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Sebastian Shaw (Earth-616): Misc


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Real Name
Sebastian Hiram Shaw
Current Alias



Leader and Black King of the Hellfire Club and of its secret Inner Circle, former member of the Council of the Chosen

Hiram, Sarah, Obadiah, Abigail, Elizabeth, Wallace (ancestors)

unnamed great-grandfather
Cornelius (grandfather, deceased)
unnamed grandmother
Esau (paternal uncle, deceased)
Jacob (father, deceased)
Lourdes (fiance, deceased)
Shinobi (son)
Samarra, Anthony (descendants, possibly grandchildrens)
William, Trevor (descendant, possibly great-grandsons)

Worthington Family (distant relatives)


Base Of Operations
Worldwide; the Inner Circle is based at the Hellfire Club mansion in Manhattan


6' 2"

210 lbs (95 kg)




Marital Status

Chief executive officer and principal shareholder in Shaw Industries, Inc.


Place of Birth

First appearance

X-Men #129
(January, 1980)



Sebastian Shaw's power first manifested shortly after he was accepted to engineering school and his father died, when he was beaten by some rednecks in a bar. He devoted himself to his studies and created Shaw Industries, becoming a billionaire by age 40. Shaw fell in love with a woman named Lourdes Chantel, and was soon initiated into the Hellfire Club along with Warren Worthington Jr., Howard Stark and John Braddock. Soon, Shaw rose to the position of Black King, and gathered mutant associates to his side, including Emma Frost and Tessa. Unfortunately, Chantel was soon killed by Sentinels in a battle. Upon discovering that Ned Buckman, the White King of the Inner Circle, was supporting Stephen Lang's Project: Armageddon and its Sentinels, he executed a coup, using Emma's telepathy to make Buckman kill his own White Queen and then himself.

As the leader of the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club, Shaw started plans to dominate the world through force, money and power. His connections to top officials of corporations and government, acquired via the Club and through his position as CEO of Shaw Industries, made him a powerful enemy. Ironically, Shaw was for years a major supporter and builder of Sentinels, figuring that it was better to be in control of them than not. This activity brought him into frequent contact with Senator Robert Kelly and Henry Gyrich, to whom he appeared to be an anti-mutant human bigot. Secretly, however, he continued his plans, some of which have involved Black Air and more recently, an unnamed group of time-manipulators.

Shaw was a key part of the corruption of Phoenix into Dark Phoenix, as well as the Hellfire Club's battle with the X-Men against Nimrod, during which he was thrown into the upper atmosphere by the future Sentinel, then caught by Harry Leland's power and slammed at phenomenal speed into Nimrod. This effort had the unfortunate result of killing Leland. Months later, Shaw was attacked by his son Shinobi Shaw, who phased his hand into his father's chest to induce a coronary. Shaw was supposedly blown up in his Swiss Mountain chalet by a bomb set by his son.[1] However, he survived, though he was marked with a scar on his face crossing his left eye (probably since removed with plastic surgery).

Shaw's first move upon recovery from the bomb was to contact the man named Holocaust, who had crossed over from the "Age of Apocalypse." In exchange for a new armored containment suit, Holocaust agreed to help Shaw capture X-Force, which he did with frightful ease. Shaw then had Tessa reprogram X-Force to hunt down Cable, but Cable used his fledgling telepathy to break the conditioning and free his team. Shaw's relationship with Holocaust declined soon after.

Shaw's more recent exploits included vying for control of the Elixir Vitae, thought to be a cure for the Legacy Virus, and hunting down X-51, the Machine Man.

Then, somehow, Shaw was apparently ousted from his position as Black King by Selene, who installed Blackheart in his place. This arrangement did not last long, as Shaw has since returned to power. He attempted to use Lady Mastermind to control Sage and the team of X-Men who were searching for the Destiny Prophecies. Then, after Professor X was "outed" as a mutant, Shaw apparently returned to his capitalist roots and converted the Hellfire Club into something closer to a real nightclub, in fact a safe haven for mutants regardless of affiliation. Using telepathic dancers, Shaw gleaned secrets from the minds of his patrons, who came in just to have a good decadent time.

After a few months, though, Shaw made a play to become the Lord Imperial of the entire Club worldwide, and invited Sage to help him. Sage accepted, but effectively betrayed Shaw when she didn't warn him that Pierce might try to assassinate him. Shaw met with the X-Men, claiming to be somewhat reformed, just before Pierce's attack. He was then wounded by Pierce, but remained strong enough to literally knock Pierce's head off. However, he was too hurt to maintain his Club position and was replaced by Sunspot, whom he had chosen as his Black Rook.

Later, it seemed he had joined forces with a new Inner Circle which included Cassandra Nova and Emma Frost, the latter of whom had since joined the X-Men. The Hellfire Club made their attack as they each targeted an individual member of Cyclops' team of X-Men. Shaw himself defeated Colossus. In the end however, it was discovered that the entire Hellfire Club was not real, and all were mental images created by Emma Frost's mind, which was infected with a special "programming" by Cassandra Nova in an attempt to revive her. The Shaw duplicate vanished.

