Mesmero - Phase 1
Portrayed by Crispin Glover
|Known Aliases:||Mesmero, Nightmare, Edvard Haberdash|
|Introduction:||Not So Plain Jane|
A mutant hypnotist, Mesmero bit off more than he could chew when he targeted Jean Grey, releasing instead her buried alter ego "Jane". When Jean finally regained ascendency again, she psychically shredded Mesmero's mind, leaving him a vegetable. This was not to be permanent, and in 2011 he reached out for Jean again from the astral plane as Nightmare, this time for revenge.
Name: Parker Mathews
Aliases: Mesmero, Nightmare
Affiliation: Hellfire Club, self
First appearance: February 25, 2005
During his time with the Hellfire Club, Mesmero went by the name Parker Mathews, and he himself is probably the only person who knew if that was his real name or not. Even Sebastian Shaw did not know much about his history - although he made inquiries, a person under the hypnotic compulsion to not remember Mesmero is very hard to distinguish from a person who honestly does not remember (because they have never met) him.
A natural showman, he loved to make a splash, he loved to be the center of attention. After all, if all eyes were on him it was so much easier for him to use his powers. He was incredibly charming naturally, and usually avoided using his powers to get things that he could get otherwise; he considered it cheating, especially when it came to women. However, if he couldn't get it otherwise and he wanted it, whatever it was, he would use his powers. What was the use of being able to cheat if you never did? Because his power was predicated on manipulating others, Mesmero would usually play the part of the grand vizier, finding someone to front for him so he could be the power behind the throne, because having people always turning to him for things appealed to his vanity, making him perfect for the Hellfire Club.
When Shaw first found Mathews in about 2005 he was fast becoming one of the most influential lobbyists in Washington, using his natural charm, augmented with little bursts of power when he needed it, to get people to do what he wanted or, more often, what he was being paid to want. Recognizing Mathews' natural talent, as well as his mutant ability, Shaw decided to employ him as a lobbyist for the Club, keeping him on retainer when he didn't have specific jobs for Mathews. While the money was good, continually taking orders from the same person grated slightly on Parker's pride, and he frequently took the initiative, going above and beyond what Shaw asked of him so he could feel as though he were in control. Of course, these independent plans all served the HFC interests in some way or another, because it literally wouldn't pay to annoy Shaw too much.
One such initiative was his attempt to subvert Jean Grey, which resulted in him inadvertently releasing Jane Smith, her alter-ego. Things did not go well for Mathews - his intended victim turned the tables on him, and her machinations within the Hellfire Club led to Shaw conspiring with the X-Men to remove her. When Jean regained her right mind, she psychically shredded Mesmero's mind, cutting him off from his powers and his sanity.
After the events of Not So Plain Jane, Parker Matthews aka Mesmero slowly began to regain mental function, as well as his psionic abilities, but discovered he could not wake up from the coma he was in. He began to learn he could go into other people’s dreams, and even realized he had a psychic link with the person who put him there: Jean Grey. Over time he began to formulate a plan, spying on Jean and her life, and plotting revenge. Jean was not aware of the psychic link.
The disruption in the astral plane warped his powers to being able to manipulate dreams and minds. His time in the dream scape, as well as Jean's original psychic evisceration has made him quite demented and insane. He used the alias of Edvard Haberdash in his dealings, as to not draw attention to who he was until he was ready to reveal himself, and he amassed a group of men to do what he could not do with his own two hands.
With a group of followers, doing his bidding largely out of fear and blackmail, Nightmare invaded the mansion during the Fourth of July weekend. Plunging the inhabitants into a series of chained nightmares, he took his pleasure in tormenting Jean while his men planted a bomb, to act as a failsafe, in Cerebro. An attempt to rescue Charles Xavier, locked in the Box, resulted in Nightmare shredding the mind of Amelia Voght and apparently killing her, as well as one of the Stepford Cuckoos, who died from the backlash.
As groups of students and X-Men began to wake from the nightmares, Nightmare focussed all his attention on Jean, determined to destroy her mind and leave her in a similar state to the one she had left him in. Jean managed to fight back, driving Nightmare back into his own body and trapping him there, although the psychic damage was severe enough to leave her in a coma for several weeks. Matthews himself remains in hospital, under police guard.
Mesmero's power is a specific subset of the normal telepathic psi mutation. He can neither read thoughts nor project his own, but rather can create a very- strong hypnotic impulse, essentially taking control of the people who he places under his power. To do so he must make eye contact with his victims, and once he has someone in his grasp he can make them do anything he wants; they essentially become his puppets. Mesmero can control multiple people at once, and after he has gotten control of them it does not take that much of his attention to keep control he only has to place the hypnotic impulse once, rather than maintain a conscious focus. However, he must maintain the power behind the impulse. If he chooses to release someone he needs only to turn his power off, and if he loses consciousness (not simply through sleeping but actually losing consciousness) the power is turned off and the person is free. It is possible to break through his control, but it is incredibly difficult and has almost never happened. It is also, of course, much harder for him to hypnotize certain people those with naturally strong mental shields, other psi-based mutants and so on.
Usually Mesmero simply uses his hypnotic impulse to make people do things, and while he can't make people believe things are other than they are, he can cause them to behave- as though they did, which, if he does for long enough, can lead to the person beginning to believe that they do believe it. This is the basis behind the 'forget me' aspect of his power if you must behave as though you have no memory of something long enough, you will eventually forget it in truth, or at least bury it far enough in your mind that it is impossible to consciously access the memory.
During his time trapped in his own mind, Matthews learned to project himself into the damaged astral plane, and from there, into the sleeping minds of the population. Using his hypnotic control to create nightmares, he essentially frightens people into doing his bidding.
Hotel California (As an illusion)
Socked by: Mackinzie
Formerly socked by: Alicia
PB: Crispin Glover