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BIRDY

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human mutant

Occupation: Mercenary

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Maverick (Christoph Nord), Mystique (Raven Darkhölme), Psi-Borg (Aldo Ferro), Sabretooth (Victor Creed), Wolverine (James "Logan" Howlett);
formerly Tribune (Graydon Creed)

Enemies: The Hand, Fenris, Tribune (Graydon Creed);
formerly Sabretooth (Victor Creed)

Known Relatives: Unrevealed

Aliases: Birdie (alternate spelling), "little girl", "stool pigeon" (nicknames used by Sabretooth), "little lady" (nickname used by Wolverine)

Base of Operations: Mobile;
formerly Vancouver, British Columbia;
formerly Hong Kong

First Appearance: X-Men I#6 (March 1992)

Powers/Abilities: As a mercenary for hire, the alpha level telepath Birdy used her powers in a variety of offensive ways. Capable of infiltrating, monitoring and reading thoughts, she could also actively assault them with powerful mindblasts or cause bleedings, strokes and aneurysms. As Sabretooth's unwilling partner in crime, she generally used her gifts to allow people to enter minds and witness or relive memories of the past. This process created a soothing sense of euphoria. This rush became addictive, at least to Sabretooth. Even without the aid of her mutant powers, Birdy was a formidable opponent, trained in the use of various firearms and always carrying an unrevealed number of handgrenades into combat situations. Sabretooth was one of the few people capable of intimidating Birdy.

Height: 5'4" (by approximation)
Weight: 105 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blonde (sometimes dyed blue)

History:

(Maverick I#1 (fb) - BTS) - The female telepath known only as Birdy worked as a freelance mercenary, offering her services to the highest bidder. 

(Maverick I#1 (fb) ) - Figuring a psychic assault was the best way to go, a Hong Kong Triad boss hired Birdy after he learned Sabretooth had been contracted to kill him. When Creed came to murder the man in his own home, Birdy immediately unleashed the full force of her mindblast on him. Surviving the psychic assault, Sabretooth, though impressed, retaliated mercilessly. 

(Sabretooth I#1 (fb) ) - Keeping her alive, Creed broke Birdy's spirit and pressed her into his service as his right hand, relying on Birdy for intelligence and backup during missions. He also insisted she used her telepathy on him to help keep his personal demons under control by allowing him to relive the many traumatic events he experienced. Birdy was forced to accompany Creed into his mind as untold past horrors unfolded before her eyes. This process soothed Sabretooth, who experienced a joyous, addictive rush of euphoria after each session.

(X-Men I#6 - BTS) - Acting on information obtained through unrevealed sources, Birdy learned the Fenris twins were involved in a complicated scheme to start a new Third Reich somewhere under Berlin. Informing Sabretooth, they travelled to Germany to investigate the matter.

(X-Men I#6) - When Birdy and Sabretooth reached the address supplied by her contacts, she used her telepathy to pick up on the emotional feedback of the Fenris twins. Figuring they were being spied upon, Sabretooth ordered his aide to jam their signals. Birdy complied, even as Sabretooth went out on his own to deal with the situation.

(Sabretooth I#1 - BTS) - Desperate to end her life of indentured servitude, Birdy struck a deal with Tribune (Graydon Creed) through intermediaries. Tribune wanted to capture Sabretooth (his father) and force him to kill Mystique (his mother). In return for her freedom, all Birdy had to do was disable the defense grid surrounding Creed's compound in Vancouver.

(Sabretooth I#1) - Moments after he was dropped off by Psi-Borg (Aldo Ferro) at his Vancouver mansion, Sabretooth was attacked by a group of ninjas eager to avenge the death of their master. Annoyed at being disturbed in his home, Creed angrily contacted Birdy and demanded to know why she hadn't taken care of the situation. Coming in firing a massive gun, Birdy apologized for the disturbance and explained she'd been taking care of the ninjas camped out at the backdoor. She then shot the remaining forces before joining him inside.

   After updating her boss on the numerous assassination jobs he had been offered during his absence, Birdy helped Sabretooth relax in the bath. Massaging his shoulders, she told him to relax which angered the mentally unstable mutant. Tossing her into the bath, he reminded her who was in charge. Humiliated, Birdy threatened to kill him by causing an aneurysm. Creed laughed this off, claiming she wouldn't dare something like that because there'd be no place on Earth to hide from him if she failed. He then ordered Birdy to use her powers on him, since he wanted to relive some memories Psi-Borg had recently unblocked.

   Hitting him with a mindblast, Birdy was surprised when the image of Creed as a small, muzzled child appeared on the edge of the bath. Interacting with the boy, Birdy almost managed to calm him when he broke free and assaulted her. Clutching for her throat, the living memory wanted to know if all this made her want to hurt him. In response, Birdy cuddled the tiny monster and told him that maybe he was the one who had been hurt too much. Unimpressed, Sabretooth appeared behind her and knocked her out, claiming she shouldn't waste her powers on phantoms of the past.

