|Real Name:||Annie Ghazikhanian
Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #411
||Carter Ghazikhanian (son)
||formerly Xavier Institute
- none, baseline human
Annie Ghazikhanian was working as a nurse at the Rosy Manor Convalescent Hospital in upstate New York, caring for unidentified or homeless patients that had been made wards of the state. Annie took a particular liking to one of her patients, a ruggedly handsome man with a scar over his right eye who was completely catatonic and unable to speak or walk. Annie’s colleagues realized how much of a liking Annie had taken to her mysterious patient and guessed that the single mother secretly hoped that he would one day snap back to life, sweep her off her feet, and be her loving husband and a father to her six-year-old son, Carter. But it appeared that would never happen. One day, Annie made a startling discovery while reading the newspaper. She saw a photo of Alex Summers, the X-Man known as Havok, who looked just like her mystery patient. Annie phoned the Xavier Institute and left a message stating that she thought she had Alex and that he was alive. A short time later, the X-Men arrived and Annie was forced to say goodbye to Alex. She made an impassioned speech to him but finally realized that he would never wake up and sweep her off her feet as she dreamed. Cyclops arrived and overheard her speech. He thanked Annie for giving him back his brother and explained that there was someone in Alex's life who he was very much in love with. Despite this, Annie pointed out that he would still need a nurse, suggesting that she go with him. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #411-412]
Annie arrived at the Xavier Institute, suddenly unsure about her decision to quit her job and take up residence there as Alex’s caretaker since she did not truly like mutants. During an awkward introduction to the young mutant Husk, Annie expressed concern that she might have a dangerous power that could harm her son. Annie's worries were immediately set aside when her medical services were required, as several injured X-Men returned from a mission. Tensions were running high amongst several of the X-Men and, after refusing to let Professor Xavier speak to her telepathically, Annie went about her medical duties, revealing that she once worked as an ER nurse. As she did this, her son Carter began a friendship with a young mutant around his age called Squidboy. The two boys began to idolize the newest addition to the X-Men's ranks, the Juggernaut.
After learning that Professor X had no luck using his telepathic power to rouse the still vacant Havok, Annie was surprised when Xavier offered her a position as the school nurse. Believing her dislike for mutants was obvious, Annie suggested he might like a mutant nurse, to which Xavier likened the persecution of mutantkind to the massacres of the Turkish people, given that Annie was Armenian. Still somewhat reluctant, Annie accepted Xavier’s offer and even tried to apologize to Husk. No one at the Xavier Institute was aware of the fact that Annie’s dislike for mutants stemmed from the fact that her son Carter was in fact a mutant himself. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #413]
Despite her dislike of mutants, Annie soon formed a friendship with Northstar - perhaps because he was also new to the Xavier Institute. While taking care of Northstar’s injuries, Annie was confronted by Iceman and the two took an instant dislike to each other. Nevertheless, Annie discovered that Iceman’s body was becoming permanently ice, a secondary mutation, which he made her swear not to tell the others. Annie detected that Northstar had feelings for Iceman and tried to set them up. However, Northstar quickly discovered that Iceman was very straight and that there was no point in pursuing him. Annie sympathized, given her feelings for Havok. Northstar tried to help Annie with her feelings for Alex, pointing out that she was in love with a man who was little more than a warm corpse - something that was not rational. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #415-416]
Annie was caring for Alex when Carter approached her, wanting to talk about the impending arrival of Alex’s girlfriend, whom he heard everyone saying was crazy. Annie tried to teach her son to be nice to people but deep down she knew she would not like Lorna either. Carter revealed to his mother that, as he could sometimes “see things,” he could see a string of light coming from Alex’s head and that he could see Alex at the end of it. Carter used his psychic power to pull the string and bring Alex back. When Carter lost consciousness in the process, Annie became incensed but was held back by the mentally unstable Polaris, who had just arrived. Lorna seemed to relish keeping Annie at bay with metal scalpels.
