Fantomex is one of the more recent creations of the Weapon Plus program. Fantomex was born and artificially evolved in The World, an artificial world made for creating super-soldiers using Sentinel technology. He was designed as Weapon XIII, has gone by the alias of Jean-Phillipe (or Jean-Phillipe Charles), and was designated the name Charlie Cluster 7 in The World.
Fantomex was created by Grant Morrison and Igor Kordey and first appeared in New X-Men #128 (2002).
Fantomex is heavily based on Diabolik, an Italian comic book anti-hero. The name is borrowed from Fantômas, a French anti-hero whom Diabolik in turn is based on. Another reference to Diabolik is that both have partners named Eva / E.V.A.. After his debut he appeared occasionally to aide the X-Men during Nation X before Wolverine asked him to join Uncanny X-Force
Major Story Arcs
Fantomex first appeared seeking sanctuary in the X-Corporation while fleeing from the authorities, just after Professor X had announced to the world that any mutant could find such protection from them. He was able to break in unnoticed and sneak up on both Xavier as well as Jean Grey. Their telepathy was unable to detect anything in his mind except flowers due to the telepathic shielding he wore. He was badly injured from previously fighting and escaping from the authorities, and the building was quickly becoming surrounded by an international task-force charged with hunting him down. Fantomex said that he was a master mutant thief. Besides being able to tell them their own intentions by reading their body language he demonstrated an ability that he referred to as misdirection, which made the authorities around the building see a cloud of smoke surrounding the floors around them.
He asks for asylum, is bleeding badly from a bullet wound, and Professor X grants it conditionally. He explains to Jean Grey and Professor X that he is one of the most wanted thieves in Europe. His mask stops them from reading his mind, and therefore from confirming his claims, but they agree to aid him. After escaping the building once it was surrounded by soldiers, Fantomex introduced E.V.A., his biological ship, and they use her to escape. He then takes Jean and Professor Xavier to his “home” in France, where he introduces them to his “mother” and continues to tell them about his life as a thief.
In a large loft surrounded by immense historical relics of museum quality he tells them that he stole information from Weapon Plus, and offers to sell it to them for one billion dollars. Admitting he really didn't need the money, and understanding how bad the information he had was needed by the X-Men, he knew what Xavier's fortune was last valued at and was curious to see how he would act when given such a moral conundrum. He then puts himself into a state of auto-hypnosis, allowing him to perform self-surgery and removes the bullets he had received. He then offers a place for Professor X and Jean to accompany him to hunt down Weapon XII, and the three leave the house and the elderly woman.
With the New X-Men
At this point several members of X-Corporation were in danger. Weapon Plus had staged an accident in the chunnel, releasing a mutant of unknown power. On the way Fantomex informs them of the true nature of the Weapon Plus program, including the Weapon X program. Until this point it was believed that the program that created Wolverine was named Weapon X. Fantomex told them that it wasn't 'X', but was the Roman Numeral for 10. Wolverine was created not as a single experiment in creating a living weapon, but was only the tenth generation of living weapons produced by the program. He described what he knew of the other stages of the program, including Huntsman who was Weapon XII. Huntsman was the mutant that was released into the chunnel, and had a bacterial mind which allowed him to integrate any living being he touched as an extension of his body. This network could continue to infect others. He said that Huntsman was engineered using nano-sentinel technology and artificially evolved in The World, a place where time could be artificially manipulated to speed up the evolutionary process.
With Weapon X
They finally arrived at the site of the disaster where Huntsman has already turned hundreds of humans and animals into mindless slaves. Fantomex then proceeds to kill off those under Huntsman's control in order to get to the train wreckage, knowing that there is no escape for them. When Fantomex and Jean Grey get to the wreckage there are two open pods, one which formerly housed Weapon XII, and the other for Weapon XIII. Fantomex’s mask had come slightly open at the back, allowing Jean to get a glimpse of his true identity. It turns out that Fantomex is actually Weapon XIII, and had escaped from the chunnel during the disaster. He assures Jean that, even though he is not the thief he told her he was, he was setting out to gain that reputation. He assures her that he intends to be no one’s soldier, and that despite everything she knew her posture told him that she found him too attractive to turn over to the authorities. Jean reluctantly allows him to escape as the authorities were arriving at the tunnel. While they were talking at the wreckage Professor X and Madrox were able to kill Huntsman. He later travels to Afghanistan to steal a list of the richest mutant slave traders, planning on using it as blackmail. While there, he discovers an unconscious Dust, and gives her to Wolverine, who he also encountered.
