|First appearance||The New Mutants #87 (March 1990)|
|Created by||Louise Simonson (writer)
Rob Liefeld (artist/co-writer)
|Species||Human Mutant, clone|
|Team affiliations||New Canaanites
Mutant Liberation Front
|Notable aliases||Chaos Bringer, Scion of the Dark Lord, Cable|
Superhuman strength and durability
|This section requires expansion. (February 2014)|
The character was created by Louise Simonson and Rob Liefeld, and first appears in The New Mutants #87 (March 1990). A clone of Cable, Stryfe is the main antagonist in the 1990s crossover, X-Cutioner's Song and the 2009 X-Force/Cable crossover Messiah War.
Stryfe is the main antagonist in the Cable & X-Force/Uncanny X-Force crossover.
Fictional character biography
A woman introducing herself as Askani appears to Cyclops and Jean Grey from the distant future after their infant son, Nathan Summers, is infected with a techno-organic virus by the immortal mutant Apocalypse and tells them that she can save the child. Nathan then arrives in the future and Mother Askani clones the baby, hoping to salvage something if he dies. The clone's growth is greatly accelerated until he is the same age as Nathan himself. The Askani succeed in halting the spread of the techno-organic virus in Nathan's body, thereby saving his life. However, Apocalypse and his forces attack the Askani's hiding place and steal the cloned infant. Apocalypse takes the child as his own, raising him himself and naming him "Stryfe", intending to use him as his next host body. Stryfe grows into becoming a murderously decadent brat with no regard for life who is both terminally bored by having his every desire catered and extremely lonely at having no real company aside from Apocalypse and Ch'vayre. Years later, as Apocalypse is about to transfer his essence into Stryfe, he discovers that Stryfe is in fact a clone, thus unfit to house his essence. A teenage Nathan and the time-traveling Cyclops and Jean confront Apocalypse, leaving him unable to transfer into any host body, thus causing his essence to discorporate. Ch'vayre (Apocalypse's second in command) raises Stryfe afterwards.
Stryfe grows up to be an embittered madman, wanting vengeance on both what he thought were his real parents (Cyclops and Jean) and his spiritual parent Apocalypse. He becomes an anarchist and terrorist rebel in the Nor-Am Pact region c. 3783-3806. in his alternate future. He raises an army and for years became a fierce opponent of both Cable (Nathan Summers) and his Clan Chosen, and the New Canaanites, a despotic regime that replaced Apocalypse's. Stryfe reveals to Cable much later in the present era that during this period in their life, he actually managed to rape Jenskot (who he had grown to desire) at one point by pretending to be Cable and so the father of her son Tyler is actually Stryfe and not Cable.[volume & issue needed] Later, he kills Jenskot (Cable's wife) as well as kidnapping and brainwashing their son Tyler Dayspring.
In 3806, the New Canaanites take full control of the planet, but Stryfe manages to travel back in time two-thousand years.[volume & issue needed] He forms a mutant terrorist group, the Mutant Liberation Front (MLF), alongside many powerful mutants including Tamara Kurtz. Stryfe orders his Mutant Liberation Front to capture Rusty Collins and Skids. In Japan, he fought Cable and first clashed with the New Mutants, who thwarted his attempt to poison the water supplies of major cities. Before long, his face was revealed to his minions; he looked identical to Cable. Stryfe abandoned his Antarctic Mutant Liberation Front base during an invasion by the new X-Force team (a reorganized New Mutants lineup). Stryfe then had the Mutant Liberation Front free the captive mutants Hairbag and Slab, and turned them over to Mister Sinister before ordering an MLF attack on a clinic. He also confronted and defeated Kane (Weapon X II), and eventually declared his enmity for Apocalypse. Stryfe later battled Cable, who learned that Stryfe was actually his double. Stryfe sows chaos in the ranks of the X-Men, posing as Cable and shooting Professor X, as part of an assassination attempt. He confronts his captives, Cyclops and Marvel Girl. He bested the Dark Riders, and confronted Apocalypse on the moon. Stryfe fights Apocalypse and nearly destroys him, wounding Apocalypse badly, becoming leader of the Dark Riders. As a final insurance, Stryfe gives Mister Sinister a canister that he claims holds genetic material from two-thousand years worth of Summers's descendants; in truth, it holds the deadly Legacy Virus. Stryfe battles Cable until the latter opens a temporal rift by detonating a self-destruct system, destroying his body. Stryfe's consciousness, however, enters Cable's mind, in which he stays until he voluntarily leaves.
