BLACK WOMB

Real Name: Amanda Mueller

Identity/Class: Human mutant/mutate (19th century, early 20th century, World War II, post-World War II, and at least pre-modern era)

Occupation: Research scientist and subject

Group Membership: Project Black Womb (or the Black Womb project; Irene Adler (Destiny), Fred Duncan, Kurt Marko, Nathan Milbury/Mr. Sinister, Dr. Alexander Ryking, Brian Xavier; possibly Carl Denti (the X-Cutioner))

Affiliations: Jacques LeBeau, Belize & Rouler Marceaux;
    formerly Mr. Sinister;
    possibly involved in the development of Gambit (Remy LeBeau) and Toad (Mortimer Toynbee)

Enemies: Contagion (Winsor), Gambit, Mr. Sinister, Professor X, Sebastian Shaw

Known Relatives: Gloria Dayne (Fontanelle, daughter), Daniel (ex-husband), unidentified son, possibly another ex-husband

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Formerly Project Black Womb, Alamogordo (see comments), New Mexico;
    formerly the Eugenics Information Center, Nevada;
    formerly Manhattan, New York circa 1891

First Appearance: Gambit III#13 (February, 2000)

Powers/Abilities: Amanda Mueller was virtually immortal (unable to die), though her body did age slightly over time. It is unclear whether she would just not die from natural causes, or whether her body/soul would continue to live if she received mortal wounds.
    She was experienced with genetic engineering, though she may have simply followed instructions from Mr. Sinister.

Height: Uncertain, perhaps 5'6" (she's of uncertain distance and perspective from Gambit)
Weight: Perhaps 120 lbs. (less in later years)
Eyes: Uncertain, dark, possibly brown
Hair: Black, formerly Light brown

History:
(X-Men: Legacy#213 (fb) - BTS) - Amanda is a mutant.

(Gambit III#13 (fb) - BTS) - Amanda lived on 5th avenue until marrying a commoner husband.

(Gambit III#13 (fb) - BTS) - Amanda Mueller had an unpleasant divorce from her commoner husband.

(Gambit III#13 (fb) - BTS) - Amanda moved back to 65th street and 5th Avenue.

(X-Men: Legacy#213 (fb) - BTS) - Amanda encountered Nathaniel Essex, aka Mr. Sinister. The first mutant he'd ever met (presumably with the exception of Apocalypse), her longevity inspired to seek the means to live forever.
    As a result, Sinister eventually (presumably many decades later) developed the Cronus project.

(Gambit III#20 (fb) - BTS) - Amanda was coerced into being a birthing factor for the genetic experiments of Dr. Nathan Milbury (an alias for Mr. Sinister).

(Gambit III#13 (fb) - BTS) - Amanda became pregnant several times but continued to lose them before birth.

(Gambit III#13 (fb) - BTS) - Amanda was accused of murdering her in utero children, and she was given the nickname Black Womb. It drove away her husband, who took her only surviving son with him.

(Gambit III#13 (fb) - BTS) <1891> - Amanda Mueller was acquitted of the child murder charges against her due to the testimony of obstetrician Dr. Nathan Milbury.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Gambit III#13) <1891> - Seeking information on Sinister, the time-traveling Gambit (joined by the 19th century Jean-Luc LeBeau) came to Amanda Mueller's mansion, where they were ambushed by Rouler Marceaux, Jacques LeBeau, and other members of the New Orleans Thieves Guild who sought an alliance with Sinister. Ultimately, Jean-Luc decided to go back with his father; he clocked Remy, knocking him out, and then departed with the rest of the Thieves Guild.
    Amanda approached as Gambit awakened. They discussed the Black Womb case. Gambit questioned the circumstances under which she lost her children and told her suspected that Milbury knew more about how she had lost so many babies. He then offered her money to tell him how to find Milbury, commenting that money was what Milbury had used to increase her interest in having so many babies.

(X-Men Forever#5 (fb) - BTS) - Amanda Mueller kept herself alive for a long time by dissecting mutants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Gambit III#21 (fb) - BTS) - During World War II, Amanda Mueller was the lead scientist of the black-op US government funded Black Womb genetics program, her interest inspired by Sinister using her for mutant research decades before.

(Gambit III#22 (fb) - BTS) - Black Womb's initial operating parameters were the investigation and initiation of human mutation through the use of recently acquired advanced extraterrestrial technology. The Director of Operations was classified, but Fred Duncan was the FBI liaison, and Amanda Mueller was the mutagenics specialist.

