- I don't wanna be the monster who kills a baby in his crib. Who would? It's no kind of fun down here in the dark. But if that's what it'll take... To turn everything back... I'm your monster, man.
- -- Toad src
Mortimer Toynbee was abandoned by his parents so early in his childhood that he couldn't remember them. He was placed in an orphanage where the other children, who regarded him as a freak due to his ugliness, his unusual physique, and his leaping ability, continually tormented him. Toynbee was so traumatized by his loneliness and the continual abuse he received that it affected his learning abilities. The teachers and administrators in the orphanage therefore regarded Toynbee as mentally retarded, even though, in actuality, he had a rather gifted intelligence. So desperate did Toynbee become for affection that he developed a pathetically subservient personality, and would unquestioningly obey anyone he thought sincerely cared about him.
At some point after achieving adulthood, Toynbee was discovered by Magneto and recruited for his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Magneto gave Toynbee the alias of the Toad because of Toynbee's powers, appearance, and personality. Magneto did not believe that the Toad's powers would be of any great service to him, but he thought it useful to have an expendable pawn who would follow his orders unquestioningly. The Toad was indeed pathetically devoted to Magneto; he subconsciously referred to him as a surrogate father. He blinded himself to Magneto's continual verbal and physical abuse because Magneto was out to conquer the human race that had rejected the Toad. The Toad believed that he would be given a place of honor in the new society that Magneto would create.
As a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, the Toad met the mutant Scarlet Witch, and became infatuated with her, though she did not reciprocate the feeling. Also on the team were the Scarlet Witch's brother Quicksilver and the illusionist Mastermind. The Brotherhood battled the original X-Men repeatedly, but the X-Men continually thwarted them.
Magneto and the Toad were captured by the alien called the Stranger and imprisoned on a distant world. When Magneto first escaped, he callously left the Toad behind, and the Toad's attitude towards his master began to change. After being recaptured, Magneto escaped a second time and took the Toad with him, but his continued abuse caused the Toad's resentment to increase until it flared into murderous hatred. The Toad deliberately abandoned Magneto to die in an explosion that followed an encounter with the Avengers and the X-Men and, when Magneto tried to escape, the Toad blocked his way out, causing Magneto to pummel to his apparent death. It was later discovered that Magneto survived.
The Toad became a recluse, but was soon captured along with the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, first by the mutant-hunting robots called the Sentinels and later, while he was supporting the Scarlet Witch in her quest to recover her powers, by the extra-dimensional warrior Arkon. When the Avengers rescued Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, the Toad asked to remain on Arkon's world, where he employed its technological resources to build a ship that would carry him across space and the dimensional barrier. He returned to the Stranger's planet.
There he studied and stole the Stranger's technology and equipment in an effort to become more powerful and thus more appealing to the Scarlet Witch. However, just as he prepared to return to Earth, he leaned that the Scarlet Witch had married the Vision. Enraged, he planned to strike out at her, attacked the Avengers to learn her whereabouts, but was defeated.
He served a short prison term and was released, at which time he commissioned the criminal Arcade to construct a series of deadly traps in a seemingly deserted castle in upstate New York. Renaming himself the Terrible Toad-King, he planned to entrap everyone who he felt had abused him, placing them in the castle where they would be killed in the attempt to escape. His first victim was the X-Man Angel. In capturing the Angel, the Toad accidentally kidnapped the Thing, too. Just as the two were about to escape, Arcade stepped in and demanded immediate payment for his services. Unable to pay and fearful for his own life, the Toad fell into a panic.
The Angel took pity on Toynbee and formulated an agreement with him to convert the castle into an amusement park, paying the debt in the process. The endeavor was a success until it was discovered that the castle's original owner was Victor Von Doom. Doom sent a robot of himself and a security force to remove the Toad and restore the structure to its original state.
