Black Queen (02 - Selene Gallio)
Real Name: Selene Gallio
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Selene is both a mutant and a powerful sorceress. She possesses a wide range of superhuman abilities, but it has never been clearly defined which of these are her actual mutant abilities and which are skills derived from magic or other sources. Selene possesses various superhuman physical, mental, and energy manipulative capabilities.
Selene possesses formidable telepathic powers that allow her to blend her own psychic signature into the background thoughts around her, making her difficult for other psionics to locate or track. Selene is not as powerful as other high-order telepaths such as Professor Xavier or Jean Grey, and is vulnerable to psionic attack should she be located. She often uses her telepathy to induce a hypnotic trance in others, and then slips away at superhuman speed, leaving them with the impression that she simply vanished. She is is also telekinetic and uses this power to levitate herself and others using this ability, but cannot fly like other telekinetics. She can also create powerful telekinetic shields around herself. Selene can psychokinetically manipulate inorganic matter on a molecular level, levitating and animating nearly anything within her line of sight, or reducing objects to dust at will.
Selene also has the ability to control and manipulate fire, though she cannot create the fire herself. By concentrating on flames, she can manipulate them for a variety of uses. Whether this is a facet of her psychokinesis or a separate power is not clear.
Selene is functionally immortal and is said to be many thousands of years old. While not indestructible, Selene's body will always reconstitute itself given due time. She appears to be immune to most forms of conventional injury; she has survived both a knife wound and a crossbow bolt to her heart with no apparent strain or lasting effect. She also once survived and recovered completely from complete molecular discorporation, though it took considerable time to reconstitute herself. Selene's youthful appearance and vitality depends upon her absorbing the life forces of one or more people on a regular basis. This restores Selene to a youthful and healthy appearance when she has been injured, or when she over-exerts her other powers, and sustain her centuries-long life. A side-effect of this process is that Selene remembers the life of anyone she absorbs. Beings from whom Selene drains life essence from typically die and crumble to dust in seconds, but she can choose to take only a small portion of her victim's energies, thereby subverting them to her will.
By using the absorbed like energies that sustain her, Selene can enhance her physical strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, and durability to superhuman levels. The amount of energy she has retained from her victims does seem to correlate somewhat with her physical strength and resistance to injury. Selene can momentarily move at superhuman speeds rivaling those of Quicksilver, though this requires a heavy expenditure of energy and can cause her to age rapidly and require more life energy immediately.
While the full extent of Selene's magical powers isn't known, her greatly extended lifespan has given her great knowledge and experience sufficient to be considered a threat to Kulan Gath.
In more recent appearances Selene has been depicted as a being of semi-substantial living darkness, able to appear and disappear at will and imprison people in the dark energy she is composed of.
Her long life is attributed to the fact that she is a psychic vampire, able to drain the life from others to extend her own. Her name derives from the ancient lunar deity Selene, daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia. She has claimed to have already been old when mankind was just emerging.
Uncanny X-Men #191-192 (March - April, 1985) revealed her to have been an old enemy of sorcerer Kulan Gath. Kulan Gath was active during the Hyborian Age (before any recorded civilizations) and is known to have faced both Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja. In fact Sonja reportedly managed to kill him and his spirit would not manifest again until Marvel Team-Up #79. Thus, Selene was active at least as early as the Hyborian age.
Selene is assumed to have been wandering the world for millennia. In relatively recent times, she was trapped for centuries in the Amazon in the Romanesque town of Nova Roma (New Rome). She was worshipped as a goddess and worked to maintain the isolation of the town so she could maintain control. She was able to marry several times and have descendants. These include Amara Juliana Olivia Aquilla. Her most recent known husband was Marcus Domitius Gallio, a Senator.
Selene directed her worshippers to undertake tasks that eventually allowed her to leave Nova Roma. After she left the town, the citizens regained their memories and sought to return to their previous lives. Later stories attempted to suggest Nova Roma had been an illusion, sustained by Selene, and later the mutant known as Empath. This was ultimately disproved by Magma, who discovered that the supposed revelation of Nova Roma being an illusion was a ploy to steal her away from her home and torment those who loved her. It is possible that Selene was the one who made Magma think Nova Roma was not real.
Of all the X-Men and their related teams, she possesses particular hatred for Magma and Rachel Summers. In particular, Rachel almost killed her once, before being stopped by Wolverine. She was most recently seen during the latest membership change in the Hellfire Club, where she apparently has been kept prisoner beneath the building. However, she gained limited mobility from an alliance with Donald Pierce. She tried once again to take vengenance on Rachel, but was thwarted in this attempt as well. Selene remained trapped for a time beneath the Hellfire Club headquarters.
Selene was one of the few mutants to retain her powers after the events of M-Day.
Most recently, in New X-Men #32, Selene, disguised as an old woman, befriends Wither and they live together in Mutant Town. She encourages him to use his powers and not be afraid of his natural gifts, she asks him if he would use his powers to save his or her life. She had been killing a large number of people by draining the life out of them, and during her last feeding her disguise was spotted by a witness. She reveals to Wither that Laurie has died, and while he is away she is attacked by the police and manages to kill two of them before being shot multiple times. Wither arrives and kills the other two officers, only for Selene to drop her disguise, telling him she is immortal and that they are two of a kind and should be together. She tells Wither that she will be his queen if he agrees, then kisses him, and he consents.
Selene first appeared in New Mutants (1st series) #9.
Joined Hellfire Club as the Black Queen in New Mutants #23.
First Appearance: The New Mutants (1983) #23
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
#3 The New Mutants (1983)
- 'This Lady Kills!'#4
- 'Now Strikes the Assassin'
Annual 04#23 The New Warriors (1990)
- 'Teacher's Choice'#53
- 'Seduced & Abandoned'#54
- 'Our Way!'#70
- 'Self-fulfilling Prophesy'#71
- 'The Gift'#74
- 'The Right Stuff'#75
- 'King of the Hill!'
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition (1985)
#2 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Master Edition (1990)
- 'Beast to Clea'#5
- 'Gardener to the Hulk'
The Very Best of the X-Men (1994)
HC Titans (1976)
- 'The Very Best of the X-Men'
Uncanny X-Men (1963)
#190 Wolverine Encyclopedia (1996)
- 'An Age Undreamed Of'#191
- 'Raiders of the Lost Temple!'
X-Men Unlimited (1993)
Video Game Appearances:
Wolverine: Adamantium Rage (1994)
Hellfire Club (Marvel)
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