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250px XFACT011 color cov Wolfsbane
Art by Ryan Sook.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Marvel Graphic Novel #4: The New Mutants (1982)
Created by Chris Claremont (writer)
Bob McLeod (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Rahne Sinclair
Species Human Mutant
Team affiliations X-Factor Investigations
New Mutants
Xavier Institute
Muir Island X-Men
Notable aliases Princess/Queen Rain of Gesham, Grimfang
Abilities Ability to shapeshift into a wolf-like humanoid, or into a full wolf at will

Wolfsbane (Rahne Sinclair) is a Marvel Comics superhero, associated with the X-Men. Created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Bob McLeod, she first appeared in Marvel Graphic Novel #4: The New Mutants. (1982)

A Scottish mutant, Wolfsbane possesses the ability to transform into a wolf or into a transitional state somewhere between human and wolf. She has honed her powers to shift between human and wolf characteristics but must keep her feral instincts at bay when she does.

She was originally a member of the X-Men’s 1980s junior team The New Mutants and later the Pentagon-sponsored X-Factor and the European offshoot Excalibur. She appeared for a time as a teacher at Xavier’s Academy in New X-Men. She served as a member of the X-Factor Investigations detective agency, until she joined the new incarnation of X-Force. She has thus been a member of six secondary X-Men teams, more than any other character.


  • 1 Fictional character biography
    • 1.1 Early life
    • 1.2 New Mutants
    • 1.3 X-Factor
    • 1.4 Excalibur
    • 1.5 Xavier Institute
    • 1.6 X-Factor Investigations
    • 1.7 Messiah Complex
    • 1.8 X-Force
    • 1.9 Secret Invasion
  • 2 Powers and abilities
  • 3 Other versions
    • 3.1 Age of Apocalypse
    • 3.2 Days Of Future Past
    • 3.3 Gesham
    • 3.4 Mutant X
    • 3.5 Mys-Tech
    • 3.6 Ultimate Wolfsbane
    • 3.7 X-Men: The End
  • 4 In other media
    • 4.1 Television
  • 5 External links
  • 6 References

[edit] Fictional character biography

[edit] Early life

Rahne (pronounced “Rain”[1]) is a British citizen of Scottish descent (born somewhere in Ross and Cromarty) who was a ward of Moira MacTaggert. She was recruited by Professor X to join the original New Mutants and remained with that team for much of its existence[2].

Rahne was raised as an orphan by an abusive pastor named Reverend Craig who beat religion into her from an early age. When she was revealed as a mutant, Reverend Craig led an angry mob intending to burn her at the stake. Rahne was rescued and later adopted by Moira MacTaggert. Later, when she confronted Reverend Craig as an adult, she learned that Reverend Craig was actually her biological father and that her mother had been a prostitute.

[edit] New Mutants

Rahne was the youngest of the New Mutants. Although she was a shy, emotionally repressed girl, Rahne managed to build a strong friendship with Danielle Moonstar and harbor a crush on Sam Guthrie. Danielle discovered she was able to establish a psychic link with Rahne when the latter was in wolf form. Rahne’s strict religious upbringing often made her uncomfortable when dealing with mythological entities, her sorceress teammate Magik, or demons, as well as making her uncomfortable almost to the point of self-loathing with her superhuman power, which resembles the transformations of a werewolf. These feelings were at odds with the pure joy she found in using her powers, causing a deep emotional conflict. She was disturbed to find herself attracted to Hrimhari, a shapeshifting wolf prince while in Asgard. Rahne began a relationship with teammate Cypher, and was devastated when he was killed by the Ani-Mator. On one of her two visits to Asgard, she met the demonic Garmr, a gigantic wolf who guards the entrance to the netherworld. She confesses to Rictor that Garm’s face, ‘that devil’s face’, is what she sometimes perceives when looking into the mirror. Later, she began an innocent romance with Rictor, but this proved to be short-lived.

