- Robert Kelly (comics)
real_name=Robert Edward Kelly
debut=Uncanny X-Men #135 (July 1980).
creators=Chris Claremont and John Byrne.
United States Senate
Robert Edward Kelly is a
fictional characterin the Marvel Comicsuniverse. He most often appears in Marvel's " X-Men" and X-Men-related comic books. He is a prominent United States Senator who began his career on an anti-mutant platform, and as the X-Men team is made up entirely of mutants, his role tends to be that of an antagonist. The character was created by Chris Claremontand John Byrneand makes his first appearance in " Uncanny X-Men" #133 (July 1980).
Fictional character biography
Senator Robert Kelly was first seen at a social gathering hosted by the Hellfire Club, where an illusion projected by the mutant villain Mastermind caused him to believe he had witnessed the X-Man Cyclops firing randomly into a crowd. He was the primary backer of the Mutant Control Act and "", a government program aimed at creating updated Sentinel robots that would help track down and, if necessary, detain or kill violent mutants.
He played a central role in the
Days of Future Paststoryline that took place in "Uncanny X-Men" #141-142 (January-February 1981). The entire plot revolved around the X-Men stopping Mystique and her Brotherhood of Evil Mutantsfrom assassinating Kelly and thus inadvertently causing a dystopian future where mutants and other heroes were hunted down and nearly totally eliminated.
When he appeared in "Uncanny X-Men" #246 (July 1989), he had become engaged to Sharon, a former maid who worked in the Hellfire Club. Kelly, in a meeting with Sebastian Shaw, was shocked when his wife walked in wearing her old, servant garb ready to replay her old role. She was genuinely apologetic, saying she would not have done such a thing if it hadn't been just him and Shaw. Sharon was killed the next issue, in "Uncanny X-Men" #247 (August 1989), shot by the mutant-hunting robot known as
Master Moldduring a battle between Master Mold and Rogue. This further incited his stance against mutantkind.
Kelly remained an active anti-mutant activist in the comics through the 1990s, but slowly became more open-minded and tolerant towards the mutant population, promising the X-Men he would work for the rights of mutants during the early 2000s. After his life was saved by the mutant Pyro in an attack, who gave his life to save the senator (this was when Pyro was infected with the
Legacy Virus), Kelly vowed to reconsider his standing on mutants and work towards improving human/mutant relations. Ironically, despite being guarded by the X-Man Cable, he was not long afterwards assassinated at a college rally (where he was speaking at the time) by the anti-mutant activist Alan Lewis who felt that Senator Kelly betrayed their anti-mutant cause.
Age of Apocalypse
Age of Apocalypse, Robert Kelly was an activist for mutant-human peace. He had succeeded in making the Human High Council and Apocalypse's empire sign the Kelly Pact, a treaty meant to prevent the Cullings and the experimentation on humans and mutants alike, though Apocalypse's forces did little to respect the Pact.
Due to his advocacy of pacifism, Kelly was arrested and placed on a prisoners camp in Mexico, which was under the watch of Diablo and the
Absorbing Man, two magic-based mutates that had aligned with Apocalypse. However, Kelly was rescued by Magneto, Nightcrawler and Rogue.
Following the defeat of Apocalypse, Kelly was elected president of the United States. He named Magneto as Director of Mutant Affairs and enlisted the aid of the X-Men in the reconstruction of the broken country.
In other media
* In the "X-Men" animated series, which ran on Fox from 1992-1998, Kelly (voiced by
Len Carlson) ran for president on an anti-mutant campaign during the beginning of the show's first season. Kelly came to befriend the X-Men and support mutants shortly after his election as president, in the season's final episode, after the X-Men had rescued him from both an assassination attempt by Mystique (Who was posing as Gambit to make it look like the X-Men did it) and an attempted brainwashing by Master Mold. In the first episode of season two, Kelly took office as president, spoke out in support of mutants, and made his first presidential act an official pardoning of Beast, who had been unfairly arrested early in season one. These actions led Kelly's former, anti-mutant supporters to feel betrayed by him and create the public anti-mutant backlash that pervaded the entire second season of the show. In the third through fifth seasons of the animated series, President Kelly had a low profile. He remained friendly with the X-Men through the show's end, working with them to confront global mutant threats such as Magneto's building an armed, inhabitable, mutants-only asteroid in space during the fourth season.
* In "
X-Men Evolution", Kelly (renamed Edward Kelly and voiced by Dale Wilson) was the principal of Bayville High, the school that several X-Men attended, and harbored anti-mutant opinions. He was not a powerful antagonist, although he was running for Mayor in the series' final season.
* Senator Robert Kelly appears in "
Wolverine and the X-Men", voiced by Richard Doyle. He is beginning his project for the Sentinels and previews the Sentinel Prowler at an anti-mutant rally. The Prowler targets Roguein the rally group and attacks the crowd. Afterwards, Kelly decides to shutdown the project to focus on the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. he also had his agents retrieve a mutant dampening collar that could neutralized their powers but it was retrieved by Wolverine.
*In "X-Men", Senator Kelly (played by
Bruce Davison) is staunchly anti-mutant, arguing that their powers make normal people afraid and they should be locked away for the protection of theirs. He is kidnapped by Magneto's minion Mystique and is subjected to a process that transforms him into a mutant. Unknownst to Magneto, the process is ultimately fatal, with his body rejecting the process, and Kelly, now in a malleable jellyfish-like form, dies in the custody of the X-Men. He was subsequently impersonated by Mystique at the end of the film and in "X2". In a special feature on the X-Men DVD, his young daughter is revealed as a mutant on "live TV" after a Senate hearing on mutant regulation. No mention of this is made in the film.
* Senator Kelly is also briefly mentioned in "": if the player is controlling a member of the X-Men at the end of a mission to protect a Sentinel fleet (since they are being used to evacuate New York), the selected character expresses his befuddlement by saying "First joining up with the Brotherhood now helping Sentinels? Next thing you know Senator Robert Kelly is going to invite us for lunch!"
* Senator Kelly appears as an NPC character in the RPG video game "". In the game, he is captured by Arcade and is imprisoned somewhere in Murderworld. There is an optional mission where the player must locate him (he is in the cart to the left upon exiting the fake Castle Doom). If the player finds him, Senator Kelly would successfully sponsor the Mutant Aid bill which will allow government funds for schools similar to Professor X's which will prove to be very effective in training young mutants how to control their powers. If he isn't found, Senator Kelly will instate a bill where all mutants are forced to go to re-educational camps so they will be educated to not use their powers.
* In the comics, Senator Kelly represents the state of New York. In the X-Men films, he is described as a Senator from
Kansas, possibly as an ironic comment on the fact that the teaching of human evolutionwas at one time prominently banned from public schools in that state.
* The fictional name of the character Robert Kelly was chosen by
Chris Claremontin honour of his Bard Collegeprofessor, the poet Robert Kelly (born 1935). The latter has confirmed the coincidence between the two names in interviews among his students.
* In all three major media adaptations of the X-Men (the "X-Men" film, the "X-Men" animated television series, and the "X-Men" comic books), Mystique has impersonated Kelly to suit her own needs and has attempted to kill him at some point. An exception occurs in X-Men: Evolution, where Kelly is actually a replacement for Mystique (who had been acting as principal in disguised form).
* [http://www.marvel.com/universe/Kelly,_Robert Senator Robert Kelly] at Marvel.com
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