James MacDonald Hudson (Guardian)

Back to Mav‘s request, we meet Travis Hudson, portrayed by Max Cullen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He’s the husband of Heather, and he takes care of Logan just after the operation that transformed him into Weapon X. Just as his wife, he’s been radically changed from the original comicbook character, who’s actually named James Hudson, and who’s remarkably younger than his live action counterpart. Also, if age and name weren’t enough, the original Hudson is also Canada‘s main superhero, Guardian, founder and leader of Alpha Flight. Let’s see together.

James MacDonald “Mac” Hudson was born in London, Ontario, Canada. He grew up to be a young man very gifted in science, and he decided to become an engineer. He specialized in petrochemical engineering, and was hired by Am-Can Oil Corporation, a multinational that operated on the territory. Hudson worked for them for some years, helping them in perfecting their excavating machines, and there he also met Heather McNeil, a secretary several years younger than him, who he fell in love with. Always trying to help workers excavate quicker and in a safer way, Mac Hudson developed a suit to locate and reach oil deposits underground, and showed the project to his boss, Jerome Jaxon. Thanks to Heather, however, James discovered that Jaxon had all the intention to build and use the suit, but not for its original purpose, as he wanted to sell it to the Americans as a weapon. Hudson resigned, and he left Am-Can taking the helmet along, making the suit useless for anyone, as it was the helmet that controlled it, and only he knew how to make another one. Heather followed him, and they went to the Canadian government to seek refuge and to expose their former employers. It was during this time that James and Heather confessed to each other the deep feelings they felt for each other, and eventually got married, despite the protests of Heather’s family. In the meanwhile, the Canadian Parliament had examined James’ claim, and they had agreed to protect him from Am-Can, on one condition: he would have helped the Minister of Defense with his skills and knowledge. Mac agreed, and he started working for the Department H, the Ministry’s research and development program. He rebuilt his suit, and upon hearing about the Fantastic Four in the US, James asked and obtained to found a Canadian super-team, which he would have called Alpha Flight.

James and Heather traveled the country in search of recruits for Alpha Flight, and the first one was Logan, a man they had befriended during their honeymoon. Logan was supposed to become the leader of the team, but as he started to fall in love with Heather he decided to leave, not wanting to ruin his friendship with James. Replacing Logan as an on-field leader, James redesigned his suit as a battle exoskeleton, and presented himself as Guardian, codename Weapon Alpha. His first mission was to forcibly take Logan back to Canadian soil, as he had joined the X-Men in the US. The mission was a failure, and James accidentally wounded Moira MacTaggert, Logan’s friend, in the process. As Logan made it clear he didn’t want to be a puppet of Department H anymore, James came back empty handed, refusing to ever try to bring his friend back home by force again. Alpha Flight protected the country for a while, until Department H went bankrupt and the team disbanded. Alpha Flight regrouped on Heather’s initiative as the giant Tundra appeared, and after successfully defeating him, they decided to stay together, even without the permission and the funds of the government. Then, James received a job offer he couldn’t refuse from Roxxon Oil, and moved along with Heather to New York. This employment, however, proved to be a trap set by Jerome Jaxon, who wanted the suit back, and planned to take it with the aid of his own, evil version of Alpha Flight, named Omega Flight. As Mac was captured, Heather called in the rest of the team, and Omega and Alpha Flight clashed on American soil. During the battle, Jaxon accidentally killed himself, but he overloaded Guardian’s suit in the process. As the exoskeleton exploded, everyone comprehensibly took James Hudson for dead. Mac, in reality, had fallen in a space rift, and had been teleported to Ganymede, where the peaceful aliens Quwrlln (or Q’wrlln) nurtured him back to health, repaired his suit and even integrated it in his organism. Now, all Guardian had to do was to find a way to come back home to his wife and friends.

James Hudson is a man of science, who had to learn to overcome his insecurities and become a man of action to lead his team against the threats menacing Canada. As Guardian, he has all the powers of his suit integrated into his now cybernetic body: he possesses superhuman strength and durability, he can fly at incredible speed, he can project and manipulate plasma, electromagnetic pulses, ultrasonic beams and a graviton beam he uses to lift objects too heavy for his strength, he can interface with computers directly with his brain, he can create force fields and much more. The greatest hero of his country, Guardian doesn’t quite feel so, and he has to win over his fear and his sense of inadequacy on every mission… thus turning out to be a very human and reliable leader, someone his teammates can relate to and count upon, who’s never too reckless and who knows the true meaning of courage. Despite what he thinks, a superhero born.

