Tempo is a fictional, African-American mutant villainess in the Marvel Comics universe. She was first introduced as a member of the Mutant Liberation Front in the comic title New Mutants, when Rob Liefeld took over as the penciller of that series. Although she was first allied with villains, she once seemed to see error in those ways and retire to a normal life.
Fictional character biography
Mutant Liberation Front
Tempo was one of the founding members of the terrorist
organization known as the Mutant Liberation Front (or MLF). One of their first missions under the leadership of Stryfe
was to liberate the incarcerated New Mutants
. They broke them out of prison and the pair joined the MLF out of confusion (and, as later evidence showed, neural implants kept them there). Tempo continued to be a mainstay in the team's ventures, including fighting Wolverine
and other heroes while causing mayhem in the name of mutant rights.
In the battle with X-Factor, Tempo attempts to use her time-bending powers against the super-speedster known as Quicksilver, but she—along with her teammates—discover that X-Factor is a much tougher foe than X-Force when they are defeated and Stryfe is almost captured.
Following the unsuccessful battle, the MLF decides to blow up the Tucker Clinic—a place where pregnant mothers can have prenatal DNA testing to see whether or not they would have mutant babies. X-Factor shows up in time to stop the clinic from destructing, but they fail to prevent the death of Dr. Tucker. The MLF leaves, not knowing that it was Tempo who had given an anonymous tip to X-Factor about their plans.
After a series of supposedly unconnected art thefts by various strike teams (all of which are related to Apocalypse), the members of the MLF approach Mister Sinister and propose a trade. In exchange for a genetic matrix (none other than the Legacy Virus) which Stryfe owned, Sinister would hand over the captive Cyclops and Jean Grey. These events begin the X-Cutioner's Song crossover. In the end, all of the MLF members are taken into custody.
Soon after, a tyrannical despot named Reignfire
decides to restart the MLF. He breaks Tempo, Forearm
, and Wildside
out of prison and gives them their first mission: kill Henry Peter Gyrich
. The MLF also picks up new members Locus
. Their assassination
attempt is foiled by X-Force, Locus and Sunspot
become lost, but Feral
defects to the MLF after having a heated discussion with Gyrich. Tempo intervenes in an attack on Gyrich by Feral and is denounced and exiled from the MLF by Stryfe. Having no place to go, Tempo leaves with X-Force.
On her own
After leaving the MLF, Cable
offers Tempo membership to X-Force, which she declines. Instead, she says that she wants to go off to college and put aside the super-powered lifestyle. She was briefly affiliated with the MLF during Operation: Zero Tolerance
. In X-Force Vol 1
#67, Tempo, Dragoness, Wildslide
, Forearm and Danielle Moonstar
investigate the Wakeman Center and the possibility they are constructing a new strain of the Legacy Virus
. Wildside irrationally hits Locus, who leaves, stranding Tempo and the others. They work with X-Force to escape but the only MLF members who do are Forearm and Danielle.
Whether she made it to school or not is a mystery.
When the events of M-Day
occurred, where the Scarlet Witch
removed the mutant genome
from over 90% of the world's mutant population, Tempo was one of the few to retain her powers. She is now a member of the Acolytes
as re-created by Exodus
She participates in the Acolytes' raid on the X-Mansion and in the final battle on Muir Isle, where she is knocked out by Cable
Powers and abilities
Tempo can manipulate time, though only in her immediate vicinity. Most often she slows or stops her opponents or speeds herself or her teammates. She has been able to prevent a number of grenades from exploding by keeping them in suspended motion, and she was also able to successfully attack Rogue by amplifying her own personal speed to cause her to crash into a wall while flying.
Strain provides a time limit on how long Tempo can maintain a major time manipulation. It is not established how long that limit is, but somewhere above a few minutes.
Tempo can also levitate herself and fly at subsonic speeds through unknown means.
Besides physical protection, Tempo's helmet contains communcations equipment and it has provided her with resistance to Cable's telepathic probes. Tempo displays an emotional connection to Dr. Tucker of the Tucker Clinic
, warning him when she believes the MLF are planning an attack.