|First appearance||X-Men (Volume 2) #1 (October, 1991)|
|Created by||Chris Claremont
|Alter ego||Fabian Cortez|
|Abilities||Ability to enhance mutant powers|
Fabian Cortez is a fictional mutant supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is usually depicated as an adversary of the X-Men. Created by writer Chris Claremont and writer/illustrator Jim Lee, he first appeared in X-Men #1 (October 1991).
Fictional character biography
Thought to be royalty from Spain, Fabian Cortez organizes the original Acolytes, who pledge themselves to Magneto and his cause. Cortez then goads and manipulates Magneto into combat with humanity and the X-Men at every turn, leading to the destruction of Magneto’s space-station, Asteroid M, and the deaths of the other Acolytes, including Cortez’s own sister Anne Marie.
Cortez recruits a group of Acolytes who, believing Magneto to be dead and martyred for his cause, now worship him as their god, to follow Cortez in Magneto’s name. They launch several strikes on humanity, ranging from attacks on a military base where new Sentinels are being built, to slaughtering helpless humans in a hospital,. Magneto eventually resurfaces, sending his chosen heir Exodus to inform the Acolytes of Cortez’s betrayal. The Acolytes welcome Exodus as their new leader, and Cortez is left behind.
Fearing Magneto’s wrath, Cortez flees to Genosha. Still claiming to speak in Magneto’s name, he incites the nation’s mutant population into starting a civil war against the humans, the world’s first instance of the long-threatened genetic war between man and mutant. With the aid of the mutates, Cortez kidnaps Magneto’s granddaughter Luna, intending to use her as a shield to protect himself from Magneto, the X-Men, and the Avengers. Cortez is unaware that Magneto had recently been mindwiped by Charles Xavier, and Exodus comes to Genosha in his place, seemingly killing Cortez.
Back with the Acolytes
Cortez reappears months later, claiming to have been badly injured, yet not actually killed, despite all appearances. He manipulates Joseph into posing as Magneto, pitting him against Exodus in an attempt to regain control of the Acolytes. Despite his scheme’s failure, he is allowed to return to the team. Months later, at a time when Exodus had briefly been imprisoned, the Acolytes split into two groups, each searching for Magneto. Cortez leads one group, but they abandon him during a battle with the X-Men, upon realising how he has been using them for his own purposes.[volume & issue needed]
Alone again, Cortez is surprised to be recruited by Magneto himself, whom United Nations has given control of Genosha. Seeing as how Fabian Cortez had betrayed him earlier, Magneto only lets Fabian Cortez serve him on Genosha because his powers have been reduced and Cortez’s mutant power is to heighten the abilities of other mutants. After a further betrayal by Cortez, discovered by Magneto's UN advisor Alda Huxley to be the leader of the Genoshen cabinet assisting a rebellion in Carrion Cove, Magneto is restored to full power by one of the Genengineer’s machines and as he no longer needs Cortez, pulls him from a prison in Hammer Bay, Genosha fifty miles to Carrion Cove in less than 20 seconds. The impact kills Cortez instantly.
After the X-Men form Utopia, Magneto joins them, saying he supports their efforts. Selene especially wants Magneto captured for his collaboration with Emma Frost to overthrow her from her position as Black Queen of the Hellfire Club. She has three of her recently resurrected mind-controlled soldiers—Acolytes Cortez, Delgado, and Mellencamp—hunt down Magneto. They try to torture Loa to get the information out of her, but when she tries to hide in her room she finds Deadpool inside it. Deadpool battles the trio, but the techno-organic virus that is inside the Acolytes (which caused their resurrection) prevent him from killing them. At one point in the battle, Cortez grabs Loa by the throat and demands to know Magneto's location, saying that even though Selene wants Magneto alive he will fight the mind-control and kill him anyway. Loa begs Cortez not to make her hurt him, something Cortez does not believe possible. Deadpool knocks Loa out of Cortez's hands, but then is overpowered by the Acolytes. Loa uses her matter disruption powers to slide through Mellencamp, killing him. Deadpool, seeing that Loa's powers were able to slay Selene's minions, forces her to kill Cortez and Delgado too by throwing her into them (to survive, she has to slide through them, which causes them to crumble). Deadpool then tells Cyclops that he should not be in trouble because Loa had done all the killing.
