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Master Mold
Master Mold.jpg
Master Mold in The Incredible Hulk vol. 2 Annual #7 (Oct. 1978). Art by John Byrne
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe X-Men #15 (Dec. 1965)
Created byStan Lee
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Team affiliationsSentinels
Project: Armageddon
AbilitiesSuperhuman strength, speed, reflexes, and durability; ability to incorporate metal into itself; concussive blasts; plasma discharges; ability to scan mutants; flight

Master Mold is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Since his primary purpose was to act as a portable Sentinel-creating factory, and the Sentinel robots were primarily used to hunt Mutants, Master Mold has almost exclusively appeared in the X-Men and related, mutant-themed, comic books.

Publication history

Cover to X-Men #16 (January 1966). Art by Jack Kirby.
Cover to X-Men #16 (January 1966). Art by Jack Kirby.

The Master Mold first appeared in The X-Men #15–16 (Dec. 1965–Jan. 1966), and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

The character subsequently appears in The Incredible Hulk Annual #7 (1978), X-Factor #13–14 (Feb.–March 1987), Power Pack #36 (April 1988), Marvel Comics Presents #18–24 (May–July 1989), The Uncanny X-Men #246–247 (July–Aug. 1989), The Sensational She-Hulk #30 (Aug. 1991), and Cyclops: Retribution #1 (Jan. 1994).

The Master Mold received an entry in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89 #5.

Fictional character biography

Master Mold was created by Dr. Bolivar Trask during the original run of X-Men comics. In the 1960s, out of fear of a race of superhuman mutants that could dominate the whole world and enslave normal human beings, Trask makes Master Mold, a super-computer, in the shape of a giant Sentinel robot, that will control and facilitate the construction of the Sentinels, mechanical warriors programmed to hunt and capture superhuman mutants. Unbeknownst to all, the original Master Mold is also programmed by the time-traveling Tanya Trask (Madame Sanctity), part of the Askani Sisterhood, with the mission to find and destroy The Twelve: a group of mutants that are linked to the rise of Apocalypse, which the ruthless Sanctity considered an event that must be stopped at all costs.[1] For unknown reasons, some of the mutants that are cataloged as the Twelve are not part of the group. The Master Mold has Trask captured, and it decides to take over humanity to keep it safe.[volume & issue needed]

The original Master Mold is eventually destroyed when Trask sacrifices himself by causing an explosion to prevent the Sentinels taking over humanity, but several other Master Molds are later built by other people who want to manufacture Sentinels. In the late 1980s, the remains of Master Mold merges with Nimrod, an advanced Sentinel from the future, thanks to the Siege Perilous to form the being called Bastion, which acts like an almost-human Master Mold during the late 1990s and early 2000s.[volume & issue needed]

Another Master Mold appeared in The Incredible Hulk Annual #7. It claimed to be Steven Lang who was thought to be dead after Project Armageddon. It said that he (as Lang) did not die immediately from the crash of his flying gunship; he managed to pull himself out of the wreckage and crawl to his greatest weapon, Master Mold, which merged with Lang when he tried to activate it. It was nearly destroyed by the Hulk who was with Angel and Iceman in Master Mold's meteor space base. It was completely destroyed when the base exploded, after Hulk, Angel, and Iceman managed to escape.[volume & issue needed]

Master Mold also claimed the name and identity of Stephen Lang during a story arc Marvel Comics Presents #17–24, later reprinted in the graphic novel Cyclops: Retribution: Master Mold creates the Retribution Virus, designed to wipe out mutantkind. It blames Cyclops entirely for its death as Stephen Lang. He hypnotizes Moira MacTaggart and uses her to unleash the virus, infecting Cyclops, Callisto, and Banshee, who is completely incapacitated. However, MacTaggart breaks free of his grasp. While she attempts to cure the virus, Cyclops and Callisto team with Conscience (another artificial construct developed from Lang's brain engrams) to stop Master Mold and save mutantkind as well as all humanity, which had become threatened by the virus. Cyclops, though weakened from the effects of the disease, nearly single-handedly destroys the Master Mold before finally succumbing to his illness and falling unconscious. As Master Mold prepares to kill Cyclops and finish unleashing the virus, he is suddenly attacked by a cured Banshee who uses his sonic scream to "finish the job that Cyclops started" and destroys Master Mold. The virus is then cured before it has a chance to spread.[volume & issue needed]

Another Master Mold is built in secret in the jungles of Ecuador. This particular Master Mold builds a new breed of Sentinels, known as Wild Sentinels, which are capable of assimilating non-organic materials to assume different shapes, most of them insectoid, as well as a breed of Nano-Sentinels. This Master Mold is taken over by Cassandra Nova who uses the Wild Sentinels to destroy Genosha and in her subsequent plan to destroy the X-Men. Following their defeat at the hands of Rogue's X-Men team, the Children of the Vault escaped and regrouped in the Ecuadorian Master Mold.[volume & issue needed]

In X-Men: Second Coming, X-Force travels to the Days of Future Past timeline where there are two Master Molds, one of them producing Nimrods and another one protecting the first Master Mold.[volume & issue needed]

After the latest Tri-Sentinel was destroyed by an Isotope Genome Accelerator duplicate of Spider-Man, a saddened Mendel Stromm was approached by a mysterious benefactor who began to give him a Master Mold that specializes in creating Tri-Sentinels.[2] After the two Spider-Men reunite into one body, Spider-Man was able to take remote control of the Tri-Sentinels and send them back to the Master Mold base to destroy it.[3]

In House of X, the Orchis Project, a grouping of Earth scientists centered on human survival in the face of an ascendant Mutant population creates the Mother Mold, a Master Mold variant designed to create other Master Molds.[4] It is later revealed that the Mother Mold will be the Sentinel generation that lead directly to the creation of Nimrod.[5]

Capabilities

Dr. Bolivar Trask equipped Master Mold with powerful weaponry and the ability to speak; Master Mold was also mobile so that it could defend itself from mutant attackers or so that it can be relocated easily if Trask had to find a new headquarters. The Steven Lang Master Molds were also capable of self-repair.

