CYBER

Written By: 
Last Updated: 
3rd September 2013

CYBER

Real Name: Silas Burr
Former Aliases: none
Height: 6'6'' (Milo),
6'4'' (Silas)
Weight: 400 lbs. (Milo),
365 lbs. (Silas)
Hair color: Black (Milo), Blond (Silas)
Eyes: Blue (Milo), Hazel (Silas)
First appearance: Marvel Comics Presents
(1st series) #85
Last appearance: Wolverine: Origins #32
Known Relatives: none
Profession: Mercenary, drug trafficker, soldier,
Pinkerton agent
Group Affiliation: Hell's Belle's, Romulus,
Pinkerton National Detective Agency
Powers: • Psi-talent able to sense brain waves in his vicinity, identify people by their unique patterns, and track them over great distances; consciousness able to survive the death of his physical body and potentially claim a new one
• host body possesses superhuman strength and resistance to physical injury, Adamantium-reinforced skin and retractable finger talons dipped in poison and hallucinogens
• original body also possessed Adamantium reinforced skin and naturally superhuman strength

BIOGRAPHY

Silas Burr was actively committing atrocities as early as 1912, when he worked for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, a private security organization best known for its occasional acts of ruthlessness toward striking labor unions. Although he possessed both super-strength and the mutant ability to psionically track the brain wave patterns of anyone he wanted, it was his decidedly non-mutant ability to push men beyond their own moral boundaries that the Pinkertons found most useful. As a high-ranking member of the agency, Silas and his men committed acts of unspeakable violence not only against disgruntled laborers, but against innocent women and children as well. Silas’ illegal reign of terror finally caught up with him in Sioux City, Iowa in 1912. Thanks to the testimony of his own men, he was tried and convicted of, among other things, murdering seven union organizers, pistol-whipping a woman to death and torching a schoolhouse to the ground with fourteen children inside. Completely unrepentant in the courtroom, Silas smirked as the judge read the charges, and claimed he was just doing that job—and even admitted to additional acts during his sentencing. Enraged, the judge sentenced Silas to death by hanging. When one of Silas’ old cohorts drew a gun in the courtroom to silence him, Sabretooth, dressed as a policeman, intervened, removed Silas and absconded with him to Canada, where he met with Sabretooth’s boss, a man named Hudson. [Wolverine: Origins #14]

Hudson, acting under orders from the mysterious Romulus, hired Silas to work in his pseudo-military training facility in Canada. The goal of this facility was to harden already rough men into unrepentant killers, and Silas, due to his unique ability to compel men to commit acts they would normally find unconscionable, received free rein to train the troops however he wished. Hudson assigned him to break one man in particular: a cadet named Logan. Silas’ employers, it seemed, had a peculiar interest in fashioning Logan into their personal assassin, but to do so they needed to condition him to fear bonding with other people. When Logan grew close to a woman named Janet, who also worked at the facility, Silas was instructed to kill her, purely to teach Logan that anyone he grew to care about would die. Predictably, Logan retaliated against Silas for killing the woman he loved, prompting Silas to pluck out his eye and give him the worst beating he had ever received at that point in his life. [Wolverine: Origins #12, 15]

Years later, during World War II, Silas served as the commanding officer of the Devil’s Brigade, a platoon in the Canadian military reserved for nasty missions. Logan was once again part of his battalion, apparently having suppressed the memories of Janet’s death and the beating he received at Burr’s hands. Silas delighted in having Logan as his subject once again, relishing the fact that the man remembered little, if anything, of what he had done to him. [Wolverine: Origins #17]

In 1959, Silas was summoned back to Canada in order to train Logan’s illegitimate son, Daken, just as he had his father. Silas took to the assignment with glee. On one of Daken’s first days with him, Silas killed the man standing at attention next to Daken with a single punch, solely to see how Daken reacted. To Silas’ surprise, Daken didn’t care—at all. Eventually, Daken, acting under orders from Romulus, went AWOL and began murdering everyone at the facility, starting with the men Silas sent after him. At this point, Silas tried to resign from his post, but his boss, Hudson, refused to let him go free, and drew a gun to kill him. Fortunately for Silas, Daken intervened and killed Hudson—only to then shoot Silas three times in the back. He was prepared to finish him once and for all when the enigmatic Romulus intervened and stated that he wanted to use Silas for an experimental Adamantium-bonding process. [Wolverine: Origins #27]

The wounded Silas was thrown into a rail car and shipped to Saskatchewan, Canada, where Romulus’s men performed the Adamantium-bonding process on him—the first attempt of such a procedure on a human. Because Silas lacked a healing factor, they had to bond the Adamantium to his skin. Silas was mostly conscious during the agonizing, torturous affair, and felt them searing and bonding the Adamantium to his flesh. They also outfitted him with small claws on his fingertips that were able to secrete doses of poisons and hallucinogenic drugs. [Wolverine: Origins #32]

