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William Stryker

William Stryker
File:William Stryker 001.jpg
Colonel Stryker
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills (1982)
Created by
In-story information
Full name Colonel William "Bill" Stryker, M.D.
Species Human
Team affiliations Stryker's Crusade and the Purifiers
Abilities Stryker possesses the forearm (hand to elbow) of the Sentinel Nimrod

Colonel William "Bill" Stryker, M.D. is a fictional comic book supervillain in the Marvel Comics universe, and enemy of the X-Men.

In the film X2, Stryker is played by Brian Cox as a U.S. Army Colonel with a fervent desire to harvest mutants for weapons to take down potential mutant threats, such as Magneto. Danny Huston portrays Stryker in the superhero prequel movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine in which he is the villainous leader of the Weapon X project. Josh Helman portrays a much younger Stryker in X-Men: Days of Future Past. In 2009, Stryker was named IGN's 70th Greatest Villain of All Time.[1]

Publication history

Created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Brent Anderson, he first appeared in the 1982 graphic novel X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills.

Fictional character biography

File:William Stryker 002.jpg
Stryker in Generation Hope Vol 1 10

God Loves, Man Kills

Stryker is a religious fanatic, with a military history which may have involved the Weapon X project (the same project which results in Wolverine being given his adamantium skeleton). Stryker is characterized by his unequivocal hatred of mutants. So strong is this hatred that Stryker goes so far as to kill his own wife and mutant-born son, Jason, immediately after his birth in Nevada.[2] Crazed and outraged, Stryker then makes a failed suicide attempt. As time passes, he is convinced that Satan has a plot to destroy humankind by corrupting prenatal souls, the result of this corruption being mutants. Additionally, Stryker eventually comes to see the birth of his mutant son as a sign from God, directing him to his true calling: ensuring the eradication of all mutants.

Driven by this newfound conviction, Stryker then becomes a popular but controversial preacher and televangelist. While his followers, including a secret paramilitary group called the Purifiers, commit hate crimes against mutants, Stryker arranges to have Professor Xavier kidnapped, brainwashed, and attached to a machine that, using his brainpower, will kill all living mutants. In order to stop this scheme, the X-Men are forced to join forces with their nemesis, Magneto. When the extent of his bigotry becomes obvious—he attempts to kill Kitty Pryde in front of a television audience—one of his own security guards shoots and arrests him.

God Loves, Man Kills II

Stryker, who made no appearances until this storyline in X-Treme X-Men, was assumed forgotten. This time, it was revealed that Stryker had been serving a prison sentence as a result of the events of his previous actions. Lady Deathstrike, a character with ties to the X-Men's Wolverine, makes her way onto the airplane where Stryker was being transferred. Once there, she kills his guards and rescues him, then it is revealed that the two are lovers, and he immediately begins a crusade against the X-Men, focusing on Wolverine, Cannonball, the X-Treme X-Men team, and Shadowcat, against whom he apparently keeps a grudge.

Stryker sent a group of his followers against several of the X-Men, and kidnapped Kitty Pryde. Along the way, Kitty convinced Stryker that mutants were not an abomination, and he seemed to turn over a new leaf.[3]


However, he returns as a major player he start of the 2005 "Decimation" storyline, following the "House of M" storyline, in which he deemed the sudden massive reduction in number of the mutant population a sign of God, saying "He made the first step and now we have to take the next", basically rallying for genocide on TV. He was featured mostly in New X-Men as the main villain, but also appeared in other comics set during this time frame.[4] With the help of Icarus, one of the Xavier Institute's students, he caused a bus to explode, killing about 1/4 of the de-powered students from the academy. Then he planned the assassination of Wallflower, ordering one of his snipers to shoot her in the head. Next he tried to kill Dust, though it was actually X-23. The deaths of Wallflower and Dust were Stryker's prime objectives, as he had been informed by Nimrod that both girls would destroy his army. Finally he attacked the institute with his "Purifiers," killing Quill, leaving Onyxx and Cannonball critically wounded, and hurting Bishop, Emma Frost, and other students. After Stryker's Purifiers were defeated, he was killed by the enraged boyfriend of Wallflower, Elixir,[5] who causes catastrophic damage to Stryker's brain via the rapid growth of a tumor.

