Real Name: Seden Karm
Identity/Class: Extraterrestial (Zann) mutate (Chlorite)
Occupation: Missionary, seeking to locate and guide Chlorites to Earth-62342;
Group Membership: Unidentified Chlorite organization seeking to colonize Earth (and, by necessity, exterminate all non-Chlorite life in the process)
Affiliations: Beanpole (Mike Galbraith), Diascar race, Flasher (Kristin Koenig), Harry Mills, Papillon (Sarah Allaire), Todd Watkins, Charles Xavier, Visionary (Meena Banerjee), X-Men (most notably Beast/Hank McCoy, Cyclops/Scott Summers, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner, Kitty Pryde, Rogue/Anna Marie, Wolverine/James Howlett/Logan)
Enemies: Henry Peter Gyrich, Sentinels;
formerly Valerie Cooper, Diascar race (esp. Poratine & Taforne), Imperial Guard (Astra, Blackthorn, Flashfire, Magique, Manta, Nightside, N'rill'iree, Smasher/Vril Rokk), Lash (James Wheaton), Lilandra Neramani, National Security Council, "Crush" Russell, Shi'ar Empire, Todd Watkins, X-Men
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: John Chang
Base of Operations: Mobile throughout the Milky Way galaxy;
formerly the Xavier Institute, West Chester, New York;
formerly Canton, Ohio;
eventually (if he ever completes his mission in Reality-616): Earth-62342;
First Appearance: X-Men: Watchers on the Walls (May, 2006)
Powers/Abilities: Seden Karm had an immunity to telepathy (this was assumed to be natural, but it could have been artificially instilled, or technologically-derived).
Zann's bodies are normally covered by keratinous spines, although Seden's were surgically removed prior to his arrival on Earth.
Seden was small and pale with "four-fingered hands" (as this was noted as an abnormality, presumably they meant three fingers and a thumb), beady eyes, no nose, and four pairs of canine teeth.
Seden's eyesight was poorer than the human normal and he was of below-average strength.
As a Chlorite, he breathed (and required) oxygen as do many other species, but his body, and the symbiotic microbes within them, produced chlorine gas as a waste product of their metabolism. While he exuded a chemical chlorine smell (this was at such a low level -- either because Zann Chlorites produce less chlorine emissions, or because he used technology to mask them -- that most would not notice it.
This chloride makes the air around them irritating -- and eventually
poisonous -- to others, and it combines with water to form hydrochloric
The released chlorine causes environments to become acidic and corrosive, even as the air becomes toxic to breathe. Metals, soils, limestone, chalk, almost everything but clays, silicates, gold, platinum, and quartz erode away. Every living thing -- besides Chlorites -- dies, and most existing technology, architecture, etc. is destroyed. As chlorine was more dense and tended to settle, this made lower levels more toxic than upper levels. Chlorites could not breathe in these densely chlorinated areas.
Although Seden was not doing this during his time on Earth, he had the potential to leave behind Chlorite microbes, which would multiply and contaminate the environment and others.
Chlorites' bones were essentially made of PVC plastic.
Using a Chlorite hypnotic device, Seden was able implant false memories of having acquired him as "John Chang" and of having abused him within a couple, who served as his foster parents.
Height: Unrevealed, but he was considered "small" (perhaps 5'4" - 5'6")
Weight: Unrevealed, perhaps 120140 lbs.
Eyes: Unrevealed, likely pale green, blue, or yellow
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 22: Deus ex Meena (fb) - BTS) - Seden Karm of the Zann race was one of 10 Chlorites sent to infiltrate Earth.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 6: Examinations (fb) - BTS) - Diascar Defense Leader Taforne, at least, posited that the Chlorites had targeted Earth in hopes that they might be assumed to be human mutants with variant/mutated appearances and thus be able to move about more freely.
