Jonothon "Jono" Evan Starsmore, better known as Decibel or Chamber, is a fictional character, a Marvel Comics superhero associated with the X-Men and the New Warriors. Created by writer Scott Lobdell and artist Chris Bachalo, he first appeared in Generation X #1 (September 1994).
A British mutant, Jono possessed the ability to cast energy blasts from his chest. He had limited control of his power and destroyed much of his chest and lower face when his powers emerged. Recently, he lost his powers on 'M Day' and now uses technology to give himself sonic based abilities.
Jono was a member of the X-Men’s junior team Generation X, although he was sullen and moody and had difficulty bonding with teammates. He was briefly a member of the X-Men as well.
Fictional character biographyEdit
Jonothon Evan Starsmore ("Jono" to his friends) is a native of London and a mutant who possesses a furnace of psionic energy in his chest. This power first manifested in an explosion during a party he was attending with then girlfriend Gayle Edgerton. Its initial manifestation destroyed much of his chest and lower face and crippled Gayle. As a result of his disfiguration, Jono can only speak via telepathy. He does not eat, drink, or breathe; it is believedTemplate:Citation needed that either the psionic energy sustains him without needing his vital organs, or that his body is merely a shell, and he is actually made up of psionic energy. This is further supported by the fact that Jono is immune to the "Death Factor" of Omega Red, meaning that he is not sustained by "life force". The primary manifestation of his abilities is his ability to fire powerful blasts of psionic force. It has been implied at numerous times that Jono is potentially one of the most powerful mutants to walk the earth (most notably the scale of his mutagenic aura as seen by Emplate in Generation X #1, also at times when he is seen to 'cut loose' with his abilities) but his emotional issues have apparently prevented him from significantly exploring this potential. His disfiguration also left Jono sullen and angry and his teammates have often found him difficult to get along with.
Shortly after his mutant powers manifested, Jonothon accepted an invitation to join Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. At the airport, he was attacked by Emplate, a vicious evil mutant who feeds on mutant genetic material to survive, and the fledgling team of Generation X (M, Husk, Synch, Skin, and Jubilee) arrived to fight Emplate off. Shortly after, Chamber convinced the crazed Penance to stop attacking the team, as he could sympathize with her freakish appearance; she came to live with the team.
Emplate captured Chamber with Gayle's help, and then imprisoned both of them. Gayle blamed Jono for ruining her life, but the two managed to get over the pain after the rest of Generation X freed them. Chamber later became romantically involved with Husk, although their relationship was awkward and strained, and was terminated on more than one occasion when Jono self-sabotaged the growing relationship when he realized that he could not offer Husk the normal life he believed she wanted. Although he rebuilt bridges with her later, he soon returned to the same mind-set and the couple never entered a serious relationship, despite the chemistry between them. Their friendship was strained for the rest of the time they spent together.
Jono's greatest victory during the time he was with Generation X was when Banshee was attacked by the mutant serial killer Omega Red. With their teacher incapacitated, Chamber led the pursuit of the mutant and after the rest of the team was defeated, Chamber's immunity to Omega Red's death spores, as well as some tactical thinking on his part, enabled him to single handedly defeat the killer.
Despite his time at the school, Jono was never able to gain full control of his abilities. Chamber grew even more depressed when he saw that Synch, who could duplicate a nearby mutant's powers, was more proficient with Chamber's own powers than Chamber himself was. When the school was outed as harboring mutant students, an anti-mutant group attacked the school. After Synch was killed preventing a bomb from killing nearby human students, the Generation X kids felt that their training was over, and they had to use their powers to help humanity. Chamber was the one student to be offered a place on the X-Men by Charles Xavier, but apparently failed to join the group when expected.
X-Man, Weapon X, and beyondEdit
After failing to join the X-men, Chamber returned to London, where he hooked up with pop star Sugar Kane, creating a publicity blitz for the singer, but she and Chamber parted company after her manager staged her abduction by anti-mutant forces following a phony tabloid story about her pregnancy by Jono. The X-men met with Chamber in London and persuaded him to join the team after all, after claiming that the X-men offered a place that he could finally fit in. He remained on the team for some time, but often showed frustration with being treated as a junior member by his teammates, even after playing a role in the defeat of Vanisher and Mystique's Brotherhood of Mutants when they infiltrated Banshee's X-Corps.
Following a strained time on the X-men, Chamber investigated the apparent murders of mutant students at Empire State University on their behalf. He became romantically entangled with the shapeshifting reptilian mutant, Amber, who was the only mutant student to remain at ESU when they shut down their mutant program, but the relationship quickly ended before it began when Amber came to believe he was only interested in her when she used her shape-shifting abilities to take on a more conventionally attractive form. After that he asked to be relieved from active duty with the X-Men, claiming that he still had much to learn.
