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MISTER M

Real Name: Absolon Zebardyn Mercator

Identity/Class: Human mutant; citizen of Belgium

Occupation: Handyman

Group Membership: None; formerly the 198 (Arclight/Philippa Sontag, Beautiful Dreamer, Caliban, Collective Man (Han, Chang, Lin, Sun and Ho Tao-Yu), Diamond Lil/Lillian Crawley, Empath/Manuel de la Rocha, Erg, Fever Pitch, Jazz/John Zander, Johnny Dee, Karma/Xi'an Coy Manh, Leech, Lorelei Travis, Magma/Amara Aquilla, Mammomax/Maximus Jensen, Outlaw/Inez Temple, Peepers/Peter Quinn, Sack, Scalphunter/John Greycrow, Skids/Sally Blevins, Toad/Mortimer Toynbee, various unidentified mutants)

Affiliations: None; formerly Lucas Bishop, Hanna Levy, Armena Ortega, Chamayra Ortega, Esteban Ortega, Ismael "Izzy" Ortega, Toad Boy (Tarquin Berdeaux)

Enemies: Johnny Dee, Sentinel Squad O∗N∗E (Valerie Cooper, General Lazer, Miguel Reyes, unrevealed others), "Shaky" Kaufman, Alexi Vazhin

Known Relatives: Unidentified parents, Rubin (cousin, deceased), other unidentified relations

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
     formerly The 198 camp, Salem Center, New York;
     formerly the 11th Precinct, New York City, New York;
     formerly an apartment on McCarthy Avenuee, District X, New York City;
     formerly a village near Ghent, Belgium

First Appearance: District X#2 (August, 2004)

Powers/Abilities: Mercator could alter the molecular structure of anything he touches. He could cure physical and mental illnesses, fire energy blasts, become intangible, transform mutants into normal humans, generate simulacra of living creatures, create force fields, levitate himself and other objects, survive extensive injuries, and create massive nuclear reactions out of thin air. He could turn an opponent inside out, or reach into their chest with an intangible hand and stop their heart. He was immune to psychic probing, causing severe disorientation to any telepaths who attempted it. His head was crowned with a cluster of tentacles, which he usually concealed underneath a fedora. Despite lacking any formal education, Mercator was an avid reader and a self taught authority on a wide variety of subjects.

Height: 5'11"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: None

History:
(District X#4 (fb) ) - Absolon Mercator was born in a small village near the Belgian town of Ghent. At a young age, he discovered his unusual abilities. He found he was able to heal the sick by laying his hands on them, even though that act usually caused him to have terrible nightmares for months after the fact. When he was still a child, he spotted his older cousin Rubin hurting another boy. After Rubin taunted him, Absolon used his powers to stop Rubin, accidentally turning him inside out. It took the boy three days to die, after which Absolon was sent to live with relatives in the United States for his own sake. He kept a low profile for the next thirty years.

(District X#2 (fb) - BTS) - Eventually, Mercator settled down in an apartment on McCarthy Avenue, in a part of Manhattan so heavily populated by mutants it became known as District X. His fellow tenants quickly came to call him Mr. M, figuring his mutant power was fixing anything electrical or mechanical. He would mostly keep to himself, only going out at night. Despite his somewhat odd behavior, he struck up a close friendship with his neighbor, the bug-eating mutant Hanna Levy.

(District X#2) - Hanna Levy brought her busted toaster to Mr. M, who assured her he'd have it fixed in no time.

(District X#2 (fb) - BTS) - From his apartment, Mr. M watched as NYPD Officer Gus Kucharsky was swayed by a mutant "siren" to shoot her and her abusive husband.

(District X#3) - That night, Mr. M went to confront Kucharsky in the hospital. He told the terrified officer that he knew he was forced, but that he wanted to see if Kucharsky was worth keeping quiet for. He left after telling the man he knew he had murder in his heart. Later that night, he stopped drug dealer Jazz from killing Joey Chamber who had stolen a large supply of euphoria inducing Toad Juice (produced from the bodily fluids of the mutant Tarquin Berdeaux).

(District X#4 (fb) ) - Intrigued by the origin of Toad Juice, especially after it became clear it was fatal to non-mutant users, Mr. M traced the source back to a lab at Kaufman Enteprises where he interrupted the latest fluid extraction process by knocking out the scientists and taking "Toad Boy" along. Before they left, they went to get his mother (who was heavily addicted to her son's fluids). Thinking it would help matters, Mr. M used his powers to "cure" Tarquin, turning him into a normal boy. He tried to get the Berdeaux family to safety, but Kaufman and his goons, caught up with them. In the ensuing struggle, Absolon killed one of them by putting his hand into the man's chest and squeezing his heart until it burst. Mr. M got away, but was disturbed by what he'd done.

