BIOGRAPHY - Page 1
Born on a ranch outside Boulder, Colorado, Danielle Moonstar grew up happily with her parents until she was about ten. At this time, Danielle began to have nightmares as a result of her emerging mutant powers, which she could not control. These nightmares were actually visible images of other people’s greatest fears, though this was unknown to Danielle or her family at the time. One night, she experienced another one of these nightmares, involving her parents' deaths, only to be followed shortly by her parents' disappearance in the nearby mountains. Believing them to have been killed, her dreams were haunted thereafter by a vision of a demonic bear, which she believed to be responsible for their deaths.
Fleeing her home, Danielle was raised for the next few years by her grandfather, Black Eagle - a Cheyenne chief and shaman. In the solitude of the Medicine Bow Mountains, she found a temporary peace again and enjoyed her other mutant gift, her rapport with animals.As her powers continued to manifest themselves, Black Eagle contacted his old friend, Professor Xavier, to request he take over Moonstar’s training. Angered by this, Dani lost control once more and pulled forth an image of Black Eagle’s greatest fear - his own death, which he had foreseen in his dreams. Before Professor Xavier arrived, Black Eagle indeed was killed by operatives of Donald Pierce, a mutant hater and former member of the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle.
Joining with several other young mutants gathered under Xavier’s guidance, Black Eagle’s killer was defeated and Dani reluctantly agreed to enroll in Xavier‘s school. Dani, however, demanded to be treated as an individual and, as such, refused to wear the basic X-uniform without making her own adjustments - boots and belts to remind her of her Cheyenne heritage. [Marvel Graphic Novel #4]
Studying under Xavier’s watchful eye as a member of the New Mutants, Moonstar was given the codename Psyche. When it came to the team’s first sessions in the Danger Room, Dani panicked and ran away into the woods. She feared using her powers, as they had only caused her trouble in her young life, especially the times when she pulled forth the images of her parents and Black Eagle dying. She also could not live as a coward, however, and later secretly returned to the Danger Room and started the sequence designed for her. Despite the test involving robots, which could not be affected by her illusions, Dani succeeded, something none of her teammates had accomplished. [New Mutants (1st series) #1]
Over the next days, Dani was again plagued by nightmares of the Demon Bear and other horrors. When she overheard Xavier talking with Moira MacTaggert about her showing signs of paranoia, schizophrenia and psychopathic behavior, Dani considered committing suicide. The next morning, she confided in her teammates, who, unlike Xavier, took her feelings of being haunted seriously. Indeed, the entire group soon found themselves under attack and parts of the school transformed into organic material right before their eyes. Their opponent was none other than Professor Xavier himself, infected with a Brood egg. The alien parasite used Xavier’s telepathy to tap into and boost Moonstar’s illusion power to create solid images. Once Dani realized that she was the key in the alien’s plan, she advised her teammates to knock her unconscious and the Brood was temporarily defeated. [New Mutants (1st series) #3] Before long, the X-Men returned from space and Xavier was fully purged of the Brood’s influence.
In the next months, Dani not only learned how to keep her powers under control, but also learned how to create images other than those of the objects of people’s fears. No longer finding Psyche appropriate, she changed her codename to Mirage and she and Cannonball became co-leaders of the New Mutants.
With Black Eagle gone, however, there was nothing to keep the demonic bear away from Moonstar and it sought her out. Dani felt his presence and decided that she had to encounter him alone. She put on traditional War Paint and ventured outside Xavier’s mansion, where she dared the Bear to fight her. When she summoned the beast’s greatest fear, Dani was surprised to see an image of herself. Making use of bow and arrows, Dani thought she had killed the Bear, but it was only pretending and, once Dani turned her back, she was almost killed by it.
Dani’s teammates found her half-dead and rushed her to the nearest emergency room, where the doctors tried their best to save her life. Meanwhile, the New Mutants continued the battle in her stead. Eventually, they managed to defeat the Bear and, when Magik used her soulsword on it, the bear reverted back to William and Peg Lonestar, the missing parents of Danielle. They revealed that they had been transformed into the Demon Bear years ago and were sent to get Dani too. Though the hospital staff diagnosed that Dani was fully paralyzed, with the aid of the Morlock Healer, she was able to recover. Dani’s parents asked her to return to Colorado but, in the meantime, Xavier had earned her full respect and she opted to stay at the school.
[New Mutants (1st series) #18-20]
Several weeks later, Moonstar and the New Mutants were kidnapped and taken to Asgard, the interdimensional home of the Norse gods. While she was there, Dani rescued a winged horse
from a from a group of hunters. Mirage had an immediate psychic rapport with the horse, which she named Brightwind after her pony on Earth, and the horse selected her to be his rider. Another female, riding a similar horse, passed by and invited Dani to join her sisters. After some time inside their base, Dani sensed that the female warriors were keeping something from her and she left to search for her teammates.
Strangely, wherever she spoke to people to ask about her fellow New Mutants, people turned away from her in fear. Only when the New Mutants and the X-Men encountered Asgard’s death goddess Hela in battle was Dani’s new status explained. Brightwind was one of the herd of flying horses belonging to Odin, ruler of Asgard, that are ridden by his female warriors, the Valkyrie, who guide the spirits of the recently deceased to the Afterlife. The bonding between Moonstar and Brightwind bestowed part of the Odinpower upon her and she thus became endowed with the Valkyries’ power to perceive the coming of death in the form of a mark on those individuals about to die. When Moonstar and the others were returned to Earth, Brightwind accompanied her. [New Mutants Special Edition #1, Uncanny X-Men Annual #9] Upon her return, Moonstar felt lost as she learned Professor Xavier was not returning to the school and Magneto was the new headmaster.