Basilisk (comics)

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The Basilisk is the name of three fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Publication history[edit]

The first is a supervillain who debuts in Marvel Team-Up #16 (Dec. 1973). The second is a mutant who first appears in New X-Men #135 (Dec. 2002). The third is a lizard-like villain who first appears in Morbius, the Living Vampire #5 (Jan. 1993). Basilisk is also the codename used by an alternate reality version of the X-Man Cyclops in the Age of X crossover.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Basilisk (Basil Elks)[edit]

Basilisk
MTU047011basilisk.png
Basilisk (Basil Elks)
Art by Ron Wilson
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Marvel Team-Up #16 (Dec 1973)
Created by Len Wein
Gil Kane
In-story information
Alter ego Basil Elks
Team affiliations Hood's Unnamed Crime Syndicate
Abilities Enhanced strength, stamina and reflexes
Energy projection
Temperature and molecular manipulation
Volcano generation

Basil Elks is a petty thief who breaks into a museum to steal what he believes is an ordinary emerald - but is in fact an alien Kree artifact called the Alpha Stone. Elks, however, miscalculates the security guards rounds and is caught and fired upon when he reaches for a weapon. The guard’s bullet accidentally hits and shatters the gem, causing an explosion that transforms Elks into a humanoid reptilian - his skin becomes green and scaly and his eyes are now large and red. Elks then flash-freezes the guard in place, and realizing that he now has superhuman abilities, decides to become a supervillain and calls himself the Basilisk. He faced off against Spider-Man, Mister Fantastic, Captain Marvel and the Mole Man which ended with him being imprisoned in another Kree artifact called the Omega Stone which ended up in lava.[1]

The Omega Stone he was imprisoned in was found in a lava river by some Moloids who worshiped it.[2] After absorbing the Omega Stone into himself (thus increasing his power to its fullest potential) and breaking free, he fought Thing and defeated him until Spider-Man arrived.[3] After hearing Basilisk's origin, Spider-Man manages to help Thing regain consciousness and they fight Basilisk. During the fight, Basilisk disappeared during a cave-in.[2]

Sphinx pulled Basilisk from his timeline and paired him up with Moonstone, Ulysses Bloodstone, Man-Wolf and Gyre to compete against Sphinx's elder self and his team consisting of Black Bolt, Darkhawk, Mister Fantastic, Namorita, and Nova.[4]

Basilisk reappeared in the crossover storyline involving the Scourge of the Underworld, a vigilante who assassinated numerous minor supervillains. Seeking retaliation against Thing the character tunneled his way to the headquarters of the Fantastic Four which was undergoing construction, but was murdered by the Scourge of the Underworld.[5]

Dead Ringer later acquired a tissue sample from Basilisk's body and assumed his form.[6]

The Basilisk was resurrected - with sixteen other criminals murdered by Scourge - by master criminal the Hood using the power of the entity Dormammu. The revived characters form a squad to attempt to eliminate Punisher; the Basilisk completed the mission by capturing Punisher.[7]

During the Fear Itself storyline, Basilisk is among the villains that escape from the Raft after Juggernaut takes the form of Kuurth: Breaker of Stone and damages the facility heavily. He assists Man-Bull, Griffin, and another escaped inmate in a bank robbery. When Hercules arrives, he recognizes that the fourth person with them is actually Hecate. Basilisk joined Man-Bull and Griffin in fighting Hercules until Hecate regained her memories.[8] When a revived Kyknos attacks Hercules, Basilisk and Man-Bull flee.[9] Hercules and the Griffin manage to find where Basilisk and Man-Bull are hiding and recruit their help. The villains approach Hecate and Kyknos using a ruse involving Hercules being turned to stone. Hercules quickly revives and saves the villains by killing Kyknos, while Hecate escapes.[10]

Basilisk was later hired by Hydra where he was paired up with Looter to steal the Ellsworth Sonic Reducer. Both of them are defeated by Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus' mind in Spider-Man's body) and are webbed up for the police.[11]

Basilisk (Mike Columbus)[edit]

Basilisk
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance New X-Men #135 (Dec 2002)
Created by Grant Morrison
Frank Quitely
In-story information
Alter ego Mike Columbus[12]
Team affiliations Xavier Institute Student Body
Brotherhood of Mutants
Abilities Paralyzing light pulse projection

Basilisk is a mutant and a student at the Xavier Institute. Possessing limited intelligence and persecuted in his youth due to his abnormal appearance (bald, abnormally large and with one eye), the character is extremely aggressive. Once Basilisk's mutant power manifests, he suffers from brain seizures until given a device to help regulate the ability.

Basilisk joins the Brotherhood. They take over New York City. While watching human prisoners march by, he makes a joke about a perceived bad smell. The Brotherhood's leader Magneto attempts to deliver a punishment but kills Basilisk instead.[13]

Basilisk (Wayne Gifford)[edit]

Basilisk
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Morbius, the Living Vampire #5 (Jan. 1993)
In-story information
Alter ego Wayne Gifford
Abilities Superhuman strength and agility
Paralyzing stare

Gifford is a dysfunctional person who turns to Satanism to create an alternate persona, the Basilisk. Possessing a paralyzing stare, the Basilisk goes to battle the anti-hero Morbius, the Living Vampire.[14]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Upon absorbing the Alpha Stone, the Basil Elks version of Basilisk possessed enhanced physical strength, reflexes, and stamina. The Basilisk's main offensive weapon were his eye beams, which could be concussive force (these could also be directed at the ground for limited flight) or energy that manipulated temperature (to boiling or freezing extremes) or molecules.[15] Upon absorbing the Omega Stone, Basilisk's powers increased to their full extent, allowing him to generate volcanoes worldwide, including in the Savage Land and New York City.[16]

The Mike Columbus version of Basilisk possesses an overly-fleshy head devoid of all features except for sunken ears, a slit-like mouth, and a single centered eye socket. A camera-like device is located in this socket that allows Basilisk to control his superhuman mutant ability to emit a pulse of high-frequency strobe light from his brain. The light paralyzes any sentient being that views it, with the length of the effect varies depending upon the willpower of the onlooker.

Wayne Gifford was a normal human until becoming the Basilisk, a large humanoid reptile. The creature possesses superhuman strength and agility, and a paralyzing stare. The Basilisk's one weakness is its reflection, which serves as a reminder of its former state.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marvel Team-Up #16-17 (Dec. 1973 - Jan. 1974)
  2. ^ a b Marvel Team-Up #47 (July 1976)
  3. ^ Marvel Two-in-One #16-17 (July 1976)
  4. ^ Nova #33-35
  5. ^ Fantastic Four #289 (April 1986)
  6. ^ Captain America #429
  7. ^ Punisher vol. 7 #5-10
  8. ^ Herc #3
  9. ^ Herc #4
  10. ^ Herc #5-6
  11. ^ Superior Foes of Spider-Man #11
  12. ^ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Hardcover #13, Xavier's Institute entry
  13. ^ New X-Men #146 (Nov. 2003)
  14. ^ Morbius the Living Vampire #5-6 (Jan.-Feb. 1993) & 24 (Aug. 1994)
  15. ^ Marvel Team-Up #16-17
  16. ^ Marvel Two-In-One #16-17 and Marvel Team-Up #47

External links[edit]