Arkady Gregorivich Rossovich (Omega Red)

The Icebox prison in Deadpool 2 was definitely full of mutants, and it’s no surprise that many of them turned out to be cameos from the comics… but this one is definitely one we didn’t see coming: Omega Red, one of the most popular and notorious among Wolverine‘s enemies. The Russian super-soldier was supposed to appear in X-Men: The Last Stand portrayed by kick-boxer Vince Murdocco, but the character was later cut from the script. In Deadpool 2 he only appeared as a background character, portrayed by Dakoda Shapley, but since one of the scenes of the new uncut version is titled Chess with Omega Red, we can expect to see more of him. Waiting to see what the new version of the film will bring to us (and who are the other mutants revealed to be in the prison by makeup artist Bill Corso (I have a couple of ideas for at least three of them, but let’s wait for the official confirmation), let’s meet together one of the baddest and toughest mutants ever.

Arkady Gregorivich Rossovich was born in the Soviet Union, an albino who became an agent of Spetnaz somewhere in the 1960s. Arkady, however, was also a serial killer, with the disturbing hobby of raping and killing young girls whenever the occasion presented itself. He couldn’t go on forever without being caught, and he eventually got arrested by Sean Cassidy, an agent of Interpol, who turned him over to the KGB. Back in Russia, Arkady was trialed and sentenced to death… but at the moment of the execution, his X-Gene activated, and he escaped death by releasing lethal spores. KGB saw in this a sign of destiny, and forcefully recruited Rossovich in their own version of the Super Soldier Project, a program aimed to create the Soviet counterpart to Captain America. For years, Arkady Rossovich was kept in a secret lab, tortured and experimented on, provided with cybernetic implants and also with an experimental alloy created by Russian scientist, named Carbonadium, an attempt to recreate the Adamantium that the Canadian Department H had used on their Weapon X. Carbonadium was only slightly less durable than Adamantium, but it was also much more malleable, a characteristic that allowed the scientists to create a couple of retractable whips to be equipped to Rossovich’s armor… unfortunately, the alloy was also radioactive, and it poisoned its user. Arkady’s powers, however, could come in handy, as they allowed him to siphon other people’s life force to replenish his own, healing from potentially lethal wounds and even from the radiation poisoning he was continuously exposed to. There was a way to stabilize his condition, though: the Carbonadium Synthesizer, the same device that had forged his tentacles… and that had been stolen by Team X, during their attempt to save double agent Janice Hollenbeck. At the end of the process, the criminal Arkady Rossovich had been transformed into the Soviet super-soldier Omega Red, and his first mission was simple: to retrieve the Synthesizer from the three agents who had stolen it, Wolverine, Maverick and Sabretooth.

The mission didn’t exactly turned out as planned, as the three mutant super-agents were seasoned and experienced enough to match Omega Red, and eventually hid the Synthesizer where he would have never found it. The test in itself, however, was a success, so Omega was deployed by the KGB as an operative. In Berlin, Omega fought another Canadian super-spy, John Wraith, and nearly killed him. Then, the USSR sent him against some Interpol agents who were interfering with the intelligence’s work, and he killed one of them, Magrite Deveraux. Doing this, however, made Omega Red become the target of Deveraux’s partner, Sean Cassidy (the same one who had arrested him years before), and of Erik Lensherr. Being all three of them mutants, the battle that followed was unlike anything the KGB could have possibly foreseen, and Omega Red released such an amount of deadly spores that he killed dozens of civilian bystanders. He was eventually shot and subdued by Cassidy, and later returned to the USSR authorities, who played coy about their involvement with what they pretended to be a rogue agent. Deemed too dangerous and unpredictable, Omega Red was put in suspended animation for the time being, hibernated until the scientists found a way to effectively control him. This took longer than expected, and actually never came to fruition. The Soviet Union fell, and the secret lab Omega Red was kept in was abandoned and eventually forgotten. The super-soldier was found by The Hand, the ninja cult at the time led by Matsu’o Tsurayaba. The Hand reanimated Omega Red, and recruited him as a new assassin for their cult: their interest aligned as they both shared a grudge against Wolverine, who was now a member of the X-Men. Omega Red did join the Hand to get a chance at slicing the throat of his old enemy and learn the location of the lost Carbonadium Synthesizer, but his loyalty to the group wasn’t greater than his one to the fallen Soviet Union, something that the Hand would have soon learnt the hard way…

