Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #143
Jock Forrester (father),
Mary Forrester (mother)
fishing boat captain
Aleytys “Lee” Forrester was born and raised in Florida. The only child of Jock and Mary Forrester, she lost her mother at a young age. Her father worked hard to give her a good life but never quite recovered from the death of his wife. Based on the fishing port of Shark Bay, Lee made a name for herself as one of the most successful captains on the West Coast of Florida. As owner of the trawler Arcadia, she scoured the Atlantic fishing grounds for months at a time.
One day, Cyclops, who was on a leave of absence from the X-Men in the aftermath of the tragic death of his girlfriend, Phoenix, sought a post with Lee’s crew in his civilian identity as Scott Summers. Their first meeting was somewhat embarrassing, as Scott was looking for a “Mr.” Forrester, assuming that the ship’s captain must be a man. Lee cheekily corrected him and Scott was promptly hired. She introduced him to her seasoned crew, who were a bit bemused that she had chosen someone so inexperienced for the job. Lee quipped that she had hired Scott for his good looks. There was some truth in the remark, as she found herself falling for Scott.
Unbeknownst to Lee, her father, Jock, had just found out he was terminally ill with cancer. In his despair, he committed suicide by shooting himself, although he was in fact under the mental suggestion of the demon D’Spayre. Assuming Jock’s guise, D’Spayre invited Lee to her father’s house in the town of Citrusville. Instead of taking her crewmate, Paolo, an old friend of her dad’s, with her, Lee invited Scott along, as she couldn’t help her growing attraction for him and her desire to get to know him better. Scott suspected her feelings for him but was not sure how to handle the situation. He was still grieving Jean’s death and felt it was too soon to get romantically involved with someone.
In Jock’s mansion, D’Spayre quickly dropped his disguise and attacked Scott and Lee, inundating their minds with nightmarish hallucinations in order to drive them to despair and feed on their souls. Scott, with assistance by Man-Thing, an old enemy of D’Spayre, managed to overcome the entity’s grip. Lee, being merely human, didn’t fare so well and was knocked unconscious. The battle culminated in Jock’s house being burned to the ground. Scott fled, taking Lee to the hospital. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #143-144]
Lee recovered from this ordeal and resumed her duties as captain of Arcadia, with Scott as a member of her crew. Two months later, a freak storm almost capsized the ship and threw the entire crew overboard. Lee and Scott were washed up on a remote, uninhabited island in the Bermuda Triangle. Scott had lost his ruby quartz glasses during the storm and was forced to conceal his optic blasts by blindfolding himself and professing an extreme eye sensitivity. However, he couldn’t hide the truth for long under the circumstances. During a storm on the island, he accidentally released his beams. Lee helped him put his blindfold on again without pressing for explanations. The experience brought them closer together. The next morning, she woke up in a flirtatious mood, which Scott ruined when, momentarily confused, he addressed her as “Jean.” They didn’t have time to discuss this, as just then a previously submerged island emerged right before their eyes, with an alien-looking city on top of it.
Lee and Scott explored the seemingly deserted island in search of food and water. She refrained from pestering him with questions about his powers, perhaps waiting for him to make the first move. She decided to make the first move on the romantic front, though, and kissed him. Scott rebuffed her, bringing up the tragic story of Jean Grey and his inability to commit again so soon as an excuse. Teary-eyed and angry, Lee stormed off. Scott tried to go after her but slipped and fell. He realized he was helpless without Lee’s guidance, as he couldn’t afford to leave his optic blasts uncontrollable. He and Lee quickly reconciled, knowing fully well that they needed each other.
