Real Name: Todd Watkins
Identity/Class: Human mutant
Group Membership: Xavier Institute student body
Affiliations: Beanpole (Mike Galbraith), Chlorites, Diascar race, Flasher (Kristin Koenig), Harry Mills, Seden Karm (aka "John Chang"), Papillon (Sarah Allaire), Visionary (Meena Banerjee), Charles Xavier, X-Men (most notably Beast/Hank McCoy, Cyclops/Scott Summers, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner, Kitty Pryde, Rogue/Anna Marie,
formerly Henry Peter Gyrich, Lash (James Wheaton), Sentinels
Enemies: Henry Peter Gyrich, Sentinels;
formerly Chlorites, Valerie Cooper, Diascar race (esp. Poratine & Taforne), Imperial Guard (Astra, Blackthorn, Flashfire, Magique, Manta, Nightside, N'rill'iree, Smasher/Vril Rokk), Lash (James Wheaton), "Crush" Russell
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Last seen at the Xavier Institute, West Chester, New York;
First Appearance: X-Men: Watchers on the Walls (May, 2006)
Powers/Abilities: Todd was covered head to toe in heavy, dark brown armor scales; his appearance was likened to a cast-iron pine cone. Though he was bulletproof, he could not stand up under the weight of the scales and was forced to use a wheelchair.
His plates could be surgically removed, restoring his mobility, but they were expected to grow back within weeks to months.
Height: Unrevealed (he
was typically restricted to a wheelchair, which limited his height to
his sitting height instead of a standing height; maybe he learned how
to shed or grow his scales as needed)
Weight: Unrevealed (but massive enough that he could not stand or move his limbs due to the weight of his scales)
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls:
Chapter 1: Exordium (fb) - BTS) - Todd, along with the rest of a group
of newly recruited mutants, entered the Xavier Institute. He gathered with
those who mutations largely made them look strange or served as
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 1: Exordium) - Todd met Harry Mills and "John Chang" (secretly the Zann Chlorite Seden Karm) and explained his powers, as did Meena Banerjee and Kristin Koenig.
Xavier then addressed the assembled students, gently chiding the larger group for excluding those with less impressive abilities. At the subsequent brunch, Todd and his newest acquaintances found the other mutants more interested in and inclusive of them.
Watchers on the Walls:
Chapter 7: Ex Cathedra (fb) - BTS) - Todd listened alongside his fellow students to a press conference led by Val
Cooper, the US secretary of defense, the UN secretary-general, and
Poratine of the Diascar discussing the Chlorite threat and their plans
to test all non-human mutates in hopes of exposing the aliens as
quickly as possible.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 7: Ex Cathedra) - After Kris Koenig asked if they could afford to take the chance that the Chlorites may not be as bad as the Diascar said, Todd reminded her that she -- unlike himself and others -- could pass for human and that nobody would be hunting her down. She sarcastically offered to hide him, pulled off one of her gloves, and touched him, making his bony-plated skin invisible, leaving his internal organs visible. As the other students groaned in disgust, Kris noted that now anyone could see he was human on the inside. Todd told her to turn him back, but she told him it would wear off in a minute.
As the others discussed how the Diascar might be manipulating humanity to turn them against each other and get them off guard, Todd -- by now having returned to normal visibility -- agreed that the whole thing seemed plausible.
Watchers on the Walls:
Chapter 11: Exile) - Todd was enraged to learn "John Chang" was a Chlorite, and he
voiced his intent to harm John if given the chance. He argued -- to
Harry, Kris, Meena, and Sarah -- that John clearly was part of the
Chlorite plot, that he had only befriended Harry to get into the Xavier
Institute, and that he had only taken an interest in Meena to learn if
her reality powers were a threat to the Chlorites. Todd concluded that
John wasn't human and would eventually be turned over to the US
government and exiled from Earth. Todd was silent after Harry asked if
they (the group of mutants) were human.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 19: Extracurricular (fb) - BTS) - Agreeing with the Chlorite threat and not wanting any trouble, Todd went and had himself registered with the government to prove his non-Chlorite status.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 19: Extracurricular) - When Meena had frightening visions of Sentinels attacking the Xavier Institute, the other students appreciated that this was likely due to the presence of "John Chang." When James "Lash" Wheaton prepared to call the government to inform them of the hidden Chlorite in hopes of ensuring the government would spare him from Sentinel assault, Harry attempted to stop him, but Wheaton threatened him and anyone who protected him with electrical tendrils.
After weathering one such assault, Harry pulled Meena and Kris with him behind Todd's' durable form (which he did not particularly appreciate, as he was just trying to study), but ultimately Sarah convinced Wheaton to call off the attack and talk it out with her over dinner.
However, after Wheaton left, Meena -- worrying that Wheaton would try to call again -- argued that they needed to get "John" off of grounds and into another hiding place. When Harry suggested they might be able to find others who could help them via the internet, Todd teased that Harry wouldn't know about anything on the internet that wasn't porn. Harry teased back that if Todd didn't keep quiet, he'd stop letting Todd look over his shoulder. Overhearing the students, Rogue agreed to help them liberate and relocate "John."
