Kestrel (Marvel Comics)

Kestrel (Marvel Comics)
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Wolverine (vol. 2) #48 (November 1991)
Created by Larry Hama
In-story information
Alter ego John Wraith
Species Human Mutant
Team affiliations Weapon X
Team X
Notable aliases Expediter, Kestrel
Abilities Teleportation
Slowed aging

John Wraith, also known as Kestrel, is a character in the Marvel comics fictional universe. In the 2009 superhero movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Wraith is portrayed by


Fictional character biography

Kestrel was a member of Team X and later a test subject of the Weapon X Program. He was part of Team X along with Wolverine, Sabretooth, Maverick, Mastodon, and Silver Fox. John Wraith was a powerful teleporter, capable of getting the team out of sticky situations after their job was finished. He had a penchant for explosives, arming himself with shaped charges, explosives that were built to direct the force of their blast in specific directions based on how they are deployed. Like the other members of Team X, he was given an artificial age suppressant so he was likely much older than he looked. His time as a secret agent and a member of the Weapon X program left John somewhat paranoid. His house was a veritable death trap, as was the yard around it - John trusted no one.[volume & issue needed]

He made a habit of keeping his skill a secret from his compatriots as well as his foes, using it only sparingly, and if no one was looking directly at him - unless it was absolutely vital. The only time when his fellow Team-X members found out about his powers was when they went up against Omega Red. John was backup on that mission that Wolverine, Maverick, and Sabretooth ran in Germany to collect a carbonadium synthesizer, and when that trio burst out of the target compound with Red in pursuit, John stalled him with his gun until the others got away. Unfazed, Omega went to wrap John up and tear him to pieces, but John teleported to safety at the last second, with only Wolverine and Omega Red seeing this. There was also a certain animosity between him and Sabretooth. He was about as violent as his fellows from the Weapon X program, but a lot more merciful and didn't enjoy killing innocents while on a mission, which put him at odds with people like Sabretooth. Sabretooth once languished for quite a time in John's basement with several shaped charges strapped to his chest. Unless he had a really good reason to, Sabretooth wouldn't lift a finger to help John.[volume & issue needed]

Years later, John had tracked Wolverine and the rest of his old teammates down because it seemed that there was a problem with the age suppression factors given to them by Weapon X, as one of their number, Mastodon, had suddenly aged quite rapidly and been reduced into a pile of ooze. With their help, John discovered a list of termination candidates from the Weapon X project. They recognized themselves on the list plus a man named Aldo Ferro, who they knew was a big time mafia chief, Il Topo Siciliano. They tracked Ferro to his secluded island where they discovered Maverick guarding him. Maverick soon changed sides when Ferro, aka. Psi-Borg, revealed that he was the one who used his psi-powers to speed the false memory implantation of the Weapon X subjects. After this fiasco, John hung out with Wolverine for a month or two, but then vanished.[volume & issue needed]

Wraith was later re-recruited into Weapon X by the "Director" and his mission was to recruit Maverick as well. However, Maverick fought back and Wraith was shot and then had his neck broken by Sabretooth, who was planning on betraying the Program and couldn't trust Wraith. He was left for dead, but managed to survive, later becoming a preacher. However, he was the first victim to be killed by a demon-possessed Wolverine, as he was now depowered and could no longer teleport. [1]

Powers and abilities

Wraith had the psionic ability to phase-jump; meaning he could seemingly disappear at will from any point in space and appear at another, with what would appear to be an exceptionally high range. He could move about space at will, appearing and disappearing in a fashion that left no flashy burst of light or sound and he could even take others with him. He also had a life-extending serum in his blood, due to his involvement in the Weapon X program. He liked using "shaped charges," bombs whose blasts are precisely controlled.

