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Art by Ron Lim
|First appearance||X-Men 2099 #1 (October, 1993)|
|Created by||John Francis Moore|
|Alter ego||Shakti Haddad|
|Team affiliations||X-Men 2099|
Halo City Protectorate
Cerebra (//; Shakti Haddad) is a mutant fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She is a founding member of the X-Men 2099 of Marvel 2099 and founder of X-Nation 2099. The character was created by John Francis Moore and Ron Lim.
Fictional character biography
Shakti Haddad was the daughter of Zail Haddad, a powerful and ruthless businessman, whose company performed genetic experiments on poor and destitute citizens. Zail's business practices, as he was performing experiments on only the disenfranchised, were not deemed illegal in the dystopic universe of the Marvel 2099 imprint. Disgusted by her father's work Shakti left home nearly a decade before the start of the story. Her father sent bounty hunters to bring her back, though none would succeed. During this time she met a man named Ryu Kobolt, who she fell in love with. Kobolt, however, was suffering from a fatal disease and left Shakti, to save her the grief of his eventual death.
Shakti would later meet Xi'an Chi Xan, a former outlaw who began a quest to unite mutantkind and recreate the X-Men. Her mutant ability allowed her to sense the presence of nearby mutants, for which Meanstreak later gave her the nickname Cerebra. She used this gift to help Xi'an fill his roster, finishing with Timothy Fitzgerald whom she met in Kingman, AZ. She helped run Xi'an's gatherings, up until the point when he was shot by an assassin, revenge for Xi'an's alleged killing of the head of the Synge Casino, Noah Synge.
Shakti cared for Xi'an as the group escaped, treating his wound and stabilizing him as he lapsed into a coma. While the others infiltrated the casino to find evidence of Xi'an's innocence, Xi'an's body coated itself with a black cocoon. Shakti, Skullfire and Serpentina were ambushed by Junkpile, who incapacitated them and stole Xi'an's comatose body. Together, the X-Men cleared Xi'an of the charges, revealing that Synge's son, Lytton, had murdered him. Xi'an awoke from his coma, having gained a second mutation, the ability to heal with his right hand.
After this, the X-Men set out to find Mama Hurricane, a member of the mutant underground railroad during the Great Purge some three decades prior. They find her with a group of degens (genetically altered humans) called the freakshow. Shakti senses a mutant among them, which turns out to be the unborn child of Freakshow member Rosa Vasquez. They obtain information on Hurricane's next contact during the Purge, named the Driver, and leave.
Their next stop is a ranch where Xi'an had sent Krystalin to meet with one of his former outlaw teammates, investigating the sighting of a flying mutant reminiscent of Angel from Xavier's original X-Men. They arrive and find Krys brainwashed by Zhao, the leader of the last group of X-Men, before the Purge. Due to psychoactive drugs, Zhao has become increasingly unstable, attempting to create analogs of the original X-Men, however their genetic structure begins breaking down and will eventually kill them. He captures Shakti and the rest in an effort to brainwash them into his own new X-Men team. He is rendered comatose when he attempts to invade Xi'an's mind and Xi'an's former lawless personality, which had been suppressed, resurfaced. This reverts Xi'an to his former amoral self, who subsequently abandons the X-Men and goes to search for the Driver himself, though Skullfire follows him.
While the other X-Men seemingly split up to deal with personal affairs, Cerebra remains at the ranch, intent on reversing the genetic deterioration of Zhao's "chosen". With the help of Frostbite, the Iceman analog, she cryogenically freezes the remaining three (the Beast analog was killed by Zhao). Unable to be frozen, Frostbite leaves rather than sit and await her demise. Shakti eventually cures and begins to reverse the deterioration, but before she can finish the bodies of the chosen, as well as Zhao, are stolen by Xi'an, who is now a member of the Theatre of Pain.
Along with Skullfire and the newly recruited La Lunatica, Shakti infiltrated the Theatre of Pain's Floodgate facility in California. With the arrival of the other errant X-Men, they manage to defeat the Theatre's leader, Brimstone Love and rescue Xi'an.
