The X-Man title was originally only meant to be a 4-part mini series to replace the ongoing Cable title during the Age of Apocalypse cross-over, but due to the success and popularity of Nate Grey as a character the series continued and Nate was moved to Marvel's main universe, Earth-616.
Nate Grey first appeared in March 1995 in X-Man #1, created by writer Jeph Loeb and artist Steve Skroce. After the events of the Age of Apocalypse, Nate, Blink, and Morph were meant to become an X-Men team of their own but this never came to be. Thus, the Exiles were created and the X-Man title continued.
Major Story Arcs
Age of Apocalypse
Created in Earth-295, the alternate reality known as Age of Apocalypse, X-Man is one of only a handful to survive this reality's end. Mister Sinister genetically engineered X-Man, who was created to be the ultimate telepath and telekinetic, using DNA from his foster son Scott Summers (Cyclops) and the captured Jean Grey. X-Man was named Nathan Grey, after his creator, Mister Sinister, and Jean Grey. Nate was grown in a test tube in Sinister's lab, and was only let out every few years in order to test his growing progress. Even during these few instances where Nate was out of his test tube, Mister Sinister could see that he had enormous powers of telepathy and telekinesis that made him potentially the most powerful mutant on Earth. These incredibly high power levels convinced Mister Sinister that a "fail-safe" should be built into X-Man.
When Nate was in his teens, he managed to escape from his test tube, with some help from Scott Summers, and no memory of his origin. Nate was soon found by a group of mutant rebels, who were disguised as a theater troupe so that they could secretly help humans. The leader of this team was Forge, who Nate viewed as a father figure. Shortly after joining the rebel group, Nate grew disillusioned with life and his role in it. Nate wanted to know what his limits were, but was warned not to use his powers by Forge, who was worried that Apocalypse might take notice if he used his powers often. Nate was starting to rebel more and more, which resulted in two more members for the group of rebels: Teresa, a mutant with sonic powers, and the mysterious Essex, who claimed to have worked in Apocalypse's factories and now wanted to stop his former master.
Essex kept urging Nate to use his powers more and more, secretly fueling his rebellious feelings. As Forge had feared, Nate's power eventually attracted Apocalypse's pet telepath, the Shadow King. The Shadow King told Apocalypse of Nate, who then sent his personal assassins to either capture or kill Nate. Nate's group of friends managed to beat them after a few deaths on both sides. After the battle, Forge realized that Essex wasn't to be trusted, and confronted him. Essex killed Forge, then revealed that he was actually Mister Sinister in disguise, and told Nate of his origin. Sinister tried to convince Nate to go fight Apocalypse, but Nate attacked Mister Sinister and mortally wounded him.
Nate wanted to honor his foster father's final words, which were to find Magneto. Using his telepathic powers, Nate found Magneto - who was being tortured by Apocalypse. Nate then used his telekinetic powers to fly to Apocalypse's palace, just after saying goodbye to his lover, Teresa. Just as Nate arrived at Apocalypse's palace, he ran into Scott Summers and Jean Grey, his genetic parents, who were freeing prisoners. They both asked Nate to stay and help them, but Nate replied that he had to stop Apocalypse and would possibly catch up with them later. Before leaving them, Nate noticed that he and Jean both had a bond between them.
Nate managed to free Magneto, but was soon attacked by Apocalypse's son, Holocaust. Whilst this fight was going on, the X-Men were attempting to use the M'Kraan Crystal to go to the regular reality (Earth-616). Apocalypse had also a shard of the crystal, and was planning to use it to travel to different realities so that he could team up with his counterparts. Nate quickly stole the shard, then drove a piece of the M'Kraan Crystal into Holocaust's chest. Unexpectedly it brought them to the mainstream reality.
Upon entering Earth-616, Nate randomly landed in Switzerland. Nate thought he was still in the Age of Apocalypse, and was so distracted that he was hit by a truck. Nate saw a mother with some babies, and immediately felt reminded of Jean Grey. Nate also accidentally forced a man to subconsciously help him when he mistook the man for Forge. When the man (named Sven) took Nate to his home, Nate thought of Jean Grey again. A moment later, Nate was being covered with a blanket by Jean Grey's clone, Madelyne Pryor. Madelyne helped Nate adjust to the new environment of a world not ruled by Apocalypse. Although she didn't admit it, Madelyne was also amnesiac and in need of help. Another escapee from the Age of Apocalypse, named Sugar Man, had arrived in Earth-616, 20 years ago. Sugar Man ordered his henchman Rex to bring him Nate. Rex tracked down Sven in a bar and questioned him about Nate, before killing him. Nate managed to defeat Rex in a battle, although shortly afterward he felt drained of energy. Nate and Maddie were forced to flee to Paris. Madelyne admitted to Nate shortly afterward that she could remember being hurt by the X-Men, although she couldn't remember how. Unfortunately, the immortal mutant Selene lured Madelyne away from Nate, recognizing the potential for power and darkness.
