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Art by Jim Muniz
|First appearance||Uncanny X-Men #179 (March 1984)|
|Created by||Chris Claremont
John Romita Jr
|Alter ego||James "Jimmy"|
|Notable aliases||The Cure|
Leech made his first appearance in Uncanny X-Men as a Morlock, a group of mutants whose deformities force them to live in the sewers under Manhattan. He is usually depicted as being around twelve years old (his exact age is unrevealed). He speaks in broken English and refers to himself in the third person.
Leech first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #179 (March 1984), and was created by Chris Claremont.
Leech appeared as part of the "Morlocks" entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #9.
Fictional character biography
The green-skinned Leech was orphaned as a toddler. His parents left him to die when his mutations became apparent. He was found by the Morlock Caliban and taken to a human-looking mutant woman named Annalee who raised him and several other young mutant orphans as her children. He made friends with X-Factor's ward named Artie Maddicks and had a few brief encounters with the X-Men.[volume & issue needed]
During the Mutant Massacre story arc, Mister Sinister rallies his henchmen, the Marauders, to infiltrate the sewers and massacre all the Morlocks living there in an effort to rid the world of "genetically impure" mutants. While many Morlocks are killed, Leech and Caliban survive, rescued by Power Pack and the X-Terminators (X-Factor in their role of mutant hunters). Leech joins Artie in the care of X-Factor until they could be enrolled in St. Simons, a private school that willingly accepts mutant children.[volume & issue needed]
Soon after they began attending this school, Leech and Artie are captured by mutant-hunting demons. Leech's technologically enhancing mutant friend, Taki Matsuya and an ad-hoc team of mutants, calling themselves the X-Terminators, join with the New Mutants in battling the demonic threat. They adventure through much of New York, witnessing much, such as innocent men being eaten, before the threat is contained.
Leech, Artie, and Taki return to St. Simons, though they do not stay out of trouble. Taki's crush on a teacher leads to uncovering a plot by mutant-hating humans to kidnap and kill as many mutants as possible. The young trio disobey orders and literally fly off. After much violence, the kidnapping plans are discovered and the conspirators arrested. A nearby resident, Ida Fassbender, discovers the trio's technologically assisted jaunts, and her paranoia endangers their lives. She resolves the problem and unofficially becomes the boys' grandmother. Leech is comforted by Ida's resemblance to Annalee.
This group was composed of second-generation Morlocks, the descendants of those who survived the massacre in the tunnels. They were born and raised in an alternate dimension with a faster flow of time than this one, called The Hill. They sought revenge for those who wronged their forebears. Gene Nation led a campaign to hunt down and kill as many humans as possible, since it was the humans' unwillingness to accept them that forced their parents into the tunnels in which they were massacred. Leech and Artie wanted no part of this, but were trapped until they were rescued by Generation X. They were thereafter made junior members.
Leech and Artie continued to live in the Massachusetts Academy under the care of Emma Frost and Sean Cassidy. They are later joined by Franklin Richards, who stays at the school while suffering from the loss of his family. Their friendship has unexpected benefits, as Leech is able to control Franklin's powers when they, aggravated by his grief, go out of control.[volume & issue needed]
The three visit the farm belonging to Hank McCoy's parents. Back at the Academy, they encounter Howard the Duck and other allies and as a group, are attacked by Black Tom Cassidy. Howard risks his life to save them all, then they are taken away by the Man-Thing. Leech and the rest have several adventures as the team called the Daydreamers. When Richards' family, who had previously been exiled to an alternate universe (see Heroes Reborn), return, the group was disbanded. Leech and Artie go back to the academy and take on more active roles.[volume & issue needed]
Soon after, the school became bankrupt, and Emma and Sean were forced to open the school to human students. In order to keep Artie and Leech from being isolated, Emma gave them both an image inducer in the form of watches. The boys were quick to abuse this new technology, and were quickly set straight by Emma. Soon after, the school became exposed as a home for mutants, and Artie, Leech, and Penance were all sent away to protect them from any possible dangers that might arrive.[volume & issue needed]
For a time, the academy was shut down and, although it is never made clear, Leech may have transferred to another school. What is known is that he was eventually captured by the revived Weapon X program and forced into a machine that was designed to be attached to a mutant, take their powers, and then project them to any other mutant in the world. Sabretooth, then a part of Weapon X, used the machine, at one point, to strip Wolverine of his healing abilities in order to finish him once and for all. Leech survived, but continued to be used by the Weapon X program to keep imprisoned mutants under control.
After the events of M-Day, the Weapon X program was about to be discovered, so those responsible attempted to erase all information surrounding it by killing most of the prisoners. While the outcome is not shown, Leech survived and was able to run away and is one of the estimated 198 mutants who have retained their powers and moved to an encampment in the Xavier Institute.
When the O*N*E implant chips in the mutants necks, they all learn that they cannot leave the estate whenever they please and if they misbehave, they receive an electric shock. After Mr. M removes them, Mr. M states they leave and anyone who wants to, can come with him. Mr. M leads the mutants to a nearby island in the middle of a lake where they are joined by the O*N*E and the X-Men. Johnny Dee, under the command of General Demetrius Lazer, uses his "voodoo dolls" to make Leech depower Mr. M and then uses Magma to annihilate Mr. M. That night, Lorelei Travis and Leech watch over Mr. M's coffin and fall asleep. The pair wake to an empty casket.
