Publication Date: 18th Jun 2014
Written By: Monolith.


Born on the Ust-Ordynski Collective farm in Lake Baikal, Siberia, to Nikolai and Alexandra, Mikhail Nikolievitch Rasputin was the eldest of three children. As a boy of seven or eight, Mikhail remembered seeing his great-grandmother Elena on her deathbed. He spied on her in her last moments as a mysterious elderly stranger who looked very similar to Elena arrived to say his good-byes to her. Although he did not know who the man was, the deeply touching moment between them remained in Mikhail’s memory for years. Significantly older than his siblings, Mikhail often acted as Piotr’s caretaker, and took his role as a big brother very seriously. One day, while visiting their cousin Larisa, Piotr went missing in the woods. The children spent hours searching for him without luck, but Mikhail refused to let them give up. He eventually found Piotr stuck in a collapsed hole in the ground, and pulled his kavon to safety. [X-Men: Colossus - Bloodline #4-5]

Mikhail ultimately left for the Russian space program while Piotr was still a young boy, and before ever meeting his sister Illyana. His mutant powers over matter and energy made Mikhail an important part of his country's plans for exploration, and he proudly served as a patriot for Mother Russia. His death was faked during a routine space launch by the State to mislead the West and prevent them from learning about his mutant abilities. The cover story about Mikhail's death was also fed to his family, leaving his brother Piotr with a phobia about space travel when he eventually joined the X-Men as Colossus. [X-Men (1st series) #99]

Upon the discovery of a mysterious portal on Sakhalin Island, the Russian government arranged an expedition to investigate the other side of the void. Mikhail and a team of cosmonauts prepared to journey across dimensions, using Mikhail’s energy-warping powers to safely guide the ship through the void. Even protected by his abilities, it was a rough trip, and Mikhail was barely cognizant when the ship crashed on the far side of the void. Told that his fellow travelers had not survived the voyage, Mikhail was brought to the palace of the Worldly Avatar, ruler of the land. In  his weakened state, he was nursed back to health. During his recuperation, Mikhail was attended to by Tra-mai-a-Zath, the Avatar’s daughter, and they fell in love. Within a relatively short period of time, Mikhail was accepted into the royal family and wed to Tra-mai-a-Zath.

Happy with his new life and his new wife, Mikhail nevertheless had lingering regrets about losing his homeland. He used his new status to approach the site of the portal, which was normally prohibited to anyone other than the royal family. Mikhail was surprised to find a large number of Earthly ships and vehicles wrecked around the portal, stripped bare of anything of value. His surprise turned to horror when he found his own ship and the bodies of his comrades, with clear signs that they survived the initial crash but were murdered by the Avatar’s people before Mikhail awakened.

Returning to confront his father-in-law, Mikhail was shocked when the Avatar didn’t even deny the accusations, and told him that Mikhail was just the latest in a long line of “playthings” that fell out of the portal for his amusement. Taking to the hills, Mikhail learned from the townspeople just how hard the Worldly Avatar made life for those outside of his personal court. Mikhail rallied a group of rebel followers known as the Countrymen, and began organizing resistance against the Avatar and his Posse Comitatus. During a battle at the portal, Mikhail attempted to use his powers to close the void, sealing off access to Earth’s dimension and robbing the Worldly Avatar of his power. Mikhail’s efforts were tragically successful – with  the other end of the portal cut off, the energy flowing through it backlashed into the Avatar’s land, causing mass devastation on both sides. Mikhail’s Countrymen died around him, along with the Worldly Avatar and Tra-mai-a-Zath, who Mikhail still loved despite everything. Mikhail Rasputin left the field of battle as the sole survivor, making his way out of a field of the dead. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #286]

For the next ten years, Mikhail lived alone in the arid wastelands far away from the palace, an exiled hermit haunted by the death on his hands. The kingdom of the Worldy Avatar changed little, as the younger daughter of the Avatar, Sha-har-a-Zath, rose to the throne after the death of the rest of the royal family. Rebels remained in the surrounding hills, continuing Mikhail’s fight against the Posse Comitatus. Although none lived to tell the tale of Mikhail’s final battle, legends rose up in the place of facts, and Mikhail Rasputin became known as the Promised One or the Cursed One for his actions that fateful day, depending on who was asked.

On the far side of the portal, it remained inactive until a joint Russian and Japanese expedition to Sakharin Island attempted to reopen it. The power of the mutant Sunfire succeeded in piercing the barrier between worlds, drawing out some  of the rebel warriors who attempted to prevent the portal from being used. A misunderstanding led to battle between the rebels and Sunfire’s allies, the X-Men, who were all sucked into the portal as it expanded once more. Storm of the X-Men landed in the wastelands and was found by Mikhail, who provided her with food and shelter. Hearing that the portal was active again, Mikhail reluctantly ended his hermitage to bring Storm to the rebel camp. He was surprised as anyone to discover one of the X-Men present was Colossus, his own younger brother, Piotr.

After explaining his story, Mikhail was reluctant to accept the role of "Savior" once again. He feared that turning his power on the portal a second time might result in the destruction of the entire planet. Piotr chided his elder brother for refusing to take action, and joined the X-Men in a rebel assault on the portal against the Posse Comitatus. Mikhail was ultimately drawn into the conflict when he saw Piotr valiantly take a blast meant for his friends. By combining his power with Sunfire's atomic might, the heat-dispersing power of Iceman, and the telekinetic containment fields of Jean Grey, Mikhail succeeded in  transporting himself and the X-Men home, closing the portal permanently and preventing the destruction of the Avatar's world. Grateful to be back on Earth after his lost years, Mikhail returned to Westchester with Piotr and the X-Men. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #284-286]

Unfortunately, no one quite appreciated how psychologically damaged Mikhail Rasputin was by his experience through the void. Mikhail was haunted by his dead, traumatically re-experiencing the death of his wife and Countrymen when left alone, or tormented by the ghosts of people whose deaths he blamed on himself. In his fragile state, Mikhail would lash out at those around him, as he apparently killed a pizza delivery guy, transforming him into a tree with his transmutative powers while Piotr was booking a flight back home to Siberia for them. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #290]

Before they could return to Russia, the X-Men were drawn into a power struggle among the Morlocks. The underground tribe of mutants' last leader, Masque, had physically and psychologically tortured the majority of them, leaving them deranged and rudderless after his death. Rejected by their past leaders Callisto and Storm,  the Morlocks began to run wild in Manhattan. Callisto was nearly as crazed as her people at the time, and was being held by  the X-Men at the mansion. Mikhail saw a kindred spirit in Callisto, a leader who regretfully had failed her people. He forcibly extracted her from the mansion and returned them to the Morlock Tunnels under the city. The burning in his mind had left Mikhail suicidal, and he intended to lead the Morlocks in a mass suicide by opening the tunnels' floodgates and drowning the lot of them. Colossus begged his brother to reconsider, but Mikhail had it in his head that he was only good as a martyr and needed to die to make things right with his Countrymen. With his last act, Mikhail assumed control of Jean Grey's telekinetic energy, casting the X-Men out of the tunnels and to safety while he, Callisto and the Morlocks apparently drowned in the flood. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #291-293]