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HAZARD

Real Name: Carter Ryking

Identity/Class: Human mutant (depowered)

Occupation: None

Group Membership: Project Cronus (Cain Marko, Sebastian Shaw, Charles Xavier)

Affiliations: Adam-X (Adam Neramani), Black Womb/Cronus Project (Nathan Milbury (secretly Mr. Sinister), Amanda Mueller, Dr. Alexander Ryking, Dr. Brian Xavier), Fontanelle (Gloria Dayne), Charles Xavier, Sharon Xavier
          possibly Irene Adler, Dr. Kurt Marko as part of the Black Womb/Cronus Project

Enemies: Mr. Sinister (Nathaniel Essex), X-Men (Beast/Hank McCoy, Cyclops/Scott Summers, Gambit/Remy LeBeau, Professor X/Charles Xavier, Rogue/Anna Marie, Wolverine/James "Logan" Howlett)

Known Relatives: Dr. Alexander Ryking (father, deceased)

Aliases: "Fruitloop" (nickname given by his caretakers)

Base of Operations: The Ryking secure psychiatric facility, New Mexico;
          formerly Roswell State minimum security prison, New Mexico;
          formerly Ryking Hospital for Parahuman Research, Las Cruces, New Mexico;
          formerly Alamogordo, New Mexico

First Appearance: (BTS) X-Men II#10/2 (July, 1992); (seen) X-Men II#12 (September, 1992)

Powers/Abilities: Hazard had the mutant power to generate plasma, although he lacked sufficient emotional control over these powers. When provoked, his anger would cause his power to build up to a devastating explosion that he himself was impervious to. He had the ability to fly, though it has not been revealed how he was able to achieve this feat. Possibly he was able to simulate flying by manipulating the large amounts of plasma energy he generated. Hazard could sense and see different energy patrons, which allowed him to notice the distinctive red diamond mark on Doctor Milbury's forehead (who was secretly Mr. Sinister). As Hazard, Carter wore a special armor with cybernetic parts and a taser-firing mechanism that would help him regulate his volatile plasma powers.

Height: 5'10" (by approximation)
Weight: 180 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black/Brown

History:

(X-Men Legacy I#212 (fb) ) - Famous geneticist Doctor Nathan Milbury (secretly Mr. Sinister), gathered X-gene positive people, planning to have them breed so he could investigate and exploit the mutagenetic potential of their offspring. Ryking and his young son Carter were among those selected. They moved to Alamogordo, New Mexico where Ryking went to work for Milbury at an elaborate, partially underground lab which was housed inside an unfinished nuclear research facility.

(X-Men Legacy I#211 (fb) ) - "Doctor Milbury" had determined that Carter and Brian Xavier's son Charles both possessed immense X-gene potential. Milbury had the boys, who were best friends and often played together by then, subjected to a battery of tests. During these procedures, only Carter was able to see a mysterious red diamond on Milbury's brow.

(Gambit III#4 (fb)) - At one point during their stay at Alamogordo, Carter and Charles happened to spot Black Womb the project's mysterious director.

(X-Men Legacy I#212 (fb) - BTS) - Dr. Milbury eventually rechristened the Black Womb project Cronus after the titan of Greek mythology.

(X-Men Legacy I#213 (fb) - BTS) - As part of the Cronus project, Sinister had injected his genetic material into a number of test subjects, including Carter, Charles Xavier, Cain Marko and Sebastian Shaw. If and when Sinister would perish, the Cronus device he designed would automatically activate and seek out the ones carrying his DNA. Upon making contact, Sinister would be reborn in one of the host's bodies, thereby assuring a form of immortality.

(X-Men II#12 (fb) - BTS) - When Carter's mutant powers eventually manifested themselves, his father grew concerned he might not be able to control them on his own. Ryking used his fortune to found and finance the Ryking Hospital for Parahuman Research, outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Because of the affluence of most of its clientele, the facility became known over time as "the Betty Ford clinic for rich super folks". When Carter's powers finally did spiral out of control, Alexander had his son committed to the hospital. Carter was kept thoroughly sedated to prevent flare ups.

