CHENEY, LILA

Publication Date: 3rd Dec 2013
Written By: sixhoursoflucy.
Image Work: sixhoursoflucy.
Biography

BIOGRAPHY - Page 1

Lila Cheney is a British mutant with the ability to teleport over interstellar distances. As a child, Lila experimented with her budding mutant powers and traveled all across the universe, hopping from galaxy to galaxy, visiting distant planets. She would tell her parents about her wild adventures, but they believed her tales to be the mere byproduct of their daughter's overactive imagination. Eventually, though, they learned the truth of their daughter's unique ability. [X-Factor (1st series) #110]

At some point in her life, the details of which are vague, someone on Earth sold Lila into the alien slave trade. She broke free from her alien slavers—thanks in part to a notorious slaver named Spyder who coveted Lila for himself—and became an intergalactic rock star and thief. [New Mutants (1st series) #67] On one of her cosmic tours, she discovered somewhere in the galaxy an uninhabited Dyson Sphere—an astronomically large, spherical shell built around a star capable of supporting human life—and made it the headquarters for her and her rock band. As her skills improved, Lila engaged in increasingly daring acts of thievery. To prove she was the best thief in the universe, she planned to steal the entire planet Earth and sell it and its inhabitants to the highest bidder in an alien auction, brokered by a member of the Vrakanin race named Charasulla. To prepare for this coup, she traversed the globe with her band on a world tour, spinning a "stargate web" around the planet that would allow her to teleport the entire thing at once.

Before the final show in Manhattan of her sold-out tour, Lila was performing a sound check when the chains supporting the towering speakers onstage broke, sending the giant devices cascading in her direction. Lila failed to notice the danger heading her way, and would have died had the New Mutants not happened to be backstage observing the sound check. While Sunspot and Warlock prevented the speakers from crushing the rest of the band, Cannonball barreled into Lila and moved her out of harm's way. Not only was Lila grateful to the young man for saving her life, she was instantly attracted to him as well, and began shamelessly flirting with him. She invited Sam and the rest of the New Mutants to join her at her place for the after party after the show.

The show did not proceed as planned, however. During her final set, a Vrakanin bounty hunter—the same one who had rigged the stage to collapse on Lila—tried to ambush her from the catwalks. The New Mutants intervened and battled the formidable hunter in the rafters. Lila casually observed the battle as she performed, but barely flinched. Instead, she began charging up her mutant teleportation ability, emitting a strange sound at a painful frequency detectable only by alien races. After charging up enough energy in the form of a bright ball of white light above the stage, Lila teleported herself, her band and Cannonball away right as their grand finale peaked, leaving the audience awe-struck by what they believed to be were the special effects they had just witnessed.

Lila transported Cannonball and her band to her home on the Dyson Sphere, where she continued flirting with the young mutant. She had just gotten him dressed to her liking when a treacherous member of her band betrayed her to the Vrakanin. She and Sam were to be sold into slavery along with the rest of planet Earth. To their surprise, some of the New Mutants, who had managed to follow Lila to her home across the universe, were present and shackled as well. Before Charasulla could press the switch that activated Lila's Earth-stealing stargate web, however, the rest of the New Mutants arrived and defeated the Vrakanin in battle, destroying the stargate's control console in the process. Once they were free, Lila explained to her rescuers that they had just doomed the Earth: without the command console, the stargate web she had constructed around Earth would actually destroy, not transport, the planet. With mere moments before the Earth was crushed, the New Mutant Cypher succeeded in decoding the alien language and halting the activation of the stargate web.

With the day saved, Lila thanked the New Mutants for saving her and, as her debt to them, agreed to leave the planet Earth alone. She transported them back to her place in London. Once back home, she explained her actions to Sam and apologized, justifying her reckless decision to sell Earth into slavery on the fact that Earth had once done the same to her. Although she was vague about the details, she told Sam that if he wanted to hear her story, he just had to listen to her songs. When Sam said he would like to see her again, she kissed him and told her to call him anytime. She wrote her next single for her new beau, a song called "Sam" that rocketed to the top of the charts. [New Mutants Annual (1st series) #1]

 

Shortly after her attempt to steal Earth, Lila moved to a beach-house in Malibu so she could focus on cutting a new record. She hired a session singer in Los Angeles who turned out to be a fellow mutant—not just any mutant, either, but Alison Blaire, the infamous singer known as Dazzler who was now in hiding. Lila was at her home when Cannonball arrived unexpectedly at her front door with his teammate Magik. After clearing their credentials with Lila's bodyguard, the burly mutant Guido Carosella, Lila greeted them and teleported them all to her Dyson Sphere so they could talk in private. Once there, Cannonball and Magik explained that their friends had been taken captive by the slavers known as the Gladiators, who were going to force them to fight to the death in their arena battles. Lila agreed to use her connections to help Sam find and save his friends, not just for his sake, but because, as a former slave and involuntary tournament fighter herself, she empathized with the young mutants. Lila used her connections to get them tickets to the next Gladiators show, and they entered in disguise with the intention of liberating Sunspot and Magma.

