BIOGRAPHY - Page 1
Just like many other mutants, Sally Blevins first manifested her powers during puberty at a time of great stress; in her case it was when she had to protect herself from her abusive father, Bill.
After Bill Blevins had violently attacked Sally’s mother, Matilda, for letting Sally wear some pearls, which he thought was not appropriate, he then turned his rage to his daughter. However, after his first punch, both Sally and her father were surprised to find that he could not touch her, his fists just bounced right off. That, and seeing her mother badly injured gave a young Sally the strength she needed to frighten her narrow-minded father away.
When Sally tried to help her mother get to a doctor, though, she found that she could not. Because of her powers, Sally's mother kept slipping out of her grip. Matilda died in front of Sally, leaving her all by herself. [X-Factor (1st series) #16]
Sally went to live with the underground dwellers known as the Morlocks, a society of mutants deemed too grotesque or deformed to pass as human so they had decided to live in the safety of the sewers. Even though Sally could easily pass as a human, she felt not entirely human, as she couldn’t hold anything. Over the next few years, Sally grew into a beautiful young woman, and began to call herself “Skids.” Her good looks made her an outcast among the Morlocks, who, in defiance of the human society that had rejected them, were proud to have their faces changed into ugly ones by Masque. Sally’s force field keeping Masque from making actual skin to skin contact, his attempts to alter her appearance were not permanent and her face always reverted back within a few seconds. [X-Factor (1st series) #7]
While taking a stroll on the surface world, Skids witnessed a confrontation between X-Factor and Freedom Force over the fate of Rusty Collins. Sally managed to get Rusty away from the two fighting teams, and immediately it was love at first sight for Rusty. Eventually coming to a crowd of angry civilians, they began to throw bricks and rocks at the two mutants - which just bounced right off, giving a good display of her powers as she tried to protect Rusty from them.
When Rusty generated fire to keep the angry crowd at bay, the pair also learned that Skids was impervious to Rusty’s pyrokinetic power, thanks to her own gift. However, with Freedom Force still hot on their trail, Sally took Rusty to somewhere that she thought would be safe for them - the Morlock Tunnels.
However, Freedom Force tracked them down in the sewers, and Rusty suffered severe injuries at the hands of the Blob. Skids did her best to protect her new friend, when luckily for them X-Factor arrived. Jean Grey and Angel rescued Sally and Rusty, taking them back to their headquarters, while the other members of X-Factor were eventually caught up in the tragic event that would be known as the Mutant Massacre, during which the majority of the Morlock community were slaughtered by the Marauders. En route to X-Factor’s base, Sally learned that X-Factor were not really mutant hunters as people believed them to be, but in fact they helped mutants by taking them in and offering them safe haven, and that Rusty was one of their wards. At first, she didn’t believe them, but Jean Grey convinced her to stay, at least for Rusty’s sake. [X-Factor (1st series) #8-10]
Over the next few days, Sally joined a recovering Rusty as well as several other young mutants in the X-Factor Trainee program, where they would learn about their powers and how best to use them. However, this was somewhat of a major problem for Skids, as she was apparently unable to turn off her personal force field. Young love also began to blossom between Sally and Rusty,
and they spent a lot of time together. Eventually, the other surviving Morlocks that had been rescued by X-Factor, now led by Masque, opted to return to the tunnels. Skids’ decision to remain with X-Factor did not go down well with Masque, who accused her of wanting to pass as a human and swore that he would get revenge on Sally. [X-Factor (1st series) #11-15]
During a training session with Rusty, Sally found herself very vulnerable when Rusty accidentally broke the pearls that her mother had given her years ago. Unaware of the story behind the pearls, Jean Grey tried to make good use of them in the training session and asked Sally to pick them up, though they kept slipping from her grasp. Jean Grey told Sally of the importance to not let her powers control her, but angry and frustrated, Skids ran away, back into the Morlocks tunnels. Rusty guessed correctly where she was headed, so he followed her, only to learn that she was thinking about going back to the Morlocks. Wanting to convince Sally of the benefits of the training, he tried to kiss her, only for his powers to flare out of control again - fortunately for Skids, she was protected from his flames by her force field. The young mutants were surprised-attacked by Masque, eager to get at Sally because he hated her beauty so much. Still, Rusty and Skids managed to escape and returned to X-Factor’s base, only for Rusty to learn that the woman he accidentally burned when his powers first manifested had been left permanently disfigured.