Sometime after his epidermal upgrade, Silas adopted the codename Cyber. Other than working for Romulus, what he did during this long stretch of time is largely unknown. At some undisclosed point, Wolverine sought him out to kill him, but Cyber bested him and left him for dead. [Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #86]

Sometime much later, Cyber traveled to the island nation of Madripoor to sell a batch of hallucinogens to the island’s premier drug lord, General Nguyen Ngoc Coy. Cyber’s mere presence on the island, however, triggered Wolverine’s olfactory senses, leading the mutant X-Man to investigate the strange scent from the deepest recesses of his memory. Wolverine arrived at General Coy’s palace as he was meeting with Cyber, but Cyber detected the approaching mutant’s familiar brain wave patterns and ambushed him in the hallway. He laughed as he easily bested Wolverine in combat. He gutted the man, dosed him with hallucinogens and chased him as he uncharacteristically fled for his life. Wolverine dove out of a palace window and took refuge in the forest to recover. [Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #85-86]

Cyber then met with General Coy’s rival crimelord, Tyger Tiger, and offered to sell her the same shipment of drugs. Although Tyger Tiger was loath to involve herself in the drug trade, she conceded her stance when Cyber called to her attention the benefits simply of keeping the drugs out of her rival’s possession. After she agreed to buy them, Cyber then arranged for both Tyger Tiger and General Coy to meet at the docks at the same time to buy the drugs. When they arrived, he slaughtered all of their men. He was prepared to finish them off as well when Wolverine intervened and ambushed him. [Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #87-90]

Battling on the top of a runaway truck filled with the hallucinogens, Cyber now faced a less fearful Wolverine. The truck eventually tumbled over a cliffside, at which point the fight continued into the treetops. Though Cyber maintained his decades-old advantage over his old pupil, Wolverine eventually got even by plucking out Cyber’s eye, just as Cyber had done to him years earlier. An animal companion of Wolverine’s then ambushed Cyber and pushed him out of a tree, knocking him into the truck-bed filled with hallucinogens. The drugs immediately seeped into Cyber’s blood system through his ocular cavity. Terrified by powerful hallucinogens overwhelming his circulatory system, Cyber ran screaming into the ocean, and seemingly drowned. [Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #91-92]

Cyber later resurfaced, once again working in the realm of drug trafficking. Now outfitted with a bionic eye and still dealing with the hallucinogens in his body, he began mentoring a criminal group called Hell’s Belles. When one of his protégés, a Hell’s Belle named Shrew, defected of the group and decided to testify against them in court, Cyber received orders from his employer to ensure Shrew would never make it to the trial. Correctly deducing that the government-sponsored mutant team X-Factor would be hired to protect Shrew, Cyber preemptively eliminated the team’s most dangerous member, Polaris, by sucker-punching her in public one afternoon. Later, when X-Factor began protecting Shrew sans Polaris, Cyber and the Hell’s Belles ambushed them. During the fight, Cyber poisoned Strong Guy with a poison-tipped claw scratch. He promised to give Strong Guy the antidote if they relinquished Shrew to him; otherwise, the poison would kill Strong Guy within hours. Refusing to cede to his evil, X-Factor derived the antidote on their own, then ambushed Cyber and the Hell’s Belles in a subway station. Cyber was knocked onto the tracks just as a train passed through the tunnel and was seemingly pulverized. [X-Factor (1st series) #79-81]

Cyber grew increasingly crazy the longer the hallucinogens stirred in his system. After Wolverine foiled yet another of his elaborate plots on an island in the South Pacific, [Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #132-136] Cyber resurfaced in Scotland, almost completely mad from the overdose of hallucinogens running amok in his body. Despite his overwhelming hallucinations and recurring arguments with figures from his past, Cyber managed to plot a scheme to kidnap Wolverine and sell him to a group that wanted to extract the Adamantium from his skeleton. When Cyber confronted Wolverine and engaged him in battle, however, he was remiss to discover that Wolverine no longer had his Adamantium skeleton, as Magneto had forcibly removed it. As a consolation prize, Cyber snapped off three of Wolverine’s bone claws—before getting flattened by a filing cabinet.

