Portrayed by Billie Piper
|Birthdate:||April 14, 1987|
|Journal:||Toil and Trouble|
Amanda Sefton is the research and administration assistant at the Snow Valley Research Center. She's had more than her fair share of drama - now she just wants to have as normal a life as possible. Well, as normal as you can when you're a mutant witch who happens to work with a highly-illegal team of spies - while trying to teach the next generation of magic users.
- 1 Details
- 2 Biography
- 2.1 Childhood
- 2.2 Phase1
- 2.3 Phase 2
- 3 Physical Characteristics
- 4 Powers
- 5 Equipment
- 6 Trivia
- 7 External Links
- 8 Plots
- 9 Meta
Character Journal: xp_daytripper
Real Name: Gemile Szardos, legally changed to Amanda Sefton in November 2006.
Aliases: Amanda Sefton, Amanda Seaton
First Appearance: January 11, 2004
Place of Birth: Germany, raised in England
Citizenship: Formerly German, now EU
Relatives: Szardos Clan: Margali Szardos (mother - deceased), Ivan Szardos (father - deceased), Stefan Szardos (brother), Kurt Sefton (adopted brother), Jimaine Szardos (sister), Meggan Szardos (adopted sister).
Education: High school equivalency, currently completing a double degree in Sociology and Linguistics.
Team Affiliation: X-Force
The daughter of Margali, a Romani witch, Amanda's mutation made her a target early on in her life. A magical practitioner called Rack realised the toddler’s potential and, posing as a German government worker, stole the two-year old from her family. He told Amanda as she got older that Margali had sold her to him. He brought on her mutation when she was five and used her as a power source for his spells, teaching her enough to use her and she teaching herself a little more in secret. When Amanda was eleven, the early onset of puberty prompted a particularly nasty blood ritual involving a demon, in which the child was almost killed. Social Services became involved after another member of Rack’s coven at the time, Pete Wisdom's sister Romany, took the child to hospital for urgent treatment; social workers removed Amanda from her ‘father's’ care and got a court order making her a Ward of the State. Rack was jailed briefly for assault and neglect and after his release he left England and disappeared.
For the next three and a half years Amanda was shuffled from foster home to foster home, with occasional spells in institutions for unwanted children. The pattern became depressingly similar - she would be placed in a home, she would invariably use her magical abilities and the family would panic and demand her removal. Amanda's behavioural problems also didn't help. By the time she was fourteen, she had twelve different foster families under her belt, and was a frequent runaway. After the last family, hardline Christians, she ran away yet again and spent the next one and a bit years living on the streets of London and Brighton, doing anything to survive including prostitution, petty theft and begging. It was in Brighton that Romany found her and enlisted her brother Pete Wisdom to arrange a false passport for Amanda in order to smuggle her out of England, since as a State Ward she was the responsibility of Social Services and Romany felt they'd done enough damage. Romany herself was unable to foster Amanda due to her alternative lifestyle, and Amanda’s mutant power put her at risk in the magical community. Xavier's was really the only option for her; even though there was no-one who could really help her with the magical aspects of her abilities, it was thought it might be possible to control the amount of mystical energy she was able to channel.
Living At The X-Mansion
When Amanda came to the mansion she was brash, suspicious and obnoxious. Naturally blonde and blue-eyed, she dyed her raggedly-chopped hair black and had enough piercings to support a small African nation in stainless steel. Amanda prided herself on her independence, and was constantly on the lookout for the catch, since the mansion had to have one. However slowly she began to realise the mansion was the best place for her, and despite some teething problems (such as turning Jake Gavin into a frog by accident in her first week), she began to slowly settle in and make friends. She was seriously hurt during the invasion by Pete's former employers and became determined to learn to defend herself.
A great unforeseen problem was the presence on the school grounds of a powerful magical artifact, stronger in fact than anything Amanda had had access to - the Gem of Cyttorak embedded in the chest of the groundskeeper, Cain Marko. Unable to help herself, Amanda became addicted to the Gem, and once Cain and Moira MacTaggart discovered a way to shield it, suffered serious withdrawals. Her part in the events of Love Potion Number Nine drove her further into addiction and self-destructive behaviour, including forming an empathic link with the unstable Manuel de la Rocha. After eventually trying to kill herself (and being prevented by Angelo's intervention) after an altercation with Lorna Dane, she had to return to England and Romany's care for a cleansing ritual, which blocked the link. She returned with the magical equivalent of a nicotine patch - an amulet on a chain around her neck that provided her with a baseline level of power to prevent withdrawal symptoms, with an added cut-off switch to prevent her from taking in too much power. She also acquired a magic tutor - Dr. Stephen Strange, a professor at Columbia University and closet magician.
Upon her return to the school, Amanda and her best friend Angelo ran afoul of Patches, her former magic dealer, who had passed on information and her blood onto Rack. Driven to facing him, they barely escaped alive, Pete and Emma Frost rescuing them at the last minute. There were positives - the link with Manuel was eventually re-opened and their relationship truly started. It was a difficult pairing - neither teen knew what love really was - and their insistence on keeping things open caused further problems. Manuel resented Amanda's closeness with Bethany Moore, a human girl she met through HeliX and her friendship with Angelo and Amanda was highly insecure about Manuel's flirtations with Jubilee. Eventually things escalated to the point Amanda and Jubilee fought each other, both with fists and with powers.
Halloween's attack by the Repodemon meant a certain degree of closure for Amanda, although it also meant the loss of Bethany, whose parents moved her away from any further danger. With the death of the demon and the unbinding spell she performed to rid herself of Rack, many restrictions on Amanda's magic dropped. Just in time for her to risk everything saving herself and Manuel from Selene and Alphonso de la Rocha during a Hellfire Club function on Manuel's birthday. The incident cost Amanda her boyfriend as Manuel retained few memories of himself and their relationship and brought her to the attention of Selene.
Lost In The Woods
Selene made her first move against the young witch shortly after New Year's, during a ceremony to exorcise her influence from Manuel. The attempt failed when Nathan and the Askani confronted Selene and Amanda and Manuel continued on their winter vacation through Europe. In Germany Amanda met with the birth family Wanda had found for her and determined for herself the extent of Rack's lies. On her return, Amanda found herself banned by the Doctors Four - Henry McCoy, Moira MacTaggart, Jean Grey and Madelyn Bartlet - from using her healing powers except in emergencies and then only under supervision, in an effort to prevent the increasing signs of overload. Frustrated and feeling useless, Amanda agreed to summon the spirit of Jay Guthrie's dead lover, Kevin Cabot causing herself minor brain damage in the process.
