Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / X Men Rogues Gallery M To Z

Go To

Back to the main character page


    open/close all folders 

    Madelyne Pryor 

Madelyne Jennifer Pryor-Summers

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/250px-madelyne_pryor_earth-616_710.jpg
Surprise. It appears your devices have limits. And I don't.
AKA: Anodyne, Goblyn Queen, Black Rook, Red Queen
Debut: Uncanny X-Men #168 (1983)


During Jean Grey's first death, Cyclops flew to Alaska with his family, where he met a charming, red-headed commercial airline pilot... who looked exactly like her. They fell in love, married, and had a son together... then Jean Grey came back. Cyclops left Madelyne alone with their son to go back to superheroing, just in time for her to be targeted by Mr. Sinister. As it turned out, her entire past was faked... she was a clone of Jean, designed to be a "brood mare" for Scott's son so Sinister could have his hands on the most powerful mutant in history. Needless to say, she didn't take this news well...
  • Aborted Arc:
    • Originally Madelyne was not intended to be Jean's clone at all, but instead an Identical Stranger (which has some Unfortunate Implications on its own for Cyclops, but isn't as bad as the eventual marital abandonment he'd pull). Of course, this made Maddie in practice just a Replacement Goldfish for Jean, and after the writers got permission to bring Jean Back from the Dead they no longer needed Madelyne. But since she and Scott were Happily Married by this time and had a child, simply having her fade into the background wasn't an option. Hence her very swift turn to the dark side.
    • Another one occurs in X-Man. The entire first half of the run has a subplot involving Madelyne and the Hellfire Club, which appeared to be leading up to a showdown between Madelyne and Selene for the title of Black Queen. Then, abruptly and without fanfare Madelyne just walked away from the Club, turning her back on a carefully built alliance/partnership with Sebastian Shaw to go looking for Nate Grey with no reason given in-story or out. Details are scarce, but it is presumed this arc was just of the many 90s plots that fell by the wayside thanks to the high creator turnover and backstage politics of the period.
  • Action Survivor: Got her start as one of these, being an ordinary woman (later retconned into having dormant powers) thrust into dangerous situations alongside the X-Men. She graduated to Badass Normal and Pregnant Badass before her Face–Heel Turn.
  • All for Nothing: Inferno and Madelyne's death, in Hindsight. 1) Everyone now knows how things would go between Cyclops and Jean Grey. 2) The image of Cyclops keeps re-sinking, even though Marvel keeps on trying to re-float him. 3) Grey's parents would later end up getting slaughtered anyway... by space aliens.
  • And I Must Scream: How she was tricked into making a Deal with the Devil. The demons S'ym and N'astirh sent her visions, which she thought were just nightmares, of her husband taking their baby son away from her and then systematically taking away all her physical features — clothes, then hair, then mouth and nose and eyes — and putting them on a featureless mannequin revealed to be Jean Grey. When it's done, Jean is real again and Maddie is the featureless mannequin, unable to even scream. They walk away happily and with the baby, leaving the naked and faceless Maddie to struggle alone through a blistering wasteland burning her away. Major Nightmare Fuel for anyone who read that issue as a kid, or even as an adult.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Jean Grey, at least up until Jean's second death; and also to Cyclops. Madelyne has since become a more independent villain.
  • Atrocious Alias: Such a childish sounding moniker as "Goblyn Queen" has been hard to take seriously from the start. Marvel's staffers seem to be aware of this, because (except in some alternate-reality stories) Pryor has never been called the Goblyn Queen since Inferno concluded in 1989. note 
    • After not using any alias on Madelyne Pryor since 1989 (the "Black Rook" alias barely applied), in 2009's Sisterhood story arc Marvel tried calling her the "Red Queen". But after Disney's Alice in Wonderland (2010), apparently Marvel decided they couldn't use that moniker anymore, so no alias was mentioned when Pryor returned again in 2014.
  • Back from the Dead: Resurrected first by Nate Grey, then by Arkea.
  • Badass Normal: Started out as a commercial pilot with a mean right hook, then during her time on the run from Sinister's Marauders, she joined the X-Men out of necessity and became their tech support, managing to pull her weight on the team without any (apparent) powers at all.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: In addition to her Psychic Powers, at the height of her Goblyn Queen phase, Madelyne could draw out the innate evil in things and people, which she used to turn the X-Men against X-Factor.
  • Barrier Warrior: As the Goblyn Queen she erected a barrier around herself and Jean Grey to fight her without interference. It was totally unbreachable until Longshot successfully pinpointed its one weak spot with his luck powers, allowing the rest of the team to strike and break through it.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Do not mention Mr. Sinister around her. Nate and Tessa both found out up close and personal why this was a bad idea.
    • Unsurprisingly, comparing her to Jean. First time around, when Scott asked if she was, she just slapped him. By the time she'd gone full evil, her reaction was to turn Jean's parents into demons (in their defence, they saw a woman who looked exactly like their daughter in front of them.)
  • Bookends: Shortly before Summers had proposed marriage to Pryor, Kitty Pryde asked and handed Lockheed the dragon over to Madelyne to babysit. Two years later, Pryde again asked and handed Lockheed to her to babysit, which was just before what became the beginning of the end of both the marriage and of Maddie as a straightforward character.
  • Broken Bird: Starting from the marriage disintegrating to up until the start of Inferno, for four meta-years Pryor was characterized as being this. Then subverted entirely during Inferno which recharacterized Pryor as being all Hate Sink with zero redeeming qualities or actions. Co-scripter Louise Simonson later boasted of deliberately working to destroy the character to make killing her off easy and justifiable. Main-scripter Chris Claremont seemed slightly regretful of what was done, and years later snuck Pryor into a few X-Men flashback stories with her original, likable characterization, and also into an alternate future story which gave her a redemption.
  • Came Back Strong: Her numerous resurrections seem to have had this effect, as after the first one she took on both Nate Grey and Jean Grey at once and was having the best of that encounter - though it has to be noted that she was draining Nate's powers at the time. On her third resurrection courtesy of Arkea she proved capable of flattening Rachel Grey in one shot.
  • Came Back Wrong: Her first resurrection courtesy of Nate Grey was somewhat this, as she was not actually a living, breathing person, but rather a physical manifestation of psionic energy that was to some degree still tainted by her corruption and death. Mutant death-senser Threnody noticed this and confronted her with it, leading Maddie to have a Villainous Breakdown and kill her in response.
  • Chess Motifs: During her time in the Hellfire Club she held the rank of Black Rook.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Somewhat towards Scott, definitely (and frighteningly) towards Nate.
  • Cloning Blues: She's a clone of Jean Grey created by Mister Sinister, and Mister Sinister late created six more clones of her to absorb the Phoenix.
  • Composite Character: In a summarization of the X-Men's history in X-Men: Grand Design, Pryor's debut and first adventures are mixed with those of Lee Forrester, Cyclops' previous girlfriend before Pryor.
  • Continuity Snarl: Was she killed by Queen Jean back in X-Man? Was she actually Queen Jean herself? Thanks to that story's obscurity and an Unreliable Narrator, we may never know.
  • Dark Action Girl: Evolved into one, and during her Red Queen phase she organized an entire team of Dark Action Girls, the Sisterhood of Mutants.
  • Deal with the Devil: Which unlocked both her Psychic Powers and Black Magic. She made said deal in a dream, and explicitly didn't believe it was real... but the demons considered it binding anyway.
  • Death Is Cheap: Let's see... killed in Inferno, resurrected by Nate Grey, killed again (possibly) by an evil alternate version of Jean, showed up as a psychic ghost to Cyclops and Cable on the Astral Plane, then resurrected again (maybe) as the Red Queen, where she died yet again. The fans took bets on how long it would stick. Indeed, she came back in X-Men (2013).
  • Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest: Of course, she wasn't a straight example because Jean wasn't really dead and later came back to marry Scott.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Combines this with Badass Boast after her Villainous Breakdown in X-Man #25:
    Madelyne (after being told she's still dead): I breathe, I think, I feel... I've got power, and I most certainly live!
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Pre-Inferno there was a storyline where Madelyne was granted Healing Hands powers from drinking the enchanted water of an Asgardian fountain.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Genocide is too much for Madelyne to stomach, as she once tipped off Cable to a plot of her old flame Sebastian Shaw to use a device belonging to Apocalypse in the hopes of harnessing his power (and destroying all of London in the process).
  • Evil Redhead: Though she didn't start out this way, she eventually became the poster child for this.
  • Evil Twin: She became this to Jean Grey eventually.
  • Evil Wears Black: Before her descent into darkness, Pryor always wore either bright colors or work-clothes in earthy tones, and rarely any darks. Since her descent, she is nearly always in blacks.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Gets subjected to this by Mr. Sinister, only to turn it right back around on him. The quote over on her picture is what she says to him after overloading his machines.
  • Expendable Clone: The assumptions of Executive Meddling assumed that retconning Madelyne into this (as well as into other things) would make it easy to kill her off and that readers would permanently forget her. But as she had been given considerable Character Development even before this, and nowadays the increasing appearances of the trope of Clones Are People, Too, seem to have recently helped Pryor get Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Overlaps with Retcon to some degree, as Maddie was established during Inferno as succumbing to her darker side much earlier than anyone suspected, doing things like subconsciously manipulating the duel for leadership of the X-Men between Cyclops and Storm so Cyclops would lose and intentionally manipulating the news feed the Australian outback X-Men team was receiving on their counterparts X-Factor (who were getting some bad press at the time) to put the two teams at odds well before she snapped and became the Goblyn Queen.
    • Heel–Face Revolving Door: In X-Man she starts off as Nate's "guardian angel" (good) before abandoning him to study the dark arts under Selene (bad), under Selene's patronage she beats the snot out of Jerkass Trevor Fitzroy (good) but then has a major breakdown after Threnody drops one truth bomb too many on her, killing Thren and trashing Nate and Jean Grey in the bargain (bad). She forges an alliance with Sebastian Shaw to undermine Selene (grey area), only to walk away from the Club and rejoin Nate (good). After using her family ties and history of villainy to get in with Stryfe and betray him to the heroes it looked like Maddie had finally settled on Good Is Not Nice, but her storyline in the title abruptly ended when she was seemingly aged to a decrepit state after an ordnance strike from some Z-list villains.
  • Fashion Dissonance: When artist Marc Silvestri originally designed the Goblin Queen costume in 1988, thigh-high boots were associated with tramps and prostitutes, note  influencing the artist's design choice. In recent years, such boots have become associated with high-fashion and fashion-divas.
  • Femme Fatale: She gets around a bit and has no trouble winding men around her little finger - examples include Scott Summers, Alex Summers, Sebastian Shaw and (sort of) Nate. As she informed Jean in X-Man #25, "I've lived the darker side of us."
  • Flanderization: Madelyne as the Goblyn Queen during Inferno was very much not herself, being subject to intense trauma and demonic influence to descend into that state, yet as of 2020 the event has more or less completely defined her character. This started with an alternate-reality depiction of Maddie in the 2015 Secret Wars event, in which she had conquered New York during Inferno and still ruled it. After this, however, Jonathan Hickman chose to push the reset button on her hard, reverting her to the Goblyn Queen for her appearance in the new Hellions title even though the demons who corrupted her are long dead. This, in the midst of a story trying its absolute hardest to break the Status Quo Is God rut no less.
  • The Force Is Strong with This One: After she killed Threnody in X-Man she unleashed a kind of 'psychic shockwave' that was felt by everyone who had any kind of connection with her, even a non-telepath like Havok.
  • The Ghost: In Chris Claremont's X-Men Forever series, Pryor never appears but gets mentioned by others several times. And each time they mention her either kindly or in sadness. In every other comic title written by others, whenever anyone mentions her, it's always contemptuously or in total indifference.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Arguably suffers this upon learning that she's just a clone of Jean Grey.
  • Happily Married: Subverted. Originally she was introduced to give Cyclops a way to retire from superheroics, as Chris Claremont's original vision for the X-Men was for the older members to retire and the new guard to gradually take their place. But since comic books are the patron medium for Status Quo Is God obviously that couldn't happen.
    • And then eventually Marvel's Powers That Be decided that Status Quo Is Boring As Hell, so Cyclops and Jean Grey would also fall under the same subverted marriage trope.
  • Healing Hands: During her stint as "Anodyne" in the Asgardian Wars. She even fixed Rogue's absorption powers during this period, though it didn't take.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Even evil, she managed to get the attention of more than a few good guys.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: She died alongside the X-Men in Dallas to save the world from the Adversary. Her turn to evil came later.
  • Irony: The purpose of Inferno was to make her into a slut, a bitch, and a subhuman freak just to exonerate her husband Cyclops and to kill her off because Jean Grey is status quo. But nearly 2 decades since coming back from being dead, Grey came to be seen as a tiresome Mary Sue, so has been killed off again herself for a long time. Pryor now turns up once in while, and some even seem to see her as the more interesting character.
    • Had Marvel just dropped her (and even her son) out of the picture without word or hype, she likely would've just faded into obscurity and been forgotten, just like most minor supporting characters in superhero comics. But by making her the center of such a massive send-off, and also then seemingly into a Martyred victim of both Executive Meddling and Marvel believing that Viewers Are Morons, these probably secured her a place as an established character and averted becoming one of the later Dork Age rejects.
  • Kick the Dog: Murdering Threnody in X-Man #25 and turning Jean Grey's elderly parents into demonic lackeys out of spite during Inferno.
  • Lady of Black Magic: She's sultry and usually demure, and has sorcery in addition to her formidable psychic powers.
  • Left Hanging: Despite being identified as the Red Queen by the protagonists in-story, by the fans and by this very page, her identity was never confirmed in-story and it is entirely possible that a future Retcon will reveal that character to be yet another interdimensional doppelganger, ala Queen Jean.
  • Loners Are Freaks: She is one of the only supervillains to pass on joining the new Krakoan nation in House of X, spurning an offer taken by dozens of villains many times more evil than she is.
  • Male Gaze: Arguably even more-so than from the infamous costume top, Pryor's Goblin Queen costume included what might be politely called a "crotch thong".
  • Mama Bear: Subverted. At the start of Inferno, she's pulling out all the stops to get her baby back from Sinister... then it turns out she just wants to sacrifice him to turn New York City into Hell on Earth.
    • She only wanted to make Hell on Earth after Sinister revealed her origins.
    • However, upon meeting adult Cable, she has some soft spots to him and still recognizes him as her son. Just look. At one point, after explaining how she was created and, by proxy, how Nathan was born, she even offered him that We Can Rule Together, which he obviously refused. When she, Cyclops, and Cable were trapped in the astral plane thanks to Apocalypse, Cable asked to be reunited for the first time with his father and mother. Maddie granted his wish and they reunited at the Astral Plane, she offered them to stay like that so they can be together forever.
  • Meaningful Name: Mr. Sinister named her Madelyne Pryor due to her having a prior existence as Jean Grey. Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor indeed.
  • Morality Pet: Nate Grey was this to her, her being his only friend. Indeed, she was, as shown by a Mysterio-induced hallucination, his best friend.
  • More Than Mind Control: During Inferno she convinced Havok to join her side as the 'Goblin Prince'. Initially this appears to be a straight up case of Mind Control, but when fighting his brother Alex reveals that he isn't being controlled, and instead chose to help Madelyne out of disgust at how Scott treated her.
  • Most Common Super Power: And how! Though Depending on the Artist.
  • Ms. Fanservice: After becoming the Goblin Queen, her tattered costume featured barely-a-loincloth and a top that covered her breasts only on the top.
  • Mutant: Not originally one, but retconned into one after The Reveal that she was Jean's clone. Naturally, this meant she got all of Jean's Psychic Powers.
  • Parental Incest: With Nate Grey, alternate reality cloned son of Cyclops and Jean Grey, and technically Maddie's son's alternate reality counterpart. While he immediately backed off on that aspect of their relationship once he figured out their relationship, her... well, it's complicated, but she was something of a Clingy Jealous Girl, a classic Tsundere and the cover art of X-Man #41 had a giant Maddie holding Nate between two fingers and licking her lips. It really didn't help that the letters page had some readers enthusiastically shipping them.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: During the first Genosha story arc, which takes place between her original Deal with the Devil and Inferno itself, Madelyne is kidnapped by the Genoshans, who intend to physically and mentally enslave her through the Mutate Bonding Process. She uses her newfound, demonic powers to lash out and kill everyone in the room with her.
  • Personality Powers: Not as the Goblyn Queen, but in her original incarnation as just Madelyne Pryor she was granted powers from a magic Asgardian fountain. And because was a firmly good, well-adjusted and even selfless person under her original creator's pen, she manifested Healing Hands powers and became Anodyne, a healer so skilled she even cured Rogue of her Power Incontinence. This was probably the happiest period of Madelyne's life; sadly, it was Too Good to Last.
  • Pet the Dog: Her interactions with her son and Nate Grey, as noted above, can be considered as this.
  • Reality Warper: Implied to be a power she had during Inferno, which enabled her to transmogrify Grey's parents into demon servants. They and the whole transmogrified city then all changed back to normal only after Madelyne died (similar to the effects shown with Ace in the DCAU).
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In X-Man #25, after liberating herself from her dependence on Nate Grey's psychic powers to continue existing.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Gives this to the Genegineer while she's a prisoner in Genosha. She's the first person in-story who's shown to dare to critique him to his face for the Genoshans' system.
    • She gives some truly crushing Hannibal Lecture lines to Scott during her Red Queen phase.
    Red Queen: (in response to Scott offering to help her) Let you help me? Don't make me laugh, you child. You could never help me. Not as a hero, not as a man — and certainly not as a husband.
  • Replacement Goldfish: She was only this because the writers couldn't bring Jean outright back at the time.
    • In-Universe, Nate seemed to function as this to her for Cable (her son, whom he was an AU counterpart of), while she seemed to function as this to him for Jean (being the clone of his AU mother). Add in the UST in all of their interactions and you have one hell of a messed up relationship.
  • Retcon: Very late in the X-Man title and some time after Madelyne herself had disappeared, a new villain was introduced calling herself Queen Jean. This character claimed to have been the Madelyne Pryor Nate knew "from the very start", impersonating Pryor to get close to Nate. The story went back and forth on whether this was true or if Queen Jean was just a maniac screwing with Nate. By the time he finally killed her, fans and the story had both settled on an uneasy option B, but the identity shenanigans didn't end with Queen Jean's death. Between Queen Jean, the Red Queen and her own issues with the real Jean, it is safe to say this character has had one of the most complicated identity crisis in all of fiction.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Inferno is basically Maddie snapping and unleashing literal hell on Earth after enduring one hell of a brutal Trauma Conga Line.
  • Sanity Slippage: All through Inferno. Between being targeted for assassination by the Marauders, having her son kidnapped, being abandoned by her husband, being tricked into a Deal with the Devil, and finding out she was nothing but a clone created to be a brood mare, it's really a miracle she didn't snap sooner.
  • Send in the Clones: A story set shortly before the events of Avengers vs. X-Men had Mr. Sinister create six clones of her to control the Phoenix Force with. These clones had none of Maddie's personality, though, and were mostly just soulless husks following whatever orders Sinister gave them.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Named after the Steeleye Span folk singer Maddy Prior.
    • Whoever at Marvel came up with the "Goblyn Queen" moniker,note  he/she/they must have been obsessed with a 1986 film which featured a fanserviced "Goblin King" who abducts babies.note 
    • In Uncanny X-Men #238, a vision of Pryor as a little girl in a field of daisies, followed by a nuclear explosion, might have been an apeing of an infamous 1964 presidential campaign commercial.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is it "Goblin Queen" or "Goblyn Queen"? Even the comics used both more or less interchangeably.
  • Stripperiffic: Her Goblyn Queen outfit, and her costumes as a member of the Hellfire Club.
  • Stuffed in the Fridge: Subverted, as not for the trope's purpose of causing anguish for another character, but entirely just to die for the Jean Grey & Cyclops ship.
    • After Pryor was brought back in X-Man #5, issue #6 had a scene that focused on Nate Grey opening & closing a refrigerator while talking to her. This was happenstance, as the Women in Refrigerators website didn't come out until a few years afterward.
  • Supernaturally Young Parent: Thanks to her son's Time Travel, she looks much younger than her son.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Became this when the writers couldn't make her just Jean reborn.
  • Taking You with Me: She attempts to do this to Jean at the climax of Inferno, subjecting herself to psychic suicide in the hopes of dragging Jean down into death with her. It doesn't work, of course.
  • Tangled Family Tree: She married into what was formerly the Trope Namer.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Fans never stop pestering Marvel about Pryor, so in order to placate them (i.e. to shut them up for once), for the past several years Marvel has featured her in some alternate-reality titles (e.g.: the Mutant X series; the X-Men: The End limited-series) in which Pryor pretty much came out ahead in the end. But those didn't satisfy the fans, so in 2014 Marvel finally gave in and brought her back in the "prime reality", and let her escape whole and healthy. Then she was included in the Secret Wars (2015) crossover event, especially in an Inferno redux tie-in storyline. That series ended with Maddie finally winning and getting to kill Mister Sinister for all he did to her. This version of Maddie also made the jump to the main marvel universe after Secret Wars.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Unlike many cases of Cloning Blues, Maddie was allowed to live on her own and believe her life was her own, which in many ways made the eventual reveal all the more cruel. Imagine finding out one day that the first 20-30 years of your life never happened because your memories of them, all those private experiences you thought were yours, actually belonged to and happened to someone else. As causes to Go Mad from the Revelation go, few are more horrifying on a personal human scale than hers.
  • Took a Level in Badass: She was pretty Badass right from the start, but over the years Maddie's taken a fair number of these.
  • Touched by Vorlons: While in gestation Madelyne was touched by the Phoenix Force, which had been wandering Earth after being rejected by Jean Grey. The Phoenix Force gave her the spark of life and Jean's nascent memories, though she didn't realize her memories were counterfeit until much, much later.
  • Tragic Villain: A particularly tragic case given how fast it happened in-story and how much Executive Meddling had to do with it out-of-story.
  • Transformation Horror: Likely a form of reality warping; one of her most potent abilities as the Goblyn Queen. She could transform people into demonic minions, though it apparently only worked on powerless or vulnerable humans. She transformed Jean Grey's parents into demonic lackeys, but failed to do the same to Colossus (in one what-if tale she did successfully demonize Wolverine, but he retained enough of his humanity to turn on her in the story's climax).
  • Trauma Conga Line: The sequence of events that eventually pushed her off the slippery slope.
  • Tsundere: Usually towards Nate.
  • Underboobs: Pioneered this daring choice in villainous fashion when she went bad in Inferno. It is very likely that telekinesis is the only thing keeping her inside that costume.
  • We Can Rule Together: Late in X-Man she got offered one of these by Stryfe, who was attempting to seize control of Latveria in Dr. Doom's absence. She accepted the offer (and got a portion of his power in exchange) but as it turned out she was just playing The Mole for Nate and Cable (not that she bothered to tell them, of course).
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Madelyne brought back by Arkea just walked off rather than defend her, and hasn't been seen since.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Having her nascent mutant abilities awakened might have turned out alright for Maddie, had they not been awakened by demons and while she was in the process of being trampled by a Trauma Conga Line.
  • Woman Scorned: Partly due to What the Hell, Hero? and partly (well, mostly) due to Executive Meddling.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: She learned that she was a clone of Jean Grey and was abandoned by her husband, Scott Summers (who fell in love with her because of her obvious similarity to Jean, though neither knew she was a clone at the time, assuming it to just be mere coincidence that they looked exactly alike), when he reunited with Jean, after Jean returned from the dead. Then Maddie's infant son was kidnapped and she was left for dead. She has a daydream where she's ripped apart to build the woman her husband actually wants and then is offered revenge. Thinking that it's just a dream, she accepts, which, naturally, leaves her possessed by a demon and willing to sacrifice her baby (whom she finally has the power to find) to allow the demons of Limbo to take over the Earth.
  • Would Hurt a Child: She has her demons kidnap twelve babies to sacrifice in a ritual during Inferno, and when that fails she attempts to sacrifice her own son.
Advertisement:

    The Marauders 

The Marauders

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/marauders_portrait_7041.jpg
The original Marauders
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/250px-astonishing_x-men_vol_3_48_-_marauders_earth-616_6279.jpg
The new Marauders
Debut: Uncanny X-Men #210 (1986)



A bunch of mercenary mutants who appear mainly as Mr. Sinister's Mooks. Led by the psychic entity known as Malice who is famous for having successively possessed Dazzler and more prominently Polaris, they can all be indefinitely cloned and many of them have been shown to have died but have come back to life (except Sabretooth initially, whose DNA was too complex to clone at first). They also bear the distinction of being what may just be the most thoroughly unsympathetic group the X-Men have dealt with; Arclight is the only core member who is even remotely sympathetic, and that's just because of a Freudian Excuse that hardly covers for all the awful things she's done.

