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
Known Relatives: Unidentified 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;
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)
(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."
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.
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.
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.
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
(Uncanny X-Men#512 (fb) - BTS) - Having finally completed his generator-battery, Nicola summoned Cornelius Shaw and Salome to his Telegraph Hill office..
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."
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
(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.
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:
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,
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!
on the notes written by Montgomery Falsworth, Cornelius was supremely
noble and loyal; markedly different than the corrupt, mutophobic, and
murderous person he was in Uncanny X-Men#512, but he had the Bradleys
fooled, and he could have had Falsworth fooled as well.
- I don't think it was stated that Cornelius was a member of the Hellfire Club in Hellfire Club#3.
they seemed to have been preparing to invite Cornelius to join, but
with his passing they chose Esau instead. However, I think it could be
interpretted either way.
Hellfire Club#3, Cornelius was a brigadier-general in the English army;
while lower than a major general, that's pretty high ranking and high
profile to be active in mutant-killing and riding around in a giant
robot in west coast of the USA. Still, there were 9 years between the
two stories, and Cornelius was likely lower-ranking and more mobile in
- Essentially, it
would seem that either Cornelius had Falsworth and others completely
fooled, or he changed significantly from his corrupt ways between 1906
and his death in 1915. Either option is possible, however, I consider
another possibility (pure speculation on my part):
- Cornelius could have died in Uncanny X-Men#512
and Angel assaulted and presumably incapacitated those within the
Sentinel booth/sitting platform (we saw them take out the two
unidentified Hellfire Club members, but we didn't seem them touch
Salome or Cornelius.
- Then we saw
Angel fly away with Psylocke just before the Sentinel exploded,
presumably killing anyone still inside of it (Nicola was a solid
distance away, but was killed by shrapnel from the Sentinel).
is possible that Angel and Psylocke got everyone out first, but I
believe this was also not too far from the time when they were in
X-Force and had few compunctions about killing bad guys. We don't know
for sure whether Cornelius and/or Salome were within the Sentinel when
it exploded or not, and we don't know for sure whether they survived,
because we don't see them again after they first fly up to the
- Of course, we know from
comic books that an unconfimed death doesn't count at all, and a
confirmed death rarely sticks anyway. It's quite likely that the
near-death experience might have made Cornelius re-examine his life and
turn over a new leaf.
- It is
possible that this Cornelius could actually have been the grandfather
of Esau and Jacob, and the father of another Cornelius.
- Cornelius could have been old enough to have had son who died in 1915 with two sons in who may have been 18-24 years old.
at this period in history, having children in the mid-teens was not
unheard of; he'd only have to be in his mid-to-late 40's in the Uncanny
X-Men story for that to be the case.
- That being said, however, there is nothing to support (or refute that)
assume this was Sebastian Shaw's grandfather in both stories, as I'm
pretty certain that is what was intended. Presumably the writer wanted
to use Sebastian Shaw's grandfather and knew he had been named
Cornelius, but didn't care overly that he was supposed to have been
such a morally upstanding man.
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.
Cornelius Shaw has no known connection to:
- SHAW of Earth-1610 - employee of Norman Osborn,
sent to kill Peter Parker after he was mutated by Oz, failed--Ultimate Spider-Man#1
- SHAW of Earth-9904 - secret service agent guarding President Eisenhower, apparently slain by the Cold Warrior--What If I#9
- SHAW, CARTER
of Earth-4489 -
son of Jordan Shaw and Valida Payton, brother of Jericho, led Seeker 3000 against the Hkkkt--Seeker 3000#1
- SHAW, ELLEN - circa 1950, wife of Martin--Tales of Suspense I#1/3
- SHAW, EMANUEL of Earth-7643 -
3rd vice-president of Triplanet Metals Inc, slain by Kurt Hammer--Marvel Premiere#32
- SHAW, JERICHO
of Earth-4489 - clone/"vat" son of Jordan Shaw, allowed his father to die--Seeker 3000#1
- SHAW, JORDAN
of Earth-4489 -
captain of Seeker 3000, allowed to die by his son Carter--Marvel Premiere#41
- SHAW, LYMAN
- scientist conducting experiments in the Harlow Mansion; his attempts to
communicate with other worlds via ultra-high sonic vibrations were discovered by
Primus of Archko, who informed the Soul Masters of Earth to save his own people;
slain by Screamers, though his death led Captain Mar-Vell to investigate the
Shadow Realm--Marvel Spotlight II#4
MARTIN - 1950's defense attorney, mentally forced to defend Wells,
over-pressured and lost the case--Tales of Suspense I#1/3
- SHAW, MILDRED - --HULK! magazine#13
- SHAW, RALPH - see TRIAX. identity adopted by Triax--Warlock and the Infinity Watch#26
- SHAW, SAMARRA of Earth-9910 - --Bishop: Last X-Man#6
- SHAW, SAVAGE of Earth-9602 - Sebastian Shaw
+ , Hellfire League of Injustice--JLX Unleashed#1
- SHAW, of Earth-9910 - Clan Hellfire,
assisted Bishop + allies against the Kith. generate force fields--Bishop: Last X-Man#5
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)
X-Men: Hellfire Club#3 (March, 2000) - Ben Raab (writer), Charlie Adlard (artist), Mark Powers (editor)
X-Men#512 (August, 2009) - Matt Fraction (writer), Yanick Paquette
(penciler), Karl Story (inker), Daniel Ketchum (assistant editor), Nick
Last updated: 09/14/17
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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