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APE X

Real Name: Xina

Identity/Class: Extradimensional/alternate reality (Earth-712/"Earth-S") simian technology user

Occupation: Scientist;
    former professional criminal

Group Membership: Squadron Supreme (Arcanna Jones, Blue Eagle/James Dore Jr., Hyperion/Mark Milton, Power Princess/Zarda Shelton, Dr. Spectrum/Joseph Ledger, Whizzer/Stanley Stewart);
    formerly Institute of Evil (Dr. Decibel/Anton Decibel, Foxfire/Olivia Underwood, Lamprey/Donald McGuiggin, Quagmire/Jerome Michaels, Shape/Raleigh Lund)

Affiliations: AIDA, Adrienne Dore, Cerebrax, Andrew, Drusilla, Katrina and Philip Jones, Master Menace (Emil Burbank), Howard Shelton, Madeleine and Tina Stewart;
    formerly Scarlet Centurion (maybe this guy?), her unidentified trainer 

Enemies: Moonglow (Melissa Hanover);
    formerly Squadron Supreme, Grandmaster of Reality-616

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Madam Ape" (nickname used by Dr. Decibel), "glory hogging baboon" (nickname used by Tom Thumb)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly Squadron City;
    formerly Institute of Evil

First Appearance: Squadron Supreme I#5 (January, 1986)

Powers/Abilities: Xina started life as an ordinary baboon, but gained super intelligence after being subjected to experiments in artificial simian brainpower enhancement. She proved to be an intuitive genius in the fields of cybernetics, robotics and other, undisclosed sciences.

    For unrevealed reasons, Xina's legs and lower torso were amputated, forcing her to rely on a wheelchair for transportation. Her vehicle of choice is a mechanized, motorized chair with caterpillar tracks (presumably of her own design) that came equipped with a variety of weapons and high tech gadgets.

    The chair allowed her to hover. Before the Squadron subjected her to the b-mod device, Xina was ferociously cruel and mean-spirited. After the treatment she was tender, sensitive and helpful to a fault. The modifications even prevented her from lying, betraying or refusing a direct request from one of the team; if her re-programmed brain encountered contradictions, she would suffer severe brain damage that left her virtually inert.

Height: 3'4" (head to trunk)
Weight: 160 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown (fur)

History:
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II#12 (fb) - BTS) - The female baboon that would become known as Ape X was one of the test subjects of her trainer who tried to increase simian intelligence through artificial means. He succeeded with Xina, but after that accomplishment he died under unrevealed circumstances. Xina, missing her lower body after it was amputated for undisclosed reasons, eventually used her genius intellect to craft a support carriage for herself. Allegedly disillusioned with mankind, she turned to crime as Ape X.

(Squadron Supreme I#9 (fb) - BTS) - Ape X was one of seven super-villains assembled by the Scarlet Centurion. The future despot sought to use them as pawns in a cosmic game of chance against the Grandmaster, who had manipulated the Squadron Supreme in a similar way. After the battle, most of the villains decided to band together as the Institute of Evil, with Ape X becoming their de facto leader.

(Squadron Supreme I#5 (fb) - BTS) -  The Institute of Evil kidnapped Squadron member Golden Archer and brought him to their headquarters for questioning.

(Squadron Supreme I#5) - Ape X and the other Institute members watched as Dr. Decibel used his sonic devices to question Archer about everything that had happened prior to his kidnapping. Fascinated by the existence of the b-mod (behavior modification) device (which Golden Archer had used to secretly mess with his ex Lady Lark's mind), Ape X told Decibel to first grill the hero about this technology before making him reveal the location of the Squadron's secret base and the identities of their families. Using this information, Ape X conceived of a plan to bring down the Squadron. She sent her team to kidnap Arcanna's husband and children; Power Princess' husband, Howard Shelton; the Whizzer's wife and child; and Blue Eagle's mother, Adrienne Dore. With Ape guarding the hostages back at their headquarters, the Institute then went to the Squadron Supreme's base where the sight of the prisoners was enough to get the heroes to surrender. They were then subjected to the mind-altering b-mod chair themselves, with Dr. Decibel determined to turn them to their side. They were all unaware that Tom Thumb had retooled the b-mod procedure following the Lady Lark incident to prevent anyone from altering a (fellow) Squadronner. The team played along until the Institute brought them back to Ape X who was initially pleased to see so many new recruits. The Squadron then attacked, Lady Lark using a sonic scream to separate Xina from her chair, altogether defeating the surprised Institute with little effort.

(Squadron Supreme I#6 (fb) - BTS) - Shortly after they were captured, in part to prevent the knowledge of their families' identities from getting out, the Squadron Supreme voted to subject Xina and all the members of the Institute of Evil to the b-mod treatment. Her mood and personality adjusted considerably, Xina only wanted to do good and help the Squadron. The modifications even prevented her from lying, betraying or refusing a direct request from one of the team. She was tasked to use her superior intellect, working alongside Tom Thumb in the newly built Squadron City's science labs.

