I love the X-Men. I love the foundational ideologies (civil rights) from which their origin sprung forth. I love the stunning array of diverse characters that show up on nearly every page—a diversity that unfortunately has not translated to the silver screen. One thing that I don’t think people talk about is the darker, grosser aspects of what it means to be a mutant. Not everyone is lucky enough to be “normal passing” such as Storm, Wolverine and Jubilee. Some stand out like Beast, Bling!, or Toad. Then there are some mutants, who present as “passing” but their abilities are a bit on the grotesque side. Today’s featured superhero is a prime example of this. This is the hero known as Maggott.
Born in South Africa during apartheid, Japheth grew up experiencing severe stomach pains. Due to the extremes of the pain he experienced he had to eat special foods. His parents took him to see specialists to assess his gastrointestinal issues and it was determined that the pain in Japheth’s stomach was due to cancer. With this news, 12-year-old Japheth made a decision. As not to place a financial strain on his parents and 4 other siblings due to his condition, he decided to run away and commit suicide. Japheth found himself in the Kalahari Desert and it would be there that the Master of Magnetism, Magneto, would find Japheth. With Magneto’s guidance, they discovered the truth behind Japheth’s “cancer”: he had 2 slug-like creatures residing where his digestive system was supposed to be. Magneto and Japheth would eventually part ways once Japheth had a clearer understanding of Magneto’s philosophy of mutant supremacy.
Naming his two slugs Eany and Meany, Japheth discovered over time that the pair had the ability to release powerful enzymes that allowed them to breakdown and digest almost any object at amazing speeds. In turn, the energy they received would be transferred to Japheth and “supercharge” him, increasing his stamina, strength and size. Growing a bit older, it would be with these abilities that he would eventually connect with and join the X-Men. Undergoing and surviving threat after threat including the Shadow King, demons, and even a big game hunter hunting Maggott specifically. Yet no matter the situation, Maggott continued to stand by his colleagues and prove himself a hero.
Brandon Blackmon was born and raised in Clinton, NC. After high school, he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; graduating with a bachelor’s in psychology. He attended Pfeiffer University where he received a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and is currently a licensed marriage and family therapist. Brandon is a proud blerd (Black nerd) and a firm advocate and believer that representation matters in all forms of media.