|First appearance||X-Men #49 (Oct 1968)|
|Created by||Arnold Drake
|Alter ego||Vincent (last name unrevealed)|
|Species||Depowered Human mutant|
|Team affiliations||Weapon X
|Notable aliases||Junichi, William P. Thorton|
|Abilities||Formerly hypnotism, allowing the ability to psionically hypnotize others|
Fictional character biography
Mesmero was originally a small time crook who posed as a stage hypnotist at high society parties. He would use his mutant powers to 'mesmerize' guests into giving him their possessions and then making them forget about them. Mesmero drew the attention of Magneto, who wanted him to hypnotize Lorna Dane into believing that she was Magneto's daughter. Mesmero successfully took control of large numbers of latent mutants, and captured Lorna Dane. Mesmero was then revealed to be the aide to Magneto, and battled the X-Men in the city of the Demi-Men. Mesmero's master was later revealed to be a robot in the form of Magneto, and a Sentinel attack resulted in Mesmero being captured by Sentinels. Much later, Mesmero had become a carnival manager and mentally compelled the X-Men to serve as carnival performers. The X-Men freed themselves from his control, and as Mesmero then attacked the X-Men, the real Magneto appeared. The Master of Magnetism overpowered Mesmero and rendered him unconscious. Magneto then stranded him in a South American jungle.
Mesmero later performed in a Broadway stage show in New York City, where he battled Spider-Man. Mesmero later escaped to Canada. There, he contended with Alpha Flight and was captured by Persuasion. Mesmero later posed as a psychoanalyst to powerful clients in London. He took control of Excalibur and used them to battle Fenris. Mesmero was defeated by Lockheed the dragon and students from St. Searle's School for Young Ladies.
Mesmero has encountered the X-Men on a few other occasions as well as teams such as X-Factor, and the Dark Riders. The Dark Riders intended to kill him, as they believe he was weak. Mesmero uses his powers to convince them they had thrown him off a high ledge. With Alpha Flight, Mesmero takes over the minds of the junior members and is eventually stopped by the senior ones. 
When Mesmero joined the latest incarnation of the Weapon X program, the Director offered to increase Mesmero's hypnotic powers. Mesmero agreed and gained the ability to control entire crowds with a mere glance, instead of a mere handful of people.
To keep the public unaware of the "Neverland" mutant concentration camp, Mesmero posed as a government liaison. With this identity, he informed news reporters that "Neverland" doesn't exist nor is the government involved in abducting mutants.
While he was a member of Weapon X, Mesmero visited his dying mother. He had doctors help her as much as they could and used his powers to mesmerise his mother into believing she was healthy as ever. His mother knew it was an illusion, though, and she told him that she knew shortly before she died. Subsequently, Mesmero began to lose confidence in himself which caused him to lose his powers. Mesmero was transported to Neverland upon the Director's discovery of his power loss.
Brent Jackson, planning on raising a coup on Weapon X, rescued Mesmero. Mesmero spent several months in seclusion as Jackson helped him get his confidence back, and with it his powers.[volume & issue needed]
Ironically, Mesmero eventually lost his powers for good (along with most of the world's mutants) when the Scarlet Witch altered reality at the climax of the House of M event during Decimation. Devastated and ruined, the once-great supervillain was forced into poverty. Mesmero finally achieved a personal triumph by forming a relationship with a woman who had saved his life, promising to somehow help her in turn. She put her trust in him freely and unconditionally, something he had never managed before without the aid of his powers. At this, Mesmero resolved to put his past behind him and begin living as Vincent.
Powers and abilities
Mesmero was a mutant who has the psionic ability to mentally control the minds of others. Through a combination of careful planning and skill, he could also manipulate the minds of telepaths; though he had to take extreme care, as a telepath was much more prone to realizing/breaking his machinations than a non-psi. He could hypnotize people into doing what he wanted them to do, and alter their minds with false personalities and memories. He could also make them see him as a different person. Mesmero has proved unable to control Magneto, due to his helmet which negates all psychic attacks, and Alysande Stuart with his powers, for unknown reasons.
