Madelyne Pryor Costume History
Chris Claremont created the character of Madelyne Pryor for the 1983 issue of Uncanny X-Men #168. Her first appearance at the end of the book caused a lot of speculation among comic fans. Not only was her appearance very similar to a deceased Jean Grey, but a Maddy Pryor had appeared briefly in the hospital scene of Avengers Annual #10. However, the girl in the hospital debate ended when Claremont confirmed that it was just a coincidence. He had actually named his character after the folk singer Maddy Prior.
Mr. Sinister had always wanted Jean Grey to be a part of his band of mutants. However, Professor X was able to enroll her in the Xavier School For Gifted Youngsters before he could implement his plan of murdering Jean’s parents and kidnapping her. Instead, he cloned her from blood sample he was able to obtain from Jean earlier. Mr. Sinister was hopeful she would be a good substitute to the real Marvel Girl. However, he considered her a failure, after she failed to develop any mutant powers during puberty. When the real Jean Grey died at the conclusion of the Dark Phoenix Saga, the Phoenix Force was drawn to Madelyn, because she had Jean Grey’s genetic material. The Phoenix Force had awakened the mutant ability of telekinesis and telepathy that she had inherited from Jean Grey. Now that his creation was a success, Mr. Sinister named her Madelyne Pryor and began to set his plans into motion. He constructed a history that involved her being a pilot, who was the sole survivor of a plane crash occurring at the same time of Jean Grey’s death. He then had her work for Philip Summers’ airline, predicting that her being identical to Jean and possessing some of her memories would lead to Scott Summer and Madelyne falling in love. Mr. Sinister’s scheme worked. Scott and Madelyne fell in love and eventually married. When creatures attacked them on their honeymoon, Scott wanted to remove Madelyne from the dangers of his life and retired from the X-Men. They moved to Anchorage, Alaska and worked as pilots.
Despite retiring from the superhero business, things did not quiet down. While flying some scientist, Loki transported them to a magical realm where many lost individuals from Earth were happily living their lives. Upon arriving, they found themselves among the X-Men and Alpha Flight. It was here that Professor X confirmed Madelyne was pregnant. In this Asgardian realm, there was a fountain that gave people super abilities. Madelyne was granted healing powers, that appeared limitless. She was able to allow Cyclops and Rogue to control their powers and had Puck return to his normal size. With these powers, she began to call herself Anodyne. Of course, Loki is not one to teleport humans to give them a better life. Not only did the people who use their powers lose all their creativity and imagination, but it would drain the energy from other magical beings. When Loki was eventually stopped, everyone who had been healed by Madelyne/Anodyne reverted to their original condition.
Soon after returning from Asgard, Madelyne gave birth to a male child. She named him Nathan, because Mr. Sinister had implanted this idea into her subconscious. Unfortunately, Scott and most of the X-Men were away at the time of Nathan’s birth. When Scott did returned, he was detached. The weight of Professor X leaving, the X-Men’s future, and Storm being the new leader made things tough on their relationship. They left the X-Men and headed back to Alaska. Their relationship went from bad to worse, when Scott received news Jean was alive. He took off, despite Madelyne’s ultimatum of if he left, he better not come back. Madelyne was once again alone with her child.
Mr. Sinister sent the Marauders to kill Madelyne and kidnap Nathan. They succeeded in retrieving Nathan for Mr. Sinister, but only left Madelyne in a coma. Madelyne woke up in a hospital, only to discover Mr. Sinister had erased her and Nathan’s existence. She called the X-Men for help and they arrived just in time to stop the Marauders from finishing the job. It was here that Havok filled the void left by his brother Scott and vowed to protect Madelyne. This physical protection grew into emotional support for them both and eventually a relationship. When Madelyne saw Jean Grey standing at Scott’s side during a television interview with X-Factor, not only was she hit with the realization of why Scott left her, but she also questioned their entire relationship. In a fit of rage she destroyed the television and was knocked unconscious by the explosion. This would begin Madelyne’s decent and prove “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. She welcomed the demon S’ym offer to endow her with demonic powers, so she could take revenge on Scott. There were signs of her escalating power, but things did not get totally out of hand until she struck another deal with the demon N’astirh. In return for finding her baby and helping exact revenge, Madelyne was turned into the Goblin Queen. Her powers were heightened to extreme levels. She had transmutation power, siphoned the physical and mental evils of those around her and could warp reality within a small area. In her quest to find Nathan, she discovered that not only was she a clone created by Mr. Sinister, but she was also made for the sole purpose of producing a baby from the Summers’ lineage. Madelyne would succumb to her rage and fully embrace the Goblin Queen. Madelyne willingly accepted N'astirh’s plan of sacrificing her baby to secure a demonic presence on Earth, so she could have her revenge on all those who wronged her. Before being defeated, she managed to form a telepathic link with Jean. Madelyne then killed herself, so Jean would feel all of Madelyne’s pain and her death. Upon dying, part of the Phoenix Force and all of her memories entered Jean. This merger caused a maternal bond with Nathan. Jean and Scott raised Nathan, but had to send him to the future when he was infected with Apocalypse's techno-organic virus. Nathan would return years later as Cable.
