CALLISTO: Page 3 of 5

Publication Date: 22nd Feb 2022


However, not all was as it seemed. Mikhail used his incredible powers to transport himself, Callisto and the surviving Morlocks to another dimension. They forged a new life there and Mikhail’s madness only deepened. Callisto ruled by his side and tried to balance his growing madness. He established a Darwinian philosophy where only the strong survived. He built a citadel atop The Hill. When a young Morlock’s powers manifested, they were cast to the base of The Hill and had to prove their worthiness by fighting their way back to the top. Callisto saw how harsh this life was and did what she could to support the Morlocks.

She grew particularly close to a young Morlock named Sarah. Years passed and Callisto was distraught when Sarah’s powers manifested and she was thrown down The Hill. Sarah took the name Marrow and proved to be a survivor. She eventually rose to be the leader of a new generation of Morlocks who dubbed themselves Gene Nation. This group was angry at the treatment the Morlocks had suffered on Earth and devised a means to exact revenge. They traveled back to New York and committed a series of murders. They planned to kill one human for every Morlock that was slain. Callisto learned of their plan and returned to her home dimension to seek the X-Men’s aid in stopping them. For Cal, a decade had passed on The Hill in the course of a few short months. She sought out Colossus and together, they recruited the X-Men’s help.

Callisto warned the X-Men of Gene Nation’s plans, reminding them that this was the anniversary of the Mutant Massacre. Callisto expressed that she felt responsible for this new generation of Morlocks' actions and SHE was taking her role as their leader seriously. Callisto’s implication was clear and this rankled Storm. The two women began to clash over the issue but were cut short by a firm word from Colossus. Setting aside their differences, they tracked Gene Nation to the Morlock Tunnels. The confrontation ended with Storm ripping out Marrow’s heart to end Gene Nation’s threat. Callisto bid Colossus farewell with a passionate kiss and returned with her people to The Hill, promising to return. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #325, 374]

After returning to the Hill, the rift between Callisto and Mikhail only deepened. When Callisto learned that Mikhail had killed a Morlock girl who was similar in appearance to Storm in order to fake Ororo’s death and abduct her to the Hill, she openly challenged him. He found her to be unworthy and cast her down the Hill. Determined not to be displaced, Callisto fought against the hordes to ascend the Hill. Along the way, she was surprised to see Storm among the combatants. Mikhail had sensed the Ceremony of Light that Ororo performed in the Morlock Tunnels to commemorate the passing of the Morlocks. He used this opportunity to pull her through dimensions to the Hill in a bid to make her his queen.

Despite her disgust with Mikhail, Callisto was not about to allow her former rival to usurp her leadership once again. However, Ororo had no interest in ruling by Mikhail’s side or supporting his twisted Darwinist vision. She forced him to transport her and all of the inhabitants of the Hill back to Earth. Once there, Callisto tried to challenge her once more. Storm ended things quickly, casting a bolt of lightning that caused Callisto’s rifle to explode in her face and scar it once more. Ororo stated flatly that Callisto had plagued her life for years despite her efforts to be both a leader to her and a friend. Storm now felt that perhaps the best way to keep Callisto in her place was to be her worst nightmare. Callisto fled into the tunnels and was aided by Marrow, who had survived her seemingly fatal encounter with Storm. [Storm (1st series) #2-4]

Callisto soon recovered and joined Marrow in a terrorist attack on a Lila Cheney concert promoting peaceful co-existence between humans and mutants. Their plans were discovered by the former Morlock Thornn who alerted Cable to Callisto’s plans. He and Storm attended the concert and engaged Callisto and Marrow when they appeared to threaten the crowd. Callisto believed that humanity was set to launch a genocidal war against mutants. Though she seemed to have no qualms with the potential loss of human life, she insisted that Marrow provide a small window of warning before the plastique explosives they had set were triggered. Callisto faced off briefly with Ororo, taunting her as she always had. Ultimately, Cable, Thornn and Storm were able to stop the planned devastation with a helping hand from Lila and her crew. Marrow and Callisto managed to make a clean escape. [Cable (1st series) #42]

Callisto’s intel regarding a brewing war against mutantkind were far from unfounded. She and Marrow had learned of the clandestine Operation: Zero Tolerance – an advanced Sentinel program that aimed to eradicate mutants. They made another attempt at proactively countering this effort when they targeted the rabidly anti-mutant government agent Henry Peter Gyrich, who was a representative for O:ZT. They attacked Gyrich, who was rescued by Spider-Man. During this confrontation, Callisto seemed focused not on killing, but on giving voice to the plight of mutants in the face of direct threats at extermination. Marrow, on the other hand, was out for blood. Callisto did her best to temper Marrow’s bloodlust and was clearly attempting to allow the bitter young Morlock to work through her anger and aggression. When an O:ZT Omega Sentinel fired on Marrow and Spider-Man, Callisto leapt into the way, taking the blast full-on. After a stern lesson from Spider-Man, Marrow backed down. She let Gyrich live and chose to get Callisto to safety instead.

Marrow took Cal to the Tunnels and did what she was able to tend to her wounds. Once this was done, Marrow vowed to continue her efforts to stop Operation: Zero Tolerance. Despite her weakened state, Callisto commanded Marrow not to kill and to ally herself with the X-Men, confident that they could give Marrow the chance at a better life that she herself had passed up. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #346-347]

Callisto’s injuries did not heal, despite Marrow’s best efforts. Callisto realized that she was dying and sent Marrow back to the X-Men, hoping that they would accept her and care for her once she was gone. As she neared death, Callisto was visited by the Dark Beast. He saved her life, stating that he had plans for both Callisto and Marrow. Cal now found herself indebted to the Dark Beast and was reliant upon his drugs for her renewed vigor. Despite this, she teamed with Ororo and the X-Men to help Marrow get over her initial difficulties adjusting to the X-Men’s way of life. Cal also reminded Storm of her responsibility to the Morlocks and Marrow in particular given their history together. Marrow accepted her place among the X-Men and bid Callisto a heartfelt farewell, unaware that her mentor was indebted to a monster. [X-Men (2nd series) #72, 74, 79]