Sebastian Shaw last edited by God_Spawn on 12/06/19 01:19PM View full history


Young Shaw
Young Shaw

Sebastian Shaw was born into a impoverished family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His powers first became evident after he was accepted into engineering school and his father, Jacob Shaw, died. He dedicated his life to his studies and by the age of 20 he became a millionaire. He made the company Shaw Industries. his company was involved with making munition for the US military. By the age of 40 he was a billionaire.

Shaw caught the attention of the White King of Hellfire Club's New York Branch, Ned Buckman. He was initiated into the Hellfire Club after becoming engaged to a woman named Lourdes Chantel (who also possessed mutant abilities). This membership was partly attributed by his vast fortune along with Warren Worthington, Jr. (father of Angel), Howard Stark (father of Iron Man) and Sir James Braddock (father of Captain Britain and Psylocke). He later became part of the Council of the Chosen and earned the rank of Black Bishop.

Hellfire Club
Hellfire Club

Shaw proclaimed himself Black King, remade the Council of the Chosen into his Inner Circle and gathered Emma Frost, Harry Leland and the non-mutant cyborg Donald Pierce as the Lords Cardinal of Hellfire Club. Tessa aka Sage, a member close to Sebastian, was acting as a spy on the Hellfire Club for Professor X.

Having killed to achieve his coveted position, Shaw knew he´d face similar attempts to displace him as the Black King. And indeed, the renegade White Bishop Donald Pierce challenged him - as did his own son, Shinobi Shaw, who attempted to assassinate his father so that he could earn the title of Black King for himself. Eventually Sebastian Shaw fled to underground, allowing the Club´s Black Queen, Selene, to take control. Shaw plans to dominate the world through force, money and power. His connections to top officials of corporations and government make him a powerful enemy.


Sebastian Shaw was created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne and first appeared in X-Men #129.

Major Story Arcs

Dark Phoenix

Shaw and the Hellfire Club are part of the turning of Jean Grey into the Phoenix.

Versus the X-Men

Sins of the Father

For further information: X-Men Legacy

After a leaving a meeting of the Hellfire Club, Shaw is alerted to the activation of a device which subsequently kills two people. The Club is unhappy and demands Shaw give answers to the machines purpose and origins. He learns that the device was built by his father, Jacob Shaw who worked with Mr. Sinister 40 years ago. He aided him in finding mutants which he would pass on his genetic code to in the event of his death. Sinister also implanted the gene into Jacob's young son as well but Jacob created the device to prevent the effect. While following leads on the machine Shaw comes across Gambit who informs him that his name is on a hit list along with others with the genetic implant. They form a temporary truce and break into a facility where they find Dr. Mueller, who has just shot Xavier which activates the gene. Dr. Mueller traps Gambit and Sebastian who quickly breaks them free. Gambit uses his powers to charge up Shaw's entire body which is enough to take down Xavier while he takes control within his mind. Shaw parts ways and is later seen asking Miss Sinister to be his new Black Queen.

Original Sin

During the Original Sin storyline Shaw teams up with Miss Sinister. They trick Wolverine into defeating the members of the Inner Circle and try to get Daken to work with them.

Dark Reign

During Dark Reign, Emma Frost takes Shaw prisoner and puts him in the prison under Utopia.

Shaw has recently been freed from his prison so Emma can properly deal with him. Along with Kitty Pryde and Fantomex she extracts him from his prison and they use EVA to take him to China. After a long discussion with him Fantomex grew bored and opened a hole in EVA dumping Shaw to the ground from great heights. An infuriated Emma chastises Fantomex as Shaw emerges from a small crater, energized to the max with kinetic energy from the fall and fought Emma . At the end of the battle, Emma erased his memories completely. Shaw would later be found and taken back to Utopia by Hope and her team of Lights, much to Cyclops's surprise.

Generation Hope

The Five Lights travel to Pakistan after Cerebra detected a mutant there. They discover a mind wiped Sebastian Shaw being used by a radical terrorist group to carry out bombings. Hope and the Lights fight the terrorists to free Shaw and return to Utopia. Upon his arrival, Shaw is immediately restrained and subdued by Danger and Psylocke. Cyclops has Dr.Nemesis run medical tests as Emma remains silent. Hope visits Shaw in his cell and alludes to knowing about the man he was but does not tell him the truth. After the battle that results in Zero's death, Hope returns and gives Sebastian his file, revealing his past.

Avengers Academy

Shaw and the Lights are brought to the West Coast Avengers during Avengers vs. X-Men. Wolverine demands that Shaw be locked up to which he complies, only requesting some books to read. While in his cell, Shaw repeatedly slams the books into his face, storing the kinetic energy and punching through the floor to escape. Madison Jeffries builds a battle suit to follow after Sebastian and attempts to restrain him without hitting him. Sebastian reveals he is able to absorb electric energy as well and breaks through Madison's suit. Shaw defeats Hercules and Tigra before reaching the students who are fighting themselves, the Avengers Academy against the Lights and other X-Men students. The Avengers Academy students attack Shaw as the Lights come to his defense. At the height of the battle Shaw reveals that he never intended to hurt the students but to free them. The Avengers Academy and faculty stage a "defeat" so that the X-Students can escape. Shaw goes off on his own after Tigra makes him promise not to let her regret it.

