Real Name: Xi'an Coy Manh
Search for 'Karma (Marvel)' on Amazon
Karma is a mutant with the ability to project a psionic energy surge that overwhelms the consciousness of another; this renders the victim unconscious, while placing her own mind in command. It allows her to alter the victim's perceptions and memories, command entranced opponents to divulge information, and/or operate their bodies as if they were an extension of her own.
Karma had also begun developing other telepathic abilities that were either latent or triggered by her use by the Shadow King. She is also able to generate a psionic deflector shield that disrupts incoming psi-signatures, protecting her from all manner of psychic assaults.
Karma is also a capable combatant with medieval weapons (particularly swords), due to the extended period of time she spent in Asgard. She is also familiar with first aid and firearms owing to her time in Vietnam.
Shan’s origins are rooted in tragedy. Her father was a colonel in the South Vietnamese army, who was forced to bring his wife and four children on missions. When Shan's brother, Tran Coy Manh, was attacked by a Viet Cong soldier, Shan’s power of mind possession emerged to protect him. Tran soon exhibited the identical power, and relished in using it cruelly. While Tran was rescued from the throes of war by their crime-lord uncle, General Nguyen Ngoc Coy, Shan escaped on a small, cramped, boat with hundreds of others, including her parents and her younger brother and sister, Leong and Nga. Shan’s father was killed by Thai pirates on the way to the United States; she and her mother were raped by the pirates and her mother died shortly thereafter.
Arriving in New York City, a program to help Vietnamese immigrants run by the Catholic priest Father Michael Bowen (Dagger’s uncle), helped Karma find work and an apartment. However, General Coy insisted she use her powers in his service, as Tran was already doing, and kidnapped Leong and Nga when she refused. "Possessing" Spider-Man, she attempted to use him to reclaim the children from a party her uncle was holding, before the Fantastic Four intervened and Tran (without realizing she was in control of Spider-Man) forced her out of Spider-Man's mind in possessing him long enough for the Thing to knock him out. With technical aid from Professor X, the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man tracked her down. After an initial misunderstanding, they agreed to help her reclaim the children, but Tran possessed the Fantastic Four and set them against Spider-Man. Finally, Shan lashed out, absorbing her brother completely and taking the name "Karma". It should be noted that at this point Karma's powers doubled after this absorption, thereby making her more powerful than she was at this point in time.
Reed Richards referred Karma to Professor X, and she became his first recruit for his new team of mutant teenagers, the New Mutants. Karma had been working a full-time job to support herself and her siblings, and so agreed to work as Xavier’s secretary to help him run the school in return for a generous salary.
Karma was the New Mutants' first leader, but the team believed her dead after a fight with Viper and the Silver Samurai. Instead, another mutant telepath, Amahl Farouk, whose physical body was killed in a battle with Professor X on the astral plane, took Karma as a host body. Possessed by Farouk, she engaged in rampant criminal activity and ran a gladiatorial arena, where she came to the New Mutants’ attention when two of them (Sunspot and Magma) had been forced to participate in the high-stakes gladiatorial competition.
Eventually she was rescued by the other New Mutants, but a side-effect of the possession had left her grossly obese, as Farouk was a large eater in life, and continued his voracity when using Karma's body. The New Mutants and the X-Man Storm take a vacation on a small Greece island. Karma isolates herself, not even wanting to eat, angrily berating Storm then crying in her arms.
Due to a previous defeat at the hands of the X-Men, the Asgardian Trickster God Loki sends the Enchantress to kidnap the X-Men. Thinking, because of Storm, the New Mutants were the X-Men, the team and Karma are taken. Magik attempts to teleport everyone away, but her powers interact badly with the Enchantress' spells. Everyone but Magik is tossed through space and time. Karma ends up in a desert wasteland, where she decides to lay down and die. However, she happens upon a young child and decides she must live for her sake. Karma uses her powers to stun the wildlife, allowing them both to survive. By the time she meets up with the other New Mutants again, she had lost all the additional weight (and in fact was more shapely than ever) and her hair had grown to waist-length. The child had vanished, a twist of fate manifested by the Norns.
