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     Bolivar Trask 

Doctor Bolivar Trask

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bolivar_trask.png

America's most eminent anthropologist, and the first man to raise public awareness about the emergence (and potential danger) of the superhuman mutants of the Marvel universe. Unfortunately, by doing so he launched a nationwide anti-mutant panic, and then compounded his error by introducing the Sentinels as his proposed solution to the mutant problem—Which ended badly for him when the robots malfunctioned and revolted against their creators. In the end, he gave his own life to save humanity from this new menace, leaving the battle against the mutants to his successors. Not being an iconic supervillain, he has mostly remained dead, though he was briefly resurrected by Bastion in one somewhat recent story arc; outside of the comics and in the Ultimate Universe, he remains a major recurring villain.

  • Adaptational Villainy: Most depictions of Trask tend to miss out his Anti-Villain tendencies, and just make him obsessed with killing Mutants.
  • Adult Fear: His daughter, Anya, went missing because of her own mutant power of time-travel, with Bolivar never seeing her again.
  • Anti-Villain: Trask never even says, far less does, anything obviously "evil," personally, and all his villainous actions are motivated by his very genuine desire to save humanity from what he considers (mistakenly, but far from wholly unjustifiedly) a deadly danger to its very survival. And he has the courage of his convictions, and is quite prepared to die fighting for his cause.
  • Ascended Extra: In the comics, Trask has appeared in only a couple of stories over some fifty years of continuity, not counting flashbacks. In adaptations, he tends to be given rather more major roles; for example, he was effectively the Big Bad for most of the first season of the original X-Men animated series.
  • Bad Future: The one he predicted would take place if humanity failed to defend itself against the mutants, prominently published by the Daily Bugle. It would be ruled by a super-caste of mutants, with humans reduced to chattel slavery on the model of the Roman Empire. Ironically, the Sentinels themselves would go on to cause at least one Bad Future of their own, creating the Days of Future Past future in which they slaughtered most of Earth's superhumans, conquered humanity, and are slowly genociding humanity in the name of wiping out all mutants.
  • Beware the Superman: As an anthropologist, Trask realized that the emergent super-powered mutant species would, if left to itself, soon have enough power to control the world, replacing humanity as its dominant species. With few illusions about human nature, and the warning example of conquering supervillains like Magneto, he did not doubt that they would abuse it. So he poured all his fortune and reputation into informing his fellow men of the danger—As well as building an army of giant robots to contain it.
  • Book Dumb: Hinted at during X-Factor's crossover with X-Men: Second Coming, when he has difficulty keeping up with Bastion's Spock Speak.
  • Came Back Wrong: Averted, he was brought back by Bastion using the transmode virus, but otherwise was perfectly fine physically. However, he wasn't enthused about being used as an instrument of murder or Bastion have direct access to his mind.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Strictly speaking, an anthropologist, but he uses evolutionary psychology in his research and argumentation. However, the trope is subverted in that he is the champion of the "weaker" species (humanity) against the mutant supermen.
  • The Extremist Was Right: Partly. Strictly speaking, Trask was not mistaken about there being a real and very dangerous mutant conspiracy against humanity of which the public was totally unaware—Or rather, several, the classic X-Men comics alone having the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, the Hellfire Club, Factor Three and others, and the list has ballooned since. With these groups actually and earnestly plotting to enslave, and/or exterminate humanity, sometimes even coming close to success, his fears were in fact quite justified. However, his deduction that all mutants were part of the immediate threat was erroneous, and could have tragic consequences when taken to its logical conclusion.
  • Fantastic Racism: Naturally, given the whole premise of the character, but in a rather more sane and nuanced way than many of the anti-mutant villains of the setting.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: Actually, averted; Trask wanted the mutants identified, controlled and supervised, and possibly even sterilized, but not killed. But after the mutants destroyed his Sentinels and (appeared to have) killed him, his old associates became more extreme and played it straight.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When Master Mold forced him to unlock the protocol for Sentinel replication, providing the AI with a soon-to-be unlimited army of Mecha-Mooks to overrun the world, he chose to sabotage the Sentinel base's nuclear power plant, destroying both Master Mold and himself in the process, in order to save humanity from a threat even greater than that of the mutants.
  • Humongous Killer Robot: Responsible for creating Marvel's most iconic.
  • I Die Free: Monet used her telepathy to break the link between him and Bastion. Trask quickly took the opportunity to shoot himself before Bastion reasserted his control.
  • In Name Only: Bolivar Trask in the Days of Future Past movie was changed from an anthropologist to an industrialist, and pretty much nothing of the original character or his motivations was kept for that incarnation, except that he was involved in building the Sentinels.
  • Inspirational Martyr: His original Heroic Sacrifice to save the world from the rampant Sentinels inspired even the X-Men. However, it later becomes clear that most of the public believe it was really the X-Men who murdered Trask for his anti-mutant views, making him the first and greatest martyr in the struggle against the mutants (and cementing their chronic bad image as anti-human terrorists).
  • Irony: A man who did not want a Guilt-Free Extermination War ultimately inspired extremist sects of anti-mutant bigots who do want just that. Also, the robots he invented to protect humanity have endangered it more often than not. And he was brought back by a ridiculously advanced version of one of those robots, who takes control of him against his will.
