BIOGRAPHY - Page 1
Telford Porter is a mutant with the ability to teleport himself and others over long distances by way of other-dimensional space. When his powers first started developing as a teenager, Telford had trouble controlling them and would unintentionally 'vanish' at times. [Fallen Angels #7] Eventually branding himself "The Vanisher," he made a name for himself as a world-class thief by announcing to the authorities that he intended to rob a United States national bank. The police laughed at his boast, as they intended to arrest him once he exited the bank with the stolen money. The Vanisher surprised them by disappearing from the scene of the crime the moment he had his hands on the money. The Vanisher topped this high-profile feat by teleporting into the Pentagon and informing several high-ranking officials that he planned to steal the nation’s continental defense plans—and challenged them to try to stop him.
Unfortunately for Telford, his newfound notoriety attracted the attention of the telepath Professor X, who readied his newly formed X-Men to thwart him when he made his move against the Pentagon. Although the Vanisher managed to teleport inside the Pentagon and steal the continental defense plans, the X-Men confronted him once he appeared outside the building. Thanks to his years of experience with his mutant abilities, however, Telford easily evaded the team of novices and escaped with the plans. Shortly thereafter, he tried to extort a hefty sum of money from the United States government in exchange for not turning the defense plans over to its enemies. Now with a gang of thugs in his employ as backup, the Vanisher returned to the Pentagon to accept his payment. Having defeated the X-Men once already, he didn't fear their presence at the exchange—although he should have feared their mentor, Professor X. Telford underestimated the wheelchair-bound man and mocked him as he prepared to escape. To his dismay, Professor X mentally crippled him before he could disappear, blocking both his ability to teleport and his memories of his identity. The newly amnesiac Vanisher was taken into police custody. [X-Men (1st series) #2]
At some point, perhaps after recovering his identity and innate abilities, Telford escaped from captivity and began working for the enigmatic Mutant-Master as part of a group called Factor Three. Along with fellow mutant supremacists, Unus the Untouchable, Changeling, Mastermind and the Blob, this secretive cabal intended to wrest control of the world by inciting a third world war, this one nuclear-fueled. However, they also spent a fair amount of time harassing the X-Men. Among other things, they mechanically coerced Banshee into infiltrating the X-Men's headquarters, engineered the Juggernaut's escape from the X-Men's captivity and kidnapped Professor X. [X-Men (1st series) #28, #32-33] When the disgruntled Banshee began investigating Factor Three, they kidnapped him as well. Unsurprisingly, these kidnappings alerted the X-Men to their activities, who then traced Factor Three to their hideout in the Swiss Alps. [X-Men (1st series) #32-33, 35, 36]
When the X-Men arrived, Factor Three captured them and put them on trial for aiding their "enemies," the Homo sapiens sapiens. Telford was the first to testify in this kangaroo court, recounting how they thwarted his attempt to extort millions of dollars from their flatscan inferiors. After sentencing the X-Men to death for their transgressions, Factor Three began executing their plan to incite nuclear war between the United States and its enemies. The Vanisher teleported to the military headquarters of a rival nation, where he intended to implicate the United States in a bombing attack against high-ranking military officials. The X-Men escaped from captivity, however, and thwarted Factor Three's plans. With their attempt at starting World War III foiled, Factor Three retreated to their headquarters to defend the Mutant-Master against the X-Men's inevitable retaliation. To their surprise, their associate, Changeling, betrayed the Mutant-Master and freed both Professor X and Banshee, who then convinced Factor Three that something was amiss. The Vanisher and his colleagues set their hatred of the X-Men aside in order to investigate the Mutant-Master's motives. In the process, they discovered he was no mutant at all, but an extraterrestrial intent on ending all life on Earth. The Mutant-Master, his plot uncovered, abandoned his mission and committed suicide. With all of mankind saved, Factor Three and the X-Men agreed to a precarious truce and parted ways peacefully. [X-Men (1st series) #37-39]
Telford later found himself a captive of the mutant-hating Larry Trask, a man who blamed mutants for the death of his father, Bolivar, the inventor of the Sentinels. Larry Trask's Mark II Sentinels rendered the Vanisher comatose until Trask could find a way to eliminate his mutant powers. When Larry changed his mind and decided to have the Sentinels execute all the mutants in captivity, however, an accomplice of his turned on him and helped the X-Men thwart his scheme. The Vanisher awoke from stasis after the threat ended and, after his captor dismissed him, returned to his normal life. [X-Men (1st series) #57-60]
Later, the Vanisher reunited with his former Factor Three teammates and joined their Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. After completing only a few brief missions, however, the group separated, and the Vanisher once again disappeared. [Thunderbolts (1st series) #33]
Telford didn't enjoy life in obscurity for long. He was soon captured by Dr. Steven Lang, a scientist in the employ of the United States government and tasked with investigating why mutants existed. Now a prisoner and test subject in the mad scientist's orbiting laboratory, the Vanisher was once again freed due to the intervention of the X-Men—although neither party had any idea the other was onboard. Telford awoke on the empty space station after the X-Men escaped. Eyeing all the abandoned technology now at his disposal, he concocted a plan to use the remnants of Lang's Sentinels to attack the X-Men—despite the fact that they had saved his life twice and worked with him to overthrow the genocidal Mutant-Master.
