Basilisk (comics)

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Basilisk (Basil Elks)
Art by Ron Wilson
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance (Supervillain)
Marvel Team-Up #16 (Dec 1973)
New X-Men #135 (Dec 2002)
Morbius, the Living Vampire #5 (Jan. 1993)
Created by (Supervillain)
Len Wein
Gil Kane
Grant Morrison
Frank Quitely
In-story information
Alter ego (Supervillain) Basil Elks
(Mutant) Mike Columbus[1]
(Mutate) Wayne Gifford
Team affiliations (Mutant):
Xavier Institute student body
Brotherhood of Mutants
Abilities (Supervillain):
Enhanced strength, stamina and reflexes
Energy projection
Temperature and molecular manipulation
Volcano generation
Paralyzing light pulse projection
Superhuman strength and agility
Paralyzing stare

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.

Basilisk (Basil Elks)[edit]

Fictional character biography[edit]

The Basilisk first appeared in a story line in Marvel Team-Up #16-17 (Dec. 1973 - Jan. 1974), and was created by Len Wein and Gil Kane. 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. The character returned shortly thereafter in Marvel Team-Up #47 and Marvel Two-in-One #17 (both July 1976).

The character reappeared in the crossover storyline involving the Scourge of the Underworld, a vigilante who assassinated numerous minor supervillains. Seeking retaliation against superhero the 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.[2]

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 vigilante the Punisher; the Basilisk completed the mission by capturing the Punisher.[3]

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.[4] When a revived Kyknos attacks Hercules, Basilisk and Man-Bull flee.[5] 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.[6]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Courtesy of the Alpha Stone, the 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 (boiling or freezing extremes) or molecules.

Upon acquiring the Omega Stone, Basilisk's powers increased, allowing him to generate volcanoes worldwide, including the Savage Land and New York City.[7]

Basilisk (Mike Columbus)[edit]

Publication history[edit]

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.[8]

Powers and abilities[edit]

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.

Basilisk (Wayne Gifford)[edit]

Publication history[edit]

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.[9]

Powers and abilities[edit]

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.


  1. ^ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Hardcover #13, Xavier's Institute entry
  2. ^ Fantastic Four #289 (Apr. 1986)
  3. ^ Punisher vol. 7 #5-10
  4. ^ Herc #3
  5. ^ Herc #4
  6. ^ Herc #5-6
  7. ^ Marvel Two-In-One #16-17
  8. ^ New X-Men #146 (Nov. 2003)
  9. ^ Morbius the Living Vampire #5-6 (Jan.-Feb. 1993) & 24 (Aug. 1994)

External links[edit]