FRIEDRICH VON ROEHM
Real Name: Friedrich von Roehm
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Occupation: Jeweller, high priest of the Cult of
Group Membership: Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club, aka: Lords Cardinal (Black King/Sebastian Shaw, Black Bishop/Harry Leland, Black Queen/Selene Gallio, Tessa, White Bishop/Donald Pierce, White Rook/Emmanuel Da Costa, White Queen/Emma Frost)
Affiliations: Cult Of Fire, Hellfire Club
Enemies: Caliban, Callisto, Nimrod, X-Men (Charles Xavier, Colossus/Piotr Rasputin, Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner, Rachel Grey, Rogue/Anna Marie, Shadowcat/Kitty Pryde, Storm/Ororo Munroe, Wolverine/James "Logan" Howlett)
Known Relatives: Wolfgang von Roehm (alleged ancestor)
Aliases: Black Rook (Inner Circle title), Blimp
(nickname given by Wolverine)
Base of Operations: Hellfire Club, New York City
First Appearance: New Mutants I#22 (December, 1984)
Powers/Abilities: Friedrich von Roehm descended
from a long line of baseline humans loyal to the long lived mutant
Selene, who used her powers to cultivate a form of mental lycantrophy in
her followers. After receiving a specific mental command, Von Roehm's
body emulated many of the features associated with werewolves, while
retaining his human appearance. In his lycantrophic state, Von Roehm
possessed heightened senses, increased agility and a measure of
superhuman strength (possibly generated through the excess production of
adrenaline). His fingers and nails hardened and stiffened into claws
capable of rending flesh. Despite a severe bloodlust, he was totally
subservient to Selene.
Weight: 190 lbs.
(New Mutants I#22 - BTS) - Von Roehm grew up as part of the Cult of Fire, a group that slavishly worshipped Selene. Von Roehm rose to the position of high priest, without ever having met his goddess.
In modern times, Von Roehm established himself in New York, residing in the luxurious Monarch Towers skyscraper. He gained public attention as a renowned jeweller and the owner of an exclusive Park Avenue jewelry store deemed one of the most fashionable shops in the world. He was a member of the Hellfire Club, in part due to his great wealth, but the fact his ancestor Wolfgang von Roehm had been a member also provided him with an in.
(New Mutants I#22) - Selene travelled to New York City and visited an unsuspecting Von Roehm in his shop. Initially nonplussed by the arrogant woman barging into his establishment, he threatened to have her arrested until Selene showed him a pendant that proved to Von Roehm she was his goddess. Smitten and slavishly loyal from that point on, Von Roehm obeyed her every command. When she requested he found her a residence that provided her with access to both wealth and influence, Von Roehm suggested the Hellfire Club.
(Uncanny X-Men I#189 - BTS) - Von Roehm sponsored Selene's admission into the Hellfire Club and prepared to have his mistress become a member of its Inner Circle as well. To make sure the application process for this elite group would proceed smoothly, he provided her with a replica of the outfit traditionally worn by the Black Queen.
(Uncanny X-Men I#189) - Von Roehm presented Selene, wearing the Black Queen garb, to Inner Circle leader Sebastian Shaw and his aide Tessa. Von Roehm looked on as Selene displayed her control over inorganic matter, almost crushing Shaw with his own throne she'd turned into a massive fist. Shaw barely managed to break free, just as Selene restored his throne and sat down on it herself, Von Roehm at her side. Slightly intimidated and more than a little offended, Shaw still felt he had little choice but to admit her as the Inner Circle's new Black Queen, with Von Roehm receiving the title of Black Rook.
(Uncanny X-Men I#207) - Hungry for revenge against Selene for recent transgressions, Rachel Grey went to Von Roehm's appartment in Manhattan's posh Monarch Towers and used her telepathy to take control of his mind. She forced Von Roehm to grant her access to the Hellfire Club, posing as his latest lady of the evening. Once inside Von Roehm's private suite, Grey forced him to go to sleep and went out dressed as a Hellfire Club maid, ready to sneak up on Selene.
(Uncanny X-Men I#207 - BTS) - The battle between Rachel and Selene was interrupted by Wolverine, who prevented Rachel from killing Selene by stabbing her with his claws. Both Wolverine and Rachel left the Hellfire Club, allowing Selene to scramble the Lords Cardinal. The increased mutant activity in the area was picked up by Nimrod, an advanced Sentinel from the future. He began to scan for mutants and set out to terminate them.