Alphonso continued to harass Amanda and Manuel, sending them footage of the beating Amanda had received back in November 2004. This created a rift between the couple, exacerbated by the death of Pete's father by order of Alphonso. Remy LeBeau was able to identify Alphonso's role in the beating and the murder: Pete was told and left the school immediately after in order to seek Alphonso's death. Remy, who had always told Amanda the truth, revealed to her why Pete had left, cautioning her to keep that knowledge to herself for the security of the school. The weight of keeping such a secret from Manuel became telling and Amanda slid into her old habit of withdrawing from people. After Alphonso was killed, Manuel discovered Amanda had known the truth and threatened her with his powers. Unable to remain and unable to reach Romany who had withdrawn herself since Pete's departure, Amanda fled back to her birth family at the suggestion of Alison Blaire. Her abrupt departure damaged several of her close relationships, including that with Nathan, who was at the time laid up in medlab with a broken back as a result of the Youra mission.
Amanda returned to the school several weeks later, with a new student in tow - an abused shapeshifter called Meggan, found in a local freak show. Margali had adopted the child and Amanda acted as her surrogate parent during her time at the school. Her absences plus the amount of time lost due to her various injuries and healing demands meant Amanda failed her final exams and pushed her towards taking on summer remedial work in order to graduate high school. The demands she placed on herself meant she had little time for socialising or Manuel, with whom she eventually made a reconciliation, however she did make a new friend during this time, Charlie Plunder. When he committed suicide, something broke in Amanda, leading her to refuse to countenance losing another person in her life. An argument with Strange after Bad Blood about the cost of using Limbo's power for healing Alison resulted in her firing him as her tutor and he left the country shortly after on a mysterious job, leaving Amanda to fend for herself with her magic studies. At this point in time Selene again appeared, this time with an offer of tutelage, which Amanda flatly refused.
In June 2005 an accident with the amulet which fed her mystical energy pushed her back into withdrawals, culminating in her using Meggan's power to synch herself to energy as a fix. Shocked by what she had done and desperate to overcome the addiction, Amanda cut a deal with the only magic user available to her: Selene. Selene maintained her part of the bargain and Amanda gradually gained control over the addiction and the magic, learning to use life energy as a source of power. It was this skill that let her bring Remy back from death, using those in the medlab at the time to fuel the spell. For this she was expelled, and whilst the staff tried to find somewhere to place her, she ripped the link with Manuel out of their heads and teleported out of the mansion and to Selene, to fulfill her part of the deal and become her Black Knight for a year.
With the downfall of Selene and the sacrifice of Askani to bring Alison back from the brink of death, Amanda was brought back to the school by Pete. Her mutant powers burned out, her relationships largely in tatters and unable to deal with the consequences of the magic any more, Amanda asked Tante Mattie to take the spell-casting ability away and returned with her and Remy to New Orleans.
The Path To X-Force
Amanda spent several months in New Orleans under the watchful eyes of Tante and Remy. She remained in contact with those friends who stood by her after the events of the previous year - Angelo, Marie-Ange Colbert, Doug Ramsey and Jubilation Lee, and wrote often to Moira, She sought therapy for her addiction and abuse issues and completed her high school equivalency, with an intention to go to one of the local colleges in September and study social or youth work. However, these plans were derailed with the return of her powers. Amanda's resistance caused her severe migraines, and she wound up at Muir Island Research Facility under Moira's care until she was able to come to terms with it. She remained at Muir, learning to bleed off excess power, until Pete brought her in to find Romany on account of her occult knowledge.
Amanda's role in X-Force is primarily in a support and research role, assisting Wanda and consulting on the occult and mystical and given her medlab training, acting as first aider. She chose not to pursue the magic, but then something happened, as things always do, and after talking to Forge and Marie-Ange she realised she couldn't run away from what she was. She had intended to ask for the magic back, but Tante's spell had a loophole, as all spells do, and Amanda inadvertantly healed Remy's leg the rest of the way. Slowly allowing herself to perform spells again, she discovered many things had changed and none of the old rules applied.
Using the information taken from the harddrive Remy took from Charlie's computer and her own work, plus consulting others in the magic underground, Amanda began to develop her own style of magic since none of the traditional forms seemed to work for her. It was urban magic, essentially - building off the quirk in her mutation that allowed her to absorb the energy of her environment. With the removal of the accelerations created by Rack and by the demands of the mansion, she was on a far more natural learning curve - but not without accidents, such as the accidental cockroaches of Operation: Body Snatchers. December 2006, Kurt was seriously injured in a training accident and Amanda Healed him, discovering the spell required living energy of others to fuel it. This reminder of Selene unsettled her deeply.
2006 was also re-establishing old and building new relationships in her life; getting to know her adopted brother Kurt Wagner, driving the school's students to New York on Saturdays and socialising with some of them, and living and working with the employees of the Snow Valley Center. Her work, plus her college study and her training in the more spy-like areas of X-Force and in combat with Logan and Wanda, left little time for a social life, however she did see her friends from the school, specifically Marie D'Ancato and Angelo (for whom she hardboured a not-so secret attraction) on a regular basis. She and Doug also renewed their friendship, particularly after Doug and Marie-Ange's relationship ended, and Amanda and Mark became cohorts in various boredom-relieving schemes in the office, as well as going to Silver together on a regular basis. In November 2006 she legally changed her name to Amanda Sefton, cutting her final ties with the Szardos Clan following her brother Kurt's casting out by Margali.
Candra and Selene's Legacy
2007 began constructively - Amanda began dating Angelo after his near-death forced her to confront her feelings for him - and with her becoming more and more confident in the field. There were glitches - an undercover mission with Angelo nearly ended in disaster when she dropped cover, and she almost drowned in Syria, but she moved on and learned from these mistakes.
Captured as part of an elaborate plot to resurrect Selene and steal her power by the New Orleans bokor witch Candra, Amanda was tortured and re-scarred, her ability to channel energy being used as a way of hijacking the resurrection ritual in Manhattan. Amanda was rescued by X-Force, and spent many weeks recovering. The experience left her angry and determined to push her magic knowledge, in order to be able to protect those she cares about. The incident also caused issues with Angelo, his guilt and her anger creating tension. It was not until they attended Medusa's engagement party in Attilan that they began to work through their issues. The disappearance of the island and with it Angelo's suitemate and friend, Forge was another crisis that drew them closer together, sharing their grief.
