- What is mine... is mine. And what is theirs... is mine.
- -- Sebastian Shaw src
Sebastian Shaw's power first manifested shortly after he was accepted to engineering school and his father died, when he was beaten by some rednecks in a bar. Shaw devoted himself to his studies and created Shaw Industries, becoming a billionaire by the age of 40.
Shaw fell in love with a woman named Lourdes Chantel, and was soon initiated into the Hellfire Club along with Warren Worthington Jr., Howard Stark and John Braddock. Soon, Shaw rose to the position of Black King, and gathered mutant associates to his side, including Emma Frost and Tessa. Unfortunately, Chantel was soon killed by Sentinels in a battle. Upon discovering that Ned Buckman, the White King of the Inner Circle, was supporting Stephen Lang's Project: Armageddon and its Sentinels, Shaw executed a coup, using Emma's telepathy to make Buckman kill his own White Queen and then himself. Shaw then appointed himself Black King, and his associate Frost as White Queen of the Hellfire Club.
As the leader of the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club, Shaw started plans to dominate the world through force, money and power. His connections to top officials of corporations and government, acquired via the club and through his position as CEO of Shaw Industries, made him a powerful enemy. Ironically, Shaw was for years a major supporter and builder of Sentinels, figuring that it was better to be in control of them than not. This activity brought him into frequent contact with Senator Robert Kelly and Henry Gyrich, to whom he appeared to be an anti-mutant human bigot. Secretly, however, Shaw continued his plans, some of which have involved Black Air and more recently, an unnamed group of time-manipulators.
Once he was in search for a new person for the title of the White King. He made a party to which he invited the most influential men in the world and trying to decide who is better fit for this position. Rejecting the candidacy of Tony Stark, he choose Prince Namor of Atlantis, and invited him to join the Club. But Namor contemptuously rejected the proposal, saying that if Sebastian once again dare to waste his time on such a minor thing, he will kill him. This led Shaw into a frenzy, so he ordered Emma to force Namor to join the Club, no matter what the cost. A few days later, she acted out a suicide by jumping overboard yacht to attract Namor's attention. He rescued her and they spent together two weeks in the Atlantis. Shaw, however, tired of waiting for news from Emma, thinking that Namor killed or captured her, he decided to sent the Sentinels for her. Sentinels attacked Namor and Emma and caused damage to the Atlantis, and Namor took this as a declaration of war. Finding where the Sentinels came from, Namor, along with Emma, went there and clashed with Shaw, Pierce and Selene. Selene mind-wiped Emma, to erase the memories of her betrayal and make her loyal to the Club again. Surrounded by two telepaths, Shaw explained to Namor that he will never get close enough to kill him. Namor left, but vowed to take revenge one day.
Shaw was a key part of the corruption of Phoenix into Dark Phoenix, as well as the Hellfire Club's battle with the X-Men against Nimrod, during which he was thrown into the upper atmosphere by the future Sentinel, then caught by Harry Leland's gravity-altering power and slammed at phenomenal speed into Nimrod. Unfortunately, this effort had the result of killing Leland.
Months later, Shaw was attacked by his own son Shinobi Shaw, who phased his hand into his father's chest to induce a coronary. Shaw was supposedly blown up in his Swiss Mountain chalet by a bomb set by his son. However, Shaw survived, though he was marked with a scar on his face crossing his left eye (probably since removed with plastic surgery).
Shaw's first move upon recovery from the bomb was to contact the man named Holocaust, who had crossed over from the "Age of Apocalypse". In exchange for a new armored containment suit, Holocaust agreed to help Shaw capture X-Force, which he did with frightful ease. Shaw then had Tessa reprogram X-Force to hunt down Cable, but Cable used his fledgling telepathy to break the conditioning and free his team. Shaw's association with Holocaust declined soon after.
Then, somehow, Shaw was apparently ousted from his position as Black King by Selene, who installed Blackheart in his place. This arrangement did not last long, as Shaw has since returned to power. He attempted to use Lady Mastermind to control Sage and the team of X-Men who were searching for the Destiny Prophecies. Then, after Professor X was "outed" as a mutant, Shaw apparently returned to his capitalist roots and converted the Hellfire Club into something closer to a real nightclub, but that was in fact a safe haven for mutants regardless of affiliation. Using telepathic dancers, Shaw gleaned secrets from the minds of his patrons, who came in just to have a good, decadent time.
After a few months, however, Shaw made a play to become the Lord Imperial of the entire Club worldwide, and invited Sage to help him. Sage accepted, but effectively betrayed Shaw when she didn't warn him that Pierce might try to assassinate him. Shaw met with the X-Men, claiming to be somewhat reformed, just before Pierce's attack. He was then wounded by Pierce, but remained strong enough to literally knock Pierce's head off. However, he was too hurt to maintain his Club position and was replaced by Sunspot, whom he had chosen as his Black Rook.