(Uncanny X-Men I#208) - Selene informed Von Roehm and the other members of the Inner Circle about the attack she had just survived. After some doing, she convinced the Lords Cardinal they needed to go after Rachel Grey. The members suited up and chased Rachel to Central Park. There, Selene used her control over Von Roehm to close the hereditary, genetic switch inside his mind that transformed the jeweller into a werewolf-like state. Selene ordered him to use his enhanced senses to track Grey. Before the Hellfire Club could reign him in, the wolf-like Von Roehm attacked the already wounded Rachel. Rogue managed to drag him off her, but when his claws tore into her costume and their bare skin touched, she unwillingly absorbed his powers and personality. Von Roehm was left unconscious, just as Nimrod's arrival interrupted the battle.
(Uncanny X-Men I#209) - Recovering from the effect of Rogue's powers, Von Roehm faced Nimrod. In his animalistic state, all the Black Rook could think of was how we was ready to fight and kill for the defense of his goddess Selene. When the battle against Nimrod went poorly, Black Bishop (Harry Leland) and Storm openly considered an alliance between the X-Men and the Hellfire Club. The very notion further infuriated Friedrich, who jumped Storm to get his pound of flesh. Wolverine beat him off, unaware Nimrod was targeting them. Von Roehm accidentally caught the full power of the Sentinel's disintegration blast that immediately turned him into a pile of ashes.
(New Mutants I#61) - Friedrich von Roehm was seen among the Inner Circle members who welcomed recently elected White Bishop Magneto (Max Eisenhardt) in the wake of Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur)'s assault on New York. The upset Magneto joined the others in reviewing video footage of other current crises involving mutants, chief among them the altercation involving the X-Men and Freedom Force in Dallas (see comments).
(Excalibur I#1 - (fb) ) - Rachel Grey remembered how her most recent
dealings, fighting Nimrod, Von Roehm and the Hellfire Club, had led to
her entering Mojoworld by way of Spiral's Body Shoppe.
Comments: Created by Chris Claremont (writer), Bill Sienkiewicz (pencils and inks).
Friedrich's connection to former Hellfire Club member
Wolfgang von Roehm was never confirmed, but seems pretty much a given.
While his initial appearance may have been a bit forgettable, having the overweight, haughty Habsburgian Von Roehm change into an subservient animalistic S&M gimp really set him apart from that other rotund Inner Circle member, Harry Leland. Both didn't seemingly survive the confrontation against Nimrod, however... so there's a lesson there as well... Stay in shape kids, or the pink killer robot from the future will get ya.
So, how does one explain New Mutants I#61, which saw Friedrich von Roehm and Harry Leland as part of the Inner Circle over a year and a half after their deaths in Uncanny X-Men I#209? The issue takes places during the Fall Of The Mutants crossover, in which the X-Men fought the mythical, reality altering Adversary. As monitored by the Hellfire Club in New Mutants I#61, the Adversary's magic disrupted the flow of time and space, bringing forth anachronisms like dinosaurs, Vietcong troops and even Native American warriors the demon used to keeep the X-Men distracted. It is altogether possible the Adversary's spell had an undocumented ripple effect that temporarily revived other X-Men foes, like Von Roehm and Leland. Unaware of what was going on, it only makes sense they returned to the Hellfire Club. With the defeat of the Adversary, they vanished from existence.
Friedrich von Roehm, as part of the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club, received profiles in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#5, Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe - Master Edition#28, and Marvel Encyclopedia I: X-Men.
Profile by Norvo.
Friedrich von Roehm has no known connections to:
images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe - Master Edition#28 (Hellfire Club entry) (main image)
New Mutants I#22, p12, pan7-9 (worships Selene)
Uncanny X-Men I#208, p11, pan2 (transformed)
New Mutants I#61, p9, pan1 (temporarily revived?)
New Mutants I#22 (December, 1984) - Chris Claremont (writer), Bill Sienkiewicz (pencils, inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#189 (January, 1985) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Steve Leialoha (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#207 (July, 1986) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#208 (August, 1986) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#209 (September, 1986) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), P. Craig Russell (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
New Mutants I#61 (March, 1988) - Louise Simonson (writer), Bret Blevins (pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Last updated: 11/14/13
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