With Maddie gone, Nate tried to adapt to his new life. He got a job on a boat and attempted to live like a normal person. But for unknown reasons, he kept having fits of weakness, alternating with bouts of hunger and thirst. One night, Nate realized that something was wrong with him, but before he could work it out, he was attacked by Rex once more. Nate was almost burning himself out with his powers when he was saved by another Age of Apocalypse escapee, Dark Beast. Dark Beast wanted Nate for himself, just as Sugar Man did. Dark Beast mentioned that Mister Sinister had not built Nate "to last" and offered a way around that. However, Nate didn't care, and simply mind-blasted Dark Beast before leaving.
Nate was unnerved by what Dark Beast had said, so he tried to find the X-Men and get their help. At the same time, Professor X was alerted to his presence by Blaquesmith, who had been studying Nate's readings ever since he dropped to Earth. Professor X also noticed that Nate could somehow shield himself from Cerebro, something which should be impossible. Professor X traveled to the astral plane to find X-Man, and successfully found him. Unfortunately, Nate's memories of Sinister's manipulations still fresh in his mind kept him from trusting anyone trying to "help" him with his powers. What's more, as Magneto was the leader of the X-Men in Nate's reality, he distrusted Professor X even more. Nate lashed out at Professor X, forcing the Professor to fake his death so that he wouldn't be attacked anymore.
Nate had a random encounter with Rogue, who was on a leave of absence from the X-Men at the time. As she was one of the leaders of the X-Men and Magneto's wife in Nate's reality, he trusted her, and helped her defeat the X-Cutioner. Rogue was surprised to find that Nate didn't trust Professor X, so brought him to Muir Island for examination. Nate's distrusting nature led to a short fight with Excalibur, who thought he was an intruder. After this matter was cleared up, Moira MacTaggert examined Nate. Moira discovered that Nate's powers would burn out and kill him when he was twenty-one at the latest.
Whilst Moira was learning this, Nate took a look around the Muir Island complex and was reminded of the pens in the Age of Apocalypse, as Muir Island was also used to imprison mutants. Nate mind-scanned Moira and learned of her connection to Xavier before lashing out again. Moira and the members of Excalibur managed to convince him they were on his side by letting him mind-scan them. Even so, Nate was still confused, and departed.
Nate then returned to Paris, intending to look for Madelyne. Whilst he was looking, he heard a telepathic call to himself. Nate followed it and found a young girl named Threnody, who was running from the Marauders. She used to be Mister Sinister's prisoner, before he made her his assistant. Threnody had noticed Nate's powerful energy signature and tried to hide it from Sinister. Once Nate learned that the Marauders worked for Sinister, he took them out with ease then left with Threnody in search of Maddie.
Whilst this was happening, Professor X had called up a meeting with Cable and Blaquesmith, to discuss what they should do about Nate. One point brought up was the similarity between Nate and Cable's clone, Stryfe. Nate had some differences to Cable though, as he didn't have the techno-organic virus which kept Cable's telekinetic powers in check. Blaquesmith decided that Nate was too powerful to exist in this reality and sent Cable to destroy him, before mind-wiping everyone so that they didn't know what he was doing. Cable tracked down Nate in Paris and followed him to the Swiss Alps.
All of a sudden, Cable's techno-organic virus went crazy, making Cable start to experience flashes of Nate's memories and vice-versa. Nate frantically cried out "Stop" and then the wind, snow, and birds all stopped. The weakened Nate and Threnody went into a nearby cottage, as Nate started to wonder why he had been attracted to Switzerland in the first place. The owner of the cottage suddenly arrived, it was Cable.
Nate immediately attacked him, believing that Cable was responsible for all his pain. In the middle of the fight, Cable and Nate were interrupted by Exodus, who wanted Nate's powers for himself. Working together, Cable and Nate managed to beat Exodus, but by now Nate was sick of this reality, as everyone wanted him for whatever reason. Blaquesmith then attempted to attack Nate, sending Nate into a rage that overloaded his powers and knocked him out. Cable then healed him, seeing something of himself in Nate. When Nate woke up, he was in a ski-lodge with Threnody. Nate was still suspicious of Threnody, and mind-scanned her. Nate realized that both he and Threnody had something in common: they were both victims of Mister Sinister, and their powers. After Nate attempted to take away one of the neuro-locks Mister Sinister had put on Threnody to control her power, the two of them were thrown out of the cabin.
Nate and Threnody took a break in the Mediterranean, which both of them enjoyed. Unknown to them, the mysterious villain Onslaught wanted Nate for his plans, and sent Holocaust after Nate. Holocaust attacked Nate, not caring about any harm he caused to innocents. Holocaust was also aware that Nate's powers could kill him, and told him that Onslaught could help him with this. Nate refused, so Holocaust kidnapped Threnody. Nate pretended to surrender, before activating Threnody's "death charge" which was enough to send Holocaust reeling. Holocaust then tried to capture Nate once more, but Nate was prepared and defeated Holocaust. Before he ran away, Holocaust told Nate that Onslaught would be coming for him. Nate realized that he might need help against this mysterious being, and so he went to contact the Avengers, not wanting the X-Men's help.
