Publication Date: 18th Sep 2020
Written By: Peter Luzifer, Nabeel and Monolith.
Image Work: Peter Luzifer and Douglas Mangum.

BIOGRAPHY - page 1

The young woman known as Blink, aka Clarice Ferguson, stems from the alternate timeline known as the Age of Apocalypse. Already at birth did Clarice display her slight purple skin and her strange, facial markings. The Fergusons lived on the island of Cartusia in the Bahamas but, by the time Clarice was four years old, they moved to Miami, Florida, for her daughter’s sake. They thought that on the island she would always be looked on as an outsider, while in a larger city, there might have   been others like her. The move turned out to be a bad decision, though, for a couple of years later Apocalypse awoke from his slumber. There not being a large super-powered community yet, he could easily conquer the North American continent and reshape society in his Darwinist view – survival of the fittest. By the time Clarice was eight years old, Apocalypse’s Horseman, Sinister, came to Miami and started culling its population to divide the weak from the strong. Clarice helplessly watched as her parents and her brother were killed, whereas she, an obvious mutant, was taken prisoner for further study.

For quite some time, Clarice had to work in the Core in Portland, Apocalypse’s source of power for all of America. Life was constant struggle in the Core, the inmates living at the mercy of camp overseer, Sugar Man, and there not being enough to eat. Eventually, when her mutant power of teleportation manifested itself, Clarice was sent to the breeding pens in Manhattan, where she was exposed to experimentation and alteration of her genetic make-up by Sinister’s chief geneticist, Hank McCoy, nicknamed the “Dark Beast” by the pen inmates for his cruelty. While most of McCoy’s subjects ended up dead, their DNA becoming part of his genetic soup to tinker with, he considered Blink something special and called her a work of art. [Blink #1, Exiles (1st series) #1]

Clarice’s life finally changed for the better when she was being transported from one facility to another. The transport was attacked by two of the X-Men, Sabretooth and Weapon X, and while it hadn’t been their original mission,  Sabretooth took pity in the girl and took her along after freeing her. He sensed that she must be something special, considering the way she had survived everything that had been thrown at her. Victor Creed, aka Sabretooth, became a surrogate father to the teenager and, among the X-Men, Blink found herself part of a family again. [Astonishing X-Men (1st series) #3]

Sabretooth taught the girl how to fight, and the X-Men helped Blink to cope with her powers. At first, she seemed to get along fine but, after a while, the X-Men’s life of constant battle and always being on the move began to depress Clarice. It seemed that no matter what they did, Apocalypse would win anyway. For each life the X-Men saved, someone else would die. With every day, she regressed more into herself,  and Creed didn’t know how to deal with that. Fortunately, another teammate, Morph, saw that the girl needed no drill sergeant but someone who cared, and he managed to lighten up Blink’s mood by making her feel needed. The X-Men had learned that Apocalypse was currently on the moon and only her teleportation power could transport the team there. However, shortly after arriving, the entire team but Blink herself was captured by the Horseman, Death, and his Inhuman slaves. Unexpected help arrived in the form of Prelate Summers, aka Cyclops, who hated what Death was doing and helped Clarice to free the X-Men for his own reasons. Apocalypse having escaped to another base, the X-Men returned home, Blink now having earned herself a full spot on the team. [Tales of the Age of Apocalypse]

Over the next months, if not years, Clarice proved herself to be a valuable addition to the X-Men. However, she also displayed a somewhat rebellious attitude, like all teenagers do, and more than once did she defy direct orders in the heat of the battle.  Eventually, Magneto confronted Blink about her behavior and threatened her that, if she stepped out of line once more, she would be forced to leave the team. Blink angrily replied that she didn’t need them and ventured into Apocalypse’s stronghold on her own, determined to prove herself. Inside, she witnessed an encounter between Holocaust and Blastaar’s people from the Negative Zone, who had tried to invade Earth. Thinking that the strange beings might be potential allies for the battle against Apocalypse, Blink followed them into the portal leading back to the Negative Zone before Holocaust could capture her. However, something went wrong during the trip and Clarice blacked out. When she came around, she found herself stranded on a rock, floating in space, with a man pointing a gun at her head. When asked about her name, Blink realized that she didn’t remember anything; she had complete amnesia. [Blink #1]

Though unaware of her previous existence, Blink hadn’t lost her fighting skills and tried to overcome her captor. Soon, the pair found themselves evenly matched and, as they both felt a certain attraction towards each other, they ceased fighting. The stranger introduced himself as Ahmyor, a rebel who wanted to oust the Negative Zone’s tyrannical leader, Blastaar, and reinstall their fallen ruler, Annihilus, apparently the lesser of two evils. While she knew neither one of the tyrants, Blink found the concept of rebellion familiar and joined Ahmyor’s group. Once more, her teleportation power came in handy, enabling the rebels to launch several attacks against Blastaar’s unsuspecting people. After a while, Blink fell in love with Ahmyor. However, she kept having flashbacks to her past and began to wonder if her lover’s cause was just, and whether she really loved him or just clung to him because of her having nobody else to turn to.

