Real Name: Meena Banerjee
Identity/Class: Human mutant;
presumably of Indian ethnicity
Group Membership: Xavier Institute student body
Affiliations: Beanpole (Mike Galbraith), Chlorites, Diascar race, Flasher (Kristin Koenig), Harry Mills, Papillon (Sarah Allaire), Seden Karm (aka "John Chang"), Todd Watkins, Charles Xavier, 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, Lash (James Wheaton), Sentinels;
formerly Valerie Cooper, Diascar race (esp. Poratine & Taforne), Imperial Guard (Astra, Blackthorn, Flashfire, Magique, Manta, Nightside, N'rill'iree, Smasher/Vril Rokk), "Crush" Russell, Todd Watkins
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "Blabberjee" (insulting nickname from Lash/James Wheaton)
Base of Operations: Last seen at the Xavier Institute, West Chester, New York;
formerly an unidentified mental institution
First Appearance: X-Men: Watchers on the Walls (May, 2006)
Powers/Abilities: Meena can view alternate realities. Initially, this happened subconsciously, and she was often overwhelmed, thinking she was viewing event that were happening around her in her reality.
Eventually she learned to view other realities at will; by thinking of a specific circumstances, she could locate a reality with those properties. Further, by uniting her powers with some with teleportation abilities, she could facilitate transportation to the realities she located.
In addition, by focusing how something existed most commonly in other realities, she could accurately guess at information she did not previously know, such as an access code.
Her ability to sense other universes does not require the firsthand perception of any of her alternate selves within that reality; she does not even have to exist in a reality in order to sense it.
Eyes: Unrevealed; possibly brown
Note: Meena was described as "a dainty, round-faced girl with rich brown skin and glossy black hair"
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 1: Exordium (fb) - BTS) - Meena's mutant powers surfaced, allowing her to perceive alternate realities. However, as no one else could see these and she sometimes had trouble distinguishing these realities from her own, others believed she was schizophrenic, and she was hospitalized. Not understanding what her issues were, the doctors placed her on medications that did not help.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 1: Exordium (fb) - BTS) - Professor Charles Xavier, having detected Meena via Cerebro, approached Meena and explained the nature of her mutant powers.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 1: Exordium (fb) - BTS) - Meena, along with the rest of a group
of newly recruited mutants, entered the Xavier Institute. She gathered with
those who mutations largely made them look strange or served as
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 1: Exordium) - Meena met Harry Mills and "John Chang" (secretly the Zann Chlorite Seden Karm) and explained her powers (she fidgeted nervously in embarassed silence after discussing that she still had trouble telling what was real and what wasn't), as did Kristin Koenig and Todd Watkins. Meena was interested 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, Meena and her 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; Meena called him a grump.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 7: Ex Cathedra (fb) - BTS) - Harry told Meena that he believed John's foster parents had abused him for being a mutant.
Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 7: Ex Cathedra (fb) - BTS) - Meena listened alongside her fellow students to a press conference led by National
Security Council (NSC) Val
Cooper, the US secretary of defense, the UN secretary-general,
and Poratine of the alien Diascar discussing the Chlorite threat --
aliens who released chlorine-gas producing microbes that could
exterminate all other life on Earth -- 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 seemed unconcerned. 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, hoping to break through John's reserve and learn all about him, either via mastering her powers or simply by getting close to him. She also feared for John and her other friends and the faculty.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 10: Exitus Acta Probat) - John guided Meena to use her powers to explore alternate realities under her control. As the "noisy blur of alternate realities" she sensed around other was weaker with him, she wondered if he either existed in fewer realities or was just very similar in all other realities.
When John 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. Appreciating his patient explanations, Meena took his hand as she thanked him.
Soon after, when Wolverine identified John as a Chlorite, Meena denied it; but she was moritified when the exposed John confirmed this and espoused Chlorite supremacy combined with eventual destruction of non-Chlorite life.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 11: Exile) - Meena defended John to Harry, Kris, Sarah, and Todd, the latter of whom argued that he had taken interest in her to learn if her powers could be a threat to the Chlorites. She tried to get Harry to acknowledge that they had been friends and that John had spent time with him by choice. When Harry half-jokingly remarked that he was not John's lawyer, Meena got the idea to try to get John a lawyer.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 11: Exile (fb) - BTS) - Harry accompanied Meena in visiting Professor Xavier for "moral support" when she insisted he get John a lawyer.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 11: Exile (fb) - BTS) - Xavier told John how Harry and Meena were still trying to help him despite learning his true nature.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 16: Excelsior - BTS) - Jean Grey, the Imperial Guard's Smasher, and a trio of Sentinels brought in mutants (including a corrosive glob-firing mutant) at a protest rally in Manhattan, New York, which was attended by Meena Bannerjee, Harry Mills, and Rogue. The latter three, already registered(?), were allowed to depart, but protesters interfering with the mutant captures -- including the charismatic protest leader -- were arrested as well.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 19: Extracurricular) - Meena had frightening visions of Sentinels attacking the Xavier Institute (glimpsed from another reality), and when she screamed out about the assault, she earned the taunts of James "Lash" Wheaton. When she argued that she was seeing an increasing number of such realities, Wheaton continued that this was likely due to the presence of "John Chang," and he then prepared to call the government to inform them of the hidden Chlorite in hopes of ensuring the government would spare him from Sentinel assault. Harry tried to stop Wheaton, leading Wheaton to ensnare him with electric tendrils; Meena broke some of these with a heavy book, but ultimately Sarah Allaire (aka Papillon) convinced Wheaton to call off the attack and talk it out with her over dinner.