"New Hellfire Club"
Later, it seemed Shaw had joined forces with a new Inner Circle which included Cassandra Nova and Emma Frost, the latter of whom had since joined the X-Men. The Hellfire Club made their attack as they each targeted an individual member of Cyclops' team of X-Men. Shaw himself defeated Colossus. In the end however, it was discovered that the entire Hellfire Club was not real, and all were mental images created by Emma Frost's mind, which was infected with a special "programming" by Cassandra Nova in an attempt to revive her. The Shaw duplicate vanished.
Shaw was one of the few mutants to retain their powers following M-Day. Shaw appeared incognito (disguised by an image-inducer) at a funeral for a mutant boy named Landru. Xavier overheard his thoughts of a possible coup against Sunspot during the service. When Shaw noticed him watching, he quickly created a Psi-Shield to hide his thoughts. When confronted by Professor X, he stated that he had only come to pay his respects.
Some time later, Shaw appeared at a Hellfire club dinner hosted by Sunspot and alerted him to a device left by his father that exploded elsewhere in the compound, resulting in the insanity of two club menials. Shaw asked his manservant for a file labeled "Cronus". After being upbraided over the explosion and deaths by da Costa, Shaw was ordered to investigate. Shaw, however, already knew the cause. The explosion in the Hellfire Club was caused by the activation of a machine developed beneath the Alamogordo genetics plant in Las Cruces, New Mexico by Mr. Sinister. In the past Sinister had worked there (disguised as a Dr Milbury) alongside Brian Xavier, Kurt Marko and Irene Adler, who had been gathered for him by Jacob Shaw, Sebastian's father, as they all had the X-gene and Sinister predicted their children would be mutants. Sinister then experimented on these children (including Cain Marko, Charles Xavier and Sebastian himself), imprinting himself on their DNA. Sinister's machine, dubbed the Cronus device, was designed to activate soon after his death and would activate these hidden copies until Sinister could be reborn in one of them. Jacob, wanting to protect his son, created the device in the Hellfire club from Sinister's notes to alert and protect Sebastian from the Cronus device.
Shaw traveled to New Mexico to visit another of the children to confirm his theory, running into Xavier and Gambit, who were investigating a hit list with the children's names on it. Following them, he was present when they were attacked by mercenaries under the employ of Amanda Mueller, a former associate of Sinister. Xavier was captured and Gambit and Shaw teamed up to save Xavier. It was revealed that Mueller wanted to house the powers (though not the personality) of Sinister herself and so was assassinating the children, having undergone the procedure herself. She shot Xavier, who was already struggling to stop Sinister from taking over his body, which allowed him to take over. Sinister in Xavier's body stopped Mueller, but was in turn confronted by Shaw and Gambit, who destroyed the Cronus device while Xavier cast Sinister out of his mind. With the threat gone, Shaw left.
Later, Shaw teamed up with a female clone of Mr. Sinister called Miss Sinister.
Prisoner on Utopia
During the Dark Reign of Norman Osborn, Emma Frost and Namor met again. Finally, restoring her memories about their first meeting and Shaw's betrayal, Frost offered Namor a deal: she would help him kill Shaw, and in response he would protect and defend mutants as his own people. Namor agreed, so Emma telepathically called Shaw to the Club's mansion. When he arrived she blinded and immobilized him in illusion, and in the same time showed Namor another illusion, in which she kills Sebastian. After convincing Namor that Shaw was dead and enlisting his support for mutants, Emma took Sebastian to the Graymalkin Industries and locked him in Brig for crimes against the mutantkind.
Later Emma, together with Kitty Pryde, Fantomex and E.V.A. took him off the island. Fantomex threw him out of EVA in the sky over China, but Shaw survived and fought with Emma. At the end of the battle Emma completely erased his memories.
He was found by the Lights several months later in Gilgit, Pakistan, where he tried to kill Butchers. Lights helped him and he returned with them to Utopia, but was immediately attacked and captured by the X-Men. Cyclops and Emma Frost told Hope about who Shaw was, that he was a criminal and had tried to kill the X-Men many times. But Hope convinced them that this man was dead, his whole life had been erased, and now he was a new and innocent person, who should join her team.. Cyclops relented and Sebastian was accepted into Hope's team. Hope gave him a file containing all of his past but Sebastian was doubtful about reading it.
Avengers vs X-Men
After the Avengers invaded Utopia, Shaw along with the kids in Utopia was taken to the Avengers Academy. It is revealed that Shaw read the file on him and now knows everything about his past although he claims not to remember it.
Wolverine distrusts Shaw and insists that he should be imprisoned. Shaw relents and is imprisoned in a cell that absorbs kinetic energy, meaning that Shaw would be unable to break it by building up his own kinetic energy by punching it.
