Sebastian Shaw was a mutant with the superhuman ability to absorb and redirect kinetic energy.
Sebastian Shaw, under the alias Dr. Klaus Schmidt, was a scientist working for the Nazis during World War II. He was present in the concentration camp where a young Erik Lehnsherr's mutant powers first manifested. Shaw attempted to coax Erik into conciously using his ability. He then threatened to shoot the boy's mother if he did not move a small 5 pfennig coin by the time he counted to three. When Erik failed to do so, Shaw executed his mother. This enraged Erik greatly, causing him to lash out with his powers, killing two camp guards. This delighted Shaw, who congratulated the traumatized young mutant.
In the early 1960s, Sebastian emerged as the leader of the Hellfire Club, a group of mutants with aspirations of world domination. He was observed in Las Vegas by CIA Agent Moira MacTaggert meeting with U.S. Army Colonel Hendry, who he threatened into supporting the construction of American missile sites in Turkey, near the Russian border. When MacTaggert witnessed Shaw's henchmen Azazel and Riptide using their powers, she attempted to warn her superiors, but Shaw covered his tracks by having Azazel immediatly teleport Hendry to a Joint Chiefs meeting where he voiced his support of the plan.
Later, when Hendry came to Sebastian's yacht to collect his payment, Shaw attempted to have him killed. But the Colonel pulled out a grenade and threatened to blow them all up if they refused to let him go. Shaw took the grenade and pulled the pin himself. Shaw absorbed the energy from the blast and then used the energy to kill Hendry. That night, an adult and vengeful Erik Lehnsherr, who had been hunting Shaw, sneaked aboard the yacht and attempted to murder the man who had tortured him only to be overwhelmed by Emma Frost's telepathy. At the same time, the U.S. Coast Guard arrived along with MacTaggert and mutant telepath Charles Xavier to apprehend him. Frost used her powers to shield Shaw from Xavier and they all made their way to their submarine and narrowly escaped capture.
On their way to meet with a Soviet general, Frost sensed Xavier's enhanced telepathy and informed Sebastian that Xavier was recruiting his own team of mutants through use of Cerebro. Shaw revealed a helmet he had built that could shield him from telepathic influence. He, Azazel and Riptide tracked Charles and his team to a secret CIA facility where they proceeded to kill everyone, leaving only the young mutants alive. He offered them a chance to join him in the upcoming war with humankind, an offer that only Angel Salvadore accepted. When the others attempted to stop her, Shaw absorbed Alex Summers' energy blast and killed Armando Muñoz before leaving.
Shaw proceeded to Russia, where he met with the Soviet general, forcing the man to send Soviet missiles to Cuba. Shaw planned to goad the U.S. and Soviet Union to use nuclear weapons on each other, causing World War III which would cripple human civilization and allow mutants to rise up and rule. He accompanied the Russian fleet in his submarine to assure that the missiles reached their destination, but he was tracked by Xavier and his team. Lehnsherr used his powers to lift the sub from the water before they both crashed on a nearby beach. Shaw attempted to absorb the energy from the sub's nuclear reactor and and turn himself into a human atom bomb, but was foiled by Lehnsherr. The two fought and Shaw had the upper hand until Erik managed to remove his helmet allowing Xavier to mentally freeze his body. Lehnsherr then took Shaw's helmet for himself and used his magnetic ability to force the gold Nazi coin he had kept through Shaw's brain, killing him, which also hurts Xavier who's psionically restraining Shaw. Lehnsherr deposited his body on the beach for the other mutants to see his bloodied corpse.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Energy Absorption and Manipulation: Shaw is a mutant capable of absorbing energy types and then re-releasing it. He was shown capable of absorbing radiation from a reactor, Havok's plasma energy rings, kinetic energy from bullet impacts, thermal energy from grenades & rocket launchers. Once he has the energy he displays enhanced durability and strength, and is able to release the energy in powerful and destructive ways, an example is when he took down an entire room of people by releasing powerful explosive energy he had gained by being fired on by bullets and a rocket. He was able to release some energy he absorbed and produce energy, which he put into Darwin to kill him. He says that by absorbing energy he can stay young.
- Kevin Bacon portrays Sebastian Shaw in X-Men: First Class.
- In X2, a Dr. Shaw is briefly shown debating Dr. Hank McCoy on television. It was assumed that this man was Sebastian Shaw, but his death in X-Men: First Class makes this impossible. The novelization of X2 specifically refers to the man on the television as Sebastian Shaw.
- Shaw is responsible for originally designing and utilizing the telepathic-resistant helmet that Magneto would eventually come to wear.
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