Factor, resulted in Jean Grey's resurrection and Scott leaving his wife and son. Asked whether or not Cyclops was really in love with Madelyne, X-Factor writer (from issue #6 onward) Louise Simonson answered, "I think she was a substitute for Jean. And I think it's torture for Scott, because it's not just Madelyne now: he has a son. And I think, in leaving Madelyne to go to Jean, he did something that was morally reprehensible to him."[4] This deeply compromised the character of Cyclops and left little room for Madelyne, and Cyclops' uncharacteristic (at the time) behavior has been controversial with fans ever since.[5][6] It was attempted to address these problems through a retcon, in the 1989 Inferno crossover, where Madelyne is not only revealed to be a clone of Jean Grey, created by Mr. Sinister to produce a child with Scott Summers, but corrupted by her anger and demonic influence into the Goblin Queen.

Asked about his intended plans for Madelyne's character, Claremont said:

The original Madelyne storyline was that, at its simplest level, she was that one in a million shot that just happened to look like Jean Grey, [a.k.a. the first Phoenix]! And the relationship was summed up by the moment when Scott says: "Are you Jean?" And she punches him! That was in Uncanny X-Men #174. Because her whole desire was to be deeply loved for herself not to be loved as the evocation of her boyfriend's dead romantic lover and sweetheart.

I mean, it's a classical theme. You can go back to a whole host of 1930s films, 1940s, Hitchcock films—but it all got invalidated by the resurrection of Jean Grey in X-Factor #1. The original plotline was that Scott marries Madelyne, they have their child, they go off to Alaska, he goes to work for his grandparents, he retires from the X-Men. He's a reserve member. He's available for emergencies. He comes back on special occasions, for special fights, but he has a life. He has grown up. He has grown out of the monastery; he is in the real world now. He has a child. He has maybe more than one child. It's a metaphor for us all. We all grow up. We all move on.

Scott was going to move on. Jean was dead get on with your life. And it was close to a happy ending. They lived happily ever after, and it was to create the impression that maybe if you came back in ten years, other X-Men would have grown up and out, too. Would Kitty stay with the team forever? Would Nightcrawler? Would any of them? Because that way we could evolve them into new directions, we could bring in new characters. There would be an ongoing sense of renewal, and growth and change in a positive sense.

Then, unfortunately, Jean was resurrected, Scott dumps his wife and kid and goes back to the old girlfriend. So it not only destroys Scott's character as a hero and as a decent human being it creates an untenable structural situation: what do we do with Madelyne and the kid? ... So ultimately the resolution was: turn her into the Goblin Queen and kill her off.[7]

The character was revived in 1995 as a supporting character in the pages of X-Man.[8] In the years following this conclusion (in 2000) of what has become a false start at reviving the character, Madelyne Pryor would be entirely absent and unreferenced within any X-Men related books, until Chris Claremont included the character in his non-canon limited-series, X-Men: The End.

However, almost two decades since Marvel brought Jean Grey back, editors decided to again drop Jean Grey as a regular character. Immediately before that, Marvel also decided to terminate the relationship of Cyclops and Jean Grey.

In 2008, exactly 25 years since the character's debut in Uncanny X-Men, Madelyne Pryor was supposedly brought back in the flagship X-Men title; even though in interviews[9][10][11] over the following months, the book's writer at the time, Matt Fraction, made contradicting statements as to whether or not it was actually Pryor at all. Not until the following year was the character's identity seemingly confirmed in-story.[12] Afterward, however, Fraction continued to be contradictory in one more interview, by describing her as not being the real Madelyne Pryor.[13]

More than a year later, Marvel attempted to conclusively settle in-print[14] (but not in-story) all lingering questions and complications regarding the character; stating that the Pryor that appeared in Uncanny X-Men, from 2008 to 2009, was indeed the original from the 1980s stories. (Also stated is that the "Maddy Pryor" child from Avengers Annual #10, and the "alternate Jean Grey" from X-Man #67-70, were both entirely separate characters from Madelyne Pryor.) However, all 1990s appearances in both the X-Man and Cable titles are dismissed and disregarded entirely by Marvel, and they concluded by declaring her "apparently destroyed".[14]

Fictional character biography[edit]

First appearance of Madelyne Pryor, in the final panel of Uncanny X-Men #168. Art by Paul Smith.

