Real Name: Abigail Harkness
Identity/Class: 17th century magic-user;
English citizen (see comments)
presumably a former student
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Obadiah Shaw
Enemies: Hiram Shaw
Known Relatives: Unidentified mother, unidentified father (deceased);
possible children (she may be an ancestor of Sebastian Shaw, etc; see comments);
presumably related to Agatha Harkness
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly Salem, Massachusetts
First Appearance: X-Men: Hellfire Club#1 (January, 2000)
Powers/Abilities: Abigail had unspecified magical abilities. The only ability she demonstrated was projection of a mystic bolt that incinerated foes pursuing her on horseback.
Height: Unrevealed (perhaps 5'2"; she looked several inches shorter than Obadiah when they hugged)
Weight: Unrevealed (perhaps 106 lbs.)
Eyes: Unrevealed; dark, perhaps brown (the story is mostly colored in an odd hue...not black and white, but where nothing has distinctive colors)
(X-Men: Hellfire Club#1 (fb) - BTS) <Per Abigail's account> - Abigail's father apparently died of an unspecified sickness while helping build Salem. Though he had loved his wife and daughter, and they had loved him, Abigail's mother was distrusted in Salem, as were all widows; the people suspected witchcraft to have been the cause of the family misfortunes, and Abigail was similarly suspected.
(X-Men: Hellfire Club#1 (fb) - BTS) - Abigail fell in love with Obadiah Shaw, the son of fire and brimstone preacher Hiram Shaw (secretly a sorcerer attempting to protect humanity from demons), who was strongly distrustful of Abigail and "people like her."
(X-Men: Hellfire Club#1 (fb) - BTS) - Obadiah and Abigail planned to get married.
Obadiah tried to tell his parents about his plans for Abigail, but Hiram would hear nothing of it.
(X-Men: Hellfire Club#1 (fb)) <1692> - As Obadiah headed out after one of his father's sermons, he was pulled into the woods by Abigail, who delivered a passionate kiss to him despite his warnings about his father. Abigail became upset when Obadiah mentioned how his father felt about a widow's family, insisting her family had loved her father. Obadiah confirmed his love for Abigail and told her he believed in Abigail, unaware his father was oberving them from a distance.
That evening, Hiram forbade him from ever seeing "that Harkness girl" again. Obadiah refused to accept this, telling his father he didn't care what he thought and that he loved and planned to marry Abigail.
Hiram angrily warned Obadiah he would neither see his wishes ignored nor would he allow Obadiah to condemn his eternal soul to Satan's furnace for "the temptations of that filthy witch." Obadiah argued that Abigail was not a witch and he couldn't prove she was, but Hiram turned his back and walked away as he asked, "Can't I...?"
When Sarah urged Obadiah to obey his father, warnig that he believes he is God's sanctioned agent, sent to punish the wicked for their sins," Obadiah replied that without proof of her involvement in the dark arts, there could be no case against Abigail. Sarah hugged Obadiah and told him that she prayed Hiram did not find proof, for both their souls.
(X-Men: Hellfire Club#1 (fb) - BTS) - That evening, following another encounter between Hiram and Dormammu, the demon slew Sarah, leaving her a dessicated corpse with spiders crawling out of her eye sockets.
(X-Men: Hellfire Club#1 (fb) - BTS) - Burying Sarah, to cover his own involvement, Hiram accused Abigal Harkness of being responsible for Sarah's death.
Abigal Harkness was arrested and brought to (presumably biased) trial.
(X-Men: Hellfire Club#1 (fb)) - At the trial, after Abigail was found guilty and condemned to be hanged the next morning, Obadiah vowed to save her.
(X-Men: Hellfire Club#1 (fb) - BTS) - Abigail was chained up in a prison cell.
(X-Men: Hellfire Club#1 (fb) - BTS) - Obadiah arranged to board a ship in Boston harbor to escape with Abigail.
(X-Men: Hellfire Club#1 (fb)) - Ambushing and knocking out the guard, Obadiah broke Abigail out of her prison and fled with her on horseback, planning to take ship from Boston in the morning.