Arkady Rossovich is a brutal and sadistic man, a predator born with a taste for killing, who has no loyalty but to himself (certainly not to some scientists and spies who took a serial killer, empowered him and then pretended he was a soldier). As Omega Red, his mutant powers, renamed Death Factor, allow him to create and release lethal pheromones and spores capable of killing anyone in the immediate vicinity, spores that he’s forced to expel or otherwise they’ll consume his own body; he’s superhumanly strong, agile, durable and fast, and he’s a superb hand-to-hand combatant; his Death Factor summed to his nearly indestructible Carbonadium tentacles allow him to siphon the energy of other living beings, using it to heal himself even from lethal damage, with his constant self-poisoning forcing him to a vampiric existence. A super-assassin designed to kill in the most effective way possible, Omega Red is a masterpiece of the Cold War, the perfect death-bringer who’s extremely professional in his task… unfortunately, he enjoys it a little bit too much for being anywhere near controllable.

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Aliya Dayspring (Jenskot)

Quite a packed weekend, with two heads-ups and a request. Let’s start with the first: thanks to Rep Rep for the warning, as the unnamed wife of Cable in Deadpool 2 has finally been named, and she’s now credited as Aliya Summers. This identifies her as one of Cable’s wives in the comics, but not the biological mother of Hope as she’s portrayed in the movie: Aliya Dayspring. Hayley Sales portrays her in a brief flashback (flashforward?) as, in the future, she’s killed by Firefist along with her daughter, thus prompting her husband to go back in time to try and kill the culprit before he becomes a powerful mutant criminal. In the comics, she’s indeed Cable’s wife, but her story is a lot different. Let’s see together.

Aliya Dayspring was born on Earth-4935, a possible dystopian future 2000 years from the present, where the mutant Apocalypse had conquered the world and ruled over it with an iron fist. Aliya grew up with her sister Hope in what remained of North America. The two mutants survived thanks to Madame Sanctity, a powerful telepath who was also the leader of the Clan Askani, a group worshiping the ancient X-Men who was waiting for a mutant messiah who would have freed them, the Askani’son. Aliya was close enough to Sanctity to realize she was always on the brink of insanity, but she chose to follow her as she represented the one hope to oppose Apocalypse’s regime. Eventually, the tyrant did fall, but the power vacuum encouraged the formation of other violent groups, one of which, the New Canaanites, took power; the Clan Askani reformed into the Askani Sisterhood, a women-only group that continued the ancient fight for freedom. Finally, one day, Madame Sanctity sensed the arrival of the Askani’son, and sent Aliya to save him and recruit him. Skeptical, Aliya moved, but she did find a young man who was being hunted by Daegon, the master of the insectoid race known as Loci. Aliya killed Daegon and saved the man, who was called Nathan, and brought him to Sanctity, who recognized him as the messiah they were waiting for and admitted him in the Sisterhood, despite the fact he was a man. Nathan’s arrival attracted also the attention of the New Canaanites, who attacked led by their leader, Stryfe. During the fight, Sanctity was apparently killed, and the group shattered. Nathan, though, lost control of the Techno-Organic Virus that was consuming him and unleashed all his powers against the attackers, thus saving Aliya and some of the other Askani. The survivors swore to oppose the New Canaanites and to bring peace to the war-torn world, and formed the Clan Chosen, with Nathan at its lead as the prophesied messiah.

