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An American Patriot
The earliest known member of the Worthington family is Major-General Wallace Worthington. He was active in 1780s Philadelphia. Despite appearing to have no superhuman abilities himself, he fought alongside the immortal Ulysses Bloodstone and the costumed hero Captain America in America's revolutionary war. As a vocal and competent figure in the war, Wallace gained the enmity of Lady Grey, a high-ranking member of that era's local Hellfire Club chapter. Grey opposed the revolution and sought to find a way to access Wallace's military secrets. To that end, Grey recruited an ambitious but desperate British teenager named Elizabeth Shaw to seduce Wallace and gain his confidence. The poverty-stricken girl jumped at the opportunity. After a year's marriage, Elizabeth had been unsuccessful, as she had truly fallen in love with the dashing Wallace. As punishment for Elizabeth's failure, Lady Grey had Wallace beaten to death in an attempt to extort the information she wanted by other means. With his dying breathe Wallace told his wife that he had told them nothing.
Note: It was not stated if Wallace and Elizabeth's short marriage produced any children. However, it is important to note the following:
- The story of Wallace and Elizabeth was told to the journalist Irene Merriweather by Warren Worthington in X-Men: Hellfire Club #2. While the focus for this article was on Wallace, Elizabeth is clearly the protagonist in the story. If Elizabeth was not his ancestor, why would Angel focus such a sympathetic light to her when her actions led to the death of a relative (albeit even a very distant one)?
- Additionally, following the conclusion of the story, Merriweather concludes that Angel and Sebastian Shaw are related, which Angel does not deny and tacitly confirms by telling Merriweather she is missing the point of his story.
- The most likely scenario is that Elizabeth had given birth already by the time of Wallace's death or gave birth some time later and that Angel is related to the Shaw Family through the matrilineal line.
The Great Company
Regardless of how the Worthington family continued, it is undeniable that not only did they endure but they thrived with the formation of the family business, Worthington Industries. In X-Factor (1st series) #57, it was stated that the company was approximately 150 years old and possessed of an unfathomable wealth. [Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #6] Unsurprisingly, wealth of this level lead to a lack of compassion towards the common man for at least one Worthington.
In the 1940s, industrialist Warren Worthington (the First) had commissioned the construction of an airship. Unfortunately, the ship malfunctioned and was hurtling out of control. Luckily for Warren, the wartime hero called the Human Torch intervened and boarded the ship to attempt to help. Warren however was not grateful, insinuating that the hero was there to finish them off. The Torch assured those present he was there to help and asked that Warren allow the ship’s crew entrance to the ballroom to help stabilize the weight of the ship. Warren refused, stating they would use up their remaining air and only complied once convinced by an unnamed brunette woman (presumably his wife). Warren, his guests and crew were ultimately saved by the efforts of the Human Torch. [Human Torch Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1] Warren went on to have two sons, one boy he named after himself with the second being named Burtram.
Warren Junior seemingly had a gentler nature than his father and brother. Despite this, he was still a member of the Hellfire Club. [X-Men: Hellfire Club #4] He married a woman named Kathryn and had one son, also named Warren. Warren Worthington the Third would develop mutant powers in his teens and grow angelic-like wings. Originally, Warren operated as a costumed hero himself and later joined the X-Men under the guise of Angel. Angel made the decision not to disclose his powers to his parents. [X-Men (1st series) #1 & #54] Burtram would have a very different trajectory than his softer brother and heroic nephew.
Burtram would find himself on the wrong end of the law through undisclosed crimes, which eventually resulted in his incarceration. Upon his release, he would go to his older brother Warren for money, eventually connecting him to a diamond smuggling business of Butram’s creation. At some unknown point, he also became the costumed villain Dazzler and used technology to control minds and create explosions of light. When Warren Jr. found out about his brother's criminal activities, he threatened to go the authorities. Fearing prison, Dazzler had Warren Jr. killed. This prompted an investigation by his nephew, Angel. Angel tracked Dazzler down and, in the process, both men's secret identities were exposed to each other. Dazzler seemingly perished in the ensuing ,melee only to reappear a short time later with a new scheme to gain the family money. This time he “seduced” his brother's widow, Kathryn. Dazzler used his technology to “woo” Kathryn, all the while also poisoning her with his co-conspirator the Worthington's family doctor, Dr. Stuart. Upon discovery by Angel and the X-Men, Dazzler amped up his plan and increased the poison dose for Kathryn, ultimately resulting in her death before he could marry her. Dazzler's fate following Kathryn's death has not been revealed. [Ka-Zar (1st series) #2-3, Marvel Tales (1st series) #30, X-Men: The Hidden Years #14-15]
NOTE: It was mentioned that Warren also had an aunt Mimi, a prolific wildlife photographer and ally of Gorilla man. As per a handbook entry for Angel in X-Men First Class Special, "Aunt" Mimi was Warren's mother's sister. Given she never appeared, this was not confirmed in the text within the comic and the First Class books status as canon is unclear, she was not included in the graphic.