Hellfire Trading Company

After having his throne usurped by Emma Frost, Shaw is now returned to power, albeit under Emma Frost, along with a seat on the Council of Krakoa, the living island and mutant sovereign nation. Shaw oversees the drug trade that Krakoa produces and offers to the humans. He resurrects his son Shinobi Shaw in an attempt to make him the Red Bishop. While spending more time with his son, Shinobi asks about his death, only for Shaw to lie and tell him he was set up by the White and Red Queen, Emma Frost and Katherine Pryde.

Powers and Abilities


Shaw is classified as an alpha-level mutant who can absorb all forms of kinetic energy directed at him, and use it to enhance his strength, speed, and stamina. This includes physical damage such as that sustained in fighting, being stabbed or cut, shot and kinetic blasts such as Cyclops' optic blasts or Gambit's explosions. He can also absorb and use other forms of energy such as electricity. Also he can absorb magical energy as shown in Avengers academy when fighting Hercules. He can build up stores of this energy, and release it whenever he chooses.

He can also go for long periods of time without sleep if he can store up enough energy. He has been known to have underlings in the Hellfire Club fight him in order to build up extra energy to store, and has been seen punching a wall in order to build up reserves. During a fight he is known for taking punches, allowing an enemy to charge him up to the point at which he is more powerful.

While absorbing energy makes him more powerful, he is not invulnerable. His body will still sustain damage, and he can be killed. Another way he could sustain massive injury is through being crushed. If he is not able to absorb enough kinetic energy from something that is crushing him, he can be injured by it. Shaw can also be overloaded if he absorbs too much damage. One of the most effective means of stopping him is preventing him from absorbing energy such as restraining or incapacitating him so that he has nothing to absorb. He is also susceptible to psychic attacks.


Gender : Male

Height : 6'2''

Weight : 210 lbs. (95 kg)

Eyes : Black

Hair : Grey

Alternate Realities

Age of Apocalypse

Earth-295 Age of Apocalyse
Earth-295 Age of Apocalyse

Sebastian was an aristocrat who was a prized servant and informant. Though, he was never a part of Apocalypse's military forces.

Mutant X

He was the leader of Hellfire Club alongside with Kitty Pryde.

Earth X

Sebastian Shaw died but lived in eternity in Realm of the Dead believing that he himself was still alive and those that are really living were the ones who were dead. He was then confronted by Dr. Doom as Mar-Vell starts to recruit a number of super humans against Death.

Ultimate Universe

Earth-58163 House of M
Earth-58163 House of M

Sebastian was the leader of the Hellfire Club and was a regular human who was later killed by the Phoenix.

House of M

Shaw had a position in SHIELD. He then became the director as he aligns himself with Magneto and helped each other in reprogramming the sentinels into mutant protecting robots.

Other Media

X-Men: The Animated Series

No Caption Provided

He appeared here, as leader of the Hellfire Club's inner circle, using Jason Wyngarde to control Jean Grey. This leads to the events of the Dark Phoenix saga.

Wolverine and the X-Men

Wolverine and the X-Men
Wolverine and the X-Men

Sebastian Shaw was a member of the Hellfire Club and acts as its leader. He congratulated Emma Frost as she successfully fooled the X-Men and was able to have Jean Grey back for the club to release the Phoenix. Selene always talks to him about Emma not being loyal to the club. Yet, Emma betrayed them as she realized that the mission of the club ( not only to release the Phoenix but also to kill Jean Grey) was evolved as Sebastian stated. He then commands the members to attack both Emma and Scott as he proved that Emma had betrayed them.

X-Men: First Class

Kevin Bacon as Shaw
Kevin Bacon as Shaw

Sebastian Shaw is portrayed by Kevin Bacon in Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class. Shaw's abilities were quite similar to his comic book counterpart. In the movie, Shaw was shown to absorb kinetic energy and re-channel it through blasts which is same as Bishop's mutant power. By absorbing the kinetic energy, Shaw can't convert it into super strength and speed, but he can save large amounts of energy at nuclear magnitude. He also states that his abilities somehow keep him eternally young, explaining how he looks the same in both the 1940's and 1963.

In the film, Shaw is the leader of the Hellfire Club along side with Emma Frost with Riptide and Azazel as henchmen. It is revealed via flashbacks that he tortured and experimented upon a young Erik Lehnsherr while working as a Nazi researcher during World War 2, and was responsible for the death of Erik's mother, Edie. In 1963, he attempts to bring about a nuclear Holocaust by goading the U.S. into attacking the Soviet Union, with the ultimate goal of presiding over a new mutant world after the death of the human race. In the finale, Shaw is killed by Erik, who forces a coin Shaw had given him as a child through his skull.


This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.