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BILL JONES

Real Name: William "Bill" Jones

Identity/Class: Human civilian

Occupation: Foreman;
formerly construction worker

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Walter (an architect), his crew

Enemies: Magneto (Max Eisenhardt)

Known Relatives: His unidentified wife and three children

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Los Angeles

First Appearance: X-Men II#85 (March, 1999)

Powers/Abilities: Bill Jones possesses no superhuman powers, he was selected by Magneto because of his abundant averageness. In his decisions, he always has the best interests of his family and those under his command in mind. A war veteran who has sympathy for all those less fortunate than he is, all Bill wants is to lead a nice and quiet life.

Height: 6'2" (by approximation)
Weight: 180 lbs (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Brown

History:

(X-Men II#85 (fb) - BTS) - William Jones was a US soldier, who fought during the Gulf War.

(X-Men II#85 - BTS) - Before setting out on his latest plan to conquer the world, Magneto (Max Eisenhardt) figured the best way to decide if humanity should be exterminated was to put an absolutely average human to the test. His choice fell on Desert Storm veteran William "Bill" Jones, the foreman of a Los Angeles construction company who, according to Magneto, had a perfectly average background, wife and children.

(X-Men II#85) - After the Center for Humanitarian Excellence in downtown LA was turned on its head (see comments), Bill and his men were called in to assess the damage. Figuring the job was too big to clear in one day, he sent his crew home while he tried to console Walter, the building's architect who figured his masterpiece was going to last a thousand years. Muttering to himself that the damage might have been caused by "muties", he was approached by Magneto, dressed in plainclothes, who introduced himself as Mr. Magnus, a member of the center's board. Magnus requested a few minutes of Bill's time. Not seeing the harm in answering a few questions, Bill agreed to help. The two went to get a coffee.

   Expecting questions about the state of the building, Bill was surprised when Mr. Magnus made it all about him when he wondered about his calm demeanor. The foreman explained he was just putting on a brave face for his crew, not wanting to spook them too much. Magnus then moved the subject to mutants. Carefully monitoring Bill's responses, Magneto inferred that someone on Bill's crew might be a mutant. Briefly startled by the implications of that possibility, Bill then calmly stated that after all he had been through, mutants were the least of his concern. Sensing something was wrong, Bill asked if Magnus was trying to recruit him into some kind of cult. Magneto insisted he just wanted to talk, assuring Bill was free to speak his mind without repercussions.

   Magneto continued his attempts to get Bill to say something bad or hateful about mutants, but all Jones had to say on the matter was that he had nothing against them in general. He called them "poor slobs who got genetically shafted". Momentarily impressed by this slight spark of enlightenment, Magneto still decided to push the matter by asking Jones what he would do if he faced one of those "genetic unfortunates" who wielded enough power to kill him and his family with a mere thought. Angered by the perceived threat to his family, Bill demanded Mr. Magnus had better make his point or he would go back to work. When Magnus insisted on getting an answer, Bill calmly pointed out that the question was hardly fair: After all, it's only natural a man gets defensive when his family is threatened. He followed this up by saying that if one really wants to use the old Question Game to figure somebody out, one has to ask more subtle questions such as: "If you could go back in time and kill Hitler as a baby, would you do it?"

   The very mention of Hitler angered Magneto, who survived the Nazi deathcamps as a boy. Dropping his guise, he manifested his armor while he yelled at Jones that he would not only have smothered baby Hitler in his crib, he would also have destroyed Hitler's family and his family's family if it ensured the holocaust wouldn't happen. He then asked Bill a final question: Would he kill him if he had the chance? Freaked out, Jones tried to run away, but Magneto chased him, casually blowing up a truck as he lifted him up in the air. Repeating the question to a now frantic, crying Bill he got the answer he was looking for: Yes, Bill wanted him to die. After hearing what he wanted to hear, that even kindhearted average joes like Bill turn to savagery at the sight of what they don't understand, Magneto was satisfied and got ready to leave. Watching him go, Bill yelled out that he answered out of fear. Not because Magneto was a mutant but that he acted like a sick, twisted monster. Shooting Bill a silent, ice cold parting glance, Magneto flew off, ready to start the extermination of mankind.

Comments: Created by Joe Kelly (writer), Alan Davis (pencils), Mark Farmer (inks)

Bill Jones is so average, even his name is as run of the mill as they come. Still, if his stance on human/mutant relations is the norm as well, there might be hope for Professor Xavier's dream of peaceful coexistence after all.

It's never specifically stated in the issue, but it's safe to assume Magneto was the one responsible for turning the Center for Humanitarian Excellence on its head. Not only was it a quick and easy way to approach Bill, destroying a building that celebrated the very species he loathed is just the kind of delicious irony the master of magnetism goes in for. 

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Bill Jones should not be confused with


images: (without ads)
X-Men II#85 p9, pan 6 (main image)
X-Men II#85 p20, pans 1&2 (versus Magneto)


Appearances:
X-Men II#85 (March, 1999) - Joe Kelly (writer), Alan Davis (pencils), Mark Farmer (inks), Mark Powers (editor) 


Last updated: 01/04/14

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