X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter Ten: Exitus Acta Probat (fb) - BTS) - Karm was surgically modified to make him somewhat more acceptable to humanity, such as by removing his keratinaceous spines
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 1: Exordium (fb) - BTS) - Keeping his Chlorite nature hidden and suppressed, Seden Karm (aka John Chang) traveled to Canton, Ohio.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter Ten: Exitus Acta Probat (fb) - BTS) - Using a Chlorite hypnotic device, Seden implanted false memories of filling out the paperwork to foster him as well as subsequently abusing him within his foster parents. He adoped the name John Chang, presumably due to both names being so common.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 1: Exordium (fb) - BTS) - Presumed to be a mutant, "John" was swiftly befriended by the hairy mutant Harry Mills.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 1: Exordium (fb) - BTS) - John's appearance had made him a target of scorn and persecution.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 1: Exordium (fb) - BTS) - When Charles Xavier came to meet Harry after detecting his mutant nature via Cerebro, he was surprised when Harry introduced him to John as another apparent mutant. Once Xavier learned how John's foster parents had mistreated him and called him a freak (as their artificial memories confirmed), Xavier -- assuming John's powers suppressed detection (just as he suppressed telepathy) -- recruited as a student at the Xavier Institute and expedited his admission.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 10: Exitus Acta Probat (fb) - BTS) - Sympathetic to John's plight, Xavier accepted him at his word; he neither probed any minds as deeply as he could have nor did he check John's foster care records.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 1: Exordium (fb) - BTS) - John and Harry (and the other new students) were made aware the Xavier Institute was the home base of the mutant X-Men.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 1: Exordium) - John and Harry, along with the rest of a group of newly recruited mutants, entered the Xavier Institute. They swiftly bypassed the mutants showcasing their powers, gathering instead with those who mutations largely made them look strange or served as handicaps. The gregarious Harry swiftly introduced himself and John to the others, mainly the girls. They met Meena Banerjee, Kristin Koenig, and Todd Watkins. Meena expressed interest in John and his powers, which made him uncomfortable.
Xavier then addressed the assembled students, gently chiding the larger group for excluding those with less impressive abilities. At the subsequent brunch, John and his newest acquaintances found the other mutants more interested in and inclusive of them. Though Meena noted how nice it was to be included as part of a family, John remained aloof, knowing he couldn't get too attached to these people.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 10: Exitus Acta Probat - BTS) - Wolverine smelled chlorine on John, but assumed it came from the pool.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 7: Ex Cathedra (fb) - BTS) - John listened alongside his fellow students to a press conference led by National Security Council (NSC) member Valerie Cooper, the US secretary of defense, the UN secretary-general, and Poratine of the Diascar discussing the Chlorite threat and their plans to test all non-human mutates in hopes of exposing the aliens as quickly as possible.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 7: Ex Cathedra) - Meena was appalled by these developments, fearing for her non-human-appearing student friends. She asked John, who had remained silent, if he was afraid, but he shrugged, saying as long as they passed the tests they would be fine. After Harry and the others discussed further how the Diascar might be trying to take advantage of mankind, Meena wished she could control her powers to see if there were realities the Diascar had already visited. John took an interest in this, agreeing it would be helpful and offering to assist her in honing her abilities. Interested in John, Meena was excited by their interaction on multiple levels.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 10: Exitus Acta Probat) - John guided Meena to use her powers to consciously explore other, specific realities. Though he carefully chose his words to avoid revealing his true nature/origins/goals, he explained to her about quantum physics and bell curves. When he explained the nature of the universe on some levels, Meena wondered how he knew so much more than they learned in class, but he awkwardly noted that he liked to read ahead and learn on his own. John's patient explanations helped her confidence, and she took his hand as she thanked him.
Shortly thereafter, however, Wolverine sensed the presence of a Chlorite and swiftly confronted and confirmed it to be John. Thus exposed, John mocked them that they would never find all of the Chlorites on Earth, and that they would eventually lose and Chlorite life would dominate the whole universe. He was placed in a force field and taken into custody.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 10: Exitus Acta Probat (fb) - BTS) - John proudly told Jean of the Chlorite hypnotic device with which he had implanted false memories in his foster parents of abusing him.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 10: Exitus Acta Probat - BTS) - Subsequent scans proved there to be no Chlorite microbes left behind by John. The Beast identified John as one of the Zann race, having been surgically modified, such as by removing his keratinous spines.
