The White Queen ( Emma Frost) was on a personal mission to get a foothold on power within the Hellfire Club and maintain it. In doing so, she came up with a brilliant idea. For the Hellfire Club to continue perpetually, future members are integral. The White Queen decided to create a team of young Mutants loyal only to her (though none would be aware of this) who would be eventual recruits of the The Inner Circle. In doing so, they would, unquestionably, give the power to her and she would achieve her goal. She would build, fund and run a school, similar to Professor Charles Xavier ( Professor X), that would teach young mutant in the use of their powers. It would be named the Massachusetts Academy, it would be here that she would, too, train her students to be her personal army.
The White Queen needed to locate, secure and recruit her future students, her Hellions, as she would name them. She needed to do it as fast as possible. She would use her vast wealth and all of her telepathic might to comb the corners of the world to search for her future students. To increase her mental powers, she would even have a mutant tracking device created called "Mutivac', similar to Cerebro used by Professor Charles Xavier, this is when she would find the most success. She actively sought out special individuals, mutants, those that had powers and that would aid her in her goal. She would find and recruit Thunderbird (now Warpath) first. Her very second recruit would be none other then the blond bombshell that had the ability to control luck by the name of Jennifer Stavros.
Roulette was created by Chris Claremont and Sal Buscema and first appeared in New Mutants #16 in June 1984.
Major Story Arcs
Enter Jennifer Stavros
Prior to Jennifer Stavros' birth, her family, consisting of her grandparents and father, came to America. They immigrated from Greece, wanting to find a better life. They moved to New Jersey, specifically Atlantic City where Jennifer was born many years later, the youngest of 6 children, four boys and two girls. To support his family, Mr. Stavros dealt cards at a casino. Jennifer's mother was never mentioned, it's presumed that Jennifer's father had to raise his children alone. Raising 6 kids on one salary meant working lots of hours, and Jennifer found herself alone a lot of the time. A mischievous child, she enjoyed manipulating others, especially when it caused them grief, and she often used her good looks. As she grew, she was always trying to find a way to entertain herself, often by persuading others to do things for her, or by pitting others against each other. She would eventually find herself involved with a local gang, whose lifestyle she found enjoyable. Although she had the beauty of a model, she was as manipulative and cunning as any con-man, and wrecked all kinds of havoc while in the gang.
However, Jennifer's world changed completely when her mutant powers emerged. Jennifer and her siblings all grew up around gambling and games of chance, which possibly influenced her emerging abilities. It's suspected that Jennifer ran away from home when her powers first manifested. Finding that her mutant powers allowed her to control and create good or bad luck would only increase the amount of bad things she did while with her gang. She quickly began breaking laws left, right and center, and eventually became a wanted criminal. Luckily for her, her mutant powers registered on the White Queen's "Mutivac" and she would quickly arrive to "rescue" Jennifer from police who had just caught up with her. Jennifer was offered the chance to go with Emma, attend her academy and become one of her Hellions, which she accepted, saving herself from a life on the streets. She left New Jersey and never looked back.
Roulette & the Hellions
While a part of the Hellions, Jennifer is given the code-name Roulette; a testament to her ability to manipulate both good and bad luck as well as her casino-filled upbringing. She finds life with the Hellions suits her. Mean-spirited by nature, she continues her games of manipulation, even within her own team. Tarot
is the constant butt of her jokes, and to further antagonize Tarot, Roulette openly flirts with her fellow team-mate Empath
, with whom Tarot was in love. Emma Frost sees something of herself in Roulette, and strives to mold Jennifer in her own image.