(X-Men II#12 (fb)) - During one of these episodes Carter was held down by the nurses and sedated. When his episodes would become more frequent Carter was moved to a special room in the hospital labeled "Hazard".

(X-Men II#12 (fb) - BTS) - Carter would spend the remainder of his childhood and all through his teens stuck in the hospital.

(X-Men II#10/2 (fb) - BTS) - When Major Arthur Barrington discovered his classified file on Xavier was missing, he suspected Alexander Ryking, who had been working for Barrington as a scientist, was responsible. In reality it was Carter who had sent the file to Charles Xavier. Unaware of this, Barrington employed the mercenary Maverick to assassinate his father.

(X-Men II#11/2 - BTS) - Carter's father Alexander was murdered by Maverick for a crime he didn't commit.

(X-Men II#12) - After learning of his father's demise, the still institutionalized Carter managed to liberate himself, relieved to be released from his father's control. He vowed never to be a guinea pig anymore, easily defeating the nursing staff who tried to taser him. Rerouting his energy through the coils to hit the staff, he used his plasma powers to increase the gun's effects, reducing the staff to skeletons.

(X-Men II#12 - BTS) - Realizing the taser gun wires' conductive properties, he included them as part of a cybernetically enhanced costume designed to keep his powers in check. Wearing this new uniform, he decided to attend his father's funeral.

(X-Men II#12) - Determined to reveal his father's crimes to the world, Hazard disrupted the services, killing several policemen, but was stopped by Professor Charles Xavier who happened to attend the funeral. Using his powers to enter Hazard's mind, Xavier learned the villain was actually his long lost childhood friend Carter. Xavier managed to calm Carter down long enough to hear him out and even agreed to accompany him back to Alamogordo to find some answers. Hazard picked up Xavier and flew off with him, which was covered by several news crews.

(X-Men II#13) - After arriving at Alamogordo, Hazard expressed the hatred he felt towards his father and how upset he had been at Charles for ignoring the secret file he had sent him (Charles had refused to believe his father to be guilty of the questionable actions mentioned in the documents). Hazard showed Xavier a secret passage which revealed there was more to Alamogordo than met the eye. While they were touring the facilities, the X-Men arrived after learning of the professor's apparent abduction from watching the news. Although unwilling to attack the X-Men, Hazard did so when Gambit eagerly attacked him. The relatively brief battle ended when Cyclops used his optic blast on Hazard's taser-firing mechanism. Without this, Hazard couldn't properly regulate his energies. Unable to release his plasma, it kept on building until it reached critical mass and exploded. Luckily all present survived, including Hazard who had depleted his store of plasma energy and could easily be apprehended afterwards.

(X-Men II#38 - BTS) - Hazard was incarcerated at Roswell State minimum security prison where he was forced to wear a special cranial power inhibitor to subdue his powers.

(X-Men II#38) - In prison, Hazard was visited by a man who called himself Adam (Adam-X the X-Treme). He was hoping Ryking could further his search for a man called "Milbury". Amused, Hazard directed him towards Charles Xavier.

(Gambit III#4) - As Hazard was dreaming of his time with Charles in Alamogordo, he was visited in his dream by Fontanelle who was gathering information about Gambit for her employer known only as the New Son. Fontanelle sensed that Carter and Charles had seen the Black Womb at one point in Alamogordo who frightened them very much.

(House of M#8 - BTS) - Hazard was one of the victims of the Scarlet Witch's reality altering spell that reduced the millions of gene active mutants to less than 200 worldwide.

(New Avengers I#17 - BTS) - Hazard's mutant energies became part of the Collective.

(New Avengers I#18 - BTS) - SHIELD analyzed the Collective's multiple energy signatures and traced them back to Hazard and 50+ other former mutants who had all lost their powers on M-Day.

(X-Men Legacy I#211 - BTS) - After the death of Mr. Sinister, his Cronus failsafe was activated. But with Cain Marko protected by Cyttorak and Jacob Shaw's invention of a protective device for Sebastian, only Carter and Charles were left as viable candidates. Carter was the first who began to manifest Sinister's genetic matrix, but without his mutant nature his body and mind couldn't sustain the change, driving him insane in the process.