Amanda's problems weren't over, however. An unexplained power surge and missing books led to suspicions falling onto her, and the true culprit being caught - her sister Jimiane. Margali, losing her mind, had sent the girl to set Amanda up as part of an elaborate trap - bodies were switched, and only a last minute change of heart by a remorseful Margali at the cost of her own life saved that of her estranged daughter. The incident reconciled the divided family, however, with both Kurt and Amanda being officially reclaimed as part of the clan, and attending their brother Stefan's wedding.
The spell Candra carved on Amanda's back became critical to saving New Orleans , when Belladonna Boudreaux-LeBeau resurfaced and launched her final strike against Tante Mattie and Remy. Used to channel the loa Baron Samedi into Remy and therefore almost inevitably spell his death, Amanda realised that sometimes there isn't the luxury of choice - a lesson that was repeated when she used the energy of her teammates to save Wanda's life during their battle against Swarm.
Doing the Job
Working for X-Force increasingly left its mark on all of the Junior Trenchcoats, as Amanda had nicknamed the younger members of the team, and the witch herself was no exception. Part of her still wanted the normal life - the ease with which she succumbed to the illusionary world of Ben DeRoy and the deep fear she had of losing Angelo after several close calls were evidence of that - but gradually she became harder, more inclined to reason things through instead of emotionally react, although her relationships continued to be a weak spot. This created strain in her relationship with Angelo, especially after Nathan was shot; the pair fought bitterly after Angelo took off to Trask's home, without thought of who or what he might find there. They reconciled, but only partially, with Amanda throwing herself into research one of Irene Adler's prophecies, which Angelo was convinced related to his death. Following her role in trying to defeat the Shadow King, Amanda went back to England without much of a word, to recuperate and to try and regain some balance; without success, as she threw herself into work instead of dealing with things and snapped at small provocations, such as Jennie Stavros. She also found herself the reluctant teacher of Amahl Farouk, who wanted instruction in magical theory and history in order to better understand what had happened to him during the Shadow King affair.
Eventually, she and Angelo attempted to talk things out, only to be interrupted by Miguel Torres with news of his sister's abduction by the Church of Humanity, the very group Amanda had unsuccessfully been trying to find dirt on. The rescue proved to have high stakes: in attempting to save Miguel's life after he was shot, Amanda killed the remaining surviving cultists, using them to power her healing spell. Unlike her previous crises, Amanda proved she had matured, seeking out Sofia's help the very same night, and speaking with various other members of her team. Her attention was distracted, however, by Angelo's own crisis of faith in light of his own actions.
The City's Child
Mark's apparent death hit Amanda hard and she reacted badly to journal comments about 'making sure next time'. Withdrawing into her work once again, she led the team to London after an evening of strange feelings that something was going terribly wrong there. A previously unknown aspect of her connection to cities revealed itself when she was physically merged with London, releasing a number of protective guardian avatars who erroneously targeted her team. The avatars defeated, Amanda was summarially ejected at Liverpool Street Station, once the site of the Bedlam hospital, her mind fractured by the experience. Drifting in and out of reality, it was two weeks before she was found, arrested by police for criminal damage.
Undergoing therapy with Sofia and Emma, Amanda began to piece back her mind, but the stress took its toll. When she became aware of the Enchantress being back on Earth, she hid her disquiet well, but withdrew from the final mission for safety's sake. Another reminder of the past - a neo-Lokian cult trying to bring about Ragnorak - caused her to lose her tenuous grip on control and she spent the next week essentially hiding in her room, lapsing back into scribbling stick figures and telling an elaborate fairy tale of her life. When her brother Kurt left to seek out Mystique, it was the impetus for her to leave New York, making her way to Beaumont-les-Bains as the result of using the safety deposit key Remy had given to her years ago. It was there she was able to find faith in herself again and regain the stability required to return to the team and continue her therapy with Emma.
That stability was tested as, in the wake of the genocide in Sri Lanka following the terrorist attack on India, X-Force sent an assassination squad to send a warning to the Imperial Guard; three members of the Guard were murdered. There was little time for doubts, with a number of jobs, both official and not, including helping her friend Jane trace her origins and trying to track down her missing brother, in the hands of Magneto. Another fight with Jennie on the journals brought up old guilt, and comfort came from a surprising source in the form of Manuel, with a friendship slowly growing between the former lovers.
Apocalypse's attack on New York revealed a new facet to Amanda's mutant powers as she allowed herself to merge with the city again in a similar fashion to London in the battle against Post. She was able to re-emerge without the issues of earlier, and with Sarah she defeated Post, killing him in front of several mansion residents. With the brownstone quarantined due to damage, X-Force had to take shelter at the mansion, however Amanda was only there for a short time: her erstwhile 'student' Farouk, tired of the careful pace of his tutelage, had struck out on his own into the occult world and almost came to a sticky end. She and Wanda managed to save his life, and in return agreed to take him on a 'guided tour' of the magical network in order to satisfy his need for information safely and in a controlled way.
The news of Pete's apparent death threw Amanda's world into turmoil and she threw herself into long hours of trying to track down the Brotherhood as those responsible, to the neglect of all her other relationships. Only a clever ploy by Wanda and Kurt gave her time with her family - including the now Xavier's student Meggan - over Christmas. The mystical attack on Wanda seemed to tip her over the edge; Mark and Marie-Ange had to restrain her from assaulting a potential source of information in Germany. Wanda's recovery and Pete's return only did a little to alleviate her stress as she worried over Pete's condition. Only when Pete went to Muir Island did she allow herself to return to life as normal a bit more - if 'normal' included ' finding Manuel's long-lost sister' and fighting Nazis.
April gave Amanda a shock of her own when she awoke on April Fool's Day to find herself in London, when she had gone to bed in New York. Alarmed by a potential powers issue she went to Muir Island for a time, returning with the news that everything seemed to be fine, physically and magically. Everything settled down again, despite friends in trouble, a joke exorcism gone wrong and the revelation that Doug was now White Knight of the Hellfire Club, which brought back particularly bad memories for her. Then Remy failed to return from a job in South Africa and Amanda's powers went haywire, the witch randomly teleporting to various cities without warning or direction. Fortunately she was able to return to New York under her own steam, but the episodes proved alarming to her friends and family. Between therapy with Sofia as to the underlying cause and Remy's eventual return, Amanda managed to regain some kind of control over her abilities.
