Zero (born Kenji Uedo) was an artist in Japan that had been gaining worldwide recognition for his modern sculptures and bleak paintings, with even the X-Men's Emma Frost being familiar with his work. He would later become the fifth mutant to manifest powers in the years following the race's Decimation at the hands of the Scarlet Witch. As one of the Five Lights, he helps shepherd the next generation of mutants.
Born to two relatively normal parents in Japan, Kenji's early life was filled with turmoil when his mother suspected his father had been cheating on her. After following him after work, her fears were confirmed when she discovered he had been philandering with another man. Upon his secret becoming uncovered, Kenji's father committed suicide in order to escape the reality of his secret coming out.
Kenji was created by Matt Fraction and Kieron Gillen as part of the Five Lights.
An artist, Kenji would take his violent impulses and turn them into sculptures. After his powers activated he saw himself as art. It is unknown if his unstable mental condition is because of his mutation or if he was always a little off. He now walks the line between hero and villain.
Major Story Arcs
The Future is a Four Letter Word
Kenji is the last light to be reached by Hope and the team. In his insanity, he kills his manager and others close by. Hope tries repeatedly to make contact but cannot. It takes the whole team of five lights not only to stop Kenji but to prevent Cyclops from killing Kenji. Once Hope makes contact, they all return to the island. Cyclops and Emma show Kenji the damage that he has done and he feels great remorse. Later when he is alone we see that he still thinks of himself as art. Hope begins training Kenji and the other lights, including using firearms. This is difficult for Kenji because he does not have hands. He appears to be assimilating with the other Lights rather well, even after the large conflict. He is shown holding Laurie's arm and making Idie a rose using his tentacle, though this appears to frighten her.
Kenji, along with the other lights, are put in the Ethics class taught by Emma Frost. When Hope decides that the class is beneath her, Kenji walks out with her.
Kenji is working on his art, spraying ink over his entire room. He says his muse is Hope. When Gabriel enters his room to tel him the new mutant has activated and the team is going to get him, Kenji yells at Gabriel. Once the team is in Germany for the new mutant, they find that everyone in the area around the mutant is asleep. Laurie and Gabriel falls asleep when they enter the area, but Teon does not. Kenji then tells the group that he believes he himself has immunity to telepathy and will connect them to allow them to be immune as well. Gabriel makes a comment about needing to have Hope make contact before the new mutant pulls a Kenji, and goes nuts. Kenji tells him not to use the phrase "pull a Kenji" but Gabriel refuses.
When they find the mutant they are surprised that it is actually a fetus that is controlling his mother. Kenji suggests preforming a cesarean section but could not guarantee that the mother or mutant would survive, Hope quickly scolded him. When the baby becomes scarred he uses his powers to make all the people he is controlling attack the team. Kenji is told by Hope to stop the attackers but not to harm them. The baby becomes more scarred and controls more people to attack. Kenji doesn't take Hope's direction well, but he does make contact with the baby. Each team member tries to reach the child but Kenji's nihilistic approach fails. In the end it is Teon that is able to calm the baby enough for it to be born.
Teon's Trial and Better
Teon is brought to court because his parents want him back from Hope. After the trial Kenji is talking to Transonic, he tells her that he thinks Hope is using mind control to get them to do what she wants. Transonic believes this is a possibility. Kenji than suggests that he is her Judas.
The team would again be summoned to help a new mutant activating. All was normal until the team felt a great pain. When they got to the place they found out that the boy, Zeeshan, had killed himself after being tormented by his friend. The team would leave after Hope yelled at the bully. Four weeks later Kenji gets a ticket back to the UK and goes to the bully's room. He sends in a cybernetic bug and has the intent to kill the bully. He is stopped by Wolverine who knew what he was up to. Wolverine explains to Kenji that leaving the boy alive would cause him more pain and the boy would learn, killing him would only make Kenji feel guilty. Then the two go out to the bars.
For more information: Schism
Kenji doesn't hang out with the team but instead head out early to the opening of the mutant history museum. He sits and stares at a sentinel head that is on display. Laurie and Idie arrive and Kenji tells Laurie that he would have liked Quentin Quire if he wasn't tethered to Hope. Laurie tells him that peaceful demonstration is better than the violence. Kenji eventually leaves the Museum before the new Hellfire club attacks and Idie saves everyone but kills twelve people. Kenji stands and watches as Hope and Laurie argue. This is when Idie asks if there is anyone else that she needs to kill otherwise she wants to go to sleep.
When the team arrives back to Utopia the find out that the new Sentinel that the Hellfire Club created is on its way to kill the mutants on Utopia. Transonic and Hope start fighting over whether they should stay and fight or try and leave. Transonic argues that Oya should leave, as she is only 14. When Transonic and Hope start fighting, this leads to Primal and Velocidad to fight. Zero supports Oya when she gets them to stop. Zero argues that even though the island is just a "stupid rock," it is there stupid rock and if they flee they give all the mutant haters support. It shows that they are weak and can easily be beaten by machines. Zero wants them to stand and fight. When asked why he has taken such a stance he replies that it is because of Zeeshan, a boy so distraught with the possibility of being a mutant that he killed himself. He also argued that the second you start to flee you are on a path to one of the dark futures that they say at the museum. When the Young X-Men arrive they agree that they should all go and fight. Transonic tells Hope that it isn't over, the fight they were having, Hope dismisses her. Zero helps to calm her and offhandedly says he could kill Hope in her sleep.
