SUNSPOT: Page 4 of 5

Publication Date: 28th Aug 2018
Written By: sixhoursoflucy and Monolith.


In making the most of his circumstances, Roberto intended to use his newfound power as the Hellfire Club’s Black Rook to better the state of mutantkind in the world. The ease with which he began dealing with dangerous criminals, however, alarmed his closest friends. [X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #43] These same interpersonal skills helped Roberto advance to the head position of the Los Angeles branch of X-Corporation, an organization that defended mutant rights across the globe. Roberto even hired Magma to work for him. He took to his leadership role nicely, even earning heartfelt compliments from his best friend Cannonball about his newfound maturity and diplomacy. However, he soon came under suspicion of conspiracy when it appeared some of X-Corp’s employees were harassing humans in the community of Valle Soleada. This attracted the attention of Rogue, who confronted Roberto about these misdoings at a fundraiser. Roberto quickly dispatched her and Cannonball but later, when not under such intense scrutiny, he enlisted Magma’s help in investigating Rogue’s findings. He discovered they contained seeds of truth.

His prying, however, caught the eye of Elias Bogan, the conspiracy’s enigmatic culprit. Bogan sicced his pet telepath after Roberto and Amara and coerced them into making out. They kissed against their will while tears streamed down their faces. Bogan observed that their kiss lacked passion and concluded they had no feelings for one another. After this perverted ordeal ended, Bogan wiped both Roberto and Amara’s memories of the kiss they shared. [X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #32-35]

Although the memories of kissing Amara vanished, Roberto retained the memories of what he and Amara had discovered about their double-crossing X-Corp employees. In light of these facts, Roberto joined forces with Storm’s X-Treme X-Men to get to the bottom of the conspiracy— quite literally, in fact, as they discovered the culprit based his operations out of the catacombs beneath the X-Corp facility. They succeeded in repelling Elias Bogan for the time being, but the climactic battle resulted in a gusher of lava destroying X-Corp’s Los Angeles headquarters. Fortunately, Roberto had insured the building. [X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #42-45]

With his X-Corp headquarters destroyed and the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning in shambles because of the actions of a renegade mutant, Roberto returned to Westchester to pay his respects. While there, he and his teammates from the New Mutants subdued a vengeful Donald Pierce, who was attempting to settle a score with one of the school’s current students. [New Mutants (2nd series) #13]

Cable later recruited Sunspot’s help in defeating Skornn, a beast that threatened all life on Earth. With the help of several of their old friends from X-Force, they defeated the monster, although its defeat appeared to cost Cable his life. This ad hoc team later disbanded. [X-Force (2nd series) #2-6]

At some point, Selene’s branch of the Hellfire Club dissolved, releasing Sunspot of his obligation to serve in its ranks. The allure of using the club to better the world for mutants did not end with it, though, and he soon became a member of Sebastian Shaw’s Hellfire Club—this time as its Black King. Roberto intended to use his power to improve the situation for mutants across the world by eradicating the mutant slave trade, whether the X-Men approved or not. When a vengeful Donald Pierce attacked the club and rendered Sebastian Shaw incapable of ruling, Roberto ascended into his position as Lord Imperial—the Inner Circle’s highest-ranking member. Additionally, he had Sage at his side to protect him from outward attack and personal corruption. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #453-454]

After M-Day struck and depowered most of the world’s mutants, Roberto and his colleagues at X-Corporation decided to shut down the organization, as it no longer had a purpose. He closed the Los Angeles office. [House of M: The Day After] With his duties to X-Corp and X-Force absolved, Sunspot devoted himself entirely to serving as the Lord Imperial of the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle. He commanded the club with the confidence and authority of a young man who had trained his entire life for the position. He was so confident, in fact, that veteran member Sebastian Shaw felt threatened. [X-Men: Endangered Species #1, X-Men Legacy (1st series) #210-211]

Unfortunately, much like his friend Cannonball warned him would happen, Sunspot’s position as Lord Imperial attracted him unwanted attention—but not from Shaw. Shortly after the X-Men dispersed, Roberto found himself under attack by a group of young mutants who both believed they were working for Cyclops and that Roberto and his friends had turned evil. With Cannonball’s help, Sunspot repelled these Young X-Men long enough to learn they were actually being manipulated by Donald Pierce, who, among other things, was once again vying for control of the Hellfire Club. Sunspot, Cannonball, Magma and the Young X-Men joined forces to take down Donald Pierce. Unfortunately, in the ensuing battle, Pierce killed one of the Young X-Men, Wolfcub. [Young X-Men #1-5]

Shortly after the tragic incident with Pierce, the X-Men resumed activity, this time operating out of San Francisco. The incident with Pierce made it clear to Cyclops that the young and disenfranchised mutants needed some guidance, so he appointed Sunspot and Moonstar to mentor them. At Cyclops’s urging, Sunspot resigned from the Hellfire Club and devoted himself full-time to training mutantkind’s last generation. He and Dani guided the team through some very tough times. [Young X-Men #6-12]

