- Wolfsbane (comics)
debut="Marvel Graphic Novel" #4: "The New Mutants" (1982)
Bob McLeod (artist)
X-Men X-Factor Investigations X-Force New Mutants
Muir Island X-Men
aliases=Princess/Queen Rain of Gesham, Grimfang
powers=Ability to shapeshift into a wolf-like humanoid, or into a full wolf at will|
Wolfsbane (Rahne Sinclair) is a
Marvel Comics superhero, associated with the X-Men. Created by writer Chris Claremontand artist Bob McLeod, she first appeared in "Marvel Graphic Novel" #4: "The New Mutants." (1982)
A Scottish mutant, Wolfsbane possesses the ability to transform into a wolf. She has honed her powers to shift between human and wolf characteristics but must keep her feral instincts at bay when she does.
She was originally a member of the X-Men's 1980s junior team The New Mutants and later the Pentagon-sponsored X-Factor and the
European offshoot Excalibur. She appeared for a time as a teacher at Xavier's Academy in New X-Men. She served as a member of the X-Factor Investigationsdetective agency, until she joined the new incarnation of X-Force. She has thus been a member of six secondary X-Men teams, more than any other character.
Fictional character biography
Rahne (pronounced "Rain" [ [http://www.rahne-sinclair.com/name.html Rahne Sinclair.com - Wolfsbane of the New Mutants, X-Factor, Excalibur, and New X-Men ] ] ) is a British citizen of Scottish descent (born somewhere in
Ross and Cromarty) who was a ward of Moira MacTaggert. She was recruited by Professor Xto join the original New Mutantsand remained with that team for much of its existence ["Marvel Graphic Novel" #4: "The New Mutants"] .
Rahne was raised as an orphan by an abusive pastor named Reverend Craig who beat religion into her from an early age. When she was revealed as a mutant, Reverend Craig led an angry mob intending to burn her at the stake. Rahne was rescued and later adopted by Moira MacTaggert. Later, when she confronted Reverend Craig as an adult, she learned that Reverend Craig was actually her biological father and that her mother had been a prostitute.
Rahne was the youngest of the New Mutants. Although she was a shy, emotionally repressed girl, Rahne managed to build a strong friendship with
Danielle Moonstarand harbor a crush on Sam Guthrie. Danielle discovered she was able to establish a psychic link with Rahne when the latter was in wolf form. Rahne's strict religious upbringing often made her uncomfortable when dealing with mythological entities, her sorceress teammate Magik, or demons, as well as making her uncomfortable almost to the point of self-loathing with her superhuman power, which resembles the transformations of a werewolf. These feelings were at odds with the pure joy she found in using her powers, causing a deep emotional conflict. She was disturbed to find herself attracted to Hrimhari, a shapeshifting wolf prince while in Asgard. On one of her two visits to Asgard, she met the demonic Garmr, a gigantic wolf who guards the entrance to the netherworld. She confesses to Rictorthat Garm's face, 'that devil's face', is what she sometimes perceives when looking into the mirror. Later, she began an innocent romance with Rictor, but this proved to be short-lived.
During "" in
Genosha, Rahne was mentally bonded to Havok and was subsequently manipulated by the Shadow King; this led to her joining X-Factor. Her bond with Havok was difficult, causing her to act irrationally, sometimes threatening teammates, sometimes by flirting with them. She went through more than one attempt to undo her bonding, with varying results. Her instability also manifested in many odd dreams, where her identity was subsumed into pop culture figures.
During this time she appeared in
Infinity Warand Infinity Crusade. She was one of the rear guards, who stayed behind on Earth yet was still attacked. Her deep religious beliefs led her to be chosen and brainwashed by the villain. Her appearances later were brief, as she was quickly defeated by other super-heroes.