Other versions

Ultimate Marvel

Anternate Versions of Colonel John Wraith
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics (Ultimate Marvel Imprint)
First appearance Ultimate X-Men #2
Created by Mark Millar
Adam Kubert
In-story information
Team affiliations Alpha Flight
Weapon X
S.H.I.E.L.D., (as Colonel John Wraith), MRD: Project Wideawke, Sentinels, (as Colonel Moss).
Notable aliases Vindicator, Colonel John Wraith, Colonel Moss.
Abilities flight
ability to fire energy blasts

Unlike his mainstream mutant counterpart, the Ultimate Marvel version of John Wraith is a white human. Colonel John Wraith was a mutant-hating commando who was sanctioned by S.H.I.E.L.D. to head the barbaric Weapon X Program. The program was assigned with capturing mutants and forcing them to carry out covert missions for the U.S. Government. The program was co-headed by a Dr. Abraham Cornelius. He and his men (all who have anti-mutant sentiments as well) managed to capture and subject a Canadian para-trooper named James "Lucky Jim" Howlett to experiments which wiped his memories clean and bonded his skeleton with adamantium. They christened him Weapon X and gave him the fake name "Logan". He and his men enjoyed tormenting Logan by teasing him with bits and pieces of his lost memories and also caging him and shooting him day and night since he could not die due to his mutant healing factor. This conditioned Logan to become the perfect killing machine, or so they thought. During the Gulf War they were transporting him in the desert preparing him for deployment, but his transport team was ambushed and Wolverine was accidentally set loose. Stumbling across a younger Nick Fury, who was also taken by surprise by the same ambush, Logan rescued him and brought him back to base camp. Colonel Wraith, who was surprised that Wolverine retained his humanity by not killing Fury, ordered his men to shoot and cage Logan once again. He told Fury not to worry about Wolverine since he was nothing more than a living weapon. A couple of years later, Fury returned the favor to Logan by helping him escape from the Weapon X facility. Wraith sent Sabretooth, another one of his mutant agents, after Logan but he came back empty-handed. Wraith then began capturing other mutants to take Wolverine's place, mutants including Kurt Wagner, Rogue and Cain Marko. When he received news that Logan was headed back to America (unknown to them as an assassin for Magneto), he and his men again attempted to recapture Logan, only to have their plans foiled by the X-Men. Wraith's face was scarred by Logan's claws. In retribution, Wraith ordered the capture of the X-Men, but failed to catch Logan once again. He had Xavier hooked up to machines to harness the Professor's telepathy in order to help him find other potential candidates for the program. The mutants imprisoned at the Weapon X facility were tortured on a daily basis, with Rogue having her arm broken regularly and having molten metal poured on Colossus to test his durability. It was also during this time that Beast was mutated even further by Dr. Cornelius. To keep them in line, Wraith had implanted micro explosives into them and if anyone got out of line or tried to escape, it was their friends who would pay the price. The X-Men's first major mission forced them to split up. One team was assigned to free Nick Fury from when he was captured by a foreign country and the other team was assigned with destroying a new bio weapon that was being developed by terrorists. Jean Grey was given the order to execute one of the scientists they had captured, but she refused. Wraith threatened to detonate Cyclops' implants for her insubordination, at which point she was forced to kill someone for the very first time. When General Ross threatened to phase out Weapon X, Wraith used Xavier to dispose of the general with a mental explosion. Wolverine was eventually captured, but unknown to them, he had secretly led the Brotherhood to the facility in an attempt of freeing the imprisoned mutants. When the mutants began to break free, Wraith shot Xavier and attempted to flee in a helicopter. Blob held onto Wraith's helicopter, but eventually he lost his grip. Storm tried to fry Wraith with lightning, but Nightcrawler saved the Colonel. As a reward, Wraith tried to kill the teleporter. Nick Fury kills Wraith and declares that all the mutants at the facility were free to go. Canadian government forces save John's life by injecting him with the drug Banshee. He is made leader of Alpha Flight. He also gains superpowers. Wraith decides to call himself Vindicator. His team went to retrieve Northstar, which led the X-Men to find out that Wraith's team all use Banshee. It wasn't until after the Ultimatum wave that Rogue sought out Wraith who found out his identity during a previous battle when some of the X-Men went to rescue Northstar. She convinced him to help her kill Magneto. He needed few more people to help with this mission so he and Rogue went and captured Sabretooth and Juggernaut to reform Weapon X.

In other media


  • In the X-Men Evolution episode "Target X," Omega Red references both Maverick and Kestrel to Wolverine, mentioning "Wraith" during a rundown of his Weapon X adversaries.
  • In Wolverine and the X-Men, Colonel Moss (voiced by Michael Ironside) is based on the Ultimate Marvel version of John Wraith. He heads up the Mutant Response Division and has some vendetta against Wolverine (Moss has claw marks across his face thanks to Logan at some point in the past). He was a former head of Weapon X. In the Sentinel-dominated future, he is a cyborg who handles putting power dampeners on mutants in prisons. Whenever his biological half is compromised by a telepath, his Sentinel mode would take over.