Life as a teacher grated on Roberto, however. He quickly grew weary of his new task and jumped at the opportunity to accompany Cannonball, Magik and Magma on a mission to rescue Moonstar and Karma. To their dismay, this assignment brought them into  direct conflict with the mentally unstable and nigh-omnipotent mutant Legion. Several members of this makeshift squad, including Sunspot, sustained severe injuries while detaining Legion, but eventually they emerged victorious, once again proving they could operate efficiently as a team. Cyclops in particular approved of their performance and appointed Cannonball as the leader of a permanent squad of X-Men of his choosing. [New Mutants (3rd series) #1-4]

Although Roberto had matured considerably since his days as a hot-headed youth in Brazil, he was still prone to letting his temper flare out of control—a tendency he would soon put on full display for the public. After a riot broke out at a peaceful protest in opposition to the anti-mutant reproduction bill Proposition X, the residents of San Francisco found themselves under curfew. Sunspot was among a minority of mutants who refused to take either this directive or the proposed legislation lying down. He and his peers planned to stage a peaceful protest of the curfew in San Francisco’s Union Square Park. Although Roberto initially attempted to serve as a voice of reason amongst the angry mutants, they all succumbed to their anger and caused extensive damage to public property. Norman Osborn’s team of mutant peacekeepers swiftly defeated them on national television and imprisoned them on Alcatraz. Eventually, Sunspot was rescued by the other X-Men, and together they overthrew Osborn’s tyrannical rule. [Utopia crossover]

Apparently Sunspot received forgiveness for his embarrassing display of recklessness on television, as he was invited to join Cannonball’s team of X-Men shortly thereafter. He accepted the offer. Once again working alongside Magma, Roberto resumed his shameless flirtation with her, which she secretly found charming. Although Roberto tried to mask his true feelings for Magma by hitting on every woman he encountered, he inadvertently hinted at how he felt when Selene sent a squad of undead mutants, led by the recently resurrected Cypher, to assassinate the Nova Roman mutant. After Magma was maimed, Sunspot took personal care of her and ensured she received swift treatment for her life-threatening injuries. More revealing, though, were the words of endearment he spoke to her as she teetered on the brink of death. [New Mutants (3rd series) #4-9]

Throughout their adventures together, Sunspot and Magma’s feelings deepened, although neither of them would admit it. One evening, while taking a much-needed vacation in Texas, Magik abruptly shunted the entire team into Limbo to stop a squad of renegade U.S. soldiers from unleashing the Elder Gods, who had the power to destroy the world. After a grueling, weeks-long trek through Limbo, Sunspot and the rest of the team were bested by a team of hardened, Limbo-raised mutants and taken prisoner. Sunspot lost hope in making it out of the ordeal alive and began to accept his fate. While in captivity with Magik— who had already borne witness to their deaths in the future— Roberto asked how Magma would die. Rather abruptly, Magik told him that Magma did not love him— at least not in the way he loved her. These words hurt Roberto, although he insisted he still wanted an answer to his question. In response, Magik told him what he would need to do to save Amara when the time came to face the Elder Gods.

Sunspot took her advice. When the Elder Gods tore a hole through the world, Sunspot accompanied Magma in what would have otherwise been her final moments. He provided cover fire for her as she performed a gambit she hoped would save the planet. Despite his best efforts at staving off the hordes of demons, Sunspot was quickly overwhelmed and brought to the brink of death. With what would have been his dying breath, he confessed to Magma that he loved her.

Fortunately for Sunspot, at the moment he was to die, Magik’s elaborate machinations paid off. She succeeded in bringing forth Legion the God-Mutant, who subsequently destroyed the Elder Gods and banished them from existence. The world, like Sunspot’s life, was saved. Roberto did sustain severe wounds, though, and once again milked his injuries in order to receive additional attention from Magma. [New Mutants (3rd series) #16-21]

In the aftermath of the incident with Legion and the Elder Gods, when it became frighteningly clear the extent to which Magik had manipulated the X-Men and imperiled the world in her quest for revenge, several members of Cannonball’s team resigned their memberships— including Cannonball himself. Sunspot, however, remained on the team as did Magma. [New Mutants (3rd series) #25]

Awkwardness between Sunspot and Magma began to fester, as Magma declined to reciprocate the heartfelt feelings Sunspot expressed for her. While she used to blush at Roberto's playful advances, Amara began outwardly rejecting them. Roberto's bitterness intensified when Magma agreed to go on a date with Mephisto in order to free the team from their captivity in Hell. He interpreted her actions as meaning she would rather date the devil incarnate himself than date him.


To make matters worse, Roberto and Amara, along with the rest of Moonstar's team, began living together in a small townhouse in San Francisco. Despite their close proximity, they failed to address the sexual tension between them, further exacerbating it. [New Mutants (3rd series) #29-38] The heartbreak overwhelmed Roberto one night during a celebration in Madripoor and, after striking out with several girls, he drank himself into a stupor and made a fool of himself by hitting on his new teammate, Blink. [New Mutants (3rd series) #41]

After a slew of successful missions, Roberto and his teammates decided to unwind by throwing a house party. To Roberto’s chagrin, Magma’s former flame Mephisto arrived uninvited and, although Roberto was eager to throw him out, Magma dealt with the situation much more effectively—and without resorting to violence. She followed this up by planting a kiss on Roberto’s lips, much to his surprise. [New Mutants (3rd series) #50]