When Nate had fought Professor X on the astral plane earlier, he managed to tear the Professor's astral form from his body giving the psionic monster called Onslaught a chance to take over his body. This chance event set Onslaught loose into our world. Nate evaded capture by the Earth-616 Mister Sinister due to his unwittingly helping hand in freeing Onslaught. Before Sinister could do anything to Nate he was taken by Onslaught whose intention was to use Nate for his powers. Onslaught was eventually beaten in a world scale coordinated event by earth's mightiest heroes. Unfortunately many seemingly perished in the battle that ensued until their unlikely "resurrection" by the hands of Franklin Richards, who created a pocket dimension for them to live in. After the battle with Onslaught Nate was distraught. It appeared to Nate that everyone he met in this new world had used him for his powers.
While Nate had been part of the Onslaught crisis, Threnody had been seized by Mister Sinister's Marauders. Unfortunately, following this, she had been kidnapped by the Abomination, aka Emil Blonsky. It turned out that Threnody and Abomination had some past history together. Before Threnody had met Mister Sinister, she had been taken in by Abomination and his group of outsiders, but had accidentally killed some with her powers. Nate tracked down Threnody and saved her from Abomination, who warned him to be careful when around her.
While Nate and Threnody were spending a day together in Central Park, they ran into a phony clairvoyant whilst Nate showed off with his telepathic powers. The crowds loved Nate's act and Threnody decided that this could be a good business opportunity. Nate and Threnody also started dating, and secured an apartment for the two of them. Nate was still suspicious of her though, and tried reading her mind to see if she was still working for Sinister. To his surprise, Threnody herself didn't know for sure.
Unexpectedly, Nate was transported back to the Age of Apocalypse, although only for a few seconds. Nate found out that Sugar Man was the reason he had been transported, as Sugar Man wanted to use Nate's energies to go back to the Age of Apocalypse. Once there, Sugar Man planned to take a certain virus and use it to take over the world. Nate accidentally activated the trap, and was transported to the Age of Apocalypse with Sugar Man. There, he met younger versions of Magneto and Forge, who had been warned of Sugar Man's plans by a future version of Nate. Magneto, Forge and Nate managed to defeat Sugar Man, but afterward Nate wanted to stay, to prevent the worst horror from occurring in that timeline. Forge on the other hand, wanted Nate to go back to Earth-616 so that Nate could survive and have a good life. In the end, Forge tricked Nate into powering up the portal and going back to Earth-616.
Nate finally found out the truth about Madelyne Pryor when she returned, her memories and powers having been restored thanks to Selene and the Hellfire Club. With Jean Grey's help, Nate found out that he had subconsciously reached out for Jean (the closest he had to a mother) when he arrived in Earth-616, and given Madelyne's psychic ghost a physical form. Nate tried to get rid of Madelyne to put things right, but she then teleported away to the Hellfire Club before he could. As a result of this, Nate seemingly lost his telekinesis, and went to Moira MacTaggert for a checkup. However, his readings were exactly the same, and she figured that he was subconsciously suppressing his powers out of fear.
After his checkup with Moira, Havok and Fatale of the Brotherhood arrived and offered to help Nate get his telekinesis back. Nate was taken to a train and put in a chamber which slowly gave him his telekinesis back. However, upon reading Havok and Fatale's minds, Nate discovered that they hadn't told him about another member of the Brotherhood: Dark Beast. He also discovered that the Brotherhood wanted a deadly gas that was on-board the train, called CS-9 (or Coldsnap). Since he had already decided that he didn't want to work with Dark Beast, Nate destroyed all the Coldsnap at the risk of his life. After destroying the Brotherhood's Coldsnap, Nate was met by a group of three girls (called Bux, Jam and Marita), who had often seen him in the park performing his shows. The three girls and Nate started going clubbing, and during one of these nights, Nate was asked to sing.
Unfortunately, his performance was interrupted by a man called Jackknife. Jackknife had been one of the misfits with Abomination's crew, and had his psychic powers unlocked by Nate during Nate's battle with Abomination. Jackknife tried to kill Nate, blaming him for the voices in his head, but Nate managed to stop him. The police then arrived, trying to arrest Nate, but the crowd intervened on Nate's behalf.
The next day, Jam lost her arm in a motorbike accident. Whilst Nate, Bux and Marita were visiting her in hospital, Nate touched a medic, who somehow gained the power to heal people, and restored Jam's arm. The public heard about this, and some people began to view Nate as a messiah. Unfortunately, it didn't last long. After Nate failed to stop a terrorist attack at Madison Square Garden, the public started to hunt him. Nate found out that this was due to Zebediah Killgrave, better known as the Purple Man, who had subtly made people like Nate.
Purple Man was planning on harnessing Nate's power and using it to get his family back, before ruling the world. Luckily, Nate worked out that Purple Man's powers worked via pheromones, and could block them out with a telekinetic shield. Although he managed to defeat Purple Man, he still wasn't very popular. Jam's arm also disappeared, having turned out to be a psychic projection. After this encounter, Nate had a few more bad run-ins with people, this caused his general mistrust to grow even greater than before. Nate did all he could to avoid contact with anyone involved with the X-Men.
