Donald Pierce was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pierce first appeared as a high ranking member of the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club, where he held the position of White Bishop, during that organization's first direct encounter with the X-Men. During this conflict, Pierce battled Wolverine, Nightcrawler, and Colossus, alongside Mastermind and the Inner Circle. When Wolverine nearly severed his arm it was discovered that he was a cyborg, and he was then defeated by Colossus. The Hellfire Club inner circle was eventually defeated and Donald Pierce fled with Sebastian Shaw down a hidden corridor of their headquarters.
As it turned out, Pierce was a raving, anti-mutant bigot. That hatred motivated him to act independently to kill mutants, working with three cybernetically-enhanced mercenaries (Cole, Macon, and Reese) who had been critically wounded by Wolverine during that first Hellfire club skirmish. Pierce was the CEO and principal shareholder of Pierce-Consolidated Mining, and was operating out of a mining and laboratory complex in Cameron, Kentucky. Pierce and the cyborg mercenaries kidnapped Professor Xaver and Tessa in a revenge plot against the Hellfire Club and X-Men, but were defeated by the New Mutants. Pierce was returned by Tessa to the Hellfire Club, and expelled from the Inner Circle. Later, he resurfaced as a professional criminal and terrorist with Lady Deathstrike and Cole, Macon, and Reese. All five characters were consumed by their desire for revenge against the X-Men and Wolverine in particular. To that end Pierce created an army of cyborgs out of low-life thugs and a few mercenaries. He named his army "The Reavers". After rescuing the kidnapped banker Tyger Tiger from the Reavers, the X-Men expelled the cyborgs from their Australian outback headquarters, and appropriated the base for themselves (although Pierce was not present during this encounter, and had not yet been revealed as the Reavers' creator). The surviving Reavers set out to defeat the X-Men, mounting a return to their old headquarters, this time with Pierce and Deathstrike, along with Cole, Macon, and Reese present, but after the X-Men had escaped through the Siege Perilous, they managed to capture only Wolverine, whom they tortured and crucified. Wolverine subsequently escaped with Jubilee, and Pierce attempted to track them. Assuming they fled to Muir Island, Pierce and the Reavers attacked Muir Island, and battled Moira MacTaggert's "Muir Island X-Men" and Freedom Force. With the Reavers, he also attacked a Frost Technologies plant in California. At one point Pierce created two super intelligent sentient androids (Elsie-Dee and Albert), which he sent to kill Wolverine, but they developed ethics and turned on Pierce and abandoned the Reavers. A few years later a member of the Upstarts, Trevor Fitzroy, sent reprogrammed Sentinels to destroy the Reavers, as they were a threat to mutants and Pierce (as the former White King) was worth a lot of "points" in the deadly game the Upstarts played. Only Lady Deathstrike and Cylla escaped and it appeared that Pierce had been destroyed. Pierce attempted to escape to the Hellfire Club Mansion in New York City, but the Sentinels followed him there and electrocuted him. The other Reavers were completely annihilated. Despite his seeming demise, he later resurfaced and troubled the X-Men once more. He started an anti-mutant hate group and enlisted several members. He revealed a plot to take militant terrorist actions against mutants and was thwarted by the X-Men. He was beaten by Wolverine in hand-to-hand combat even though he is several times stronger than Logan. It was revealed that very little (if any) of Pierce's human tissue remains, which explains how he was able to survive the massacre in Australia with only his head and portions of his upper torso intact. Pierce next tried to take over Sebastian Shaw's new Hellfire Club, launching an attack and slashing Shaw's chest. Though Shaw was left critically injured and later needed to be hospitalized, he was able to punch off Pierce's head. Pierce appears to have survived though, as he would later appear in the third issue of the second X-Force series, having been forcibly recruited into the ranks of the Purifiers and infected with the Technarch transmode virus. Being under the control of the mutant-hunting robot Bastion, he shows his mutant target, the newly formed Young X-Men. He appeared in a nightmare of the precognitive mutant, Blindfold, battling a not yet formed team of X-Men and killing one of their number. It would later be revealed that Pierce himself recruited this team using an image inducer to pose as the leader of the X-Men, Cyclops. His reasons for recruiting these mutants as "X-Men" are not entirely clear, however, it appears that his primary focus is to eliminate the current Lord Imperial of the Hellfire Club, Roberto da Costa, and his former New Mutants allies. He also hired Ink to deliver Dani and Blindfold to him, misleading him. Following the confrontation with the Young X-Men, his face is scoured by Dust. With the synthetic skin on his face restored, he is kept captive by the Young X-Men. Ink's presence on the team is debated due to his connections with Pierce, though Cannonball expresses sympathy for Ink as he himself was originally lead astray by Pierce when he was a teenager. Ink is allowed to stay on the team and despite contention from Rockslide, later apologizes to Blindfold for working for Pierce, who remains in X-Men captivity. Pierce and Dust have frequent conversations while he is imprisoned, despite his vocal hatred of mutants and derogatory remarks toward her faith in Islam. While they talk, Dust admits to Pierce that she is dying, as he is "the only one who won't care" and he agrees to share with her the secret information he has about her teammates. He tells her that Ink is the mystery "non-mutant" among them, which is later discovered by the rest of the team. Also, he subtly tells her that three of her friends will die soon, referring to Boom Boom, Hellion and Surge, who were captured by the Sapien League and injected with a strain of the Legacy Virus.
