Surge. Art by Skottie Young.
Publication information Publisher Marvel Comics First appearance New Mutants (vol. 2) #8 (January 2004) Created by Nunzio DeFilippis
In-story information Alter ego Noriko "Nori" Ashida Species Human mutant Team affiliations New Mutants training squad
Abilities Electrical generation and manipulation, superhuman speed
Surge (Noriko "Nori" Ashida) is a fictional character, a mutant in the Marvel Universe, one of the student body in the Xavier Institute, and a member of the former New Mutants squad therein. She maintained her powers post M-Day and was the leader of the New X-Men. She first appeared in New Mutants, vol. 2 #8 (January 2004).
Fictional character biography
Noriko Ashida was born in Japan (possibly in Tokyo where her family still lives.) She was close to her brother, Keitaro, but she ran away from home when she was thirteen years old after her powers manifested; she claimed that her father "doesn't believe in mutants." How she came to the United States is unknown, but she was living homeless on the streets of Salem Center when she went up to the X-Mansion gates to plead for assistance. She was chased away by the student Hellion for being homeless. Noriko later accidentally injured the young owner of a coffee shop the Mutants frequented, though the woman would recover from her injuries.[volume & issue needed]
Led by Wolfsbane, Elixir gathered the rest of the group to try and find Nori that night, and they reluctantly went to try and keep her out of trouble. They eventually found her buying drugs, and assuming that was what was causing her to go out of control, Wind Dancer blew the capsules away. In reality it was the other way around, and without the pills, Surge completely lost control of her powers. Between Wallflower's powers, and the fact that she was mostly discharged by that point, they managed to subdue her and take her back to the X-Mansion. There, Beast designed gauntlets that could regulate her absorption of ambient electricity and could discharge through/into as required to prevent further mental overloads — to her less-than-complete gratitude.[volume & issue needed]
Student at Xavier's
Nori became a student of the Xavier Institute and, when the school adopted a squad system, was assigned to the New Mutants squad led by Dani Moonstar. She reluctantly was required to share a room with Dust; the two young women disagreed upon the accepted role of women and the Muslim traditions that Dust wanted to follow. Much tension arose from their disagreements.[volume & issue needed]
New Mutants Squad
Soon afterwards, the romantic relationship between teammate Josh Foley and teacher Rahne Sinclair was revealed. Returning Rahne's lost power with his own, Josh was severely injured by the feral Sinclair. Nori proved herself innovative when she suggested she use her powers on teammate Josh Foley in order to shock his body into healing himself. Her plan successful, Josh awoke. Surprised by the taboo relationship, the New Mutants squad — except Nori — ostracized Josh. Eventually the conflict was dissolved.[volume & issue needed]
Too Much Information
In the "Too Much Information" arc, teammate David Alleyne asked Emma Frost to remove a mental block in his mind inhibiting him from recalling all the information and skills he had acquired. David was able to see a glimpse of a possible future in which he had become the world's foremost genius and married Noriko. Disturbed by the idea of having married—and then led to the death of—Nori, David began to avoid her. Annoyed at such treatment, Nori ultimately confronted David which led to the two becoming an active couple.[volume & issue needed]
Decimation and Childhood's End
The events of House of M left over 90% of the world's mutant population depowered and Nori with yet another glimpse of what a relationship between her and David would be. With only 27 students retaining their powers, Emma Frost, fearing their safety, ordered the depowered students and staff including Nori's advisor Danielle Moonstar to leave the Institute. Iceman, while talking to Noriko's father on the phone, confirmed that she was one of the "lucky ones" who retained their powers. As it departed, one bus of depowered students was bombed by anti-mutant zealot Reverend William Stryker, killing all on board. Though depowered, David was not killed, and he and Nori furthered their romantic relationship.
Most of the remaining students were organized by Emma Frost into a melee fight to determine who would become a member of Frost's X-Men-in-training. Much to her surprise, Nori was chosen by Frost to be the team's leader. Soon afterwards, Nori received new, lighter, and more effective gauntlets from Forge.[volume & issue needed]
The remaining students at the Institute became the targets of Stryker's crusade against mutants. After killing two more students, capturing others, luring Icarus to his side, and finally attacking the Institute, Nori was able to lead her team against the attackers. Josh, enraged by Stryker's murder of Laurie, killed Stryker, ending his plot.[volume & issue needed]
Upon discovering that the advanced Sentinel Nimrod is alive, and threatening Forge, Nori, as team leader, made the decision for the New X-Men to confront Nimrod themselves. In the end, Nori removed her gauntlets and poured all her power into Nimrod causing him to jaunt backwards in time. Nori then went to the hospital wing to talk to Elixir and David. She asked if he could still kill, and he said yes. Elixir said that he wants to learn how to control the new increase to his abilities. Nori is at the memorial service to remember all the students lost in Stryker's attack.[volume & issue needed]
Nori and David, unaware of the events involving Mercury and X-23 being attacked by Kimura and Mercury's capture, were busy at the mansion trying to recruit some of their fellow classmates to join the New X-Men. When they asked Bling, who refused because of the things that had been happening to anyone wishing to be an X-Man, Onyxx tells them that Mercury and X-23 had escaped the mansion. Surge and Prodigy rush to Dust who tells them what had happened to Cessily.
