Cover art for X-Factor vol. 3, #21.
Art by Pablo Raimondi.
|First appearance||X-Factor vol. 1, #89 (April 1993)|
|Created by||Peter David
|Alter ego||Josef Huber|
|Abilities||Possesses the powers of all living mutants.|
The Isolationist (Josef Huber) is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics Universe, created by Peter David and Pablo Raimondi. The character's first appearance was in X-Factor vol. 1, #89 on a single page, but his story wasn't continued until X-Factor vol. 3 #16, fifteen years later.
Fictional character biography
Isolationist is a German telepath who convinced Jamie Madrox, Beast, and Cyclops to organize a "Million Mutant March" political rally to get mutants declared an endangered species by the United States government. However, Layla Miller told Madrox that one of Huber's agents had tried to kill her, and it was revealed that Huber's plan was a plot to get all the mutants in one place so they could be destroyed. Huber claimed that all the mutant voices in his head were driving him crazy and that had manipulated and arranged all of X-Factor Investigations' problems and adventures. Then he teleported the team to a frozen wasteland.[volume & issue needed]
He also somehow arranged for a young French girl named Nicole (actually an android created by Huber) to be taken in by M and Siryn in Paris, seemingly of their own free will, despite later stating that M and Siryn are immune to his telepathic suggestions.[volume & issue needed]
When Layla Miller survived a murder attempt by Nicole (thanks to a mentally unstable Quicksilver's intervention), Huber's plans came undone. Layla warned Madrox about Huber, who then fought Madrox, Strong Guy, and Wolfsbane. Huber teleported the three to the Antarctic. They were then out of communication range of M and Siryn, who were busy on a case, which had also been arranged by Huber, with the aid of a family of mutant haters. M became worried and flew back to X-Factor headquarters, arriving just in time to stop Huber from smashing Rictor with a car. Rictor had been more or less successfully fighting Huber; Rictor was immune to the direct applications of Huber's mutant powers because Rictor was using Terrigen crystals he had left over from his time with Quicksilver. Huber had not foreseen this. Huber turned to sand and floated away, disdaining tedious fighting in favor of his planned genocide. He returned to his icy cave.[volume & issue needed]
Powers and abilities
The Isolationist possesses the abilities of all living mutants on the planet or approximately two-hundred different mutant power sets. This would place him among the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe, although it is unclear how much he is hindered by his telepathy.
His abilities weaken the further he is away from mutants, though his ability of telepathy remains strong enough to disturb him even when he is in isolation. He has a weakness and inability to control his telepathy, and constantly hears the thoughts of people around the world.
He is unable to shut off his overwhelming mind-reading powers, even with his isolation and the use of pills, thus causing him constant misery as he reads the minds of people simultaneously throughout the world, forcing him to ingest large amounts of painkillers and depressants to dull his senses. The addition of a telepath close to his proximity is particularly disturbing to him.
His powers also create a mental block that prevents him from directly using his powers against mutants; as a result, while he can put them in situations that might kill them- such as when he created a portal to send X-Factor to the arctic regions where they would eventually freeze to death[volume & issue needed] - he cannot simply destroy a mutant's mind with his telepathy or tear them apart with his physical strength.