By name: Scalphunter (an assholish Technopath), Arclight (a former servicewoman who causes shockwaves with her punch), Harpoon (a redheaded Inuit who channels energy in his spears), Scrambler (an energy vampire who negates people's powers), Blockbuster (The Brute of the group), Vertigo (a former Savage Land mutate who can cause dizziness and disorientation with her mind), Riptide (a sadist who uses Razor Wind to fight), Prism (a crystalline-bodied guy who can easily deflect energy beams) and Malice (a psychic entity who can possess people).

Sabretooth was originally part of the crew but left after Inferno. Gambit was also part of their team.


  • A Day in the Limelight: Scalphunter (of all Marauders) is promoted to team member in the 2020 Hellions title.
  • Aborted Arc: Some issues and tie-in novels released during the early nineties indicated the Marauders were just a band of mercenaries that could and did operate independently of Sinister.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Arclight is particularly toned and muscular for a lady, but still lithe and curvaceous enough to avoid being a Brawn Hilda.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Scalphunter is brought to Krakoa's Quiet Council in Hellions #1 under the charge of attacking the reborn Morlocks on the anniversary of the Mutant Massacre. However, the previous pages revealed Callisto brought the Morlocks together to attack him first. For some reason, Scalphunter doesn't argue about being attacked first with the possible implication he's willingly taking the blame.
  • Ax-Crazy: Apparently a requirement. Any outfit Sabretooth is not the craziest, evilest member of, you want to run away from.
  • Beard of Evil: Blockbuster.
  • The Big Guy: Scalphunter & Sabretooth.
  • Blade on a Stick: Harpoon uses them as his weapons.
  • Bloodbath Villain Origin: Here's a hint: there's a reason why their origin story is called the Mutant Massacre.
  • Breakout Villains: An oddly reliable source of secondary villains for the X-Men films. Arclight, Riptide and Sabretooth have all crossed over to the big screen, albeit in massively reimagined ways.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Explored in one story where Nightcrawler goes after Scalphunter for his transgressions and easily defeats him, only to decide he cannot entirely blame the Scalphunter he has been hunting for the Mutant Massacre, since that Scalphunter died years ago and the one he's got on his hands now is a clone of a clone of the original. Overlaps with Cloning Blues when one takes the premise to its uncomfortable conclusion: that it can be applied to almost all the Marauders, since Sabretooth is the only one of the original bunch who has survived over the years.
  • The Brute: Blockbuster and Arclight, though Blockbuster more strongly fits the role.
  • Cloning Blues: Most, if not all of them, have been killed over the years and replaced with clones, sometimes repeatedly. Interestingly, the Magneto solo series indicates that most of them aren't especially bothered by this.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Blockbuster and Harpoon deliver a particularly brutal round of this to Archangel just for shits and giggles.
  • Cool Shades: Arclight started wearing these in the nineties.
  • Country Mouse: Harpoon's one character trait besides being a sociopath is this. His teammates would occasionally tease him about it between rounds of mutant murdering.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Scalphunter's a technopath. He's also one of the most sociopathic members of the team.
  • The Dandy: Scrambler's the only member of the team who dresses in normal clothes instead of some kind of supervillain costume, and his foppish personality certainly fits the trope.
  • Dark Action Girl: Arclight especially.
  • Dark Chick: Vertigo. Her powers are more of a supportive nature than anything else. Also, she's a very weak hand-to-hand combatant.
  • Death Is Cheap:...for all of them.
  • The Dragon: Scalphunter was retconned into being Sinister's first Marauder, but it was Malice who served this role during Inferno.
  • Dumb Muscle: Blockbuster.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Say what you will about Sinister, but he doesn't discriminate. His team consists of a Native American (Scalphunter), an Inuit (Harpoon), a Canadian (Sabretooth), a German (Blockbuster), a Korean (Scrambler), and an evolved neanderthal (Vertigo). All they're missing is an African American, and some fans speculate that Prism is one underneath that crystal body of his.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Riptide certainly thinks so.
  • Evil Redhead: Harpoon.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Sinister subjects Malice to this after she goes off the reservation and possesses Havok in X-Factor.
  • Evolutionary Levels: Vertigo was originally an Neanderthal from a Savage Land tribe known as the Swamp Men who was evolved into a human-like woman. Every now and then back in the day she would get de-evolved, only for Status Quo Is God to kick in and show up human again later.
  • Flat Character: The Marauders get varying degrees of fleshing out. Some, like Arclight and Scalphunter, have fleshed out backstories and personalities that raise them above rank-and-file Mook status. Others, like Blockbuster and Vertigo, suffer from being Out of Focus and so little is known about what makes them tick. The worst case is Prism, who exists purely to be a Running Gag and has no personality aside from being cocky despite being shattered in almost every appearance he makes.
  • For the Evulz: Primarily why Sabretooth joined the group.
  • Freudian Excuse: Arclight has PTSD from Vietnam, though most of her behavior can be summed up as just plain sadism.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • Riptide is probably the most destructive member of the team next to Arclight, but he's more or less screwed if someone can get past his barrage.
    • Prism is a literal Glass Cannon, being a man made of solid crystal who is usually broken in whatever fights he shows up for.
  • The Gunslinger: Scalphunter
  • Heel–Face Turn: Losing both arms below the elbow and nearly dying in his own spilled entrails turned out to be the incentive that Scrambler needed to turn his life around, and he even gets a Happily Ever After complete with a beloved wife and stepdaughter, his own business, and a nice chunk of land.
    • Heel–Face Door-Slam: As of 2020, Scalphunter signed up with the mutant nation of Krakoa and it looked like the remaining Marauders were going to go for either this or Retired Monster — until it was revealed that all the others had been captured by Madelyne Pryor and were being subjected to mystical torture as punishment for their transgressions against her.
  • Jerkass: Scalphunter especially, although they all apply.
  • Kick the Dog: Their specialty. Just ask the Morlocks and Threnody. Special shout-out to Malice for taking the trope literally; during a plot to possess Havok, she murders an elderly tourist's poodle for barking at her. Evil Is Petty indeed.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: The ending of Hellions #1 reveals the Marauders (except Scalphunter) refused to have anything to do with Krakoa. As a result, they're now being held captive by Madelyne Pryor who is routinely torturing them.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Their debut was and still is one of the bloodiest X-Men stories ever told. From Scalphunter gunning down an elderly woman and her children in cold blood to Harpoon spearing Angel's wings to a wall (the damage was so severe they had to be amputated), the Marauders pushed the X-Men into darker territory than they'd ever visited before. This was even recognized in-story, with Gentle Giant Colossus snapping mentally and physically snapping Marauder Riptide's neck a moment later.
  • Lack of Empathy: All of them.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • At the beginning of Inferno, the X-Men swore to make them pay for what they did to the Morlocks. With the exception of the possessed Polaris, all the Marauders got dispatched one by one during the arc.
    • Magneto tore through them in his 2014 solo series, exacting his own form of retribution two decades after the fact. While he dispassionately killed most of the team, Scalphunter got singled out for a more brutal punishment: he was left alive, with both his arms and both his legs forcibly amputated.
  • Lethal Joke Character: All of them. You wouldn't guess from their flamboyant attire and their devil-may-care attitudes that they're one of the deadliest villain groups the X-Men have ever faced.
  • Lighter and Softer: The Nasty Boys, a gang of delinquent mutants created to be Mr. Sinister's minions in the animated series as the Marauders themselves were much too dark for a children's cartoon. They had a short-lived stint in Peter David's run on X-Factor but were not used too often after that.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Arclight
  • London Gangster: The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix revealed the original Marauders to be a gang of these in the days of Victorian Britain.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Malice's shtick is usually to offer a better life to her target through selfishness and evil.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Malice is fond of revealing herself to her hosts through mirrors to play mind games with them.
  • Mook Horror Show: On the collective receiving end of one at the hands of Nate Grey in X-Man. Some years later Magneto subjects them to similar treatment in the pages of his own series. Then they get it a third time at the hands (well, pyrokinetics) of Chamber.
  • Mooks: Frequently used for this after the revelation that Sinister could clone all of them at will.
  • Murder, Inc. A gang of mutant hitmen who specialize in killing other mutants.
  • Mutants: All of them, though their abilities of course vary.
    • Attack Reflector: Prism's main ability. His crystal body can absorb and redirect any energy attacks thrown his way.
    • Anti-Regeneration: Harpoon's weapons impair healing factors and can harm psionic beings such as Chamber.
    • Demonic Possession: Malice's primary ability. Like the Shadow King, she's a psychic entity that exists entirely on the astral plane and has to possess a victim in order to interact with the regular world.
    • Dishing Out Dirt: Arclight has some degree of this, in addition to limited Super Strength and Nigh-Invulnerability.
    • Healing Factor: Scalphunter has one, and it's strong enough to allow him to survive a firing squad.
    • Ki Manipulation: Harpoon, though he requires an object to channel them into, usually his signature weapons. He's kind of like an evil Gambit.
    • Mind Manipulation: Vertigo has an extremely limited degree of this, being able to induce sensations of intense dizziness and nausea in others.
    • Nigh-Invulnerability: Blockbuster and Arclight both have this, being the team's two powerhouses.
    • Power Incontinence: As you might have guessed from his name, Scrambler messes with other mutants' powers via touch. He can also use it to mess with machines, ala Shadowcat.
    • Powers via Possession: Subverted. Malice gets the powers, not the possessed person.
    • Razor Wind: Riptide's primary mutant power, which he generates by spinning himself in place like a top at extremely high speeds.
    • Super Strength: Blockbuster and Arclight again.
    • Technopath: Scalphunter is a technopath that suffers from Crippling Overspecialization, being able to use it only to put together guns.
  • My Greatest Failure: Gambit considers the Mutant Massacre perpetrated by them to be this, since he was the one who organized the team for Sinister.
  • Older Than They Look: Scalphunter is pushing somewhere in his 70s at this point, but you'd never know by looking at him.
  • One-Hit Point Wonder: Prism is a rare non-video game version of this, being a character that is invulnerable to energy attacks but will shatter into a million pieces if a pebble so much as drops on him wrong. He's so fragile, in fact, that him getting killed is a kind of a Running Gag when it comes to the Marauders.
  • Only Sane Man: Harpoon in UXM vol. 5. He tries to explain to the X-Men that they didn't kill the Morlocks (this time) and when the team attacks, he immediately surrenders. Chamber still toasts him along with the other Marauders.
  • Personality Powers: Some of them manifest this and others don't. Blockbuster in particular is the cliched case of The Brute manifesting brutish powers, though Arclight (also brutish with brute powers), Scrambler (a Troll with the power to induce Power Incontinence) and Riptide (Ax-Crazy guy with super spinning) also qualify. On the other hand, Prism, Scalphunter and Vertigo all manifest powers that don't really fit their personalities (or in the case of Prism, there's not enough personality to go by).
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Scalphunter, kind of. Aside from being a murderous sociopath in-story, the character's codename is also an uncomfortable semi-slur against Native Americans. Recent appearances and merchandise have referred to him by his real name, John Greycrow, instead.
  • Psycho for Hire: All of them!
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: If an incredibly dark one.
  • Red Right Hand: Malice manifests a skull choker around the neck of anyone she possesses.
  • Red Shirt: Prism and Blockbuster to the group as a whole. They die the most often and have the least-interesting powers. Prism especially. His energy-channeling powers require the opponent to be using an energy-blasting power, and his body is made up of a material similar to glass. Pretty much every fight with him goes thusly: Cyclops shoots. His Eye Beams get deflected/returned/scattered. Someone hits him. He shatters into a gajillion tiny bits. It's not known whether he can pull himself together, or if every single appearance of him is a new clone after the last died two seconds into his first battle.
  • Sadist: Just about all of them, though Sabretooth, Scrambler, and Blockbuster are particularly bad in this regard.
  • Send in the Clones: What Sinister does whenever one of them dies. This has also resulted in at least one instance where an X-team stumbled upon one of Sinister's old hideouts where multiple clones were unleashed. More recently Sinister himself created multiple clones of assorted individuals whose DNA he has collected over the years to swell his ranks.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Arclight served in the Vietnam War and it's implied that whatever she saw and/or did there left a lasting impression on her, though she's done plenty of inexcusable things since.
  • Shout-Out: Scrambler's real name is Kim Il-sung. Yes, as in that Kim Il-sung.
  • Slave Mooks: It was revealed in X-Men #34 that all the cloned Marauders are these, as Sinister manufactures them with gene imprints that shut them down if they ever try to turn against him. Decades later Magneto takes advantage of this to turn them into his Mook army.
  • Sixth Ranger: Mystique and Exodus were both recruited to the team during Messiah Complex. Neither of them stick around for long, though.
  • Smug Snake: Scalphunter and Scrambler.
  • The Sociopath: Almost all of them, but Scalphunter especially qualifies.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Arclight and Scalphunter are both former US military, fighting in the Vietnam War and World War II respectively. Perhaps not coincidentally, they are often depicted as lovers.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Sabretooth all the time, and the team as a whole during the Morlock Massacre.
  • Taking You with Me: When Chamber incinerates the Marauders in a fit of rage, a badly-burned Harpoon stabs one of his signature weapons into Jono's chest before dying.
  • Terrorists Without a Cause: Blockbuster is noted to have done some work for German terrorists before joining up with Sinister.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Arclight and Vertigo in the original group. Subverted with the new Marauders, which has numerous female villains such as Chimera and Lady Mastermind join up.
  • Unfriendly Fire: Scalphunter during World War II. He earned his name from "scalping" his superior officers and earned himself a ticket to the firing squad in the bargain. Unfortunately, his mutant abilities kept the trip from being one-way.
  • Villain Decay:
    • In their first appearances, the Marauders ripped through the X-Men, inflicting brutal injuries on several of their members. While they've always remained a serious threat, they've never quite reached that level of menace again, and in some cases (most notably during the X-Man series - though in that case, they were up against someone who knew all about them, backed up by one of the most powerful mutants in history), they were even degraded to We Are "Team Cannon Fodder"-grade mooks for the heroes to mow down.
    • Sabretooth in particular was generally a much less fearsome presence as a Marauder than he normally tends to be, and was often the Marauder most singled out for punishment by Sinister when they'd fail an assignment.
  • We Are "Team Cannon Fodder": Sometimes used this way.
  • Weaksauce Weakness:
    • Scrambler needs to touch people to negate their powers, which leaves him very vulnerable to long range attacks.
    • Prism's body is very brittle and all what is needed to get rid of him is to smash him against a wall.
  • Weapon of Choice: You'll never guess what Harpoon's are.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?:
    • Having a kind of Joker Immunity thanks to Sinister's cloning banks means the Marauders get killed on a fairly regular basis. They're treated kind of like organic versions of the Sentinels because of this, with the heroes often ripping through them despite their various oaths to not kill.
    • Magneto also shamelessly exploits Sinister's genetic failsafes to turn them into his army of Slave Mooks, presumably to remind the readers that he is a Villain Protagonist.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Scalphunter had no qualms about killing Annalee's children.
  • Yellow Peril: Scrambler is a minor example. He's Korean, but dresses in a nice suit rather than any stereotypical Fu Manchu garb.
  • Zeerust: The Marauders debuted in the mid-80s, and... well, they look it.

    Mikhail Rasputin 

Mikhail Rasputin

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mikhailrasputin.png
Debut: Uncanny X-Men #285 (1992)

Isn't that what I have always done? Killed the people I cared for?


A powerful, dangerous and insane mutant Reality Warper, Mikhail Rasputin is a former Russian cosmonaut and the elder brother of X-Man Peter (Colossus) and Illyana Rasputin (Magik). Originally a Russian cosmonaut, the Soviet government faked a shuttle accident to send him on a secret mission to another dimension. There, the use of his powers accidentally caused the deaths of countless beings (including his wife), traumatizing him and leaving him with a deeply-rooted martyr complex. Eventually, Mikhail would set himself up as a Dark Messiah of desperate mutants (specifically, the descendants of the Morlocks), and eventually even inadvertently causing the death of (one version of) his little sister Illyana.

His various attempts to help the Morlocks and others tend to end violently and badly, which brings him into conflict with the X-Men, mostly out of a desire to use his vast mutant powers for good, but his insanity tends to cause this to backfire. He has a tense relationship with his siblings but generally cares for them.


  • Aloof Big Brother: Being a fair bit older than his siblings, they tend to see him this way.
  • Anti-Villain: Type II. He means well, every time. It's just an unfortunate combination of vast amounts of power and a deeply, deeply troubled mind that keep putting him on the wrong side of things.
  • Ax-Crazy: In his very worst moments, though it usually takes the manipulations of others to push him to this state, such as the 2005 Colossus: Bloodline limited series where Mr. Sinister talks him into going on a spree of familicide.
  • Cain and Abel: He is the older, insane brother of Colossus and Magik. Not on Mikhail's part, he lacks any true enmity towards them, but both of them have very legitimate reasons for their hatred of him.
  • Combo Platter Powers: His power is a kind of vaguely-defined Reality Warper ability combined with teleportation, and in the Age of Apocalypse at least is also used to transform himself physically much the way his brother does. Though they kicked in just in time to save his life from the botched Cosmonaut experiment, they also drove him into insanity.
    • Chrome Champion: Used only in the Age of Apocalypse, and could be related to Apocalypse amping up his powers in that continuity.
    • Reality Warper: Specifically stated at one point as being able to transmute matter from one state to another, as well as harness energy. He can use it to transform Iceman from his ice form back to normal, for instance... or to transform a luckless pizza guy into a tree.
    • Teleportation: His reality-warping powers allow him to open pocket dimensions and teleport himself there.
  • Dark Messiah: For the alternate dimension he was trapped in, later to the Morlocks and later still to Gene Nation.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: That time he teamed up with his brother to fight a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere.
  • Dimension Lord: When he ruled his dimension The Hill, he forced the young Morlocks to compete in order to become top soldiers by training them to fight to the death.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Shortly after being brought back to Earth, a pizza delivery guy runs into him on a bike. Mikhail's response? Turn the guy into a tree.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: A mix of this and Evil Overlord for the Morlocks in the parallel dimension known only as "the Hill."
  • Driven to Madness: He warped himself into another dimension when his powers first manifested and was adopted by that world's denizens as a hero, only to accidentally condemn most of them to death trying to save them. The trauma from that failure drives pretty much everything Mikhail does after.
  • Evil Mentor: For Marrow and the rest of Gene Nation, a generation of young Morlocks who became terrorists.
  • Hearing Voices: In his less sane moments. The voices tend to be victims of his past failures.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Willingly threw himself into the Dark Zone, a dimension from no escape in which time stands still and nothing can ever die... in order to protect his siblings from their murderous ancestor, the mad monk Rasputin. Yes, that Rasputin.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: It was eventually revealed that at some point during his dimension-hopping Mikhail had become infected by something that can only be described as this, and that said creature was in fact largely responsible for Mikhail's Sanity Slippage, having formed a kind of symbiotic bond with him. It was eventually destroyed by the combined efforts of the two Rasputin brothers, but unfortunately Status Quo Is God led to Mikhail going crazy again later.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a long rectangular scar across his right eye, giving him a sinister look. Morally, he could go either way in any given situation.
  • In the Hood: In his first appearance, due to trying to hide his identity in his self-imposed exile.
  • Insane Troll Logic: His second plan to bring back Illyana, sadly, amounted to this. His brother even points this out, only for Mikhail to just shrug it off.
  • Kick the Dog: Prone to doing this in his fits of insanity. The best example is in the Storm miniseries, where he literally kicks a Morlock boy off the hill he just climbed up purely For the Evulz. He's wearing a Slasher Smile too, just to gild the lily.
  • Laughing Mad: Probably the only heroic example in existence, and without a doubt Mikhail's Moment of Awesome:
    Narration: Mikhail has no way of knowing how long he stands on the edge of the void. The voice in his head whispers, begs, cajoles him with empty promises. When he finally steps forward, the voice screams with rage... and Mikhail laughs.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: Mikhail is not malevolent, he's just so out of touch with reality that the concepts of right and wrong usually get lost in translation with him.
  • Power Copying: Of an unusual sort. In addition to warping matter, he can also warp energy, meaning that if someone with energy-based powers uses them around him, he can take control of it. He once used Jean Grey's telekinesis to shove the X-Men out of the way so that he could "save" the Morlocks himself. (see Training from Hell)
  • Powers Do the Fighting: To the point that when Storm manages to get in close to him, she is able to totally immobilize him with no more than a small knife at his throat.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: With the conclusion of the 2005 Colossus: Bloodline story, Mikhail was trapped, apparently for all eternity, in the Dark Zone where time stands still and nothing ever dies.
  • Renegade Russian: A mild example — he was a Russian cosmonaut and it's a safe bet the Kremlin doesn't know what he's been up to since being declared KIA.
  • Sadist Teacher: The Storm miniseries shows him as being this to the Morlocks he rules over.
  • Ship Tease: With Storm in his first appearance. He finds her isolated from her friends when they arrive in his dimension and welcomes her into his home, leading to this exchange:
    Storm: And what of you? You have yet to tell me your place in all of this. Who are you?
    Mikhail: (slowly smiling a guilty smile) Some say a legend. Some say a curse. It will be for you to decide which you believe.
    Storm: (with a knowing smirk) Then I shall bide my time, stranger... since in my day, I have been branded both myself!
  • The Social Darwinist: Becomes this in one of his more insane periods, after becoming leader of the Morlocks. He decides the only way to ensure their survival is to put them through Training from Hell, which resulted in most of them becoming as crazy as he is.
  • Stronger Sibling: Probably the strongest of the three Rasputin siblings in terms of mutant power, but also by far the least stable. Interestingly, he seems to fall in the middle morality-wise, somewhere between the incorruptible Colossus and thoroughly-corrupted Illyana.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Even in his episodes of insanity, Mikhail usually has enough innate goodness that he can't bring himself to willingly take the life of another. The only time he has broken this rule is when he was driven to total madness by the combined efforts of Mister Sinister and his ancestor Rasputin (not that that excuses it, but it provides context).
  • Tragic Villain: His descent into madness and villainy started when he accidentally killed off a large part of the population of an alternate dimension, including his wife, when trying to close the portal that brought him there. He later had to try again because the portal was going to destroy the dimension.
  • Training from Hell: Mikhail saved the last survivors of the Morlocks from their tunnels as they were flooding... by teleporting them to an alternate dimension that was really a giant mountain known only as "the Hill." There, he left them at the bottom, making them climb through Acid Rain, fighting both native monsters (and each other) for the few scarce resources the dimension had, with the objective being, ostensibly, to get up the Hill to where he was, as an exercise in Social Darwinism (the idea was to cull the weak and weak-willed so that the Morlocks as a people could better survive and endure). It wasn't until Storm arrived that he started spotting the flaws in this plan.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The Storm miniseries teased him as being this to the Dark Beast, but it never went anywhere.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Mostly, he just wants to put his powers to some kind of constructive use, partly to make up for all the damage they have caused in the past. Unfortunately, being Ax-Crazy makes him misinterpret what "constructive use" means.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: His high-order powers are part of his madness, but his traumatic history and an insanity-inducing Giant Space Flea from Nowhere are also to blame.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: In his backstory; see Driven to Madness above.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Time passes differently in 'The Hill', the alternate dimension he sets himsellf up as a Dimension Lord over. The exact conversion is somewhat vague thanks to Comic-Book Time but it was long enough that Morlock babies that crossed over with him had enough time to grow into teenagers, despite not even a year passing on Earth.