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 19: Extracurricular) - This plan frightened Todd sufficiently that he instead contacted the government to reveal the existence of "John" as a Chlorite hidden on Xavier Institute grounds, as well as the plot to liberate and hide "John." As he was confirmed to be calling from the Xavier Institute, Todd was put in direct communication with Henry Gyrich, who appreciated his information but nonetheless wished all mutants were "weighted down by their own monstrosity that they couldn't move or pose a threat."
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 19: Extracurricular - BTS) - Henry Gyrich informed Diascar fleet commander Poratine, leading her to coordinate a Diascar-Sentinel-Imperial Guard assault on the Xavier Institute, which Gyrich hoped would eliminate Xavier's organization for good.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 21: Extermination (fb) - BTS) - Frustrated with the Sentinels' repeated questions about reclassifying specific beings as threats, Gyrich told them to reassess all status assignments as the situation warrants, unwittingly neutralizing much of the controls the Diascar had programmed into the Sentinels.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 21: Extermination (fb) - BTS) - Mutants lacking direct combat abilities, like Todd and Harry, were relocated to the Xavier Institute's sub-basement, with Xavier himself watching over them.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 21: Extermination - BTS) - The Sentinels progressively reclassified the Imperial Guard and the US troops as threats when they tried to prevent the Sentinels from slaying mutants who had previously been trying to aid the Sentinels (as they wanted to be rid of the Chlorite). As a result, all forces temporarily united to take out the Sentinels.
Watchers on the Walls:
Chapter 21: Extermination) - While most of the Sentinels began to fall before
the combined forces of the mutants, Imperial Guardsmen, and troops, one
disengaged the top portion of its head and its left forearm assembly,
and was joined by at least one, if not two, other left hands. These loose
components made it into the Xavier Institute mansion and down to the
sub-basement in which Xavier and the mutants with powers less useful in
a flight were based.
Feeling guilty over having made the call that led to this assault, Todd projected thoughts of his actions to Xavier, who had everyone relocate to the Danger Room and then wheel Todd in front of the door so he could act as a shield.
Todd winced in pain as the Sentinel's energy beams and plasma flame raked across his carapace. Ultimately, his wheelchair melted and collapsed; the fall to the ground finished the job of knocking out Todd.
The Danger Room defenses -- and Harry's massive defluxion (hair shedding) -- ultimately incapacitated the Sentinels attacking Todd' group.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 23: Exeunt Omnes (fb) - BTS) -Todd was taken to a hospital, and was expected to make a full recovery. The doctors removed some of his heavy surface plates to operate, and Todd asked them to remove all of the plates, although it was believed the plates would grow back on their own. For awhile, though, he was again able to walk and move under his own power.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 23: Exeunt Omnes (fb) - BTS) - Meena located Reality-62342, where Chlorites were the dominant lifeform. Rogue absorbed Meena and Nightcrawler's powers and transported to Earth-62342 while being scanned by the Shi'ar stargate generator. A portal to that world was then opened.
Watchers on the Walls:
Chapter 23: Exeunt Omnes (fb) - BTS) - Seden Karm (the real name of the the friend they had known as John
Chang) said his goodbyes to his former classmates.
Todd told Seden he didn't think he deserved mobility after what he'd done, but Seden acknowledged they had both been acting out of fear for their and their species' lives. However, they had learned that those that had reached out to the other side were the ones who had saved them all.
(X-Men: Watchers on the Walls: Chapter 23: Exeunt Omnes - BTS) - Seden Karm, Dr. McCoy, and the Diascar confirmed Earth-62342 as the world they had sought to live in peace, and John adopted the mission to locate the rest of the Chlorites in the galaxy and convince them relocate to Earth-62342.
Comments: Created by Christopher L. Bennett.
Carapace (the upper shell of a turtle) seems an obvious alias for Todd, in my opinion.
The status of Todd and the rest of the mutants introduced in this series post M-Day is unrevealed.
No images of Todd exist. There is not a single picture in the whole story.
Each of the chapters in Watchers on the Walls had an "X" or "Ex" title. An exordium is an introduction; ex silentio means not only "from silence," but also "for lack of contrary evidence"; exigency means "emergency"; ex cathedra means "by virtue of office or authority"; an exclosure is an area fenced off to prevent intrusion; exequies are funeral rites; exitus acta probat means "the outcom
e justifies the deed"; an excursus is a digression or sidebar; and exeunt omnes is a stage direction that means "they all exit."
"Deus ex Meena" is obviously a play on "Deus ex Machina," originally used to describe mechanical devices used to simulate godly powers in Greek tragedies and later used to mean simply a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly abruptly resolved by the intervention of some event, character, etc.
Great story. You can buy it on Amazon, etc. for a few dollars. I would love to see it adapted to the comics and get some visuals on all of the cool characters introduced in this book.
Profile by Snood.
Todd Watkins should be distinguished from:
images: (without ads)
X-Men: Watchers on the Walls (May, 2006) - Christopher L. Bennett (writer)
Last updated: 08/30/17
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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