Whirlwind romance[edit]

Madelyne Pryor was an Alaskan charter pilot working for the grandparents of Cyclops (Scott Summers), where the two met during a Summers family reunion[15] and quickly began a romantic relationship.[16] Mystery however surrounded her from the beginning: not only did she bear a striking resemblance to Scott's dead lover, Jean Grey/Phoenix, but was the sole survivor of an airplane crash that occurred the same day Phoenix died on the moon.[17] In addition, Professor X was unable to scan her mind (which, he noted, was occasionally possible among normal humans). Scott, still recovering from Jean's death, became obsessed with the idea that Madelyne was her look-alike reincarnation, eventually confronting her with his suspicions. Madelyne, furious and hurt, punched Scott and seemingly transformed into the Dark Phoenix.[2] This, however, was revealed to be the doing of Mastermind, who had been manipulating the X-Men for months — as revenge for being driven temporarily insane by Phoenix due to his involvement in her corruption. After the conflict, Scott finally came to terms with the fact that Jean Grey was dead and that Madelyne was not her, and that he loved her all the same. The two were soon married, and Scott retired from active duty with the X-Men.[3]


Giving up the life of an adventurer proved harder for Scott than imagined. Early in Madelyne and Scott's marriage, they (along with Alpha Flight and the rest of the X-Men) would have a brief but dramatic encounter with the Norse trickster-god Loki. Entirely for his own purposes, Loki magically endowed mystical powers on a small group of normal humans, transforming Madelyne into a mystical healer of virtually any injury, illness, psychological issue or physical defect, and given the name Anodyne. Among Madelyne's acts of healing was the curing of Scott's childhood head injury, enabling him to control his optic blasts without the use of ruby-quartz lenses. She was further able to remove Aurora's DID and Wolverine's berzerker rage. When it was discovered that Loki's intentions were never altruistic, and that his gift was badly flawed - as one of the costs of those powers was the loss of individual creativity and imagination - the assembled heroes turned against him. His plans ruined, Loki spitefully removed all the powers he had granted, and Madelyne and the other beneficiaries of his gifts were reverted to their original states, as were Scott and anyone else who had been healed by Madelyne. It was during this adventure that Madelyne's pregnancy was announced.[18]


Madelyne gave birth to a baby boy (Nathan Christopher Charles Summers) alone in the X-Mansion.[19] When the X-Men did return, the others seemed more interested in the baby than Scott. Sensing a reluctance on Scott's part to retire to family life, a powerless Storm challenged him to a duel for leadership of the team. She won, in effect forcing him out of the X-Men and into accepting his new role as a husband and father.[20]

Although Scott tried to live a normal family life in Alaska, he was not happy. He would often obsessively think of Jean Grey, and of his life with the X-Men. Maddie tried her best to make Scott happy, but her efforts seemed wasted. Finally Scott received a call from his former teammate Angel that Jean Grey had miraculously been found alive. Without explaining himself, Scott left Madelyne and their son to reunite with his lost love and sweetheart. Furious, Maddie told him that if he were to leave, to not return. Scott left nonetheless and formed X-Factor with his old friends from the original team of X-Men.[21] Madelyne and young Nathan Christopher were shortly thereafter attacked by Mr. Sinister's Marauders, and the child was kidnapped and Madelyne hospitalized.[22] A guilt-racked and increasingly unstable Scott returned home to find his house empty, and all records of his family's existence erased.[23]

Alone and on the run, Madelyne called the X-Men for help; they arrived and fought off another attack by the Marauders.[24] Unable to find her son, she stayed with the X-Men as they sacrificed their lives to stop the Adversary from remaking the world in Fall of the Mutants.[25] Despite Scott abandoning her, Maddie videotaped a message for him, pleading that he find their child. With the world thinking them dead, Madelyne and the X-Men were resurrected by the Omniversal Guardian Roma and began a new era working secretly out of an abandoned Reavers base in Australia, and Madelyne became the team's technical support.[26] During this time, Madelyne and her brother-in-law, Alex Summers (Havok), were growing closer; both of them were lonely — Alex himself had briefly lost his long-time love Polaris, whose body had been temporarily taken over by the Marauder Malice.[volume & issue needed]