    Mr. Sinister 

Mister Sinister

Nathaniel Essex

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/848284c08cf0eb3d3be110d90ee79c2b.jpg
You are power incarnate, It's true. Crude, uncontained power. But I, child of the atom... I am control.
Debut: Uncanny X-Men #221 (1987)


Dr. Nathaniel Essex was a respected Victorian scientist and a contemporary of Charles Darwin, who read Darwin's theories with interest but thought they did not go far enough. Uncovering evidence for the existence of mutants and viewing them as the next stage in human evolution, Essex put a radical kind of eugenics forward to the scientific community, arguing that children from the families of these unique bloodlines he was discovering (i.e. the children or descendants of mutants) should be taken and raised as lab rats in order to direct the human race more clearly and quickly to its future. Unsurprisingly, the scientific community were horrified and turned against him, and on her deathbed even his wife denounced him as "Sinister" after she discovered he had dug up their dead son for his increasingly twisted research.

But Essex found a patron receptive to his ideas, the ancient mutant Apocalypse, who transformed him into an immortal and inhuman creature who takes the name his dead wife gave him- Sinister. Though he eventually turned against his master for his genocidal creeds, Sinister continued his unethical experiments throughout the ages and has cast a dark shadow over the lives of many young mutants and innocents. Magneto knew him as "Nosferatu", a Nazi Mad Scientist who took blood samples from children in the camps in exchange for sweets; Juggernaut, Prof. X and Sebastian Shaw were amongst a group of children experimented on as part of a long-term Grand Theft Me plot in the unlikely event of his death, and Cyclops was raised in one of his orphanages, after he recognized the potential for the Summers' bloodline as part of this he created a clone of Jean Grey called Madelyne Jennifer Pryor. Sinister was behind the massacre of the Morlocks and a host of other atrocities over the years, but with centuries of study backing him up he is likely the foremost expert in mutant genetics in the world. The combination makes him one of the X-Men's most intelligent, despicable and dangerous enemies.


  • Aborted Arc: It was once strongly implied that Sinister had contracted the Legacy Virus. Nothing ever came of this.
  • Achilles' Heel: Subverted, as X-Men were led to believe that his only weakness was Cyclops's optic blast (and indeed, in the '90s cartoon it really was) which seemingly destroyed him in their first battle. It was later revealed Sinister was just Faking the Dead and Cyclops's optic blast was no more effective on him than anything else. When he first made his return, it was pointed out that Cyclops's optic blasts have never blown things up before, just pulverized them, so they really should have suspected.
  • Agent Peacock: Not originally characterized as such but has become one best seen under Jonathan Hickman. This version of Sinister is extremely vain and campy but still a brilliant geneticist and dangerous opponent. During "Powers of X", he comments he loves Magneto's cape and kills his clone who failed to mention he should have one too. He then goes back to business discussing mutant cloning, rejecting the idea outright... then another Sinister pops up, complete with cape, executes that Sinister and takes charge, declaring that his mutant power is "deposing tyrants and looking absolutely fabulous." Additionally, there are now gossip columns called "Sinister Secrets" started by Sinister hinting at things that have occurred and things yet to come. They are all written in a cryptic and flamboyant manner.
  • Arch-Enemy: To the Summers family in general and Cyclops in particular.
  • Bad Boss: He is a brutal boss to his Marauders, sometimes killing them with his own hands for their failure because he knows he can just crank out clones of them anyway.
  • Badass Bookworm: An evil version, but he is probably the world's foremost expert on mutant genetics, and no slouch in a fight.
    • Let's put it this way: the High Evolutionary is a character with cosmic power who has gone toe-to-toe with Galactus and evolved an entire world's worth of animals into an advanced society, and he's behind the curve when it comes to Sinister. Hell, Sinister actually went to the trouble of masquerading as an Oxford professor for years just to get him started!
    • During Avengers vs X-Men, he beat the Phoenix Five through pure smarts (via his Sinister London and Maddie clones) and made it look easy, harnessing the Phoenix for himself. And when a robot billions of years old, impossibly advanced, so brilliant it was capable of talking entire civilisations to suicide, and serving as a kind of Evil Mentor to the Lights (Hope's team) saw Sinister London and the Phoenix Five's prison after the Lights went undercover, his response was stunned shock and that it was a trap of "pure reason", and they should Run or Die. It took the direct intervention of the Phoenix itself for the Phoenix Five to escape, and even then, Sinister got away clean.
  • Badass Cape: Your mileage will probably vary, though.
  • Big Bad: One of the X-Men's main recurrent adversaries, and the architect of much of their misery.
  • Character Exaggeration: As mentioned above, the Sinister of House of X is so exaggerated that to readers unfamiliar with the character he may well come across as a Camp Gay (or rather Camp Straight, since he is still heterosexual as far as we know). Of course, since there are so many Sinister clones, all having different degrees of the original's personality, this could be semi-intentional - especially since Sinister is treacherous, untrustworthy, and most likely wants to be underestimated.
  • The Chessmaster: Sinister always has elements of this, but bonus points go to his AvX incarnation who constantly refers to his battle with Cyclops and the Phoenix Five in chess terms, and after being beaten reappears before Scott in disguise just to invite him to "come out and play" again.
  • Chunky Salsa Rule: Averted. His shapeshifting and healing powers allowed him to survive getting gibbed.
  • Clone by Conversion: His "Sinister London" is a town converted into hive mind connected clones. Even animals such as horses are made genetically identical to him.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He has plans within plans within plans. He has multiple schemes to cheat death (despite being an immortal and one of the most difficult villains to kill even considering that) that were set up in the 1950's, and many possibly earlier.
  • Deal with the Devil: Has been on both ends of this relationship, though in most (and often either) cases The Devil is him.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Sometimes, he gets portrayed as having the kind of prejudices you'd expect of a man from the Victorian era.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: One of, if not the, foremost of schemers in the X-Men's corner of the Marvel U.
  • The Dragon: To Apocalypse, though he quickly turned against him and went solo. While they are both big believers in survival of the fittest and "improving" human evolution, Sinister found Apocalypse's methods appallingly unscientific.
    • Dragon Ascendant: His ultimate goal, which he manages to pull off in various alternate continuities and What If? stories.
    • Dragon with an Agenda: Sometimes overlaps with The Starscream, but Sinister is usually more interested in keeping the world safe from Apocalypse (so he can continue playing with it as his petri dish, of course) than he is in usurping his former master's power. Not that he'll pass on a chance to have his cake and eat it too, given the chance...
  • The Dreaded: His role in the Mutant Massacre and subsequent manipulations has made him one of the most feared names in the mutant community. He is also one of the last opponents the X-Men ever want to tangle with, since they know from painful experience how much trouble he brings.
  • Egopolis: Created an entire city, called "Sinister London", prior to Avengers vs. X-Men.
  • Enemy Mine: He's allied himself with the X-Men in 2019's House of X story and seems to be working closely with their new The Man Behind the Man faction, Orchis. But unlike Proteus and Vulcan below, he's not listed as being affiliated with the X-Men outright, and in worldbuilding materials it's mentioned that the X-Men still don't trust him as far as they can throw him, which is a perfectly sensible stance to take on their parts.
  • Enigmatic Minion: Particularly in earlier appearances, before his real name and history were revealed.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Depending on the Writer. His choice to betray Apocalypse was this with a side of Pragmatic Villainy, but he also betrays Apocalypse to Cyclops and Jean Grey specifically after Jean implores him to "think of the children" (the loss of his son Adam was a major factor in his Sanity Slippage, and during this time he was depicted with a distinct shade of Wouldn't Hurt a Child). He also condemns Stryfe and his Legacy Virus (biological warfare in particular seems to be a line in the sand for Essex) and reveals everything he knows about both to Cyclops of his own volition, and tries to save Nate Grey from Onslaught because he knows what Onslaught is up to (unfortunately, Nate is understandably disposed not to trust Sinister in the slightest, having lost his foster-father to the AOA version, who he promptly vaporised). Much of this Character Development was forgotten after The '90s and downright contradicted in Weapon X which used him as a generic Mengele-esque Mad Scientist instead (a depiction which would go on to become the predominating characterization for him).
  • Evil Genius: Quite possibly the most evil and the most ingenious villain the X-Men have ever had to face.
  • Evil Is Bigger: His given height is 6'5, but he's usually drawn much larger than that, utterly towering over the likes of Sabretooth. This is perhaps not entirely surprising, given that he's a shapeshifter, and thus his size is up to him.
  • Evil Mentor: X-Men vol. 2 #99 revealed that Sinister was actually this to the young Herbert Edgar Wyndham (the future High Evolutionary), masquerading as a "Professor Essex" in Oxford and being the only professor on the campus who supported and encouraged Wyndham's more radical theories. Decades later he recycled this identity to use the Evolutionary as a dupe in his Evil Plan of the week.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Implied to be directly responsible for the abundance of mutants in the modern world due to the strange, forbidden experiments he conducted in his day.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Acts all suave and gentleman-like, but really is nothing more than a cold, calculating Sociopath with a Supremacy-Complex.
  • Flanderization: While Sinister was an evil scientist from day one, the politically-incorrect Nazi Nobleman interpretation of him was nowhere on his creator Claremont's map (though, to be fair, Claremont originally intended for him to be a contemporary of Cyclops who'd never aged past 8, and 'Sinister's was his projection of himself/a supervillain). That was added some 15 years later, after a decade of stories featuring him as some variant of He Who Fights Monsters.
  • For Science!: His usual motive. He has worked with the High Evolutionary on occasion, and in fact back in the day he was the Evolutionary's inspiration, though both have learned not to trust each other in the slightest.
  • Grand Theft Me: After the death of his original body, he attempts to pull this on Xavier, before ending up in the body of Claudine Renko, who turns this around on him. Renko in turn attempts to do this to X-23 in hopes of taking advantage of her Healing Factor to prevent Sinister from seizing control of her body and being reborn, but Sinister pulls a fast one and takes control of X-23 first. Laura then kicks him out! And Sinister has to settle for a spare Alice clone when Renko is critically wounded in the fight.
    X-23: Get out of my head!
  • Healing Factor: His signature power; far more advanced than Wolverine's except on the latter's best days. Think the T-1000 cranked Up to Eleven. Sinister's latest body does not have this ability (or at least, not at the moment), but he makes up for it by now being a Hive Mind.
  • Hijacking Cthulhu: He managed to hack the DNA of the Dreaming Celestial in San Francisco to siphon enough power to create his Sinister London.
  • The Virus: Can transplant his consciousness and physical characteristics into the bodies of others or even multiple bodies at a time. He apparently learned how to do this by studying and reverse-engineering the biology of the Phalanx.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: He populated "Sinister London" entirely with male clones of himself. He claimed he had nothing against women, but added that he had nothing for them, either.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Believes in stopping Apocalypse by any means necessary. In order to do so, he's sunk to horrifying lows more times than most villains could ever dream of.
  • Hope Spot: He once took on the identity of a seemingly kindly scientist working for Weapon X, offering mutants victimized by the program the opportunity to escape. Those who did were promptly subjected to even worse experimentation.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Yet another person who thought they could trust Mystique. Which eventually gets him killed.
  • Humanoid Abomination: What Apocalypse turned him into, though maybe it's better said that he only completed the process and Essex was inhuman in all but fact by that point.
  • Human Resources: Fond of using this, particularly in AvX where he has an entire bestiary stocked with clones of both heroes and villains to use against the heroes. And he doesn't just stop with human resources; in one particularly hilarious scene, Phoenix Emma Frost is complaining about fighting a "field of weaponized wheat", right before:
    Herd of Cows: (with glowing red eyes) KILL.
  • Kill 'Em All: Attempted on the Morlocks with the aptly-titled Mutant Massacre, on the grounds that he felt that they (having suffered experimentation at the hands of Dark Beast, the protege of his AOA counterpart) were warped insults to his work. Nearly succeeded.
  • Joker Immunity: Thanks to his knowledge of genetic engineering and Brain Uploading, any attempt to kill him never sticks for very long. And that's only if you get past his insanely powerful Healing Factor/kill off every part of his Hive Mind. Sooner or later, he'll pop back up again.
  • Large and in Charge: Sinister is huge, outright towering over his Marauders and most heroes.
  • Large Ham: As written by Jonathan Hickman, he's so hammy you'd swear his DNA had a good percentage of pig in it.
  • Mad Scientist: He emphasizes the science over the madness at least, being by far the most competent geneticist in the Marvel Universe (and no slouch with other forms of science, either). However, being more competent doesn't necessarily make him any less evil.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The man behind the Marauders, the Nasty Boys, the Goblyn Queen, Xraven and even the High Evolutionary.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: As ridiculous as Sinister might look in his usual getup, he can pull off classy and cultured in a suit very well when he disguises himself as a human. The X-Men's Beast even refers to him in one issue as a "suave, sophisticated sirrah", a backhanded compliment which clearly pleases him.
  • Manipulative Bastard: One of Marvel's best offerings to this trope.
  • Meaningful Rename: When Apocalypse grants him immortality, he tells Essex to choose a new name for himself. Essex chooses 'Sinister' as it was the last word his wife Rebecca spoke to him.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: A curious example. Despite having a better claim to the title of doctor than maybe 90% of Marvel villains who claim it, Essex oddly chooses not to, identifying himself as Mister Sinister even to other doctor characters. This is possibly either because of his Appropriated Appellation, or because he feels he's so far beyond them he doesn't need to bring up his own doctorate. Given his personality, either is entirely plausible.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: One of the first (ex-) human X-Men villains who was neither a stereotypical Card-Carrying Villain nor an anti-human bigot eradicate the mutant race, but who instead actually embraced the idea of Homo Superior and worked towards "helping" the mutant cause in his own twisted way. And ironically, he's turned out worse than nearly all of them.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Sinister's exceptionally unsubtle name has an interesting history behind it, relating to a rejected backstory for the character. He was originally going to be a young child mutant who could psychically project an adult body, whose Obviously Evil name and appearance were due to the fact that he's a little boy's idea of what a cool supervillain is. In-Universe, the name is a reference to his wife Rebecca's last words. Still doesn't explain why he chooses to eschew his medical title, though.
  • Nazi Nobleman: Not originally one, this element of his character was added in the pages of 2002's Weapon X, which featured him as the Mengele figure in the tasteless mutant concentration camp "Neverland". Since that story he's been written as having increasingly closer ties to the Nazis, from being retconned into collaborating with them under the alias "Nosferatu" to creating the Namor clone N2 for them. That being said, he was probably just collaborating with them for the same reason he has with the likes of Weapon X: an ample supply of test subjects and more or less free rein in what he does to them.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: At last count, he's an immortal, invulnerable shapeshifter with Telepathy (mostly of the Mind Control or body-snatching variety), telekinesis, force fields, Super Strength, and energy blasts of some kind. And he rarely ever engages in any kind of physical fighting. Seems to have lost most of these powers in his latest incarnation but also gained some new ones and further makes up for it by being more Crazy-Prepared than ever.
  • Nice Job Breaking It Anti-Villain: A very rare case of this character being Out-Gambitted — In the X-Cutioner's Song Stryfe tempts him into an alliance by promising him a canister from his future with 2,000 years worth of Summers genetic code. The canister actually ends up containing the Legacy Virus, with Sinister's assistant becoming its very first victim.
  • Noble Demon: He's often a helpful presence when it suits his own ends. Not that he's to be trusted once he no longer has any use for you... But he's a villain who understands that if somebody else takes over the world before him (or destroys it), he loses. Magneto and Xavier seek to exploit this in Powers of X, though all indications are that this could end very badly, for one simple reason: Sinister cannot be trusted.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Played with, as Sinister usually leaves the fighting to his underlings but is perfectly capable of throwing down with the best. As he quickly reminds Big Bad Wannabe John Sublime:
    Sinister: While I really do prefer not to resort to violence... that doesn't mean I'm not good at it.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: During Messiah Complex, he gathers up the Marauders, the Acolytes and Mystique to try and grab the newborn Hope Summers, mainly for his own goals.
  • Opposite-Sex Clone: Miss Sinister, a failed attempt in his early experiments of virally converting others into a copy of himself. Managed to break free from the process completing itself and retain enough identity to have her own ambitions.
  • Pet the Dog: During his time as a Nazi, he would offer candy to the imprisoned children in exchange for blood samples
  • Playing with Syringes: Often drawn with comically oversized ones to emphasize his menace.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He varies on this score, sometimes being depicted as entirely uninterested in differences of race and sex, while at others being depicted as... well, what one might expect of a Jerkass from the Victorian era. Most recently, he's been depicted as a racist (refers to Storm as "colonial pet") and a sexist (sees Emma as Scott's sperm receptacle).
  • Power Copying: He has a wide range of powers (see below); he got them from copying or stealing them from mutants he captured.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The reason he betrayed Apocalypse in the first place was the fact that the latter wanted him to engineer a genocidal plague to unleash upon humanity. Sinister didn't really do this out of any sense of morality however; he just considered it ignorant and bad science (though it is hinted that Jean imploring him to think of the children, like his own recently deceased son Adam, influenced this).
  • The Psycho Rangers: Sinister's Six, six X-Men clones he created to fight the All-New X-Men.
  • Pure Is Not Good: As a child, he thought the wealthy part of Victorian-era London he grew up in was Heaven and was fascinated by all the scientific advances being made, as well as how clean everything was. He became obsessed with purity thanks to this over time, culminating in his insane eugenical theories.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Or rather, about 150 or so.
  • Removed Achilles' Heel: He was initially set up as having a weakness to Cyclops's optic blasts. In the comics this was eventually revealed as a deliberate deception on his part.
  • Self Made Super Powers: Mr. Sinister gave himself quite a few powers by copying or implanting X-genes of other mutants, such as shapeshifting.
  • Sinister Surveillance: Appearances by him more often than not consist entirely of a cutaway to him sitting in his lab spying on the heroes. How he is seemingly able to observe any of the X-Men anywhere at any time has yet to be explained.
  • Sissy Villain: Sometimes depicted as having shades of this, being rather vain and campy.
  • Slave Brand: Canonically, the red diamond on his head is "the mark of Apocalypse", branding Sinister as his forevermore. And yes, you did read that right. One of the most distinctive features of one of the most distinctive villains in the X-Men's rogues gallery is nothing more than a glorified tramp stamp.
  • Stalker with a Test Tube: A major Trope Codifier.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: More or less his shtick, as he's forever stalking various X-people For Science! Stalking victims of his have included anyone even remotely connected to the Summers family, Colossus, Gambit, Professor X, Exodus, and most recently as of 2020 Franklin Richards.
  • Sympathy for the Hero: In X-Men #23 he has a strange conversation with Cyclops, mostly famous for the infamous "third Summers brother" hint, but also unique for Sinister exhibiting a rare sympathy for the X-Men. He condemns Stryfe and his Legacy Virus outright, saying that death at the hands of a madman like him is "the worst kind of death for people like you (Scott), who strive so hard to fight for the dream."
  • Tragic Villain: The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix portrays Nathaniel Essex as a brilliant Seeker Archetype who is undergoing some steep Sanity Slippage after the death of his infant son Adam. Even Scott and Jean, the two people with the most cause to hate Sinister, can't help but pity Essex and hope against hope his fate can be changed. It can't.
  • Unwanted Revival: At one point while Colossus is dead Sinister goes to the X-Men and offers to give their teammate a second chance via his cloning technology. Quite understandably, they decline the offer. And then Colossus goes and comes back from the dead anyway.
  • Voodoo Shark: Sinister's first full use as a villain, in which he was The Man Behind the Man and explanation for the Retcon that Madelyne Pryor was a clone, was definitely this, and it has long been scorned in fandom for the twin crimes of derailing the Madelyne Pryor character and making Sinister himself, supposedly a genius geneticist of the highest caliber, look like a bit of an idiot. The story establishes he acquired Scott and Jean's DNA early and that his goal is to create their child (who he has calculated will be an extremely powerful mutant)... so why didn't he just use their DNA to create their child himself? He actually does just this in the Age of Apocalypse and the result, X-Man, is genetically identical to the child born to Maddie and Scott, which just makes the original plot even more preposterous. (While Mads was brain-dead when he grew her—he had a Jean-Grey-shaped vegetable until a piece of the Phoenix came along—and his ability to create fully-functional clones came later, theoretically he would have only needed her uterus to work, since presumably that wouldn't have the same problems as his cloning process.)
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Another case of Depending on the Writer, and most prevalent during the 90s where most of what he was up to was in the name of opposing Apocalypse. His actions during 2007's Messiah Complex storyline also have shades of this, as he was working (in his usual Stalker with a Test Tube way) towards the goal of reviving the mutant race after the Scarlet Witch magically sterilized them en masse.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child/Would Hurt a Child: Zigzags: during the 80s Sinister stalks kid Cyclops, but doesn't harm him and even develops the glasses that allow him to control his power; during the 90s he was firmly in Wouldn't Hurt a Child mode, and from the 2000s since he's been in unrepentant Would Hurt a Child mode (though he does make an exception for baby Hope).
  • Xanatos Gambit: With a side order of Xanatos Speed Chess and Batman Gambit and in some cases Cloning Gambit.

    Mojo 

Mojo

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mojo.gif
AKA: Mojo the First, Mojo Lifebringer
Debut: Longshot #3 (1985)

When people hear Mojo... they think fun! Good, clean, extravagantly violent fun!


