- The time has come! Caliban's transformation is now complete... now he is PESTILENCE -- First Horseman of the Apocalypse!
- -- Pestilence (Caliban) src
Caliban was a mutant who was born with a freakish appearance which caused his father to name him (or possibly only nickname him) after the grotesque being in William Shakespeare's The Tempest. At some point, Caliban was recruited by Callisto, to use his superhuman ability to locate other mutants for her, whom she organized into the underground community known as the Morlocks. Caliban found Leech and took him to Annalee, who raised him and several other young mutant orphans as her children. Caliban lived beneath the Manhattan streets with them, in The Alley, but felt lonely, even among his fellow mutant outcasts. One evening Caliban sensed the presence of mutants in a New York City nightclub and entered, only to find himself in combat against Dazzler, Storm, Sprite, as well as against the original Spider-Woman. Caliban attempted to kidnap Sprite and the battle ended peacefully, with the four women allowing the pathetic Caliban, who only sought friendship, to return to his underground home.
In Love With Sprite
Sometime later, the X-Men found themselves in conflict with the Morlocks, as Callisto had kidnapped Angel for marriage. In the midst of the confusion, Caliban held Sprite, who was deathly sick from Plague and he had fallen in love with. After Colossus' life was in danger, Sprite promised Caliban her hand in marriage, in exchange for aid in saving his and the X-Men's lives. Caliban agreed and carried out his part of the bargain, but Sprite did not keep her promise and returned to the X-Men. Weeks later, the Morlocks kidnapped Ariel, on orders from the vengeful Callisto, and attempted to force her to marry Caliban, but Caliban, realizing that she did not truly wish to live with him, released her from her promise. Since then, Caliban and Ariel remained friends.
Concerned about Rusty Collins' safety, Artie Maddicks followed him and Skids, into the Morlocks' Alley and met Caliban and Leech. The Morlocks were being massacred, by the Marauders, and Caliban, Artie, and Leech were terrorized by Sabretooth, but they were saved by X-Factor, even though Caliban had been injured. Caliban and Leech were separated from Artie and ,while many Morlocks were being killed, rescued by the Power Pack and the X-Terminators (X-Factor in their role of mutant hunters). Caliban and Leech were taken to the X-Factor Complex, by Beast and Iceman. Caliban vowed vengeance on the killers of the Morlocks. After the massacre, Caliban and the remaining Morlocks decided that they should return to the Alley. After Beast tried to help them reconsider, Masque attacked him, horribly disfiguring his face, until Caliban beat him and made him change it back.
After hearing of Angel's apparent suicide, Caliban and Leech attended the funeral and returned to the X-Factor Complex. Caliban accompanied X-Factor on a mission to battle The Right and rescue Rictor. After searching for Boom-Boom, with Iceman and Beast, Caliban witnessed X-Factor battle three of Apocalypse's Horsemen. Later, the children of X-Factor were kidnapped, by The Right, and Caliban was tranquilized and left for dead, as they concluded he was useless. Caliban accompanied X-Factor to rescue the children and, after, they were all teleported aboard Apocalypse's Celestial Ship, where they battled the Horsemen and Angel, as Death. However, Apocalypse offered X-Factor to join him and Caliban asked Apocalypse to grant him enough superhuman power to wreak vengeance on his enemies and Apocalypse accepted. When Cyclops asked for Caliban to rescue X-Factor, after they were captured, Caliban simply apologized and agreed to become Apocalypse's Hellhound.
Horseman of Apocalypse
While operating under Apocalypse, Caliban sensed the mental anguish of the mutant Moloid, Val-Or and informed his master, alerting Apocalypse to the High Evolutionary's plans. Apocalypse used advanced genetic engineering methods to increase Caliban's size and strength. Apocalypse renamed Caliban "Hellhound," and he joined Apocalypse's Horsemen. Still later, Caliban took the name "Death".
Caliban and the other Horsemen were manipulated by Mister Sinister into serving him. Caliban attacked his former allies Cyclops and Jean Grey, and brought them to Sinister, who turned them over to the terrorist Stryfe. Alongside the other Horsemen, Caliban then battled the X-Men but was defeated by them.
Removed from the influence of Apocalypse and Mister Sinister, Caliban reverted to his original, non-violent personality. Cable recruited Caliban into his team, X-Force, in which Caliban continued to serve for a long time. Moreover, Caliban came to regard Cable as one of his closest friends.
Later, Caliban once again fell under the thrall of Apocalypse. He mutated even further, becoming much more aggressive. Caliban threatened to kill X-Force in his first act as Pestilence, First Horseman of the Apocalypse. Following the Horsemen's defeat, Caliban sought out Apocalypse, who had merged with Cyclops, stalwart leader of the X-Men. By the time the amalgamated entity released Caliban from his service, he already had begun reverting to his original, childlike personality.
He kidnapped the young X-Man Jubilee, holding her hostage in exchange for Sabretooth, who was being rehabilitated by Xavier. Shadowcat accompanied Sabretooth into the Morlock tunnels. There, she was left to die after they encountered a giant subterranean squid. After rescuing Pryde, Caliban faced Sabretooth in a brief yet ferocious fight, which resulted in his face being scarred before he fled.
Later, Caliban was hunted by the Dark Riders, Apocalypse’s replacements for the Horsemen. Saved by Cable, Domino, and Storm, Caliban helped them to track the Riders back to their base in Egypt and confront their new leader, Genesis. As his intelligence continued to degrade and he began reverting to his original, non-violent personality, Caliban was recruited by Cable back into X-Force. With that team, Caliban faced opponents such as the Mimic, Barrachus the Kalinator, Sabretooth, Holocaust, the Externals, S.H.I.E.L.D., Mr. Sinister, an other-worldly foursome, the alien android Pulse, Mojo, and even Asgardian rock trolls and goblins. For a brief time, Caliban and X-Force fell under the control of Sebastian Shaw, Black King of the Hellfire Club, and were mentally coerced into attacking Cable himself.
