Early life and arrival at Xavier's Mansion
Victor Borkowski is a sixteen year old mutant born and raised in Fairbury, Illinois, a small, typical American town in which he lives a normal life despite his reptilian features. The close-knit community accepts him for who he is, until anti-mutant sentiment begins to spread. For his own safety, his parents send him to the Xavier Institute where he quickly excels academically. When the advisor system is set up at the Xavier Institute, Victor chooses Karma as his advisor and is given the code name Anole. During the formation of training squads throughout the school, he is reassigned to Northstar's Alpha Squadron where he serves as the squad leader. At first, he is depicted as close friends with fellow student Julian Keller and the other students in the Hellions Squadron, but later becomes closer to his teammates. He is especially close to his mentor Northstar, who helps him to come to terms with his sexuality. Anole is deeply affected by Northstar's death, stating that Northstar understood him and was important as a figure he could confide in.
Anole is one of only 27 students at the Institute who does not lose his mutant powers in the aftermath of House of M, also known as Decimation or "M-Day." The squad system is dissolved and the remaining students are merged into one group. Shortly afterward, Emma Frost sets up an all-out brawl amongst the remaining students to determine who will become the new team of X-Men trainees (dubbed the "New X-Men"); Victor is not selected for the squad, but remains at the school. When a resurrected and brainwashed Northstar returns with his sister Aurora and attacks the Institute, Anole finds him and is able to temporarily snap him out of the mind control set in place by the Children of the Vault. However, Anole's joy at seeing his former mentor is short-lived, as Northstar returns to his mind-controlled status and knocks him out. The school is later attacked by Reverend William Stryker and his army of mutant-exterminating Purifiers. This results in a bus full of Anole's classmates being killed and the murder of other friends at the school.
Joining the New X-Men
During the New X-Men story arc "The Quest for Magik," Anole and his classmates are sucked down into the dimension of Limbo by the demon Belasco. They are soon attacked by a large group of demons, and Anole takes charge, rallying the students around the defenseless Blindfold, only to have his right arm severed at the shoulder by a demon. Later he is trapped in stone by the machinations of Darkchilde as she attempts to create a powerful Soulsword from Pixie's soul. Anole manages to break himself free and stop Darkchilde from completing the process, saving Pixie. Anole then finds that he has generated a larger and stronger reptilian arm replacing the one he lost, a previously unknown aspect of his mutation. The arm itself is spikey, resembling his scalp, with razor sharp claws. After helping to defeat Belasco, Anole and Pixie are made members of the New X-Men squad on recommendation of Rockslide, who threatens to quit if they are not appointed to the team. Rockslide and X-23 later try to convince Anole to cut off his other arm in order to generate a stronger replacement. When he refuses, Rockslide calls him a sissy, which Anole finds offensive enough for him to reveal his sexual identity to Rockslide and attack him. Rockslide apologizes, swearing that he did not know. Later, in a misguided attempt at group bonding, Rockslide voices his acceptance of Anole's sexuality, outing him to some of the other students, though Loa states that she was already aware and that everyone already knew. As a member of the New X-Men, Anole takes part in various missions with the team, including the events leading up to X-Men: Messiah Complex and through to its conclusion when Cyclops officially closes the school and disbands the X-Men. With the school closed, Anole returns to his family in Fairbury, Illinois.
Divided We Stand
A vignette in the two-part series Divided We Stand explored the after-effects of Anole's numerous traumatic experiences at the Xavier Institute during his return to his hometown. Northstar, now rehabilitated, is contacted by Cyclops to find Anole, who goes into hiding after accidentally attacking his own father due to post-traumatic stress disorder from his experiences at the Xavier Institute. Northstar discovers Anole at his tree house, unhappy to see his former mentor. At first, Northstar makes jokes, thinking Anole is having a problem with fitting in as both a mutant and as a gay teen. However, Anole explains that his town accepts him for who he is and that his problems come from Northstar, along with the other X-Men, for providing the students under their care with a poor education, stealing their innocence by constantly exposing them to danger, and then throwing them away by disbanding. Planning to run away, Anole leaves a note for his parents at the tree house and elbows Northstar in the face—similar to how Northstar attacked him in the past—and tells him to tell all of the former New X-Men not to come looking for him.
Dani Moonstar personally recruits Anole to the Young X-Men team by visiting him at his new home. Anole is still apprehensive, maintaining his views from Divided We Stand, but is persuaded to join the team when Dani tells him that the X-Men have relocated to San Francisco, California, "a place renowned for its tolerance of mutants and... other minorities," a reference to Anole's gay identity. Moving to San Francisco, he engages in various missions with the Young X-Men, including assisting during the Skrull invasion of San Francisco. When his teammate Dust dies from a hidden medical condition brought on by her fight with Magma, Anole once again voices his opinions about leaving the team as they are constantly put in danger with mortal consequences. However, Dust is revived by teammate Ink and she convinces the team not to disband.
