|First appearance||X-Man #15 (May 1996)|
|Created by||Scott Lobdell
|Alter ego||Professor X, Magneto,
(as Red Onslaught) Red Skull
|Team affiliations||Dark Descendants|
|Notable aliases||Charles Xavier, Sir David the Great|
|Abilities||Superhuman strength and durability
Onslaught is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in X-Man #15 (May 1996), and was co-created by writers Scott Lobdell, Mark Waid, and artist Andy Kubert. Onslaught was a sentient psionic entity created from the consciousness of two mutants: Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto. During a battle between the X-Men and Magneto's Acolytes, Professor Xavier used his telepathic powers to shut down Magneto's mind, rendering him catatonic, but the darkest aspect of Magneto's mind escaped into Xavier's subconscious, where it 'merged' with Xavier's own darker nature to eventually grow into a separate persona of its own.
Onslaught is a sentient psionic entity created from the consciousness of two extremely powerful mutants: Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto. During a battle between the X-Men and Magneto's Acolytes, Wolverine slashed Magneto, and in response, Magneto ripped out the Adamantium from his bones, severely injuring Wolverine so much that even his healing factor had trouble healing him. For Professor Xavier, this was the limit. Having tolerated every one of Magneto's evil actions, even his recent actions that had killed hundreds of people across the globe in a single day, he finally snapped. He used his telepathic powers to shut down Magneto's mind, rendering him catatonic. During the psionic contact, Magneto's anger, grief, and lust for vengeance entered Professor Xavier's consciousness, commingling with every long-suppressed negative feeling the professor had endured during the last 30 years. This aggregation resulted in a separate personality within Professor Xavier, the being known as Onslaught.
Fictional character biography
The Traitor Revealed
Onslaught remained dormant for some time. Gradually, Xavier's frustration with his dream of mutant-human harmony began to increase, exacerbated by the daily growth of anti-mutant hysteria, the deaths of dozens of mutants from the lethal Legacy Virus, and his own failed attempt to rehabilitate Sabretooth. Xavier reached his breaking point when anti-mutant humans killed a young mutant near the grounds of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning; the secret base of the X-Men. It was at this point that Onslaught awakened within Xavier and began to manifest himself to others. The character is first alluded to when a shadowy figure, with Onslaught's distinctive word-balloon coloring and design, is seen speaking with a frightened Mystique. "Onslaught" is first mentioned when the Juggernaut crash lands in Hoboken, New Jersey, having been hit hard enough by Onslaught to send him across the country.
Following the encounter with Juggernaut, Onslaught invaded a government-sanctioned Sentinel base. He downloaded the current specifications for the mutant-hunting androids and erased portions of the memories of the employees working in the clandestine factory. An investigation of Project Nimrod at Camp Hayden brought up the same result; X-Force found the base stripped bare of all its devices and computers and the word "Onslaught" painted on the walls instead. Although it was still unclear who or what Onslaught was, it was obvious that the entity’s plans involved Sentinel technology.
Additionally, X-Force learned something else in Camp Hayden: Onslaught was no longer alone. The mysterious being had started recruiting others to do his dirty work for him, in this case the Blob and Mimic, who had been snatched right under their noses during an earlier conflict with X-Force. Both of them had been given power modifications and upgrades by Onslaught, and in the weeks that followed, Onslaught would convince other villains to become his henchmen. The powerful entity knocked out Sebastian Shaw and Tessa to lure Holocaust away from them, promising him immeasurable power in exchange for his loyalty. In London, Onslaught approached Ms. Steed, the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club's London branch, making it pretty clear that he wouldn’t accept No for an answer. Only getting arrested by the police spared her from becoming involved much deeper in Onslaught's schemes.
The X-Men got to know the last, and possibly most powerful, of Onslaught's lackeys the hard way. Storm, Wolverine, Iceman and Cyclops found themselves teleported away, by Gateway, to some battle-field, where they were to be tested by Post, a technologically enhanced mutant and possibly a one man army. Previously, Onslaught had already examined the extent of Chamber's telepathic power, and now it was the X-Men's powerhouses. Taken by surprise, the four mutants had to give their all - just to barely survive and eventually overcome Post. However, Post had mentioned several times during the battle that he possessed only a fraction of Onslaught’s might, and he was right. Right after their safe return home, the X-Men were contacted by Onslaught only to let them know that he was disappointed by their performance, and that there was nothing they could do to stop the Onslaught from coming.
With the threats of Onslaught still fresh in their minds, the X-Men sent Jean Grey and Gambit to infiltrate a secret meeting held at the Pentagon, where Bastion, the leader of Operation Zero Tolerance, met with various world leaders to discuss the threat of mutants, in particular, the being or organization known as Onslaught. Unfortunately, Gambit and Jean's cover was compromised by Bastion, before they could learn too much. However, while escaping Jean discovered that a mysterious and powerful psychic force had knocked out all the guards in the building. Once outside the building, the ghostly image of Onslaught appeared before Jean and told her to consider this aid as a gift.
Onslaught's attention was also occupied by another task; the recruitment of the immensely powerful telepath Nate Grey, a refugee from the world known as the Age of Apocalypse. Onslaught dispatched Holocaust to do the job, as he already had some score to settle with Nate, and he soon found his target in Greece together with his companion, Threnody. Nate found himself on the defensive as he had to protect innocent civilians, but Holocaust still offered the man a chance to join Onslaught, who could save Nate from burning out and dying as he was destined to do. Nate refused, but was forced to surrender when Threnody's life was put in danger. Using physical force, Nate cracked Holocaust's armor, though he was unable to breach the powerful psionic defenses Onslaught placed around Holocaust's mind. Accepting defeat, Holocaust fled, but warned Nate that Onslaught knew his potential now and would come in person to claim him. Unsure what to do next, Threnody suggested for Nate to ask the Avengers for help.
Meanwhile, Nate's counterpart in this reality, Cable, enlisted the aid of Domino to once more check out Camp Hayden in hope for some clues to Onslaught's identity. While empty and abandoned before, Cable and Domino found the facility quite armed with guards this time. Fighting their way through, the pair found the memory chips for the security cameras, which should contain Onslaught's image, however a closer examination revealed that the chips were magnetized and thus useless. Cable and Domino quickly left, unaware that the whole stint had been observed by Post. Back at the Xavier Institute, Cable was asked by Storm to mindprobe her to learn more about Onslaught's herald, Post, as she was one of the few people to have actually seen the man. While Cable's efforts were useless, all visual images of Post having been mentally blocked, he couldn't help but find the psionic imprint to be quite familiar. Before anything further could be done, Cable learned that the base of his mentor, Blaquesmith, had exploded. Arriving at the scene, Cable discovered that Post was behind the attack. Face to face with him, Cable also recognized him as a man he once saved many years ago, Post's technological enhancements actually being the side-effect of a transfusion of Cable's techno-organic virus infected blood. During the inevitable fight, Cable realized that there was only one person who could have the knowledge and power to launch so many assaults against the X-Men and correctly guessed Onslaught's true identity. However, Post beat Cable into unconsciousness before the man could send out a warning to the X-Men. Deeming Cable no longer a threat, Onslaught left to carry out his plans accordingly.
