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Quote1 Were I able to return to you your mind... you would recall... I am Jason Wyngarde -- the man who loved you. The man who almost destroyed you. Quote2

Jason Wyngarde, also known as Mastermind, is a mutant with the ability to manipulate perception, creating powerful illusions that can deceive the senses and alter reality in the minds of others.[4] His journey in the mysterious world of the traveling carnival, where he dazzled audiences as a mentalist. However, beneath the veneer of showmanship lay a deeper truth. He took on the moniker Mastermind and delved into a world of manipulation and power-seeking.[5]

Recruited by Magneto to join the original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Mastermind played a crucial role in the group's attempts to conquer humanity and establish mutant supremacy. He aided Magneto in various schemes, including altering the memories of Magneto's daughter, Lorna Dane, to protect her from the truth of her parentage.[6] Throughout his tenure with the Brotherhood, Mastermind clashed repeatedly with the X-Men, using his powers to create elaborate illusions and deceive his enemies. However, his thirst for power and his manipulative nature often led to conflicts within the Brotherhood itself, particularly with Magneto and the Scarlet Witch.[5] Mastermind's path led him to other alliances and conflicts, including joining Factor Three in a bid for world conquest[7] and joining the Hellfire Club. One of his most infamous endeavors entailed manipulating the cosmic entity, the Phoenix Force, by altering the personality of its host, Jean Grey. He tricked her into assuming the role of the Black Queen within the club inner circle. This manipulation unwittingly unleashed the destructive force of the Dark Phoenix, leading to his descent into madness.[8] Mastermind faced his own mortality when he contracted the deadly Legacy Virus, a disease that targeted mutants. Despite his past misdeeds, he made peace with the X-Men before succumbing to the illness.[2]

Following the establishment of a mutant nation on Krakoa with the resurrection protocol in place, Wyngarde was brought back to life. He played a role in rallying psychics, under the guidance of Magik, to combat the Cotati invasion alongside Genoshan Mutates on Genosha.[3] Subsequently, Arcade abducted Mastermind's daughter, Martinique, coercing him into nefarious acts. Mastermind orchestrated a complex scheme involving poisoning Hellions, creating illusions to manipulate Sage and the Hellions, and ultimately betraying Arcade, allowing Sinister to seize control of a clone farm.[9]


Early Life[]

Jason Wyngarde's early years were shrouded in mystery. Drawn to the enigmatic world of the traveling carnival, he found his calling as a mentalist, mesmerizing audiences with his uncanny ability to weave intricate illusions taking the name Mastermind. But beneath the façade of glamour lay a deeper truth, Jason was a mutant who possessed a gift, allowing him to manipulate perception with a mere thought. As he honed his abilities amidst the smoke and mirrors, his hunger for power grew, driving him to manipulate the unsuspected patrons.

Brotherhood of Evil Mutants[]

Jason was enlisted by Magneto to serve as member of the original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Magneto sought to protect his fellow mutants from persecution by conquering humanity and ruling the world himself. As Mastermind, Wyngarde helped the Brotherhood in pursuit of this goal. Magneto employed him to use his illusionary powers to re-write Lorna Dane's memories of the revelation that she was his daughter. Lorna was led to believe that her parents died in a plane crash, when she was an infant. Magneto believed that she was not ready for her abilities, or for the life that he could offer her.[10] With his teammates Toad, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver, the Brotherhood battled the original X-Men repeatedly, but the X-Men continually thwarted them.[6][11][5][12][13]

Mastermind used his powers to create an illusory army, allowing the Brotherhood to easily capture the country of Santo Marco. He observed Magneto's tyranny over the population with amusement. He later used illusory flames against the X-Men. During a battle with the X-Men, Magneto chose to abandon the country. He set a nuclear bomb to explode, in hopes of killing the X-Men and everyone else left behind. Mastermind fled with his teammates, but the bomb was secretly disarmed by Quicksilver.[6]