As the Young X-Men and the Five Lights stand to attack the Sentinel, wolverine tells them all again to leave. Now, Wolverine said that he was going to blow up the island when the sentinel got close enough. The students all ran off. At this point, Wolverine and Cyclops began fighting over what the right thing to do is, among other things. The students come back and are able to defeat the Sentinel, with minimal injuries. Later, Zero begins making burgers for all the students. When asked what he was making, he said they were Zero-burgers. As Armor began to freak out, he said he would not actually do that, and tell them. Hope and Transonic decide to bring Velocidad some burgers, but instead they find Velocidad and Pixie making out. Hope storms out and Velocidad is smacked. As Velocidad leaves the Med area, Zero helps him. Zero creates a wheel chair for him and they talk about Velocidad's impending death because of his powers. Zero says that Velocidad is the new most hated member of the team, to his envy. Then Hope announces that Pixie is going to be the new team teleporter so they can get to the new lights as fast as possible. Zero and Transonic briefly speak about Hope, and Transonic says that there is hope for her. Zero becomes infuriated just at how "on the nose" her name is. Velocidad says that they all know he is a nihilist and that they know he hates hope.
For more information: Regenesis
Zero stays with Hope and the other lights, sans Oya, on Utopia. Cyclops has the Lights battle some of the senior X-Men as a training exercise. All is going relatively well until Zero starts to confront Magneto. Zero calls him out for no longer being the man that caused so much fear years ago. Cyclops becomes nervous by the confrontation, both of them are being harbored on Utopia even though they have killed many. Zero strikes first and attacks Magnetos face with his tentacle arms. Magneto retaliates by destroying Zero from the inside and ripping him apart. Everyone freaks out and run to his aid. Zero reforms himself and is about to attack again but is stopped by Hope. The training session ends with Cyclops telling Hope to take Zero to the infirmary. Zero claims to be okay and explains that he had a feeling that he would be okay if something like this was to happen. Transonic becomes concerned for Zero which Zero rebuffs telling her that she is not his type.
He walks off and finds Surge and No-Girl. He introduces himself, Surge is annoyed because they had met previously. Zero corrects himself and says that he was talking to Martha. The two begin to communicate telepathically and Zero flirts and says she is beautiful. Hope then gets everyone together for a rescue, they travel to Pakistan, Zero brings Martha along with. Zero continues to flirt with Martha as they search for the new mutant that was on Cerebro. They are the first to discover him but he reveals himself as a suicide bomber. All the team has already surrounded him except Hope. The mutant detonates himself.
During the rescue attempt Martha's containment system was destroyed. Zero used his mutant ability to create a flesh suit for her to wear. This joining caused Martha and Zero to become closer. When they returned to Utopia Zero had demonstrated his ability to control his contructs while not attached to him. Zero and Laurie (Transonic) had plans to remove Hope and her control of them and the five lights. Zero used small parts of himself and implanted them into the other mutants on Utopia. He then pushed them into crucifying Hope to make a true Messiah. A battle errupted between the individuals and Pixie, Primal, Transonic, Velocidad & Sebastian Shaw. Zero took Hope onto his mind and explained that he never had feelings for Martha but was just using her to help control the others. Hope pulled Martha into her mind and she hears this. Using her telekenetic ability she destroys Kenji.
Powers and Abilities
While completely unexplored, Kenji does exhibit the power to make large tentacles from his body that allows him a degree of transformative abilities. He was able to become a large monster and even able to fly.
Both him and Hope using his powers were able to send mental messages to other people by making contact with them. This is a one way message and the person receiving it cannot respond.
After making contact with Hope, he still is primarily made of a techno-organic substance. It is unknown how this will affect his physiology. It is known that he has difficulty making normal hands, so he has loose tentacles instead. Kenji has been able to produce helpful constructs with his tentacles such as binoculars and stairs.
He also has some degree of telepathic immunity.
He is being trained by Hope, which includes firearm usage. However, his lack of hands or ability to make hands makes shooting a gun difficult.
Using the philosophy that "art can be used to protect you from the psychic trauma of life", Kenji creates constructs to plug into the rest of the Lights, protecting them from the unborns psychic attack.
Kenji has shown the ability to regenerate and heal himself after Magneto almost tore him apart.
Kenji is a world renowned artist and his fan base includes Emma Frost. His art, while not being shown fully on panel, is known to include abstract black-and-white paintings (with ink) and sculptures of super heroines made entirely of meat. He is shown making his hands into various shapes, such as a rose to show Idie. This could indicate a skill in sculpture, or could just be a way in which he is using his powers.
Zero first appeared in Ultimate Comics: X-men in the 'Reservation X' storyline, and is one of the twenty mutants who refuse the 'cure' offered by Captain America's government. He is subsequently a part of the group which settles on the new mutant Reservation. When the group votes for a new leader, Zero sides with Kitty Pryde against Mach Two, stating that the former has earned his respect. He goes on to state that he can use his techno-organic powers to make the land more hospitable.
Zero is later seen working on Kitty's 'soil project' together with Blackheath, Storm, Jimmy Hudson, and Iceman. His first job is to perform an in-depth survey of the soil's contents, particularly as there are signs that it contains traces of radio-active materials.
Like the 616 Zero, this version of Zero is a former artist, although he has a more positive outlook than his 616 counterpart, and thanks Kitty for pulling him out of his self-destructive mindset. Although his physical appearance is very similar to the Zero of Earth-616, his powers are implied to be different. He has the ability to sense the make-up of the terrain around him, and claims that he can manipulate it through molecular-shifting.