Other versions

The Ultimate Marvel Universe equivalent of Master Mold are two individuals:

In the alternate reality of Weapon X: Days of Future Now, one of Madison Jeffries' Boxbots dubbed Bot becomes the new Master Mold and traps Jeffries within its body in order to use his powers to build new Sentinels without exhausting Jeffries.[8]

In X-Factor Forever Master Mold, Master Mold is bonded to Cameron Hodge by Apocalypse to form Master Meld.[9]

In What If? Age of Ultron series set in an alternative future, Wolverine, the Hulk, Peter Parker and a Ghost Rider travel to the Savage Land in order to confront an older Ezekiel Stane using a surviving Master Mold to reproduce Stark Iron Man armors. Stane uses an unnamed girl, described as an orphan, the sole remaining Trask descendant, and referred to only as 'Ms. Trask', in order to operate the Master Mold that had apparently been left behind in the Savage Land. Seeking to unleash a wave of the armors upon the world, Stane is stopped and this Master Mold ultimately destroyed.[10]

Other media

Television

X-Men: The Animated Series

Master Mold in the X-Men Animated Series
Master Mold in the X-Men Animated Series

Master Mold served an important role during the mid-1990s X-Men animated series, voiced by David Fox (Season 1) and Nigel Bennett (Seasons 3-4). During season one, the X-Men Gambit, Storm and Jubilee are kidnapped by Sentinels, sent by Bolivar Trask and Henry Peter Gyrich, while vacationing on the fictional Genosha island. There, the three X-Men and several other mutants are enslaved by Trask and Gyrich that are harnessing the mutants' powers to create a massive dam in Genosha whose water power will be used to run the newly developed Master Mold program. The X-Men eventually escape Genosha and destroy most of the Sentinels by Storm's flooding the dam. In the season finale, the X-Men later learn that Trask has lost control of Master Mold, now stationed in Washington, D.C. Master Mold has Senator Robert Kelly (and dozens of other important world leaders) kidnapped and demands that Trask replace their brains with computers that can be controlled by Master Mold. He had plans to kidnap world leaders from around the world and replace their brains with computers so that the world would fall under his control. Master Mold had concluded that mutants were humans, therefore humans must be protected from themselves. He planned to bring order and peace to the world in accordance with his programming to protect humans from mutants. As Trask tries to stop his own creation and the X-Men rescue Kelly, Professor X seemingly destroyed Master Mold's body by flying an explosive-filled Blackbird into the robot's chest, escaping at the last minute with Magneto's help. However, season four revealed that Master Mold's head and intelligence had survived. Master Mold was commissioning Sentinels to steal top-secret, indestructible lightweight plastics in order to create a new body for himself. He also had Sentinels kidnap Trask and Gyrich (as he felt the two had betrayed him) as well as Professor X to graft into his new body to acquire his nemesis's brain and powers. The X-Men eventually freed Master Mold's captives and Morph seemingly destroyed Master Mold's head once and for all. But in Bishop's timeline, Master Mold rules the United States, hunting down mutants that are put in concentration camps and using Nimrod as a personal enforcer.

Wolverine and the X-Men

Master Mold appears in the Wolverine and the X-Men animated series, voiced by Gwendoline Yeo. Unlike its conventional version, this iteration sports a feminine characterization. Her first reference is during the episode "Thieves Gambit", where the name appears on a screen in the MRD lab. In the episode "Future X", Master Mold's MRD-dominated future has gained complete control over the world. She has her Sentinels detain mutants and take the captives to replicate their powers so that the Sentinels can evolve. Humans such as Colonel Moss were made into cyborgs and placed as the detention facilities' wardens. When Professor X gets sighted, Master Mold ordered Professor X to be captured alive, in order that she may use her replicated version of Cerebro to locate all of Earth's mutants. During the episode "Backlash", she was created by Bolivar Trask in the present to create and control the Sentinels as a processing terminal. Wolverine destroyed Master Mold's body, but she transferred her programming into a damaged Sentinel, which initially repaired its programming and managed to escape; It's implied that this Sentinel will be the ruler of the future. In the series finale, Master Mold physically appears when the future X-Men team launched a full-scale attack, however, the X-Men were overpowered by her immense power. Although this battle's results are not shown, the efforts of the X-Men's present team prevented Master Mold's post-apocalyptic future from happening.

Video games

Podcasts

Mastermold makes an appearance in episodes 4, 6 and 8 of Wolverine: The Lost Trail.

References

  1. ^ Uncanny X-Men Minus 1 (1997)
  2. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 5 #4. Marvel Comics.
  3. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 5 #5. Marvel Comics.
  4. ^ House of X #1. Marvel Comics.
  5. ^ Powers of X #2. Marvel Comics.
  6. ^ Ultimate Fantastic Four/X-Men Annual #1
  7. ^ Ultimate Comics: X-Men #11
  8. ^ Weapon X: Days of Future Now #1
  9. ^ X-Factor Forever Master Mold
  10. ^ What If? Age of Ultron #2