Luckily, several of the X-Men arrived in the infirmary and Professor X was able to talk Polaris down, just as Havok suddenly woke up. With Carter now trapped in the void, Alex tried to call out to him, explaining to the others that Carter rescued him from this void but that he was now too tired to get out. Annie called to her son, encouraging him to come back. Xavier soon entered the void himself and after some struggle was able to free Carter. With Carter safe and Alex awake, things were looking up for Annie - until Xavier informed her that they needed to have a discussion about Carter and his father. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #418-420]
However, that talk would have to wait as several of the X-Men were summoned to the Professor’s office first. On the way inside, Polaris snarked to Annie that her job at the Institute was finished and that Alex did not need her any more. In the meeting, Havok emotionally expressed that the one thing that got him through the last months was all of them. Moved by his words, Polaris asked Havok to marry her. Before he could respond, the other X-Men present assumed that he would accept without a second thought and began congratulating them. Havok was hesitant, but did not correct their assumption. Outside the room, Annie heard the exchange and was naturally upset. To get her mind off things, Annie tended to various jobs in the infirmary and listened to Husk go on and on about her new romance with Archangel. They were joined by Havok, who thanked Annie for looking after him while he was catatonic. The conversation became increasingly awkward as Annie became flustered actually talking with Havok for the first time. Soon after, Havok and Polaris departed the Xavier Institute for some personal time together. Before leaving Alex told Annie that although he could not remember anything from his time in the void, he felt like he knew her somehow, a statement which appeared to give Annie some pleasure. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #421]
Annie’s unfailing protectiveness of Carter continued when the Canadian super team, Alpha Flight, arrived at the Xavier Institute at the behest of the governor of New York to remove all the children in Xavier’s care. Of particular interest to them was Carter’s friend, the Canadian-born Squidboy. When Puck and Guardian tried to take Carter as well, Annie vehemently fought back. However, the crisis was diffused when Xavier’s lawyers convinced the governor to back down, lest certain unsavory political affiliations come to light.
Chaos at the Xavier Institute continued when several mutants were crucified on the front lawn. Annie’s medical skills came in especially handy as she did what she could to save them. She succeeded in doing so with the help of Archangel’s healing abilities. It was during this time of disruption that Havok and Polaris returned to the Xavier Institute. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #422-423]
To her chagrin, Annie found herself attending Polaris’ bachelorette party. Confronted by her prejudices once more, Annie opted to sit with Iceman, who despite their initial awkward encounter, revealed that he admired Annie. They discussed their mutual predicament - Annie’s feelings for Havok and Iceman’s feelings for Polaris. When Annie mentioned that everyone thought she was dating Northstar, an openly gay X-Man, she was surprised to learn that Iceman apparently did not know that Jean-Paul was gay. Gauging his reaction to the news, Annie accused Iceman of being not only a homophobe but also a racist. Irate, Annie stormed away, only to be followed by Bobby who apologized and explained his complicated feelings. Moved by his words, Annie made peace and the two kissed.
The next day as the ceremony commenced, Havok called the wedding off just as Polaris was walking down the aisle. Already mentally unstable before being publicly jilted, Polaris snapped and attacked Alex and Annie. Havok managed to escape Polaris' wrath with Annie and her son. Carter was worried that Polaris was going to kill his mother but Havok assured him that would not happen. He revealed that he had begun to understand his feelings for Annie and hers for him. Havok had realized that he and Annie had been having the same dreams for the past year, dreams that Carter’s own psychic mutant powers had orchestrated. Alex revealed to Annie the many things that he had learned about her, including the fact that her dislike of mutants was because her old boyfriend, Carter’s father, was a mutant. When he learned that Annie was pregnant, his mutant friends tried to kill her because he did not want a child. Carter explained that he caused their dreams because he did not want his mother to be sad and knew that Alex was also sad.