As a team, the Hellions battle many other teen superhero groups. The New Mutants grow to be their rivals and they battle each other regularly. The Hellions even battle the New Warriors. During this battle Roulette truly shows her mastery and skill over her powers. Roulette is pitted against the powerful Speedball( Robbie Baldwin). Even though she is obviously out-matched in terms of power, she skillfully manages to use her powers to effectively defeat him and embarrass him at the same time. Her powers grow each day. During another battle, both she and Catseye, another of her team-mates, fall from their flying transport while fighting the New Mutants. The fall would have spelled doom for most others, but Roulette effectively uses her good luck discs on herself and Catseye, saving both of them. They land unharmed and still ready for battle. In one of her final appearances Roulette accompanies a small unit of Hellions including Thunderbird (now Warpath), Empath and Firestar to lead an attack on Muir Island. Thunderbird blames Professor X for his brother's death and wants to kill him. While the four Hellions were there, they have multiple opportunities to kill the X-Men. They fail, but not because Roulette couldn't do it. She has no problem with the act, but Thunderbird has a change of heart and stops the others. However, Roulette's actions show just how far she would go, willing to kill for no apparent reason.
The Hellions No More
When the villain Trevor Fitzroy
travels though time, escaping Bishop
and the XSE, he murders the members of the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle one by one, leaving only a few members left, including Donald Pierce
(the White Rook) and Emma Frost (the White Queen). Fearing for her life, the White Queen, throws a ball and invites the X-Men. Her intentions are to use the ball to ease tension between the two separate mutant factions: the X-Men and the Hellfire Club. She reasons that if another faction had the capacity to attack the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle, the X-Men can't be far from the next target. Throughout the night, it seems as though reconciliation is an impossible task as arguments seem to break out each time both sides meet. In most cases the youthful immaturity of some of the more mean-spirited Hellions like Roulette, Jetstream and Empath
is to blame. The X-Men, for the most part don't create many of the fights, with the exception of Iceman
. Younger than his team-mates, the antagonizing by the Hellions works in getting a rise out of him.
Towards the end of the night Emma calls a closed meeting with Storm the Hellions and the X-Men (Storm's part of the team was referred to as the Gold Team). A big fight starts between the teams. Roulette and the other Hellions ready themselves for battle and power up and the X-Men do the same. Roulette doesn't care who she fights, she only wants to cause the X-Men pain. Jean Grey intervenes, mentally putting a stop to the fight. The White Queen also uses her mental powers, allowing her to keep her young team's anger reduced and keep her team at baybut limiting her full use of her powers. Jean Grey, is also in a weakened state, as the psychic feedback from Emma deals tremendous damage to her already frail state. Suddenly, two assailants, one man and one female, enter the room, though only one is visible.
The female attacker quickly tries to assassinate the White Queen, but is taken down as fast as she enters by Emma and her team. Roulette takes a defensive position close to Emma enabling her to protect her headmistress. While they attempt to question her, the other assailant makes his presence known. Jetstream and the super humanly strong Beef (a newer field-ready Hellion promoted when Thunderbird left) are nearest to the door. With everyone’s attention on the female assassin no one sees the next attack coming. A bright flash of light causes everyone to turn and see another individual poised for battle. Trevor Fitzroy makes himself visible and quickly attacks both Jetstream and Beef, absorbing Beef's life essence (in effect killing him) and throwing him out of the window, far down to the street below. Fitzroy keeps hold of Jetstream and absorbs his entire essence, killing him in mere moments. Roulette survives the initial battle only to be captured and detained by Fitzroy. Roulette fares no better than her teammates and meets her "apparent" demise when Fitzroy drains her life essence. There is a possibility that Roulette may have survived as he is never shown dead, only presumed dead, although she has never appeared since her death was indicated. The White Queen is placed in a coma and the X-Men take on damage too. All the training in the world could never have prepared Roulette for the attack she would encounter. Her death along with the Hellions, though unfair, would lead to the eventual reform of the White Queen, her training of Generation X and her joining of the X-Men. Apparently everyone's luck runs out, even one who controls its very powers
Postmortem Appearance: Living in Another Man's Shoes
The Hellions including Roulette would have two more appearances, though they would be postmortem [after death]. In one occurrence Emma's sister Adrienne Frost was attempting to take the title and role of the White Queen in newer formation of the Inner Circle (one that Emma was not apart of). She created a psychic program in the danger Grotto (a room very similar to the Danger Room) that would have Emma and her new team of teenage mutants, Generation X, relive the last days of the Hellions. With them eventually sharing the same fate as the Hellions, and dieing in the same ways as each member of the Hellions did. All the members of Generation X would take on the appearances of each of the Hellions, save Jetstream. He would not have a living counter part, and would act on his own accord, as he would have when he was alive. The plan would fail though, with the Generation X team being able to see through the ploy and breaking free before the Hellions deaths. Emma and her team would live.
