Fictional character biography
Hepzibah was born on the planet Tryl'sart, while under Shi'ar Imperial Rule. She had also spent some time in the prison on the planet Alsibar, where she met Corsair (Christopher Summers) for the first time.
While Corsair was imprisoned by the authority of the then Shi'ar Emperor D'Ken, brother of Deathbird and Lilandra of the Royal House of Neramani, Hepzibah, with the help of several other prisoners who would later form the space pirate Starjammers (i.e., Raza Longknife and Ch'od), aided Corsair in their mutual escape from Shi'Ar prison. Corsair won the respect of the trio (becoming their leader) and eventually the heart of Hepzibah, becoming her lover.
Encounters with the X-Men
Hepzibah and the Starjammers teamed up with the X-Men on multiple occasions. The first time, the Starjammers came to the aid of the X-Men against D'Ken's Imperial Guard. Later, with the other Starjammers, she fought off an alien attack on the HMSS Starjammer starship. After that, she helped save Wolverine's life in outer space, and then engaged in mock combat with Carol Danvers. Hepzibah and the Starjammers helped the New Mutantsneutralize the threat of the Magus.
Together with Ch'od, she sought the "map-rod" holding information on the location of the "Phalkon" power source. The Phalkon turned out to be thePhoenix. She and the Starjammers were attacked by Deathbird's Shi'ar starships. With the other Starjammers, she first met Excalibur on Earth and aided a rebellion against Deathbird on a Shi'ar border world.
During the Kree/Shi'ar War, she battled Wonder Man and the Vision while escorting the Shi'ar nega-bomb to the Kree Empire. With Raza, she accepted an assignment from the former Kree admiral to kill the Black Knight. With the Starjammers, she visited the Avengers and Binary on Earth. She was thwarted in her attempt to poison the Black Knight, and the plan was foiled. She then returned with the Starjammers to the Shi'ar Empire.
Hepzibah also aided the Hulk in rescuing some of the Hulk's people from the alien forces of Troyjan. The Silver Surfer personally saved her life, an incident which led her to believe she simply intimidated the forces threatening her.
The Rise and Fall of The Shi'ar Empire
After Corsair reunited with his son Havok and the Starjammers participated in a conflict between Lilandra's and D'Ken's forces, Corsair was killed by his own son Vulcan. Hepzibah raided the X-Men's stolen Shi'ar ship's weapons locker and was ready to take vengeance on Vulcan. However, she was forced to return with the repowered Professor X, Warpath, Darwin, and Nightcrawler when Lilandra, hoping to save her beloved Xavier from death and protect some of the X-Men (believing that the battle was not going well) locked the ship into a jump course for Earth. Consequently, Hepzibah, separated from her fellow Starjammers, is currently residing with the X-Men on Earth, with no foreseeable way to return to Shi'ar space to help the Starjammers and Lilandra continue to fight Vulcan.
Member of the X-Men
Since she is stuck on Earth and has nowhere else to go, Hepzibah has joined Professor X's team of X-Men. She and Warpath have already created a bond of sorts, with Hepzibah remarking that his presence has helped her through her mourning of Corsair. Together, they confront one of the X-Mansion's guardian Sentinels when Caliban, a long time X-Men ally, runs onto the grounds.
She is seen in an altered standard X-Uniform and entering the Morlock Tunnels alongside Warpath, Storm, and Caliban. As a group, they are attempting to discover the reason for the Morlocks' increased activity, which has included the capturing of X-Men ward Leech. Hepzibah, as a furred female with enhanced senses, has multiple problems with the sewers. Hepzibah's name has been written on a Morlock wall, along with the names of the other X-Men team members.
After the Morlock encounter, she speaks with Scott, who accepts her having Warpath as her new mate.
World War Hulk
Hepzibah disables one of the giant robot O*N*E Sentinels after they become corrupted and attack the X-Mansion.[volume & issue needed] Soon after, she becomes a member of the new incarnation of X-Force.[volume & issue needed] After checking a Cooperstown Hospital for Cable, they track him to the Canadian wilderness where the team gets into a fight with the newly re-formedReavers.[volume & issue needed] When Caliban is killed, Warpath becomes overprotective of Hepzibah telling her this isn't her fight only to be told off by her and later Wolverine.
Later, X-Force tracks the mutant child to Muir Island where it is being guarded by the Acolytes and the Marauders. They manage to hold them off for sometime when the rest of the X-Teams arrive.[volume & issue needed] When New X-Men member Pixie teleports Predator X to the island, Cyclops orders X-Force to take it out. Hepzibah is one of the X-Force members to engage Predator X; Predator X sprays her with acid hurting her arm.[volume & issue needed] She is later seen standing around Professor X's body.
Divided We Stand
Archangel goes to San Francisco, California, to meet up with Hepzibah, Warpath, and Iceman. All four are caught in the effects of a city-wide illusion created by Martinique Jason, who has used her powers to transform the city into a hippie paradise. Jason sends Hepzibah, now calling herself "Lady Kitten," and the others to confront Cyclops and Emma Frost.
Hepzibah relocates with the X-Men to San Francisco. Her most recent appearance features her thinking she doesn't know how to operate a telephone when the reality is that Warpath just wants to hear her voice and doesn't know how to talk to her after the things he's done.
She has been seen in the background of Utopia, having gone to the Island with the X-Men.
When Henry Gyrich is made co-director of S.W.O.R.D., he organizes all aliens living on Earth to be deported. While at a bar in San Francisco, Hepzibah is drugged by undercover S.W.O.R.D. agents and taken away by them. Her disappearance among the X-Men leads Cyclops and Emma Frost to contact Beast and Abigail Brand about why S.W.O.R.D. has taken her away to be deported.
Powers and abilities
Relative to a human, Hepzibah possesses enhanced agility, speed, reflexes, coordination, balance, hyper-keen senses, and superhumanly acute night vision and sense of smell. Mephitisoids also have retractable claws, and the ability to emit specific mind/mood-altering pheromones at will.
Hepzibah is a brilliant natural athlete and acrobat, and skilled hand-to-hand combatant, trained in various forms of armed and unarmed combat known in the Shi'ar galaxy. She is also an expert marksman, and is knowledgeable in the operation of a wide variety of ship-sized weaponry. She is often armed with Shi'ar energy guns.
As a member of the Mephitisoid race, Hepzibah's features are supposed to resemble that of a humanoid skunk, with cat ears on the top of her head and fur having the colors and markings of an Earth skunk. However, modern Marvel artists have begun giving her a more cat-like appearance, removing the black markings. No explanation for the change has been given in the comic books.
Recently a male member of her race; Morrow, was recruited into the reconstituted Nova Corps.[volume & issue needed]