The war between the Clan Chosen and the New Canaanites went on for years, a time period during which Aliya trained Nathan until he was more skilled and powerful even than herself, and during which the two of them grew close. One night, Stryfe infiltrated the Clan Chosen’s camp to steal a glowing flask (the A.I. Prosh) from Nathan, and following that episode the Clan’s leader grew sick. In order to save the man she had learnt to love, Aliya didn’t hesitate to travel back to the past, where she enlisted the help of the mutant Cable, who seemed to know her (unbeknownst to Aliya, Cable was actually and older, time-displaced version of her Nathan). Cable healed Nathan by retrieving the flask, and then came back to his time, living his younger self and the woman he once loved to their destiny. As soon as Nathan came back to his senses, the two warriors decided not to hide their mutual feelings, and finally got married with the Askani ceremony. As the Askani’son’s bride, Aliya Dayspring changed name into Janeskot, a homage to two of the legendary first X-Men, Jean and Scott (who, incidentally, were also the biological parents of Nathan). Janeskot and the Askani’son lived together a happy marriage, as happy as the constant war allowed it to be, until Stryfe decided he had something to say about it. During a battle, Janeskot was taken prisoner, and it’s possible she was raped by Stryfe during the imprisonment. She was eventually saved by Nathan and came back home, where she realized she was pregnant: if  she was expecting Nathan’s or Stryfe’s son, it’s still unknown. She gave birth to Tyler, a beautiful boy who embodied all his parents’ hopes for a better future. These hopes, unfortunately, would have grown without Aliya: in the following years, Janeskot and Nathan raised their son as one of the Clan Chosen, but once again Stryfe interfered, and launched a massive bombing on the camp. During the attack, Jenskot was severely wounded, and died in her husband’s arms, recommending him to take good care of her son… who had just been abducted by the enemy. Future had never been so bleak for the Askani’son…

Aliya Dayspring is a strong and combative woman, a freedom fighter who sacrificed everything to help her world see a new dawn of peace, that’s been missing for far too long. As Jenskot, she’s a mutant who masters telepathy and telekinesis, albeit weaker than her husband’s, and she’s also a proficient warrior, a skilled hand-to-hand combatant who’s trained also in the use of several firearms. Hardened by the life in a post-apocalyptic future, Jenskot never abandoned hope, the one thing she has to treasure in a life deprived of everything else; it’s for hope, and hope alone, that she keeps on fighting, and she’ll never stop to.

Bernard Hoyster (Sluggo)

New details on the recently released Deadpool 2 are emerging, and we learnt the identity of one more character, who appeared just as a background thug in the Icebox and the convoy sequences, but who was meant to have a bigger role originally: Sluggo, portrayed by Robert Maillet. Sluggo was meant to be a lackey of Black Tom Cassidy, helping him in leading Firefist down a dark path, but just as his boss, his role was cut down almost entirely, and he was replaced with the Juggernaut. We still see him as a prisoner hanging around, but all his lines were cut. It would have been quite curious to see him as a villain, especially considering that in the comics he and Deadpool are allies and friends. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about Bernard Hoyster‘s early life, apart from the fact that he was most likely born in Canada. He was a mutant, and when he came of age he developed some interesting powers: he was impervious to any kind of damage, practically invulnerable. Seeing an occasion for profit in this, he became a mercenary, selling himself and his skills to the highest bidder. He became known as Sluggo, and made quite a fame for himself for being quite formidable… exactly the kind of guy that the shady Department K was looking for to join the new incarnation of the infamous Weapon X team. He was hired along with three other mercenaries: Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool, the cyborg Garrison Kane, and wealthy Gregory Terraerton, aka the monstrous Slayback. The team worked together for quite a while, and proved to be very effective, but the relationships within it weren’t exactly idyllic. Slayback, in particular, proved to be a total psycho, who enjoyed slaughtering innocents and civilians, a problem Deadpool solved by blowing him up. This action, however, resulted into the dissolution of Weapon X, and Sluggo found himself unemployed. He traveled for a while, until he was contacted by the mysterious Tyler “Tolliver” Dayspring, a millionaire who apparently came out of nowhere (and he did, in a way, as he was a time traveler born in an alternate future ruled by Apocalypse) and who was hiring a number of mercenaries. Sluggo was among the lucky ones to become his employees.

