MORTIS

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Last Updated: 
14th August 2010

MORTIS

Real Name: Lois London
Former Aliases: Rose Blossom,
XXXLois Brown

Height:

5'5"
Weight: 120 lbs.

Hair color:

Brown

Eyes: Blue
X X
First appearance: Dazzler #22
X X

Known Relatives:

Nick Brown (father, deceased),
Katherine Blaire-Brown / Barbara London (mother),
Alison Blaire / Dazzler II (half-sister),
Longshot (brother-in-law)

Profession:

student
Group Affiliation: Selene's Cabinet

Powers:

generate highly-destructive energy from her hands that, through molecular transformation, can disintegrate inorganic matter or cause living things to disperse their life-energies, either causing temporary bouts of pain and weakness or instant death

BIOGRAPHY
The early life of the mutant who would one day take the name "Mortis" was filled with turmoil. Mortis wasn’t born with the name Lois London, but it became her name after her mother, Katherine Blaire, fled yet another abusive relationship. Lois was only four years old when her mother left but she was old enough to recall the fear and cycle of abuse. After changing their names to Barbara and Lois London, “Barbara” raised and supported her young daughter by herself, earning enough in her job as a music teacher to send Lois to college at State University. [Dazzler #21]

Lois returned home from college one evening to learn that her mother had a child from a previous relationship and had recently renewed contact with this long-lost daughter. The news of this shocked and delighted Lois, especially the fact that her half-sister was none other than Alison Blaire, the superstar singer known as Dazzler. The very next day, Lois tracked Alison down and the two bonded immediately. They spent the evening getting to know each other. During the evening’s events, Lois learned that Alison was a mutant with the power to convert sound into light. Lois admired her half-sister’s courage and perseverance. It was around this time, however, that Lois began suffering from a mysterious malady. [Dazzler #22-24]

While attending one of Dazzler’s concerts in New York City, Lois’s illness acted up and she felt faint. She was outside getting some fresh air when a homeless man accosted her near an alleyway. Her hand began to crackle with dark energy during the assault. Terrified, Lois pressed her radiant hand to the man’s face, instantly stopping his heart and killing him. When Alison returned home that evening, Lois recounted what had happened and finally admitted to herself the frightening truth: she, too, was a mutant.

Her mysterious illness was merely a by-product of her powers emerging. Fearing for Lois’ chances in a trial amidst the anti-mutant climate of the time, the two sisters decided to flee until they figured out what to do. Their journey led them first to Pittsburgh – where Lois’s mutant death-touch involuntarily struck again, this time on a motel-owner’s cat – and then to Los Angeles. [Dazzler #26]

Upon arriving in L.A., a mysterious man presented Lois with photos of her killing the derelict man. He promised to give her the negatives if she committed a murder for him. He instructed her to break into a mansion and murder its owner while he slept. With few options, Lois and Alison feigned compliance, hoping a friend of theirs would arrive in time to save them. Upon arriving in their target’s bedroom, Lois recognized him as none other than Nick Brown – her estranged father. After defusing the situation, Lois learned that Nick had hired Napier, his butler, to locate Lois in hopes of reconciliation. During his investigation, Napier happened to witness Lois killing the homeless man and decided to eliminate his boss by blackmailing. After apprehending Napier, Alison’s lawyer informed Lois that the rest of the photos revealed she acted in self-defense. In addition, the coroner ruled the man’s cause of death as cardiac arrest. Lois would be acquitted of all charges. Deep down, however, Lois knew what she had done. [Dazzler #27-28]

After their joyous reunion, Nick invited both Lois and Alison to stay with him in Los Angeles and even offered to use his music industry connections to advance Alison’s singing career. It worked for a while – until the night Lois overheard her father saying several questionable things to Alison during a nasty argument about her career. Lois intervened and tried to maintain peace, but Alison was furious and decided to leave. Lois chose to remain with her father. The trauma of recent events, along with her fear of her own mutant power, left her feeling vulnerable and defenseless. She needed a figure like Nick for protection. Although Alison felt betrayed, she and Lois parted on friendly terms. [Dazzler #28-30]

Lois lived with her father for many years and became dependant on him for financial support. Over the years, however, she lost touch with her sister, growing resentful that Alison failed to live up to her promise of training her to control her burdensome powers. The fact that Dazzler had to fake her own death when the X-Men went underground or later joined her husband, Longshot, to lead a rebellion in another dimension made it impossible for the sisters to stay in touch, not that Lois knew any of that.

Shortly after the X-Men migrated to San Francisco, Lois spotted her long-lost sister on the news and expressed how much she hated her. Not long after that, Nick Brown, in a drunken stupor, slapped her, calling her a monster and blaming Lois for all the ills in his life. Reminded of the abuse her mother endured at Nick’s hands – and with the aid of Selene’s trickery – Lois fought back and killed her father by stopping his heart.

Initially overwhelmed by guilt, Lois was soon offered comfort by Selene, who encouraged her to embrace her powers and led her to believe her purpose in life was to kill. This new purpose, coupled with her growing disdain for her sister and mutantkind in general, made Lois eager to serve Selene. [X Necrosha: The Gathering]

As a member of Selene’s Inner Circle, Lois – now using the name Mortis – helped her master eliminate her myriad enemies. When the Inner Circle ambushed the X-Men’s headquarters to retrieve a mystical artifact for Selene, Mortis slew Diamond Lil and nearly killed Wolverine. It was then that she finally confronted her sister, whom she had not seen in years. Mortis, however, offered little explanation for her actions. [X Necrosha, X-Force (3rd series) #21-23]

After completing their mission, Mortis and the Inner Circle retreated back to Genosha, where they saw Selene’s plan to fruition - much to Mortis’s newfound dismay. X-Force, meanwhile, arrived and engaged the Inner Circle in battle once again. This time, Mortis nearly died after Wolfsbane slashed her throat. She retreated with the help of Blink, the Inner Circle’s only other survivor, shortly after X-Force destroyed Selene. [X Necrosha, X-Force (3rd series) #24-25]
Although her master was dead and her team dismantled, Mortis had no intention of forgetting her vendetta against her sister. She hired Arcade to assassinate Dazzler inside Murderworld, and even acquired the aid of an old enemy of Dazzler’s, Klaw, as a back-up plan in case Arcade failed. Dazzler, however, proved resilient and laid both Arcade’s and Klaw’s plans to waste. Mortis then stepped in and confronted her sister directly, blaming Alison, her parents and her mutant genes for the sorry state of her life. Despite the lethality of her powers, Mortis was no match for her sister, and was quickly subdued and taken into the X-Men’s custody.

Comatose, Mortis now resides in the X-Men’s care, despite Cyclops’s objections. Psylocke has agreed to try repairing Lois’s psyche through astral therapy. Meanwhile, Lois’s mother, Katherine Blaire, has been informed of her younger daughter’s current state – including an account of the atrocities she has committed. [Dazzler One-Shot] Whether or not Lois will fully recover from this trauma and receive mercy from the rest of the X-Men remains to be seen.