   By the time Birdy came to, Sabretooth had gone to sleep. Figuring the time was right, she deactived the security systems and let Tribunal's forces in, even showing them the way to Creed's bedroom. By then, Sabretooth had already sensed the intruders and figured out Birdy had betrayed him. After cutting his immediate attackers to pieces, Creed reactivated the security systems which Birdy managed to avoid. Despite his best efforts, Sabretooth was taken out by a combination of tasers, knockout gas and horse-tranquilizers. Even as he was being dragged away, Birdy heard him yell out to her, promising he'd be back to fix her.

(Sabretooth I#1 - BTS) - After a week, Sabretooth came to on the operating table of Doctor Mabus who, under orders from Tribune, had implanted a bomb near his heart to assure his loyalty. Introducing himself to the dazed and puzzled villain, Tribune revealed the explosive would detonate within 48 hours, which was all the time he had to complete his mission: kill Mystique.

(Sabretooth I#2 - BTS) - After Sabretooth's capture, Birdy returned to his mansion. In preparation for his possible return, she slashed the tires to all but one of his cars and kept the fastest one prepped and ready to go.

(Sabretooth I#2) - Sensing Creed's imminent return, Birdy didn't wait for him to knock down the door before she was out the window and into the car. Figuring she was safe, she wasn't aware Creed kept a motorcycle behind a hidden wall in his garage. Soon, she found herself chased by her less than happy former employer. Desperate, Birdy ran over Creed. Hiding underneath the car, Sabretooth reappeared just as they reached an overpass. Ramming the car through the rail and over the edge, Creed forced her to enter his mind. Even as they fell, Birdy experienced what Sabretooth had been through, learning of Tribune's mission and the bomb inside his body. Surviving the crash, Sabretooth announced he was keeping her alive and forced Birdy to drive them to his mansion in Seattle.

(Sabretooth I#2 - BTS) - Impressed Sabretooth had already managed to reconnect with Birdy and aware they were headed for Seattle, Tribune had his men spraypaint the word "Paris", Mystique's current location, on the outerwalls of his mansion.

(Sabretooth I#2) - Correctly assuming "Paris" was a clue relevant to their mission, Sabretooth ordered Birdy to book them two tickets to France (or as Sabretooth called it: Froggyland). Upon arriving in Paris, Birdy discovered where Mystique was staying and guided Sabretooth to her hotel room. After the shapeshifter managed to escape, Birdy spotted her go down into the metro and informed her boss, who gave chase while hollering he would be able to track her scent even if she turned herself into a gumball machine.

(Sabretooth I#2 - BTS) - Sabretooth followed Mystique across Paris, eventually climbing the Eiffel Tower to find she had ran there to meet her dinner date: Wolverine.

(Sabretooth I#3) - After an initial shouting match, Wolverine and Sabretooth calmed down long enough to agree to have dinner with Mystique and Birdy. Curious, Wolverine asked Birdy why she was working for a slime like Sabretooth. Cheerfully answering it beat being dead, Birdy didn't believe Logan when he claimed he could permanently take care of her boss. She then listened as Mystique recounted how she, as Leni Zauber, went on a mission to Berlin with Creed decades earlier. After a while, Wolverine was fed up with reminiscing and popped his claws ready to tear into his archnemesis. Not having any of this, Birdy pulled the pin out of one of her handgrenades and ordered Logan to chill out or she'd let go. Undaunted, Wolverine simply jammed one of his claws in the explosive to replace the pulled pin. At around the same time, the local police had arrived to take the mutants in. Birdy used her telepathy to alter the perceptions of the gendarmerie, allowing the party to escape undetected. The foursome parted ways when Mystique revealed to Sabretooth they had a son, a baseline human, who was out for revenge on both of them. She then grabbed the grenade off Wolverine's claw and threw it to cover her tracks. Grabbing Birdy, Sabretooth jumped off the Eiffel Tower to escape the ensuing explosion. Having failed in his mission and with the 48 hour deadline soon to expire, Sabretooth returned to the US with Birdy. During the flight, Birdy realized she might be able to discover Tribune's location in Creed's memories. Allowing her access, Birdy soon learned the villain was holed up in the New York offices of the Gee Cee Group of investment bankers. All smiles, she promised her boss to hack Tribune's security system as soon as they land so he could have his revenge.

(Sabretooth I#4 - BTS) - Arriving in New York to confront Tribune, Birdy didn't quite agree with the mode of transportation Sabretooth picked out: he hijacked a bus, instead of taking a cab like she proposed. As they approached the Gee Cee Group's headquarters at the Mammon Fiduciary Trust Tower, Birdy picked up the thoughts of a group of ninjas holed up in the lobby. With only 15 minutes to go before the time-bomb near his heart was set to go off, Sabretooth didn't waste any time on them and rammed the bus through the lobby to take care of the ninjas. When Birdy reminded her boss of this deadline, Creed sadistically promised her he wouldn't die without taking her with him. After clearing the lobby, Sabretooth figured the quickest and safest way to reach the upstairs Gee Cee offices was to scale the Mammon tower instead of taking the stairs and giving away their position on the security cameras. Surprising Tribune by bursting in through a window, Sabretooth quickly defeated the armored villain and threw him to his apparent death. With only minutes to spare, he located and forced Doctor Mabus to surgically remove the explosive he'd implanted in his body days earlier. As the crude operation started, Birdy took care of Tribune's remaining forces using both her guns and her mindblasts. At the same time, Tribune had climbed back to the top and confronted Sabretooth again. Curious to find out just why he wanted both him and Mystique dead, Creed ordered Birdy to take him inside Tribune's mind. There he learned Tribune was actually his son Graydon. Taken aback by this piece of news, Sabretooth couldn't prevent his son from sneakily stabbing Birdy to death. As the life drained out of her, Tribune revealed he wanted to hurt Creed and by taking out his "escape valve", he had done just that. Without her to soothe him, Sabretooth was now alone with his pain. Impressed by his boy's mean-spiritedness, Creed spared Graydon's life and took off, leaving Birdy's body behind.