The encounter with Masque fresh on his mind, Rusty wanted the Morlock to use his transmutative powers on the burn victim. However, Masque’s service came with a price, as in return Rusty had to let Masque disfigure him. As soon as Skids realized what Rusty was up to, she and the other X-Factor trainees followed Rusty, but it was too late, as he had already been turned ugly. Sally was so upset that she wanted to force Masque to restore Rusty’s face, but the Morlock laughed at her attempts to get at him, her force field keeping her from actually touching him. However, she got so furious that she strained like never before, and managed for the first time to turn her force field off so that she could strangle Masque. The Morlock leader admitting defeat, she let go of him, so that he could transform Rusty back to his usual self. Now fully able to control her force field, Sally also helped Rusty control his own powers. [X-Factor (1st series) #16]
Becoming quite comfortable with their gifts and themselves, Sally and Rusty became model-figures for the X-Factor trainees, but when it came to their relationship she was not as sure and voiced her concerns. Witnessing Cyclops and Marvel Girl at each other’s throats after the many ups and downs in their relationship, Skids feared that her and Rusty’s love could grow into something bad as well. However, Rusty assured her it would never happen, as it was rather unlikely that Sally would too be possessed by a cosmic entity, nor would he would marry some other girl because she looked like her. [X-Factor (1st series) #17-18]
Following Iceman’s out of control powers covering all of Central Park in snow and ice, endangering the entire park’s vegetation, Sally and the other X-Factor trainees were faced with a dilemma. Determined to prove that mutants can also do some good, Rusty ventured out on his own, believing that he could use his flame powers to melt all the ice, only to be covered in some falling ice, while at the same time a group of muggers were investigating what he was doing. Fortunately for Rusty, though, his friends had followed him against X-Factor’s orders and, after frightening away the muggers, Sally, Rusty and Rictor used their combined powers to send a message to humans - after clearing the park of the ice, they formed some of it into large words on a hillside saying “By their deeds you shall know them. Mutants were here." [X-Factor (1st series) #20]
Sally made further progress in the use of her powers, as she was now able to extend her force field to a certain degree. Occasionally, though, she and the other X-Factor trainees were reminded of the cruelty humans are capable of, like in one major instance when Cameron Hodge’s anti-mutant group known as the Right burst into X-Factor’s headquarters. The Right attacked the youngsters, who were on their own, as X-Factor was away on other business. Although Sally was protected from the Right’s stun bullets due to her force field, a collision with teammate Leech rendered her powerless, and she too was captured. Their mutant abilities negated by specifically designed helmets, the kids tried to escape using their brains, but if not for X-Factor tracking down the Right’s headquarters and rescuing them, they wouldn’t have gone too far. [X-Factor (1st series) #21-23]
When X-Factor went public, the media took a great interest in the kids and teenagers in X-Factor’s care, and Skids and the other trainees suddenly found themselves in the role of celebrities. Many people in New York took pity in the bunch of orphans and outcasts, and sent the X-factor trainees Christmas presents - so many, in fact, that Skids and the others visited a children’s ward in a hospital to share their gifts with them. While X-Factor were embarking on its missions, Sally and the others continued to have adventures of their own. [X-Factor (1st series) #27]
Skids further improved her control over her powers, which she demonstrated when Infectia began dating Iceman, who was unaware of the woman being a mutant capable of rearranging the physical forms of all living things with a mere touch or kiss. The X-Factor trainees soon realized that Infectia was up to no good but, as Iceman didn’t listen to their warnings, they spent an evening trying to break them up. Whenever Infectia leaned in for a kiss, one of the trainees would interrupt them. When it was Sally’s turn, she extended her force-field in such a way that it covered Iceman’s entire body, but not Infectia, as such keeping Infectia’s lips from making contact. [X-Factor (1st series) #30-31]
Not long after, Sally and the other X-Factor trainees learned that X-Factor were sending the teens to boarding school, as they thought the kids should not only receive training in their powers, but also a good education and the chance to interact with the “human” world. Sally was devastated when Rusty revealed that he was returning to the Navy, even though it meant he would be thrown in prison, because he believed that mutants should not hold themselves above the law. Sally, Boom-Boom and Rictor were taken to the prestigious boarding school known as the Phillips Academy, in Exeter, New Hampshire, while Artie and Leech were taken to another school for younger children close by. Instantly, Sally and her friends thought little of the other, somewhat snotty students, and even caused Iceman’s sled to fall down on some of them - not making a good impression.
When Artie and Leech were kidnapped by goblins, their schoolmate Taki ventured to the Phillips Academy in the middle of the night to tell Skids, and she and the others left with Taki to go find their friends - but not without breaking Rusty out of prison on the way. As they couldn’t reach X-Factor, the group set out to rescue Artie and Leech on their own, but first the stopped off to get new outfits, as they all left in the middle of the night wearing their pajamas. Once again, their new costumes resembled street clothes, and they decided to call themselves the ”X-Terminators“ after the costumed mutant heroes, X-Factor pretended to be while they were still operating under the guise of mutant hunters. [X-Factor (1st series) #32, X-Terminators #1-2]
Before long, the demons they were searching for actually found the X-Terminators, and they all ended up prisoners of N’astirh, the demons’ leader. Threatening to kill his friends, N’astirh blackmailed Taki into creating a computer that would allow him to process his magical spells faster and easier than he could cast them himself. By the time the other X-Terminators broke free, the goblins had already kidnapped ten mutant babies, who N’astirh used in conjunction with his spell-processing computer to open a giant portal between Limbo and Earth. Battling the hordes of demons that began invading Earth, Sally and the others met up with another group of young heroes, the New Mutants, who were also caught up deep in the Inferno. Together, they were able to thwart N’astirh’s plans and rescue all of the abducted children. While the others continued to patrol the city for more demon attacks, Skids stayed behind with the injured members of both teams, to keep them and the babies from harm. [X-Terminators #3-4, New Mutants (1st series) #72-73]
Afterwards, the X-Terminators took the babies to X-Factor’s sentient Ship, knowing that their mentors would make sure that they would be returned to their parents. While, Artie, Leech and Taki were sent back to their school, Skids and the others considered themselves lucky that the Phillips Academy didn’t want them back for summer school, as they had missed too much. Before long, though, they met the New Mutants again, who asked to stay on Ship too, as Xavier’s school had been recently destroyed. X-Factor had no objections and, as a result, the two groups of teens were merged into one, the “new” New Mutants. [New Mutants (1st series) #74, X-Factor (1st series) #40, New Mutants (1st series) #76, X-Factor (1st series) #41]