|This article relies on references to primary sources. (September 2012)|
Renascence in action, taken from New Warriors, vol.4 #9. Art by Paco Medina.
|First appearance||New Mutants, vol. 2 #1 (July 2003)|
|Created by||Nunzio DeFilippis
|Alter ego||Sofia Mantega|
|Species||Depowered Human Mutant|
|Team affiliations||Hellions training squad
New Mutants training squad
|Notable aliases||Sofia Mantega-Barret, Wind Dancer, Renascence|
Suit with six mechanical tentacles and electrically charged talons,
Sofia Mantega, also known as Renascence and formerly known as Wind Dancer, is a fictional character, a former mutant appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. One of the student body in the Xavier Institute, she is a member of the New Mutants squad therein. Her first appearance was in New Mutants, vol. 2 #1, and she was the first of the main cast to be introduced. At the beginning of New Mutants, vol. 2, she is 16 years old.
Fictional character biography
Sofia was born and lived most of her life in Caracas, Venezuela. While under the care of her uncle, Sofia's mother was killed in a riot in town. Busy playing with the winds and her younger cousin, the news came to her uncle first, who watched the pair in the distance. Unfortunately, Sofia's mutant ability brought her the news of her mother's death as well as her uncle's refusal to take care of her. Shortly after her mother's funeral, she is sent to her father, who had been previously unaware of her existence. The head of a major supermarket chain located in the United States, Walter Barrett is an occupied businessman with no time for and no interest in a daughter.
Despite her enthusiasm in the reunion, he quickly sets three ground rules—she would learn English before school started, she would get good grades, and she would not use her mutant power. In return, he assured her she would want for nothing.
Three weeks later, she learned English and joined a local school, but had difficulty fitting in. By her birthday in May, despite her best efforts, she still had no friends at the school, and her father didn't even know it was her birthday (unlike his butler Derek, the only person who had any time for her). After hearing someone say that no one liked her behind her back after lying that they were busy, she finally snapped. Going to one of her father's stores, she let loose a hurricane inside it, completely wrecking it before collapsing into a fetal position, where the police found her and arrested her.
Her father visited her in jail. Asking her why she'd done it, she weakly replied that it was to see whether he'd notice, and that she'd made sure no one was hurt. Intending to leave her in prison for 48 hours before dropping the charges, and planning on a second paternity test to make sure he was not her father before sending her back to Venezuela, he was confronted by Danielle Moonstar. Having seen what Sofía had done on the news, she "persuaded" him to release Sofia into her custody so that she could take her to the Xavier Institute, then talked Sofia herself into going. After saying goodbye to Derek, they went onward to Xavier's.
The New Mutants/New X-Men
Resident mischief maker Julian Keller (codenamed Hellion) found himself instantly attracted to Mantega, offering to guide her through the school and tour the local hang out spots. Despite his persistent efforts, she nearly always rejected his offers due to his haughty behavior and rude remarks to her new growing group of friends, including the shy, emotion manipulating Laurie Collins (later known as Wallflower) and the straight-laced David Alleyne (Prodigy).[volume & issue needed]
The group would eventually become the New Mutants squad, along with several other students including a runaway from Japan named Surge, Laurie's love interest and former Reaver Elixir, as well as a dangerous but well intentioned mutant named Wither. Sofia was generally well liked and was voted as "Most Outgoing" in the school's yearbook.[volume & issue needed]
When it came time to appoint a leader, one of the more qualified members, Prodigy rejected the role of leadership. With no other volunteers, Sofia took the position, but became isolated and irritable when she proved unsuited to the task. Her command decisions weakened further when Kevin Ford was arrested for the accidental murder of his father, and she briefly sided with the Hellions, the group's rival squad, to break him free. After the New Mutants fought the Hellions over the incident, Prodigy talked her into letting Kevin go, and she talked him into leading the team. He was reluctant, but agreed to be co-leader with Sofía, to better mesh their strengths.
Thereafter, Sofia's temper eased again until the school dance, where she caught Laurie manipulating Prodigy to make her ex-boyfriend Elixir jealous. Alarmed by the rapid disintegration of the squad, she found herself kissing Hellion, to whom she'd reluctantly been drawn since her arrival at the Institute, and he pushed her to end the in-fighting since she was the one who saw the good in everyone - even him. She tried to do so by forcing everyone to get together for a camp-out on the X-Mansion grounds. While bickering and even fist fighting broke out, Sofia was able to eventually reconcile her teammates.