Bastion resurrected Stryker with a Technarch, to join Bastion's new Purifiers. Bastion revealed that as the founder of the Purifiers, Stryker has the second highest number of mutant kills. He is surpassed only by Bolivar Trask, the founder of the Sentinels.[6]

Bastion charges Stryker to locate Hope Summers and Cable, following their return from the future in the Second Coming event. His Purifiers, in conjunction with Cameron Hodge's Right footsoldiers, engage the X-Men and New Mutants. The Purifiers take out Magik with a weaponized ritual, Illyana is abducted by demons through one of her own stepping discs.[7] They also disrupt Nightcrawler's teleportation with a sonic attack, disorientating him. The battle culminates when Wolverine orders Archangel to take out Stryker. Warren shifts to his "Death" persona and slices Stryker in half at the waist with his wings.[8]

Other versions

Ultimate Marvel

In the Ultimate Marvel reality, Beast reveals that the leader of the anti-mutant conspiracy within the U.S. Government that operated was an Admiral named Stryker, who is also linked to the creation of the Ultimate Marvel Universe's version of the Legacy Virus.[9] Stryker's son Reverend William Stryker, Jr. later appears in Ultimatum as a leader of an anti-mutant coalition armed with Sentinel tech. probably stolen from SHIELD. He has Sentinel-Tech body armor, and resembles Ahab from the mainstream Marvel Universe and various alternate realities. His wife and son (Kate and John) are killed during the events of Ultimatum who leads his hatred against mutants. Stryker's forces ("The Purifers" wearing almost Crusader-esque type outfits) later attack Juggernaut and Rogue. He is later seen with the advanced Sentinel units, NIMROD.[10] When he attacks Times Square, executing mutants in public, the X-Men appear and the Shroud kills him by phasing her arm through his abdomen. However it's revealed that he's also a mutant with the power of Technopathy. His father used medication in order to suppress his abilities, but with his last breath his powers manifest and manipulate a wave of Nimrod Sentinels to kill every mutant on the planet.[11] It is revealed that Stryker's last act left his brain-patterns imprinted on the Nimrod Model Sentinels, and have built a base based on Stryker's image, Master Mold who continues to be a threat to the X-Men.[12][13] William Stryker Sr. recently reappeared in flashbacks under the pressure of God to kill mutants, another trait he passed on to his son.[14]

Age of Apocalypse

In the alternate timeline seen in the 2005 "Age of Apocalypse" story'ine, William Stryker's father was raised by a preacher who cared for him and other children from their town after most were slaughtered by mutants. However, in a horrible stroke of irony his father was later killed by other surviving humans. As such he had to live in hiding, learning to depend on the kindness of both humans and mutants, somewhat ironically making this Stryker a far more tolerant person than his 616 universe counterpart.[15] He takes the guise of Prophet and begins to avenge humanity along with X-Terminated. He breaks into the apartment of Krakken, an engineer who built ovens to incinerate humans, and murders him but not his family. Before killing Krakken, Prophet reveals he previously destroyed one of Krakken's eyes and then finished the job by cutting off his head. William studies the Sentinels and mutants hunt of humans in order to refine his skills in taking them down. He says he's learned their weaknesses and despite their powers, his will and skill is more powerful. With ease, Prophet made his way up an attacking Sentinel, cuts into its head and flips away as the robot is destroyed from the damage. He says his talents were obtained by watching the slaughter of thousands and his victories honor them. As Weapon X leads his final attack on the last surviving City of Men, Prophet allows them to escape by throwing an explosive at Weapon X. He then leads his team out of the city. Once clear the city is destroyed by Weapon X.[16]

In other media


Brian Cox as Colonel William Stryker in X2.

Stryker appears in X2, played by Scottish actor Brian Cox. Stryker is a military scientist who has gone into defense contracting, and believes that he has been ordained by God to eradicate mutant threats. His son, Jason, tortured Stryker and his wife by planting telepathic illusions in their minds until his mother committed suicide by drilling into her own brain. Jason was sent to Xavier's school in hopes of curing him, as Stryker regarded his mutation as a disease. Xavier's position that mutation was not a disease to be cured angered Stryker. Stryker then gave his son a lobotomy to make him more docile, and derived a substance from Jason's living body that can be used to control the minds of mutants. After Stryker uses a brainwashed Nightcrawler to make an assassination attempt on the President of the United States, the President authorizes Stryker to attack the X-Mansion. He kidnaps the school's students, and elsewhere kidnaps Cyclops and Professor Xavier, whom he has Jason brainwash. Stryker also attempts to use a reproduction of Cerebro to kill all mutants, though this plan is foiled by the X-Men and Magneto's mutants, who attack Stryker's compound and rescue their kidnapped loved ones. Magento leaves Stryker chained up, and in his last moments, he tells Wolverine that Wolverine volunteered for the experiment in which Stryker bonded adamanitium to his bones and claws. After Wolverine leaves him, a nearby dam bursts. Stryker's fate was not explicitly shown. Xavier and the X-Men later give the President the files from Stryker's office containing the evidence of Stryker's crimes.