Caliban eventually began to suffer crippling seizures that seemingly had no cause. After aiding Cable against an assault on the Xavier Institute by Bastion’s Operation: Zero Tolerance forces, Caliban was taken by Ozymandias, the immortal indentured servant of Apocalypse, who revealed that the seizures were a result of Caliban’s past alteration. Returned to Apocalypse, Caliban was reshaped into the Horseman Pestilence. At Apocalypse’s behest, Caliban successfully captured both Cable and his alternate reality brother Nate Grey. Caliban and the Horsemen were defeated during battle with the X-Men when they were teleported away by Mikhail Rasputin. Subsequently, Caliban tracked down Cyclops, who had merged with Apocalypse and who was struggling to keep the eternal mutant’s essence in check. Apocalypse’s psyche became dominant, and released Caliban from his service. By that time, Caliban had once more begun reverting to his original naive self, and his intelligence faded until he possessed only a simple animal-like mind.
Return to X-Force and Aftermath
Caliban was subsequently captured by the anti-mutant research facility the Watchtower, which sought to train him as a means to ferret out the mutant-devouring Skornn. Caliban was liberated by the combined efforts of Cable, X-Force, Wolverine, Deadpool, and the Mutant Liberation Front, and he subsequently rejoined X-Force to help oppose the Skornn. After the advent of "M-Day", Caliban was one of the few mutants who retained his powers. Since then, he joined the mutant refugee camp that came to be known as the 198.
The New X-Force
Then something happened. A new mutant baby was born. This baby was hope in the eyes of the X-Men. The X-Men sent a team, fought the Acolytes, the Marauders, the Purifiers, just to learn who had the child. It was Cable. He took the child and went on a trip. After the Xavier Institute was destroyed by Sentinels, from the O*N*E*, Cyclops, leader of the X-men decided to up the stakes. He told Wolverine to assemble the X-Force.
The best fighters, the best trackers the X-Teams had to offer. In Coopers Town Alaska, the X-Force took their first step, and what ever it was that stopped the X-Team from sensing Cable was stopped. Then the X-Force caught up with Cable-and the new Reavers, led by Lady Deathstrike. While Hepzibah, Wolfsbane, and X-23 were taking on the Reavers, Caliban, Warpath, and Wolverine went for Cable. The Caliban saw one of the Reavers aiming for Warpath. He blocked the bullet and he died an X-Man. Warpath had trouble dealing with his death saying "It should have been me that died."
Caliban was later reanimated via the techno-organic virus by the Selene-worshiping Eli Bard. Selene used Caliban to locate the largest concentration of dead mutants, Genosha. She resurrected all the deceased and planned to make it her home base, but her schemes were interrupted after she was killed by the X-Men. After her death Caliban and the other deceased mutants resurrected by the techno-organic virus once again returned to their graves.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Caliban has been genetically augmented by Apocalypse, twice, on two separate occasions. The first time as Death, in which he was given Superhuman Phisical Conditioning plus clawed fingernails and a twist to his fear amplifying powers. As pestilence he was given a neurotoxic mental plague, which apparently faded.
- X-Factor Detection: He is able to psionically sense the presence of other mutants within a 25 mile radius of himself. He once proved to be able to catch mutants presence far more away that those 25 miles when he detected the powerful Moloid mutant Val-Or's psychic scream, at the other side of the planet (This mutant was powerful but his powers couldn't been sensed only by sensitive people).
- Fear Absorption: He is able to absorb the psionic energy in the fear from others and convert it into physical strength.
- Superhuman Strength: Caliban can use fear that he's absorbed to enhance his physical strength, upper limits of which tops that of Jessica Drew, Spider woman.
- Amplification: He is able to also use absorbed fear-energy to turn it against those around him, inducing more intense fear within their minds.
- Enhanced Superhuman Strength
- Superhuman Speed
- Superhuman Stamina
- Superhuman Durability
- Superhuman Reflexes
- Superhuman Agility
- Superhuman Leaping ability
- Claws & Fangs
- Neurotoxin Mental Plague: He had the ability to secrete neurotoxins from his claws, which carried a mental plague, a virus that attacked from within on the highest planes of the psyche and broke down the mental functions of the target. A subset of this ability was specifically designed to harm Mister Sinister.
|Power Grid |
|* Higher intelligence, strength, speed, durability with Apocalypse enhancements|
Caliban originally possessed the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engaged in minimal regular exercise. However, he can draw from the fear of nearby people and use it to enhance his strength. The limits of that superhuman strength are unknown, but he proved he could easily outmatch the original Spider-Woman, who could lift (press) about 7 tons.
As a result of Apocalypse's bioengineering, Caliban possesses superhuman strength allowing him to lift (press) approximately 10 tons. He retains his ability to increase his strength by siphoning fear from others.
- Caliban was intended to be a member of an X-Men "in-training" secondary team, alongside a newly created Kitty Pryde and Willie Evans, Jr. Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter nixed the idea, however, saying it sounded too much like the Legion of Substitute X-Men. The Caliban we know today was later created, but was entirely different than the original intention for the character.
- 127 Appearances of Caliban (Earth-616)
- 51 Images featuring Caliban (Earth-616)
- 8 Quotations by or about Caliban (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Caliban (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Caliban (Earth-616)
- Uncanny X-Men.net
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