Diamanda Nero (possibly)
Magenta -occasionally shown
with no iris/pupil glowing violet
X-Men: Phoenix #1
En Sabah Nur / Apocalypse (alleged father)
High Councilor and prelate
commander of Prelates and Infinite
• Permanently replicate the effects
of an X-Gene at the moment of a
mutant's death, allowing her to build
an arsenal of powers from her victims,
usually employed only one at a time
• Known power sets include
superhuman speed, invisibility,
protection from telepathic intrusion, extendible finger talons that deliver a numbing poison, chitinous exoskeleton rendering her virtually invulnerable, generate electricity as a living dynamo, projectile spikes of molten metal that liquefy and inject themselves on penetration, lycanthropic transformation with enhanced senses and physical prowess, and, (briefly) access to the Phoenix Force
Diamanda Nero was born in the so-called Askani timeline at an unspecified point in that future era. Apparently the daughter of Apocalypse (or at least one of his host bodies), she served as his chief lieutenant and ran his empire during his many periods of hibernation. Her mutant power was somewhat of an unusual one, in that she could gain the powers of others but only after killing them. Even then, she was limited to only using one at a time. Presumably, this meant her rise to prominence was gradual, as she needed kills to gain useful powers. Given that her powers would not have automatically propelled her to the upper echelons of society in her timeline, she may have encountered intense cruelty in her past (possibly from Apocalypse himself) that molded her into the psychopathic mental state she possessed by the she reached adulthood and occupied a position of power.
[Note: Nero was stated to be Apocalypse's daughter in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes 2005, not in the X-Men: Phoenix series. She did bear some resemblance to him, as she had his trademark chin markings. The status that she occupied in his society is also consistent with Apocalypse's nepotism in other timelines, such as Holocaust's leading position in the Age of Apocalypse for example.]
Nero led the Prelates out of Apocalypse's capital Megalopolis in Crestcoast. She took great pleasure in her role as the “fist of Apocalypse.” In her position, she crushed several rebellions, such as the Trasquian extremists. Just as she was killing Obysdian, the last remaining member of the Xavier Collective, Nero was interrupted by her young proteges, the siblings Ch'Vayre and Luminesca. The siblings informed Nero that an unknown woman had emerged from a chronal anomaly and, after wiping out all the fliers, had since vanished. Although Nero asserted that she did not care about the fliers’ deaths and noted that finding this woman was of paramount importance, as a power of this scale should be under their control.
Soon thereafter, Nero was summoned to meet with Apocalypse, who had become somewhat of a recluse and had not spoken to anyone except for Nero for the past year. At this point, the relationship between the two was somewhat combative. Nero was openly sycophantic to Apocalypse, for which he had little tolerance, perhaps sensing her ambition and therefore the implicit insincerity of her words. Constantly needing new hosts to extend his life, Apocalypse was burning through his latest body and required a new one. The upcoming “festival of resurrection” was intended to supply his new host, but Apocalypse was displeased by the upcoming event, feeling that it had been co-opted by lazy aristocrats. Nero offered to cancel the feast but Apocalypse declined, explaining that he had engineered new weapons designed to test his people’s fitness, tests that would be released in due in time.
At the festival, Nero observed Ch'Vayre and Luminesca take part in one of the festival's main traditions, killing the escaped Behemoth. They were joined by an unusual redheaded woman, who had tried to calm the Behemoth instead of killing it. Her efforts failed, however, and Ch'Vayre had put down the beast anyway. When the siblings returned to her, Nero inquired about the red headed woman's identity and was told she was “Alyzr'n Summerset from the Northern Territories.” Nero was instantly suspicious of Alyzr'n and told her proteges that she wanted to be introduced the northerner next time they interact with her.
Her suspicions proved correct. Hiding in the shadows with her invisibility powers, Nero observed as Alyzr'n stole her way into Apocalypse's stronghold in attempt to kill him as he slept in his sarcophagus. When Alyzn'n opened the tomb, she realized it was empty. Nero then revealed herself, advising that the location of Apocalypse's resurrection was known only to him and the festival was mere smoke and mirrors. Impressed by her new foe, Nero baited Alyzr'n as they fought. Nero's telepathic immunity gave her the upper hand and she poisoned Alyzr’n as had done to Obysdian. Believing her foe dying, she demanded to know who Alyzr’n was and who she was working with. As they spoke, Alyzr’n started to become consumed by fire, lashing out as she proclaimed, “I am the Phoenix.” The mystery woman destroyed the chamber with incredible destructive force and then she fled to the skies above Crestcoast, leaving Nero humiliated.
