shaw_cornelius-early20thcen-fullCORNELIUS SHAW

Real Name: Cornelius Shaw

Identity/Class: Human (late 19th century and early 20th century);
    United Kingdom citizen

Occupation: Soldier (brigadier general)

Group Membership: English army, apparently Hellfire Club-English/original chapter, Hellfire Club-San Francisco chapter circa 1906 (Lord Molyneux, Salome, Seers)

Affiliations: Sentinel of Hellfire Club-San Francisco circa 1906
    posed as an ally to 
Catherine and Nicola Bradley;

Enemies: Catherine and Nicola Bradley, mutants/"overmen," X-Club (James Bradley/Dr. Nemesis, Madison Jeffries, Dr. Kavita Rao, Dr. Yuriko Takiguchi), X-Men (Hank McCoy/Beast, Warren Worthington/Angel, Betsy Braddock/Psylocke)

Known RelativesUnidentified father (presumably deceased);
    unidentified wife (presumably deceased);
    Esau Shaw, Jacob Shaw (sons, deceased);
    Sebastian Hiram Shaw (grandson);
    Shinobi Shaw (great-grandson);
    possibly Szandor Shaw (presumed common ancestry, at least);
    Hiram Shaw (presumably deceased), Sarah Shaw (deceased), Obadiah Shaw (presumably deceased), Elizabeth Shaw-Worthington (presumably deceased) - ancestors;
    Abigail Harkness (possibly; presumed deceased), 
Wallace Worthington (deceased) - possible ancestors;

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    buried in London, England (and presumably lived nearby);
    formerly San Francisco, California

First Appearance: (Mentioned) X-Men: Hellfire Club#3 (March, 2000);
    (Seen) Uncanny X-Men#512 (August, 2009)

Powers/Abilities: Cornelius Shaw was presumably wealthy and with considerable social, political, and/or business influence.

    It is unrevealed whether he had mechanical/design abilities. 

    He was apparently a skilled actor, convincing others that he was benevolent.

    He was also apparently a highly skilled general

Height: Unrevealed (he was not pictured next to anyone of known height; perhaps 6'1")
Weight: Unrevealed (perhaps 195 lbs.)
Eyes: Unrevealed (he was only seen in shadow, or otherwise drawn to look solid black, but as he was mutaphobic, etc., I think it unlikely he had grossly non-human eyes)
Hair: Black (with black sideburns)

Historyshaw_cornelius-early20thcen-face
(X-Men: Hellfire Club#3 (fb) - BTS) - Cornelius Shaw was born in 1861 AD. 

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#3 (fb) - BTS) - Cornelius considered his father a "rotten wastrel."

(Uncanny X-Men#512 (fb) - BTS) - Cornelius Shaw served under Lord Molyneux in a branch of the Hellfire Club based in San Francisco. Molyneux's group sought to protect humanity by eliminating the "overmen" (mutants) that they perceived to be poised to overrun and replace mankind. 

    Molyneux's "league of sensitives" (seers; presumably possessing some degree of ESP (Extrasensory Perception)) detected possible "evolutionary outbreaks," and the Hellfire Club eliminated them on their own. However, as more and more "overmen" developed, the Hellfire Club constructed an immense robot known as a Sentinel, with which they intended to eliminate overmen.

    The Sentinel required a power source, and the Hellfire Club targeted Dr. Nicola Bradley, who was in the process of developing a generator-battery that would provide "nearly infinite and wholly inexpensive wireless electricity," to produce that source. Working alongside Salome, Cornelius met with and bankrolled Bradley, investing thousands of dollars and allowing untold hours in his efforts.

    Frustrated with Nicola's lack of results, Cornelius sent a quartet of Hellfire Club agents (who had been gathered by Salome) to ambush Nicola in his office in Telegraph Hill and steal the device.

(Uncanny X-Men#512 - BTS) <1906> - As Nicola dozed off while working, the Hellfire Club agents prepared to ambush him, Nicola's wife, Catherine, entered the room and took out the four men with some sort of energy blaster.

