Spyke from the X-Men Evolution series.
|First appearance||X-Men: Evolution episode #5 Speed and Spyke|
|First comic appearance||X-Men|
|Created by||Robert N. Skir
Steven E. Gordon
|Alter ego||Evan Daniels|
|Team affiliations||The Morlocks
Brotherhood of Mutants
|Notable aliases||Armadillo, Porcupine|
Spyke (Evan Daniels) is a character who was briefly a member of the X-Men in the animated series X-Men: Evolution. Created by writer Robert N. Skir and artist Steven E. Gordon, he first appeared in "Speed And Spyke", episode #5 (December 9, 2000), where he was voiced by Neil Denis.
Spyke is a high-school freshman with the mutant ability to project spikes out of his body.
The character was originally created as a way to diversify the show's X-Men roster. It was important to the show's creators, the WB network (who ran the show) and Marvel Comics to have an African American in the show. According to the show's producer Boyd Kirkland, turning Bishop (the first Black male X-Man) into a teenager would not have worked. Initially, Spyke was intended to be the team's muscle and looked closer to how he looked in season four, but Marvel decided they didn't like the "monster" angle and he was given a much more normal look. He was originally intended to be called Armadillo and have cornrows. He has similar powers to Marrow, a pre-existing character, though Kirkland says this was not intentional.
Evan Daniels was born in New York City, New York to an unnamed father and Vivian Daniels. His mutant abilities are first noticed at his high school basketball game by his Aunt Ororo (aka Storm a longtime member of the X-Men), and his teammate Pietro. The next night Storm, along with Cyclops and Jean Grey, approached Evan's parents about his mutant powers and attending Xavier's School. Evan angrily declines on his own behalf and leaves.
He goes to his school to catch the thief who keeps breaking into his locker. It is revealed that Pietro is not only the thief, but a mutant with super speed powers. Pietro, who renames himself Quicksilver, breaks into all the lockers in the school and lets Evan take the heat as he escapes prosecution. Only when Charles Xavier uses his pull to help Evan get out of prison does he join the X-Men and the school under the code name Spyke. Spyke settles the score with Quicksilver when he, Cyclops, and Jean defeat the speedy mutant. Spyke is cleared of all charges when he catches Quicksilver's arrogant confession on tape.
During his tenure with the X-Men, Spyke didn't want any special treatment from anyone at the school because he was Storm's nephew. Though he liked being an X-Man and thought of them as his family, Spyke at times acted selfishly and inconsiderate of others. Spyke would goof around in class and on at least one occasion ditched school mid-class to go skateboarding with his human friends. He also was late for several training exercises in the Danger Room resulting in him getting reprimanded by Storm and causing several X-Kids to fail in their training exercise because Spyke was not there to back them up. If not for him saving Storm's life from the Hungan, Spyke would have been sent home to his parents due to his lack of concern for school and DR training.
After he and the other X-Men were discovered to be mutants, Spyke grew angry at how they were being treated. After drinking Pow-R8, an energy drink that was toxic to mutants even by touching it, Spyke found out he could not retract or fully control his spikes. After seeing how cruelly he was treated because of his condition, Spyke joined the Morlocks (a group of mutants who could not "pass" for human and so were driven underground) because he wanted to fight for mutants who looked different from normal humans. Storm did not take this well and tried to convince Spyke to come back, but he refused.
When Evan returned later in the series, he had mutated even further, and now most of his upper body was covered by armadillo-type bone-plates except for his face and below the waist, and with the new ability to heat up the bone spikes he creates. During this time, Spyke began using his powers to fight against humans who were attempting to commit hate crimes against the Morlocks and mutants in general. These actions eventually led to him being the target of a group of anti-mutant bigots, led by Duncan Matthews. Attacked with electrical mining guns, Spyke was cornered, but the Morlocks and X-Men stepped in and defeated Duncan and his accomplices, who were arrested by the police shortly after the battle was over. When Storm tried to persuade him once again to return to the institute, Spyke said the Morlocks needed him more and chose to remain with them.
He later helped out in destroying the Pyramids surfaced by Apocalypse. Spyke is last seen in a group photo with the future X-Men, the New Mutants and their unaffiliated allies. In this photo, he is wearing the bottom half of his X-Men costume, which may mean he has finally returned to the X-Men.
Powers and abilities
Spyke can extend or retract bone spikes that grow inside his body. He may shoot them out or bring them out to grab and hold. He also needs to drink milk to replace the calcium that he loses when using his powers. Spyke, an expert skateboarder, integrated his skateboarding prowess into battles. His body also seals the wounds caused by projecting his spikes with no visible scarring.
In the later episodes as his mutation evolved, Spyke gained the ability to heat up the ends of the spikes, increasing their damage potential, and his strength is almost twice that of an average human. He now also has protective plates form around his body, but is unable to retract them. He also gained the ability to extend small spikes on his feet to scale and stick to walls.
In other media
- Spyke has appeared in X-Men comic book titles as a young teenager named David Munroe, Jr. who has yet to manifest any mutant powers. Born in New Jersey to an unknown father and Storm's sister Vivian who named him David after Ororo’s father. She later became a drug addict and eventually died of HIV, leaving young David in the care of his loving grandparents. David has only recently met Storm in this universe and has a deep relationship with Kitty Pryde (unlike the animated series.)
- A version of Spyke appeared in the X-Babies Stars Reborn as an evil, indestructible X-Baby.
- A character named Spike was introduced as a member of X-Statix in X-Force #121 who is very similar in look, powers and personality and thought to be inspired by Spyke (although this has not been publicly confirmed by the author or creator). A version of this character also appears in the film X-Men: The Last Stand, where he attacks and is killed by Wolverine.