In an astonishing turn of events, the island was revealed to be the headquarters of the X-Men’s oldest foe, Magneto. The villain provided food, clothes and shelter to them, and Lee was given a rather revealing, outlandish outfit to wear. Magneto was just about to launch his new master plan: to force all nations on Earth into total disarmament. With the world on the brink of global war, Cyclops and Lee decided to confront him. United in the face of danger, they finally exchanged a passionate kiss and spent the night together. Scott went to bed but Lee couldn’t sleep, feeling frightened and lonely. Still, she was prepared to die with Scott if necessary and was comforted by the thought that her father would have liked him. Just then, she caught sight of the X-Men who had sneaked on the island and was swiftly introduced to the team. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #145-150]
Magneto was quickly defeated and Scott rejoined the X-Men. He and Lee maintained a long-distance relationship, as she couldn’t leave her responsibilities in Arcadia behind. Several months elapsed during which Scott didn’t pay her a visit, being in outer space. Tellingly enough, by the time he visited her in Florida for Christmas, he thought of her as more of a “friend” and was afraid she hadn’t taken his absence well. Regardless, Lee was exhilarated to see him and jumped in his arms. The two shared a romantic stroll on the beach and Scott got her up to speed on the latest developments in his life, including his upcoming trip to Alaska to visit his grandparents. Lee, however, confessed to being troubled by their relationship. She felt her life had become crazy after Scott walked into it. Sooner or later, it would come down to Scott choosing between Lee and his life with the X-Men, as she was too terrified by Scott’s world to be a part of it. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #168] It turned out to be sooner rather than later, as Scott met his future wife, Madelyne Pryor, during his Alaska trip and didn’t further pursue his relationship with Lee.
Several months later, in the Bermuda Triangle, Lee and her crew collected a man from the water, saving him from a shark. Lee was taken by surprise when she recognized the man in question as Magneto. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #188] She took him to the hospital, but he insisted on being brought back to the Bermuda island where they had first met. Lee accompanied him there and decided to stay with him and help him as he was still weak and convalescing. At first, Magneto turned down her offer of help and violently pushed her away. Lee persevered as she knew that deep down Magneto was vulnerable. He quickly apologized to her and accepted her offer.
One night, Magneto was having a nightmare and his magnetic powers were spiraling out of control, threatening to destroy the island’s citadel. Lee went to his bed to wake him up. On the spur of the moment, the two kissed and spent the night together. The next morning, Lee regretted the incident, wary of Magneto’s human-hating personality. She even went so far as to wish she had let him drown. By contrast, Magneto was enthusiastic about their blossoming romance and was taken aback when he realized Lee’s misgivings. Lee admitted that she was afraid of him and wasn’t even sure she had a say in the matter the previous evening. Magneto begged her not to run away from him, like his wife had done once, but Lee seemed unmoved. The following day, she seemed to change her mind, and she and Magneto discussed their relationship. Lee concluded that Magneto had given her no cause to be afraid of him and resolved to stay by his side and aid him. [New Mutants (1st series) #23-24, 26, 28-29]
Having made her choice, Lee now vouched for the reformed Magneto and later accompanied him in a meeting with the X-Men, where she could clearly see they didn’t trust him yet. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #196] When Freedom Force went after her boyfriend to arrest him for his previous crimes, she was abducted by Mystique, who impersonated her to get close to Magneto. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #199] Shortly afterwards, Professor X was forced to retire from his position as headmaster of Xavier Institute. Magneto was appointed as his replacement; a welcome change in his life, although the price he had to pay was that he was forced to spend long periods of time away from Lee. The couple had to correspond through letters. [New Mutants (1st series) #35] They later had the chance to spend some time together on the Bermuda island, along with the X-Men, who no longer felt so uneasy around Magneto. Lee was happy to see her boyfriend take up nobler responsibilities as headmaster of Xavier’s school, although their vacation was cut short by the attack of the being known as Chief Examiner. [Marvel Fanfare (1st series) #33]
Lee’s relationship with Magneto turned out to be brief, but it left her with pleasant memories of him as a kind and loving man, a different image than the one he projected to the world. Years later, Senyaka, one of Magneto’s Acolytes, who hated his former master with a passion, went after Lee, for the simple reason she was Magneto’s former girlfriend. Senyaka murdered Lee’s entire crew before her eyes and she sent out a distress signal to the X-Men, but it was Cable who responded to the call. He and Lee faced Senyaka together and she even saved Nathan’s life at a critical moment. Finding herself yet again attracted to a mutant, she was drawn to Cable’s noble qualities because he reminded her of Cyclops, unaware of the fact that Nathan was Scott’s son. The pair argued over Magneto, though, as Lee insisted he was a good if misunderstood man and refused to believe he had become a ruthless monster, as Cable claimed. [Cable (1st series) #11-12]
After Senyaka’s defeat, Lee and Nathan found themselves stranded in a remote area in Florida. Trying to get back to civilization and facing natural hurdles, from hurricanes to quicksand. Along the way, they sought refuge at an old man’s cabin in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately, said man was actually D’Spayre, who remembered how delicious Lee’s soul was and had come back for seconds. The demon began attacking them with horrific hallucinations. Lee saw her father shooting himself, and Magneto killing Cyclops. Ultimately, Cable and Lee defeated D’Spayre by kissing each other, thus generating hope and ruining his attempts to overcome them with despair.
