Skids (Sally Blevins) is a Marvel Comics mutant. Created by writer Louise Simonson and artist Jackson Guice, she first appeared in X-Factor vol. 1 #7 (August 1986).
Fictional character biography
Little has been revealed of Sally Blevins' past. It is known that her power first manifested after she was abused by her stepfather. Her mother is deceased and the current whereabouts of her step father is unknown (X-Factor issue 16). She ended up a runaway, living on, or rather under, the streets with the Morlocks
, a group of homeless mutants. Most Morlocks voluntarily (or, in some cases, involuntarily) took on inhuman appearances at the hands of the Morlock facial sculptor, Masque
. Sally's force field protected her from Masque's power, allowing her to maintain her normal appearance, leading to resentment from some Morlocks. At one point, Skids encountered Rusty Collins
, who was being pursued by the Freedom Force
(government-chartered mutant enforcers composed of former members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants) and a mob of mutant-hating humans. Rusty had accidentally injured a woman with his pyrokinetic powers and was wanted by the U.S Government. Skids' force field allowed the two to easily escape, but were eventually overtaken by the Freedom Force on the edge of Central Park.
Before the evil mutants could take them in, a mob of humans attacked the Freedom Force. In the confusion, Skids and Rusty escaped. Skids tried to get Rusty to the safety of the underground home of the Morlocks, but the Freedom Force caught up with them again, this time in the sewers beneath New York. The Force member Blob was pounding Rusty into the sewer wall when the mutant hero team X-Factor
arrived. After a brief skirmish, Freedom Force retreated. With X-Factor
's mentorship, Skids and Rusty began to learn more about their powers, and were the first of several X-Factor
trainees. They shared other adventures alongside the rest of X-Factor
's trainees, at one point calling themselves the X-Terminators
During the Inferno
storyline, the X-Terminators teamed up with the New Mutants
to help rescue mutant babies from N'astirh
, who was using them to help keep open a portal to Limbo
. At the conclusion of Inferno, Skids joined the New Mutants, along with Rusty, Rictor
and Boom Boom
. Skids and Rusty, however, learned instead that Freedom Force were taking mutant infants that were abducted during the demonic invasion into government custody. Rusty and Skids were separated from the group for some time. Freedom Force surrounded them at the Statue of Liberty island. Skids' force field blocks their attacks but they simply wait until pure exhaustion drops her. Rusty's flames are neutralized by the Freedom Force member Pyro, who can control any flames generated by another source.
The other New Mutants were unable to rescue their friends due to their concurrent adventures. Due to a fight with Nitro and Vulture, Rusty was brought back into the sights of Freedom Force. While attempting to escape, he was severely injured by the Blob. While recovering in the hospital, he and Skids were contacted by members of the Mutant Liberation Front. With soldiers opening fire on them, they felt there was no other choice than to join them.
The Mutant Liberation Front
Shortly thereafter, Rusty and Skids were brainwashed
into following him blindly. Due to this, Rusty and Skids had no qualms about attacking former teammate Cannonball
during the X-Cutioner's Song
storyline. At the end of this story, the Mutant Liberation Front were turned into the authorities.
Shortly after, Rusty and Skids were kidnapped by the Friends of Humanity. While being transported, X-Force (the team created by the former members of the New Mutants), rescued them. Arriving back at their base, X-Force was soon confronted by Exodus. He was inviting original New Mutants Cannonball and Sunspot to Avalon, a "safe haven" for selected mutants. Cannonball refused to go unless all former New Mutants present (Boom Boom, Rictor, Rusty and Skids) were invited also. While Exodus complained that Rusty and Skids were "damaged" due to their brainwashing, he finally acquiesced.
Upon arriving at Avalon, the mutants were taken to "the Savior" (in reality Magneto
), who used his powers to undo the brainwashing done to Rusty and Skids. When X-Force arrived to save their friends, Rusty and Skids decided they would stay with Magneto, feeling that they owed him. With thus being done, they joined the Acolytes
Shortly after the Age of Apocalypse
storyline, a mutant body (Holocaust
) was discovered floating in space near Avalon. It was brought on board. While on guard duty watching over the thought-to-be frozen body, Rusty's life force was drained by Holocaust, killing him. Holocaust then destroyed the Avalon space station leaving Skids stranded on a piece of debris plummeting away from the station, struggling to maintain her force field. Skids was rescued by Jean Grey and taken to the X-Men's mansion for medical attention. Upon recuperation, Skids left the mansion without being noticed.
Skids had become a college student, studying biological sciences. She was contacted by her friends of the New Mutants
who had long since become members of the team X-Force
, but they were all attacked by the villain Reignfire
, who was then leading an incarnation of the Mutant Liberation Front. During the adventure, Skids' force field disrupted the teleportation abilities of MLF member Locus, causing both of them to be caught in a trans-spatial backlash which deposited them in the Balkan country of Latveria
. Skids and Locus were then captured by an age-old sorceress
, the self-styled Queen of Chaos, who sought to recruit mutants into her own personal army. With the assistance of the young sorceress Jennifer Kale
managed to defeat Pandemonia and rescue their ally.
