Publication Date: 
9th Feb 2024
Written By: 
Image Work: 
Real name

Mark Sheppard











First appearance

New X-Men: Academy X #2

Known relatives




Group affiliation

Formerly Paragons Squad,
Corsairs Squad,
Xavier Institute student body


• Acoustikinesis allows him to manipulate
sonic energy to create different effects
based on the rhythmic patterns of the sound
he harnesses, including beams of coherent
force, blinding light, protective barriers,
or thrust for flight


Mark “DJ” Sheppard was one of a number of young mutants who enrolled in the Xavier Institute following Charles Xavier's public revelation that he was a mutant. A veritable wunderkind, the boy possessed a very rare power of “acoustikinesis,” which gives him a different power based on the type of music he was listening to. Initially he was placed on Cyclops’ “Corsairs” training squad, though later he was moved to Wolfsbane's “Paragons” for undisclosed reasons. [New X-Men: Academy X #2, 5] Not a huge amount was known about him, though his yearbook did give some insights. He was voted “most flirtatious” by his classmates, which was not too shocking given that he listed one of his interests as “girls.”  [New X-Men: Academy Yearbook Special #1] Wolfsbane was a very enthusiastic teacher and well-liked by her pupils but she soon left the institute due to an inappropriate relationship with one of the other students, Elixir. The Paragons were then assigned to Karma. Karma's hands were already full as she was managing the junior school and was also assigned Alpha Squadron, whose instructor Northstar had just been murdered. Along with Pixie, DJ voiced to Karma that they were not happy with the merger and wanted Wolfsbane brought back. [New X-Men: Academy X #12-14] The topic became moot as the Paragons were soon given another new instructor, Magma. How DJ felt about her is unrevealed. [New X-Men: Academy Yearbook Special #1]

Ultimately, DJ would soon have far bigger things to worry about than who his teacher was, as he became one of the millions of mutants depowered by the Scarlet Witch during M-Day. It was decided that these depowered mutants were too much at risk at the mansion and were smuggled out in a school bus. Tragically, the bus was attacked by the forces of William Stryker and blown up. DJ did survive the initial explosion and was found by X-23 and Elixir. Even close to death, DJ attempted to flirt with X-23, commenting on her beauty before he started to fade away; his young life seemingly gone forever. [New X-Men (2nd series) #23-24]

This was not the end of DJ, however. In the Krakoan age, the mutants had defeated death and were now able to revive mutants who had been killed. DJ was first shown among many other returned young mutants at a celebration of the resurrection of one of his peers, Wind Dancer. [X-Factor (4th series) #5] At the event, DJ met Kyle Jinadu, the husband of Northstar (who was also alive again). Upon hearing of DJ’s unusual power-set, he promised to arrange for him to meet his friend Dazzler, the X-Men's resident pop-star.

Despite the gift of something as precious as a second chance at life, DJ's attitude to it was quite cavalier. DJ was one of a number of young mutants assigned to Nightcrawler to take part in a raid against an Orchis facility in Venice, Italy. Pixie, his former classmate from the Paragons, was also part of the strike team. When they arrived, the squad were shocked to see that the facility was actually an anti-mutant museum with the goal of indoctrinating pastors to spread anti-mutant bias. When Nightcrawler had been gone longer than expected, it became a concern for Pixie. DJ, however, was dismissive and told her not to be such a “Wanda,” a clear reference to the Scarlet Witch, and then later he told her worrying is for “sapiens.” DJ's attitude was seemingly very reflective of the Krakoan project’s local propaganda. The “children” continued to discuss Pixie's anxiety and concluded she was just nervous, as unlike the rest of them she hadn't died and been resurrected yet. Disturbingly, DJ and the others encouraged her to just get it over with, as if it was a rite of passage in their new society. When Pixie remained anxious, DJ mocked her that the “Patchwork man” was going to get her, a local superstition that had developed among the youth on Krakoa. Nightcrawler soon returned but the group were discovered. DJ used his powers to create a force-field by listening to Tchaikovsky to protect them from gunfire. Nightcrawler ordered the team to begin extraction but the peer pressure DJ and the others had put upon Pixie resulted in her standing in front of one of the Orchis members and allowing him to kill her, hoping it might make him feel guilty enough to turn over a new leaf. DJ filmed the event on his phone while the other young mutants hollered in enthusiasm behind him. Nightcrawler tried to explain to DJ and the others that this attitude to life and death was wrong but they just didn't understand. When Pixie was brought back to life, DJ excitedly showed her the footage of her own demise. [Way of X #1]

