|“||We have many enemies. Some mutants still believe the failed dream of the X-Men. That we should live side by side with those who despise us. Others hide in the shadows. Which leaves us to fight for our freedom.||”|
|— Reeva Payge[src]|
She was the current leader of the Inner Circle, having taken that position when she massacred its members after they voiced their disapproval of her recent actions. She also secretly orchestrated the Purifiers through an alliance with Benedict Ryan. She is later murdered by Reed Strucker, ending the Inner Circle and Purifiers’ warring schemes.
"A smart, charming, authoritative, elegant, beautiful woman who is ruthless in her efforts to fight for her people. She leads an elite band of followers and has a soft spot for her new recruits but is still capable of extreme violence in defense of her vision."
Reeva grew up in the slums of Southside Chicago. She spent most of her life the subject of prejudice, first because of her poverty, then because of the color of her skin and lastly because she was a mutant. Growing up, Reeva’s only friend was a girl named Benazir, they protected and loved each other. One day, Reeva and Benazir got into a fight and soon after were attacked by a gang of Purifiers. Reeva attempted to summon her powers to defend them but her anger about the fight with Benazir got in the way and her abilities would not come. Benazir was stabbed in the confrontation and all Reeva could do was weep as her friend bled out and died in the street. Eventually, she took certain risks that led to building her wealth and social status until she was able to earn a seat in the Inner Circle.
Throughout the Series
In eMergence, Reeva Payge calls a meeting of the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle to offer an explanation for her recent actions regarding Atlanta. Also in attendance are the Frost Sisters, Esme, Sophie and Phoebe, as well as William. Reeva reminds those of the Inner Circle that they're all fighting for the same cause, peace and freedom. But for that to happen, mutants will require a place of their own. While in Atlanta, they discovered mutants powerful enough to accomplish said dream, though it required them to go against commands. With these new recruits, she would like to push forward to building a better future for mutant kind. Unfortunately, William is unconvinced. He reminds her that the mutant homeland project has been discussed and dismissed due to the risk. However, Reeva refuses to stand down, reminding William that mutants are dying and that she didn't claw her way out of the mutant slums of Chicago just to watch her own people suffer.
Nonetheless, William is very much against the recruitment of Polaris, a mentally unstable, pregnant woman and Andy, a child. Reeva reminds William that Polaris is exceptional, a mutant such as herself doesn't come around too often, and Andy is a von Strucker. His family helped build the Hellfire Club. Regardless, as one voice on the council, Reeva had no right to make this decision, acting completely without authorization. However, as pointed out by the Frost Sisters, who acted on Reeva's instructions, waiting on William's authorization would result in nothing being done. The point is, Reeva acted without the blessing of the Inner Circle, William says. While this is true, Reeva always believed that it is better to ask for forgiveness than for permission. She says this before using her mutant powers by generating a high note to subdue the other members of the Inner Circle long enough for the Frost Sisters to shoot and kill each of them, one-by-one, ending the onslaught with William.
Six months later, Washington, D.C., Lorna is much further along, and so the Inner Circle must prepare for her inevitable chaotic pregnancy. Reeva and the Frost Sisters take Lorna and Andy to the facility in which they intend for Lorna to give birth at. It was initially a munitions warehouse, according to the Frost. All stone and concrete, which they plan to modify for Lorna's comfort as it's the only place strong enough to contain her powers. Just then, Lorna appears to experience stomach pains, causing her to unintentionally move the SUV they arrived in. Lorna apologizes, explaining that the baby is kicking.
The next day, at the Inner Circle's base, Reeva enters Lorna's room to ensure that she is doing fine. Lorna immediately apologizes for the incident at the munitions warehouse, where she moved the car as a result of the pregnancy affecting her powers. However, Reeva isn't concerned with the car. She's worried about Lorna, who explains that she's depressed as she feels alone. Reeva sympathizes. The first thing she ever felt was alone. She was hated for her poverty, then for the color of her skin, then for her powers. But they can change that with each other's help. However, Lorna's hesitant to trust Reeva after hearing rumors of the mutants that were part of the Inner Circle before her. Reeva admits to making sacrifices. But for the sake of what it is that they are building, she would sacrifice anything. Reeva then assures Lorna that she'll be fine as Esme, Sophie and Phoebe are taking care of everything.
