Danielle Moonstar is an American Indian of the Cheyenne Nation. Moonstar's mutant powers emerged at puberty but she could not control her ability to create visible images of people's greatest fears. She could not stop herself from creating such images at unexpected moments, and she thereby alienated everyone in her community except for her parents William and Peg Lonestar, and her grandfather, the chief and shaman Black Eagle.
One night she created a symbolic vision of her parents' deaths. Shortly thereafter her parents disappeared during a trip to the mountains. Moonstar believed them to have been killed, and her dreams were haunted thereafter by a vision of a demonic bear, whom she believed to be responsible for their deaths. In fact, Moonstar's parents had been transformed into the demonic bear by an as yet unrevealed cause. This bear was intended to work the same transformation upon Moonstar, but the spells of Black Eagle kept the demonic bear away from her.
After her parents' disappearance, Moonstar was taken in by their friends, the Roberts. Pat Roberts, their son, and Danielle were very close friends. After she had been at the Roberts's home a week, Moonstar was at Sunday dinner with them when Pat said something to her that provoked her. Moonstar lashed out at him with her psychic power, unaware she had it. The images of the objects of Pat's greatest fear and desire appeared before Pat and his family as a result. Moonstar fled to the mountains, where Black Eagle raised her over the following years, Finally, Black Eagle sent a letter to Professor Charles Xavier, who had become a friend of his son, William, Danielle's father, when both Xavier and William were in the army. Xavier and William had become blood brothers, and Xavier had become acquainted with Black Eagle. Black Eagle believed that Xavier could provide Moonstar with the training she needed to utilize her powers best, and asked him in the letter to do so. When Black Eagle asked Moonstar to go with Xavier when he came, she angrily refused, believing all Caucasians to be her enemies. In her anger she unintentionally created an image of Black Eagle's death, as he had foreseen it in a prophetic dream. Black Eagle ordered her to go with Xavier, and she agreed.