|This article does not cite any references or sources. (February 2008)|
|First appearance||X-Force #116|
|Created by||Peter Milligan
|Alter ego||Axel Cluney|
|Abilities||can spew acidic vomit.|
Zeitgeist (Axel Cluney) is a fictional mutant character and superhero in the Marvel Comics Universe, a member of the second team of X-Force. Zeitgeist was created by Peter Milligan (writer) and Mike Allred (artist).
Fictional character biography
Axel Cluney is tormented by nightmares during the time his mutant power manifested. A forbidden, drunken make-out session on the beach ends when he spews acidic vomit, burning the girl's face. It is clear she survives, as he was quoted as saying, "I sure hope the doctors managed to give her back her pretty face," indicating she was alive to receive medical attention. Axel wonders if the nightmares would stop if he ever remembers the girl's name.
As seen in a flashback, Zeitgeist is entering their headquarters with other members of his team. Between the limo and the door, a younger Edie Sawyer touches his hand. Later, Edie would literally appear in front of him during a movie premiere, manifesting in view of the papparazi. They would later date.
Zeitgeist views the footage of missions the team goes on, ostensibly to study tactics. The supermodels he lounges with believe it is for more 'exciting' purposes. His thoughts are revealed as he studies one mission involving battling mutinous North African tribesmen. He does make mental notes on each team member. Notably, he reminds himself how Plazm's kill rate is not acceptable, how U-Go Girl needs to stabilize herself and how Sluk's death is not that bad, as he did not look as human as the rest of the crew.
The next day, the team holds a press conference to introduce Tike Alicar, the Anarchist, as their newest member to replace Sluk. In a mission designed to resonate with focus groups, X-Statix is going to do a 'freebie'. As their leader, Coach, explains, politically free terrorists, just the kind of bad guy X-Statix needs, are holding hostage the popular band Boyz R Us. The band's record executives do not particularly care to pay the ransom, even though one of the members has already died, as their deaths would increase sales. The terrorists are holed up in the studios of Sonic TV, deep inside the city
The team teleports in as Zeitgeist blows off Battering Ram's questions about his own role once again. The battle goes well. Zeitgeist's inner thoughts reveal he actually hates the public who adores him and has a seeming dissatisfaction with his high profile mutant life. Battering Ram talks to him once again, then an attack helicopter opens fire.
Ram, the surviving gunmen, the band members and most of X-Force are killed instantly. U-Go-Girl and Anarchist survive. Zeitgeist, his lower torso blown away, survives just long enough to realize the name of the girl he injured: Felicity.
The helicopter crew that fired the fatal shot are teleported out and dropped a long distance to the pavement below.
Some time later, Wolverine uncovers evidence that the Coach and Zeitgeist planned for the Boyz R Us massacre, with Zeitgeist intended to be one of the survivors. Around this time, Coach himself is slain by U-Go-Girl when he attempts to rape her.
Powers and abilities
Zeitgeist could spew acidic vomit from his mouth, and wore a protective mouthpiece in and out of costume. It was shown that his vomit could burn through 10cm thick steel in less than 30 seconds. His mouthpiece was made from unknown material similar to plastic but much stronger. He also possessed enhanced durability.
- Another Marvel character who went by the name Zeitgeist was Larry Ekler, who is now known as Everyman, a Captain America foe who assassinated superheroes. He was killed by Hauptmann Deutschland. A third Marvel character known as Zeitgeist is a member of the Special Executive, a group of time-travelling interstellar mercenaries who appeared in Captain Britain and Doctor Who Monthly.