 

 

 

 

 

(X-Men Forever#2 (fb) - BTS) - Black Womb was involved in not just the study of mutation but the propagation of it.

(X-Men Forever#4 (fb) - BTS) - Drs.  Kurt Marko and Alexander Ryking were offered a three week consulting gig at a Nevada facility associated with the Black Womb project.

(X-Men Forever#4) -Irene Adler (Destiny) showed Drs. Marko (who had brought his teenage son, Kurt) and Ryking  around the Eugenics Information Center. Adler pointed out to them the rejects, whose genetic templates were inherently flawed (among them was the infant who would become Mortimer Toynbee, the Toad). Adler noted that the rejects could all be fixed, put on a better genetic path via their manipulation, but that Mueller was as interested in seeing how the oddities would develop as she was in the free-born purebreds.
    As Mueller watched in seclusion from a secret observation chamber, Adler noted that no one knew where Mueller's funding came from, but that she had provided them with nearly unlimited means to map out the growing advancement in human evolution. When Marko asked about the name Black Womb that had been associated with Mueller, Adler called the name inappropriate, noting that all of the infants in the facility were born of parents referred to them by their obstetricians worldwide; they had not altered the means of the infants' conception or birth, and the post-natal holding tanks were temporary until they could obtain detailed genetic information about them for future referencing. Adler further noted that she was more of an archivist than a geneticist, and she was there mainly to document one of the most stimulating times in human evolution.
    Mueller's work was overseen by and performed for the benefit of a shadowy figure, presumably Mr. Sinister.

(X-Men Forever#5 (fb) - BTS) - Kurt Marko only stayed at the facility for a short time.

(X-Men: Legacy#213 (fb) - BTS) <1940s> - As part of his Cronus project, Sinister instilled his genetic material into a number of mutants or other so perceived worth, including Cain Marko, Carter Ryking, Sebastian Shaw, and Charles Xavier. He designed the Cronus device to activate the genetic material (and somehow his own mind) within these beings in the event of his own death, that he might thus be resurrected. Not wishing to possess Mueller's slowly aging body, he excluded her from this.

(Gambit III#21 (fb) - BTS) <1950, or 50 years before the main story> - Amanda Mueller had a daughter, Gloria.

(Gambit III#20 (fb) - BTS) <1970, or 30 years before the main story> - Amanda Mueller disappeared when her daughter Gloria was 20 years old. Gloria thought she had died, but she later viewed the dreams (her mutant power) of people who saw her, or something that used to be her, long after she'd disappeared.

(New X-Men II#41/2 (fb)) <perhaps 30 years before the main story> - Working at Project Black Womb in Alamogordo, New Mexico well past the age of 100, Amanda presented an obviously mutant infant (with webbed fingers and bulging eyes) to Milbury, telling him that the infant's mother believed him stillborn and his father sold him to them, though he would have paid them to take the infant. One of the two (Amanda?) questioned whether she should use ether, but the other declined, not wanting chemicals to affect their data, and smothered the infant instead.

(X-Men: Legacy#213 (fb) - BTS) - While Sinister organized his Marauders, Mueller, having learned of the Cronus project and desiring Sinister's genetic material to gain control over her slowly aging body's form, secretly gave herself the Cronus treatment. She modified the procedure such that she would only gain his powers but not his mind/personality.

(New X-Men II#41/2 (fb) - BTS) - The Project Black Womb facility was kept under SHIELD surveillance ever since it shut down.

(New X-Men II#41/2 (fb) - BTS) - Someone, apparently Mr. Sinister, trashed the Black Womb facility, slaying the SHIELD agents present, removing all data on mutant infants, and wiping the storage banks clean. An old SHIELD 07 model robot was left to deal with anyone who investigated the facility.

(New X-Men#41 - BTS) - Seeking information on how to stave off mutant extinction post M-Day, the Beast (Hank McCoy) accompanied his Earth-295 counterpart, the Dark Beast, in investigating the Dark Womb facility in Almagordo. They found much of it trashed, found many dead SHIELD agents within, and then battled and destroyed an attacking SHIELD 07 model robot left to guard the place.

(X-Men: Legacy#211-212 - BTS) - After the death of Mr. Sinister, Marko was protected from the Cronus project by the Juggernaut's helmet. Carter Ryking had lost his mutant powers on M-Day and was killed when Sinister's material was activated within him. Sebastian Shaw's father, Jacob, had designed the means to shield him from the Cronus device, and so Sinister's DNA began to surface in Xavier.
    Mueller sent agents to kill Charles Xavier, intending to manipulate Sinister's Cronus device to activate Sinister's genes within her form.