The Red Queen
But after a while Nate began to trust the people in this new world and even managed to bond with a few of them including the real Jean Grey and Cyclops and his alternate brother Cable. After a while he encountered the Goblin Queen again, when a huge telepathic wave disabled all active telepaths. He traveled with her for a while seeing that he was dependent on her much more that he was when he came to the new world. Then he found out that the Madelyne he was with was not even Madelyne Pryor. The person he was with was an alternate version of an evil Queen, Jean Grey that was the ruler of another dimension. She went to different worlds trying to find Nate Grey. She saw them as the ultimate telekinetic weapon. She took Nate back to her own dimension where he escaped and found another Nate Grey that was able to hide from the Queen as a shaman. He used his powers to hide. This stunned our Nate since the other Nate was just like him, his powers were meant to drain him and kill him.
But this Nate had a genetic brand that stopped his powers from killing him, a gift of the evil Queen that lured him to her. Together they tried to fight the Queen but in the end they switched traits. The other Nate was killed by the Queen and the Nate from Earth-616 got the genetic brand that stopped his powers from killing him. No longer having to hold back he lashed out and killed the evil Queen.
Shaman of the Mutant Tribe
After the defeat of the evil Queen, Nate set out to make a difference in the world and considered himself a Mutant Shaman, a teaching he embraced from the alternate version of himself. Nate became immensely powerful, and had few qualms about using his power to mete out justice to his fellow mutants. He then met with the personalities of Idris and dealt with and stopped the madman Qabiri from destroying all alternate earths on the Spiral of Earths. Qabiri was a being from an alternate Earth far upspiral, he wanted to destroy every earth below his on the Spiral of Earths because he feared that someone from these lower earths would one day invade his earth and bring it to ruin. Qabiri succeeded in destroying several alternate earths before Nate was able to stop him. Finally, he confronted the Harvester, an alien sent to Earth to insinuate his genetic code into all living cells on the planet so that his people could harvest the resulting energy.
To save the world from destruction, Nate merged himself with the Harvester, in essence "contaminating" the cells of Earth with his presence, and dissipating both of them across the globe. Dark Beast commented that the peculiar circumstances of X-Man's demise would theoretically allow him to be restored to life.
After an incident of mysterious origin, and meaning (the third of its kind), where many civilians nearly walked towards a cliff, while constantly, and simultaneously repeating “I am an X-Man”, occurred in a small town in California, and caught the attention of the press, Norman Osborn decided to dispatch his Dark X-Men squad, compiled by Mystique (in the guise of the deceased, Jean Grey), Dark Beast, Weapon Omega and Mimic, to investigate further, and re-assure the public that they are up to the challenge.
Arriving at Burton, California , the Dark X-Men went on to visit one of the previously “possessed” individuals, Mr. Fenner, who seemed unable to provide more insight as to the nature of the event. It was then, that power of vast levels was channeled through Fenner to Weapon Omega, who, overwhelmed from it, went on a rampage, and Mimic, who caught a glimpse of his future by temporarily gaining a form of precognition. Soon enough, energy was being expelled from within Fenner, energy that soon started to take human shape, but was still unable to manifest itself completely.
The energy form remarked on how he wished to act like an individual again, and managed to focus on the two remaining Dark X-Men inside the room, Mystique (still in the shape of Jean Grey) and Dark Beast. The form said he recognized Dark Beast “from home” and proceeded to call the stunned Mystique “mother”. Once Mystique was unable to recognize the being that stood before her, the mysterious form said he would try and focus in order to bring himself together for a moment.
It was then that the true identity of the energy being was revealed. It was none other than Nate Grey, X-Man, who pleaded to the one who perceived to be his mother (Jean) for help, so that he "could make it back home".
After identifying himself to the stunned duo, Nate insisted that his “mother” be warned that the man standing next to her was not the true Henry McCoy, and that he would suffer his presence no longer. Lashing out his power, he attacked Dark Beast, only to be halted by Mystique. Nate then expressed his confusion as to how Dark Beast had “Jean” fooled for his true nature and asked “his mother” why she had psychic baffles up against him.
Improvising quickly, Mystique told Nate the world he knew had changed massively, and that even she could not be certain that he truly was the one he claimed to be. X-Man then stated that he was trying to be complete once again, but the energy levels he had just expended, and that his mere presence there required, was too much to bear. He reassured “Jean” that it was truly him, and instructed her not to trust anyone until he returns. Then, he vanished once again. After his departure, Dark Beast commented that “an Omega level mutant, a living god returned to the mortal world”.
Back to their headquarters, Osborn briefed the Dark X-Men for X-Man, and gave an outline of his powers, abilities, and past history. He also expressed a view that X-Man could go toe to toe with the Sentry, something he (Osborn) labels as a sign of utmost importance, as to the power levels of a potential threat. Moreover, considering X-Man an omega level threat, and a dangerous extremist, he wished to capture, and place him within the Omega Machine. The Dark X-Men then headed towards the H.A.M.M.E.R psi-division, to consult a team of psychics, in order to track X-Man once again.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, X-Man was still struggling to regain his previous identity, slowly remembering who he used to be. Embracing the constant pain he was experiencing, and driven from the thought of his mother in danger, and his people (the mutant kind) being in need of his abilities, he was slowly preparing his return to the real world.
