Wind Dancer

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Renascence
Renascence sofia.jpg
Renascence in action, taken from New Warriors, vol.4 #9. Art by Paco Medina.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance New Mutants, vol. 2 #1 (July 2003)
Created by Nunzio DeFilippis
Christina Weir
Keron Grant
In-story information
Alter ego Sofia Mantega
Species Depowered Human Mutant
Team affiliations New Mutants training squad
New Warriors
Notable aliases Wind Dancer
Abilities Minimal athlete and martial artist
Suit with six mechanical tentacles and electrically charged talons
Personal force field
Formerly:
Air and wind manipulation
Flight
Long-distance eavesdropping

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. At the beginning of New Mutants, vol. 2, she is 16 years old.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Sofia was born and lived most of her life in Caracas, Venezuela. While under the care of her uncle, Sofia's mother is killed in a riot. Her only Venezuelan adult relative, an uncle, is unable to support her in addition to his own children, so 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 a cold, asocial man with no interest in a daughter. As such, he extracts from her a promise that she would learn English before school started, she would get good grades, and she would not use her mutant power, in exchange for which all her material wants would be provided for without question.

Over the next three weeks, she befriends her father's manservant Derek, learns English, and joins a local school, but despite her outgoing nature, she has difficulty fitting in and is unable to reconcile herself to her father's lack of affection for her. She ultimately acts out by skipping school and wrecking one of her father's stores with hurricane force winds, making sure her actions are caught on a store security camera. Her father is incensed, less at the destruction of his store than by her exposing him as the father of a mutant, and considers leaving her in prison for 48 hours to punish her. Danielle Moonstar, having seen Sofía's vandalism on the news, steps in and offers her a place at the Xavier Institute.[1]

Wind Dancer as a New Mutant using her wind powers.

Xavier Institute[edit]

Resident mischief maker Julian Keller (codenamed Hellion) finds himself instantly attracted to Mantega and begins courting her. She rejects him after he makes derogatory remarks about her roommate, the shy Laurie Collins (later known as Wallflower),[2] but the attraction remains mutual, and despite herself Sofia later ends up flirting with Julian during a combat training exercise.[3] Derek remains in touch, even quitting his job when her father objects to his seeing Sofia.[4]

Sofia and Laurie are assigned to the New Mutants squad, along with a runaway from Japan named Surge, Laurie's love interest and former Reaver Elixir, straight-laced David Alleyne (Prodigy), and dangerous but well-intentioned mutant named Wither.[5] Sofia is generally well liked and is voted as "Most Outgoing" in the school's yearbook.[volume & issue needed]

Prodigy rejects the offer to lead the New Mutants, so the position falls to Sofia. She becomes isolated and irritable when the group loses their first training exercise, which she blames on her failure to lead. Her command decisions weaken further when Wither is arrested for the accidental death of his father, and she briefly sides with the Hellions, Julian's squad, to break him free. After the New Mutants fight the Hellions over the incident, Prodigy talks her into letting Wither go, and she tries to convince him to lead the New Mutants. He insists that Sofía's emotionalism have their advantages in a leadership role, but agrees to be co-leader, to better mesh their strengths.[6]

Thereafter, Sofia's temper eases again until the school dance, where she catches Laurie manipulating Prodigy to make her ex-boyfriend Elixir jealous.[7] Alarmed by the rapid disintegration of the squad, she finds herself kissing Julian, and he pushes her to end the in-fighting since she is the one who sees the good in everyone - even him. She tries to do so by forcing everyone to get together for a camp-out on the X-Mansion grounds. While bickering and even fist fighting break out, Sofia is able to eventually reconcile her teammates.[8]

Sofia loses her powers along with 98% of the mutant population when the Scarlet Witch produces a reality-bending spell in an attempt to solve the human/mutant problem.[9] Along with most of the depowered students, she moves out of the mansion and was to return to Venezuela with Derek. She leaves the school abruptly without giving Julian notice after she catches him callously denouncing Prodigy after he had lost his powers.[10]

New Warriors[edit]

For as-yet-unknown reasons, Sofia moves to New York City, where she lives alone and works as a waitress. She feels directionless in her new "normal" life and has nightmares about losing her powers. During the dream, Sofia enjoyed the pleasures of winged flight. Around this time, Sofia begins to receive strange messages from a group calling itself the New Warriors. The group sends a messenger whom Sofia recognizes as Barry, a young man she knew (and flirted with) from the restaurant she works in. Barry explains 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 transports Sofia into the secret base of the New Warriors,[11] but she rejects their efforts to talk her into joining the group.[12]

However, a battle between the New Warriors and a new Zodiac breaks out near the restaurant where Sofia works and she witnesses Cancer kill the New Warrior Longstrike.[13] With the Warriors fighting a losing battle and a little boy caught in the crossfire, Sofia charges 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.[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.[volume & issue needed]

Sofia makes headlines for her heroic deeds during the battle. She is expected to fully recover and has only lost her hair due to surgery.[14] 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.[volume & issue needed]

Renascence[edit]

Sofia's first mission as a New Warrior puts 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.[15]

Sofia takes 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] After the New Warriors disband Sofia keeps the tech she had been given.[16]

Powers and abilities[edit]

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.[17] When at close range, she can also compress air into a person's ear to disrupt their middle ear's equilibrium thereby disturbing their balance.[18]

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.

Other versions[edit]

House of M[edit]

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).

In this reality, she battled control against Wallflower's pheromones that manipulated the New Mutant Leadership Institute's students into fighting with the S.H.I.E.L.D. trainees to the death.

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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ New Mutants vol. 2 #1 (July 2003)
  2. ^ New Mutants vol. 2 #2-3 (August-September 2003)
  3. ^ New X-Men: Academy X #5
  4. ^ New Mutants vol. 2 #6 (December 2003)
  5. ^ New X-Men: Academy X #2 (August 2004)
  6. ^ New X-Men: Academy X #6 (December 2004)
  7. ^ New X-Men: Academy X #14
  8. ^ New X-Men: Yearbook Special
  9. ^ House of M #8
  10. ^ New X-Men #23
  11. ^ New Warriors v.4 #1
  12. ^ New Warriors v.4 #2
  13. ^ New Warriors v.4 #4
  14. ^ New Warriors v.4 #6
  15. ^ New Warriors v.4 #9
  16. ^ New Warriors v.4 #20
  17. ^ New Mutants vol. 2 #5 (November 2003)
  18. ^ New Mutants vol. 2 #3 (September 2003)

External links[edit]