Fantomex later contacts Wolverine and offers him information on his past if he helps in the destruction of Weapon XV, the last Weapon created by Weapon Plus. Wolverine accepts the offer, and takes Cyclops with him. They go to The World. The three are defeated by Ultimaton (Weapon XV). They pursued him in E.V.A. to the Weapon Plus Space Station. Fantomex gives Wolverine the Weapon Plus Database, upholding his part of their deal, and Wolverine is shocked by what he did. He activated the self destruct mechanism on the space station before attacking (and killing) Ultimaton. Scott and Fantomex escape the space station before it explodes. Fantomex then helps the X-Men fight Xorn and his newly gathered Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
Fantomex later tracked down John Sublime, the director of the Weapon Plus project, but when he went to his grave it was empty and only had the message "Roanoke." He traveled along with Wolverine and Agent Zero to Roanoke to search for answers. They are ambushed by Sublime’s men, and in an attempt to escape, Fantomex is shot down and presumed dead. He later reappears and helps Mystique against Quiet Man.
Fantomex was on a mission to destroy a group of robotically resurrected corpses created by Norman Osborn when he encountered Wolverine and Noh-Varr. Wolverine became mind controlled by a robotic entity (created by Osborn and others) pretending to be God. Fantomex and Noh-Varr remained unharmed because neither believed in a higher power (Fantomex revealing he had gone so far as to have a chip implanted in his brain preventing him from worshiping anything, though he may have been lying). Fantomex held off the corpses and Wolverine long enough for Noh-Varr to reach the entity. He then told Noh-Varr that the only way to calm the entity down was to kiss it (because it was replicating a female's hormonal changes). Noh-Varr reluctantly did so and the threat was eliminated. Fantomex then ran off.
Fantomex crosses paths with the X-Men once again after a number of Predator-Xs are sent in to kill them. The Predators-Xs were being controlled by a group of humans with mutant powers lead by Lobe who wanted to use the beasts as spies to study mutants to be able to evolve all humans to their level. Fantomex ran into a group of X-Men tracking a Predator through the sewers and was convinced to help them. He was instrumental in their success because the U-Men's leader Lobe knew about all the X-Men but knew nothing about Fantomex. E.V.A is able to destroy Lobe's database systems which stored all his gathered mutant information and was giving his side the edge. E.V.A also protects the X-Men from the deadly virus HX-N1. Lobe released it to allow him to escape. Fantomex is also able to take samples to provide a cure. Fantomex continues to remain close to the X-Men after helping to battle the horde of Sentinels that attacked Utopia after Hope Summers returned to the present.
While breaking into the Tower of London, Fantomex uses his power of misdirection to sway two guards from guarding a door. He then asks E.V.A. to produce a lock; only to find that Wolverine has beat him to the stash. Fantomex loses the bet and owes Wolverine a case of Henri IV Dudognon Cognac and the two meet up with the rest of X-Force. When traveling across the Atlantic, he has some inappropriate banter with Psylocke which puts Archangel on edge. Upon arrival, they storm the temple of the Akkaba and Fantomex notes to himself that this is not the X-Men, “This is something quite different”. They are attacked by the horseman War who possesses Wolverine. Psylocke reads his mind and finds that it is filled with gruesome thoughts. Fantomex uses his misdirection to suggest to the monster that Psylocke is the girl for him. Having no room in his mind for such thoughts, War simply explodes. The team recovers their missing operative, Deadpool and evacuate just in time as the temple explodes. Their mission, to kill Apocalypse.
Fantomex is seen being decapitated by Archangel in preparation for Apocalypse before Warren walks in and interrupts the simulation. He returns to tracking Apocalypse’s celestial technology with a sample of Cable’s blood while Deadpool “assisted”. They both agree on joining X-Force for the money. Fantomex locates Apocalypse on the blue area of the moon and they take off in E.V.A. Once they arrive, they are attacked by War who corrupts E.V.A’s mind and they crash into the moon. The team scatters while Wolverine and Fantomex take on War. Wolverine manages to keep him busy long enough for Fantomex to hit him with a grenade, knocking him into low level orbit. They turn around only to be taken down by Death and the rest of the regrouped Horsemen.