(X-Men Legacy I#211) - During this period, Carter was visited by Charles Xavier who was seeking out old friends and acquaintances to help restore his shattered memory. Though erratic, Carter allowed Xavier to read his mind and revisit some of their shared childhood memories, including the various tests "Dr. Milburry" conducted on them. Now, they recognized the physician had actually been Sinister all along. Needing time to process this, Xavier promised to visit Carter again the next day. Sadly, that night Carter died when every blood vessel in his brain spontaneously ruptured as a result of him being unable to sustain Mister Sinister's genetic essence.

Comments: Created by Fabian Nicieza (writer), Art Thibert (pencils, inks).

When asked about Hazard, creator Fabian Nicieza was nice enough to share the following observations: "I thought the Brian Xavier/Cain Marko aspect of mutant scientific studies of the "1950s" was a great open opportunity for story that would impact the current X-Men and especially Xavier. I think we actually planned it as a 2 part "inventory" story just to give Jim Lee a break both in case he needed it on the schedule or if the Image thing came through (it was quite an uncertain and tumultuous time)." As it turned out, Lee did indeed leave to co-found Image, which meant Nicieza was assigned to the book as a regular writer.

Carter Ryking was actually never called Hazard, the name was mentioned on the cover of X-Men II#12 and the warning label on the door of Ryking's hospital room. Nicieza on this naming mystery: "I came up with the name and we didn't use it in the story because at that point he wasn't any kind of "super villain" or "superhero." One-word names that weren't based on an animal or a specific power set were becoming the vogue and I always liked the word "hazard" for what it implied -- a POTENTIAL danger, but you didn't know if it actually was."

As for Carter Ryking's brief appearance in the Nicieza penned Gambit series, that alluded to a connection between them: "I remember just wanting to build some of the mystery of Gambit's birth and because Mr. Sinister was such an integral part of his past, and we'd established Sinister had been involved in Alamogordo, I wanted to tie them in through the Black Womb. I had a pretty elaborate way to tie all the web strings together, but I'll be damned if I remember now 15 years later!"

Project Cronus was a secretive part within the larger Black Womb Project, it's unlikely other scientist from the Black Womb Project were aware of Project Cronus' goal. So far it's only been revealed that Amanda Mueller was aware of it's true goal.

Carter's obsessive counting referred a rhyme Dr. Millbury used while conducting his tests: "One for his hand as he knocks on the door. Two for his feet as he crosses the floor. Three for his Eyes as he finds where you're hid."

Profile by MarvellousLuke

CLARIFICATIONS:
Hazard has no known connections to


images: (without ads)
X-Men II#12, cover (main image)
X-Men Legacy I#211, p9, pan3 (receiving tests)
X-Men II#12, p15, pan3 (kills hospital's employees)
X-Men II#38, p12, pan1 (visited by Adam-X)
X-Men Legacy I#211, p15, pan3,4 (death)


Appearances:
X-Men II#12 (September, 1992) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Art Thibert (pencils, inks), Dan Panosian, Trevor Scott (inkers), Bob Harras (editor)
X-Men II#13 (October, 1992) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Art Thibert (pencils, inks), Dan Panosian (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
X-Men II#38 (November, 1994) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Andy Kubert (pencils), Matt Ryan (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Gambit III#4 (May, 1999) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Steve Skroce (pencils), Rob Hunter (inks), Mark Powers, Pete Franco (editors)
New Avengers I#18 (June, 2006) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Mike Deodato Jr. (pencils), Joe Pimentel (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
X-Men Legacy I#211 (July, 2008) - Mike Carey (writer), Scot Eaton, Brandon Peterson (pencils), John Dell, Andrew Hennessy, Dave Meikis, Brandon Peterson (inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
X-Men Legacy I#212 (July, 2008) - Mike Carey (writer), Scot Eaton, Mike Deodato Jr. (pencils), John Dell, Andrew Hennessy, Mike Deodato Jr. (inks), Nick Lowe (editor)


Last updated: 02/01/14

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