Demonic corruption[edit]

Monitoring news transmissions, Madelyne learned that Jean Grey was alive and with Scott. Seeing the evidence of Scott's betrayal, Madelyne punched the computer monitor's screen, breaking it and causing electrical feedback that rendered her unconscious.[27] Illyana Rasputin's treacherous Limbo-demon, S'ym, then invaded Madelyne's mind during her unconscious state, and offered her the power to hurt Scott just as he had hurt her. He showed her images of a girl, a pilot, a woman and a demon and, thinking it to be not real, she chose the latter. Sym then pointed his finger into her chest and she was infected with the demon’s magic, the formerly heroic woman thus began the transformation into the Goblin Queen.[28]

Madelyne kept the existence of the original X-Men as X-Factor — and of the "resurrected" Jean Grey — secret from the others. Later accidentally captured by the Genoshans and taken by force to their island-nation,[29] Madelyne was subjected to psychic torture intended to transform her into a docile slave who served the state. Madelyne instinctively lashed out with some powerful subconscious abilities which caused the deaths of her torturers,[30] but the damage was done, as the process deprived her of all motherly instincts. In the recorded images of the psychic probe performed on Madelyne, her appearance reflected her change into the Goblin Queen, while Genosha's Genegineer appeared in Mr. Sinister's outfit.[31] Shortly after being rescued by the X-Men, Madelyne struck an additional bargain with another demon, N'astirh, to find her missing son; also, she and Alex began an affair.[32] Her latent telekinetic and telepathic powers fully activated, Madelyne completed her transformation into the Goblin Queen, sparking the "Inferno" crossover.[33]


Goblin Queen Madelyne meets her "father" Mr. Sinister. Art by Marc Silvestri.

This crossover revealed the truth about Madelyne's existence. N'astirh took Madelyne to the orphanage in Nebraska where Scott grew up, which was actually a front for Sinister's genetic laboratory. There, Sinister revealed himself as her "father" and began to tell her all about her creation and purpose.[33][34] Believing a child of Scott Summers and Jean Grey would be a mutant of great power, Sinister created a clone of Jean specifically to deeply fall romantically in love with Scott and produce a child. The child, it would later be revealed, was Sinister's intended secret weapon against his master Apocalypse. When the clone hit puberty, however, Sinister was disappointed to see that she did not develop any mutant abilities. Later, when Phoenix took her own life, a part of the Phoenix Force—rejected by Jean in her cocoon because of the memories it contained of destroying a solar system—entered the clone and gave it life. Sinister named the clone "Madelyne Pryor", created a false background and implanted memories, and sent her to Alaska where she and Scott Summers met and fell deeply in love. However when Jean Grey returned, Madelyne was no longer needed and now a liability, so Sinister ordered his Marauders to kill her and abduct the child.[volume & issue needed]

Those revelations and that her entire existence was nothing more than a facsimile of her hated rival Jean Grey, destroyed Madelyne's tenuous grip on sanity. N'astirh returned with her son, intending to sacrifice him to open the gates of Limbo and ensure a permanent demonic presence on Earth. In a last-ditch effort to hurt both her husband and her "father", Madelyne was now all too willing to go along with the destruction of her son Nathan Christopher.[volume & issue needed]

Returning to New York City, where Inferno and the demonic invasion was already in full swing, she pitted the X-Men against Scott, Jean and the rest of X-Factor by reverting to her normal appearance and claiming that Scott wanted to take her baby away.[35] Madelyne meanwhile convinced Alex to join her as her "Goblin Prince".[36] She even turned Jean Grey's parents into demons and sent them to attack their own daughter: Jean facing the dilemma of defending herself without harming them.[volume & issue needed]