In an attempt to agitate Emma Frost, the evil D'Spayre
would attack her where it hurts most. Through-out the Massachusetts Academy all of the students (Generation X) and Emma Frost are being accosted by bone chilling images. They are seeing the ghosts of Emma first students, the Hellions all through-out the campus grounds. Chaos ensues, in the end though it’s found that it only a ruse set by D'Spayre. The ghostly images would quickly disappear and things would be brought back to normal, once again.
**All of the deceased Hellions would make two appearances post-humus with the exception of Jetstream. He does not appear in the second. Apparently when the D'Spayre storyline was written he was forgotten about.
She was revived along with the other hellions by Selene and was seen with the rest of the Hellions, attacking the X-men, as shown in Necrosha X. Though she was shot at by Domino, she remained unharmed and threw a luck disc at the X-men as she and the Hellions were called away to another task assigned by Eli Bard.
She and the rest of the Hellions appeared in The New Mutants, with one goal, to take Cypher back to Selene and Eli Bard. She was seen along with the rest of the Hellions, trying to take Cypher away.
Roulette had the mutant ability to affect the probability fields, thereby influencing what society knows as "luck". She is able to alter luck to be either good or bad with immediate actions to follow. Roulette's powers are harnessed by the creation of psionic energy disc's (She once referred to them as "Wheels of Fortune."), black for bad luck and red for good luck. So powerful are the field manipulations, that once her powers are used an improbable event occurred moments after, usually with a very effective outcome.
Roulette by sheer force of will maintains a constant aura of good luck around her at all times to ensure good outcomes. The result allows her perform feat or live from events that normally another would not. Due to the amount of time that she focused her good luck upon herself, it is now second nature to her and done effortlessly.
Roulette has a limitation very similar to that of the Scarlet Witch's
. For a bigger effect more concentration is required. Which also means more time would be needed to make that specific "Wheel of Fortune." Due to the amount of concentration required for larger occurrences, it can leave Roulette vulnerable.
Roulette has a knack for gambling whether this is due to her mutant powers, an affinity for gambling that she has, or because her father taught her how to play remains unrevealed.
Known Relatives: Father, 4 brothers and 1 sister (all names unrevealed).
Citizenship: Citizen of the United States, with a criminal record. Still a minor.
Place of Birth: Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Marital Status: Single.
Occupation: Formerly, Student, Gang-Member & Adventurer.
Education: High School level classes, while enrolled at Massachusetts Academy.
Place Of Death: On an island located in the North Pacific Ocean.
Weight: 90 lbs. (41kg.)
In the AoA alternate reality, Roulette was also a member of the Hellions, a group of young students located at the Massachusetts Academy. The significant difference though is that Emma Frost was not the individual that would bring them together and it would not be for the Hellfire Club. In sharp contrast the young mutants were students and being trained to be future agents/soldiers of their High Lord Apocalypse. In the mainstream reality Earth #295, the Hellions were not truly bad, just trained by bad individuals, here though they actively participate in criminal acts which are why they were sought out for their arrests. After the fall of Apocalypse, Magneto made it his initial mission to search out all renegade mutants and followers of Apocalypse. His first targets were the Hellions, who were caught unaware at their school. Roulette, was easily defeated by Gambit and brought in to stand trial. She, along with the other Hellions that were present during the invasion, is presumed to be currently incarcerated paying back their debts to society.
Jennifer "Roulette" Stavros was created by both Chris Claremont & Sal Buscema.