  • Know When To Fold Them: Partly because he's not a genocidally driven maniac like Bastion, but when X-Factor evades the M.R.D.'s first attempts to kill them, Trask suggests maybe just letting them live quietly. Bastion refuses, and forces Trask to attack them.
  • Muggle Power: The first major figure in the setting to draw public attention to the danger of the superhuman mutants, making him the paradigmatic example of the trope. Nearly everyone who subsequently raises the issue points to his research and example to justify their own stances... Which is sometimes unfortunate, as many of them are more radical and extreme than he was.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: Implied to be this in his original appearance, where no hint was given that his Sentinels were built with government assistance. However, later stories have established that they were part of a Federal program, making Trask more of a Rogue Agent.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: In most adaptations where he features prominently as a villain. Quite understandable, as he is only a somewhat eldery scientist, who, however brilliant, is hardly equipped to fight Marvel mutants in person.
  • Nothing Personal: He had nothing personally against the mutants, or any individual mutant; he just viewed mutantkind, collectively, as a threat against humanity, even if there were decent individuals among them.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Played with. Trask, an anthropologist, leads the design work on the Sentinels, which does require expertise in a number of quite different, and quite unrelated, scientific fields. However, Professor X later speculates that the reason the robots went rampant was precisely that Trask, not being a formally trained AI engineer, had failed at programming them correctly.
  • People Puppets: After being brought back by Bastion, Bolivar is largely slaved to Bastion's will and made to follow Bastion's genocidal plan, even though he doesn't want to. When Monet manages to temporarily break the link...
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Trask has no powers himself, but as the creator of the Sentinels he is indirectly responsible for more mutant deaths then any other individual except Cassandra Nova (who, it should be noted, used his technology to exterminate the population of Genosha). A fact he was horrified by.
    • In fact, when Trask comes Back from the Dead, he is rather unfairly given credit for Nova's massacre.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Twice over, in fact. After he is confronted by the fact that his Sentinels are more of a danger to humanity than mutants, he undertakes a Heroic Sacrifice by detonating a nuclear power plant where he is being imprisoned in order to wipe out the Master Mold leading them. After he is resurrected, and learns that he has inspired humanity to genocidal anti-mutant efforts, making him, in a sense, a greater mass murderer than Hitler, he shoots himself in the head at the first opportunity, believing he could never atone for what he has unleashed in life.
  • The Social Darwinist: As a physical anthropologist, he believed that in the past, various species of primitive men had fought for dominance, with (for example) anatomically modern humans defeating and exterminating the Neanderthal Man. In his own time, he saw the same kind of struggle beginning in earnest between modern man and the superpowered mutants. Perhaps untypically, however, he consciously backed the "weaker" species against the emerging "superior" type, out of loyalty to his own kind.
  • Species Loyalty: He wanted to save humanity, and was prepared to give up his own life to this end, fighting its enemies whether they were mutants or rogue Sentinels.
  • Tragic Villain: In his original story, his Sentinels became a more immediate threat than the mutants themselves, making a mockery of his good intentions. He died stopping them. Later stories made him even more tragic by showing that he had a son, who was made an orphan by his death.
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: In spite of essentially setting off the Marvel universe's anti-mutant scare, Trask's own views on the mutant peril were both more nuanced and rather more troubled than those of most subsequent prominent anti-mutant activists, who are much more prone to Jumping Off the Slippery Slope. He favored a sort of Super Registration Act for them (to be enforced by the Sentinels), rather than the species of Final Solution the likes of Stephen Lang or Reverend Stryker advocated, and was open to the non-villainy of individual mutants. Perhaps influenced by the fact that his own son was also a mutant.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The Sentinels.
  • Unwitting Pawn: His original appearance presented him as this, where his super-powerful AI Master Mold became the real mastermind of his anti-mutant program, strictly for its own purposes, and then performed a hard takeover of his organization when the time was right.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye
  • We Have Become Complacent: According to Trask, neither America nor the USSR had realized that the greatest threat against either superpower was not its counterpart, but the superior mutants hiding in their midst, secretly amassing power and plotting against all humanity.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Like most human X-Men villains, an upstanding man who had, rightly or wrongly, come to fear the existential threat of mutant supervillains to humanity, and was prepared to do something about it. He was never "evil" in any typical sense, just convinced that the threat existed and had to be fought.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: When he is resurrected by Bastion, he learns of the atrocities that people have committed "in his name" and which he is credited with inspiring. Bastion, being a psychotic anti-mutant bigot, tells him this with the sincere belief that Trask has done nothing but good work, and should be pleased with what he's done. Instead, Trask is disgusted to learn what his legacy is, and is so filled with remorse that he gladly kills himself at the first opportunity.
    • To put it in perspective: One of the reasons Bastion resurrected him was due to admiration of Trask for getting the ball rolling on mutant genocide, and honestly congratulates him for being responsible for a total mutant death toll of 16,521,618. For those keeping score, this is roughly equivalent to 2 1/2 times the Holocaust or more.

