Publication Date: 27th Jun 2024
Written By: Monolith.
Image Work: Douglas Mangum.


Cameron Hodge grew up as part of a wealthy and influential New York family. The most important relationship of his life would be his childhood friendship with Warren Worthington III. Cameron considered Warren to be his best friend and developed an obsessive fixation with the other boy for his good looks, money and pedigree. They grew up together, with Cameron always following along after Warren, and eventually became roommates at Fairburn Boys School together. Cameron’s devotion to Warren was already unhealthy by the time he discovered Warren was also a mutant with the wings of an angel. Cameron considered this a step too far for the boy who already had everything, as if Warren was deliberately leaving him behind. His love turned to jealousy and eventually hatred, feelings which Cameron would eventually project onto all mutants. [X-Factor (1st series) #23, 34, 47]

[Note: Cameron and Warren are occasionally referred to as college roommates, but this is an error. Their relationship clearly predates Warren growing wings as a teenager, before Xavier’s school.]

Warren was oblivious to Cameron’s resentment, and they continued to be good friends on the surface. Over time, Cameron graduated with a law degree and joined a Madison Avenue advertising firm as a public relations specialist. Warren went public with his career as Angel of the X-Men and inherited Worthington Enterprises and his parents’ millions. Shortly after the resurrection of Jean Grey, Warren was looking for a venture to invest his money in which would also bring his friends from the original X-Men back together. Professor Xavier was lost in space and the new X-Men had invited Magneto into the mansion, creating a rift with Angel’s generation of the team. With anti-mutant sentiment in the country on the rise, some new approach was warranted.

Warren reached out to Cameron, who was inspired to manipulate Warren for his own anti-mutant campaign. He sold Warren on the idea of X-Factor, an allegedly human team of bounty hunters, marketing their services as a mutant deterrence agency to locate and apprehend mutants. They would prey upon the public’s own prejudices against mutants to receive tips about new mutants, who just needed training and guidance with their abilities. Through X-Factor, Cameron argued, the original X-Men would carry on Xavier’s dream of reaching out and helping mutants in need. Secretly, Cameron projected that the long-term consequences of X-Factor’s advertisements and public image would only further damage the cause of mutant co-existence. Still, Cameron convinced Warren, who in turn brought the other original X-Men on board with the X-Factor idea. Cameron became administrative director of X-Factor, Inc. [X-Factor (1st series) #1]

The X-Factor experiment proved highly successful at first. As X-Factor or in their new identities as the renegade mutants the X-Terminators, the original X-Men made contact with a number of new mutants. They resolved several situations where mutants used their powers to threaten innocent lives, but also rescued two young mutants named Rusty Collins and Artie Maddicks, giving them sanctuary at X-Factor’s complex. Cameron Hodge used X-Factor to make connections of his own at the mayor’s office and reaching out to Senator David Thompson – who served on the Senate Committee on Mutant Affairs – as a contact for their cause. With so much of his time spent as an active participant with X-Factor, Warren delegated the daily affairs of Worthington Enterprises to its V.P., his girlfriend Candy Southern, while giving Cameron greater authority to orchestrate X-Factor’s business behind the scenes. [X-Factor (1st series) #2-6]

However, the cracks began to show in their masquerade. X-Factor could not appear too successful in public, since they couldn’t use their powers openly or actually kill or detain mutants against their will. Questions were raised in the media about the connection between X-Factor and the X-Terminators, who often showed up at the same time. Hodge and several allies had to dress up in X-Factor uniforms once to “defend” their complex from an attack by the X-Terminators to maintain their cover. The original X-Men also started to see the effect their ad campaign was having on public sentiment, and doubt crept in over the value of X-Factor’s messaging. Hodge’s mask also started to slip in private as he chatted up city hall on X-Factor’s behalf about “the mutant problem,” and curtly dismissed Rusty and Artie when they tried to warn him about a threat to the team. [X-Factor (1st series) #7-9]

