Tomi Shishido, is a powerful mutant and a member of the Hand and HYDRA. He led the extremist mutant society Dawn of the White Light. As a child, he possessed near-superhuman levels of intelligence. He said his first words at two weeks of age, could walk at three months, and was able to read and write by his first birthday.
He became an accomplished artist by age four, establishing himself as one of the five top painters in modern Japan. He composed his first opera at age six. This was also the age when he attempted suicide for the second time.
At age 13, he created a mathematical formula that proved, without question, the existence of God. It was around this time that Tomi first manifested the mutant ability to turn people to stone just by looking at them, an ability which caused the media to dub him "The Gorgon", after the mythical beast with the same ability. Shortly after, he became the leader of a mutant death-cult called the Dawn of the White Light, which committed terrorist attacks throughout Japan. According to Emma Frost, the Dawn of the White Light had no intention of reinforcing Magneto's old manifesto or replacing the X-Men. They were simply against the concept of life itself, modelling themselves on the Hand in their objectives.
Gorgon was created by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. He first appeared in Wolverine #20 in December 2004, featuring as the primary antagonist of the arcs "Enemy of the State" and "Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D".
Major Story Arcs
Enemy of the State/Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D
At age 18, Tomi sought out the Hand. Before leaving his home, he killed his entire family and his only friend to prove that he was ruthless enough to join the terrorist organization. Shortly after turning his family to stone, Kraken of HYDRA approaches Tomi and offers him the Godkiller sword, establishing the connection between him and HYDRA early in his life.
After finding the Hand sanctuary and slaying all of its guards blindfolded, the Gorgon went inside and pledged his allegiance to the Hand's Jonin. When the master questioned his dedication, the Gorgon impaled himself with his own sword, fatally injuring himself, and telling the master to resurrect him. Impressed by this, the Jonin revived Tomi and brought him into the fold.
Later, the Gorgon becomes connected to HYDRA and forms a relationship with Elsbeth Von Strucker, the wife of HYDRA leader Baron Strucker. He is responsible for the capture and brainwashing of Wolverine. Although Wolverine is eventually freed from their control, he manages to infiltrate the Baxter Building and steal technological blueprints from Reed Richards that are very useful to HYDRA. Wolverine, under the brainwashing, commits a number of terrorist attacks resulting in the deaths of numerous costumed heroes and hundreds of S.H.I.E.L.D agents, as well as the X-Man Northstar.
Eventually, the Gorgon attempts to assassinate Nick Fury after S.H.I.E.L.D. launches an attack which destroys his safe house and also kills Elsbeth Von Strucker. He is intercepted by Wolverine before he can complete the objective. The two engage in a brutal battle, inflicting devastating injuries upon one another. When the Gorgon manages to gain the upper hand and attempts to use his mutant ability to transform Wolverine into stone, Wolverine extracts his claws at the last moment, allowing the Gorgon to see his own reflection in the claws. As a result, the Gorgon’s power is reflected back upon him. Once the Gorgon has been turned into stone, Wolverine shatters his body.
With the assault of the second Twilight Dawn by HYDRA’s leaders, Baron Von Strucker forces the high priests to use the remaining stone fragments to resurrect the Gorgon, whom he wants to be the final member for his new ruling Council. Gorgon then encounters the team that Nick Fury put together, called Secret Warriors, when HYDRA takes over an ex-SHIELD containment facility called Red Worm and the team goes there on a recovery mission. However, when the team sees that Gorgon is going to execute his prisoners, the team decides to Storm the HYDRA base. When Gorgon stands up to the Hellfire, the latter has problems with the fight, to which his teammate Yo-Yo decides to help. However, Gorgon ends up using the Godkiller blade to slice off Yo-Yo's forearms, using a speed which impresses everyone in the battle.
He is later seen with the rest of HYDRA's ruling council, where he is skeptical of Nick Fury's ability to pose them a great threat. When the team invades one of HYDRA's bases, Stonewall later confronts the Gorgon because of what he did to Yo-Yo. Gorgon slashes at Stonewall's torso, but the latter eventually overpowers him by growing and using his added strength. It was later revealed that the Kraken provided the Godkiller blade to Tomi at his home in Kobe, Japan, years earlier.
Tomi asked why he was given such a valuable thing and the Kraken replied "Who am I to deny a man his destiny?" and left. It is revealed that Tomi has nursed an ambition from his youth to prove his worth by killing a god in battle. When Fury's team attacks the HYDRA base, Gorgon faces off against Phobos, son of Ares and the god of fear. After an intense battle, Phobos' blade Grasscutter breaks Gorgon's Godkiller. It appears that Phobos has won, but Tomi uses one of the broken pieces of his blade to kill Phobos, thus fulfilling his vow to one day slay a god. After the battle, Gorgon takes Grasscutter for himself as the spoils of war.
Much later, the Gorgon is approached by Norman Osborn, who seeks the help of HYDRA to create a new team of Dark Avengers to avenge the ignominy of his defeat during the Siege of Asgard. When Shishido asks him which Avenger’s role he should play, Osborn tells him "I think it's clear, Gorgon, that you are going to be whoever you want to be. The question is, who do you want to stick it to the most?". Accordingly, Tomi opts to take the role of Wolverine, presumably to avenge his defeat at Logan’s hand.