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Heather McNeil (Vindicator)

Mav apparently has quite a taste for under-represented characters, as the next one in line is Heather Hudson, portrayed by Julia Blake in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Heather is a sweet old lady who nurtures Logan back to health after the Adamantium infusion, but who is killed along with her husband by Agent Zero for this. Believe it or not, in the comics Heather is a Canadian superhero, the on-and-off leader of Alpha Flight known as Vindicator… not exactly the aged lady you see in the movie. Let’s take a look at the much younger and active original.

Heather McNeil was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the eldest daughter of Ramsey and Claire McNeil, good people and hard-workers, very religious. Heather grew up along with her little sister Becky and other five brothers, but her numerous family grew even more when her best friend Elizabeth Twoyoungmen‘s mother died, and her father left her. The McNeils adopted her, starting to struggle a bit to maintain this many children. For this reason, Heather found a job when she was just 17 years old, and she started to work as a secretary for Jerome Jaxon, an important executive of Am-Cam, a local petroleum company. On work she met James Hudson, a research scientist, and despite he was several years older than her, they fell in love. The McNeils didn’t approve this relation, both because of the age difference and the fact that James didn’t have a religious upbringing, but Heather didn’t care: she even followed James when he resigned from Am-Cam, as the suit he had built for geological exploration was to be sold as a weapon by Jaxon. Heather convinced James to ask the Canadian government for help, and they were sent to Department H to expose their case. Not only the Department agreed to help them, but they also acknowledged the potential of James’s suit, and asked him to wear it as a government-sponsored superhero. Heather supported James in becoming Guardian, and she kept working with him as he became the leader of Alpha Flight, the first Canadian super-team. The two finally got married, and during their honeymoon in a cabin in the woods they met a savage, a feral man later known as Wolverine. Heather managed to calm the brute, and to bring him back to a human state of mind. Wolverine was trained by Guardian to be a member of Alpha Flight, but he left the moment he realized there was a growing attraction between him and Heather. The government didn’t take this well.

Apparently, Department H wanted Wolverine to be Alpha Flight’s new leader, and when he left, the team was disbanded. Heather, however, still believed in the project, and when the giant Tundra, embodiment of decay, made his appearance, she secretly gathered Alpha Flight to fight him. When her ex-boss Jerome Jaxon founded a copycat team, Omega Flight, clearly villainous in intention, Heather reunited Alpha Flight once again to fight him, but during the battle Guardian was apparently killed. Instead of breaking her, being a widow just gave her more determination than ever, and she brought together all members of Alpha Flight in Vancouver, acting as a leader despite not having any powers or equipment. Heather’s leadership was skilled enough for the Canadian government to reconsider its position, and Alpha Flight was re-integrated in the original program and funded by the state. On the new base in Tamarind Island, Roger “Box” Bochs and Madison Jeffries dismantled MX39147, the Omega Flight robot known as Delphine Courtney, but salvaged some parts of it, particularly her suit, based on Guardian’s one. They insisted that Heather put it on, acting also as an on-field leader as well. Hoping to uphold her husband’s legacy, Heather became Vindicator, and she tested herself in a first mission alongside her old flame Wolverine against Lady Deathstrike. Under her lead, Alpha Flight faced and defeated many powerful foes, the mutant Mesmero, the Atlantean Attuma and the robotic Sentinels among others, and created many alliances and diplomatic bonds with teams from other states, mainly American ones, in particular with the X-Men. Then, after a number of impostors and illusions, the real James Hudson came back from his grave. For a time, Heather went by the name Guardian and James by Vindicator, but their original codenames eventually set. Now, Vindicator had many problems to solve: her relationship with her husband was difficult to say the least, and as she had become a skilled combatant and leader, she wouldn’t have give up her position so easily…

Heather McNeil Hudson is a self-made woman, who went with her own strength and determination from being a simple secretary to becoming the leader of her country’s most powerful team. As Vindicator, her battle suit grants her a superior strength, durability and speed, flight, the ability to absorb environmental heat and turn it into powerful energy blasts, and much more; she’s an expert leader and tactician, and she’s also a master martial artist thanks to Wolverine’s training. A woman larger than life, Vindicator is a brave heroine, who tries her best to balance her life as a government super-agent with the difficulties of being married to a man who, more often than not, dies and comes back, is replaced by androids or impostors, or even becomes a cyborg… not exactly the easiest marriage ever.

