Amelia Voght was an American nurse who was stationed at Tibet. And while there, she crossed paths with a certain Charles Xavier…
Amelia’s mutant power is a rather interesting one; she can turn matter into mist. This means she can take on an insubstantial form, rendering herself immune to all but psionic attacks. She can also transmute other matter, even accessing the Astral Plane while in a mist form so as to teleport. Because her teleportation is via the Astral Plane, it cannot be defended against. On one occasion, she proved capable of transporting distant people – specifically, Cyclops and Phoenix – from Westchester to the orbital space-station Avalon!
Now, to understand Amelia Voght, and the sheer power of the character, you’ve really got to understand the Acolytes at the time they were introduced. In Uncanny X-Men #298, the Acolytes – followers of Magneto – had returned in force. They hit a school with ties to the X-Men, determined to recruit a mutant on a school bus and not caring who died in the meantime. What followed was a brutal conflict, and the Acolytes’ actions seemed to tip the world ever-closer to war between man and mutant. When the Acolytes saw that the mutant child had Down’s Syndrome, they had no qualms about making an attempt to blow up the school bus and slaughter the children.
Two issues later – in a story that’s actually a personal favourite of mine – the Acolytes struck again, and we learned that they were once again led by Fabian Cortez. They kidnapped Moira MacTaggert, and the X-Men rushed to the battle. And that was where we first met Amelia Voght; she had real force of personality, even willing to challenge the Acolytes’ charismatic leader. And as the mutants fought, Charles Xavier made his way into the catacombs beneath the church the Acolytes had based themselves in. What followed was a startling scene.
Amelia Voght is firmly rooted in the X-Men’s past, a woman who was almost a member of the original X-Man. Even after all these years, Charles Xavier recognised her psi-patterns at a glance. The full story was revealed in Uncanny X-Men #309; years earlier, Amelia had been a nurse stationed in India when she encountered a freshly-crippled Charles Xavier.
Incredibly, the two fell in love; although Charles tried, he somehow never got round to telling her that he was a mutant. Until, that is, she discovered the plans for the mutant-detecting Cerebro. Amelia put two and two together and came up with five; she believed Xavier had sought her out, recognising her as a mutant.
Amelia Voght had been at Xavier’s side as he returned to America; she had watched as he poured funds into Xavier’s School; and, ultimately, she had decided that enough was enough. She had chosen to walk out of Xavier’s life, believing tragedy was inevitable. In a moment of weakness that would forever haunt him, Xavier used his telepathic powers to freeze her in place; he relented, receiving a hearty slap as Amelia went her way.
In the years inbetween, tragedy had evidently stalked her footsteps. As the X-Men grew in number and in influence, Amelia watched from afar with ever-growing anger. Still, she would always be the Acolyte whose bitterness was tinged with morality, who would act as the voice of reason when necessary, and who had an ever-decreased animosity towards the X-Men.
Amelia continued to act as a member of the Acolytes, but as the years passed she began to doubt Magneto’s way. In the ‘Eve of Destruction’ plotline, she betrayed Magneto and saved Xavier’s life.
Amelia remained with the Acolytes, nonetheless, and was one of those who retained their powers after M-Day. Although Amelia tried to live a normal life again, even becoming a nurse once more, she got drawn into the events around the birth of the Messiah Child; Amelia accompanied Exodus to the Savage Land with the near-dead Charles Xavier. When Xavier formally broke up the Acolytes, we saw hints of romance once again between the two of them – but that, Amelia determined, was not the right time. She headed to Utopia, and was last seen living in San Francisco.
Here’s the question: what’s Amelia up to now? You’re talking a woman with a history of terrorism as long as your arm, an ex-lover of the sadly deceased Charles Xavier, and a formidably powerful mutant. I have no doubt that she has the potential to throw a major curve-ball in the X-Men’s direction sooner or later – I just wish the writers would remember her again!