[edit] X-Factor

During X-Tinction Agenda in Genosha, Rahne was mentally bonded to Havok,[volume & issue needed] and was subsequently manipulated by the Shadow King;[volume & issue needed] this led to her joining X-Factor.[volume & issue needed] Her bond with Havok was difficult, causing her to act irrationally, sometimes threatening teammates, sometimes by flirting with them. She stayed in varying half-wolf forms for this time, as turning completely human would subsume her identity into the mutate process that the Genoshans had put her into. She went through more than one attempt to undo her bonding, with varying results. Her instability also manifested in many odd dreams, where her identity was subsumed into pop culture figures. The Genoshan damage was eventually undone by Haven.[3]

During this time she appears in Infinity War and Infinity Crusade. During the first event, she was part of the rear guard who stayed behind on Earth at the Fantastic Four headquarters. Various evil doubles attack the building and the assembled heroes.[4]. During the ‘Crusade’, Wolfsbane’s deep religious beliefs led her to be approached by the main villain, the Goddess. Wolfsbane, along with many other religious heroes, was brainwashed as part of her army and taken to an alternate Earth on the opposite side of the sun. Another free-willed superhero army soon followed. Wolfsbane was swiftly defeated in the penultimate confrontation; later everything was restored.[5]

[edit] Excalibur

Some time after her mental damage from the Genoshan bonding process was undone, she returned to MacTaggert’s base on Muir Island and joined Excalibur. She matured much in her tenure in the book. She developed deep friendships with her allies, including Peter Rasputin and Kitty Pryde. She defeated her distaste of ‘drinking establishments’[6]. Though she only had non-alcoholic drinks, she still ended up can-canning on the table with several of her friends. She was then shown as having overcome much of her previous shyness, not caring if the general public of a small town saw her in a revealing uniform.[7] Rahne also was a bridesmaid in the wedding of Captain Britain and Meggan. Following the disbanding of Excalibur, she and teammate Douglock stayed on Muir Island to assist Moira in her search for a cure for the Legacy Virus. Rahne appeared in many issues of the short-lived comic book series Warlock, which starred Douglock. She helped him and others confront various threats revolving around Douglock’s assimilation powers. She even assisted the Avengers in confronting one of the larger threats that threatened to overwhelm the city of New York. Unfortunately, the island came under attack by the Brotherhood, an attack that resulted in Moira’s death, the destruction of the island, and the suppression of Rahne’s mutant powers when Mystique shot her with a version of Forge’s Neutralizer.

[edit] Xavier Institute

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Rahne’s biker look. Cover to New Mutants vol. 2 #10.
Art by Chris Bachalo.

Rahne spends some time motorcycling across the United States following the loss of her powers. She adopts a new, less introverted persona. This was best exemplified by the growing out of her hair from its normal short buzz-cut and the loss of her Scottish burr. Rahne’s travels eventually bring her back to New York where she defeats the rampaging X-Man villain Avalanche with no back-up. She becomes both a teaching assistant at the Xavier Institute and a part-time employee of Jamie Madrox’s detective agency, X-Factor Investigations.

Prior to her joining the Institute faculty, Rahne becomes in a relationship with Elixir. A passionate encounter between the two caused Elixir’s mutant healing abilities to restore Rahne’s powers; however, Rahne’s reversion to her wolf form prompts a tragic moment of savagery that left Elixir seriously wounded. Elixir is able to heal himself, and Rahne is brought back to her senses by an encounter with Danielle Moonstar on the darkened streets of Salem Center. Rahne opts to end the relationship when she is hired as a teacher for the Institute. Though Rahne is initially resistant to continuing the relationship, the two began seeing one another secretly until Rahne ended it upon learning that Elixir’s classmate Wallflower is interested in him. Rahne’s ending of the relationship is overheard by Wither, and he later releases the information to the whole school, in an attempt to end Elixir’s budding relationship with Wallflower. In the wake of this, Rahne resigns from the school, and her formerly close friendship with Dani Moonstar, Elixir’s legal guardian, has become strained.