Just as Havok and Annie seemed at ease with each other, Polaris attacked, having tracked them down. The conflict was soon interrupted and abruptly ended thanks to the intervention of the Juggernaut, who knocked out Polaris. The crisis passed, Annie left Carter in the Husk's care, while she and Alex traveled to Paris, the place in their dreams where they shared their first kiss, to make that dream a reality. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #425-426]
Upon returning from Paris, Havok was suddenly possessed by his evil Mutant X counterpart, which had been buried in his subconscious. The evil Havok attacked Carter, blaming him for leaving him behind in the inter-dimensional void when Carter rescued Alex’s consciousness. At the same time, the reality-hoping mutants known as the Exiles came looking for Havok in an attempt to eliminate him. Their mysterious adviser, the Timebroker, believed he was a powerful and dangerous nexus of reality. During the skirmish between the X-Men and the Exiles, Carter was injured and Annie, fed up that there were no doctor at the Institute, took him to a nearby hospital with Nightcrawler. There she encountered more prejudice as the doctor did not want her and Nightcrawler around. In the aftermath, Carter recovered with no permanent injuries, the true Havok was rescued from his evil counterpart, and he was happily reunited with Annie and Carter. [Exiles (1st series) #28-30]
When Havok departed on a mission, Annie was enlisted by Xavier to assist him as he probed Polaris’ mind. Annie agreed, unaware that Carter had stowed away on Havok’s mission. Carter became the topic of conversation when Annie’s mutant prejudice was recognized by Polaris and Xorn, although Xorn did suggest that Carter could become a student in his Special Class. Annie accompanied Xavier inside Polaris’ mind to determine her current emotional state and she was fascinated by the experience. Despite the taunts Polaris cast at her, Annie emerged from Polaris’ mindscape quite distraught at what she witnessed. Still, she quickly got over that when she learned that Carter had stowed away on the X-jet taken by Havok’s team. Polaris, Annie and Professor X traveled to Havok’s location but soon learned that Carter was fine, despite the seriousness of the situation he was in, as Iceman had looked after him. Annie was so overjoyed that Carter was all right that she kissed Iceman in front of Havok. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #429-431, 433-434]
The burgeoning relationship between Annie and Alex met a new roadblock when the X-Men went through a massive restructuring. Havok was placed as leader of a squad of X-Men, so he did not have as much time for Annie as he did before. Adding to that problem was Iceman, who still blamed Havok not only for stealing Polaris away from him all those years ago but for ruining any chance he had with Annie. Havok was still unsure about how far things went between Annie and Iceman before he and Annie became an official couple. Despite some initial misgivings about this, after returning from a near-death mission, Alex told Annie that whatever happened between her and Bobby did not matter. [X-Men (2nd series) #157, 160]
It was not long before the “mutant situation” started to become too much for Annie. When Havok revealed that a battle with the new Brotherhood did not go well and that the villains might come to the Xavier Institute seeking revenge, he suggested she go someplace safe for a few days. However, a few days were not going to be enough for Annie and she made the decision to leave the Institute - and Alex - for good.
Before she departed, there was only one person Annie wanted to say goodbye to. Somewhat surprisingly, given their animosity towards each other, this was Polaris. Annie informed Lorna that she needed her to look after Havok for her, as she was leaving and not returning. This surprised Polaris, who asked Annie if she knew what leaving like this would do to Havok. Annie explained that it would do the same thing to her but that her son was the most important thing in her life. Polaris understood and it appeared as if the two women came to a mutual understanding after all that had happened between them.
As she drove out of the Institute grounds with her son, Annie forbade him from using his power to telepathically say goodbye to Alex, knowing that if she ended up having to see him she might not be able to leave. Still, Annie had underestimated Northstar who had figured out that Annie was leaving. He raced into the path of her departing car and the two friends were able to say a proper goodbye. Their farewells were interrupted by Carter, who announced that his friend Squidboy had been killed. With the X-Men facing off against the Brotherhood, Annie did not even bother to stay and help patch up any injuries. Northstar tried to tell Havok that Annie had departed but Alex already knew this, as well as the fact that she was not coming back. [X-Men (2nd series) #161, 163-164]
Whether Annie ever reached her safe place remains unknown, as en route she noticed her son being awfully quiet. When she asked about his silence, he told her he was playing with his new friend. Annie assumed this to be an imaginary friend but Carter assured her that his friend, a female, was very much real. Unseen by Annie, a pair of sinister glowing eyes seemed to indicate that he was indeed not alone. [X-Men (2nd series) #164] Annie and Carter have not been seen since, nor has Carter’s mysterious friend. Whether Carter retains his mutant powers since “M-Day” has not been revealed. Wherever Annie is, her life is probably somewhat safer than it was during her time with the X-Men, even if it is lonelier without Havok.