Cameron Hodge had an extraordinary stroke of luck when X-Factor got involved in the Marauders’ massacre in the Morlock Tunnels. Angel was seriously injured in the fighting and his wings were broken almost beyond repair. The doctors insisted they needed to amputate Warren’s wings if he were to survive. Filled with regrets and depression, Warren approached his “friend” Cameron about amending his will to leave his entire fortune to X-Factor in the event of his death, so that their good works could continue if he didn’t survive his recovery. This beautifully positioned Cameron to take full control over the assets of X-Factor and Worthington Enterprises, regardless of any future objection by the original X-Men. He also quietly arranged for the abduction of Candy Southern, further clearing his path to power. [X-Factor (1st series) #10-13]

Thanks to a court order (which Cameron covertly arranged for), Warren was declared incompetent and the hospital was empowered to amputate his wings without his consent. Warren was predictably upset when he awoke from a drugged stupor to find his wings gone. He wasn’t thinking clearly and fled the hospital, seeking out the Worthington private jet at Kennedy Airport so he could fly again. Cameron foresaw this sequence of events and had the jet rigged to explode once Warren got into the air. With his depression and the changes in his will to support X-Factor after he was gone, it was easy to frame these events to look like Warren’s flight was a deliberate act of suicide. [X-Factor (1st series) #14-15]

Cameron Hodge hadn’t spent his days idly waiting for Warren to have a mishap, either. Even while working for X-Factor, Cameron secretly gathered an anti-mutant militia known as the Right. Control over X-Factor’s ad campaign and their telephone response line enabled him to cultivate an audience, identify and recruit potential assets for his cause against mutants. As he diverted funding for the Right, he not only trained soldiers but also endorsed scientific research to use against mutants from minds, like Frederick Animus or Harold and Eleanor Murch. He assembled a vast paramilitary force stationed beneath the Arlington Interactive Museum of Science. Many of the “fun” science tests and scanners were secretly engineered to identify mutants for further exploitation. Cameron hated mutants but, instead of exterminating them outright, he was more than willing to harness their power for his own ends.

The Right made their first public maneuver by claiming to be X-Factor’s mutant identities, the X-Terminators, and making a terrorist threat to the governor of California. A new evil mutant named Rictor would be responsible for a cataclysmic earthquake, which would drop the state into the ocean. X-Factor was returning from Warren’s funeral, where Hodge used the scandal as a soapbox to explain how even a known mutant like Angel funded X-Factor because he recognized the threat mutants held to humanity. Hodge deliberately allowed Jean Grey to overhear him reject the governor’s call for X-Factor, claiming he thought the team “needed space to grieve.” Instead, the team intended to appear in California as the real X-Terminators and clear their names.

In California, the X-Terminators were confronted by the Right’s militia as their mutant detecting friend Caliban zeroed in on Rictor’s location. Inside, they discovered Rictor was only a scared teenager, forced against his will into a position to cause the earthquake with his vibratory powers. The presence of Caliban and Iceman’s recently enhanced powers wrecked Cameron’s timetable, allowing them to stop Rictor’s vibratory pulse before it went off. Iceman used the victory as a public relations effort for mutants, announcing over the airwaves that the real X-Terminators had stopped evil humans from exploiting an innocent mutant. Hodge’s immediate plans were ruined and, back at the X-Factor Complex, Rusty and the other mutant students overheard enough from his office to become actively suspicious of Cameron Hodge. [X-Factor (1st series) #17]

The X-Terminators brought Rictor back to the complex, which was a threat to Hodge. Although he had never seen the Right Commander unmasked, Rictor felt Cameron’s voice was familiar and was noticeably unsettled around him. Before Cyclops could probe Rictor’s uneasiness, though, Cameron pressed a psychological warfare campaign against Scott. Cyclops had been on the verge of a breakdown ever since Jean’s return, learning he had loved the inhuman Phoenix Force in her absence, and the abandonment and disappearance of his wife Madelyne, now presumed dead. Hodge used subtle encouragements and holograms which played into Scott’s existing delusions to make him think Jean was still the Phoenix, manipulating everything. Scott and Jean did come to blows as a result of their frustrations and Cameron’s manipulations, but things became clear once they settled down. Rusty triggered the Phoenix holograms Cameron used earlier, showing that Scott wasn’t crazy. X-Factor finally recognized the viper in their midst. [X-Factor (1st series) #18]