Xavier resolved to keep John there without informing the government or Diascar, both to spare his student body from Diascar or Sentinel examination and to allow the questioning of a Chlorite away from the Diascar's intimidating methods.
Confronted with the threat of infiltration, most of the X-Men agreed to work with the Sentinels, as long as at least one X-Man was sent to monitor their actions; Rogue, however, steadfastly refused, feeling that someone needed to stand up for the Chlorites.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 11: Exile) - Professor Xavier tried to learn John's true motivations, seeking to break through the Chlorite rhetoric he was spouting. He told John how Harry and Meena had been true friends to him and were still trying to help him despite learning his true nature, which confused John slightly.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 19: Extracurricular - BTS) - Fearing James "Lash" Wheaton would contact the government to report the presence of John, his friends Meena, Harry, Kristin, Sarah Allaire (aka Papillon), and Mike Galbraith (aka Beanpole) plotted to help get "John" off of grounds and into another hiding place, and Rogue agreed to help them.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 19: Extracurricular - BTS) - However, this plan frightened Todd Watkins sufficiently that he instead contacted the government and revealed the existence of John as a Chlorite hidden on Xavier Institute grounds. Henry Gyrich informed Poratine, leading her to coordinate a Diascar-Sentinel-Imperial Guard assault on the Xavier Institute, which Gyrich hoped would eliminate Xavier's organization for good.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 20: Extraction) - John was surprised to learn Meena and the others (minus Harry, who was off distracting Dr. Hank McCoy, aka the Beast) were there to rescue them despite his nature, actions, and secret goals. When he argued that people had good reason to fear his kind, Rogue convinced him to "stop spouting propaganda, from the folks as sent you here to die" and to appreciate who his true friends were. Meena then used her powers to help guide Rogue to punch in the code to the quarantine cell; when she faltered, John guided her to picturing the probabilities like a bell curve. Succeeding on her third and final chance, Meena hugged the containment-suited John (eliciting awkward surprise) as he exited his cell.
The group made it outside the mansion, but as they
prepared to take John to a secret location, they were confronted by the
senior X-Men, as Wolverine had sensed Kristin's invisibility field
having been off somewhat. Ultimately, however, all of X-Men agreed to protect John and seek a peaceful resolution with
Almost immediately thereafter, Sentinel, Diascar, and the Imperial Guard arrived to collect the Chlorite.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 21: Extermination (fb) - BTS) - Frustrated with the Sentinels' repeated questions about reclassifying specific beings as threats, Gyrich told them to reassess all status assignments as the situation warrants, unwittingly neutralizing much of the controls the Diascar had programmed into the Sentinels.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 21: Extermination) - As the X-Men rushed back to the mansion, Cyclops instructed the students who had freed John to hide and watch over him; John was surprised they would protect him, and Cyclops told John he was one of their students -- as long as he chose to act as one -- and they had a common enemy. John told Meena that he had been told that humans were monsters, only able to destroy that which was different. Their willingness to ally with potential enemies impressed him, and he agreed to not try to flee. When Papillon and Beanpole offered to help defend the mansion, Cyclops agreed and instructed Meena to stay with John.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 21: Extermination - BTS) - The Sentinels progressively reclassified the Imperial Guard and the US troops as threats when they tried to prevent the Sentinels from slaying mutants who had previously been trying to aid the Sentinels (as they wanted to be rid of the Chlorite). As a result, all forces temporarily united to take out the Sentinels.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 22: Deus ex Meena (fb) - BTS) - Diascar Defense Leader Taforne's forces captured "John Chang" and Meena in the woods behind the Xavier mansion. They transported them both to Poratine's command ship for quarantine.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 22: Deus ex Meena - BTS) - Dr. McCoy noted how there was almost certainly some universe -- amongst the infinite probabilities of the multiverse -- where Chlorites arose early enough in its development that they might already be the dominant lifeform: where Chlorites could live freely without endangering others. If they could find such a world, they could offer it to the Chlorites as a haven. When Taforne scoffed at this, Xavier noted how Meena could find locate a reality, and the Beast felt he could access that reality with cooperation from the Diascar and Shi'ar.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 22: Deus ex Meena) - John explained to Poratine that Meena only had to imagine such a reality, after which she could then feel her way through the cosmic wavefunction for a signature that matches it. Dr. McCoy further explained that once Meena found such a world, she would then allow Rogue to absorb her powers and knowledge, after which Rogue would absorb Nightcrawler's powers, allowing her to teleport to that other reality. John's interest and hope grew as McCoy finally explained that with the help of Diascar engineers, he could modify a Shi'ar stargate generator to scan Rogue as she traveled to the desired reality; this would allow them to lock onto the timeline's quantum signature and open a stargate portal to it.