Some time after her mental damage from the Genoshan bonding process was undone, she returned to MacTaggert's base on Muir Island and joined Excalibur. She matured much in her tenure in the book. She developed deep friendships with her allies, including Peter Rasputin and
Kitty Pryde. She defeated her distaste of 'drinking establishments' ["Excalibur #91"] . Though she only had non-alcoholic drinks, she still ended up can-canning on the table with several of her friends. She was then shown as having overcome much of her previous shyness, not caring if the general public of a small town saw her in a revealing uniform. ["Excalibur #93"] Rahne also was a bridesmaid in the wedding of Captain Britainand Meggan. Following the disbanding of Excalibur, she and teammate Douglock stayed on Muir Island to assist Moira in her search for a cure for the Legacy Virus. Rahne appeared in many issues of the short-lived comic book series Warlock, which starred Douglock. She helped him and others confront various threats revolving around Douglock's assimilation powers. She even assisted the Avengers in confronting one of the larger threats that threatened to overwhelm the city of New York. Unfortunately, the island came under attack by the Brotherhood, an attack that resulted in Moira's death, the destruction of the island, and the suppression of Rahne's mutant powers when Mystique shot her with a version of Forge's Neutralizer.
Rahne spends some time motorcycling across the United States following the loss of her powers. She adopts a new, less introverted persona. This was best exemplified by the growing out of her hair from its normal short buzz-cut and the loss of her Scottish
burr. Rahne's travels eventually bring her back to New York where she defeats the rampaging X-Man villain Avalanche with no back-up. She becomes both a teaching assistant at the Xavier Institute and a part-time employee of Jamie Madrox's detective agency, X-Factor Investigations.
Prior to her joining the Institute faculty, Rahne becomes in a relationship with Elixir. A passionate encounter between the two caused Elixir's mutant healing abilities to restore Rahne's powers; however, Rahne's reversion to her wolf form prompts a tragic moment of savagery that left Elixir seriously wounded. Elixir is able to heal himself, and Rahne is brought back to her senses by an encounter with Danielle Moonstar on the darkened streets of Salem Center. Rahne opts to end the relationship when she is hired as a teacher for the Institute. Though Rahne is initially resistant to continuing the relationship, the two began seeing one another secretly until Rahne ended it upon learning that Elixir's classmate Wallflower is interested in him. Rahne's ending of the relationship is overheard by Wither, and he later releases the information to the whole school, in an attempt to end Elixir's budding relationship with Wallflower. In the wake of this, Rahne resigns from the school, and her formerly close friendship with Dani Moonstar, Elixir's legal guardian, has become strained.
Rahne begins working full-time for X-Factor, reuniting her with former love interest and New Mutants teammate Rictor. Many aspects of her previous persona return, including her close-cropped hairstyle and Scottish accent. She attends church meetings each week and her devout Presbyterian religiosity remains a central aspect of her character. She is instrumental in stopping a riot in what was known as 'Mutant Town', a section of New York once dominated by mutants. ["X-Factor #3"] She threatens to kill anyone who attacks it. Threats were then made against the police who objected to her actions.
She helps rescue
Layla Millerfrom the orphanage where (X-Factor at least has been led to believe) she was being abused. ["X-Factor #6"] Rahne is distressed by a vision, implanted by Tryp of a possible future where she murders Jamie Madrox and Layla Miller on their wedding day. ["X-Factor #12"] She has told X-Factor psychiatrist Doc Samsonthat she has even considered killing herself to prevent it from happening but "Suicides go to hell... but so do murderers. So I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't" ["X-Factor #13"] .
Rahne gets herself together. ["X-Factor #14"] She is seen helping her friend Guido Carosella confront personal problems of his own that has arisen from confrontations with the evil Damian Tryp.
It is later implied that
Emma Frosthas blackmailed Rahne with her previous relationship with Elixir into keeping an eye on Wither. ["New X-Men #32"]
The Initiative /
Rahne has been identified as one of the 142 registered superheroes who appear to be part of the Initiative. ["" #1] [ [http://www.marvel.com/news/comicstories.947 Avengers: The Initiative #1 Character Map] ]
Rahne helps Rictor infiltrate the
Purifiers; she fakes being shot by Rictor. She is also a member of the new X-Force. During a battle against Lady Deathstrikeand the Reavers, Rahne learns that Father Craig was in league with the Purifiers, supposedly divulging enough information about her that the Purifiers can claim to "know her well." She travels with X-Force to her former home Muir Island, now the base of the Marauders. During the climactic battle, Rahne is injured by Riptide, but her wounds, according Professor X, are superficial and she will recover.
