This blog entry was originally posted on the blog page of my web comic. View the original posting and the comic at http://www.cockroachman.com/
As Marvel draws their “Schism” to a close and begins their restructuring of the mutant books into “Team Cyclops” and “Team Wolverine” camps, a troubling trend seems to be continuing. Amongst those joining the ranks of Marvel’s Merry Mutants are three unexpected members: Sebastian Shaw, Quentin Quire, and Toad.
Shaw, appearing in Generation Hope, has been the long time leader and Black King of the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle, a secret organization based on gathering more power and influence for its members- most daringly attempting to control the Phoenix. Toad has been a leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but mostly a lackey. He’s primarily characterized by cowardice and sadism. Quentin Quire, also known as Kid Omega, is a hyper-intelligent psychic with a god complex who has attempted to start race wars and very recently manipulated world leaders for his own amusement.
But it’s not like this happens all the time, right? The X-Men’s rogue’s gallery should be plenty stocked with interesting and iconic villains, right? Right?
Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch
The children of Magneto, the super fast Quicksilver and reality warping Scarlet Witch were founding members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. However, they were never really that into the group’s mutant supremacy agenda. In the biggest shake-up of the then young Marvel Universe, the Avengers changed from Marvel’s all star team to a book about Captain America trying to craft a group of c-list villains into heroes (a concept that would later be mirrored in Thunderbolts) and the Maximoff twins would find a home there.
Where are they now? Pietro is an instructor at the Avengers Academy and Wanda is currently the focus of “Avengers: The Children’s Crusade”
Over time, more foes would join the ranks of the X-men, including Banshee and Sunfire. However, these characters were tricked or coerced into villainous acts. It would be a while before we’d see a villain who had actually carried out some serious wrongdoing join the team.
The adopted daughter of Mystique, Rogue was a Brotherhood member with the power to siphon the powers, memories, and life force of any person she touched. She fought the X-Men and Avengers several times, but the breaking point was when she drained Ms. Marvel, permanently taking her powers and memories, leaving the heroine an amnesiac mortal. Unable to deal with the personality of Carol Danvers fighting for control of her mind, Rogue sought help from Charles Xavier.
Where is she now? Rogue has been a mainstay of the X-Men since the eighties, now having control over her abilities and being the central character of X-men: Legacy.
Leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Mystique changes loyalties with the wind. Brotherhood to US Government, X-Factor, Brotherhood, Agent of Xavier, X-men, Marauders, Dark X-men… Wherever she feels she can benefit the most is where she casts her loyalty. She never truly reforms, but rather places herself in the most opportune position she can.
Where is she now? After being killed by Wolverine, Raven’s body was bought by the Hand and she was revived. She is now chained to the bed of a Hand financier, but it’s only a matter of time before she breaks free and starts causing trouble again.
Speaking of Mystique…
The Entire Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
When Mystique decided that the Brotherhood’s crusade wasn’t worth being hunted, she offered the team’s services to the government in exchange for full pardons. Temporarily taking on Spider-Woman and permanently taking on Spiral and a trio of WWII heroes named Crimson Commando, Super Sabre, and Stonewall, the team hunted mutants who were in violation of the Mutant Registration Act, as well as many other dubious government assignments.
Where are they now? Destiny and Stonewall died defending Muir Island from the Shadow King, Super Sabre was decapitated during a botched mission in Iraq, and Crimson Commando was wounded to the point of needing to become a cyborg. These days, Blob is a depowered weight loss guru in Japan, while Avalanche runs a bar in San Francisco. Pyro gave his life to save Senator Kelly, but was later resurrected by Selene. It is unclear if this resurrection stuck. Spiral is a member of the Sisterhood of Mutants.
Yes, that Magneto. The X-Men’s oldest and deadliest foe. A Holocaust survivor who saw parallels between the treatment of Jewish people in Nazi-occupied Europe leading up to acts of unprecedented genocide and the treatment of mutants, Magneto sought to protect his people by subjugating their oppressors. After realizing that his extreme views made him no different from the Nazis, he attempted to give coexistence a chance, and joined the X-Men. He even led the New Mutants after Charles was forced to leave with Lilandra to recover from otherwise fatal wounds. His original, human hating feelings would eventually resurface, and he would be a foe of the X-Men again.
Where is he now? Back with the X-Men, as a member of Cyclops’ cabinet on Utopia.
But Magneto was an idealogical rival. It’s not like he was murdering psychopath, right?
Essentially an evil version of Wolverine, Sabretooth embraces the animal within and relishes killing. There is not a redeemable bone in his body, which makes it troubling that he served three times with X-Teams. His first tour of duty included lobotomy from Wolverine. He was able to serve the X-Men as a sane individual before his head wound finished healing and he attempted to escape, nearly killing Psylocke in the process. Not learning anything, the X-men pressed Sabretooth into service with X-Factor. From there, Sabretooth escaped and continued his villainous ways. Some time later, he was made an X-Man again. Once again, he escaped back to a life of murder.
Where is he now? In Hell. After being killed by Wolverine, he was last seen chained to the devil, as his pet.
A senior ranking member of the Hellfire Club, the White Queen was instrumental in the plan to corrupt Phoenix. She also led the Hellions, a team of teenage mutants loyal to the Hellfire Club who constantly clashed with the X-Men’s trainees, the New Mutants. She was essentially the evil Professor X. After her students were killed by the time traveling serial killer Trevor Fitzroy, she changed allegiance to the X-Men, and was given leadership of Generation X.
Where is she now? A ranking leader of the X-Men, and girlfriend of Cyclops.
A survivor of the Mutant Massacre, Marrow grew up in a time-shifted alternate dimension. She would eventually re-emerge, leading a mutant terrorist group known as Gene Nation. She would eventually join the X-men, before leaving the team. She would later appear working for Weapon X.
Where is she now? A member of X-Cell, a terrorist group of mutants who lost their powers during M-Day but not the changes their mutations made to their physical appearances.
Perhaps the most controversial is Cain Marko, the Unstoppable Juggernaut. Professor X’s mystically empowered step brother, he spent his life attempting to destroy Xavier. He would eventually join the X-Men as a spy for the Brotherhood, but change his loyalties during his time spent there. He would join Excalibur, before realizing that good behavior caused his powers to fade and he returned to a life of crime. He would then be captured and placed on the Thunderbolts team.
Where is he now? During Fear Itself, Cain gained access to one of the hammers of the Serpent, and is now Kuurth, Breaker of Stone. He is a mystically empowered engine of destruction, drawing his powers from a different source.
and the trend continues onward. There are a great deal of X-men who started out on the road of villainy.
But perhaps its not as bad as it looks. After all, as long as creators keep coming up with interesting new villains, the X-men will always have foes to face and challenges to overcome.