By Jim Beard
Few foes of the uncanny X-Men have strived for the destruction of the merry mutants in nearly every incarnation they can muster, and only a select few possess the power to actually achieve such a goal. One such adversary takes the fetching form of a beautiful but oh-so very deadly woman named Selene.
From out of mankind's ancient past, the once-and perhaps future-Black Queen aims to drain the life from the X-Men for the simple effrontery of opposing her lust for power. A mutant herself, the witch-woman's latest gambit spills out of Necrosha and February 24's X-FORCE #24 tells the tale of what might just be our heroes' final fight against Selene's overwhelming evil.
But before the battle's joined once again, let's take a look at some of the X-Men's past skirmishes with this frightening female.
Amara Aquilla rose from her attempted murder by Selene to become the mutant Magma. The New Mutants rushed to save their friend Dani Moonstar from the vampiric immortal and witnessed a devastating battle between Amara and her tormentor. Finally, the young heroes dumped their new foe into lava and buried her alive.
Now the Hellfire Club's Black Queen, Selene sought to sabotage the X-Men's ruse to defeat sorcerer Kulan Gath's takeover of New York City. Disguised as Magma, she intercepted the theft of Gath's mystic necklace but paid the price for her actions at the receiving end of Warlock's transmode virus.
Selene and the Hellfire Club arrived to battle the New Mutants amid the ruins of their school, but the gambit soon devolved into a civil war. Voting to oust Sebastian Shaw as the Club's leader in favor of Magneto, the ancient she-mutant found herself under the derisive eye of the Master of Magnetism and the White Queen.
Seeking release from an ensnaring spooling chamber, Selene attempted to lure the mutant Daytripper to take her place. Nightcrawler inserted himself between the two women and watched from the chamber as they engaged in a furious and crippling battle. Daytripper won the day though and Selene went belly-up into a swamp.
X-Force attended a strange festival dedicated to a giant statue, but Selene intervened to claim Moonstar's blood for a dimension-opening spell. While her teammates fought the statue come to life, Dani faced off against her captor and punished Selene by revealing her greatest fear: the sorceress as an aged, feeble crone.
In Japan, Selene threatened to drain Red Lotus' lifeforce and earned Marvel Girl's wrath for her troubles. The conflagration between the two powerful entities took on epic proportions on both physical and psychological levels. As Selene set about wholly consuming Rachel and her friend, the Phoenix power flared within the young hero and drove the ancient succubus into retreat.
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