In the Marvel Comics universe, a centuries old organization made up of the wealthy, the powerful, and some of the most evil people on the planet. Founded in the 1760’s as a social organization for London’s elite, the club is now one of the most venomous enemies of the X-Men.

Shortly after its inception, the club’s most important members immigrated to America. A former Member of Parliament, Sir Patrick Clemens, and his mistress, the renowned actress Diane Knight became the first leaders in the American Hellfire Club, and assumed the leadership titles Black King and Black Queen. The organization within the inner circle of the Hellfire Club is that of chess pieces (king, queen, bishop, knight, rook, and pawn).

Sebastian Shaw (a black bishop) and Emma Frost (a white queen), both being mutants, slew the leaders of the club after discovering a plot to use the Sentinels to attack and destroy mutants. The plan failed, and when the smoke cleared Shaw was the new Black King. Emma Frost remained the White Queen, while also at this time headmistress of the Massachusetts Academy, a private school where she influenced young mutants and children of the social elite to follow Hellfire Club beliefs. These children became known as the Hellions.

The Hellfire Club gained interest with X-Men readers during a plot to control the Phoenix by newly joined member Jason Wyngarde. Ultimately Professor Charles Xavier and the X-Men foiled the plot, and Wyngarde was kicked out of the Club. Wyngarde’s mind control over Jean Grey backfired, leading to the creation of the Dark Phoenix.

The heroes of the Marvel universe and the Hellfire club have clashed many times throughout the years. They have always proven themselves to be worthy of the screen time they get, as the X-Files has it’s “Illuminati” the X-Men have their Hellfire Club. The Club has existed in many different forms, the oddest of which was when Magneto was White King of the Hellfire Club while being the headmaster of the Xavier school and head of the X-Men.

I always found the Hellfire Club to be intriguing villains, and never doubted the evil tendencies that Marvel writers bestowed upon them.