Sluggo worked with a number of mercenaries, and he became friends with one in particular, shapeshifter Copycat… without knowing that she was actually Vanessa Carlysle, Deadpool’s ex lover. Through Copycat, Sluggo met Tina Valentino, a friend of hers who became his girlfriend for a while. The two of them broke up the moment Sluggo left Tolliver’s service, and it was no coincidence that this happened when Tolliver hired Deadpool and Kane: simply, Sluggo didn’t trust his former allies, and didn’t want his Weapon X experience to repeat (especially considering that Slayback turned out to be pretty alive and well, and an employee of Tolliver in turn). Then, Tolliver was apparently killed by Cable, and a secret message to all his mercenaries was made public: in this “will”, he challenged them to find a treasure he had hidden for them, a prize that would have been claimed by the last man standing. Obviously, the perspective was alluring, and Sluggo came back in the game, first managing to track down Copycat in Norwell, near Boston, Massachusetts. The reason Sluggo found her so quickly was simple: Copycat was hiding in Tina’s house, and from the intel he had collected she was also using her powers to pose as her friend’s twin. Also Deadpool, however, had found his former lover, and as the two were arguing, the woman came out her house. Believing her to be Copycat, Sluggo shot… only, it was Tina the one he killed. This action attracted a lot of attention, and soon the two mercenaries were shot from behind by Domino, who participated to the hunt as well. Shot in the head, it took a while to Sluggo to wake up, but as soon as he resumed the hunt, he fell into Copycat’s trap, and ended up arrested. He lost the end of Tolliver’s hunt because of this, but he would have returned soon enough to settle scores…

Bernard Hoyster is the definition of a professional, a man loyal to his friends and allies, until the situation changes and his interest lays elsewhere. As Sluggo, he’s virtually invulnerable, with an impenetrable skills very little weapons can pierce and an extremely durable bone and muscle structure; he’s also a skilled and trained warrior, proficient in hand-to-hand combat and in the use of a number of weapons, especially firearms (the bigger the better). A man of purpose, Sluggo always delivers his contract, and he’s friendly and likable enough to even make friends while doing it… not that he’ll have any regards for them when the winds inevitably change, of course.

Irene Merryweather

Whoa, you’ve been quick this time. Credits to Maya and Czez for the heads-up. There’s still one character from the comics appearing in Deadpool 2: covering Firefist‘s outburst at the Essex House for Mutant Rehabilitation, and the following intervention of the X-Men, there’s a news anchorwoman named Irene Merryweather, portrayed by Andréa Vawda. Although she only appears in this sequence in the movie, she has quite a long run with the movie’s protagonists in the comics; plus, she’s not originally a tv reporter, but rather she works for a newspaper fundamental in the mythology of yet another character, Spider-Man. Let’s see together.

Born and raised in New York City, Irene Merryweather studied journalism following the dream of becoming a great reporter for the Daily Bugle, just like Ben Urich. Dreams clashed with reality, though, and she found herself working for a definitely inferior paper, the tabloid Inquiring Eye. The kind of articles she could write for the Eye were exactly what she expected, and mostly involved conspiracy theories of various kinds, but one happened to be an actual story: her boss asked her to investigate an alleged secret society called the Hellfire Club, and so she did, not knowing that this time the lead was as real as it could get. The White Bishop of this Hellfire Club was so worried that Irene could actually uncover something serious that he sent some of his mercenaries to silence her. As she came back to her office, Irene found all her coworkers dead, killed by the Hellfire soldiers, and she was their next target. She was however saved at the last moment by Cable, a mutant who claimed to come from the future. Wanting someone to tell the story of his life in the eventuality that he got killed, Cable chose Irene as his chronicler, a task she gladly accepted, especially considering that she was now unemployed. Following Cable she had the chance to discover a lot of things about the Hellfire Club, and to witness incredible adventures, that she promptly wrote down. Not everything was sunshine and roses, as once, as Cable deemed the mission up ahead too dangerous, she was left in Switzerland all alone, forced to find a way back to the United States on her own. She met some of Cable’s associates, like G. W. Bridge, Domino, Madeline Pryor and Blaquesmith, and she discovered some hot stories, such as the one revolving around a black ops led by S.H.I.E.L.D. in Hell’s Kitchen. The latter in particular was the one article that won her the prize she always wanted: a place among the investigative reporters of the Daily Bugle.

