Born in Venezuela, Sofia Mantega lived happily with her mother, Miranda Mantega, until she was tragically shot down during a riot in Caracas. Her only living relative, her uncle, wasn't willing to take care of Sofia, so she was sent to the United States to find her father. A wealthy and powerful supermarket chain owner who was less than happy to take her in, Walter Barrett was a cold and distant man who was ashamed of his daughter's mutant nature.
Sofia was mainly attended to by Derek, her father's butler. Derek provided the attention and love that her father denied her and the two quickly bonded. Beginning a new life in a new country and in a new school was hard for the young mutant. Neglected by her father and abused by her classmates, Sofia impulsively decided to act out.
Sofia sneaked out of school one day and went to one of her father's supermarkets. Sofia unleashed a powerful tornado from inside the building, shattering its windows and throwing the entire store into chaos. Police were quickly called to the scene and Sofia was arrested.
Former New Mutants member Danielle Moonstar caught the story on the news. Sent by Professor Charles Xavier to recruit new mutants into the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, Moonstar traveled to the Colorado jail in which Sofia was detained.
When Sofia's father refused to bail her out or even let her go to the school due to concerns of the media finding out his daughter was a mutant, Moonstar threatened to use her fear inducing abilities on Barrett. He backed down and Sofia went on a train with Moonstar to join the Xavier Institute. When Sofia was a target of the mutant hating group the Reavers, Walter and Derek were kidnapped as bait to lure in the young mutant. As Sofia fought the group, she unleashed an uncontrollable, violent side to her personality and had to be stopped by one of her fellow students from killing one of the Reavers' henchmen. This temperament would later be an issue she had to deal with as a member of the New Mutants.
Sofia Mantega was created by Christina Weir, Nunzio DeFilippis and Keron Grant. She first appeared in New Mutants Vol.2 issue 1 (2003).
Major Story Arcs
New Mutants/New X-Men
After Magneto attacked and destroyed the Xavier Institute, changes in the organization of the school were introduced. Teams were formed and students were trained in combat to be able to protect themselves from future threats. Sofia became leader of one of the teams, the New Mutants who were under the supervision of Dani Moonstar.
The New Mutants had a bit of a rivalry with the Hellions, the team lead by Julian Keller ( Hellion), and they spent a lot of time feuding against each other; competing all the time, both teams wanting to be the top team at Xavier’s in the field exercise program. Due to internal turmoil amongst the New Mutants, the Hellions were able to take the prize for best team at the end of the school year.
Sofia played a key role in the integration of Laurie Collins ( Wallflower), a timid girl that would not get close to anyone in fear of accidentally using her mutant powers (pheromone manipulation) on people. Sofia, being able to control the wind, could shield herself from the influence of pheromones (carried by the wind) therefore Laurie could feel safe around her and open up.
Sofia had strong determination and character; yet she lacked the analytic mind and strategy required for leading a team, so she chose David Alleyne ( Prodigy) to be co-leader of the New Mutants. They complemented each other pretty well, Sofia having the drive to do the things necessary and David providing the strategy to accomplish the tasks. During her time at the school, she saw her father once more during Parents Week. When she discovered his visit had ulterior motives, Sofia nearly attacked her father before being telepathically calmed by Emma Frost.
A boy named Julian
Julian Keller was one of the first students Sofia met at Xavier’s. Both of them being hard-headed and outgoing, the two developed a love-hate relationship. In a way Julian became Sofia’s rival, especially in the New X-Men stage, but there was always a strong physical attraction that they couldn’t deny.
Julian tried many times to recruit Sofia into joining his team, the Hellions, and even briefly persuaded her to side with them in rescuing Kevin Ford (aka Wither) from the FBI.
When Sofia decided to side back with her team the New Mutants, Julian felt betrayed and no longer aggressively pursued Sofia as he had in the past. However, when Julian's former adviser Northstar was killed in front of the student body's eyes by a brainwashed Wolverine, Hellion revealed a softer, more gentler side and their unspoken romance resumed. The pair later attended the school dance separately, but ended up in each other's arms at its end.
Unfortunately, Sofia is one of the 99% of mutants who were depowered during M-Day. When Julian Keller made disparaging remarks about fellow depowered mutant Prodigy, Sofia felt deeply hurt and betrayed. Julian tried to apologize, but when all the depowered mutants were forced to leave the Xavier Institute, the anguish forced her to leave the school without a proper goodbye.
Instead of returning to her native country, Sofia went on to live in New York and got a job as a waitress. While Julian has been shown to call out to Sofia in his dreams, Sofia has similarly been dreaming of her old life as a mutant superhero with her old friends. The Scarlet Witch ominously appeared in one of her dreams, causing her to fall.
While working the day shift, Sofia was approached by Beak and Jubilee (both depowered) to join them in the New Warriors, a vigilante group of depowered mutants opposing the Superhuman Registration Act. Sofia had initially refused the offer, noting the loss of her powers meant that her old life had to stay behind her.
During a battle with the new Zodiac, Sofia helped provide a distraction to give the New Warriors an upper hand in their losing battle. Without any powers or any weapons, she attacked the deadly group with extreme finesse. Sofia was injured saving a little boy in the crossfire. Because of the vigilant nature of the New Warriors, Sofia was left with some paramedics and onlooking camera crews documenting the fight.
While unconscious, Sofia has yet another dream. She dreams of meeting with her deceased mother Miranda. Both have angel-like wings, but as Sofia begins to awaken she falls. When she wakes up, she had undergone intensive surgery and lost most of her hair as a result.
