White, pink, brown
and black plumage
Excalibur (1st series) #46
Subruki, Zarstok, Kuli Ka
former starship navigator and special advisor
to Majestrix Lilandra
Gamora's Graces; formerly Excalibur, Grand Jahr
and Lilandra's high council
• Photoplasmic generation power can form projections of red spectrum energy, which she can wield as concussive blasts, defensive barriers, propulsion allowing her to fly and can mold it into any other shape she desires
• Battle armor is stored in pocket dimensional space and can materialize on command, equipped with environmental safeguards for solo hyperspatial travel, ranged sensors and navigation sensors including star charts, proximity detectors, temporal and extra-dimensional locators
Cerise is a native of the planet Shaskofrugnon, one of many planets in the galaxy ruled by the alien Shi’ar. Little has been revealed about her home planet, though Cerise has mentioned that neither males nor females on her planet form emotional bonds. She was startled to see children on Earth as her people emerge fully grown from the Source, which may be some form of artificial procreation. [Excalibur (1st series) #63]
Sometime after she emerged from the Source, Cerise became a warrior of the Grand Jhar and served as a navigator on a Shi’ar encruitment ship. Their mission was to recruit planets in the outlying regions of the star system to join the Shi’ar Empire. Cerise’s commanding officer C’Efn was a cruel man who preferred to recruit new races through brutal shows of force, rather than peaceful enlightenment as was their charter. During Cerise’s first mission aboard the S.G.E. encruitment ship, she watched in horror as C’Efn destroyed the ruling city of the Knsashii, a peace-loving porpoise-like people. Cerise confronted C’Efn who laughed at her compassion and naiveté and ordered her back to the ship. At that moment, Cerise knew that she had to do something to stop C’Efn before he destroyed more worlds.
Despite her objections, C’Efn continued his attack on the planet. Cerise watched helplessly as millions were slaughtered. She had failed to save the Knsashiians but had a plan to ensure that no further worlds suffered. Cerise programmed the ship’s navigational computers to pilot it into a nearby sun. She recorded a confession accepting responsibility for the death of her crewmates, donned a deep space suit and escaped in a shuttle. Cerise had intended to pilot herself to the nearest Shi’ar outpost and inform Empress Lilandra of C’Efn’s campaign of terror. But in the course of making her escape, Cerise’s craft was hit by a solar flare and thrown off course. She passed through a stargate and found herself in orbit around Earth. [Excalibur (1st series) #69-70]
Teleporting to the surface, Cerise arrived in the lighthouse home of Excalibur. Her explosive arrival and the decidedly alien appearance of her armor led the Technet, who were training with Nightcrawler, to attack her. Cerise defended herself while trying not to harm the Technet. When Nightcrawler recognized this and tried communicating with the intruder, Cerise removed her helmet and introduced herself. She asked which of the various creatures present represented the planet’s dominant species. Nightcrawler replied “Humans.” Ironically, Cerise looked more human than any of them. Cerise fabricated a story regarding her arrival there, portraying herself as a stranded explorer from a distant system seeking fun and adventure. [Excalibur (1st series) #46-47]
Cerise was accepted at her word and joined Excalibur. She proved herself a capable fighter and loyal teammate against threats such as Necrom and the Crazy Gang. As part of the team, Cerise began to learn about Earth’s culture and human behavior. During a party, she saw both Courtney Ross and Meggan kiss Captain Britain passionately. She innocently asked Nightcrawler if “lip massage” was an important Earth custom. After he replied that it was and highly enjoyable, she grabbed Kurt and kissed him with great enthusiasm, agreeing that it was enjoyable. This was not the only “lip massage” that the pair shared. Kurt realized that Cerise had much to learn about the world and took it upon himself to introduce her to all the wonders that Earth had to offer. [Excalibur (1st series) #55]
Cerise was soon plagued by a series of violent nightmares, filled with otherworldly images of her in battle with a deadly winged dark elf wielding twin swords. Convinced that these dreams had a deeper meaning and determined to put an end to them, Cerise led Excalibur in a hunt for the source. This led them to a castle inhabited by an aged wizard calling himself Ghath. No sooner had he welcomed them in than the castle was attacked by Khaos, the sword-wielding elf from Cerise’s nightmares. Excalibur handily defeated Khaos and took him to Braddock Manor for questioning. Ghath thanked them for defeating his would-be assassin and vowed to do his best not to disturb Cerise’s dreams further.