She knew she was on the right path about the Hellfire Club when the Black King himself, Sebastian Shaw, offered her a position within the Club in exchange of her silence, something that she refused, knowing that she could count on her friend’s protection. Then, Cable started to call himself Soldier X, and disappeared for a while. Not hearing from her friend for a while, Irene got worried, but she eventually received a letter from him, including his diaries, so that she can write them down and continue the chronicles of his life and adventures. Cable eventually returned, but Irene realized that something was amiss with him: he secretly used a virus to turn everybody on Earth pink, only to restore them back to normal and be acclaimed as a hero. Irene interviewed him, and she realized that his powers were probably making him go nuts. She became so worried that she even brought a gun to work in order to protect herself from him, in the chance he went totally crazy, but she was caught by her boss, J. Jonah Jameson, who fired her for bringing a firearm to the office. Without a job, Irene accepted Cable’s offer, especially considering that he owed her, and she moved to Providence, the island Cable had turned into an utopia. She became Cable’s right hand woman, and she basically ruled the place whenever he was out on mission. She even befriended his newest associate, Deadpool, a crazy mercenary who even developed a crush on her (she always rejected him, as she rightfully considered him a total idiot). As Cable learnt of the birth of the true Mutant Messiah, the Marauders attacked the island, and destroyed it with the alien weapon Hecatomb, killing many citizens in the process. Cable apparently sacrificed himself self-destructing the island, and Irene was nearly killed by Sabretooth, but she was saved by Deadpool at the last moment, and brought to safety before the explosion. Without her time traveler to write about, Irene came back to New York, where she got her job at the Bugle back… unfortunately, she just couldn’t get rid of Deadpool.

Irene Merryweather is a determined and clever woman, a brave reporter who is perfectly capable of dealing even with extremely dangerous people. A skilled investigator and a gifted administrator, she doesn’t originally possessed any superhuman power, but after Alecto manipulated her mind while helping her against Blaquesmith, she became immune to any form of telepathy. Able and willing to dig into the dirt of several secret societies, terrorists and criminals, Irene Merryweather joined forces with people just as dangerous and deranged as the ones she’s hunting down, to the point that she’s now forced to be equally careful of her friends as she is of her enemies…

Hope Summers

We knew she would have been there in some capacity after the very first image of Cable, with that teddy bear hanging from his belt, and in fact the last character who appeared in Deadpool 2 is Hope Summers! The daughter of Cable is portrayed by Islie Hirvonen, and she looks like a perfectly normal girl her age. In the comics, on the opposite, she’s a pivotal character and quite a powerful one, and she’s either referred to as the Mutant Messiah or as the Harbinger of Death. Her story is quite complicated, as it involves a lot of time travel, but we’ll try to sort it out. Small tip: no, in the comics she’s not Cable’s daughter… not biological, at least.

After she went mad for grief and traumas, Scarlet Witch originated a cataclysmic event known as Decimation, spelling three words, “No more mutants“, and turning all mutants on the planet into regular humans, with the sole exception of little less than 200 individuals. No mutants were born from that point on, and the entire race seemed to be doomed to extinction… until the baby who would have been named Hope was born. She was the daughter of a fireman, Captain Louise Spalding, and the moment she was born in Cooperstown, Alaska, the mutant detector Cerebro exploded. As a toddler, she became the most hunted girl in the world: from a side, the future Sentinel Nimrod sent after her the Purifiers, who wanted to kill her; on the other, the remaining mutants wanted to protect her. There was one mutant, however, who sided with the Purifiers: Bishop, who believed that Hope would have grown into a mass-murdering abomination that would have created the dystopic reality he was from. As the Purifiers destroyed Cooperstown and killed everyone in it, the baby girl was saved by Cable, who on the opposite believed her to be the messiah who would have saved mutants and humans alike. Cable lost her to the Marauders, who brought the baby to their leader Mr. Sinister… who was actually Mystique in disguise. Her putative daughter Rogue was in a coma because of Strain 88 virus, and Mystique had her touched by the baby. Gambit, horrified since he believed she had killed her, took the infant away from Mystique, but watched in shock as not only the little one was fine, but she had also cured Rogue, who woke up. It was there that the trio was reached by X-Men and Predator X, and a huge battle between them and the Marauders over the girl started. As the battle was escalating, Cyclops called it off, and decided that the girl would have been safer with his son from the future, Cable. Everyone agreed, and Cable took her back to his time, hiding her in the haven of New Liberty… while Bishop secretly tracked and followed them, wanting to kill the girl in the future.