Madelyne’s spirit was trapped in the Astral Plane. Nate Grey is an Omega-level mutant, who was also genetically created by Mr. Sinister. He found Madelyne and subconsciously returned her to material form. However, her powers had been greatly reduced and her only memories were of a hatred for Mr. Sinister and the X-Men. Madelyne crossed paths with Selena, who as the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club took her in. Selena gave Madelyne more power and turned her into a psychic vampire. The power increase was particularly noticeable with her telekinesis abilities and strength of her psi bolts. Madelyne also gained the ability to teleport herself and others. If all these powers did not make her formidable enough, her physical strength and agility were increased to superhuman levels. When Tessa attempted to probe Madelyne’s mind, her memories were completely restored. She left the Hellfire Club and continued to struggle with finding a place to belong. She consciously withdrew to the Astral Plane to recuperate and was able to make peace with her son Cable. However, he had no desire to rule the world as she did. While in the Astral Plane, she was killed again and trapped as a ghost. It took a while, but Madelyne realized that she still had her Goblin Queen powers. She used this demonic power to re-materialize herself on Earth, but still needed a body to sustain her in the physical world. Despite all she had been through, she was still obsessed with Cyclops. In her quest for a new body, she went by the name Red Queen and formed the Sisterhood of Mutants. She was ultimately successful in finding a new body. To make her victory even more glorious, she had taken over Jean Grey’s body. With her mind now in Jean Grey’s body, she continued to operate as the Red Queen.
When Madelyne gained the power of healing from a magical fountain, she also transformed physically. She actually grew a few inches tall and was in peak human condition. To fit her new Asgardian appearance, she adopted a matching fashion. Some might describe it as a space priestess inspired from 1970 films. The pink outfit was tight around the torso, with long baggy sleeves. It appeared to be cut off at the bottom like a swimsuit, but had flowing pieces of fabric to partially cover her legs. She wore a pair of matching cuffed knee high boots. To add a regal touch to the ensemble, Madelyne had several large gold elements incorporated into it. A gold belt was large enough to be a pair of shorts and helped cover up the fact she was not wearing any bottoms. Her golden gauntlets and slim shoulder pads fit nicely with the Asgardian warrior culture. The helmet/crown accentuated the mental power Anodyne possessed.
Madelyne’s already impressive abilities were augmented with demonic power and she became the Goblin Queen. Filled with hatred, she wore an outfit that not only embraced her monstrous side but also highlighted her sensuality. Madelyne started wearing this costume, after she had worn it in a dream. The biggest element in this costume is the tattered black cape. The large billowing cape embellished her size, much like an animal puffing up to intimidate its opponents. The ripped edges made it look like she had survived a battle in hell and survived. The rest of the wardrobe showed a woman who was confident in her sexuality and ready to use it. Her shirt was the exact opposite of what one would expect from a low cut shirt. Typically, these shirts cover the torso and then expose the upper part of the body. Madelyne’s shirt covered her arms and the top of her chest, but left everything else exposed. I think artist used just enough fabric to pass the comic code authority. The only color in this ensemble is the yellow sun just below her neck. Her skirt is more of a loincloth that looks like it might have been made from the scraps of her cape. In case this outfit was not slutty enough, the leather thigh high boots with stiletto heels added a dominatrix element.