Toynbee again fell into despondency and decided to commit suicide, an attempt that was interrupted by Spider-Man. In an effort to buoy Toynbee's spirits, Spider-Man offered his friendship. As eager for this acceptance as he had been for Magneto's, the Toad became determined to be Spider-Man's partner, despite Spider-Man's gentle protests. The Toad resorted to a ruse in an effort to change his mind, and hired a group of criminals to attack Spider-Man, an assault the Toad would then help foil. In the process he attracted the attention of Frog Man and Spider-Kid, two young men who also wished to team-up with Spider-Man. During the fight, the three found themselves interested in a partnership of their own and formed a trio they called the Misfits.
Though seeking the help of a psychiatrist during this period, Toynbee was still obsessed with the Scarlet Witch. In direct contradiction to his law-enforcing partnership with Frog Man and Spider-Kid, the Toad used the technology stolen from the Stranger to attempt to kidnap her. His first such try, during a Thanksgiving celebration, involved robot doppelgangers of the original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and was stopped by the Vision, Quicksilver, and the recently-reformed Magneto. It was Quicksilver who actually subdued the Toad, who was again calling himself the Terrible Toad-King.
Toynbee and his automatons were removed to Project Pegasus for study, but one of the robots reactivated on a timed program and freed its builder. The Vision pursued the Toad to his ship and narrowly defeated him, sending the ship into space, out of control. Toad regained control in time to successfully return to Earth, where he attacked once again. He became violently agitated when this attempt brought him into conflict with Spider-Man, whose approval he still valued. The Toad defeated Spider-Man and the Vision using a powerful exoskeleton and forced his way into the New Jersey home owned by the Scarlet Witch and the Vision. The Scarlet Witch was eight months pregnant, and when the Toad confronted her, he found her condition repulsive. She defeated him, but he escaped.
Eventually the Toad sought to form a new Brotherhood, recruiting Blob, Pyro, Sauron, and Phantazia. Allied with the Morlocks, the team attempted to take down the mutant strike team X-Force in a violent battle. Following a clash with Darkhawk and Sleepwalker over the interdimensional mutant Portal, Toad's Brotherhood disbanded.
For a time, Toad stayed at the Canadian estate of Emma Frost, after the former White Queen had taken pity on him. This led to a minor skirmish with Emma's students, Generation X, who were not expecting to find him there.
Toad, Mystique, Juggernaut, Iceman, and Phoenix were later summoned by Prosh to stop the Stranger's attempt to accelerate the evolution of humans and mutants. During their time jumps an embryo thought to be an unborn Toad was examined by the Black Womb Project and deemed unfit. His flawed genetic structure was corrected, resulting in an almost complete metamorphosis: Toad had a taller, slimmer physique and had his powers augmented. Among the most notable changes was a prehensile tongue. He participated in the final battle with the Stranger, along with Prosh and Mystique and the rest of the team. After their success, Toad left.
Toad eventually resurfaced in Genosha after Sentinels killed nearly all 16 million of the country's mutant citizens. Toad, along with Toad-In-Waiting, were paying respects to his former master Magneto, who was believed to have been among the casualties.
After M-Day over ninety percent of the world's mutant population lost their powers as a result. Toad was among the relative handful to retain his powers. Toad took refuge at the Xavier Institute where the X-Men had set up a camp for the remaining mutants, helping his fellow mutant Lorelei after she was beat up by Purity. During the Dark Reign, Toad was fighting in the riot against the Human Front and the X-Man Cyclops, and later, helped by Trance and Dragoness escape to H.A.M.M.E.R soldiers. Later, with Dragoness, Litterbug and Bliss, Toad tried to take control of the Utopian Water but was stopped by Iceman. During the Second Coming of the mutant messiah, Mortimer lost a finger fighting a Nimrod.
Feeling a second class citizen in Utopia, Toad followed Wolverine in his efforts to rebuild the Westchester school for mutants. Mortimer became the janitor at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. He had often sought to keep the school clean and stop the students from misbehaving, but he had most often been completely ignored in his efforts. When the Phoenix Force approached Earth, Quentin Quire was incapacitated after touching its essence, and fell from the sky during flight class. Toad rushed to save him, springing across several buildings and catching Quire with his tongue before he struck the ground. When the other adults at the school reached the scene, Toad was embarrassed, and tried to avoid attention, thinking they'd reprimand him for his actions. Husk, however, was incredibly impressed with his bravery and abilities, and told him so.
