8 Jun

Subject: Stryfe
Real Name: Unrevealed
Height: 6’8″ Weight: 350 lbs
Group Affiliation: Mutant Liberation Front
First Appearance: New Mutants #87, March 1990

Power Ratings:

  • Energy Projection: 1/7
  • Mental Powers: 2/7
  • Strength: 2/7
  • Fighting Ability: 6/7
  • Intelligence: 5/7

Say what you will about Stryfe’s longterm contributions to the mutant mythology, he compellingly held the spotlight from when he removed his mask to reveal Cable’s face, to his defeat at the end of X-Cutioner’s Song (which resulted in the release of the Legacy Virus). It all unfortunately created terrible precedents that would haunt the X-books for years to come, but really, I think it’s hard not to be sucked into it.

I can’t tell whether or not these cards were released after they’d already figured out where this Cable/Stryfe thing was gonna go, but the biography and Power Ratings certainly don’t reveal it. Stryfe (like Cable, whose stats are virtually identical) has no real name, and showed no signs of the vast psionic abilities both he and Cable are supposed to have (in fact since Cable’s mental powers were occupied keeping his virus in check, Stryfe, unburdened, was supposed to be more capable at the time). I understand keeping the big reveal a secret at the time, but giving them high Mental Powers ratings wouldn’t spoil the story at all, which is why I’m suspicious of the editors’ foresight on this.

Art-wise, despite the squiggly mess that is Stryfe’s face, the drawing is tight, imposing, and well-suited for a villain they were grooming to be the next big thing.

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