A mutant in the Marvel Comics universe whose physiology has given him a misshapen, chalky appearance. Although he has been through several transformations throughout his existence in the X books, his first appearance being in Uncanny X-Men #148, Caliban’s powers have remained relatively the same. He has a powerful psionic detection that allows him to locate and track mutants. Caliban can also project emotions into his opponent, although this may be limited to only the emotion of fear. Caliban, unlike many other mutants, has had his bizarre appearance since birth, and was given his “name” by his father, after the misshapen character in Shakespeare’s Tempest.

Caliban first entered the scene when Callisto recruited him to join the Morlocks, the fugitive mutants living in the tunnels far below New York City. He lived with them for some time, using his abilities to find other mutants to recruit.

After some time he grew bored and unsettled by the reclusive lifestyle of the Morlocks, and ventured to the surface. He appeared in a nightclub in which he had sensed mutants at, and quickly got in a skirmish with Dazzler, Storm, Kitty Pryde, and the original Spider Woman. This ended peacefully, and eventually Caliban was then taken in by X-Factor when the Marauders began systematically killing the Morlocks. As his power was useful to them, Caliban became a member of the group until Apocalypse began attacking New York.

Caliban, who had always felt his powers to be relatively useless and unimportant, joined Apocalypse in return for being granted more power. Apocalypse mutated Caliban, and renamed him “Death” to replace Archangel in his group The Four Horsemen. Eventually Apocalypse abandoned the Horsemen to Mr. Sinister, who used them to attack Jean Grey and Scott Summers. They abducted the two former X-Factor members, and placed them in the hands on the villainous Stryfe. Eventually the X-Men defeated the Four Horsemen and Stryfe and rescued their comrades.

Caliban returned to the now abandoned Morlock tunnels. The process in which he gained his stronger physique and powers had left him mentally crippled. Cable, who then asked him to join the newly formed X-Force, discovered him. He remained with X-Force until the Operation: Zero Tolerance storyline, when he was led away by Apocalypse’s minion Ozymandias

Once again in Apocalypse’s control, Caliban was transformed yet again into the horseman of Pestilence. He was given the power to create a psychoactive virus. Once again he found himself in a plot to attack and destroy the X-men, and once again the children of the atom destroyed the plans of Apocalypse. Caliban later tracked down the merged being of Cyclops and Apocalypse, and was granted his freedom. He has been unseen since.

Once of the things that I find most interesting about this character is that seldom do you see someone in the mutant comics play on either side of the fence as much as Caliban and still come off as a helpless victim. Even when he was as his most brutal, or when he kidnapped Shadowcat and tried to make her marry him, you always knew that deep down he only wanted friends and companions.