Cable raised the baby along with his new wife, Hope, and she grew up in a safe environment, at least until a group of humanoid insects attacked New Liberty. Cable saved his adoptive daughter, but he failed to save his wife, who died in his arms. It was in this moment that he decided to call the girl Hope Summers, in honor of her late adoptive mother. Bishop in the meanwhile was advancing, and he destroyed entire continents to limit Cable’s movements. Another war erupted when Bishop allied himself with Stryfe, and X-Force intervened to help them. Hope bonded with X-23 and Elixir, and when Cable was forced to travel in time once again, she escaped from him during the jump, becoming stranded in time, with two years separating her from her adoptive father. She survived for two years thanks to Emil Spence, a descendant of Stryfetroopers, a boy she fell in love with. When she rejoined with Cable, he took her away on one of the few remaining space ships, the Ensabahnur I, and Hope had to say goodbye to the one she loved… well, not exactly, as Emil, who believed that Cable had kidnapped Hope, joined forces with Bishop, whom he believed to be Hope’s true father. They reached the ship, but during the battle the Brood, attracted to Hope’s power, attacked both factions. Emil sacrificed his life to save Hope and Cable, and the two managed to escape in cryo-chambers, while the others seemingly died in a nuclear explosion. After this many escapes, Hope decided she was ready to come back home, in the past, and join the X-Men. The only functioning time machine was now Bishop’s one, as Cable’s had been damaged, so Cable tracked down a dying Acanti Bishop had used to survive the explosion. As he activated the time machine, Bishop awoke and shot Hope in the head… but the girl’s mutant powers manifested themselves, and she borrowed Cable’s telekinesis to stop the bullet in mid-air. The travel was pretty jumpy, with Bishop always in close trails, but eventually Cable managed to send him to 6700 AD. Finally, back to the present, Hope and Cable took a car and drove to the X-Mansion, ready to start a new life and bring hope to a dying race. There was still someone eager to hunt for her even in the present, though…

Hope Summers has been on the run since her birth, chased and hunted down for reasons she didn’t understand; molded into a true survivor, she’s however more compassionate and good-hearted than her putative father Cable, and she never lost her humanity despite the trials she had to endure. She’s an Omega Level Mutant, with the ability to mimicry the powers of any mutant close to her, and to use them at their maximum capacity, even more than one per time; she’s also the only one able to stabilize the powers and personalities of the new mutants (six, this far) born after her and Decimation. Troubled and pressured for all the expectations revolving around her, and grown without knowing anything close to peace, Hope is working hard to be the beacon of a new era, and thus to live up to her name…

Thomas Samuel Eamon Cassidy (Black Tom)

Deadpool 2 has been out for some days now, so we can see together the two remaining characters appearing (as usual, if I miss somebody, just let me know). As Deadpool and Russell end up in a prison for mutants named the Icebox, they immediately become the plaything of the toughest bastard around, a tattooed goon going by the name Black Tom Cassidy. Portrayed by Jack Kesy, Tom never has the chance to show his powers, as he’s always wearing a power-dampening collar, and is pretty much of a living spoiler, as his presence alone is enough to reveal who’s the big guy in the maximum security cell. This is the first appearance of Black Tom, despite him 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 tattoos.