Around this time, while Jean Grey was shopping, Onslaught mentally attacked her and kidnapped her to the Astral Plane. He then made her witness his awesome might and attempted to convince her to follow him and to become his consort. He then attempted to show Jean the true nature of human beings and even taunted her with some of Xavier's darkest secrets, like that he once had romantic feelings for her, despite being happy for both her and Scott. Onslaught then offered Jean a power that would rival that of the Phoenix Force, but found that Jean was too resilient and would not be swayed and for it Onslaught lashed out at her. With a statement of "know my name", Onslaught cast her from the Astral Plane, leaving his name psionically burned with her own psionic power, overtaken by him on her forehead (visible only to Jean herself) .
Jean knew that something was wrong but didn't know what exactly. She went back home, where she found Gambit and Bishop defeated on her porch. The Juggernaut, returned from his other-dimensional exile with the help of Psylocke's shadow-porting power, found that he could not remember the true identity of the being plaguing them all, wanted help in finding out what Onslaught was. Not fully trusting his stepbrother, Charles Xavier, he wanted Jean to telepathically probe his mind instead. Fresh from her own encounter with Onslaught, Jean took the Juggernaut to the psi-shielded Z'Nox chamber beneath the mansion, in order to make sure that Onslaught couldn’t interrupt their quest. After breaking Marko's mental blocks, Jean found out who Onslaught truly was and she realized that the Juggernaut was in grave danger for Onslaught was in the mansion. The terrified Juggernaut followed Jean’s advice to run away, but unfortunately ran into his step-brother Xavier instead, who shockingly revealed himself to be the mighty Onslaught and proceeded to rip the Gem of Cyttorak out of his chest, trapping Cain in it in the process.
Jean wanted to warn her fellow X-Men about Onslaught’s identity being Xavier, but right then did he gather the X-Men to make a speech. Jean kept the identity of Onslaught secret from her teammates, knowing that it would be better to learn more rather than to lose the only advantage of surprise. After a long, emotional speech about how the team failed him the X-Men began to realize that something was wrong. Xavier had been acting out of character for quite some time now, like when he told Cannonball to either shape up or ship out, or when he sent a holographic projection of himself to talk with Cyclops, rather than to meet him himself. However, during the speech, Jean began to doubt the notion of Xavier being Onslaught and believed the villain was only trying to trick her, but the sight of the Gem of Cyttorak on Xavier’s desk convinced her that it was the truth. Before Jean could warn the X-Men, Onslaught overpowered her with psionic energy and rendered her useless. As the confused X-Men rushed to Jean’s aid, Xavier finally revealed himself to his students to be the mysterious Onslaught!
The being announced to the horrified X-Men that he was born from Xavier, though dropped hints that this was not the entire story. Onslaught then offered the X-Men to fight by his side and to put an end to the threat humanity posed to mutant kind, but the heroes of course all refused. Onslaught began to display his mighty power upon the team, but was stunned to find that Cyclops would fight back ferociously. With Xavier still struggling against him, the injured Onslaught escaped. A quick look at Xavier’s open files, however, showed the X-Men that Onslaught as of recent had begun to compile information on Nate Grey, as well as Franklin Richards, son of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman of the Fantastic Four. The team could only guess what Onslaught could want with the two powerful mutants, when Onslaught returned and revealed his plans of a new world order, before knocking them all out. One of the few left standing, Jean rushed into the Z’Nox chamber once more to send out a distress call to the other X-teams. It was a recording of this message that Bishop had seen in the future, and it was his presence that saved the X-Men since Bishop absorbed the brunt of Onslaught’s otherwise lethal blast.
Meanwhile, the Beast finally revealed his true colors, that he was not the real Henry McCoy, but the Dark Beast, his counterpart from the Age of Apocalypse, the same timeline that Nate Grey and Holocaust stem from. He had replaced the Beast a few weeks earlier, and offered to join the ranks of Onslaught’s lackeys. However Onslaught already knew from the beginning of Dark Beast's ruse and had mentally shielded him from other telepaths at the mansion, intending to question him about the reality of his origin. As Xavier began to fight back once again, Onslaught and Dark Beast departed together and destroyed the X-Men’s mansion along the way. With the horrible truth revealed and Onslaught fully awakened, the X-Men lay shattered and it was only a matter of time before the world would feel the might of Onslaught’s mighty hand.
Trusting the instincts of Threnody, Nate contacted the Avengers. They agreed to help him investigate the matter of Onslaught, although they had doubts about Nate’s story, as his accusations all pointed towards a man they all trusted: Charles Xavier. When the Avengers and X-Man made it to the destroyed Xavier Institute, they were astonished and scared by the unpleasant view, especially as the Quinjet’s systems weren’t picking up any lifesigns. Nate Grey used his telepathic powers, though, and sensed that the X-Men were still alive, apparently still shielded by the mansion’s defensive systems. He also discovered that Xavier was no longer with them, leaving him very angry. Earth’s mightiest heroes decided to land and scout the area, but before they could, they were attacked by the X-Men.
Barely having survived Onslaught’s attack and still weary, the X-Men were suspicious about the Avengers, thinking that they might be another illusion created by the near omnipotent villain they had just fought. Naturally, the Avengers didn’t understand what was going on, and confusion turned to battle. Still aboard the Quinjet, Nate Grey was equally confused by spotting Jean Grey, who he recognized as his traveling companion Madelyne Pryor. Even more suspicious than before, he entered the minds of the X-Men to find out what was going on there. Making use of his formidable telepathy, he reconstructed an image of Onslaught from the collective minds of the X-Men for the Avengers to learn the reason for the X-Men’s behavior. They were even more shocked when Cyclops revealed that Nate’s accusation was correct - Onslaught was Charles Xavier, possibly manipulated by Magneto. With Jean Grey telepathically confirming the Avengers to be the real deal, everyone calmed down, and the gathered heroes went to what was left of the War Room to form battle strategies.
