The brilliant thing about comics is the amount of representation that goes on among characters. The plights of different groups are shown through various superheroes. One of the most diverse comic characters is Monet St Croix, as she has an Algerian, Bosnian and French background. In addition, she is one of the few Muslim superheroes. M’s heritage has been used as a way to explore anti-Muslim hate in America. When combined with her identity as a mutant, M’s journey is relatable to a lot of people. Here’s why she’s worth knowing about.
Monet, the daughter of Monegasque Cartier St Croix, was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia. She grew up in a life of privilege, which made her pompous and spoilt. Her father favoured her among the rest of his children.
Monet’s siblings Marius, Nicole and Claudette all had powers that manifested in different ways. Marius was banished from the home because of his vampiric tendencies. Becoming Emplate, Marius returned years later and asked his sister to join him in conquering another dimension. Monet rebuked him, which led to Emplate turning her into a mute creature called Penance. Nicole and Claudette banished Emplate to the other dimension and Penance went with him because she believed it was the only way to find a cure.
Eventually, Monet returned to the main Marvel reality and was able to return to normal. She joined Generation X, a young team of mutants led by Jubilee. M helped the team on numerous occasions, though her abrasive attitude put her at odds with Jubilee more than once. After Generation X disbanded, Monet went on to join the X-Corps and then settled down in X-Factor Investigations. Run by Multiple Man, X-Factor focused on solving mutant related crimes. Monet was able to find her place within the agency.
During the Hell On Earth saga, Monet died from a brain injury, only to be resurrected afterwards. Her brush with death affected her deeply and she chose to harden herself even more. Unsure what to make of her life, M returned to the X-Men, where she met Karima Shapandar. The two of them became fast friends because of their shared experiences with death.
Most recently, M was possessed by Emplate, though her old Generation X teammates were able to free her from her brother’s control.
Power and privilege
M’s powers are based around her being superhuman in all aspects. Her strength, speed, agility, dexterity and reactions are all heightened to superhuman levels. She has a high level of durability, as she’s been able to survive blows from The Hulk and heal rapidly from wounds.
Monet also has perfect memory recall and the ability to read minds. Although not as powerful as other telepaths like Professor X and Psylocke, Monet is adept with her powers. Furthermore, Monet can also sense mutant auras, a power shared with Emplate.
M’s powers are possibly linked to her confidence, as her invulnerability hasn’t stopped her from being injured by lesser forces. This mentality can be linked to her background. As Monet was raised in a rich family she grew accustomed to having the finest things in life. This explains why she can come across as cold and sarcastic. Her experiences with Emplate taught her how to be independent and to protect herself. Many times, Monet has placed a wall around herself to stop herself from being hurt. This defense mechanism hasn’t worked on everyone, as her friends have come to see her as a courageous woman that is willing to sacrifice herself for others.
Monet’s status as a Muslim woman is a big deal because she represents a group that has started to be portrayed more positively in recent years. In 2015, Marvel introduced Kamala Khan as the new Ms Marvel, but Monet has been around a lot longer. M is a representation of the freedom that Muslim women should be allowed, the same as anyone else. Her strength is a powerful symbol of what Muslims can achieve.