Prior to Xavier's Institute
Dallas Gibson's life prior to his enrollment at Xavier's Institute remains, for the most part, unrevealed to date. It has been revealed that he both lived with and was raised by his grandfather. He had a relatively normal childhood. When Dallas' mutant power's first emerged, they had a negative effect on his grandfather. It wasn't shown specifically how but upon Dallas' first manifestation his grandfather had a severe heart-attack, which resulted in his hospitalization. Thankful, Dallas would find that his grandfather would have a speedy recovery from the strain put on his heart. It was at this time that he would be contacted by Xavier's institute.
At Xavier's Institute
It has yet to be revealed if his enrollment was initiated by the Institute or by he and his grandfather. His enrollment though, bore no negative feelings from he or his grandfather. His grandfather only wanted to do the best for him. Realizing that the Xavier's Institute would provide Dallas that, he allowed him to go. Choosing to accept the enrollment was completely of his own accord. So Dallas enrolled as quickly as possible.
While at the Institute, Dallas had a rather easy transition from his normal home life. As far as personalities go, Dallas had a winning one. He is very carefree and friendly, though sometimes he has a hard time expressing himself. He made friends quickly and got along well with pretty much everyone, both faculty and students alike. Dallas also showed huge potential, in terms of both mutant power's and ability. And unlike many mutants his age, he was very comfortable with the fact that he was a mutant and had powers. In fact, Dallas embraced his mutant nature and new abilities. As far a powers were concerned, Dallas had the power of "Darkness Manipulation." Specifically, Dallas was able to physically merge his body with that of his own shadow creating one entity, granting him a number of super-human attributes. He has also stated numerous times that his shadow is as close to him [no pun intended] as his best friend. He has even referred to his shadow as a "him". It's assumed that when his mutant powers first manifested, his shadow gained sentience, enabling the two of them the ability to communicate with each other. He looked at his powers and situation as a blessing, not a hindrance, and readily took on his future with a positive attitude.
Advisors and Code-Names
Due to the large number of students enrolled at the school, it was necessary for the two headmasters, Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Emma Frost (once known as the White Queen), to design a special mentoring system in place so that everyone would equally be given the same amount of attention. Each student would be able to select their own advisor. The advisors were all member's of the school's faculty. In most cases they were also current or one time X-Men or allies of. As advisors they would use their experience and wisdom to help the growth of each of their advisees. Each advisor could only have 5-6 students at most, as to not be overwhelmed or spread too thin. Dallas would decide to select Emma Frost as his advisor and would show up for their first meeting shortly after. It was during this meeting that Dallas would find out for the first time who the other students were that also selected Emma Frost as their advisor, and meet them.
In Emma Frost's personal office, a long couch was placed in front of her and her advisees all sat there waiting for their meeting to begin. Along with Dallas, there was: Julian Keller, Cessily Kincaid, Santo Vacarro and Brian Cruz (Also known as Hellion, Mercury, Rockslide and Tag....respectively, though these names were not selected yet). Emma took her job very seriously. She explained to all of them that, "There will always be those that are destined for greatness and it was her [Emma] job to teach her advisees how to be among those select few." She also informed her advisees that normally the faculty normally selected code-names for the students. Emma would give her young protegés to pick their own. All would pick their names, and Dallas would pick the name Specter, say that, "Anything with the word shadow would be cliché." Emma ended the meeting letting the students know that as her protegés, there would be no price too high that she would pay to ensure their success. She would ended the meeting moments later.
It would be during this meeting that most of them would meet each other for the first time. It wouldn't be too long after that they would become great friends. The students at Xavier's Institute would continue to have their meetings with their respective advisors until yet another change would occur. This coming change, in particular, would impact Dallas greatly.
The Corsairs Training Squad
Changing it up, in an attempt to make their [faculty] teaching more effective, Cyclops would introduce the concept of "training squads." Modifying the teaching style of the school, the advisors group of students would now be referred to as training squads. The team's would have uniforms, team colors and participate against one another to gain points. This would all lead to the annual "Field Day" The "squad system" would result in some students being switched to other advisors. Unfortunately, Specter [Dallas] would be the only one of Emma's advisees to be reassigned to another squad. His place would be fill by a new school recruit, Sooraya Qadir (Dust).
Specter's new advisor would be the Headmaster of the Xavier Institute, Scott Summers (Cyclops). Though he would have to leave his group, Specter would enjoy finally finding a permanent squad to be a part of. Along with Specter, his squad would consist of:
- Stepford Cuckoos ( Celeste, Mindee and Phoebe): Telepathic and able to combine their minds into one telepathic hive mind with substantial power.