Craig Kyle& Chris Yost's "X-Force", when Cyclops decides to reform X-Force after the events of Messiah Complex he brings Rahne along to meet with Wolverine. She determinedly accompanies him on the assault on the Purifiers' base, only to be captured by Matthew Rismanwho shoots her in the knee when X-23 makes a move against him. ["X-Force (vol. 3) #1"] . While her teammates make an attempt to rescue her, they fail and Rahne is taken to an undisclosed Purifer base where she finds out that Reverend Craighas joined the ranks of the Purifiers.
The rest of X-Force manage to rescue her, but discover that she's injected with a near-lethal dose of heroin. She's immediately taken to Angel's mansion to be healed by Elixir. However, after she wakes up, she immediately attacks Worthington, rips out his wings and takes them to Reverend Craig.
Josh's name is the second word Rahne says as she awakens from her brainwashed state and finds herself in a dark room somewhere in the facility. She realizes that she can't use her powers thanks to the handcuffs she is wearing. She then remembers being brainwashed by Reverend Craig. After Reverend Craig tries to kill her, she escapes, but not before admitting that the only thing she wanted was her father's love. ["X-Force" #5]
Rahne regroups with her teammates and they begin their assault against Bastion, the Choir, and the Purifiers. As everyone is distracted in the bloody battle, Rahne is shot by her father who follows her blood trail into the room where Angel's severed wings are held. Reverend Craig condemns Wolfsbane again, which triggers her to knock him into the ground, stating that she only wanted to save him but after everything that's happened, she doesn't care for him any longer and walks away, turning her back on him. Craig screams and prepares to shoot his daughter in the back and as he moves, Rahne turns and sees Angel's wings behind her father, giving him the appearance of an angel. Her brainwashing kicks in once again as she mutters "kill the angel" and she enters a feral state, attacking her father. Her teammates find her at the epilogue of the battle in her human form, praying and surrounded by blood and clothes but no corpse of her father is found. Her teammates hope that she will never recall the memory of apparently devouring her father which would only trigger a deeper psychological shock.
Following the death of Risman, the team reconvene at Angel's Aerie to recuperate and plan their next move. Rahne's sleeper programming is still active and she violently charges Angel when she sees him, provoking him to transform into Archangel in retaliation. X-23 calls in the
Stepford Cuckoosto help undo the damage done to Wolfsbane, to prevent her from attacking her team-mates and overcome the guilt of her actions.issue
Rahne is among the several X-Men helping to fight off Skrulls during their invasion of San Francisco. ["Secret Invasion: X-Men" #2]
Powers and abilities
Wolfsbane's power consist of
lycanthropy, albeit a non-magical form simply due to her mutant nature. She can change into a humanoid lupineform resembling a werewolf, or become an actual Red Wolf. In either form, Wolfsbane has enhanced senses of hearing, sight, and smell; animal-like strength, agility, and reflexes; razor-sharp talons and fangs; and bestial instincts. Danielle Moonstar's former telepathic talent, which enabled her to communicate with animals, allowed her to communicate with Wolfsbane when she was in her lupine form or "transitional" humanoid-wolf form.
Wolfsbane's human form is normal in appearance, originally with the exception that her hair never grew more than a few centimetres long; this limitation has been since then removed by a temporary biological change into a "mutate" on the island of
Genoshaduring the storyline. Rahne was shown to exhibit her keen sense of smell while in human form [X-Factor #11] , sensing traces of blood and "spittle" on teammate Strong Guy's hand, (identifying who the fluids belonged to) despite him having already wiped it clean. This was followed by Siryn's sonic-scream, leaving Wolfsbane's "doggy-ears...ringing for a week" implying her hearing is also enhanced in human form. Rahne mentions to Rictor that she indeed has her wolf senses in her human form but changed the subject before explaining further. ["X-Factor" vol. 3 #17] .
Age of Apocalypse
Age of ApocalypseRahne found herself stuck in her lupine form and was a companion to the Dark Beastin his hideous labs. When this universe was revisited ten years later in the "X-Men: Age of Apocalypse", Rahne had been rescued and had begun to grab hold of her humanity again. She was now capable of shifting into her hybrid form but was still very feral in her mindset.
