William Stryker

williamstrykerfilmFrom the covers of Empire, we got a glimpse at yet another character from X-Men: Days of Future Past, and not exactly a new one: William Stryker, portrayed this time by Josh Helman. In the movie, he’ll be Havok‘s and Toad‘s superior officer, and arguably a sympathizer of Bolivar Trask. We already met him as an older officer, a Major played by Danny Huston, in X-Men Origins: Wolverine: in charge of the Weapon X program, he was directly responsible of both Wolverine‘s and Deadpool‘s origins. An even older version, this time a Colonel, was the first one portrayed: in X2: X-Men United we see Brian Cox play a mutant-hating Stryker, who uses a widespread fear of mutants to revive his old program and to attack the school run by Charles Xavier, kidnapping as many mutants possible. He’ll meet his fate by the hands of Magneto and his own creature, Wolverine. Well, in the comics Stryker is not a military officer (despite his origins have been retold to include that detail), but a reverend. Let’s see together.

Very little is known about William Stryker’s past: he was born in PhoenixArizona, and pursued a military career when he was still quite young. He somehow got involved with the Weapon X program, but only as an observer from the American army. He married a woman called Marcy, and left Canada with her to be stationed on a nuclear facility as a security officer. While they were there, Marcy got pregnant, and after some months they decided to come back to Arizona to visit her parents. They had an accident in the Nevada Desert, a crash that forced Marcy’s williamstrykercomics1labor: with no help in sight, William delivered the baby himself. His son, however, was a mutant, and William, horrified by the baby’s appearance, killed him. He then hugged his wife, and snapped her neck. Distraught, he put both Marcy and the baby in the car, sit on the driver’s place, and lit a cigarette, seeing that the car was leaking gasoline. The vehicle exploded, but William was projected outside, alive. After Marcy’s and the baby’s funeral, Sgt. Stryker fell into alcoholism, and was dismissed by the Army as a result. Months later, reading an article by professor Charles Xavier, he realized his son wasn’t a monster, but a mutant: in that moment, he embraced “religion”, and started thinking that mutants were part of Satan‘s plot to destroy humanity. He also believed that, if God had allowed his son to be born a mutant, it was only for giving him a signal, a way to make him understand his true calling: to save mankind from mutants by killing them all. With this new certainty giving meaning to his life, Stryker became a preacher and a televangelist, ready to spread the truth about mutantkind.

Stryker became just as popular as he was controversial: he pronounced his speeches against mutants from his channel, blaming Satan for the presence of homo superior. Among his followers, a pseudo-militaristic and violent group formed: the Purifiers, fanatics ready for genocide. After Xavier tried to bring Stryker back to reason during a debate on television, the reverend brought his battle on a brand new level, and ordered his williamstrykercomics2Purifiers, helped by FBI agents sympathizers for him, to kidnap Xavier himself, along with two of his X-MenScott “Cyclops” Summers and Ororo “Storm” Munroe. For days, Stryker tortured Cyclops and Storm, using Xavier’s own telepathy to make him feel his pupils’ pain. When Professor X‘s mind had been weakened enough, he proceeded to brainwash him, presenting him with visions in which Stryker saved Xavier from the X-Men, who wanted to kill him. When the process was complete, Stryker finally linked Xavier to a machine that amplified his powers, ordering him to kill all mutants. Stryker’s murderous plan was foiled by an unexpected alliance of the X-Men with their arch-nemesis Magneto: while the latter blocked Xavier thanks to his telepathy-proof helmet, the heroes destroyed the machine, restoring the professor’s personality. Cornered, Stryker tried to kill Kitty Pryde live on television, but was stopped by Cyclops and the policemen, and arrested. Years later, he was freed by his lover Lady Deathstrike, and came back with an unchanged hatred for mutants, and a personal grudge with the X-Men.

William Stryker is a man driven by anger and xenophobia: he fears mutants believing them to be demons, and justifies his hatred through a Messiah complex according to which he has the divine task to annihilate mutantkind. With no powers but his own dialectic, through which he convinced many to follow his cause, Stryker possesses an arm of Nimrod, a super-advanced time-traveling Sentinel from the future, that grants him some superhuman ability such as strength, durability and energy-projection. A madman and a religious fundamentalist, Stryker is ready to lead his Purifiers to obtain the only victory able to assure humanity’s future: the total annihilation of mutants.

