Xavin, displaying her abilities.
Art by Jo Chen.
|First appearance||Runaways, volume 2 #7.|
|Created by||Brian K. Vaughan
|Place of origin||Tarnax VII|
|Abilities||Superhuman strength and durability
Force field projection
Xavin is a fictional superhero in the Marvel Comics Runaways. She is a Super-Skrull in training, created by author Brian K. Vaughan & artist Adrian Alphona, and debuted in Runaways vol. 2 #7. Although Alphona was the series' artist at the time, artist Takeshi Miyazawa first drew the character on print.
Xavin had first appeared to the Runaways, taking on the form of a black male, but changed into a black female just for the sake of Karolina Dean, a lesbian whom she was to marry. Xavin is often seen as a male, simply to be "intimidating". Xavin, often called "Xav" for short, is known for her obtuse and warlike personality. She had originally found it hard to fit in with the runaways due in part to her constant gender switching and unfamiliarity with Earth values and norms, though through proving her loyalty to the group, found acceptance. She is the daughter of the Skrull Prince De'zean.
Fictional character biography
When Xavin journeys to Earth to find Karolina Dean, she reveals to Karolina that her parents had one more large secret. The Deans had been exiled from their planet Majesdane for criminal activities. They traveled to Earth where they encountered Xavin's father, Prince De'zean of the Skrulls, who was going to rule the planet. The Deans had stopped the destruction but gave the Skrulls the location of another, more valuable planet: Majesdane. In order to prove they weren't lying, they gave Prince De'zean's son their daughter's hand in marriage. The Deans had believed that Xavin would die in the new Skrull/Majesdanian war. He arrived on Earth in order to marry her and hopefully stop the fifteen-year war between their races Xavin encountered Karolina shortly after her romantic advances were rejected by Nico Minoru. Xavin, trying to convince Karolina to be his bride, fought and pursued her. Karolina revealed that she is not attracted to men and doesn't want to live a lie, but Xavin altered his form to that of a human woman and persuaded her to leave Earth with the new female version of Xavin.
During the wedding ceremony, a fight breaks out between the two races and Xavin and Karolina barely escape before Majesdane is destroyed. They return to Earth, where they help rescue Molly Hayes from the New Pride. Xavin impersonates Nico and takes a bullet for her, distracting Geoffrey Wilder long enough for Nico to untie Molly and escape. Xavin survives the attack by shape-shifting her organs out of the way.
When the Runaways return from a trip to the past, Xavin learns she is in the most heated phase of the Skrull Invasion. Instead of fighting, she knocks out her teammates and attempts a peaceful settlement of the war, reasoning that the Skrulls are "religious extremists". Her attempts at peace fail, and she's informed that the Runaways are targeted for execution. She urges Nico to take the rest of the team and hide, and in a last-ditch effort to halt the invasion, she flees to search for Hulkling, former Skrull King and enemy of the religious extremist Skrulls' Queen, Veranke. She finds Hulkling injured, targeted for assassination by Veranke herself. By siding with Hulkling, she's branded as a traitor too.
As a fugitive
Weeks later, Xavin is more well adjusted, refraining from insulting Victor and becoming close to Molly (the only teammate other than Karolina to always refer to Xavin as female). However, Xavin is still more-or-less an outcast to the other members. Like the other Runaways, Xavin is an orphan (she told the group when she first appeared that his parents were dead because of the aliens' war). She also calls herself a runaway when she reveals her identity to Geoffry Wilder. Xavin joins the group but has trouble adjusting to her new surroundings and getting along with her new teammates, particularly Victor, whom she often offends with condescending remarks about robots. Although she is aggressive and headstrong, Xavin is motivated to protect her new home by her love for Karolina. Xavin usually reverts to the male Skrull form when in battle insisting that it adds to a more intimidating persona, despite Karolina thinking that it is sexist, yet still spends some time in male human form as well. However, during their trip to 1907, it was revealed that when she loses control or is under emotional pressure, the female form was the one to which she would revert, something that made Karolina very happy.