While the X-Men were making battle plans, Bishop found himself replaying the distress signal Jean sent, realizing that the message he saw in the future long ago referred to the recent battle he fought with Onslaught. In his timeline, Onslaught had killed the X-Men, and not Gambit, like Bishop suspected. Bishop apologized to the Cajun, and the two joined the other X-Men and Avengers in the War Room. The X-Men showed the Avengers simulations of Onslaught, Xavier and Magneto. Going by the color scheme of Onslaught’s armor, they believed that Onslaught was a combination of both Xavier’s and Magneto’s mind, apparently formed when Xavier shut Magneto’s mind down a while back. As the conversations continued and the battle plans forged, X-Force arrived at the mansion to aid the heroes as well.
Recalling the images of Franklin Richards and X-Man on Xavier’s computer screen shortly before his final transformation into Onslaught, the villain apparently targeting them for their sheer unlimited powers; Cyclops ordered that X-Man stay in the mansion, with X-Force keeping an eye on him. Fearing for the safety of Cable, another powerful psychic mutant and genetically almost Nate Grey’s twin, Storm set out to search for him. Knowing that Magneto was still out there somewhere on Earth, and with a desperate need to find him to learn more about Onslaught, some of the Avengers and Gambit set out to search for him via Cerebro. In the meantime, the other half of the Avengers, along with Bishop and Iceman, would try to warn the Fantastic Four of the imminent danger. Wolverine, meanwhile, had a hunch to play out to find information about Onslaught, and set out on his own. Cyclops and Phoenix, decided to take a small squad with them to Muir Island, where they were to rendezvous with Moira MacTaggert. As soon as Excalibur had been informed of Xavier having become Onslaught, and thus a traitor to the dream, Moira revealed that she knew of some way to defeat him - something called the Xavier Protocols.
Meanwhile, the “Dark” Beast had taken Onslaught deep into the Morlock Tunnels, where Onslaught could hide and recuperate. He was still a little weak and needed to regenerate his powers to full strength before making his next move. Onslaught grew impatient of Dark Beast’s constant jokes and made him pay for it through torture, though as the Dark Beast had promised him more lackeys, he deemed him useful enough and kept him alive. Onslaught couldn’t wait, and was certain that it was only a matter of time before the entire world would be his. At the same time deep inside Onslaught’s heart, Charles Xavier quietly raged against the dying light of his dream.
However, while all this was taking place, another sadistic plot was on its way to realization. The mighty Apocalypse rose up again from his sleep, and was contacted by the cosmic being, the Watcher. Because of the Watcher’s presence, his race usually sworn to non-interference, Apocalypse realized the magnitude of the events that were unfolding. The Watcher wanting Apocalypse to witness the upcoming war could only mean that it would soon be the end of the age of the heroes, and that most importantly…he above all would survive it. The only one who could really be danger to that goal was Cable, but fortunately for Apocalypse, Onslaught himself was already in the process of eliminating that threat.
It turned out the villain had found himself another lackey, by mentally gaining complete control of the Hulk. He used the green monster to make sure he would kill Cable, who had just woken up after his battle with Post. The two fought a hard battle, during which Cable telepathically tried to bring Bruce Banner, the Hulk’s human side, back to the surface, but that only resulted in more danger. The Hulk switched personalities; the gray Mr. Fixit version of him gaining dominance, furious and out of control. The Hulk punched Cable so hard that even his techno-organic virus got the upper hand, and Cable was dying. Luckily, he was rescued by the timely arrival of Storm. The two combined their powers to blow the Hulk away, and Cable managed to pull off a psi-blast strong enough for another personality change. This time, the Hulk was green again, but in his rampaging “Hulk Smash” mode.
In this savage state, the Hulk was more than Storm and Cable could handle, and they were both knocked out. Regaining consciousness, Cable found himself a captive of the Hulk, and on the way to Onslaught. He then used his telepathy for a more subtle approach and entered the beast’s mind, reminding Bruce Banner of things dear to him like his wife, Betty. When Storm too recovered, the two heroes could eventually beat the Hulk and free him from Onslaught’s control. Storm struck down the Hulk with lightning, actually causing his mind to shut off, and Cable helped it to properly “reboot“ with Bruce Banner in control. The stunt had almost ended his life, but Storm and Cable could return to New York City with the Hulk on their side.
Elsewhere, a vile third party entered the scene. Discovering that his eternal enemy, Apocalypse, had awakened, Mr. Sinister realized that it was time to collect what he had been waiting for a long time. Tracking down Threnody with his Marauders to New York City, Sinister learned that X-Man was at the Xavier Institute. Once there, Sinister discovered the mansion empty except for X-Force and X-Man. Taking down Siryn and Caliban, Sinister then confronted the rest of X-Force, whom he easily dispatched, before filling in X-Man on a horrible secret. Nate was the one who gave Onslaught a physical form, after he pulled Xavier out of the psychic plane and into the physical realm once.
In short, X-Man taught Onslaught how to become a corporeal form. Not only that, Nate also found out that, just like Mr. Sinister had orchestrated Cable’s birth to gain the ultimate weapon against Apocalypse, he was created by the Sinister from his own timeline. Still in shock over this revelation, Nate’s powers were seemingly turned off by the mad geneticist. X-Force tried their best to keep Sinister from X-Man, and they led him through a wild chase through the ruined mansion. Along the way, Nate picked up some of Cable’s Askani teachings from Sunspot’s mind, enabling him to overcome Sinister’s mental block of his powers. However, X-Man fell into a trap when he probed into Sinister’s head, for the scientist deflected the psionic energy and turned it into a blast against the heroes, knocking them out. He then grabbed his prize - Nate Grey, and proceeded to leave.
The group of Avengers that had departed to search for Magneto, along with Gambit, made use of Cerebro to locate a signature matching Magneto’s somewhere in Virginia. During the flight there, the Scarlet Witch went down memory lane, and told the others how badly Magneto used to treat his members of his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, just to prove that he was the master and not they. Upon their arrival in Virginia, the group found not only a man who seemed to be Magneto, albeit much younger and now calling himself Joseph, but also Rogue who was accompanying him. Noticing that Rogue and Joseph seemed to be rather close, Gambit became confused and demanded to know what was going on. The Avengers called Magneto by his name, but Joseph didn’t remember it. Instead, Rogue fought the Avengers, who first struck Joseph and told them to keep Joseph’s former identity as Magneto a secret, because she didn’t want to risk him remembering his past life and returning to his old ways. Regardless, the fight went on, mostly due to Quicksilver’s rage, and at one point Joseph lashed out with his powers against the Scarlet Witch. When she screamed in agony, he immediately stopped, and reached out his hand as a friendly gesture. This act convinced Wanda that Joseph was indeed a changed man, and she used hex bolts to separate the combatants. The Avengers respecting Joseph’s amnesia, the heroes took him and Rogue aboard their Quinjet, and returned to the other heroes in New York City.