With the arrival of Doom, the self-imposed U.S. President, the X-Men are hired as protectorate of the new mutant city-state, Halo City. Their first challenge ends up being a former victim of Zail Haddad, a mutant named Graverobber with the power to revive the dead as zombies. He arrives in Halo City looking for Shakti's estranged father, whom she claims to have no ties to. To her surprise, Zail had entered the city and appeals to her for sanctuary and protection from Graverobber. She grudgingly agrees, but is double-crossed by Morphine Summers, one of Doom's cabinet members and the unofficial political head of Halo City. Summers makes a deal to give Zail to Graverobber, but when he is handed over activates a neural charge that incapacitates them both.
At some time during their stay at Halo City, Shakti is one of the X-Men who visit the Oasis, a paradise created by Ryu Kobolt, her former lover who she had assumed dead. Kobolt had built the Oasis to bring together a chosen few downtrodden citizens, who would be put into cryogenic stasis for 250 years, during which time a barrage of chemical warheads would destroy all other life on the planet. Cerebra, along with Skullfire, Luna and Bloodhawk, stop this plan and destroy Kobolt and the Oasis. As this was a bookshelf edition standalone story it is not entirely clear where it fits into the storyline. However, it is implied to be after they arrive in Halo City, but before Shakti leaves the team.
After being deposed as U.S. President, Doom visits Halo City to tell Shakti of a soon-to-come mutant Messiah. To this end, he tasked Shakti with gathering and training young candidates and thus X-Nation was born. Shakti begins training the young mutants, who are given residence at the Xavier Shelter, better known as the home church of the Sisters of the Howling Commandments. Cerebra is rarely shown with X-Nation, however, as the bulk of their battles resulted from them running away from the shelter. While searching for the teens she is attacked by Exodus, who plans to take X-Nation for his own. The team is devastated by their leader, Clarion's, death and along with the rest of Halo City are forced to higher ground as the world is flooded by the melting polar ice caps.
2099: World of Tomorrow
Following the cancellation of all 2099 titles X-Nation and X-Men were absorbed into the new book, 2099: World of Tomorrow. Shakti and the others evacuate to the Savage Land as the polar ice caps melt and flood the world. They must now build a new civilization and deal with the threat of the Phalanx. Cerebra initially helps to put together a governmental counsel, attempting to recruit Xi'an, who is less than enthusiastic. After the disappearance of Reed Richards, she meets Richards' final creation, a database of all remaining world knowledge nicknamed Franklin. Franklin seems semi-sentient and ends up paralyzing Shakti's legs and negating her mutant power. She is confined to a hoverchair as she tries to understand the significance of what Franklin is. Franklin connects to the Phalanx ship in orbit and, upon finding out that they attempt to destroy and assimilate all life on Earth, deems them "evil" and destroys their ship. As the story is cancelled, Cerebra remains at the Last Refuge, helping humans and mutants work together to rebuild civilization.
Shakti recently returned in Spider Man 2099 vol. 3 #14 in the arc Civil War 2099, along with other heroes, fighting her teammates of X-Men. More recently, she and the other members of X-Men 2099, meet the original time displaced X-Men, in X-Men Blue series.
Powers and abilities
Shakti possesses a specific form of telepathy that allows her to 'sense' mutants in a similar manner to Charles Xavier's Cerebro. She also has the ability to manipulate a person's nervous system and paralyze them as well as stun and render them unconscious or access any autonomic functions, like Skullfire's powers before he learned to control them. Shakti has a small implant below her left ear that allows her to directly connect to computers and the Cybernet, the 2099 version of the internet. She is also a brilliant scientist and a skilled martial artist.
In Timestorm 2009–2099 Shakti is a mutant teenager whose hair resembles an exposed brain. She now has the power to reveal someone's history, both past and future, through touch. She tries to resist Alchemax's general evil and its specific plans to alter its past to benefit its presence.
- X-Men 2099 #26
- X-Men 2099: Oasis
- X-Men 2099 #1
- X-Men 2099 #2-3
- X-Men 2099 #6-8
- X-Men 2099 #8-9
- X-Men 2099 #14-19
- X-Men 2099 #24-25
- X-Men 2099 #26-29
- X-Men 2099 #30
- X-Nation 2099 #1-6
- 2099: World of Tomorrow #1-8 (1996 - 1997)
- X-Men 2099 #3
- X-Men 2099 #22