Father Bowen, Karma's confessor, cared for Leong and Nga during Karma's absence, but she resumed caring for the youths upon her return to the New Mutants. During the Mutant Massacre, though, Karma fears for her siblings’ safety after witnessing many Morlock casualties at the hands of the Marauders. Leong and Nga had in fact gone missing and Karma’s apartment was mysteriously bombed. The Xavier School’s current headmaster, Magneto, was unable to locate the missing children, even with the resources of the Hellfire Club at his disposal. Believing she must be more proactive in finding the kidnapped children, Karma left the New Mutants.
Karma reluctantly accepted work for her uncle, General Nguyen Coy, in Madripoor in exchange for help in locating her siblings. In Madripoor, she officially opposed, but often covertly helped the X-Man Wolverine who she knew from her days at the X-Mansion. General Coy strung Karma along for several months with promises of finding the children, but she eventually left him for his lack of scruples.
Karma continued her search independently, and as it turned out, the children had been abducted by Shinobi Shaw and sold to Viper and Spiral, intent on sending the children through the “Body Shop”. With the aid of Cannonball and Beast, Karma finally located and freed Leong and Nga.
Karma reunited with the original New Mutants for a minor adventure in which they met their past selves traveling to the present. Karma evidenced expanded telepathic powers in this appearance, specifically removing the memories of the older New Mutants from the minds of the younger ones. These abilities have not been seen since. Interestingly, Karma’s next appearance was a 180 degree turn. The straitlaced, devout, modest, and humble girl who formerly went to confession weekly was no more. Instead, when she happened upon X-Force at the Colossal Man Festival (a thinly veiled homage to the Burning Man Festival), she appeared scantily clad with close-cropped pink hair and a devil-may-care attitude. This appearance was extremely controversial at the time.
Later still, she moved to Chicago with Leong and Nga and took a job as a librarian for the University of Chicago while attending classes. There, she ran into Kitty Pryde and assisted her in her mission against the anti-mutant hate group, Purity. Around this time she publicly came out as a lesbian and confessed her undying love to Kitty.
Months afterwards, Danielle Moonstar, another ex-New Mutant, dropped by the University of Chicago while trying to recruit Prodigy to the renamed Xavier Institute. Her siblings became friends with Prodigy, even trying to run a harmless scam on him. Prodigy was not fooled, due to his powers. Ultimately, Karma decided to return to Xavier's, where she served as the librarian and mentor to the students less than fifteen years of age (thus too young to be assigned to squads). She was specifically chosen as a mentor by the younger student Anole.
When Rahne Sinclair left the Xavier Institute due to a romance with a younger student, her position as advisor of the Paragons squad was left to Karma. Upon the (temporary) death of Northstar, Karma also became the advisor to his squad, the Alpha Squadron. Magma eventually took over duties as the advisor of the Paragons, yet that still left Karma as the librarian, French teacher, and advisor to the Lower School and Alpha Squadron.
Karma retained her powers after M-Day. The school's population was drastically reduced and the squad system was abolished. Currently, she continues to reside at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, though she is not part of an X-Men team. As of Decimation, the whereabouts of her younger brother and sister, Leong and Nga, are unclear.
Created by Chris Claremont & Frank Miller.
First Appearance: Marvel Team-Up (1972) #100
Karma (Marvel) is a favorite character of 13 users
View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
Age Of Apocalypse (2012)
#14 All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2006)
- 'X-Termination, Part 3'
#5 All-New X-Factor (2014)
- 'Gorgon to Jury'#9
- 'Puppet Master to Shamrock'
#6 All-New X-Men (2013)
- '"Do not disturb me."'