The Strong will survive
Following the deaths of both of his parents, Angel was left the entirety of the Worthington fortune by his parents. This was contested by unknown relatives on the grounds that they stated that Angel's parents would not have left him his inheritance had they been aware he was a mutant. [Champions (1st series) #6] Ultimately Angel's lawyer, Emerson Bale, a family friend of his parents, had the claims squashed and Angel became one of the wealthiest men on the planet.
Over the years, Angel would continue his adventuring with spells between the X-Men and two other superhero teams, the Champions and the Defenders. Eventually, he would reunite with original X-Men team members to create the group called X-Factor. During a battle with the villainous Marauders, his wings were severely damaged and were ultimately amputated. Warren was so distraught he attempted suicide and was seemingly killed in a plane explosion. [X-Factor (1st series) #14-15]
In reality, Angel had been captured by the ancient mutant Apocalypse, who experimented on Warren, turning him into one of his horsemen, Death. Warren would temporarily succumb to persona but eventually return to his allies in X-Factor and later the X-Men and X-Force. [X-Factor (1st series) #18-19, 21-25] Apocalypse also infected Archangel with a death seed, which would remain inactive while Apocalypse lived. The seed, when active, would compel the bearer to push evolution forward for the will of the Celestials, a race of intergalactic gods who intermittently would feed on worlds that they had “seeded,” such as Earth. The “gardener” efforts would ensure a healthier population to feast on when they returned. [X-Force (3rd series) #4-6, Uncanny X-Force (1st series) #11-18]
- In X-Factor (1st series) #21, during a point in which Angel was believed deceased, an unnamed distant male cousin had materialized to attempt to claim the Worthington wealth. The man claimed he was Angel's closest living blood relative. As with Mimi, it was not stated if this man was a maternal or paternal relative and attempt to claim inheritance was unsuccessful.
Archangel Reborn and the Apocalypse Twins
Over the years, the Death persona (later known as Archangel) would resurface. Following the death of Apocalypse, the persona only became stronger, with Warren eventually becoming Apocalypse's successor in both mind and soul. This Archangel personality assumed control of an earlier incarnation of Apocalypse's Horsemen and Apocalypse cult, Clan Akkaba. The dormant Celestial Death Seed now active required Archangel to reproduce and create an heir. To that end, Archangel impregnated his “horsewoman” Pestilence in secret. After committing atrocities while under the thrall of the seed, Archangel was defeated by his teammates using the antithesis of the Death Seed, the Life Seed, and was seemingly reborn as a complete tabula rasa, a blank slate.[Uncanny X-Force (1st series) #11-18]
Pestilence did give birth to twins, whom she named Eimin and Uriel. Shortly after their birth, however, the twins were stolen by the time traveler Kang, who had use for these “Apocalypse Twins.” Kang was a cruel “father.” He had found that the twins (or equivalent Death Seed imbued mutants) had thwarted his ability to conquer Earth in various timelines. Choosing a different tact, he opted to raise the twins in his image but frequently tortured them, at one point even leaving them in a mutant concentration camp in one timeline for several years. As he hoped, the twins developed a total antipathy for him as a result of his cruelty and secretly plotted his downfall. [Uncanny Avengers (1st series) #5 & 12]
When they finally returned to the main timeline, they briefly reunited with their mother and took control of the forces of Clan Akkaba. As Kang had hoped, they immediately started their campaign to deny him the Earth by provoking the Celestials into destroy it. Eimin's precognitive abilities had informed her that the price of victory would cost her Uriel's life but so driven was she in her goal of robbing Kang of the opportunity to conquer Earth that even this proved to be an insufficient deterrent. As she foresaw, the twins were opposed by a combination of X-Men and Avengers and Uriel was slain by Thor in single combat but they or rather she was successful in tricking the celestials into destroying planet Earth. As she watched the destruction unfold, Eimin believed she had finally defeated her tormentor.