Christopher Bradley (Bolt)

boltfilmSpeaking of Logan, there’s a couple of name-drops worth noticing, and one of them refers to a character we previously met in the franchise. When we see all the children developed by Alkali, some of them are the artificial children of mutants we know, with their DNA allegedly taken from the old Weapon X archives and labs: there’s also a chubby African-American boy with the power to generate electricity, and his files tells us he’s the biological son of Christopher Bradley. We already met Bradley in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, portrayed by Dominic Monaghan (how Monaghan can have a black child from a Mexican mother is beyond my comprehension). In the movie, he is a member of Team X with the ability to remotely control electronics; after the team disbands, he starts working in a carnival, using his powers to make money…until Sabretooth finds him and kills him, so that his powers are later added to Deadpool‘s arsenal. The comics version is totally different, starting from his powers. Let’s see together.

Christopher Bradley was born in Duchess CountyNew York, a perfectly normal boy from a perfectly normal family. He had a normal childhood, and grew up to become a high school student. He had a best friend he spent most of his time with, Jeff, and he had quite a crush on Donna Funaro, a girl from his class. Again, nothing strange here…until he started suffering from headaches. At first it was nothing, but then the pain started to be stronger and more frequent, to the point that Chris was sincerely worried he was seriously ill…until one day, at school, the headaches were revealed for what they really were: the first symptoms of an emerging mutation. Chris was a mutant, and he discovered it in one of the worst ways possible: by losing control in public. His first chrisis happened in his boltcomics1house, but he merely noticed any difference with the ordinary headaches (albeit, if he paid any attention to it, he would have noticed that all the electrical devices in his house had been fried). After a day at home, he came back to school, starting in the best way imaginable, finally finding the courage to ask Donna Funaro out. While in class, however, he started to unconsciously absorb static electricity from the surroundings, generating electric bolts as a result; unable to control himself, first he tried to hide in the bathroom, but as the phenomenon kept growing, he warned everybody to step away from him…until he lost his senses. When he woke up, he was with two people he had never seen before: they were Phoenix and Gambit of the X-Men, mutant superheroes and teachers in a school specialised in young mutants. The two mutants brought Chris back home, and had a chat with his parents, explaining to them that their son was a mutant, and that they offered them the opportunity to enroll him in the Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, where he would have been trained in the control of his powers, and where he would have completed his education. Chris overheard their conversation…and panicked, running away from home, not wanting to abandon his old life. Of course, he ran to the only place he was always welcome, Jeff’s house.

Soon, however, Chris Bradley had to realise that much of his world had been lost already: as soon as he saw him, Jeff panicked, still scared for what had happened at school that morning. When Chris tried to explain himself to him, things didn’t get any better: not wanting to have anything to do with a “mutie”, Jeff rejected him. Chris came back home and followed Phoenix and Gambit to their school, where he continued his studies and learnt how to control his powers. He was still just a student when he learned that he had contracted the Legacy Virus, the plague that was decimating the mutant population. Knowing he would have eventually died, but not knowing how much time he still had, Chris cut ties with the X-Men and left the school, coming back home. Something good came out from all of that, as he finally started dating Donna, who still wanted despite him to be a (dying) mutant. His parents insisted him to visit several clinics in the desperate search for a cure…and it was in one of these that he was attacked by the Friends boltcomics2of Humanity, an extremist anti-mutant group. Chris was saved by Maverick, another Legacy-infected mutant, who told him to look for him if he ever needed help. The time came sooner than expected, as the Friends burnt the Bradleys’ house to the ground: Chris left to look for Maverick…thus leading his enemies right to him. Chris fought alongside Maverick against the Friends of humanity, and the two won the battle thanks to the intervention of two other X-Men, Iceman and Wolverine; after that, Maverick helped the Bradleys to start a new life in Florida, with a false identity. Known as Brian Johnson, Chris resumed a normal life…until the Legacy Virus made him lose control of his powers. Back to New York, he ran into Maverick again, and the hero encouraged him to value what remained of his life, making him chose a nickname and fight groups like the Friends of Humanity. Chris listened to the one he now considered his mentor, and joined the New Warriors as Bolt: he didn’t know how much time he still had to live, but he would have made his best to make it count.

Christopher “Chris” Bradley is a young man haunted by bad luck; despite losing and suffering much, he managed to turn his scars into strength, and he’s now a brave and selfless hero. As Bolt, he’s able to absorb, generate and control electricity, and he can use it in a variety of ways, from shooting shocking lightning bolts to generating energy shields, from damaging electrical devices to creating a distorted aura around himself to hide his features. Not afraid to die since the Legacy Virus is killing him nevertheless, Bolt always puts himself on the first line, in a reckless yet heroic way to use the time he has left to make something meaningful with his life.