Days Of Future Past
An alternate future version of Rahne appeared in "Excalibur #94". She wears leather, has shaved most of her hair, and wears earrings. She spends much of her time viewing recorded images of death and destruction. She, along with a few surviving friends, participates in a raid on a
An alternate reality version of Rahne, named Princess Rain, appeared prominently in the 1991
graphic novel"Wolverine: Rahne of Terra" (a punon the British pronunciation of the phrase " Reign of Terror"). Wolfsbane was transported to the magic-based world of Gesham by the "Mage" (Cable's counterpart) in exchange for the Princess Rain, her own counterpart, and brainwashed to make her believe herself to be Rain. This was done in an attempt to save the Princess from a prophecy which apparently said the Princess would die on her sixteenth birthday. Wolverine was taken there by the wizard Magnus (Gesham's version of Magneto), who Magnus attempted to mind-control in an attempt to fulfill the prophecy. While there, Rahne encountered counterparts of most of the New Mutants, hallucinating that they were the versions she knew, and gradually remembering who she actually was. Meanwhile, Wolverine killed Magnus at the climax before they both returned home.
In 1995's sequel, "Wolverine: Knight of Terra", Wolfsbane and Wolverine helped Queen Rain accept the "Beast" which gave her shapeshifting powers, as she was the only one who could control it (since she had rejected it, it had possessed someone else, transforming them into a version of Sabretooth). In this volume, the Queen's associates were counterparts to the X-Men, with the role of the Mage being taken by
Professor X's counterpart, the Shaman.
A third installment, "Rahne Fall" (a pun on "Rainfall") was planned but never produced.
In the alternate reality of "
Mutant X", Rahne works side-by-side with many of her 'New Mutant' counterparts, making a living as thieves, living in the sewers and calling themselves "Marauders". She and her friends barely survive a mission where they steal a technological box; they do not know it contains Dracula.
An alternate universe version of Rahne, along with alternates of her X-Factor teammates, appears in issues #3 of "
Mys-TechWars" to fight alongside the Earth-616 heroes. She does not survive through the violence that follows.
Wolfsbane also has made cameo appearances in "
Ultimate X-Men", notably issue #50, in which she is seen in her hybrid form at a Coney Island freak show, relaxing along with other mutants. She is seen on a view screen in her human form and receives passing mention in Ultimate X-men issue #43, during the selection process for Emma Frost's Academy of Tomorrow, in which the President of the United Statessays, "No to the wolf girl." She would later appear as part of the Mutant Liberation Front, participating in mutant demonstrations and rallies. She is thought to be killed during one of the many Fenris Twin Sentinels attack upon the MLF. In issue #95, however, it is revealed that the Ultimate Alpha Flight member known as Sasquatch (who first appeared in issue #94) is in fact Rahne Sinclair, making it her first official named appearance. She, and the rest of her team, used a power enhancing drug known as Banshee, the Ultimate version of Mutant Growth Hormone, which can induce a secondary mutation, or further an existing mutation, for example turning Angel into a large anthropomorphic eagle. Rahne still can revert to a more human appearance when she powers down. Later in the same issue, she is injured by Nightcrawler, who, while trying to teleport her away, seemingly teleports part of her arm off.
X-Men: The End
In this alternate future, Wolfsbane is one of the staff at the X-Mansion. She makes brief telepathic contact with the long-lost Danielle. When
Skrulls impersonating old X-Men enemies attack the mansion, Wolfsbane sacrifices herself to save many of the surviving children.
In other media
Wolfsbane is featured as a minor character at the Xavier Institute in "" (one of the "New Mutants"). She usually transforms into a full wolf, but in one episode takes her hybrid form to scare some poachers. In that episode, she was voiced by
In a recent trailer for "
Wolverine and the X-Men", it shows Wolfsbane being taken out by soldiers.cite video
date2 = 2008-05-06
title = Trailer for Wolverine and the X-Men
url = http://www.marvel.com/news/moviestories.3499
format = Animated
medium = Internet
publisher = Marvel
accessdate = 2008-05-06]
* [http://www.rahne-sinclair.com/ Rahne-Sinclair.com]
* [http://peterdavid.malibulist.com/archives/002134.html Peter David, the writer, briefly discusses "Rahne of Terra"]
* [http://www.uncannyxmen.net/db/spotlight/showquestion.asp?faq=10&fldAuto=97 Spotlight feature on Wolfsbane at UncannyXmen.net]
* [http://marvel.com/universe/Wolfsbane Wolfsbane on the Marvel Universe Character Bio Wiki]
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