William Conover is a reverend and a very religious man whom had his own traveling show where he preached the teachings of the Bible and of God. He became a well known spokesman for the cause of human and mutant equality. This caused him great controversy, but also a lot of support, particularly by mutants whom where happy with him. William was married to Hannah Conover. Although the two had it good together, his wife suffered from arthritis. This however did not stop them from their traveling religious group.
Reverend William Conover was created by Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri and first appeared in a cameo on a billboard -poster in Uncanny X-Men issue 232 (1988) before appearing fully in the following issue.
Major Story Arcs
When a woman named Josey Thomas, whom was actually an alien Brood, offered to cure William Conover's wife from her arthritis, she went along. She was however attacked by Josey and was implanted with a Brood Queen egg. The Brood mind took over for some time and started performing acts of healing in William's traveling religious tent show. She actually did not cure people, but infected them with Brood eggs which only happened to cure them of their afflictions. Eventually, the X-Men found out about the Brood on Earth and attacked them near William's traveling show. A large battle ensued in which Wolverine even became infected by a Brood and started to turn. William went down to him and grabbed his face, seeing the transformation and started praying to God to stop the demon from entering the mutant's body. Whether it was truly God, or Wolverine's healing-factor, the Brood was stopped from hatching and Wolverine resumed fighting alongside the X-Men. The X-Men managed to kill most of the Brood disciples, but William and Hannah where left untouched, as was Josey Thomas.
Day of Wrath
Not much was heard from William or Hannah again until some years later. Hannah had somehow managed to get her human side back in control, and suppressed her Brood thoughts and urges. She however began to experience nightmares, coming from the Brood Empress that was very displeased about Hannah and her resistance to the Brood. William tried to find out what was wrong with his wife, but she did not want to tell him. He started praying to God for her safety and health nonetheless. When X-woman Jean Grey was near Hannah during a vacation, she shared a nightmare with Hannah and alerted Professor Xavier to send the X-Men. Jean had however found out that Hannah was in control of her human side. The X-Men had a particular interest in saving her, because William was a mutants-rights activist. Meanwhile the Brood Empress sends her Brood assassins, the Firstborn, to kill Hannah.
While William wanted his wife close by, she went into the big city, where she was attacked by the Brood's Firstborn. The X-Men however arrived in time to save Hannah, but Wolverine was convincing his teammates to kill her, while Bishop postulates that she could change the Brood race's ways since there were friendlier Brood in his time. The X-Men continued their defense of Hannah Conover from the Brood Firstborn assassins onslaught. Hannah, suicidal, escaped the X-Men's watch and a battle ensued between the Firstborn assassins and her own Brood offspring. The X-Men arrived too late and Hannah's Brood was killed while Cannonball flew Hannah to safety while the team fought off the Firstborn.
Meanwhile Reverend Conover had seen lights of the battle and went there to investigate. He was however attacked by the Brood Firstborns to be used as bait. Hannah sensed this and turned into a full Brood Queen in order to save William. After a brief fight, Hannah reverted back to her human self horrified at what she had become. William however comforts her and told her she would be forgiven. The Firstborn then walked up to William and Hannah, prepared to finish them.
The X-Men however returned in time to save William and Hannah once more and theorized that if Iceman froze Hannah, the Brood would believe her dead, since there would be no brain-activity and the Brood shared a telepathic link with Hannah. Iceman turned Hannah into a block of ice while William kept talking to her and comforts her. When the process was done, the remaining Firstborn thought Hannah dead, and committed suicide, thinking their goal had been achieved. The X-Men take Hannah, still in stasis, back to their mansion to find a cure for her, while William prays for her and the X-Men and tells them he has faith in them. Xavier says he will send her to Muir Island for treatment. Nothing has been heard from Hannah since.
Now renowned as being the first major religious or political figure to come out in favor of mutant rights, William traveled to Washington to appear before a senator 's investigation into mutant activity. However, the anti-mutant group known as Humanity's Last Stand targeted Conover for assassination. William was however guarded pretty well by SHIELD agents and, in secret, by the Punisher and X-Cutioner, who had been convinced by SHIELD to defend William as part of repaying their debt to them. A mercenary known as Deadeye appeared and attempted to kill William, but the Punisher and X-Cutioner defended him and drove the attacker off. He was then brought to a safe-house. William however insisted on continuing his mission in Washington. His bodyguards insisted that he remained hidden, but Conover refused to do so, feeling it would be a surrender on his part.
Some days later however, William was taken captive, teleported to the terrorist' s base. At the base, William was confronted by Simon Trask, head of Humanity's Last Stand. Trask's goal with William was to ultimately warp his mind so that he would preach against mutants. Luckily, the base was attacked by the Punisher, t he X-Cutioner and Agent Taylor, who slew several of the members of Humanity's Last Stand before getting to William. The X-Cutioner set William free, and teleported him outside to reporter Trish Tilby, so that William could tell the world the truth about the Humanity' s Last Stand.
Reverend Conover has not been seen since.