Blindfold is perhaps one of the most enigmatic characters in the ranks of the future X-Men – but, under the writing of Simon Spurrier in X-Men: Legacy, she’s seen some really cool development recently. I’m hoping this sets her up to become a much more significant character…
In X-Factor #11, Tryp mentioned a sort of sub-category of mutants known as ‘Changelings’, mutants who develop their powers at birth; Jamie Madrox was one of these. So was Ruth Aldine, born without eye sockets. The family splintered because of her gifts, with her father leaving while Ruth was just a baby, and her brother Luca developing a violent streak that wound up with him becoming a junkie and being sent to rehab.
Unfortunately, the rehab clinic was run by anti-mutant bigots, and Luca’s hatred of his sister – already a vein that ran deep through his heart – was only encouraged. Ultimately, Luca made an attempt to kill his sister with a chainsaw, but their mother got in the way. Ruth was sent to live with an aunt, where she had the happiest years of her life, learning how to use her powers; telepathy, telekinesis, and precognition.
Six years passed, six years Luca had spent on Death Row, and he was finally sentenced to execution. Using her powers to manipulate minds, Ruth arranged to be there at his final moment. But it all went wrong. Who can say what happened next? Was Luca a mutant? Did his outpouring of rage and hatred latch on to Ruth’s powers, and animate itself off the back of them? Whatever happened, Luca took something from Ruth and remained active as a sort of spirit; Ruth’s mind was left splintered.
Taking up the codename Blindfold, Ruth went to Xavier’s School; she now struggled to have friendships, unknowingly exposing secrets with her telepathy and revealing hints of the future. However, Cyclops recognised her potential and used her as a ‘plant’ along with Cipher, with the two working together to ensure the New X-Men’s survival.
Blindfold’s precognition led her to take on a fascinating role in the New X-Men team; that of a shepherd and a guide, one who carefully supported the future and guaranteed survival where possible. For her precognitive abilities she became a target of Sinister and the Marauders, as they attempted to kill anyone with future knowledge before the birth of Hope Summers; however, seeing them coming, Blindfold used Elixir to ‘fake’ her death.
As the years passed, Blindfold’s secrets began to be revealed, most notably during the Necrosha plotline where hints of her past were disclosed by a resurrected Destiny. We also learned that Blindfold and Destiny, who share some powersets – although Ruth’s are greater – are distant relatives. Blindfold sensed the threat of Legion’s fragmenting mind, and was imprisoned in the Age of X reality.
When the Schism happened, Blindfold left Utopia and headed to the Jean Grey School. It was only after the death of Charles Xavier that she really started to become a focal point of comics again, with her strange but touching romance of Legion in the pages of X-Men: Legacy – and a renewal of hostilities with Luca, leading to her ending her brother’s existence.
Blindfold’s love-life seems to have ended in tragedy – but possibly not, given that the (still viable) future timeline we saw in Battle of the Atom included a grandson of Charles Xavier, offering at least a shadow of a hope that Blindfold and Legion could still have some kind of a future.
Blindfold developed brilliantly as a character in X-Men: Legacy, and I truly hope that she continues to shine. Interestingly, at times she has almost seemed like a leader, a concept that rather intrigues me…