In the meantime, Mystique instructed Dr. Jarl, headmaster of the H.A.M.M.E.R psi-division department, for a complete scan of the human unconscious in order to locate a mutant presence there. Focusing his own mind, and amplifying his power through the mind power of the many other assembled individuals, the scan begun. The scan was indeed successful. Little did Jarl know however, that X-Man, the target, would begin absorbing the power from the energy targeted at him, causing him, and all the participating individuals, to faint, their minds completely blank. It was Dark Beast, who after the examination of a psychic’s mind, came to a very shocking conclusion: X-Man had not only absorbed energy from Jarl’s brain, but he also used it to get up to date with everything during his absence. The Civil War, the Skrull invasion and Dark Reign, and the mastermind behind it all: Norman Osborn. Needless to say, he was not happy.
Upon learning the situation at hand, Nate did not hesitate in the least, and straightforwardly attacked . Venom was the first to stand in his way. Easily defeating him, Nate came face to face with his true target: Norman Osborn and his team of Dark Avengers, while the Dark X-Men were on their way, as well. Completely unimpressed, Nate sarcastically bowed to them, before coming closer in order to have words with Bob Reynolds, a.k.a. the Sentry, with whom, it appeared, Nate had shared many adventures in the past, against beings such as the Brood, Galactus, and even the Void. Upset by those words, the Sentry set off from the scene, and after a further warning by Nate towards the Dark Avengers, the actual battle commenced.
Nate easily held up against Daken, Moonstone and Bullseye, and even commented on this, but Ares’ godlike nature caused him trouble. At that point, the battle was intercepted by Weapon Omega and Mimic, who touched Nate in order to copy his power and catch a glimpse of his future. Nate allowed this, and demonstrated to him his own viewpoint of the world: viewing people, and their possible future, across time. Nate offered to Mimic the opportunity to assist him in “what he was about to do next” yet their exchange came to an abrupt end when Ares, who was apparently unaffected by Nate’s abilities, engaged him in battle once more. With the battle taking place out of time, in the “plank length” between moments, Ares finally restrained Nate, who, as a last move, let Mimic return to normal time again, before passing out.
It was Osborn who first tried to get close to Nate, only to be caught in the midst of an explosion, generated from Nate’s very body, which disintegrated as a result. Osborn was apparently unaffected by this, and his equipment verified Nate’s death. Shortly afterward, Mystique stormed into Osborn’s office, with a list of demands. Osborn questioned why he should comply with them, and Mystique revealed that she knew his secret: that Nate had in fact faked his death and possessed Osborn’s body.
Admitting it, Nate revealed himself to Mystique, but completely turned the situation around, by accusing her for coming to him with demands, and not as one mutant to another. Nate was in the process of explaining how he intended to alter the situation Osborn had previously established, when, apparently, he fell into shock, struggling to retain control of Osborn’s body, and even commenting that Osborn’s mind was stronger than he expected. His effort to retain control was successful.Continuing his exchange with Mystique, and despite her deceptive behavior towards him, Nate gave her the opportunity to escape. Mystique, unwilling to let go of what she had done already, immediately informed the rest of the Dark X-Men. After consulting with them, they decided to once again visit the H.A.M.M.E.R psi department, this time in an attempt to enter Osborn’s mind, free him from Nate’s control, and prove their allegiance to him.
Contacting Alex Jarl, the head psychic of the psi department, the Dark X-Men were accepted into the re-assembled hive mind. Finally, their goal to project their consciousnesses into Osborn’s mind succeeded. In the meantime, a battle for control was occurring in another part of Osborn’s mind, with appearing to be prevalent. It was then, that in a stroke of genius and insight (or, better still, foresight) Nate revealed that not only did he knew the Dark X-Men’s ploy, but was anticipating it all along, and had guided them into the one spot in Osborn’s mind that he wanted no one to see: the Green Goblin. Because of his battle with Nate, the inner defenses restraining the Goblin persona had weakened. In turn, while Osborn was trying to contain it again, he was left vulnerable to Nate’s attacks. Either way, the mutant Shaman checkmated Osborn. But the consciousnesses of the Dark X-Men were under the danger that the Goblin was.
Unfortunately for Nate, his plan didn't turn out as well as he had thought it would. Norman Osborn explained that whilst the Green Goblin was a darker side of him, it had enough sense to know when they had common interests at hand. The Green Goblin then used Norman's forceful will to combine the powers of Mimic and Omega, who then sucked all of the psychic energy out of Nate, forcing him out of Osborn's mind.
A bit later, Osborn gave Nate a few last words to say to the Dark X-Men before taking him to use in the Omega Machine. Nate then said to the Dark X-Men that they never decided whether they wanted to be heroes or villains, but that if they had come to him as equals, and asked for his help, he could have given them what they wanted. Before he can say more, Osborn takes Nate away to be put in the Omega machine, just as Mystique realizes what a mistake they made in not helping Nate.