Several days later, the couple ended up captured by Blastaar’s forces and the evil tyrant revealed to the stunned Blink that Ahmyor was in fact Annihilus. Locked away in a prison, Blink felt betrayed by Ahmyor, who pleaded with her to listen to him. Just like she was amnesiac, he had no idea of his earlier life as Annihilus,  Ahmyor apparently being a humanoid dormant form of the insectoid Annihilus. Now that he knew the truth, he was slowly transforming again. When Blastaar was about to have Ahmyor/Annihilus executed in front of a roaring crowd, Blink decided to help him and escaped from her cell. Whether it was the rush of adrenaline or the shock of her lover’s imminent fate, Blink suddenly remembered her past again. She used the last few of her quivers to free Ahmyor, destroy Blastaar’s ultimate weapon and to save herself. After Ahmyor fully transformed into Annihilus, there was nothing holding her in the Negative Zone anymore, and she returned home to Earth. [Blink #2-4]

The X-Men had searched for their missing teammate for weeks and were glad to have her back. Blink told Creed everything about her adventures and her first love, and Sabretooth helped Clarice to deal with her emotional turmoil. This time, Blink fully integrated herself and played along the Magneto’s rules. Clarice would often baby-sit young Charles, the son of Rogue and Magneto, or accompany the more experienced X-Men on their missions. Eventually, the team met the time-displaced Bishop. From him, they learned that the entire timeline was a mistake - Charles Xavier had died way before his time, and it should have been he who founded the X-Men. Magneto realized that the stranger was telling the truth and came up with a plan to restore the timeline to what it was supposed to be. For that, three things were needed: a time-traveler; a piece of the M’Kraan crystal, functioning as a nexus to all of creation; and a precog, to pick the right timeline once they would travel back. [X-Men Alpha]

Magneto sent several of the X-Men’s friends and allies to find and retrieve these people and items. However, the X-Men could not stand idly by. Not entirely convinced of Bishop’s story, they continue with their regular activities. Even if the world wasn’t the true reality, it was still their world and they would continue fighting for it until they died. Receiving news of Apocalypse’s son, Holocaust, having started another culling in Chicago, Rogue took a squad of X-Men with her to oppose him and rescue as many humans as they can. Despite it being a suicide run, Blink and Sabretooth were among those X-Men who volunteered to come along. Considering that Blink’s family had died in such a culling, this was the perfect opportunity to exact some form of revenge. However, Sabretooth first wanted to settle an old score with Holocaust all by himself, but he overestimated himself and was defeated.

When Blink saw the ravaged body of her mentor, she freaked out and too took on Holocaust by herself. At first, the villain laughed at the girl’s effort, but he made the same mistake as Sabretooth, underestimating his opponent. Using her teleportation power more aggressively than ever,  Clarice not only destroyed major parts of the Holocaust’s Infinite Processing Plant, but also was able to best him with some tricky maneuvering, dropping Holocaust into a tank of genetic goo. By the time Holocaust escaped from this trap, the other X-Men had arrived and joined Blink’s attack, leaving him with no other option that escape. It was only then that Clarice learned that Sabretooth was still alive, much to her relief. [Astonishing X-Men (1st series) #1-4]

Back in their headquarters, Blink and her teammates learned that the other teams had all performed their tasks, however Magneto had been kidnapped by Apocalypse, just like the M’Kraan crystal shard had been stolen by his forces. Blink teleported the assembled heroes into Apocalypse’s stronghold, where they eventually managed to free the X-Men’s leader and carry out their plan. Bishop was sent back in the timestream to fix things. In what seemed to be the last minutes of the Age of Apocalypse, the heroes kept on fighting, though their fate seemed doomed when the Human High Council bombed Northern America with nukes. [Amazing X-Men (1st series) #4, X-Men Omega]