Magneto tasked Mastermind with locating the X-Men. Mastermind tracked them to Westchester County, but reported that he could find no trace of them. When giving this report, Mastermind was actually standing outside Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. Magneto recalled him to Asteroid M. In combat with the X-Men, Mastermind used illusionary duplicates of himself to surround Iceman. Mastermind was scared when Marvel Girl levitated him high above the ground, and his illusions faded away. He was released when Marvel Girl's attention turned to a nearby struggle between Cyclops and Quicksilver. In the next battle between the two teams, Mastermind used his handgun in an attempt to shoot the Beast. The Beast used his acrobatics to avoid the bullet. Mastermind was forced to run to Magneto for help.[11]

Mastermind used an illusion of Cyclops to surprise Magneto. Magneto was holding a weapon at the time of this surprise, and fired at the illusionary Cyclops. Mastermind's quick reflexes allowed him to evade the blast from the weapon. But his evasive move endangered the Scarlet Witch, who was next in the path of this blast.[5]

Later, Magneto was furious with Mastermind over his surprise illusion. He used a magnetic blast on Mastermind, and warned him never to dare practice his illusions on his leader. Mastermind complained that he meant no harm, claiming that he was only trying to further exercise his powers.[5]

When introduced to Namor, Mastermind was not impressed. He remarked that despite his fame, Namor seemed to be just "a man in swimming trunks".[5] Shortly afterwards, Mastermind was attacked by the Angel.[5] When the X-Men attempted to invade Magneto's Island, Mastermind tried to stop them with an illusion of a wall of spine roots which was blocking their way. Professor X saw through the illusion, and commanded the X-Men to simply walk through the illusory wall.[5]

During the actual battle with the X-Men, Mastermind was knocked to the ground by the effects of Cyclops' blasts. With the X-Men approaching him and his allies unavailable to help him, Mastermind improvised on a way to save himself. He used an illusion of intense fog to blind the X-Men. He did not expect Iceman to react by blindly attacking and trying to freeze the entire room around them. Mastermind was almost frozen in ice, until Magneto opened an escape route and called on Mastermind to follow him. While escaping, Mastermind complained about the way these "blasted teen-agers" recovered from any defeat.[5]

Magneto attacked Namor and was easily defeated. When Mastermind proclaimed that "Namor beat us", an angry Magneto blasted Mastermind with magnetism. Magneto did not like his failures pointed out to him, and he proclaimed them to be temporary setbacks.[5]

The Scarlet Love[]

At a private meeting with the Scarlet Witch, Mastermind offered an alliance to her. He suggested that their joined powers might exceed the powers of Magneto. He also offered to her an illusory life of luxury. Wanda rejected his offer, explaining to him her intentions to eventually leave the Brotherhood. She also noted that his illusions did not compare to actual power.[12]

A frustrated Mastermind tried to dissuade Wanda from remaining loyal to Magneto. He warned her that Magneto has no emotions, and no heart. Their conversation was interrupted by an angry Magneto. He forced Mastermind against a wall, and demanded blind obedience from him.[12]

During a fight between the Brotherhood and a group of carnies, Mastermind used illusions of snakes and volcanoes against them. He felt confident and tried to show off to impress the Scarlet Witch. She calmly noted that his illusions were not omnipresent and that other carnies were about to attack them from behind. Mastermind panicked and had to be rescued by the Scarlet Witch, who stopped the carnies.[12]

Later Adventures[]

When Blob joined the Brotherhood, he claimed that he could handle the X-Men alone. Mastermind called him a fool, and reminded him that they had all been defeated by the X-Men before. In Mastermind's view, he wanted all available help.[12]

At a certain point, in a plan to eradicate Homo sapiens with the Evolutionaries, he was involved with the Brotherhood to kidnap a teenage Emma Frost, because of her telepathic power. However, this moment was erased by the Evolutionaries and all mutants involved forgot it.[14] Ironically, an adult Emma Frost would later become Wyngarde's ally.