(X-Men: Legacy#213) - Mueller's agents brought the captured Xavier before her, and she recognized Sinister's presence within him. With the assistance of one of her agents, she fired three shots into Xavier's abdomen to kill him, but Sinister's DNA activated, saving Xavier's body and taking over his mind and body.
    Shaw and Gambit, meanwhile, broke into the facility, intent on saving Xavier and destroying the Cronus device.

(X-Men: Legacy#214) - Mueller ordered her men to kill Xavier so the Cronus device would enter its next cycle, but Sinister's used Xavier's powers to incapacitate them. Mueller encased Xavier/Sinister, Shaw, and Gambit into containment chambers, but Sinister again used Xavier's power, forcing her to release him. He approached her, intending to kill her, and he begged for mercy, but Xavier's will began fighting Sinister's. Mueller took advantage of the distraction to order the facility to blast him, but Sinister overrode her controls and ordered cables to bind her completely.

 

(Wolverine: The Best There Is#3) - Winsor acquired Amanda Mueller's body and kept her in suspended animation in a container.

 

Comments: Created by Fabian Nicieza, Anthony Williams, and Andy Lanning.

    There has been speculation that Mueller's husband Daniel was actually Daniel Summers (formerly Daniel Edge), who came to the USA alongside Oscar Stamp (who became Oscar Summers), who was formerly one of Sinister's 19th century Marauders. If that's the case, then Amanda and Daniels' son was likely the ancestor of Cyclops (Scott Summers), etc. But, as far as I can tell, that is pure speculation. I asked Fabian Nicieza about it, and he didn't remember the character Daniel.

(Gambit III#20 & elsewhere (fb) - BTS) - <Over 20 years before the main story> The infant who would become Gambit was born with red eyes and abandoned at birth by unidentified parents. He was taken from the hospital by the New Orleans' Thieves Guild for the Antiquary because he fulfilled a prophecy about restoring the Old Kingdom.

(Gambit III#21) - Upon learning that there were no records of his existence at the hospital from which the Thieves Guild stole him (despite the rest of the records from before time being present and intact), Gambit wondered whether the Guild stole him before the hospital had registered him. He further questioned whether he was born in that hospital or whether he was just brought there.

(Gambit III#21 (fb) - BTS) - Someone erased six months worth of hospital records that correspond with the time Gambit was born.
(Gambit III#21) - Emil Lapin speculated that Theoren could perhaps scrub the hard drive and find out when the records had been erased, but Theoren later admitted to stealing the records under order of Jean-Luc LeBeau.

(Gambit III#23) - Fontanelle speculates that New Son was either born as a result of the Black Womb program and raised separately from Remy, or New Son is an alternate Earth variation of Remy who needed to understand the differences in their upbringings.
It is stated that New Son and Gambit shared common origins, but were just raised differently, which would imply that Gambit was a product of the Black Womb.

(Gambit III#24) - On Earth-9921, Alpha-1, the world's foremost mutant research and genetic planning facility, the future New Sun/New Son was born. He never knew his parents who were paid for the potential inherent in the joining of their genetic material. The child was raised by that program and prepared from birth in the use and exploitation of his powers. When his mutant powers surfaced with adolescence, he was well enough versed in their use to incinerate Alpha-1, after which he left to find his way in the world.
    Alpha-1 was a much larger scale and more controlled version of Earth-616's Black Womb.

    When Gloria/Fontanelle revealed that she was Amanda Mueller's daughter, Gambit noted that Gloria looked to be late 40s to early 50s, and that since Amanda was in her early 30s in 1891, that she must have been extremely old when Gloria was born.
Gloria's response: "Mysterious, isn't it?"
    Gambit asked Gloria if Amanda was immortal, and Gloria said she didn't think so, that she remembered Amanda aging slowly.

    The Dark Beast is seen in the background of images of the origins of New Son and Gambit...don't think his involvement was referenced otherwise, though.

