Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
Today we look at that confounding mutant: Fantomex
Appearances in Heroclix: Deadpool and X-Force, Wolverine and the X-Men, Mutant Mayhem
First Appearance: New X-Men #128
Team Affiliations: X-Force, X-Men, Weapon Plus Program, Super-Sentinels
Created by: Grant Morrison and Igor Kordey
Fantomex was born in “the World,” a man made environment created and maintained in England by Weapon Plus – the shadowy organization behind Weapon X as well as the experiment that created Captain America aka Weapon 1. Fantomex was the result of experiments that created techno-organic creatures fusing Sentinel nanotech at the cellular level. Fantomex was raised in a virtual France leading to him developing a French identity/persona, going under the identification as Charlie Cluster-7. After his entry into the real world, Fantomex would usually go by Jean-Phillipe if not using his code name.
Fantomex first encounters the X-Men during Xavier’s “X-Corporation phase,” seeking asylum that Xavier grants him. Fantomex uses this time to heal himself from injuries and offer Xavier information on Weapon Plus. Once healed, he asks Xavier and Jean Grey to accompany him to the Chunnel to destroy Weapon XII, which they accept. Together, the three manage to stop Weapon XII but while there, Jean finds a second transport tube labeled “Weapon XIII.” Fantomex’s telepathic block slips a bit and Jean is able to learn that he is Weapon XIII and had been lying about his background. Fantomex promises to be his own man and try to make a life for himself, this is convincing enough for Jean to let him go. Soon after, while liberating mutant slaves from mutant slave traders, he encounters a young mutant named Dust. Fantomex entrusts her to Wolverine before disappearing again.
Shortly after, Fantomex contacts Wolverine only and offers him information if the Canadian mutant helps him destroy the final creation of the Weapon Plus Program. Cyclops accompanies Wolverine to the World and the three are defeated by Weapon XV, calling itself Ultimaton. Ultimaton escapes the World and flies to a Weapon Plus space station. The three pursue in EVA, Fantomex’s nerve system/symbiote ship. Once on the space station, Fantomex keeps his word and shows Wolverine all of Weapon Plus’ secrets. Horrified by these revelations, Wolverine initiates the station’s self-destruct before catching and killing Ultimaton. During this time, Fantomex and Cyclops escape, outrunning the destructive blast. Fantomex also helps Cyclops and a group of X-Men students battling against Xorn.
Fantomex sets about tracking down John Sublime, director of the Weapon Plus program. During the course of these investigations, Fantomex joins up with Agent Zero and journeys to the abandoned remains of Roanoke. Just as Fantomex seems set to gain his revenge, Sublime’s U-Men attack him and Agent Zero, forcing them to flee. Fantomex later helps Mystique in a plan involving the mutant arms dealer the Quiet Man.
During Norman Osborn’s time as leader of Hammer, the World had evolved into a sentient mind and created a new weapon named Allgod (Weapon XVI). Wolverine, Noh-Varr and Fantomex end up battling the new weapon and its drones with Fantomex defeating it by kissing the World’s brain and giving it the one thing it had never experienced: compassion. With the Weapon Plus weapons disabled, the three heroes are able to defeat Osborn’s invading Deathlok prototypes and stop him from taking control of the World. With this done, Fantomex shrinks the World and keeps it for himself.
When Utopia is formed, Fantomex is shown to have taken up residence on it and helps defend it against Bastion’s Nimrod army. He then goes on to join a new X-Force alongside Wolverine, Archangel, Psylocke and Deadpool. During this X-Force’s first mission, to kill the reborn form of Apocalypse in a child, Fantomex is the only one capable of seemingly killing the child. Secretly, Fantomex had cloned the child and placed him in the World in an attempt to raise him as a hero with minimal damage to innocent lives.
Fantomex is sentenced to erasure from existence by a court on Otherworld, for the crime of being a dimensional threat. He is saved by teammate Psylocke and the entire team battles the Goat, a corrupted future version of Jamie Braddock. Psylocke is captured by a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and saved by the self-sacrifice of Fantomex. EVA believes that this time Fantomex is truly dead because she can no longer feel him and evolves into a humanoid form.
After X-Force goes their separate ways, EVA tries cloning Fantomex. However, it goes awry and three bodies are grown. His dark side becomes Weapon XIII and wears a costume with inverted colors from Fantomex’s normal costume; the noble brain becomes Cluster, a female Fantomex; and the mischievous brain becomes the Fantomex as he was known, more or less.
Fantomex and Cluster later hijack a plane in order to find Psylocke and Storm only for Weapon XIII to interfere and kidnap Fantomex. Psylocke and Cluster travel to Madripoor to rescue Fantomex only to again run afoul of XIII. The villainous mutant uses his power of misdirection to confess his undying love for Psylocke. She agrees to be his paramour but only if he will allow her to kill Fantomex. Eager, XIII agrees only for Pyslocke to free Fantomex, stun XIII and break off her relationship with all of them.
Cable recruits Fantomex into his new X-Force team in exchange for helping Fantomex find XIII and Cluster. While his skills prove useful, Fantomex proves to be a less than ideal teammate. What follows is an intricate series of double crosses by both Fantomex and X-Force that results in Fantomex growing wings and having incredible power. This leads to a cat and mouse game of Fantomex trying to kill the team he had betrayed before Hope Summers is able to copy all of his powers and implant a deep thought in his mind: one cannot be perfect without imperfections. The cognitive dissonance is too much for Fantomex and he has a breakdown. Ejecting his “bootleg godhood,” leaves him vulnerable to Psylock’s psychic blade to cut him off from EVA for a while.
Fantomex is next seen as a part of the Astonishing X-Men team, reunited with EVA. Fantomex ends up entangled in a battle on the astral plane with the other X-Men, Shadow King and Professor X. Fantomex volunteers to take Xavier’s place in the prison to allow the Professor to return to life, figuring the trade of a “john doe” mutant for the world’s most powerful psychic is fair.
After the rebirth of the island nation Krakoa, Fantomex is seen alive again and trying to infiltrate the World in South America.