The town was enraged, but none moreso that Hiram, who led the horseback pursuit, prepared to chase them through perdidtion's flames to save face in the community's eyes.
As their pursuers closed in, Obadiah turned to fire his pistol at them in hopes of frightening them off; however, Abigail revealed she truly was a witch, and she unleashed a fiery blast that bypassed Hiram but slew the other men with him.
Obadiah was shocked to learn Abigail really was a witch, but she told him to just ride, as their troubles would soon be ash.
(X-Men: Hellfire Club#1 (fb) - BTS) - Unwilling to expose his own powers, Obadiah let them escape.
(X-Men: Hellfire Club#1 (fb) - BTS) - Obadiah Shaw wrote "The Truthful Account of the Salem Witch Trials," opening with "I give this accounting of those terrible days to cleanse my soul of their ungodly taint, and to protect future generations from the pestilence that is my namesake..."
(X-Men: Hellfire Club#1 - BTS) - In recent years, Irene Merryweather obtained the book and traveled to "the haunted church" in Salem, where an unidentified priest shared the story of Hiram & Obadiah Shaw and Abigail Harkness on the condition that she swore what he told her never left the sanctuary.
Comments: Created by Ben Raab and Charlie Abalard.
As Abigail looked to be around 16-18 years old (maybe as young as 14,
and people matured and were married at a much younger age in the 17th
Regardless, I think prior to the Revolutionary War, all of the colonists in America were citizens or subjects of England.
As clarified by Loki,the Kingdom of Great Britain formed with the Union of Crowns circa 1707, and became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801.Prior to the Union of the Crowns, England and Scotland were still separate kingdoms and separate countries, even though by this point they shared a single monarch.
One would imagine that a witch by the name of Harkness in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 would be related to Agatha Harkness. Abigail is mentioned as having a widow of a mother who was suspected of being a witch for, at least, that reason, but that's as much detail as we get. As seen in Nova II#6, Agatha seemed to be a young woman in 1692, although she may have used illusion or other means to appear younger than she was. Abigail could be the sister (or maybe the daughter) of Agatha, or a more distant relative, or they could share a name but be otherwise unrelated.
On pg. 12, panel 5, someone in cloaks is standing outside the Shaw house following the argument between Hiram and Obadiah. We get no further information on who that might be.
There's more Salem Witch Trial information on these pages (and sup-profiles): Charity Brown, Cotton Mather, Dark Rider, Abigail Williams, Betty Paris, and Way Wilcott, and, of course, Agatha Harkness.
Though there is nothing beyond perhaps cicrumstancial evidence, Obadiah
may have been planned to marry Abigail because she was pregnant...or
perhaps she was pregnant but either did not yet know it or had not told
Obadiah. The information at the end seemed to indicate that Obadiah may
have been so upset upon learning Abigail's true nature that he might
have left her. However, we don't know any of the above for sure. What
we do know is that Shinobi, Sebastian, Jacob, Esau, Cornelius, and
Elizabeth are Hiram's and Obadiah's (the latter confirmed in Sebastian
Shaw's most recent OHotMU entries) descendents. So, either Abigail had
at least one child by Obadiah, or perhaps Obadiah remarried. It is also
possible that Hiram had other children after departing Salem, but that
seems less likely to me.
Which also means that the latter Shaws are potentially related to Agatha Harkness, as well.
Profile by Snood.
Abigail Harkness has no known connection to:
images: (without ads)
X-Men: Hellfire Club#1, story pg. 8, panel 6 (face);
pg. 9, panel 2 (full, back);
pg. 12, panel 5 (someone outside Shaw house);
pg. 18, panel 3 (arrested);
pg. 19, panel 4 (imprisoned);
pg. 21, panel 3-4 (mystic blast)
X-Men: Hellfire Club#1 (January, 2000) - Ben Raab (writer), Charlie Abalard (artist), Mark Powers (editor)
Last updated: 02/26/15
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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