Along with most of the depowered students, she moved out of the mansion and was to return to Venezuela with her father's former manservant, Derek. She left the school abruptly without giving Julian notice after she catches him callously denouncing Prodigy after he had lost his powers. Luckily, she was not one of the many students to have been killed by an attack from William Stryker and his Purifiers.[volume & issue needed]
For as-yet-unknown reasons, Sofia moved to New York City, where she lived alone and works as a waitress. She felt directionless in her new "normal" life and had nightmares about the trauma of losing her powers which ominously featured none other than the Scarlet Witch. During the dream, Sofia enjoyed the pleasures of winged flight. Around this time, Sofia began to receive strange messages from a group calling itself the New Warriors. The group sent a messenger whom Sofia recognized as Barry, a young man she knew (and flirted with) from the restaurant she worked in. Sofia was angry until Barry explained that he is a depowered mutant, and is actually her old friend from the Xavier Institute, Beak, whom she did not recognize because of his altered appearance post-M-Day. Beak then transported Sofia into the secret base of the New Warriors, where she was introduced to Night Thrasher. Sofia refused Night Thrasher's offer. Before leaving, Night Thrasher gave Sofia an amulet which she later threw in an alley, causing it to explode into a wall of webs. Immediately after the amulet detonated, fellow ex-mutant Jubilee demonstrated why she joined the Warriors and further tried to persuade Sofia into joining the group.
She recently had another dream where she fought alongside both the X-Men and her former teammates against the Blob, which seemed to indicate a longing for her old friends, her former love interest Hellion, and a life of heroism.[volume & issue needed]
Back In Action
Still refusing to join the team, Sofia returns to her job as a waitress. However, a battle between the New Warriors and a new Zodiac breaks out near the restaurant and Sofia helplessly witnesses Cancer kill the New Warrior Longstrike.
With the Warriors fighting a losing battle and a little boy caught in the crossfire, Sofia charges unarmed towards Cancer providing enough distraction to give her friends the upper hand. While the superpowered individuals battle, Sofia tries to get the young boy to safety but is blasted from behind from an unknown energy blast. The battle ends and the unregistered heroes must flee for violating the Superhuman Registration Act. Nearby paramedics agree to take care of the fallen hero while the team escapes.[volume & issue needed]
At the hospital, doctors determine Sofia is suffering from burns, a concussion, and various other problems from the attack. During a comatose state, Sofia dreams she is meeting her mother in Heaven and once again bears angel-like wings. While Sofia is overjoyed by the reunion, her dream ends when Sofia's heart monitor continues to show signs of life.[volume & issue needed]
Sofia makes headlines for her heroic deeds during the battle, suffering serious injuries. Luckily, she is expected to fully recover and has only lost her hair due to surgery. Her hair appears to have grown back somewhat according to the cover of the upcoming issue.[volume & issue needed]
Upon her release from the hospital, Mantega reconsiders Night Thrasher's offer to join the team right as he is about to disband the group following the disastrous encounter with the Zodiac. However, the team of depowered mutants had found a sense of belonging with each other after losing a part of who they are following M-Day and wish to stay a team.[volume & issue needed]
Sofia's first mission as a New Warrior put her and the team up against the Alphaclan, a villain team atop of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s most wanted list. While Wondra says Sofia "held her own on her first mission", the team's efforts fall short until Night Thrasher intervenes.
It is revealed that Sofia has taken on the codename Renascence while operating with the New Warriors. She continues to waitress at her job and lives off-base as to never be dependent on someone else ever again.[volume & issue needed]
Powers and abilities
As the mutant Wind Dancer, Sofia had the ability to control the movement of air, which included the ability to generate wind with intense force, lift and carry objects, fly and, more subtly, amplify small vibrations in the air - allowing her to hear faraway conversations.
She has also used her powers to create a "cutting" effect by refining the force of the wind, such as during her battle with the Reavers. She can also compress air into a person's ear to disrupt their middle ear's equilibrium thereby disturbing their balance.
As Renascence, she wears a suit equipped with six metal cybernetic tentacles that can discharge surges of electricity from its claws. She is also equipped with a personal force field that emits a golden aura.
Sofia has some athletic and martial arts skills due to her training as a New Mutant at Xavier's and the combat sessions with the New Warriors.
House of M
Wind Dancer is a S.H.I.E.L.D. trainee in the House of M reality. During the House of M crossover (which later led to Decimation), Wind Dancer was shown as a S.H.I.E.L.D trainee, in the Hellions Squad, under Dani Moonstar's supervision, and involved in a rather intimate relationship with Scion (Julian's counterpart).
After Wallflower was killed and her influence severed, the surviving young mutants teamed up to attack Emperor Sunfire, who headed Project: Genesis, a plan to mutate baseline humans. Sunfire ordered their death, but reality was reverted before anything further happened.
- New Mutants v.2 #1
- New X-Men: Academy X #6
- New X-Men: Academy X #14
- New X-Men: Yearbook Special
- House of M #8
- New X-Men #23
- New Warriors v.4 #1
- New Warriors v.4 #2
- New Warriors v.4 #4
- New Warriors v.4 #6
- New Warriors v.4 #9
- New Warriors v.4 #10
- New Mutants v.2 #3
- New Mutants v.2 #5