Harry Leland

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Harry Leland
Harry Leland.jpg
Harry Leland in Uncanny X-Men #132
Art by John Byrne
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceUncanny X-Men #132 (April 1980)
Created byChris Claremont
John Byrne
In-story information
Alter egoHarold Leland
SpeciesHuman Mutant
Team affiliationsHellfire Club
Notable aliasesBlack Bishop
AbilitiesAble to increase mass

Harry Leland, also known as the Black Bishop, is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character has been depicted as an adversary of the X-Men.

Leland possesses the mutant ability to increase the mass of an object or person, making it extremely heavy. Thanks to his allegiance to Sebastian Shaw, he attained the rank of Black Bishop of the Lords Cardinal of the New York branch of The Hellfire Club, an exclusive secret society bent on world domination. In civilian life, he was a corporate lawyer.

Publication history[edit]

Created by writer Chris Claremont and artist/co-writer John Byrne, Leland first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #132 (April 1980).

Artist John Byrne based Leland's appearance on actor-director Orson Welles, and the name refers to two characters in Welles' films: Harry Lime from The Third Man, and Jed Leland from Citizen Kane.[1]

The character subsequently appears in The Uncanny X-Men #132-135 (April–July 1980), #152 (December 1981), and #208–209 (August–September 1986), in which he died. Leland made subsequent posthumous appearances in Classic X-Men #7 (March 1987), Sensational She-Hulk #34–35 (December 1991–January 1992), Marvel Super-Heroes #11 (October 1992), Generation X #-1 (July 1997), X-Men: Hellfire Club #4 (April 2000), X-Men Unlimited #6 (February 2005), and House of M: Avengers#5 (2008).

Fictional character biography[edit]

Hellfire Club[edit]

Little is known of Leland's past before encountering the X-Men, although he did encounter former teammate, Emma Frost, before she was inducted into the Hellfire Club. At the time, Emma was homeless and using her powers during a Hellfire Club meeting to gain information about stocks. Leland takes an interest in her but comes on too strongly, and Emma runs away. Shortly after, he accompanies Sean Cassidy and his NYPD partner to an incident behind the club which involves Emma. Emma, having met and repaired the fractured mind of the Dark Beast with her powers, mind-wipes all three men into forgetting the incident and that they had ever met.[2]

Leland encounters the X-Men when they invade the New York headquarters of the Hellfire Club. Leland causes Wolverine to become increasingly heavy until he falls through the floor into a sub-basement. In the rematch, Wolverine attacks Leland from above. Leland panics and uses his mass-increasing powers, resulting in Wolverine crashing through the floor again, this time with Leland beneath him. Leland is hospitalized as a result.[3] When the Hellfire Club again captures the X-Men weeks later, Leland takes revenge by using his power on Wolverine until his heart gives out, though his rival's death proves to be a temporary state induced by Amanda Sefton.[4]

Alongside the Hellfire Club, Leland battles the X-Men in New York's Central Park. When Nimrod attacks the assembled mutants, the X-Men and the Club join forces to battle Nimrod. Leland increases Nimrod's mass to make it more vulnerable to attack. Overweight and in poor health, the effort triggers a heart attack. At Storm's urging, Leland increases the mass of Sebastian Shaw (who had been sent hurtling towards outer space), causing Shaw to crash into Nimrod. Leland succumbs to his heart condition and dies.[5]


The supervillain Black Talon revives Leland's body as a zombie,[6] and sets him and other undead mutants (Changeling, Living Diamond, and Scaleface) against She-Hulk. She defeats them, and Leland is reburied, with precautions are taken to ensure that he never will come back, among them filling his mouth with salt and sewing his lips together.[7]


Despite the precautions made to prevent Leland's body from coming back as a zombie, the psychic vampire Selene revives Leland with the use of a modified version of the Transmode virus during the Necrosha storyline.[volume & issue needed]

Leland is sent to Utopia with Shinobi Shaw, who was revived by the same means, to kill Sebastian Shaw, Donald Pierce, Emma Frost, Magma and the X-Men.[volume & issue needed]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Leland possesses the ability to increase the mass of an object or person within 350 feet (110 m) of him, without affecting its size at all, making it increasingly heavy. Though he can only increase mass up to roughly 20 kilograms per second, there is seemingly no limit to the total mass he can add to a person or object. Leland's power can affect both people and inanimate objects, but active resistance by the subject makes it more difficult to assert Leland's power. Leland is overweight and in poor health, and thus he is a poor hand-to-hand combatant.

Other versions[edit]

House of M[edit]

Harry Leland appears as the Commissioner of the NYPD, in which he was in discussion with John Proudstar about the assaults on Sapien Town and the Brotherhood's attempts of capturing Luke Cage's gang.[8]

In other media[edit]


  • Harry Leland features prominently in the Dark Phoenix saga in the X-Men animated series.[citation needed]
  • Harry Leland is featured in the Wolverine and the X-Men episode "Foresight" Pt. 1. He is seen as part of the Hellfire Club.[citation needed]
  • Harry Leland briefly appears in Marvel Anime: X-Men episode, "The Return - Joining Forces." He is seen as a member of the Inner Circle in a flashback with a younger Emma Frost.



  1. ^ Cronin, Brian (March 30, 2006). "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #44!". comicbookresources.com. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
  2. ^ Generation X #-1
  3. ^ X-Men #132-135 (April–July 1980).
  4. ^ Uncanny X-Men #152 (December 1981)
  5. ^ Uncanny X-Men #208–209 (August–September 1986).
  6. ^ Sensational She-Hulk vol. 2 #34
  7. ^ Sensational She-Hulk vol. 2 #35
  8. ^ House of M: Avengers #5
  9. ^ Chapman, Tom (December 19, 2019). "Dark Phoenix Concept Art Debuts X-Men Nemeses, The Hellfire Club". CBR. Retrieved December 19, 2019.

External links[edit]

  • Harry Leland at The Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe