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.
He’s a very adorable former sewer dweller turned Future Foundation member: Leech
Appearances in Heroclix: Fantastic FourFuture Foundation, X-Men Xavier’s School, Giant-Size X-Men
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #179
Team Affiliantions: Future Foundation, Generation X. X-Factor, Morlocks
Created by: Chris Claremont and John Romita Jr
Leech’s powers manifest at a very young age, leading him to being abandoned as a toddler. The Morlock Caliban finds the young child and takes him to a human passing Morlock that raises several orphaned mutants. Leech grows up in the sewer culture of the Morlocks before meeting Artie Maddicks, then a ward of X-Factor, and meeting the X-Men.
Leech and Caliban are among the few Morlocks to survive the Mr. Sinister orchestrated “Morlock Massacre,” wherein the villain attempts to cleanse the world of so-called “impure” mutants. Power Pack and X-Factor rescue the pair and Leech remains with X-Factor until he and Artie are able to be enrolled in a private school that accepts mutant children.
Leech, along with his best friend Artie and new friend Taki Matsuya have several adventures in this school. They are captured by mutant-hunting demons before being rescued by the New Mutants. They also uncover a plan by a group of humans to kidnap and kill as many mutants as possible. Leech and Artie are eventually successfully kidnapped by Gene Nation, a group of second-generation Morlocks that seek revenge on humans for the massacre of their predecessors. Artie and Leech are rescued by Generation X and join the team as junior members.
Leech and Artie stay at the Massachusetts Academy and are joined by Franklin Richards after his family is seemingly killed during the conflict with Onslaught. The three become fast friends and have several adventures including meeting Howard the Duck and fighting Black Tom Cassidy. When the Fantastic Four return from an alternate Earth, Franklin goes home and leaves Leech and Artie to take a more active role in the school. Artie and Leech are given image inducers when human students are welcomed to the school and engage in shenanigans. When the school is exposed as a safe haven for mutants, Artie Leech and Penance are all sent away to try and protect them.
This doesn’t work for long, as Leech is captured by a revived Weapon X program and used to keep mutants under control. Weapon X performs a purge of mutant prisoners to try and protect itself but Leech manages to survive and keeps his powers after M-Day. Leech is involved in a standoff involving the 198 and then accompanies Caliban into the old Morlock tunnels. Caliban is knocked out and Leech is kidnapped by Masque only for the X-Men and Skids to arrive and save the day.
Franklin invites his old friend to a birthday party and, as gift, is able to ask them to live in the Baxter Building. They are among the first Future Foundation class along with three Moloids, Alex Power and several others. Leech even gets to join the actual Future Foundation super team.