September 2009 marked the beginning of fundamental changes in Amanda's relationships. Jake, North and Mark abruptly left and following a job during which Amanda had sex with someone as part of her cover, she and Angelo agreed their relationship had come to its natural end and separated amicably, although Amanda was less than thrilled to discover several months later that Angelo was dating his first love Alejandra Torres. It was not all about endings, however, when the sudden arrival of Nico Minoru to the school by means of magic resulted in Amanda finding herself with an apprentice whose issues were not unlike many of her own as a student. She took the young girl under her wing, even taking her to the Szardos camp in Germany for Christmas. The return of old friend Warren Worthington was also welcome, especially with the subsequent departures of Marie D'Ancato and Jay Guthrie and an unpleasant episode with Morgan over Jean-Paul Beaubier, that resulted in that particular friendship coming to a crashing end due to Amanda's abandonment issues.
It also seemed Amanda's suspicion of the Hellfire Club was well-founded when in February 2010, there was an abduction attempt on Valentia which Amanda stopped. With Amanda having identified the abductors as Black Court from her time with Selene, Manuel decided that at this time it was safer to leave New York with his sister and fled to Europe. It wasn't the only omen of something dark on the horizon - a reading for Nico done by Marie-Ange revealed the rising of a dark power and Nico's involvement; Amanda went on the alert, keeping a close eye on her student. However, when Selene did attempt an escape from her watery prison, it was Meggan she targeted, using the young empath's vulnerability to take control and use her as a bargaining chip. Selene hadn't reckoned on the changes in her former Knight, however, with Amanda devising a plan with her X-Force teammates to double-cross Selene. With Amara Aquilla and Jubilation Lee assisting, Meggan was freed from Selene's clutches. The vampire witch herself was killed in a surprise move by Belladonna Boudreaux-LeBeau, revealing a Hellfire Club agreement for the White Court to not object to Belladonna's ascension to Black Queen. It proved to be a polarising incident, with Amanda herself reacting badly to what she saw as Doug and Emma's betrayal considering Belladonna's role in the events of Voodoo Child. Her friendship with Doug especially was threatened, Amanda's hurt erupting onto the journals in a rather spectacular argument that outed the incident to the community at large.
The next several months proved unsettled for Amanda. Her addiction issues reawakened by her merging with New Delhi in order to defeat Gladiator and the power rush that entailed, she also was faced with the sudden departures of two close friends: firstly Marie-Ange as the result of a vision and then Adrienne to counter a Black Court attack on her business holdings. A request for help from Amara proved to be a well-timed distraction, requiring Amanda to be away for several weeks and providing her with the space she needed to process things. Her absence did mean that she missed the graduation disaster, although she used her magic to try and find her brother's missing adopted son, Nick, to no avail, as well as attempting to comfort a despondent Bobby Drake, who was beginning to question his marriage in the face of continued separation.
The year ended much in the same way it had begun - with black magic and abduction. Following a failed attempt to take Nico in November, the Minrous tried again, taking advantage of the confusion caused by the rescue of Julian's family to snatch Nico, Dori and Crystal from the LA airport. Alerted when they didn't arrive in New York, Amanda raised the alarm and joined the team of X-Men in the area already. They managed to track the Minorus down, but not before they raised Arcana Minoru, the First Minoru, in Nico's body, triggering a chain reaction that would result in Nico's mutation - the ability to absorb life energy - and radically change the girl's life.
Amanda, aware of the challenges Nico's new power would create for her, worked with Jean Grey on ways to help her student, despite the initial discomfort created by their history with draining magicks. This included 'field trips' to various magic users, the first of which was, obviously, Tante Mattie. In the course of the visit, Tante issued a challenge to the Staff of One, and pointed Amanda and Nico in the direction of Marie-Ange, who was in need of help. With Remy creating a distraction, Amanda broke Marie-Ange out of the New Orleans Guilds| Forger's Guild, while Nico played getaway driver.
Following her role in rescuing Doug's sister, the long-standing feud between herself and the White Knight was ended, although not without complications when Amanda brought Marie-Ange back from New Orleans without time to announce things beforehand. Amanda would never be comfortable with his role in the Hellfire Club, however, and it remains the elephant in the room between them.
Family, always important to Amanda, would feature heavily in 2011. A thread on the journals, with newcomer Wade Wilson and Kevin Ford flirting with Meggan, earned Amanda's protective wrath and led to an ill-conceived email explaining how Meggan wasn't like normal girls. To her surprise, her little sister called her on it, and came as close as she ever had to yelling at her 'Manda. Later, while working together to stop a serial killer, Amanda would come to realise how much her sister had grown up, and learn that her long-term guilt over abandoning her charge was no longer needed - or appropriate. When later Meggan started a relationship with fellow student Korvus Rook'shir, Amanda surprisingly did not threaten him. Not even a little bit.
However, it was her 'other' family, her team, that would really put its demands on her. During what was supposed to be a routine mission, Amanda was shot and Remy captured by HYDRA. The next month was spent following all avenues to try to find him, as well as working to fill the gaps in their team, gaps that would be all too apparent when another crisis came up. Eventually, through a series of deaths of contacts, they were able to locate Remy; however, due to the close personal relationship they both had with him that might cloud their judgement, Marie-Ange chose to use herself and Amanda (along with new recruit Cammie), to strike a blow at HYDRA. To their satisfaction, they succeeded in killing Swarm, although the Fenris twins managed to escape. If recovering Remy wasn't good news enough, on the anniversary of Charlie's death, at his graveside, she was reunited with her oldest friend and discovered the Cajun had married Ororo during the weeks he had been on his recovery trip to Beaumont-Les-Bains.
Things continued to be rocky, however. With Vanessa Carlysle missing for several months and beyond Amanda's magic means of finding her, Amanda was glad to see Adrienne Frost return, and made friends with her roommate's quirky boyfriend, Wade Wilson. When Amahl Farouk vanished in August 2012, Amanda joined Wanda and Garrison in searching for him, only to arrive too late. Farouk's loss was followed by another, as Agatha Harkness vanished and her son Nicholas Harkness was identified as the black magic practitioner responsible for a number of deaths. While X-Force were able to destroy the source of his power, Amanda and Wanda were both seriously wounded. When the chance came to make a deal with Nico's parents and save her apprentice from her encroaching fate, Amanda leapt at the opportunity, hoping to address her failures. Once again, however, things went horribly wrong, and Nico's parents were killed and Arcana set free upon the world. Nico, despite the loss, later accepted Amanda's offer of a job with X-Force, initially as part of the Weird Shite Division.
