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Black King

Real Name: Sebastian Shaw
Occupation: Chief executive officer and principal shareholder in Shaw Industries, Inc.
Identity: Publicly known; however, the general public in unaware of Shaw's criminal activities
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record
Former Aliases: None
Place of Birth: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Shinobi Shaw (son)
Group Affiliation: Leader and Black King of the Hellfire Club and of its secret Inner Circle
Base of Operation: Worldwide; the Inner Circle is based at the Hellfire Club mansion in Manhattan
First Appearance: (voice and shadow figure only) X-MEN #129, (fully seen) X-MEN #130

History: Sebastian Shaw was born into an impoverished family, but with his superb business skills, he became a millionaire by the age of 20. He eventually became the head of Shaw Industries, a multinational corporation which is heavily involved with United States defense contracts and the productions of munitions. Shaw was invited to join the Hellfire Club, the leading organization for the elite of society. Soon after joining, Shaw learned of the Club's secret Council of the Chosen, a group of members who, unknown to the others, conspired to achieve world domination through economic and political means. Through the force of his personality, Shaw became one of the leaders of the Council, rising to the rank of Black Bishop. (Members of the Inner Circle are given titles corresponding to the names of chess pieces.) The leader of the Council, a White king, had the Council give considerable financial backing to Dr. Steven Lang's attempt to create new mutant-hunting Sentinels. Upon the collapse of Lang's enterprise, Shaw seized the opportunity to turn the White King out of office. Shaw then became Black King, leader of the Council of the Chosen (which he renamed the Inner Circle) and master of the Hellfire Club. As leader of the Inner Circle, Shaw works closely with another leading member of the Circle, Emma Frost, its White Queen, who like Shaw is a superhumanly powerful mutant. Shaw survived an attempted challenge to his leadership of the Circle by its renegade White Bishop, Donald Pierce. Shaw is also cooperating with the United States government's covert Project: Wideawake, which is an attempt to deal with what is perceived as the possible menace presented by mutants. Shaw Industries was secretly manufacturing Sentinels for use by the Project. The government remains unaware of Shaw's criminal activities and of the fact that he himself is a superhumanly powerful mutant.

Height: 6 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 210 lbs.
Eyes: Black
Hair: Gray

Strength Level: Without having absorbed additional energy, Sebastian Shaw possesses the normal strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise. However, Shaw can gain superhuman levels of strength by absorbing kinetic energy, and usually takes care to absorb enough in order to keep his strength at a superhuman level throughout his waking hours: for example, upon waking he will punch walls repeatedly in order to build up his reserves of absorbed energy. There is a limit to the amount of physical strength he can achieve, but it as yet remains unknown.

Known Superhuman Powers: Sebastian Shaw is a mutant with the superhuman ability to absorb kinetic energy and to use it in an unknown manner to enhance his own physical strength, speed, and stamina. Shaw must be in contact with the energy in order to absorb it. If Shaw strikes a blow to someone or something, or is himself struck, he will absorb the energy of that blow. He has also been observed to be able to absorb electrical energy directed at him. Shaw's power to absorb and convert kinetic energy him invulnerable to various forms of attack. It is not known how long Shaw can retain the energy he absorbs. There is an upper limit to the amount of energy that Shaw can absorb and convert: once he was "overloaded" by an electrical energy discharged from the X-Man named Storm, and fell into a temporary coma. However, the exact extent of this limit remains unknown.

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