Jason Wyngarde (Mastermind)

mastermindfilmAnother villain from Brick89‘s list, this time from the mutants‘ world: Mastermind. His movie adaptation 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 lobotomized mutant able to cast illusions so powerful that they can trick even the world’s most powerful telepath, Professor X. Jason first appears in X2: X-Men United, portrayed by Michael Reid McKay: in here, he’s Stryker’s son, who as a child was so resentful towards his mutant-hating parents that he tortured them with his powers, leading his mother to suicide. As Stryker started working on Weapon X, he used his son as his first guinea pig, and transformed him into a mindless drone in his total control, and he unleashed him against Professor X to force him to kill all mutants on the planet. He then briefly appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, portrayed by an unnamed kid, frozen by his father in a cryogenic stasis. Now, let’s see who Jason (Wyngarde, not Stryker) is in the comics.

Little or nothing is known about Jason Wyngarde’s early life. He was born somewhere in the South of the United States of America, and he was a mutant in a moment in which most people didn’t even know mutants existed. He had the remarkable advantage of not suffering a physical mutation, as he was capable of projecting extremely accurate and complex illusions in the mind of anybody. As an adult, he trained in the use of his powers bringing them to perfection, so that they could influence every single sense of his target; he used this talent in quite an underwhelming way, however, as he joined a carnival and started working as a mentalist. His show was extremely popular, but nobody could see behind the “trick” Wyngarde used…nobody but a stranger passing by, who immediately recognised him as a mutant. The man turned out to be Magneto, the mutant terrorist, who was mastermindcomics1gathering other mutants from all around the country to form a team able to face the X-Men, the mutant superheroes who had stopped him from taking over Cape Citadel. Jason Wyngarde was exactly the kind of man Magneto was looking for, and the mentalist liked the terrorist’s idea of protecting mutankind from an inevitable racist uprise of humanity: Jason joined the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants as Mastermind, and along with his teammates ToadQuicksilver and Scarlet Witch battled the X-Men more than once. Mastermind proved to be more ambitious than his idealistic leader, and aimed to conquer the world to form a mutant utopia…one in which he would have been much more than the carnival trickster he had always been. Along with his ambition, he also developed a strong desire towards his teammate Scarlet Witch, but her overprotective brother Quicksilver always kept him away from her. Mastermind was kept in high consideration by Magneto, and he was also sent to recruit other mutants to the cause in his stead (even if he failed in convincing Unus the Untouchable). His cooperation with the Brotherhood ended when the cosmic being The Stranger, enraged at Magneto, transformed Mastermind into a statue and brought the Master of Magnetism and Toad on another planet.

Luckily enough, The Stranger’s spell wasn’t permanent, and after a while Mastermind returned to his old fleshy self. Without Magneto around, with his ambition not the least quelled, Wyngarde joined Factor Three, another mutant-based organization with similar aims and ideals to the Brotherhood, but much more pragmatical: they aimed to create a mutant nation capable of rivaling USA and URSS for world supremacy. Factor Three’s plan nearly worked, especially thanks to the forced “help” of Banshee, until the X-Men intervened once again, exposing the team’s leader, Mutant Master, as an alien who sought to conquer Earth. Factor Three and X-Men teamed up to defeat the Mutant Master, and managed to save the planet from an invasion…but the battle attracted the attention of the mutant hunting robots Sentinels, against whom Mastermind’s psychic powers were pretty much useless. Wyngarde was saved by his sworn enemies, the X-Men, and apparently abandoned his criminal ways as a result…but he was the mastermindcomics2master of illusions, and even his “conversion” was nothing but a trick to take time and decide what to do next. He joined the reborn Brotherhood along with fellow Factor Three members Blob and Unus, and finally Magneto came back on Earth and claimed back his leadership. He even created the first artificial mutant, the extremely powerful Alpha…but that proved to be not much of a good idea, as during a fight against the Defenders Alpha rebelled to his creators, and turned them all into children, thus annihilating their powers (mutant powers developed through puberty). At least, Mastermind had learnt to bring his powers to a whole other level, as with Magneto’s help he had casted a powerful illusion on an entire nation (Santo Marco, in South America), helping the Brotherhood to conquer it. As a result, as soon as he came back to his adult age he was contacted by the powerful Hellfire Club, who had become interested in the illusionist. As a test for admission, he managed to manipulate the powerful X-Woman Jean Grey into becoming the new Black Queen in the Club. Finally, Mastermind had found someone who could fully apreciate his talent, someone who could also reward his personal ambition just the way he wanted it…

