VANISHER: Page 3 of 7

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25th February 2014


After his failed plans with the Beat Street Gang, the Vanisher stepped up his game, participating in a group effort to assassinate the Fantastic Four while they testified before Congress against registering superhumans and joining an outfit called the New Enforcers that vied for control of the Kingpin’s empire. [Fantastic Four (1st series) #335, Web of Spider-Man (1st series) #98-100] The Vanisher also became a pawn of a fellow Darkforce wielder named Asylum, who had opened a rift between the Darkforce dimension and Earth’s dimension, allowing the material to pour in and envelope everything. He was freed from Asylum’s control when the New Warriors convinced the villain to undo the damage he had done. [New Warriors (1st series) #29, 32-34, New Warriors Annual #3]

At some point, the Vanisher became interested in exploring the dimensions through which his power carried him. Having only ever used them as a waypoint, he decided to explore a bit, and soon became trapped by a horde of native residents, who, incidentally, resembled giant prairie dogs. They were so bored living in their dimension that they demanded the Vanisher entertain them. He began regaling them with tales of his life, as well as recaps of old episodes of Taxi. So entranced were they with his stories, however, that they refused to let him leave, essentially trapping him. Thankfully for Telford, he owed a guy named Sledge a favor, and Sledge refused to just let a debtor disappear. Sledge sent X-Force's Warpath into pandimensional space to retrieve Telford. Unfortunately, Warpath soon became a captive storyteller as well. Eventually realizing they had to take a chance on escaping, Warpath grabbed the Vanisher by the collar and flew them both out of the strange dimension, returning him to Sledge. [X-Force (1st series) #69-71]

Calling in the favor he was owed, Sledge enlisted Vanisher's help in stealing the Heart of Pele, an ancient Hawaiian relic that could be used as an alternative energy source. They traveled to the volcano on the big island of Hawaii where it was hidden and snatched it. However, their arrival caught the attention of the Lava People, who wanted the Heart of Pele for their own ends. When a cave-in separated the Vanisher from Sledge, Telford absconded with the relic. He sneaked away to a favorite hotel of his in Maui to relax while he decided how to best leverage the relic, floating the idea of selling it to a terrorist organization. Unfortunately, the relic's disappearance triggered massive volcano activity in Hawaii, forcing the world’s volcanoes to the brink of eruption. The oblivious Vanisher had no idea what was happening until Sunspot and Siryn, both former Fallen Angels, arrived to retrieve the relic. They ambushed the Vanisher while he was relaxing at his poolside resort and returned him to Sledge. After a brief scuffle with the Lava People, the Heart of Pele was returned to the Earth and the cataclysmic volcanic activity subsided. [X-Force (1st series) #81]

Presumably after paying off his debt to Sledge, the Vanisher went back into business for himself, this time trying his hand at the drug trade. When a market emerged for "designer genes," drugs distilled from mutants that gave their users temporary access to unique mutant powers, the Vanisher saw an opportunity. He began trafficking the drug into the U.S. and set up labs all over the world in places like Cuba. Vying for control of the designer genes trade, he eliminated the other cartels through violence and intimidation, going so far as to murder the families of his competitors. The Vanisher soon gained complete, monopolistic control of this market—something that filled him with jubilation.

Unsurprisingly, the emergence of these designer genes attracted the attention of the X-Men, who began to investigate the deadly overdoses they caused. The Vanisher was unsurprised to see his old enemy Iceman, along with Wolverine, show up at his headquarters in Cuba. He captured them and prepared their bodies for designer gene distillation. Soon, however, Nightcrawler arrived and freed the two, while Angel confronted the Vanisher on his plant floor. The Vanisher coolly and calmly spoke with his old enemy, and boasted about his purportedly unstoppable plans. When the rest of the X-Men arrived looking for retribution, the Vanisher simply said his goodbyes and vanished, intending to continue running his business undisturbed. [Uncanny X-Men Annual 2001]

