Portrayed by Boris Kodjoe
|Birthdate:||February 8, 1977|
Is your intention to shoot me simply because I yelled too loud?
A former SHIELD agent who has lost his whole world, Everett Thomas is returning to Xavier's to begin anew.
Character Journal: xp_synch
Real Name: Everett "Ev" Thomas
Aliases: Many over the years. Favorites include Maxwell Power, Rex Bookingham, and Randy Randerson
First Appearance: December 4, 2015
Date of Birth: February 8, 1977
Place of Birth: St. Louis, MO
Relatives: Stan and Ida Thomas (parents), Kim Ho Twae Thomas (adopted sister, age 31), Ezekiel Grover Thomas (adopted brother, age 27), Leon Hines Thomas (adopted brother, age 18), several other foster siblings.
Education: High school education at Xavier’s (class of 1995), BS/MS in computer engineering and minor in linguistics from Washington University in St. Louis (class of 2000)
Relationship Status: Single
Occupation: SHIELD agent (Supervisory Special Agent), currently on disability leave
Team Affiliation: eXcalibur
Childhood and Living at the X-Mansion
Everett Thomas had a fairly typical, comfortably middle-class childhood. When Ev was 6 years old, he learned that one of his classmates was in foster care. Curious, he suggested that his parents consider fostering a child, too. Wouldn't it be great to offer their home to someone in need of one, too? Stan and Ida agreed, and within a year, they’d taken in baby Kim Ho Twae, whom they later formally adopted. Several other children have passed through the Thomas home, many of them only temporarily, and two of whom they also adopted: 6-year-old Ezekiel in 1994, and teenage delinquent Leon in 2011.
Although Ev does not know when he first manifested his mutant ability to detect nearby mutants and copy their powers, he does remember the first time he consciously used it. When he was 14, the Thomases were fostering 11-year-old Jack Phillip, who’d been bounced around the foster system for years until he was placed with the Thomases. All seemed to be going well until his own destructive mutant power manifested, injuring Stan, Ida, and Kim Ho. Ev’s ability to synchronize with other mutants spared him, and allowed him to safely get close to Jack and calm him down before he could cause any more damage. While the Thomases forgave him and demanded that Jack remain with them, the foster agency disagreed and sent him somewhere that could “better handle” trouble cases like him.
The Thomases were soon contacted by Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr, who invited Ev to enroll in their school for mutants. After some consideration and debate, the Thomases agreed, and Ev started high school there in the fall of 1991.
Ev stayed with Xavier when he and Lehnsherr had their schism, and graduated in 1995. Rather than remain at the school and joining the team of mutant vigilantes/heroes that Xavier was putting together to counter Lehnsherr’s terrorist organization, he went to college at Washington University, back home in St. Louis. He earned a dual BS/MS in computer engineering in 2000, with a minor in linguistics “just for fun.”
From School to SHIELD
His mentor at Wash U was a consultant for SHIELD, and he referred Ev to his contacts there, who offered Ev a job in the R&D division. While this job had its merits, being stuck behind a desk every day was not so rewarding, so after a couple of years, he requested to accompany an expeditionary force on the next appropriate field mission. His request was approved, and after he completed the brief basic training required for field science agents, he was sent on a mission to recover data and hardware from a terrorist cell in a village in Belize.
While the field agents took out the soldiers guarding the enclave, Ev and the other science agents made their way to the data center to retrieve what they could. They were cut off from the rest of the team, though, and half of the scientists were killed by the terrorists. Without any backup to save them and death looming over them, Ev appropriated a firearm and went on the attack himself. His pre-mission training, supplemented by his training at Xavier’s, was enough to keep the rest of his team safe until the other SHIELD agents showed up to relieve them.
This mission sparked a desire for adventure and danger that Ev didn’t even know he had. But beyond that, he felt a sense of righteous duty and satisfaction for his nation and its security. Within the confines of the law (such as it was for a clandestine intelligence agency), as opposed to the X-Men. So upon his return to HQ, when Ev was offered the opportunity to transfer to Ops and become a field agent himself, he took it without hesitation.
Ev began full field agent training shortly after the Alkali Lake incident. In response to that and the Liberty Island incident months earlier, standard blood testing for new agents was modified to include detection of the x-gene. Rather than wait for some poor lab tech to find out, Ev went directly to his CO, Maria Hill, and informed her that not only was he a mutant, but he was a mutant detector/power mimic who had trained at a secret school for mutants.