After reorganizing the New Mutants under Dani Moonstar's lead, Cyclops tasks them with their first mission to find Nate and bring him home. Nate is found in Manhattan fighting the Avengers, but it is later revealed that he is still trapped hooked up to the Omega machine in an abandoned H.A.M.M.E.R facility under the sadistic supervision of Sugar Man.
It turns out that Sugar Man is using Nate as a power source to open portals to other realities in hope of finding the reality in which both Nate and Sugar Man hail from (The Age of Apocalypse). But after loosing one of his new Mutate minions to the vicious creatures of one reality the New Mutants bust into his base to complete their mission to bring Nate Home to the X-Men.
The New Mutants make quick work of Sugar Man's new Mutate lackeys, and while Dani is going toe-to-toe with Sugar Man himself, Cypher and Warlock try to figure out a way to unplug Nate from the Omega Machine. Douge and Warlock quickly deduce that they must be careful or Nate will die. While they figure this out Nate realizes that Sugar Man won't give up until he goes back home to the Age of Apocalypse. So he force feeds the Omega Machine his power which opens a portal home for Sugar Man. Sugar Man hops through and Dani manages to subdue him and bring him back to the 616 and hands him over to Steve Rogers.
The New Mutants, along with Nate, return back to Utopia to get Nate medical attention. It is there that Cyclops and Dani discuss that Nate burned out most of his power and right now he just has "residual" TK. Cyclops is confident that Nate will adapt to his new power level, like Dani did, but Dani says she's a special case. Cyclops then goes in and says even though the two had never been close, you can't turn your back on family and says that Utopia will be his home whenever he needs it. Nate than makes the comment that it seems that people will go to any lengths to go "home".
Dani Moonstar invites one of her old friends, psychiatrist Gus Grim, to Utopia to start doing psyche evaluations and therapy for her squad. The two witness Nate training in the Danger Room and his struggles to lift even the simplest objects. Nate is frustrated because he knows he can do better but the computer won't put him in a combat situation. Gus also notices that Hope is watching Nate and Dani tries her best to explain Cable, Hope and Nate's past and connection. Gus suggests that they let him do the combat scenarios and that it will be good for him to see his limitations.
They allow him and he quickly becomes overcome by the robots only to be saved at the last minuet by Hope. Hope compares their two situations and tells her that Cable taught her all the skills she needed to survive in the world. She asked is she could teach Nate some of the lessons that Cable taught her. Nate smiles and says he would like that.
Dani gets a distress call from Hela, who is currently under attack in her realm of Hel, and when her plane goes down the New Mutants try to decide what to do. Nate believes they should stay and help the X-Men battle the Juggernaut, who is currently under the influence of The Serpent. But together with Cypher, Magma, Sunspot and Warlock they decided to save Dani.
The five go to ask Magik for help but her answers are cryptic. When Nate angrily tries to get an answer from her, Magik seems to taken a strange interest/creepy interest in him. She gives them the means to travel to Hel and help Dani. Though through a mishap on Cypher's part in the magic ritual they end up in Hell instead of Hel. Mephisto greets the New Mutants and welcomes them to Hell. Nate tell Doug to fix the spell and believes that the group just entered another dimension instead of "Hell". Both Mephisto and Sunspot tell him differently and Nate jokingly asks if Mephisto is "The Devil". Mephisto claims he is and that "Mephisto" is more user friendly and the term "The Devil" creates negative brand reinforcement.
Mephisto, being a man of wealth and taste as well as wanting some satisfaction, offers to help them out. Sunspot attacks him and Mephisto loses his temper but Sunspot is saved when Magma uses her powers to get them to stop. Mephisto now interested, offers to transport to Hel, on the condition that Magma goes out on a date with him. The boys try to protest but she agrees. Mephisto smiles and says she'll call her and with a snap of his finger he sends the group off to Hel to help Dani.
When the New Mutants finally arrived in Helheim, the palace of Hel, they found they were too late for their original rescue mission. Having met up with Dani Moonstar the team discovered Hela, the queen of Hel, seemingly dead nailed to the roof. The New Mutants lowered Hela's body then stood watch awaiting the arrival of her killers, the Draumar. Nate stood watch alongside Sunspot, and confessed how useless he felt since losing control of his powers, admitting that he was just a burden upon the team. Sunspot then told Nate of a technique he used when first learning to use his own powers, suggesting that it may help Nate regain some control over his lost power.
When the Draumar reached the halls of Helheim the New Mutants soon found that they were no match in their normal state. It was around this time the Hela revealed herself to not truly be dead. In order for the New Mutants to combat the Draumar, Hela granted the team Asgardian weapons and armor. During the fight Nate applied the technique Sunspot had told him about, and for the first time since losing control of his powers, Nate was able to unleash a powerful telekinetic blast to repel the Draumar.
Mid-combat Nate noticed that the Draumar were greatly repelled by Warlock's very touch. Realizing that the Draumar's only weakness was their fear of things unknown to them, Nate devised a plan to show the memories of his entire life to the Draumar, but due to the fact he still couldn't access his telepathy he needed Hela to broadcast his thoughts. Nate's plan had worked as the Draumar were unable to reference what they had been shown, loosing their grip on reality the Draumar began to blister and shred into feathers. Having won the day Hela sent the New Mutants back to Utopia without so much as a thank you, but ultimately Nate Grey had earned his place among the team.