(District X#4 - BTS) - Mr. M was spotted on video footage from the club at which he stopped Jazz from killing Joey. Detective Lucas Bishop and his partner Ismael Ortega were intrigued by the mysterious, phasing man and decided they wanted to know more about him.

(District X#5 (fb) ) - Bishop and Ortega happened to spot Mr. M when they patrolled District X. They tried to corner him, but the vastly more powerful mutant easily fended them off and knocked them out. In the aftermath, Absolon picked up a postcard that Ortega had received from his sister.

(District X#4) - Concerned about all that he'd done in the past several days, Mr. M revealed the full extent of his powers to his neighbor Hanna who couldn't help but chuckle at the notion that someone with his abilities was stuck fixing appliances.

(District X#5) - Telling Hannah about his altercation with the cops, Hanna advised him to go to Ortega and explain himself. Checking the postcard for Ismael's address, he went there and arrived just as Ismael's son Esteban accidentally shot his sister Chamayra using their father's gun.

(District X#6) - Mercator successfully saved Chamayra's life, pulling the bullet from her stomach and healing the wound. However, her mom misconstrued the situation, as did Ismael when he came in. Without Esteban to tell the truth, the Ortegas thought Mercator had abused their daughter, forcing him to flee. Already frantic and desperate, Absolon was pushed over the edge when he encountered a precognitive street artist who had etched him on the sidewalk as a destroyer. Now considering himself an engine of destruction, Mercator decided to destroy all of District X. He went home and told his neighbor Hanna to get out, even showing her his tentacled head he always kept hidden under his hat. He allowed Hanna thirty minutes to get to safety before he unleashed his full powers.

(District X#6 - BTS) - As she was rushing out, Hanna ran into Bishop, Ismael Ortega and the NYPD. She told them what Mercator was planning, which prompted Bishop to improvise.

(District X#6) - Calling on the services of the mutant illusion casting call girl Lara, Bishop had Absolon believe he'd actually destroyed District X. In reality, Bishop had absorbed all of Mercator's built up destructive force, which he released as harmless fireworks over the city. Absolon then surrendered to the authorities and went along peacefully. When Esteban confessed what had really happened with Chamayra, Ismael visited Mercator in his cell in the 11th precinct to apologize and thank him. He gave Mr. M a photograph of a smiling, happy Chamayra as a reminder of the good he'd done.

(District X#7 (fb) - BTS) - Thanks to detectives Bishop and Ortega putting in a good word for him, Absolon Mercator saw the District Attorney drop all charges against him.

(District X#7 - BTS) - Alexi Vazhin, head of Russia's department of mutant affairs, received a report on Mr. M. Concerned about his powers, Vazhin hired a covert assassin to take him out.

(District X#7) - Mr. M picked up a gorgeous blonde woman at Daniel's Inferno, the local District X club. Going for a drive, the mystery woman took him to the East River where the date turned into murder when she shot the inebriated Absolon in the head, disgusted by the idea he wanted to "put his filthy mutant hands" on her. She then shot him two more times before driving off, while Mr. M slowly realized what was happening as the life drained from him.

(District X#8) - Mr. M was found and rushed to the hospital where it quickly became clear he would miraculously survive. For some reason, all three bullets stopped the moment they entered his brain, only to be spontaneously expelled within hours. After that, the wounds healed almost instantly. Doctors figured he might suffer from mild, sporadic aphasia but other than that he should be fine. When Mr. M came to, he found his neighbor Hanna Levy by his bedside.

(District X#8 - BTS) - Bishop traced the hit back to Colonel Vazhin and went to see him. Furious that Vazhin had used his intelligence report to condemn an innocent man to death, Bishop threatened to expose all of Vazhin's operations unless he left Mr. M alone. The colonel begrudgingly agreed.

(Mutopia X#5 - BTS) - After M-Day, Mr. M turned out to be one of a handful of mutants worldwide not affected by the Scarlet Witch's reality altering spell. However, even though he retained his mutant powers, some of his past deeds had been mysteriously undone (see comments). As a result, Chamayra Ortega's gun injuries returned, causing the girl to be mortally injured.

(Mutopia X#5) - Desperate, Ismael came to get Mr. M so he could save his daughter. At first, Mercator wasn't even sure he could do anything anymore. After turning one of Hanna Levy's bugs into a huge monster, he realized he still had his powers. However, by the time they got to the hospital the child had died. A saddened Mr. M told the grieving Armena he couldn't raise the dead.

