peak human physical
The man Wolverine nicknamed “Mister X” is a mystery. He grew up in a privileged and apparently American family, never wanting for anything as a child. The turning point in his life came during early adolescence when a passing cyclist was hit by a car. As the woman lay dying in the street, the boy broke free from his mother to watch her final moments up close. The young Mister X stared at the woman as the last breath of life left her body, and in that moment he became obsessed with death. Hearing Mister X’s story, Wolverine surmised that the situation was similar to Jean Grey’s experience with the death of her friend, Annie Richardson when she was a child. Mister X’s latent telepathic abilities interacted with the woman’s mind as she died, creating an empathic link that formed a uniquely intimate contact between them. Whereas Jean Grey retreated into a catatonic state after experiencing Annie’s death in her mind, Mister X was fascinated and developed a lifelong fixation on death. [Wolverine (2nd series) #161, 168]
Regardless of the cause, young Mister X became gripped by an incurable ennui. As he grew older, nothing he tried provided him with any entertainment: women, cars, travel… nothing satisfied the hole inside of him. His parents sent him to the finest psychologists that money could buy but no cure for his condition could be found. In his late teens, Mister X finally chose to experiment with death again. He took Sparky, the dog his parents bought him to cheer him up, and placed the poor creature in the microwave. Reacquainting himself with death in this manner, Mister X confirmed that the only satisfaction he would ever find in life would come from ending it. His parents were beside themselves when they came home and found the gruesome scene. Mister X has implied that he killed them shortly thereafter.
Over time, Mister X grew into his role as a murderer. He started by attacking and killing vagrants and random people on the street. Later, he moved on to personal acquaintances, neighbors and even former lovers. As his urges grew, he began assassinating high-profile and political targets. Even this eventually lost its novelty and Mister X decided to start targeting victims who could actually fight back. Having long ago inherited his parents’ vast private fortune, Mister X began traveling the world to improve his fighting skills and become the “ultimate killing machine.” He trained under many sensei and fighting masters across the globe, eventually killing them after they taught him everything he could learn.
His skills honed to the pinnacle of human development, Mister X forged a new life for himself as the greatest killer in the world. He destroyed all records of his existence in order to operate completely off the grid. He maintained a legitimate front for his business earnings in Manhattan, with an otherwise normal secretary, attorney and staff at his beck and call. X frequently engaged in casual murder to keep his edge sharp while searching for the next worthy opponent, a practice he called being “in session” with a “client.” Mister X killed a number of fighters and killers over the years but a select few were given the chance to survive. These became members of his personal posse of agents, including the former military man, the Major, the ever-silent Samoan Blok, and the tag-team killer cuties, T and A. [Wolverine (2nd series) #161]
In his quest for opponents, Mister X traveled to Madripoor and became the reigning champion in the annual Bloodsport Tournament held in Lowtown. [Wolverine (2nd series) #167] It was in Madripoor that he first heard rumors of the mutant called Logan, Patch or Wolverine, who claimed to be “the best there is at what he does.” Intrigued by the potential challenge, Mister X arranged for his agents to test Wolverine’s skills. When Logan survived a sustained fight with Blok, T and A, and the Major’s tactical unit, Mister X was suitably impressed. He arranged a private encounter with Wolverine and as he was already riled up by the fight with X’s subordinates, Logan readily agreed. Unfortunately for Wolverine, Mister X seemingly proved himself the better fighter when he dropped Logan to the mat in under a minute. [Wolverine (2nd series) #159-160]