- Dryad: Able to commune and manipulate plants to her will.
- Quill: Able to create sharp barbs all over his body and use them as weapons.
Together they would form the Corsairs training squad. They were named after Cyclops' (now deceased) space pirate father and one time leader of the Starjammers. Through Cyclops' incredible leadership skills the Corsairs would place 2nd in the annual Field Day competition.
M-Day and Stryker Attacks!
All would go as normal until one fateful day when the Scarlet Witch changed the world exclaiming, "No More Mutants!" At that very moment 90-95% of mutant were completely depowered, not even have a trace of the x-gene in their body.
At the Xavier Institute everyone would wake up with different responses to their new situations. Specter would be no different. He would awaken and attempt to call for his shadow. When it would not answer Dallas began to get nervous. After he realized that he wasn't the only one who's powers weren't responding, the realization of the situation hit him. Devastated, he started crying uncontrollably. He kept exclaiming, "He won't answer me!" This further proves that he not only did but could communicate with his shadow. He even referred to it as his "best friend."
There wasn't much time to get adjusted to everyone's new situation, a new enemy made himself known by the name of Stryker. Along with his "purists"(his followers), he wanted to erase mutants from existence. No better target than a school full of, what he thought, were mutant teenagers. The X-Men, having caught wind of this, decided that the now-depowered mutants had to be evacuated from the school as they were in danger with no way to protect themselves. Some were picked up by family or by other means, and the last few were to leave on a bus in the middle of the night. At night, all the depowered students said their goodbyes and got on the bus to start their voyage. Suddenly, a missile was launched and hit the bus dead on, killing all aboard the bus. Dallas was at first thought to be among those on the bus, but it was later revealed that he was actually picked up by his grandfather. He was alive - depowered but alive, safe with his family.
He has yet to make an appearance since these events.
Specter is a Alpha-Level Mutant.
Specter formerly possessed the mutant power of Darkness Manipulation. Specifically he had the ability to physically merge his body with his shadow. Once done he looked darker in appearance, sometimes black or shadowy looking. In this state he is suped up. It basically granted him a number of super human traits including:
Super Strength: Though untested, Specter exhibited extremely increased levels of strength.
Super Speed: Though untested in, shadow form, Specter exhibited level of speed, beyond that of the most highly trained athlete.
Increased Durability: While in shadow form, Specter is able to sustain more damage then he would be able to in otherwise.
Night Vision: Specter's eyes allow him to see in complete darkness, while in shadow form.
Immunity to Darkness-Based Attacks: While merged with his shadow, Specter is a being of darkness. As such he is immune to attacks that are darkness in origin. *It remains to be seen if he, in reverse, would gain strength from darkness attacks. [OR] If he would be more easily controlled by those that, too, have the ability to manipulate darkness, since in his new form that is his status.
Flight: It's been speculated he would the ability to fly, though this power has never been recorded.
Specter's increased attributes would only have increase exponentially with both time and experience.
His shadow-based power's work strongest during the day time when it would be most visible. Similar to the solar-mutant Sunspot, at night his strength level's are dramatically reduced.
Additionally, Dallas is only able to be merged with his shadow for limited times. Extended lengths of time run this risk of him succumbing to darkness and becoming evil. As it is while merged he takes on a slightly darker persona but it controllable at first, eventually it takes over his personality.
Weight: 110 lbs.
Known Relatives: Grandfather (name unrevealed).
Citizenship: United States. Minor with no criminal record.
Place of Birth: Unrevealed.
Marital Status: Single.
Education: Xavier's Institute, High School level classes.
Xavier's Institute (New X-Men: Academy X) Yearbook
Each student submitted their like's and dislike's and they were voted on by the rest of the student body to see what the are "mostly likely to do" in the future. Here is Dallas Gibson's section.
Likes and Dislikes:
Dallas Gibson (Specter) stated that he liked that he finally had a squad and an advisor of his own [Referring to the Corsairs]. He disliked changing advisors, as he didn't want to have to do it again [referring to his unrequested change from Emma Frost to Cyclops].
Most likely to......
Dallas was voted "Most likely to marry a baseline (meaning regular human)".
Specter has yet to be shown in any alternate realities.
Dallas was created by Christina Weir and Nunzio DeFilippis and first appeared in New Mutants #10