Real Name: Axel Cluney

Identity/Class: Human mutant

Occupation: X-Force field leader

Group Membership: X-Force (Anarchist/Tike Alicar, Battering Ram, Cupric/Derek Zheng, Doop, Gin Genie/Beckah Parker, la Nuit/Pierre Truffaut, Ostinato/Rodrigo de Smith, Plazm, Sluk/Byron Spencer, U-Go Girl/Edie Sawyer, Vulpine/Roja Sanford)

Affiliations: Boyz R Us, Coach, Felicity, X-Force

Enemies: North African soldiers, unidentified gunmen

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: X-Force Tower, Santa Monica, California, USA

First Appearance: X-Force I#116 (July, 2001)

Powers/Abilities: Zeitgeist could spew acidic, fiery ooze from his mouth that could completely dissolve solid matter and possessed enhanced durability.

Height: 6'2"
Weight: 225 lbs.
Eyes: Blue (glowing yellow when using powers)
Hair: Blonde

History: (X-Force I#116 (fb)) - After sharing a bottle of wine at a party, fourteen-year-old Axel Cluney and his thirteen-year-old girlfriend Felicity frolicked on a beach together and began making out when Axel's stomach began churning. When Felicity asked what was wrong, Axel's mutant power to vomit acidic ooze manifested and he burned his girlfriend's facial skin off. Following the terrifying incident, Axel suffered nightmares about the event and hoped that doctors managed to restore Felicity's pretty face. Fourteen years later, Axel became the field leader of the mutant celebrity X-Force team using the codename of Zeitgeist.

(Marvel Encyclopedia HC Vol. 2: X-Men - Zeitgeist entry - BTS) - The guilt over burning off Felicity's face tormented Axel for years. He ultimately joined the mutant celebrity X-Force team as Zeitgeist and tried to bury his nagging feelings of guilt underneath the public fame and fortune that came with being a member of X-Force.

(X-Statix I#10 (fb) - BTS) - On March 9, teleporting mutant Edie Sawyer, contemplating a career as a supervillain because she had yet to see a "cool" superhero, saw footage of Zeitgeist on television and became smitten by his appearance.

(X-Statix I#10 (fb)) - On March 19, Zeitgeist, along with the other members of X-Force, waved to the public. As he stepped out of his limo and greeted fans, the young Edie Sawyer touched his hand as he entered X-Force's HQ. Moments later, Zeitgeist sent word via one of his bodyguards that he wished to see Edie but Edie, determined to get that kind of celebrity attention herself, informed the bodyguard, who remarked that Zeitgeist didn't like to be left waiting, that she would see Zeitgeist another time. Later, on April 10, Zeitgeist attended a movie premiere, where the media and fans waved and took photos of him as he arrived. His arrival was interrupted, however, when a drunken Edie Sawyer, who had become a bit too relaxed, accidentally teleported onto the scene and inadvertently flashed the public. Zeitgeist quickly grabbed Edie by the arm and demanded to know who she was and what she was doing there. Composing herself, Edie introduced herself to Zeitgeist as U-Go Girl and proclaimed herself the newest member of X-Force. Sometime later, after U-Go Girl had joined X-Force, Zeitgeist went to a club with her.

(Marvel Encyclopedia HC Vol. 2: X-Men - Zeitgeist entry - BTS) - Possibly blinded by his own relentless self-absorption, Zeitgeist was manipulated into becoming a pawn of X-Force team manager Coach, who was plotting ways to increase X-Force's popularity.

(X-Force I#116 (fb)) - Zeitgeist led X-Force on a stealth mission to North Africa, where he used his powers to melt the skin off several armed soldiers while evaluating X-Force members Battering Ram and Plazm in the field. After X-Force member Sluk was killed, his teammate Gin Genie let loose an earthquake so powerful that it nearly killed Zeitgeist and the rest of X-Force.