Mesmero's green skin, once believed to be a mask, is apparently his real skin color. It is not known if he was born this way, or if it developed later in life along with his powers.
At one time, Mesmero wore a costume which allowed him to teleport, leaving only a blip of energy where he once stood. The feat was only used to escape an angry Alpha Flight, and may have been controlled entirely by the technology of the suit, or may have been tied in some way to his mental abilities.
In Exiles, an alternate reality version of Mesmero, originating from the Earth-653 timeline, was involved with the Weapon X Program before being recruited into Weapon X, the more ruthless counterpart of the Exiles. Early after the formation of the team, Mesmero was killed and his body remained in the Timebreakers' fallen heroes gallery in the crystal palace. After the Exiles took over the place, they sent Mesmero's body back to Earth-653. The corpse was teleported back to the facilities of the Weapon X Program, where it was incinerated.[volume & issue needed]
In Exiles #85, another alternate version of Mesmero was revealed to have existed on Earth-127. This Mesmero was part of the Brotherhood of Mutants alongside Magneto, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (all gender-swapped, with Scarlet Witch now being called Scarlet Warlock). They planned to make Magneto (who was female in this reality) even powerful than she already was by removing Wolverine's adamantium skeleton out of his body and transfer it into Magneto's body. However the plan went wrong, and Mesmero and the other Brotherhood members fused into one powerful mutant being known as "Brother Mutant".[volume & issue needed]
In other media
- Mesmero makes a brief appearance in the X-Men episode "Beyond Good and Evil, Part Four," alongside many other mutant psychics.
- Mesmero appears in the X-Men: Evolution animated series, voiced by Ron Halder in a Middle-Eastern accent. This version looks like a normal human, his main distinguishing feature being his facial tattoos, but is far more powerful and more adept at hand to hand combat than his comic version. The majority of his power is implied to come from Apocalypse; he is shown to match Professor X in his early appearances, but after being discarded by Apocalypse demonstrated no power whatsoever. In his first appearance in the episode "Mindbender," Mesmero used several members of the young X-Men (Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Spyke, and Shadowcat) to steal three rings. The three rings connected together with a golden rod to form a key that would open the first of three doors sealing away Apocalypse. He was eventually discovered by Professor X and Rogue, but managed to escape with the key. In the episode "Under Lock and Key," Mesmero mind-controlled Gambit to steal half of a spider stone from Warren Worthington III's mansion. In doing so, he was found and captured by Magneto, who had Mastermind extract the location of the other half of the stone from his mind. Uniting the stone pieces created a giant metallic spider, which Magneto destroyed. Only then did he learn that Mesmero had in fact tricked him into destroying it, as doing so was the only way to unlock the second door. In the two-part episode "Dark Horizon," he tricked Mystique into unlocking the third door, as he was unable to control her mind. By unlocking the door, Mystique turned to stone. With his usefulness exhausted, Apocalypse discarded Mesmero. In the episode "Ascension" Pt. 1, Mesmero was subsequently captured by the X-Men, allowing Professor X to extract Apocalypse's master plan from his mind even though Mesmero still thinks that Apocalypse will return for him.
- Mesmero appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man episodes "Freaky" and "The Incredible Spider-Hulk", voiced by Dwight Schultz. This version uses his mental powers to commit robberies and otherwise have fun at the expense of other people. He has employed vengeance against his enemies in the series - particularly Spider-Man - by switching their minds with another person's and enjoy the fun as they are forced to adjust to their new situation.
- X-Men #49
- X-Men #50-52
- X-Men #60
- X-Men #111; Classic X-Men #17
- X-Men #112
- Amazing Spider-Man #207
- Alpha Flight #43
- Excalibur #32-34
- X-Men (Second Series) #14
- Alpha Flight First Series #43
- Weapon X #1/2 Wizard Special
- Alpha Fight (Second Series) #4-5
- Weapon X #11
- X-Men Unlimited Volume 2 #13
- X-Men Unlimited #17