Back Among The Living
When Madelyne returned to Earth with no memories, Selena took her into the Hellfire Club and gave her a form-fitting costume. The outfit managed to cover more of her skin, but still keep her exposed. The thigh high stiletto boots were now worn over skin tight pants. The boots had a purple trim on top, to separate them from the pants. Rather than have the waist be a straight line, there was a V cut to allow maximum midriff exposure. Her top was an oversized sports bra, that had three large buckles keeping it closed in front. Madelyne’s shoulders were left bare and she now had a pair of leather opera gloves. Both the shirt and gloves would have a matching purple trim. To add a little bling, she wore a gold chain around her hips with a medallion hanging from it. Madelyne would often wear a jacket over this ensemble, making it decent for public outings.
Hellfire Club Uniform
When Madelyne began trying to work her way into the inner circle of the Hellfire Club, she wore something more appropriate for the team. Of course, this organization is based on an 18th century gentleman’s club and created to obtain influence over the rich and powerful. This is a fancy way of saying the women dress like strippers. The black thigh high boots and opera gloves were back, but everything else was made much more skimpy. She skipped the pants and wore a thong with gold rings holding it together at the hips. Her sports bra was too modest, so she now had a top that supported her chest, but barely contained them. In case she was feeling modest, she had a solid black cloak that was clasped together with a gold brooch. Madelyne would also wear a similar style monokini, instead of her two piece bikini. It did not cover that much more, but managed to make it look like she was wearing more than her underwear.
A Splash Of Purple
When Madelyne crossed paths with Cable in his own titled comic, she wore something with a bit more color and a lot less revealing. Maybe she felt the need to better present herself in front of her son. She had on a skin tight black bodysuit, but wore a purple vest over it. She also had on a matching pair of purple boots. To add a little bling, Madelyne wore purple bands around her arms and wrists.
Madelyne would continue her passion for black leather clothing, but decided to wear a jacket on a regular basis. This wardrobe was very similar to the outfit Selena first gave her, when she came back from the Astral Plane. The thigh high leather boots worn over her pants were back, but the purple trim was removed. The black jacket was cinched tightly closed and the secured with a black belt around her waist. This made the costume her most respectable clothing choices yet.
Upon returning to the material plane of existence, after the Psi-War, Madelyne incorporated fishnet material into her costume. She stuck with the thigh high boots over black pants, but switched up the top. She was once again wearing a shirt that was closer in size to a bra than any kind of outerwear. Since she had fishnet covering her upper body, there was no longer a need to have her top completely closed. The shirt was loosely strapped across her chest with strips of fabric. These strips were used to help the shirt stay in place, rather than cover her up. The shirt sleeves extended to her elbows. She would sometimes wear a cape, but it was not a staple of the costume itself and often changed colors.
When Madelyne was trying to find a body for her psionic ghost to inhabit, she changed her style. She started wearing a bolero jacket trimmed with white fur. The coat added an air of royalty, which fit with her new Red Queen identity. She also took to wearing her long red hair up in a chignon style. The rest of her costume was very similar to what she has worn in the past. Skin tight black leather pants and a corset let us know she was still confident in her appearance, even if it was a psionic ghost. This would be one of the few times Madelyne preferred short gloves over her usual opera style. Perhaps she felt the coat kept her warm enough.
So… in case some of her costumes were too tame, artist envisioned this look for the Red Queen. Yes, this outfit actually made it into a comic book. Madelyne had taken over Jean’s body and her clothing choice clearly shows any virtue of her old personality was gone.
Most of Madelyne’s clothing choices are not something your family Halloween costume shop would carry. Fans of the character have to put their sewing skills to work. Madelyne as the Goblin Queen is a popular choice among cosplayers.
If you enjoyed this article, you can find links to my other Costume History Hubs by clicking on the link above. Explore the history of some of the greatest female superheroes in comics through their costumes.
Google Images (Images appeared on several sites and was unsure of original)
And of course: Reading way too many comic books.
More by this Author
Jean Grey has had a lot of costumes to go along with her many identities; Phoenix / Marvel Girl and teams; X-Men / X-Factor . Check out her costume history and how her outfits has evolved over the years.
Dr. Harleen Quinzel has worn different Harley Quinn costumes. Read and see Harley Quinn's costume history in cartoons, comics, and video games.
Ororo Munroe has had a variety of different Storm Costumes. See the Storm costume history as she fights along with the X-Men.
No comments yet.