The X-Men and X-Factor eventually defeated N'astirh,[36] but Madelyne, determined to destroy her rival, encased herself, Jean Grey, and baby Nathan Christopher in a telekinetic bubble. The heroes broke through the bubble and Cyclops rescued his son, but Madelyne committed suicide in an attempt to telepathically take Jean with her. The Phoenix Force appeared to Jean and offered to save her, but in order to survive Jean had to integrate the tainted essence of both the Phoenix and Madelyne, gaining their memories and personalities.[37] The teams then returned to the fresh ruins of the Mansion for a showdown with Mr. Sinister, whom they recognized as the true villain.[38] Sinister revealed a long history of meddling in Scott's life, and Scott, with one powerful optic blast, seemingly destroyed Sinister, leaving only a smoking skeleton.[39]

Scott was reunited with his son Nathan Christopher at the end of Inferno, and Jean, having re-absorbed her stray essence imbued in Madelyne, inherited her maternal feelings for the child and became his proxy mother. They would raise Nathan Christopher until Apocalypse, seeing the potential threat in the child, infected him with a techno-organic virus. Dying, the child was saved by Askani and taken 2,000 years into the future to be cured. Around this time, a mysterious new character called Cable debuted.[40] Cable was eventually established to be Madelyne and Scott's aged son returned from the future.[41]


Madelyne Pryor as Black Rook. Art by Roger Cruz

Madelyne mysteriously reappeared many years later as an amnesiac to Nate Grey (X-Man) — the "genetic son" of Scott Summers and Jean Grey from the alternate reality known as the Age of Apocalypse — when he came to Earth-616.[8] Under the tutelage of Selene, Madelyne eventually served as the Hellfire Club's Black Rook,[42] had her memories of her previous life restored by Tessa,[43] and would meet her aged son Cable in an uneasy truce.[44]

It was later revealed that Madelyne was a "psychic construct",[45] unconsciously resurrected by Nate Grey's psionic powers. The two would be companions until, near death, Madelyne went her own way.[46]

When Apocalypse had captured the fabled Twelve, among them Cyclops and Cable, and was about to drain them of their energies to gain omnipotence, Madelyne sensed her son’s distress and granted him his last wish – to be with his parents one last time. Pulling the consciousnesses of Cyclops and Cable to the astral plane, Madelyne made this reunion happen, and offered to stay together like this forever. Yet, both her husband and her son were unwilling to enter the afterlife without at least trying to fight Apocalypse. Instead, they asked for Madelyne to help them against the seemingly unbeatable foe, but she declined, arguing that in her current state this was beyond her abilities. The exact details of how she was stuck on the astral plane as a “psionic ghost” have yet to be revealed.[47]

About half a year later, X-Man was again accompanied by "Maddie" alive and well but she turned out to be an evil Jean Grey from an alternate timeline. This woman seems to have taken advantage of Madelyne’s weakened state and replaced her, only to then worm her way into Nate’s head. Details are ambiguous however: at one point the impostor implied that she had been impersonating the resurrected Madelyne all along, but at another time she claimed she "replaced ... Maddie several months ago.".[48]

Red Queen[edit]

Some time later, a mysterious woman calling herself the "Red Queen" emerged and started a sadomasochistic relationship with the occasional X-Men enemy and White Queen’s former student Empath. By torturing him with a mix of pleasure and pain, the Red Queen learned everything there was to know about Cyclops’ new lover. Empath followed the Red Queen's instructions and created an anti-mutant group called "Hellfire Cult",[49] which inadvertently led to an investigation of the X-Men and Empath’s capture as the Red Queen slips away unseen, but not before she psionically impersonated the White Queen and had virtual sex with Cyclops who didn’t notice the difference.[50] The capture of Empath, however, had been the Red Queen’s plan all along, as she needed a mole inside the X-Men’s home, and from the holding pens, Empath could subversively influence the X-Men’s emotions for her. Later, Cyclops is surprised at the sight of a familiar woman observing him from a distance, but loses her amongst a crowd; Scott tells Emma that the woman he saw was Madelyne.[51]

