Sebastian Shaw (Earth-616) from Marauders Vol 1 2 cover 001.jpg
Current Alias
Hiram Shaw (ancestor, deceased);

Sarah Shaw (ancestor, deceased);
Obadiah Shaw (ancestor, deceased);
Abigail Harkness (ancestor, deceased);
Elizabeth Shaw-Worthington (ancestor, deceased);
Wallace Worthington (ancestor, deceased);
unnamed great-grandfather (apparently deceased);
Cornelius Shaw (grandfather, deceased);
Mrs. Shaw (unnamed grandmother, possibly deceased);
Jacob Shaw (father, deceased);
Esau Shaw (paternal uncle, deceased);
Lourdes Chantel (fiance, deceased);
Shinobi Shaw (son);
Szandor Shaw (possible relative);
Trevor Fitzroy (alternate reality descendant, deceased);

Worthington Family (distant relatives)
Base of Operations
Living Status
Marital Status
Adventurer; former chief executive officer and principal shareholder in Shaw Industries
Engineering degree from Stevens Institute


Unusual Features
Missing right eye, bound to a wheelchair
Place of Birth
Creators and Appearances
First Appearance
Quote1.png What is mine... is mine. And what is theirs... is mine. Quote2.png
Sebastian Shaw[src]



Sebastian Shaw

Sebastian Shaw's powers 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.[citation needed]

Hellfire Club

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, supported 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.[2] 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 involved Black Air and an unnamed group of time-manipulators.[citation needed]

Prince Namor

Once he was in search of a new person for the title of the White King. He threw ​​a party to which he invited the most influential men in the world and tried to decide who was the best fit for the position. Rejecting the candidacy of Tony Stark, he chose Prince Namor of Atlantis, and invited him to join the Club. However, Namor contemptuously rejected the proposal, saying that if Sebastian once again dared to waste his time on such a minor thing, he would kill him. This sent Shaw into a frenzy; he ordered Emma to force Namor to join the Club, no matter what the cost. A few days later, she acted out a suicide attempt by jumping overboard from a yacht to attract Namor's attention. He rescued her, and they spent two weeks together in Atlantis. Shaw, however, tired of waiting for news from Emma. ​​Thinking that Namor killed or captured her, he decided to send the Sentinels for her. Sentinels attacked Namor and Emma and caused damage to the city of Atlantis, and Namor took this as a declaration of war. Finding out where the Sentinels came from, Namor, along with Emma, went there and clashed with Shaw, Donald 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 would never get close enough to kill him. Namor left, but vowed to take revenge one day.[3]

X-Men & Other Supers

Shaw played a key part in the corruption of Phoenix into Dark Phoenix,[4] Shaw later travelled across the pond to the UK to fund Sir Jim Jaspers political campaign to become Prime Minister.[5]

The Hellfire Club's battle with the X-Men against Nimrod. During the battle 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.[6]

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.[7] However, Shaw survived, though he was marked with a scar on his face crossing his left eye (later healed by Madelyne Pryor).

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 the 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 ended soon after.

Shaw's later exploits included vying for control of the Elixir Vitae, thought to be a cure for the Legacy Virus, and hunting down X-51, the Machine Man.

Hellfire Nightclub

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 Tessa (newly code-named "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.[citation needed]

Nearly Assassinated

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 did not 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.[8]


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.[9]


Some time later, Shaw appeared at a Hellfire Club dinner hosted by Sunspot and alerted him of 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 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.[10]

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 him. 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.[11]

Later, Shaw teamed up with a female clone of Mr. Sinister called Miss Sinister.[12][13]

Prisoner on Utopia

Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 529 Textless.jpg

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 return, 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 an illusion, and at the same time showed Namor another illusion in which she killed Sebastian. After convincing Namor that Shaw was dead and enlisting his support for mutants, Emma took Sebastian to Graymalkin Industries and locked him in X-Brig for his crimes against the mutantkind.[3]