(X-Force I#120 (fb)) - Zeitgeist met with Coach and they viewed footage of the North African mission while discussing the possibility of killing most of the X-Force members to replace them with new recruits. During the discussion, Zeitgeist asked who would be left alive and Coach assured Zeitgeist that he would remain along with X-Force's soon-to-be newest recruit, the Anarchist. Zeitgeist admitted his desire to have the Anarchist killed then asked about U-Go Girl. Coach asked if Zeitgeist and U-Go Girl were a couple and Zeitgeist claimed their flings were nothing special and that he wished they had never gotten together. When Coach asked if Zeitgeist had a problem with U-Go Girl getting killed, Zeitgeist coldly remarked that death would probably be doing her a favor before the conversation went into a discussion about how exactly the members would be killed.

(X-Force#116) - Zeitgeist viewed the video footage of the North African mission where Sluk was killed, noting that Plazm should be kept on defensive duties, while lounging with some strippers in a hot tub (in a scene that provoked Marvel into dropping the Comics Code from their books). The next day, Zeitgeist and X-Force team manager Coach held a press conference to publicly introduce Tike Alicar, the Anarchist, as X-Force's newest member and replacement to the deceased Sluk. Zeitgeist later suited up with the rest of X-Force, where he suggested that the anxiety-ridden Gin Genie should not go out in public, prompting Gin Genie to accuse him of trying to destroy her fan base. Plazm soon calmed Gin Genie and Battering Ram took the opportunity to attempt to speak with Zeitgeist about his role in the team but Zeitgeist was pulled away from the conversation by his teammate U-Go Girl, who showed Zeitgeist news footage of the Anarchist blowing the roof off of the Four Seasons Hotel. That evening, Zeitgeist went out to dinner with U-Go Girl and discussed dropping the Anarchist from the team, wishing to have U-Go Girl back up Zeitgeist's decision. When U-Go Girl used her inhaler to wake up, Zeitgeist asked if she had been using her teleportation powers and warned against using them for personal business. When Zeitgeist began a speech about how they should be ready for battle at a moment's notice, U-Go Girl suggested Zeitgeist take some time away from leadership, prompting Zeitgeist to ask if she wanted to be leader herself. U-Go Girl offered to take over the pressure as Zeitgeist received a communication to return to X-Force Tower. The next morning, as X-Force gathered for a mission briefing, Zeitgeist chewed out the Anarchist for his recent reckless behavior but their argument was broken up by Coach, who revealed that their mission was to infiltrate the headquarters of Sonic TV and rescue boy band Boyz R Us from a group of armed gunmen. Following the briefing, Zeitgeist asked U-Go Girl if she had enough energy to teleport the team to New York and when she answered yes, X-Force prepared to teleport until Battering Ram interrupted, attempting to talk to Zeitgeist again about his role. Zeitgeist suggested they talk later and U-Go Girl teleported X-Force to Sonic TV's headquarters. Once inside, Zeitgeist ordered Gin Genie to generate an earthquake as he rescued two members of Boyz R Us and commended U-Go Girl on her actions in the field. Waving off Anarchist for using too much force, Zeitgeist soon looked out a window to see a helicopter about to fire on the team. Battering Ram then once more attempted to talk to Zeitgeist about his role as the helicopter fired a missile that killed Zeitgeist along with everyone present except the Anarchist, U-Go Girl and X-Force team cameraman Doop. As he died, Zeitgeist saw a vision of Felicity, recalling her name years after he had destroyed her face, and U-Go Girl clutched Zeitgeist's corpse in shock. The Anarchist then pulled U-Go Girl away from Zeitgeist's corpse, revealing that they were the only survivors.

(X-Force I#117 - BTS) - The surviving X-Force members viewed footage of Zeitgeist and their teammates' deaths and the Anarchist coldly remarked that Zeitgeist always was a little slow on his feet and was likely meant to die. When Coach remarked that no one was "meant" to die, U-Go Girl reminded Coach that she could still recall the feeling she had while holding Zeitgeist's corpse and demanded answers as to why their teammates had died. Coach replied that there were times when X-Force wouldn't make it, suggesting U-Go Girl deal with it and prompting U-Go Girl to change the subject of whether or not she would be made the new X-Force leader. Anarchist argued against the idea, suggesting that since U-Go Girl had dinner with Zeitgeist before the deaths that she might have planned to have Zeitgeist killed so that she could take over but Coach broke up their argument.