Cyber recovered from his injuries and slaughtered the paramedics who were rushing him to the hospital. After commandeering the ambulance, he used his mutant tracking ability to pinpoint Wolverine’s location on the island. Pursuing Wolverine and his companion on the windy roads of the rocky Scotland shore, Cyber finally caught up to them and ambushed them, intent on killing them both. Wolverine outfoxed him once again, however, by entering his speeding vehicle, dousing him with a can of gasoline, and igniting him with a road flare. After Wolverine retreated back to his own vehicle, the maniacal Cyber drove his flaming ambulance off the ledge into the water. Apart from some burns, Cyber emerged from the water mostly intact, and tracked Wolverine to his current location on Muir Island. There, he ambushed Wolverine and the island’s residents, Excalibur. When he brought the battle inside their facility, however, they easily tricked him and captured him in their containment chamber. [Wolverine (2nd series) #79-81]

While in captivity, Cyber provided information to S.H.I.E.L.D., hoping they would one day release him. Apparently he informed S.H.I.E.L.D. about the existence of Romulus, thereby invoking his master’s wrath. Romulus then set in motion a chain of events to eliminate Cyber. [Wolverine: Origins #12, 31]
Before long, a group called the Dark Riders, in the employ of Genesis, broke him out of his cell and transported him to their leader’s temple in Egypt. Under the pretense of wanting to test his abilities, they subjected Cyber to a series of combat tests that assessed the durability of the metal bonded to his skin. Cyber began growing curious about their interest in his Adamantium, however, and when they finally asked him to enter an eerie chamber he suspected was inescapable, he fought back. Unfortunately, the combined powers of the Dark Riders and Genesis overwhelmed him, and he was sealed in the airtight chamber. Moments after the door closed, his captors released a swarm of mutant death watch beetles on him, which quickly devoured all the organic material of his body, leaving only his Adamantium shell. Cyber was dead within minutes. [Wolverine (2nd series) #93-96]

Interestingly enough, Cyber’s mutant ability, amplified by the mind-altering hallucinogens in his body, preserved his psionic essence and prevented him from completely dying. His consciousness left his body and existed as a psionic ghost. It took him some time to adjust to his existence as a formless essence but, once he adjusted, he realized he could return to life by finding a suitable vessel for himself. He eventually found one such vessel in a grown man of similar stature named Milo Gunderson. Due to Milo’s mental retardation, Cyber deemed his body a suitable vessel for him to occupy. After commandeering Milo’s body, which he did without much regard for the boy’s life, he murdered the boy’s father and fled the Gunderson farm. [Wolverine: Origins #11-12]


Intent on getting revenge, Cyber’s first task was to get a new sheathe of Adamantium bonded to his new body, just as he had his old one. He immediately tracked down the Tinkerer and presented him with plans for how to bond Adamantium to his body. Offering to pay the Tinkerer a hefty sum, Cyber just needed to procure some Adamantium, which he did by robbing a laboratory in Brussels. [Wolverine: Origins #13]

Cyber wanted revenge on Romulus for what he did to him in the past, and he knew the best avenue to Romulus was through Daken, Romulus’s favorite protégé. Cyber attacked Daken while he was battling his father, Wolverine. Although Daken had the chance to kill Cyber with Wolverine’s help, he chose not to, leaving Cyber to contend with Wolverine on his own. Fortunately for Cyber, the odds were in his favor, as Wolverine was severely injured already. However, just as he was about to finish him, his heart gave out; apparently Milo’s body was only able to grow so big and strong at the expense of massive strain on his heart. Nearly dead from a heart attack, Cyber accepted Wolverine’s help, and together they set out to find the Tinkerer so Cyber’s life could be preserved long enough to exact revenge. The Tinkerer agreed to create for Cyber an external pacemaker out of Carbonadium. Cyber was furious when he awoke to discover what Wolverine and the Tinkerer had done, as Carbonadium was radioactive and lethal, and the Tinkerer had no way of removing it. Wolverine, it seemed, had merely prolonged Cyber’s life long enough to get the information he needed, and left Cyber with a countdown to the end of his own life. [Wolverine: Origins #14-15]

With his time limited, Cyber set about trying to get revenge on Romulus. He lured Wolverine and Daken to North Africa hoping to collaborate with them on finding and killing the man he blamed for ruining his life. However, his Carbonadium pacemaker was making things difficult for him, as it was now causing his flesh to rot. Wolverine’s refusal to collaborate with him made things even more difficult, but when Daken appeared to betray his father in favor of working with Cyber, he grew optimistic. To jog Daken’s memories of Romulus, he and Daken returned to Saskatchewan, Canada, to the location where Cyber first had the Adamantium bonded to his skin. After he revealed what he knew about Romulus, however, Daken turned on him, claiming that Romulus had always been disappointed in him. Using his pheromone powers, Daken panicked Cyber to the point of a heart attack, and then destroyed his life-saving heart medication. He then left to find Romulus on his own, leaving Silas to die. Wolverine later found his body, sprawled out on the ground, motionless, with flies crawling over his decaying flesh. [Wolverine: Origins #31-32]

Cyber may be dead, but given the inextinguishable nature of his psionic essence, it’s possible he may return one day to further torment Logan.