Little is known about the mutant named Layla Miller prior to the events of House of M, in which the normal reality was replaced with a reality that was an Utopia for mutants. She first appeared as the only person other than Wolverine, the Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver to have any knowledge of the true past. During this time she was able to use her abilities to "unlock" their memories so that they remembered the world as it used to be. By doing this to a number of key heroes, she played an important role in returning the world to its normal state.
Layla Miller was created by Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel and first appeared in House of M #4 in August 2005. It is however Peter David that has made the character into what she is today, writing and developing her from 2006 till present.
Major Story Arcs
House of M
Layla is first seen waking up in her home when her mother is calling for her to get out of bed. Layla however immediately realizes something is wrong. She now lives in a world where mutants are the dominant species and humans are all but extinct. She eventually joins a group of rebel superheroes where she also meets Wolverine. The two of them seem to be the only ones who know something is wrong with the world and can remember how it was before the House of M reality. Layla turns out to be extremely vital to Wolverine and the other heroes, since Layla appeared to be able to let the heroes see how the reality was before House of M and let them snap back to reality. After Layla and Wolverine manage to bring enough heroes back to normal, the assault King Magneto, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. After the final battle, reality is set back to normal. Doctor Strange suggested that the Scarlet Witch may have created Layla for the express purpose of destroying the false reality. It is unknown if this is the case, however, given that she remains here even after the House of M reality was erased.
After M-Day, Layla finds herself back in the orphanage in which she grew up. She however cannot let go the strange reality where she was during House of M, where she even had actual parents. She is drawn to the new X-Factor headquarters in Mutant Town where she sits on the pavement in front of the headquarters until some members of the team come out. Without invitation, Layla volunteers as a file clerk. Whilst there, she tells the team that she somehow 'knows stuff' and has very accurate knowledge of the future. On many different ocassions, Layla aids the team in indirect ways thanks to these powers. Some of her actions are instrumental in convincing Rictor to join the team. When a Singularity Investigations employee tries to kill Rictor, Layla electrocutes and kills him. She then orders his body to be taken back to Singularity as a message.
When Siryn is beaten by a young version of Damian Tryp, Layla is blamed for not revealing that it was going to take place, and so returns to the orphanage voluntarily. There she is beaten and humiliated by the other orphan-kids until Madrox and Wolfsbane successfully convince the orphanage to let X-Factor adopt her. Layla's behavior and her proclaiming to 'know stuff' however started to get under the skin of certain members of X-Factor. This because she kept predicting things that had not yet happen, but almost never did anything to stop certain events from happening, only pointing them out. Especially with Quicksilver, she has a bad relation. He even tries to hurt, perhaps kill her, after the events of House of M have left Quicksilver dangerously unstable. She also manages to freak out X-Factor leader Madrox when she tells him that they will be married in the future. This freaks Madrox out, because at the time of saying, Layla was only 12 years old.
When the first mutant is born after M-Day, Cyclops requests the help of X-Factor and Forge to investigate possible mutant-populated future timelines. To do this, Forge asks Madrox to make dupes of himself to send into the future to bring out a report. As one of Madrox's dupes is preparing to enter the time stream, Layla jumps in with him, leaving all of her teammates worried sick. Layla and the Madrox dupe travel 80 years into the future. Upon arrival, the two are captured and placed in an internment camp for mutants, where they are branded with the "M" mark. Layla also finds that her precognitive abilities to look into the future no longer work.
In the camps they find a young version of Lucas Bishop, who tells them that is was a "mutant messiah" that caused the world to be the way it is. In order to send this information back to the original Madrox, Layla kills the dupe. Layla is alone from that time on, mostly hiding and fearing that she will never be able to return home again. Layla remained years in the mutant camps.
Layla eventually escapes the camp and travels to Atlantic City to find the rebels of that future. It is here that she meets Ruby Summers, daughter of Cyclops. Ruby takes her to an elderly Cyclops who he yells at Layla and even hits her, telling her he has been waiting for her for years. Layla convinces him to fight back, and together with Ruby, they initiate the Summers Rebellion. She would spent years on their side.
Jaime Madrox is trying to commit suicide at John Madrox’s residence in Vermont. (He is still shaken up from the death of Baby Sean, along with learning that Monet had gotten pregnant as well, but because her mind was "stronger" than Siryn's, Monet's child, who never truly existed in the first place, was erased from existence). Layla Miller comes out of nowhere to interrupt him. She has returned to Earth-616, fully grown, posing as a nun and able to stop Madrox from killing himself. Layla is now an attractive young woman approximately 21 of age. They celebrate the sudden reunion. However, Jaime notices that she has an extreme cold body temperature. Layla mentions that they do not have any time to throw away in explications right now. If Jaime wants to live, he needs to decide if he wants to go away with her. It is a simple decision; he just needs to reach her hand right now. As Layla starts the regressive countdown, Jaime takes hold of her hand to be off to wherever this generated portal is going to take them.