Stryker appears in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, set roughly fifteen years before the first film, in which, as a Major, he is portrayed by Danny Huston. Stryker recruits Victor Creed and Wolverine to join the Weapon X program, though Wolverine eventually leaves the team. Stryker manipulates Wolverine into return and undergo the procedure to have adamantium grafted to his bones and claws by making him falsely believe that Wolverine's girlfriend and fellow agent Kayla Silver Fox was murdered by Creed. After General Munson tries to shut Weapon X down, Stryker kills him. After the successful adamantium bonding process, Wolverine learns the truth, and Stryker shoots adamantium bullets in Logan's head, causing long-term amnesia. Although the physical injuries heal, his memories seem to be permanently gone. Stryker attempts to shoot a dying Kayla, but she uses her telepathic abilities to force Stryker to "walk until [his] feet bleed - and keep walking", which Stryker does. He is eventually picked up by the military police, who arrived to bring him in for questioning about his connection with General Munson's murder.[17]

William Stryker Sr. plays a minor role in X-Men: First Class, played by Don Creech. He appears as a CIA agent set in the 1960s discussing the existence of mutants with Charles Xavier. Stryker Sr., like his son, has anti mutant beliefs. Xavier reads his mind and mentions that he was thinking of his son William to prove he was a mutant. He works out a deal with the Soviet forces off Cuba's coast to join U.S naval forces in attacking the X-Men at the film's climax, which disastrously fails due to Magneto's incredible mutant command over electromagnetism. Though Stryker's intentions are to protect the human race from mutant threats, his own actions effectively serve as part of the catalyst of Magneto's animosity towards humans and lead him to the foundation of both the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants, which would eventually clash with his son more than once.

Stryker is featured in X-Men: Days of Future Past, played by Josh Helman in scenes set in 1973, while archive footage and audio of Brian Cox from X2 are also used.[18] According to Josh Helman, "Stryker is [Bolivar] Trask's right hand man" in this film, which focuses on the beginning of Stryker's education into mutant affairs.[19][20] Helman also revealed that he originally cast as the young Juggernaut but was cast as Stryker instead.[21] Major Stryker witnesses Wolverine in action when Wolverine, Beast, Magneto and Charles Xavier attempt to prevent Mystique's assassination of Trask, an action that will lead to the creation of the virtually unstoppable Sentinels in the future that are based on Stryker's analysis of Mystique's blood. Stryker is also present when Trask attempts to demonstrate the Sentinels. Mystique is later shown posing as Stryker when Wolverine is recovered from the river after having been thrown there by Magneto. The fate of the real Stryker was not shown.

Video games


  1. ^ Stryker is number 70 IGN. Retrieved 10-05-09.
  2. ^ Marvel Graphic Novel #5
  3. ^ X-Treme X-Men #25-30
  4. ^ New Mutants #1-35. Marvel Comics.
  5. ^ New X-Men #2-27. Marvel Comics.
  6. ^ X-Force (Volume 3) #3 (2008). Marvel Comics.
  7. ^ X-Force #15-20
  8. ^ X-Force #21. Marvel Comics.
  9. ^ Ultimate X-Men #81
  10. ^ Ultimate Comics: X-Men #1
  11. ^ Ultimate Comics: X-Men #6
  12. ^ Ultimate Comics: X-Men #8
  13. ^ Ultimate Comics: X-Men #16-18
  14. ^ Ultimate Comics: X-Men #4
  15. ^ Age Of Apocalypse #13
  16. ^ Age of Apocalypse #1
  17. ^ Marc Graser; Tatiana Siegel (2008-02-19). "Reynolds, join 'Wolverine'". Variety. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  18. ^ Perry, Spencer (July 15, 2013). "Characters and Story Details Revealed for X-Men: Days of Future Past". Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  19. ^ 'Empire Magazine' March 2014 issue
  20. ^ Empire Magazine March 2014 issue
  21. ^ Collura, Scott. "Turns out Juggernaut Was Originally in X-Men: Days of Future Past". IGN. Retrieved 2014-03-13. 

External links