Porter soon expanded his operations to the East Coast, undeterred by the X-Men's plans to stop him. He soon received a surprise visit from Stacy X, a mutant prostitute with the ability to control pheromones. After Telford got a taste of Stacy X's orgasmic abilities, he took her back to his penthouse and let her work her magic on him while in the hot tub. She used her powers to put him in a prolonged coma of pure ecstasy. When the Vanisher awoke two weeks later, still in his hot tub, he angrily confronted Stacy X, who revealed she belonged to the X-Men. Frantically, Telford tried to contact his employees, only to discover that Angel had bought out his company and control of designer genes. The Vanisher met with Angel at a restaurant to contest this hostile business takeover. When the conversation wasn't going his way, he tried to have his goons ambush Warren, but Iceman emerged from hiding and froze them solid. The X-Men took him as their prisoner. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #408-409]

Eventually the Vanisher left the X-Men's custody. Sometime after M-Day nullified the X-gene and stripped most of the world's mutants of their powers, a new mutant signature appeared on Cerebro, heralding the arrival of a possible mutant messiah. Unfortunately for the X-Men, their worst enemies, led by the Sentinel Bastion and the religiously motivated Purifiers, came out of the woodwork to destroy this new mutant, who later fled to the future with Cable. [House of M crossover, Messiah Complex crossover] Amidst all this, Telford, his powers still intact, took a contract to steal a sample of the Legacy Virus from one of Mr. Sinister's abandoned labs. Porter teleported into the lab and retrieved the sample, but, in doing so, triggered the lab's security system and unleashed a squad of underdeveloped Marauder clones. When these clones attacked the Vanisher, he dropped the virus sample and escaped with his life intact, albeit barely.

The Vanisher went into hiding after the botched Legacy Virus operation. However, he was soon approached in the streets of Tokyo by his old foe Warren Worthington III, who demanded he give him the virus sample he no longer had. Telford cackled at Warren and dismissed his idle threat before walking away, but when Warren's X-Force teammates emerged to apprehend him, he teleported to his safe house. Later, after returning to his safe house in Tokyo one evening, Telford was ambushed and stabbed by Wolverine. Panicked, he teleported to another hideout, where Archangel skewered him. X-23 cut off his fingers and jaw when he arrived at his next safe house, and at his final, desperate stop, the mutant Elixir pressed his finger to his head and healed his wounds—but apologized for supposedly killing him. Acting on Domino's advice, the confused Vanisher visited a doctor to get a CAT scan, at which point he discovered he now had a malignant, inoperable brain tumor—in the shape of an X. Enraged, the Vanisher returned to confront Wolverine and X-Force for doing this to him, at which point he learned they would only remove the tumor if he agreed to help them recover the Legacy Virus sample he stole. After being tortured for information, however, Telford revealed to them he had left the virus sample in Sinister's lab.

Now a hostage of X-Force, the Vanisher begrudgingly complied with their wishes and brought them to Sinister’s lab. Once inside, they had to cut their way through the waves of Marauder clones to get to the sample. Telford, of course, hid while X-Force fought the clones. When Bastion’s armed forces arrived also in pursuit of the Legacy Virus, however, Porter abandoned X-Force completely by teleporting away. Unfortunately for Telford, after X-Force destroyed the virus sample, an angry Wolverine found him and kidnapped him once again. Wolverine made it clear to Telford he had no choice but to keep doing what X-Force said, essentially forcing him onto the team as its sole involuntary member. [X-Force (3rd series) #7-10]