 

Unfortunately, things didn't go quite as planned, and their rescue operation was soon interrupted by Magneto, who needed their help in battling the threat of the Beyonder. Lila joined Magneto, Dazzler, Cannonball and Magik—as well as the rest of the X-Men—in confronting the Beyonder in Los Angeles. When a crazed Magik shunted most of her friends into Limbo, however, Lila panicked and teleported the rest of the X-Men to relative safety. [New Mutants (1st series) #29, Secret Wars II #1]

After the conflict with the Beyonder subsided, Lila continued to see Sam, and their relationship grew increasingly serious. Sam eventually invited Lila to come to his mother's house for dinner in Kentucky—the first time Lila had ever been invited to meet a boyfriend's parents. To prepare, Lila spent a month mining singing crystal from the planet Ballybran, and even longer than that carving it into an angel as a gift for Sam's mother. When she showed the gift to Sam before meeting his mom, however, Sam accused her of having stolen it from somewhere. A heated argument ensued, and the two split up. To blow off some steam after Cannonball left, Lila and Dazzler went for a plane ride. Unfortunately, amid some terrible weather, the plane crashed over the Appalachians, submerging Lila, Dazzler and the crew alive in the mountainside. When Cannonball received word what had happened, he and his brother staged a daring rescue and pulled everyone to safety. Lila accepted the apology from Cannonball that followed the rescue but, to make certain he truly accepted her as she was, she arrived outside his family's house for dinner dressed in a garish outfit to see if Sam would still present her to his mother. To her relief, Sam didn’t say anything; he had passed her test. Before Ms. Guthrie answered the door, Lila changed back into presentable clothes—and also brought along the singing angel as a gift. Lila enjoyed meeting Ms. Guthrie, and remained close friends with her afterward. [New Mutants (1st series) #42, X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #31]

Lila continued touring with her band and the incognito Dazzler. Little did she know that Dazzler had recently fallen under the spell of a psychic entity called Malice that was tempting the darker, attention-seeking aspects of her personality. Shortly after Dazzler's possession began growing out of hand, the X-Men relieved Lila of the responsibility of having to deal with her by liberating her from Malice's control and offering her sanctuary with them. Lila said her goodbyes to Dazzler and lost a solid backup singer, but it was not the last she would see her friend. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #214]

Lila later invited the New Mutants to visit her at a club in Manhattan. When they arrived at her private party, she was embroiled in a conversation with an alien associate named Raek, who desperately wanted her help in recovering an ancient alien artifact that was about to be launched into a star as a sacrifice to some alien gods. Lila wanted no part of the deal, however, and repeatedly turned Raek down, angering him. When Raek saw her interacting with Sam, he decided they needed to get rid of the boy to monopolize Lila's attention. They drugged him and tried to dump him into the river, but the New Mutants intervened and saved his life. Lila arrived after the fight and gave Magik permission to send Raek and his cohorts to Limbo as punishment. [New Mutants (1st series) #55]

 

Lila's concerts, meanwhile, continued to be spectacles. At one such show, a sorcerer attacked the stage in the form of a dragon. Never one to stop a show in the middle of a set, Lila teleported everybody at the concert—including the audience—to her Dyson Sphere to get them out of harm's way. When her friends reminded her that the dragon would destroy the Earth if they didn't return, Lila retorted that the Earth had once sold her, and therefore deserved it. Her friends talked some sense into her and she returned them all home, by which point the dragon had disappeared. [Spellbound #4]

 

Meanwhile, the alien slaver and distilled emotion-addict Spyder had forced Lila's slavers into bankruptcy and acquired all of their assets, including the runaway Lila, whose invaluable teleportation ability and powerful emotions he coveted. Lila was in the middle of a performance when Spyder's thugs arrived to capture her. Overconfident in her abilities, Lila fought back against the interlopers instead of escaping, and wound up as their prisoner. She was taken to Spyder's ship and shackled before her master. While in Spyder's custody, Lila learned that Cannonball and the New Mutants, accompanied by an alien girl named Gosamyr, had followed her and were staging a rescue attempt, but were taken captive as well. Lila was dragged along as Spyder boasted about another of his prized possessions: the cocooned members of Gosamyr's family, who produced immensely valuable silk during their particular developmental stage. When Spyder prematurely woke these gigantic, star-eating creatures from their developmental slumber, however, they grew out of control and began endangering not only Lila and her friends, but the entire star system in which they currently found themselves. With their lives in mortal danger, Lila chose to sacrifice herself to save the planet and her friends. She teleported the monsters into a nearby sun, while Sam and the New Mutants watched in horror. [New Mutants (1st series) #67-70]

Somehow, Lila managed to teleport the aliens into the star without incinerating herself in the process. She later resurfaced, alive and well, on a ship on the fringes of the Shi'ar Imperium. Lila, it seemed, had been recruited by Deathbird to summon the X-Men to help her save Charles Xavier from his captors in space. She used her teleportation ability to make her way back to Earth. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #269, 273]

 

Upon returning home, Lila and her bodyguard, Guido, drove to the X-Mansion in Westchester to recruit the X-Men's help in saving Charles Xavier. She teleported the X-Men she found there to the coordinates Deathbird had given her, where they confronted Warskrull imposters of Professor X and his paramour Lilandra, both of whom were responsible for laying waste to entire alien races within the Shi'ar Empire. In addition to defeating the Warskrulls, Lila, Deathbird and the X-Men rescued the real Xavier and his allies from the power-leeching web in which they were being held. When they accomplished their mission, Lila was released from Deathbird's service and teleported the X-Men back home. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #273-277]