(X-Men Unlimited I#3 - BTS) - Figuring the X-Men's leader Charles Xavier could provide him with his mental fix the way Birdy used to, Sabretooth held the telepath hostage in an attempt to force his cooperation. Entering Creed's mind, Xavier relived some of the horrors Creed experienced, but instead of helping him forget, Charles made a point of reminding him to take responsibilities for his actions. Bitterly complaining he wasn't anything like Birdy, the Professor coolly claimed placating Creed was Birdy's mistake. Upon returning to his own body, Xavier announced to his surprised X-Men that Sabretooth would be staying with them for the foreseeable future.

(X-Men I#28 - BTS) - Still eager to get his fix, Sabretooth tried his best to intimidate the X-Men and force him to do his bidding the way Birdy would. Not having any of his nonsense, Jean Grey went into Creed's cell and sorted him out. After trouncing him with her telekinesis, the banged up Sabretooth pleaded with Jean to give him "the glow" that Birdy provided. Even after he expressly asked and begged for it, Jean harshly told him no and pushed him to find it on his own.

(Maverick I#1 - BTS) - Maverick told the Russian telepath Elena Ivanova what happened to Birdy when he learned she planned to take on Sabretooth as revenge for him killing her mother. Undeterred by the fact the vicious Creed had forced Birdy to work as his slave, which inadvertently sent her to an early grave, Ivanova pressed on.

Comments: Created by Scott Lobdell (script), Jim Lee (plot, pencils), Art Thibert (inks).

Ah, poor Birdy... Apart from not having the best codename ever (more on that later), she also made her debut during the early Jim Lee days on X-Men, which were heavy on flash and rather lean on substance. Sabretooth's involvement in the present day storyline wasn't even explained in #6 and a caption in #7 awkwardly apologizes for rather crucial scenes we never got to see that had Sabretooth end up as Psylocke's mind controlled thrall while Birdy had disappeared altogether in between issues...

Larry Hama salvaged her character a year or so later when he wrote the first Sabretooth limited series, even though she literally didn't live to tell that tale. Still, her death did set up Sabretooth's period as the X-Men's houseguest, so it wasn't a total loss I suppose.

As for her codename: Why "Birdy"? Seeing as "bird" is old timey (British) slang for "girl" and Sabretooth is a Canadian old timer already alive back when the country was a British colony... It might simply have been a cutsey nickname Scott Lobdell came up with, sort of like a female "bub", that Larry Hama got stuck with for continuity's sake. Then again, you could reason that Birdy and Sabretooth shared a connection somewhat reminiscent of the alleged symbiotic relationship between crocodiles and the Egyptian Plover. This breed of bird is famous for cleaning the teeth of crocodiles by pecking bits of rotting flesh straight out of the carnivores' maws. Birdy, using her telepathy to cleanse Creed's mind, provided a rather similar service.

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Birdy should not be confused with


images: (without ads)
Sabretooth I#1, p8, pan4 (main image)
Sabretooth I#1, p11, pan4 (gives Sabretooth his fix)
X-Men I#6, p16, pan2 (and Sabretooth)
Sabretooth I#4, p15, pan6 (uses her mind blast)
Sabretooth I#4, p23, pan1 (dead on the floor)
X-Men I#28, p21, pans2-4 (is nothing like Jean Grey)


Appearances:
X-Men I#6 (March, 1992) - Jim Lee (writer, pencils), Art Thibert (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Sabretooth I#1 (August, 1993) - Larry Hama (writer), Mark Texeira (pencils & inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Sabretooth I#2 (September, 1993) - Larry Hama (writer), Mark Texeira (pencils & inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Sabretooth I#3 (October, 1993) - Larry Hama (writer), Mark Texeira (pencils & inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Sabretooth I#4 (November, 1993) - Larry Hama (writer), Mark Texeira (pencils & inks), Bob Harras (editor)
X-Men Unlimited I#3 (December, 1993) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Mike McKone (pencils), Mark McKenna (inks), Kelly Corvese (editor)
X-Men I#28 (January, 1994) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Andy Kubert (pencils), Matt Ryan (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Maverick I#1 (January, 1997) - Larry Hama (writer), Wilfred Santiago (pencils & inks), Kelly Corvese (editor)

 


Last updated: 02/06/14

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