Shaw however, asks for books to keep him occupied and uses a book to hit himself for 8 hours straight, allowing him to build up enough energy to break out of the cell and into the storm drain. Shaw made his way to the students and was attacked by the students of Avengers Academy and several staff members who believed he was going to kill them all. After revealing that he had only come to free the mutants held at the school, the mutants sided with him.
Eventually the staff of Avengers Academy relented and released them, allowing everyone to go free.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Kinetic Energy Absorption: Sebastian Shaw is a mutant with the superhuman ability to absorb kinetic energy and to metabolize it to enhance his own physical strength, speed, and stamina. This makes him extremely difficult to defeat in battle, as every blow struck against him only makes him stronger. Unusual tactics are required to defeat him, usually by incapacitating him or by attacking him psionically. Shaw absorbs the energy of any blow he is struck by, not just punches, but also projectiles like bullets, and to a less successful degree, electricity and physically based energy beams. Without absorbing energy, Shaw is merely a strong ordinary human, though normally he works to keep his strength at a superhuman level. For example, in one instance, he was shown to spend time hitting a wall after waking in order to build up his power reserves.
- Kinetic Metabolism: Shaw can forgo sleep if he receives enough kinetic energy. Often he will have his mercenaries pummel him to give him enough stored energy that he need not sleep for some time.
- Enhanced Durability: Shaw can still be crushed/cut, but cuts are superficial because he saps the blade of all its thrusting/cutting energy. Shaw is adept at not letting enemies realize his power until they have hit him one too many times. Hitting Shaw is often described as "punching a mattress". If properly energized, Shaw can lift and hold approximately one hundred times his weight. If bound, he can be punched by a teammate until he is strong enough to break the bonds. He is also adept at taunting foes into attacking him.
- Enhanced Speed: When he has absorbed kinetic energy, Shaw's speed is increased.
- Enhanced Stamina: Shaw's stamina in increased beyond normal human levels when he absorbs kinetic energy.
- Accelerated Healing: Shaw has healed from being hit repeatedly in the nose by Colossus in less than a few hours.
- Kinetic Energy Contact: After being repeatedly hit by Colossus once, Shaw simply touched Colossus' head and Colossus' nose started to bleed.
|Power Grid |
|* Heightened strength, durability potential with kinetic absorption|
AbilitiesShaw's powers make him a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, even against superhumanly strong people like Colossus. Being leader of the Hellfire Club has given Shaw some level of leadership and strategy skills. Shaw also has a shrewd business mind.
Strength levelWithout having absorbed additional energy, Sebastian Shaw possesses the normal strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise. However, Shaw can gain superhuman levels of strength by absorbing kinetic energy, and usually takes care to absorb enough in order to keep his strength at a superhuman level throughout his waking hours: for example, upon waking he will punch walls repeatedly in order to build up his reserves of absorbed energy. There is a limit to the amount of physical strength Shaw can achieve, but it as yet remains unknown.
Shaw's abilities can be overloaded by too great an influx of power, like being hit with too many superhumanly strong punches. Shaw can also be defeated if an opponent focuses on simply immobilizing him without striking him with significant force, or if something heavy falls on him, for though he can sap the kinetic falling energy, the weight of the object could still crush him, unless he is strong enough to lift/stop it. The X-Man known as Rogue once defeated Shaw simply by picking him up and throwing him straight up into the atmosphere, effectively removing him from the battlefield. There is an upper limit to the amount of energy that Shaw can absorb and convert: once he was "overloaded" by electrical energy discharged from the X-Man named Storm, and fell into a temporary coma. However, the exact extent of this limit remains unknown. He has also shown some telepathic ability.
Shaw has the resources of both his own corporation and the Hellfire Club at his disposal.
- No criminal record, the general public in unaware of Shaw's criminal activities.
- O*N*E Danger Rating: Severe
- Sebastian Shaw was one of the 198 mutants to retain his powers after M Day. What's more, his being a mutant was documented by the O*N*E. However, due to his social and financial standing, he was above the jurisdiction of the O*N*E.
- According to Emma Frost, Shaw is a "...a sexually obsessed little cretin.", she also stated that Shaw designed the New York Branch Hellfire Club building "...with all of his personal kinks and perversions in mind..." (with voyeurism having been shown).
- Shaw's creators, John Byrne and Chris Claremont, based Sebastian Shaw's appearance and last name on the British-born actor Robert Shaw.
- 168 Appearances of Sebastian Shaw (Earth-616)
- 34 Images featuring Sebastian Shaw (Earth-616)
- 10 Quotations by or about Sebastian Shaw (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Sebastian Shaw (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Sebastian Shaw (Earth-616)
- Characters killed by Sebastian Shaw
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