[edit] X-Factor Investigations

Rahne begins working full-time for X-Factor, reuniting her with former love interest and New Mutants teammate Rictor. Many aspects of her previous persona return, including her close-cropped hairstyle and Scottish accent. She attends church meetings each week and her devout Presbyterian religiosity remains a central aspect of her character. She is instrumental in stopping a riot in what was known as ‘Mutant Town’, a section of New York once dominated by mutants.[8] She threatens to kill anyone who attacks it. Threats were then made against the police who objected to her actions.

She helps rescue Layla Miller from the orphanage where (X-Factor at least has been led to believe) she was being abused.[9] Rahne is distressed by a vision, implanted by Tryp of a possible future where she murders Jamie Madrox and Layla Miller on their wedding day.[10] She has told X-Factor psychiatrist Doc Samson that she has even considered killing herself to prevent it from happening but “Suicides go to hell… but so do murderers. So I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t” [11].

Rahne gets herself together.[12] She is seen helping her friend Guido Carosella confront personal problems of his own that has arisen from confrontations with the evil Damian Tryp.

It is later implied that Emma Frost has blackmailed Rahne with her previous relationship with Elixir into keeping an eye on Wither.[13]

Rahne has been identified as one of the 142 registered superheroes who appear to be part of the Initiative.[14][15]

[edit] Messiah Complex

Rahne helps Rictor infiltrate the Purifiers; she fakes being shot by Rictor. She is also a member of the new X-Force. During a battle against Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers, Rahne learns that Father Craig was in league with the Purifiers, supposedly divulging enough information about her that the Purifiers can claim to “know her well.” She travels with X-Force to her former home Muir Island, now the base of the Marauders. During the climactic battle, Rahne is injured by Riptide, but her wounds, according Professor X, are superficial and she will recover.

[edit] X-Force

When Cyclops decides to reform X-Force after the events of Messiah Complex he brings Rahne along to meet with Wolverine. She determinedly accompanies him on the assault on the Purifiers’ base, only to be captured by Matthew Risman who shoots her in the knee when X-23 makes a move against him.[16]. While her teammates make an attempt to rescue her, they fail and Rahne is taken to an undisclosed Purifer base where she finds out that Reverend Craig has joined the ranks of the Purifiers.[17]

The rest of X-Force manage to rescue her, but discover that she’s injected with a near-lethal dose of heroin. She’s immediately taken to Angel’s mansion to be healed by Elixir. However, after she wakes up, she immediately attacks Worthington, rips out his wings and takes them to Reverend Craig.[18]

Josh’s name is the second word Rahne says as she awakens from her brainwashed state and finds herself in a dark room somewhere in the facility. She realizes that she can’t use her powers thanks to the handcuffs she is wearing. She then remembers being brainwashed by Reverend Craig. After Reverend Craig tries to kill her, she escapes, but not before admitting that the only thing she wanted was her father’s love.[19]

Rahne regroups with her teammates and they begin their assault against Bastion, the Choir, and the Purifiers. As everyone is distracted in the bloody battle, Rahne is shot by her father who follows her blood trail into the room where Angel’s severed wings are held. Reverend Craig condemns Wolfsbane again, which triggers her to knock him into the ground, stating that she only wanted to save him but after everything that’s happened, she doesn’t care for him any longer and walks away, turning her back on him. Craig screams and prepares to shoot his daughter in the back and as he moves, Rahne turns and sees Angel’s wings behind her father, giving him the appearance of an angel. Her brainwashing kicks in once again as she mutters “kill the angel” and she enters a feral state, attacking her father. Her teammates find her at the epilogue of the battle in her human form, praying and surrounded by blood and clothes but no corpse of her father is found. Her teammates hope that she will never recall the memory of apparently devouring her father which would only trigger a deeper psychological shock.[20]

Following the death of Risman, the team reconvenes at Angel’s Aerie to recuperate and plan their next move. Rahne’s sleeper programming is still active and she violently charges Angel when she sees him, provoking him to transform into Archangel in retaliation. X-23 calls in the Stepford Cuckoos to help undo the damage done to Wolfsbane, prevent her from attacking her teammates, and overcome the guilt of her actions.[21]

