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Quote1 What is mine. And what is mine. Quote2
Sebastian Shaw[src]


Early Life[]

Sebastian Shaw was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after his father, Jacob Shaw, fled the United Kingdom. He was raised in poverty, being forced to work in one of the local steel mills.[6] His father secretly worked for Mr. Sinister and was obsessed with restoring their family's fortunes.[7][8]

Despite his humble origins, Sebastian proved himself a genius and was eventually accepted into the Stevens Institute of Technology, with a full scholarship. While toasting his father at a local bar following his death, he was attacked and beaten by some rich kids, jealous that a working-class man would go to college. It was during this attack that his mutant powers manifested, allowing him to absorb kinetic energy and release it against his assailants.[5][6]

By the time he graduated, everyone wanted a piece of the hot young talent. In the ensuing years, his incisive mind and get-it-done attitude became the cornerstone upon which many struggling corporations would depend on. His diverse knowledge in the fields of economics and technology allowed him to start his own business, Shaw Industries. By the age of 30, Shaw had earned his first million and by 40, his first billion.[5]

During this time, he became romantically involved with a woman who was also involved with fellow mutant Harry Leland. When Shaw learned she had bore a son, Shinobi, he raised the infant as his own, even though he was actually Leland's child.[9]

Sometime later, he met Lourdes Chantel shortly before his trip to Afghanistan and the two fell madly in love.[5][6]

Hellfire Club[]

Sebastian Shaw (Earth-616) from X-Men Vol 2 63 0001

Sebastian Shaw

In America, Shaw was invited to join the Hellfire Club, of which his father had also been a member, something which Lourdes did not support. She tried to sway Sebastian away from the Club and its leader, Ned Buckman, fearing it might corrupt her lover, but she wasn't successful.[5]

In the club, he became friends with Leland[9] and, with time, Shaw also grew close to Buckman, eventually rising to the rank of Black Bishop.[10][6] Shaw and Lourdes later got engaged,[5] but she secretly wanted out. When Buckman betrayed Shaw by sending Sentinels to hunt him and his allies, Emma Frost saw an opportunity and decided to help Lourdes by making Shaw and Leland believe that she had died saving Shaw. This led Shaw to kill Buckman and take over the Hellfire Club as its Black King,[10][11] with Leland eventually becoming the new Black Bishop.[12] After the dust had settled, Emma met Lourdes and sent her to Wilson Fisk, so he could fix her with a new identity, leaving Shaw oblivious of the real fate of his fiancée.[11]

Later, when Shaw was searching for a new White King, he threw a party to which he invited the most influential men in the world and tried to decide who was most fit for this position. Rejecting the candidacy of Tony Stark, he chose Prince Namor of Atlantis, and invited him to join the Club. But Namor contemptuously rejected the proposal, saying that if Sebastian ever again dared to waste his time with such a minor thing, he would kill him. This drove Shaw into a frenzy, so he ordered Emma to force Namor into the Club, no matter what the cost. After waiting two weeks with no news of Emma, Shaw, thinking that Namor had killed or captured her, decided to send Sentinels after her. The Sentinels attacked Namor and Emma, causing damage to Atlantis, and Namor took this as a declaration of war. After finding that, despite the Sentinels' previous attacks, Shaw was the one that deployed these ones, Emma and Namor clashed with Shaw, Donald Pierce, and Tessa. Tessa 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.[13][14]

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]

X-Men & Other Supers[]

Shaw played a key part in the corruption of Phoenix into Dark Phoenix,[15] Shaw later travelled across the pond to the UK to fund Sir Jim Jaspers political campaign to become Prime Minister.[16]

When the Hellfire Club battled with the X-Men against Nimrod, Shaw 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.[17]

Months later, Shaw was attacked by Shinobi, who phased his hand into his chest to induce a coronary. Shaw was supposedly blown up in his Swiss Mountain chalet by a bomb set by his son.[18] However, Shaw survived, though he was marked with a scar on his face crossing his left eye (later healed by Madelyne Pryor).[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[19]

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.[20]


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.[21]


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.[22]

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 Müeller, 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.[23]

Later, Shaw teamed up with a female clone of Mr. Sinister called Miss Sinister.[24][25]

Prisoner on Utopia[]

Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 529 Textless

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.[13]

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.[26]


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 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 having been erased, and wanted the new Shaw to join her team.[27] 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.[citation needed]

Avengers vs. X-Men []

After the Avengers invaded Utopia, Shaw was taken to the Avengers Academy along with the underaged mutants of Utopia. It was revealed that Shaw had read the file on himself and now knew everything about his past, though still did not remember. Wolverine distrusted Shaw and insisted that he should be imprisoned. Shaw relented and was imprisoned in a cell that absorbed kinetic energy, preventing Shaw from building up enough energy to escape.[28]

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.[29]

Back to the Hellfire Club[]

Shaw eventually regained his memories and his place in the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club.[30] 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.[31] As one of the richest men in the world he would regularly attend a meeting at the Universal Bank in Switzerland to discuss global affairs.[32] Deadpool accidentally broke into the Hellfire club but Shaw forgave him and allowed him to leave peacefully.[33]