While physically dead, Stryfe attempts to return to life through the body of Warpath. However his attempt is avoided by the arrival of X-Force and Warpath was sent back to the living by Blackheart.
Somehow by unknown means Stryfe was revived and together with the Dark Riders began to subjugate Latveria. Stryfe was opposed by Cable and Nate Grey, and at first beat them easily, even going as far as to siphon off all of Nate's power. Madelyne Pryor appears to join forces with Stryfe, but secretly steals the psionic energy from Stryfe and gives it back to Nate. Nate, Madelyne, and Cable join forces to defeat Stryfe.
Stryfe reappeared, controlling the activation sequence for the Prime Sentinels. He used them to hunt down Lady Deathstrike, who held the complete codes for all the Sentinels in her cybernetic systems. Deathstrike was forced to turn to the X-Men, and together they defeated Stryfe, who teleported away.
Later, Stryfe experiences a personal existensial crisis and becomes extremely depressed at the futility of all his efforts over the years after the Xmen finally manage to cure once and for all the "masterpiece" of anti-mutant bio-warfare that was the Legacy Virus (through the sacrifice of Xman Colossus), which Stryfe considered to be his life's work and the one permanent victory he had (up to that point) against his hated half-brother Cable, his parents Scott and Jean, and the rest of the Xmen. He then tried to hunt down Bishop who was at the time possessed by an entity known as La Bete Noir, whose power rivaled the Phoenix Force itself and threatened to consume Bishop's body and unleash its evil upon the universe. However in the end, Stryfe ultimately regrets the path he took and the choices he has made in his life (stemming from his perpetual identity crisis as a clone), freed Bishop from the entity and sacrifices himself to save the Earth from La Bete Noir. Bishop remembers a proverb from his time - "It doesn't matter how a man lived his life; what matters is how he ends it" - and says he thinks Stryfe ended his life well. Gambit, however, was suspicious that Cable may have telepathically forced Stryfe to sacrifice himself.
Stryfe however survived and was teleported into a dystopian timeline. This was confirmed by the writer Christopher Yost to be the same Stryfe that had previously plagued the X-Men, mentioning in particular his survival of his fight against Nate Grey and Cable. However, when Stryfe was reminded by Elixir that he already "died a hero" to just become a villain again, Stryfe claims not to know what he is talking about. Meanwhile Bishop, who was travelling into the future in an attempt to kill Hope Summers, the mutant messiah child, who he blames for causing his own dystopian timeline, somehow was able to track Stryfe down and enlists his aid in hunting down Cable and Hope in exchange for helping Stryfe overthrow Apocalypse. Stryfe takes over the world and captures Hope when she and Cable emerge from the timestream. Cable, a future version of Deadpool, a time-displaced X-Force, and Apocalypse join forces to defeat Stryfe and Bishop. Cable and Hope travel further into the future, X-Force return to the present, and Apocalypse drags Stryfe away, intending to use him as a new host body for his essence.
Once again Stryfe escapes from Apocalypse's clutches and travels back in time to the present in the Cable & X-Force/Uncanny X-Force crossover, Vendetta. Upon discovering that Bishop has returned, Hope tries to kill him in an act of vengeance. Stryfe appears and kidnaps them both to an abandoned MLF base. There, he attempts to manipulate Hope into killing Bishop, who has come to realize the error of his ways. When both X-Force teams attack the base, Stryfe uses his telepathy to force Hope to absorb his powers, knowing that she will not be able to handle them. He teleports away, leaving Hope as a sort of "mutant bomb." With Bishop's help, Hope fires all of the telekinetic energy straight up and into the sky.