A repulsive alien entity from "Mojoworld", which can only be described as resembling a grotesquely-bloated, green-skinned human upper torso, with cybernetic cables coming out of the back of his head and mechanical struts holding his eyes and mouth. Gets around by sitting in a spider-legged mechanical platform with a tail-lke blaster on its back. An incredibly powerful sorcerer-creature, Mojo is part of an alien race absolutely obsessed with television; by becoming the greatest producer of television shows in his dimension, Mojo has become their lord by dominating the airwaves. His recurring obsession is with the heroes of the Marvel Universe, primarily the X-Men, as he sees them as being the "next big hit" and so he is forever either trying to force them to perform for his shows or else simply attacking them in the name of entertainment. Of course, he sees the potential popularity of other heroes and has gone after the likes of Spider-Man, Human Torch, and even Rocket Raccoon.
  • Actually a Doombot: After Rocket Raccoon blows his head off, Mojo is quickly revealed to be a robotic copy built by Major Domo while the real Mojo was on vacation.
  • Adorkable: In Mojo: Black, we see an exiled Mojo crushing on a human woman called Ann, and striking up a sincere friendship with Glob, and he is so uncharacteristically shy and visibly out of his depth that it's surprisingly endearing.
  • Aliens Steal Cable: Inadvertently. The reason why the Spineless Ones are obsessed with TV (and why their genetically-engineered Servant Race are Human Aliens) is that they receive TV transmissions from Earth in their dreams.
  • Bad Boss: Oh, yes. Assuming Mojo doesn't kill or mutilate or torture or goodness-knows-what-else whenever it suits him, he also just generally treats everyone under him like crap. They don't even get dental. Gingivitis is a serious problem on Mojoworld.
  • Bad Future: The Citadel at the End of Time, which appeared in a two-part story in the pages of the first Wolverine run. As the name implies, it's a planetoid controlled by Mojo in the far, far future - an hour before the end of time itself, to be precise. Mojo warped himself there using his Reality Warper powers and planned to remake all reality in his image, but the very unlikely Power Trio of Wolverine, Mystique and Spiral were able to stop him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Twice in Mojo: Black; first when he saves a little girl from being hit by a car, and then again when he rescues Ann from the Half-Sentient when Major Domo mistakenly gives the girl to the mindless monster, thinking Mojo has an evil plan in mind when in fact he didn't.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Mojo's primary weapon is the scorpion-like tail on his Spider Tank walking-platform, which is equipped with an energy blaster.
  • Cloning Blues: He briefly had a clone in The '90s, the imaginatively-named Mojo II: The Sequel. Strangely, Mojo II looks almost nothing like the original; he's a handsome, long-haired, muscular figure with elegant cybernetic limbs fused into his body, giving him the appearance of a biped.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: If a particularly Ax-Crazy one. Later appearances after his first tended to emphasize his craziness over his cloudcuckoolandry.
  • Commonality Connection: In Mojo: Black, Mojo and Glob Herman bond over not being conventionally (or unconventionally) attractive.
  • Cool Airship: Used one of these to get around in his first appearance.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Perhaps the most bizarre example ever. On Mojoworld, TV is life, and Mojo has the remote. So if you don't amuse him, you're cancelled. Also, he gets money selling merchandising of his captives, telling Morph of the Exiles that his stuff sells so well Mojo could buy a whole continent... if he didn't own them all already.
  • Deadly Game: Basically the whole premise of his character.
  • Dimension Lord: Mojo has acquired such power thanks to his skill at appealing to the residents of Mojoworld that he has taken over the entire dimension, even renaming it after himself. At the end of the Mojoworld mini-event, in X-Men: Blue #15, he is permanently stranded on Earth. His issue of X-Men: Black takes place several weeks afterwards.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In Mojo: Black, he is outraged when a racist old man insults Glob as the two are strolling around the block together, just because Glob is a mutant. He also saves a girl from being hit by a careless driver, and scolds him on texting whilst driving.
  • Fat Bastard: Mojo is a horrifically swollen, bloated-looking creature.
  • Flanderization: In the original Longshot mini-series, he made movies with his slaves, but it was not the all-consuming obsession for him it would later become in X-Men.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: As do villainous Starfish Aliens, apparently. Not only are the strength of his magic powers tied directly to the ratings of his shows, he grows weaker if cut off from his followers. This is why he so rarely ventures outside of his realm and instead favors kidnapping heroes into Mojoworld instead.
  • Good Feels Good: In Mojo: Black, after he impulsively saves a little girl from being run-over, Mojo is visibly touched when she thanks him by kissing him on the cheek and complimenting him on his spider-legged walker. At the issue's end, he also puts his plan on hold so he can go and hang out with Glob and Ann instead.
  • Handicapped Badass: Not due to injury, it being a part of his race's biology, but Mojo has no legs and has to get around on a Spider Tank platform. You'd expect him to get knocked out of it all the time, but as of 2015 he never has.
  • The Hedonist: Not to the level of Hellfire Club alumni, but all one has to do is look at him to know Mojo doesn't miss too many meals.
    • Dialogue in one issue of Rocket Rackoon & Groot remarks that Mojo has entered rehab for some sort of addiction(s), implying that gluttony may not the only thing Mojo finds pleasure in.
  • The Hypnotoad: One of the perks of his Reality Warper powers. Upon arriving in our dimension, one of the first things he did was hypnotize a group of churchgoers to convert their church into a tower glorifying him.
  • Interspecies Romance: In Mojo: Black, he develops a crush on a human woman named Ann, and scores a date with her after saving her from the Half-Sentient and asking her out. She accepts because, as a New Yorker, he's not even the weirdest guy to ask her out that month.
  • Ironic Nickname: In his first appearance he liked calling himself 'Mojo Lifebringer', which couldn't be further from the truth.
  • It Amused Me: Sometimes he'll do things just because he's bored, bored, bored. He lets Arize and his rebellion run around for this reason, and because it occasionally gives him cool things to steal and play with, like Longshot.
  • Large Ham: As one of the most comical of the X-villains, this is pretty much inevitable.
  • Laughably Evil: Because his goals are basically to make TV shows out of the X-Men, and the fact he's essentially a mad TV producer, Mojo can come off as quite amusing. He is, however, an utter psychopath, and willingly engages in the vilest of behavior — like killing off his actors for real just to make their death scenes in his shows seem more realistic.
  • Love at First Punch: A variant; in Mojo: Black, he reveals he fell for Ann when she bumped into him and immediately chewed him out as a "mewling, simpering dolt" before storming off.
  • Love Redeems: His attraction to Ann in Mojo: Black. Though, in Rogue's opinion, falling in love hasn't actually made Mojo that much of a better person, as he's still forcing people to act in horrible shows (all of which are now twisted love stories) for the entertainment of Mojoworld.
  • Odd Friendship: With Glob in Mojo: Black after Glob sees him trying and failing to ask out Ann.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • He let Spider-Man and the Jean Grey School's Special Class go after they reluctantly saved him from falling to his death. This also resulted in some rare positive Laser-Guided Karma for a villain, as it was all caught on camera and the sight of Mojo being nice was such a huge shock to the viewing audience that it caused a big ratings spike and a surge in his popularity as the other Spineless Ones now saw him in a whole new, sympathetic light (which Mojo took full advantage of, even allowing himself to be arrested and jailed for his crimes as a Ratings Stunt).
    • In Mojo: Black, when Mojo spots a little girl chase her cat into traffic and a driver about to hit her because he's distracted by texting as he drives, Mojo leaps in and forcibly stops the car before it can hit the girl and her cat. He has no reason to do this, nobody asks him to do it, he just impulsively leaps to her rescue, and is visibly shocked when he comes down from scolding the driver and realizes what he did.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Heavily implied in the Longshot mini where he was first introduced:
    Spiral: You act completely psychotic but I know you're really thirty moves ahead of everyone.
  • Poisonous Person: His very presence wilts plants and sickens humans. His touch is enough to kill small animals instantly.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Mojo was upset about the events of M-Day, because mutants going extinct would hurt his ratings.
  • Progressively Prettier: Mojo's face is much less hideous-looking than usual in his appearances in X-Men: Blue and Xmen Black; his eyes aren't forcibly held open into their traditional bulging, lunatic stare, and his lips similarly aren't permanently pulled back in a rictus grin (although he does still make some rather hideous gaping-cheeked snarled at some points). His features visibly soften and get more handsome in X-Men: Black after he thwarts his own evil scheme to save Ann and Glob.
  • Reality Warper: Mojo has extreme magical powers that allow him to do just about anything he wants... so long as he has the energy from his ratings to do so.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Probably the reason Mojo's managed to stick around as long as he has. How many other villains can you think of that pick their nose hairs and wave them around in front of the heroes as a taunt?
  • Rogues Gallery Transplant: The first Longshot mini actually seemed to be setting him up as a villain for Doctor Strange, who he never fought again.
    • Averted when Rocket & Groot were hijacked to Mojoworld in their book. His majordomo was the responsible party, while Mojo himself was in rehab. Though it was later confirmed that the real Mojo did order recording equipment be attached to Rocket before he left, showing that he does have an interest in the raccoon
  • Shoulder Cannon: During the Mojoworld mini-event in X-Men: Blue, he upgrades his arsenal with a pair of psy-cannons cybernetically mounted onto his shoulders.
  • Starfish Aliens: The Spineless Ones are basically pseudo-anthropomorphic slugs.
  • Status Quo Is God: Is overthrown on a near-regular basis, only to inevitably return to power in the next story. Being a Dimension Lord makes it at least somewhat plausible.
  • Take That!: As originally written, Mojo and the Mojoverse existed to paint the fourth wall and lampshade Chris Claremont's disagreements with his higher-ups. A particularly telling example is in an Excalibur annual, where the X-Babies have to take refuge in "The House of Stan and Jack"... a tiny shack buried deep under a mountain of buildings with the names of DC and Marvel's latest (at the time) Crisis Crossovers. He later lost this element and became just another ranting, goofy C-List villain, presumably when the higher-ups caught on to what Claremont was doing.
  • Uniqueness Value: Boasts at one point that both he himself and his dimension are unique in the multiverse and that no Alternate Universe versions of either exist. The veracity of this boast is up for debate, as Ultimate X-Men has a counterpart of him named Mojo Adams, but that version is an ordinary human and may not count by the metric Mojo uses.
  • Villainous Glutton: Mojo is disgusting in many, many ways, not the least of which being how grossly fat he is.
  • Walking Wasteland: An extreme example. Not only do plants wither and animals die wherever he goes, his mere presence on Earth causes natural disasters to start forming. Downplayed in later appearances; he can still drain life with a touch, but he no longer involuntarily damages the world around him.

    Nanny and Orphan-Maker 

Nanny and Orphan-Maker

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/orphan_maker.jpg
Orphan-Maker (r) and Nanny (l)

A pair of bizarre mutants who have taken it upon themselves to "rescue" mutant children by kidnapping them and murdering their human parents. Nanny acts as a surrogate mother to Orphan-Maker, who is really a young mutant boy named Peter. The two have fought against X-Factor and Generation X, and were responsible for killing the mother of Ricochet from the Slingers. Despite their odd appearances and creepy behavior, Nanny and Orphan-Maker are both rather tragic individuals who were victimized and driven insane just because they're mutants.


  • Aborted Arc: In the early issues of Generation X, Nanny had gotten out of her egg suit and Peter required a new suit of armor because he was getting older. By the Generation X Holiday Special, Nanny was back in her suit and there was no other mention of Peter's growing abilities.
  • Adult Fear: They're like something of a twisted fairy tale, going around snatching kids to add to their army of "Lost Boys and Girls," leaving parents terrified for the well being of their sons and daughters if they haven't been killed in the process.
  • Body Horror: It's implied Nanny was a full grown woman before her superiors put her in that egg suit, which horribly compressed her limbs and shrunk her to half her size. Even more horrifically, at some point she chose to go back into the suit.
  • Driven to Madness: Being trapped in her egg suit is what drove Nanny insane.
  • Enfant Terrible: Peter, who's been thoroughly twisted by the influences of Mister Sinister and Nanny that he doesn't have a problem killing people.
  • Evil Matriarch: A more well-intentioned example than most, but Nanny truly believes she's protecting mutant kids by raising them to become killers like Peter. She also uses her mild telepathic abilities and "Pixie Dust" to keep them in line.
  • Mysterious Past: Nothing is known about Nanny's life before she worked for the Right, nor do we know who Peter's parents were or how he was acquired by Sinister.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Subverted with Orphan-Maker. Despite the armor, you need to remember he is a child.
  • Tragic Villain: Nanny was a woman who realized her inventions were being used by anti-mutant hate group and when she rebelled they trapped her in that suit and drove her mad. Peter was stolen from his family and experimented on by Mister Sinister until Nanny rescued him and then turned him into the Orphan-Maker. The worst part is, at this point the two have been so thoroughly traumatized they can't function without each other.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: They both genuinely believe they're helping mutant kids by giving them new homes away from their potentially abusive parents, not realizing their actions might be more traumatic for the children then whatever their parents may have done.


Advertisement:

    Nimrod 

Nimrod

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nimrod.png
Debut: Uncanny X-Men #191 (1985)

This unit is empowered to pass judgment and execute sentence.


A Sentinel sent back from the future to Kill All Mutants who took up the identity of a superhero/ally of non-powered humans and vigilante who went around helping the community and trying to kill innocent mutants simply because he was programmed to. Ridiculously powerful: in its first several appearances it manhandled the Juggernaut, fought the combined lineup of the X-Men and the Lords Cardinal of the Hellfire Club to a standstill, and survived having the mass-equivalent of a small asteroid (actually Harry Leland overloading his gravity power to pull Sebastian Shaw down from having been Thrown Into The Sky) drop on him from orbit. He was later combined with Master Mold, then reborn as Bastion.

Shortly after M-Day, another Nimrod turned up, in the possession of Reverend Striker. It eventually escaped, and fought the New X-Men.


  • Adaptive Ability: He's basically impossible to defeat the same way twice. When he first encountered the X-Men, Rogue, using Nightcrawler's power, teleported Nimrod's arm off. The second time they fought, Nightcrawler tried to do it again. Nimrod did... something, and Nightcrawler let out an inhuman scream and disappeared. (The X-Men found him later, but his teleportation abilities were severely impaired for quite a while after that.)
  • Anti-Villain: Unlike most Sentinels, it's not a thoughtless killing machine. It eventually chose to only go after criminal mutants.
    • A future version of Nimrod in "Powers of X" also is this. He has much more of a personality and while is still focused on killing mutants, he recognizes the fallacies of doing so. An even more future version of himself later allies with mutants as a means to an end.
  • Biblical Bad Guy: Of a sort, as it was named for this Biblical quote:
    "And the angels of the Lord went unto the daughters of men, and lay with them. And thus were born the giants that were in the Earth in the old days, the mighty men of fame. And among these was Nimrod, who was a mighty hunter before the Lord."
  • Conflict Killer: The first Nimrod proved such a dangerous and relentless opponent that it took an alliance between the X-Men and the Hellfire Club to defeat it.
  • Despair Event Horizon: A later Nimrod unit is actually driven to this state by the heroes, in a case of Break Them by Talking. When challenged by Cable to calculate the projected human casualties of its original programming, the Nimrod shut itself down upon coming to the conclusion that eradicating mutantkind would ultimately doom humanity as well.
  • Do-Anything Robot: Keep reading. There's not a lot Nimrod can't do.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: After M-Day, Reverend Stryker encountered a Nimrod from an alternate reality, which was disabled by its temporal jaunt. He cut off its limbs and wired it up, using its data banks to manipulate history for his own ends. And it worked, right up until Icarus came by. Nimrod's desire to kill mutants made it start manipulating the Purifiers, until it broke free, killing the two left to watch it.
  • Expy: Subverted. You'd think Nimrod's From a Single Cell ability was inspired by the T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but Nimrod actually predates that movie by about six years.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Everyone assumed it was just an armored superhero.
  • Fusion Dance: The final fate of the original Nimrod seen in The '80s. After being thrown into the Siege Perilous, it was merged with an old Master Mold against its will, the two robots combining to form Bastion.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: The original Nimrod unit. Had it not fallen into the Siege Perilous, it probably would have become a hero.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Was slowly edging to this, but the Siege Perilous incident became a Heel–Face Door-Slam. As Bastion, he's more evil than ever.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: See Fusion Dance above. The original Nimrod chose to throw itself into the Siege Perilous to get rid of the rogue Master Mold. It probably didn't anticipate what happened next...
  • Implacable Man: Like the T-1000, Nimrod will pursue its targets to the ends of the earth.
  • Killer Robot: Given a mandate from its future creators to kill all mutants in the present day. It eventually grew beyond it.
  • Mecha-Mooks From the Future!
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Compared to the average Sentinel, it's small, being about the size of a human. And it's ludicrously strong.
  • Real Robots Are Pink: To the point where when it was briefly redesigned with a red coloring for a Darker and Edgier appearance in X-Force that the fans revolted.
  • Say My Name: The original unit would helpfully announce itself wherever it went.
    Nimrod: I am Nimrod!
  • Super Prototype: The original Nimrod earned its title of "the ultimate Sentinel", to the point where it took several powerful mutants working in concert to even damage it. Later Nimrods were significantly less effective, and in the X-Men: Second Coming story arc an army of MK II Nimrods were used as your basic Superpowered Mooks.
  • The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort: Nimrod doesn’t make much of an effort to defend itself during battle. It doesn’t need to.
  • Turns Red: A literal example, during The '90s. Although it didn't really turn red so much as it was a second red Nimrod.
  • Ultimate Life Form: It was billed as the ultimate Sentinel, and during House of X that billing was codified by a Krakoan memo that described it as "a pure Nano-Sentinel construct" placed above Omega Sentinels, Master Molds, and even the fancy new Mother Mold model.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: After disarming a drug dealer, Nimrod was assumed by the citizens of New York to be a new superhero in Powered Armor.
  • Voice Changeling: Represented by going from the square speech bubbles used for machines to the rounded, white speech bubbles of humans, which is part of how it's able to maintain its human disguise.
  • The Worf Effect: It took down The Juggernaut (by scrambling his head with a sonic blast) in an early appearance.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Nimrod in New X-Men threatened to vaporize an alternate Forge's daughter in front of him, and made a serious effort at killing the New X-Men (almost but not quite getting Rockslide and X-23).

    Onslaught 

Onslaught

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/onslaught20.jpg
Debut: X-Men #53 (1996)

Know my name and fear it: I AM ONSLAUGHT!


A psychic entity with the combined powers of Professor X, Magneto, Franklin Richards, and X-Man.
  • All Your Powers Combined: He possesses both Charles Xavier's and Magneto's powers, and later gained those of Nate Grey and Franklin Richards to boot.
  • Astral Projection: One of the powers Onslaught inherited from Charles Xavier. Initially, it was limited to an astral form, but later gained a body made of pure energy.
  • The Assimilator: He assimilated Franklin Richards and Nate Grey in order to absorb their powers.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: When manifested into a physical form, he is huge.
  • Back from the Dead: Onslaught was thought destroyed at the end of the Crisis Crossover, but he returns in the Onslaught Reborn arc thanks to the Scarlet Witch. Rikki Barnes sacrificed herself to destroy him, but he's resurrected again thanks to the Red Skull tampering with Xavier's brain.
  • Big Bad: Of the Onslaught Crisis Crossover.
  • Combo Platter Powers: He possesses powers derived from both Charles Xaver and Max Eisenhardt, as well as abilities of his own.
    • Deflector Shields: He can create force-fields of electromagnetic energy, just like Magneto.
    • Extra-ore-dinary: He can use electromagnetism to manipulate metal.
    • Mind over Matter: He possesses Xavier's psychokinesis as well as Magneto's magnetokinesis.
    • Reality Warper: He can create pocket dimensions at will and even formed a second sun from nothing.
    • Super Strength: He tore through the Juggernaut like he was made of plasticine.
  • Cosmic Entity: In the minor leagues as such beings go, but that still put Onslaught at the top of the heap on Earth.
  • Dark Is Evil: Gathered a coterie of mutant servants whom he called his "Dark Descendants". They consisted of Post, Holocaust, Fatale, the Dark Beast and Havok.
  • Demonic Possession: He possessed Rikki Barnes when they were both sealed in the Negative Zone. Later on, the Red Skull finds out the hard way that Evil Is Not a Toy while messing around with Xavier's brain.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: This was his original motivation, more or less. He quickly graduated to an Omnicidal Maniac, though.
  • Energy Beings: Onslaught was initially an astral manifestation, but later gained a body made of pure energy.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: All power and threat with little plot significance or appearance outside of big Crisis Crossovers.
  • Humanoid Abomination: It's a psionic entity of pure hatred, and as Red Onslaught it even manifests a bunch of tentacles.
  • Literal Split Personality: It is the incarnation of Xavier's pent up rage and hatred, manifested as a demonic entity clad in armor resembling Magneto's.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Onslaught has a wide mouth full of fangs.
  • Mecha-Mooks: He picks up a small army of Sentinels from a random government depot to be his cannon fodder.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: When Hulk destroyed Onslaught's physical form, the entity turned into an incorporeal energy state. Still, all the other heroes of the Marvel Universe combined were helpless before it, whereas Hulk excels at raw power (and not much else), and somehow made it vulnerable to (admittedly contrived) alternative approaches afterward.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Not at first, but after reading the mind of Nate Grey and seeing a mutant-dominated Bad Future he decides that no one, human or mutant, will survive his coming.
  • Power Nullifier: Makes use of one of these to interrogate Nate Grey before absorbing him.
  • The Social Darwinist: His original goals were nebulous, but seemed to be some kind of spin-off of Magneto's 'mutant revolution' endgame.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Toward Jean Grey, who he tries to play The Corrupter with before giving her a stock We Can Rule Together speech. This was a rather unfortunate callback to one of the earliest issues of the X-Men run, where Professor X had a brief, gross Dirty Old Man inner monologue about wanting Jean for himself (and keep in mind that Jean was well under the age of consent at the time).
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: He is the manifestation of Xavier's rage and hatred.
  • Tin Tyrant: His red and black armor is more than a little reminiscent of Magneto's.
  • The Worf Effect: Has his origins in this, as he was literally born from the idea of "wouldn't it be cool if someone punched The Juggernaut halfway across the country?" As of his first issue where he did this, no one even had any idea who he was going to be yet! The Reveal that he was a corrupted Xavier turned this worfing into an It's Personal moment between Chuck and his bully-turned-supervillain stepbrother.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He stalks and absorbs Franklin Richards, and it's implied if he survived long enough he would have assimilated him (and his Reality Warper powers) permanently.

    Proteus 

Proteus

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/proteus.PNG

Kevin MacTaggert

Debut: Uncanny X-Men #125 (1979)


Mutant son of long-time Xavier ally Moira MacTaggert, Proteus was sealed away from a young age due to the danger his mutant powers posed to anyone around him. Unfortunately, this only fuelled a psychotic personality that meant he became a rampaging monster when he escaped from his containment.
  • Adaptational Heroism: As mentioned below, he's portrayed more sympathetically in the 90's cartoon.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Magneto speaks admiringly of him in Necrosha after dissipating him to the four winds and when asked how they can be sure he is dead, he replies that not only can they not be sure, they can in fact be sure he's not dead and that it is only a matter of time before he returns again.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: To his mother, Moira.
  • Arch-Enemy: Colossus has become this for him, being the one who stepped up to Shoot the Dog in the first Proteus story. When he has to face Colossus again in Necrosha he has a bit of a freakout, flinging him away rather than toying with him like the others and even yelling at him to "Stay away from me, murderer!"
  • Back from the Dead: After being killed in his initial appearance, he has returned several times. Two key story lines involved with his resurrections are Necrosha and Astonishing X-Men Vol 4. Most recently, he has gone through a Heel–Face Turn and is now helping the X-Men.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: What do you get when you take a prepubescent child and give them a power that allows them to actualize Video Game Cruelty Potential in their actual life? You get Proteus, the villain who brought Wolverine himself to tears.
  • Big Bad: One of the strongest and most recurring ones in Exiles. He was also used as the main villain for an underwhelming Intercontinuity Crossover between the X-Men and Star Trek.
  • Body Horror: Anybody possessed by Proteus can look forward to having their body literally burned up by his mutant power, with ordinary humans typically only able to endure his presence for a matter of days.
  • Body Surf: Due to the Possession Burnout detailed above, Proteus must constantly jump from one host body to another.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Averted. He recalls all the memories and feelings of all his previous hosts, which ultimately becomes one of his few weaknesses.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: This was his original goal, as his debut storyline had him cut a swathe of terror across Scotland before finally finding his father in Edinburgh and choosing him for his final host. He used his father's body to fight the X-Men, knowing it would be destroyed and probably even hoping for it.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • After the All-New X-Men's first and disastrous run in with Magneto, as they flee Wolverine notes one of the Muir Island center's cells labelled "Mutant X" is damaged, but he doesn't have time to tell anyone. Several issues later, Muir Island is still abandoned, and an angry Scotsman comes calling looking to blow up the facility over a boat Magneto destroyed, just as Proteus is in need of a body.
    • In true Chris Claremont fashion, Proteus was revealed as this in X-Men Forever 2 via his Possession Burnout. That series, which presented a continuity where Claremont had free reign, showed burnout as a mutant epidemic, exacerbated by the use of their powers and always fatal. This in turn made Proteus not just Mutant X but Mutant Zero as well, since he was the first mutant known to suffer from burnout.
  • Child by Rape: And it's explicitly stated to be the reason why he's so screwed up too, as he was able to sense his mother's overwhelming negative emotions from in the womb, leading to...
  • Childhood Brain Damage: Because his mutant abilities manifested so early, his mind was irrevocably damaged by his mother's negative emotions (emotions that she was justified to and couldn't help, being a rape victim), making him The Sociopath from birth.
  • Energy Beings: At some point his powers reduced him to this state. When he possesses Morph in Exiles he is delighted at being able assume his original form again through shapeshifting.
  • Fetus Terrible: In his first major storyline it is stated outright that his mutant powers manifested while he was still in a fetal state (most mutants don't manifest until at least puberty) and that he sensed his mother's overwhelming hatred for his father (he was conceived in a rape), leading to his present-day insanity. His mother herself coldly pronounces that it was too late for him before he was even born.
  • Freudian Excuse: In the 90s X-Men cartoon, he was portrayed much more sympathetically than his original comics counterpart, including a desire to reconnect with a father who never wanted him.
  • Fusion Dance: In Exiles he finally found himself the perfect host in Morph, whose shapeshifting and durability made him the one host Proteus couldn't burn out. As time went on the submerged persona of Morph began to reassert himself, and ultimately he convinced Proteus to willingly merge with him in one of these.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In his original appearance, Moira demonstrates the seriousness of the situation by telling the X-Men that even though Kevin is her only son, there's only one way to stop him - they have to kill him. Ultimately, it's Colossus, perhaps the most innocent of the X-Men, who does it.
  • Good Feels Good: He eventually comes to feel this way in Exiles, an inevitable consequence of his ability to recall the memories and feeling of his previous hosts combined with his long-term possession of the heroic Morph.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In 2019's House of X, he's not only fully on the side of the X-Men and their new nation of Krakoa, his powers are key to their capability of resurrecting any mutant.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: His first victim was a man who was about to blow up Moira's facility. His last was his abusive father.
  • Lethal Joke Character: After possessing Morph he assimilates much of his host's playful and joking personality, but is still a deadly serious threat. At least until Morph reasserts himself.
  • Meaningful Rename: Originally called simply "Mutant X", he rejected that name in battle with Wolverine and renamed himself Proteus, both after the changing Greek god of myth and the room his mother sealed him in.
  • Multiversal Conqueror: He aimed to become one of these in Exiles.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: When the Scarlet Witch rewrote reality in House of M she also unwittingly gave Proteus a world where his mother was powerless to stop him. This led to Proteus becoming an infamous Scottish serial killer who was ultimately able to escape his home reality and become a threat to the entire multiverse.
  • Possession Burnout: The major drawback of his mutant power. Not only does it burn out anybody he possesses, it even burns out his own body, forcing him into an Energy Being state.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: In the 90s X-Men cartoon. More manchild than psychopath
  • Random Power Ranking: As of 2019's House of X, Proteus is a confirmed omega level mutant.
  • Reality Warper: One of the first in the X-universe and still an extremely high-end example, even today.
  • Removed Achilles' Heel: His traditional weakness to metal was nullified after he possessed Morph, as Morph's unique physiology protected him from it somehow.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: His mother was forced to seal him in a cell on Muir Island after his mutant powers manifested. In a particularly dick move worthy of Charles, she kept his imprisonment secret and identified him to visitors as "Mutant X".
  • The Sociopath: Most of the time it is biologically impossible for any child to be a sociopath from birth, but Proteus became one as a consequence of his mutant powers manifesting so early.
  • To Create a Playground for Evil: In the climax of his first storyline he transforms Edinburgh into his personal plaything and even asks the X-Men playfully if they've "ever heard a city scream".
  • Violent Glaswegian: Proteus was a psychotic Scottish shape-changing villain. Not technically from Glasgow, but the island he came from was fictional, so it doesn't matter a whole lot.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: In most continuities he is vulnerable to metal.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Being locked up by one's own mother and kept in a cell for years as an anonymous prisoner can't be good for anyone's mental stability. Amazingly, his father was even worse.
  • The Worf Effect: Did this to Wolverine.
  • Your Worst Nightmare: In any continuity, he's one of a handful of people Wolverine is afraid of.