Nearly two years passed and the defeat from Alyzr’n had done little to teach Nero humility. Still lacking empathy, she had no moral compunctions about blazenly testing her father's latest weapons on the citizens of the Skyfall Crater Enclave. The biological weapon (in actuality a man named “Plague”) was released and killed all of the inhabitants of Skyfall. Delighted by the success, Nero ordered both Luminesca and Ch'Vayre to attend her in her chambers at midnight so they could celebrate. Nero's delight was short lived as she had been advised of a simultaneous attack of sabotage on the “Hellhole” power plant. Her lieutenants believed that this was related to the same group who had disrupted the festival two years before, which was now going by the name “Askani.” Askani translated to “outsiders,” though according to Nero in “gutterspeak.”
Intending not to let any group threaten her rule (and she considered herself the thought, word and fist of Apocalypse while he was in his current resurrection bath), Nero released the “Plague” weapon again, this time on the Scavenger colony, thereby attracting the attention of the Askani. Nero dispatched Luminesca and Ch'Vayre to fight the them but then released seismic charges to prevent their escape from the monster “Plague.” Luminesca fell against “Plague” but the beast was destroyed by “Alyzr’n.”
Despite the defeat, Nero scored a lesser victory when she captured one of Alyzr’n chief allies, Diogenes Chang of the Order of Witnesses and his apprentice Squy'rr in the nearby countryside. Overhearing their conversation in which Squy'rr said the order believed Alyzr’n to be the mythical “child of the twelve,” Nero decided to torture them for more insight on this mysterious woman. Although the older Diogenes proved non-receptive to torture, the youthful Squy'rr was less so. From the boy, Nero learned not only the location of the pacifist order (an affront to her worldview) but also finally the identity of Alyzr’n. The mystery rebel was really the X-Man Rachel Summers, who had become lost in time. Nero left the boy near death for Rachel to find and set off for the Order of Witnesses home, a dome in Antarctica with Diogenes as her prisoner.
Nero detonated a neural scrambler on her arrival and cut a swathe through the order's telepathic members, stringing up Diognenes so he could watch her slaughter. Diogenes had unwittingly acted as lure for Nero who had hid herself with her invisibility power in the shadows. Instantly killing Rachel's disciple Malachi Hark upon her reveal, Nero absorbed his lycantropic talents into her already substantial arsenal of abilities. An enraged Rachel lashed out with her telekinesis to avenge her friend but she was struggling against Nero's versatile skillset, and at one point was relying on mere hand to hand combat skills to defend herself. Knocked over a handrail by Rachel, Nero shot lightning into the dome fracturing it, laying the facility bare to be overtaken by the elements. This distracted Rachel, who attempted to seal the dome with telekinesis. Taking the opportunity, Nero projected molten darts into Rachel, fusing metal to her blood. Believing her enemy was dying and defeated, Nero demanded the Phoenix Force. However, Nero was unaware that Rachel had experienced a premonition of her own victory, so she happily complied and projected the force into Nero, in turn curing/resetting her own body.
Initially overjoyed at the destructive potential of the force and seeing an opportunity to claim her father's throne, Nero was soon overwhelmed by the entity, as she lacked Rachel's strength of heart and mind to rein it in. Rachel offered to help and, although she was hesitant at first, Nero ultimately begged for her enemy's help. Gripping Nero's skull, Rachel telepathically commanded the Phoenix to depart to the cosmos. The force complied, accepting its former host's command. Nero was anything but grateful for Rachel's help and swore to murder her at the first opportunity. However, she also was unaware of the cost of Rachel's earlier aid. When the Phoenix was leaving Nero's body, Rachel had it strip Nero of all of her mutant gifts and she was now essentially human. Nero was unwilling to suffer such an insult without retaliation and activated another of father's weapons of mass destruction, the Leviathan, a city-destroying machine the size of a mountain. However, Nero had once again underestimated the Askani, who stopped Leviathan's assault and destroyed it.
Fearing what would happen if the Order of Witnesses archives were seized by Apocalypse and his forces, Rachel had explosives placed throughout the dome. In an act of mercy, Rachel provided Nero enough survival gear to not only flee the destruction of the facility but survive the Antarctic wasteland until she could get to safety. Nero refused. She felt that she was condemned to death one way or another without her natural born power and opted to stay in the dome. Despite her fearsome reputation, Nero went the way as so many despots before her and simply faded into obscurity. [X-Men: Phoenix #1-3]