Nate appeared in Fearless Defenders #9, where he proved that his powers are still growing by showing that he could simultaneously fight and hold a conversation with Dani.
After that, he made no appearances, save in flashbacks with Cable, until 2018's Uncanny X-Men, where he returned, with his full powers restored, leading the Horsemen of Salvation, who he ordered to destroy the X-Men. He is currently on a quest with his Horsemen to save the world by any means necessary, remaking it by force.
- Height: 5'10''
- Weight: 135 lbs.
- Eyes: Blue
- Hair: Brown with a white streak
- Known Relatives: Scott Summers (Cyclops, genetic donor father), Jean Grey (Phoenix, genetic donor mother), Nathan Summers (Cable, alternate reality half-brother), Rachel Grey (Marvel Girl, alternate timeline sister) Hope Summers (adoptive niece)
Powers and Abilities
X-Man is a confirmed Omega-level mutant. Upon examination by Moira Mactaggert, she suggested his psionic powers rival that of Jean Grey when imbued with the Phoenix Force. He was measured as having a psionic energy output matching that of the Dark Phoenix.
Nate's powers are apparently restored. Until recently, he only had an echo of his former telekinesis, struggling to lift even the smallest objects, with all his other powers have seemingly vanished. Though his powers have come in gone in the past, dire life threatening situations have been shown to jump-start Nate's powers - once he lost his Telekinesis, and he sought out Moira Mactaggert and she tricked him into a life or death situation and his Telekinesis came back in response.
During the New Mutants time in Hel, Sunspot taught Nate a technique of focusing his powers. Nate dubbed this technique 'X marks the spot'. By using this technique Nate was able to regain a large amount of his telekinetic power, enough to hold off two Asgardian demons, the Draumar. He also demonstrated low level telepathy, being able to gain the control of the minds of animals, like a velociraptor, and hold a psionic link with the mind of a future tech-enhanced Cypher.
Now, his abilities to tap into the virtually unlimited psychic resources of the astral plane in order to manipulate matter and energy are restored. This grants him incredible psychic powers including telepathy and telekinesis.
He can use his telepathy to read minds and even read residual thought imprints that have been left on objects touched by people, communicate with others by broadcasting his thoughts, control minds, scan and alter the memories of others, create illusions by altering the perceptions of others, fire psionic blasts that can scramble an opponent's thought processes (causing either intense pain, unconsciousness, or death), give substance to astral energy to solidify psychic forms, project his mind into the astral plane and even pull the astral projections of other telepaths into the physical world, and sense dimensional rifts or anomalies.
Nate possessed telepathy of the first order and was unmatched by any other telepath. His telepathy proved great enough in power and scope as to allow him to read thoughts across vast distances, and even interface with multiple minds, simultaneously. His telepathy was so great that even while inexperienced and weakened, his powers enabled him to easily block and even overcome telepaths such as Charles Xavier. He was even able to hide his mind from Cerebro, which is impossible for even the strongest mutants to accomplish. Most recently, he has demonstrated the ability to communicate with every person on the planet simultaneously, without discernible effort, a feat that both Cassandra Nova and Jean Grey could only manage with technological enhancement. He was also controlling Magneto, and possibly the other three Horsemen of Salvation, at the time.
Nate's telepathy also allows him to understand or translate any language. Nate has also displayed amazing feats in precognition, clairvoyance, and time manipulation. In one instance, he stepped outside the flow of time and into Planck Time. Here, he was able to view the future in all of its possible variations; Nate himself claimed that he had over 300 ways of seeing the future.
Nate's telekinesis is so powerful that he can move massive objects with his mind, fire blasts of psychokinetic energy that can shatter steel (his upper limit is unknown; he was shown to be easily capable of shattering the Moon or destroying all of Asia), create mental barriers that can stop even the most powerful of attacks (including energy beams capable of destroying planets), and levitate himself to fly at supersonic speeds. His control over his telekinesis is so acute he can create holograms by mentally manipulating water molecules and dust to refract light, bend security lasers around himself to avoid detection, make himself or others invisible by bending light waves, and even move the atoms of a wall around his own so that he passes through the wall like a ghost.
He can even use his telekinesis to channel the Earth's magnetic field through the electro-currents of his brain to create devastating Electro-Magnetic Pulses (EMPs) and even psionically isolate the entire planet's gravitational pull.
Nate could also use his telekinesis to transport himself to any location and even into other dimensions by mentally bending the dimensional barriers that separate one reality from another. Nate was capable of very fine control over objects down to the molecular level. He could telekinetically move the chemicals in someone's brain around, disassemble complex devices explosively (separating every last component, such as screws, nuts, circuit boards, etc.), and just as quickly and easily assemble complex devices.
This also enabled him to even attain awareness and control over objects as small as individual electrons in an atom. For instance, Nate could detect if a seal was hermetic or not, by checking for the presence of penetrating oxygen molecules. He could even detect and discern individual oxygen molecules, and determine the atomic weight of molecules, by the amount of atoms present. Nate also has the ability to direct his telekinetic powers inwards to grant himself superhuman physical attributes.