Jason Wyngarde is an ambitious man, frustrated by the lack of recognition his talent suffered through all his life. As Mastermind, he has the mutant power to cast powerful illusions on his targets, able to affect every sense; his illusions are so complex and realistic that he’s actually able to kill someone with them (once he made someone believe he was drowning, and even if there wasn’t any actual water the man ceased to breath and died), and he can envelop in his power more than one person per time, once even an entire country. Manipulative and clever, he’s one of the most dangerous mutants around, mostly because he’s constantly, and wrongfully, underestimated…a thing he obviously uses at his own advantage.

Sean Cassidy (Banshee)

bansheefilmTime for the last recurring character appearing in X-Men: Apocalypse, before going to the newcomers: Banshee, portrayed by Caleb Landry Jones. In the movie, he appears very briefly in a series of flashbacks aimed to remind Magneto who he was before breaking bad; the archive footage is all from X-Men: First Class, where Banshee was portrayed as one of Xavier‘s first recruits for both his school and the X-Men, and he was one of his most successful students, learning also to fly under the telepath’s tutelage. Unfortunately, he’s one of Bolivar Trask‘s victims, and he dies between First Class and Days 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 of course in Generation X, portrayed by Jeremy Ratchford. In this version, Banshee is the director of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters along with Emma Frost, and he acts as a mentor to Jubilee and the other young mutants. Now, let’s see together who this iconic Irish mutant is in the comics.

Sean Cassidy was born in Ireland, the heir of the wealthy and ancient Cassidy family. Rich since his childhood, he could afford the best studies, and he became a Bachelor of Science after graduating from Trinity College in Dublin. With his parents dead, Sean had other plans for himself rather than come back home and run the family’s castle, Cassidy Keep, nurturing the Cassidys’ fortune, and he joined Interpol as a detective. During his first years in the police force, he met Maeve Rourke, a girl she fell in love with: with all the passion and the haste of their youth, Sean and Maeve got married. There had been another turning point in Sean’s life during those years: he had found out he was a mutant, with the power of emitting powerful sonic waves with his voice; he preferred to keep this secret, and hid it from both his wife and his colleagues at Interpol. During a special mission that kept Sean away from home for nearly a year, Maeve found out she was pregnant, and she gave birth to a daughter, Theresa, without her husband knowing anything about it; when Maeve was tragically bansheecomics1killed during an IRA attack, Sean mourned over his dead wife without knowing that he had had a daughter (Theresa, still alive, had been taken by Sean’s cousin and all time rival, Black Tom Cassidy, who was also the only person in the world who knew about Sean’s powers, being a mutant himself). At first, Sean tried to stop pain by throwing himself completely into work, but soon not even Interpol could distract him from his loss; promoted inspector, he nevertheless gave up his work becoming a freelance detective, and soon he ended up being involved in not-so-legal activities. Another mutant, Changeling, found out about his crimes, and invited him to join Factor Three, an all-mutant terrorist organization; seeing how similar Factor Three was to his wife’s killers, Sean refused, but Changeling reacted by having him kidnapped: an explosive headband was placed on Sean’s head, a bomb that would have exploded if Sean refused to follow Factor Three’s orders, or if he tried to remove it. Forced to cooperate, Sean joined Factor Three: code-named Banshee, he performed a number of crimes, always closely controlled by his “teammates”.

