Karima Shapandar was a successful detective for the Indian National Police in Calcutta, India. When the eldest son, Sanjit of Police Chief Shaara disappeared mysteriously, Karima was assigned to protect his younger son, Neal Shaara, Against his father’s wishes, Neal took the initiative and sought out the individuals who had last seen his brother Sanjit, a journalist who was in the midst of investigating a story. Karima trailed Neal from a distance but, when he was attacked by a street gang, she had no choice but to intervene. Karima made short work of the gang given her superior hand-to-hand combat training.
Karima decided to assist Neal in digging deeper into the story his brother was working on before his disappearance. However, many of Sanjit’s sources refused to talk, mostly out of fear of an unknown source. Karima and Neal realized that something serious and horrible was occurring in the streets of Calcutta. During their time together investigating, Karima and Neal found themselves attracted to one another, as an emotional bond grew between the two. After days of searching, Karima suggested that they take one night off for themselves. However, their investigation had not gone unnoticed. As the pair were about to share their first kiss, they were attacked and easily subdued by Bastion, and his Prime Sentinels. Neal's brother had been turned into a sentinel.
Sanjit fought his programming long enough to disable the other Sentinels, but died in the process. As Neal cradled Sanjit’s body, Shapandar quietly told Neal to run. She had discovered that she too was a Prime Sentinel; humans transformed into sentinels and set up as 'sleeper' agents, unaware of their programming until a nearby mutant activated them (as in Neal's usage of his mutant powers). Neal refused, saying he loved Karima. Karima begged him to leave, saying she couldn't hold on much longer. Neal was forced to flee.
Karima Shapandar (Omega Sentinel) was created by writer Chris Claremont and illustrator Brett Booth, first appearing in the X-Men Unlimited, series in June 2000. She was later used by Claremont in Excalibur vol. 3 and later went on to join the more mainstream X-Titles X-Men Legacy. Claremont has spoke about the character's creation, quote "I liked the idea of her. The notion... of someone being transformed into a wholly mechanical being and what effects that has on sense of self, sense of soul? She’s an outcast from both human and mutant society, yet bound by her own personal sense of honor to try to protect both. Callisto’s (another character in the Excalibur series) one kind of 'monster,' Karima’s another. They both have their measure of prejudice to overcome."
Major Story Arcs
Genoshan - Excalibur
Even though her Omega Sentinel programming was fully activated, Karima didn't start to hunt down mutants, because Operation: Zero Tolerance was shut down by SHIELD before Bastion could launch his organization on a global scale. At some point, Karima was “acquired” by a band of former Genoshan Magistrates. They planned to use Karima’s anti-mutant armaments to lay claim to their former island nation which had recently been devastated by a Sentinel attack and was now inhabited by a handful of mutants. However, Karima’s presence on the Magistrates’ aircraft was detected by a telepathic called Hack, one of the few mutant survivors in Genosha. Aware of the danger the Prime Sentinel posed to them, Hack and his allies tried to stop the Magistrates before they could reach Genosha, and they drove the aircraft into the ocean. She was found by Magneto and Xavier. She was stripped of her Sentinel programming by Magneto and Xavier leaving her human mind intact.
Karima remained in Genosha and slowly began to adjust to her transformation into a cyborg. A short time after Karima joined Xavier’s small band of followers, they were attacked and captured by the opportunistic pirate called Stripmine. He and his crew planned to sell the mutants and whatever else of value was left in Genosha. Stripmine’s associate the Appraiser took a special interest in Karima’s unique blend of human biology and Sentinel tech. She marveled that her Sentinel programming had been completely eliminated and her human consciousness restored. When Karima’s integrated systems defied her analysis, the Appraiser warned Karima that her tech parts were as valuable as scrap parts as she was intact. The Appraiser was not the only one who was intrigued by Karima. Stripmine’s employer was the Dark Beast and his twisted scientific mind couldn’t help but be drawn to the Omega Sentinel-turned-mutant ally. Once freed by her allies, Karima assumed a role she felt very comfortable with: police officer. She placed the Dark Beast and his allies under arrest, happily declaring herself Genosha’s new sheriff.
The headway that Karima and her allies made in rebuilding Genosha and forging a new community there were cut short by the Scarlet Witch, who created a reality-altering wave that caused 90-95% of Earth's mutants to lose their powers, including most inhabitants of Genosha. Exactly what happened to Karima in the wake of Wanda’s breakdown is unknown.
