The Tunnelers were a group of Marvel Comics mutants that is offshoot group of Morlocks. Created by Chris Claremont and Paul Smith, Masque's first appearance was in Uncanny X-Men #169 (May 1983). Created by Chris Claremont, John Romita, Jr. and Bret Blevins, Cybelle's first and last appearance was in Uncanny X-Men #211 (November 1986). Created by Louise and Walter Simonson, Berzerker, Scaleface and Blowhard's first and last appearance were in X-Factor #11 (December 1986).
Fictional character biography
The Tunnelers, were Morlocks who hated Callisto's main group and dubbed them Drain Dwellers. Initially a group of ten, six of the Tunnelers were killed when the Marauders were sent to kill the Morlocks. The casualties included Cybelle who was slain by Harpoon. She managed to warn the Morlocks leader, Callisto, before she was killed. The four others survived the attack, only to get in another battle with Beast and Iceman, thinking they were Marauders too. The battle ends when the Tunnelers figure out that the X-Factor members are not their enemies.
Joining X-Factor at their base, the Tunnelers find out about their hosts' mock mutant hunter identities. The Tunnelers eventually leave hoping to find a new home in New Jersey. They ran into a human street gang called the Savage Wolf gang who tried to rob them. The Tunnelers fought back, ending in the deaths of Blowhard and two of the three gang members and the wounding of Masque. They then got in a confrontation with the police where Berzerker's love interest, Scaleface, was shot dead. Cyclops and Jean Grey arrived to save the remaining two Tunnelers, but it was too late; Berzerker was enraged by the loss of Scaleface and vowed revenge on all humanity. Before Cyclops could reason with him Berzerker let out a giant energy attack at him, blaming X-Factor for the Tunnelers' destruction. Cyclops fired back, overpowering Berzerker's initial shot. The optic blast from Cyclops knocked Berzerker into a river, electrocuting himself with his own powers. Masque was the only Tunneler that survived.
Powers and abilities
- Berzerker - Berzerker's mutant powers allowed him to generate and control pulsing bolts of electrical energy. He did this by absorbing and manipulating the energies of the entire electromagnetic spectrum. He could also fly and tap into, absorb, observe or listen to television or radio broadcasts.
- Masque - Masque's powers allow him to change the physical appearance of any other person by touch, and currently, the ability to manipulate his own flesh.
- Scaleface - Scaleface's powers allowed her to transform into a giant, dragon-like reptile with superhuman strength and stamina. As a zombie, Scaleface's dragon form looked petrified.
- Blowhard - Blowhard's powers allowed him to use his pipe, called a wind pipe, to create powerful bursts of wind. He also possessed incredible physical strength. The character was killed by the Savage Wolf street gang.
- Cybelle - Cybelle's powers allow her to secrete a fast-acting acidic sweat from her pores. This mist dissolved any form of matter it came into contact with, including solid stone. Cybelle was slain by Harpoon, a member of the superhuman team of assassins known as the Marauders, during the villains' massacre of the Morlock community.
In other media
In X-Men animated series Masque and Scaleface were part of the Morlocks led by Callisto.
In X-Men Evolution, Berzerker was a member of the New Mutants. Unlike his one-issue semi-villainous comics counterpart, Berzerker was more developed. Unfortunately, this incarnation cannot fly or use his powers to listen to television or radio broadcasts. However, what he lacked in overall mutant powers he made up for in various areas. In Evolution, Berzerker's real name is Ray Crisp. He has a bad temper, but not bad enough to hate or willingly kill a human. Berzerker appeared in 21 episodes of the show, starting from season 2. Two of these episodes, "Day of Recovery" and "X-Treme Measures" even touch upon Berzerker's past with the Morlocks.
Berzerker was put into the show because the writing staff was looking for a bad boy with a mysterious past as well as characters with unique powers. Though an obscure character, Berzerker was exactly what they were looking for. Since then, Berzerker has developed a notable fanbase.
Scaleface and Cybelle were part of Evolution's version of the Morlocks. In this rendition, their powers remain the same, but Scaleface has the added ability to breathe fire.
- Uncanny X-Men #211