Who the Clix? Karolina Dean

Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.

She’s in the sky with diamonds, but her name isn’t Lucy, it’s: Karolina Dean

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Appearances in Heroclix:  Secret Wars: Battleworld, 15th Anniversary What If?, Hammer of Thor 
First Appearance: Runaways #1 (July 2003)
Team Affiliations: Runaways
Powers/Abilities:  Solar energy manipulation: Bioluminescence, Light energy blasts, Force fields, Heat resistance; Flight
Created by:  Brian K. Vaughan – Adrian Alphona

Character is copyright/trademark Marvel; used under Fair Use

Karolina Dea is the child of famous actors Frank and Leslie Dean. Karolina has a charmed childhood and is the only older Runaway who never saw her parents murder an innocent girl. As a result, Karolina denies the entire situation at first but decides to runaway with her friends. Before leaving home, all the Runaways steal evidence from their parents and while in the Dean home, Alex convinces Karolina to remove her medical bracelet. Angry at her parents and thinking the bracelet is just for a penicillin allergy, she does and immediately begins to glow in a shifting rainbow hue. This leads the group to believe Karolina is an alien, something her mother later confirms, which also leads Karolina to believe her friends’ story. When they leave, Karolina starts calling herself “Lucy in the Sky.”

The revelation of her alien heritage, as well as an insecurity regarding her homosexuality, leads to Karolina feeling isolated and depressed. This even leads her to offer her life to a vampire the group encounters. When Karolina has a legitimate near-death experience, her suicidal ideation evaporates and she immediately rushes to the aid of her friends against the Gibborim. After the defeat of the Pride, the group that the Runaways’ parents belong to, Karolina is sent to live with foster parents. Karolina organizes a secret reunion for the Runaways, where they plot a new runaway to the Pride’s old lair beneath the La Brea Tar Pits.

Nico soon becomes the defacto leader of the group and Karolina adjusts more to her new truth. While battling Excelsior over the custody of Victor Mancha, Karolina compliments Julie Powers and the two eventually go on a few dates. After Victor joins the team, Karolina comes out to Nico by trying to kiss her. Nico rejects the advance, which hurts Karolina and triggers old insecurities. Soon after this, the Skrull royal Xavin arrives and informs Karolina of their arranged marriage. Distraught, Karolina agrees to leave with Xavin which leaves Nico upset.

While Karolina learns greater control over her powers during this trip, the wedding is crashed by a battle between Karolina’s race (the Majesdanians) and the Skrulls. Xavin and Karolina flee back to Earth and crash land just in time to help the Runaways rescue Molly Hayes. Xavin joins the team and Karolina finds peace with her friends once again.

During Henry Gyrich’s “aliens go home” SWORD program, Karolina is kidnapped along with many other aliens. She is eventually freed and helps save the Earth from a fleet of murderous aliens. In the wake of this, Abigail Brand becomes the sole head of SWORD and returns the aliens to Earth, promising them all that they will be left along and each have one favor from her. Karolina and Molly go on a search for Nico and Chase, not knowing the pair are trapped in Murderworld by Arcade. Karolina and Molly eventually visit Nico and Chase in a SHIELD detention center after Arcade is seemingly killed by Hazmat. It is at this time that Karolina and Julie Powers begin dating in earnest.

When the Runaways disband, Karolina moves on and enters college. With the help of therapy, she begins to build a new life for herself. As such, she chooses not to reunite with the other Runaways when Gert returns from the dead. Karolina visits Nico, sharing that she is rethinking the reunion when Nico tries to kiss her. Karolina rejects this advance because she is in a committed relationship and believes this to be a coping mechanism of Nico’s, instead of a legitimate gesture.

When Gert and Molly are kidnapped by Molly’s mad scientist grandmother, Karolina joins the team in rescuing the pair. Karolina decides to rejoin the team full time but finds that it is putting stress on her classes and relationship. Julie eventually visits the Runaways’ base which leads to a comedy of errors.

First, Doctor Doom attacks the hostel. Then, Julie and Karolina get into an argument over how the Runaways function in battle. Then, Julie eats an enchanted cupcake that transforms her into a thirteen year old, seemingly forever. The Runaways are able to reverse the spell, but all of this is too much and leads to Julie breaking up with Karolina. She tells Karolina that the main reason for this is that Julie feels the Runaways will always be more important than she is. Karolina and Nico commiserate over lost loves with Karolina admitting that she had been neglecting her relationship.

Karolina invites Nico to a children’s charity ball where Nico confesses her feelings and the two finally begin dating.

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