She later decides to join the team with the new code-name Renascence, just as Night Thrasher threatened to disband the group. Sofia has been shown to be very proficient and a quick learner since joining the group, battling Machinesmith and an army of SHIELD agents both in the present and in a dystopian future where registration had corrupted the entire superhuman community.
Along with the New Warriors, Renascence found herself trapped in a dystopian future where the Superhuman Registration Act had gone out of control. The future is run by a dictatorship under Iron Man, who is later revealed to be Dwayne Taylor, the original Night Thrasher and Donyell's thought-to-be deceased brother. After the entire team is incarcerated for defying the registration act, the original Iron Man, Tony Stark, helps them escape but not before taking down Dwayne. The entire team invade his offices, but the New Warriors are betrayed by their leader who decides to side with his brother.
Donyell eventually relents when he sees his brother kill Stark, showing just how out of control Dwayne has gone. After a brief battle, the team swiftly escaped into a time machine in Stark Towers and returned to the present. Upon reevaluation of the team's purpose, the New Warriors go their separate ways. It is not known where Sofia headed after the group's dismantlement.
Powers and abilities
Wind Dancer has the mutant ability to manipulate air molecules. She could use this power to fly, levitate others, create powerful wind blasts or protective shields.
Unlike most wind manipulators, Sofia also had an affinity for sound, being able to increase the vibrations in the air to amplify sounds, carry auditory signals from afar, or mute a small vicinity of noise.
Due to her training at the Xavier Institute, Sofia is also very athletic and an above-average hand-to-hand fighter.
Renascence uses a power-suit with a protective force field and metal arms based on Lady Octopus. She also carries a pair of guns with unknown properties. Renascence's armor is presumably equipped with other features. However, if it does she has yet to display them.
- Known Relatives: Walter Barrett (father), Miranda Mantega (mother, deceased), Paolo Mantega (maternal uncle)
- Identity: Secret identity
- Citizenship: Venezuela, U.S. green card
- Place of Birth: Caracas, Venezuela
- Marital Status: Single
- Occupation: Waitress; formerly adventurer, student
- Education: Unknown, last known to be enrolled in high school-level classes
- Base of Operations: New York City, New York; formerly Xavier Institute, Salem Center, Westchester County, New York; Denver, Colorado; Caracas, Venezuela
- Gender: Female
- Height: 5'8"
- Weight: 122 lbs (55 kg)
- Eyes: Brown
- Hair: Brown
- Likes: Dancing, flying, the wind
- Dislikes: None
- Voted: Most outgoing
In the House of M altered universe, Sofia is from the mutant nation of Genosha. She was taken as a slave, had her head shaved, and was designated a number printed on her forehead.
When her captor took her to Australia, Wanda Maximoff rescued her. Charles Xavier restored her mind from its damaged state and Sofia went on to be part of Wanda's close entourage before enrolling in the S.H.I.E.L.D. training group the Hellions alongside her boyfriend, Julian Keller (whose code-name in this reality is Scion).
In this alternate world, mutants are the dominant species and Wind Dancer finds herself fighting her “New Mutants” teammates Prodigy and Surge to prevent them from aiding a human terrorist group. Later, they find out about Project Genesis, a terrible program in which humans are used for experimentation.
The Hellions and New Mutants decide to join forces to destroy the project and fight Sunfire, Emperor of Japan. However, when the focus shifts to the project's experimentations instead of exacting revenge on the human terrorists, a sadistic Wallflower uses her powers to manipulate the two teams to try to kill each other. Mercury, the only one immune to Wallflower's pheromones, stabs her to stop the chaos.
The story is left unfinished due to the restoration of "conventional" reality.
Too Much Information
In a telepathic dream sequence initiated by Danielle Moonstar and Emma Frost, Prodigy was able to witness firsthand a future reality that could occur should they remove the mental barriers that limit his knowledge absorbing powers.
In this possible future, Sofia had taken over her father's supermarket chain, Barrett's, as C.E.O. after Walter Barrett retired. During a press conference, Surge collected her and the other former New Mutants squad-mates to take down her husband Prodigy, who had been corrupted with power. As President of the United States, Prodigy intended to destroy China, the last remaining country to not align with the United States. In the process, he killed Cyclops and a group of X-Men and had imprisoned the New Mutants mentor, Danielle Moonstar. The former New Mutants teamed up with the rebel Hellions, who Prodigy had framed as terrorists, to take down David.
Sofia is revealed to have previously been married to Hellion, but the two had divorced as Hellion gradually moved towards a life of crime. However, the two ex-lovers agreed to team up and attempted to take down Prodigy and his guardsmen, the X.S.E. Sofia tried to confront Prodigy face-to-face, but he blasted her with a machine gun, sending her flying out of the building. Hellion rushed to her aid and lost focus of the battle before getting shot by Bishop. As Sofia died in his arms, Hellion unleashed an explosive blast of power against their attackers.
Age of X
Sofia was recruited to join Magneto in Fortress X by Nightmare (Megan Gywnn) along with Hellion and Onyxx. Her whereabouts during the storyline were unaccounted for and it is uncertain if she was indeed on Utopia during the reality warp.
Despite heavy early speculation, Sofia was not the Force Warrior Stand-Off, who was later revealed to be former Acolyte Carmella Unuscione.
Wind Dancer was created by writers Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir, and artist Keron Grant.