I was just wondering if Marvel Comics has had any superheroes or villains whose origins begin around the period of the American Civil War. Also, as a corollary I'd like to know if any of them survive today.

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    in wolverine, hes in the civil war i believe. im not sure if this follows his comic book origins or not.
    – Himarm
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 23:11
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    This isn't very clear. Do you mean whose origins began in the civil war, who were involved in the civil war in some way or merely those that have been alive long enough that they were around in 1865?
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 23:12
  • I changed it to make it clearer. From around and/or were involved. Mainly I mean from the time period but I would be curious if there were any Union or Confederate soldiers who were confirmed mutants. Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 0:34

3 Answers 3


Given the nature of immortality in the Marvel Universe, there were plenty of beings with superhuman vitality and immortality which might have been active during the Civil War period. When reviewed, most of the stories in the Marvel Universe has those groups lying low during periods of extreme human violence, such as the Civil War. See: ClanDestine

  • Of Marvel's most famous long-lived mutants, Wolverine most likely would have missed the Civil War by a decade; he was believed to have been born around 1887. Nathaniel Essex (Mister Sinister) was born in 1859 and Apocalypse were two long-lived human mutants who were active and stories exist of their exploits during the period of the Civil War.

  • Wolverine's (James "Logan" Howlett) date of birth is not precisely known but estimated to have been between 1886 and 1897, just missing the Civil War period.

  • Nathaniel Essex was a biologist born in 1859 and transformed into a metahuman being by Apocalypse.

  • Apocalypse (En Saben Nur) was born over 5,000 years ago in the Jordanian city of Aqaba.

  • One of Apocalypse's self-proclaimed "Final Horsemen" Famine (Jeb Lee) was from the Civil War era, and made his first appearance in the Marvel Universe in Uncanny X-Force Vol 1 #3 (2010). He was stolen by Apocalypse from the time-stream and locked away as a failsafe weapon. During the Civil War he was a spy and assassin who penetrated enemy lines pretending to be a drummer. His mutant power manifested when his family was killed and he could kill anyone who heard him play his drum. (Discovered by @Wang, added only for completeness; Good find!)

There is one Human character who was known to be active during the mid 1800s: The Ghost Rider:

  • Ghost Rider (aka Phantom Rider) - Born during the mid 1800s, Carter Slade was a schoolteacher who was nearly murdered after a group of cattle ranchers pretended to be Indians and tried to kill families whose land they wanted to take over. He would take on the identity of a masked "Ghost Rider" seeking justice. Carter would eventually die and pass his spiritual essence and powers to his descendants.

More exotic immortals whose stories are partially told but weren't known to have participated directly in the Civil War:

  • Exodus (Bennet du Paris - Earth-616) An early mutant born in the 12th century whose immortality and vast psionic powers lead him to believe the ultimate fate of humanity was to be replaced by mutants like himself. Lead a group of immortal mutants who called themselves the Externals.

  • Selene Gallio, an immortal sorceress that survived the fall and sinking of Atlantis over 17,000 years ago. She has been active on and off in the Marvel Universe since that time.

  • Annihilus - the insect overlord would have been alive during the time of the Civil War but would not have had access to Earth during that time. He would break through to Earth when Reed Richards built a portal into the Negative Zone.

Other metahumans groups whose activity during this period might include:

  • The Inhumans, a subgroup of Humanity altered by the Kree to express metahuman abilities when exposed to select mutagens have a civilization over 10,000 years old.

  • The Eternals, an offshoot of Homo Sapiens altered by the Celestials, having incredible superhuman abilities including near-immortality, energy manipulation, psychic abilities and superhuman strength. This would also include the Deviants, another related subgroup of Humanity.

  • Atlantis and Lemuria are both ancient advanced underwater civilizations in the Marvel Universe.

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    Thor and the Asgardians?
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 0:26
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    The Asgardians were around but Thor was in Asgard and had limited contact with Midgard. He doesn't get banished to Midgard until the 60s when he is forced to share a body with Donald Blake. Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 4:35
  • It doesn't sound like there's any evidence that any of these people were actually involved in the civil war in any way.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 16:58
  • @DCShannon, I think I said that very thing. I chose to list people who have been known to have lived extremely long lives or possess some degree of immortality so that people might not spend even more time suggesting characters who have had long lives but were not mentioned. With my extensive knowledge of the Marvel Universe, I chose to review well-known characters or groups whose members COULD have been available but as far as the canon Marvel Universe has revealed have NOT done so. Nothing stops Marvel from retroactively adding said characters to later stories. Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 17:43
  • It doesn't explicitly say that anywhere in the answer. The whole time I was reading it, I was waiting for the one that was actually involved. I don't object to including ones that people might think were there, I just think you should start out by explicitly answering the question with a no.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 17:44

Jeb Lee (a.k.a Famine) of Apocalypse's Final Horsemen during the Apocalypse Solution was a confederate spy whose Civil War activities caused a tragic event in his life that activated his mutant bio-auditory cancer powers. Jeb Lee would then roam battlefields playing a drum and killing masses of people. Apocalypse then plucks him out of time to serve as a Famine for his Final Horsemen stable.

Jeb Lee / Famine

  • Upvoted. This was a good find. Well done. Commented Sep 17, 2016 at 6:34

Deadpool fought against the ghost of Abraham Lincoln in Deadpool Volume 3 Issue 4 (January 2013). During that story line, he was fighting all of the Presidents back to George Washington (with the help of Ben Franklin.

Due to the magic that brought their spirits back to this world, they were all villains.

Deadpool boxing Abraham Lincoln

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    Sigh, only Deadpool.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 20:09
  • But their origins were modern day, having been raised by the necromancer. I don't see this as counting.
    – phantom42
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 12:14
  • Yeah, when did this happen?
    – DCShannon
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 16:58
  • Deadpool #4 January 2013
    – krillgar
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 17:01

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