Death hits X-Force with Bubonic Consumption, Pox and Black Death and Wolverine is the only one able to heal quick enough to take him down. Famine steps into his place and pins down Fantomex and Psylocke. Fantomex allows Psylocke to enter his mind and shut down his ears and pain receptors, however she is struck from behind by War. Pestilence turns around and begins to beat on Fantomex until he misdirects her to believe he is her father and disapproves of her. He breaks her jaw and goes on to save Wolverine who is taking a beating from Death, by switching him with Pestilence. Debris from Apocalypse's ship starts to fall and crush Wolverine and Fantomex as it begins to teleport. Wolverine demands Fantomex to misdirect the ship to believe it has already teleported and it works. They storm the ship and tear through several members of the Akkaba before Pestilence has bugs eat out Wolverine's brain and Death constricts Fantomex in a rug. Fantomex actually misdirected the whole thing and really had E.V.A. take Death, Pestilence and Famine to a hostile alien planet.
As Fantomex & Wolverine head towards Apocalypse, they rejoin with Archangel and Deadpool. They break into Apocalypse's chamber only to find that he is only a child and Psylocke is already there with him. Archangel loses control and takes off after the child and tears through Wolverine and Psylocke to do so. Warren is ultimately unable to kill the child and as the team stands there leaning towards possibly saving the child, Fantomex buts a bullet between his eyes. The team board E.V.A. and return to Earth in silence.
Fantomex and X-Force follow up on a call for help from the mutant Gateway in Australia. Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers are planning an attack on Utopia by sending suicide bombers to the island. As Wolverine, Deadpool and Fantomex approach one of the Reavers, he detonates and badly injures Fantomex. Fantomex spends the rest of the battle recovering from his wounds while the rest of X-Force stops Deathstrike and the Reavers.
Fantomex is searching within the World when he discovers a sentient weapon called Weapon Infinity. He sets out to find its creator but first visits the woman who raised him in the French Alps. They are attacked by Deathloks merged with Cyclops, Elektra and other super heroes. His mother is killed and the world is stolen by Captain America-lok. Fantomex escapes in E.V.A. only to land and find the original Deathlok willing to aid him. They retake the World from Captain America-lok but are attacked again by X-Force-lok. They are able to escape again and are finally aided by the real X-Force. They learn that the future is taken over by Deathloks merged with all the heroes and used as a police force. To stop it they must travel to the World and kill the "Father". Fantomex expands the World as he, X-Force and Deathlok enter it to find Father. They split up and Deadpool pairs off with Fantomex. The two argue and split up when Fantomex is misdirected by Fantomex-lok into revealing the entrance to his lab. He is saved by Ultimaton his lab guard but attacked again by Wolverine-lok and Deadpool-lok. The two savagely beat down on Fantomex who is only saved when Deadpool finds and kills Father and all of his Deathloks disappear. Fantomex leaves his lab and it is revealed he is growing a child Apocalypse.
After Deathlok Nation, the original Deathlok joins Uncanny X-Force & Fantomex gives him a tour of their base. They discuss whether or not they should destroy the World before it falls into the wrong hands as Fantomex asks that they lock it away. Fantomex and the team follow up on Deadpool who is checking out an army base and has gone silent. Before entering the base, Fantomex makes a snide remark towards Warren for his dependency on Psylocke who recons on the Astral Plane. Shadow King is revealed to be controlling everyone at the base which houses nuclear weapons. He takes control of Archangel, Deadpool and Wolverine and turns them against Fantomex who runs to protect Betsy. Fantomex is able to misdirect them and buy Betsy time to defeat Shadow King on the Astral Plane but not before he is able to find Warren's Death persona. With Shadow King defeated, his control over the base is released.