During this period, Mastermind was sent by Magneto to recruit Unus the Untouchable for the Brotherhood, but he failed.[15] Finally, Magneto attempted to enlist the enigmatic alien being known as the Stranger as an ally. Angered, the Stranger transformed Mastermind into stone and transported Magneto to another planet.[16]

Eventually, Mastermind returned to normal and joined Factor Three, another organization of superhuman mutants bent on world conquest. However, Mastermind and his allies joined the X-Men in defeating Factor Three's leader after discovering he was an extraterrestrial being.[7]

At a certain point, he erased Sentry's memories.[17] On another occasion, he was kidnapped alongside Blob and Unus by the Secret Empire. They were rescued by the X-Men and Captain America.[18]

Wyngarde was present when Magneto reform the Brotherhood in the Savage Land. They were stopped by the Defenders and the child-like mutant Alpha who regressed them to an infant state.[19]

Alongside his partners, he was imprisoned at Muir Island Research Center, controlled by Moira MacTaggert. The Brotherhood was reversed into adult form by Erik the Red.[20]

One year on Christmas Day, Wyngarde, Blob, and Unus clashed with the new X-Men.[21]

The Hellfire Club[]

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Manipulating Jean Grey

Later, Mastermind was invited to apply for admission to the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club. To prove his worth, Mastermind sought to use his mutant powers as well as artificial means to psionically alter the personality of the X-Man Jean Grey. The Inner Circle hoped she would willingly become the Inner Circle's new Black Queen. Unknown to Mastermind or anyone else, his victim was not the real Jean Grey, but the cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force, which had duplicated Grey's form and personality. Mastermind succeeded in causing the false Grey to become the new Black Queen, but unintentionally triggered the process that would soon transform her into the insane Dark Phoenix. Before the latter transformation was complete, the false Grey broke free of Mastermind's control and opened his mind to all the psionic sense impressions she received from the cosmos.[8] Unable to cope with them, Mastermind was driven mad. He fled, and while suffering paranoid delusions he was picked up by the police and taken to Bellevue Hospital to recover.[22] The Inner Circle, of course, rejected his application for membership.[23][24]

Revenge on Jean Grey[]

Mastermind eventually returned to normal, but still remembered the glory of the cosmos he had perceived, and felt tormented at no longer being able to experience it. Though Jean Grey was believed dead, he decided to take revenge on Grey's friends, the X-Men. He somehow succeeded in inducing Mariko Yashida into calling off her wedding to the X-Man Wolverine, and caused the X-Man Cyclops and his teammates to think Madelyne Pryor, Cyclops' new love, was Dark Phoenix. Mastermind hoped to crush the X-Men's spirits by manipulating them into killing Pryor. But the X-Men discovered Mastermind's deception and defeated him.[25]

Some time later, Mastermind tried to contact the Phoenix Force once again through its then-current host, Rachel Summers, but he was defeated by Phoenix's team, Excalibur.[26]

Legacy Virus and Death[]

Finally, Wyngarde discovered he had somehow contracted the deadly Legacy Virus, a disease which affected only mutants. About the same time, Mastermind was targeted by the mutant-hunting X-Cutioner, but he was helped by the X-Men. Wyngarde made peace with the X-Men and apologized to Jean Grey for his past misdeeds. Soon after, Wyngarde died from complications of the Legacy Virus.[2] He was survived by his two daughters: the half-sisters Martinique Jason, the second Mastermind; Regan Wyngarde, known as Lady Mastermind; and his alleged daughter Pixie.