    Reverend Craig 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/reverend_craig_2.jpg

A Christian minister from Scotland and biological father of Rahne Sinclair, better known as Wolfsbane. Not that he ever admitted this; though he raised her for the first thirteen years of her life, he claimed only to be her foster father and told her she had been abandoned at birth by her mother, a prostitute. Literally beating his doctrine of religion into her, to the point he convinced her that she was a worthless sinner who deserved death, the breaking point came when her mutant gene activated and transformed her into a wolf-like being; Reverend Craig shot her, then led the mob that tried to burn her at the stake. After she escaped him, he disappeared... until he resurfaced as a fanatical member of the Purifiers, founded by Reverend William Stryker. Fittingly, his bedevilment of his daughter cost him his life when he brainwashed her and accidentally triggered the conditioning, causing her to kill and devour him.



    Reverend William Stryker 

Reverend Stryker

William Stryker

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/reverendstryker.png
Debut: X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills (1981)

A televangelist who saw himself on a mission from God to save humanity from the mutants, he and his Corrupt Church believed that mutants are creatures of the Devil. He led a Christian militia (the Purifiers), and was not above killing mutant children to see the Lord's will carried out. He was a fairly obscure character whose only appearance was in the graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills, but when the book was used as the basis for the second movie, he resurfaced in the comics and remained a recurring villain until his death.


  • Anti-Villain: As originally written by Chris Claremont in God Loves, Man Kills, where he was portrayed as a Well-Intentioned Extremist military veteran, American patriot and man of faith who feared the increasingly powerful and dangerous mutants of the Marvel universe. He was Nice to the Waiter, personally brave and caring and a true believer; the only real problem with him (though obviously a major one) was his apocalyptic anti-mutant religiosity. Averted in several later stories, where the writers massively increased his villainy, making him personally unsympathetic and even hypocritical, as well.
  • Artistic License – Religion: Pleasantly averted in his initial appearance, at least largely; Chris Claremont did his research and wrote a quite believable Evangelical/Fundamentalist villain. Unfortunately, later writers play the trope totally straight, to the point that some versions of Stryker (a Fundamentalist—i.e., arch-Protestant—preacher) resemble Anime Catholicism more than anything else... as his image here attests.
  • Back from the Dead: Bastion briefly revived him for his council of anti-mutant extremists. He's killed again by Archangel, but then later reappears in "Weapons of Mutant Destruction."
  • Badass Bookworm: Can apparently quote whole chapters of the Holy Scriptures by heart. He is shown to study them with great passion (in the King James Version, of course) in his original appearance.
  • Badass Normal: Stryker is just a normal, elderly man, albeit with military training and in fairly good shape. Thus, he rarely fights the X-Men fist to fist, but those examples where he's forced to fight show that he's still a very tough old man, competent and cool under fire.
  • Badass Preacher: A much more depraved example than most. Before his congregation was written as an outright Church Militant. The iconic image is where he smites down Magneto with a Bible quote, but this applies generally with Stryker. Standing up against superheroes when all you have is your own two hands and maybe a pistol in them takes courage, and not getting promptly smashed doing it takes serious competence. Especially for a man who was in his sixties in the 1980s. Stryker's chief villainous virtue is his bravery, fueled by his faith, but he's also a military veteran who knows how to handle a gun.
  • Bait the Dog: Stryker does indeed have his moments of seeming kindness, such as treating his minions well enough and even sparing his own mutant son rather than kill him, but he always subverts these potentially kind acts in some horrible way or another, such as executing the same minions he claims to have "respected" if they go against his ideals, or using the same son he spared as a guinea pig for horrible experiments before brainwashing him into a fanatic like himself.
    • Furthermore, what is perhaps so eerily genuine about Stryker's villainy is that, much like many fanatics, he doesn't perform kind acts for the sake of others, but rather to make himself feel superior to everyone else in his "righteousness."
  • Black and White Insanity: As part of his religious interpretation. As seen below, he is actually very tolerant about many other things, at least for a fundamentalist, but the one group he is utterly hostile to is the mutants. All mutants are evil in his eyes, being creatures of Satan rather than God. If they appear otherwise, they are merely faking it. He even disowned one of his own most trusted and loyal followers when she turned out to be a mutant.
  • Breakout Villain: He was originally a non-canonical character, but due to him and the story he was in being just that good he was eventually promoted to canon and brought in to be a regular villain. Then the movies got ahold of him, and today he might just be one of the X-Men's best-known villains. And certainly Wolverine's.
  • Canon Immigrant: Stryker was originally written as the villain of a dubiously canon graphic novel. Because it turned out to be a really good graphic novel, it was eventually canonized, as was Stryker himself.
  • Church Militant: Leads the Purifiers, an anti-mutant militia with strong Christian/fundamentalist undertones.
  • Composite Character: The character seen in the films is more or less a combination of Stryker and Andre Thorton/Truett Hudson from the pages of Weapon X.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Chris Claremont said in an interview that when he originally wrote the character, he wanted to make Stryker a real man of faith, unlike the Straw Hypocrite stereotype of the insincere Christian minister in fiction. His Stryker really, truly believes, and is an honest, moral, hard-working, unselfish and indeed admirable man in many ways—Whose actions nevertheless clash severely with the moral beliefs of most readers. However, not all writers agreed with Claremont's interpretation, and regardless of Claremont's original intent, Stryker ultimately comes off as a monstrous fanatic more than the upstanding individual Claremont may have originally intended.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: He has nothing against other races, and accepts them as equals in his organization. His views on women appear remarkably egalitarian as well, given his ultraconservative politics otherwise. And in spite of his strong, fundamentalist Christian faith, he respects sincere believers in other religions, and has no trouble working with them or being friends with them. Of course, he also has zero problem brutally murdering these same people if they do something he deems "sinful" or simply to further his goals.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Stryker tries to paint himself as having honor and standards, in just one case shooting down Dr. Alba's offer to begin performing horrifying experiments on unwilling subjects, but when the chips are down, Stryker shows time and time again that he can and will cross any line in his quest for mutant genocide, having zero issues blowing up an entire building of said subjects when it suits him.
  • Evil Virtues: Regardless of his wickedness, Stryker does have his "positive" traits, such as bravery, determination, resourcefulness and, of course, over above all else — burning, passionate faith. This for the original version; in subsequent appearances he became progressively less impressive as his true, more evil side reared its head more and more.
  • Fantastic Racism: Against mutants.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Complements of Archangel's razor-sharp wings, though he somehow recovered.
  • Hate Sink: If mutants represent LGBT, racial minorities and other persecuted groups in society then William Stryker represents the very worst of those who use religion as a platform and excuse for their bigotry. He has killed his wife, his newborn child, innocent families, his own subordinates, and several children all in the “name of god” and most of the time with a smile on his face. He is possibly the worst of the anti-mutant side of the X-men’s enemies racking up an even higher body count than Donald Pierce. Humans are also not safe from him if they don’t share in his extremist racism as he killed Jay Guthrie’s girlfriend who was a teenage girl and then gloated about it to Jay before killing him as well.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In Chris Claremont's X-Treme X-Men follow-up arc to God Loves, Man Kills, he had Stryker meet a mutant minister whose bias against humans was similar to his own in some ways, experience My God, What Have I Done?, and earn Redemption Equals Indefinite Stasis. It didn't last, predictably.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: In a world full of mutants, giant robots, and supernatural threats a simple human televangelist is one of the X-men's most dangerous and iconic villains.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Possibly the single darkest X-Men villain, surpassing even Cassandra Nova. Yes, Cassandra has a much higher body count than Stryker (16 million versus 474, at last toll), but Stryker is arguably scarier just because of how realistic his threat is. He also commands a faithful following even in death.
  • Knight Templar: One of the most classic examples in comics. Stryker is completely fanatical over his belief that all mutants are abominations deserving of genocide, claiming they are the spawn of Satan himself. His hatred of mutantkind is so strong that he murdered his own wife for giving birth to one, and raised the mutant boy as a lab rat and turned him into a psychopathic fanatic like himself. Stryker is fully convinced that he is in the right, and this is what makes him all the more wicked. Stryker has no compunctions with killing humans, either, as he regularly murders any who stand in his way, or even just as distraction. As long as it enables him to more thoroughly kill as many mutants as possible, Stryker will go to any lengths, innocent casualties be damned.
  • Motive Decay: Mixed with Insane Troll Logic. Convinced that lack of support from the Lord was the reason why he continually failed to wipe out mutantkind, Stryker decided in the 2017 Weapon X series to stop killing mutants in the name of God... and start killing them in the name of Satan... even though the reason why he hated mutants in the first place is because he was convinced that they were Hellspawn. To add to the insanity, his new Religion of Evil cult is managed by Mentallo, a mutant.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: He planned for this in the form of the Predator X program.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Of a sort. Stryker is an elderly man and usually has to get his followers to fight on his behalf, but after he acquired a Nimrod gauntlet he was more than happy to enter the fray with it.
  • Nothing Personal: Claims this before coldly executing his lieutenant, Anne, when they find out that she is a mutant and will have to die along with the others when he exterminates them with his psychic superweapon. Beforehand, he genuinely seemed to like and respect her, but the second she shows signs of being a mutant, Stryker viciously rejects her for being an abomination and flings her to her death, showing that it truly was nothing personal; in both his murder, and relationship with her.
  • Obliviously Evil: From Stryker's perspective, he is fighting a war to save all humanity from a non-human and, indeed, literally Satanic threat. He knows his side are the good guys, and derives great strength from this conviction.
  • Offing the Offspring: In Claremont's original run, the simple young noncom Stryker and his beloved wife were unknowingly exposed to nuclear fallout, and later involved in a car crash. With his wife severely injured, he delivered her child—Which turned out to be a horribly deformed mutant. Horrified and disgusted, the uneducated young man killed it, then snapped his own wife's neck for giving birth to a monstrosity, after which he finally attempted to commit suicide himself. He survived, suffering a crisis of faith, but found new purpose in the belief that God had chosen him to lead humanity's struggle against the mutants. This was later retconned, however; turns out he didn't actually kill his son, he instead raised him in secret to follow in his footsteps, while also having A.I.M. apparently stabilize his mutation with dangerous experiments so that he was no longer disfigured by or dying from it.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: What makes Stryker so scary is how you can easily imagine a guy just like him running for president in the real world, just with mutants getting swapped out for the real-life minority group of your choice. Next to him, Graydon Creed practically looks like a choir boy.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Or use a pink robot's arm as their Weapon of Choice, either or.
  • Red Right Hand: Reverend Stryker stumbled upon a disoriented alternate Nimrod and uses the robot's glowing pink hand as a glove and an apparent weapon. When Bastion brings him back, he continues using it.
  • Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: He secretly controls a uniformed anti-mutant militia, the Purifiers.
  • Sergeant Rock: Used to be one as Master Sergeant Stryker, before he became a minister.
  • Shoot the Dog: From his point of view, the death of his wife and son are this.
  • Sinister Minister: He has shades of this.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Stryker and Alba; he hires her to create a new Ultimate Lifeform to wipe out mutants and their allies, and while the project advances relatively smoothly for a while, it eventually becomes clear that the reverend and the doctor hate each other and are just barely cooperating because Stryker needs Alba's intellect (but not her attitude or complete disregard for collateral) while Alba needs Stryker's resources (but not his fanaticism or hindering morals, as flip-floppy as they may be). So it's unsurprising that the two eventually turn on each other, with Stryker emerging from the conflict a mangled mess, reduced to begging the Weapon X team for help in dealing with her and Weapon H because, as he explains, "You think I like this, mutant? You and all your kind repulse me! But we have one thing—and one thing only—in common... a shared enemy. And you must be prepared for her! I have looked into her eyes—and seen nothing there. Her focus is inhuman and unwavering. She will not be satisfied until she has proven her perverted scientific dogma has birthed the perfect predator!"
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: When written by Claremont. God Loves, Man Kills showed him very disturbed when his right hand and personal friend, Anne, turned out to be a latent mutant (though still not enough so to call off his indiscriminately mutant-eliminating master plan), while in the sequel story in Xtreme X-Men, he was even willing to sacrifice his own life to save the sympathetic mutant Kitty Pryde, after he had come to respect her. Some other writers ignore this aspect of his personality, however, making him a completely one-dimensional cardboard cut-out of frothing insanity.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: His original Christian crusade is very popular with at least some sections of the American people, and not just because of his opposition to the mutants, but because he is so obviously sincere in his faith and his zeal for the poor and humble.
  • Villainous Valour: Confronted Magneto without fear in the original comic, and smacked him down with a sermon of awesome. Also in later appearances. Once, aboard a crashing plane, a more superhuman villain asks him whether he is afraid. Stryker answers to the effect that no, he is not, for his own life... But his work is not yet finished.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: While Stryker believes himself to be an agent of God, simply trying to save humankind from the plague of mutants, he is actually just a classically delusional Knight Templar, and since he considers the mutants (who view themselves as a superior race, or at least the villainous ones do) the literal Synagogue of Satan, the children of the Devil of whom Jesus spoke in the Gospel of John, he will do anything to wipe them out and assert his fanaticism. In short, he's an extremist who only thinks he has good intentions.
    Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44, King James Version)
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Like fellow anti-mutant racist Bastion, Stryker sports white hair and has a heart as cold and steely and deadly as a discarded refrigerator with the door still attached.
  • Working-Class Hero: A villainous example. Stryker comes from a humble background, and was formerly an enlisted man in the Army. It is his own ability, faith and hard work that have made him a major religious and political figure by the time of God Loves, Man kills.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He killed his own monstrous mutant child as a young man, in shock after a car crash. Later he tried to shoot Kitty Pryde, who was a teenager at that time. He also arranged the deaths of several of the X-Men's students after M-Day, personally shooting Icarus in the head.

Advertisement:

    Ricochet 

Ricochet

Senator Steven Shaffran

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

Debut: X-Factor #72 (1991)

You, my genetically-challenged friends, are about to choke down a three course helping of trouble.


A Corrupt Politician and secret mutant with high-order probability manipulating abilities. Seeking to become President Evil, he allies himself with Mr. Sinister, only to be quickly Out-Gambitted and disgraced before the American people.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: He aims to become President Evil but comes nowhere close, though Mr. Sinister says he would have gotten there eventually had he not intervened.
  • Combo Platter Powers: His mutant power is essentially a stronger version of the Scarlet Witch's probability manipulation (or what was her level at the time) with a few neat extras that verge on making him a Reality Warper. Indeed, this combo is so effective that Mr. Sinister considers him Too Powerful to Live and sets him up for a fall.
  • Corrupt Politician: It's his day job.
  • Emotion Control: Per his own explanation, he can "unsettle the minds of others and cloud their thinking and abilities."
  • Evil Counterpart: He's explicitly compared in text to the Scarlet Witch and even has plans to take her out once he's done with X-Factor. Luckily he never gets that far.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Sinister offers him this, giving him a gun with one bullet after disgracing him and telling him it's a more reliable option than slitting his wrists as disgraced senators in Ancient Rome used to do. An incensed Ricochet turns the gun on Sinister, but the bullet bounces off the latter's cape and hits him instead.
  • Fantastic Racism: He refers to Havok and his X-Factor team as "genetically challenged" but has no problem working with Mr. Sinister's mutant miscreant team, the Nasty Boys.
  • Foreshadowing: An unintended case, but Mr. Sinister's concern that Ricochet's mutant power could reach Reality Warper levels nicely dovetails the Scarlet Witch's power being increases to Ricochet levels and then well beyond...
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He attempts to discredit X-Factor before the public, only to be himself discredited by a shapeshifted Mr. Sinister pretending to be him.
  • Irony: His mutant codename is Ricochet and he's killed by a bullet ricochet.
  • Just Between You and Me: He's polite (and gloaty) enough to explain the full scope of his abilities to the Nasty Boys (and by extension to the reader).
  • Killed Off for Real: In X-Factor #75.
  • Living a Double Life: He's Happily Married with a wife and daughter, neither of whom know that he is a mutant or in league with Sinister.
  • Out-Gambitted: By Sinister, who disgraces him by abducting him and posing as him in DC via his shapeshifting ability.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: The bullet that kills him leaves a neat little hole in his head, exactly the definition of this trope.
  • Sabotage to Discredit: He uses his mutant powers to discredit X-Factor under instructions from Mr. Sinister, only to get a taste of his own medicine when Sinister sets him to look like a power-mad supervillain.
  • Sinister Silhouettes: He's first introduced this way, speaking with a similarly silhouetted collaborator (spoiler alert, it's Sinister) to obscure his identity as well.
  • Take That!: When asked by the Nasty Boys why he didn't use his powers on George H. W. Bush during the 1989 election, he says, "I did. Why do you think he nominated Quayle?"
  • Too Powerful to Live: And when Mr. Sinister thinks so, you know there's something to it.
  • Unknown Rival: He plans to eventually take out the Scarlet Witch, who he considers his only rival. Wanda has no idea he exists, and when he goes to his grave she still doesn't know him from Adam-X.
  • Unwitting Pawn: He thinks Mr. Sinister is guiding him into the White House, when really all he guides him into is an unmarked grave.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: An extreme case. He appears in 4 issues, and in 2 of those 4 issues he's only seen in shadow.

    Sauron 

Sauron

Karl Lykos

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mfan3_sauron.jpg
Debut: Uncanny X-Men #60 (1969)

Dead, mutant? I am evil incarnate — I cannot die! Behold, fools, the rebirth of Sauron!


