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Sebastian Shaw

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Kevin Bacon as Sebastin Shaw 002

Full Name
Sebastian Hiram Shaw
X-Men (comics)
Leader of the New York branch of the Hellfire Club
Powers / Skills
Ability to absorb kinetic energy, charisma and business skills.
No information
World domination
Type of Villain

This is our time. Our age. We are the future of the human race. You and me, son. This world could be ours!
~ Shaw to a young Magneto in X-Men: First Class.

Sebastian Hiram Shaw is a Mutant and an enemy of the X-Men. He possesses the ability to absorb kinetic energy and transform it into raw strength. He is the leader of the New York branch of the Hellfire Club, an exclusive secret society bent on world domination, although to the public, he is a legitimate businessman and ordinary human. He once funded the mutant-hunting Sentinel program to keep it under his thumb.

Shaw is portrayed by Kevin Bacon in the Live Action Movie; X-Men: First Class
Kevin Bacon as Sebastin Shaw 001
Kevin Bacon playing Sebastian Shaw in X-men First Class
CgskidAdded by Cgskid
and he serves as the film's main antagonist.

Powers and Abilities

Shaw is a mutant with the unique ability to absorb kinetic energy and other forms of energy like electricity, although to a lesser degree, and use this energy to augment his strength, speed, stamina and recuperation capabilities to superhuman levels. He absorbs the energy of any blow he is struck by, including not only physical strikes, but also bullets, and less successfully, concussive energy beams; notably Cyclops' optic blasts.

By absorbing enough blows from an opponent, Shaw can surpass the strength level of said opponent and then over power them. Whether it is possible for him to reach Hulk-level strength (or surpass it) is unknown, but he has, in the past, been known to over power Colossus who is close to 100 ton strength level. He is capable of absorbing the cutting, piercing and thrusting energy from a blade which makes it exceedingly difficult to cut or stab him with sharp edged weapons.

While Shaw is highly resistant to injury, especially kinetic ones, even he can be damaged by powerful enough blows. In the "Torn" story arc, Shaw is savagely beaten by Colossus (Shaw's plan was to allow the armored Russian to repeatedly hit him to up his strength and then turn it back on him) and while he did become immensely powerful from all the absorbed blows and won the fight, afterward, he was seen riddled with bruises and holding an ice pack over his right eye. Because of this, it would stand to reason that with enough physical punishment, even Shaw could possibly be killed during a fight, but, so far, no one has caused him any more damage from a physical fight than moderate bruising.

Without any absorbed kinetic energy Shaw is merely a strong ordinary human in excellent physical condition, but regularly works to keep his strength at a superhuman level. For example, in one instance, he was shown to spend time hitting a wall after waking in order to build up his power reserves before starting the day. It is not known how long these power levels can be maintained without absorbing more kinetic energy. If Shaw is captured and bound so he could not move at all, he would be helpless. (But even the slightest give could start to increase his strength, such as friction from rubbing against his bonds.)

Shaw also can forgo sleep if he receives enough kinetic energy. Often he will have his mercenaries pummel him so that he need not sleep for some time. As a way of aiding himself in combat, Shaw is adept at taunting, and will not let enemies realize his power until they have hit him one too many times. Members of the X-Men have learned the best way to defeat him is to remove him from the field of battle. The most dramatic example of which was when Rogue threw him hundreds of feet directly up into the air and away from the fight, essentially temporarily defeating him. It is not known if other human limits apply to Shaw, such as, among other things, whether he can be hurt or killed from drowning or from a lack of air.

Shaw is, however, vulnerable to being incapacitated, or being attacked psionically. During the "Dark Phoenix" story arc where the X-Men first encountered Shaw and the Hellfire Club, after realizing that direct physical battle was not working, Storm dramatically lowered the temperature of the room to sub-arctic conditions, temporarily causing Shaw to flee and recuperate. While it did not take Shaw out of the battle for long, it was just enough to turn the tide of their battle. Shaw has also been overloaded by being struck by lightning and by falling a great distance when his gravity was increased.

In the early 1990s, Shaw was given a son in the comics, Shinobi Shaw, who manifested powers very similar to those of Harry Leland, another Hellfire potentate, and who, for a time at least, appeared to have killed Sebastian. With his father's return, Shinobi, presumably in fear of his life, faded back into the shadows.