When he went to meet with her, he was shocked to find Director Nick Fury waiting for him, too. Hill explained that even though she hadn’t yet received his official medical report, she knew he had attended Xavier’s from his background check, and that SHIELD had recently learned of the true nature of the school. Fury instructed them to keep this classified for the sake of Ev’s safety and reputation. (And, Ev wagered, for the strategic value of having a living breathing mutant detector under his thumb.)
And so began Ev’s career as a SHIELD special agent.
Following the failed mutant takeover of Manhattan in 2008 that resulted in hundreds of deaths, SHIELD’s mandate grew and Nick Fury was authorized to assemble ultra-elite, ultra-classified, high-tech special forces. He called these groups “Caterpillars.” Fury came to Ev with a proposition: to set up and lead one of these Caterpillars made up entirely of mutants, a SHIELD mutant equivalent to SEAL Team Six. Day Zero had proved that the US government was woefully unprepared for a massive mutant threat and that they could not rely on unofficial and unsanctioned paramilitary teams to adequately respond to these threats. Ev was torn. While he agreed that the X-Men’s activities outside of the law were at best unhelpful, he also knew and deeply respected Xavier and his dream, and had grown over time to understand why Xavier had started the team. He feared the inevitable confrontation between his team and the X-Men. Nevertheless, these were Fury’s orders so he accepted.
Establishing the team was a long process. Fury had ordered it to be kept top secret, so only a handful of people could help Ev, including recently promoted Deputy Director Hill, Assistant Deputy Director Victoria Hand, Supervisory Special Agent Phil Coulson, and Coulson’s deputy, Special Agent Melinda May. Ev received the medical records of all agents and recruits who tested positive for the x-gene. Ev would then clandestinely evaluate them by monitoring them during their training and/or missions, and synching to their mutation. Mutants who met his standards (which Ev drew up himself, a condition to Fury for Ev to agree to participate) were then transferred to his command for more intense training. Upon completion of his program and further assessments, he revealed the true reason behind the training and they joined his team.
By the end of 2009, only a couple dozen recruits and agents even met Ev’s standards, and of them, he only recruited six. Fury immediately put the team to work, focusing on high-priority and high-risk targets, and the occasional 0-8-4 retrieval. Ev’s aggressive training regimen had bonded the seven of them closely together, and they worked exceptionally well as a unit. While they officially did not have a name or any special designation, they jokingly referred to themselves as the Secret Warriors.
Janus and the Secret Warriors
Their first year was fairly typical in terms of super special secret SHIELD teams. In 2010, the Secret Warriors were sent to stop a mutant suicide bomber who was holding a bank hostage in a Philadelphia suburb. Most of the team secured the area, established communications within, or tried to sneak out hostages, while Ev negotiated directly with the terrorist, who turned out to be one of his parents’ foster kids, Jack Philip. It came out that Jack was not doing this under his own volition, but rather was remotely pressured into doing so. Before Ev could get any more information, Jack unleashed his explosive power and took down the bank. While most of the hostages had been rescued, there were a few casualties.
Ev then redirected his team to follow up on this “terrorist.” Who was forcing mutants like Jack to commit such heinous acts? Over the next couple of years, this investigation revealed the existence of a highly scientifically/technologically advanced organization called Janus. This group’s goal was to use mutants to give superpowers to baseline humans. They always were a few steps ahead of the Secret Warriors; whenever Ev dismantled one operation, two more sprang up on the other side of the world. No hierarchy of authority was ever discovered. Ev started to think that the only explanation for Janus being so ahead of the game was that there was a leak in SHIELD or SWORD (who were sharing caretaking duties of data obtained from these raids).
After years of learning very little of a potential link between SHIELD/SWORD and Janus, Ev started to uncover evidence that Supervisory Special Agent John Garrett had ties to the group. Before he could do anything about it, the Secret Warriors were directed to locate rogue SWORD scientist Franklin Hall. Hall had been experimenting with an exotic substance that manipulated gravitational fields, and three years earlier, he had stolen the material and disappeared. New intelligence discovered his whereabouts in Malta and suggested an affiliation with Janus. The intelligence failed to describe that Hall’s experiments had provided him with the ability to control gravity himself. The Secret Warriors engaged Hall but even their combined powers were outmatched by Hall’s. The team was annihilated, and only through sheer good luck did Ev emerge the victor and lone survivor of the encounter.