     Zelda & Vera Cantor 

Zelda & Vera Cantor

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zelda_and_vera.png

A pair of human girls who used to double date with Beast and Iceman. Zelda was a flighty beatnik girl and Vera was a Hot Librarian. Vera's relationship with Beast went on for several years, but Iceman dumped Zelda without telling her, and never went on a date with her without Hank and Vera.

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     Ted Roberts 

Ted Roberts

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ted_roberts_3.jpg

A college friend of Jean Grey's. An overachieving Muggle who feels he couldn't live up to his brother. His brother later became yet another evil counterpart to Iron Man called the Cobalt Man. Was at least smart enough to see through the X-Men's disguises.

     Candy Southern 

Candy Southern

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/candy_southern_2.jpg

Warren's childhood friend who he began to date after Cyclops and Jean Grey finally started to become involved. Though not superpowered, she did briefly serve as leader of the Defenders.

     Stevie Hunter 

Stevie Hunter

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hunter_stevie_02.jpg

A star dancer who injured her knee and was forced to retire from performing, so she decided to become a dance instructor instead. Shortly after Kitty Pryde joined the X-Men, she was enrolled in Stevie's school, where Stevie became a sort of older sister figure, and eventually became close friends with the other X-Men as well, particularly Storm.

  • Black Best Friend: To an African woman.
  • Broken Bird: Never done to the extend of Wangst, but every now and again this showed up regarding her injuries.
  • The Bus Came Back: She came back years later, Stevie was elected to represent Connecticut's 3rd congressional district in the House of Representatives and invited X-Men leader and old friend, Kitty Pryde, to testify before Congress on the state of mutant affairs.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: She was a regular supporting character for years, but with a tendency to be forgotten at times. Her appearances by years go as following: 1980-1984, 1986-1987, 1990-1994). Chris Claremont and Fabian Nicieza were the only writers to regularly use her, and her last appearance was as part of a crowd in the wedding of Cyclops and Phoenix. She then vanished without explanation despite being a faculty member at Xavier's school.
  • Cool Big Sis: To Kitty Pryde. Storm doesn't take this well at first. She gets better.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!
  • Psychologist Teacher
  • Sassy Black Woman: Less overtly so than most, but she is black, female, and very no-nonsense.
  • Satellite Character

    Peter Corbeau 

Doctor Peter Corbeau

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/panel_107_3.png

A highly-skilled scientist, and close friend of Charles Xavier. Was also Bruce Banner's college roommate. Plays no small part in Jean Grey becoming The Phoenix (in that he was the one who provided the space-shuttle that Jean was piloting when it happened, using his knowledge).

  • Badass Normal: Has no actual superpowers, but he's still willing to fly a space-shuttle towards a hostile space-base for people he barely knows.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Holy crap, yes. He's an astrophysicist, he's capable of piloting shuttles (and has the authority to organize a launch in a matter of days at most), he designed his own hydrofoil, and he can somehow identify the breakdown of reality itself.
  • Put on a Bus: Disappeared from Uncanny around the mid-eighties, though he's reappeared once or twice since then.
  • Secret Keeper: Was fully aware of Charles being a Mutant, and knew about the X-Men, before we first see him and Charles interacting.


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