A short time later, she intercepted a low-level telepathic cry for help from the mutant villainess Regan Wyngarde aka Lady Mastermind. Karima traced the psionic “distress signal” to the Fordyce Clinic and was apparently captured by the same agents who were holding Lady Mastermind. The team of scientists behind the Clinic proceeded to study Karima’s Sentinel systems. By the time the X-Men arrived, tracing Wyngarde's faint mutant energy signature, Karima was partially dismantled. Luckily, the Beast was able to restore Karima’s systems after the X-Men destroyed the facility and rescued both Karima and Lady Mastermind.
When Rogue was offered the chance to lead an X-Men squad of her own choosing, Karima was among those she hand-picked for her strike force. Karima adopted the alias “Omega Sentinel” and readily accepted the chance to help the X-Men safeguard what remained of mutantkind. Her Sentinel-based abilities and technological savvy proved valuable to the X-Men as they faced the enigmatic Children of the Vault. With this threat temporarily thwarted, the X-Men turned their attention to hunting down the man responsible for Karima’s recent dismantling: Pandemic. Pandemic proved to be a bigger threat to the X-Men than expected, given that he had accumulated the powers of approximately 300 mutants powers using Rogue's abilities as the means. With such powers he nearly defeated the entire team. However, once again, the X-Men beat the odds and defeated the scientific mastermind.
Messiah Complex and the Acolytes
After the Hetacomb attacked the team retreated to an old Mansion of Mystique's. While trying to perform updates on a laptop, Shapander was possessed by Malice, now a digital entity. She remained possessed by Malice throughout Messiah Complex, but in the final battle, Pixie stabbed her with her souldagger, which purged Malice out of Shapander's body. When she awoke, Karima found herself on the field of battle, just as things had reached a climactic end. Professor Xavier had just been fatally wounded by Bishop and lay dead on the ground surrounded by his X-Men. Exodus saw an opportunity here and called on his ally Tempo to slow time. He enlisted Karima’s aid in stabilizing Xavier, using her Sentinel technology. Karima agreed out of a sense of indebtedness to Xavier who helped her deal with her transformation into an Omega Sentinel.
Exodus’ team escaped with Xavier’s lifeless body. Karima reluctantly joined Exodus and his Acolytes in their attempts to save Xavier and rebuild his psyche. Shapander remained with the Acolytes, as they had taken Professor X, and she was there for him as he was there for her. She has no memories of the events that happened while she was possessed by Malice, and some of her tech was infected. When Exodus summoned the underpowered Magneto to help revive Charles, Karima watched over. Magneto called her out of the shadows, and the two talked. Magneto then devised a way that the two of them could revive Professor X. After they do this, Frenzy busts in, ready to kill Magneto because he is now human. Karima fights her for a moment until Magneto stops her. After Professor X has a brief battle with Exodus, Karima leaves the Acolytes base temporarily with the Professor and Magneto.
Karima is later shown to have remained with the Acolytes, until the time came when Prof. Xavier returned to Avalon to convince Exodus that his Avalon retreat was not helping the cause of mutant-kind, which was now a dying race. When Exodus decided to disband the Acolytes, and subsequently destroyed Avalon, Karima went with Random and Amelia Voght to San Francisco to join the majority of the remaining mutants. However, she didn't rejoin the X-Men in any official capacity. After Second Coming was over, Karima is shown to be on Utopia. She attends her ex-team mate, Cable's funeral.
Shortly after that Karima is assigned to join a small group of mutants from Utopia, to go into San Francisco and help rebuild after Bastion's attack, by Cyclops. On the boat trip to the city, Psylocke noticed something was wrong with Karima, to which Karima stated she was "experiencing system glitches". After a while of working, her systems went haywire and she ended up non-purposely blasting Colossus. She tried rebooting her system when her sentinel programming detected mutants and began an attack on the group of mutants, including Hope. Losing control of her faculties and going into attack modes, Karima attacked Hellion, knocking him down momentarily, During the attack, Hellion has a power amplification, now having telekinetic control at the molecular level. Steering his attack through Hope and the girl, not harming them and delivering a major blow to Omega Sentinel. The rest of the team show up and demand Hellion to stand down but the attack from Omega Sentinel continues. Karima is successful in attacking and subduing most of the team. She employed sonics to take out Psylocke, a railgun to neutralize Danger and accelerated plastic particles to wound Magneto. She used a neural disruptor on Random, before heating and freezing Colossus, before applying sheer strength to his body. Karima coming close to killing Hope until Hellion intervenes. Hellion then delivers a massive attack violently striking blows at Omega Sentinel as she begs for him to kill her while can still consider herself human. Hellion pauses for a moment only to happily deliver the finishing blow. Later Cyclops stated that either Karima is now brain dead or her consciousness was too low to detect.