When Taforne questioned how they would get the Chlorites across the galaxy to cooperate, John assured everyone that such a place to call home and to live in peace -- away from the non-Chlorites that were trying to destroy their people -- was the Chlorites' whole goal. Taforne suggested that Chlorite terrorists would not agree, John explained that he was indeed one of the terrorists, because he had felt he had no choice. Meena's was hurt when he expressed his desire to be away from her people, but she realized the ultimate stakes of things.
John offered to go to and explore this proposed reality along with any other captured and still-living Chlorites, after which they would come back and announce their findings, which would bring in the remaining Chlorites on Earth. In a gesture of good faith, John admitted there were four Chlorites remaining on Earth (there were 10 total not including the refugees from the crash, but 5 others beyond John had been captured or killed). Per Taforne's questions, John explained that he did not know their identities or locations -- so any individual could not betray and expose others -- but that the Chlorites stayed in communication so they could receive coded orders via the internet or radio; as they were trained to give out false codes under torture, Chlorites hearing the true codes would believe them.
Meena insisted John accompany her as she prepared to use her powers to this end. John donned his containment suit, and Xavier escorted him and Meena to a containment room where Poratine granted Meena's request for a moment alone. Hugging John, Meena expressed her mixed feelings as she didn't want to lose him forever. He reminded her she could look in on him any time she wanted, but when she told him she loved him, John admitted that his previous goals had not made love a possibility as he had been conditionted to hate all non-Chlorites. He assured her that he did not hate his friends, and that he had enjoyed his time with them, and with her most of all, and that he would always cherish her for providing the key to what his people had sought for millennia; however, they could not be together without his eventually killing her, and he needed to lead his people to their new destiny.
Reluctantly acknowledging the truth of the situation, Meena lifted off his containment helmet and convinced him to give her a kiss, telling him he probably wasn't infectious but that it was worth the risk anyway.
The kiss' taste was horrible for Meena, at least, and the awkwardness of their inexperience was exacerbated by their differing anatomies, but both felt it to be somewhat powerful nonetheless, Before they brought Xavier back in, Meena asked "John" his real name.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 23: Exeunt Omnes (fb)) - Seden revealed his real name to Meena.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 23: Exeunt Omnes (fb) - BTS) - As planned (presumably with Seden's coaching), Meena located Reality-62342, which fit their goals. Rogue absorbed Meena and Nightcrawler's powers and transported to Earth-62342 while being scanned by the Shi'ar stargate generator. A portal to that world was then opened.
Watchers on the Walls:
Chapter 23: Exeunt Omnes (fb) - BTS) -
Seden Karm said his goodbyes to Harry, Kris, Mike, and Sarah, at least.
Those students were the toast of the Xavier Institute for their roles
in saving the day from the Sentinels and their courage in daring to
look for a peaceful solution. As a mark of their newfound status, they
had finally been endowed with codenames of their own:
Meena was now the Visionary;
Kris was dubbed Flasher, but she was little phased by this and joked that she might have been called the Entirely Visible Girl. She also found that as she no longer feared using her powers, she got more practice turning them up and down, and she could briefly turn her power off. She demonstrated to Seden that -- as a result of using her powers to his aid, she no longer feared them, and had gained greater control -- she could briefly turn her power, touching him to no effect. She told him eventually she might be able to wear jewelry or makeup..
