- My queen...you misunderstand. They are not my offering...This is a dead mutant called Caliban. In life he could track any mutant on the planet, but in death, he can find all those lost to the world. Once found, I will resurrect those mutants just as I did this Apache and his tribe. It is those mutants...their power...and their souls...that I offer you.
- -- Eli Bard
Appearing in "Who the Hell is Eli Bard?"
- Eli Bard / Eliphas (Appears in flashback)
- Selene (Appears in flashback)
- Wither (Kevin Ford)
- Apaches (Rebirth)
- Thunderbird (John Proudstar) (Rebirth)
- Caliban (Rebirth)
- Purifiers (Mentioned)
- Matthew Risman (Mentioned)
- Demon Bear (Recap)
- Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze) (Recap)
- Wolfsbane (Rahne Sinclair) (Mentioned)
- Roman Senators, Citizens and Soldiers (Only appearance) (Only in flashback)
- Hellfire Club (Mentioned)
- Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur) (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- United States of America
- Roman Empire (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "Who the Hell is Eli Bard?"
Wolverine demands to know "who the hell is Eli Bard?!" Warpath explains that when he encountered the Demon Bear, the spirits of his people showed him Bard's past.
Apparently, back in ancient Rome, Eli Bard was named Eliphias, a once prominent Roman senator. However, his wife, Aurelia, was only using him so that he'd give his seat in the Senate to a general named Mascius and threw him out of her house. Wandering the streets of Rome, he then met Selene, (to Wolverine's fury, as the X-Men know her as Black Queen of the Hellfire Club), who offered him a ride in her carriage.
She then offered him her love and immortality if he helps her sacrifice every single soul in Rome. All what he had to do was paint symbols around Rome in his own blood, so that every soul could be leeched to be fed to Selene, thus rendering her invincible. When he later learned that Mascius had taken his seat and Aurelia burned all his possessions, he agreed to do so. However, he warns a slave girl named Claudia, whom he gave ruby earrings to on the night he was thrown out of his house, to leave with her family.
Unfortunately, that ruined Selene's plan before Eliphias could enact it, for Claudia's father told Mascius, who captured Eliphias. Selene soon realized that Eliphias had betrayed her, when she couldn't leech any souls. The Roman soldiers attempted to slay her but she proved to be beyond human, so she and Eliphias were bound and prepared to be burned at the stake.
However, she killed her would-be executioners, but the strain of lack of souls weakened her. She turned her wrath of Eliphias and sapped his soul but promised him a state of living death.
A few hundred years later, a farmer uncovers Eliphias' body, but was fed upon by the newly turned bloodsucker. Despite all Selene did to him, Eliphias stilled loved her. He roamed Europe searching, changing his name to Eli Bard before traveling to the New World. He encountered Warpath's Apache tribe, who recognized him for what he really is but failed to kill him. Their deaths were blamed on disease thought to have been brought by the Europeans. Eventually, he found Selene in Nova Roma but did not dare approach. He then sought to find a new sacrifice for her.
By chance, he came upon the entire Purifier army whom he deemed to be an ideal sacrifice. But since encountering the Technarchy, he changed his plans, using its power to resurrect the dead Apache. However, Wolverine doesn't understand the connection between the Technarchy and his tribe; Warpath states its everything.
In New Orleans, Eli, with his band of zombie Apache, approach Selene's home. The latter had no use for him or either of his servants and ordered hers to kill him. However, he presents before her a resurrected Caliban, whom can track down any deceased mutants and he can resurrect them as an army and soul sacrifice for her; Selene then grinned at the idea.
- This issue is reprinted in comics and books, see references for info.
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:
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