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Fantomex is often seen using his misdirection power. Has it been detailed how this works? There seems to be a range of suggested causes.

Wikipedia describes it as

extremely realistic illusions.

ComicVine describes it as

a form of telepathy he refers to as "misdirection", which allows him to create realistic and immerse illusions on a variety of scales.

Marvel's wiki implies it's some combination of E.V.A. and body language reading:

Through his link with E.V.A., Fantomex can see from E.V.A.’s perspective and take control of E.V.A.’s functions, though he must concentrate fully to do so. Together, their combined consciousnesses can create extremely convincing illusions.

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He can also read the body language of others with unparalleled precision. This, coupled with his superhuman abilities, makes him a master of misdirection.

They seem to cover the spectrum from magic (illusions) to telepathy to some undefined E.V.A. ability.

Is there a concrete explanation available for how his misdirection ability works?

  • My theory for Fantomex's true identity is that of balding S.T.R.I.K.E. telepath, Tom Lennox (his name even providing a clue fanTOMEX;) – user8011 Jul 29 '12 at 9:03
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Fantomex's "misdirection" ability is a psychic power that allows him to create hyper-realistic illusions to convince his opponents a particular event is indistinguishable from reality. Even psychics whose powers are on par with Professor X, Jean Grey or Emma Frost were able to be affected by it.

Fantomex (Weapon XIII) is a weapon, pure and simple; designed employing artificial evolution and nanosentinel technology by Sublime and the Weapon Plus program to hunt down and kill mutants. He was designed as a first strike weapon, if he saw you before you saw him, you were already dead.

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Wolverine and Fantomex discuss why Fantomex works so hard to keep busy doing things to forget the real reason he exists. "No, you steal to keep your mind off of what they made you for -- killing. But you are what they made you to be. Ain't no man can fight against who he is forever. Trust me."

As the product of a super-soldier program, using the term "misdirection" as a power descriptions might be a sloppy way of defining his power unless you consider it the way Fantomex might. "Misdirection" would imply the real use of the power is to distract the opponent just long enough for Fantomex to be able to kill them. He may not consider calling it anything more advanced because for him, it is an ends to a means, nothing more.

In combat, Fatomex utilizes his powers in the following ways:

  1. His ability to read the body language, posture, and combat capability from an opponent he has never met. This gives him a fantastic advantage because he can read his opponent physically and counter their technique with an attack that focuses on their weaknesses, not their strengths. Even if his opponent had greater physical capabilities, he is able to see where he could bring his best physical capabilities against his opponent's greatest weakness.
  2. Using his three brains, he can calculate combat scenarios that would put him in the most advantageous position possible whenever he engaged an enemy. His advanced neural system ensures even if he takes an injury, he would not be stopped and could continue to battle with any injury that was less than life-threatening. Since he can detach one of his neural systems (EVA) she can give him other information he may not notice or be aware of. He has already shown that even if one of his brains are damaged in combat, he is only temporarily disabled (instead of being dead like anyone else).
  3. His most effective ability would be the ability to convince an opponent they had either won or lost depending on which would give him the greatest amount of leverage in combat. His power appears to be a form of full-immersion psychic illusion-casting. Illusions so powerful they defy the ability to discern them from the reality even if you have a powerful psychic profile such as Professor X, Jean Grey or Emma Frost. This makes sense from Sublime's point of view as telepathic enemies would be the most dangerous opponents. This also explains the ceramic plating in his cowl making him proof against telepathic powers.

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In this image, EVA is creating a "misdirection" to keep Ichisumi of Japan (Pestilence), Sanjar Javeed of Persia (Death) and Jeb Lee of America (Famine) from being aware of being moved to an alien planet. This immersive environment completely fooled all of their senses. Click on the image for maximum viewing.

Fantomex is an excellent hand to hand combatant (as almost all of the Weapons are):

  • His fighting prowess is augmented depending on the quality of his armaments.
  • His preference is for quality firearms with customized ammunition including adamantium-tipped armor-piercing and vibranium (anti-metal version) bullets. When in doubt, assume he's using ceramic armor-piercing rounds.
  • His psyche has been altered to prevent belief in a higher power. This makes him immune to any programming or mind control that might hijack his faith or belief centers of his brain. (Weapon XVI had this power).

"I have nanites in my brain to moderate my neocortex, rendering me physically incapable of believing in anything greater than myself." --Fantomex to Noh Vahh.

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  • He is also capable of using almost any hand to hand weapon.
  • He has an extended range of auditory sensing outside the human norm. Its acuity is still unquantified.
  • He cannot be tracked by scent, eluding even Wolverine's capable senses.
  • He has Olympic level strength, agility, acrobatic ability and endurance.
  • He can ignore pain from injuries as long as EVA is outside is body.
  • He can perform minor surgery on his injuries without pain
  • He can resist blows that would render any other human unconscious (3 brains)
  • He has a minor healing factor, while not quite as effective as other mutants with the power, appears to be help him recover from any injury given enough time.
  • EVA is also an asset since she can function autonomously, capable of flight and able to project energy to defend herself. She also acts as a vehicle capable of carrying all of X-force.

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While no one has described it in detail, Fantomex's illusion-casting seems to function in a fashion similar to the villain Mastermind (Jason Wyngarde) or his two daughters Martinique Jason and Regan Wyngarde.

How much control Fantomex has over the content of the illusion has not been established. It is also suggested that EVA may possess the actual power to create the immersive environments. (This makes sense since it is a telepathic power and Fantomex's telepathic shielding makes him immune to the telepathic powers of others.)

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