Despite her decision to remove herself from mutant-related activity and superheroism, Skids was nonetheless eventually recruited by former New Mutant teammate Sunspot, now a leader of the Los Angeles branch of the X-Corporation
(a worldwide network supporting mutant causes), to join his cause. This faction assisted the X-Treme X-Men
after the villain Elias Bogan
took mental possession of some of their members. Skids was defeated in battle by the possessed Bishop
, who attached a generator to her which caused her spin rapidly on the surface of her own slippery force field. Eventually, though, the remaining heroes defeated Bogan.
Shortly afterwards, X-Men founder Charles Xavier (who also founded the X-Corps initially) had the network disbanded when he decided the world had become too dangerous for mutants in the public sector, and Skids presumably returned to a civilian life.
M-Day and Apocalypse
When the reality warping-mutant the Scarlet Witch
used her powers to negate the abilities of most of the world's mutants' superhuman abilities (an event subsequentally referred to as M-Day
), Skids found herself surprised and possibly even disappointed to learn that she retained her own powers. In the anti-mutant aftermath that followed, Skids wound up one of several remaining mutants seeking refuge on Xavier's estate, sharing a tent with the mutants Magma
. During this time, the ancient X-Men nemesis Apocalypse
attacked the estate with his loyal Horsemen. The Horseman Famine
sapped the energies of the camping refugees, forcing them to crave substinance of any kind. When Apocalypse offered his empowered blood to them, it was all that the heroes could do to keep Skids and other desperate mutants from accepting the evil substance. Despite this near-betrayal, Xavier forgave Skids and the others and allowed them to remain on the grounds. However, Skids eventually departed the camp and was not heard of again for some time.
Recently, Skids has become an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
for as yet unknown reasons. She was assigned to pose as an operative of Masque's rogue splinter group of Morlocks who attempt to carry out the designs of their new "prophet," the late Morlock precog Qwerty
. Simultaneously, she was assigned to inflitrate Masque's Morlock rivals, a more pacifistic sect that were nonetheless equally devoted to Qwerty and her book of prophecies. This sect made the underground sanctuary Lindisfarne their home base, which housed their sacred text of Qwerty's scripture. In both roles, Skids apparently feigned equal devotion to Qwerty's prophecies.
Appearing as a reluctant and listless (and possibly alcoholic) recruit of Masque's faction, she purposefully took part in Masque's plan to disfigure humans by bombing a subway train which a gene-altering chemical weapon. Her deep cover prevented her from interfering when Masque went on to deform them with his powers. She also did nothing to stop Masque and his cohort Bliss when they decided to abduct and torture Leech, her former friend when they were X-Factor trainees. The X-Men Storm, Warpath, Hepzibah and ex-Morlock Caliban go after Masque in the tunnels, and find Skids unconscious after she was caught in the crossfire of an attempted raid on Masque's crew by other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. They wonder why she is there, and while Caliban defends her character, Storm questions her loyalty due to her complicated history with the X-Men. When a S.H.I.E.L.D. Sentinel attacks the X-Men (thinking them to be Masque loyalists), Skids recovers and takes charge of the investigation, much to Caliban's delight. She then fills the X-Men in on her assignment and Qwerty's prophecies, and leads them to Lindisfarne and introduces them to Qwerty's friend and priestess Delphi.
Later, Skids and the X-Men are captured by Masque's crew. Masque wants to initiate a war between humans and remaining mutants via a devastating terrorist attack, and leave his captives' corpses at the scene to further de-legitimize Xavier's vision. However, the captives escape, and while the X-Men defeat Masque, Skids left the scene with Qwerty's book.
Shortly afterwards, Skids found Magneto at a local cemetery, and gave him the book informing him that she would get into a lot of trouble if her actions were discovered. She stated that the book said Magneto was still a mutant.
In a recent interview, writer Mike Carey
revealed that his upcoming "Secret Invasion: X-Men" limited series will feature Cyclops assembling an army consisting of all the surviving past and present members of the various X-Teams to combat the Skrull
army in San Francisco. During the interview, the former members of the New Mutants were one of the groups explicitly stated by Carey to be taking part in the battle.
Powers and abilities
Sally Blevins has a personal protective deflection field that provides nearly total protection from all attacks. Her force field disperses energy assaults, reflects kinetic impact off itself, and even negates friction, making it impossible for anyone to hold on to her. Therefore, Skids cannot be grabbed or entangled when using her powers. She also is immune to Masque's powers when her force field is activated. Skids also can move at speeds faster than she can run by "skating" the surface of her force field across the ground.
Originally, Sally was unable to turn off her force field but with practice is able to turn it off and on at will without concentrating. If Skids concentrates, she can extend her force field to protect others in her immediate area at least up to 30 cubic feet.
In other media
Skids made an appearance on the X-Men animated series
in the episode "No Mutant is an Island." In the episode, Cyclops, still in mourning after Jean Grey's "death", quits the X-Men and returns to his orphanage home and encounters his friend Sarah. She tells him that a wealthy man (Zebediah Kilgrave
, the Purple Man) has decided to adopt all the mutant children, but his intentions are to make them into his personal strikeforce to attack humans. Skids is featured as one of the orphan mutants alongside Rusty, Boom Boom
and Wiz Kid.