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Tessa is a mutant who possesses a cyberpathic mind that functions like a computer with unlimited storage capacity. Tessa is able to record and analyze vast amounts of data, including the entire genetic code of another living being, and can also calculate complex statistics in mere seconds.
Tessa’s memory is kinetic in nature, allowing her to instantly recall specific information with incredible speed and accuracy. Tessa also possesses the ability of total recall, as her mind stores everything that she sees and experiences. As such, Tessa is able to track the probability of an event by piecing together stored data.
Like a computer, Tessa is able to perform multiple tasks at once by allocating a partition of her brain to each task. For example, Tessa can use her mind to replay a movie she had watched previously, play a game of Internet chess, and focus on battling an opponent without any one task distracting her from another.
After analyzing the DNA of another superhuman mutant, Tessa is able to selectively evolve their existing genetic traits as well as catalyze the untapped genetic potential of latent mutants. Once begun, the procedure is irreversible and can often result in unpredictable side effects.
Tessa can also sense the presence of the mutant gene in others who are in close proximity to herself, and can reflect mental attacks - be they psionic or cybernetic in origin - back on their originators.
Tessa also once possessed low-level telepathic abilities that allowed her to read minds, communicate with others over a distance, project her astral form, manipulate the minds of others, and create realistic mental illusions.
Little is known of the life of the woman known as Tessa except that she had lived in a small village in the Balkan region of Europe whilst still a young girl, and that she had spent time in a harem under unrevealed circumstances. Just prior to her teenage years, Tessa found herself caught up in the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. She was forced to learn to fight to survive encounters with both soldiers and local bandits, and took weapons and equipment from the bodies of fallen combatants. One day, Tessa felt herself compelled to enter a cave in the nearby Hindu Kush mountain range. There, she found the powerful telepathic mutant named Charles Xavier, who had been trapped under a massive stone block by the alien being named Lucifer. Initially wary of him, Tessa rescued the critically injured mutant but soon after they encountered a United Nations aid convoy being attacked by bandits. Tessa drove off the attackers and then avenged the death of one young U.N. worker by brutally murdering the bandit that had raped and killed her.
Years later, Xavier recruited Tessa at the same time that he formed his original team of teenage mutant students he called the X-Men. Xavier kept Tessa's presence at his mansion a secret as he intended to utilize her own mutant telepathic talents as a spy in his fight for peaceful coexistence between mutants and humans. Tessa's first mission was to infiltrate the organization for the rich and powerful known as the Hellfire Club and to gain the trust of Sebastian Shaw, leader of the Club's Inner Circle at its New York branch. For years, Tessa acted as Shaw's familiar, advising and counseling him in both his legitimate and illegal business practices, all the while gathering information for Xavier. Shaw found Tessa's ability to function as a living computer invaluable and kept her in his employ for many years, even during the time he was deposed as leader of the Club.
Early in Tessa’s time with the Club, its renegade White Bishop, Donald Pierce, attempted a coup of the Club's leadership. Pierce kidnapped Tessa, believing that without her Shaw's position could more easily be compromised. She was rescued by Xavier and his team of New Mutants and, upon her return to the Club, Pierce was expelled.
Later, Tessa ran afoul of one of the Club’s regular and valued patrons, a reclusive billionaire named Elias Bogan. Shaw had made a wager with Bogan during a game of cards whereupon if Shaw lost, Bogan would win the Club's then-White Queen, the telepathic mutant Emma Frost. Bogan had never lost a game before, but with Tessa’s help Shaw won the bet. Bogan honoured the wager, but knew who was truly responsible for his defeat and exacted his revenge on Tessa, capturing her and branding her face with facial tattoos. Rescued by the X-Man Storm, Tessa soon affiliated herself with the X-Men, acting as part of their support crew. In order to shield herself from detection by Bogan, Tessa consciously shut down her telepathic abilities, relying solely on her computer-like mind to assist her new teammates.
When Senator Robert Kelly announced his intention to run for the Presidency on an anti-mutant platform, Tessa met with him to persuade him otherwise by convincing him that his actions were no different to those of the mutant terrorist Magneto. Kelly was not so easily swayed, however, and it wasn’t until a mutant sacrificed his life to save Kelly that he realized his folly.
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men (1963) #132
Sage (Marvel)(02 - Tessa)
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
Classic X-Men (1986)
Dark Reign: The Cabal (2009)
Marvel Graphic Novel (1982)
#4 Marvel Super-Heroes (1990)
- 'Marvel Graphic Novel: The New Mutants: Renewal'
#11 Marvel's Mightiest Heroes (2013)
- 'Fireworks / Not to Touch the Earth / Cry Vengeance'
Spider-Man Team-Up (1995)
Spider-Man: Spirits of the Earth (1990)
OGN HC The New Mutants (1983)
- 'Spider-Man: Spirits of the Earth'
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition (1985)
#5 Titans (1976)
- 'Gardener to the Hulk'
Uncanny X-Men (1963)
What If...? (1989)
#46 X-51 (1999)
- '...What If Cable Had Destroyed the X-Men?'
#0 X-Force (1991)
- 'A Mere Technicality'#3
- 'X.E.R.O. Tolerance'#4
- 'With Friends Like These...'#5
- 'Circuits Maximus'#7
- 'The Harder They Fall'
#49 X-Man (1995)
- 'Target: X-Force'#50
- 'Target: Cable'
X-Men Unlimited (1993)
X-Men Unlimited (2004)
X-Men: Hellfire Club (2000)
#4 X-Men: Ronin (2003)
- 'Also Sprach Sebastian'
- 'Hajime No Ippo (The First Step)'#3
- 'Kakuage (Promotion)'#5
- 'Shima (Zone of Death)'
Hellfire Club (Marvel)
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