A mutate that was originally supposed to be a vampire, that was a no-go with the comics code at the time, so instead he was reworked into an energy-sucking pterodactyl man. Really. Lykos was on an expedition to Antarctica with his father when they stumbled upon some caves leading to the Savage Land, full of Pteranodons. Lykos was injured by a Pterodon scratch and gained the ability to drain energy from other humans, and later when he did so to a mutant, the ability to turn into a giant were-Pterodactyl with hypnotic powers. Going mad with evil, he names himself after the villain from his favorite books and decides to try to suck the life out of everyone. Joined Toad's Brotherhood in The '90s, despite not being a mutant.
  • Actually Not a Vampire: In his early appearances as a creepy private-practice physician whose patients experience anemic symptoms, the still human-seeming Karl Lykos gives off all the classical warning signs for some kind of vampire or other. Actually, he's a much more bizarre mutant monster. As the intro paragraph specifies, he is also an inverted meta-example, with the creators trying to make a villain who was as vampire-like as possible without upsetting the editors.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Pteranodons.
  • Animorphism: A sort of Involuntary Shapeshifting, where Lykos transforms into Sauron whenever he absorbs mutant energy.
  • Arch-Enemy: Forgotten in recent years, but back in the day he was one of these to Havok. As Karl Lykos, he even served a stint as Havok's psychiatrist. More frequent X-Men sparring partners include Angel and Iceman, occasionally Cyclops when he wants some of that sweet sweet Summers energy, and most frequently the X-Men ally Ka-Zar.
  • Bad Future: In the miniseries Weapon X: Days of Future Past Sauron is a high-ranking collaborator with the Sentinels, having grown so fat off mutant energies he can no longer fly.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Perhaps fitting for a Superpowered Evil Side, Sauron just can't shut up about how evil he is.
  • Combo Platter Powers: Practically the poster child of this trope. He's a guy that can drain the life force of others, turns into a flying pterodactyl man when he drains the life force of a mutant, said pterodactyl man form also has Super Strength, the power to hypnotize people and can breathe fire? Spider-Man even noted how ridiculous him being a vampiric pterodactyl man was without even making note of all his other powers.
  • The Conqueror: Numerous times Sauron has attempted to raise an army from the disaffected residents of the Savage Land in order to seize control of it. These efforts are usually thwarted by Ka-Zar.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: See here. Spider-Man notes that he could be using his advanced tech to cure cancer, but being a Superpowered Evil Side Sauron has no interest in such Mundane Utility.
  • Despair Event Horizon: After his love interest Tanya was murdered by Toad during the 90's, Karl lost all reason to try and live an ordinary life. He's since given into his evil side more or less completely.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Later appearances saw him acquire the ability to breathe fire.
  • The Dragon: Often serves this role to whatever Big Bad of the day is currently trying to take control of the Savage Land. Zaladane and Garrok have both employed his services; unfortunately for them, his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder leads him to invariably stick the knife in at inconvenient moments.
  • Enemy Mine: During the Secret Invasion Sauron allied with his longtime Savage Land enemies Ka-Zar and Shanna the She-Devil against the Skrull invaders.
  • Enemy Within: Sauron is this to the fairly mild-mannered Lykos.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Averted. No matter how silly this guy sounds, he's always a pain in the neck to deal with.
  • From Bad to Worse: As if being tempted to drain the life-energy of your patients all the time isn't bad enough, you then discover that draining another mutant turns you into a dangerous monster beyond your control.
  • Evil Overlord: He's usually trying to be this in the Savage Land.
  • Evil Teacher: Wolverine and the X-Men saw him find employment as a science teacher for the Hellfire Academy. Definitely a showcasing moment of the character's Narm Charm.
    Sauron: (wearing glasses and a lab coat) I am Sauron, supreme ruler of this classroom, master of all second period!
  • Flanderization: In a Secret Empire tie-in Sauron was reduced to a Shadow King-tier I Have You Now, My Pretty creeper who spent most of his on-panel slavering over various disgusted women. This wasn't completely out of nowhere, as a famous panel from one of Sauron's early appearances has him menacing a knocked-out Storm, but aside from this miniseries it's not really a big part of his character. Hell, he even went the other way completely once during the 90's.
  • Frontier Doctor: As Lykos, he attempted to become one of these in the Savage Land. His efforts earned him the friendship of Ka-Zar, but eventually Status Quo Is God kicked in and Sauron returned.
  • Giant Flyer: Not terribly gigantic, outside of that one time he fought Garrok, but still counts.
  • Happy Ending Override: His Marvel Fanfare quadrilogy ended with Professor X sitting him down and finally managing to cure him of being Sauron. It worked completely too, as he and Tanya went to New York and lived in peace for the rest of the 80's. But come the 90's Toad decided he wanted a heavy-hitter for his Brotherhood, so he abducted Karl and Tanya and hooked them up into machines that drained Tanya's life force into Karl, forcing him to become Sauron again.
  • Hero Killer: Early in the first X-Force run he killed Sam Guthrie aka Cannonball. It... probably didn't take?
  • I Just Want to Be Free: A noteworthy character trait of his. He might work with other villains when it serves his purposes, and surprisingly is even usually a good team player during those periods. But at his soul Sauron is an independent villain who doesn't want to be used by anyone and is always trying to be the top dog of wherever he is. During one storyline in X-Men: The Hidden Years, Magneto tried recruiting him to the Brotherhood, promising him untold riches and a place at his right-hand. But after realizing that would mean accepting subservience to Magneto, Sauron refused, telling the other villain he'd found a peace in the Savage Land and he would never give that up in exchanging for being someone else's lackey.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Lykos is an essentially decent and well-meaning person. His dark side, Sauron, is a vicious monster and a genocidal maniac.
  • Large Ham: As deadly as he can be, Sauron is by his nature not one of the X-Men's more serious villains, and frequently spends as much of his time chewing the panels as he does pecking at the heroes.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Lykos is a normal man who was turned into a mutate after being attacked by the Savage Land's breed of pterodactyls and has never had any investment in mutants beyond their use in feeding his Superpowered Evil Side, yet he randomly joined up with the Brotherhood in the 90s.
  • Laughably Evil: Sauron is a Card-Carrying Villain who spends as much time Chewing the Scenery and engaging in bizarre plots as he does genuinely evil things.
  • Life Drinker: Due to the whole can't-be-a-vampire thing, Lykos ended up as one of these. He can drain the life force of anything he touches, but only mutant energy will turn him into Sauron. As his Superpowered Evil Side, Sauron's constantly nettling him when he's human to go drain the nearest handy mutant in his vicinity.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: He named himself after The Lord of the Rings villain. He even says so himself on-panel during his origin story. The fact that he calls Sauron "Tolkien's ultimate villain" reveals that he (and possibly the writers) only has passing knowledge of the legendarium, however.
    Sauron: I choose... evil! An evil so great... so monumental that only one name in all the annals of literature will contain it! The name of Tokien's ultimate villain... that dark lord who personified evil, who was truly evil incarnate! The name of — SAURON!
  • Logical Weakness: Being a cold-blooded creature, Sauron is vulnerable to ice and cold, and superheroes with those powers. You can guess which X-Man gives him the most trouble.
  • Meaningful Name: Lykos is Greek for 'wolf', an appropriate name for a character who so often plays the wolf in the fold.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: For many years an irrelevant bit of plot trivia, this has actually helped him get legitimate work in recent years, first as an unlikely member of Weapon X and then, in an even more unlikely twist, as a teacher working for the Hellfire Academy.
  • Morality Pet: Tanya Anderssen, his longtime love interest. She was murdered by Toad in the 90s as part of his scheme to reawaken and recruit Sauron for the Brotherhood.
  • Mouth of Sauron: Has never had a character serve as this for himself, but amusingly was Garrok's Mouth for a time.
  • Noble Demon: Lykos is this, as despite falling prey to the wiles of Sauron more often than not he's essentially a decent and well-meaning person. The whole reason he's in the Savage Land in the first place is because he exiled himself there, thinking there would be no mutants for Sauron to prey on.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: You don't get much more Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot than a vampiric were-pterodactyl mutate.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: At least as Karl Lykos, he's smart enough to not fell prey to the usual villain pitfall for Underestimating Badassery. When the Savage Land Mutates have the Avengers captured in New Avengers, he urges them to kill their heroic prisoners right away rather than experiment on them as Brainchild wants to do, telling him that he's just giving S.H.I.E.L.D. an excuse to attack them. And lo and behold, a few panels later, that's exactly what they do.
  • Only Mostly Dead: When near-death Sauron can enter a state of "regenerative stasis". He fell into this after being shot up by X-Force, and recovered completely after a few weeks.
  • Ptero Soarer: Scaly skin instead of hair-like pycnofibers? Check (occasional hairstyle aside). Bat-like wing structure? Check. Bipedalism? Check. Identified as a dinosaur? Check.
  • Picky People Eater: Apparently people have their own distinct taste to Sauron, as he remarked upon the specific taste of Kid Omega's lifeforce during his stint with the Hellfire Academy.
  • The Quisling: Collaborates with the Sentinels in at least one Bad Future.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Stan Lee must have figured an energy-sucking dinosaur man was the next-most abhorrent thing to an actual vampire.
  • Rogues Gallery Transplant: In recent years he’s become more of a Spider-Man villain.
  • Sanity Slippage: During the 90s, after Toad killed Tanya Anderssen, Sauron starting hallucinating his alter ego Lykos. These hallucinations eventually got to be so frequent that even the Savage Land mutates (who are hardwired to seek out a leader and obey them without question) started questioning his sanity.
  • Sixth Ranger: Randomly recruited to Toad's Brotherhood during the 90s, despite not being a mutant himself.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Sauron is very much this.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: After years and years of fighting Sauron's influence, Karl Lykos gave into it completely as of New Avengers. In his human and form and apparently completely free of Sauron's influence, he still urged the Savage Land mutates to kill their Avenger prisoners ASAP, all while wearing a Smug Snake smirk. Of course, Karl was entirely in the right, as the Avengers broke free very shortly after.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Being one of the longest-running X-villains, he's had his share of these. There was the time Cable shot him dead, for instance. Another time Lykos made a psychic Heroic Sacrifice supposedly destroying his and Sauron's personalities forever. Both times he recovered and returned without explanation.
  • Villains Out Shopping: When Sabretooth threw a party to celebrate taking over the Japanese underworld Sauron made a cameo appearance as one of the guests in attendance.
  • Weapon of Choice: One appearance had him carrying an actual prehistoric club. Of course, it was included with his action figure.
  • Werewolf Theme Naming: Notable for being a werebeast but definitely not a werewolf, his last name Lykos is Greek for wolf.
  • Yo Yo Plot Point: He gets cured at the end of most encounters only to get un-cured again at the beginning of the next. As ever, Status Quo Is God.
    • Trapped in Villainy: Lykos wants nothing more than to be rid of Sauron forever, but eventually his powers always wind up getting the better of him. Tragic Monster indeed.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good: Spider-Man points out he could have used his advanced tech to cure cancer.

    Sentinels 

The Sentinels

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sentinel_mkiv_x_men_marvel_comics_robot_h1.jpg

One of the most recognizable non-mutant characters in the X-men's corner of the Marvel Universe, Sentinels are the result of a government initiative to combat the growing mutant threat. These huge robots are equipped with gene-level scanning devices enabling them to identify any mutants, and the armor and weaponry to (theoretically) detain or kill them once found. Recurrently decommissioned as mutant rights advance or the Sentinels go wrong, only to be recommissioned as new and improved versions are built or more mutant-related hate builds up. Sentinels are frequently depicted as being bound to a "super Sentinel" called Master Mold, which is often instrumental in the temporary discrediting of the Sentinel Program.


  • Adaptive Ability: The Mark-II Sentinels could adapt to their enemies and their powers.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Most Sentinels don't really have the AI to actually go wrong and loyally follow orders. The problem is, they tend to be portrayed taking their commands from Master Mold, who does have the AI to go rogue — for example, planning to capture a senator and replace his brain with a computer before then enslaving all humanity.
  • Artificial Stupidity: In stories and adaptations where they lean more on the Starter Villain end of the scale.
  • The Assimilator: The Prime Sentinels, ordinary humans merged with Sentinel tech.
    • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: It is possible to restore a Prime Sentinel's free will, but even for Magneto and Professor X, it's very difficult.
  • Bad Future: Days of Future Past, anyone? Any time the Sentinels appear in an adaptation, this story is bound to occur in some form.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: When Sentinels or Master Mold go wrong, often they do so with the statement that it is illogical to protect humans from mutants because "humans are mutants" — all humans have unique genetic codes.
  • The Computer Is Your Friend: In some alternate timelines, the Sentinels decide that they need to take over humankind to effectively neutralize mutants.
  • Deceptively Human Robots: Steven Lang's (no relation to Scott Lang) X-Sentinels, which looked like the original '60s era X-Men and even had their powers. It took Wolverine's senses to suss them out.
  • Hero Killer: Numerous Sentinels in numerous futures, but a special shout-out goes to the Elite Mook Sentinel seen in New Mutants #48: it is identified as the Sentinel that killed Captain America, and has even been painted to resemble him.
  • Hive Queen: Master Mold is this; it has the intelligence and capabilities to control all Sentinels, and is actually a walking Sentinel-production factory, creating them from internal production machinery.
  • Humongous Mecha:
    • Autonomous version, usually, but at least one miniseries focused on Sentinel Squad O*N*E, an attempt to redeem the Sentinel Project by stripping out the independent AI and turning them into piloted mecha. It worked, for a while.
    • In terms of size, Master Mold takes this Up to Eleven: it's roughly as big compared to a Sentinel as a Sentinel is to a human.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Apparently this can be used against them as Gwen Poole notices that their attack patterns mirror those from their video game appearances. Anyone familiar with the games can abuse the same openings their attack patterns leave them in real life.
  • The Kid with the Remote Control:
    • A 2003 miniseries, aptly entitled Sentinel, focused on Midwestern American teen Juston Seyfert and his adventures after finding and repairing a damaged Sentinel.
    • Any member of the Trask family automatically counts as this too, since Bolivar programmed a directive into them to obey and preserve all members of his bloodline. Unless, of course, they're a Mutant, as Larry Trask finds out.
  • Killer Robots: Particularly towards mutants, but depending on the story they can be a threat to humans too.
  • Made of Plasticine: The Project: Armageddon Sentinels were pathetically easy to destroy. The only reason they managed to keep the X-Men they'd caught captive at all was because they were operating from a space station.
  • Mecha-Mooks: This may be why the Sentinels have appeared in every animated depiction of the X-men-verse; they're intimidating enough to make good enemies, but they can be slaughtered on-screen without any editor hassles.
  • Mook Maker: Their usual leader Master Mold, a "super Sentinel" that is an autonomous Sentinel factory.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Somewhat justified by multiple generations (at least ten) of the Sentinel line, but these are still Mecha-Mooks that switch from grinding the whole world under their metal heels in more than one Bad Future to generic cannon fodder Mooks that even inexperienced X-Men can carve through like butter. In general, Sentinels tend to be exactly as strong or as weak as the storyline they're in requires them to be.
  • Purple Is Powerful: The very first Sentinels had purple shells, and that's held true for most of them since, though there have been some variations over the years like the Mark V Sentinels, which were blue instead.
  • Robo Speak: Usually, but the Project: Armageddon ones were remarkably chatty.
  • Robot Buddy: The Sentinel rebuilt and befriended by the aforementioned Juston Seyfert.
  • Robot Girl: The Omega Prime Sentinel Karima Shapandar, who joins the X-Men for a time after being released from her programming.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Sentinel Squad O*N*E and the X-Men didn't get along. Probably because the X-Men were about as happy as you'd expect to have their movement monitored and controlled by giant sized versions of things that had previously tried to kill them.
  • Terminator Impersonator: Prime Sentinels are a model of Sentinel which are humans that underwent an Unwilling Roboticization and were then released to live ordinary lives until they come into contact with a Mutant. After activation, the cyborgs will attempt to terminate the mutant with extreme force, often undergoing more and more of a Robotic Reveal until their entire bodies have transformed into a human-sized Sentinel in order to annihilate their target. Often, their target is a mutant that is either closeted or unaware that they're a mutant and thus an X-Man is sent to protect them and get them to safety.
  • They Look Like Us Now: The 90s Zero Tolerance crossover introduced the "Omega Prime" model Sentinel which initially appeared to be a line of Deceptively Human Robots but were soon revealed to be a type of Cyborg instead. They were designed to be sleeper agents capable of blending into heavily-populated cities to hunt for mutants.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: In a number of alternate futures they turn against humans en masse, and certain Sentinels like Master Mold do this even in the normal timeline.
  • The Virus: The Turn of the Millennium introduced the "Nano-Sentinels" which as you might have guessed from the name are a line of Nanomachines that function as this.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation:
    • As the X-Men learned to their horror after their encounter with the Omega Prime Sentinel Karima Shapandar. While a few units from that line were fanatics who had volunteered willingly, most were ordinary humans who had been kidnapped and transformed against their will.
    • Happened to the pilots of Sentinel Squad O*N*E, thanks to Bishop and a techno-organic virus. In seconds, the pilots were killed and turned into mini-Sentinels.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Not the giant robots themselves, but Moira's attempts to permanently stop them by eliminating all Sentinel creators, such as Trasks and Langs, from existence is this. She discovered even after killing known Sentinel creators from previous timelines, someone is destined to create some version of Sentinels.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The original Sentinels turned on Trask pretty quickly, and demanded he manufacture more Sentinels, making it clear they'd kill him the minute he stopped complying.

    Shadow King 

The Shadow King

Amahl Farouk (maybe)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shadowking.gif
Debut: Uncanny X-Men #117 (1979)

Ah, such heroic sentiments. I like that — but this is my game, my parlor, my rules. Here the house always wins!


A vastly powerful psychic entity that likes to possess people and bring out their darker emotions. Professor X met him as Egyptian crimelord Amahl Farouk, and killed his human body in a psychic-showdown. Farouk was the first evil mutant Xavier encountered, prompting him to form the X-Men. However, it has been since revealed that the Shadow King might have existed long before possessing Farouk.

An adaptational counterpart of the Shadow King appears as the Big Bad of the 2017 television series Legion. Tropes and ideas from his character were also borrowed from for the adaptational counterpart of Apocalypse from the 2016 film X-Men: Apocalypse.


  • Aborted Arc: The original plan for the Shadow King under Chris Claremont not only had him as the Final Boss for the X-Men as a whole, but actually killing Professor X in their final battle, which would have resulted in Magneto becoming the permanent new leader of the X-Men. This plot was shelved when Claremont left the X-books, and to this day the Shadow King has never reached for any goal so grandiose, instead remaining firmly in C-list villain territory.
  • Adaptational Badass: Both of the adaptations of the Shadow King mentioned above are this compared to the original.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: During X-Men: Worlds Apart Storm lured him into a trap set by herself and Bast the Panther God, who promptly devours him.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Storm. He employed her as a thief when she was a child, but was never able to completely bend her to his will. Her strength of character makes her his favorite target.
    • He considers Professor X to be his archenemy, owing to Chuck dealing him a pretty decisive defeat in their first encounter.
  • As Long as There is Evil: Shadow King fits this trope to the letter, especially following the retcon that he might be an ancient demonic being, and not the psychic remains of an evil mutant.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Frequently does this with telepaths.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: The Shadow King considers himself the Final Boss to Charles Xavier and the X-Men as a whole, but falls a little short of that goal. He does not play well with others, doing villain team-ups only when forced into them, and power-wise he's never quite been able to equal his hated rival.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Being one of the older X-villains, he snuggles in this trope like a security blanket. Excepting Professor X, for whom It's Personal between him and Farouk, the Shadow King never tries to outright kill his targets, preferring instead to break them or gloat at them. Unsurprisingly, the heroes turn the tide on him every time, only for him to come back the next time none the wiser.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Would you really except any less from someone who calls themselves the Shadow King?
  • The Corrupter: Prides himself on being this, though he's less about tempting his victims to evil and more about twisting their minds through brute telepathic force until they're corrupt enough for his taste.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The reason behind his long string of defeats. Despite being theoretically a telepath in the same league as Professor X, the Shadow King is much more interested in tormenting his targets than simply defeating them, and while he's not weak, he definitely leans more towards finesse than force. Lesser telepaths like Psylocke have still managed to take him down because they go for the jugular while he plays around, and he's never dared to challenge the stronger villain telepaths like Exodus or Madelyne Pryor, likely knowing they'd crush him like a roach.
  • Dark Is Evil: His astral form is frequently depicted as a sinister shadowy being and Farouk is evil as the day is long.
  • Embodiment of Vice: To the point of warping and distorting any physical body he inhabits; see Villainous Glutton below.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Professor X.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Subjected to this by Apocalypse.
  • Fat Bastard: Farouk has no physical body, but his Villainous Glutton tendencies end up in any body he inhabits inevitably degrading to this state.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Being possessed by him. As revealed by Karma, victims are completely aware the whole time, unable to stop Farouk from his systematic degradation of their bodies and, indeed, are suffering from ceaseless psychological torture in their own heads as Farouk works to make them empty shells. The harder a victim fights back, the more Farouk enjoys it and the longer he draws out their suffering.
  • Gender Bender: Happily possessed Karma for months in New Mutants and has frequent designs on doing this to Storm too.
  • God Guise: At one point he posed as Anansi, one of the Orisha of African folklore.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Clearly this is kind of Farouk's shtick.
    • Really likes to torment Storm. One miniseries, Worlds Apart, revolved around him trying to break her to his will.
    • He also tried turning Psylocke and Rogue into his "Shadow Queens" at separate times.
    • Also Karma in New Mutants.
    • And Val Cooper in the lead-in to the Muir Island Saga.
  • Living Shadow: If the Shadow King ever had an original body, he lost that long ago.
  • The Man Behind the Man: He stunted Destiny's ability to see the future, manipulated Legion into murdering her decades later, and was heavily implied to be the force behind Magneto's abrupt Face–Heel Turn in the early 90s.
  • More Than Mind Control: His preferred method of turning people against each other is by awakening the real doubts and insecurities in their minds, making them that much harder to get through to.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Some stories have portrayed the Shadow King as a centuries-old mutant who survived the years by jumping from body to body and eventually possessed Amahl Farouk. In others, he was merely born Amahl Farouk and fabricated a grander backstory for himself.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: You don't get much more Obviously Evil than the Shadow King.
  • Nepharious Pharaoh: Has some elements of this, as his original form and/or host body of Amahl Farouk was Egyptian and was modeled after a certain Egyptian king.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: He physically resembles and shares the same name as King Farouk of Egypt
  • Piggybacking on Hitler: During the 1930s he worked for two of Hitler's most trusted agents, one of them being the future Baron Strucker.
  • Psychic Powers: Strong enough to rival, though not defeat, Professor X.
    • Astral Projection: As a being that exists purely on the astral plane, this is his default method of combat.
    • Demonic Possession: Doubles with Grand Theft Me; Farouk can only act in the physical world by taking control of a human host.
    • Emotion Control: Put it this way, Farouk has sometimes been known to spread a Hate Plague just by being around.
    • Mind Manipulation: He can do it in several ways.
    • People Puppets: Tends to reduce everyone in his immediate vicinity to this.
    • Slave Mooks: He often brainwashes whatever local populace is in his immediate vicinity, resulting in the heroes having to fight a horde of innocent bystanders.
    • Telepathy: Has telepathic powers on par with those of Professor X.
  • Sadist: As mentioned above, he's the very definition of a psychic sadist. He won't torture your body, but he'll Mind Rape you with glee until you're an Empty Shell.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: He's often sealed away into various things. In the Age of Apocalypse Apoc literally contained his essence inside of a small can with a sealed tube on top.
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: For awhile he was trapped inside Psylocke's mind. This prevented her from using her telepathic powers.
  • Staying Alive: He has near-Complete Immortality, boasting at one point that he can revive himself off one dark thought in one man's heart. See As Long as There is Evil above.
  • Starter Villain: He was literally this for Charles Xavier, being the first evil mutant Chuck ever met. The encounter was what convinced him of the necessity of a team like the X-Men.
  • Trapped in Another World: During the House of M storyline the Shadow King was not included as part of the Scarlet Witch's ideal world, but instead shunted off to another dimension. After the reality warp was undone he made his way back to the current one.
  • Uniqueness Value: Like Mojo above, it's been asserted that there's only one Shadow King within the Marvel Multiverse; the ones we've seen in realities besides Earth-616 are supposedly all the same entity manifesting in different ways or extensions of it in some kind of Hive Mind scenario.
  • Villainous Glutton: When he claims a human host for an extended period of time, he becomes addicted to eating, and his host becomes morbidly obese as a result.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: Fighting him was what gave Professor X the idea to form the X-Men in the first place. Ironically, if this very loathsome villain didn't exist, neither would the X-Men.
  • We Can Rule Together: Gives Professor X this speech upon their first meeting; presumably it wasn't so cliche back then.
  • Your Worst Nightmare: Clearly wants to be this for everyone and everything in his way.

    Spiral 

Spiral

Rita Wayward

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spiral20.jpg
Debut: Longshot #1 (1985)

Hers is a name that men whisper as she kills them.


One of the most loyal warrior-slaves of Mojo, Spiral is his Dragon and an essential part of his operations. In her first appearance, she was sent to retrieve Longshot. She later had a stint as a member of Freedom Force, the US government's version of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. In the Shattershot storyline, it turned out she was Rita Ricochet (Longshot's former friend and lover) all along, brainwashed into becoming Spiral by Mojo and her future self.
  • Ascended Extra: Art Adams designed her as just another of Mojo's lackeys pursuing Longshot, but Ann Nocenti liked the look of her and decided to give her a more prominent role.
  • Ax-Crazy: She hides it well behind her snark, but Spiral is completely off the deep end.
  • The Baroness: Tends to take this role in storyline where she strikes out on her own.
  • Berserk Button: Has a major grudge against the Mojoworld scientist Arize, who invented the technology that empowered the Spineless Ones. She can also get this way at times regarding Longshot, but when it comes to Arize, well...
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Subverted, surprisingly enough. Yes, she was roboticized by Mojo, and probably unwillingly too. But it was only a small part of how Mojo was able to turn her so completely insane.
  • Cyborg: Three of her arms are at least partially robotic.
  • Dark Action Girl: One of the first prominent female X-villains.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She and Major Domo are the only Mojo minions who dare mouth off to their boss.
  • The Dragon: Mojo may be strong, but he's also nearly immobile, counting on the acrobatics and swordplay of Spiral to keep his enemies at bay.
  • Driven to Madness: A major case of Break the Cutie — when Mojo captures Ricochet Rita, the first thing he does is tie her to the prow of the interdimensional airship he was using to get around at the time. Then he forces her eyes open so that she has to watch the Wildways. Predictably, this causes her to Go Mad from the Revelation.
  • Dual Wielding: Three times over!
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Spiral recently became the caretaker of a young mutant girl named Ginny. She seems to be one of the few people Spiral genuinely cares about at this point.
  • Evil Sorcerer: To the point where when Doctor Strange stepped down as Sorcerer Supreme of the entire Marvel Universe, she was mentioned as a contender for the job.
    • Magic Dance: She dances to cast her more complicated spells.
    • Magic Knight: A sorceress and technological genius as well as an expert hand-to-hand (-to-hand-to-hand) combatant.
    • Teleportation: This is her primary utility to Mojo — the bloat can defend himself fairly well, but he is completely reliant on Spiral's spellcasting to traverse between dimensions.
  • Extradimensional Power Source: She uses the energy of the dimensional crossroads known as "the Wildways" to power her spells.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The original Longshot mini showed her as being very jealous and resentful of ordinary humans, seeing herself as a freak compared to them. Mojo states outright this is why he gave Spiral her extra arms.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: After being stranded by Mojo one too many times, she decided to settle down and stay out of superhero conflicts.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Frequently aids the heroes, especially after her Wolverine Publicity became known to the writers. Amusingly enough, she's more than once lent her six hands to the Trope Namer himself.
  • Hollywood Cyborg: Aside from being one of these herself, she has a side hobby of turning other people into them via her Body Shoppe.
  • Hot Chick with a Sword: Six times over!
  • It Amused Me: Her motivation for joining the government team Freedom Force, led by Mystique and consisting mostly of boxed crooks, was never really clear- but it seems to have been mainly "bored and had nothing better to do".
  • Kick the Dog: Shortly after arriving in our reality she rips the shawl off an elderly woman and walks on the poor woman's head while making cracks about her 'pathetic face'.
  • Mad Scientist: In the Mojoverse, she runs the Body Shoppe, where villains (including Lady Deathstrike) get cybernetic makeovers.
  • Made of Iron: Her profiles mention that the transformation Mojo put her through also gave her "hardened skin" which lets her absorb way more punishment than she should be able to take.
  • Meaningful Name: After being brainwashed by Mojo, Ricochet Rita spiraled completely down the rabbit hole of madness.
  • Morality Pet: Shatterstar serves as this to her from time to time.
  • Most Common Super Power: She has huge breasts.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: She has six arms, three of which are cybernetic replacements.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Well, more like Swordswoman Sorceress Mutate Cyborg in her particular case.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: To Longshot. Not by choice, since Mojo messed with her mind.
  • Psycho Supporter: She's Mojo's most effective minion and is totally nuts.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Noticing a theme to these tropes yet?
  • Punch-Clock Villain: She doesn't have any particular grudge against the X-Men, instead just going after them because it's her Mojo-mandated job.
  • Retcon: Neither Ann Nocenti (who created her) nor Chris Claremont (who popularized her by making her an X-Men antagonist) intended Spiral to be an evil version of Ricochet Rita. This retconned origin story was done by Fabian Nicieza in 1992, seven years after Spiral's first appearance.
  • Reforged into a Minion: She was once one of Longshot's friends, and his lover. Then Mojo drove her insane and turned her into his servant.
  • Refugee from TV Land: Like everyone from Mojoworld, she has a lot of off sayings. She doesn't kill people, she cancels them.
  • Servile Snarker: She's not afraid to snark off at Mojo.
  • Sixth Ranger: For Freedom Force. In keeping with the trope's spirit, she is by far the team's most powerful member.
  • Stable Time Loop: Ultimately, how she came into Mojo's service involved this, as one of the people who helped Rita become Spiral was Spiral herself.
  • Status Quo Is God: She hates her boss and frequently works to undermine him but always goes back to working for him again in the next Mojoworld story.
  • Tragic Villain: She never asked to get driven insane and re-purposed into a deadly enforcer for an evil cosmic entertainment mogul. But she is insane, and dangerous as hell.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: She does this from time to time to guests of the Body Shoppe and may have been a victim of it herself.
  • Vain Sorceress: Subverted; she uses magic but isn't particularly vain and has no problems at all with getting her many hands dirty.
  • Villainous Friendship: She has a pretty solid relationship with Mystique and her old Freedom Force teammates, though even they know how nuts she is.
  • Weapon of Choice: Swords. Six of them, to be precise.
  • White-Haired Pretty Girl: Not originally one, but became one after her transformation into Spiral.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In her very first appearance, where she's just one of several nameless Mojoworld Mooks who've kidnapped a woman's baby. Her distinctive appearance led to her returning two issues later as a proper villain.
  • The Woman Behind the Man: For anyone who gets a makeover in her Body Shoppe. 'Satisfied clients' include the Hellfire Club mercenaries Cole, Macon and Reese, Lady Deathstrike, and Psylocke (who admittedly wasn't wasn't nearly as satisfied as the others).