Beast had Karima's body held in suspended animation in hope that she could one day be revived. Although this would happen, how it happened was far from Hank's intention. The sentient bacteria Arkea - twin sister of Sublime, with the power to inhabit and control machinery - traveled to Earth and made her way to the Jean Grey School and used Karima's body as a host, controlling the school's computer system through her. Both Rogue and Kitty Pryde attempted to take her down, remaining careful not to destroy her in case any of Karima remained - although Arkea insisted this was not the case. Kitty and Rogue managed to weaken Arkea, but she escaped and fled across the Atlantic.
The X-Men caught up with Arkea at the Szent Margit Institute (a hospital specializing in bionics) in Budapest. During a battle with the X-Men, Karima's consciousness suddenly reawakened. Grabbing Psylocke's arm, she ran a psychic sword through her head, seemingly killing Arkea and regaining control of her body.
As a Sentinel, specifically a Prime Sentinel Karima is outfitted with advanced technology, surpassing that of most other Sentinel models. These models strength capacity allowing them to lift circa 70 tons, the ability to move at superhuman speeds, and superhuman durability (in particular due to Electric Isolation, a special resistance to electric attacks and damage) with regenerative capabilities. Increased agility and great senses, making her a great battle combatant. Adding in that even prior to her physical augmentation she was a trained and experienced fighter.
She has a multitude of implants making her a cyborg. Among the things she's equipped with are Sentinel-like energy guns allowing her to manipulate energy on a sub-atomic scale, jet booster allowing flight and various radar and scanning devices. She can also project holographic images and has a great resistance to electrical signals. genetically encoded with Sentinel Prime technology, granting her superhuman strength, reflexes, and durability, telescopic and x-ray vision, proximity sensors, bio-scanning and monitoring, individual bio-tagging and locating, an internal CPU with satellite modem access, vast data storage and collating capacity, long-range interactive holograms, target identification and acquisition locks, nannites capable of bio-mechanical regeneration and threat adaptation changes, self-propelled flight, extendible finger-knives and armor-piercing darts, and a large array of retractable devices in her shoulders, wrists, abs, thighs, and shins, including searchlights, volt-casters, lasers, plasma knives, sonic disruptors, neural disruptors, nitrogen and flame weapons, and rail guns.
- Known Relatives: Unrevealed.
- Citizenship: Indian.
- Place of Birth: India.
- Marital Status: Single.
- Occupation: Adventurer, detective, former mutant hunter.
- Education: Sardar Vallabhbhalai Patel National Police Academy.
- Gender: Female
- Height: 5'8"
- Weight: (Human) 142 lbs.; (cyborg) 181 lbs.
- Eyes: Brown
- Hair: Black
Earth-58163 - House Of M
In the altered reality known as the House of M, Karima was cast as the leader of Magneto’s Sentinels. When he suspected England’s ruler Brian Braddock of treason, Magneto sent Karima and a contingent of Sentinels to capture and incarcerate Braddock and his family. Karima led the Sentinels with unquestioning determination and refused to listen to Brian when he tried to explain that he and his allies were trying to stop a temporal event that would destroy the world. In direct battle, Karima and the Sentinels proved to be no match for the Braddock family and their allies, who saved all reality despite Karima’s best efforts to fulfill Lord Magneto’s orders.
Earth-904 - X-Men: The End
Ten to fifteen years in the future, Karima was among the many X-Men who assembled to oppose the threat of a Phoenix-possessed Cassandra Nova and her Shi’ar allies. While nothing significant was revealed about Karima’s history in this possible future, she was part of an eclectic group of X-Men that combined traditional members of the X-Men with members of the British Excalibur team and Xavier and Magneto’s Genoshan allies, and Karima was among those who departed to space to take the battle to Cassandra Nova. While in THE END the heroes emerged victorious, it is unknown whether Karima survived that final conflict or not.
Marvel: Avengers Alliance
Omega Sentinel appears as an unlockable character in the Marvel: Avengers Alliance video game on Facebook. She is unlocked by collecting Omega Lock Boxes, which are dropped during the 'Special Operation 8: Vision of the Future' limited-time mission set. Similar to the Vision, Omega Sentinel is able to switch her class between Scrapper, Bruiser and Tactician classes via her 'Change Protocol' ability. Each of these classes have a difference ability set associated with it.
Her bio says: Formerly a detective in the Indian National Police, Karima Shapandar was abducted and implanted with Sentinel technology and weapons, turning her into an anti-mutant sleeper agent. Known as the Omega Sentinel, she fought the Avengers until her human mind was restored to her by Tony Stark. She now fights on the side of the Avengers, hoping to reclaim ownership of her destiny.
Marvel: Avengers Alliance Tactics
Omega Sentinel was a playable character in the short lived game.