Thomas Samuel Eamon Cassidy was born in Dublin, Ireland, the pupil of the well-respected and wealthy Cassidy family. In his youth he wasn’t exactly the perfect image of the educated nobleman, cultivating friends with disreputable people like Cain Marko (a friendship that would have proved useful in the future) and soon becoming the black sheep of the family. In particularly he had a fierce rivalry with his cousin, Sean Cassidy, who on the opposite of him was simply the perfect gentleman. Their enmity escalated when, playing a game of dice, Thomas managed to lose both his family mansion Cassidy Keep and his fortune to his cousin, but it intensified even more when they both fell in love with the same woman, Maeve Rourke. The two cousins courted Maeve, with Tom trying to boycott Sean, but eventually it was Sean the one to be chosen, and married, by the woman. This marriage, apparently, did put an end to the two’s rivalry, as Tom was ready to accept Maeve’s decision. With time, Sean trusted Tom enough to entrust his beloved wife to him every time he was away for work, and working for the Interpol that happened quite a lot. One absence in particular proved to be pretty long, as in that time Maeve found out she was pregnant and carried the baby for the whole nine months, without telling anything to Sean who was unreachable at the time: it was Tom the one who took care of her during pregnancy, and who helped her giving birth to Theresa. One tragic day, Maeve got killed during an IRA attack, and Tom, who didn’t know how to contact his cousin, took Theresa with himself, waiting for Sean’s return. His cousin did return, but he wasn’t exactly in the right mood to hear Tom’s news about his own daughter: shocked by his wife’s death, Sean blamed Tom for everything, saying that he should have protected her. As Tom tried to speak to him, Sean attacked him with his sonic scream, revealing to be a mutant: the attack broke one of Tom’s legs, leaving him with a limp for life. As Sean angrily left him and Ireland, Thomas swore that he would have made his cousin pay.

Also Thomas held a secret, exactly the same as his cousin: he was a mutant, and he took his power from plants. He took the moniker Black Tom, and without anything left in the world he became a criminal; he used a shillelagh as a walking cane, and also as a weapon to channel his powers. In the following years, he raised Theresa as his own daughter, passing his hatred for Sean onto her, and when he was sent to jail he found there his childhood friend Cain Marko, who had become the mystic-enhanced Juggernaut: the two resumed their friendship, even stronger than before, and became a formidable criminal couple. Much to Black Tom’s amusement, even Theresa developed mutant powers, something that he would have used against her biological father in future schemes. With the unstoppable Juggernaut by his side, there was nothing Black Tom couldn’t do, so his plan for getting revenge against Sean, now known as the heroic Banshee, could begin. First he murdered Sean’s lawyer, Mr. Flaherty, in the village of Dal’Roon, and used his signed letters to invite Sean with his friends in Cassidy Keep, claiming that he could finally take possession of it. He blackmailed the keeper Eamon O’Donnell into helping him, and set a trap for the X-Men coming: not only Banshee, but also Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus. Eamon made them all accommodate into their rooms, only to lead them to a fake dining hall with a trap floor, that made them fall right in front of Black Tom and the Juggernaut, waiting in the castle dungeon. With the team leader Storm crippled by her claustrophobia, Juggernaut made short work of Wolverine, Colossus and Nightcrawler, leaving to Tom the chance to face his loathed and ungrateful cousin. Due to their family bond, their powers turned out to be ineffective against one another, so the match was decided by fists only… and in that field, Black Tom held quite an advantage on his good-mannered cousin. Tom easily defeated Banshee, and with him down, all the X-Men had been vanquished in a matter of minutes. The victory was at hand, but Black Tom had sworn to his friend to exact revenge on his step-brother too: he would have kept the X-Men alive, but only just as long as they could act as bait for Professor X

Thomas Cassidy is a complicated man, a scoundrel, a thief and a murderer, but also a man of honor, who in name of that same honor is ready to pursue his hated cousin Sean to the end of the world for getting revenge, but also to put his own life on the line to protect his friend Cain. As Black Tom, he’s capable of channeling strong thermal blasts through wood, making a deadly weapon even of a simple shillelagh, and he’s quite an accomplished fighter despite his limp; because of a temporary Secondary Mutation, he had become a plant-like being who could absorb living beings’ life force, communicate with plants, heal instantly from any wound and grow in size. A man of subtle and cruel intelligence, Black Tom Cassidy is a criminal with a grudge and a purpose, and never leaves anything to chance… the perfect match for an impulsive brute like his best pal, the Juggernaut.

Telford Porter (Vanisher)

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.