Other key traits are his successful business acumen and his access to sophisticated weaponry. He not only prides himself on his power and the connections it allows him, but on knowing his opponents and how best to defeat them, whether in battle or in business. He also possesses technology that can block telepathic intrusions by Professor X.

X-Men: First Class

Sebastian Shaw is the main antagonist in X-Men: First Class.
Sebastian Shaw
Shaw in X-Men: First Class

Sebastian Shaw (under the alias Dr. Klaus Schmidt) was a scientist working for the Nazis during WWII. He was present in the concentration camp where a young Erik Lehnsherr's mutant powers first manifested. Shaw attempted to coax the boy into consciously using his ability but to no avail. He then threatened to shoot the boy's mother if he did not move a small gold coin made out of Nazi gold by the time he counted to three. When Erik failed to do so, Shaw executed his mother. This enraged him greatly, causing him to lash out with his powers, killing two guards to the delight of Shaw. He then congratulated the traumatized young mutant.

18 years later, Sebastian emerged as the leader of the Hellfire Club, a group of mutants with aspirations of world domination. He was observed in Las Vegas by CIA Agent Moira MacTaggert meeting with U.S. Army Colonel Hendry where he threatens him into supporting the building of American missile sites in Turkey, near the Russian border. When MacTaggert witnesses Shaw's henchmen Azazel and Riptide using their powers, she attempts to warn her superiors; but Shaw has Azazel teleport Hendry to a Joint Chiefs meeting where he voices his support of the plan. Later, when Hendry comes to Sebastian's yacht to collect his payment, he attempts to have him killed. But the Colonel pulls out a grenade and threatens to blow them all up if they refuse to let him go. Shaw takes the grenade and pulls the pin himself, displaying his mutant power by absorbing the energy from the blast and killing Hendry himself. That night, a now adult and vengeful Erik Lehnsherr, who had been hunting Shaw, sneaks aboard the yacht and attempts to murder the man who'd tortured him; only to be overwhelmed by Emma Frost's telepathy. At the same time, the U.S. Coast Guard arrived along with MacTaggert and mutant telepath Charles Xavier to apprehend him. Frost used her powers to shield Shaw from him and they all made their way to their submarine and narrowly escaped capture.

On their way to meet with a Soviet general, Frost senses Xavier's enhanced telepathy (through use of Cerebro) and informs Sebastian that he is recruiting his own team of mutants, consisting of Dr. Hank McCoy, Angel Salvadore, Sean Cassidy, Alex Summers, Raven Darkholme and Armando Muñoz. Shaw reveals a helmet he had built by the Russians that shields him from telepathic influence and orders her to meet with the general in his place. He, Azazel and Riptide track Charles and his team to a secret CIA facility where they proceed to kill everyone, leaving the young mutants as the only ones left. He then offers them a chance to join him in the upcoming war with humankind, an offer that only Angel accepts. When the others attempt to stop her, Shaw absorbs Summers' energy blast and kills Muñoz before leaving.

Shaw proceeds to Russia, where he meets with the Soviet general he sent Frost to see during which she was captured by Lehnsherr and Xavier; forcing the man to send Soviet missiles to Cuba. It is his plan to goad the U.S. and Soviet Union to use nuclear weapons on each other, causing WWIII which will cripple human civilization and allow mutants to rise up and rule. He accompanies the Russian fleet in his submarine to assure that the missiles reach their destination, but he is tracked by Xavier and his team. Lehnsherr uses his powers to lift the sub from the water before they both crash on a nearby beach. Shaw attempts to absorb the energy from the sub's nuclear reactor (becoming a human atom bomb) but is foiled by Lehnsherr. The two fight and Sebastian has the upper hand, until Erik manages to remove his helmet allowing Xavier to mentally freeze his body. Lehnsherr then takes Shaw's helmet for himself and uses his ability to force the Nazi gold coin he still kept through Shaw's brain, killing him. His body was then used by Erik, as a means of showing he was now in charge to Shaw's former comrades.

Death of Sebastian Shaw
Shaw's Death

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