At the munitions warehouse, Lorna insists that they make sure the cell she will be giving birth in is sealed, and Andy insists that they double check. After chatting with the doctor, Reeva informs Lorna that she shouldn't be exerting herself. Given that she had a pre-term contraction that moved a 6,000-pound car, she should be on bed rest immediately. Lorna reluctantly agrees to the doctor's orders.
That night, Lorna goes into labor. She begins to screams out in agony as she settles into the cell. Reeva, Esme, Sophie, Phoebe and Andy stand at her side as she pushes. In doing so, the magnetic fields only worsen, causing objects even outside the building to move dramatically. Unfortunately, she's not dilating. Her blood pressure is off the charts, and she won't be able to take this much longer, but Reeva refuses to lose her. It's not a medical issue, the doctor explains. It's a mental block of some kind, and if they don't do something soon, she could die. This forces Reeva and the Frost Sisters to regroup and come up with a plan to help the baby and Lorna by reminding her what they are all fighting for. Reeva tells Lorna that she needs to be strong. They're going to show her the dawn of a new age. The Frost Sisters use their abilities to plant a telepathic vision in Lorna's head of a future, where mutants have secured a safe world for themselves. Reeva tells Lorna that this world could be for her daughter, but only if she shows that she wants it. Seeing this, Lorna says that she wants it more than anything, and so she gives another big push that nearly brings the entire building down as a forklift slams through the wall, but she does deliver the child, whom she names Dawn, bringing a smile to even the Frost Sisters' and Reeva's face.
In unMoored, at the Inner Circle's base of operations, Reeva calls in the Frost Sisters, Esme, Sophie and Phoebe to alert them of the alarming news headline and social media posts, all reporting the massive blackout across D.C. when Lorna went into labor. Esme tells Reeva that their engineers assured them the facility would be able to contain Polaris' powers during the birth. Nevertheless, Reeva isn't placing blame on anyone as Lorna was simply stronger than anyone realized. So, Reeva reached out to some of her political contacts. The Department of Energy is going to put out a statement about a lightning strike at a substation, but they will still need to tie up the other loose ends. Esme doesn't believe that killing the witnesses is necessary, but Reeva disagrees. Everyone who saw them and the facility have to go in order to secure the future for the mutant homeland. While Esme is reluctant, Sophie and Phoebe are more than will to carry out the task, even taking a shot at their sister, claiming that Esme went soft while with the Mutant Underground when they were locked up. Esme reminds Reeva that they're supposed to be training, but Reeva states that it can wait.
Reeva and Sage overlook Andy from the upper deck of the training room as they test his abilities to ensure that he can successfully complete his end of an upcoming operation. Reeva informs him that the walls are made of the same materials he'll face at the target of their first operation, each stronger than the last. So she needs him to break through them. Sage monitors his activity as he breaks through each wall, one right after the other. Andy manages to break through three walls, but as he comes up on the fourth, he loses focus and run face first into the wall. Sage informs Reeva that Andy's force distribution declined drastically. With that, Reeva tells Sage to get her Fade as she has an assignment for him.
Reeva has a sit-down with Andy following his poor performance during training. With his abilities, he should have handled that barrier easily. A problem like that during their operation could be disastrous. Andy claims that he simply had an off day, so Reeva shares story with him. She didn't have a lot of friends growing up. Her only friend was a girl named Benazir. They protected each other. Reeva loved her. One day, though, they had a fight. And then, later that day, they were attacked by a gang of Purifiers. Reeva's feelings about the fight got in the way, and her powers wouldn't come. So the Purifiers stabbed her friend and she died in the street. All Reeva could do was sob while she bled out. That was her "off day." That was also the day, that she learned that their powers tell the truth, even when they don't. So, she asks if Andy has anything to tell her, he says that he doesn't and that he won't fail again.
Reeva assigns Fade with the task of following Andy. Her suspicions are confirmed when Fade reports that he followed Andy to the store, where he purchased a disposable phone and reached out to his family.