Before they can erase her memories, they are interrupted and X-Force is sent on a mission, leaving Rahne alone.[22] While alone she notices someone outside, after running away it is revealed to be Hrimhari, the Wolf Prince from Asgard.[23] Since then the Cuckoos began searching for her but Cerebra could not detect her, mainly because she was in her wolf form.[24] She was at Angel’s Aerie with Hrimhari, still conflicted over her experience with the Purifiers. Hrimhari states that the gods of Asgard have reunited them for a reason and if they can forgive her, then she can do the same.[25]

[edit] Secret Invasion

Rahne is among the several X-Men helping to fight off Skrulls during their invasion of San Francisco, as a part of X-Force, who were tasked with capturing one of the new Super Skrulls, so Beast could study it to find a weakness.[26]

[edit] Powers and abilities

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Wolfsbane and Layla in X-Factor #6

Wolfsbane’s power consist of lycanthropy, albeit a non-magical form simply due to her mutant nature. She can change into a humanoid lupine form resembling a werewolf, or become an actual Red Wolf. In either form, Wolfsbane has enhanced senses of hearing, sight, and smell; animal-like strength, agility, and reflexes; razor-sharp talons and fangs; and bestial instincts. Danielle Moonstar’s former telepathic talent, which enabled her to communicate with animals, allowed her to communicate with Wolfsbane when she was in her lupine form or “transitional” humanoid-wolf form.

Wolfsbane’s human form is normal in appearance, originally with the exception that her hair never grew more than a few centimetres long; this limitation has been since then removed by a temporary biological change into a “mutate” on the island of Genosha during the X-Men: X-Tinction Agenda storyline. Rahne was shown to exhibit her keen sense of smell while in human form,[27] sensing traces of blood and spittle on teammate Strong Guy’s hand, (identifying who the fluids belonged to) despite him having already wiped it clean. This was followed by Siryn’s sonic-scream, leaving Wolfsbane’s “doggy-ears…ringing for a week” implying her hearing is also enhanced in human form. Rahne mentions to Rictor that she indeed has her wolf senses in her human form but changed the subject before explaining further.[28]

[edit] Other versions

[edit] Age of Apocalypse

In the Age of Apocalypse Rahne found herself stuck in her lupine form and was a companion to the Dark Beast in his hideous labs. When this universe was revisited ten years later in the X-Men: Age of Apocalypse, Rahne had been rescued and had begun to grab hold of her humanity again. She was now capable of shifting into her hybrid form but was still very feral in her mindset.

[edit] Days Of Future Past

An alternate future version of Rahne appeared in Excalibur #94. She wears leather, has shaved most of her hair, and wears earrings. She spends much of her time viewing recorded images of death and destruction. She, along with a few surviving friends, participates in a raid on a Black Air facility.

[edit] Gesham

An alternate reality version of Rahne, named Princess Rain, appeared prominently in the 1991 graphic novel Wolverine: Rahne of Terra (a pun on the British pronunciation of the phrase “Reign of Terror”). Wolfsbane was transported to the magic-based world of Gesham by the “Mage” (Cable’s counterpart) in exchange for the Princess Rain, her own counterpart, and brainwashed to make her believe herself to be Rain. This was done in an attempt to save the Princess from a prophecy which apparently said the Princess would die on her sixteenth birthday. Wolverine was taken there by the wizard Magnus (Gesham’s version of Magneto), who Magnus attempted to mind-control in an attempt to fulfill the prophecy. While there, Rahne encountered counterparts of most of the New Mutants, hallucinating that they were the versions she knew, and gradually remembering who she actually was. Meanwhile, Wolverine killed Magnus at the climax before they both returned home.

In 1995’s sequel, Wolverine: Knight of Terra, Wolfsbane and Wolverine helped Queen Rain accept the “Beast” which gave her shapeshifting powers, as she was the only one who could control it (since she had rejected it, it had possessed someone else, transforming them into a version of Sabretooth). In this volume, the Queen’s associates were counterparts to the X-Men, with the role of the Mage being taken by Professor X’s counterpart, the Shaman.

A third installment, Rahne Fall (a pun on “Rainfall”) was planned but never produced.