In Runaways's "Dead Wrong" story arc, a group of surviving Majesdanians arrive to arrest Karolina. After they repeatedly attack the Runaways, Xavin realizes that the aliens won't stop until they get Karolina. Karolina apparently leaves the group with the Majesdanians, but the Runaways are later shocked to find the real Karolina knocked out. Xavin shape-shifted into Karolina's form and took her place, to take all the punishment for their species' war. Kissing Karolina, Xavin whispers her love and departs the group.
Powers and abilities
Xavin, being a Skrull, has the Skrull natural ability to shape-shift. Xavin was a Super-Skrull in training, meaning she can manifest the powers of the Fantastic Four: Mr. Fantastic's ability to stretch and contort his body into any shape imaginable, Invisible Woman's power to render herself invisible and the ability to create force fields, the Human Torch's fire-control and flight and the Thing's superhuman strength and resistant rock-like hide. Unsurprisingly, the Super-Skrull K'lrt is one of Xavin's idols. As stated by Xavin, she is still a Super Skrull in training, so she can only use her Fantastic Four abilities one at a time; at one point, when Xavin was bombarded with high frequency sounds, she lost control of her powers and burnt up the Griffith Observatory. Finally, in vol. 3, #2, she used all her powers at once in anger.
Xavin is known for her war-like, rash attitude, something that irritates the other Runaways, particularly Victor, who she had a strong animosity towards because being an android, Victor would have been hardwired to cook and clean on her planet. Although Xavin often demonstrates a strong, General-type behaviour, there are periods when she accidentally shows she barely has any more experience than the other runaways; for example; she once stretched herself from one building to another just to get to the other side, instead of simply creating a force-field bridge, only realizing the alternative after it was pointed out to her by Molly.
Due to Xavin often changing through his/her three main forms, (human female, human male, and true Skrull form) both characters within the series and fans question the nature of her gender. As a Skrull, a race of shapeshifters, Xavin stated "for us, just changing our gender is no different than changing our hair color", implying that Skrulls change their looks often. When asked by Molly about why she doesn't stay in female form all the time, Xavin replied that it was simply her nature to do so and doesn't see a problem in it, though it causes Xavin to start questioning her own nature. Although Karolina does truly love Xavin, even so much as to deny Xavin disguised as Nico, she does become depressed when Nico questions Xavin's true gender. In Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways, Xavin is mostly male, but female briefly. In vol. 3, #1, Xavin is only male, but in vol. 3 #2, Xavin is only female. Karolina is fixed on the idea that Xavin is female, and that Xavin isn't pretending to be a woman, just learning to be human. During an argument with Karolina, Xavin loses control and changes form into her female form, and Karolina takes that to mean Xavin's true form is a female. However, on his blog, the artist Humberto Ramos notes that he was instructed to draw Xavin taking different genders depending on the situation.
Relationships with other Runaways
Due to her war-like, yet rash attitude, Xavin often irritates the other Runaways. She often believed that Victor was supposed to be hardwired to know everything, being a cyborg. In her first appearance, she called Victor a "toy". Xavin met Karolina after Karolina suffered rejection from Nico, her crush for many months. When Xavin expressed no concern of changing physical appearance from male to female to please her, Karolina began a relationship. Xavin once took the form of Nico in order to please Karolina, but Karolina rejected her as Nico and reassured Xavin that she loves her as she is. Later on, during an argument, Xavin subconsciously reverted to female human form, which both surprised and pleased Karolina, who had earlier expressed some lingering doubts about Xavin's true gender.
Besides Victor, Xavin strongly infuriates Nico and often questions Nico's leadership decisions.
- Runaways: Volume 2, #7
- Runaways: Volume 2, #8
- Runaways: Volume 2, #25
- Runaways: Volume 2, #29
- Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers
- Runaways: Volume 2, #23
- Runaways: Volume 2, #17
- Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers
- Runaways: Vol.3, #5
- Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways
- Runaways: Volume 2, #19
- Runaways: Volume 3, #2
- Runaways: Volume 2, #20
- Morse, Ben (2008-12-08). "Take 10: Skrulls". Marvel. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
- Runaways/Young Avengers #3 Archived February 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- Runaways: Volume 2, #21
- Runaways: Volume 2, #22
- Runaways: Volume 3, #1
- Xavin's true gender on Humberto Ramos' blog Archived September 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.