While Amanda was successful in Healing a rescued Vanessa, following 'donations' of energy from various individuals at the school within strict guidelines, the disasters kept coming. A relic of her addiction days resulted in a Halloween curse and a more permanent curse on Garrison, which prevented him from getting intimate with anyone. The new year was marked by another memory of the past, with Amanda and several of her co-workers mentally reduced to teenagers.
In March 2012, Amanda was part of the team that identified and pinned down a mutant kidnapping and smuggling ring that appeared to be connected to the island nation of Genosha. In response to the 'meddling' of Xavier's people, Genoshan elements a group of students and staff, among whose number were Amanda's sister Meggan and her boyfriend Korvus, her friends Angelo, Adrienne, Laurie and Garrison, and her team-mate Cammie. When further word came that Rachel Dayspring had also been taken, Amanda was eager to go to Genosha as part of the infiltration and information gathering team.
Their intelligence work was futile, however. The Genoshans sprang a trap during the rescue attempt, resulting in Amanda (among others) being captured and imprisoned. The group were forced to watch the apparent death of Rachel during the mutate process, something which Amanda found difficult to deal with in the face of her conflicted feelings towards the child. Interrogations followed, with Amanda playing up the seriousness of a concussion she received in the battle to fool their captors. When the chance to escape came, Amanda and Sarah Morlocke were shocked and dismayed by their betrayal by Remy, who had made a deal in return for passing on information of the escape plan.
Of course, there was more to things than appeared. Amanda's magic was still available and Remy's 'betrayal' was part of the real escape plan. Between then, the group was able to escape and take on the Moreau brothers and reunite with the rest of the Xavierites on the island to take down the insane techno-organic monster, Thomas Moreau.
The groups' victory was tainted by their losses, and Amanda took it upon herself to tell Angelo Espinosa about what had happened to Rachel. After the mutants returned to the U.S., Amanda, Angelo and Sooraya Qadir went to Muir Island for a week to comfort - as much as they could - Rachel's grieving parents, Moira MacTaggart and Nathan Dayspring.
There was little respite for Amanda, as she was the catalyst for addressing not one, but two, personal crises; Doug's panic attack, spurred by an accident in the office and Matt's relapse back into drug use, both within a matter of days of each other. Another crisis, this time a new mutant magic user by the name of Billy Kaplan raised his head in August 2012, with Amanda and Wanda having to stop him from destroying Manhattan with a massive (accidental) storm. The next month a mixed group of X-Forcers and X-Men - those who had been to Asgard - encountered the Norse 'God' Thor while helping Garrison with investigation that ran severely off the rails. Garrison's resulting injuries were terrible, but the damage to his mind, the result of chaos magics clashing with the curse of almost a year before in Garrison's mind almost tore his psyche apart. Amanda played her part in his treatment, concerned about her friend and occasional lover.
At the end of October, proving the rule of three does indeed exist, Amanda discovered herself with her third student when the team stopped a magical gang war and rescued another magic-using mutant, Topaz. Amanda's friends and former teacher, Dr. Stephen Strange, were highly amused at the irony of the former hellion now responsible for three magical teens. Amanda also played a small role in the plan to defeat Jason Wyngarde and was part of the "away" team who were duped into investigating a number of murders in Madrid while the Brownstone was attacked. As soon as they realised the situation, Remy sent Amanda back to New York, where she was able to save Artie's life after he suffered a serious head wound. The incident rattled Amanda, and she decided to see "her" kids safe for New Year's, insisting on them accepting, with her as chaperone, the Professor's chalet invitation.
From Student to Teacher
2013 only reinforced Amanda's role - and responsibilities - as a teacher of the next generation of magic users. If it wasn't rescuing them from an internet meme, it was preventing Topaz from being sold by her father and then helping her deal with the resulting emotional feedback, or facing down Belasco over his abduction of Megan Gwynn.
It wasn't only "her kids" Amanda had to worry about. When Artie Maddicks got himself in trouble in Atlantic City, it was X-Force who got him out. When Adrienne Frost started seeing things due to a powers issue, Amanda researched possible magical causes as well as checking on Jason Wyngarde and reassuring her friend it wasn't him getting revenge (as well as getting Adrienne a permanent Blue Jays tattoo in a moment of drunken misunderstanding]]. And when Jean Grey was trapped by a demon-possessed hotel, Amanda was part of the rescue team, her mutant power and unique perspective giving her an edge on the situation. Not everything went her way, however - there were frequents reminders of her limits, such as her inability to help Nico Minoru with her own demon possession problem. She also continued to try to mentor Matt Murdock through his addiction issues, but her responsibilities to her students and increasing workload with the extended absences of Wanda and Nico made it difficult for her to spend much time with him.
2014 continued the trend - with three students now following Megan's unwilling introduction to demonic magic - Amanda found it increasingly difficult to keep up with her other work, especially with the mansion's habit of attracting trouble of the magical kind. Newcomer Namor Mazur piqued her curiosity, the Attilani noble having a mild magical energy field. She intended to study this phenomenon, as well as the sea cave where the students were attacked the previous year and where Sue Storm picked up a magical necklace, but things fell by the wayside under other responsibilities. Something of a dangerous lapse, as the cave - and Namor's tendency to spark magical objects - again featured in an incident, this time when Tandy Bowen was again targeted by D'Spayre. A possessed Tandy was only barely rescued during a pitched battle in New York, further complicated by the presence of SWORD and its director, Abigail Brand, someone Amanda did not want taking a further interest in herself or her students.
The rest of the year was relatively quiet, with Amanda balancing teaching her students and her work with X-Force. She was involved in a somewhat ethically dodgy case, where the team chose to leave Laurie Collins and Hope Abbott with the Foundation for Genetic Harmony longer to avoid disrupting Artie's undercover position. When they attempted to take down the group at a function, Amanda wrecked havoc on Azazel's mental state, using her connection with the German city they were in to show him the history of Roma repression.