Almost simultaneously, the Red Queen is shown in Madripoor, recruiting Chimera into a new group called the "Sisterhood of Mutants". With Martinique Jason (recruited before the Cult's exposure)[52] and Chimera accompanying her, the Red Queen recruited Spiral and Lady Deathstrike into the Sisterhood as well.[53]

Madelyne includes a peculiar offer to all the Sisterhood recruits as seen when she approached Martinique's half-sister, Lady Mastermind, who accepts membership for the chance to bring back their father from the dead. However, when Madelyne reveals her promised resurrections to be untried and uncertain, this admission causes some of her group members to react violently against her, but she convinces them to continue following her. Explaining the procedure's real purpose, Maddie’s first priority was to orchestrate her own return as a person of flesh and blood. She had learned, while she was stuck as a “psionic ghost", she still could tap into the demonic magic she had wielded as the Goblin Queen and could get others to do her bidding. Managing to manifest in an intangible, yet nonetheless real form, she still needed to find a body to inhabit that could contain the psyche of her powerful psi-talent. However, before she would undergo the risky treatment herself, Madelyne decided to test the magical ritual on a guinea pig. Carrying out Madelyne’s orders, the Sisterhood retrieved the body of Revanche from a private cemetery in Japan. After Spiral repaired Revanche’s decaying body as much as possible, Madelyne successfully performed the magical spell that infused the corpse with the life-force of Psylocke, whom the Sisterhood had captured earlier.[54]

The Sisterhood then commences a surprise raid on the X-Men's base, quickly neutralizing several of the main X-members.[55] Recovering from the initial attacks, the X-Men force the Sisterhood (now including a brainwashed Psylocke) to retreat, but the entire battle was only a distraction, as the real purpose was for Madelyne to steal a lock of Jean Grey's hair.[56]

Madelyne uses the hair sample to locate Grey's gravesite, and then attempts to repeat the ritual with her corpse. However, Cyclops, having correctly guessed Madelyne’s goal, had arranged for Grey's body to be replaced with someone else's, which Madelyne only learned after it was too late. With the decayed body unsuitable for containing her vast psionic energies, Madelyne seemingly discorporated, and thus "died" once again, though her ultimate fate was unknown.[12]

Avengers Vs. X-Men[edit]

During the 2012 Avengers vs. X-Men storyline, Mister Sinister had created a group of six Madelyne Pryor clones in order to take away the Phoenix Force energies from the Phoenix Five (consisting of the Phoenix Force-empowered Cyclops, Colossus, Emma Frost, Magik, and Namor). Unlike the original Madelyne, none of the six showed indications of having individual personalities or free will, but instead appeared to follow Sinister completely.[57] The Madelyne Pryor clones joined Mister Sinister's other clone creations in fighting the Phoenix Five and managed to defeat each one.[58] They also were able to siphon some of the energy from the Phoenix Force, but they all were immediately killed by the entity itself.[59]

Lady Deathstrike's Sisterhood[edit]

Lady Deathstrike, whose consciousness had taken possession of a Colombian girl named Ana Cortes, formed an all new Sisterhood initially compromised of herself, Typhoid Mary, and the Asgardian Enchantress (Amora).[60] The sentient bacteria Arkea possessed Lady Deathstrike's assistant Reiko, and joined.[61] As Arkea feared being opposed by the X-Men, she wanted powerhouses with the Sisterhood, so had Enchantress use her magicks to restore Selene. Ana Cortes managed to turn against Deathstrike, contact the X-Men and alert them of the Sisterhood's location, and then committed suicide. Arkea then placed Deathstrike's consciousness into Reiko also, and seeing an opportunity, Arkea utilized advanced sciences combined with Enchantress' magick to revive Madelyne Pryor, using Ana's body as a host, making Madelyne flesh-and-blood again for the first time since her physical death. When the X-Men arrived and attacked, Madelyne fought and telepathically defeated the more-experienced telepath Rachel Grey. Storm offered Madelyne and Selene a deal, essentially letting them go free as the X-Men were only after Arkea at the moment. As Madelyne and the other members of the Sisterhood didn't particularly care for Arkea, they deserted her, allowing all of the Arkea bacteria to be destroyed. Accompanied by Selene, Madelyne declared that she would create an all new Sisterhood. [62]

Powers and abilities[edit]

As a clone of Jean Grey, Madelyne Pryor also possessed mutant abilities of telekinesis and telepathy. These powers remained latent while she was believed to be a baseline human, but later manifested in ways that Jean's never had. As the Goblin Queen, her mutant powers were exponentially enhanced by demonic eldritch magic to the point where she could warp reality within a localized area.

