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Dr. Kurt Marko was a nuclear scientist and father to Cain Marko. Dr. Marko and his wife, Marjorie Marko, separated and she eventually died, when Cain was three. Dr. Marko then sent Cain to boarding school.

In 1946, Dr. Marko was involved with Project: Black Womb, a secret government project headed by Amanda Mueller and aided by Dr. Nathan Milbury (the future evil geneticist Mr. Sinister), Dr. Alexander Ryking, and Irene Adler, which studied, but did not alter, thousands of children, mostly mutants, in post-natal holding tanks. The wealthy Dr. Brian Xavier was a colleague of Dr. Marko and Dr. Ryking at the project, which was based in Alamogordo, New Mexico, and, after an explosion at a nuclear facility, was killed. With his first wife deceased, Dr. Marko subsequently provided comfort to Dr. Xavier's widow, Sharon Xavier, eventually convincing her that her son, Charles Xavier, needed a father to take care of him. Against Charles' wishes, the two were wed and Dr. Marko suddenly becoming a very wealthy man, due to the vast amounts of money left to Sharon by her late husband, and moved his son into the Xavier estate.

Dr. Marko spent most of his time away from his new wife and stepson, but favored the gentle, smart Charles to his own son, which led to Cain bullying the young Charles and Dr. Marko secretly beating Cain. Charles' telepathic powers began emerging when he was still a boy, around ten, and discovered that Dr. Marko cared only about his mother's money, admitting that he was jealous of Dr. Xavier's wealth. Dr. Marko quickly grew neglectful of Sharon, driving her to alcoholism, and eventually abused both Sharon and Cain. Sharon died shortly thereafter, of a broken heart, leaving Charles to live with his step-father and abusive step-brother.

Dr. Kurt Marko's death

During an argument in Dr. Marko's private laboratory over money, Cain accused him of having a hand in Dr. Xavier's "accidental" death, at the disaster at Alamogordo. Dr. Marko was quick to be steadfast in defending himself, taking Cain by the collar of his coat and yelling at him to "never say that again". Charles was stationed outside the door, however, and overheard the conversation. When Cain realized, he intended to cause a ruckus, by destroying some of his father's chemical experiments, throwing a vial of green liquid that caused similar containers to shatter, spilling the chemicals throughout the laboratory. The collision of the different substances caused a violent explosion that left the lab aflame. Dr. Marko made his last act, possibly, the most unselfish one of his life, carrying his son and step-son to safety, before dying of his own mortal wounds. In his dying words, Dr. Marko begged forgiveness for not saving Dr. Xavier when he had the chance, and telling Charles to keep his powers secret from Cain. Cain was standing over, however, and heard of Charles' gift. Although dying for a noble cause of saving Charles and Cain, with the knowledge of Charles' ability, a violent rivalry would be strong between the two step-brothers for many years.

Dr. Marko's son, Cain, would become a long-time terrorist, Juggernaut, while Charles would become a professor and use the considerable amount of inheritance and the family estate to found the X-Men, a group of young mutants taught to use their powers for the benefit of mankind and fighting for the peaceful co-existence of the two races.

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