Onslaught was a sentient psionic entity created from the consciousness of two mutants: Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto. During a battle between the X-Men and Magneto's Acolytes. Xavier used his telepathic powers to shut down Magneto's mind, rendering him catatonic. During the psionic contact, Magneto's anger, grief and lust for vengeance entered Xavier's consciousness; commingling with every long-suppressed negative feeling Xavier had endured during the last 30 years. This aggregation resulted in the being known as Onslaught. Onslaught remained dormant for some time. Gradually, Xavier's frustration with his dream of mutant-human harmony began to increase, exacerbated by the daily growth of anti-mutant hysteria, the deaths of dozens of mutants from the lethal Legacy Virus, and his own failed attempt to rehabilitate the mutant sociopath called Sabretooth. Xavier reached his breaking point when anti-mutant humans killed a young mutant near the grounds of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, the secret base of the X-Men.
It was at this point that Onslaught awakened within Xavier and began to manifest himself to others. Following an encounter with the mystically empowered criminal called the Juggernaut, Onslaught invaded a government-sanctioned Sentinel base. He downloaded the current specifications for the mutant-hunting androids and erased portions of the memories of the employees working in the clandestine factory. Soon after, while hiding in Xavier's mind, Onslaught encountered the telepathic, telekinetic X-Man. He pulled the Professor's body from the astral plane, a feat never before achieved. Through X-Man's actions, Onslaught was able to escape Xavier's mind and move independently. After taking full possession of the Professor's mind and body, Onslaught-as-Xavier called together the X-Men. When they resisted his plan to turn them into soldiers fighting a total war against humans, Onslaught revealed himself to the X-Men and attempted to destroy the outlaw adventurers. The time-tossed mutant soldier called Bishop, remembering childhood stories of a traitor betraying and killing the X-Men, began to realize that the guilty party was Xavier as Onslaught.
Bishop rescued his teammates. Taking Xavier's body with him, Onslaught escaped. Once free, Onslaught created a childlike psionic projection named Charles to gain the trust of young Franklin Richards, a mutant possessing the latent power to alter reality. Onslaught succeeded in capturing the child despite a rescue attempt by Franklin's parents, Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman, members of the super-team known as the Fantastic Four. Now carrying Franklin and Xavier, Onslaught captured X-Man, intending to use his raw psionic power to fuel Onslaught’s plans to transform the human race into a collective consciousness. Onslaught returned to New York, reprogramming the Sentinel robots to obey his commands and form a protective circle around Manhattan, sealing off the island from the rest of the world. The X-Men, the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, Earth's Mightiest Heroes, challenged Onslaught. Their first confrontation with the entity and his minions resulted in the rescue of a now-powerless Xavier, who retained his usual benevolent personality. Onslaught now existed as psionic energy contained within his armor. A second and final confrontation occurred at his Central Park citadel. After a number of attempts to free Franklin and X-Man from Onslaught's seemingly impervious armor, the heroes regrouped.
During their next assault, Jean Grey used her telepathy to turn off the part of the monstrous Hulk's mind that contained the rationality of his alter ego, Dr. Bruce Banner. The now-savage Hulk, possessed of a near-animal intelligence and unbelievable strength, battled Onslaught and tore apart his armor. The resulting explosion of psionic energy separated Banner and the Hulk, and Onslaught was left as an energy being, immune to most physical harm. Onslaught then used Franklin's powers to create a second sun that would destroy the heroes and Manhattan. The Avenger known as Thor, Asgardian God of Thunder, master of storm and lightning, flew into the energy being, disrupting Onslaught's form. Realizing that Thor's efforts alone were insufficient to destroy their adversary, the non-mutant members of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four entered the energy field. The X-Men were unable to do likewise, as it was theorized that if Onslaught, a being of mutant origin, came to possess a mutant host, he would become unstoppable. Onslaught dissolved, seemingly destroyed, along with the heroes who had thrown themselves into the rift. The remaining Sentinels were disabled, Franklin and X-Man were rescued, and Manhattan was returned to normal.
Later, it was revealed that the Avengers and the Fantastic Four did not die, as had been surmised. Rather, the heroes were reborn in a pocket universe created by Franklin. The Avengers and the Fantastic Four returned to their rightful home months later, possessing only hazy memories of their time on Counter-Earth.
Following the Scarlet Witch's proclamation of "No more mutants" and the subsequent depowering of most of the Earth's mutants, a large mass of energy was released into space. After awakening Vulcan and Darwin and being controlled by Shen Xorn (who returned to Earth, fused with Michael Pointer and was then defeated by the combined efforts of the New Avengers), the ball of energy returned to Earth a second time and gained physical form as a recombined Onslaught. Immediately seeking out Franklin Richards (and failing to kill him through a mind-controlled Human Torch and Reed Richards), Onslaught quickly cornered the child in his bedroom, where Franklin once again used a small sphere to attempt to trap Onslaught's essence, but instead sucked both himself and Onslaught back to the Earth he created to send his parents. While Onslaught's plans involved ridding himself of Franklin, his further goals are still unknown.
