J.T. James was an Australian Inhuman and former demolitions expert. James was exiled from Afterlife before he would undergo Terrigenesis for pilfering through Jiaying's archives for information about the ancient Inhuman known as "Alveus." James was able to sneak an artifact related to Alveus from the archives, and took it with him when he went into exile.
James eventually settled into a trailer in a remote part of South Dakota. He buried part of the artifact under his trailer and kept the other part on him in case Afterlife sent anyone to find it. James also used his experience with explosives to booby-trap the perimeter of his trailer with landmines.
Years after his exile, Lincoln Campbell and Daisy Johnson, two Inhumans working for S.H.I.E.L.D., came looking for James. S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted all the information James had on Alveus, who had recently returned to Earth from his own millennia of exile on another world. James, however, recognized Lincoln, and thought they were sent by Jiaying, who James didn't know was dead. He shot at them at first, but was eventually convinced to help them when they offered to give him a Terrigen Crystal so he could finally undergo Terrigenesis. James told them of Alveus' legend and showed them the piece of the artifact he hadn't hidden. The S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, however, took the piece of the artifact (believing it was the whole thing) without handing over the Terrigen Crystal.
Later, Daisy returned to James' trailer with Alveus, now going by the name "Hive." The ancient Inhuman had taken Daisy under his sway with his parasites and had her steal the artifact and the Terrigen Crystal from S.H.I.E.L.D.'s vaults. Hive uses the Crystal to force James to undergo Terrigenesis and has Daisy unearth the piece of the artifact buried under his trailer. When he emerged from his Terrigenesis cocoon, James finds the Terrigen Mist had given him the ability to set anything on fire. Hive almost immediately infects James with his parasites to take him under his sway.
James follows Hive and the other Inhumans under his control to Bucharest to find the former Transia scientist Holden Radcliffe. Hive wanted Dr. Radcliffe to create a pathogen from his parasites that would turn normal humans into Inhumans. S.H.I.E.L.D. also wanted Dr. Radcliffe to create a cure for Hive's parasites, and was in the Bucharest bar where Dr. Radcliffe set up his headquarters. James fought the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Mack with his new powers. While S.H.I.E.L.D. was distracted with Hive's Inhumans, one of them kidnapped Dr. Radcliffe.
Hive took his Inhuman family and Dr. Radcliffe to a town in Wyoming he had taken over and explained his plan. When the Kree DNA in Hive's blood proved to be insufficient for Dr. Radcliffe's pathogen, Hive assembled the artifact he took from James, which was actually a beacon to dormant Kree Reapers to summon them to the planet in case of an emergency. By the time the Kree arrived on Earth, however, James had already been incapacitated by a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who infiltrated the town to launch a failed sneak attack against Hive.
Once Dr. Radcliffe had completed his pathogen, Hive had James corner a group of Watchdogs, a far-Right anti-Inhuman hate group, that would serve as test subjects. James was horrified at the deformed, primitive Inhumans the Watchdogs were turned into despite Hive's appreciation for his "children." Soon afterwards, S.H.I.E.L.D. sent the monstrous Inhuman known as Lash to take on Hive. Even though Lash easily overpowered James, the primitive Inhumans, and even Hive, James killed Lash by sneaking up behind him and sending a flaming chain through his chest.
James was one of the few natural Inhumans left under Hive's sway by the time he began the final phase of his plan. Even though S.H.I.E.L.D. not only stopped the launch of the warhead that would disperse Dr. Radcliffe's pathogen globally but also captured Hive, James and Giyera put Hive's Plan B into action. From a plane, they dropped the pathogen into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s headquarters, turning many of their agents into primitives that freed Hive from his containment cube. They then hijacked the Zephyr One, and began ascending towards the upper atmosphere. Once they were high enough, they would set off the warhad, dispersing the pathogen. A small team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, however, caught up to the Zephyr and boarded the plane to stop Hive's plan. James fought Lincoln Campbell, and even though he was defeated managed to mortally wound Lincoln in the process. Lincoln later sacrificed himself to foil Hive's plan and finally put an end to the ancient Inhuman
Joining the Watchdogs
With Hive gone, James went into withdrawal from his parasites, and had a much harder time coming down than even Daisy had previously. He was listed on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Inhuman registry and placed in Los Angeles, where he found work at a fireworks store. The Watchdogs eventually found him; however, James' experiences since he underwent Terrigenesis had turned into self-loathing and a hatred of Inhumans. James agreed to help the Watchdogs exterminate the Inhumans as long as he was the last one to die. He gave them access to the watch S.H.I.E.L.D. put on him to monitor his activities, giving the Watchdogs a backdoor into the Inhuman registry.
The Watchdogs used the information they took from the registry to attack Inhumans in multiple cities all over the world. A few days later, Daisy, now a vigilante known as "Quake," and S.H.I.E.LD. agent Jemma Simmons found James at the fireworks store. They believed his location was compromised in the Watchdogs' hack. James tricked them into believing he would join their crusade against the Watchdogs. James and the Watchdogs set up an ambush for Daisy and Simmons at a storage facility next to the fireworks store. They fell into James' trap, but were rescued at the last minute by Robbie Reyes, the Ghost Rider. James was stunned to see his powers had no effect on Reyes. When the Ghost Rider had James tied up in his own flaming chain and pinned against the wall, James destroyed the wall, causing the two of them to fall into the fireworks store's warehouse. Their combined powers caused the fireworks to go off in a chain reaction, effectively demolishing the store. Reyes, however, walked out of the store and dragged James' unconscious body to the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents waiting to take him into custody.
James is distrustful of authority such as Jiaying and S.H.I.E.L.D. Even while under Hive's sway, James was the only one to ever voice a concern with the ancient Inhuman's plans. He is also incredibly flirtatious with women, sometimes leading him to be easily fooled by an attractive woman.
Pyrokinesis: James is able to set any item on fire, even if it is not normally combustible.
- Fireworks, chains, bottles of alcohol, and any other item James can use his powers on.
- Axle Whitehead portrays James in the Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episodes "Paradise Lost," "The Singularity," "Failed Experiments," "Emancipation," "Ascension," "Absolution," and "Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire."
- James brainstorms multiple aliases when he is first given his powers. These include:
- "Hellfire" - the alias of his Earth-616 counterpart
- "Inferno" - the alias of the pyrokinetic Inhuman Dante Pertuz
- "Scorch" - which was used in Season 1 by Chan Ho Yin
- "Burning Man" - a reference to the annual gathering that occurs in the Nevada desert
- "Firestarter" - a reference to the song by The Prodigy
- Although James is depicted as an Inhuman on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the source of his Earth-616 counterpart's powers are actually connected to the Ghost Rider mythology. J.T. Slade is a descendant of Carter Slade, the original Phantom Rider.
- 7 Appearances of James Taylor James (Earth-199999)
- 1 Minor Appearances of James Taylor James (Earth-199999)
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- 2 Images featuring James Taylor James (Earth-199999)
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