(Squadron Supreme I#6 - BTS) - Xina's extreme helpfulness and need to please started to grate on Tom Thumb, who felt his new colleague was a bit of a glory-hogging baboon.

(Squadron Supreme I#6) - Thumb's opinion of Xina changed when she showed Hyperion she had come up with a way to cheaply mass produce Tom Thumb's proto type force-field belt for the general public. She made a point to share credit with Tom, calling him the real genius.

(Squadron Supreme I#6 - BTS) - During a special meeting, the Squadron Supreme decided to induct Ape X and the other b-mod altered Institutioners as probationary members of the team.

(Squadron Supreme I#6) - Disgusted by the Squadron's current, immoral way of operating, Amphibian decided to leave the team but not before destroying the b-mod technology. He ran into Ape X moments after he'd smashed the numerous completed b-mod devices in the Squadron City lab. Though Xina was curious to know what he was doing and why, Amphibian forced her to obey the b-mod programming which insisted she blindly followed any order a Squadron member gave her. Xina complied when Amphibian instructed her to totally erase all the plans for the behavior modification technology.

(Squadron Supreme I#7) -  Ape X attended a Squadron meeting called by Power Princess to discuss Hyperion's amnesia after encountering a mysterious meteor (in reality, he had been replaced by a duplicate -- created long before by the Grandmaster of Reality-616 for his Squadron Sinister -- courtesy of Master Menace). Some time later, she joined the other heroes at the funeral of Power Princess'  husband Howard who allegedly died of natural causes (the Hyperion duplicate had actually killed him to get closer to Power Princess).

(Squadron Supreme I#8) - Xina, along with Blue Eagle and Quagmire, were visiting a chemical plant that produced a critical component for the new "pacifier pellets" law enforcement officers has been using to tranquilize criminals as part of the Squadron's Utopia program.

(Squadron Supreme I#8 - BTS) - While Ape X was providing the staff with technical back up, helping to replace a conduit, one of the factory's vats was punctured by accident. Ape X watched helplessly as Quagmire risked his own life to personally save 30 workers.

(Squadron Supreme I#8) - An emotional Xina held Quagmire's comatose form as she explained the heroism he'd displayed to the dumbstruck Blue Eagle. Later, at a Squadron meeting called to discuss Quagmire's situation, Ape X and the others were stunned when the real Hyperion returned to attack the imposter. They followed the two battling titans outside to witness Earth-712's Hyperion eventually winning out, though he was blinded for an extended period as a result..

(Squadron Supreme I#9) - Ape X was assisting Tom Thumb as he was putting the final touches on the prototype hibernaculum. This advanced stasis chamber was intended to stave off actual death indefinitely until a cure for whatever lethal illness was killing the person could be found. During the work, Xina slowly realized she had feelings for the tiny inventor, but their session was cut short when Tom was overcome by a painful coughing fit he brushed off as nothing special. In reality, Thumb was suffering from cancer and had very little time left. Despite his wishes to keep his fate a secret, Tom's sentient computer program AIDA decided to inform Ape X about Thumb's condition. Ape X confronted Tom about his ailment and helped him come up with a possible solution: the Panacea potion, a 40th century miracle drug supposed to cure every illness known to man. The only known samples were owned by the Squadron's enemy the Scarlet Centurion, so obtaining a vial through official channels was impossible. Ape X's b-mod treatment prevented her from actively helping Thumb to steal a sample but she did suggest getting Lamprey's aid by claiming the Centurion actually stole the potion and they were just going to get it back. Ape X manned the controls that sent Tom and Lamprey into the future and she also oversaw their eventual return. Much to Xina's disappointment, a spectral analysis of the Panacea potion showed it would only be effective n people born in the 40th century whose superior immune systems needed little more than the elixir's simple antibiotic composition to overcome the worst of ailments. Xina watched a thoroughly demoralized Tom accept his fate as he returned to the future to give back the stolen potion.

(Squadron Supreme I#9 - BTS) - A week after the Panacea potion incident, Tom Thumb succumbed to cancer. He was placed inside one of his newly finished hibernacula. At the same time, in secret and with help from AIDA, Xina started work on a robot simulacrum of Tom Thumb she prayed would be able to capture the tiny inventor's essence. In order to assure this, they started the long, complex procedure of memory loop replication.