They arrive in the future where Layla has been trapped for years. Layla informs Jamie she has brought him 80 years in the future. The renewed Layla that Jaime was looking at John Madrox’s residence was a hologram in 3D. It was a multidimensional projection of the real Layla that was the main reason why Jaime could not sense Layla’s body temperature. As the intense light materializes, they wake up in some kind of medical facility. Layla was still pluged to a machine with cables connected around her body. A gigantic sentinel emerges through the ceiling. The sentinel is ready to fire a full bore laser blast towards both of them. He tries to create a dupe to distract the sentinel but his efforts are unsuccessful. Layla and Jaime attempt to escape but it’s too late again. The sentinel has already locked on the target. It’s ready to wipe them out. At that dreadful moment, Layla confess to Jaime that he is the only person she would like to die with.
As they are expecting the inevitable death; the sentinel explodes. Her close friend Ruby Summers has come to rescue them. Ruby demands an explanation from Layla. Why is Jaime Madrox worth the effort of bringing him into the future? Both of them had already discussed the proper course of action, when they found that particular time travel facility. As when this conversation is taking place, Layla predicts a second sentinel assault at their location. They struggle to escape but they are aided by Hecat’e and Daemon, two members of the Summers Rebellion.
The group arrives to a safe place near the coast. They are brought to get together with an senior aged Cybernetic Cyclops and the rest of the main Summer Rebellion core. The rebels are hiding in Atlantic City which is their headquarters and central base of operations. It’s the perfect location to stop and to defend from incoming sentinels assaults. Layla joins Jaime for a long walk on the boardwalk. The sunset begins to set down, they argue about the reasons why they have being a part of each other. They question their motives. Time has passed quickly without them doing what is necessary to be together. As they shout at each other, they drawn themselves closer and with each word they get really closer. Finally, they kiss. As Jaime tries to break away, he gives excuses and reasons to rationally stop. Layla talks to him to calm him out; she explains that the good thing about being involved with her is that he does have to guess about everything anymore.
Later, they are reunited with Cyclops who asks Jaime to investigate the lost track of some members of the Summer Rebellion. Layla explains that in their future it’s impossible to lose a member during an assignment. The next day, Layla wakes up early and sneak into Jaime’s room. She notices marks on his upper body. She wants to know about the marks, they share a moment of truthfulness as he explains the events of him reabsorbing Teresa’s baby. She attempts to console him. The whole situation is observed by Cyclops and Ruby who are at edge of the door. Cyclops mocks Jaime and tells him about the first time he meet Layla. As they walk into the assignment, Ruby asks if Layla and Jaime had sexual intercourse. Layla refuses to answer, she recommends to her to take care of her own business. They travel to Detroit which is in ruins. The city is home of the only person who can provide the right answers to their questions.
They arrive to the Home of Victor Von Doom. He is a senior person who has lost track of reality. He lives in his mind in the world that he used to live when he was younger but the current reality is totally different. He is delusional. Layla intends to extract the information that they need. Instantly, he gets an interest on Layla who he seems to know from before. He remembers two things that she had told him before. He knows that they want to know more about the time gaps. He demands that Layla knee in his presence to show some respect. Layla plays along. Van Doom forces her to knee by bending his hand but in reality Layla is just role playing along with him because Von Doom’s advanced age is an impediment. He can not force Layla against her will using just his physical stamina. Ruby and Jaime notices her strategy. Victor Von Doom explains that the only effectively way affect to change the future is to have a Doomlock. The device allows impacting any change of your actions in that particular time stream. Layla asks him how she can get one. He explains that you need to be a cybernetic organism to be able to use it because the technology has to be bound to yourself. Suddenly, Van doom remembers the second thing Layla told him before they meet which is an imminent attack. He screams to hit the deck for cover. The team does not have enough time they are surrounded by a new deadly type of a small versatile sentinel, the Omeganoid.
As they try to react, the Omeganoids disappear. Trevor Fitzroy has come to aide them sending these sentinels to the past to battle with the other members of X-factor Investigations. Madrox asks Layla if that is the same well known criminal from the future. She gives details about that he is a respected member of the Summers Rebellion in that reality. He also wants to know why Layla did not reach for Trevor help to go back to their past. Layla explains that Trevor does not have a proper handle of his time portals yet that she could have ended in a different time stream. He acquired that knowledge to manage his powers later in his life when he is a criminal. Jaime feels that somebody needs to act to put Trevor in place before he can not hurt people in the future. He can avoid a lot of people to suffer by doing something. Layla suggests numerous ways to kill him but she was being sarcastic. He suggest to Madrox to stop whining about it. Trevor is a good friend right now.