Amazing X-Men (2014)
#6 Astonishing X-Men (2004)
- 'All in the Family Part 1'
Avengers Vs. X-Men (2012)
#1 Breaking Into Comics the Marvel Way! (2010)
- 'Bad Karma'#2
- 'Body Shopping'#3
- 'Closing Shop'
Dark Avengers (2009)
#8 Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus (2009)
- 'Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia, Part 5'
#1 Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia (2009)
- 'Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia, Conclusion'
Decimation: House of M - The Day After (2006)
Fallen Angels (1987)
#1 Heroic Age: X-Men (2011)
- 'I'll Take the High Road and I'll take the Low Road'
Marvel Age (1983)
Marvel Comics (2019)
#1000 Marvel Encyclopedia (2014)
- 'Marvel Comics #1000'
Marvel Graphic Novel (1982)
#4 Marvel Limited: Frank Miller's Spider-Man (1994)
- 'Marvel Graphic Novel: The New Mutants: Renewal'
HC Marvel Masterworks: The Black Panther (2010)
- 'The Complete Frank Miller Spider-Man'
Marvel Tales (1964)
Marvel Team-Up (1972)
Marvel's Mightiest Heroes (2013)
#1 Nation X (2010)
- 'Prime Suspect!'#5
- 'Bad Moon Rising'#6
- 'Memento Mori'
New Avengers (2015)
#18 New Mutants (2003)
- '...And One For Your Dreams'
#4 New Mutants (2009)
- 'Freaks & Geeks'#5
- 'Not One of Us'#6
- '(Just Like) Starting Over'#7
- 'The Ties That Bind, Part 1: Higher Learning'#8
- 'The Ties That Bind, Part 2: Parents Week'#9
- 'The Ties That Bind, Part 3'#10
- 'The Ties That Bind, Part 4: A Few Small Repairs'#11
- 'The Ties That Bind, Part 5: Shy Girls'#12
- 'The Ties That Bind, Part 6: One of Us'#13
- 'The More Things Change...'
#1 New Mutants Saga (2009)
- 'Return of the Legion, Part 1: We Were Many, Once'#2
- 'Return of Legion, Part 2: Security Blankets'#3
- 'Return of Legion, Part 3: Cognitive Therapy'#4
- 'Return of the Legion, Part 4: Invasive Surgery'#5
- 'Necrosha: New Mutants, Chapter 1: Dead Language'#7
- 'Necrosha: New Mutants, Chapter 2: Trojan'#8
- 'Necrosha: Part 3'#9
- 'International Incident'#11
- 'Hel's Valkyrie'#12
- 'Second Coming: Chapter 3'#15#17#18#19#20
- 'Rise of the New Mutants: Part 1'#25
- 'Unfinished Business Part 1'#27
- 'Unfinished Business 3 of 3'#28#33#44
- 'Out of Season'#46
- 'All Present and Correct'#47
- 'Fight the Future Part One'#48#50
- 'House Party!'
nn New Mutants Special Edition (1985)
- 'The New Mutants Saga'
#1 New Mutants: Truth or Death (1997)
- 'Home Is Where The Heart Is'
#1 New X-Men (2004)
- 'Truth or Death'#2
- 'Family Matters'#3
- 'Letting Go'
#4 New X-Men: Academy X Yearbook (2005)
- 'Field Day'#5
- 'Above the Law'#7
- 'Haunted: Part 1'#8
- 'Haunted: Part 2'#9
- 'Haunted: Part 3'#13
- 'Into The Light'#14
- 'Dance Hall Days'#15
- 'School's Out Forever'#24
- 'Crusade, Part 1'#32
- 'Whatever Happened to Wither?'
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Wolverine 2004 (2004)
Origins of Marvel Comics: X-Men (2010)
Secret Wars II (1985)
#7 Special Edition X-Men (1983)
- 'Charge of the Dark Brigade!'#8
- 'God in Man, Man in God!'