While he was back at the school, Chamber saw Husk in the arms of Archangel. He also saw the death of his friend Skin after the mutant was crucified on the lawn of the school by the Church of Humanity. After an awkward period with Husk, the X-men were called to a bar where Jono had apparently given into his anger. He attacked Archangel before Wolverine was able to subdue him. Chamber was turned over to the authorities and while in prison, locked in a power-dampening helmet, Chamber received a visit from Brent Jackson, who offered him an invitation to join the Weapon X program. He accepted. It was later revealed that the fight and public falling out with the X-men had been planned to draw Weapon X into recruiting him. After infiltrating them, Weapon X restored his damaged body and he was sent on a mission to kill John Sublime. He apparently did so, convincing Weapon X of his loyalty, but after stowing aboard a transport to the Neverland concentration camp, he vanished. It was later revealed in the Weapon X: Days of Future Now miniseries that Chamber had been captured and brainwashed into loyalty to the program.
In the second Runaways series, it initially appeared Jono had damaged his face again and joined a new team of retired teenage superheroes called Excelsior, but in Runways (vol.2) #6 it was revealed (to the reader, not to the rest of Excelsior) that this was merely Geoffrey Wilder, the enemy of the teenage team the Runaways impersonating him using a magic amulet.
Following the warping of reality by the Scarlet Witch, Jono was one of the many mutants who were depowered when reality was restored. Apparently his powers failed during a mission with Weapon X. It was revealed that Beast was able to save his life after the loss of his powers, but the exact circumstances are unknown. As his lower face, chest, and heart were missing once again, the X-Men left him to be cared for at a hospital on life support.
Jono was moved to a hospital in England, but was abducted by his therapist a few weeks later - his therapist being Frederick Slade, a member of the Clan Akkaba. Under orders of Ozymandias, Jono was afterwards completely healed by the Clan, restoring his body but he took on the pigmentation and appearance of a younger version of Apocalypse. Jono was approached by the UK based superhero team Excalibur to join them, but refused, claiming he just wanted to be left alone. A later scan of Jono's residual energy signature has revealed that his powers have possibly evolved to Omega-level. However, if Chamber has any such abilities, they appear to be latent.
New WarriorsEditJono yet again resurfaced, now using the codename Decibel as a member of Night Thrasher's most recent incarnation of the New Warriors. In this new persona, Jono had a hi-tech suit, which gave him the ability to create solidified sound constructs; in which he revealed that he chose those particular powers because he didn't want to be a weapon of destruction anymore, and could now create. He served with the group for the duration, until it was decided that they should disband. He was last seen departing in the company of Jubilee, and other surviving members of the team.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Previously, Jono possessed a vast furnace of psionic energy in his chest and mouth. He was able to concentrate these energies as concussive blasts of energy or focus to the size and strength of a laser. Although these powers removed otherwise vital parts of his body, Jono's powers have compensated for this loss: he possesses limited telepathic abilities which allow him to communicate on a limited scale, and has no need to eat or even breathe. On one occasion in Generation X Annual '97, Jono blew up—and was able to reconstitute—his entire body by sheer force of will, including repairing his damaged body. However the results did not last as his powers were too much for his body to contain. This has led to the suggestion that his physical form was nothing more than a shell to use as a furnace of pure psychic energy. At one point, fellow Generation X member Synch used his own "synching" ability to tap into and copy Jono's powers and flew. Jonothon himself had never exhibited this ability before or since.
Due to the events of House of M, Jono had been depowered. After the events of his kidnap by Clan Akaba, being infused with the blood of his ancestor, Apocalypse, Jono has been stated by Pete Wisdom as possibly being an omega-level mutant.
As Decibel, he uses technology to mimic sonic powers. Using these powers he is able to fly, create sonic blasts, and create force fields around himself and others.
Age of ApocalypseEdit
In the Age of Apocalypse timeline, Chamber was a much different person from his mainstream counterpart. He was the leader of Generation Next under the training of Shadowcat and Colossus, who had rescued Chamber from Mikhail Rasputin, one of Apocalypse's Horsemen. His power had been discovered earlier and was placed under his control via a cybernetic chest plate used to regulate his power usage, his face and body were whole with no parts lost to his power. He also had an open and passionate relationship with fellow mutant Husk. He was killed along with the rest of his team when they infiltrated Sugar Man's lair and were abandoned by Colossus.
For all of the character's Generation X appearances, his name was spelt as Jonothon Starsmore. However, following his appearances in this title, his name started appearing spelt Jonothan, starting with his appearances in Uncanny X-men. The reason for this change is unclear.
- Uncannyxmen.net Spotlight On...Chamber
- Uncannyxmen.net character bio on Chamber
- Chamber on the Marvel Universe Character Bio Wiki