(Uncanny X-Men#512 (fb) - BTS) - Nicola and Catherine rushed back to their home in the Mission district and contacted Cornelius Shaw immediately. Not wanting any additional attention, they did not contact the authorities.

(Uncanny X-Men#512) - The following morning, Cornelius and Salome met with Nicola and Catherine Bradley in their home, telling their seeming benefactors of their encounter. Cornelius asked about the device's location, but Nicola assured him it was safe. Cornelius then told them that their safety and that of the device was all that mattered, and that he knew Nicola would succeed; he could take all the time he needed, as they were talking about revolutionizing the way the entire world worked, and it would all be worth it in the end when he succeeded. Cornelius finally assured Nicola that his organization was delighted to continue funding him, and that he should just breathe deep, collect himself, and get the job done.

    They were interrupted as Nicola -- having seen them via an advanced viewing device of her or Nicola's grandparents -- informed them of the approach of unidentified parties: Hank McCoy/Beast, Warren Worthington/Angel, Betsy Braddock/Psylocke, James Bradley/Dr. Nemesis, Madison Jeffries, Dr. Yuriko Takiguchi, and Dr. Kavita Rao, having traveled from over 100 years in the future in hopes of gaining blood samples from Nicola and Catherine Bradley as homo superior mutantkind had seemed to increase markedly in number around that point in time. Catherine confronted the visitors at gunpoint and insisted upon their departure, after which they left peacefully; Cornelius complimented her, noting the best offense to be a prodigiously armed defense. Departing, Cornelius reiterated his previous points, adding that they should -- above all else -- shoot first and let the Lord sort things out, as visionaries were rarely understood, let alone tolerated, in their own age.shaw_cornelius-early20thcen-insentinel

    However, upon departing, Cornelius expressed his disgust for Nicola to Salome, spitting on the ground and then mocking Nicola's idealistic goals before noting that for such a brilliant man, he was quite possibly the dumbest man he had ever met. Cornelius then instructed Salome to bring in "her most able crimps" and to "shanghai <them> by sunset" the agents -- whoever they were, wherever you found them -- who had botched the robbery; he wanted them on ships and halfway to China by the time he went to bed that night.

    After a short carride, they arrived at the Hellfire Club facility and they entered the Seers' room and met with Lord Molyneux, who greeted them with friendly enthusiasm before having one of the seers reveal her vague visions of overmen and humanity's extinction. Upon asking for the device and learning they had failed, Molyneux flew into a rage that set the Seers writhing and screaming in pain. Drawing his saber, he told Shaw that their failure could mean the death of man; with his blade at Shaw's neck, Molyneux warned him that no one failed him twice; "contrary to what your breeding might tell you, you are utterly replaceable."

(Uncanny X-Men#512 (fb) - BTS) - Having finally completed his generator-battery, Nicola summoned Cornelius Shaw and Salome to his Telegraph Hill office..

(Uncanny X-Men#512) - When Nicola's device seemed to produce only dim light, Cornelius became enraged, accusing Nicola of wasting many thousands of dollars and many hours; but after the device demonstrated wireless transmission of electricity and Nicola exclaimed how it was nearly infinite and wholly inexpensive wireless electricity, he was impressed. Salome noted, "We'll take it."

(Uncanny X-Men#512 (fb) - BTS) - Cornelius and Salome had Nicola and the device taken to the Hellfire Club facility. Nicola was bound in a chair in the room holding the Sentinel, and Lord Molyneux was summoned.

(Uncanny X-Men#512 - BTS) - Six Hellfire Club agents invaded the Bradley's home and attempted to ambush Catherine, but she stunned one and escaped, while an arriving Angel took out the rest.

