Dominikos Ioannis Petrakis (Avalanche)

avalanchefilmI didn’t forget about you, casualgamer, I just had my hands full with a lot of other things. Now, let’s continue with your list, and let’s see one of the far too many characters who had a small, unrecognizable cameo in X-Men: The Last Stand. When Magneto gives his inspiring speech to his numerous Brotherhood of Mutants, there’s a guy with long raven hair besides him: according to the commentary, that’s Avalanche, portrayed by an unknown actor. We don’t see much else of him in the movie: he participates to the Battle of Alcatraz, but his destiny after it remains unknown (we don’t even get to see him use his powers). That’s quite a pity for one of the oldest recurring adversaries of the X-Men…but with the continuity reboot, there’s a good chance to see him portrayed in a more dignifying way. As for now, let’s see together who Avalanche is in the comics.

Not much is known about Dominikos Petrakis‘ early life. He was born in Greece, on the island of Crete, where he met Helen, the woman who would have become his wife. Dominikos had a secret, which he kept hidden from everyone except his wife: he was a mutant, born with the powerful and freightening ability of creating seismic waves with his hands. All around the world, mutants were hunted down by humans, persecuted, sometimes even incarcerated and killed just because of their nature: fearing the ignorance and the hatred of humans, Dominikos hid himself. In Crete, however, everybody knew him, and fearing that somebody might learn of his true nature, Dominikos took his wife and emigrated to the United States of America, in search especially of anonimity among the crowd. Violence against mutants, however, was even stronger in the States than in Greece, and Dominikos grew constantly weary of it, until he couldn’t ignore it anymore. As if it was an answer to his newfound commitment, Dominikos was contacted by the mutant terrorist Mystique: she was recruiting other mutants to reform the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, a new team aimed to replace the original one after Magneto disbanded it. Mystique convinced Dominikos that the Brotherhood’s only aim was to protect mutants from humans, even if it meant to be the first ones to attack…not that this was much of a problem for him. With the name “Avalanche” and an armor, Dominikos joined Mystique, Rogue, Blob, Destiny avalanchecomics1and Pyro in the fifth incarnation of the Brotherhood, ready to use his powers out of the shadows to defend his fellow mutants. During their first mission, the new Brotherhood targeted Senator Robert Kelly, an anti-mutant activist who promoted a law for the registration of mutants. In this occasion, Avalanche learnt that there were also mutants who fought their kin, even to defend scum like Kelly: the X-Men believed in peaceful cohabitation with humans, and battled the Brotherhood to save the Senator’s life. The first mission with his new team resulted in a failure, but despite this Avalanche chose to remain loyal to Mystique and to the Brotherhood, keeping to fight the good fight.

Following the defeat at the ends of the X-Men, the Brotherhood also confronted the Avengers, in a battle that costed the heroic Ms. Marvel her powers in a fight against Rogue. The Brotherhood’s idealism was something Avalanche could be comfortable with, but he also needed money, and being constantly beaten by heroes without any reward became quite tiring: after the Brotherhood was defeated by the Avengers, Dominikos left the team for a short period of time, and he travelled to California, where he blackmailed the entire State. He would have used his powers to cause a massive earthquake after the other, until he sank the entire area, if he wasn’t paid an enormous sum of money. Unfortunately for Avalanche, in that time The Hulk was living nearby, and he didn’t like him at all: the mutant terrorist tried to fight the Green Goliath, but the latter effortlessly broke both his arms, thus nullifying his threat and forcing him to come back home with his tail between his legs. It took a while to Avalanche to recover, but after his convalescence a surprise was waiting for him: Mystique had turned the entire Brotherhood in to the US Government, offering their services as a repayment for their crimes. avalanchecomics2The Government surely needed such a strikeforce, but to test the mutants’ loyalty, their first assignment was to capture the former Brotherhood’s leader, Magneto, something that the team, now calling themselves Freedom Force, did after a battle with the X-Men. With Magneto on trial, Freedom Force was later sent to capture the Avengers, framed by Quicksilver for a crime they didn’t commit; surprisingly enough, Avalanche and his teammates managed to subdue Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but when Spider-Woman, a former Avenger now member of Freedom Force, found out that her friends were innocent, she freed them all and then quit the team. Avalanche enjoyed his time with Freedom Force, finally seeing his efforts bringing to something concrete, and overall they were also well paid. During a disastrous mission in Iraq, however, Avalanche was forced to abandon his teammates Blob and Pyro during a battle with Iraqi superteam Desert Sword; after that, Freedom Force disbanded. Not wanting to come back to his old ways, Avalanche became an independent mercenary, who accepted any job offered to him, as long as it fit to his principles…and of course, as long as it was well paid.

Dominikos Petrakis (anglicized Dominic Petros) is an idealist yet pragmatic man, who firmly believes in the necessity of defending mutant rights with any means possible, but who also aims to a retribution for his work. This ambiguous attitude brought him from one side to the other of the law, making him part of both villainous groups such as the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and heroic ones such as Freedom Force or X-Corp. As Avalanche, he possesses the mutant power of generating powerful seismic vibrations from his hands: the seismic waves he creates can destroy inorganic matter (while they have little effect on organic matter) and, if directed to the ground, they create effects similar to a strong earthquake. Powerful and characterised by a not-so-solid morality, Avalanche is either a dangerous foe or a precious ally, depending on where his priority interest lays at the moment.



  1. […] Dominikos Ioannis Petrakis (Avalanche) […]

  2. […] mutants she had already recruited: the precog Destiny, the immovable Blob and the destructive Avalanche (the last one soon became his best friend). Mystique helped him develop his power, so that he […]

  3. […] a better future. In the movie, we learn that the genetic material used to give birth to Rictor is Dominic Petros, another well-known name in the Marvel Universe…and the evil clone X-24 realizes what this […]

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