Reeva and Sage monitor Andy from above as he returns for another training session. Sage states that his kinetic energy is back to its original level and moment of inertia is climbing. Just as it seemed he would break through all the walls successfully, again, Andy begins to recall his dream of Lauren falling off the parking garage's roof, and yet again, he goes face first into the wall. Reeva looks to the Frost Sisters for answers. Esme, Sophie and Phoebe look inside Andy's mind. They discover that Lauren is the problem.
Reeva paces back and forth, trying to determine what she should do about Andy given that he's making calls to the Underground. He could tell them of the Inner Circle's location. But as Esme reminds Reeva, Fade said he made only one call and hung up. However, all this, along with his poor performance during training has Reeva worried. He didn't even make a dent in the boron carbide. If he can't get through that, then their operation fails and their dream dies. Perhaps his family connection is stronger than they realized, Reeva says. Esme counters that his family is the reason he's there, given that he's a Von Strucker. This does them well but only if he's on their side. However, if he doesn't trust them, then they can't trust him, Phoebe and Sophie interject. Reeva will talk to him, to assess the situation to determine if he's reliable. If he's not, then Reeva will have to kill him, which Esme is against.
Reeva joins Andy in his room. She had hoped that he would come to think of the base as a home and them as people he could trust. What Reeva saw in the training room was someone whose mind was elsewhere and had doubts and secrets. While having doubts is fine, lying about them isn't. Andy claims he isn't lying about anything. Given that Andy continues to lie and doesn't trust them enough to be honest, Reeva is left with no other option but to kill him. She turns her back to him and inhales in preparation to let out a sonic scream. But, before she does, Andy admits that for the past 6 months, his mother has been messaging him through an online game, telling him where they are and how to find them, But he never responded. Andy also admits to calling Lauren, just to hear her voice, but when she didn't answer, he hung up. Andy then reveals the dreams he's been having of Lauren, where she's afraid of him. He tries to forget it, but he can't. Reeva doesn't want him to forget it. She wants him to use it. They all have the same goal, to build a homeland. For that to happen, Andy has to be strong and do as he's told. Reeva then gives him a hug.
Andy now seems to be thriving during training, as he makes quick work of the boron carbide. Reeva and Sage are both impressed and pleased with his progression.
In coMplications, at the Inner Circle's base of operations, Reeva agrees with Lorna that they need Marcos' help. It seems that Dawn's condition has exacerbated. Dawn has been diagnosed with jaundice and normal light therapy isn't working. Given the nature of Marcos' powers, he could possibly be the solution. Even though Esme, Sophie and Phoebe have expressed their clear disapproval of the idea — as it could expose their entire operation — Reeva goes against their wishes, with her own ulterior motives, and orders the Frost Sisters to retrieve him.
Esme, Sophie and Phoebe arrive at headquarters with Marcos. They sit him in front of Reeva, remove the hood, and explain the health issue his daughter has. Normally, jaundice is easily treatable, but this case his more severe than usual. Reeva reminds Marcos that he is, in fact, a guest. She continues, also telling Marcos that when he sees Lorna, their own discussion is to be about the child. Lastly, Reeva tells him to help the baby and leave.
As the Frost sisters are escorting Marcos out, they encounter resistance. Reeva and Andy reach there in time to see Marcos had managed to fight the Frost sisters' control and stop Marcos from advancing toward Lorna and the baby in their room. As he progresses towards Reeva and attempts to burn her, she lets out one of her powerful screams, which not only blocks Marcos' attack but turns his own abilities on him. As Marcos falls to the ground, Reeva orders Andy to escort him out.
Outside Lorna's room, Esme tells Reeva that Marcos is stubborn and won't give up, which Reeva is very much aware of, but she still wonders how he broke free of their control. Esme explains that while they can put thoughts into people's minds, it's hard to overcome powerful feelings. Esme thinks it would've been easier had they just finished Marcos off. While this is true, Reeva reminds Esme, Sophie and Phoebe that their plans are bigger than Marcos and any of them. They are creating something special.
In iMprint, after being gone for some time, Reeva is back at the Inner Circle Headquarters overseeing the training of Andy, Lorna and new recruit Rebecca. Lorna has become annoyed with Reeva’s recent absence, as well as her refusal to divulge information on the Inner Circle’s next mission.
