Having grown up as Amara Aquilla, daughter of the First Senator of the hidden Amazonian city Nova Roma, the mutant Magma was sent to live in the outside world to prevent her becoming a potential human sacrifice. She ultimately joined the young New Mutants team formed by Charles Xavier. Falling in love with Empath of rival team the Hellions, the pair left their respective teams. Returning to Nova Roma, Aquilla was led to believe that she was actually Alison Crestmere, daughter of a kidnapped British Ambassador. Aquilla and Empath eventually went their separate ways. She briefly joined King Bedlam's New Hellions
before being captured by the Church of Humanity and crucified on the Xavier Institute's grounds. She survived, and subsequently took up a teaching position at the school. On House of M|"M-Day", Aquilla witnessed the death of depowered mutant Antonio Argento, a tragedy that caused her to detonate the La Cumbre volcano.