|First appearance||New Mutants #86 (February 1990)|
|Created by||Louise Simonson
|Alter ego||Richard Gill|
|Team affiliations||Mutant Liberation Front
Weapon X Program
Ability to disrupt a persons sense of reality,
Sharp claws and fangs
Enhanced athletic ability
Wildside (Richard Gill) is a fictional mutant villain and sadist in the Marvel Comics universe. Wildside has always been a mainstay on the Mutant Liberation Front terrorist group's roster, even staying through leader change and surviving incarceration.
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Fictional character biography
Mutant Liberation Front
Wildside was one of the founding members of the terrorist organization known as the Mutant Liberation Front (or MLF). One of their first missions under the leadership of Stryfe was to liberate the incarcerated New Mutants members Rusty and Skids. They broke them out of prison and the pair joined the MLF out of confusion (and, as later evidence showed, neural implants kept them there). Wildside continued to be a mainstay in the team's ventures, including fighting Wolverine,[volume & issue needed] Sunfire,[volume & issue needed] and X-Factor.
Under the leadership of Cable the New Mutants became the paramilitary organization known as X-Force, and began to be more aggressive in their campaigns. In one such mission X-Force discovers a hidden MLF base and, while fighting Wildside, Forearm, Reaper and other members of the team, nearly lose their lives when Stryfe orders the destruction of the base.[volume & issue needed]
Later, Garrison Kane stumbles upon Wildside, Forearm, and Sumo in the Canadian mountains and, after a brief scuffle, follows them through their teleportation portal, where he is tortured.[volume & issue needed]
After a series of supposedly unconnected art thefts (all of which are related to Apocalypse), the MLF approach Mister Sinister and propose a trade. In exchange for a genetic matrix (none other than the Legacy Virus which Stryfe owned), Sinister would hand over the captive Cyclops and Jean Grey. These events begin the X-Cutioner's Song crossover. In the end, all of the MLF members are taken into custody.[volume & issue needed]
Soon after, a tyrannical despot named Reignfire decides to restart the MLF. He breaks Wildside, Reaper, Forearm, and Tempo out of prison and gives them their first mission: kill Henry Peter Gyrich. The MLF also picks up new members Locus and Moonstar. Their assassination attempt is foiled by X-Force. Locus and Sunspot become lost and Feral defects to the MLF after having a heated discussion with Gyrich. The team leaves and is taught teamwork by Moonstar, as, at the time, their ranks are once again down to four, Moonstar, Wildside, Forearm, and Feral. A few months later Reignfire begins to hunt down his followers, taking Wildside and Forearm out first. All would have been lost if not for X-Force and Locus teleporting in to stop the madman.[volume & issue needed]
Next the MLF, with more backup, travel to Muir Island where they mean to steal the Legacy Virus data from Moira MacTaggert. While there, they learn about the Xavier Protocols and decide to try and steal that. If not for the covert efforts of Moonstar, the mission would have been a success, but instead the team teleports away.[volume & issue needed]
In their last appearance, with Wildside as the leader, the MLF once again is trying to steal data on the Legacy Virus, this time from a government institution called the Wakeman Center, who is trying to manufacture their own strain of the disease. The team consists of Wildside, Dainelle Moonstar, Locus and Forearm. Rounding out the group is 'Dragoness', a woman with a bio-electric sting and romantic feelings towards Wildside. They infiltrate the building and take the scientists hostage.[volume & issue needed]
Wildside confronts Danielle over her use of and insistence upon non-lethal methods, kicking a motionless security guard Dani had stunned. He and Dragoness desire a little blood, Forearm sticks up for Danielle, something Wildside notices has happened before. Forces of Operation: Zero Tolerance surround the building. Locus urges the group to split, but she is struck by Wildside. Angered and convinced Wildside is slipping into madness, she leaves, stranding the rest of the MLF.[volume & issue needed]
Once again through the sabotaging efforts of Moonstar, X-Force is let in the building to try and stop them. X-Force enters undercover as reporters, with the seeming intent of agreeing to Wildside's broadcast of the Wakeman Center's operations. Their identity is uncovered and a fight breaks out. With Wildside's powers, X-Force is temporarily subdued. He decides to start killing hostages. Dani stuns him with a psychic arrow to the head. Dragoness is restrained by Forearm and the remnants of the group look to Dani for leadership. She reveals to the group she had been an undercover agent for SHIELD meant to infiltrate the organization and feed the government information. However, three of the scientists reveal themselves to be Prime Sentinels and begin to attack. The two groups pool their resources to try and survive, but only X-Force, with Moonstar and Forearm in tow, manage to escape. The remaining members of the MLF are captured by operatives of Operation: Zero Tolerance.[volume & issue needed]
When he surfaced next, Wildside had been one of the many mutants captured by the revamped Weapon X Project and placed in their mutant concentration camps. The administration came to several mutants, himself and his former teammate Reaper included, and offered them an opportunity to join the Program in exchange for their lives. The two terrorists gladly jumped at an opportunity to cause mayhem again and accepted, with their mission being to heighten anti-mutant sentiments. However, their tenure did not last long.[volume & issue needed]
Both men received upgrades from the Program and Wildside's included techno-organic claws which could be extended from his fingertips, as well as mental conditioning. The two were dispatched to take care of Cable and his new organization called the Underground, and were easily defeated. In an attempt to discover more information on Weapon X, Cable attempted to do a telepathic probe. However, the Program had installed mental firewalls in the minds of their operatives and Cable's effort caused the two to become brain dead.[volume & issue needed]
Yet he survived somehow, and in New Avengers #18 he was listed as depowered from the events of M-Day, where 90% of the world's mutant population was stripped of their mutant genome by the Scarlet Witch.
Powers and abilities
Wildside's natural abilities include the power to psychically disrupt an individuals sense of reality, causing them to perceive ( or fail to ) hallucinations. However, Wildside often doesn't use his powers, as he prefers to sadistically maim and kill through more conventional means. To help him with this, he has long sharp nails and teeth, and an enhanced level of strength, speed, agility, reflexes, and endurance, however it was never made clear if this were actually parts of his natural mutation or just achieved through physical training.
Weapon X upgrade
However, when he entered the Weapon X Program, he received upgrades to his mutant abilities and/or appearance like all new operatives. For Wildside, he received techno-organic claws which he could extend and retract from his fingertips.[volume & issue needed]
Wildside is feral in nature, and often sadistic. To enhance his enjoyment, Wildside usually refrains from using his powers on his victims so that they have a clear mind when he hurts them.
- X-Factor 77 (1992)
- New Avengers #18