The Marvel Encyclopedia (2006)
HC The New Mutants (1983)
- 'The Marvel Encyclopedia'
The New Mutants: Dead Souls (2018)
#1 The New Warriors (1990)
- 'Chapter 1: New Dawn Fades'#2
- 'Chapter 2: Ice Age'#3
- 'Chapter 3: From Safety to Where?'#4
- 'Chapter 4: Isolation'#6
- 'Chapter 6: Something Must Break'
#45 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1983)
- 'Sleeping With the Enemy'#46
#6 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1989)
- 'K-M: From Kang to Man-Bull'
#4 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition (1985)
- 'Human Torch to Mannikin'
#6 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Master Edition (1990)
- 'Human Torch to Ka-Zar'#9
- 'Molecule Man to Owl'
The X-Men Premium Edition (1993)
#1 Titans (1976)
- 'The Psi-Ber Scenario'
#1 Uncanny X-Men (1963)
- '$kullocracy, Part One'
Annual 09 Uncanny X-Men (2019)
- 'There's No Place Like Home'Annual 10
- 'Performance'Complete Collection TPB vol. 02
- 'Uncanny X-Men: The Complete Collection by Matt Fraction Vol. 2'#167
- 'The Goldilocks Syndrome!'#200
- 'The Trial of Magneto!'#201
- 'Going Through the Motions'#444
- 'The End of History, 1 of 4'#461
- 'Mojo Rising!'#469
- 'Wand'ring Star, Part 1 of 3'#501
- 'SFX 2: All Tomorrow's Parties'#502
- 'SFX 3: Beginning to See the Light'#503
- 'SFX 4'#504
- 'Lovelorn, Part 1: Every Little Bit Hurts'#508
- 'Sisterhood, Part 1'#509
- 'Sisterhood, Part 2'#511
- 'Sisterhood, Part 4'#513
- 'Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia, Part 2'#514
- 'Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia, Part 4'#515
- 'Nation X: Chapter 1'#523
- 'Second Coming: Chapter 2'#524
- 'Second Coming: Chapter 6'#542#600
War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men (2019)
What If...? (1989)
#1 Wolverine (1988)
- 'What If the Avengers Had Lost The Evolutionary War?'#33
- 'What If Phoenix Rose Again?'
#4 Wolverine & The X-Men (2011)
- 'Hunter's Moon!'#6
- 'Mr. Fixit Comes to Town'#8
- 'If It Ain't Broke--!'#27
- 'The Lazarus Project, Part One: Predators and Prey!'#28
- 'The Lazarus Project, Part Two: The Stranger!'#29
- 'The Lazarus Project, Part Three: The Road Back'#30
- 'The Lazarus Project, Conclusion: Family Matters'
#9 Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha & Omega (2012)
- 'Day of the Phoenix, Dark Night of the Soul'#29
- 'Key to the Future'
#4 Wolverine Encyclopedia (1996)
- 'Alpha & Omega part 4'#5
- 'Alpha & Omega part 5'
#26 X-Infernus (2009)
- 'Second Coming: Chapter 5'
#2 X-Men (1991)
- 'X-Infernus, Chapter Two: The Mortal Coil'#4
- 'X-Infernus, Chapter Four: Soul's End'
#165 X-Men (2010)
- 'Hark How the Bells--!'#183
- 'The Blood of Apocalypse, Part Two of Five: The Hunger'#184
- 'The Blood of Apocalypse, Part Three of Five: War--What is it Good For?'#200
X-Men Legacy (2008)
#235 X-Men Unlimited (1993)
- 'Second Coming: Chapter 4'
X-Men: Curse of the Mutants - X-Men Vs. Vampires (2010)
X-Men: Curse of the Mutants Saga (2010)
#1 X-Men: Hellbound (2010)
- 'X-Men: Curse of the Mutants Saga'
X-Men: Legacy (2013)
#3 X-Men: Manifest Destiny (2008)
- 'Prodigal Part 3'#11
- 'Invasive Exotic Part Two'
#1 X-Men: Odd Men Out (2008)
- 'Kill or Cure: Part 1'
X-Men: Second Coming (2010)
#1 X-Men: The 198 (2006)
- 'Second Coming: Chapter 1'#2
X-Men: The 198 Files (2006)
X-Men: Worlds Apart (2008)
X-Treme X-Men (2012)
#13 Xavier Institute Alumni Yearbook (1996)
- 'X-Termination, Part 4'
Grey School Staff (Marvel)
New Mutants (Marvel)
The 198 (Marvel)
X-Men (Marvel)(01 - Mutants)
Famous Quotes: - Add a Famous Quote
"I pride myself on being in constant control. Of everything around me. It's part of who I am."
< Previous Character | Next Character >
Add this character to a run of issues in a title
Suggest an image for this character
View the contribution history for this character