As Anodyne, Madelyne possessed the ability to wield Asgardian magic that manifested as eldritch flames with the power to heal and cure. Among her beneficial actions were fixing the childhood brain injury that prevented Cyclops from controlling his optic blasts, curing Puck of his mystically induced dwarfism, unifying Aurora's multiple personalities, and giving Rogue the ability to control her mutant power. When transformed into Anodyne, Madelyne also took on the stature of an Asgardian, possibly also gaining the hardier physiology and strength of that race.

After her apparent resurrection by Nate Grey, Madelyne's telepathy was reduced to a lower level, limiting her to reading minds, broadcasting her thoughts, creating illusions, changing or erasing memories, and defending herself against other telepaths. Her telekinesis was still considerable, such that Madelyne could lift and manipulate large objects, levitate, fire powerful mental force-blasts, form protective shields, and even rearrange objects on a molecular level. Madelyne also developed powers that Jean never possessed: she was able to teleport over long distances by psychokinetically shifting in and out of the astral plane (and was shown to be able to carry along at least one other person with her when teleporting), and also able to channel psionic energies from other psionic-powered mutants to boost her own abilities or those of another (usually Nate Grey, and on occasion Cable). Madelyne has also utilized her powers to augment her physical strength and agility, to a level of being lethal in hand-to-hand combat.

The Red Queen apparently possesses telepathy,[51] and has other considerable powers of a mysterious nature, referred to as "magic".[54][56] It is revealed that the Red Queen is a non-corporeal parasitic entity (similar to the Shadow King) which is motivating most of Madelyne's plans and actions. Moreover, she mentions that her previous host had been destroyed and that there were only two beings in existence that could house her disembodied form. Jean Grey was revealed to be one of the two; the other is assumed to have been Madelyne Pryor herself.[55] Arkea used her advanced technological knowledge and a Jean Grey dna sample to alter the corpse of Ana Cortes into a body capable of hosting the Red Queen. Amora used her sorcery to complete the resurrection. [63]

Other versions[edit]

What If...?[edit]

In one alternate reality (Earth-89112), Madelyne Pryor and S'ym were successful in opening a portal between Limbo and Earth (having killed baby Nathan Christopher) and demons overran the planet. The X-Men and X-Factor were dead (with the exception of a possessed Wolverine), and the only resistance left was led by Doctor Strange, who attempted to summon the Phoenix Force through Rachel Summers, the reality-hopping daughter of Scott Summers and Jean Grey. Madelyne however was successful in quelling the resistance and wresting control of the Phoenix Force from Rachel, but was ultimately betrayed and killed by S'ym, using Wolverine's reanimated adamantium skeleton. Rachel, reassuming the mantle of the Phoenix, used the Force to cleanse the planet of the demon plague.[64]

On Earth-9250, most mutants in the city of Manhattan are vampires ruled by Wolverine. Madelyne was not infected, but became the Goblyn Queen and planned on releasing a demon army to wipe out the vampire mutants and dominate the world. Madelyne made contact with the lord of the Dark Dimension, Dormammu, who became her ally. However, the vampiric Marvel Girl (Jean Grey) bonded with the Phoenix Force, became Dark Phoenix, and killed Madelyne and Dormammu.[65]