After becoming one with Earth, X-Man has ascended to a higher state of existence. Nate is now able to exist as a being of pure psionic energy, unrestrained by the boundaries of the physical world. He is also capable of physical reconstitution by absorbing psionic energy to reform his body if he desires. Along with learning to rebuild his physical form, X-Man's heightened state of existence has allowed him to convert his body into pure psychic energy and possess people. He used this power to possess Norman Osborn. While possessing someone, he can also explore their mind from the inside. It is possible that if he possesses a mutant, he can use their powers along with his own.
An alternate version of Jean Grey, "Queen Jean", described Nate Grey as the ultimate telekinetic with the statement: "It is what all Nate Greys have been on every earth".
Nate also possesses some degree of skill in acting and showmanship, which he learnt from his time with Forge's Outcasts. Nate employed these skills to his and Threnody's benefit during their time in Washington Square.
During his time with the New Mutants, Nate was shown to be a capable pilot of the Blackbird aircraft.
Mainstream Universe (Earth-616)
Cable is largely accepted as Nate's mainstream counterpart, as it has been stated that they share an identical genetic structure. This has lead to an enormous and painful telepathic feedback for them both whenever they are in close proximity to one another. Both of their origins and purposes also share similar traits, both of the births/creations had been orchestrated by Mr. Sinister in some way, and both had found purpose in destroying Apocalypse. Since Cable is X-Man's 616 counterpart it can be assumed that alternate versions of Cable can also be considered alternate versions of Nate Grey.
In this world mutants and humans have agreed to coexist with one another. Professor X expanded his grounds to every police officer on US, who were lead by Jean Grey and Scott Summers. While Xavier’s dream flourished the other sub-humans were not so content. During an attack on the new police officers who were composed of the ex-X-Men and Prime Sentinels, Wolverine received a major brain injury and became a super-terrorist. Storm reformed the X-Men with Pyschedelia, David Chan, A.I Sarah (a prime sentinel) and X-Man, Nate Grey.
Red Queen (Earth-998)
The reality the Red Queen conquered. In this world Nate was genetic failure and his powers fluctuated and eventually switched places with the real Nate, also giving him the genetic brand that prevented him from burning away. He was killed by the Red Queen when she discovered it was not the real Nate she was looking for. The Red Queen also showed multiple other Nate Grey(s) she had 'collected' from various other realities.
During the Ages of Apocalypse event one of the realities that were created was a universe where Professor X led the mutant skulls. In this reality Nate had never became a shaman, his powers never destroyed him and lived to become an aged member of the X-Man. In this reality Nate had grown to look greatly in appearance to Cable even being mistaken for him by an elderly Sunfire.
Nate never became a shaman and instead became a pacifist and anti-war maniac, destroying any weapon he saw could hurt humanity, the X-Men tried to stop him.
Mutant X (Earth-1298)
In Earth X, Sinister was unable to obtain Cyclops' DNA and instead used Havok, however the result was a set of twins. When Professor X attacked the world, Sinister lost track of the children and the next time he found them they were in a facility held by a benevolent Apocalypse from Sinister evil ways. He sent both Gambit and Bloodstorm to recover the children, upon returning Sinister said he didn’t need the girl and was about to kill her when Gambit fought him and using his new vampiric nature won and took the girl who he named Raven. Sinister accelerated the boy's growth and dubbed him X-Man, whom he later used as a weapon against his foes.
This is an alternate version of the Age of Apocalypse (in which Legion had killed both Xavier and Magneto) and Nate Grey here is rather known as Nate Summers. Twenty years after Professor X and Magneto's deaths, Nate leads an alternate version of the Defenders to confront Apocalypse. When the team finds out the truth about their reality following Doctor Strange's sacrifice, they vow not to change the past but defeat Apocalypse in the present.
After the team finally vanquishes Apocalypse, this Nate took the Eye of Agamotto from Brother Voodoo and stole Apocalypse's armor in order to attempt to correct the timeline.
Captain America confronts him and fires a lightning bolt from Mjolnir, which not only kills Nate but also hundreds of others across the time portal he had opened.
The Nate Grey of this universe went by the codename of Professor X. This Nate was one of the three most powerful beings of this reality, along with Thor and Nicola Zeitgeist, together they were apart of the team the People's Protectorate. When the villain Qabiri sought to destroy this reality the People's Protectorate opposed him, unfortunately the team failed and the reality was destroyed with only Nicola Zeitgeist surviving having been saved by the real Nate Grey.
A world where Nate Grey fought against an evil Nathan Summers (Stryfe). Locked in combat the two ultimately destroyed themselves from the massive power feedback, tragically half of the earth was also destroyed.
Amalgam Universe (Earth-9602)
Jericho is the amalgam of Nate Grey and the DC hero Joseph Wilson. Jericho is a Metamutant and a member of X-Patrol. He is a younger version of Niles Cable (amalgam of Cable and The Chief).
Nate Grey appeared as a playable character in the PSP version of X-Men Legend II.