Once a member of the Swamp Men of the Savage Land, a tropical jungle hidden away in the frozen wastes of Antarctica, Amphibius was one of several of his people who were artificially mutated through technological means by the self-styled mutant master of magnetism, Magneto, so as to grant them superhuman powers.
Amphibius was created by Roy Thomas and Neal Adams in 1969 and first appeared in X-Men #62.
Major Story Arcs
On Magneto's behalf, the Mutates subsequently battled Ka-Zar, the Lord of the Savage Land, and his allies in the team of superhuman mutant adventurers known as the X-Men. After the destruction of Magneto's machines by the X-Man Marvel Girl, the Mutates returned to their original non-superhuman states.
However, the Mutates later regained their powers thanks to the effects of the technology that changed them, causing them to regain their superhuman abilities should they ever lose them. Renaming themselves the Beast Brood, the Mutates proceeded to capture scientists in the hope of forcing them to mutate other Savage Land natives into superhuman beings. The costumed adventurers known as the Avengers and the Norse goddess Sif came searching for the scientists and defeated the Beast Brood, delivering them to legal authorities in Chile, the nearest nation to the Savage Land.
The Mutates eventually escaped custody in Chile and returned home to the Savage Land. One of the Mutates, Brainchild, assumed leadership of the group. Under Brainchild's leadership, the Mutates clashed with the winged X-Man named Angel, the costumed crime-fighter Spider-Man, and Ka-Zar. The trio of heroes were searching for Karl Lykos, the human alter ego of the mutant pterosaur known as Sauron. Captured by the Mutates, the heroes were freed by Lykos but at a terrible cost, as Lykos became Sauron once more.
The Mutates subsequently came under the leadership of Zaladane, a Savage Land priestess who once served the being known as Garokk, the Petrified Man. Zaladane subsequently led the Mutates in raids on Antarctic research stations, plundering Chilean cities, and kidnapping scientists in an effort to cement her seat of power in the Savage Land. Zaladane then dispatched the mutates to kidnap the former X-Man named Polaris, who was unknowingly Zaladane's sister. Zaladane stole her mutant ability to manipulate magnetism and the Mutates clashed with the X-Men who had come to rescue their missing friend. Following Zaladane's death at the hands of Magneto, the Mutates came under the leadership of Sauron and clashed once more with the X-Men who were searching the Savage Land for clues as to Magneto's whereabouts.
X-Treme X-Men: Savage Land
Brainchild subsequently regained his position as leader of the Mutates. When the X-Men were helping a band of Saurids return to the Savage Land, Brainchild seized the opportunity to settle an old score with the weather-manipulating X-Man named Storm. Brainwashing her, Brainchild sent her and the Mutates into battle against the rest of the X-Men, but they were defeated. The X-Man Sage subsequently reversed Brainchild's mental manipulation of Storm, and the Mutates were turned over to the leaders of both the Saurids and the Savage Land tribes, who seek for all denizens of the jungle to coexist in peace.
Powers & Abilities
Amphibius is an artificially mutated being who appears as a human-sized frog-like creature. In this form, he possesses superhuman strength in his legs, allowing him to leap to heights and over distances that ordinary humans cannot. He can also stretch his tongue to ensnare his foes. The exact extent to which he can stretch his tongue are as yet unknown. Furthermore, Amphibius possesses the ability to command water-dwelling creatures to do his bidding. He also possesses razor-sharp teeth.
It is presumed that Amphibius is a true amphibian, able to operate underwater as easily as he does on land.
Amphibius often wears a glove fitted with razor-sharp claws on his left hand.
Amphibius appears in a two-part story - What If... Cable Had Destroyed The X-Men? and What If... Magneto Took Over The USA?
In this alternate reality Amphibius and his fellow Savage Land Mutates would take advantage of Xavier's death to attempt to expand their empire beyond the Savage Land, clashing with the military. They would change their focus to attacking the X-Men directly at the ruins of the X-Mansion along with the Fenris and the Hellfire Club.
Later, when the US government would launch the Sentinels in response to Magneto, one of their targets would be the Savage Land Mutates. Of all the Savage Land Mutates, only Amphibius would survive the Sentinel attack and be placed into an internment camp. He would later be freed by Wolverine who would recruit him into a new team of X-Men.