While on a mission in New York City, Banshee and the Ogre (his guardian) clashed with a team of mutant superheroes, the X-Men, who eventually captured them both. When the team’s leader, Professor X, learned about the collar, he helped Banshee get rid of it, so Sean was free and willing to help the X-Men take down Factor Three: he led them to the European base of the organization, and together with them he defeated the alien Mutant Master, Factor Three’s leader. After that, Sean was ready to start a new life…but he was soon targeted by the Sentinels, mutant-hunting robots: he survived the experience, but now his true nature as a mutant had been exposed, and it attracted other unwanted attention. The secret organization known as the Secret Empire tried to abduct him to harness his powers and, on the run from them, Banshee fought against Captain America and the Falcon, mistaking them for hunter as well. Finally, free from all his pursuers, Sean came back to Cassidy Keep, where he could resume a peaceful and honest existence…that until Professor X called him, asking him for help: the bansheecomics2X-Men had gone missing while investigating on a massively powerful mutant, and Banshee was asked to be a part of a second team to join a rescue mission. Still grateful after the Factor Three incident, Banshee accepted Xavier’s request, and joined Storm, Wolverine, Thunderbird, Nightcrawler and Colossus in the second incarnation of the X-Men. The rescue mission put the new X-Men against not just a simple mutant, but a living island, Krakoa, who was keeping the original team captive to feed on their energy. After defeating the monster, both teams could come back to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, where the newcomers were invited to stay: wanting to catch the opportunity to give a new direction to his life, Banshee accepted, and despite some initial friction with Cyclops and the other (first) X-Men he settled in pretty well, even learning to use his powers better thanks to the training in the Danger Room. During his time with the X-Men, Sean also met Dr. Moira McTaggart, Xavier’s ex fiancée and long time friend, and he fell in love with her: maybe, this was exactly the turning point Sean was waiting for.

Sean Cassidy is a smart and passionate man, used to live in luxury but still selfless and gentle (if not exactly humble). Gallant and brave, he’s also subject to depression, and it also happened that he fell into alcoholism following some emotional trauma. As Banshee, his lungs, throat and vocal cords are mutated to allow his acoustikinesis, which is the ability to emit powerful sound waves through voice: his trademark ability is the sonic scream, powerful enough to stun and physically arm an opponent, but he can use his powers also to fly (thanks to special wings designed by Professor X), to create sonic shields, to become a living sonar and much more; he’s also a skilled detective, tactician and unarmed combatant, and he’s also a good teacher and educator and a capable businessman. A leader born and a loyal friend and ally, Banshee is usually the eldest member of the X-Men in nearly every version of the team he’s been in…but that’s one of the reasons he’s also one of the most reliable ones, a reference for his teammates and his students alike.

Frederick J. Dukes (The Blob)

blobfilmA new promotional image for the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse showed us another unexpected character appearing, possibly in just a cameo. We know Angel will be fighting in a cage at the beginning of the movie, and now we know who his first opponent will be: The Blob, portrayed by a yet unknown actor (though I can’t imagine how Angel could ever best Blob in one-on-one combat, but we shall see). Blob already appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, portrayed by Kevin Durand: in this version, he was a mutant with super strength and unbreakable skin, part of Team X; his fat wasn’t part of his powers, but rather it was simply a result of him “letting himself go” over the years. Wolverine tracks him in his boxing gym to obtain informations on the Weapon X facility, and fights with him on the ring (later, Sabretooth tortures him for the same informations, and it’s unknown if Blob survived the experience). Now, waiting to see how the fattest mutant ever will factor in the new timeline, let’s take a look at the original.

Frederick J. Dukes was born in LubbockTexas, from unknown parents. His childhood was a pretty normal one, despite the boy wasn’t exactly the smartest in his school (quite the opposite); problems arrived the moment Fred reached puberty: his body started to grow, accumulating an incredible amount of fat. No diet and no exercise could do anything about it, and even dull Fred realised that was not simple fat: the bigger he became, the stronger he got, until he reached superhuman levels; his mass also made him impervious to any kind of damage, as his skin and flesh couldn’t apparently be pierced by anything…and he soon found out that he had become also unmovable, way beyond his extreme weight could explain. Looking at his new self, Fred couldn’t think of anything better than to join a local circus sideshow as one of the caravan’s freaks. Nicknamed “The Blob”, he lived believing he was just an abnormal man until he was reached by the original X-Men, sent by Professor X to recruit him in their team: smitten by Jean Grey, Fred agreed to follow them to the X-Mansion, where the Professor could confirm that he was indeed a mutant, and renewed his offer for him to join the X-Men (much to the other’s students’ opposition, since they didn’t like Blob’s attitude). The man, arrogant and self-confident, remarked that he was blobcomics1stronger than all the other X-Men put together, and he bluntly refused, later escaping the Mansion to avoid having his memory erased by Professor X. Knowing he was a mutant, Blob believed he was better than all normal humans, and he took on the circus, sending away the former owners; he recruited his friends from the freak carnival, and guided them against the X-Mansion in order to steal Professor X’s superior technology. The freaks managed to overpower the X-Men and to incapacitate them, but Jean Grey freed herself with her telekinesis, and then freed Professor X as well, who used his powers to erase from Dukes and his allies any memory of the X-Mansion or the X-Men. Following that, Blob and the others came back to the circus, and started their normal life from where they left it.