Powers and abilities
Stryfe was a clone of the mutant Cable and, as a result, possessed Cable's natural mutant abilities of telepathy and telekinesis. However, these abilities are far more powerful than the ones Cable has generally displayed in the main continuity, sufficient to block the use of Cyclops and Jean Grey's superhuman powers. This is because Stryfe was never infected with Apocalypse's techno-organic virus like Cable was. Therefore, he does not have to constantly expend his abilities to keep the virus from consuming his body, which apparently was a huge drain on Cable's capabilities. He also possessed other abilities through genetic manipulation similar to those that Cable achieved through cybernetic augmentation, including superhuman strength and durability.
Stryfe wears battle armor of unknown composition that is highly impervious to damage. He has been known to wield a blade capable of harming Apocalypse. He has used various advanced weaponry and technology from the 39th century of his alternate future, including his time-vortex field generator.
Stryfe has received extensive training in military combat techniques and the martial arts, and is a master marksman with firearms. He is a cunning terrorist strategist.
In Ultimate X-Men, Stryfe is also the leader of the Mutant Liberation Front. He appears to be a mutant supremacist convinced that Professor X was killed by the United States government and that mutants should fight against the government.[volume & issue needed] His mutant power manifests as the ability to cause "strife" within people's minds, causing them to voice whatever is bothering them. However when Psylocke scans his mind she senses that he has no real conviction in what he says, suggesting that much of his mutant supremacist attitude is an act, meaning his real motives are unknown.[volume & issue needed] At his side is the ultimate version of Zero, a young mutant teleporter. It is revealed that Stryfe is actually a con man, working with Fenris to promote mutant unrest so they can sell Sentinels to the government.
In the Deadpool Pulp timeline, Stryfe is a younger, corrupt General, who alongside Cable and J. Edgar Hoover hire Wade Wilson (who in this timeline is a former CIA man, turned merc) to get back a stolen nuclear briefcase. General Stryfe is later killed by Deadpool.
In other media
- Stryfe appears briefly in the X-Men: The Animated Series episode "Beyond Good and Evil" (Part 4) as one of the psychics captured by Apocalypse.
- Stryfe appears as a boss in X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse voiced by Daniel Riordan. He is guarding the prison in Apocaplyse’s tower in which Banshee and Iron Man are being held captive. To help defeat Stryfe, the players will need to use a Psychic Demon Spawn Control to create a Psychic Demon to help them fight Stryfe. He has special dialogue with Toad.
- The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix #4
- Cable #1, (May 1993)
- New Mutants #87
- New Mutants #93-94
- New Mutants #100
- X-Force #1
- X-Factor #77-78
- X-Force #9-10
- X-Men Vol. 2 #13
- Cable #1-2
- Uncanny X-Men #294
- X-Force #16
- X-Men Vol. 2 #15
- X-Force #17
- X-Cutioner’s Song
- X-Force #18
- Cable #6-8
- X-Force #73
- X-Force #74
- X-Man #45
- X-Man #47
- X-Men Annual 2000, writer Chris Claremont, artist Scot Eaton
- Gambit & Bishop: Sons of the Atom (2001)
- Gambit & Bishop - Sons of Atom #6
- Cable #13 (April 2009)
- X-Force #16
- Uncanny X-Force Vol. 2 #16-17, Cable & X-Force #18-19
- Ultimate X-Men #84
- Ultimate X-Men #92
- Deadpool Pulp #1
- Deadpool Pulp #3
- "Beyond Good and Evil, Part 4: End and Beginning". X-Men: The Animated Series. Season 4. Episode 15. November 25, 1995. Redistributed in X-Men: Volume 4 (Marvel DVD Collection).