Powers and abilities
Cortez possesses the ability to enhance a mutant’s abilities to occasionally dangerous limits beyond their control (temporarily powering them up at the expense of burning out their bodies). In X-Men #1 (1991), while onboard Asteroid M, Magneto returned from a fight with the X-Men having suffered deep lacerations to his lower abdomen from Wolverine's claws. Cortez "healed" Magneto (as he said he had also done with his sister after an earlier battle) and temporarily brought him back to full health. This turned out to be "fake" healing in that Magneto needed to regularly be "healed" by Cortez to stay uninjured. Whether this was an offshoot of his main powers or that he was boosting their own natural healing abilities is not known. This ability was not used much or at all in his later history.
He is highly intelligent and an able military strategist. Cortez is also a skilled martial artist, and often carries a firearm.
In the Marvel Zombies reality, Magneto heads to earth to rescue anyone he can from the zombie plague. Fabian is entrusted with overseeing Asteroid M and preparing it for the last outpost of humanoid life. Cortez does this well; his group soon joins up with other survivors, including Forge and the Black Panther. Magneto perishes in battle against the zombies. Decades later, in Marvel Zombies 2, Fabian's child regains control of the colony during a battle with cosmically powered zombies.
It is later revealed that shortly after the X-Men escape the destruction of Asteroid M, Nick Fury enlists the X-Men in helping him find and capture Fabian Cortez. The X-Men successfully capture Cortez, though he nearly defeats them single-handedly.
In other media
- Fabian Cortez first appears in the two-part X-Men episode “Sanctuary” voiced by Lawrence Bayne. As in the comics storyline, Cortez is the leader of the Acolytes and uses his powers to bolster Magneto’s own abilities. However, Cortez’s extreme anti-human sentiments lead him to betray Magneto and try to kill him, framing Professor X, Beast and Gambit; he captures and tortures the latter. Cortez threatens to destroy Earth but is stopped by the X-Men and Amelia Voght, who reveals Cortez’s betrayal to the other Acolytes and the entire mutant population of Asteroid M. He is trapped in Asteroid M by a vengeful Magneto, but is rescued from its destruction by Apocalypse and Deathbird. Apocalypse grants him the ability of altering the mutations of other mutants.
- Cortez then appears in the final-season episode “The Fifth Horseman,” now turned into a servant and worshipper of his savior. Cortez assembles a cult worshipping Apocalypse as well as the Hounds, a foursome of altered mutants, in an attempt to find a new body for Apocalypse (who was defeated and left bodyless in “Beyond Good and Evil”). Cortez captures Jubilee and turns Beast into a feral monster but is stopped by Caliban (who was one of the Hounds). After being defeated, Cortez begs Apocalypse to be forgiven for his failure. However, Apocalypse is not angry, stating that Cortez has succeeded in providing him with a new vessel. When Cortez asks what he means, Apocalypse takes possession of Cortez's body.
- Fabian Cortez is a boss in X-Men 2: Game Master's Legacy. Defeating him releases Bishop.
- Cortez also appears in X-Men 2: Clone Wars for Sega Genesis as a boss during stage 3, before Magneto is recruited as a playable character. He flies around on a jetpack through the level, finally busting through the window at the end of the stage.
- X-Men (vol. 2) #1
- Uncanny X-Men 300
- X-Factor (vol 1) #92
- Uncanny X-Men #304
- Avengers Vol. 1 #369
- Magneto #1 (1996)
- "Magneto: Dark Seduction" #1-4 (2000)
- Uncanny X-Men #516
- X-Force Annual #1
- "Marvel Zombies: Dead Days" one-shot (July 2007)
- "Marvel Zombies" #1-5 (2005)
- "Marvel Zombies 2" #1–5 (October 2007 – February 2008)
- "X-Men: Forever" #1 (2009)
- Fabian Cortez at Marvel.com