Years later, when a mutant nation was formed in Krakoa and they established a procedure to resurrect mutants, Mastermind was returned to life. During the Cotati's invasion on Earth, he called to aid for all available psychics by Magik to defeat the Cotati and Genoshan Mutates zombies on Genosha.[3] Later, Arcade kidnapped Jason's daughter Martinique to force him to do his bidding. Jason poisoned Mister Sinister, set up an illusion in Sage's mind to lure the Hellions to New York City and trick the Quiet Council, and took down the Hellions by putting their brains in shock with his illusions.[27] This turned out to be a ruse as he and Sinister were in league with each other and after he'd built Arcade a clone farm, Mastermind betrayed him and made him a mental slave, allowing Sinister to take his clone farm for himself and operate it behind the Quiet Council's back. He then sent the Hellions home believing they defeated Arcade and escaped on their own.[28]


Power Grid[34]
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  • Illusions: Mastermind is a mutant with the power of illusion casting. He can psionically cause other people to see, hear, touch, smell, and/or taste things which do not actually exist. For example, he can seem to make a solid wall appear in an empty space. He can also cause people to see, hear, touch, smell, and/or taste real things in ways that they would not do naturally. For example, he can make himself look and sound like a different person, or look and feel like a wall, or even seem invisible. Since his power only affects the mind, his illusions cannot be recorded on film, tape, or by other means. However, his power works so strongly on the mind that even if his victims know they are being subjected to an illusion, they will still react to the illusion as if it were reality unless they can rid themselves of all suspicions that it is indeed reality. Hence, if Mastermind creates the illusion of a wall, most people, even if they know it is an illusion, will still be unable to walk through it. Invariably Mastermind's illusions are so realistic that most people are unable to help having the feeling, at least subconsciously, that they are not illusions but reality.[29] The more powerful the mind of his target is, the more easily his powers work on it.[30]
    • Duplication: Mastermind could create illusionary duplicates of himself, in order to confuse his opponents during combat. However, the duplicates would vanish whenever Mastermind lost his concentration.[11] His powers seem to have grown vastly after being resurrected by The Five.[29]
  • Limited Memory Manipulation: Mastermind can use his illusions to re-write the memories of impressionable minds such as children. This process is often flawed, however.[10]
  • Special Limitations: Everyone within the range of his power, which can extend over an entire city (as when he helped Magneto capture the Latin American nation of Santo Marco), will see his illusions.[6]


  • Mastermind could quickly draw out his handgun and fire, but his reflexes were not faster than average.[11]


  • Without artificial aids, Mastermind cannot cause only one person, among many who are present, to see his illusions.[6]
  • Mastermind's illusions fade away when he loses his concentration.[11]
  • His illusions were not omnipresent, leaving some people unaffected. He was vulnerable to ambush attacks from behind.[12]



  • Mind-tap mechanism created by White Queen, which boosted his illusion powers through simulated telepathy.[8]
  • A communication device in his wrist, which allowed him to communicate with Magneto from a distance.[11]


Mastermind carried a regular handgun in his clothes.[11]


  • The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe gives Mastermind's real name as Jason Wyngarde,[31][32] though it was originally stated that "the name is false as the man himself".[33]
  • Mastermind often used his powers to give himself an illusory handsome appearance.
  • Mastermind was romantically interested in Scarlet Witch.[6]
  • Mastermind thought that the Toad had the table manners of a pig, and found his teammate annoying.[6]
  • Quicksilver considered Mastermind a "black-hearted fiend". According to the Scarlet Witch, one could see the hatred blazing in Mastermind's eyes.[6]
  • Mastermind's eyes were reportedly cold and merciless, mirroring his nature.[11]
  • Mastermind has stated that the more intelligent the person/people he targets are, the easier it is for them to fall into his illusions, and that even telepaths can not decipher his illusions.[29]


  • The name "Jason Wyngarde" is a reference to the actor Peter Wyngarde, who was the leader of the Hellfire Club in an episode of The Avengers that inspired John Byrne, but is best known for playing Jason King. (The more-handsome version of Mastermind from the Hellfire Club stories is a dead ringer for Jason King.)

See Also

Links and References