Mister X brought Wolverine back to his private island - gagged, shackled and beaten - to continue their discussion. Despite his poor showing in personal combat, Mister X was still impressed with Wolverine’s skills. In exchange for letting him live, X offered Logan a place among his “murder elite,” provided he sign a binding contract stating Wolverine could no longer refer to himself as “the best there is.” Horrified by Mister X’s callous outlook on killing, Wolverine broke free from his restraints and hunted X through his private estate. Mister X enjoyed the rematch session immensely, playing with Logan as he unveiled his personal collection of murder paraphernalia. The session ended prematurely, though, when Mister X’s overly loyal servant Blok stepped in and struck down Wolverine from behind when it momentarily appeared that X was losing. Furious at the interruption, Mister X removed one of Blok’s fingers as punishment. He left Wolverine adrift at sea with a note pinned to his chest, politely apologizing for Blok’s interference and expressing his eagerness for a rematch someday. [Wolverine (2nd series) #161]
As he kept an eye on Wolverine, Mister X learned that the Weapon X Program had regained control of the old behavior triggers in Logan’s head. They manipulated Logan into killing for them without even being consciously aware of it. When Logan’s murder of a prominent senator became public knowledge, he went on the run until he could find out the truth. Mister X considered this “padding the stats,” with Wolverine getting credit for kills he didn’t consciously commit. In response, Mister X arranged for information to reach Logan during his quest that led him in the direction of the new Weapon X Program, using notes ironically signed, “A Friend.” [Wolverine (2nd series) #163-165]
After Wolverine cleared up his affairs with the Weapon X Program, Mister X sent him another note signed “A Friend” in order to arrange their next encounter. He invited Logan to the latest Bloodsport Tournament being held in Madripoor to face him as the reigning champion. Although hesitant, Wolverine was too curious to just ignore the invite and entered the Bloodsport Tournament. Mister X proved himself a worthy champion in the first match, where he killed the Headhunter in under four seconds. [Wolverine (2nd series) #167]
As the tournament continued, Mister X faced the Taskmaster in a cage match. The rules stated that the first fighter to exit from the top of the cage was the winner. Mister X inadvertently did so while trying to kill Taskmaster, and the referee declared the match over. Deprived of his kill, X took his frustration out on the referee, killing him on the spot. Logan and Mister X reached the final round and faced each other in the championship bout. As before, this match had special conditions: the match was over when a fighter located the championship belt hidden in one of the four boxes in the cage arena’s corners. The other three boxes held deadly weapons. During this match, Wolverine finally learned the secret of X’s anticipatory telepathy and reasoned that his berserker rage would cloud his conscious thoughts too much for Mister X to read him. He was correct, and Wolverine gained a clear advantage over Mister X. X located the championship belt first, but the fight continued as the feral Wolverine was too far gone to stop. Mister X would have been killed if Blok hadn’t once again step in to defend his master. [Wolverine (2nd series) #168]
Although he was still the reigning champion of the Bloodsport Tournament, Mister X recognized that he won on a technicality and actually lost in physical combat against Logan. Mister X did not take his first loss well and became obsessed with finding a way to defeat Wolverine in a rematch. He worked out his aggression by hiring human and superhuman sparring partners by the dozen, dressing them up in Wolverine costumes, and murdering them en masse. X also began training against real wolverines, and learned not to rely on his powers but to fight opponents without conscious thought. Still, his refined edge slipped a bit during this period of time. Previously an unknown quantity on the world stage, Mister X quickly racked up death warrants in seventeen different countries. He spent more time in Madripoor than usual, thanks to its total lack of extradition treaties. [Wolverine: Mr. X #1, Thunderbolts (1st series) #132]
After long months of training, Mister X reached the point where he was ready to challenge Wolverine again. Mister X killed a kindergarten teacher and took her class hostage to make his point: “Face me, or innocent people will die.” Wolverine relented to X’s demands and agreed to meet him at the Museum of Natural History to finish their business. Mister X relished in the combat and eagerly awaited the moment Wolverine unleashed his berserker rage so that he could exact revenge against the animal that beat him the last time. Unfortunately for Mister X, Wolverine wised up during the fight. He realized that all Mister X cared about was fighting a worthy opponent, and Wolverine could deny him that thrill by simply choosing not to fight back. By just letting his healing factor take the punishment, Logan removed all joy for Mister X from the encounter. Emasculated, Mister X was left in the museum, knowing that Wolverine would never agree to fight him again: the ultimate revenge against the ultimate killer. [Wolverine: Mr. X #1]