The Dark Phoenix
Following the attack on Muir and the deaths of several of those close to her - including Moira - Amanda was included with a group headed for the Hellfire Club in London, conducting research in their extensive library on El-Sabah-Nur. The group included Topaz and Billy, as well as the Frost sisters, and again Amanda tried to keep her students as out of sight as possible, especially given her own experiences with the Hellfire Club in the past. They discovered Nur's history went back centuries, and was associated with a firebird, the Phoenix, some kind of protective avatar which would save the world from celestial beings intent on destroying it. As the group was leaving the HFC, they were attacked by alternate versions of themselves - apparently from a world where Limbo had created Hell on earth. Amanda had to be shut down by Emma when her magic went haywire as a result of being stabbed by the Soulsword, wielded by her demonic self.
From London Amanda joined the groups in India, intent on rescuing Jean Grey from the Imperial Guard. This time, however, Amanda was the invading force and without a major city and the country against her, she was limited to how much magic she could use - there certainly would be no chance of another duke-out with Gladiator. Their group accomplished it's task of taking out communications, but were had put to escape, with Megan Gwynn and Julian Keller sustaining serious injuries. In the process of evacuating, Amanda's group joined Marie-Ange's, and they witnessed the death of Clint Barton at the hands of Oracle. Amanda, knowing her powers made her mind a dangerous place for psis, allowed Oracle to mind-link with her and temporarily knocked her out, allowing the remaining members of their groups to escape. It was only later on the plane that she realised Remy and Ororo had sacrificed themselves to get everyone else out.
There was no time to mourn, however, as they arrived at the mansion only to have Dark Phoenix blast them out of the sky. The group survived the crash landing, but were met with devastation - the mansion had been largely demolished by the battle to keep Dark Phoenix from accessing Cerebro. Amanda joined the battle, with Cecilia Reyes and Billy to help shield the others from the telekinetic storm. Billy was killed by Dark Phoenix and Amanda overloaded, only surviving due to Cecilia's protection and a rescue team. The witch herself remained unconscious until Xorn's intervention, where she spoke out concerning the need to honour those who had died - including Wanda and her former tutor, Dr. Strange - by accepting Xorn's terms and doing their best to protect this new world they found themselves in.
Amanda's first month in the new world was a busy one, as the witch discovered that not only was X-Force starting afresh with several, new faces, but that there was a 'new' version of Wanda also - disturbingly like the 'old' one. The brownstone was gone as well, with the members of X-Force living in the mansion - Amanda and Marie-Ange, at least, were still rooming together. And, perhaps hardest of all, Amanda's class had been reduced to a total of one student, Topaz, with the other three perishing during the final battle against Dark Phoenix. Amanda blamed herself, convinced she hadn't trained them properly, but rather than let her guilt - and grief - overwhelm her, she let it fuel her instead, working hard to get things back up and running. She also created a memorial, ostensively for the victims of M-Day, but also for the victims of a world they mourned, but couldn't talk about.
Amanda's attempts to get back to work had mixed results. Her magic class and lectures to the mansion as a whole were far more successful than the first mission she led, where Wade Wilson was severely injured in an ambush by The Disciples, demon-possessed followers of a being called "Mother". The next mission, investigating a series of thefts of Chinese artifacts and murders, went slightly better, although a rejuvenated Mandarin was able to escape them. Various magical-related issues were also brought to her attention, such as the arrival of Namor, who was actually the time-lost ruler of Atlantis. Having to rescue her erstwhile student Topaz (again) didn't help, but the greatest shock of all was when, during an investigation of magic use in England, she came across three potential new students - Sebastian Druid, Clea Lake and a teenaged version of her old mentor, Stephen Strange.
The news that her brother Kurt had gotten engaged to Jubilation Lee was really just the icing on the cake.
Work continued, however, with a sea voyage and a chance to hit Hubert Mudd in the face with a drinks tray. She enjoyed that. As 2016 began, work didn't get any easier, with Amanda coming close to being barbequed by a Tunneller while stopping a bombing at Penn Station. It also became obvious that the new generation of magic users was just as prone to getting into mystical trouble as the previous generation, with the Slendermen making another appearance while Amanda was at an X-Force retreat and leaving Topaz to raise a rescue party. Topaz herself (as well as Amanda's younger sister, Meggan were next to get into trouble as they became hosts to an psychic parasite and dragged the various telepaths and astral projectors into their mindscapes. Amanda, as part of her way of helping Topaz deal with the aftermath, gave her a small black kitten which Topaz called Midnight. The hits kept coming, however, with Topaz roped into a mission with Clint Barton up in Alaska which resulted in the young witch killing someone for the first time, one of the things Amanda had always been determined to avoid. Upon hearing the news, Amanda blamed Clint, especially when Topaz went into hiding and started using alcohol to avoid thinking too much about things.
Another magical artefact, this time from Asgard, caused problems again for Topaz, and once again, Clint was involved, which did little to endear him to Amanda. The tables were turned in early 2017 however, when a magic interaction during one of the magic classes resulted in mass shrinking of the magic users and an epic quest to get from the trash cans to Amanda's room in order to recharge their powers enough to reverse the spell. A month later, Amanda, Topaz, Marie-Ange and Tandy Bowen were asked by Garrison Kane to act as 'consultants' for SWORD, finding and neutralising the source of the spell which bewitched the Avengers. While the X-Men kept the Avengers from destroying SHIELD headquarters, the consultants faced down an ice giant which had been left to protect the spell. During the course of the battle, Amanda told Topaz to drain her emotions in order to power up, revealing the depth of Amanda's guilt over the loss of her students and a secret she had long kept - the nature and extent of her addiction issues. Confused and concerned, Topaz sought out Amanda's brother, Kurt Sefton to find out more. It was possibly a good thing another magical mystery turned up while Amanda was recovering her equilibrium, in the shape of a series of strange black-and-white pebbles left for each of the magic users. Going into research mode, Amanda discovered the existence of the Winding Way, a kind of 'union' for magic users requiring them to choose a path - the dark or the light. Amanda, always resentful of any kind of group that exploited others, let her students and TAs know the choice was theirs, but that she herself would remain neutral, at least for now. She did, however, have to reassess the members of her magical network, given the conflicted loyalties.
The welcome news that her best friend Angelo was engaged to his boyfriend, Jean-Phillipe, was a nice distraction. Another face from her student past also turned up in August 2017, with Valkyrie - formerly Paige Guthrie, came to the mansion to ask the various residents with connections to Asgard to assist her in a mission to save the Dsir (and Thor once again). The mission was accomplished, but only with the participation of the young Illyana Rasputin, who became a conduit for Hel's power - this concerned Amanda and she asked various people to keep an eye on the girl for signs the incident had any lasting effects.