Toad eventually left the Jean Grey School to join the newly established Hellfire Academy, after being urged by his girlfriend Husk. Unhappy with the way he was treated at the Hellfire Academy, Toad helped Quentin Quire try to escape.
After returning to the Jean Grey School, Toad discovered that Husk had no memory of what had happened to her or anything about their relationship. Toad accepted this but was visibly depressed about the situation, eventually prompting him to leave the school with Doctor Frankenstein after the teenager escaped from the school.
Toad eventually rejoined the X-Men, and found himself being happy for once about his life. His happiness, however, was cut short due to the Terrigen Mist crisis and Cyclops war against the Inhumans. The Jean Grey School publicly closed its doors and moved to a refuge called X-Haven in Limbo, prompting Toad to leave the facilities.
From there onwards, Mortimer's life spiraled into misery. He became an alcoholic, lived in a precarious hotel. When he discovered the whereabouts of Cyclops' time-displaced younger self, Toad started to believe that if he killed the young Cyclops, he would produce a change in the timeline, erasing the actions the present-day Cyclops caused. Mortimer knew it was an atrocity to murder the young Cyclops for crimes he hadn't yet commited, but he believed it to be a necessary evil.
When the X-Men traveled to Paris, Toad followed them and abducted Scott to the Parisian catacombs. In order to prevent Toad from killing him, Scott used his optic blasts and caused a cave-in that separated them, but heavily injured him. Scott ended up without his visor and a broken leg. Toad followed the trail of blood left by Scott and used kerosene to ignite it. As a last resort, Scott released an optic blast once more, producing a second and bigger cave-in. Toad escaped in time, and believed Scott to have died due to the destruction caused (he would later be found comatose by his teammates). Devastated by the lack of any change in the timeline, Toad panicked and ran away.
|Power Grid |
Toad is a mutant who has displayed the following abilities:
- Superhuman Leaping: Toad's primary power is the ability to leap to heights and distances far greater than that of an ordinary human. He possesses a degree of superhuman strength, particularly in his back and legs, which grants him his superior leaping abilities (able to reach 25 feet in a vertical leap and 37 feet in a broad jump), as well as deliver kicks with superhuman force. Although the Toad usually stands in a crouching position, he can stand erect if he wishes. His unusually flexible spine enables him to crouch continually without strain.
- Flexible Bone Structure: The Toad's bone structure enables him great flexibility. He can remain in a crouching position for long periods of time and perform contortionist type feats without causing any damage to his spine.
- Superhuman Stamina: The Toad's muscles produce a significantly lower amount of fatigue toxins during physical activity than the muscles of an ordinary human. He can exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before fatigue begins to impair him.
- Superhuman Agility: The Toad's overall equilibrium application is enhanced to some degree and his bodily coordination and balance are enhanced to levels that are beyond the human body's natural limits.
- Superhuman Reflexes: The Toad's reflexes are enhanced to levels that are beyond the human body's natural limits.
- Superhuman Durability: The Toad's body is tougher and more resistant to physical injury than an ordinary human's. He can withstand major impacts and physical trauma that would severely injure or kill an ordinary human with moderate discomfort.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: The Toad has a limited healing factor that allows him to recover from injuries and ailments at an accelerated rate. He can recover from minor ailments, such as a cold, within a few hours. Larger, more damaging injuries, such as broken bones, heal within a matter of days. He has also been shown as being able to regenerate severed body parts, such as when he regenerated his tongue, which had been completely cut off by Wolverine.
- UV/Infrared Vision: The Toad's enhanced vision allows him to see into the ultraviolet and infrared spectrum, granting him a degree of heightened night vision. However, his eyes are also sensitive to certain types of lighting, forcing him to wear light-filtering goggles that allow him to operate in strong daylight that would otherwise blind him.
