|Real name:||Richard Palance|
|First Appearance:||X-Men Vol 2 194|
|Created by:|| Mike Carey |
Richard Palance, later known as Pandemic, was a Human doctor who was a noted geneticist in the 21st century. At some point, he became acquainted with Professor Charles Xavier and worked as a physician for the X-Men for years. His expertise in genetics was sought out by Professor X in studying the condition of Rogue when she joined the X-Men. Palance was consulted in helping Rogue control her power absorption capabilities. During this time, however, Dr. Richard Palance managed to obtain a sample of Rogue's DNA and began to mutate it with viral strains. His ultimate purpose was duplicating the power absorption ability of Rogue with the intention of gaining true immortality. His experiments led to the creation of Strain 87 virus that successfully managed to duplicate Rogue's abilities. Through the serum, Palance intended to gain the power to absorb a person's powers, skills, memories and even personality through physical contact thus achieving his own percieved form of immortality. The virus proved to be only a partial success as once it blended with his DNA it allowed Palance to copy the Mutant powers of others through contact. This led to Richard Palance becoming drunk on power and intended to improve upon the virus to fully absorb other peoples lives and thus achieve his personality. Thus, he began work on the Strain 88 virus to accomplish this goal.
In addition, the powers given to Palance by Strain 87 led him to absorb the abilities of countless Mutants that he had treated in the course of his career. Dr. Palance as a result became obsessed with obtaining large samples of Mutant genetic material as part of his goals. He established a hospital called the Fordyce Clinic where he used it as a site to lure Mutants to absorb their powers whilst secretly conducting experiments in slicing their DNA into viruses whereupon he infected baseline Human subjects with the product. He eventually managed to absorb the collective abilities of around three hundred Mutants.
Now under the name of Pandemic, Palance began his own operations to accomplish his plan. His experiments led to the creation of the Plague Dogs and he cultivated a number of Human research assistants. Pandemic eventually kidnapped both Lady Mastermind and Omega Sentinel Karima Shapandar which he used as part of his unknown experiments. His activities later attracted the attention of the X-Men who sought to rescue the two women. Once freed, the pair agreed to join Rogue's team of X-Men with the promise that they take down the man responsible for their capture. He later confronted the X-Men and managed to easily defeat them whereupon he captured Rogue in order to initiate the final stage of his experiment. At this point, he had successfully created the Strain 88 virus that had the power to completely absorb a person's mind, personality and abilities thus leaving nothing behind but a blank slate. However, he decided to test the virus on Rogue herself for eventual splicing with his own DNA.
A second confrontation with the X-Men emerged where he managed to overpower his foes due to the wide range of abilities at his disposal. Defeated, all hope was nearly lost until Cable threw Sabretooth at Pandemic. An overconfident Palance simply absorbed Creed's Mutant power along with the others but this turned out to be a trict. Pandemic was unaware that Sabretooth possessed a Mutant healing factor and its absorption led it to combating the Strain 87 virus and thus automatically cured him of the infection. As a result, he was completely depowered and returned to a baseline Human with him losing all his acquired abilities that were expunged from his system. A defeated Palance was then placed within a psychic maze by Lady Mastermind who took her revenge for his earlier experimentation on her that had left her comatose for over a year. Pandemic was thus trapped within an illusion within his own mind.
Following his defeat, the depowered Palance was met with by Beast who asked Pandemic's help in curing the effects of M-Day that had led to the Decimation of the Mutant populatio. However, Pandemic responded in anger that the X-Men had ruined his life's work and refused to help McCoy.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Power Absorption : as a result of the Strain 87 virus, Palance managed to gain the abilities of Rogue and absorbed Mutant powers through simple physical contact with him being capable of gathering hundreds of powers as a result that included.
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