Later Emma, together with Kitty Pryde, Fantomex, and E.V.A., took him off the island. Fantomex threw him out of E.V.A. in the sky over China, but Shaw survived and fought with Emma. At the end of the battle, Emma completely erased his memories.[14]


He was found by the Lights several months later in Gilgit, Pakistan, where he tried to kill the Butchers. The 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. However, 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.[15] 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 was taken to the Avengers Academy along with the kids of Utopia. It was revealed that Shaw read the file on him and now knew everything about his past, although he claimed not to remember it. Wolverine distrusted Shaw and insisted that he should be imprisoned. Shaw relented and was imprisoned in a cell that absorbed kinetic energy, meaning that Shaw would be unable to break it by building up his own kinetic energy by punching it.[16]

Shaw, however, asked for books to keep him occupied and used 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.[17]

Back to the Hellfire Club

Shaw eventually regained his memories and his place in the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club.[18] In light of the M-Pox crisis, Shaw and the Hellfire Club allied themselves with Magneto's X-Men, which led to the Master of Magnetism assuming the role of White King once again.[19] Deadpool accidentally broke into the Hellfire club but Shaw forgave him and allowed him to leave peacefully.[20]


Magneto turned against the Hellfire Club when he discovered Emma Frost's alliance with Miss Sinister and her involvement with the deadly power-bestowing drug Mothervine. He encountered Shaw at the Hellfire Club in London, where Sebastian revealed to have been empowered by Mothervine, allowing him to absorb ambient kinetic energy.[21] Though he initially overpowered Magneto, Mothervine's secondary effects took their toll on Shaw, causing him to uncontrollably absorb the energy from his own cells, crippling him. Magneto spared Sebastian's life in exchange for him to arrange a meeting with the masterminds behind Mothervine, which included Havok and Bastion in addition to Emma Frost and Miss Sinister.[22]

While recovering from the altercation with Magneto, Shaw was visited by Emma Frost, who had secretly convinced his consort to spike his wine with a paralytic agent. With no way to release his body's absorbed energies, they overloaded his Mothervine-induced secondary mutation, resulting in his death.[23]

Nation of Krakoa

Resurrected at some point after being killed by Emma Frost, Shaw was eventually welcomed to the new mutant island of Krakoa, created by Xavier, Magneto, and Moira X. He entered through the teleportation gateway alongside other villainous and fractious mutants, who had been invited to join the nation in order to heal mutantdom and start over as a whole species together.[24]

Shaw also became the Black King of the Hellfire Trading Company, which was charged with distributing Krakoa's miracle drugs all over the world. This allowed Shaw to gain a seat on Krakoa's governing body, the Quiet Council, and he was charged with dealing with the external conflicts of Krakoa.[25] Shaw wanted to eventually gain control of the entire Hellfire Trading Company and when his son Shibobi was resurrected, he hoped to assert his power by making him the Red King, but when Emma Frost appointed Kate Pryde as the Red Queen of the company, this became an obstacle for Shaw's plans.[26]

Shaw thought that Kate's inability to pass through the Krakoan gateways also meant that the Five would be unable to resurrect her if she died. He hired the anti-mutant group Homines Verendi to attack his son Shinobi in order to lure Kate out and ambushed her. After immobilizing Lockheed and dropping him into the water, Shaw wrapped Kate with Krakoan plants that nullified her powers and sank her into the water. Lockheed was able to survive, but Kate drowned to death.[27]

Emma watching Shaw being brutalized by Kate

Shaw's treachery was exposed to Emma Frost when she read Lockheed's mind. Also, Shaw's belief that Kate couldn't be resurrected proved to be incorrect as Kate was brought back to life after 18 attempts, by phasing through her cocoon rather than break out of it.[28] After Krakoa's contest with Arakko was done, Emma Frost and Kate confronted Shaw. They invaded his house, at Blackstone, and neutralized his powers, so they could punch him without holding back. While Emma poured herself a drink and relaxed, Kate used her powers on Shaw without mercy and, when she was done, Storm arrived with Lockheed, who bit out Shaw's eye and threw it in the fireplace. To finish their glorious revenge, they served him a poisoned drink that left him crippled and unable to walk, but still capable of listening to them and understanding how he'd lost everything he'd hoped to achieve. Shaw was spared being imprisoned in the heart of Krakoa, but was confined to a wheelchair.[29]

