|First appearance||X-Men 2099 #4 (January 1994)|
John Francis Moore|
Halo City Protectorate
Theatre of Pain
La Lunatica is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics comic book X-Men 2099. During the majority of the series, she is a member of the future version of X-Men led by Xi'an Chi Xan and later her lover Tim Fitzgerald (Skullfire). La Lunatica is a Hispanic mutant with the ability to feed on the memories of pain and suffering of her victims through tactile interaction, thereby increasing her own strength and durability. She has white skin and red eyes, reminiscent of albinism as well as elongated canine teeth. Her name is translated into Spanish as the feminine form of "the lunatic".
Fictional character biographyEdit
La Lunatica's earliest appearance shows her working for the Theatre of Pain, an illegal operation led by the villainous Brimstone Love where innocents were captured and tortured as entertainment. Her direct superior was Controller 13, who kept Luna under control through a special collar. For ten years prior to her debut Luna hunted down individuals for the Theatre and used her power to trigger traumatic memories in them, which were recorded. She first appears and captures Bloodhawk, taking him to the Theatre's "Darkroom", run by her superior, Controller 13. She then finds Skullfire, Krystalin, and Meanstreak on their way to New York and abducts them. She uses her vampiric touch first on Skullfire, making him relive one of the early manifestations of his power which caused the death of his girlfriend, Reiko. This trauma triggers his mutant ability to absorb and discharge latent energies, which destroys the darkroom and disables the collar that keeps Luna indentured to the Theatre. She takes advantage of this to incapacitate Controller 13 and escape.
Luna takes to the road, hiding from agents of the Theatre who are intent on getting her back. On the road she finds Junkpile comatose in a transport and saves him. She hires him as a bodyguard to protect her from the theatre and heads to El Paso. On the way she runs into Skullfire again, this time traveling with Xi'an, who had recently abandoned his post as leader of the X-Men. After an initial scuffle, she convinces Tim that she was forced to harm him by the Theatre and the two form a strange bond. Together with Xi'an and Junkpile they travel to the hideout of a mutant known as The Driver, where they are attacked by Brimstone Love, the head of the Theatre of Pain. Skullfire and Junkpile prove ineffective against Brimstone, however he lets Luna go this time, because he led her to Xi'an, who joins the Theatre. With Xi'an gone and Junkpile defeated Tim decides to return to the other X-Men and lead them against the Theatre. Luna follows but is not well received by Meanstreak who leaves and eventually goes to Las Vegas with Halloween Jack.
Soon after, Tim called together the other X-Men, who had mostly scattered since Xi'an's defection, to raid the Theatre's Floodgate facility in California. Luna, Tim and Cerebra attempted to sneak in with the genetic outcasts that came to Floodgate, but are quickly discovered. The Theatre's female bloodsport fighters, the Norns, knock out Tim, throwing him into a waste disposal tube and drag Luna to Brimstone, who fits her with a new obedience collar. This doesn't last, as Tim escapes the disposal cell and quickly shorts out the collar. Together with the newly arrived Meanstreak, Bloodhawk and Krystalin, they interrupt Xi'an's debut Theatre performance. As the others keep Brimstone at bay, Luna uses her vampirism on Xi'an, shocking him back to his former moral self. The rest of the Theatre retreats and the X-Men leave victorious.
Luna, now considered a full fledged X-Man, travels with the team to Halo City, a mutant city-state created by Doom, self-imposed President of the U.S., as a safe haven for the genetically oppressed. The X-Men are made the protectorate of the city. Not long after taking the position, Halo is attacked by the Graverobber, a mutant who can resurrect the dead as zombies, and his group of Undead (which includes former X-Man Serpentina). At the first skirmish with the Undead, Skullfire is killed and later resurrected. This takes a large toll on Luna, who becomes irrational and ends up nearly beaten to death by a "Colossus-esque" member of the undead. Upon his defeat, the Graverobber's revived fighters lose their renewed life and die once again, with the exception of Tim, who inexplicably returns to life.
At some time during their stay at Halo City, Luna is one of the X-Men who visit the Oasis, a paradise created by Ryu Kobolt, a past friend of Cerebra. Kobolt had built the Oasis to bring together a chosen few downtrodded citizens, who would be put into cryogenic stasis for 250 years, during which time a barrage of chemical warheads would destroy all other life on the planet. Luna, along with Skullfire, Cerebra and Bloodhawk, stop this plan and destroy Kobolt and the Oasis. As this was a bookshelf edition standalone story it is not entirely clear where it fits into the storyline. However, it is inferred to be after they arrive in Halo city but before Shakti leave the team.
Luna is next seen helping the residents of Halo City escape as it is flooded by the melting polar ice caps. She helps the others fight Vulcann and his prodigy, known as the Darkson, the artificially aged child of Freakshow member Rosa Vasquez. Darkson destroys Skullfire's body, killing him again and captures the others. Luna and the rest are freed by Xi'an and Shakti, and quickly defeat Vulcann. Darkson attacks, distraught over his missing "father" but is subdued by a strange energy being, who reveals himself to be Skullfire, whose mutation had evolved him into a being of pure energy. Rather than go to be with other beings like himself, he decides to stay with Luna, his love, as they retreat to higher ground, namely the Savage Land. While Tim is with Luna as the series ends, he does not appear in the follow up series 2099: World of Tomorrow and his absence is never resolved.
Once in the Savage Land, Luna, along with Nostromo, Willow and several other heroes form part of an expedition team into the jungles to make them inhabitable. Along the way they stumble upon an alien space craft and become trapped inside of it. Willow shapeshifts into one of the previous alien owners of the ship to allow them to escape, but she becomes trapped in that form. With the alien mind taking over, La Lunatica slams her into the water to protect the rest of the group. Nostromo dives in after her and succeeds in subduing her feral persona and returning her to normal but he does not resurface. Luna dives after him, but only finds a strange cocoon at the bottom. Nostromo "hatches" as a full Phalanx form and some of President Doom's operatives arrive to bring the boy to Doom. Their teammate, Winn, is revealed to be part of the Phallanx as well and takes Nostromo to Latveria. Luna and the others retreat to the surface, where they fight one of the Phallanx Dread Nodes, as it attempts to assimilate the Savage Land. Upon the defeat of the Phallanx, Luna is seen as humans and mutants alike begin building the first living quarters of this new civilization. The 2099 imprint is then cancelled.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Able to feed off traumatic, and often repressed memories and emotions to increase her physical abilities to incredible levels, making her extremely strong and superhumanly fast, so much so that she was able to outmaneuver Meanstreak, the 2099 equivalent of Quicksilver who possesses super-speed. She also demonstrates a superhuman resistance to injury.
Luna is said to be a blood relative of Brimstone Love, the sadistic head of the Theatre of Pain. While this storyline was never fully explored before the book's cancellation, it was heavily inferred by the characters, including Brimstone Love, Book, and the bloodsmith Vulcann.