At loose ends, Mister X accepted an offer by Norman Osborn to join his team of killers known as the Thunderbolts. Osborn promised him new challenges against worthy opponents and a way to regularly satisfy his killing urges. The Thunderbolts staged an assassination attempt on Mister X at a public ballet performance in Madripoor. By leaving a body double corpse in the aftermath, they successfully extracted Mister X and ensured the world police agencies would no longer be looking for him. [Thunderbolts (1st series) #132]
Technically part of a team, Mister X did little to bond with his teammates. He made it clear from the start he’d be just as happy killing them and would probably do it the moment he got bored. X particularly enjoyed taunting the Headsman, a redneck biker with a quick temper and a slow fighting style. Mister X beat him with both hands behind his back in a sparring session. When Headsman tried to nail the cocky SOB with a knife in the back of the head, Mister X easily dodged the thrown blade. He tried to provoke Headsman into trying to take it back and, when Headsman hesitated, Mister X promised to return the blade… when he least expected it. [Thunderbolts (1st series) #134]
Despite being on a kill squad, Mister X failed to score a successful kill for several missions. He was defeated in a fight with the Black Widow and Songbird and was humiliated while trying to dispose of Luke Cage and Iron Fist. [Thunderbolts (1st series) #135-137] Jittery about being deprived of his kills, Mister X used the Thunderbolts' teleport system to jump into a South American warzone. He let loose on the guerrilla fighters in the jungle before the Thunderbolts came after him. X initially fought back against his teammates, who wanted to bring him in for going AWOL, but they eventually joined forces against the guerrillas and X returned to base. His killing urge was at least temporarily satisfied. [Thunderbolts (1st series) #138]
When Osborn launched the siege on Asgard, he directed his Thunderbolts to retrieve a weapon of incredible power - the Spear of Odin. Mister X and the Thunderbolts deployed over Asgard and infiltrated the hall of weapons. X was impressed with the armory and tried out several mythical weapons he’d only heard of in stories. When an Asgardian guard confronted the group, Mister X gleefully reached the next level in murder by killing a god. His mirth lessened with the arrival of the mighty Avengers. [Thunderbolts (1st series) #141]
Fighting the Avengers, Mister X once again faced the limits of his powers when dealing with superhuman opponents. The hypermind intelligence of Amadeus Cho produced thoughts too complex for X to understand and anticipate, leaving him pinned by a series of arrows Cho threw into the air in a seemingly random fashion. Temporarily removed from the battle, Mister X was furious at the setback and returned to fighting the super-heroes in time to claim the Spear of Odin for himself. Bragging openly about how the “ultimate warrior had met the ultimate weapon,” Mister X single-handedly held off several of the Avengers until a game-changer arrived on the field of battle - Quicksilver. As they engaged each other, Pietro humbly acknowledged that he was not that skilled a martial combatant and carried only a small piece of iron debris to counter Mister X’s weapon of the gods. Of course, he smugly added that the greatest weapon in the universe is useless if you don’t have the opportunity to use it and that the mutant power to anticipate a coming attack is small comfort when the attack hits at an unstoppable velocity. Mister X was completely helpless against Quicksilver, who beat, crippled and humiliated “the best there is” in less time than it took you to read this sentence.
With Osborn defeated during the siege, Mister X and the remaining Thunderbolts were taken into custody by the Avengers and incarcerated for their crimes. It remains to be seen whether X will ever recover - physically or psychologically - from his defeat by Pietro Maximoff, The Fastest Man Alive. [Thunderbolts (1st series) #142-143]
“Ultimate Warrior’s” Defeat List
When Taskmaster bragged about the super-heroes he could mimic with his photographic reflexes, Mister X gave a disdainful "Who?" response, as if costume crimefighters were beneath him when compared to the fighting masters he studied with. Little did he realize that the man who never lost a fight would lose time and time again after confronting superhuman opponents. Perhaps he should've stuck with safer game.
|Defeated by||Reason for defeat|
|Iron Fist||drunken fighting|
|Amadeus Cho||too smart|