(Squadron Supreme I#10) - Ape X and the other Squadron members attended the official service for Tom Thumb, who was one of the first to be placed in the Squadron City hibernacle. The next day, she attended the regular, daily Squadron meeting where Power Princess handed out the day's work assignments. At the conclusion, Hyperion asked Xina to help correct a problem with the image-simulator goggles he was wearing to help him see. Ever helpful, Ape X immediately took the glasses and whizzed off to her lab (unaware she left Hyperion blinded and feeling helpless). A little while later, she handed him the fixed goggles, telling him she'd corrected a few other problems. Impressed with his improved vision, Hyperion thanked her, telling Xina she had no idea how disconcerting being in the dark was. As she watched him go, Ape X thought to herself that if Hyperion felt being blind was hard, he ought to try and feel what it's like to be a legless mutant ape. She then resumed work on the Tom Thumb robot, briefly pausing to gaze infatuatedly at its metallic face. Some time later, she joined the other Squadron members who were summoned to help deal with the still comatose Quagmire whose powers had suddenly activated and threatened to kill everyone inside the Squadron City hospital.

(Squadron Supreme I#11) - Ape X was part of the official, televised induction ceremony for new Squadron members Haywire, Inertia, Moonglow, Redstone and Thermite (actually infiltrators, part of Nighthawk's Redeemers group). After the ceremony, Xina enjoyed some brief small talk with Haywire, who assured her he looked much better with a mask on.

(Squadron Supreme I#11) - Later that night, using her newly gained security clearance as a Squadron member, Moonglow went to Tom Thumb's labs and accessed all the plans on the b-mod device, Squadron City's location and defenses and sent it via modem to Master Menace and the Redeemers, in hopes they could come up with a way to counteract the effects of the brainwashing device. She was surprised by the arrival of Ape X (Xina), but figured a simple illusion would keep the cybernetic simian from noticing her. Even though Ape X was fooled by Moonglow's illusions, Tom Thumb's sentient computer program AIDA wasn't. Concerned about Moonglow's actions, AIDA informed Ape X of what had just occurred. Ape X reviewed the security tapes and was shocked to find AIDA was right. This discovery tore apart Xina's b-mod altered mind: the treatment prevented her from betraying any Squadron member under any circumstance, but Moonglow had betrayed the Squadron and should be reported, yet she couldn't take any action because of the b-mod directive. This insolvable dilemma eventually rendered Ape X catatonic. Further, having seen the result the sharing of the information had on Ape X, AIA elected not to pass on the information to anyone else and also put away the secret Tom Thumb robot they were working on before summoning help. Power Princess and Hyperion arrived shortly afterwards to find the catatonic Xina, taking her to the nearest medical facility.

(Squadron Supreme I#12) - The unresponsive Ape X was visited by her fellow Squadron member Shape who was confused following his b-mod deprogramming. Their meeting was witnessed by Moonglow who figured the mentally retarded Shape might accidentally blow the Redeemers' undercover operation. She cast an illusion, making it appear as if Ape X had recovered from her coma. "Xina" told Shape the Squadron was out to kill him and that he should only trust new members like Moonglow. The gullible adventurer accepted this without question.

Comments: Created by Mark Gruenwald (writer), Bob Hall (pencils), Sam de la Rosa (inks)

    Seeing as most of Earth-712's inhabitants are (loosely) based on DC characters, it's fairly obvious that the hyper-intelligent simian Ape X was patterned after either the equally brilliant Flash villain Gorilla Grodd or is actually an amalgamation of Monsieur Mallah and the Brain, an ape and robot team that frequently plagued the Doom Patrol. Interestingly enough, Doom Patrol writer Grant Morrison would eventually reveal that Brain and Mallah were lovers, which they proved through some rather graphic ape on appliance action. A few years earlier, Mark Gruenwald did pretty much the same thing when he had Xina fall in love with Tom Thumb, even having her build a robotic body for Tom after he succumbed to cancer.

Xina's codename "Ape X" is kind of a clever play on words. "Apex" means summit or absolute top and she most definitely possessed the highest possible intelligence of any ape out there.

It's not been revealed what happened to Ape X between the final issue of the Squadron Supreme limited series and the 1989 graphic novel Death Of A Universe. One would hope her mind would be restored eventually, perhaps by undoing or adapting the b-mod treatment. After all, you can't keep a half ape, half tank supergenius down...

Ape X, as part of the Squadron Supreme, was profiled in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II#12.

Unless otherwise specified, all locations and beings related in this profile refer to Earth/Reality-712 versions.

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Ape X should not be confused with


images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II#12, p39, pan4 (main image)
Squadron Supreme I#5, p13, pan2 (closeup)
Squadron Supreme I#9, p8, pan5 (loves Tom Thumb)
Squadron Supreme I#10, p10, pans1&3 (can't wait til they cure cancer)
Squadron Supreme I#11, p16, pans 2&3 (suffers mental collapse)


Appearances:

Squadron Supreme I#5 (January, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Bob Hall (pencils), Sam de la Rosa (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#6 (February, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Sam de la Rosa & Keith Williams (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#7 (March, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Jackson Guice (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#8 (April, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Bob Hall (pencils), Sam de la Rosa (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#9 (May, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Sam de la Rossa (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#10 (June, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Sam de la Rossa (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#11 (July, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Sam de la Rossa (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#12 (August, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Sam de la Rossa (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)


Last updated: 01/29/15

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