    Steven Lang 

Dr. Steven Lang

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/887834_steven_02.jpg

Debut: X-Men #96 (1975)

A government scientist and the head of Project Armageddon, a secret federal program to investigate the biology of the Marvelverse mutants and assess the potential danger they posed to America. However, Lang's results led him to conclude that the danger was not only very great, but imminent; and when the government shelved his report, he took matters into his own hands and began to prepare for war. As his work progressed, he also came into contact with Bolivar Trask's legacy and his supporters, and used what had survived of his work to re-create the Sentinels. By X-Men #98, he was ready to launch his attack on the X-Men, the nexus of mutant activity in the United States.

An early villain in the Chris Claremont run, and ultimately a rather minor one, but were it not for him, The Dark Phoenix Saga would never have happened. Killed by Jean Grey at the conclusion of his original story arc, though a version of him was later briefly brought back by Bastion as part of his schemes.


  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Pleads with Jean Grey to save him from his crashing hovercar, after having just tried to murder her and Scott (and we should note, Jean's the one who made it crash).
  • Avenging the Villain: Downplayed. While Lang's main motives are Darwinian, he also considers prior anti-mutant villain Bolivar Trask a heroic martyr he wishes to avenge.
    Dr. Lang: Bolivar Trask knew. He understood the danger. He pointed the way. He tried to stop the mutants, Michael, and they killed him for it, him and his son.
  • Back from the Dead: Via Bastion and the transmode virus.
  • Badass Bookworm: He's a quite better fighter than his background (a nondescript government scientist) would suggest.
  • Berserk Button: When Jean Grey calls him a "sad, pathetic, screwed-up little man", he loses it and slapped her. Bear in mind, her implicitly calling him a Nazi before that just got brushed off.
  • Depending on the Artist: In his original appearances, he looked quite different from the portrait given here, with wavy blond hair, icy blue eyes and harder facial features.
  • Driven to Villainy: Originally, Doctor Lang was simply a mild-mannered civil servant who tried to warn the government of the increasing danger of villainous mutants (such as, for example, Magneto). When no one would listen to him, and the threat appeared to be growing constantly with every passing year, he gradually became more extreme.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: His death at the end of Second Coming isn't even acknowledged by the characters, and can easily be missed if the reader isn't paying attention, as he and Graydon Creed are torn to shreds by the X-Men.
  • Evil Genius: Built robot versions of the original X-Men that basically authentically replicated their powers. Also, somehow himself scraped together the billions of dollars needed to fund his huge anti-mutant organization after the government shut him down.
  • Evil Gloating: Being an older villain, he naturally indulged in this the first chance he got.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Lang is a biologist, and bases his opposition to the mutants on anthropologist Bolivar Trask's work and socio-Darwinian view of the conflict between humans and mutants. That said, he doesn't perform any inhumane biological experiments, or the like.
  • The Extremist Was Right: In a Fridge Logic sort of way. Some story arcs after his untimely demise, Jean Grey, one of the mutants he was mortally afraid of, did just what he feared, killed some billions and almost destroyed the world. (A later Retcon, which might have realized the Unfortunate Implications but was done primarily for other reasons, changed that version of Jean into a sort of Evil Twin.)
  • Fantastic Racism: Aside from the usual mutant-hating stuff, there's a scene where some of his scientists are examining Wolverine. They're briefly confused by his strange metabolism, and ask just what he is. Lang just states "whatever he is, he sure isn't human." note 
  • For Science!: Averted; while Lang is a scientist, his motives are largely political.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Or from obscure government scientist to Blofeld-scale supervillain, in this case.
  • General Ripper: A borderline case, as Lang himself is a civilian, but he's running a rogue military operation and generally behaves like one of these.
  • Godwin's Law: Jean Grey calls him a Nazi when he explains his motives to her. Then again, in the Marvelverse the Nazis are opposed to mutants ...
  • Hollywood Atheist: Averted, in spite of his being a Social Darwinist, and even a biologist, of all things. While he doesn't wear his religion on his sleeve, he is shown to be a believer.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: As he explains, somewhat sheepishly, to Jean Grey when she asks why he's attacking the X-Men. It's a matter of humanity's survival that the mutants have got to go, so he's just doing his duty making sure they do. The way he explodes when she proceeds to ridicule his views possibly suggests that deep down he's really at least a little uncomfortable with the whole thing, himself.
  • Just Following Orders: Assumed to be doing this by Jean. Actually averted: He is acting quite illegally and contrary to his orders, and willingly takes on that moral burden in order to do what he believes necessary to save the human race.
  • Killed Off for Real: Courtesy of a well-passed angry Jean Grey and Cyclops making him crash his flying machine. Well, more or less. His brain got stolen and used to make a Master Mold Sentinel. Bastion brought him back a few decades later, but the X-Men kill Lang all over again at the end of Second Coming.
  • Knight Templar: Lang is quite convinced of his own rectitude, to the point where he can tell a pretty young co-ed (and crypto-mutant) to her face that she and her race have to die. It's Nothing Personal, just necessary in order for humanity to live.
  • Large Ham: When he feels he needs to announce his plans.
  • Mad Scientist: Initially he's not really mad, just somewhat grandiose and affective. The later versions play it straight, however.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: A humble government scientist who dived headfirst into the pool of radical supervillainy.
  • Motive Rant: Delivers a pretty lengthy one at the beginning of one issue.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Not Lang himself, but the operation he's running. Its codename? Project Armageddon!
  • Nature Is Not Nice: In an in-universe example, Lang points to humanity's own evolutionary history, and the extinction of the non-sapiens (sub)species, to forecast what will happen if the threat of the mutants is not contained.
  • Necessarily Evil: A product of his Darwinian worldview. In a war of species supremacy, obviously neither side will come off looking very good, but at least the victor will survive.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Played with. Lang is able to relaunch the Sentinels program precisely because the Trasks did keep detailed notes on their construction, to which the Federal Government granted him privileged access—But some of the documentation was lost when the X-Men trashed Trask's base, so he and his team had to fill in the resulting blanks with their own kludges, making the new Sentinels somewhat less formidable war machines.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Like Bolivar Trask, he's not stated as such but by simple virtue of what he does has to have mastered at least three different fields of science. See Renaissance Man below
  • Renaissance Man: Scientific expert in at least three widely separate fields (biology/genetics as well as mechatronics engineering and AI programming). Additionally, a fair pilot and fighter.
  • Replacement Goldfish: To Bolivar Trask, from a narrative standpoint. They're both omnidisciplinary scientists and well-intentioned extremists who veer From Nobody to Nightmare in record time. This is probably the reason why Lang didn't stick around for very long, and was instead replaced by a series of more distinctive anti-mutant villains.
  • Rogue Agent: Originally, Lang was commissioned by the federal government to study the potential of superhuman mutants as a strategic danger to the United States. When his study found that the danger was imminent and the government basically ignored his report, he took matters into his own hands.
  • Science Hero: The villain in his story, obviously, but otherwise he fits the classic stereotype perfectly.
  • The Social Darwinist: The racist type, but subverted. Lang believes that the mutants are a superior species to humanity, at least in the purely biological sense, and that this is precisely why the conspiring mutant supervillains are so dangerous—But he still takes humanity's side in what he considers an evolutionary struggle, standing by the "weaker" race.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": His name is officially spelled Steven Lang, but it is often misspelled both In-Universe and out as Stephen Lang.
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: Downplayed. While Lang never demonstrates any overt remorse for his persecution of the mutants and insists on his own moral rectitude throughout, his angry self-justificatory outbursts when questioned by Colonel Rossi and Jean suggest that he still has some doubts.
  • Villainous Valour: In his initial appearances, he was just a more-or-less ordinary government scientist (albeit fairly Badass by those standards), and wisely did not try to go toe-to-toe with any superheroes when he had a choice. But when the X-Men trashed his Sentinels and military security detachment, he did try to fight them himself as a last resort. It ended badly for him.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: A fairly typical X-Men example. The world-shaking antics and mutant-supremacist ideology of various superpowered evil mutants convinced him that humanity must defend itself forcefully against the mutants in order to survive.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Chillingly, Lang very rarely does anything actually "evil," at least by his own standards — As long as one remembers that non-human mutants are not part of his moral in-group.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Loses it and slaps Jean Grey when she tells him he's full of it — Possibly because her insults hit Too Close To Home.

    Sugar Man 

Sugar Man

No Name Given

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sugarman.png
Debut: Generation Next #2 (1995)

Must you scream, Nathan? I'm trying to work here.


A depraved mutant from the parallel universe known as the Age of Apocalypse, Sugar Man was one of the many camp bosses, running a gruesome concentration camp where he tormented thousands of slaves, human and mutant alike. His specialty was the study and creation of biological weaponry, and he earned his place in Apocalypse's regime by inventing horrific plagues and epidemics. In a cruel twist of fate, he is one of the few souls to survive the death of that twisted reality and escape to the mainstream universe.

He appears as a Boss in X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse.


  • Arch-Nemesis: To Nate Grey, who he's quite sensibly afraid of (because Nate is a Physical God and has frequently tried to kill him), taking a certain glee in having the upper-hand in Unfinished Business.
  • Ax-Crazy: A literal example, as he is often depicted in merchandise with An Axe to Grind.
  • Bad Boss: In the Age of Apocalypse he ran the work camps which housed thousands of humans and regularly tormented his slaves.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He looks, and often acts, quite ridiculous, but he's deceptively dangerous in a physical brawl, he's much smarter than he seems, and he's extremely hard to kill.
  • The Brute: Despite having fairly advanced scientific knowledge, his very physical mutation makes him favor shaking it up with the heroes as one of these.
  • Canon Immigrant: Sugar Man comes from the Age of Apocalypse and has no 616 counterpart.
  • Character Death:
  • Cephalothorax: Sugarman appears as a rotund torso dominated by a huge, ugly face, with four arms and a single pair of legs.
  • Combo Platter Powers: Has Super Strength; a multipurpose, needle-tipped tongue of intestinal length; More Teeth than the Osmond Family, Super Senses that allow him to smell fear and size-shifting.
  • Dirty Coward: He's more than willing to run for the hills the moment the tide looks to be turned against him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Depraved as he is, even he was surprised by the things the Dark Beast created to serve him when the two villains reunited in the 616 universe.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Let's be honest; "Sugar Man" doesn't make you think "sadistic plague-engineering cannibal mutant", now does it?
  • For the Evulz: As is generally the case for a willing servant of Apocalypse.
  • For Want of a Nail: When discussing Sugar Man with the Marvel Appendix, creator Scott Lobdell said that the reason the Sugar Man has never had a 616 counterpart is to make readers wonder what changed between the Age of Apocalypse and the regular timeline, if the mainstream Sugar Man died or never manifested or if he's in fact just an ordinary guy someone in the world with the potential to become a nightmarish, concentration camp-running mutant monster.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: While literally every other inhabitant of the Age of Apocalypse has (eventually) been linked to a counterpart in the regular 616 reality, the Sugar Man has not and no mutant has ever been seen that even remotely resembles him.
  • Hero Killer: Killed several members of Generation Next, the Age of Apocalypse analogue to Generation X.
  • Horns of Villainy: Two over his eyebrows, usually small but Depending on the Artist sometimes they can vary wildly in size.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: A very unusual example, but the Sugar Man has proved himself to be this over the years, particularly where Genosha is concerned. He allied himself with Cameron Hodge and the Genegineer in secret, and ultimately succeeded where they failed by engineering a stable Genoshan regime (well, as stable as things ever get on Genosha) that supplied him with a regular feed of mutant slaves. Later, when he joined up with Holocaust and the Dark Beast and the Shi'ar came for all of them, he was the only one of the three with the sense to play ball with the Sh'ar, resulting in a cocky (and free) Sugar Man glibly taunting his betters while they lay helpless in Shi'ar custody.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Sugar Man is in fact an Extreme Omnivore who can digest virtually anything as sustenance... but as he's fond of reminding his victims, he has his preferences in food.
  • Mad Scientist: Though not the foremost example of this trope, as he admits to Magneto when the latter comes to him for a better dose of MGH.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Retconned into being the mastermind behind Genosha's various anti-mutant tech, as he arrived twenty years in 616's past.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Has four arms, plus his prehensile tongue.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Master is definitely pushing it, but as a four-armed mutant the Sugar Man is known to carry multiple types of weapons in battle, including:
  • Multipurpose Tongue: Sugar Man uses his long razor-sharp tongue as his weapon.
  • Out-Gambitted: Magneto tricked him into providing him a 'quick and dirty' boost to his failing mutant powers, using Briar Raleigh as a go-between to make Sugar Man think he had given up his mission of being a mutant Vigilante Man. Unfortunately for Sugar Man, Magneto had done no such thing, and the moment Sugar Man had given him what he wanted Magneto pulped him.
  • Outside-Context Problem: According to his creator Scott Lobdell, Sugar Man was created specifically to be this, providing a villain for the Age of Apocalypse who wasn't just a new take on an old character. And to this very day, well over 20 years later, no 616 counterpart of him has ever appeared.
  • Plague Master: His primary contributions to Apocalypse's regime were the nightmarish biological weapons he invented.
  • Psycho for Hire: Degenerated into a Mad Scientist variant of this after he was run out of Genosha. When Magneto went to him for an extra strength dose of MGH to power him up, he even bluntly pointed this out, noting that Magneto could have gone to any one of a number of geneticists higher up on the scale than him (the answer was that Magneto wanted quick and dirty).
  • Psychopathic Man Child: The Man-Child part is indicated by his drawings, which look like childish scribbles. The psycho part goes without saying.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Implied to have sexually abused a number of his prisoners, including, chillingly, a young Illyana Rasputin.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Occasionally drawn with them.
  • The Renfield: An odd example in that he is perfectly capable of operating on his own, but the minute a stronger leader emerges he starts kissing up, particularly if that leader is Apocalypse or someone connected to him somehow.
  • Retcon: Despite being the writer who decided to bring Sugar Man over to the mainstream Marvel Universe, Sugar Man's creator Scott Lobdell never intended to make him The Man Behind the Man to the mutant-enslaving regime on Genosha. That was done by Warren Ellis and Jeph Loeb in the pages of Cable's title.
  • Sizeshifter: He is also able to control his own mass. If he loses mass, the lost mass is shunted off to some unknown location, presumably an extra-dimensional space and he shrinks in size. It's unknown how long it takes him to regain his normal size.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Often, though not always, depicted with spiked shoulderpads.
  • Staying Alive: The most complex yet useful perk of his mutation: whenever Sugar Man is killed, a smaller Sugar Man (a fourth the size of the original's body) emerges from the corpse. He survived a pipe through the head courtesy of Callisto and Omega Sentinel this way.
  • Verbal Tic: In early appearances he had a habit of running words together likethis. It was either quietly dropped or quietly forgotten.
  • Villain Team-Up: Fairly fond of teaming up with his fellow Age of Apocalypse expatriates Holocaust and the Dark Beast. He inevitably betrays them just like he betrays everyone else, but hey, it's the thought that counts.

    Vargas 

Vargas

Debut: X-Treme X-Men #1
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/vargas_2.JPG

A mysterious man searching for Irene Adler's diaries who ends up clashing with the X-Men because he believes he is fated to die at the hands of one of them.

  • Arc Villain: He is the primary villain in 2001's X-treme X-Men initial story arc.
  • Ambiguously Human: Vargas is not a mutant, but he is also not fully human either. He claims to be the natural response of human evolution against mutantkind
  • Badass Normal: His strength, speed and durability are at peak for human potential, and he manages to curbstomp Rogue and Beast in a fight.
  • BFS: His weapon of choice is a large broadsword.
  • C-List Fodder: While he might have killed a big league X-Man and was a pain in the ass to the X-Treme X-Men, when it comes to the large picture, he doesn't hold a candle to Apocalypse, Mr. Sinister, William Stryker, Cassandra Nova and many other enemies that the heroes faced, who threatened the world on regular basis. And as such he is killed off without ceremony just before Messiah Complex by the Marauders on Mr. Sinister's orders.
  • Dashing Hispanic: A very evil example, being a ruthless warrior of Hispanic background who not only holds his own against superpowered foes, but manages to overwhelm them. He has a tendency to drop Gratuitous Spanish.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: He tends to drop Spanish words a lot and in one infamous instance he uses Betsy's blood to write "pronto" (Spanish for "Done") in the wall above her corpse.
  • Master Swordsman: A pretty dangerous one. His duel with Psylocke was pretty one-sided.
  • Hero Killer: The thing he is most famous for is killing Psylocke in a duel. He also very nearly killed Rogue, Gambit and Beast in other encounters.
  • Karmic Death: The reason why Sinister had Vargas executed was his possession of Destiny's diaries, as he wanted to silence everyone who had knowledge of the future. So the very object he used to avoid his own death was indirectly responsible for it, in a way he couldn't have predicted.
  • Killed Offscreen: Whether Rogue or the Marauders killed him, either way we never see his body.
  • Screw Destiny: The reason why he is a thorn on the X-Men's side: Irene's diaries state he is fated to die at the hands of one, believed to be Rogue. And he wants to avoid that by any means necessary.
  • Transhuman: He claims to be a level of human evolution even higher than mutants, but we never find out if he's telling the truth.
  • Ultimate Life Form: He made the audacious claim that he is the next step in human evolution.
  • The Un-Reveal: During the final battle, Rogue had him pinned to the ground and ready to stab him with his own sword, but she hesitated because she didn't want to fulfill the prophecy and wanted to prove him wrong. It's unknown whether she spared or finished him off since the comic cuts way before that happens and the next panel showed her declaring that "it's over". She evidently spared him, as years later, Mr. Sinister sends his death squads to finish the job.
  • Worthy Opponent: Considered Psylocke to have been this moments before killing her.

    Vulcan 

Vulcan

Gabriel Summers

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/emperorvulcan.png
AKA: Kid Vulcan, Emperor Vulcan, Majestor
Debut: X-Men: Deadly Genesis #1 (2006)

I claim D'Ken's throne as my own! By right of blood and combat! By right of succession! I name myself Emperor Vulcan, ruler of the Shi'ar Imperium!