Pryor as "Marvel Woman" from Mutant X

Another reality saw Madelyne Pryor as a member of an "X-Men" team formed by Mr. Sinister alongside Cyclops (Scott Summers), Havok (Alex Summers), and Sabretooth. However this version of Madelyne had never been awakened by the Phoenix Force, so she was simply a mindless shell inhabited by the psychic entity Malice. Scott noticed his physical attraction to Madelyne, but could not respond to her advances; when he encountered Professor Xavier's X-Men and their leader Jean Grey, however, much deeper emotions were stirred. Sinister called for their deaths, and under his orders Cyclops and Havok infiltrated Xavier’s X-Men as double agents.[66]

Mutant X[edit]

In the alternate reality known as the Mutant X universe, young Scott Summers was abducted into space along with his father Christopher and mother Kate, leaving his brother Alex to become one of the founders of the X-Men as Havok. As in the main Marvel universe, Jean Grey died and was replaced by her clone, Madelyne Pryor. This reality's Madelyne fell in love with Alex and had a son, named Scotty, with him. She also made a deal with S'ym and N'astirh and initiated the "Inferno Crisis", unlocking her latent mental abilities. As "Marvel Woman", Madelyne survived the crisis and left with her husband when he formed the splinter group called "The Six". Her evil side resurfaced a number of times, first as the "Goblyn Queen" and later as the "Goblyn Force". When it returned a second time, it merged with the Beyonder to form a nigh-omnipotent being. Havok supposedly saved Madelyne by placing the "Nexus of Realities" in her body, purging her of the malevolent Goblyn Force and reuniting her with her son Scotty, before Havok returned once more to the void.

Marvel Mangaverse[edit]

In the Marvel Mangaverse title Legacy of Fire, Madelyne Pryor was reinvented as Madelyne Pyre, a powerful sorceress and possessor of the Phoenix Sword, who was training her sister Jena to be her successor.

Madelyne Pryor confronts Cassandra Nova in X-Men: The End. Art by Sean Chen.

X-Men: The End[edit]

Madelyne Pryor appears in an important role late in X-Men: The End, Chris Claremont's limited series about an alternate future. In the story, Madelyne — through circumstances left unexplained — makes a surprise return, implied as being the first time since Inferno, with no references to Nate Grey whatsoever, although she and Cable are shown to be already familiar. Mysteriously joined with the X-Men's alien enemies (the Skrulls and the Shi'ar), Madelyne affected a disguise to infiltrate the X-Men, planting herself near Cyclops for the rest of the series. No longer insane, but still seeking revenge against her former husband, Madelyne nonetheless wavered and instead took to protecting him, after eavesdropping on Scott expressing remorse for everything that happened to her, and even implying that he genuinely loved her after all. Cyclops later admitted to having recognized her at some point, and an understanding and peace was finally reached between them, for the sake of aiding their son Cable in battle. When Cable's effort leaves him dying, a grief-stricken Madelyne is accepted back with the X-Men again. After Cyclops and Jean Grey are also killed, Madelyne cryptically reveals that, since the very beginning, she was always both Madelyne Pryor and a crucial portion of Jean Grey herself (and even hinted to being the Dark Phoenix), explaining that she was the part of Jean that truly and completely loved Scott, and that was why Jean and Scott's marriage failed. Madelyne then sacrifices herself by turning into energy and fusing with Jean Grey, who is once again resurrected. Jean is able to use her power to its fullest again, which allows her and all the dead X-Men to merge with the Phoenix and transcend to a new level of existence. In the story's final panel, Madelyne's image is present next to Cyclops' among the X-Men who died heroically.

In other media[edit]

Madelyne Pryor's character was alluded in the X-Men animated television series. In the second season episode "Time Fugitives", Jean Grey reads Cable's mind, showing a visions that included a union between Cyclops and a red-haired woman, possibly Madelyne.

In the PC version of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Madelyne's Goblin Queen persona is available as one of Jean's many custom costumes.

Madelyne (in her Hellfire Club Black Rook costume) appears as the final villain in the Rachel Grey mission set in the X-Men: Battle of the Atom mobile game.