The past continued to rear its head in new ways. Jean Grey sought help for a patient, Parker Matthews, leading the Phase 1 X-Force members to conduct stringent background checks to ensure he wasn't the same as his other self. Amanda discovered an unusual connection with the magical community, but before she could dig deeper, the Shadow King attacked the mansion, having been using Matthews as a host. Driven to extremes to try and locate the psionic predator, Amanda recreated the spell which had flushed him out of the astral plane previously, using the Phase 2 versions of the previous participants - Illyana, Wanda and Stephen. The spell was a mixed success, with Quentin Quire revealed as the new host but choosing self-destruction rather than letting the entity possess anyone else. Amanda endorsed this choice, using a magical barrier to physically stop Jean from sacrificing herself for Quire, her memories filled with the destructive power of the the Dark Phoenix. Things became strained between herself and Jean, who resented the witch's actions in not letting her stop Quentin's death. Quentin managed to resurrect himself (with some help from Marie-Ange and Rachel Kinross-Dayspring, leading Amanda to decide to never declare anyone dead again since it never apparently stuck. She also agreed to teach Stephen offensive magic, realising that she couldn't shield this new generation of students from harm any more than she had been able to protect the others.
This was driven home the next month when Clea Lake started having terrifying nightmares, which began to bleed into her waking life. Concerned about a possible possession, Amanda went into research mode, but was unable to find out much before Clea and Topaz were taken by a sudden magical portal that appeared above Clea's bed while she was sleeping (with Topaz on guard). After meeting with (and then stealing a particular book from) the Ancient One in order to track the pair, Amanda rallied a rag-tag group of mutants to go after the pair, resulting in the discovery of the Dark Dimension and Clea's trueorigins as a member of the Faltine race, left on earth to save her from the predations of Dormammu. The rescue was almost a disaster, but the Ancient One and his followers provided a way out, much to Amanda and Topaz' annoyance. The Ancient One's failure to warn them about Clea's 'family' and his interest in Stephen didn't help matters.
Only So Much You Can Do
At the end of 2017, what Amanda had dreaded (but expected) happened - Jubilee broke off her engagement with Amanda’s brother and moved out, leaving him devastated. Always protective of Kurt, Amanda immediately took out her anger on Jubilee (who was fortunately not in the country), despite the fact she’d had her own objections to the match in the first place.
Early in 2018, Taboo and the Destine Clan reappeared, this time abducting Topaz for a resurrection ritual on Topaz’s adoptive mother. A spat with Maya on the journals was an unwelcome distraction before Amanda was able to locate her former student and provide a rescue along with Billy and Wanda. The stress of the incident, along with the trauma of having to ‘kill’ her zombified mother, resulted in Topaz lashing out at those nearest and dearest to her, and recognising elements of herself in the reaction, Amanda chose to give Topaz the space she seemed to need. It resulted in some awkwardness as Topaz tried her hardest to push her mentor away.
Jubilee returned in March and she and Amanda finally talked about the situation with Kurt (during a stakeout no less), and a truce was declared. Topaz’ withdrawal continued, causing Amanda and Kurt anxiety and concern. The usual mansion shenanigans only served to exacerbate things; when called on to participate in an undersea rescue, Topaz was also dragged along to help, and wound up having a confrontation with Clint, something unusual enough that he sought out Amanda’s advice and discovered what had been going on. Topaz (and others) being kidnapped to Limbo, where she drained Gabe’s emotions without permission or apology didn’t help, and Amanda felt she made things worse by confronting her former student about the potentially dangerous path she was on. Fortunately, this distraction meant she didn’t really have time to get upset about Clea getting a job at the X-Force offices. Things with Topaz cleared a little when, after an incident involving a cursed First Nations artefact Amanda took Topaz with her to give the item to Maya’s grandfather. The trip gave them a chance to talk, a little at least. The next month continued as usual, with the ‘normal’ activities such as stopping a nuclear bomb going off in New York.
Everything came to a head in July, when a series of magical curses afflicting mansion residents traced back to Adam Destine and his desire for revenge. A ruse brought on a magical battle in London with Amanda, who barely managed to escape alive with London’s help. Topaz gave herself up to the remaining Destines, who tortured her for several days (with a contrite Jasmine healing her in between sessions). Jasmine eventually let X-Force know where Topaz was, and a rescue was mounted, with a terrible cost as Grace Destine overloaded with blood magic and exploded, cursing Wanda Maximoff and Doug Ramsey in the process, and Adam injured Domino and Marie-Ange, who lost an eye in the battle. Aware of the trauma and guilt Topaz would be experiencing, Amanda quietly 'moved in' to Topaz' suite after she was released from the medlab, in order to keep an eye on her. The end of previous distance between them - and a conciliatory conversation with Maya Lincoln-Lopez - was the only positive that came out of the situation.
The end of the year brought a rather strange adventure when the Danger Room acted up, throwing people into various fictional worlds. Amanda found herself in Star Wars. Or rather, a Twi'lek named Alora found herself involved in a heist mission with a gang of misfits - none of the group remembered their 'other lives' at all, immersed fully in the simulation. Fortunately, the glitch was fixed and the effects weren't permanent.
The new year started normally with Amanda consulting with the newly-coined eXcalibur about a portal to a magical storage dimension. The marriage of her ex-boyfriend Angelo Espinosa to Jean-Phillipe Colbert in March was a welcome event, even if she was a little nostalgic for times gone past. She had little time after that to indulge in the personal, as The Dweller in the Dark was (unknown to her) freed from its prison in the Empire State Building and over a series of months colluded with an Asgardian-god-in-exile to overpower two worlds. By the time Amanda received a letter from the Ancient One hinting she ought to check the Dweller's magical prison, the demon had already re-possessed Tandy Bowen and was in the process of stealing another Worthy Hammer from the mansion. Feeling as if she was playing catchup, Amanda threw herself into research, especially as Clea Lake had been in the X-Force office during an attack that could have seriously injured her. The Ancient One assisted there also, providing a book via his follower Daniel Drumm. Eventually she and Jean Grey managed to lock down the Dweller in Tandy's head, at least temporarily, with the help of a visiting Thor who came with a full explanation and a potential solution. Amanda found herself teaming up with Captain America, Trance, Dazzler and Cloak to take down Angrir in New Delhi, a battle which was only ended by Cloak's use of his powers. Amanda's work wasn't finished with the death of Cul in Iceland - she and Jean made another trip into Tandy's mind, this time with her nearest and dearest tagging along to help Tandy cage The Dweller permanently.