Shortly after "joining" X-Force, Vanisher's old acquaintance Warpath returned to the team from sabbatical. Although Elixir and Warpath were kind to him, the rest of the team remained complicit in Telford's ongoing torture. Despite his best efforts, Telford failed to convince Elixir to remove his brain tumor—and making the attempt resulted in the other members of X-Force further mutilating him. The Vanisher's chronic whining became mere background noise, however, when the Purifiers began kidnapping mutants, injecting them with overdoses of the Legacy Virus (which they had retrieved from another site) and planting them at anti-mutant rallies so their powers could flare out of control and kill large crowds. When X-Force learned that the Purifiers had kidnapped three of their allies for their next attack, including Telford's former employee Boom-Boom, they moved to rescue them. They raided the Purifiers' temporary base of operations moments after they absconded with Surge and Hellion, but found the Leper Queen holding Boom-Boom hostage. Somewhat heroically, the Vanisher teleported behind the Leper Queen and restrained her, freeing Boom-Boom. Mere moments before they could execute the Leper Queen, however, Cyclops, needing them to recover the mutant messiah Hope from her hiding place in the future, overrode their active mission and ripped them from the timestream, leaving Boom-Boom at the Leper Queen's mercy. [X-Force (3rd series) #12-13]

X-Force and the Vanisher arrived a millennium in the future at their same location in New York. The team quickly discovered that something in their new setting both prevented them from returning to the present and was blocking the Vanisher's teleportation ability. Immediately after discovering his powers had been hobbled, Telford took a sniper's bullet in the neck. Thankfully, Elixir was on-hand to heal him while the rest of the team subdued the sniper. Despite his constant whining, Telford actually proved quite helpful during the mission to recover Hope. For instance, when the group came under attack from Stryfe's army, he got Hope to safety. However, he was also one of the first team members to begin falling ill when the deleterious effects of time-travel began killing them, vomiting uncontrollably as they neared the end of their mission. The moment the team destroyed the device that was trapping them in the future, the Vanisher returned to the present century, abandoning both the active mission and his teammates. On the verge of death, he retreated to his brothel in Portugal to recover. [Messiah War crossover]

Although once again in the present, the Vanisher's health continued to deteriorate. He constantly coughed and vomited blood, growing so sick that even his prostitutes became worried. Believing the tumor in his brain was starting to kill him, he teleported back to the X-Men's base on Utopia, only to discover they were under siege by a wave of techno-organic mutant zombies. His primary concern upon arriving, besides getting himself to safety, was ensuring Elixir, the only one who could heal him, was safe. After encounters with various undead mutants, including his old colleague Banshee, the Vanisher learned that Elixir was comatose and therefore in no condition to heal anyone at all. Thankfully for Porter, the Wolf-Prince Hrimhari needed Elixir to heal his lover Wolfsbane, and was willing to trade his soul to the Norse goddess Hela to revive him. Immediately after the resuscitated Elixir healed Wolfsbane, Telford resumed pestering him about removing his tumor. To Telford's frustration, however, Wolverine arrived in the sickbay and ordered Elixir not to heal him; they needed him to transport X-Force to Selene's fortress on Necrosha so they could rescue their captive teammate Warpath and stop Selene's soul-consuming ascension to godhood.

Doing as he was told, the Vanisher delivered X-Force to Necrosha, where they faced seemingly insurmountable odds in even reaching Selene. The Vanisher had no intention of helping X-Force fight through the legions of undead, and once again asked Foley to heal him. To his surprise, Foley told him he was already healed; he had removed the tumor when they traveled to the future. His excessive vomiting, it seemed, was actually a symptom of his stage-four syphilis. With their debts settled, X-Force began their assault, setting the Vanisher free. To everyone's surprise, possibly even the Vanisher's, he realized he could not just abandon them to certain death.

Teleporting inside the temple, Porter rescued Warpath—the only member of X-Force he liked—from Selene's Inner Circle, losing an arm in the process. At that point, Selene began her ascension, devouring the souls of every living thing on Necrosha. Heroically, the Vanisher teleported into the battlefield and retrieved each member of X-Force mere moments before the ascension wave hit them. He brought them into the safety of the palace and collapsed from exhaustion. After he and X-Force recovered, they made their final raid on the now-godlike Selene, first cutting their way through her Inner Circle. The Vanisher teamed up with Domino and Archangel to take out their teleporter, Blink. After defeating the Inner Circle, they assaulted Selene together and destroyed her, saving the world from her nihilistic machinations. [X-Necrosha #1, X-Force (3rd series) #21-25]