Anole, Loa and Rockslide go looking for help, claiming that a ghost has kidnapped Mercury. Cyclops claims that the X-Men are to busy to deal with it because of trade negotiations. Magneto steps up and says he will investigate, saying that negotiations were never his strong suit. He takes the three kids into the sublevels. The kids are not sure if they should trust him, which seems founded when he allows sentinels to attack them. He eventually takes the sentinels out. When they find Mercury, they also find a recording that Magneto had set up in the case of his death. Magneto sends all the kids away. The recording said that mutants could never live in coexistence with man, and needed a place for themselves. Magneto smiles and turns off the machine. When the kids ask what it was, Magneto says it was just an old ghost, and that he gave it what it wanted. Anole, Rockslide, Dust, Trance and Loa visit the mainland to see Jubilee. Jubilee is uncertain about if she should go to the island, because she is no longer a mutant. The kids are extremely happy top see her. Rockslide says the Anole has a crush on her. Then Surge comes and starts arguing with Jubes about the fact that she is no longer a mutant and should not be there. Jubilee realizes that she is still a mutant on the inside, even if she does not have powers, and shows this to Surge. Surge and the other kids leave, and Surge offers for her to join them, but Jubilee declines. Jubilee then finished the letter to give to Wolverine and leaves the docks. Anole and the younger X-Men are shown with Cannonball in Utopia teaching them how to plant their own food, to which Anole argues about saying to Cannonball that they are wasting their time and that they can just buy their food from the store. Anole looks at Magik expecting her to agree with him, however she doesn't respond and instead teleports him to Limbo for five days without food or water. Eventually she returns with water for him. Anole tells her that he learned his lesson and that with out planting their own food the mutant race could starve to death, but Magik tells him that she did not intend to teach him a lesson, she sent him to limbo because she was just sick of looking at him. Magik teleports them both back to Utopia in which Anole resumes his work in farming.
Pixie Strikes Back
When Pixie, X-23, Armor, Mercury, and Blindfold go missing, Anole and Rockslide go in search of them. They find Blindfold alone in the girls washroom. Rockslide accidentally breaks the door down. Anole and Santo talk to Ruth but find nothing out. They take Ruth to see Emma. Blindfold is as cryptic as usual.
Anole, along with Dazzler, Gambit, Northstar, Cannonball, Pixie and Trance travel to Limbo to rescue Magik. Things go wrong when the ground starts to tremble and an army of monstrous demons attack the team. Dazzler calls upon Gambit for help during the attack, but Gambit sinks into the darkness, claiming "Remy's not home right now" leading the X-Men to be overwhelmed by the demons and Gambit transforming into his Death persona.
Powers and Abilities
In appearance Anole resembles that of a lizard/human hybrid. He is covered in green scales, has no hair, spikes covering a small portion of his body which includes a spiked carapace atop his head and a prehensile tongue. In addition to his physical features he has a number of superhuman attributes.
- 'Razor Sharp Spikes & Claws: ' As part of his physical mutation, Anole has spikes that appear on his scalp. His regrown arm also has razor sharp claws allowing for greater battle prowess.
- Enhanced Agility: Anole's natural agility, balance, and coordination are enhanced to increased levels, allowing him to perform feats that those of normal agility would find incredibly hard to do.
- Superhuman Stamina: Anole's muscles produce far less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the muscles of an average human. He can exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before fatigue impairs him.
- 'Enhanced Speed: Capable of moving and running slightly faster than a normal human, but he is not on par with powered speedsters'.
- Superhuman Reflexes: He has the reaction time that is roughly half of that of normal base-line human.
- Long Elastic Tongue: incredibly long tongue (apparently longer than his own body length) which he is capable of rapidly and abruptly extending out of the mouth. The tongue has a sticky tip on the end, which serves to catch anything that he would otherwise never be able to reach.
- Wall-crawling: Anole has the ability to stick to and climb walls or any substance. It is very similar to that of Spider-Man.
- Camouflage: Anole possesses superhuman ability to alter his skin color and appearance enabling him to copy that of any surface he stands against.
- Reptilian Regenerative/Healing Factor: Anole possess a healing factor, though not on par with Wolverine. He has shown the ability to re-grow limbs from his body once the older one has been removed. In such an incident the body part the replaces the old is larger and more reptilian in appearance and apparently stronger as well. It is unknown if his entire body with share the same mutation or if it is a limited mutation.
- 'Superhuman Strength: '''Anole possesses superhuman strength enabling him to lift weights to, as of yet, unmeasured levels. However this power is only in his right arm, and only appeared after regrowing his limb. The rest of his body remains in general human strength.
Anole is a formidable hand to hand combatant, trained by none other than the likes of Wolverine and others that taught him at the Xavier Institute. Victor has shown a natural aptitude for leadership. He was the squad leader for his group the Alpha Squadron and has been referred to and defaulted to as leader in multiple missions with he was promoted to active field duty in the New X-Men. Victor is a very talented actor
- In the New X-Men: Yearbook Special #1 it's listed he likes theater, Frisbee and basketball and dislikes traditions and bad action movies. He was voted Best Actor by the student body.
- Despite only rare appearances, Anole seems to have developed quite a fan following and has been the student outside of the New Mutants and Hellions squads to be featured regularly. It is unclear what direction Anole's character will take under the new creative staff, but he appeared in New X-Men #21 alongside the regular cast members.
- Anole was supposed to commit suicide in a jettisoned New Mutants storyline. Writers have been trying to figure out what to do with him next, despite him having become one of their (and many fans') favorites.
- It was clearly implied through dialogue that Victor was gay, and his sexual orientation was confirmed by the writers online and was recently reaffirmed in The X-Men: 198 Files.
- One reason why he may not have taken the name "Chameleon" is because there is a Spider-man villain of the same name.