[edit] Mutant X

In the alternate reality of “Mutant X”, Rahne works side-by-side with many of her ‘New Mutant’ counterparts, making a living as thieves, living in the sewers and calling themselves Marauders. She and her friends barely survive a mission where they steal a technological box; they do not know it contains Dracula.

[edit] Mys-Tech

An alternate universe version of Rahne, along with alternates of her X-Factor teammates, appears in issues #3 of Mys-Tech Wars to fight alongside the Earth-616 heroes. She does not survive through the violence that follows.

[edit] Ultimate Wolfsbane

Wolfsbane also has made cameo appearances in Ultimate X-Men, notably issue #50, in which she is seen in her hybrid form at a Coney Island freak show, relaxing along with other mutants. She is seen on a view screen in her human form and receives passing mention in Ultimate X-Men issue #43, during the selection process for Emma Frost’s Academy of Tomorrow, in which the President of the United States says, “No to the wolf girl.” She would later appear as part of the Mutant Liberation Front, participating in mutant demonstrations and rallies. She is thought to be killed during one of the many Fenris Twin Sentinels attack upon the MLF. In issue #95, however, it is revealed that the Ultimate Alpha Flight member known as Sasquatch (who first appeared in issue #94) is in fact Rahne Sinclair, making it her first official named appearance. She, and the rest of her team, used a power enhancing drug known as Banshee, the Ultimate version of Mutant Growth Hormone, which can induce a secondary mutation, or further an existing mutation, for example turning Angel into a large anthropomorphic eagle. Rahne still can revert to a more human appearance when she powers down. Later in the same issue, she is injured by Nightcrawler, who, while trying to teleport her away, seemingly teleports part of her arm off.

[edit] X-Men: The End

In this alternate future, Wolfsbane is one of the staff at the X-Mansion. She makes brief telepathic contact with the long-lost Danielle. When Skrulls impersonating old X-Men enemies attack the mansion, Wolfsbane sacrifices herself to save many of the surviving children.

[edit] In other media

[edit] Television

  • Wolfsbane appears in the X-Men animated series episode “Cold Comfort.” She appears as a member of the X-Factor led by the modern-day Forge.[citation needed]
  • Wolfsbane is featured as a minor character at the Xavier Institute in X-Men: Evolution (one of the “New Mutants”). She usually transforms into a full wolf, but in one episode takes her hybrid form to scare some poachers. In that episode, she was voiced by Chantal Strand. Wolfsbane later leaves the institute, along with Jubilee, after the world discovers the existence of mutants. She appears one final time in the series finale, in Xavier’s glimpse into the future, revealing that she does return to the team.[citation needed]
  • Wolfsbane first appears in the Wolverine and the X-Men episode “Hindsight” Pt. 1. She appears amongst the mutants captured by the MRD and busted out by Wolverine and Beast. In “Backlash,” she is attacked by the MRD and is taken down by the Prowler Sentinel.[citation needed]

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  1. ^ Rahne Sinclair.com – Wolfsbane of the New Mutants, X-Factor, Excalibur, and New X-Men
  2. ^ Marvel Graphic Novel #4: The New Mutants
  3. ^ X-Factor #99
  4. ^ Infinity War #4
  5. ^ Infinity Crusade 1 – 6
  6. ^ Excalibur #91
  7. ^ Excalibur #93
  8. ^ X-Factor #3
  9. ^ X-Factor #6
  10. ^ X-Factor #12
  11. ^ X-Factor #13
  12. ^ X-Factor #14
  13. ^ New X-Men #32
  14. ^ Avengers: The Initiative #1
  15. ^ Avengers: The Initiative #1 Character Map
  16. ^ X-Force (vol. 3) #1
  17. ^ X-Force #2
  18. ^ X-Force #4
  19. ^ X-Force #5
  20. ^ X-Force #6
  21. ^ X-Force #7
  22. ^ X-Force #8
  23. ^ X-Force Vol. 3 #10
  24. ^ X-Force Vol. 3 #12
  25. ^ X-Force Vol.3 #13
  26. ^ Secret Invasion: X-Men #2
  27. ^ X-Factor #11
  28. ^ X-Factor vol. 3 #17

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