Meena then convinced Harry, Sarah, and Kris to plot 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.
Watchers on the Walls:
Chapter 20: Extraction (fb)) - After Harry agreed he could hack the Danger Room's computer systems
to program the room to show them practicing in a pattern in dynamic
simulations, Meena convinced him to use his gift of gab to distract Dr. Hank McCoy (aka the Beast) with
science questions while they went to rescue John.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 20: Extraction (fb)) - Rogue informed Meena that she needed her to use her powers to determine the code to the quarantine cell holding John.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 20: Extraction) - Kristin -- along with Sarah, Meena, Mike, and Harry -- followed Rogue to the Danger Room, during which they encountered a suspicious but sympathetic Nightcrawler who let continue. After the group had practiced sufficiently to allow Harry to program the room to show them practicing in a pattern in dynamic simulations they -- minus Harry, who occupied Dr. McCoy with science questions -- continued to John's cell.
John was surprised to learn Meena and the others were there to rescue them despite his nature, actions, and secret goals. 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 X-Men agreed to protect John and seek a peaceful resolution with the Chlorites. Almost immediately thereafter, Sentinel, Diascar, and the Imperial Guard arrived to collect "John."
(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 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) - After Poratine announced John and Meena's capture and reiterated the threat of the Chlorites, Beast 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 such 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) - Xavier and the X-Men accompanied the Diascar leaders in releasing Meena from her confinement, and Meena was surprised and cowed when Dr. McCoy explained what he had in mind for her, but Rogue and Xavier encouraged her. When Poratine asked if she could directly scan a universe to confirm it was what she was looking for, John explained 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. 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, which would allow 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 was confident that 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. They could then send in probes to verify the nature of the universe and question some of the natives on their history. If it was not the reality they were looking for, they could try again.
When John assured the others he could convince the Chlorites to come in once they learned there was a safe place they could make their home away from "oxy-life," Meena's was hurt when he expressed his desire to be away from her people, but she realized the ultimate stakes of things.
Meena insisted John accompany her as she prepared to use her powers to this end, standing up and obtaining the compliance of the initially refusing Portatine, although she felt faint afterwards. Xavier escorted Meena and John 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 conditioned 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 taste of the kiss was horrible, and the awkwardness of their inexperience was exacerbated by their differing anatomies, but Meena supposed there had been worse first kisses, and her heart was racing just the same when it was over. Though she felt it was worth the aftertaste, part of her had to admit she was OK with this being a one-time thing. Before they brought Xavier back in, she asked "John" his real name.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 23: Exeunt Omnes (fb)) - "John" revealed his real name to Meena as Seden Karm.
(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.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 23: Exeunt Omnes (fb) - BTS) - Meena and the other students who helped "John" 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 (which made her blush; and which made Harry quip that she needed a partner called the Scarlet Witchinary).
(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.
(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 McCoy felt they'd make the same findings.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 23: Exeunt Omnes) - Taforne noted this Chlorite-world to be hideous. After John 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.
Knowing that Seden was staying in Reality-616 to locate other Chlorites and guide them to Earth-62342 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.
The status of Meena and the rest of the mutants introduced in this series post M-Day is unrevealed.
According to our old friend Wikipedia:
Banerjee or Bandyopadhyay is a surname of Brahmins in the Bengal region of India originating from the Kanyakubja region (Kulin Brahmins) and are often used interchangeably.
Indian (Bengal) and Bangladeshi: Hindu (Brahman) name, the first element of which, Ban-, is a shortened form of the village name Bandoghat. The final element -jee is derived from jha (greatly reduced form of Sanskrit upadhyaya ‘teacher’); thus, Banerjee ‘teacher from the village of Bandoghat’. In Bengali names formed with -jee, the initial element is believed to indicate a village granted by Ballal Sen, a legendary ancient king of Bengal, to the ancestor of the person bearing the surname. A Sanskrit version of this name, Vandyopadhyaya, was coined later, from the elements vandya ‘venerable’ + upadhyaya ‘teacher’. "
— Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4
No images of Meena exist. There is not a single picture 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.
Visionary should be distinguished from:
images: (without ads)
X-Men: Watchers on the Walls (May, 2006) - Christopher L. Bennett (writer)
Last updated: 07/27/17
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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