In New York, the remaining Avengers together with Bishop and Iceman, sent a warning to Four Freedoms Plaza to warn the Fantastic Four of the situation, and Xavier’s interest in Franklin. Unfortunately, when Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man answered the call, he was taken out by Onslaught before he could warn any of his teammates. In the guise of Charles Xavier, Onslaught himself arrived at the headquarters of the Fantastic Four, demanding that Sue and Reed handed over Franklin to him as he should be trained in his mutant powers at Xavier’s school. Unbeknownst to all though, Onslaught had already entered Franklin’s life as his imaginary friend, Charlie, in an attempt to gain the boy’s trust, and eventually his reality warping powers. When Reed and Sue refused to hand over Franklin, the beast showed his true colors, and attacked the world’s premier super team. Thanks to Crystal’s teleporting dog, Lockjaw, the Avengers arrived as well, but they were not strong enough to stop Onslaught. While the Invisible Woman and Bishop used their powers in combination, and caused Onslaught to briefly revert to Xavier, the villain made quick use of the heroes‘ hesitation. In the instant he changed back to Onslaught, he defeated all the heroes and managed to kidnap Franklin.
All the while, the remaining X-Men had had made their way to Muir island, where Moira MacTaggert led them to a special chamber underneath her lab complex. Nobody but Xavier had been inside before, and once they entered the crypt, a computer system activated itself and a holographic image of Xavier showed up. It explained to them that apparently he must have become a threat to the world for Moira to contact his students and lead them here. Always having feared such a thing happening, Xavier had done a lot of research on how to shut down his psychic powers, and he made some blueprints to the solution - some special psi-proof armor. In fact, this was not the only file store in the crypt - there was a whole set of Xavier Protocols, each having information how to kill a certain member of the X-Men or one of their spin-off teams, in case they should become a threat. The X-Men were devastated to find out that during the many nights in his study room, Xavier was trying to figure out ways to kill his students, but as time was of the essence, they quickly downloaded the blueprints for the psychic armor and returned to New York.
While the heroes were scattered across the globe in search of answers, Onslaught kept himself and his minions busy too. Inspecting the followers of the Dark Beast, namely Fatale, Random and Havok, and deeming them quite useful, he proceeded with his plans to make use of the government’s Sentinels. X-Factor eventually stumbled upon Onslaught‘s plans with the former mutant-hunting robots, now reprogrammed to target only baseline humans, but it was already too late. Post and the Dark Beast’s lackeys kept X-Factor too busy to stop the Sentinels being launched. The Dark Beast even tried to lure both Sabretooth and Mystique to Onslaught‘s side, by promising to get them out of X-Factor. However, the two villains in X-Factor’s custody had no interest to trade in one master for another, and turned on the Dark Beast, who escaped, but not before revealing that the real Beast was locked up somewhere in the building. In the end, some of Onslaught’s lackeys got captured and the real Hank McCoy regained his freedom, but Onslaught had made another step towards his goal of world domination.
Atop Freedom Four Plaza, the heroes (Avengers, Fantastic Four and the X-Men) gathered, only to behold a horrific sight. Onslaught‘s army of Sentinels, was terrorizing Manhattan, effectively creating a barrier between the island and the rest of the world. While several of the teams’ resident scientists attempted to build some sort of weapon against Onslaught, the others hit the streets of the city to battle the Sentinels. Despite growing tension between Rogue, Joseph and Gambit, they too formed a tied squad and relied on each other to watch their backs. Using designs by Nathaniel Richards, Iron Man began to create an armor to protect them from Franklin’s powers. However, it seemed that all hope was lost. Onslaught had already taken advantage of his new asset, and forced Franklin to create a giant black fortress in Central Park, that dwarfed the tallest skyscraper in its shadow. On the platform on top of his new home, Onslaught announced his declaration of war against humanity before unleashing a massive blast, a mixture of an EMP and a psionic attack. All over New York, electronic devices short-circuited. Iron Man, Vision and Ant Man were left near dead due to their armor and equipment frying out, and the heroes outside were left to face the brunt of the attack. No doubt, though, Onslaught had made his final move, and the thought of defeating him was even more hopeless than before.
Even outside of New York City were the effects of Onslaught’s latest moves felt. With the entity still trying to enlarge the number of his followers, Generation X’s tutor, Emma Frost, became subtly influenced by him. Fearing for the safety of her young charges, Emma used her telepathy to force her co-headmaster, Banshee, to leave the plane that most of the team was on, before proceeding to fly it to a place in Canada, hoping to hereby rescue herself and Generation X. They sought refuge in one of Emma’s mansions, where they ran into Toad, whom Emma had previously allowed to stay. Eventually, when free of her influence, Banshee contacted Sasquatch of Alpha Flight and together they confronted Emma, who realized the error of her ways. However they were too far away to be of any help in the other heroes‘ fight with Onslaught.
At the same time, Generation X’s regular headquarters, the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters in Massachusetts, was visited by Wolverine. Along with his friend, Elektra, he was looking for Gateway, hoping to get more information from him concerning Onslaught. However, the old aborigine remained quiet as ever, only showing them painful memories from their pasts, and nothing more. Elektra and Wolverine correctly guessed that Gateway was showing them these - their worst moments, to prepare them for the truth about Onslaught. Indeed, Gateway then took their astral forms to a different time; back to the day when Xavier mindwiped Magneto right after the master of magnetism had ripped out Wolverine’s adamantium. Neither Logan nor Elektra understood what Gateway was trying to tell them, however, when he slowed down the time flow for them, they saw it for themselves. To their horror, they observed that within the fraction of a second, Magneto’s dark ego planted its evil seed inside Xavier’s mind. Once planted, these evil aspects slowly grew bigger over time, which is why no one suspected anything was wrong. Returned from their astral journey, Wolverine blamed himself for everything. If he hadn’t pushed Magneto too far, he reasoned, then Xavier wouldn‘t have exposed his vulnerability to such an attack. Elektra convinced Logan that the situation wasn’t his fault, though, and he rushed back to New York to help the other heroes against Onslaught.
