Black Tom Cassidy


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Black Tom Cassidy

(pop culture)
Like many superheroes, Sean Cassidy, the Irish X-Men member called the Banshee, has an evil brother, Thomas Samuel Eamon Cassidy, better known as Black Tom. Created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Dave Cockrum, Black Tom emerged from the shadows in X-Men #101 (1976). A mutant like his brother, Black Tom can generate heat or concussive force, and he employs a wooden Irish shillelagh to focus his blasts. Heir to the Cassidy fortune and castle, Tom lost both in a game of dice to Sean, and turned criminal. Both brothers were in love with Maeve Rourke, who married Sean. While Sean was on assignment for Interpol, the international police agency, Maeve gave birth to their daughter Theresa. Soon afterward Maeve was killed in an Irish Republican Army bombing, but Tom raised Theresa without ever informing Sean of her existence. Black Tom formed a partnership with his old friend Cain Marko, the Juggernaut, and together they battled the X-Men and other superheroes, including the original Spider-Woman and X-Force. Black Tom forced Theresa, who had inherited her father's superpowers as the teenage Siryn, to aid him in his crimes, but finally revealed her identity to Sean. After Black Tom was shot, doctors grafted onto his wounds a substance resembling wood, which spread throughout Tom's body, eventually turning him into a sentient form of plant life that resembled a humanoid made of wood. This gave Black Tom the power to control plants—and even to create plant doppelgängers of himself and other people—but it also drove him insane. (After transforming into a plantlike being, he no longer needed to use the shillelagh.) After Black Tom murdered Marko's friend Sammy Pare, the Juggernaut turned against him. Thus Black Tom Cassidy lost his last friend and final link to his former humanity. Black Tom has also appeared in X-Men: The Animated Series (1992–1997).