Powers and Abilities
- Onslaught possessed all of the mutant abilities of his progenitors Professor X and Magneto. He later added the powers of Franklin Richards and Nate Grey to his, making him even more powerful.
Telepathy: Onslaught is able to read minds and project his own thoughts into the minds of others across vast distances from him with little to no resistance from even the most powerful telepaths.
- Telepathic Illusion: Ability to create realistic telepathic illusions and cause people to experience events which are not actually occurring.
- Telepathic Camouflage: Ability to mask himself, and other peoples' presence from those around him. Can telepathically disguise himself, making his appearance to those around him quite different (changing the appearance of clothing, as well as more involved disguising).
- Mind Blast: Ability to place large amounts of information in another mind.
- Mind Control: Ability to control the minds of others upon mere concentration. This power can allow him to completely shut down several peoples' minds, making it appear as if time has stopped.
- Mind Possession: Ability to possess the mind of another, and use that being's body as his own.
- Mind Alteration: Ability to alter the minds of others by force of will.
- Mental Amnesia: Ability to cause loss of particular memories, and amnesia in another person or even in a group of people. Powerful enough to make a person have total mental paralysis.
- Psionic Shield: Ability to erect a psychic shield for protection of himself and of others minds and is been sufficient to protect himself from other psychics on the Omega-level.
- Psionic Blasts: Can project psionic force bolts which have no physical effects but which can affect a victim's mind so as to cause the victim pain or unconsciousness and can even kill an adversary.
- Astral Projection: Ability to Astral Travel and communicate with others astrally through his own will, or through contact with the thoughts and memories of others. In the astral realm, he can use his powers to create "ectoplasmic" objects. He cannot engage in long range astral projection on the earthly plane.
- Mental Detection: Can sense the presence of another superhuman mutant within a small but as yet undefined radius of himself by perceiving the distinctive mental radiations emitted by such a being.
Astral Plane Tap: Ability to Tap into the enormous psychic resources of the astral plane in order to manipulate matter and energy.
- Astral Travel: Capable of forging psi-links to travel in astral form
- Material Astral Projection: Give substance to astral energy to solidify psychic forms or -forge protective psi-armor and even pull the astral projections of other telepaths into the physical world.
- Psychometry: Can read residual thought imprints left on objects touched by people.
- Dimensional Sense: Capable of sensing dimensional rifts or anomalies.
Telekinesis: Telekinetically, Onslaught is capable of very fine control over objects; he can disassemble complex devices explosively (separating every last component, such as screws, nuts, circuit boards, etc.), and just as quickly and easily assemble complex devices. This also has enabled him to even attain awareness and control over objects as small as individual electrons in an atom. For instance, Onslaught could detect if a seal was hermetic, or not, by checking for the presence of penetrating oxygen molecules. He could even detect and discern individual oxygen molecules, and determine the atomic weight of molecules, by the amount of atoms present. On larger levels, Onslaught can levitate great weights, into the tons, but his upper limit has remained undisclosed.
- Psionic Spikes: Ability to create destructive psionic spikes that destroy the physical objects that the spikes come into contact with.
- Force-Fields: Ability to create protective force shields that could detect even the most powerful of attacks (even filter bacteria from the air). The upper limits of this ability remain unknown, but it is believed that he could probably protect himself from harm at the ground zero detonation of a 1 kiloton nuclear warhead (4.18 terajoules of energy from the heat, concussion and radiation effects) with ease. Onslaught has also displayed such control over the fields as to shape them precisely, even to conform very closely to his body’s form. There does not appear to be any correlation between field strength and the thickness of the telekinetic fields.
- Concussive Blasts: Can project his telekinetic energies as powerful blast beams directed from his brain that could apparently affect matter with concussive force.
- Flight: By levitating himself, he can fly at incredible speeds.
- Intangibility: Can phase through solid matter by mentally shifting his molecules around another object's as he moves forward.
- Telekinetic Holograms: His mental fine motor skills are so acute that he can mentally manipulate dust particles and water vapor to refract lightwaves and create holograms.
Magnokinesis: Onslaught has the power to shape and manipulate magnetic fields that exist naturally or artificially. He can draw magnetic force from outside himself, or can also generate magnetic force within himself. Onslaught's power is psionic and physiological in nature. He can lift, move, and alter objects. Onslaught can project metal at an unparalleled velocity and place tremendous pressure on metallic substances to liquefy and reshape them, manipulate the iron-enriched blood-flow to one's brain to induce aneurysms or unconsciousness, redirect the flow of blood through one's brain to alter thoughts and perceptions or blank a persons mind completely, levitate a person or control a person's actions by manipulating the iron in their bloodstream, remove the iron from the bloodsteam entirely through a person's skin, control ferrous particles in the atmosphere, alter the Earth's magnetic field which extends into space as the Onslaught sphere, prodigiously increase his own strength to superhuman levels, and achieve a wide range of other effects.