At Xavier’s mansion in Westchester, some time after Sinister had left, of all of X-Force only Siryn woke up. Any attempts to revive her friends turned out to be futile. Sunspot, Warpath, Domino, Meltdown, Caliban and Shatterstar were all trapped in some sort of dreamscape where they were each approached by a young boy named Charlie, who presented them with an odd choice. Either they could stay in their dreams, where life would always be the way they wanted it, or they could do the right thing and provide their unique assets and qualities to the team and its purpose. Gaining insight to each other's hopes and dreams, the X-Force members all followed Charlie to a strange place, where they were attacked by a manifestation of Onslaught. However, the team stood as one, faced the foe and suddenly found themselves back in reality together with Siryn. Charlie appeared in front of them and revealed that he was what remained of Charles Xavier’s goodness trapped inside Onslaught, and that he had been only able to protect one of the group from Onslaught’s dreamscape scenario. He chose Siryn, for he knew that she already had an unshakable belief in Xavier’s dream, wherein he could use the chance to strengthen the others‘ faith. X-Force, however, having survived the experience, didn’t change their opinion that they had failed in their task to protect X-Man from harm.
Back in New York, the heroes tended to their wounded and tried to keep the ensuing chaos under control as well as possible. They tried to come up with battle strategies good enough to bring Onslaught down, but as with any large group of different people, they couldn’t really agree on what the best approach would be. The Hulk thought that they should take the fight to Onslaught directly, but with most of the others not trusting him, he gathered the few heroes that sided with him, still determined to follow through with his plan. The Falcon, Hawkeye, the Vision and Crystal, aided him in making a tunnel to reach the fortress in Central Park from below, but they were soon noticed by Onslaught who trapped them in an illusionary scenario. In the simulation, the Hulk lost control, and while he killed Onslaught, he didn’t care about anything else, like the present Avengers who all died during the fight as well. When Onslaught ended the illusion, the heroes not only distrusted the Hulk further, but they also realized how futile it was to fight Onslaught - never knowing whether they would be truly facing him, or just be trapped in yet another headgame of his.
The other Avengers fared a bit better in the streets of New York, where they rescued some trapped people in subway trains; their power having been cut by Onslaught’s EMP wave. They also faced Onslaught’s most powerful lackeys, Holocaust and Post, who seemed virtually unbeatable. However, with some good thinking on Captain America’s part, Onslaught’s lackeys were outsmarted, and they accidentally attacked each other. His minions defeated, Onslaught revealed himself on all the giant monitors in Time Square, and laughed at the heroes, telling them that resistance was useless. Still, having won one fight in the overall war, the Avengers gained some confidence, and vowed to take down Onslaught anyway, before they shouted their battle cry of “Avengers Assemble” for one, maybe final, time.
A huge step towards victory was the development of the psi-armors. By combining Xavier’s original designs with some advanced Wakandan technology and other improvements designed by Tony Stark’s own company, Iron Man successfully built devices that were not only capable of shielding the heroes from Xavier’s telepathic powers, but which also provided some temporary protection against Franklin Richards‘ reality-warping abilities.
With some of the heroes incapacitated, and others working on the psychic armors, the rest were still fighting in the streets. With the Sentinels now blocking all the city exits, they either tried to help the many innocents trapped inside the borders of Onslaught’s new territory, or, in areas with massive destruction, went looking for survivors. Joseph saved some people trapped in a subway car; however, some of the crowd recognized him as Magneto and attacked him, thinking he had caused the destruction around them. Gambit saved him from the angry crowd and the two men spoke, which unfortunately led to Joseph leaving to confront Onslaught alone, blaming himself for Magneto’s evil. Touched by Gambit’s attempt to connect with Joseph, Rogue ran off with the Cajun to catch up with Joseph.
Inside Onslaught, Charles Xavier awakened and was horrified to see that the beast had also lured Franklin Richards into its belly. He urged young Franklin not to give in to Onslaught and not to trust a single word the entity would say, but the beast, aware of the conversation, arrived to inform Xavier that he had already added the boy’s vast abilities to his own. With that, Franklin was absorbed deeper into the abyss of Onslaught. Even worse, the mad entity teased Xavier that it was no longer within his power to do anything about the situation.
Outside, Cyclops, the Invisible Woman, Storm, Cable, Thor, Gambit and Rogue regrouped just in time to see Joseph attack Onslaught with all his might. Annoyed at Joseph’s arrogance, Onslaught pulled Xavier partially back into the corporeal, for everyone to see him in a hole in Onslaught’s chest. He proceeded to kill the man in order to prove that he no longer needed his creator to live. Cable, Cyclops and the Invisible Woman pooled their powers, and were able to form a crack in Onslaught’s armor. Thor used the chance to smash through Onslaught in an angry rage, ripping Xavier out and leaving a gaping hole in Onslaught’s body. Theoretically, that should have been the end of Onslaught, at least the heroes thought so, as they believed that Onslaught could not exist without Xavier. However, in the meantime, the entity had evolved, and now rid of Xavier’s hindering influence, Onslaught was even more powerful. He unleashed a psionic storm that would have killed everyone present, if Cable and Sue Richards hadn’t used their powers to protect them. After the storm subsided, the Invisible Woman asked Xavier if he could sense whether Franklin was still alive in Onslaught, but the professor shockingly revealed that his telepathic powers were gone…perhaps forever!
Sue Richards was driven to rescue her son, and she ventured deeper into the psionic storm towards Onslaught’s citadel. Cable followed her, realizing how much he and Franklin had in common - both of them were the sons of heroes; the next generation of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. Unexpectedly, they were approached by Apocalypse, who surprisingly proposed joining forces against Onslaught. Apocalypse explained that he wanted Onslaught defeated because he didn’t want to see the world destroyed, at least not by someone else but himself. To get to Onslaught, though, he needed Cable to allow him access to the astral plane. Though it put his body under even further strain, his techno-organic virus flaring up like never before, Cable took himself and Apocalypse onto the astral plane, where they had to fight telepathic versions of Onslaught‘s lackeys. Once they reached Onslaught’s core and Franklin’s prison, Apocalypse prepared to kill the boy, deeming him a future threat to himself too. In that instance, though, the Invisible Woman revealed herself, having followed the pair the whole time with Cable telepathically masking her presence. She made Apocalypse back down, even though it meant leaving Franklin in Onslaught‘s clutches. Still, she could briefly talk to him and tell him not to abandon hope, before Onslaught transported them back to the real world.
Isolated and alone, young Franklin gave in to despair and attempted to send images of himself to contact his family. However, Onslaught intercepted these manifestations of his thoughts, and distorted the images into the Fantastic Four’s worst enemies. Once they reached the Baxter Building, the Fantastic Four and their friends found themselves under constant attack. Still, the images came both as a curse and as a blessing, for they told the heroes that Franklin was still alive. During the attacks, the Fantastic Four found many of their allies and of their former members joining them to help. Such heroes included the She-Hulk, Namor, Fantastic Force, the Inhumans, Agatha Harkness, as well as Alicia Masters and even her stepfather, the villain known as the Puppet Master. Another surprise awaited them after the astral constructs had been dealt with. Dr. Doom, of all people, offered his aid as well. Naturally, his intentions were far from noble, but against such a threat as Onslaught, the heroes couldn’t afford to look a gift horse in the mouth, so they reluctantly accepted Doom’s help.
