Real Name: Peter Bristow
Identity/Class: Human, civilian of the USA
Group Membership: None
Hunter, Lilandra Neramani, New Mutants (Cannonball/Sam Guthrie,
Karma/Xi'an Coy Manh, Mirage/Dani Moonstar, Sunspot/Roberto DaCosta,
Wolfsbane/Rahne Sinclair), Professor X (Charles Xavier)
Enemies: None, though Stevie Hunter
didn't appreciate his advances and his parents were pretty nasty to him
Known Relatives: Unidentified parents
Aliases: "Bad boy" (nickname used by himself), "You
little creep" (nickname used by Stevie Hunter), "Cochon" ("pig",
nickname used by Karma)
Base of Operations: Salem Center, New York
First Appearance: New Mutants I#4 (June, 1983)
Powers/Abilities: Peter Bristow possessed no known
superhuman abilities. As a victim of child abuse at the hands of his
parents, he endured injuries both mental and physical. Bristow also grew
up with warped notions on intimacy and love, feeling he was only worthy
of love when he was being punished.
Height: 5'9" (by approximation)
Weight: 140 lbs. (by approximation)
(New Mutants I#4 (fb) - BTS) - Growing up, teenager Peter
Barstow was frequently hit by his abusive parents. His father would
regularly give Peter a lashing with his belt, claiming he ony did it out
of love. Emotionally and physically scarred, Peter grew up believing he
was a bad boy and that love equalled punishment. When he enrolled in
Stevie Hunter's dance class, he quickly fell in love with Hunter. But
because Stevie only treated him with kindness and respect instead of the
punishment he expected to receive from those he loved, Bristow started
to act out. When none of the mischief he caused in class led to Stevie
lashing out at him, he started crank calling her anonymously for a
number of weeks.
(New Mutants I#4 - BTS) - Stevie grew so annoyed by the lewd phone calls she informed both the police and the phone company who were of no help in resolving the issue. Hunter also told Karma (Xi'an Coy Manh) about the situation.
(New Mutants I#4) - Stevie received another obscene call at her studio, the mystery man telling her she knew what he wanted and that he'd be along shortly to come and get it. Before hanging up on him, Hunter told "the little creep" she was ready to rip his heart out, just as Karma walked in and realized Stevie was getting another one of these calls. Karma offered to have the New Mutants or the X-Men help out, but Stevie refused. Their discussion was cut short when they spotted Peter sitting behind the piano in the dance studio. Bristow claimed he'd let himself in, because he wanted to tidy up the place before class. Hunter told him she appreciated the gesture, while saying goodbye to Karma.
(New Mutants I#4 - BTS) - Karma, disturbed by Stevie's refusal, nevertheless told Professor Xavier and her fellow New Mutants about the threat to Ms. Hunter. After some deliberation, Xavier and his charges agreed to help. When Xavier asked his students to devise a plan of action and submit it to him for evaluation and approval, Dani Moonstar told the Professor Stevie's life might truly be at stake and that this wasn't a game or a class room exercise. Xavier countered that something could be learned from every situation, whether real, artificial, deadly or benign. He then assisted the New Mutants in coming up with a plan, even helping Sunspot construct a phone trace that could track any incoming call to its source and location. After everything was set, the New Mutants went to Stevie Hunter's apartment (located over her studio) and insisted she'd allow them to help.
(New Mutants I#4) - Later that night, with the phone trace installed and the New Mutans at Stevie's waiting for the next call, Peter phoned from a booth in Salem Center at 19:23 hours. The trace quickly provided the location of the payphone, but by the time the New Mutants and Stevie arrived there in Hunter's trusty Saab Turbo, Peter had long since left.
(New Mutants I#4 - BTS) - Driving his parents' red Corvette, Peter left the booth he'd used to crank call Stevie to attend a party at his local high school. Unbeknownst to him, Wolfsbane had used her enhanced senses to get a lock on his scent (though she didn't recognize it as being Peter's). Following the trail, the New Mutants ended up at the high school. Using a plan they saw on a recent episode of Magnum P.I., Wolfsbane and Cannonball remained outside, while the others accompanied Stevie inside, figuring her presence would startle the culprit, causing him to drop his cover.