(X-Men: The 198 Files - BTS) - General Demetrius Lazer of O∗N∗E made a threat assessment of the remaining mutants. In this report, he analyzed Mr. M and concluded that even among omega level mutants, Mercator's abilities made him a threat to be reckoned with. Lazer advised his boss Valerie Cooper that as soon as the usually equanimous Absolon showed any signs of hostility he had to be eliminated immediately, by any means necessary.

(X-Men: The 198#1) - Mr. M went to see Hanna Levy whose mental condition had deteriorated after M-Day, still believing she was eating bugs. He used his powers to enter the psychiatric facility she was being held at. Listening to her unhinged rants about the staff putting crushed bugs in her food, Mercator subtly nudged her mind to restore her sanity. The old friends had a heart-to-heart, after which Levy convinced him he had to protect his fellow mutants. After learning the government were keeping a great number of mutants in protective custody at the Xavier Institute, he made his way there by foot. Casually walking through the high security walls surrounding the grounds, he was approached by two members of Sentinel Squad O∗N∗E, only for Absolon to shut the giant robots down when they almost squatted a rare caterpillar. Explaining his actions to Cyclops and Emma Frost, Absolon simply declared he really liked butterflies.

(X-Men: The 198#2) - During his early days at the 198 camp, Mr. M made quite a name for himself, playing with Leech and showing him how to use his powers in new and interesting ways. Thanks to Mercator, Leech generated a live, predatory pterodactyl that Absolon quickly transformed into harmless butterflies. He then turned his attentions to Lorelei Travis, who was recently attacked and had her head shaven. Sensing her distress, he approached the woman and offered to "fix" her, forcing her prehensile hair to return to its original length within moments.

(X-Men: The 198#2 - BTS) - The presence of Mercator among the 198 worried O∗N∗E supervisor Valerie Cooper who discussed the matter with the X-Men. Bishop agreed that Mercator was extremely powerful and had shown signs of mental instability in the past, but they insisted they'd keep an eye on Mr. M.

(X-Men: The 198#2) - Later that same day, Mr. M surprised everyone when he erected a giant forcefield to break up a fight between the O∗N∗E Sentinels and belligerent mutants Erg, Sack, Fever Pitch and Mammomax who wanted to go outside the schoolgrounds. With a butterfly leisurely resting on his shoulder, Mr. M calmly stated it was far too nice a day for fighting. He then went on to heal the O∗N∗E operative that Sack had injured.

(X-Men: The 198#3) - Mr. M was among the 198 attending a speech given by Valerie Cooper on the school grounds. She announced that the O∗N∗E's most immediate priority was constructing more permanent accommodations. She proceeded to anger a lot of mutants when she declared that they'd only be allowed outside as long as they were tagged. Mercator didn't involve himself in the altercation that followed, feeling tired by all the conflict inside their little community. The mutant Lorelei then took him to her tent, offering to ease his worried mind using her expertise as a former exotic dancer. Mercator initially insisted she didn't have to do this, but gave in when Lorelei made clear that she genuinely wanted to.

(X-Men: The 198#4) - After spending a pleasurable night together, Mr. M and Lorelei learned that mutant drug dealer Jazz had died during the first field trip to Salem Center. Figuring the tags were to blame, the mutant population was about to rise up against O∗N∗E but Mr. M offered a solution. Using his powers, he removed the tags from the bodies of everyone who'd volunteered to be injected with one. He then announced that he and Lorelei would be leaving the camp in the morning, extending an invitation to anyone who wanted to join them.

(X-Men: The 198#4 - BTS) - Mr. M's involvement bothered mutant manipulator Johnny Dee who considered the powerful Mercator a threat to his plans. In order to deal with him, he absorbed the essence of Mr. M's close friend Leech.

(X-Men: The 198#4) - True to his word, Mr. M led a mutant exodus in the morning, using his powers to create a gate in the walls surrounding the Xavier Institute. He led his followers, including Fever Pitch, Erg, Outlaw, Peepers, Mammomax and Toad, into the woods and even created shortcuts by allowing them to walk across water alongside him. Before they got too far, the group found Cyclops and the other X-Men waiting for them. Cyclops tried to convince Mr. M that he needed to return, but the mood turned grim when Johnny Dee took over Erg and forced the electrical mutant to fire his eyeblasts at the X-Men. Before Cyclops could hit Erg with an optic blast, a furious Mr. M intervened. Even as he protected Erg with a forcefield, he hovered in the air and angrily declared no one would harm his people.

