Real Name: Castlemere (full name unrevealed)
Identity/Class: Human cyborg
Occupation: Unrevealed; presumably businessman (see comments)
Group Membership: Hellfire Club Inner Circle
Affiliations: Leonine (Peter Scholl), Tithe (Sandra Morgan)
Enemies: Turner, Sebastian Shaw, Wolverine (Logan / James Howlett)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Unrevealed
First Appearance: X-Men Legacy I#215 (October, 2008)
Powers/Abilities: Castlemere's cybernetic enhancements made his body highly resistant to organic toxins, and allowed him to generate an unspecified but deadly form of energy, which he could release as multiple tendrils from his chest unit. He could also generate what appeared to be electricity, which he discharged as lightning-like bolts from his hands; he apparently needs a few seconds between blasts to build up a charge before firing again.
History: (X-Men Legacy I#215 (fb) - BTS) - Ambitious Hellfire Inner Circle member Castlemere underwent cybernetic enhancement, much like the former White King and Club turncoat Donald Pierce. Turner, an Inner Circle rival, learned of this and suspected (more or less correctly) that Castlemere was plotting to take over the Inner Circle; Turner plotted to poison Castlemere at an upcoming Inner Circle meeting (see Comments).
(X-Men Legacy I#215) - Castlemere, his new enhancements concealed under a cloak, attended an Inner Circle gathering in the Hellfire Club's Manhattan mansion, where Sebastian Shaw insisted that former Lord Imperial Roberto Da Costa's recent defection back to the X-Men should not distract the members from the real issue (presumably accumulating power for the Inner Circle members). Before Shaw could expand on his statement, Castlemere interrupted, claiming Shaw was really concerned only with building up his own power base. As he picked up the wine Turner had secretly poisoned, Castlemere added that he knew Shaw had brought back a weapon from a recent trip to New Mexico that he was keeping from the rest of them. Mention of hiding weapons prompted an irate Turner to verbally challenge Castlemere in turn, bringing up Castlemere's own recent cybernetic enhancements and accusing him of plotting a coup. Ripping his cloak off to reveal the full extent of his cybernetics, Castlemere rounded on Turner, pointing out that the Club needed soldiers, that the mutants once seen as these potential soldiers had proved to be a finite resource, and insisting that Donald Pierce had been a man of true vision. Turner countered that Pierce had also been of questionable sanity, but Castlemere interrupted him, adding that his body now had a high tolerance to organic toxins. Realizing his plan had failed and that Castlemere was aware of his murder attempt, Turner replied that it was worth a try, and noted that the Club's rules allowed for such undeclared challenges. Downing the remaining wine, Castlemere agreed, briefly appearing to have let the failed assassination slide, but then tendrils of energy spiked out of his body, slicing through Turner's torso and skull, slaying him almost instantaneously. As other Club members reacted, powering up for battle, an unflustered Shaw called for calm, pragmatically noting that they now had two vacant places at the Circle to fill.
(X-Men Legacy I#217 (fb) - BTS) - Keen to build his own powerbase and correctly viewing Castlemere as a rival within the Inner Circle, Shaw began moving against the cyborg. Shaw's agents slew ten people loyal to Castlemere over the next three days.
(X-Men Legacy I#217) - In the Hellfire Club's Manhattan mansion Castlemere met with Leonine and Tithe to discuss how their feud with Shaw was going, unaware their discussion was being eavesdropped on by Wolverine, who had been tricked by Shaw into believing the Hellfire Club had kidnapped his son, Daken, and had snuck into the building looking for him. In the meeting room Leonine noted that they had accumulated enough weapons to conquer a small country, but Castlemere insisted this was not enough, as their task, outmaneuvering Shaw, was more difficult. Castlemere noted that Da Costa's resignation had thrown everything into question, and that Selene, who might have held the Circle together, was nowhere to be found; Castlemere noted Shaw's current bid for power, informing his allies of the ten Castlemere loyalists Shaw had recently slain. Unimpressed, Tithe countered that while Shaw previously led the Club effectively for many years, he was now a spent force, and Leonine agreed, stating that Shaw had no power base to build from, while the three of them held all the financial and logistic aces. Castlemere disagreed, noting that they only held all the aces they knew of, and that he wouldn't put it past Shaw to have entire decks up his sleeve. Castlemere insisted they should find Shaw and take the fight to him, but one of the others (unseen, so it is impossible to say which) countered that the mansion was impregnable, and it would be better to let Shaw come to them. Outside the room the eavesdropping Wolverine was spotted and loudly challenged by a guard; Wolverine quickly knocked him unconscious, but the noise had alerted the three Inner Circle members, and they confronted the intruder, believing him to be an assassin sent by Shaw.