(X-Force I#119 - BTS) - U-Go Girl dreamed that Zeitgeist had faked his death and returned to her, only to vomit acid on her. The nightmare caused U-Go Girl to awake in a shock and she awoke to find Coach spying on her, reminding her that he was not Zeitgeist and claiming that he had to keep tabs on any romantic liaisons between X-Force members.

(X-Force I#120 - BTS) - A statue of the deceased Zeitgeist was placed within an X-Force Cafe that the X-Man Wolverine trashed as part of a pubilicity stunt filmed by X-Force cameraman Doop. As Wolverine knocked over the statue of Zeitgeist and other X-Force members, posters featuring Zeitgeist with the other members of X-Force were seen hanging up for sale. Another item merchandising Zeitgeist's likeness, a crystal print featuring a photo of Zeitgeist leading X-Force into battle, was later purchased and destroyed by X-Force team owner Spike Freeman. Later, following Coach's death after he attempted to force himself onto U-Go Girl, new X-Force team leader Orphan viewed a video of Zeitgeist discussing with Coach about killing off the X-Force members before tossing the video into the garbage.

(X-Men Icons: Chamber#1 - BTS) - When the X-Man Chamber went undercover as a college student, his roommate Walter showed Chamber television footage of Zeitgeist leading X-Force into battle as proof that mutants were considered celebrities.

(X-Statix I#4 - BTS) - Mutant Arnie Lundberg filled his room with several posters of X-Force, including some that featured Zeitgeist.

Comments: Created by Peter Milligan and Michael Allred.

Zeitgeist is literally translated (from German) as "Time Ghost."  It is more loosely translated to mean "Spirit of the Times"--Snood.

Profile (and later updated) by Proto-Man. Originally edited/updated by Kyle Sims.

Zeitgeist should not be confused with:

X-Force, the popular team that became the X-Statix, should not be confused with:

Cindi & an unidentified woman of ill repute

As Zeitgeist watched the film of the North African mission in which Sluk was killed, Cindi and another woman of equally ill repute sat on his bed while he continued to view the film. They anxiously tried to goad him into "having fun" with them. He flirted a bit with them.

Note: Cindi is the caucasian woman with brown hair.

--X-Force I#116


When Axel Cluney was fourteen years ago, he and his then-girlfriend Felicity romantically ran hand-in-hand down the beach. As they kissed, Axel began to feel strange. At that point, his powers manifested and he burnt off Felicity's face. It was unknown whether she survived, though it is unlikely.

--X-Force I#116 (fb)

images: (without ads)
X-Force I#116, front cover (Zeitgeist leaping with X-Force, main image)
X-Force I#116, p12, pan3 (Zeitgeist in civilian clothes, headshot)
X-Force I#116, p1, pan1 (Zeitgeist pre-mutant powers & Felicity images)
X-Statix I#10, p15, splash page (Zeitgeist, early in his career as X-Force leader)
X-Force I#116, p2, pan2 (Zeitgeist in stealth costume using powers)
X-Force I#116, p21, pan5 (death)
X-Force I#116, p2, pan3 (Cindy & unidentified woman of ill repute)

X-Force I#116 (July, 2001) - Peter Milligan (writer), Michael Allred (art), Axel Alonso (editor)
X-Force I#117 (August, 2001) - Peter Milligan (writer), Michael Allred (art), Axel Alonso (editor)
X-Force I#119 (October, 2001) - Peter Milligan (writer), Michael Allred (art), Axel Alonso (editor)
X-Force I#120 (November, 2001) - Peter Milligan (writer), Michael Allred (art), Axel Alonso (editor)
X-Men Icons: Chamber#1 (October, 2002) - Brian K. Vaughan (writer), Lee Ferguson (pencils), Norm Rapmund (inks), Mike Raicht (editor)
X-Statix I#4 (December, 2002) - Peter Milligan (writer), Michael Allred (art), Axel Alonso (editor)
Marvel Encyclopedia HC Vol. 2: X-Men (2003) - Syd Barney-Hawke (writer), Eric J. Moreels (writer, researcher), Michael Allred (Zeitgeist entry art), Mark D. Beazley, Jeff Youngquist (editors)
X-Statix I#10 (June, 2003) - Peter Milligan (writer), Philip Bond (art), Axel Alonso (editor)

First Posted: 08/13/2002
Last updated: 06/07/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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