Eimin had saved all remaining mutants by teleporting them to an “Ark” and taking them to new world within a pocket dimension. Eimin became a leading member of this society and used a tachyon dam to shield her world from the intervention of Kang. Her success lasted six years before she was defeated by a combination of the surviving Avengers/X-Men, who initially opposed her, and Kang, who had outmaneuvered her, manipulating all events in an attempt to steal the power of a Celestial.
Ultimately, the timeline was reset and the Earth saved. The twins appeared to perish in the crossfire of Kang and Earth's heroes. [Uncanny Avengers (1st series) #22] If they did indeed die, it is possible that Uriel could be resurrected under the Krakoan protocols. However, as Eimin was precognitive, her resurrection would likely be vetoed by Moira MacTaggert. [Powers of X #6]
While his twins were scheming and possibly dying, the seemingly the childlike “Angel” became a pupil at Jean Grey's School for Gifted Youngsters, where he remained for a time. [Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #4]
Later on, through undisclosed means, “Angel” was manipulated by the remnants of Clan Akkaba. The group convinced Angel to allow them to amputate his metallic wings repeatedly to “save” him from returning to his old persona of Archangel. The group was secretly using the wings to create clones of Archangel called “Deathflight,” hoping to restore their master. The clones were totally lacking in intellect and were effectively living weapons.
One of the clones was intercepted by Magneto and was mistaken as the real deal for a period until Warren Worthington's former paramour Betsy's Braddock tracked down the real “Angel” to the Akkaba stronghold. When the X-Men attempted to rescue Angel, the Akkaba unleashed the Deathflight clones on them. With some reluctance, “Angel” merged with one of the Deathflight clones, ending the rampage and restoring his dual nature. [Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #1-10]
[NOTE: It was extremely unclear if the other Deathflight clones were all killed by the X-Men present or (as some suggest) Angel merged with all the Deathflight clones.]
One version of Angel did find a home on Earth-616. A temporarily exiled version of the Shadow King took possession of an alternate universe version of Charles Xavier and corrupted his original team of X-Men, including Angel. The Shadow King led the X-Men, renaming them Shadow X, to Earth 616 were they became enemies of a version of Excalibur. The fledgling X-Men group were quickly defeated by Excalibur and the Shadow King and Xavier were imprisoned. Shadow X briefly teamed up with an evil version of Captain Britain named Albion. However, Albion betrayed Shadow X when he killed their Xavier, so they switched sides and aligned with Excalibur to fight Albion. During the final battle against Albion and his forces, all of Shadow X was killed. Strangely, despite their initially villainous behavior, they died as heroes in defense of London, presumably gradually returning to their old personas the longer they were outside of the Shadow Kings thrall. This version of Angel appeared to be in some sort of romantic relationship with “his” Marvel Girl.
Making a monster
The creature called Xraven was a composite being created by Mr. Sinister. The mad geneticist had commissioned Kraven the Hunter to steal DNA samples of the original five X-Men a short time after the formation of the team. Despite significant resistance from the teens and Spider-Man, Kraven was successful in his task. Impressed, Sinister purchased Kraven's DNA as well and used it in addition to the original X-Men and later the symbiote Carnage to create Xraven some years later.
Initially a dutiful enforcer for Mr. Sinister, Xraven ultimately rebelled following contact with one of his genetic progenitors, Cyclops, when he used his telepathic abilities to read Cyclops mind and found out the fate of another of Sinister's creations Madelyne Pryor. Following his revolt against his master, his survival remains unclear. [X-Men / Spider-Man #1-4] Interestingly, despite being stated in story and later in the X-Men Earth's Mutant Heroes Handbook #1 as having Angel's DNA, Xraven displayed no outward characteristics or abilities known to Angel.
The concept of mutant chimeras, composite, artificially-created mutants were introduced in Johnathan Hickman's Powers of X series some years later. Excluding his alien and human hybrid DNA, Xraven appears to be a precursor of these beings.