(New Mutants I#4) - When Peter saw Stevie, he instantly panicked. This was picked up by Wolfsbane, who communicated this to Dani via their telepathic connection. Stevie and the New Mutants confronted Peter, who immediately made a run for it in his car. As the New Mutants gave chase, Peter almost ran over a mother and her baby who were crossing the street (but who were saved by Cannonball). Peter was so scared he went too fast, lost control over his Corvette and crashed into a nearby construction yard. Worried his dad would kill him for wrecking the car, Bristow made a run for it only for the New Mutants and Stevie to chase after him. Rahne was the first to confront him, but the furious Peter managed to overpower her and was about to strike the young Scottish girl with a bat when Karma used her mind control powers to take him over and lead him back to Stevie's apartment without further incident. Once there, Peter was released from Xian's control and pleaded with Hunter not to tell his parents about what he'd done. His panic was so great, even Professor Xavier was unable to psi-scan him, causing him to ask the New Mutants to utilize their abilities to get to the root of the problem. Dani then used her powers to manifest Peter's heart's desire, which was romancing Stevie. Infuriated by having his innermost longing displayed for all to see, Bristow was ready to strangle her but was restrained by Cannonball. Mirage then pushed deeper and uncovered evidence of Peter's long years of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his own parents. This revelation drove Peter over the edge. Escaping Cannonball's grip, he lunged at Dani. This tore his sweater, revealing the various scars, cuts and bruises on his back before Karma could recapture his psyche. Shocked to see his mutilated backside, the New Mutants and Stevie Hunter were even more stunned to learn Peter's parents were responsible for this. Breaking down in tears, calling himself a bad boy, Peter told Stevie he loved her and found her the most beautiful woman in the world. And, when she didn't punish him like he'd expected she would, he decided to get even by terrorizing her. With the New Mutants looking on, a teary eyed Stevie hugged the overwhelmed Peter.
(New Mutants I#4 - BTS) - The New Mutants reported back to
Professor Xavier, who decided to come down to Stevie's apartment,
accompanied by his lady love Lilandra Neramani. Together, they helped
console Peter while the proper authorities were informed. Xavier used
his telepathy to erase any knowledge of the New Mutants or their secret
identities from Peter's mind, assuring anonimity.
(New Mutants I#4) - Peter was taken in by the Child Welfare Bureau, following a call by Xavier. As Bristow was taken to an ambulance to get his physical injuries taken care of, Xavier told Stevie, Lilandra and his pupils he would assist in helping Peter heal from the psychological wounds sustained during this ordeal, even as Bristow was placed in a foster home where he'd get the chance to heal from what he was forced to live through. Even though the chance of a full recovery was slim at best, Charles assured his students their intervention was crucial in helping prevent the cycle of abuse Peter had experienced.
Comments: Created by Chris Claremont (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Bob McLeod (inks).
If ever there was an issue of New
Mutants that read more like an After
School Special... Still, the issue, implications and repercussions
of child abuse are very much on display here and that can only be
applauded. It's a shame we never got to see Peter Bristow again after
this. One would hope he'd eventually be able to overcome the traumas he
was forced to endure.
Profile by Norvo.
Peter Bristow should not be confused with
Peter's parents took the old adage "spare the rod, spoil the child" a bit too literal when they raised their only son Peter. All through his childhood and well into his teens, Mr. Bristow frequently beat his son with either his hands or a belt. The Bristows told their child they only hit him out of love and that he'd thank them for this when he got older. Because of this, Peter got the misplaced notion that he was inherently bad and in need of punishment before being worthy of love.
--New Mutants I#4
images: (without ads)
New Mutants I#4 p12, pan6 (main image)
New Mutants I#4 p9, pan 7&8 (calls in)
New Mutants I#4 p18, pan6 (possessed by Karma)
New Mutants I#4 p21, pan6 (shows in his scars)
New Mutants I#4 p21, pan2 (mr & Mrs Bristow)
New Mutants I#4 (June, 1983) - Chris Claremont (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Bob McLeod (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
Last updated: 05/06/14
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