A reporter is approached by Shadow King, who brings him evidence and asks him to reveal the existence of X-Force to the public. The reporter calls his boss with the story who happens to work for Warren Worthington who in turn alerts him as well. Archangel kills the first reporter and is on his way to silence the second when Fantomex and the rest of X-Force arrive to stop him. Psylocke is able to incapacitate him long enough for them to contain him and return him to their base. The team asks Dark Beast to take a look at Archangel and he determines he is in his ascension stage and can only be saved by using a life seed from the Age of Apocalypse. Dark Beast escorts them to the Age of Apocalypse and to his lab where they retrieve his life seed. They are instantly attacked by Sunfire, Nightcrawler, Sabretooth and Wild Child. Fantomex misdirects Nightcrawler into believing he killed Deadpool and is able to knock him out. Sunfire destroys the life seed before they are able to explain and Dark Beast deserted them during the fight. The A of A X-men take X-Force to their underwater base to figure out their plan. Fantomex & Psylocke argue in private over whether her feelings for Warren are true and if she's denying herself her true feelings. She punches him in the face before kissing him passionately and storming away. They come up with a plan to take a life seed from a nearby fallen Celestial and return home by finding A of A Gateway. Fantomex, X-Force and the A of A X-Men storm the facility holding Gateway but are stopped by several doppelgangers known as the Black Legion as well as A of A Wolverine who is that universe's Apocalypse who Fantomex misdirects in an effort to escape.
Trial of Fantomex
In the wake of the Dark Angel Saga, Fantomex is attacked and arrested by the Captain Britain Corps. and taken to Otherworld to be put on trial for the murder of the child who would be Apocalypse. Presided over by Judge Saturnyne and prosecuted by Jamie Braddock. Fantomex's reason for being tried concerns his status as an omni-versal anomaly, as there are no alternate versions of Fantomex that appear anywhere in the Marvel multiverse, as well as his reputation as an unrepentant murderer. After a short show trial, Fantomex is sentenced to be executed via molecular deconstruction. As his sentence is carried out and he is injected with the anti-reality serum, Psylocke, who has stolen her Captain Britain suit, uses it's super strength and flight to free Fantomex. In order to stop the serum from erasing him completely, Psylocke brings him to the Forest of Sorrows where she makes a deal for his life. After he is saved, he confronts her about it asking what he did to deserve being saved, to which she states she doesn't know. He then reveals to her that he manipulated her so that she would doubt her love for Warren to enable her to kill him.
As the two make their way to an Earth portal they are attacked the Skinless Man, Weapon III of the Weapon plus program, and old colleague of Fantomex. He asks Fantomex where his skin is, who is revealed to have stolen and used it to make sentient bullets. In return Skinless Man decides to skin Fantomex, beginning with his face, forcing Psylocke to watch. Before he can move on to the rest of Fantomex's body, Psylocke cleverly incapacitates the Skinless Man.
Fantomex and Betsy are able to escape but not before Betsy is forced to kill her own brother, Jamie through her brother Brian's hands. He attends the funeral at her side and after the service she decides to sleep with him. The next morning, Psylocke tries to leave without speaking to Jean Phillipe and denies that their night was anything more than a one night stand. Fantomex informs Logan he will be quitting X-Force and leaves for Paris. While home he hosts an extravagant party with all sorts of entertainment but still finds himself thinking of Betsy. Psylocke arrives and apologizes as the two spend the night together again. Fantomex realizes it is really Mystique in disguise as the two fight on the rooftop. Mystique poisons Fantomex, who loses his healing and misdirection, but he is able to escape. Jean Phillipe heads in search of Betsy, convinced X-Force is under attack. He finds her imprisoned by Shadow King and sacrifices himself getting her to E.V.A. It is the Skinless Man who ultimately tears out Jean's heart.
After the huge turmoil has ended, half the team head to the White Sky Facility. There, they are greeted by Deadpool & E.V.A. They bicker briefly, and during their conversation, smoke bellows out of nowhere. As it clears, a familiar figure stands tall and proud, earmarking the moment by saying 'You have got to be kidding me.' Back from the dead, for now at least, he hasn't, however, made the journey alone. Deadpool seizes the chance to make a comment about the interesting situation, while Fantomex calls for E.V.A to explain what exactly has caused things to go amusingly awry. Both Jean & Betsy then share a quiet moment in front of the others, but decide to retire from present company for some private time. Fantomex remarks that words that would confirm their newly (re)established relationship are 'Better left unsaid,' and left to interpretation.
E.V.A is flying over the French Alps. Fantomex returns to his "home" and his "mother" is seen again despite vividly biting the dust not too long ago. The blind woman briefly wonders who Psylocke is, and comments that she has never met any of his girlfriends, thus he must like her a great deal. As the old woman returns inside with a new companion, both Fantomex & Psylocke remain outside in a light snow shower. Betsy ponders if this is real, or merely an illusion created by her walking enigma of a partner. Fantomex responds by remarking 'Is anything? What do I know? He then cracks one of his usual crude but lighthearted jokes. Then the snow starts to fall faster and heavier. Psylocke wishes for once to 'imagine a happy ending' as she leans in to kiss Fantomex. Then all fades to white, suggesting that she got her wish, and both parties are thoroughly content.