  1. ^ The X-Men Companion, Volume II. 1982. Fantagraphics Books, Inc.. p5, 108.
  2. ^ a b Uncanny X-Men #174
  3. ^ a b Uncanny X-Men #175
  4. ^ Sanderson, Peter (October 1986). "Walt & Louise Simonson". Comics Interview (39) (Fictioneer Books). p. 53. 
  5. ^ "Opinions 18 - Superheroes Behaving Badly IV: Cyclops (Jan 2000)". Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  6. ^ Scans Daily (2009-04-15). "scans_daily | Entries tagged with char: goblyn queen/madelyne pryor". Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  7. ^ Tegneserier: An interview with Chris Claremont,
  8. ^ a b X-Man #5 (July 1995)
  9. ^ Ekstrom, Steve (November 3, 2008). "Matt Fraction on Uncanny X-Men: Madelyne and More". Newsarama. 
  10. ^ Strom, Marc (April 7, 2009). "Uncanny X-Men: Sisterhood". 
  11. ^ Richards, Dave (April 16, 2009). "Matt Fraction Talks Uncanny X-Men". Comic Book Resources. 
  12. ^ a b Uncanny X-Men #511
  13. ^ "X-POSITION: Matt Fraction". Comic Book Resources. 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  14. ^ a b X-Men: Phoenix Force Handbook (released July 2010)
  15. ^ Uncanny X-Men #168 (April 1983)
  16. ^ Uncanny X-Men #170 (June 1983)
  17. ^ Uncanny X-Men #171 (July 1983)
  18. ^ X-Men and Alpha Flight #1-2 (December 1985 and January 1986)
  19. ^ Uncanny X-Men #200
  20. ^ Uncanny X-Men #201
  21. ^ X-Factor vol. 1 #1
  22. ^ Uncanny X-Men #206, #215, & #223
  23. ^ X-Factor vol. 1 #13
  24. ^ Uncanny X-Men #221-222
  25. ^ Uncanny X-Men #225-227
  26. ^ Uncanny X-Men #229-230
  27. ^ Uncanny X-Men #232
  28. ^ Uncanny X-Men #234
  29. ^ Uncanny X-Men #235
  30. ^ Uncanny X-Men #237 (October 1988)
  31. ^ Uncanny X-Men #238 (November 1988)
  32. ^ Uncanny X-Men #239 (December 1988)
  33. ^ a b Uncanny X-Men #240 (January 1989)
  34. ^ Uncanny X-Men #241 (February 1989)
  35. ^ X-Factor vol. 1 #37 (February 1989)
  36. ^ a b Uncanny X-Men #242 (March 1989)
  37. ^ X-Factor vol. 1 #38 (March 1989)
  38. ^ Uncanny X-Men #243 (April 1989)
  39. ^ X-Factor vol. 1 #39 (April 1989)
  40. ^ New Mutants vol. 1 #87 (March 1990)
  41. ^ Cable vol. 2 #6
  42. ^ X-Man #7-24 (September 1995 - February 1997)
  43. ^ X-Man Annual ‘96
  44. ^ Cable vol. 2 #44 & #50
  45. ^ X-Man #25 (March 1997)
  46. ^ X-Man #52 (June 1999)
  47. ^ Cable vol. 2 #76 (February 2000)
  48. ^ X-Man #67 (September 2000)
  49. ^ Uncanny X-Men #501
  50. ^ Uncanny X-Men #502
  51. ^ a b Uncanny X-Men #503
  52. ^ Uncanny X-Men #499
  53. ^ Uncanny X-Men #504
  54. ^ a b Uncanny X-Men #508
  55. ^ a b Uncanny X-Men #509
  56. ^ a b Uncanny X-Men #510
  57. ^ Uncanny X-Men Vol. 2 #14
  58. ^ Uncanny X-Men Vol. 2 #15
  59. ^ Uncanny X-Men Vol. 2 #16
  60. ^ "X-Men" Vol.4 8
  61. ^ "X-Men" Vol.4 #10
  62. ^ "X-Men" Vol.4 #12
  63. ^ "X-Men" Vol.4 #12
  64. ^ What If...? vol. 2 #6 (November 1989)
  65. ^ What If...? vol. 2 #37 (May 1992)
  66. ^ What If...? vol. 2 #74 (July 1995)

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