Harry remained Harry, as that pretty said it all. Seden noted that he thought they would have called him Bigfoot-in-Mouth...and they all had a good laugh at the first joke they recalled "John" telling.
Badly injured by Sentinels while acting as a SHIELD, Todd's plates had been surgically removed, granting him temporary mobility. Todd told Seden he didn't think he deserved mobility after what he'd done, but Seden acknowledged they had both been acting out of fear for their and their species' lives. However, they had learned that those that had reached out to the other side were the ones who had saved them all.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 23: Exeunt Omnes (fb) - BTS) - Seden Karm walked through the portal to Earth-62342, followed by the containment suit-wearing Meena, Hank McCoy, and Taforne (the latter's quite bulky).
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 23: Exeunt Omnes (fb) - BTS) - McCoy and the Diascar's telescopic observations confirmed Meena's perceptions: Every planet they detected with a free oxygen-line also showed free chlorine. They also launched some hyperspace probes to let them get line-of-sight views of the whole galaxy, but he felt they'd make the same findings.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 23: Exeunt Omnes) - On Earth-62342, Seden Karm removed his helmet and surveyed his new world. He savored and was refreshed by the strong, bracing chlorine fragrance and misty, yellow-tinged air after so long in Earth-616's bland, colorless air. He noted that the heavy mists in the low valleys would make them impassable without oxygen gear, but figured his people would soon have the infrastructure to pass through via oxygen tanks or enclosed vehicles, or to build roads above them. He also noted the forest of sturdy trees, their white vinyl trunks supporting wide crowns of deep red and brown leaves, which Diascar botanists had told him would fade to yellow-green in autumn. To the south lay a beach of sand and quartz, lapped by waves of a greenish-blue ocean. In the sky, the sun shone a lurid reddish-orange as the atmosphere scattered and absorbed its blue and green light.
As Taforne's legs moved in a nervous canter and he resisted the impulse to bolt back to the stargate portal and back to his home universe, he noted it to be hideous. When Seden said he thought it was beautiful, Meena tried to see things his way and noted it to be nice, but John squeezed her hand, reassuring her it was OK not to see things his way.
After Beast then reported his findings, Taforne asked about the rest of the universe, especially once the Chlorites eventually became so numerous that they needed to spread beyond this galaxy. Seden reported that they should be able to adapt the stargate to scan other realities and find other Chlorite universes to colonize; there would be no more reason to war with oxy-life. Taforne argued that it might be difficult to convince all Chlorites of this, and Seden countered that it would also be difficult to convince all of the Diascar and other oxy-life that they no longer needed to hunt Chlorites. Taforne noted they would still need to locate all Chlorites so they could be relocated to this world, and Seden added that he and his kind would help in tracking down and convincing others.
Knowing that Seden was staying in Reality-616 gave Meena hope that she would see Seden again, but they both knew he would likely be too busy to ever come back to Earth.
Comments: Created by Christopher L. Bennett
No images of Seden Karm exist. Not a single picture of anyone in the whole story.
Each of the chapters in Watchers on the Walls had an "X" or "Ex" title. An exordium is an introduction; ex silentio means not only "from silence," but also "for lack of contrary evidence"; exigency means "emergency"; ex cathedra means "by virtue of office or authority"; an exclosure is an area fenced off to prevent intrusion; exequies are funeral rites; exitus acta probat means "the outcome justifies the deed"; an excursus is a digression or sidebar; and exeunt omnes is a stage direction that means "they all exit."
"Deus ex Meena" is obviously a play on "Deus ex Machina," originally used to describe mechanical devices used to simulate godly powers in Greek tragedies and later used to mean simply a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly abruptly resolved by the intervention of some event, character, etc.
Great story. You can buy it on Amazon, etc. for a few dollars. I would love to see it adapted to the comics and get some visuals on all of the cool characters introduced in this book.
Profile by Snood.
Seden Karm / John Chang should be distinguished from:
images: (without ads)
X-Men: Watchers on the Walls (May, 2006) - Christopher L. Bennett (writer)
Last updated: 07/26/17
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!
Back to Characters