Not much later, Dukes was contacted by yet another charismatic mutant leader, Magneto, who wanted to recruit him in his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. At first, Blob bluntly refused as he did with the X-Men, but then Magneto hit him hard on his head, making him regain his memory about his previous fight with Professor X and his students. Eager to exact his revenge, Blob followed Magneto and the Brotherhood in their war against the X-Men, but he soon lost his faith in his new boss, as Magneto didn’t seem to care at all for his safety. At a certain point, at the battle’s climax, Magneto launched a powerful torpedo on his enemies…but Blob was there as well, and took the entire explosion. Not even the missile could seriously harm him, but the message was clear, and Blob refused to follow a leader who treated him as cannon fodder. Even more embittered, he came back to his circus once again. Of course, Blob had made his first step in a much wider world, and the circus wasn’t meant to hold him for long: soon after, he met and joined forces with another mutant, Unus the Untouchable, who became his best friend. The two together tried to frame the X-Men for bank robbery, and than joined Factor Three, another mutant criminal organization similar to the Brotherhood. He eventually came back to the Brotherhood as well, this time in the version of the team led by Mystique, and fought against the X-Men once again; when the government increased its anti-mutant activity, Mystique reinvented her Brotherhood into a black-ops squad at the Government’s orders, Freedom Force, something that Blob pretty blobcomics2much enjoyed: now he could still indulge in violence, fight his old foes the X-Men and Magneto, as well as new ones like X-Force and the Avengers, but he had a government’s paycheck to pay his bills. In the meanwhile, he kept working with his friend Unus, and battled other heroes with him (and he found out he wasn’t so immovable when put against the likes of Hulk). A brand new chapter in his life opened when Unus got killed: the loss of his friend made Blob go completely berserk, and he nearly killed Spider-Man and Black Cat in his rage. When he stopped grieving, the new Blob was much more embittered towards the world and towards humans in particular: playtime was over, it was time to get serious.

Fred Dukes is a violent and greedy man, with quite some problem of anger management and characterised by a remarkable lack of intelligence. Rude and arrogant, Dukes hides behind self-importance and an obnoxious personality the wounds he suffered for his grotesque appearance, and constantly looks for somebody he can relate to. As Blob, he possesses quite a unique physiology, with a nearly impenetrable skin and a massive amount of body fat that make him close to invulnerable to any kind of arm, blades and bullets included, and if any projectile is shot at him (from cannonballs to Hawkeye‘s arrows), he can embed it within his body, and recoil it just by flexing his muscles. Apart from being extremely strong and durable, Blob possesses also his own personal gravity field, being able to manipulate gravity in a five feet radius at least, usually using this ability to make himself completely unmovable. More powerful than he looks, less idealistic than most of the usual followers of Magneto or Mystique, Blob is looking only for a a group he can call family, searching it in his circus, in the Brotherhood, in Freedom Force and in many other wrong crowds…unfortunately, his bad attitude doesn’t help him in this at all.

Victor Creed (Sabretooth)

sabretoothfilmYet another famous mutant from casualgamer‘s list, one of the biggest and baddest…at least, most of the times. Let’s meet Sabretooth, one of the most vicious murderers in the Marvel Universe! He first appeared in the X-Men movie, portrayed by stuntman Tyler Mane: in here, he was depicted as a member of Magneto‘s Brotherhood of Mutants, and he showed from the very beginning to have quite a past with an amnesiac Wolverine, who couldn’t remember him. He was defeated by Cyclops before we could learn anything more…but in X-Men Origins: Wolverine we found out that Sabretooth, portrayed in a not-yet-so-feral version by Liev Schreiber (one of the few good things of the movie), was actually Wolverine’s half-brother, 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, the comics version is pretty different: first of all, he is not Wolverine’s brother; second, he never interacted much with Magneto or any incarnation of his Brotherhood. Let’s see together.