One of Doom’s first actions was rather counter-productive, though. Joining the battles against the Sentinels in the streets of New York, he also happened upon Rogue and Joseph, whom he clearly recognized as Magneto. Dr. Doom considered Joseph a mockery of the man he believed to have once been, and he tried to rally him up into accepting his old self. However, this only further confused the young man, who grew increasingly worried with each piece of information about Magneto’s past deeds. It took a pep talk from Captain America and a conversation with Charles Xavier to lighten his mood a bit. Together, the two men who supposedly created this mess to begin with, came to terms with each other and their inner battles.
Meanwhile, Mr. Sinister brought X-Man to his hideout, where he revealed that he had sent Threnody into Nate’s life to learn more about him. Sinister installed neuro-locks in Threnody’s head, and when Nate entered her mind he unwittingly created a connection between them. This allowed Sinister to easily shut down his powers, just like he had done earlier. However, X-Man gained Sinister’s measure, and was able to best his foe. Right then, a portal opened in Sinister’s lair, and Franklin Richards was inside it. “Franklin” called out to Nate and begged for help.
Naturally, Nate wanted to free the child and entered the portal, despite Sinister warning him that it could be a trap. Indeed it was, and once Nate was inside, Onslaught showed his true face to Sinister before the portal behind him. The entity had gained yet another mutant with nearly unlimited powers to add to his already impressive abilities. This wasn’t Onslaught’s only interest in X-Man, though. He also entered Nate’s mind to find out more about his home world; the Age of Apocalypse. He explored it, and couldn’t believe that Nate and his world’s X-Men defeated Apocalypse, only so that they could share the planet with the humans. Onslaught angrily changed his goal. He now wanted to create a world similar to the Age of Apocalypse, only with him as its ruler. He considered both humans and mutants unworthy to survive: Man or mutant…no one would survive Onslaught!
Professor Xavier had enough of all the destruction and the pain that he felt he was entirely responsible for. He decided to confront the menace himself without informing the rest of the X-Men, and sought up Onslaught in his citadel. After failing in delivering a speech to make Onslaught understand how important life is, the beast quickly destroyed Charles’ wheelchair and prepared to finish the man off for good. Xavier was helpless and done for, when surprisingly Rogue flew seemingly out of nowhere just fast enough to rescue her mentor. Xavier‘s surprise turned to awe, when he realized that not only she, but all his X-Men had come as well. Jean Grey had telepathically sensed Xavier’s intent and alerted the rest of the X-Men. Despite being tired of earlier battles, Cyclops gave the team the courage to give everything they had to finish their adversary off once and for all.
Onslaught however wasn’t impressed. He used tricks none of the heroes had seen before, like for example create a big, giant stone hand from the ground to crush his opponents. This stunt and others overwhelmed the X-Men, but they tried to regroup and continue fighting. Exhausted and powerless, unfortunately Xavier couldn’t do much to help his defeated students, but he sensed that hope was on the way, as well as courage…for the X-Men were no longer on their own! Having gathered every other available super-powered individual for help, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four joined the fray. Heroes and mutants banded together as one huge team, to win or die side-by-side. That was enough for Onslaught, who angrily unleashed yet another blast and drove the heroes apart.
Joseph was hit in the blast and fell, unnoticed by all except one. Xavier saw it, and while the heroes fought, he crawled to the man he considered to be one of his oldest friends. Luckily, Joseph was alive and well, which Xavier was glad to see. Amidst the battle, the two had a talk, and though Joseph could no longer remember their former friendship, he felt that Xavier was the best friend a man could ever had.
Meanwhile, Nate Grey and Franklin were discussing their situation deep within their prison inside of Onslaught, while watching the events unfold outside their captor. Nate gave into despair, but Franklin remembered that Xavier told him to fight Onslaught. However, he wasn’t strong enough alone, but maybe if he and Nate worked together they could escape. Seeing so much courage in such a young child, Nate used their powers to free the bonds that were binding his and Franklin’s hands, and successfully established telepathic contact with Cable. Being more or less Nate’s genetic twin, Cable quickly found a way to tether them psionically, meaning giving them a path to escape once Onslaught got destroyed, but he needed Xavier’s help for that. However, since Xavier’s powers were gone, Cable suggested that he go inside Joseph’s head, and use his magnetism to nudge the electrochemical barriers in Xavier’s brain. At first, Xavier was against it, but Joseph was in since he wanted to save the two innocent lives, and at the same time hoped to make up for some of the bad things he supposedly had done as Magneto.
At the same time, the heroes had to face the side-effects of Franklin’s powers. Onslaught made the young boy unwillingly create a second sun, causing the gravity on Earth to go out of balance. With the heroes‘ heavy hitters like Thor, Storm and Crystal already busy trying to keep the gravimetrical forces contained, it was Dr. Doom of all people who came up with a plan to bypass the forcefield that Onslaught had created around himself. He suggested for Rogue and the Vision to combine their powers, the Avengers phasing into Rogue, hereby merging with her which at the same time augmented her already titanic strength and damped her absorbing power. Wolverine pierced Onslaught’s field with berserker rage, and Giant-Man and Namor held the rift open long enough, to allow a moment’s passage for Rogue/Vision to fly into. Everything went according to the plan, and they went in at full force, but Onslaught didn’t even move one bit. Observing the battlefield from the sidelines, Reed Richards noticed something odd – not only had Onslaught not been hurt by the attack, his armor had expanded as if the creature inside had grown.
Although the Vision ended up badly injured after the blow, Doom’s plan showed at least a partial success, with Onslaught’s force barrier fading. This left him open for attack by the other heroes. Onslaught desperately tried to maintain control, but had the hardest time doing this task. The heroes saw their chance. The Hulk volunteered to do the job, but believed that he was only powerful enough if his human mind of Bruce Banner was shut down. He convinced Phoenix to turn off the only force that could control the savage beast. Phoenix complied, and the Hulk regressed to his old self, and only thought of smashing things. He confronted Onslaught single handedly, and the two titans fought each other. Every blow unleashed by the jade giant unfettered more of Onslaught’s might, and Earth’s heroes could do little but witness the battle and try to not let themselves be knocked over by the psionic cyclone released by Onslaught. They knew with growing certainty that this was their last battle.
