Real Name: Manuel Alfonzo Rodrigo de la Rocha
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Empath possesses the ability to sense and manipulate the emotions of other sentient life forms. He can affect a large group of individuals at one time, and can exert varying levels of empathic control over them, ranging from subtle manipulations that others are generally unaware of to a complete negation of emotion that reduces others to a zombie-like state in which he can command them with little effort. His power operates by means of Empath's own brainwaves overriding the parts of the brain that govern emotion in others.
Manuel de la Rocha was born in Castile, Spain. He is a mutant who attended school at the Massachusetts Academy, where he was one of the original students of then villain, the White Queen. Frost's students, who were known as the Hellions, were rivals of Charles Xavier's students, the New Mutants. De la Rocha was one of the few Hellions, along with James Proudstar, Amara Aquilla, and Angelica Jones to survive an attack by time-travelling villain Trevor Fitzroy (although Empath's former teammate, Tarot would eventually be resurrected).
The White Queen once used Empath to manipulate Magneto into allowing the New Mutants to join the Hellions. This was made easier as the New Mutants had been deeply traumatized by a powerful energy being called the Beyonder. During the course of this plan, he met two of Xaiver's allies, Tom Corsi and Sharon Friedlander. He took the opportunity to attack them mentally, changing a subtle attraction to full blown obsessive sexual desire between the two. They would show up several days later, severely traumatized.
During his tenure with the Hellions, de la Rocha met and fell in love with Amara Aquilla, the New Mutant known as Magma. Aquilla eventually left her team and became a member of the Hellions, so that she could be close to de la Rocha, and de la Rocha even accompanied her back to her home in Nova Roma. The romance ended, however, when Aquilla began to suspect that de la Rocha was using his abilities to control her emotions, which he in fact was. When the colony of Nova Roma was discovered to be a ruse by the witch Selene, Empath used his abilities for a time to convince Magma that this was a hoax. This set a bond of mistrust between the two that would never be broken.
Later, Empath joined X-Corporation, where he became the Communications Director for the Corporation's Los Angeles chapter along with his former love Magma. However, after M-Day, Cyclops ordered the closure of the X-Corporation headquarters to better focus all available resources on protecting their members and allies. Empath was one of the few mutants to retain their powers in the wake of House of M.
After M-Day, Emma Frost used Empath immediately to reel in Magma who, in her devastation over the death of her boyfriend because of the depowering, had wrecked a South American village. Empath is currently staying at the Xavier Institute along with some of the other 198, however his shared history with Magma has her always suspicious that he is still toying with her emotions.
First Appearance: The New Mutants (1983) #16
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2006)
Dark Reign: The Cabal (2009)
Die Neuen X-Men Comic-Magazin (1989)
#12 Essential X-Men (2010)
- 'Der Anfang vom Ende?'
#13 Firestar (1986)
- 'Socking It To The Sisterhood!'
Generation X (1994)
#55 Heroic Age: X-Men (2011)
- 'Sins of the Past, Part 1: In Another Man's Shoes'
New Mutants (2009)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A To Z Update (2010)
#1 Ryhmä-X / X-Men (1984)
- 'Marlene Alraune to Zuri'
The Marvel Encyclopedia (2006)
HC The New Mutants (1983)
- 'The Marvel Encyclopedia'
Annual 04 The New Warriors (1990)
- 'Mind Games'#16
- 'Away Game!'#17
- 'Saturday Night Fight'#38
- 'Pawns of the White Queen'#40
- 'Avengers Assemble!'#43
- 'Getting Even'#53
- 'Seduced & Abandoned'#54
- 'Scavenger Hunt!'#62
- 'To Build a Fire'#81
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition (1985)
#5 Titans (1980)
- 'Gardener to the Hulk'
Uncanny X-Men (1963)
#193 X Necrosha (2009)
- 'Warhunt 2'#281
- 'Fresh Upstart'#501
- 'SFX 2: All Tomorrow's Parties'#502
- 'SFX 3: Beginning to See the Light'#503
- 'SFX 4'#508
- 'Sisterhood, Part 1'#510
- 'Sisterhood, Part 3'#524
- 'Second Coming: Chapter 6'
#32 X-Force (2008)
- 'Child's Play (First Move): With a Roll of the Dice'#33
- 'Child's Play, Third Move: Rules Were Made To Be Broken'#34
- 'Guns and Poses'
#12 X-Men Origins: Emma Frost (2010)
- 'Suicide Leper: Part One'#21
- 'Necrosha: Chapter Two'
X-Men: Curse of the Mutants Saga (2010)
#1 X-Men: Hellfire Club (2000)
- 'X-Men: Curse of the Mutants Saga'
#4 X-Men: The 198 (2006)
- 'Also Sprach Sebastion'
X-Men: The 198 Files (2006)
X-Treme X-Men (2001)
- 'This is the Way the World Ends'#33
- 'Manifest Destiny'#34
- 'Crossed Swords'#35
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