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29 Comments

  1. […] had an unfortunate fate: she appeared briefly in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as a prisoner of William Stryker in his Weapon X facility, freed along with the others at the end of the movie, but she ends up […]

  2. […] X-Men United in an older version, portrayed by Alan Cumming: in the movie, he was brainwashed by William Stryker into attacking the President of the United States, and he later joined the X-Men in defeating […]

  3. […] Origins: Wolverine in an original version: Reynolds portrayed him as a soldier in William Stryker‘s Weapon X Program, a swordsman with superhuman reflexes fighting for the major; then, […]

  4. […] sequence from the movie. In the scene, we see Mystique saving Havok and other mutant soldiers from William Stryker‘s “transfer” into a different base, more likely some sort of concentration camp […]

  5. […] also had a small cameo in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as one of the many young mutants prisoners of William Stryker‘s base. Now, let’s see who one of the ugliest mutants ever is in the […]

  6. […] to be considered new, even if he had a small cameo in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as one of William Stryker‘s mutant prisoners: an appearance that is evidently not considered in the new […]

  7. […] office. In X2: X-Men United she was portrayed by Katie Stuart, and she managed to flee from William Stryker‘s men attacking the school by phasing through her bed, first, and some walls, after, escaping […]

  8. […] Past trailer: Brazilian mutant Sunspot, portrayed by Adan Canto. Despite his name appeared on William Stryker‘s list of mutants in X2: X-Men United, this marks the first live action appearance of the […]

  9. […] powers to her, but she was rescued by the X-Men. In the second, she escaped X-Mansion during William Stryker‘s attack, while in the third one she gave up on her powers, willingly injecting herself with […]

  10. […] a crush on Rogue; in the second one, he was one of the few who managed to escape the school during William Stryker‘s attack, and brought Wolverine and the others to his home; in the third one, he finally […]

  11. […] had a small cameo as a student sketching in the courtyard; in X2: X-Men United he fought against William Stryker‘s men during the school’s invasion and helped some children escape; in X-Men: The Last […]

  12. […] of The Wolverine: the fan favorite Japanese mutant Silver Samurai. Despite his name appeared on William Stryker‘s computer in X2: X-Men United, the Samurai himself never had any live action appearance, […]

  13. […] by Tahyna Tozzi: in this version, she was the younger sister of Kayla Silverfox, a prisoner William Stryker used to control Kayla. She later escapes with all the other prisoners and is taken by Charles […]

  14. […] Origins: Wolverine, portrayed by Taylor Kitsch. In the movie, he is the only mutant to ever escape William Stryker‘s facility on Three Mile Island, and Wolverine tracks him down in order to convince him to […]

  15. […] and he grew up with him and accompanied him for nearly a century, before stumbling upon William Stryker and his Weapon X, a reality that forced the two brothers to an opposite choice of fields. Now, […]

  16. […] of Future Past. The character had already appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as one of William Stryker‘s prisoners (he’s the red-haired boy with a muzzle preventing him from screaming), and […]

  17. […] as innocent and armless as he looks. The character’s name appeared along with many others on William Stryker‘s computer in X2: X-Men United, and it had all the rights to be there, as in the comics […]

  18. […] origin story was pretty fast: he was experimented on in Alkali Lake by William Stryker, and as soon as the Adamantium was bonded to his skeleton he escaped and rebelled against his […]

  19. […] is an amalgam of different characters, the first being him, following the unnamed son killed by William Stryker (a recent retcon resurrected him) and Mutant 146: all three together form Jason Stryker, a […]

  20. […] by Aaron Stanford, and he’s one of the few students who manages to avoid being captured by William Stryker and his men; he follows the remaining X-Men in the rescue mission, but he ends up being seduced […]

  21. […] Mistress of Magnetism, long awaited to be seen in flesh and blood after her name appeared on William Stryker‘s list in X2: X-Men […]

  22. […] her other brother Werner rather than by her twin. The siblings’ names already appeared on William Stryker‘s computer in X2: X-Men United, but this is the first time we see (a version of) them in […]

  23. […] bite more than she can chew (quite literally, in this case). Her name already appeared in William Stryker‘s list in X2: X-Men United, but this is her first live action appearance…right in the […]

  24. […] and that he’ll hail from Kentucky. His name appeared along with the one of many others on Stryker‘s computer in X2: X-Men United, but this is his first proper live action appearance. […]

  25. […] New Mutants, we meet another one of the main characters, and also this one’s name appeared on Stryker‘s list in X2: X-Men United: Magik, portrayed by Anya Taylor-Joy. In the movie, she’s […]

  26. […] Danielle Moonstar, portrayed by Blu Hunt. As well as all the others, her name already appeared on Stryker‘s list in X2: X-Men United, but this is her first live action appearance. Another one of the […]

  27. […] her first live action appearance, albeit just as nearly everybody else her name already appeared on Stryker‘s list of mutants in X2: X-Men United. Let’s meet her, together as […]

  28. […] X2: X-Men United portrayed by Kelly Hu, a mutant with the same powers of Wolverine brainwashed by Stryker to be his bodyguard. She’s apparently killed by Wolverine in their fight, but the […]

  29. […] being quite a villain in the mutant mythology, and having his named dropped in X2: X-Men United on Stryker‘s computer. Now, let’s meet the original one. Spoilers alert: no dreadlocks and no […]


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