Onslaught kept on loathing about how neither humans or mutants could defeat him, which got the Hulk only more mad, for he felt left out – him being neither human nor mutant. In a fury, the Hulk’s body enlarged and so did his fists. The Hulk gave Onslaught a final punch in the face, which was more something of a nuclear blast! Once the smoke cleared, the heroes could not believe their eyes. At the battlesite, they found Bruce Banner’s human body lying right next to the unconscious form of the Hulk! How that was possible, nobody knew. Also, there was the Onslaught’s cracked armor, apparently empty.
The heroes already cried victory, but that was hardly the case. Onslaught was no longer a physical creature who could be bludgeoned into submission. Now he was thought itself; he was perception! The heroes didn’t understand what Onslaught was saying, but one man did. Reed finally realized what a mistake they made. He explained that the armor was just a shell. Inside, Onslaught had been evolving all along, and this psionic entity before them was his final form - pure psionic energy, ready to spread worldwide, and the heroes had left themselves with no way to attack him, since they could no longer touch Onslaught.
Thor understood what Richards was saying: they needed a vessel to contain Onslaught. Without any thought, the Thunder God flew into Onslaught’s energy form and sacrificed himself, in hopes that his mighty body would be enough to absorb Onslaught. Thor landed inside Onslaught’s body and screamed in pain, it didn’t work the way he thought. Reed believed that the plan was useless if Thor did the job alone, for he didn’t have enough mass. That was all the other heroes needed to hear. Making their final goodbyes to each other, they jumped into Onslaught’s energy form one by one, effectively weakening him. The Thing and the Human Torch, most of the assembled Avengers, Iron Man taking Dr. Doom along against his will, even Bruce Banner‘s human half – they all entered Onslaught and bound him to their combined mass.
The atmospheric changes around them as the plan was working, but still more mass was needed – though not every mass. When Quicksilver, Crystal and Wolverine rushed to jump into Onslaught next, they were held back by Reed. He explained that since Onslaught began life as a mutant, a mutant genetic pattern would give him the perfect means to live again! The Scarlet Witch seemed to be protected by one of her Hex spells when jumping in, but Reed didn’t want the rest of the mutants to dare make contact with Onslaught. It was up to the human heroes to do the job. Quicksilver felt a bit relieved, until he realized that this wouldn’t exclude his wife Crystal, an Inhuman, from giving her life. Using her elemental powers to blow her husband away, she too entered Onslaught. As the only non-mutant heroes left, Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman ordered the X-Men to give everything they had to blow Onslaught out of existence once they had followed the other heroes. Holding each other‘s hand, the Fantastic Four’s couple then threw themselves into the belly of the beast too.
With sorrow, the X-Men did as asked, and used all of their various powers on Onslaught’s new substance. They poured on with all their powers and everything they had, and eventually the glowing mass before them began to collapse. Meanwhile, Xavier and Cable successfully entered Onslaught’s inner being and tried to pull out Nate and Franklin the way they had discussed. At first, Nate didn’t trust both men because of bad past meetings, even reminding Xavier that the being all around them, this Onslaught, was both of them combined. However, Xavier would not give up, and eventually Nate grasped the hand reached out to him. Just as Onslaught’s essence dispersed, leaving nothing but a huge crater, Nate and Franklin fell out of the inferno that was Onslaught. However, there was no sign other sign of life where Onslaught was; no other hero who leapt into the beast survived. Still in shock, Franklin was confused about the fate of his parents and family, but knew that they were gone. Xavier embraced the boy and promised that the child would see his family again one day. While the X-Men stood in the remains of Central Park, nobody but Franklin seemed to notice a small, blue ball lying nearby.
Nate took Xavier to look over a devastated city. They sight before them saddened them, and Nate regretted not having met the fallen heroes much earlier. Their common mourning allowed Nate Grey and Xavier to finally get over their past problems, and they showed their respect for one another. Naturally they were not the only ones to review the day’s events. The Watcher had recorded everything that happened, and for Apocalypse it seemed like order was restored. Onslaught being destroyed put mutants in general (and himself in particular) back on top of the ”food chain“.
A five-issue miniseries was issued in late 2006 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the "Onslaught" storyline, titled Onslaught Reborn, by writer Jeph Loeb and artist Rob Liefeld. Onslaught Reborn features the return of the villain and addresses unresolved plot threads; this event is set after the "Decimation" and "Civil War" storylines.
After Scarlet Witch used her powers to de-power most of Earth's mutants, the powers of Charles Xavier and Magneto collided to reform Onslaught, whose consciousness lingered after his defeat. Onslaught swore revenge on the young Franklin Richards and any other hero that he despised, manifesting as a monstrous version of his previous form with a skull-like face. He first took control of both the Human Torch and Mr. Fantastic in an attempt to kill Franklin, but was soon interrupted by the Invisible Woman and the Thing, who saved Franklin. Franklin ran to Counter-Earth, but Onslaught followed.
As Onslaught appeared in Counter-Earth he became larger, and regained his Magneto-like mask. He soon encountered the Avengers and was presumed defeated after he fell into the ocean. Instead of worrying about Onslaught, the Avengers questioned Franklin's credibility, as Franklin claimed to be the son of both Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman. On Counter-Earth Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman were not married and did not have children. Shortly after this, Thor was assaulted by an Onslaught-possessed Hulk, who battled Thor to determine which of the two was more powerful. Onslaught switched between the bodies and possessed Thor, who struck the Hulk with lightning. As Thor was about to strike again, he dropped his hammer, as Onslaught was not worthy to carry it. Onslaught switched back to the Hulk, and punched Thor into the atmosphere. Onslaught was assaulted by the Avengers before he could pick up Thor's hammer. Captain America ordered the Human Torch and Iron Man to rescue Thor, telling them they had about sixty seconds for the rescue. They raced to save him, and Johnny took Thor back to the Baxter Building where Mr. Fantastic discovered that Franklin really was his son. In the battle, Captain America orders Hawkeye to find Onslaught, and confronts Hawkeye with the fact that Wolverine is hiding in Hawkeye's costume. The Avengers continued to battle the Hulk, while Captain America was thrown into a building. Iron Man, from the atmosphere, charges down at the Hulk at full speed, hoping that Bruce would forgive him someday. He punched the Hulk, knocking him out. He and Captain America assessed their next move until Onslaught possessed Iron Man and attacked Captain America. Back at Avengers Mansion, Rikki Barnes was babysitting Franklin when Loki, Executioner, Scarlet Witch, Enchantress, and Ultron V surprised them with an offer to help defeat Onslaught. On a balcony, an invisible Ant-Man and the Invisible Woman let themselves be known, as Sue refused to let the villains cause Franklin any harm.