Surge, Rockslide, and Dust try to pass the Sentinels outside the Institute to save Mercury when Shadowcat arrives and takes them inside where they strategize. Not before long, Surge, Rockslide, Dust, Elixir, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus, and Shadowcat attack the facility holding Mercury and save her as well as Julian and X-23 who had separately tried to save her.
Quest for Magik
In the prologue, Nori had taken Julian outside to talk and ends up striking and yelling at him for sneaking off behind her back to go with Laura to go rescue Cessily, reminding her that they are her responsibility as leader. As a result, Surge and Hellion were the only students that were not teleported to Limbo. In New X-Men #39, Trance used her powers to get a message to the two, hastily informing them that the Institute students had been taken into Limbo by Belasco, and that "Belasco killed David," much to Nori's grief. Coordinating with O*N*E*, Surge and Hellion discovered that Amanda Sefton had been expelled from Limbo and was in a coma in Germany. Since learning of David's "death", Surge has become somewhat impulsive and angry, threatening the O*N*E* troopers when they attempted to block her from seeing Sefton, using her electrical powers to revive the sorceress despite the risks and generally being rather belligerent towards her allies. When asked by Hellion if she's going to be alright, Nori replies with, "Ask me again when I've turned Belasco into a smoking black pile of ash." Issue #40 ends with Surge, Hellion, Amanda Sefton and the O*N*E* Megaton Sentinel in Limbo and confronted by a horde of demons. At the behest of Lexington, Megaton's pilot, Surge and Hellion stop fighting demons and head for the castle. In the final battle against Belasco, Surge leads the united Xavier Institute students against the demonic hordes, even engaging the twisted sorcerer in single combat before Belasco is killed by Pixie and Darkchild. After the Institute is returned to Earth, at Santo's insistence, Nori and Cyclops offer Pixie and Anole positions on the team in response to their bravery in Limbo, which they gladly accept.[volume & issue needed]
World War Hulk
Surge is one of the students that goes up against the Hulk in World War Hulk: X-Men. She helps in pinning him down, but is knocked away when Hulk gains his strength. Surge next attacks him when X-23 blinds him, but she is thrown away when Hulk's eyes grow back.[volume & issue needed]
Children of X-Men
After their return from Limbo, the New X-Men are debriefed and consoled by the senior Institute staff, Nori amongst them. While Cyclops praises her for her excellent work in Limbo, Surge still deals with the harm that came to her team and the students, specifically Prodigy. Surge finds out from X-23 the torture David went through in Limbo. In hopes of driving him away from the school and out of harm's way, Surge passionately kisses Hellion in front of David and the other students. After confronting her of the incident, she insists that she didn't love him anymore and pleads that he should leave the Institute. This, however, backfires as David regains his memories of the knowledge he once had and copied up until he lost his power with the help of the Stepford Cuckoos. In the aftermath, David decides to stay at the Institute and also ends their relationship.
Furious at being left on the sidelines, Surge organizes the New X-Men (and Armor) on a strike against the Purifiers in Washington D.C. in hopes of finding information about the baby and avenging the dead students. Elixir, Dust, and Prodigy opt not to go, thinking Surge is going for vengeance. The New X-Men infiltrate a Purifier church, while Anole searches on the status of the baby. After rampaging through the lower levels of the church, the team is attacked by Lady Deathstrike and her Reavers, but manage to be teleported out in time by Pixie. Returning to the school after the attack by the Nano-Sentinel-infected O.N.E. Sentinels, Surge blames herself for her team's injuries, in particular Hellion. Emma Frost explains to Surge that everyone was blindsided and that the important thing is to continue to survive. Surge asks Emma why she chose her as team leader and Emma responds, "Because I knew you'd protect them, no matter what. Even from me."
When Predator X attacks the Institute, Surge leaps to the defense of Indra, Trance, and Wolf Cub, demonstrating her leadership skills by calmly ordering the Institute students towards safety while she draws the creature's attention. Saved from being a quick meal by Anole and Prodigy, Surge leads the team against Predator X in an attempt to stop it from attacking the injured students, and is teleported alongside Beast, the other combatants, Predator X, and the injured to Muir Island right in the middle of the X-Men's battle with Sinister and Exodus' forces with Pixie's spell.