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 was revealed that he had been empowered by Mothervine, allowing him to absorb ambient kinetic energy.[34] Though he initially overpowered Magneto, the unstable Mothervine went haywire, causing him to uncontrollably absorb the energy from his own cells, crippling him. Magneto spared Sebastian's life in exchange for him arranging a meeting with the masterminds behind Mothervine, which included Havok and Bastion in addition to Emma Frost and Miss Sinister.[35]

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.[3]

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 united people.[4]

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.[36] Shaw wanted to eventually gain control of the entire Hellfire Trading Company and when Shinobi 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.[37]

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 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.[38]

Emma Frost (Earth-616) and Sebastian Shaw (Earth-616) from Marauders Vol 1 16 001

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 breaking out of it.[39] 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 freely beat him without fear of reprisal. 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.[40]

As per an agreement with Emma, Sebastian was restored to full health after the Hellfire Gala. After his resurrection, Sebastian began plotting to send a Cerebro unit back in time in order to aid in resurrecting his lost love Lourdes Chantel. Prompted by Xavier, Emma finally revealed that Lourdes was still alive, and told him what had happened the night of her supposed death.[11]

When Mystique went to him to try and coerce him into voting her wife Destiny to take over Apocalypse's seat on the council, he told her bluntly that he knew what she was doing and didn't care about the result one way or the other. He then asked what she could offer him to make him say yes and she replied that there was no object she could give him that he couldn't simply buy himself, so instead she asked him to say yes simply because Emma was likely to say no. However, at the actual meeting, Emma voted yes immediately after he did, as Mystique had gotten to her too.[41]


Power Grid[54]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Some Training:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/None:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Virtually Indestructible:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Incalculable:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Learned


Sebastian Shaw is an Alpha-Level Mutant[42] with the following abilities:

  • Kinetic 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. It is revealed in his encounter with Hercules and Madison Jeffries that his power of energy absorption is not limited to kinetic energy, such as punches or projectiles; he can absorb any form of energy (e.g. electrical, magical, etc.) to fuel his powers. According to Shaw, kinetic energy merely works the best.[43] 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.[1]
    • Superhuman 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]
    • Superhuman 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]
    • Superhuman 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]
    • Superhuman 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]
    • Superhuman Stamina: Shaw's stamina in increased beyond normal human levels when he absorbs kinetic energy.[citation needed]
    • Regeneration: 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:[34]

  • Ambient Kinetic Energy Absorption: 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.[34]
    • Energy Wave Emission: Shaw can also release the absorbed energy as omnidirectional discharges which have devastating effects on the surrounding enviroment.[34][44]
    • Concussive 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.[35]
    • 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.[35]


Skilled Combatant: Shaw's powers make him a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, even against superhumanly strong people like Colossus.[45]

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.[46]


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.[47]

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 affected Mutants (Homo superior).[48] 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.[35]

Additional Attributes

Paralyzed (formerly): After having ingested a poisoned drink, Shaw could no longer walk and was confined to a wheelchair.[49]



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

He once used an Image Inducer.[21]



  • No criminal record; the general public is unaware of Shaw's criminal activities.[51]
  • 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.[52]
  • 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).[13]


See Also

Links and References


  1. 1.0 1.1 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (Vol. 2) #2
  2. X-Men: Legacy #218
  3. 3.0 3.1 X-Men: Black - Emma Frost #1
  4. 4.0 4.1 House of X #5
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 X-Men: Hellfire Club #4
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update #4 ; Sebastian Shaw's entry
  7. X-Men: Legacy #213
  8. Immortal X-Men #1
  9. 9.0 9.1 Marauders #26
  10. 10.0 10.1 Classic X-Men #7
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Marauders #22
  12. X-Men: Phoenix Force Handbook #1 ; Harry Leland's entry
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Uncanny X-Men Annual (Vol. 2) #2
  14. The issue depicts Selene as a telepath working for Shaw, but she wasn't part of the Hellfire Club back then. Official Index to the Marvel Universe #13 corrects this by stating the character is, in fact, Tessa
  15. X-Men #129135
  16. Daredevils #9
  17. Uncanny X-Men #209
  18. X-Factor #67
  19. X-51 #012
  20. Uncanny X-Men #452454
  21. 21.0 21.1 X-Men: Endangered Species #1
  22. X-Men: Legacy #211
  23. X-Men: Legacy #212214
  24. X-Men: Legacy #214
  25. Original Sin (Storyline) crossover
  26. Uncanny X-Men #532534
  27. Generation Hope #1315
  28. Avengers Academy #29
  29. Avengers Academy #3031
  30. Uncanny X-Men (Vol. 4) #6
  31. Uncanny X-Men (Vol. 4) #1118
  32. Mighty Thor (Vol. 3) #8
  33. Deadpool (Vol. 6) #23
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 X-Men: Blue #23
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 X-Men: Blue #24
  36. Powers of X #5
  37. Marauders #23
  38. Marauders #6
  39. Marauders #11
  40. Marauders #16
  41. Inferno (Vol. 2) #2
  42. X-Men (Vol. 2) #94
  43. Avengers Academy #30
  44. Marauders #3
  45. X-Men #132
  46. X-Men #132133
  47. Uncanny X-Men #152
  48. X-Men: Blue #7
  49. Marauders #1617
  50. Immortal X-Men #16
  51. X-Men #135
  52. 52.0 52.1 X-Men: The 198 Files #1
  53. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update #4
  54. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update Vol 1 4