Some time much later, Tomi assumed leadership of his own sect of The Hand within the East Asia branch of their organization and eventually came to assume control over Madripoor. After he plunged the lawless island continent into chaos, members of a new Avengers team were deployed in order to assess the situation and reply back to base. Just as some of their members were refamiliarizing themselves with the hired help, Tomi had just completed an ancient ritual relegated to Hand lore: a song about "A humble little island shunned by many, rests upon the back of a Dragon."
Powers and Abilities
Tomi Shishido is a powerful mutant, with a number of superhuman abilities both natural and enchanted allowing him to combat (and defeat) skilled assassins, such as Elektra and survive multiple attacks from savage mutants like Wolverine.
Tomi Shishido was blessed with a number of mutant factors that he was either born with or eventually grew into with time, age and experience. A great many powers in his corner include:
- Stone Vision: Shishido's primary mutant ability is to turn anyone who makes eye contact with him into stone. When he first manifested this ability, he used it on his own family and killed them, proving to the Hand that he was willing to forsake all for their glory. His gaze did not work on Phobos, presumably because of the latter's godhood. However, Phobos' fear gaze did not affect Tomi either, as he stated that he was incapable of feeling fear.
- Telepathy: The Gorgon also possesses a moderate form of telepathy that he uses to read minds and predict movements in battle. His telepathy was able to uncover memories from Elektra's mind as well, when he used it to discover she had been stealing from the Vatican.
- Empathy: Tomi can also feel and read the emotional states of other individuals around him.
- Intellect: Shishido is also a polymathic genius, with demonstrated expertise in a variety of fields. As a child, he possessed near-superhuman levels of intelligence. He said his first words at two weeks of age, could walk at three months, and was able to read and write by his first birthday. He became an accomplished artist by age four, establishing himself as one of the five top painters in modern Japan. He composed his first opera at age six. At age 13, he created a mathematical formula that proved, without question, the existence of God.
Due to his death and resurrection at the hands of a certain ninja sect, Gorgon now boasts a host new abilities as well as enhancements to them, due to repetitive quickenings which compliment his evolved ones.
- Healing Factor: His revitalization by the Hand has granted him a healing factor that greatly supplements his fighting style; even while Wolverine was slicing and tearing chunks of flesh from him, the Gorgon could still out-move and defeat him handily. He has shown the capability to quickly heal from an RPG exploding at close range and resume fighting to the best of his ability.
- Superhuman Strength: At its peak, Gorgon’s strength enables him to bench press one or more tons, described as a class 2 being on the strength scale.
- Superhuman Speed: Fast enough to outpace even Wolverine’s enhanced senses, being able to move between 111–115 mph over long strides and possibly faster during shorter bursts.
- Superhuman Stamina: Gorgon’s musculature produces less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of an ordinary human. He can go for at least 24 hours before fatigue toxin build up impairs him.
- Superhuman Senses: Spending most of his time with his eyes censored, Gorgon boasts vastly augmented hearing and the like. Able to fight shrouded in total darkness even with his eyes impaired by hot ashes.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Boasting reaction timing sharp enough to either dodge bullets or deflect them with his swords with relative ease.
- Superhuman Durability: Bodily tissues are vastly enhanced and superior to even the most robust human specimens, further bolstered by his healing abilities, Gorgon can resist a grenade blowing up in his face, resist multiple stabs from Wolverine's unbreakable claws, and withstand multiple chi-enhanced strikes from Shang-Chi and more.
- Superhuman Agility: Boasts physically superior coordination, dexterity, balance, and body motion than the finest human athlete.
Tomi Shishido is one of the deadliest fighters on Marvel Earth, with skill sufficient to defeat both Wolverine and Elektra at the same time, even after they had the advantage of preparation and a surprise attack. So skilled was he that he could even battle and best Phobos, the god of fear, in single combat and win, boasting his skill in killing a deity. His physical attributes include speed and stealth so enhanced that Wolverine could not even sense him. During a duel with Shang-Chi, the Gorgon withstood several blows before swiftly counterattacking and severely injuring the Master of Kung Fu.
He has deflected and sliced apart bullets with his weapon, and was able to chop off the hands of the speedster Slingshot, all whilst fighting three others at the same time.
Weapons and Equipment
Tomi often employed the usage of simple Japanese steel blades in his criminal endeavors. Being an accomplished master swordsman, he would utilize them to incredible effect.
The Gorgon originally carried a powerful blade called Godkiller, which could inflict deadly wounds to mythical beings and gods. During his battle with Phobos, Godkiller was broken by its counterpart, Grasscutter.
After defeating and killing the god of fear, Gorgon took Grasscutter for himself.
As a member of Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers, he uses a set of claws similar to Wolverine's. Their composition is unknown.
Being the head of numerous technologically advanced firms such as HYDRA, Tomi has access to a host of personal instantaneous teleportation devices at his command.
Gorgon appears as a villain in the MMORPG Marvel Heroes.