Cerise did not completely believe Ghath’s claims and demanded to hear Khaos’ side of things. He revealed that Ghath and he were from an alternate Earth ruled by technomagicks. Ghath was an evil sorcerer who had stranded them both in this dimension. Cerise returned to Ghath’s castle to investigate. There she saw Ghath’s true colors and engaged him in battle. His magicks overwhelmed her and she was captured. Khaos escaped and followed Cerise to Ghath’s castle where he freed her. Together, Cerise and Khaos tried to stop Ghath. Excalibur soon noticed the absence of both Cerise and their prisoner and joined the fray. The team had Ghath on the ropes when he finally achieved his goal of opening a portal home. Khaos followed Ghath and to everyone’s surprise, Cerise jumped through the portal as well. Excalibur followed and helped to turn the tide in the fight to depose the evil wizard. Khaos thanked them for their aid and arranged to have them sent home. Cerise bid him farewell and gave him a “lip massage,” much to Nightcrawler’s chagrin. Excalibur was returned to the rightful place. To their surprise, Khaos was transported as well due to some lingering aspect of the spell that originally brought him to Earth. Cerise encouraged him to join Excalibur but he refused, leaving to find a means of returning home. [Excalibur Annual #1]
While the prisoners of the nefarious Cloud Nine facility, Cerise admitted her growing feelings for Nightcrawler. She was confused by her longing to be with him and the ache she felt inside when they were apart. Clearly these emotions were foreign to Cerise but she was relieved to learn that Kurt shared her feelings. Their teammates were somewhat surprised at their sudden romance but had little time to voice any concerns as the team was soon wrapped up in yet another adventure across time and space. [Excalibur (1st series) #65]
The new couple had little time to enjoy their blossoming relationship. Their teammate Captain Britain was lost in time following their adventures in Rachel’s future. Cerise was unaware of Earth’s mourning customs and did not understand Kurt’s suddenly somber attitude and the lack of affection that came with it. They did not get a chance to resolve this conflict due to a sudden attack by the space-faring Starjammers. They had come under the commands of Shi’ar Majestrix Lilandra to retrieve one of the empire’s most notorious war criminals: Cerise. At first, Excalibur believed they were after Phoenix and were shocked to learn from Cerise herself that she was the one the Starjammers had come to apprehend. She admitted her guilt to her teammates and begged Kurt to forgive her for her deception. She then surrendered to the Starjammers, ready to face Shi’ar justice. [Excalibur (1st series) #68]
Nightcrawler refused to let his new love go so easily and was convinced that there was more to this story than Cerise had told them. He and several members of the team followed the Starjammers to Shi’ar space, where he convinced the Starjammers to help them uncover the truth. Cerise had already been convicted of treason and mass murder in absentia. Her commanding officer, C’Efn had doctored the ship’s logs to make it appear that his conquest of Knsashii was a major military victory. Cerise’s destruction of the recruitment ship and the deaths of its crew were seen as a heinous act of treason and she was hated throughout the Shi’ar Empire. She was given a life sentence on the harsh prison planet Krag. There she befriended a fellow prisoner named Cryan and defended her from the other prisoners. This led to a conflict with the vicious Fang, a deadly assassin who once served with the Imperial Guard. Cerise defeated and killed Fang who refused to stand down. Unbeknownst to Cerise, Nightcrawler and the others had succeeded in finding her and witnessed her brutal slaying of Fang. Seeing this, Kurt began to doubt Cerise’s innocence.
Surprisingly, the full truth was revealed by Cryan who was truly an Oracle – a race of psychics who served Lilandra. Through Cryan, Lilandra was able to psionically extract what truly happened from Cerise’s memories and project them for all to see. Despite what was revealed, Lilandra had no choice but to uphold the verdict in Cerise’s case. Though her motives may have been to preserve life, Cerise did not have the right to serve as judge, jury and executioner for C’Efn and his entire crew. Lilandra amended Cerise’s sentence and ordered her to live out her life sentence at her side. She would be charged with rooting out other abuse of power like those she had witnessed under C’Efn’s command. Despite Nightcrawler’s protests and declarations of love, Cerise accepted her sentence. [Excalibur (1st series) #69-70]
Cerise briefly returned to Earth for the wedding of Captain Britain and Meggan. She was surprised and upset to find a rival for Nightcrawler’s affections in Amanda Sefton. Overwhelmed by feelings of jealousy, she lashed out at Kurt, demanding to know why he had never bothered to inquire how she fared in her new circumstances. [Excalibur (1st series) #125]
Cerise returned to Shi’ar space and served Lilandra faithfully as a member of her council and as a trusted operative tasked with handling delicate matters. When an interstellar council voted to turn Earth into a penal colony for alien criminals, Lilandra suspected that there were sinister agendas at play. She dispatched Cerise to Earth to seek the aid of the X-Men in fully assessing the conversion process firsthand. Cerise did as she was asked, bringing her once more into contact with her beloved Nightcrawler. She was not prepared for the changes that had occurred in Kurt’s life since they last saw each other. She greeted him with a passionate “lip massage” and he resisted her affections. He explained to Cerise that he was training to become a priest and had dedicated himself – heart, soul and body – to the Lord. At first, Cerise could not understand Kurt’s decision as he readily admitted that he still loved her. Still, she could appreciate the personal sacrifices one must make sometimes to live up to their ideals. Cerise helped to expose the Kree plot that Lilandra had suspected and stood beside the X-Men and Earth’s heroes to defend the Earth until all was set right. She and Nightcrawler parted as friends, both bound to a higher calling. [Maximum Security]
It is presumed that Cerise continued to serve Lilandra in some capacity until the Majestrix was assassinated during a political coup. With Lilandra gone, Cerise’s sentence was complete since she had been ordered to serve at Lilandra’s side. She resurfaced on the backwater Kree planet Godthab Omega and became entangled in the cosmic event known as the Annihilation Wave. Cerise joined a band of female warriors called the Graces under the leadership of Gamora, the deadliest woman in the universe. Influenced by the powerful being called Glorian, Gamora’s Graces began to conquer Godthab one refugee settlement at a time. Cerise was uncharacteristically loyal to Gamora and her sisterhood, given their violent agenda due to Glorian’s machinations. Cerise and the Graces defended Godthab Omega when it was attacked by Annihilus’ hordes. She survived the battle against the Annihilation Wave but her current whereabouts now that she is free of Glorian’s powers are unknown. [Annihilation: Ronan]
In the reality shown in X-Men: The End, Cerise became a member of Lilandra's Imperial Guard. Lilandra sent Cerise undercover as a slaver to rescue Jean Grey. Cerise completed her mission but her cover was blown by Mr. Sinister and she was killed by his agent, Shaitan.