Cassandra Nova is a fiction enemy of the X-Men in the Marvel Comics universe. Created by writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely, Cassandra first appeared in New X-Men #114 (July 2001). Cassandra is a "mummudrai," a parasitic life form born bodiless on the astral plane. The mummudrai that became Cassandra became telepathically entangled with the future Charles Xavier, who possesses vast mutant telepathic powers. This granted Cassandra some psionic powers herself, including the ability to exit the womb and create a body.
Cassandra is Xavier's ideological dark shadow, bent on destruction and genocide. She is most infamous for commanding an army of Sentinels to massacre 16 million mutants within the mutant homeland of Genosha. In 2009, Cassandra Nova was ranked as IGN's 50th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.
Cassandra Nova began life at the same time as Charles Xavier. Conceived without a body, Cassandra improvised one by copying Xavier's DNA to make her own body, effectively becoming his twin sister. She grew with her brother until the time when Charles sensed her monstrous thoughts. Charles attempted to kill the creature, resulting in its physical body being stillborn. Despite this, the creature survived as chaotic cellular matter and clung to a sewer wall for decades, rebuilding its physical form and perfecting its effort to mimic human traits. During this time, she grew convinced that the womb in which she had fought Charles and the universe she now inhabited were one and the same, a universe in which only she and Charles were real, and that her purpose was to destroy every illusion Charles held dear: his dream, his X-Men, and his beloved Lilandra.
After she was able to rebuild herself, Cassandra returned with a vengeance. She convinced the last living relative of Bolivar Trask, Donald Trask III, to activate a pair of enormous wild Sentinels and send them to destroy the mutant homeland of Genosha, killing 16 million mutants. Cassandra duplicated Trask's DNA so she could also issue orders to the Sentinels, programmed to obey only those with the DNA of a Trask. Cassandra infected her own body with millions of nanosentinels just as she was captured by Cyclops and Wolverine.
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