(Uncanny X-Men#512) - After Molyneux discussed the threat of the Overman and Nicola was confused with why they wanted him, Cornelius mocked him as a pathetic joke before telling him his invention was the means to their end. Molyneux then revealed the Sentinel, and Salome told him his wife was being snuffed. However, as a Hellfire Club employee noted how the Seers were bleeding from their eyes, Molyneux realized the Overmen were there; Beast, Jeffries, and Psylocke then arrived to rescue Nicola.

(Uncanny X-Men#512 - BTS) - The generator-battery was inserted into the Sentinel, activating it, and Cornelius and Salome, as well as at least a pair of Hellfire Club agents, rode in a railed off booth area in its upper chest. The X-Men fled with Nicola.

(Uncanny X-Men#512) - As Angel and Nemesis joined the fight, one of the agents noted how the Sentinel was moving at top speed, and Cornelius reiterated that all "his little murder machine" needed to spring to life was the battery. He may have been the voice that spoke through the Sentinel: Attention, insidious Overmen! The human race will never stop fighting you!"

    Cornelius and Salome were surprised as Angel and Psylock flew up to their booth and took out the other two agents, after which Madison Jeffries designed a device -- at Nicola's instruction -- that overloaded the generator with a powerful burst of electricity. The Sentinel exploded, and Nicola was mortally wounded by debris.

(Uncanny X-Men#512 - BTS) - Nemesis obtained the desired blood samples from each of his parents.shaw-esau-1915-cornelius.jpg

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#3 (fb) - BTS) - Cornelius was a brigadier-general in the English Army and a "rather close friend" of Montgomery, Lord Falsworth (aka Union Jack).

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#3 (fb) - BTS) - Cornelius had two sons, Esau and Jacob.

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#3 (fb) - BTS) - When his son Esau entered the English Army, Cornelius gave him a Wembley Mark V pistol, "a modern talisman to keep his son safe from harm." Cornelius considered it insurance.

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#3 (fb) - BTS) - Cornelius died in 1915.

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#3 (fb) - BTS) - The Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club elected to choose another Shaw to complete their membership (replacing Cornelius); they chose his son Esau.

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#3 (fb)) <December 6, 1915> - Esau and Jacob attended the funeral of their father, comforting a woman in a veil (presumably their mother).

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#3 (fb) - BTS) - After Cornelius' funeral, Montgomery Falsworth wrote in his journal: 

    "A great man was buried today. Cornelius Shaw was the best of His Majesty George V's best, on the battlefield and off. An unshakable strategist, a razor-keen wit and a gentleman without peer. But, above all else, a loving father and a devoted husband. The last of a dying breed. The world is a sadder place for his passing." (see comments)

Comments: Created by Ben Raab.
    Expanded and pictured by 
Matt Fraction, Yanick Paquette, and Karl Story.

    The story noted they were traveling from 103 years in the future, but that is topical, as the story came out in 2009. They traveled to 1906, and the length of time they traveled slowly increases with the passage of time due to the sliding timescale. 

    Great story, but 1906 (and specifically James Bradley's parents) as the whole point of the "igniting" of homo superior (mutant kind) doesn't make sense to me in the context of the Marvel Universe.

    Big differences between Cornelius and Cornelius!

    Cornelius described the Sentinel as "my little murder machine" (emphasis mine); it is unrevealed what, if any, role he had in its design/construction.

    The names on the surrounding tombstones are story credit, so I didn't bother to include them fully.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Cornelius Shaw
has no known connection to:  


images: (without ads)
X-Men: Hellfire Club#3, pg. 5 (Cornelius' tombstone);
Uncanny X-Men#512, story pg. 18, panel 1 (face, close-up);
        pg. 22, panel 2 (full body);
        pg. pg. 29, panel 1 (inside Sentinel)


Appearances:
X-Men: Hellfire Club#3 (March, 2000)  - Ben Raab (writer), Charlie Adlard (artist), Mark Powers (editor)
Uncanny X-Men#512 (August, 2009) - Matt Fraction (writer), Yanick Paquette (penciler), Karl Story (inker), Daniel Ketchum (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor)


Last updated: 02/26/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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