Their tribulations weren’t over yet, as Belasco appeared, having won a bet he had made with D’Spayre. Belasco had them transferred to the Nexus of All Realities, where he wanted Cable to stop the demon S’ym from linking Limbo to Earth. Lee was not very happy with her involvement in this, especially when Belasco used his magic to temporarily deform her in order to blackmail Cable into doing his bidding. Nonetheless, she lent a hand in Cable’s ensuing fight with S’ym and the portal was successfully closed. Lee and Cable then decided to go their separate ways. As much “fun” as Lee had had lately, she would rather go back to her boat. [Cable (1st series) #13-14]
[Note: Paolo, the only member of Lee’s crew who has been identified by name over the years, was clearly murdered by Senyaka in Cable (1st series) #11, only to resurface alive and well in later issues. This is most likely an editorial mistake, unless we are made to believe that the death of Lee’s crew was in fact an illusion created by D’Spayre]
Lee was destined to cross paths with Belasco again. One day, she and her crew fished her old buddy, Paolo, from the water. He was in hysterics, claiming that the souls of the new crew he had been traveling with were devoured by the vampire-like being known as Bloodscream. The X-Men arrived to the Arcadia to investigate and were drawn into a fight in the Bermuda Triangle against Bloodscream and Belasco. Lee was instrumental in securing the X-Men’s victory when she turned the tide of the battle by shattering Belasco’s crystal, the source of his power, with a well-aimed rifle shot. [X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #9]
Lee later reunited with the X-Men when she and Paolo were caught in a hurricane. She sent out a mental cry for help which reached Jean Grey, probably due to Jean’s mind being linked with Scott’s, at the time erroneously believed to be dead. The X-Men rescued Lee, although they were loath to explain to Jean how exactly she was connected to Scott. Lee was also reunited with Cable, who was serving with the X-Men at the time, and discovered that he and Scott were related. When she was informed that Cyclops was dead, she gave her condolences to Jean. Lee clarified that she thought Scott was a good man and she always wished him nothing but happiness, thus indicating she didn’t resent Scott for leaving her. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #386-387]
Despite her earlier distaste for the world of superheroes and her reluctance to be involved in crazy situations, Lee apparently got a taste for adventure after her various experiences with the X-Men. Years later, she was chosen by billionaire George Stanislaus to be the captain of an exploration vessel headed for an alternate dimension with untapped natural resources. However, the vessel ended up being stranded in this hostile world. Stanislaus allied himself with an invading army of aliens from planet Scorpius, whereas Lee and her colleague and eventually romantic partner, Skull, joined forces with indigenous tribes.
Time unfolded differently in this dimension. Three years passed before a distress signal sent by Lee and addressed specifically to Cyclops and Magneto reached its intended recipients on Earth. As luck would have it, both of her ex-boyfriends were members of the X-Men at the time, although Magneto declined to discuss with Scott his history with Lee. The X-Men and Future Foundation came to Lee’s rescue. When they met Lee, her scantily clad appearance elicited various remarks, ranging from admiration by the Thing to catty one-liners by Scott’s current girlfriend, Emma Frost. Lee proved that she had become tough after years of fighting and she even helped the X-Men escape instead of the other way around when they were captured by Scorpius. Having fully embraced her heroic qualities, Lee elected to remain in this world together with Skull, even after the Scorpius army was defeated, in order to protect it from future invasions. [X-Men (3rd series) #16-19]