Sebastian Shaw

Powers: Metabolizes Energy

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What!?: He absorbs energy to make him stronger

Origins: Sebastian Shaw, or Black King, first discovered he was a mutant shortly after being accepted into engineering school and his father died. Shaw’s ambitions and intelligence led to the creation of Shaw Industry, making him a billionaire at age 40. Shaw got married and became a legacy member of the prestigious Hellfire Club. Shaw rose to powers and staged a coup after the death of his wife at the hands of Sentinels, which the previous White King has been funding. Now in full control, Shaw proclaimed himself Black King of the Hellfire Club, and appointed his accomplices Emma Frost, Donald Pierce, Harry Lenard, and Tess as his Lord Cardinals.

Shaw, ironically, became a major supporter of the Sentinel project, so long as he was in control. To that end he also became a supporter of Robert Kelly, hoping that his anti-mutant stance would boost business. Now seeking World Domination, Shaw sought to control the X-Men, specifically the untapped potential of Jean Grey. Grey, however, proved to be too powerful to control, as Shaw and the Hellfire Club has unknowingly unleashed the Dark Phoenix on the Universe. After a disastrous battle with the future Sentinel Nimrod, Shaw would never hold the same kind of control over the Hellfire Club again, often having to battle the ambitions of the witch Selene, his son Shinobi Shaw, and Donald Pierce. Shaw was later taken prisoner by Emma Frost and Namor, the latter whom had an old score to settle with him. Proving to be too dangerous, Shaw is taken away form the X-Men, but escapes. In the battle to subdue him, Frost wipes his memories. Shaw is found by Hope Summer’s team, who mistake him for a new mutant. Shaw actually becomes key in helping free young mutants when they are forced into the Avengers Academy during the events of Avengers vs X-Men.

His Deal: Sebastian Shaw was the supreme leader of the Hellfire Club, an extremely powerful and influencial secret society. His original intention was world domination through the use of Sentinels and mutant armies. His reign was responsible for the fall of Jean Grey as the Dark Phoenix. He often dressed in 18th Century fashion, viewing the era as more civilized. His most notable relationship was with Emma Frost, his former lover and White Queen. Sage also served as his right-hand woman.

Personality: Sebastian Shaw was a machiavellian figure, who prized power and his position in the Hellfire Club over everything else. He ruled the Hellfire Club with an iron fist, but demanded results and control over actual loyalty. He allowed traitorous members like Selene and Donald Pierce to work under him because their skills and resources were useful to him. Shaw had an eye for talent, best shown in his alliance with Emma Frost, who was working as a dancer before she caught his eye. Shaw was a cunning strategist, though his arrogance and tendency to associate himself with equally ambitious people has often proved his undoing. Shaw also has a unique sense of fashion, and it has been implied by Emma Frost that he may also have sadomasochistic tendencies.

Fun Facts: Shaw was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #129 (1980)

Greatest Crime: Unleashing the Dark Phoenix

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