Telford soon completed construction on the station's unfinished Sentinels, reprogrammed them with the ability to ignore certain mutants and removed their pesky aversion to killing humans. He used these modified Sentinels to find and recruit Unus, the Blob and their friend Lorelei to his cause. Porter discovered one snag in his plan, though: during his prolonged absence, the X-Men had changed their lineup, and several members had either quit or joined other superhero teams. He decided to pursue the two most publicly visible X-Men—Iceman and Angel, both members of the Champions—and use them as leverage in ensnaring the rest of their old teammates. He hatched a scheme in which his three minions would ask the Champions for help hiding from the Sentinels. To make this ruse convincing, he programmed the Sentinels to chase after them. Angel and Iceman, however, had serious doubts about the intentions of their former enemies. Angered by the skepticism of the Champions, the Vanisher emerged from the shadows and fired on the entire team, knocking them unconscious. Since the Champions would not lead him to the X-Men, he decided instead to lure the X-Men to him by murdering the Champions. He would have succeeded too, had the barely conscious Champions member Darkstar not used her Darkforce abilities to reanimate the Sentinels and turn them against the Vanisher and his allies. Facing certain defeat, the Vanisher prepared to flee. However, Darkstar impeded his attempts to teleport away with her Darkforce powers. Also capable of dimensional displacement, the Darkforce interfered with Vanisher's powers and froze him in mid-air—while he was halfway teleported. Half of the Vanisher's body vanished, while the other half remained trapped in the dimensional doorway. [X-Men (1st series) #100, Champions #17]
The other half of the Vanisher's still-living body ended up in Poughkeepsie, New York. Luckily for him, the X-Men's Cerebro detected his other half, and the team then came to investigate the weird signal he was emitting. When the X-Man Nightcrawler grabbed hold of him to free him, however, both he and the Vanisher were transported to a strange, alternate dimension that served as a dumping ground for interdimensional travel. In the process, the Darkforce that had previously trapped Vanisher somehow reformed around him into a skinsuit, which he could manipulate to some degree. Exclusively populated by females, the humanoid beings inhabiting this realm worshipped the men who chanced upon them as gods. The Vanisher was more than happy to let them treat him this way. While he was separated from Nightcrawler, he lounged and dined with the beautiful women of this world. Because neither he nor Nightcrawler could use their teleportation abilities while in this world, the Vanisher used it as an opportunity to experiment with his Darkforce abilities, creating simple items like a flimsy Darkforce sword. When Nightcrawler eventually found the way back home, he came calling for the Vanisher, as they could only return home if they went together. The Vanisher, however, refused to leave this wonderful world, and put up a fight—a pathetic fight, but a fight nonetheless. Eventually Kurt got him through the portal, and they reappeared in Poughkeepsie only moments after they left. The Vanisher was mortified to discover that his Darkforce outfit had disappeared, leaving him completely naked in front of the X-Men. He vanished before the situation could humiliate him any further. [Bizarre Adventures #27]
Long after Nightcrawler rescued him, the Vanisher returned to a life of petty crime—somehow even pettier than before. He began training impressionable young mutants in the fine arts of pick-pocketing and general thievery. He gave these super-powered teens, whom he dubbed the Fallen Angels, a place to stay at his clubhouse on Beat Street. As payback for his tutelage and generosity, he charged them the reasonable fee of 95 percent of their earnings. One such mutant, a spunky young girl named Boom-Boom, grew tired with the Vanisher's exorbitant income taxes and tried to escape. Desperate, she summoned the mutant-hunting group X-Factor to arrest him. The Vanisher was in the process of reacquiring Boom-Boom at an arcade in New York City when two X-Factor agents—unbeknownst to him, his old X-Men foes, Iceman and Beast—arrived to apprehend him. He managed to disappear before they could capture him, but he left Boom-Boom behind. [X-Factor (1st series) #11-12]
The Vanisher's other Fallen Angels included the teleporting alien Ariel, the latent mutant thief Chance and the telekinetic engineer Gomi. He also managed to recruit to both Sunspot and Warlock of the New Mutants. The Vanisher shamelessly lived off the labor of his subordinates, exempting himself from the rules he applied to them. When Siryn and the Multiple Man came calling for Sunspot and Warlock, Ariel suggested they all take a breather and transported them to a parallel dimension known as Dinosaur World. Immediately upon arriving, they were attacked by a dinosaur, which the Vanisher took as his cue to escape. He disappeared into the jungle until the danger subsided. Eventually, Chance found him, at which point Telford claimed he had been searching for the Fallen Angels all along. When they reunited with the rest of the group, the Vanisher began eating the food they had caught, claiming he needed to ensure it had not been poisoned.
Upon returning from Dinosaur World, the Vanisher continued exhibiting selfish, cowardly, callous behavior. Whenever an argument between the Fallen Angels erupted into violence, he would flee, conveniently returning only after the fight had ended. Eventually, the Vanisher and his Fallen Angels were tricked by Ariel and Chance into visiting Ariel's home planet, the Coconut Grove. While there, Chance's budding mutant abilities negated everyone’s mutant powers, allowing Ariel's people to take them captive to study their mutations. Unable to use his powers to escape, the frustrated Vanisher stewed in captivity. Luckily for him, Ariel had a change of heart and helped her former colleagues escape. The Vanisher actually stuck around to help overthrow their Coconut Grove captors. Once they emerged triumphant, they forgave Ariel for betraying them and returned home. Much to the Vanisher's chagrin, most of his charges decided to start walking the straight and narrow after the Coconut Grove ordeal, effectively putting an end to his scheme of manipulating children into stealing for him.