In no Mercy,
Reeva was once an open hearted woman, willing to make peace with humans moving into her Chicago neighbourhood and was against her friend Benizer’s plan of having them push out the humans trying to move into their Mutant district. However that all changed when Benizer was killed in front of her by Purifiers. The pain of seeing her only real friend die hardened Reeva, she became ruthless and determined, developing a strong hatred for anyone who doesn't carry an X-Gene.
Reeva is now a staunch believer in the ways of the Hellfire Club, writing off the X-Men's goal of co-existing with humans as nothing more than a "failed dream". She is also vicious and unforgiving, having demonstrated the will to kill anyone that she perceives as a threat to her own goal, ally and foe alike. She has a somewhat hypocritical nature since she claims to be doing all her actions for the future of her people but will willingly sacrifice as many Mutants as it takes to make her dreams reality.
However, Reeva is not completely devoid of her old merciful personality, she is not without sympathy and remorse, as she wanted to spare the bank employees after the heist and was horrified and disgusted when Rebecca killed them out of spite. During her mission to manipulate one of the bank employees, Quinten into shutting down the the bank X-Gene detectors she found herself developing real romantic feelings for him but still coerced him into helping them by threatening his sons. When Rebecca killed him, Reeva was saddened and silently grieved for him, she had no problem submitting a captured Rebecca to traumatic conditions in what could be described as her own brand of justice, but also because Rebecca had deliberately defied her orders and the bloodbath she had committed would unite the humans against the Hellfire Club.
Reeva is African-American, with a slim, feminine figure. She has dark brown eyes and black hair, which is braided into a Mohawk-like ponytail.
Abilities and Skills
- Sonic Destabilization: Reeva can generate a high note from her vocal cords that directly affects the brain's neuro-chemistry. Her sonic scream is capable of scrambling brains. The frequency she creates appears to be capable of blocking other mutants powers, as seen when she prevented an attack from Eclipse, who said when he was affected, he couldn’t think, move, or control his body. In fact, he burned himself in the process of trying to use his powers against her, showing that Reeva is more powerful than an average mutant. Even if something was obstructing her target, her powers would still work, as seen when she used her scream to save Esme from Lorna when elevator doors where blocking her path. Reeva can also direct her powers towards certain people while leaving others unaffected, allowing her to incapacitate enemies without effecting her allies even if they are in close proximity. It is said she can makes her victims feel like they’re in the process of dying and her powers are lethal seeing as she used them to murder Sage. Reeva activates her abilities by inhaling through her nose, then releasing the sound. Though seemingly a whisper, the frequency of the note is beyond an ordinary human's ability to hear.
- Weaknesses: Reeva's sonic scream cannot create a physical barrier, and thus would leave her open to insentient attacks. Also, her powers can backfire when used on mutants like Reed Strucker, who do not have control over their powers. Moreover, some powers are incredibly dangerous when distorted by Reeva.
|“||I've always believed that it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission.||”|
|— Reeva to William[src]|
|— Reeva to William[src]|
|“||We're here to help the baby and Lorna. She needs to remember what she's fighting for. What we're all fighting for.||”|
|— Reeva to Andy[src]|
|“||You need to be strong. We're gonna show you why we're here. We're gonna show you the dawn of a new age.||”|
|— Reeva to Lorna[src]|
- Reeva: "Do you see that? That's for her. Do you want that?"
- Lorna: "More than anything."
- Reeva: "Then show me you can do this."
- ―Reeva and Lorna about the baby[src]
- outMatched (mentioned)
- afterMath (mentioned)
- no Mercy
- the dreaM (mentioned)
- gaMe changer
- eneMy of My eneMy (mentioned)
- In the Marvel Comics universe, Reeva is a member of the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle who was recruited by Shinobi Shaw as the Black Queen. The White Queen at the time was Benazir Kaur, who is referenced in The Gifted with the name given to Reeva's childhood friend.
- Reeva possessed the ability to generate a high note from her vocal cords that directly affects the brain's neurochemistry, painfully distorting perceptions of reality, causing victims to experience dizziness and hallucinations. The note is beyond a normal human's ability to detect sound.
- Reeva Payge made her first appearance in 1994 comic series titled X-Men Annual Vol 2 #3.
- Reeva's appearance in The Gifted marks her live-action debut.