Bolivar Trask
Boliver Trask (circa 1997).png
Bolivar Trask in Professor Xavier and the X-Men #16 (February 1997). Art by Nick Gnazzo.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe X-Men #14 (November 1965)
Created byStan Lee
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Full nameBolivar Trask
Place of originNew York City
Team affiliationsSentinels
Purifiers
AbilitiesGenius-level intellect

Bolivar Trask is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is a military scientist whose company Trask Industries is well known as the creator of the Sentinels. He is also the father of Larry Trask and Madame Sanctity.

Bolivar Trask appears in the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past, portrayed by Peter Dinklage.

Publication history

Bolivar Trask was created by writer Stan Lee and artist/co-writer Jack Kirby, and first appeared in The X-Men #14 (November 1965).

Fictional character biography

Bolivar Trask was an anthropologist who saw the rise of mutants as a threat to humanity. Bolivar was the father of Larry Trask, ironically revealed to be a mutant precognitive. Bolivar had realized this, and gave his son a medallion which suppresses his power.[1] Bolivar is also the father of Tanya, a mutant whose ability to travel through time causes her to vanish but is rescued by Rachel Summers in a far future and become a part of the Askani under the alias Madame Sanctity.[volume & issue needed] Tanya's travels through time would result in property damage to Trask's land. This mysterious situation would only further cement his attitudes.[volume & issue needed]

Bolivar decides that humanity has to fight back against the mutants and develops robotic guardians for humanity, known as the Sentinels.[2] Larry was shielded from the Sentinels' ability to detect mutants due to the medallion Bolivar had given his son. Bolivar publishes articles on the threat of mutants. One of these articles showed an illustration of mutant overlords keeping humans as slaves. This illustration would become a symbol for human/mutant relations and several years later Quentin Quire and his Omega Gang would base their appearance on this picture.[volume & issue needed]

Professor Charles Xavier invites Trask for a public debate on human/mutant relations. Xavier argues that mutants are just like humans and not evil, but that does not convince Trask revealing the Sentinels. But Trask and his scientists had apparently created a too adaptive, open-ended tactical/strategic programming, and as a result the Sentinels turn against him, claiming that they were superior to humans. The Sentinels left with Trask and brought him to his first creation, the Master Mold, who orders him to construct more Sentinels.[3]

To stop the Sentinels, Xavier summons the X-Men. The X-Men fight the Sentinels, but Beast is captured. To reveal the X-Men's secrets, the Sentinels tell Trask to use a device to read Beast's mind. Trask discovers that the X-Men were mutants protecting humanity and realizes that he had been wrong. He helps the X-Men defeat the Sentinels by sacrificing himself to destroy the Sentinel's base.[4]

Recently in X-Force, Bastion having been reactivated by the Purifiers has apparently resurrected Bolivar Trask through use of a Technarch to be part of a team of the world's foremost mutant killers. He was apparently given credit for the deaths of all mutants, being the inventor of the Sentinels, had the highest record of mutant kills: 16,521,618.[5] Consistent with the remorse he had displayed at the time of his death, Trask killed himself after escaping Bastion's mental control.[6]

Legacy

Bolivar Trask's death would not be the end of the Sentinels:

Other versions

"Age of Apocalypse"

In the 1995 storyline "Age of Apocalypse", Bolivar Trask married Moira Kinross and together they designed heavily armed Sentinels to fight Apocalypse. These Sentinels were better programmed and even capable of reasoning with mutants if they protected humans (their primary objective). Bolivar participates in a plan to bomb North American Apocalypse forces, though this would mean extensive civilian deaths.[volume & issue needed] He returns in the 2012 launched Age of Apocalypse ongoing series, as one of the leaders of the remaining human resistance. His daughter Francesca is a main operative in the X-Terminators (code-named "Fiend") alongside Prophet, Good Night, Horror Show, and Zora Risman aka DeadEye though she and Bolivar have a rocky relationship.[10]

Civil War: House of M

In the 2008 miniseries Civil War: House of M, Bolivar Trask is sworn in as the Vice-President of the US and creates Sentinels to fight against Magneto in his rise to power.[11] Magneto confronts him on board the Helicarrrier. Trask summons Sentinels in self-defense, but they go into non-lethal mode as the ship is staffed with humans. Trask over-rides this, causing the death of many SHIELD agents. Magneto then throws Trask into a Sentinel beam, causing his disintegration.[12]