Powers and Abilities

Power Grid[42]
Energy Projection1
Fighting Skills3
* Heightened strength, durability potential with kinetic absorption


Sebastian Shaw is an Alpha-Level Mutant[30] with the following abilities:

  • Energy Absorption: Sebastian has the superhuman ability to absorb kinetic energy and 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. Shaw reportedly spends time hitting a wall after waking in order to build up his power reserves.[31] It is revealed in his encounter with Hercules and Madison Jeffries that his power of energy absorption is not limited to kinetic energy (which Shaw himself stated was a common misconception) and that he can absorb any form of energy (e.g. electrical, magical, etc.) to fuel his powers. According to Shaw, kinetic energy just works the best.[32]
    • Enhanced 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.[citation needed]
    • 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".[citation needed]
    • Enhanced Strength: 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.[citation needed]
    • Enhanced Speed:When he has absorbed kinetic energy, Shaw's speed is increased. After absorbing enough energy, he can attack more quickly than opponents can react.[citation needed]
    • Enhanced Stamina: Shaw's stamina in increased beyond normal human levels when he absorbs kinetic energy.[citation needed]
    • Regenerative Healing Factor: Shaw has healed from being hit repeatedly in the nose by Colossus in less than an hour. However, his healing factor may not heal catastrophic injuries such as a blast to the head or a broken neck.[citation needed]

Secondary Mutation: Having loaned some of the Hellfire Club's services to Emma's cause, Shaw underwent the Mothervine enhancement process giving him a Secondary Mutation, one that enables and capitalizes on his already impressive abilities:[21]

  • Ambient Energy Conversion: Magneto describes the Black King's secondary mutation as the absorption of ambient kinetic energy around him into himself, eliminating the need to build his own kinetic stores by requisite physical activity.[21]
    • Energy Wave Emission: Shaw can also release the absorbed energy as AoE (area of effect) discharges which have devastating effects on the surrounding environs if he so chooses to unleash them.[21][33]
    • Concussion Blasts: With the power of his secondary mutation, Shaw can direct the energy absorbed into direct buffeting rays from his hands at will, they are potent enough to keep the likes of Magneto off balance while battling him.[22]
    • Energy-Enhanced Strike: Shaw can seemingly coat his fists in raw dynamic force in order to strengthen his physical based melee to an uncertain degree.[22]


Skilled Combatant: Shaw's powers make him a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, even against superhumanly strong people like Colossus.[34]

Skilled Leader: Being leader of the Hellfire Club has given Shaw some level of leadership and strategy skills. Shaw also has a shrewd business mind.[35]

Physical Strength

Without 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.[citation needed]


Power Limitations: 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. 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.[36]

Mothervine Instability: Like a great many secondary mutations gifted via neurochemical augmentation process suffer from a caustic backlash which destabilizes the powers & abilities of the effected Homo Superior.[37] In the Black King's case, his newfound power came at the cost of draining energy from any and all sources beyond merely kinetic. Even draining the very bio-energy from his cellular matrix causing bodily deterioration in the form of accelerated aging.[22]

Paralyzed: After having injested a poisoned drink, Shaw could no longer walk and was confined to a wheelchair.[38]



Shaw has the resources of both his own corporation and the Hellfire Club at his disposal.[citation needed]

He once used an Image Inducer.[9]


  • No criminal record; the general public is unaware of Shaw's criminal activities.[39]
  • 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.[40]
  • According to Emma Frost, Shaw is "...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).[3]


See Also

Links and References


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