Well, the role of X-Force in Deadpool 2 has been… surprising, to say the least. Anyway, many people had noticed in the trailer a completely invisible member of the team, whom we can “see” as a floating parachute sitting between Domino and Zeitgeist. Now we know who that is: the Vanisher, who’s unexpectedly portrayed (for the few instants he’s visible, at least) by Brad Pitt. This was hard to foresee, especially considering that the original has a very different set of powers. This is actually the second live action portrayal of the character, since he appeared in a cameo in X-Men: The Last Stand as one of the dozens of mutants attacking Alcatraz. Also here, he’s portrayed as a simple teleporter like Nightcrawler, while he’s much more powerful than that. Also, he’s not a hero, but rather one of the first villains ever faced by the X-Men, albeit he did worked with X-Force recently, but only because he was blackmailed. Let’s see together.
Much of the Vanisher’s life is still shrouded in mystery, especially considering that his real name, Telford Porter, is likely just an alias. Apparently he was born in Massachusetts, either in Boston or in Milton, and nothing is known about his family or profession, but it’s likely he had some notions of engineering. Whatever he was doing before making his public debut, it all changed the moment he found out he was a mutant, and a pretty powerful one: for a time, it was believed he was the most powerful teleporter on Earth, not having any limitations in the distance he could cover with his jumps or in the quantity of matter he could bring along with himself. Wanting to make easy money with his talent, he started committing a series of impossible crimes, appearing inside bank vaults or within closed museums, stealing what he wanted just to disappear in thin air once again. With his fortune increasing, and getting the fame of being uncatchable, the Vanisher attracted a number of low-level thugs who wanted a share of what he had, and they became his small private army, followers ready to eat the scarps that fell from his table. Growing cocky, the Vanisher stole top-secret defense plans from the Pentagon, and blackmailed the US Government by demanding 10 million dollars to have them back, otherwise he would have sold them to the Soviet Union. The X-Men tried to stop him, but they could do very little against him, and he vanquished them. Sure that nobody would have been able to stop him, the thief along with his many (human) followers appeared right before the White House, and demanded his payment. Unfortunately for him, this time waiting for him there was also Professor X, the world’s most powerful telepath and leader of the X-Men, who, while his pupils took care of the gangsters, used his powers to induce amnesia into the Vanisher: Telford Porter forgot everything about who he was, including his own powers, and thus was easily captured by the police.
Apparently this was just a temporary measure, as soon after the Vanisher regained his memories, and his powers along with them. He used them to escape from prison, then he joined Factor Three, a mutant terrorist organization preparing World War III. This adventure, oddly enough, ended with the Vanisher and his new teammates joining the X-Men against the Mutant Master, Factor Three’s leader, who turned out to be an alien who wanted to destroy mankind. After defeating the alien, the Vanisher tried to rebuild his empire, but this time he was captured by the Sentinels, and much to his shame he was rescued by the X-Men once again. This was quite a blow for his reputation, and after this episode he was forced to lay low for a while. In all this time, he successfully reprogrammed some of the Sentinels who had been hunting for him, planning to use them to regain respect. When he he came out of hiding, he joined the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants with the intention of testing himself and his skills against the Champions, unleashing his Sentinels after them. Things didn’t go exactly as planned, as while Angel, Hercules, Iceman, Ghost Rider and Black Widow took care of the giant robots and the Brotherhood, Darkstar used her powers to trap the Vanisher in a suspended state, disrupting his powers in mid-teleportation. As a result, half of the Vanisher materialized on Earth, specifically in a town named Poughkeepsie, while the other half was in the Darkforce Dimension, the space between spaces the Vanisher unconsciously crossed while teleporting. The Vanisher remained in this suspended state for years, until Nightcrawler, who wanted to learn more about his own powers, started investigating on him, and found him in Poughkeepsie. The moment the blue X-Man touched what remained of the Vanisher, the latter’s powers were activated once again, and they both got stranded in the Darkforce Dimension. From there, helping each other, the two teleporters managed to come back to Earth, and parted ways: finally, the Vanisher was back, and he could resume what he was doing before being so rudely interrupted.
Telford Porter is a cunning and highly intelligent individual, an ambitious and greedy man who seeks to obtain as much wealth, power and fame as possible in the shortest time. As the Vanisher, he’s a remarkably powerful teleporter, able to cross intercontinental distances without the slightest effort, teleporting along with himself even other people and objects (once he threatened to “kidnap” an entire city with his powers, but whether he would have been actually able to do that is open to debate); while moving, he unconsciously crosses the Darkforce Dimension, but unlike other teleporters like Nightcrawler or Cloak, he can visit also places he cannot see or has never seen before, as he seems to be always aware of spacial conditions in the point of arrival, and thus he never materializes within a solid object. Clever and charismatic, the Vanisher is also quite lazy, and tends to let others to the dirty work for him. Despite this, he’s still a dangerous criminal, with enough power to do whatever he threats to, and enough resources to always find a way out of the direst of situations.