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Real Name: Michael Nowlan

Identity/Class: Human mutant

Occupation: former soldier

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: the Five (Egg/Fabio Medina, Elixer/Joshua Foley, Proteus/Kevin MacTaggert, Hope Summers, Tempus/Eva Bell), X-Factor (Angel/Warren Worthington III, Beast/Hank McCoy, Cyclops/Scott Summers, Jean Grey, Iceman/Bobby Drake);
formerly Alliance of Evil (Frenzy/Joanna Cargill, Stinger/Wendy Sherman, Timeshadow, Tower/Edward Pasternak), Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur)

Enemies: Alliance of Evil (Frenzy/Joanna Cargill, Stinger/Wendy Sherman, Timeshadow, Tower/Edward Pasternak), Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur)

Known Relatives: Susan Nowlan (ex-wife, deceased)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Southern California

First Appearance: X-Factor I#5 (June 1986)

Powers/Abilities: Michael Nowlan possessed the ability to amplify already present superhuman powers in mutants. This power was only demonstrated on mutants, and it was presumed that it only worked on them. It is unknown whether he could enhance superhuman powers in non-mutants. He could use this ability both to enhance the abilities of his allies as well as to send his enemies' powers out of control. Mutants who have their powers enhanced by him develop an addiction to the enhancement process.

Height: 5'10" (by approximation)
Weight:165 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown


(X-Factor I#6 (fb) ) - Michael Nowlan and his wife Susan were both heroin addicts before he was drafted into the Viet Nam Conflict in his late teens. His mutant ability manifested itself during the war, but it was not until his detoxification in a military drug rehabilitation center that they became apparent. Upon meeting another former soldier, the man who would become Timeshadow, his power caused the man's temporal duplicate power to surface. Following this event, word spread about his ability to enhance mutant energies, and other mutants began to seek him out. Mutants became hooked on the power and used whatever means they could to force him to enhance their powers. Nowlan found that the only way to stop this was to stay narcotized on heroin, which retarded the energy transfer. However, staying drugged caused him to lose his job, his health, and his wife, who had cleaned up her act after the war and gotten a decent job.

At some point, Nowlan was discovered by and became a pawn of the mutant known as Apocalypse. Apocalypse designed a machine to feed Nowlan's addiction, as well as to reverse it as needed to utilize his power. He used his power to enhance the abilities of his field agents at the time, the Alliance of Evil.

(X-Factor I#5) - Nowlan eventually escaped from Apocalypse and was pursued by the Alliance. He sought the aid of his ex-wife, Susan, who refused to get involved with his drug addiction or his mutant antagonists. Susan contacted the group X-Factor, who were at the time posing as mutant-hunters to allow themselves to locate and help mutants. Susan attempted to flee town, but was captured by the Alliance, who sought to use her to locate Michael and force him to help them.

(X-Factor I#6) - X-Factor located Nowlan and helped him recover from a near overdose. They made plans to help him, but the Alliance arrived and threatened Susan if he refused to enhance them. He complied, allowing them to easily overpower X-Factor and escape with both Michael and Susan back to Apocalypse's base.

Apocalypse returned Nowlan to his machine, where he enhanced the Alliance's powers, allowing them to again overpower X-Factor when they arrived. Susan attempted to flee the chaos, but she was killed by a blast from Stinger. Enraged, Michael drew all of the energy back into himself, allowing X-Factor to triumph at the cost of his own life. His body was unable to contain all of the additional energy and he died, feeling the world was better off without him.

(S.W.O.R.D. II#2 (fb) - BTS) - Following the Krakoan resurrection protocols, Michael Nowlan was among the many mutants resurrected by the Five (Egg, Elixer, Proteus, Hope Summers and Tempus). Nowlan was offered the invitation to remain on the sovereign mutant island nation which was ruled by the Quiet Council but declined after learning that as a baseline human, his ex-wife Susan Nowlan couldn't be resurrected. Unwilling to cooperate with Krakoan authority he left.

(S.W.O.R.D. II#2 - BTS) - Abigail Brand, Director of S.W.O.R.D. had given former Acolyte Fabian Cortez a place among a new team to utilize further exploration of Mutant Technology. Realizing Cortez treacherous nature would eventually cause problems, Brand looked at potential replacements. Among them was Michael Nowlan who noted he was unable to control the addictive nature of his power amplification and unwilling to cooperate with Krakoan authority. Other mutants with similar abilities were Boost, Mister M and an unrevealed candidate that fitted the criteria perfectly.

Comments: Created by Bob Layton, Jackson Guice and Joe Rubinstein.

Apocalypse's machine actually could have worked. A drug known as Naloxone,aka Narcan, as well as another named Naltrexone, can both temporarily reverse the effects of most narcotics, from morphine to heroin to many cough suppressants. The reversal is usually short-lived, and the subject will become re-narcotized unless they are repeatedly dosed.

Profile by Snood

Michael Nowlan has no known connections to

Susan Nowlan

  wife of michael, killed by alliance of evil.

--X-Factor I#5 (5(fb), 5, 6d)

images: (without ads)
X-Factor I#5, p7, pan1 (main image)
X-Factor I#6, p11, pan3 (attacked by Frenzy)
X-Factor I#6, p19, pan1 (Susan Nowlan)

X-Factor I#5 (June, 1986) - Bob Layton (writer), Jackson Guice (pencils), Joe Rubinstein (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
X-Factor I#6 (July, 1986) - Louise Simonson (writer), Jackson Guice (pencils), Bob McLeod (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
S.W.O.R.D. II#2 (January, 2021) - Al Ewing (writer), Valerio Schiti (pencils, inks), Annalise Bissa, Jordan D. White (editors)

First Posted: 01/01/04
Last Updated: 01/17/21

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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