  • In the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, John Wraith is portrayed by recording artist (of The Black Eyed Peas).[2] Wraith, a teleporting mutant, is a member of Team X, also consisting of James "Logan" Howlett, Victor Creed, Wade Wilson, Agent Zero, Chris Bradley, and Fred Dukes, under the leadership of William Stryker. While initially loyal to the team, Wraith eventually quits the team due to morality issues (he, like Logan, did not like the killing they did but was forced to follow orders anyway, like abducting fellow mutants, under Stryker's employment) and became a boxing manager. He appears to be the one member whom Wolverine wholly trusts, being the first whom he pays a visit after so many years. When Howlett arrives for information about Stryker's base, he tells him he should ask Dukes, who is now obese and is boxing to keep in shape. Before giving Logan any information, Dukes challenges Logan to a boxing match. Logan wins thanks to his new adamantium skeleton, and Dukes tells him he should find Remy LeBeau, an escaped captive. Wraith goes with Wolverine which leads them to a casino in Louisiana. When Wolverine told him "there's no redemption from where they are going", Wraith only replied that he wasn't seeking any. Wraith guards the back, only to see Creed. Knowing that he killed Bradley and Wade, they battle in the street with Wraith using his teleporting ability to strike multiple times. However, Creed eventually predicts where Wraith is going to teleport next, grabs his spine mid-teleport, then snaps it. As he dies, Creed remarks that he was "predictable" and jokes that he didn't think Wraith had a spine. Wraith's teleportation ability was then used by Stryker for Deadpool as part of the Weapon XI program. [3]

Video games

  • In the X-Men Origins: Wolverine game, Wraith appears voiced by His role is more or less the same in the film. He leads Logan to Team X colleague Frederick Dukes, then leads him to Remy LeBeau, and covers the back of his casino. Victor Creed sneak attacks and kills Wraith.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Copycat (Marvel Comics) — Copycat Copycat, Deadpool: The Circle Chase #4 (Nov 1993) Publication information Publisher Marvel Comics …   Wikipedia

  • Nuke (Marvel Comics) — For the Squadron Supreme and Supreme Power character, see Nuke (Squadron Supreme). Nuke Publication information Publisher Marvel Comics …   Wikipedia

  • Wraith (Marvel Comics) — Wraith is the name of three unrelated fictional characters from the Marvel Comics universe.Wraith (Brian DeWolff)Superherobox| caption= comic color=background:#ff8080 character name=Wraith real name=Brian DeWolff species= publisher=Marvel Comics… …   Wikipedia

  • List of mutants in Marvel Comics — Human Mutants of 616 Universe= Confirmed mutants A * Aardwolf Chon Li * Absalom * Abyss Nils Styger * Aero Melody Guthrie * Agent Zero Christoph Nord (AKA David North, Maverick) * Airhead * Alchemist * Alchemy Thomas Jones * Alex * Amalgam *… …   Wikipedia

  • Kestrel (comics) — Kestrel in comics can refer to:* Kestrel (DC Comics), the supervillain archenemy of Hawk and Dove * Kestrel (Marvel Comics), a test subject of the Weapon X Project …   Wikipedia

  • Kestrel (disambiguation) — A kestrel is a type of bird see KestrelKestrel may also refer to:Aerospace and aviation* Hawker Siddeley Kestrel the prototypes of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier aircraft. *a fibreglass glider, in 17 and 19m wingspan versions, manufactured by… …   Wikipedia

  • Exemplars (comics) — Exemplars Publication information Publisher Marvel Comics First appearance Peter Parker: Spider Man #11 Created by Kurt Busiek, Howard Mackie …   Wikipedia

  • David North (comics) — Agent Zero redirects here. For the NBA basketball player, see Gilbert Arenas. For the other Marvel Comics character named Zero, see Zero (comics). Agent Zero Agent Zero, on the cover to Weapon X #3. Art by Georges Jeanty …   Wikipedia

  • Decimation (comics) — Decimation Decimation event logo, as shown on the covers of tie in comics Publisher Marvel Comics Publication date January – August 2006 …   Wikipedia

  • Wolverine (comics) — For other uses, see Wolverine (disambiguation). Wolverine Wolverine on the cover of The New Avengers #5 (March 2005). Art by David Finch. Publication information Publisher …   Wikipedia