Billy Kaplan - Phase 1
|William "Billy" Kaplan - Replaced in Phase 2
Portrayed by Darren Criss
|December 21, 1996
Billy Kaplan was just your typical teenager, until a chance encounter and a small kindness by a complete stranger changed his life forever. He was killed when the mansion was destroyed by Dark Phoenix in January 2015.
Character Journal: xp_wiccan
Real Name: William "Billy" Kaplan
First Appearance: June 20, 2012
Date of Birth: December 21, 1996
Place of Birth: New York, NY
Jeff Kaplan, Father, cardiologist at Mt. Sinai Medical Center
Rebecca Kaplan, Mother, psychologist at Columbia University
Kid brother 1: Jacob, 8
Kid brother 2: Esau, 7
Education: Junior in high school
Relationship Status: single
Team Affiliation: New Mutants
Billy’s parents are the type that truly believe they are the ultimate enlightened couple, and only their kids realize that, in their own way, they’re just as crazy as every other family. With his father firmly grounded in demonstrable scientific fact and his mother always interpreting every action in light of the available psychological theory, Billy’s every action was carefully scrutinized throughout childhood and judged as “normal” or “unique” from typical childhood development. Being an “only child” for the first eight years of his life added additional complexity, and many of Billy’s eccentricities were waved off as either only-child syndrome or the shift from only-child to older brother.
Billy was a rambunctious kid, and with any other parents, he would have probably been put in Ritalin for ADD. Given his parents’ background, though, they decided not to go the medication route, and instead drove him into very regular activities, a mixture of structured and unstructured, to keep him occupied without any need to act out. As he’s grown up, that’s something he’s come to both love and hate. While he has a decent sense of discipline, he wants to rebel against that, like most teens. He also tends to get bored easily when nothing he considers “exciting” is happening.
As with with most things, Billy’s parents were prepared with a disaster plan, and though they didn’t know the what was going on, shortly after the morning explosion, his parents were already in action mode, his mother packing up some basic supplies, and his father waking up Billy and his younger brothers, and within an hour, they were already out the door. Rather than trying the George Washington, they opted for the smaller Henry Hudson Bridge, headed across on foot and continuing north until they finally met up with friends in Tarrytown, where they stayed until it was safe to return to the city. As an 11-year old, Billy understood what was going on much better than his 3 and 4 year old brothers, but it was still a frightening experience for him. It was also the first time he clearly saw his parents prejudice against mutants. Today, Billy believes his parents hate mutants, but while they don’t necessarily look on them kindly, their views aren’t as harsh as he thinks. A lot of this disconnect comes from the stressful and frightening memories of being woken up early, walking the several miles north, being displaced from his home, but not really being told all the details why. The whole of the memory made the side comments his parents made about mutants seem much more powerful, and he’s since come to equate that with his parents hating mutants and that being an off-subject topic. So while he’s fascinated and eager to explore this entirely new world that’s opened up, he’s also going to have to deal with that family baggage at the same time.
Billy adjusted to high school fairly well, with decent grades (at least by his teachers' standards, if not always by his parents), a number of after-school activities like band (his parents' choice) and soccer (his choice), and a growing circle of friends, his freshman year went by without incident. The parental lectures on choosing his friends carefully or planning for the future were frequent, but even at home, for the most part, life was good for Billy Kaplan.
One June afternoon, when the teasing of one of the unpopular team members took a dangerous turn, Billy stood up for the guy, earning himself a bloody nose and scrapes and bruises for his efforts. That act, though, would change his life forever. Wanda stopped to help him, and her subtle use of chaos unknowingly triggered Billy's latent magical abilities and the events of A Kind of Magic, eventually leading him to Xavier's for his sophomore year.
Living At The X-Mansion
Billy's first semester at Xavier's was all about adjustment, but his uncertainty about being a mutant quickly began to fade as he made friends with his classmates, most notably, his roommate Clint Barton and their co-conspirator Madelyne Pryor. His grasp of magic remained unpredictable at best, with spells going haywire as often as not, feeding an unspoken fear of the magic getting out of control as it had the past summer. While trapped in Slenderworld, he was forced to face that fear, and seeing a glimpse of his magic's potential both encouraged him and inspired him to throw himself back into his magical studies.
During the rescue mission in Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart, Billy found his powers temporarily boosted by the ambient chaos in Belasco's demon dimension, revealing a surprising aspect to his powers: teleportation. Rudimentary control allowed him to help rescue Pixie, and after the mission, he began exploring this new ability. Although his control is still unpredictable, his training with Clarice and Kurt gave him enough to lend transportation services to the residents of Avalon during Red-X Mission: King Tide.
The magical shenanigans continued in August 2014, when Tandy was possessed by a demon and Billy had to join Amanda and his fellow magic students in saving her. The rest of the year, thankfully, passed quietly.
January 2015 shattered the peace in Billy's life. Following the events on Muir Island, Billy joined a team of researchers at the London Hellfire Club, where they were ambushed by demonic dopplegangers of themselves. He later went with a strike team to India to try and rescue Jean Grey, where he saw Clint killed in the midst of a fight. Billy himself was killed defending the mansion when The Dark Phoenix attacked.
Weight: 155 lbs
Other Features: A fairly attractive teen, but on the shorter end of average height, neither slender nor muscular, for the most part, Billy’s physical appearance would be considered “average.” His hair, however, is Black!black, not just the dark brown many refer to as black, and it always carries a “just out of bed, I don’t care about my hair” look. Few people know, though, how much attention he actually gives to maintaining that look, since he recognizes it’s one of his most striking features.
Billy’s mutation can convert chaos into magical energy that allows him to make limited changes to reality around him. Rather than traditional “spells,” his power works through a combination of desire and clear mental imagery, along with a sufficient source of chaos, which ultimately determines the strength of the spell.
Although still in its infancy, it would seem that Billy’s power is limited primarily by his imagination and understanding of what he wants to accomplish. Since he must be able to visualize what he wants to happen, if he can’t picture it clearly, the results can be unpredictable. Particularly as an untrained teenager, he is extremely prone to distraction, and an interrupted spell can often result in dangerous effects.
In his current capacity, Billy can only reach the necessary mental clarity by chanting a mantra of “I want...suchandsuchtohappen” over and over until he can finally picture the results and the spell takes effect. The complexity of the spell typically determines how long this can take.
Once his spells activate, Billy has little control over their duration. Unless he actively tries to reverse the effects, they run their natural course based on his initial intent and the available power. For many spells, the effect is immediate and fades shortly after. One of his early powerful spells, however, still allows him to summon lightning at will without speaking.
Known effects: Lightning Conjuration, Summoning objects, Teleportation
A black Asgardian staff. Despite its unique origin, it is a perfectly ordinary staff.
A clarinet case can occasionally be seen peeking out from underneath his bed.
As the son of an MD and a PhD, Billy knows a LOT of random things most teenagers his age wouldn't. They tend to come up in conversation, and although he doesn't mean it as such, he can sometimes come across as a bit of a know-it-all.
Player: Matt (player)
Player Icon Base: Darren Criss
Phase 2 Version: Billy Kaplan
Meta Trivia Introduced to the game by Matt in June 2012.