shaw-worthington_elizabeth-18thcentury-homeless-face.jpg

shaw-worthington_elizabeth-18thcentury-gown-full.jpgELIZABETH SHAW-WORTHINGTON

Real Name: Elizabeth Shaw-Worthington

Identity/Class: 18th century terrestrial citizen;
    naturalized American citizen;
    former British citizen

Occupation: Unrevealed;
    former housewife;
    former homeless vagrant

Group Membership: Hellfire Club

Affiliations: Formerly Lady (Jean) Grey (and presumably her servant Jarvis)

Enemies: Lady (Jean) Grey, the Hellfire Club

Known Relatives: Wallace Worthington (husband, deceased);
    Hiram Shaw
(presumably deceased), Sarah Shaw (deceased), Obadiah Shaw (presumably deceased), Abigail Harkness (possibly; presumed deceased) - ancestors (see comments);
    Cornelius Shaw, Esau Shaw, Jacob Shaw, Sebastian Shaw, Shinobi Shaw, and presumably Szandor Shaw (descendents);
    (see comments)

Aliases: Elizabeth Worthington, Mrs. Wallace Worthington;
    formerly Elizabeth Shaw (see comments)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
    formerly unspecified location in England

First Appearance: X-Men: Hellfire Club#2 (February, 2000)

Powers/Abilities: Elizabeth had no superhuman powers. She was an attractive young woman. Though willing to plan a seduction and betrayal, when she fell in love, she was unable to go through with it.

Height: Unrevealed; perhaps 5'6"
Weight: Unrevealed; perhaps 130 lbs.
Eyes: Uncertain (everyone in the comic had black cornea); perhaps dark brown
Hair: Strawberry blonde (dyed blonde)

shaw-worthington_elizabeth-18thcentury-homeless-full.jpgHistory
(
X-Men: Hellfire Club#2 (fb) - BTS) <1778> - At the age of 13, Elizabeth Shaw left her native England and came to America, in search of a brighter future, dreaming of a life better than the one she left behind. 

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#2 (fb) - BTS) - Elizabeth ended up homeless, living in the gutters and alleys of Philadelphia.shaw-worthington_elizabeth-18thcentury-hellfire.jpg

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#2) <1780> - Caught in the act of stealing an apple from a street vendor, Elizabeth dropped the apple and escaped the older, heavier vendor on foot; she was unaware she had caught the attention of Lady (Jean) Grey of the Hellfire Club, who had been passing through town in her carriage. 

    As Elizabeth gazed longingly at some dresses through a window, she was approached by Lady Grey; after Grey spoke to her on the values of dreams, Elizabeth asked if she could be of some service, but Lady Grey, showing her the apple she had obtained, told the young girl, "Actually dear, I believe I can be of service to you."

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#2 - BTS) - Elizabeth boarded Lady Grey's horse-drawn carriage, guided by her servant Jarvis.

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#2) - The carriage arrived at the Hellfire Club estate.

    Inside the mansion, Lady Grey told Elizabeth of the Hellfire Club, describing both its hedonist aspects and its local, global, and national influence. After Grey told Elizabeth of the importance of apprenticeships to the club and asked what fires burned in her heart, Elizabeth answered, "Freedom" (meaning freedom from being poverty's slave). Grey welcomed her to the Club.

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#2 (fb) - BTS) - Lady Grey arranged for Elizabeth to seduce Major-General Wallace Worthington (whose financial status was presently embattled) with the goal of learning military secrets he would have (as Worthington was replacing the traitorous Benedict Arnold as Philadelphia's commandant).
    Grey and her allies sought to thwart the American revolution and revert America to colonial status under British rule.shaw-worthington_elizabeth-18thcentury-hellfire-full.jpg

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#2) <six months later> Elizabeth met with Worthington, along with is ally Captain Steven Rogers (aka the "Captain America" of the Revolutionary War). Claiming to be fascinated with Worthington's stories, she told him she had never met of anyone possessed of such a commanding presence. Returning the compliment by noting her to be the most beautiful woman he had ever beheld, Worthington asked her to dance, and she accepted.

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#2 (fb) - BTS) - Following a whirlwind courtship, Elizabeth became Mrs. Wallace Worthington.

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#2 (fb) - BTS) - Despite her best efforts to the contrary, the fires of greed and ambition died with Elizabeth as she fell truly in love with Wallace.

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#2) <1781> - On a bitter night, Lady Grey chastised Elizabeth for falling in love with Wallace and failing to gain his military secrets. Grey warned that, without these, the American revolution would succeed, and Elizabeth, would have all of her "puppet strings" cut; "...such is the price of freedom."

    Shocked for a moment, Elizabeth realized that Grey and her allies would attack Wallace directly.shaw-worthington_elizabeth-18thcentury-hellfire-face.jpg

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#2 (fb) - BTS) - Elizabeth rushed on foot back to her home.

(X-Men: Hellfire Club#2) - As Elizabeth arrived, Captain America (Rogers) burst from the burning house carrying Worthington, who had been badly beaten by his attackers and left to die in flames. Elizabeth rushed to Wallace's side, apologizing, but after telling her he had refused to share the secrets they wanted, he died in her arms.

CommentsCreated by Ben Raab and Charlie Abalard.

    Elizabeth's fate following Wallace's death is unrevealed, but I would imagine with the Hellfire Club's involvement, she would have, at best, been returned to poverty and homelessness and, at worst, tormented, tortured, and/or killed (or manipulated into suicide). Or perhaps she was sent back to England (or fled back there). Maybe she had children by another man...

    Elizabeth Shaw is listed as an ancestor for Sebastian Shaw, and Wallace Worthington is listed as an ancestor of Angel (Warren Worthington). We have no indication Elizabeth was pregnant at the time of Wallace's death, so there's nothing to support that she had a child by him and might be an ancestor of Angel (Warren Worthington) as well, but that is possible. Alternately, Wallace may have had children from a previous marriage, or he may not be a direct ancestor of Warren's, meaning they actually just have common ancestry. 

    Additionally, if Elizabeth is a descendent of Hiram Shaw, then perhaps Hiram or Obadiah moved back to England after the events of X-Men: Hellfire Club#1. Or Hiram had children from a previous marriage (or out of wedlock, though the offspring carried his last name) that remained in England after Hiram traveled to Salem, Massachusetts.

    I think the series was supposed to show that Hiram's descendents were tainted by his curse, and so I would think it almost certain that Elizabeth was Hiram's descendent. I like the idea that Abigail Harkness was pregnant, and that Obadiah fled with the child after its birth due to fear of Abigail's being a witch. Alternatively, perhaps Abigail convinced Obadiah to stay with her, and they both relocated to England. Or Hiram went to England and had a new family. The world may never know.

    Elizabeth was no more than 16, and possibly only 15, when she initated the romance with Worthington. People didn't live as long and tended to mature fairly early, so that young of a marriage was not uncommon at all back then.

    As far as I know, at the time Elizabeth was married, it was the standard for the woman to take her husband's surname, which would have named her thusly: Elizabeth Worthington, nee Shaw;
    however, multiple resources name her as Elizabeth Shaw-Worthington, and it wasn't unheard of to hyphenate back then. Or, perhaps the handbooks used it as a form of concise clarification.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Elizabeth Shaw-Worthington
should be distinguished from:



images: (without ads)
X-Men: Hellfire Club#2, story pg. 5, panel 3 (homeless dress, full) and 5 (face);
        pg. 12, panel 2 (party dress, full);
        pg. 15, panel 4-6 (Hellfire robe/cape; upper profile, full-covered face-distant, face)


Appearances:
X-Men: Hellfire Club#2 (February, 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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