Back in Atlantic City, Layla is walking on her bare feet on the beach when she is approached by Cyclops. He wants to know the reason why Madrox and her bring the senile Victor Von Doom back to the city. Cyclops is concern that Von Doom is the greatest villain of all times even when his mind is working half of the time. Layla explains that they need Victor Von Doom to build a device that will pull the Doomlock, a.k.a. Cortex out of the past to their current time line to avoid he makes changes in the past that affect their present.
The Cortex Equation.
Layla is concern when Jaime feels a deep pain in his chest. That is a direct result of the battle that some of the members of X-Factor investigations and Cortex are having in the past to protect the life of Lenore. Layla presents information about a pending Sentinel attack in Philadelphia but this time the Summers Rebellion is ready to oppose the assault. Later as the group celebrates the victory, Jaime inquires in relation to the cause why he was brought there to that future. He feels that everything is going to turn at the worst possible outcome anytime soon. Jaime asks Layla if he is the reason that everything goes horrific, she replies that he is one of the reasons, the other is her.
Back at the headquarters in Atlantic City, Victor Von Doom brings Cortex back from the past under his direct control. Cortex attacks and kills Trevor Fritzroy. Ruby counter attack sending him to clash with Layla at the beach. Ruby requests Madrox to inform Layla that she is needed where the Trevor’s body rests. Cortex tease Layla’s powers since he feels that she can not hurt him. He motions to hit Layla when Madrox intervenes as Layla runs away to aide Trevor. Ruby confronts her to use her true powers to save him. Ruby has seen Layla to revive butterflies and small insects back to life. Layla does not want to do it since there are huge consequences. She explains that she can bring the physical body back but the soul is gone. Therefore, He will not have a conscience to distinguish the concepts of right or wrong. However, Layla feels that she has to bring him back. She accepts under the one condition that if things do not work correctly she will take Trevor’s life back since that is part of her power as well. Layla apologizes to Trevor in advance and revives him. Trevor rejoins the fight in time to avoid all mutants in that reality to be teleported out to a different time stream. He kills Cortex by draining his energy in a similar fashion to a vampire. He also created a time portal to send Eddie Falcone back to his past to fulfill his origins.
Jaime confronts Layla about her true nature of her powers. He wants to know if she can bring people back from dead. He does not understand why she did not help Theresa, a.k.a. Banshee when she had the chance. He feels that Theresa was in real pain with the dead of her father. She tries to explain why she brought Trevor back but as she is talking. Victor Van Doom creates a new time portal to teleport them back to the past. Madrox emerges at the X-Factor Investigations headquarters. Layla is nowhere to be seen. She appears talking to a younger version of herself back at the orphanage. Layla tells her everything about her past and future. She explains how reality works. She also implants memories and data about events that going to happen in the next eighty years. However, she leave some gaps of information so she could have an opportunity for free will since she does not need to know everything that is going to take place. She walks away saying “what things people do to kids”.
Later she is found to have been spending a little around a year with Doctor Doom. The team find her and she eventually returns with Shatterstar during the Second Coming storyline. She and Shatterstar save Siryn from being killed by Bastion's men. When they save her some men shoot at Layla, she reveals that she has some power gauntlet that stops the bullets. Then a short time later a giant saw is about to kill her when she holds up the gauntlet a blast comes from it and it destroys the saw.
Later Monet questions Layla, and Layla tells her that she spent time with Doom because she wanted to learn stuff, while she told him of the future she came from. Monet then passes out do to a prior overuse of her power. Guido goes to take Monet back to bed, and Layla informs him that Rahne was back and she sent her to Rictor's room. Guido informs her that Shatterstar was up there too. Rahne and Shatterstar get into a fight that goes into the street, Rahne informs everyone that she is pregnant with Rictor's baby. As Rahne hugs Rictor Layla watches her, because she knows Rahne is lying about the father of her child. The team goes to Vegas on a mission. Layla joins and saves some humans with a force field that seems to generate from her gauntlet, she then uses the gauntlet to pull the team back from hell very easily. Shortly after Vegas, Jamie and Layla go alone on a mission where a demon was attacking a woman. In the end Layla ended up using an incantation to exercise the demon. She says it is just another thing Doom taught her.