After a brief skirmish, the heroes and villains decided to work together to defeat Onslaught. Rikki "Bucky" Barnes defeated Onslaught using a Fantasticar to send both Barnes and Onslaught through the Negative Zone barrier in the Fantastic Four's lab, trapping them. Franklin returned home, Bucky found herself on Earth 616, and Onslaught was last seen floating outside the Area 42 Prison in the Negative Zone.
Rikki Barnes, now known as Nomad, began having strange and vivid nightmares from deep in the jungles of South America. When her teammate Toro is kidnapped just like she dreamed, she begins to suspect that her nightmares are something more sinister than she first thought. Later, while investigating Corporate Conglomerate Roxxon for illegal weapons systems, the Secret Avengers come across the plans for Project Power, a new and incredibly deadly power source being secretly developed in the Colombian rainforest. As the Secret Avengers investigate the facility, Beast and Ant-Man find the source of the mysterious energy source to be from the Negative Zone. As Rikki races inside the facility to locate Toro, she stumbles into the control room instead, where the sinister voice of her dreams beckons and reveals itself to be Onslaught.
Possessing Rikki's body, Onslaught reveals that the real Rikki had, in fact, died in the Negative Zone; his current host was just a construct made by Onslaught himself so he could use the energy he had stored in her as an anchor to pull himself back into the main Marvel Earth. The revelation that Rikki had been sent to the main Marvel Earth solely to serve as Onslaught's tether forced Rikki to fight back to prove he was wrong. Eventually, Rikki had Gravity kill her so that Onslaught could not return and destroy Earth.
Despite Rikki's apparent death, Steve Rogers began to have nightmares similar to the ones Rikki had before, suggesting that enough of Nomad's (and Onslaught's) energy may have survived to escape death and now seek a new way to return to the main Marvel reality.
A clone of Red Skull stole the brain of the now deceased Professor X and grafted part of Xavier's brain to his own, giving him Professor X's powers. Eventually, the merging of the brains leads to the rebirth of an Onslaught fused with the Red Skull, known as Red Onslaught, who leads a holocaust against the mutants.
In the lead-up to the AXIS storyline, Red Onslaught is ultimately created when Magneto kills the Red Skull after Magneto had killed the S-Men. Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom attempt to defeat the Red Onslaught by using their magic to perform a moral inversion on him that would bring Professor X to the fore of this amalgamation, but their efforts backfire, causing all the heroes and villains present during the confrontation to morally invert from their usual behavior.
Powers and abilities
Onslaught is a psionic entity with superior physical and mental power, possessing the combined abilities of Professor X, Magneto, Franklin Richards, and Nate Grey. At its prime, Onslaught is capable of telepathy, telekinesis, energy projection, sensing mutant presences, manipulating magnetic fields, and affecting reality itself. Onslaught can also enhance its physical size and strength.
Onslaught's powers were well over that of Omega Level. In his first form (when he was one with Xavier), Onslaught showed a wide variety of abilities including immeasurable strength, and incredible resistance and endurance. Onslaught's psionic powers appeared limitless, appearing to surpass even that of Xavier in his right mind. He was especially powerful in the Astral Plane, where he appeared to have god-like abilities. Even Jean Grey's powers were completely useless against him. From what has been seen, he seems to have total mental control over anyone or anything he wishes, ranging from altering one's perception to believe they are someone or somewhere else (he demonstrated this by making Wolverine believe he was a wolf pup, and making Storm think she was a child), to most conceivable forms of telekinesis. Onslaught also possessed many forms of energy projection, all of which are at high levels of power. Even at his initial level he was able to punch the Juggernaut unconscious across North America, and even rip the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak out of his body.
After fully evolving into his own, separate consciousness and having Professor X ripped from him in the Astral Plane, Onslaught evolved into a second form, less resembling Magneto and looking more like a cybernetic monster. In this form, thanks to adding the full potential of Franklin Richards and Nate Grey combined, his powers were increased to godlike levels, including the ability to mass-manipulate (his complete takeover of all the Sentinels), create and reshape matter at will (shown when he created his citadel, and when he created a second sun to destroy Earth), and an apparent omniscience (as evidenced when he easily thwarted an attempt to sneak into his citadel). He could use his combined reality-warping and telekinetic abilities to boost his physical strength to the point that he was able to go toe-to-toe in a physical fight with the Hulk even after the Hulk's mind had been blanked and his strength and rage set to incredible levels thanks to Jean Grey 'shutting down' the subconscious influence that Bruce Banner normally exerted over the Hulk to stop him going too far.
For a time, Onslaught had these powers while still in his first form; the majority of these came from the absorption of Nate Grey and Franklin Richards. In the end, Onslaught's true body was revealed to be a mass of pure, psionic energy that was immune to all forms of physical attacks.
In the Ultimate version, Professor X returns from training in the future and is dressed very similarly to Onslaught.
In other media
- Onslaught is a boss character and the main antagonist of Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes voiced by Maurice Dean Wint. In this game, he appears as the final boss, and he has two forms the player must defeat: the first form which is that of a normal-sized character, and the second and final form which is that of a floating giant. He is then revealed to be Xavier upon defeat.
- Onslaught appears as a villain character in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online.
- Toy Biz has released two action figures of the character, the first in the "X-Men Onslaught" series, which came with attachable armor to emulate his final transformation; the second was the Build-A-Figure in the 13th series of the "Marvel Legends" series, and bore more of a resemblance to his final form.
- An Onslaught miniature is part of the Heroclix Giant-Size X-Men set. This miniature is randomly found in the newly created "Super Booster" which contains larger size figure.
- http://www.marvel.com/news/comicstories.3139.Take_10~colon~_X-Men_Villains Marvel.com
- X-Men: Prime #1
- Uncanny X-Men #322
- X-Men (2nd series) #46
- X-Force (1st series) #52
- X-Force (1st series) #46
- X-Man #15
- Excalibur (1st series) #99
- X-Men (2nd series) #49
- X-Men (2nd series) #50
- Uncanny X-Men #333
- X-Man #16-17
- Cable (1st series) #32-33
- X-Men (2nd series) #53
- Uncanny X-Men #334
- X-Men (2nd series) #54
- Onslaught: X-Men
- "REFLECTIONS: Talking With Jeph Loeb". Comic Book Resources, October 25, 2006
- George, Richard (2006-10-26). "Onslaught's Assault Begins". IGN. Retrieved 2006-10-26.
- Onslaught Reborn
- Onslaught Unleashed #1
- Onslaught Unleashed #2-3
- Onslaught Unleashed #4
- Uncanny Avengers #2
- Uncanny Avengers #11
- Uncanny Avengers #25
- Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #4
- Onslaught at Marvel.com
- In-depth analysis on the creation of Onslaught
- Article on the Onslaught crossover