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Impudent worm. How dare you even speak to me! I am the Empress of Shi'ar!!
~ Empress Deathbird aka Deathbird.
Deathbird (real name: Cal'syee Neramani) is a villainess from Marvel Comics, closely associated with the X-Men and she is the older sister of both Liliandra and D'Ken Neramani with all three of them being heirs to the throne of the Shi'ar Empire.
Contrary to most of the Shi'ar, Deathbird had atavistic features, being much more similar to her ancestors than, for instance, her younger siblings Lilandra and D'Ken. Deathbird has been described as an "evolutionary throwback".
Although she was the eldest of the Neramani siblings, Deathbird was denied the right to rule the Shi'ar Empire, and D'Ken was named emperor. Due to her crimes against the state, including the murder of her father the emperor, Deathbird was exiled to the outer space.
Deathbird reached Earth trying to get some supplies for her ship, and she encountered superheroes Ms Marvel and Hawkeye, and allied herself with MODOK. Later, she escaped from Earth.
Wanting the throne, she rebelled against D'Ken, who was emperor at the time, and allied herself with the Brood to usurp him and, later, Lilandra (who succeeded D'Ken). She eventually usurped the throne and became empress of Shi'ar, although she had to face many rebellions. A group of Skrulls maimed her wings and forced her to abdicate in their favor.
Deathbird sought the help of Lilandra's allies the X-Men but, once the Skrulls were removed from the throne, Deathbird chose not to sit on it, and she abdicated again in favor of Lilandra. Due to her surprisingly good job while reigning, once the Kree-Shi'ar War was over, Lilandra named Deathbird viceroy of the recently annexed Kree Empire.
Deathbird was later recruited to serve Apocalypse as the Horseman War. She retrieved the Living Monolith along with X-Man Bishop for Apocalypse to use in the Twelve. Deathbird and Famine were teleported away by Mikhail Rasputin after Apocalypse's defeat.
While in space, she began a relationship with the time-displaced Bishop. The two ended up confronting each other over a plan to defeat the Ruul, and Deathbird was presumed dead after being ejected from a spaceship.
Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire
Deathbird was rescued by the Imperial Guard. Lilandra imprisoned her because she posed a threat to her rule. Vulcan was captured by the palace guard as he entered Shi'ar territory on his quest for vengeance against the entire Shi'ar race. He was incarcerated in the same maximum security installation that housed Deathbird. Vulcan was released by a member of a secret order that wished D'Ken to lead the Shi'ar once more. Vulcan released Deathbird.
Vulcan was enthralled by Deathbird, and they became romantically involved. He promised to put his quest for vengeance on hold. Deathbird convinced Vulcan to finish the healing process that the Shi'ar members of the secret order had begun on D'Ken, who remained in a coma since the M'Kraan Crystal incident. When D'Ken discerned Vulcan's feelings for Deathbird, he invoked an ancient Shi'ar custom and invited Vulcan to marry Deathbird and become part of Shi'ar royalty.
Vulcan and Deathbird were married in front of the M'Kraan Crystal just as the X-Men, Lilandra, The Starjammers, and the Shi'ar loyal to Lilandra attacked. During the chaos that ensued Vulcan killed D'Ken (as he didn't promise not to kill him) and assumed the throne of Emperor of the Shi'ar Empire, with Deathbird as his Empress. During the fight Polaris crushed the ribs of Deathbird's husband and she instructed the Imperial Guard, still loyal to the ruling family, to protect them as they fled.
Vulcan's rule was initially compared to Lilandra's as the Shi'ar thought Cal´syee's husband another weak human. Vulcan however proved that he was a strong emperor and the people fell in love with him. During the Starjammers escape from their prison planet Cal´syee was severely injured by Polaris.
At some point after Vulcan's death she was captured by a top secret organization, however they weren't interested in Deathbird, but in her child - hybrid of atavistic Shi'ar and Human Mutant.The Providian Order as the organization calls itself was created to bring equality and uniformity to the universe, by creating a new perfect race. Sharada Darthri, the geneticist of the Providian Order, experimented on the baby and infused it with Kree geneline, thought the influx was stopped by the awakening of Deathbird, who rampaged the laboratory.
Powers and Abilities
Berserker: Deathbird can go berserk to increase her endurance and fighting skills, but only once per day.
Claws: Deathbird has claw-like nails that can be used in fight, except when flying.
Natural winged flight, able to reach 63 mph. Maximum 6 hours of flight, without extra weight. Maximum load, 330 pounds. Notably, she must have her arms free, but she might use her hands while flying. Her wings are sharp spurs that can be used to fight while on flight.
Exceptional hand-to-hand combatant, trained in Shi'ar methods of armed and unarmed combat.
Skilled at hurling javelins.
Expert in Shi'ar law.
Cunning military strategist.
Shi'ar Javelins, which extend to 3-feet in length and can be thrown with deadly force. Deathbird has also used a javelin that releases a noxious gas on impact. Some javelins can project blasts of electricity when the tips of two javelins touch each other.
Deathbird had also killed her mother. It was learned after Lilandra screamed, "Matricide!" while leaping towards her.
Appearances in Other Media
Deathbird made several appearances in the original 1990's X-Men animated series. In flashbacks, she was seen at D'Ken's side when Christopher and Katherine Summers were abducted. Following Lilandra's ascension to the throne of the empire, Deathbird sought to overthrow her sister and install herself as Majestrix, for which she joined Apocalypse, and was at his side when Fabian Cortez was captured. However, Apocalypse was merely using Deathbird for his own plans. During the episodes Beyond Good and Evil, she attacked Lilandra alongside Apocalypse, however, he abandoned her at the mercy of Lilandra and Imperial Guard Praetor Gladiator. Apocalypse simply wanted a distraction so he could kidnap Oracle, the psychic of the Imperial Guard.
Deathbird also appeared in the first Sega GenesisX-Men video game, where she had kidnapped her sister Lilandra. In the video game, she seems to have the ability to fire flamethrowers.
Deathbird appears as a boss in the video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. In the game, Deathbird staged a coup with the help of few Imperial Guards to take over the Shi'ar starship and stole the throne from her sister, Empress Liliandra. She plans to take her to their homeplanet and have Lilandra executed for false charges of treason against the Shi'ar in order to take complete control over the Shi'ar Empire. But Deathbird soon disappears after she was later stopped and her plan ruined by the superheroes who on a mission to defeat Dr. Doom, former leader of the Masters of Evil.
Like Mystique, Deathbird was first introduced as an enemy of Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) before becoming tied to the X-Men.