An Eye for an Eye
In the aftermath of the Asgardian events, Marie-Ange's precognition warned her and Amanda that Adam Destine wasn't about to give up on his vendetta against Topaz and that he would try to kill her again. They agreed to place protective and tracking wards on Topaz without her knowledge. This proved a good idea as later in the year, during a mission into some kind of magical forcefield surrounding Denver International Airport, Topaz was abruptly magicked away to the same London cemetery where her mother was buried. Adam had made a deal with a demon, but as he attempted to kill Topaz, Amanda's counterspells protected her and the demon realised that Adam's intent was to kill the witch, not give her soul in payment for power. The demon - the same "Repodemon" of a long-ago Halloween in another universe - them took away Adam's borrowed power and Topaz was able to land a fatal blow, knowing death was the only thing that would stop him. Amanda arrived shortly after and spoke to the dying Adam, comforting him for the sake of a shared history she didn't actually know. That is, until Adam placed his memories of her in her head before dying.
The end of the fued meant Topaz was finally able to move on and start taking charge of her own life; she began therapy and looked into going back to school. Amanda withdrew somewhat, taking time to sort out the memories she'd taken on and trying to reconcile her feelings about this new history of hers. Co-worker Kevin Sydney provided her with Adam's files as well as some tough talk about her guilt for 'leaving' him behind. in March 2020 Amanda got another 'pep talk', this time from a magical library, which warned that she couldn't keep Adam's memories in her head - or live his life - forever.
Height: 5ft 3in
Weight: 138 lbs - wiry build, with more muscle than people realise.
Hair: Blonde - cut to shoulder length and generally worn straight.
Piercings: Not as many as before: four holes in her left ear, three in her right, right eyebrow hoop, nose stud, tongue stud and belly button ring.
Tattoos; vaguely magic-related protective patterns on her right upper arm.
Before 2006, Amanda absorbed energy from mystical objects and her magical abilities were scattered over a number of disciplines, with some things coming remarkably easily, and others beyond her. Under Strange's tutelage she honed her skills - healing magics, simple shielding, astral projection. She had also learned a number of darker spells from her time with Rack, including force bolts and summoning the dead. The larger the spell (major healings, summoning of dead spirits, etc) the more difficult it was, frequently causing overload and headaches, nosebleeds and fatigue. Following the reboot at the end of 2005, things became very different.
- Ability to draw energy from cities and eventually use it to power magic. The larger and older the city (eg: London, Paris, Rio, New York), the more power. The opposite also applies - the more isolated and depopulated an area, the less power Amanda has access to. Cities (and areas) that have experienced trauma and damage - such as Beruit, Sarajevo, Beijing's Tiannamen Square - will cause her physical pain as the natural energy flow here has been disrupted. In the 'heart' of cities, where there is the most life - eg: Times Square in New York, Trafalgar Square in London, Champs De Elysee in Paris - are hotspots, where the power is most concentrated.
- Ability to know where she is in a city, to the point she doesn't get lost, even in a strange place. Eventually she'll be able to track others' movements, roughly.
- Drawing from comics canon with the teleporting, initially the ability to 'port within the confines of a particular city (starting with New York, as her 'home base') and from there between major cities, those with the most power - eg. London, Paris, Rio, Istanbul, Amsterdam, etc. She will not ever be able to take passengers and this aspect of her power took at least a year to surface and be even vaguely controlled. It first appeared in Operation: London Calling, where she merged with London to release the avatars of the city, and again in Day Zero during the battle with Post. She still has random moments when she aims for one place and ends up another, or a city will override where she wants to go with where it wants her to go.
There's a range of spells Amanda is capable of doing, but what restricts her is the amount of power available, and her own personal issues with magic and using it when it's not needed. Her magic is largely defensive spells and illusions. The other thing is that the spells she does reflect the power source, the urban environment; there are elements of the city in the manifestations or processes. The spellcraft she knew, everything taught to her by various people... none of that applies. Spells either fail entirely or have unexpected results, often inconsistently different. Many spells from before - the levitation/TK, the aura stuff, the spirit summoning, the potions and sleep spells - are gone irretrievably. Others - summoning the elements, for example - have been twisted to the point they're actually more harmful than good.
She can still heal, that being her family's "gift", but there are many more limits than previously. The first being that healing of any kind takes power directly from living things; the greater the injury the greater the power demand. So healing will require Amanda to have to decide and/or consult with those around her as to whether they accept that cost. The second is there's only so many times that Amanda can heal someone before it stops working. The more serious the injury healed, the shorter that time frame is.
- As much as she identifies herself as English, Amanda has never legally held citizenship there. Rack smuggled her in with false papers, and Pete provided the same to get her out to Xavier's. She is now in possession of an EU passport in the name of Amanda Sefton, having changed her name legally.
- She is still a polyglot, but she has lost many of the more esoteric dead languages she used to know as a result of brain damage caused by breaking the link and channelling Askani.
- As a child, Amanda was afraid of the dark, and so became very fond of her werelight spell. She still calls it George. The dark still makes her uncomfortable.
- Amanda will never sleep on her stomach. Ever. It generates too many bad memories.
- Amanda has established protection wards on the mansion. These wards alert her to: a) some kind of mystical interference, such as the portal to the Warwolf dimension spitting Mark out in the foyer; and b) someone moving past them with violent intentions to the inhabitants. In the case of the mansion, there's levels of 'pings' and most of what's gone on tends to just trigger a mild awareness which Amanda writes off as "those crazy mansion people again". The wards are there primarily for magical threats. The wards on Amanda's apartment are stronger and will alert her to any kind of unauthorised entry.
- Amanda only learnt to swim when she was sixteen and still isn't comfortable in the water, especially with going under.
Part of the "Lost In The Woods" Arc (see 'Biography')
Operation: Anansesem cont'
Mechanisms of Revenge cont'
As part of the Genosha Arc
Age of Apocalypse (alternate reality version)
Player Icon Base: Billie Piper
Several PBs were used (including Tegan Quin and Katie Holmes) for Amanda before it was discovered Billie Piper used to dye her hair black early during her career. Amanda's return to blonde may have coincided with the need for more icons.