Sabretooth’s life is a pretty long one, and his memory has been messed up by several people, so there’s no certainty about his origins…but some details have been revealed nevertheless. His true name was Victor Creed: he was born in Canada, at the end of the XIX Century, the son of a religious couple, Zebediah and Victoria Creed. Victor grew up with his brothers, Luther and Saul, and his sister Clara. The relationship between the siblings weren’t exactly idyllic, as Luther, the oldest brother, often bullied the younger ones, and Victor in turned beat Saul regularly; the only member of the family Victor had a good relation with was his mother, the only one who loved him unconditionally, and who managed to earn love from him. When he was still a child, Victor’s mutant powers manifested for the first time during a fight with Luther, and he unwillingly slaughtered him with razor-sharp claws and fangs. Shocked by what had happened to his firstborn, Zebediah locked Victor in the basement as if he was a savage beast; believing his son was possessed by the Devil, Zebediah pulled out Victor’s fangs, believing he would have freed his son from demons after taking away enough of his “satanic” teeth. The boy’s healing factor sabretoothcomics1made the fangs grow again day after day, in an everlasting pain that made Victor’s grudge and hatred towards his father grow. After years of confinement in the basement, finally, the boy managed to free himself by chowing his own hand off: he killed Zebediah and ran away, coming back only to torture Saul in a twisted version of what he considered “family”, and to take his mother away, hiding her from the world and making sure she had the comfortable life she deserved to his eyes. A thirteen years old sociopath, Victor was now unleashed, venting all the rage bottled up in years of abuses on whoever he met, becoming a wanted serial killer. At fifteen years old, he started working for the railroad, and he earned the fear of his coworkers when he gutted a man thrice his size who bullied on him. Becoming a grown man, Victor, who was now renowned as “Sabretooth” because of his appearance and his feral tendencies, sold his skills to the best bidder, working as a bailiff, as a hunter, as an enforcer, as a bounty hunter, even as a soldier for a while. He even worked for geneticist Nathaniel Essex, hunting for him a man named Logan, who would have become a recurring presence in his life.

In the 1910s, Creed worked for a man named Hudson, who enlisted him for a special mission: he would have led a band of mercenaries to wipe out a tribe of Blackfoot Indians standing on the “wrong” territory. Sabretooth wiped out all men, women and children…with a tasty bonus, as he found out that Logan was living with the Indians at the time, and that he had a lover there, Silverfox. Creed took a particular pleasure into raping and murdering Silverfox, leaving fake evidence for Logan to find that pointed to a rival tribe. Distraught, Logan savagely murdered the men he deemed responsible for what had happened to the Blackfoot village, and Sabretooth observed him as he surrendered to his feral instincts. From that day, Sabretooth decided he would have made Logan just like him: prey to his bestial urge to kill, without bonds or control…something that he did by hunting him down wherever he was in the world, and taking away everything (and everyone) allowing him to keep his humanity (he was also responsible for the murder of Logan’s Japanese wife Itsu). Tormenting his rival from year to year, usually for his sabretoothcomics2birthday, Creed also led his regular life, and decades later he ended up serving in the military during the Korean War; stationed in Madripoor, he was contacted by international spy Nick Fury, who enlisted him in his black ops team, the Avengers, in a mission to stop a Red Skull imitator from creating a Fourth Reich. In exchange of his service with the Avengers, all of Sabretooth’s previous crimes received pardons, and he was free to walk freely again. After that Sabretooth joined another black ops special team, this time in Canada: Team X, a secret elite squad formed by mutants only. Along with Creed there were other mutants: Kestrel, Maverick and Wolverine…the latter being the same Logan he had been hunting down the previous decades. Team X disbanded the moment Sabretooth killed a scientist, a precious asset, during a battle with Russian super-soldier Omega Red. The Canadian government, however, decided they could have used Creed’s skills despite of habit of murdering innocent bystanders, and kidnapped him, erasing much of his memory and making him a part of the Weapon X Program. The experimentations Sabretooth suffered only increased his already remarkable thirst for blood: the moment Weapon X was shut down, a ruthless and sadistic butcher was released on the world once again…

Victor Creed is, simply put, a bloodthirsty savage: years and years of abuses and tortures made him a man who has no consideration at all for human life, quite the opposite, he enjoys killing so much that he simply can’t restrain himself…not that he’d want. As Sabretooth, he possesses a regenerative healing factor that makes him nearly immortal, immune from any disease, unaging, able to recover from nearly any wound, even fatal; he also possesses razor-sharp claws and fangs, as well as feral enhanced senses, and superhuman strength, agility, speed and durability; having being trained by a variety of organizations (CIA, Weapon X, HydraThe Hand among others), he’s an excellent hand-to-hand combatant, an expert marksman, a skilled tactician and manipulator, an infallible hunter and also a proficient martial artist. Differently from Wolverine, who always tries to control his brutal and feral side, Sabretooth fully embraces it, and enjoys the world as if it were his personal hunting ground, in which everybody, man, woman and child, is just another prey for him to kill.