A prisoner of Shi'ar experiments concealed on Earth, the experience awakened him to a Omega level mutant, but also drove him mad and filled him with an urge to devastate the Shi'ar, an urge he happily set about fulfilling once he realised how powerful he was. Ironically, he ended up becoming their ruler, even falling in love with the exiled Shi'ar princess, Deathbird, herself an outcast for being a mutant.
  • 0% Approval Rating: His status as leader of the Shi'ar is this at first, since they see him as The Usurper.
    • Villain with Good Publicity: ... but after leading the Imperium to numerous victories and conquests, he achieves a dramatic shift in popular approval.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Becomes The Emperor of the Shi'ar through a Klingon Promotion.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: To Corsair.
  • Ax-Crazy: Completely and utterly insane and wildly, violently unstable. As of House of X he seems to have stabilized, though the hows and whys are currently unknown.
  • Bad Boss: As Emperor of the Shi'ar. Though it's a safe bet he never read Machiavelli, he personified the Machiavellian style of leadership.
  • Big Bad: In most of the stories he's in.
  • Big Damn Villains: Without him the Starjammers, and by extension the rest of the universe, would have been utterly screwed by the Scy'ar Tal.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: And how!
  • Cain and Abel: Mainly between him and Havok.
  • The Caligula: In War of Kings, and very deliberately so.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: In War of Kings this is his objective.
  • Determinator: Definitely something that's in the Summers blood. Wannabe The Man Behind the Man Talon even points this out in-story, remarking to a confederate that Vulcan's determination to win the War of Kings will ruin the Shi'ar Empire, and the sooner they can get rid of him and install a proper Puppet King, the better.
  • The Dragon: Very briefly to D'Ken. See Indy Ploy below.
  • Ermine Cape Effect: He was introduced wearing an X-Men uniform as he was one of Xavier's lost students, but quickly switched it out for a more regal, cape-adorned uniform after being promoted to The Evil Prince by D'Ken.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Vulcan is devastated when Deathbird winds up crippled just before the War of Kings.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even he thought that Black Bolt's plan to force the entire galaxy into becoming Inhumans was way out of line. Though seconds later, he admits his plan after killing Black Bolt is to take the T-Bomb and throw it at the Kree.
  • Evil Is Petty: When Vulcan captures Havok at the conclusion of Emperor Vulcan, he spends inordinate amounts of time tormenting the captive Starjammer from his cell, to the point of neglecting his duties as the Shi'ar majestor. Interestingly, he never actually tortures Havok physically, instead just going for a series of wannabe Hannibal Lectures that completely fail to break Alex.
  • The Evil Prince: Not born one, but becomes one after marrying into the Shi'ar royal family.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Unwittingly, during his fight with the Magus, who had already taken over Adam Warlock and was planning to summon the Many-Angled Ones.
  • Expy: He has a lot in common with DC's Superboy Prime. Also fellow X-villain Exodus, both of whom are antagonists with sympathetic backgrounds who clearly won the Superpower Lottery but suffer from Sanity Slippage for it and spend lots of time on buses due to writers having little idea of what to do with them.
  • Eye Scream: Loses an eye to a pissed-off Gladiator. It's the only injury he ever sustains that sticks.
  • Freudian Excuse: His mother was murdered and he was forced to spend his childhood as a slave.
  • Galactic Conqueror: He swallowed up a large swath of space into the Shi'ar Empire during his reign, including several territories held by other empires.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Like many mutant baddies, he has these when using his power.
  • Going Native: He initially went to space with the goal of wiping the Shi'ar Empire off the map, but falling in love with Deathbird made him pull a complete 180 and become their ruler instead. You'd think this would translate to him becoming a Bad Boss Evil Overlord, but he ends up genuinely wanting their approval and to be seen as one of them.
    Deathbird: You are Shi'ar. I can see it inside you, and the the time will come when you will show the Imperium that you were born to rule them.
  • Goo Goo Godlike: Vulcan, Cyclops's long-foreshadowed second brother was found as a baby and raised to adolescence by aliens, and has the power to absorb literally any form of matter or energy and fire it back, survive in the vacuum of space, and shut off superpowers. He was described as "beyond Omega-level", but since Omega-level already means a mutant of unlimited potential, the part about being beyond a mutant of unlimited potential is most likely a regretful mistake. Still, he's very powerful.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The chancellors and conspirators still loyal to D'Ken conspired to let Vulcan go free so that he could release Deathbird and dethrone Lilandra. The plan went a little too well.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Developed one after becoming the Shi'ar majestor. He could go from calm and calculating to screaming madman in the blink of an eye.
  • Happily Married: From all indications, his feelings for Deathbird were genuine.
  • Heel–Face Turn: He's returned in 2019's House of X and is listed in that story as being an omega level mutant affiliated with the X-Men.
  • Hero Killer: He killed Banshee, Corsair, and a lot of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard. He also killed pretty much the entire cast in a what-if tale where he gained the power of the Phoenix.
  • Indy Ploy: His plan to take the Shi'ar throne, which was a strange mixture of this and Batman Gambit. He came to the Shi'ar on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, fully intending to destroy their entire empire, but shifted his focus when he fell in love with Deathbird. Deathbird talked him into reviving the comatose D'Ken, the very Shi'ar who had killed his mother and been the architect of his misery. Vulcan considered just killing the comatose D'Ken, but decided there would be no point in revenge on a vegetable. So instead he revived D'Ken, let himself be talked into becoming D'Ken's Dragon, and patiently waited until his marriage to Deathbird to kill him, since by Shi'ar law he would then have the right to claim the throne.
  • Interspecies Romance: With Deathbird (Shi'ar mutant).
  • In the Hood: Early in his reign he is shown as using this to go King Incognito and learn what his new subjects think of him.
  • Lack of Empathy: A rare justified example. Due to being a literal Psychopathic Manchild artificially grown into adolescence before his time, Vulcan's sense of empathy is sorely stunted. The only person he shows any affection for care to is Deathbird.
  • Large Ham: Actually pretty restrained most of the time. Not so much when written by Jonathan Hickman, who has him going on in practically ultra-violet speeches all the time. Even when cooking steak.
  • Light Is Not Good: His powers often manifest as light and flames, but he is most definitely not the protagonist.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: He chose the name 'Vulcan' because as a slave the only solace he had was a book about Roman mythology.
  • Long Lost Sibling: He's the third Summers brother.
  • Luckily, My Powers Will Protect Me: Being the very definition of a Smug Super, he's always going on about his being an Omega-level mutant.
  • Long Bus Trip: After his battle with Black Bolt at the end of War of Kings. Black Bolt quickly returned to life, but Vulcan spent nearly a decade on the bus before returning in 2019's House of X.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: His hyper-aggressive leadership pushes the Inhumans to rise up against him.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: On a level comparable to the Inhuman king Black Bolt.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He appears to be in his late teens but due to his severely messed up history he has the maturity level of a ten-year old child and the temperament of a perpetually angry kid.
  • Puppet King: Talon of the Fraternity of Raptors attempts to make him one, only to find out very quickly that Vulcan can't be controlled. By anyone.
  • Random Power Ranking: Since M-Day Vulcan is a classified omega level mutant. He's not particularly shy about letting people know, either.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: On the Shi'ar. It eventually winds up with him in charge.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: In his backstory, and the main reason why he hates Professor X so fiercely. After failing to stop Krakoa, Gabriel and his dying teammates were all entombed within the island while it was launched into space. He didn't get out until M-Day.
    Vulcan: (to Professor X) Now I trap you in a rock!
  • Self-Made Orphan: For a time.
  • Slouch of Villainy: After becoming majestor of the Shi'ar he becomes prone to this.
  • Smug Super: Probably the best example of this trope in the X-Men universe. As one of the most powerful mutants alive, there's almost nobody in the universe who can stand up against him. As such, the very idea of someone actually being stronger than he is absolutely inconceivable for him to imagine and at the same time, it's what deep down, he fears the most. The look on his face when Polaris briefly overpowers him is priceless.
  • The Sociopath: Professor X labels him as one in an alternate canon story.
  • Start of Darkness: In the 'Kid Vulcan' short during Deadly Genesis it was shown that he grew to adolescence as a slave of the Shi'ar, which accounts for his sunny disposition.
  • Stronger Sibling: To Cyclops and Havok, though Havok was able to beat him once when Vulcan foolishly overcharged him by throwing him into a sun.
  • Superpower Lottery: Oh, boy. Where to begin?
    • Energy Absorption: Vulcan's an 'Omega-level energy manipulator', which effectively makes him a god. There's not a lot he can't do. His demonstrated uses of this ability include:
      • Attack Reflector: Can do this as long as he's being attacked with an energy-based attack, like the optic blasts of Cyclops.
      • Flight: Capable of this on an interstellar level, being able to fly under his own power through the vacuum of space.
      • Hand Blast: His standard method of attack.
      • Healing Factor: Black Bolt unleashes the full power of his voice, managing to flay Vulcan's skin off. And he still gets up a few minutes later.
      • Immune to Mind Control: He's not completely immune to them, but is highly resistant to both telepathic and psionic attacks.
      • Nigh-Invulnerability: Tough enough to tank attacks from Polaris and Havok at once, as well as being able to withstand blows from Gladiator.
      • Power Copying: A very strange case, and possibly an ability he was only able to tap into with the psyches of his teammates, as he never used it after Deadly Genesis. It wasn't actually copying as much as it was manipulating the powers of others, presumably through his own energy-manipulating abilities.
      • Power Nullifier: Like the above Power Copying, this was an ability he was only shown using during Deadly Genesis, and he may have lost it after Darwin's psyche separated from him.
      • Power Parasite: He can rob the energy reserves of other energy manipulators, even non-traditional ones such as Adam Warlock.
      • Psychic Surgery: Not a psychic, but he awakened the comatose D'Ken from a decades-long coma by using his energy powers to re-ignite the dead neurons in D'Ken's brain.
    • Elemental Powers: A case of All There in the Manual. Vulcan's creator, Ed Brubaker, explained an interview that he has the unrealized potential to generate and control the seven elements (fire, earth, electricity, wind, water, darkness, and light). He's only actually exhibited control over a handful of those elements, though.
    • Combo Platter Powers: As if all of the above wasn't enough, Deadly Genesis revealed that he'd psionically absorbed the powers (and psyches) of his teammates Petra, Sway, and Darwin when they died, leading to:
    • So, in short, Vulcan's a Physical God.
  • Tangled Family Tree: He's a late addition to the ever-tangled Summers family line.
  • Teens Are Monsters: A shining example of what happens when you give a teenager with a shitty childhood way too much power and then let them run wild.
  • Too Powerful to Live: The trick was finding something powerful enough to kill him.
  • Trading Bars for Stripes: When the original Imperial Guard fails to wipe out the Starjammers, he puts together a new one made up of the Shi'ar Empire's most fearsome prisoners, rationalizing that hardened criminals will have more of a killer instinct than lifelong soldiers.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: He's had only a week of training as an X-Man, compared to the decades Cyclops and Havok got, but he's probably stronger than 95% of the X-Men's rogues gallery (and even more seeing as he was capable of trading blows with some of the Marvel U's super-heavyweights like Adam Warlock and Black Bolt). This was how Polaris got the upper hand; he was definitely the more powerful of the two, but she was powerful enough to be able to hold her own and much, much more experienced with fighting people on her level or stronger, whereas he was so used to annihilating anyone who challenged him that he genuinely had no idea where to go when he didn't manage to atomize someone in one shot.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: When Moira MacTaggert first found him, he was an earnest young man who was enthusiastic about being an X-Man as well as desiring to control his powers to avoid unintentionally hurting others.
  • Villain Decay: Possibly overlapping with Sanity Slippage, as Vulcan's actions became increasingly less rational as time went on. Most vividly seen when the Guardians of the Galaxy sent Adam Warlock to negotiate with him; true, Warlock slipping aboard his ship without invitation probably wasn't the wisest thing to do, but Vulcan's response? Immediately attempt to incinerate Warlock, and when that didn't work, pick a knock-down-drag-out fight with him right there in the middle of his own flagship.
  • Villain Has a Point: As monstrous as Vulcan is, he's fully justified in hating and blaming Xavier for manipulating him and his comrades to be sent on a suicide mission and then mentally wiping the memories of others to cover up the incident. If Xavier had been more upstanding and honest, Vulcan wouldn't have turned out the way he did.
  • Warrior Prince: Once he marries into the Shi'ar royal family.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Explicitly stated. He wasn't originally so powerful; the energies Scarlet Witch released on M-Day were somehow all absorbed by him in his comatose state, leading him to experience an exponential power increase all at once. Gaining so much power so quickly definitely took its toll.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Hinted at in the main books, and explicitly stated in an alternate story where he gained the power of the Phoenix Force.
  • The Worf Effect: As mentioned above, Vulcan fought Adam Warlock at one point. He also completely dominated Warlock, using his energy-absorption powers to drain all of Warlock's magical reserves and rendering him nearly helpless. Keep in mind that Adam Warlock is a cosmic-tier hero who has thrown down with the likes of Thanos and even Galactus. More impressive given this was Adam turning into the Magus, who's even stronger and more dangerous than his good self.
  • Wreathed in Flames: Uses them for his Battle Aura.
  • Younger Than They Look: Between the Shi'ar forcibly speeding up his aging, and that long period spent being not quite dead, despite looking to be in his mid-to-late teens, he's mentally a lot younger than he should be (at one point during "Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire", he hallucinates a child version of himself who tries to work out the math).

    X-Cutioner 

X-Cutioner

Carl Denti

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/x_cutioner.png
Carl Denti, X-Cutioner I
Debut: Uncanny X-Men Annual #17 (1993)

"Villain", "hero", it's all a matter of perspective, wouldn't you say?


A Lawman Gone Bad who takes it upon himself to act as judge, jury and executioner for fugitive mutants. Not the Big Bad of the X-Cutioner's Song crossover, or even affiliated with it, despite what his handle might lead you to believe.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Invokes this in his debut appearance, as seen with his profile quote above.
  • Brought to You By The Letter "X": His name was inspired by the X-Cutioner's Song, a 1992 X-books Bat Family Crossover that featured X-Force villain Stryfe as the titular X-Cutioner (though he was never called that on-panel). Evidently creator Scott Lobdell thought it was too cool a name to waste, as he gave it to this new character a year later.
  • Cowboy Cop: When the FBI couldn't apprehend a mutant (or he thought a jail cell wasn't enough) Denti would gear up and go after them as the X-Cutioner.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In later appearances Denti became a Gambit villain, targeting the Ragin' Cajun for termination solely because Remy was able to defeat and humiliate him.
  • Fantastic Racism: Played with, as Denti himself does not hate mutants in general but recognizes how dangerous some of them are and is all too willing to work outside the law to deal with them. This naturally motivates him into becoming a Vigilante Man.
    • The second version hates all mutants, after his wife and son are killed in the crossfire of mutants fighting each other.
  • Follow the Leader: Denti is basically retread of The Punisher that targets mutants specifically, and was created when the Punisher's popularity was at an all-time high. This turns out to be true in-universe as well as out, with Denti meeting Frank and admitting to him that the Punisher was his inspiration for becoming the X-Cutioner. Ironically, Denti himself ended up serving as the inspiration for an even more deranged fellow, who has become the new X-Cutioner.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Denti eventually abandoned the X-Cutioner persona and returned to work as an FBI agent.
  • In the Hood: One of the more sensible examples in comics. Being a still-active FBI agent, Denti uses this to maintain his Secret Identity.
  • Karma Houdini: Despite (accidentally) murdering two kids he'd tricked into working for him, Denti is able to return to his old job without facing any charges.
  • Kick the Dog: Aside from his first kill, the mutant rapist Tower, Denti seems to go after mutants too weak or vulnerable to fight back. His next target after Tower is Mastermind, who was already in his literal deathbed thanks to the Legacy Virus, and after that was a wash he targeted Emma Frost, who was in a coma at the time. The main exception to this is Rogue, who had the powers she'd stolen from Carol Danvers, and he didn't initially back down when faced with both her and X-Man, who he actually gives a decent fight (it's worth noting that X-Man was exhausted from a long flight, a misunderstanding fight with Rogue, and was inexperienced with his malfunctioning powers), only teleporting out when both got their second wind.
  • Lawman Gone Bad: An FBI agent following in the footsteps of the Punisher.
  • Legacy Character: A second version of the X-Cutioner appeared in X-Men: Gold. This version is much more indiscriminate of who he kills, falling into the Would Hurt a Child category when he attacks the Jean Grey School.
  • Let No Crisis Go to Waste: The second X-Cutioner took advantage of a crisis involving the Darkhold to infiltrate the X-Mansion, plant explosives, and murder two students.
  • Military Brat: His family has a distinguished tradition of military service.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: True to his name, the X-Cutioner did not try to arrest mutants, instead just opting for summary executions.
  • No Name Given: The second X-Cutioner was never named, even though he was eventually arrested (and presumably identified) by the NYPD.
  • Never My Fault: One of Denti's main character flaws. He's always blaming the X-Men for getting in his way, reasoning that they deserve death by not stepping aside to let him commit murder.
  • '90s Anti-Hero: You don't get much more nineties than The X-Cutioner (unless your name is Adam X the X-Treme).
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The main reason why he failed as a villain and was retired. Despite his whole identity being based around the concept of killing fugitive mutants, Denti's only kill over his entire villainous career was the aforementioned Tower. Every time he tried and failed to kill a target (most of whom were invalids unable to even defend themselves!) it took a little more wind out of his sails. By the time Gambit was mopping him up in his solo series, Denti was firmly in has-been territory.
  • Put on a Bus: Owing to the character's now-goofy handle, he's been pretty much banished back to the nineties that spawned him.
  • Sanity Slippage: Denti's father was revealed to have died from it, going nuts on a battlefield and having to be put down by his own men, and Denti himself suffers from it in later appearances, blurring his already vague sense of morality in the name of getting another kill under his belt.
  • Serial Killer: Unlike Denti, the second X-Cutioner never had any affiliation with the law, and was just a nutjob who decided that all mutants needed to die after his wife and son were (accidentally) killed in a mutant conflict.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Archangel saves him from a nasty fall the first time they meet. Denti's way of saying 'thank you' is a taser to the face.
  • Vigilante Man: Rest assured, his mission of mutant execution did not come with an FBI mandate.
  • Viler New Villain: As mentioned above, the second X-Cutioner of X-Men Gold was a much more villainous character than Denti ended up being. He ended up killing 7 mutants in total, while the original X-Cutioner's body count stands at just a single mutant, and that kill was a mutant rapist who is missed by no one.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: To the point of being a non-powered case of Power Copying — Denti uses his FBI connections to piece together a small arsenal of confiscated weaponry from the various extraterrestrials the X-Men have battled over the years. Archangel aptly describes him as a "walking medley of the X-Men's greatest villains".

    Xarus 

Xarus

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/2196852_xarus_01.jpg

Debut: Death of Dracula (2010)

The youngest son of Dracula, unhappy that humanity kept pushing vampires further and further into the darkness, he devised a coup against his own father and sets his eyes on world domination, starting by converting all mutants located in San Francisco to his cause.


  • Assassin Outclassin': Shortly after staking his father, Alyssa tried to have Xarus killed by sending three Siren vampires to seduce him. He managed to overpower them just in time when things started to get intimate.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: To his father.
  • Big Bad: In Curse of the Mutants.
  • The Casanova: Xarus is introduced with his girlfriend Alyssa around his arms, has no problem getting hooking up with three Siren ladies at the same time. Like father, like son.
  • Cain and Abel: He tried to get his eldest brother Janus killed for refusing to side with him in his coup.
  • Daywalking Vampire: Xarus manages to get the support of the vampires by having invented a light-bending device that allows them to walk under the sunlight.
  • Depending on the Artist: Artists never seen to agree whether he should have blonde or brown hair.
  • The Evil Prince: Fits this trope like a glove since he wants to replace his father as the new vampire king, and get rid of any potential threats such as his brother Janus.
  • Karmic Death: He is beheaded by his resurrected father, whom he had previously staked and beheaded.
  • New Era Speech:
    For centuries — centuries — we've been told we are damned! That we must live our lives in the dark, the world's dirty secret. That we are the corrupt shadows of humanity, undeserving of our own place in the light. And you — like my father over there — have accepted that. I say, by our own might, by the force of our will, we are redeemed! Together, united, we will reintroduce vampirekind to the world. And the world will tremble.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Originally used to be romantically involved with Alyssa, but she betrayed him too many times. He then decided to take Jubilee as his consort.
  • Vampire Monarch: What he inspired to become.

    Zaladane 

Zaladane

Zala Dane (yes, really)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zaladane00.jpg
Debut: Astonishing Tales #3 (1970)

I think you'll find a full measure of respect, and not a little fear... for the woman responsible for the ultimate destruction of Magneto.

An ambitious Savage Land priestess who attempted several times to take over the region. Notable for her alliance with Sauron and for having stripped Polaris from her magnetic powers not long after the Inferno arc, to the point of being on par with Magneto in terms of mastery over magnetism. She was eventually killed by Magneto himself for claiming his own title.


  • Aborted Arc: Under Chris Claremont's original plan Zaladane was going to come Back from the Dead and join new villain group the Wild Boys (yes, named after the Duran Duran song). This group was retooled into the Upstarts after Claremont left and Zaladane remained dead, her place in the new group taken by new villain Siena Blaze instead.
  • Ambiguously Lesbian: Her interactions with Shanna in the X-Men's late 80s "Savage Land" story arc were ambiguous, to say the least. Uncanny X-Men #250, especially, which had her all but going I Have You Now, My Pretty on the captured jungle heroine. (The story was written, naturally, by Chris Claremont.)
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Towards Magneto, assuming she was in fact his daughter.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Ka-Zar and later Polaris.
  • Big Bad: Only used for this in a single issue, Uncanny X-Men #275, but in that issue she successfully supplanted Magneto himself in threat level.
  • Brought To You By The Letter "Z": As the High Evolutionary's assistant Zaladane wore an outfit featuring a prominent stylized Z, predating Lord Zedd by a handy decade or so.
  • Cain and Abel: She's the Cain, Polaris is the Abel.
  • Conflict Killer: She was a big enough threat in UXM #275 to necessitate an alliance between S.H.I.E.L.D, the Russian government, the X-Men (via Rogue) and Magneto.
  • Continuity Snarl: Is she Magneto's daughter? Is she Polaris's sister? We know Lorna definitely is Erik's kid, but nothing definite's been given about Zaladane.
  • The Dragon: To Garrok and later the High Evolutionary before striking out on her own.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: Her last costume incorporated these, presumably as a riff on her first (which featured a headdress that looked remarkably like a rooster comb).
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Introduced as the queen of the Sun People, one of the Savage Land's multiple indigenous tribes.
  • High Priest: For Garrok's cult.
  • Kick the Dog: She once kidnapped an innocent man and subjected him to a ritual that overwrote his mind and body with that of Garrok, essentially condemning the poor sucker to a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Kill It with Fire: Alongside Garrok, she attempted to have Colossus executed via burning at a stake.
  • Killed Off for Real: In Uncanny X-Men #275, courtesy of Magneto.
  • Lady Macbeth: Played this role to both Garrok and the High Evolutionary, actively egging on and encouraging their villainy (not that Garrok needed much encouraging).
  • Long Lost Sibling: Revealed/retconned into being one for Polaris.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Deconstructed during her time as the High Evolutionary's assistant, when she all but broke her back trying to manipulate the latter only for him to reveal to the heroes that he knew her true goals all along, but didn't care enough about politics to go to the trouble of stopping her. As long as Zaladane helped him preserve and restore the Savage Land's environment, the High Evolutionary didn't care at all what she did in her off time.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: In her sole What If? appearance Zaladane was able to successfully consolidate her rule over the Savage Land, only for it to become moot when a fleet of Sentinels slaughtered her and nearly every other mutant on Earth.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: She is heavily implied in her last appearance to have grown stronger than Magneto, so much so that Mags declares her Too Powerful to Live and kills her. Few heroes or villains can said to have made Magneto feel fear, but Zaladane is one of them.
  • Most Common Super Power: She’s quite busty.
  • Mouth of Sauron: Served this role to Garrok in her first few appearances.
  • Mutant: Averted, at least if we accept her word for it. Zaladane claims at one point to be a mutate, an ordinary human empowered with mutant-level abilities via technology, and while she never proves this it should be noted that the Savage Land features a heavy mutate population. Though if she is truly Polaris's sister then she was either lying and actually a mutant or she had latent mutant potential that was activated by mutate technology.
  • Near-Villain Victory: In part due to a Russian colonel's grudge against Magneto, but Zaladane came this close to having the Savage Land under her leadership declared a sovereign state by the United Nations, in exchange for her agreement to leave the rest of the world in peace. Zaladane was smart enough to realize the U.N. would probably not leave things at that, but her fledgling statecraft went no further as the good guys kicked in her door not too long after.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: At the height of her power Zaladane was powerful enough to threaten every nation on Earth with devastating earthquakes.
  • Power Parasite: Not naturally, but she used the High Evolutionary's technology to siphon Polaris's powers into herself. As a Chris Claremont plot, this event stuck for some time, with Zaladane retaining Polaris's powers right up to her death and Polaris manifesting a secondary Flying Brick mutation that lasted until the inevitable Status Quo Is God reset button.
  • Stronger Sibling: To Polaris, if she is in fact her sister.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: A debatable case with her debatable lineage, but it does bear noting that she uses magical powers very similar in nature to those of her possible half-sister the Scarlet Witch.
  • There Can Be Only One: Literally the words used by Magneto himself as he killed her: "There can be only one Master of Magnetism."
  • Took a Level in Badass: Took several levels in her final appearance, to the point where Magneto himself decided she was Too Powerful to Live.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: In their first fight Ka-Zar saved Zaladane's life by cushioning her fall when they both fell off a pterodactyl. Zaladane's way of saying thanks was to lure Ka-Zar into a cavern guarded by a demonic beast. Amusingly, this led to some Laser-Guided Karma when an out-of-control Garrok chased her right back into said cavern.
  • Vain Sorceress: Mildly vain. Zaladane's not above a good gloat, but fighting for power in the Savage Land also taught her the necessities of being a Combat Pragmatist.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In one issue she used her sorcery to control Colossus and ordered him to kill Ka-Zar's infant son out of spite.
  • Zeerust: Presumably the reason she has not been revived; like the Marauders, Zaladane's design was heavily influenced by the era she was created in and consequently she comes off as rather dated today.

    Zzxz 

Zzxz

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zzxzsym_9193.jpg

Debut: X-Men: Kingbreaker #2

Oracle: ... Some kind of symbiote, we had never encountered anything like it. D'Ken wanted it studied, but after he died, it just remained locked away. My Lord... it is a monstrosity. It feeds on people. It consumes their brains...
Emperor Vulcan: Then if it wants a fresh meal, it will do as I tell it. What else?

  • Blank White Eyes: Like its distant relations it has large white eyes.
  • Boxed Crook: One of the Shi'ar's most fearsome prisoners, until Emperor Vulcan decides to give it a job.
  • Brain Food: Like Venom, it has a taste for brains.
  • Combat Tentacles: It can project pseudopodia and tendrils to attack and restrain opponents.
  • The Dreaded: It is one of the five most dangerous entities captured by the Shi'ar Empire.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: It possesses a wide mouth full of sharp fangs.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: It took over the body of Raza Longknife during a fight with the Starjammers.
  • Rogues Gallery Transplant: The symbiotes are much more common foes of Spider-Man than the X-Men. Appropriately he's finally restrained and captured by Nova who had a lot of rogues gallery overlap with Spider-Man in the past.
  • The Symbiote: It is a member of the same species as Venom. Nova managed to capture and separate it from its host due to his experience with fighting Venom.
  • Trading Bars for Stripes: It was imprisoned by Shi'ar Emperor D'Ken, who intended to study it, but Gabriel Summers killed him and recruited Zzxz into his army.
  • Yandere: Zzxz really wanted Lilandra as its next host, but took over Raza of the Starjammers instead.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: It is a black symbiote with large white eyes, making it largely identical to its distant relative Venom.
  • A Villain Named "Z__rg": Its name is composed completely out of consonants from the end of the alphabet.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report