When Nitro explodes leveling a neighborhood in Stamford causing the general public to turn on superheroes and eventually ignite a superhero Civil War, Domino, Shatterstar, and Caliban break out the 198 and take them to a bunker in the middle of the desert. Unfortunately they get sealed inside with nuclear weapons and are activated for self-detonation. Outside the X-Men get involved with a fight against Bishop and the O*N*E. Lorelei notices that Cyclops is being controlled by Johnny Dee and recounts the story of the first few days at the 198 encampment. Eventually they are all freed from the bunker, however Cyclops is being controlled by Johnny Dee and his powers flare out of control. Leech, feeling he can help, runs towards Cyclops and cancels out his powers, saving his life.
Leech accompanies Caliban down to the old Morlock tunnels where they are attacked by an extremist group of Morlocks led by Masque, who after knocking out Caliban, kidnaps Leech because he needs Leech's powers. He is then rescued by the X-Men and Skids.
Leech and Artie Maddicks were invited to Franklin Richards's birthday, and as a gift, Franklin invited them to live with the Fantastic Four. The two are now in a special class with intelligent moloids, Alex Power (Zero-G) of the Power Pack and other gifted kids. It was later revealed that Leech's cancelling powers were the reason that Reed Richards wanted him to be with Franklin. Leech later joins Reed's new Future Foundation superhero team.[volume & issue needed]
Powers and abilities
Leech can dampen or completely suppress, neutralize, and negate for an undetermined amount of time the powers and abilities of any mutants in close proximity to him. His dampening ability in the beginning was involuntary and uncontrollable, but now his ability appears to be under his conscious control. Leech explained to Johnny Dee he could consciously bring his dampening field in close, so that persons are not dampened unless they touch him.
Although Leech has at times not dampened non-mutants like the Fantastic Four, Leech has also been shown to dampen abilities that are non-mutant in origin. Leech dampened Hazmat of the Avengers Academy, and during Marvel's Mutant Massacre crossover event, Leech negated the powers of the superhero team Power Pack, whose abilities were bestowed on them by an extraterrestrial.
When his ability has been targeted at mutants with super strength, at times his victims have become temporarily thin and frail.
Age of Apocalypse
Leech is among the featured Morlocks that are survivors of Mister Sinister's experiments.[volume & issue needed]
Leech was introduced to the Ultimate Marvel Universe in Ultimate X-Men #82 as a member of the Morlocks. He was never shown using his powers, so it is unclear as to whether or not they are the same. He looks similar, but more like an old man than a child. He was shot and killed by Sinister in issue #90.
In other media
- Leech appears in a few episodes of the X-Men Animated Series, voiced by John Stocker. In addition to his power-dampening ability, he displays telekinesis. His most notable appearance was in the Christmas episode "Have Yourself a Morlock Little Christmas" where he needed a blood transfusion from Wolverine, temporarily granting him Wolverine's healing ability in order to fight off a disease.
- Leech appears in the X-Men: Evolution episode titled "Uprising" voiced by Danny McKinnon. In this series, his name was Dorian Leach, and he appeared fairly human with brown hair, only with pale, slightly greenish skin. His mutant ability releases an omni-directional pulse over an area at least the size of a city block. In addition to suppressing mutant abilities, it also nullifies all forms of energy, much like an electromagnetic pulse. The effect is temporary, seemingly fading after only one minute. In the episode, Leach's mother attempts to protect her son from being persecuted as a mutant, but is ultimately unsuccessful after a run-in with Spyke convinces the boy that he is a mutant despite his mother's insistence otherwise. Following Leach's first use of his power to protect Spyke, Professor X approaches his mother with an offer for Leach to join his school when she feels he is ready. He has a non-speaking role in the season finale, where Rogue absorbs his power/ability-neutralizing ability to beat Apocalypse. Rogue demonstrates the ability to restore mutant abilities as well as negate them, as well as being able to direct the pulse as she sees fit.
- Leech appears in X-Men: The Last Stand, played by Cameron Bright. Leech (named Jimmy in the film, and code named Leech on a file handed to Beast) is a child but unlike the comics has no outward physical mutations aside from his absence of hair. His power automatically cancels the mutation of any mutant within a few feet of him, including reversing physical mutations such as Hank McCoy's blue fur. When Hank reaches out to shake Jimmy's hand, his own hand loses its furry blue appearance; the mutation returns once he pulls it away. Leech plays a pivotal role in the film as the source of the "cure" for the mutant X-Gene, the cure being a sort of retroviral gene therapy using Leech's DNA, that permanently cancels the mutation of any mutant. Magneto plans to kill Leech, who is being kept at the facility at Alcatraz, thus destroying the mutant cure (at that point they had no way of synthesizing the cure artificially) and effectively preserving the mutant species. Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants attack the facility, which is defended by federal troops who are joined by the X-Men. During the battle, Juggernaut is sent to kill Jimmy and Kitty Pryde races to save him. Juggernaut is defeated when Kitty uses Leech's nullification power against him, taunting him into charging at them head-on and then moving them both out of his way, causing him to knock himself out against a wall. Kitty and Jimmy then escape the building through the holes that Juggernaut smashed on his way in. Later, Jimmy is seen evacuating Alcatraz Island with the help of Pryde and Bobby Drake. At the end of the film, Jimmy is seen as a member of the Xavier Institute with a full head of hair and is received by the new leader, Storm.
- X-Terminators #1–4 (October 1988–January 1999)
- X-Force Annual #1 (1991)
- New Mutants Annual #7 (1991)
- Generation X #5-7
- Daydreamers #1-3 (1997)
- X-Men: The 198 #2
- X-Men: The 198 #4
- X-Men: The 198 #5
- Civil War #1–7
- X-Men: Civil War #1–4
- Uncanny X-Men #487–491
- Fantastic Four #574
- Fantastic Four #578
- Fantastic Four #587
- Avengers Academy #10
- X-Men: The 198
- Avengers Academy, #10
- Power Pack, vol. 1 #12 & #27
- Ultimate X-Men #90