(X-Men: The 198#5 - BTS) - Aware of the situation, Johnny Dee contacted General Lazer at the O∗N∗E and offered to take care of the Mr. M problem for him. He received permission to use lethal force.

(X-Men: The 198#5) - Mr. M easily held off the X-Men and the approaching Sentinels, rendering the robots inoperative by turning their mechanical innards into putty. However, he wasn't aware Johnny Dee was manipulating members of his band of mutant brothers. After using Erg to start the fight, Dee switched over to Fever Pitch to create even more chaos and to prevent any chance of negotiations. Then, just as Mr. M was doing his best to control the situation, expertly holding out and disorienting the powerful telepath Emma Frost, Dee exerted his control over Leech. The tiny mutant depowered Absolon who fell to the ground where he made an easy target for Johnny's next mental puppet Magma. Within seconds, a volcanic geyser reduced Mercator into a smoldering skeleton.

(X-Men: The 198#5 - BTS) - With Mercator dead, the mutants who followed him all agreed to return to the Xavier Institute. His remains were placed in a casket that was kept on the grounds until a funeral could be arranged.

(X-Men: The 198#5) - Lorelei and Leech went to pay their respects to Absolon. However, when they approached the casket, they noticed it was empty. Moments later, the Xavier grounds were covered by a barrage of multicolored butterflies, as the extatic Leech and Lorelei celebrated their dearly departed friend's life.

(Civil War: X-Men#3 (fb) - BTS) - On the run from O∗N∗E and General Lazer, Lorelei recounted how they eventually learned Johnny Dee was responsible for the death of Mr. M.

Comments: Created by David Hine (writer), David Yardin (pencils), Alejandro Sicat (inks)

Who knew the mutant Jesus was Belgian and had tendrils for hair?

David Hine's work was interesting, but he could have used editors who were a tad more fastidious. That might have led to less hard to explain continuity errors. For instance, just how did M-Day undo some of Mr. M's handiwork? And since when is Leech able to project 3D images of objects and things? Hine clearly got the green power dampener confused with his bubblegum pink companion.

Mister M received a profile in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update#4 (December, 2010).

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Mister M should not be confused with:


images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update#4, p34, pan1 (main image)
District X#2, p5,pans1,2,4,5 (fixes a toaster)
District X#4, p16, pans4&5 (explains his powers)
District X#4, p17, pans3,4,5 (in youth)
District X#5, p19, pan5 (with Hanna in his apartment)
District X#6, p11, pan4 (reveals his mutation)
District X#6, p22, pan6 (gets an apology)
X-Men: The 198#2, p22, pan4 (really likes butterflies)
X-Men: The 198#5, p5, pan1 (burned to death)


Appearances:
District X#2 (August, 2004) - David Hine (writer), David Yardin (pencils), Alejandro Sicat (inks), Mike Marts (editor)
District X#3 (September, 2004) - David Hine (writer), David Yardin (pencils), Alejandro Sicat (inks), Mike Marts (editor)
District X#4 (October, 2004) - 
David Hine (writer), Lan Medina (pencils), Alejandro Sicat (inks), Mike Marts (editor)
District X#5 (November, 2004) - David Hine (writer),
David Yardin (pencils), Alejandro Sicat (inks), Mike Marts (editor)
District X#6 (December, 2004) - David Hine (writer), Mike Perkins (pencils), Drew Hennessy (inks), Mike Marts (editor)
District X#7 (January, 2005) - David Hine (writer), Lan Medina (pencils), Alejandro Sicat (inks), Mike Marts (editor)
District X#8 (February, 2005) - David Hine (writer), Lan Medina (pencils), Alejandro Sicat (inks), Mike Marts (editor)
Mutopia X#5 (January, 2006) -
David Hine (writer), Lan Medina (pencils), Alejandro Sicat (inks), Mike Marts (editor)
X-Men: The 198#1 (March, 2006) - David Hine (writer), Jim Muniz (pencils), Kevin Conrad (inks), Mike Marts (editor)
X-Men: The 198#2 (April, 2006) - David Hine (writer), Jim Muniz (pencils), Kevin Conrad (inks), Mike Marts (editor)
X-Men: The 198#3 (May, 2006) - David Hine (writer), Jim Muniz (pencils), Kevin Conrad (inks), Mike Marts (editor)
X-Men: The 198#4 (June, 2006) - David Hine (writer), Jim Muniz (pencils), Kevin Conrad, Jonathan Glapion (inks), Mike Marts (editor)
X-Men: The 198#5 (July, 2006) - David Hine (writer), Jim Muniz (pencils), Don Hilsman II (inks), Mike Marts (editor)


Last updated: 11/27/16

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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