Comic Legends: Was Ernst in New X-Men Supposed to be Cassandra Nova?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and fifty-eighth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Click here for Part 1 of this week's legends. Click here for Part 2 of this week's legends.


Ernst in New X-Men was supposed to be a rehabilitated Cassandra Nova.



My pal, CBR Senior Editor Stephen Gerding, suggested that I feature this one.

Okay, so Cassandra Nova was the big villain in Morrison's first story arc in New X-Men. She was Charles Xavier's "psychic twin," essentially just a creature made out of psionic power, basically the evil version of Xavier. He killed her in the womb, but she hung around and eventually created her own body and declared war on the X-Men.

She was captured, but she secretly switched bodies with Xavier. She went into outer space and came back to destroy the Earth alongside the Shi'ar Empire.

Anyhow, at the end of New X-Men #126, Jean Grey successfully separates Nova from Xavier's body (and Jean then literally holds Xavier's entire memory in her brain to keep it safe). Desperate for a body, Emma Frost tricks Nova into entering the synthetic brain known as Stuff...

The issue ends, however, with Xavier and Jean teaching the now, in effect, blank slate Cassandra Nova...

In New X-Men #135, we meet Ernst, a little girl who looks like she might be suffering from progeria (which makes little kids look super prematurely old).

Xorn turned out to be Magneto in disguise and he recruited Ernst as one of his new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants...

As you can tell, however, she really doesn't seem to be that bad. Just naive.

Anyhow, Morrison finished out his way-too-short run on X-Men with a story set in the future. In the future, Cassandra Nova is the leader of the X-Men.

It sure seems pretty evident that she is a grown-up Ernst here. Why else would she be hanging out with Martha?

In the next issue, she even mentions that Martha used to call her "Ernst"...

So don't get me wrong, if you were an even vaguely perceptive reader, you would get that this was saying that Ernst was a rehabilitated Cassandra Nova. However, in a two-issue epilogue by Chuck Austen after Morrison left, Cyclops and Beat sure seem to believe that Cassandra Nova is still imprisoned at the school...

And later, during his Astonishing X-Men run, Joss Whedon reveals that Nova was still trapped in Stuff but was still managing to control Emma Frost a bit...

But what did Morrison plan? Luckily, he was asked this question during his recent Reddit AMA to promote his new TV series, Happy, by a reader named Alistair3900...

In your New X-Men run, was Ernst supposed to be the representation of Cassandra Nova, as 'rehabilitated' psychically by Xavier, Jean and Emma?"

GrantMorrison: yes!

So there ya go. Clear confirmation!

Thanks to Alistair for the question and thanks to Grant Morrison for the confirmation! And thanks to Stephen Gerding for suggesting I feature this one!

Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed - Did George Lucas name Darth Vader a variation of the name "Dark Father" as a hint towards Vader being Luke's dad?

OK, that's it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week's covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo!

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See you all next week!

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