(Wolverine: Origins#29) - Tithe, Leonine and Castlemere battled Wolverine, but their fast-moving foe stunned all three with a succession of rapid blows, keeping them from co-ordinating their attacks long enough for a bomb he had rigged on the mansion's psi-field generators to blow. With the trio distracted and no longer shielded, from a safe spot outside the mansion Wolverine's telepathic ally Professor X probed them and learned that they knew nothing about Daken's abduction. Realizing Shaw had tricked him, Wolverine dodged another energy blast from Castlemere, and slew Leonine in the few seconds it took Castlemere to recharge. Castlemere blasted Wolverine in the back, but Wolverine shrugged it off and leapt at both Tithe and Castlemere. A terrified Tithe recoiled, yelling that Castlemere had made Wolverine angry, but Castlemere responded that he had made Wolverine foolish, and intercepted the lunge, electrocuting Wolverine in mid-air. Unfortunately for Castlemere, this didn't stop Wolverine, who grabbed Castlemere by the throat. As Wolverine throttled Castlemere with one hand and brought his other fist round, claws extended, to skewer the cyborg in the head, Castlemere grappled for his life. Gathering her microwave energies, Tithe shouted to Castlemere that the two were too close together for her to attack, but as Wolverine's claws came almost within contact with a panicking Castlemere's eye, Tithe concluded that Castlemere was about to be killed anyway. Announcing that she wasn't going to wait around for her turn, she unleashed a massive wave of energy, engulfing the two men and destroying a large part of the mansion. Both men lay unmoving in the aftermath, but when Wolverine coughed, revealing himself to still be alive, Tithe elected to flee while he was still stunned, glancing back at the apparently dead Castlemere and pragmatically noting "Well, that's one way to get a promotion." Wolverine woke moments later, noted the distruction and Castlemere's still form nearby, and departed without checking him for lifesigns.
Comments: Created by Mike Carey and Marko Checchetto.
We got to know very little about Castlemere. His Inner Circle membership suggests he was probably an influential businessman of some type, since that seems to be one of the main requirements for being offered membership. It is not clear exactly when Castlemere joined the Inner Circle. On the one hand, it would make sense that it wasn't too long before he made his appearance, or else it we'd have seen him during the group's past appearances, plus the old Inner Circle were largely purged during the days of the Upstarts and Shinobi Shaw running the Club, but on the other hand he seemed aware of the Inner Circle's past history and members; presumably Castlemere had been an Outer Circle Hellfire Club member for some time before being offered membership of the Inner Circle, and maybe he'd been aware of the Inner Circle's criminal activities and had waited impatiently for his invite. What rank did he hold in the Inner Circle? No clue, though in my opinion it'd be appropriate for him to be a relatively lowly Rook - a "mere castle."
It is unclear whether Castlemere knew of Turner's plan to poison him beforehand, or whether he detected the poison while drinking and then simply accused Turner because he was the most obvious suspect, killing him once Turner admitted his guilt.
Is Castlemere dead? Well, obviously few people stay dead in comics
anyway, but Castlemere, widely reported as dead by other sites online, is
less likely dead than most comic book corpses. Even if Wolverine had skewered
him through the brain, his cyborg nature might well have saved him - after
all, Castlemere's inspiration, Donald Pierce, has survived worse. But Castlemere
wasn't "slain" that way; instead, Tithe's energy blast caught both him and
Wolverine. It only stunned the latter, so why assume the former was slain
by it? Stunned, yes. Maybe even knocked out cold. Wolverine didn't stop to
check on Castlemere's status, but merely glanced over at him before leaving
ahead of the authorities arriving to investigate the explosions. Even with
Wolverine's enhanced senses, that's hardly checking to make sure; at best,
assuming Wolverine was actually trying to confirm if Castlemere had survived,
he might have been able to tell whether or not Castlemere was still breathing,
and not breathing is not a certain indicator of being dead when you are a
cyborg. However, if Castlemere did survive the battle in Wolverine: Origins#29 then he would have presumably been ousted or killed prior to X-Men: Schism#2, by which point the group of elderly men then running the Hellfire
Club informed Kade Kilgore that they had purged the Inner Circle of
mutants; even though Castlemere wasn't a mutant, the new Inner Circle despised
their predecessors, and so he would have been for the chop. Fittingly, the
old men got purged that same issue, by Kade Kilgore and his new Inner
Profile by Loki.
Castlemere has no known connections to
images: (without ads)
X-Men Legacy I#217, p22 (main image)
X-Men Legacy I#215, p11, pan3-4 (Turner's demise)
Wolverine: Origins#29, p8, panel 3 (Castlemere electrocutes Wolverine)
Wolverine: Origins#29, p10 & 11 (Tithe blasting Wolverine and Castlemere, slaying (?) the latter)
X-Men Legacy I#215 (October 2008) - Mike Carey (writer), Marko
Checchetto (pencils and inks, Hellfire Club scene)
X-Men Legacy I#217 (December 2008) - Mike Carey (writer), Scott Eaton (pencils), Andrew Hennessey (inker)
Wolverine: Origins#29 (December 2008) - Daniel Way (writer), Mike Deodato (art)
Last updated: 04/28/13
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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