Ressurecting the Dead
X-Factor is later hired by J.Jonah Jameson to protect him, because his friend General Ryan had been killed. The group known as SCARS attack him at a rally, X-Factor protected him but SCARS took down Guido. Guido was taken to the hospital, a doctor comes out to tell Jamie and the others that Guido has died, but instantly they find out he is alive and well the doctor doesn't know how, we see Layla hiding in the hospital room's bathroom. Later Layla visits Guido and tells him she had to do it, that it would at least keep him alive, to give her time to fix it.
Layla confronts Rahne about her lies, and let's her know she knows the truth. Soon one night Layla starts writing weird symbols on the doors and windows, and then she places salt at all the entrances. She then tells Jamie it is because she knows that Rahne and Shatterstar are being chased my animal demons, because they want Rahne's child. During the craziness of the demons wanting Rahne..
Layla demonstrated telepathic abilities during the House of M, but has not since M-Day. Although Layla has claimed that she once had horns and could breathe fire, she may not have meant for this to be taken literally, as she is explaining to Jamie Madrox that she was an outcast and treated badly by the other children in the orphanage.
In X-Factor #50, Layla revealed to Jamie that her true mutant power is to return life to the dead. However, the people she resurrects are soulless - hallow shells of their former selves, so she does not use this power often on humans, nor does she get any pleasure out of it. Layla does enjoy using her life-giving abilities on animals. The first person she is shown to resurrect is Trevor Fitzroy, who originally was a good man and lover of Ruby Summers. Following his resurrection, the soulless Fitzroy becomes the evil man known to the X-men.
When the aged Doom sends Jamie and an older Layla back to their own time, Layla is at first sent too far back, meeting a young, pre-House of M version of herself. She implants this young version of Layla with a device that give her information about things which present-Layla has already experienced, giving her the 'power' to 'know stuff.' When asked what her powers were she almost always replied that she "knows stuff." This lead to speculation on her power by several sources and the general consensus was that she had the power of precognition.
With her "future history" she seemed to be able to perceive almost any event's outcome long enough before it occurs to casually (and generally cryptically) warn people if she feels it is warranted. Her abilities were shown to have limits when she was surprised to learn that her abilities to understand future events are hindered when dealing with mutants that Quicksilver, mutants he has re-powered, and Damian Tryp. Several people have demonstrated that they've been 'invisible' to her knowledge of the future. Strong Guy was probably invisible to her powers for a while because he was hypnotized, and Nicole was because the Isolationist built her with a "chaotic randomizing generator". In actuality, sometimes she just has 'black spots' in the data download which prevent her from knowing specific details about events. Some beings, with similar knowledge or prediction abilities (like Damian Tryp), can actually cause events that she has seen to not come to pass. However, despite the details, Layla has a considerable knowledge of future.
Layla has knowledge of events that will happen, allowing them to evade them. She often placed herself and her friends out of harms way and her opponents into situations that would end badly for them.
Since rejoining the team as an adult, Layla utilizes a mysterious gauntlet in addition to her true and implanted powers. The device was presumably given to her by Doctor Doom during her visit to Latveria. This artifact grants her with the ability of using an energy beam that produces a sphere force field. This energy force field can be use in a variety of forms. She has demonstrated its use as a weapon and as a protective shield. As a weapon, it makes objects explode when they come in contact with the generated force field.
As a shield, Layla is able to create a barrier around her to protect herself and others. For instance, she had used to repeal an attack with firearms. She was able to increase the radius of the shield to protect a small group of people from a river of red-hot lava. In addition, She used the gauntlet as a protective energy shield to rescue out of hell her teammates of X-factor during the Asgardian Case. It wasn’t clear how the device worked. To exit hell involves a high degree of complexity. It appeared slightly easy for her to walk in and out of hell using the device.
Layla has developed an interest in magic, spells and incantations. It’s not clear if that is a direct result of her interaction with Doctor Von Doom. She uses her supernatural knowledge to protect X-Factor headquarters from the attack of several different demons during Wolfsbane’s baby birth story arc. Laya used her power and knowledge to bring Banshee and the Morrigan together. She recreated an invocation ceremony.
Layla Miller appears in Ultimate Enemy as a member of Roxxon Corporation's Brain Trust. Nothing else is known about her, except that she "knows stuff". After the destruction of Roxxon Corporation, Layla and other members of the Brain Trust were gathered to find out who is behind these attacks. They were joined by Spider-Woman who was using Julia Carpenter alias. After the second alien attack on Roxxon Corporation, Layla Miller was believed to be dead. Instead, she survived along with Nathaniel Essex. She still works at Roxxon Corporation, and is shown that Nathaniel found Havok.