- Magnetic Force-Fields: Onslaught usually protects himself with a personal force field that he can quickly expand to protect large areas. His forcefield has withstood the effects of multiple nuclear weapons, volcanic eruption, the depths of space and attacks from multiple Avengers or X-Men, including Phoenix, Thor, and even Galactus.
Electromagnetic Spectrum Manipulation: Onslaught's has some ability to project or manipulate any form of energy that is related to the electromagnetic spectrum. He can fire and absorb bolts of electricity and magnetic force, reverse lasers and other forms of radiation or energy, create enough intense heat as infrared radiation to level a city, and become invisible by deflecting visible light around his body. Heat or infrared radiation, is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which also includes visible light, radio waves, ultraviolet light, gamma rays and x-rays. Onslaught can project any of these. Onslaught can maintain total control of an entire planets electromagnetic field and can manipulate it accordingly. He has also dispersed a "flame cage" created by the Human Torch, but whether he had simply expanded his personal force field or employed something else entirely is unclear. Onslaught once used his powers to create a traversable wormhole between two points in space.
- Electromagnetic Sight: Onslaught can perceive the world around himself as patterns of magnetic and electrical energy. He can perceive the natural magnetic auras surrounding living beings.
- Electromagnetic Pulses: He also has creative uses of his powers such as using his telekinesis to channel the Earth's magnetic field through the electro-current of his brain and generate devastating electromagnetic pulses.
Organic Iron Manipulation: Onslaught can control the iron within any organic matter which allows him to have full control over the opponents body. Onslaught has also demonstrated the ability to control the blood flow within ones body thus causing them to die a painful or even quick death.
Superhuman Strength: Onslaught possesses vast superhuman strength of unknown limits. However he is able to lift at least far beyond 100 tons with ease without using his psionic or magnetic powers to increase his strength. While using those powers to enhance his strength, the upper limits of his strength are unimaginable. He demonstrated sufficient strength to overpower a fully powered Juggernaut and punch him with enough force to sending flying through the air from Canada to New Jersey with a single blow, and was able to pin down and casually restrain an enraged Banner-less Hulk with ease.
Impervious Armor: Onslaught’s armor is nigh-invulnerable and nearly impossible to crack. The only exception were blows from an enraged/Banner-less Hulk and Thor (even then, he only allowed this to happen so that he could go into the next step of his evolution).
Mutant Absorption: As a psychic entity, Onslaught had the ability to absorb any mutant into his being and thus permanently gain their powers for himself. X-Man and Franklin Richards were two mutants that he consumed to further his vast power.
Reality Manipulation: Ability to manipulate reality itself. Nigh-omnipotent reality warping powers on a potentially infinite level, and perhaps even up to a cosmic scale. His abilities are so great that he can create “pocket” universes in alternate realities without(A pocket universe is a cosmos that does not equal our own in size).
Known Abilities: Onslaught possesses the combined genius intellects of both Charles Xavier and Magneto, granting him the same expertise and knowledge of each. Onslaught is also a formidable hand to hand combatant, possessing the knowledge of combat both Xavier and Magneto have learned over the years. Onslaught is particularly adapt at using all of his powers in combat situations, typically preferring to combine certain aspects of different abilities for different situations.
There is a continuity error in Onslaught's final defeat. It was theorized that if a mutant were to be absorbed by Onslaught's energy form, Onslaught would in turn become invincible. However, of the members of the Avengers who selflessly sacrificed themselves to defeat Onslaught, three were mutants:
- Scarlet Witch, although it has been suggested that her Hex powers somehow shielded her
- Namor: Namor is a mutant born of an Atlantean and human lineage
- Falcon: It has been speculated that Falcon has a mutant ability that telepathically links his mind with that of his bird Redwing. This has been hinted at in the comics, but not confirmed.
Onslaught has appeared as the final boss in Marvel vs. Capcom. In that version of the story, Xavier subconsciously used Onslaught's power to call heroes from another universe to help the Marvel super heroes battle him. At the end of the game, the player faced Onslaught in the two forms seen in the comics. In two endings to the game, Jin Saotome (in his own ending) and Captain America (in Hulk's ending) sacrifice themselves to defeat Onslaught (who had become the mass of pure energy in said endings).
Onslaught becomes a playable character on the PlayStation version after the player defeats him with any character. He is also able to use some of Magneto's attack, such as Magnetic Shockwave and Magnetic Tempest. Many fans agree that he is the hardest boss to defeat in the entire Marvel VS series because of the high damage his moves inflict.