Fight smarter, not harder. These are words of wisdom many people with superpowers don’t really adhere to. Those that do, tend to be the most dangerous people in the game. You can have no other powers but your intellect and wits and come out ahead. Prodigy is someone where it both is and isn’t a power. How is that and who is he? Let’s find out!
David Alleyne was a smart kid so it took his family sometime to realize he was a mutant. He noticed it when he could pick up on what his teacher knew in regards to the subjects he was learning from them. Not full on telepathy but the ability to absorb the skills and knowledge of those around him. Biology, martial arts, literature, and beyond, if someone knew it and was near him, so did he for a limited time. This ability just made him study harder so he could have remembered knowledge along with his powers to back him up.
His mutant ability would draw the attention of the X-Men and Danielle Moonstar of the New Mutants team would invite him to join Xavier’s school. Having been outed as a mutant by an anti-mutant group from his school, David and his family thought he’d be safer at the school. Not really craving to be a member of the X-Men, David declines leadership of the New Mutants team but does eventually take up co-leadership to help his friend, Wind Dancer. Learning that his ability’s limited duration is a mental block that can be removed telepathically, David is shown a possible future path he would go down if he’d remove that block while being able to learn indefinitely from everyone he meets. He is shown a world where he has aided a utopian society into existence at the cost of murdering the X-Men and dying in the process of killing his own wife. Terrified, David decides it is best for him to stay as he is in regards to his powers.
When Scarlet Witch ceases new mutants from existing as well as taking away the powers of many existing mutants, David is one of these mutants. No longer with his abilities, David stays at the school as de-powered mutants are being attacked in the rest of the world. As a consultant and eventually returning to leadership of the New Mutants with his girlfriend Surge. During a battle with a demon, David is temporarily killed and revived by the powers of one of his friends. This rattles Surge who tries to get David to quit the team as it’s too dangerous for him by kissing a fellow teammate to incite jealousy in David. The Stepford Cuckoos, triplet telepaths, were able to unlock David’s mental block allowing him to remember all the old skills and knowledge he’d picked up back when he had his power. David was now knew scores of fighting styles, sciences, and more as if he’d been trained for years in each and every subject. This all happened as he was ready to leave the school, now feeling far more capable, he stays on as an instructor and breaks up with Surge.
Working with Beast, David would help him in research, medical work, and building new technologies for the X-Men. When the team moves to San Francisco, David joins them. Left in charge of surveying a threat, David is able to learn that there are enough Sentinels aboard the threat to kill every mutant on their new island home. Suffering an emotional breakdown at this revelation David is able to help fight off a giant Sentinel. After the battle, Wolverine and Cyclops have a falling out and the rest of the team separates into joining either one. David chooses to stay with Cyclops but is soon disillusioned and leaves the team.
Now at a desk job for a call center dedicated to answering super-powered questions, David uses his vast wealth of knowledge to help people with all their ninja, super-science, and whatever else they need. He is bored and retired when he meets Speed, former member of the Young Avengers. The two wind up meeting someone who is using the old costume of Patriot to commit crimes and give chase. Witnessing Speed being taken by this other dimensional entity, David joins the Young Avengers as they deal with the malevolent extra-dimensional entity, Mother who has this Patri-Not in her employ. While trapped in a void dimension David comes out as bisexual to teammate Hulkling by kissing him. The team is able to stop Mother by uniting with just about every teen superhero alive. When the team disperses David attempts to get into security by working for Stark Industries.
There you have it! I enjoy the heroes who can use their mind and be just as deadly, if not deadlier than their powered allies and enemies. He’s one of the few bisexual superheroes out there and he’s a man of color, I hope there are readers out there who see David and get a connection they may not have had before. It feels like we got a bit of a Young Avengers thing going on, let’s see how long that lasts. See you next time!
New Mutants Vol. 2 #4 and on
New X-Men: Childhood’s End
Young Avengers Vol. 2