X-Men Noir

In the 2009-2010 miniseries X-Men Noir, Bolivar Trask is a multitalented doctor of anthropology, and sociology, who is also a pulp sci-fi writer, and a public proponent of eugenics, though not a racist, as his leading characters possess the "finest" qualities of different ethnic groups. He is the writer of the pulp sci-fi series, "The Sentinels", about a race of genetically superior beings in the year 2013 who protect humanity from the grisly deformed "Mutants". His characters include Stephen Lang, creator of the Sentinels; Callisto, leader of inadequates/muties; sentinel commander Bastion, perfect sentinels Nimrod and Rachel as well as the mad Egyptian En Sabah Nur.[volume & issue needed]

Ultimate Marvel

The Ultimate Marvel incarnation of Bolivar Trask is featured in Ultimate X-Men as the architect for the US Government 'Sentinel Initiative', a response to Magneto's terrorist attacks on Capitol Hill. Initially, the Sentinels patrolled Los Angeles and then New York City, destroying any human containing mutant genes. However, these attacks ceased after the X-Men rescued the President's daughter from the Brotherhood of Mutants. He discovered the Savage Land's location, and dispatched to destroy Magneto's paradise by order from the President of the United States. This proved to be a foolish move when Magneto easily reprogrammed the chromium-built machines to destroy humankind. After a subsequent Sentinel attack on Washington, D.C., the Sentinel Initiative was shut down.[volume & issue needed] He has recently appeared in the Sentinels story arc of Ultimate X-Men, revealed as being employed by the Fenris twins to build the new Sentinels currently attacking mutants. This would suggest that the government no longer employs him, perhaps due to the failure of the Sentinel Initiative. Feeling horrified by all that he has done, he allows himself, during Angel's attempted saving, to drop into the heart of an explosion and is killed.[13]

Another iteration of the character is featured in Ultimate Spider-Man. He is shown to be the CEO of Trask Industries and was the employer of Edward Brock Sr. and Richard Parker while they worked on the Venom suit as a cure for cancer. However, he later tricked the two to sign a contract that made the suit his full property and then he was deliberately responsible for the plane crash that killed Edward, Richard and Mary Parker, by manipulating Edward to steal a piece of the unstable Venom suit and try it on board, so that the suit would remain in his possession, despite it being incomplete and very dangerous. Years later, Eddie Brock Jr. ends up stealing the Venom suit for himself and becomes Venom. Later, after one of his researchers, Adrian Toomes, witnesses Venom fighting Peter Parker, Trask hires Silver Sable and her Wild Pack to find and capture Venom. After they deliver him to Trask, he and Toomes begin to experiment on Venom, but they are suddenly interrupted by an attack of the Beetle on Trask's facility, which allows Venom to escape.[14]

In other media

Television

Film

Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).
Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).

Video games

Non-fiction

Bolivar Trask's hatred of mutants is discussed in the non-fiction book From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books.[19]

References

  1. ^ The Uncanny X-Men #59 (1969). Marvel Comics.
  2. ^ Comtois, Pierre (2015). Marvel Comics in the 1960s: An Issue By Issue Field Guide to a Pop Culture Phenomenon. TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 107–108. ISBN 978-1-60549-016-8.
  3. ^ The Uncanny X-Men #15 (1965). Marvel Comics.
  4. ^ The Uncanny X-Men #16 (1965). Marvel Comics.
  5. ^ X-Force vol. 3 #3 (2008). Marvel Comics.
  6. ^ X-Factor #206. Marvel Comics.
  7. ^ The Uncanny X-Men 57-59. Marvel Comics.
  8. ^ New X-Men #114-115. Marvel Comics.
  9. ^ The Uncanny X-Men Annual 1995. Marvel Comics.
  10. ^ Age of Apocalypse #1. Marvel Comics.
  11. ^ Civil War: House of M #3 (January, 2009). Marvel Comics.
  12. ^ Civil War: House of M #5 (March 2009). Marvel Comics.
  13. ^ Ultimate X-Men #87. Marvel Comics.
  14. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #128 (January 2009). Marvel Comics.
  15. ^ Moreau, Jordan (July 22, 2022). "'Marvel Zombies,' 'Spider-Man: Freshman Year,' 'What If?' Season 2 Get First Looks". Variety. Archived from the original on July 22, 2022. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  16. ^ Andrew Kevin Walker (June 7, 1994). "X-Men First Draft". Simplyscripts. Retrieved July 13, 2007.
  17. ^ Hoare, James (May 14, 2014). "X-Men: Days Of Future Past director Bryan Singer talks X-Men continuity". SciFi Now.
  18. ^ "Bolivar Trask Voice - X-Men franchise | Behind The Voice Actors". behindthevoiceactors.com. December 19, 2019. Check mark indicates role has been confirmed using screenshots of closing credits and other reliable sources.((cite web)): CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  19. ^ Kaplan, Arie (2008). From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books. Jewish Publication Society. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-8276-0843-6.