    The whole Black Womb plot was very interesting, but it was never fully explained. It seems to be to be strongly inferred that Gambit was the result of genetic experimentation at the Black Womb project.
Lot's of unanswered question from that plotline, including:

  1. What is the real history of the New Orleans Guilds?
  2. What is the "the Old Kingdom" and how does its resurrection tie into the Guilds' history? Its best description I could find is "a Heaven on Earth, a shining beacon predating Atlantis and Lemuria, lost to the ages, and whose return would enable mankind to join hand in hand, black and white, Jew and Muslim, human and mutant, towards the shining light of the sun. On Earth-9921, when the energies of the Old Kingdom's long-dead king were channeled into the future New Son, his biokinetic powers, in conjunction with the mystical energies (essence?) of the Old Kingdom, created an uncontrollable cascade of energy, a domino effect toppling from one atom to another. The very fabric of Earth's reality caught fire that day and consumed the planet in a matter of hours.
  3. Is Amanda Mueller Gambit's mother (or surrogate mother...perhaps she carried a baby for another couple)?
  4. How was the infant Gambit was stolen by the Guilds?
    Did Black Womb deposit him in a normal hospital?
  5. Was Sinister or the Dark Beast directly or indirectly involved in Gambit's origins?

    It isn't known if Fontanelle has any enhanced longevity, so it's not certain whether references in her life take place at the date referenced, or whether those dates are topical. Since Amanda Mueller seemed to age very slowly, it would fit if Fontanelle did the same thing.

    The city has been spelled Alamogordo, Alamagordo, and Almagordo. In comics, I THINK the latter is the most common spelling, while in the real world, it's Alamogordo.
See the city's official website:
http://ci.alamogordo.nm.us/site4.aspx

    I'd originally ASSumed Miss Sinister was Mueller, but after re-reading it, I'm not so sure. Shaw had to explain what had happened to the woman (though Mueller could have just been very disoriented), and I'm wondering if she wasn't summon that Sebastian or Jacob Shaw had set up with the Cronus process for their own purposes.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No KNOWN connections to:


images: (without ads)
Gambit III#13, p16, panel 1 (shadowed body), 5 (face)
    #20, p12 (pregnant, with Dark Beast & presumably Sinister in the background)
    #22, p12, panel 5  (photograph of the Black Womb project)
X-Men Forever#4, p


Appearances:
Gambit III#13 (February, 2000) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Anthony Williams (penciler), Andy Lanning (inker), Mike Marts (editor)
Gambit III#20 (September, 2000) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Joe St. Pierre (penciler), Eric Cannon (inker), Mike Marts (editor)
Gambit III#21-22 (October-November, 2000) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Yanick Paquette (penciler), Sean Parsons (inker), Mike Marts (editor)
Gambit III#23 (December, 2000) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Yanick Paquette (penciler), Sean Parsons & Stanisci (inkers), Mike Marts (editor)
Gambit III#24 (January, 2001) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Yanick Paquette (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Mike Marts (editor)
X-Men Forever#2 (February, 2001) - Fabien Nicieza (writer), Kevin Maguire (penciler), Andrew Pepoy (inker), Pete Franco & Brian Smith (assistant editors), Mark Powers & Ralph Macchio (editors)
X-Men Forever#4-5 (April-May, 2001) - Fabien Nicieza (writer), Kevin Maguire (penciler), Andrew Pepoy (inker), Pete Franco & Brian Smith (assistant editors), Mark Powers & Ralph Macchio (editors)
New X-Men II#41/2 (October, 2007) - Christos Gage (writer), Scot Eaton (penciler), Andrew Hennessy (inker), Will Panzo (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor)
X-Men: Legacy#211 (July, 2008) - Mike Carey (writer), Scott Eaton (present day sequences penciler), John Dell, Andrew Hennesy & Dave Meikis (present day  sequences inkers), Brandon Peterson (flashback sequences inker) Will Panzo (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor)
X-Men: Legacy#212 (July, 2008) - Mike Carey (writer), Scott Eaton (present day sequences penciler), John Dell & Andrew Hennesy (present day  sequences inkers), Mike Deodato (flashback sequences inker) Will Panzo (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor)
X-Men: Legacy#213 (August, 2008) - Mike Carey (writer), Scott Eaton (present day sequences penciler), John Dell & Andrew Hennesy (present day  sequences inkers), Mike Deodato (flashback sequences inker) Will Panzo (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor)
X-Men: Legacy#214 (September, 2008) - Mike Carey (writer), Scott Eaton w/ Ken Lashley (pencilers), Andrew Hennesy w/ Paul Neary (inkers), Will Panzo (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor)
Wolverine: The Best There Is#3 (April, 2011) - Charlie Huston (writer), Juan Jose Ryp (artist), Axel Alonso (editor)


Last updated: 02/06/14

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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