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Mastermind (I)

Real Name: Jason Wyngarde
Occupation: Professional criminal, former carnival mentalist, former subversive
Identity: Secret
Legal Status: Citizenship unknown; no criminal record as yet
Other Aliases: None known
Place of Birth: Unrevealed
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: Former member of the original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and of Factor Three, rejected applicant to the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club
Base of Operations: Mobile
First Appearance: X-MEN #4

History: Nothing is known about Mastermind's life before the time when, while working as a carnival mentalist, ha was enlisted by Magneto as a member of his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. At this time Magneto sought to protect his fellow superhuman mutants from persecution by normal human beings by conquering humanity and ruling the world himself. The other members of the Brotherhood were his allies in pursuit of his goals. As a member of the Brotherhood, Mastermind battled the original X-Men repeatedly, but the X-Men continually thwarted Magneto and the Brotherhood. Finally, Magneto attempted to enlist the enigmatic alien being known as the Stranger as an ally. Angered, the Stranger transformed Mastermind into stone and transported Magneto, he captured, to another planet.

Eventually, Mastermind returned to normal and joined Factor Three, another organization of superhuman mutants bent on world conquest. However, Mastermind and his allies joined the X-Men in defeating Factor Three's leader after discovering he was an extraterrestrial being.

After again being defeated as a member of Magneto's Brotherhood, Mastermind was invited to apply for admission to the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club. To prove his worth, Mastermind sought to use his mutant powers and artificial means to alter the personality of the X-Men Jean Grey psionically so that she would-willingly become the Inner Circle's new Black Queen. Unknown to Mastermind or anyone else, his victim was not really Grey, but was a cosmic entity, the phoenix-force, which had duplicated Grey's form and personality. Mastermind succeeded in causing the false Grey into becoming the new Black Queen, but thus unintentionally triggered the process that would soon transform her into the insane Dark Phoenix. Before the latter transformation was complete, the false Grey broke free of Mastermind's control and opened his mind to all the psionic sense impressions she received from the cosmos. Unable to cope with them, Mastermind fell into a catatonic state. The Inner Circle, of course, rejected his application for membership.

Mastermind eventually returned to normal, but remembered the glory of the cosmos he had perceived, and felt tormented that he could no longer experience it. He decided to take revenge on Grey's friends, the X-Men. He succeeded somehow, in inducing Mariko Yashida into calling off her wedding of the X-Men Wolverine, and caused the X-Men Cyclops and his teammates into thinking Madelyne Pryor, whom Cyclops loved, was Dark Phoenix. Mastermind hoped to crush the X-Men's spirits by thus manipulating them into killing Pryor. But the X-Men discovered Mastermind's deception and defeated him.

Mastermind also tried to contact the Phoenix Force once again, contacting its then-current host, Rachel Summers, but he was defeated by Phoenix's team, Excalibur.

Later, Wyngarde discovered he had somehow contracted the deadly Legacy Virus, a disease which affected only mutants. About the same time, Mastermind was targeted by the mutant-hunting X-Cutioner, but he was helped by the X-Men. Wyngarde made peace with the X-Men and apologized to Jean Grey for his past misdeeds. Soon after, however, Wyngarde died from complications of the Legacy Virus.

Note: Mastermind often uses his powers to give himself an illusory handsome appearance. Both his real and illusory physical characteristics are listed here.

Height: (real) 5 ft. 10 in., (illusory) 6 ft. 2 in.
Weight: (real) 140 lbs., (illusory) 190 lbs.
Eyes: (real) Black, (illusory) Gray
Heir: (real) Gray-black, (illusory) Brown

Strength Level: Mastermind possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in no regular exercise.

Known Superhuman Powers: Mastermind is a mutant with the power of illusion casting. He can psionically cause other people to see, hear, touch, smell, and/or taste things which to not actually exist. For example, he can seem to make a solid wall appear in an empty space. He can also cause people to see, hear, touch, smell, and/or taste real things in ways that they would not do naturally. For example, he can make himself look and sound like a different person, or look and feel like a wall, or even seem invisible. Without artificial aids, Mastermind cannot cause only one person among many who are present to see his illusions: everyone within the range of his power, which can extend over an entire city (as when he helped Magneto capture the Latin American nation of Santo Marco), will see his illusions. Since his power only affects the mind, his illusions cannot be recorded on film or tape or by other means. However, his power works so strongly on the mind that even if his victim or victims know they are being subjected to an illusion, they will still react to the illusion as if it were reality unless they can rid themselves of all suspicions that it is indeed reality. Hence, if Mastermind creates the illusion of a wall, most people, even if they know it is an illusion, will still be unable to walk through it. Invariably Mastermind's illusions are so realistic that most people are unable to help having the feeling, at least subconsciously, that they are not illusions but reality.

Special Limitations: Without artificial aids, Mastermind could not single out one person present in a group to see his illusions.

Paraphernalia: In his psionic enthrallment of the phoenix-entity he believed to be Jean Grey, Mastermind used a miniature "mindtap mechanism" designed by Emma Frost, the Hellfire Club's White Queen, which enabled him to project illusions directly into the entity's mind, so that only the entity "saw" them, and to monitor the entity's thoughts, both over great distances.

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