Shaw was one of the few mutants to retain their powers following M-Day. Shaw appeared incognito (disguised by an image-inducer) at a funeral for a mutant boy named Landru. Xavier overheard his thoughts of a possible coup against Sunspot during the service. When Shaw noticed him watching, he quickly created a Psi-Shield to hide his thoughts. When confronted by Professor X, he stated that he had only come to pay his respects.[2]

Some time later, Shaw appeared at a Hellfire club dinner hosted by Sunspot and was alerted to a device left to him by his father exploding elsewhere in the compound resulting in the insanity of two club menials and Shaw asked his manservant for a file labeled "Cronus". After being upbraided over the explosion and deaths by da Costa he was ordered to investigate. Shaw however knew the cause. The explosion in the Hellfire Club was caused by the activation of a machine developed beneath the Alamogordo genetics plant in Las Cruces, New Mexico by Mr Sinister. In the past Sinister had worked there (disguised as a Dr Milbury) alongside Brian Xavier, Kurt Marko and Irene Adler who had been gathered for him by Jacob Shaw, Sebastian's father, as they all had the X-gene and Sinister predicted their children would be mutants. Sinister then experimented on these children (including Cain Marko, Charles Xavier and Sebastian himself), imprinting himself on their DNA. Sinister's machine, dubbed the Cronus device, was designed to activate soon after his death and would activate these hidden copies until Sinister could be reborn in one of them. Jacob, wanting to protect his son, created the device in the Hellfire club from Sinister's notes to alert and protect Sebastian from the Cronus device. Shaw traveled to New Mexico to visit another of the children to confirm his theory, running into Xavier and Gambit who were investigating a hit list with the children's names on it. Following them he was present when they were attacked by mercenaries under the employ of Amanda Mueller, a former associate of Sinister. Xavier was captured and Gambit and Shaw teamed up to save Xavier. It was revealed that Mueller wanted to house the powers (though not the personality) of Sinister herself and so was assassinating the children, having undergone the procedure herself. She shot Xavier, who was already struggling to stop Sinister from taking over his body, which allowed him to take over. Sinister in Xavier's body stopped Mueller but was in turn confronted by Shaw and Gambit who destroyed the Cronus device while Xavier cast Sinister out of his mind. With the threat gone, Shaw left.

Later, Shaw teamed up with a female clone of Mr Sinister called Miss Sinister.

Powers and Abilities



Black King vs. X-Men

Kinetic Energy Absorption: Sebastian Shaw is a mutant with the superhuman ability to absorb kinetic energy and to metabolize it to enhance his own physical strength, speed, and stamina. This makes him extremely difficult to defeat in battle, as every blow struck to him only makes him stronger. Unusual tactics must be used to defeat him, usually by incapacitating him or by attacking him psionically. He absorbs the energy of any blow he is struck by, not just punches, but bullets, and to a less successful degree, electricity and physically based energy beams. Without absorbing energy he is merely a strong ordinary human, but normally Shaw works to keep his strength at a superhuman level. For example, in one instance, he was shown to spend time hitting a wall after waking in order to build up his power reserves.

  • Kinetic Metabolism: Shaw also can forgo sleep if he receives enough kinetic energy. Oftentimes he will have his mercenaries pummel him so that he need not sleep for some time.
  • Enhanced Durability: Shaw can still be crushed/cut, but cuts are superficial because he saps the blade of all its thrusting/cutting energy. Shaw is adept at not letting enemies realize his power until they have hit him one too many times. Hitting Shaw is often described as "punching a mattress". If properly energized Shaw can lift and hold approximately one hundred times his weight. If bound, he can be punched by a teammate until he is strong enough to break the bonds. He is also adept at taunting foes into attacking.
  • Enhanced Speed
  • Enhanced Stamina
  • Accelerated Healing: He has healed from being hit repeatedly in the nose by Colossus in less than a few hours.
  • Kinetic Energy Contact: After being repeatedly hit by Colossus once, he simply touched Colossus' head and Colossus' nose started to bleed.


His powers make him a formidable opponent even against people like Colossus.Being leader of the Hellfire Club has given him some level of leadership and strategy skills.

Strength level

Without having absorbed additional energy, Sebastian Shaw possesses the normal strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise. However, Shaw can gain superhuman levels of strength by absorbing kinetic energy, and usually takes care to absorb enough in order to keep his strength at a superhuman level throughout his waking hours: for example, upon waking he will punch walls repeatedly in order to build up his reserves of absorbed energy. There is a limit to the amount of physical strength he can achieve, but it as yet remains unknown.


Shaw's abilities can be overloaded by too great an influx of power, like being hit with too many super punches. He can also be defeated if an opponent focuses on simply immobilizing him without striking him with significant force, or if something heavy falls on him, for though he can sap the kinetic falling energy, the weight could still crush him, unless he is strong enough to lift/stop it. The X-Man known as Rogue once defeated Shaw simply by picking him up and throwing him straight up into the sky, effectively removing him from the battlefield. There is an upper limit to the amount of energy that Shaw can absorb and convert: once he was "overloaded" by an electrical energy discharged from the X-Man named Storm, and fell into a temporary coma. However, the exact extent of this limit remains unknown. He has also shown some telepathic ability.


  • No criminal record
  • The general public in unaware of Shaw's criminal activities
  • O*N*E Danger Rating: Severe
  • Sebastian Shaw was one of the 198 mutants to retain his powers after M Day. What's more, his being a mutant was documented by the O*N*E. However, due to his social and financial standing, he was above the jurisdiction of the O*N*E.


Discover and Discuss

  1. X-Factor #67
  2. In the X-Men: Endangered Species one-shot

This article uses material from the "Sebastian Shaw (Earth-616)" article on the Marvel Database wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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