Donald Pierce is seen as a prisoner of the X-Men, along with Shaw and Scalphunter. They are watched over by Danger who talks with Rogue while checking on the prisoners. Suddenly, Rogue gets the location of Hope, without understanding why and she goes off to see Emma. Later, while Emma uses Cerebra, the entire system crashes and each X-Men team loses contact with one another. It is revealed that Pierce was intentionally captured for the purpose of destroying the X-Men's systems. This was planned by Bastion. Later after receiving the green light from Bastion to proceed with their plan, Pierce provoques an explosion that decimated all the X-Men's jets and the Blackbirds. Pierce stands amid the debris, and rues to the X-Men that he sorry that he will not live to witness the decimation of the mutant race. Pierce was perfectly right as Cyclops quickly eliminates him with an optic blast, and alerts the X-Men to expect an attack.
Powers and Abilities
Donald Pierce is an ordinary human and possesses no inherant superhuman attributes. However, he does currently possess them due to cybernetic augmentation.
Cybernetics: Nearly all of Donald Pierce's organic tissue has been replaced with highly advanced cybernetics constructed of a lightweight metal alloy that function in much the same way as his organic tissue once did, only vastly more efficient. Originally, only Pierce's arms and legs were replaced with cybernetic limbs, yet Pierce has steadily replaced his organic tissues over the years with cybernetic, adding upgraded technology to his body when needed.
- Superhuman Strength: The musculature of Pierce's upper and lower body has been replaced with highly advanced hydrolics that are many times stronger than his organic tissue was. At peak operating efficiency, Pierce possesses sufficient superhuman strength to lift about 10 tons.
- Superhuman Speed: Just as the case of physical strength, the advanced hydrolics of Pierce's cybernetics enable him to run and move at speeds beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Stamina: Pierce's advanced hydrolics enable him to exert his body physically for much longer periods of time than a normal human. While they don't produce fatigue toxins like human muscles, the hydrolics are suseptible to wear and tear if he exerts himself for too long. At peak efficiency, Pierce can exert himself physically for up to 24 hours before the overall efficiency of his hydrolic systems begins to sustain damage without Pierce stopping to rest and repair any damage.
- Superhuman Durability: The light metal alloy that makes up most of Pierce's body is much more resistant to physical injury than the organic tissue of a normal human. Pierce's cybernetic body can withstand powerful impact forces, high caliber bullets, falls from great heights, exposure to extreme temperatures, and powerful energy blasts without sustaining injury.
- Superhuman Agility: Pierce's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Pierce's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are superior to those of the finest human athlete.
- Psionic Resisance: Over the years, Pierce has added various technology to his organic brain tissue that enables him to revert telepathic assaults back to the person they originate from, at least to a certain degree. Exceptionally powerful telepaths however, such as Charles Xavier or Jean Grey, have proven resistant to this ability and have successfully assaulted his mind.
Pierce is a cunning strategist and industrialist. He is also a good hand to hand combatant, though he tends to rely more on brute strength rather than technique in most situations.
Hellfire Club and advanced Reavers vehicles.
Conventional and advanced firearms.
Pierce was modeled after actor Donald Sutherland; the name refers both to Sutherland himself and to the character "Hawkeye" Pierce from the t.v. show M*A*S*H.