When X-Factor needed to perform a rescue mission to Mojoworld, they had to find a way around the problem that they had been banned from that realm. To get around this, they opted to use DJ and some of the lesser-known mutants as proxies to perform the rescue mission. By this time, DJ had not only met with Dazzler but had begun working with her. The two performed with Lila Cheney, serving as a distraction while his former classmates along with the New Mutants found Mojo and made him an offer he could not refuse. DJ was excited to be involved in the caper and asked if this meant he was an X-Man now, to which Lila Cheney responded, “sure thing kid.” The mission was a success and Shatterstar was freed from Mojo's clutches. [X-Factor (4th series) #9]

DJ’s musical skills kept him at the forefront of Krakoan culture and, following the terraforming of Mars into a habitable planet for mutants called Arrako, he worked as the MC for the Hellfire Gala's After-After party to celebrate the achievement. [Way of X #3] DJ would go on to die again soon. He was present at a slaughter at the bar/social club on Krakoa, called the Green Lagoon, ran by reformed villain Blob. DJ was sitting in a booth with his friends Pixie, Blink and Loa showing videos on his phone. At the same time Charles Xavier and his son Legion were having a heated discussion. Unbeknownst to DJ and the others, most of the mutants on the island who had gone through resurrection had been infected by the disembodied villain, Onslaught (to whom they were unknowingly referring as the Patchwork man) with Xavier yet again functioning as a main host. As the conversation between Xavier and his son worsened, the patrons at the bar started to become violent attacking each other. Legion had his two associates, Xorn and Zorn, incinerate them all. [Way of X #4]

When DJ was revived, he (along with most of the youth on the island) were consumed with the idea of throwing a party called “Cruciball,” an idea implanted in their heads by Onslaught. [Way of X #5] Onslaught’s plan was two tiered: he intended to have a corrupted Xavier delete all the backups while he forced a frenzy at the Cruciball. However, this time, no one would be able to be brought back. Nightcrawler had become aware of this and was collaborating with Legion in secret. First, Nightcrawler freed Pixie from Onslaught's influence and had her use her soul dagger to free a handful of other mutants, including DJ.

They were all disturbed by the part they were going to play in the massacre; DJ had even picked out some songs specifically which he thought would enhance the violence (interestingly even in such dire times, he remained scrolling on his phone). As part of Nightcrawler's plan, DJ and the others were to herd the mutants to Legion's temple on Mars called the Altar, which was also a gateway to the astral plane. Nightcrawler had discovered that Onslaught had been anchored by Orchis in the grief/mind of a mutant named Lost, whose parents had been killed by Fabian Cortez. Nightcrawler had facilitated Lost forgiving Cortez, therefore releasing Onslaught into the Altar. Nightcrawler then had Dust connect all the mutants present (DJ included) together in essentially a uni-mind. This collective consciousness of hope, promise and light destroyed the malevolent Onslaught. Nightcrawler called this the “Spark,” a rebirth of mutant culture; an appreciation of life in its fullest achieved by them communing with each other on a spiritual level. He hoped this would be the antidote to the loss that dethroning death had actually done to the psyche of young mutants like DJ. Whether or not the episode succeeded in changing DJ is yet to be seen. He was last seen continuing his collaboration with Dazzler. [X-Men: Onslaught Revelation #1]