Two of the oldest X-Men villains, the shape-shifting Mystique and the savage Sabertooth, have a long history of doing whatever they need to survive. During one of the many times that instinct pushed them together, these two X-villains ended up having a son: Graydon Creed.
While Creed didn’t have any superpowers to speak of, he went on to challenge the X-Men in his own way. But unlike most X-Men villains, this character almost ended up becoming the most powerful person in the United States. Now, we’re taking a closer look at Graydon Creed, how he almost became President of the United States, and how his parents continued to influence his life.
Before he became a wild, bloody killer, Sabertooth found himself working as a member of Team-X, where he carried out black-ops missions all over the world during the height of the Cold War. While in Germany, Sabertooth was assigned to protect Leni Zauber, an undercover agent who was secretly Mystique. Unaware of her true identity, the pair ended up spending the night together. Mystique was able to slip away the next morning, leaving a befuddled Sabertooth to discover that the real Leni had been killed. Mystique was surprised to discover that the tryst had left her pregnant, and she eventually gave birth to Graydon. Not wanting to bring a child with her on her missions across the globe, Mystique sent him to a series of boarding schools.
She kept an eye on Graydon as he reached adolescence, but grew more and more distant as she realized despite his parentage, Graydon didn’t possess the X-gene. Realizing the truth about his mother when she confronted him in his youth, Graydon’s anger at his parents festered and grew into a general hatred for mutants in general. He set up the Friends of Humanity, a human-supremacy group that specifically targeted mutants.
Using the actions of Magneto, his Acolytes, and the Mutant Liberation Front as an opportunity, Graydon fostered a public persona as a charismatic figure in anti-mutant circles after he debuted in Scott Lobdell and Brandon Peterson’s Uncanny X-Men #299. Graydon was a frequent antagonist during this time, confronting his parents as a member of the mutant-hunting Upstarts, and eventually even telling Nightcrawler that they are half-brothers.
Graydon grew more and more ambitious, turning his eye fully to politics. Numerous anti-mutant fractions grew to respect him and back him – including Ahab and Bastion, who both saw potential in Graydon achieving public office to advance their own anti-mutant ideas. Graydon announced his candidacy for President and found an unlikely rival in Senator Robert Kelly. While he was formerly a dedicated anti-mutant speaker himself, Kelly went through a change of heart and resisted Graydon’s ideas. He also found himself dealing with J. Jonah Jameson, who grew suspicious of Graydon’s particular vitriol for mutants and was only spurred on when Bastion tried to intimidate him on behalf of Graydon.
But the Friends of Humanity became more and more uncontrollable, lashing out and even putting children in the hospital. Mystique — who had been going through a change of heart as a member of the government-sponsored X-Factor — gave up her chance for redemption to prevent her son from doing any more damage to the world. While Sabretooth and X-Factor tried to protect him, a future version of Mystique was sent back in time, and she assassinated Creed the day before the election in Howard Mackie and Eric Battle’s X-Factor #130 in 1997.
Like many of the X-Men’s greatest enemies, Graydon wouldn’t stay dead forever. Along with several other dead mutant-haters, Graydon briefly returned during events like Second Coming and Hunt for Wolverine. After Sabertooth and Mystique made a journey into Hell in Greg Pak. Fred Van Lente and Luca Pizzari’s Weapon X #27, an unusually heroic saved his son’s soul and gave him a second chance at life.
While Creed hasn’t appeared since then, it’s weird to think that the son of two of the X-Men’s most consistent enemies almost ended up control of the United States, years before other well-connected villains like Lex Luthor or Norman Osborn would try to gain power in similar fashions.
One of the X-Men's most dangerous and ambitious '90s villains was Graydon Creed, the oft-forgotten son of Sabretooth and Mystique.