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Last Updated: 
28th June 2008

The Hellfire Club in London is a branch of the New York Hellfire Club, a traditional and powerful organization with roots way back into the last century. Membership is passed on to descendants, or can be earned through wealth and influence. Originally the Club was not about mutants. The Club has many members (ancestors of Worthington, Braddock, and more). Unknown to most members the clubs are ruled by the Inner Circles. Positions are named after chess pieces. In the London Club they changed the opposing colors to red and black (instead of white and black) to distinguish themselves from their New York successors.


Membership: Ms. Steed, Margali Szardos, Black King, Scribe, Red King, Brian Braddock, Red Bishop

First appearance: Excalibur (1st series) #96
Last appearance: Excalibur (1st series) #100 [surviving members are put into custody]


  • In the "Dream Nails" Trilogy, Shadowcat and Wisdom discovered a place where data on extraterrestrial lifeforms is stored. Many foes of the X-Men (Phalanx, Skrull, Brood) were known there before the X-Men met them. In the end the complex exploded. [Excalibur (1st series) #88-90]
  • The only member that was known by readers before the London Club appeared was it's Red Queen, who is nobody else than Margali Szardos in disguise. She is the mother of Jimaine Szardos aka Amanda Sefton, longtime girlfriend of Nightcrawler; and also the adoptive mother of Nightcrawler.


Excalibur (1st series) #96: The London Inner Circle is introduced. They consist of a Red King and Queen and Black counterparts. Additionally, they have a Scribe recording their meetings. The Inner Circle has an alliance with Black Air, and were involved in the complex at Dream Nails. Even though they share a common goal, the Kings dispute how to approach it, although their ultimate plan is unclear at this point. Meanwhile, Shinobi Shaw, Black King of the New York Club is angered to hear about strange activities in London. Since none of his operatives is in the Inner Circle there, he asks Captain Britain (Brian Braddock) to rejoin the Club, since he inherited membership. He informs him that a dangerous villain, called Mountjoy, has infiltrated the Club. Brian accepts.
Excalibur (1st series) #97: Brian applies for the seat of Black Bishop by right of ancestry. The Club's Red Bishop challenges him to a duel for sole bishopric, but Brian easily dispatches him. Back on Muir Island, operatives of the Club and Black Air kidnap Douglock.
Excalibur (1st series) #98: Ms. Steed, the Black Queen, brings Brian up to date to the Club's business. After she leaves, the Scribe appears in Brian's quarters and reveals that the Hellfire Club knows of Brian's life as a superhero and also speaks about strange goals the Hellfire Club wants to achieve.
Excalibur (1st series) #99: The Red Queen tests a secret power source beneath London, briefly creating a fire fountain. After an emergency session of the Club, they plan to establish a permanent link to this power source, using the dissected techno-organic fibers of Douglock. Unbeknownst to the Black royalty, the Red Queen connects herself to the power source. Unfortunately this source is a demon once locked away in a special chamber in the sewers of London. He fuses the Queen's hands to the link, letting him reach out and influence London with fire and madness.
Excalibur (1st series) #100: The Red King, still hypnotically controlled by the incapacitated Queen, doesn't know how to help her break free of the demon. The demonic power drives many citizens of London insane. One of the mad people is the Black King, who is killed by the Black Queen in self-defense. She and the Scribe (revealed as Mountjoy’s host) try to take over Brian, but their attempts slip off his force field. Mountjoy escapes. The Scribe and the Black Queen are both rendered unconscious. Amanda Sefton reveals that the Red Queen is nobody else than her mother Margali Szardos. On their way to rescue Douglock, Nightcrawler bests the Red King in swordplay to reach the Red Queen. Amanda uses her own magic to imprison the demon, as the link to him is severed, Margali vanishes.


  • Margali became a prisoner of Belasco. [Excalibur (1st series) #103] She escaped by switching souls with her daughter Amanda. This was discovered only months later in X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #19, when Nightcrawler frees both his stepmother and -sister from Belasco's grip. Since then Margali appeared as an ally in the pages of Fantastic Four (3rd series) #20.
  • The Red King and the Black Queen are supposed to be in London police custody. They have never been seen again.
  • Naturally, Brian returned to Excalibur once the Club was exposed.
  • The Scribe was bailed out of jail by Sebastian Shaw. He used her to test the abilities of Madelyne Pryor before she was allowed to join the Hellfire Club III. [X-Man #23]


Ms. Steed – Black Queen

First appearance: Excalibur (1st series) #96

All London Hellfire appearances: Excalibur (1st series) #96-100

Powers: Materialize psionic skinning” blades, which can trigger or disable specific areas of the human brain to cause paralysis, severe pain, muscular spasms, brain damage, or send her victims into a coma.

Fact: In the Age of Apocalypse Ms. Steed had a counterpart called Damask, who appeared in X-Calibre #1-4

Margali Szardos – Red Queen

First appearance: Uncanny X-Men Annual #4
First London Hellfire appearance: Excalibur (1st series) #96

All London Hellfire appearances: Excalibur (1st series) #96-97, 99-100

Powers: Margali is a sorceress of the Winding Way whose power waxes and wanes over time. At her peak she can summon such powers as teleportation, illusion casting, shape changing, mystical force bolts, hypnotism, and the manipulation of other magical forces.

Scribe (Jane Hampshire) – Red Rook

First appearance: Excalibur (1st series) #96

All London Hellfire appearances: Excalibur (1st series) #96, 98-100

Powers: Augmented strength, agility, reflexes, and phasing power that allows her to assume an ephemeral state.

Note: Scribe’s real name was only revealed in the Marvel Handbooks.


First appearance: Bishop: The Mountjoy Crisis #1

All London Hellfire appearances (bonded with Scribe): Excalibur (1st series) #96, 98-100

Powers: projects a basilisk field that slows the reflexes and reaction time of anyone nearby, Emplate heritage enables him to merge bodies with another person, becoming a “silent partner“ by entering another’s body and taking command of their consciousness and facial features, or performing a “hostile takeover” in which he absorbs another body into his own, sustaining himself on their life energies while temporarily having access to their powers and memories until they are completely divested through his system

Black King

First appearance: Excalibur (1st series) #96
Last appearance: Excalibur (1st series) #100 [shot by Ms. Steed]

All London Hellfire appearances: Excalibur (1st series) #96-97, 99-100

Powers: none, human

Red King

First appearance: Excalibur (1st series) #96

All London Hellfire appearances: Excalibur (1st series) #96-97, 99-100

Powers: swordsman, unknown if mutant or not

Brian Braddock (Captain Britain) – Black Bishop

First appearance: Captain Britain (1st series) #1 [Marvel UK]
First London Hellfire appearance: Excalibur (1st series) #96

All London Hellfire appearances: Excalibur (1st series) #96-100

Powers: Inherent ability to tap the Omniversal energy matrix that is native to the British Isles, increasing his strength, endurance, and reflexes to superhuman levels, rendering him invulnerable to injury, and enabling him to fly. His Captain Britain Corps uniform broadcasts his power source to him whenever he is away from England and generates a force field that further increases his resilience and can be directed into concussive energy strikes. Without his uniform, Brian's powers fluctuate and fade when he is away from England.

Red Bishop

First appearance: Excalibur (1st series) #97

All London Hellfire appearances: Excalibur (1st series) #97

Powers: none, human