Even a trained warrior like Ev couldn’t come out of this unscathed. He had lost colleagues before, often very violently, but never a whole team, and no one with whom he was as close as he was with the Secret Warriors. But what gnawed the most at him was the faulty intelligence. He was certain but had no proof that Garrett was responsible.
As soon as Ev was cleared to leave the hospital, he went straight back to the Triskelion to start digging. Who had trailed Hall for all these years? Who had found him? How many hands did this information pass through on its way back to HQ? Who analyzed the information, and who wrote the report? Every lead came up against a wall, though, so Ev found himself not getting anywhere with his own investigation.
Ultimately, Ev decided to take a leave of absence, using the excuse that he returned to work too soon and needs more time to process what he went through.
Return to Xavier's
In February 2016, Ev relocated (temporarily, he planned) to Xavier's. He reconnected with two former colleagues, Clinton Barton and Natasha Romanoff, as well as old high school flame, Wanda Maximoff. Though he spent most of his time alone, he answered Clint's call for help to assist an investigation in Barrow, AK.
He finally came out of his self-imposed hermitude by publicly offering personalized powers training. Sooraya Qadir was the first to take him up on it, and they strategized how Sooraya could take denser, more intricate shapes in her sand form. He also offered to train Jean-Paul Beaubier, though that plan was put on hold when Ev revealed JP's powers included super speed, which the young man had not yet learned, and has important implications for his Olympic victories.
Ev also got some surprise action when Clint received a mysterious package that turned out to be a rage-inducing Asgardian artifact. It took the combined efforts of Ev, Topaz, and Kyle Gibney to subdue the cursed Clint and Matt Murdock. This event further strengthened Clint's decision to start a new team with this group.
Weight: 220 lbs.
Hair: Shaved bald, but naturally black
Other Features: Neatly trimmed facial hair. Remnants of several scars that have partially healed thanks to borrowed healing factors.
Ev describes his mutant power as a “synchronistic aura.” This aura allows him to sense nearby mutants, identify their mutation, and with some concentration, mimic their power. The aura splits ambient light around him, casting him in a prismatic halo effect. Ev’s power works exclusively on mutants and mutant powers. Powers granted through other means like magic or scientific experimentation are invisible to his aura.
Mutant Detection: The aura allows Ev to detect the presence of mutants within 50 yards. He knows where they are relative to him but does not know any physical features like appearance, age, or sex. Mutants should never play a game of Marco Polo with him. Like many psis, Ev is constantly aware of all mutants within his range, but he has learned to ignore them unless he is actively paying attention.
Mutant Power Identification: Beyond the ability to detect if a mutant is nearby, Ev can identify what their powers are and generally how powerful they are. He does not know how skilled they are, what their potential limits are, or if they have any particular specialties with the way they use their powers. For example, he would know that Psylocke is a telepath but not that she can focus her telepathy into a psi-blade, or that Amanda Sefton absorbs energy but not that she can use that energy to do magic.
Power Mimicry: Ev can use his aura to synchronize with other mutants and copy their powers. This ability has a maximum range of 50 yards, but the farther a mutant is from Ev, the less accurately he can synch to them, so he may not fully copy their powers. When he does properly synch with someone, he is as powerful as they are.
Energy projection and psionics are relatively easy to synch to because they manifest as projections of his aura. Physical mutations tend to be more difficult and require more concentration to maintain, and abilities that actually change his body are even more laborious.
Ev can synch with up to 2 other mutants at a time, although this is incredibly difficult and puts a lot of strain on him. He can only maintain this synchronization for a few minutes before he has to drop them all. He can “stack” two similar mutations with an additive effect.
A child of the ‘80s and ‘90s, Ev is a huge fan of The Simpsons, particularly the ~classic era~ of the first ten or so seasons, and can be found watching reruns over and over and over again in his spare time. He regularly finds ways to bring quotes into conversation.
Ev is fluent in Russian and Arabic, and speaks passable Spanish, French, and Italian.
Staff of Five - event
Player Icon Base: Boris Kodjoe