- Prehensile Tongue: The Toad has the ability to extend his tongue up to 30 feet in length and use it as a whip to ensnare objects and people. His tongue is superhumanly strong, capable of lifting and crushing a magistrate of Genosha to death.
- Pheromone Secretion: The Toad's can secrete an odorless pheromonal venom from glands in his tongue and fingertips that seeps through the skin directly into the bloodstream. This venom allows him to control minds of any exposed to it to a limited extent. It is presumed that the victim's skin must be porous in order to take effect.
- Acidic Saliva: The Toad's saliva is highly acidic and can adheres to most surfaces and quickly dissolve most materials with ease.
- Paralytic Resin: The Toad's pores secrete an adhesive resin that allows him to stick to any surface and paralyzes the nervous systems of any living organism that comes into contact with it.
- Superhuman Respiratory System: The Toad's lungs can expand and compress large quantities of air that can be expelled with enough force to knock a fully grown human off their feet.
- Amphibian Control: The Toad the ability to psionically communicate with and control amphibian life, such as frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders, who he often uses as spies.
Experienced Combatant: The Toad has no formal knowledge of hand-to-hand combat. However, his powers enable him to execute a leaping kick with superhuman force at an opponent and his career as a servant of Magneto and foe of the X-men has given him plenty of combat experience. The Toad's superhuman agility combined with his powerful legs (and, less so, his arms) makes him a highly formidable opponent in kick-boxing, despite a lack of any formal training.
Expert Machinist: The Toad has a great knowledge of most forms of conventional and advanced technology, thanks to his studies of machinery in the possession of Arcade, Arkon, Magneto, and the Stranger. He once developed a robotic battle suit containing an exoskeleton that amplifies his strength and emits a pulse ball of lightning when it hits a target. It was also equipped with termoblasters, poison gas projectors, and a self teleportation device. The Toad has also used a strength amplifying exoskeleton composed of pure energy.
Superhuman Strength: The Toad is superhumanly strong, primarily in his lower body, and is capable of leg pressing 3 tons. He possesses superhuman strength in his upper body as well, although to a much lower degree, and can lift about 1 ton. Toad's elongated tongue is also able to lift heavy weights, though the exact limit is unknown.
The Toad is near-sighted and has an aversion to light. He often wears light filtering goggles that allow him to operate in strong daylight that would otherwise blind him. More generally, Toad's lack of self-confidence and cowardliness keep him from realizing his full potential.
As a result of not bathing and the fact that his skin secretes unusual chemicals, the Toad usually has an offensive odor. The Toad also has a neurological chemical imbalance, which explains his drastic changes in personality.
- Toad has always had an unstable mutation, thanks to his infancy in the Black Womb Project. When he was injured in a battle with the Stranger, the Toad was healed by Prosh, which, in turn, corrected his flawed genetic structure, resulting in a slimmer physique and a prehensile tongue that secretes odorless, pheremonous venom.
The goggles Toad is often seen wearing protect his eyes from intense lighting and correct his vision.
- Mortimer's identity is known to law enforcement agencies.
- In possession of Stepford Cuckoos' powers, Rogue read in Toad's mind that he hates the name "Mortimer" and suspects his own parents to hate him.
- 220 Appearances of Mortimer Toynbee (Earth-616)
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- 4 Quotations by or about Mortimer Toynbee (Earth-616)
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- ↑ X-Men: The 198 #1
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 X-Men Forever #1
- ↑ X-Men #4-7
- ↑ X-Men #11
- ↑ X-Men #17
- ↑ Avengers #53
- ↑ X-Men #63
- ↑ Avengers #75
- ↑ Avengers #76
- ↑ Avengers #138
- ↑ Wolverine and the X-Men #32
- ↑ Spider-Man and the X-Men #1
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 All-New X-Men Vol 2 #7
- ↑ All-New X-Men Vol 2 #6
- ↑ X-Men: The 198 Files #1
- ↑ X-Men Legacy #234
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 12
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 12
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