- Height: 5' 9"
- Weight: 174 lbs.
- Eyes: Blue
- Hair: Black
- Identity: Secret
- Occupation: Mercenary, assassin; former super-soldier, thief
- Citizenship: U.K.
- Place of Birth: The World, London, England, U.K.
- Marital Status: Single
- Known Relatives: Unnamed mother (deceased), E.V.A (external nervous system), Genesis (Evan, "nephew")
Much like his nefarious illusions and knack for lying, Fantomex's personally is not singular but in fact dominated by three unique presences. Although it is not fully understood how this all came to be, what is clear is that for each brain the faux frenchman has, a different personality accompanies it. As revealed by Shadow King, the first brain and personality is 'Noble,' the second "mischievous" and the third, he inclined 'was such a vile place.'
The 'Noble' persona is perhaps the real man, as it acted to save Psylocke from the machinations of the Shadow King and Skinless Man, going so far as to die for her if it meant securing her safety. The 'mischievous' identity is seemingly likely for his thieving streak and also nurturing side. And finally, the third brain likely holds the remaining 'volatile' identity, which encompasses the mutant hunting sentinel killer responsible for shooting dead a kid apocalypse, and whom he was originally programmed to be, before rebelling.
It is suggested that these three wholly different 'identities' didn't exist in perfect harmony, and put him through a constant hell at all times. This is possibly a reason for why he wears the telepathic cancelling plates. Such was the extent of this chaotic, inner turmoil that James Braddock points out it stands to his credit that he barely yielded to the influences of such identities, and that it is a true testament to the kind of man he strived to be each day.
These three identities/brains have recently been cloned from 'Fantomex Prime' and given a body each. Each of them now go by the names of Fantomex, Cluster and Jean-Phillipe.
Powers and Abilities
It is important to note that Fantomex has a history of misleading others, although his intentions are not always obvious. As with his early history, he claims many things about his powers that are not necessarily substantiated by evidence. Fantomex has exhibited a variety of mental powers, one of which is having the ability to enter himself into a state of "auto-hypnosis", effectively putting his body on auto-pilot in order to perform surgery and other delicate tasks on himself. He exhibited this ability once by inducing this state in order to remove several bullets from his body. He exhibits a form of telepathy he refers to as "misdirection", which allows him to create realistic and immersive illusions on a variety of scales.
His misdirection is powerful enough to fool large numbers of people and even the most powerful and experienced telepaths, as evident when he showed Professor X and Jean Grey his home in the mountains complete with a variety of stolen goods and a woman he called his mother. He is also a master at reading body-language, able to discern up the intentions of those around him by simply observing posture, gestures, and facial movements. Fantomex has an external nervous system named E.V.A. He claims to have produced E.V.A. through his mouth one day when he lost his voice while still in The World. She later continued to grow and changed form into a flying saucer. EVA is capable of independent thought, but acts as Fantomex's primary external nervous system. They share each others thoughts as well as emotions.
His secondary nervous system is located in his body, but is not advanced. When using his secondary nervous system alone he is only able to see the world in black and white. Aside from his more notable abilities, Fantomex possesses many other characteristics which are heightened beyond those of a normal human. He possesses Olympic-level strength, speed, stamina, and agility. He is an expert marksman, and is able to use this ability even when doing complicated acrobatic movements during a fight. He is also a skilled hand-to-hand combatant. Fantomex has stated he no longer carries any form of scent. He has a chip implanted in his brain preventing him from worshiping anything (making him an atheist).
Fantomex is one of the most mysterious people in the Marvel Universe. He talks in a heavy French accent which leads many people to believe that he is French, but he has revealed to some that he speaks with the accent because he finds it distracts and annoys people. Regardless of the situation, Fantomex plays his cards very close to his chest, with his true motivations often left unknown until the moment he decides to tip his hand.
Days of Future Now (Earth-5700)
Fantomex became the host of Sublime.
Here Comes Tomorrow (Earth-15104)
Fantomex has become one of Sublime's U-Men and is known as Apollyon the Destroyer.