While there, Surge along with the New X-Men, battle the Marauders despite Emma Frost trying to keep them out of the fight.
Divided We Stand
Following the dissolution of the X-Men, Surge runs to Colorado, seeking help from Dani Moonstar. Nori is overwhelmed by the pain she has endured as a New X-Man and doesn’t know how to cope. Nori realizes that her fear of being hurt has affected her judgment and driven her actions over the past months. Dani allows her to vent and tries to provide her with a fresh perspective on how to use the pain they deal with as mutants and X-Men. She shares a bit about her own pain and struggles and the Native American philosophies that guide her. Nori thanks Dani for sharing, but is not yet ready to embrace her former teacher’s more optimistic view of the pain inherent to life’s cycle.
Noriko is among the several X-Men helping to fight off Skrulls during their invasion of San Francisco.
Surge is later kidnapped along with Boom Boom and Hellion by the Leper Queen and her Sapien League. The Leper Queen injects her with a modified version of the Legacy Virus. X-Force arrives to only find Boom Boom still with the Leper Queen and Surge and Hellion sent to the United Nations building. Before they can save Tabitha, they are teleported to the future by Cyclops to help Cable. X-Force then quickly traveled back to rescue their friends after completing their mission. Elixir is able to cure Surge before she could destroy the UN.
Nori is seen with Hellion and Prodigy, fighting off the resurrected Rusty Collins.[volume & issue needed]
After the events of Second Coming, Surge is seen confronting X-23 over her involvement in X-Force. Apparently, Surge feels that X needs to take responsibility for what she's done and that she disapproves of Laura's choice and states that she could have simply rejected Cyclops' offer and gone back to the team. At this time, Dust also implies that Nori may be jealous of Laura, possibly of how the latter is easily welcomed back by some of the team or even the latter's budding relationship with Hellion.
Powers and abilities
Surge absorbs electricity at all times: from static in the air, electrical appliances, outlets, etc. (often causing lights to flicker, etc.). She can't control the absorption, and thus must wear specially designed gauntlets at all times to regulate it. She can discharge the energy through powerful lightning-like blasts or channel it into bursts of superhuman speed. If she takes in too much energy, it causes mental overloads which cause her to speak too fast, scatters her thinking, and worsens her control over the blasts.
Her blue hair is not related to her mutation. According to Nori, it came in a bottle labeled "electric blue" (and, indeed, she debuted with black hair).
Very forthright and strong-minded, Nori has often clashed with her peers and superiors, from nearly getting into a brawl with Hellion after he insulted Prodigy's baseline status post-M-Day, and challenging Cyclops' assertion that the students are safe at the Institute (this taking place immediately after a series of devastating attacks by the Purifiers). Nori also considers herself a feminist, attacking Dust's choice of garb as a betrayal of women's rights when the two are roomed together. Regardless, Nori is a loyal figure, dedicated to her friends, and increasingly feeling the responsibilities placed upon her as leader of the New X-Men. Surge was particularly incensed with Hellion's decision to rescue Mercury from the Faculty without backup, and has taken it upon herself to mold the team into an effective unit capable of defending the rest of the students. She's seen as having trouble welcoming X-23 back to the team after the latter's involvement in X-Force, possibly due to how the latter seemingly doesn't have to take responsibility for what she did as part of that team, in comparison to her own mounting responsibilities. Chris Yost has stated that, "Surge is the right candidate, because she wants it the least. And you’ll see, it’s taking a big toll on her. Being a leader when you’re doing team sports and field day exercises is one thing, but leading when the stakes are life and death is another thing."
House of M
Nori is a member of Hellions in the House of M reality which is a group of junior agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Her father is a human terrorist whom she was taken away from at a young age. She was taken off the squad and replaced with Magik due to her father's involvement in their latest mission. She then recruits help from some of the students from the New Mutant Leadership Institute and they travel to Japan where they come across Project Genesis.
In other media
- ^ New X-Men #22
- ^ New X-Men #35
- ^ New X-Men #36
- ^ New X-Men #40
- ^ New X-Men (vol. 2) #42
- ^ a b c New X-Men (vol. 2) #43
- ^ New X-Men #44
- ^ X-Men #205
- ^ New X-Men #45
- ^ New X-Men #46
- ^ X-Men #207
- ^ X-Men: Divided We Stand #2
- ^ Secret Invasion: X-Men #1
- ^ X-Force (vol. 3) #13
- ^ X-Force (vol. 3) #16-18
- ^ a b X-23 #1
- ^ New X-Men #21
- ^ New X-Men #29
- ^ Chris Yost on New X-Men and Magik's Return, Newsarama, March 12, 2007
- ^ New X-Men Academy X #15-17 (2005)
- ^ http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2011/01/11/x-men-destiny-details/
- Surge at Marvel.com
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