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Toad likes flies
Mortimer Toynbee was born in York, England, and was quickly abandoned by his parents and spent many years in an orphanage, where he was constantly tormented by other children due to his ugliness and strangely shaped body (as his mutant appearance was present from birth). He was considered to be mentally inferior due to his extreme shyness and mild learning disabilities during his primary school years, though he was actually quite intelligent. He dropped out at an extremely early age and decided to fend for himself. Based on years of abuse and knowing full well he was a freak, Mortimer developed a severe inferiority complex, becoming servile to anyone that showed him the slightest bit of affection. Later, he was recruited into Magneto's original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, becoming Magneto's sycophantic 'toady'. Toad believed that Magneto loved him, while the mutant mastermind considered this henchman little more than a human shield. He was also obsessed with his then-teammate, the Scarlet Witch, leading to a continuing enmity with her and her brother, Quicksilver, though the crush was dropped years later after he saw her pregnant belly and became disgusted. As a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Toad aided Magneto in repeated clashes with the X-Men. At one point, Magneto and Toad were captured by the alien Stranger as part of his collection. Magneto managed to escape, but coldly left his lackey Toad behind. When Magneto was re-captured by the Stranger, he took Toad with him during his second escape, but by then Toad's attitude towards his master had already begun to change. Toad aided Magneto against the X-Men once more, but realized that Magneto didn't care at all for him and rebelled against Magneto, and fled his lair with Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. However, he was soon captured by Sentinels, and then freed by the X-Men. He was later captured with Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.
Some time later, Toad began to study the Stranger's technology, becoming familiar with it. He used the Stranger's alien technology to menace the Avengers. He even attempted to kill Angel in a castle outfitted with traps by Arcade. However, he instead turned the castle into an amusement park and became its caretaker. Toad was eventually ejected from the castle by Doctor Doom, and he became suicidal, realizing that he was too dependent on others to work alone. He met and was befriended by Spider-Man, and teamed with Spider-Kid and Frog-Man as the superhero adventurer team, the Misfits. However, Toad suffered from constant depression. Eventually, Toad left the Misfits and returned to villainy. He sought repeatedly to abduct the Scarlet Witch, but was thwarted by Quicksilver, the Vision, and the Scarlet Witch. Much later, he played a "game" with Gideon, and sought to enlist Proteus in a new Brotherhood. He then formed his own subversive version of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, along with Blob, Pyro, and Phantazia. He transformed Karl Lykos back into Sauron, and with the Brotherhood battled X-Force. Toad's Brotherhood also battled X-Factor, and then fought Darkhawk, Sleepwalker, and Portal.
Years later, still struggling with depression, Toad was captured by Prosh, along with Iceman, Jean Grey and Mystique as part of a time-hopping plan to stop a global threat. Toad learned that his deformed body was the result of experimentation by Juggernaut's father, Kurt Marko, at Alamogordo, New Mexico, which left Toad with an unstable genetic structure. The Stranger's equipment corrected his genetic flaws, resulting in an almost complete metamorphosis: Toad had a taller and slimmer appearance and had his powers augmented. Among the most notable changes was a prehensile tongue. Though his change improved his self-esteem, Toad continued to live life without direction. He joined several more incarnations of the Brotherhood of Mutants, none of which lasted for long.
Not long after, Toad entered the Madripoor Bloodsport Tournament. In his first fight in the tournament, Toad wrapped his extremely long tongue around the villain known as Eel, crushing his opponent's bones and seemingly killing him instantly. In the next fight, however, Toad battled Wolverine. His new abilities caught the X-Man off guard and he managed to deal some damage. However, his overconfidence led to his defeat. Wolverine spared his life, not wanting to partake in the act of cold-blooded murder.
Toad made a brief reappearance on Genosha some time after the island's annihilation, leading a team including Paralyzer and Unus the Untouchable to try and rebuild the statue of Magneto as a monument to him. For reasons unknown, Toad eventually returns to Magneto's side during the Planet X storyline; however, Toad was not as docile and subservient as he had been in the past, even openly questioning Magneto at times. Magneto, in turn, is tyrannical in his treatment of Toad, who had become his second-in-command. At that point, the long-presumed-dead Magneto's image had taken a Che Guevara-like notoriety, and Toad questions if Magneto may have been more powerful dead than alive. Nonetheless, Toad tries to defend his former master, only to be incapacitated by Fantomex, who shoots his kneecaps out. Shortly thereafter, Magneto is killed by Wolverine and Toad vanishes from the scene. It is later revealed that this was not the real Magneto, but a copycat named Xorn. It is unknown if Toad was aware of this. Either way, the real Magneto turns out to be alive after all. So far, Toad has made no known attempts to rejoin him. Unus' gang has come into conflict with Xavier and his allies, who have gained a foothold on Genosha soil.
House of M
When a mentally unstable Scarlet Witch warped reality into the mutant-dominant House of M, Toad appeared as a member of Wolverine's Red Guard, and wrote a best-selling book about his time in Magneto's service. When his real memories were restored, he agreed to help the heroes in changing the reality back to normal.
During the battle with the House of M, the Scarlet Witch changed back reality, genetically altering over ninety percent of the world's mutant population and only leaving a few hundred with their powers as a result, Toad among them. After rescuing Lorelei from anti-mutant thugs in Mutant Town, Toad escorted her to the Xavier Institute, where the X-Men had set up a camp for refugee mutants. Once he arrived at the institute he was paired with Fever Pitch as his tent mate, and made his disgust of the Sentinels "watching" them well known.
Toad was among the group of mutants who broke out of the 198 camp, with help from Caliban, Domino, and Shatterstar. The group hid in what they believed was an abandoned nuclear bunker in the Nevada desert. While the X-Men and O*N*E battled outside the bunker, Johnny Dee was instructed by General Lazer to cause chaos amongst the 198. The group of mutants discovered this as Outlaw, being controlled by Johnny, pointed her gun at Domino. Domino's powers caused a misfire, giving Toad a chance to bring Outlaw down. It was then revealed that the bunker was actually a blast-containment chamber for experimental weapons. As the auto-destruct sequence was initiated, Toad was trapped inside the chamber with the rest of the 198. The X-Men, teaming up with Bishop, Iron Man, and Ms. Marvel, quickly found a way to rescue the trapped mutants and the 198 walked away unharmed.
Toad is later seen rioting in San Francisco, angry about the fact that mutants have been forbidden to mate with each other to prevent new mutant births. Toad is faced by Cyclops and is defeated. He is later seen being carried by Trance and Dragoness, who are being pursued by H.A.M.M.E.R. agents.
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman Leaping: The Toad's primary mutant power is the ability to leap to heights and distances far greater than that of an ordinary human. He possesses some degree of superhuman strength, particularly in his legs, which grants him his superior leaping abilities. He has a vertical leap of over 24 feet and a horizontal jump of approximately 36 feet in a single leap. No definite limit to his leaping ability is yet known. Although the Toad usually stands in a crouching position, he can stand erect if he wishes. His unusually flexible spine enables him to crouch continually without strain. In his first appearances, Toad had very little knowledge of hand to hand combat, fighting mainly by kicking wildly and by leaping about and attempting to land on his opponents. Recently, he has demonstrated a better sense of combat and a slimmer physique, using both his leaping ability and his long, prehensile tongue to his advantage.
- Superhuman Stamina: The Toad's muscles produce much less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the muscles of an ordinary human. He can exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before fatigue begins to impair him.
- Superhuman Agility: The Toad's bodily coordination and balance are enhanced to levels that are beyond the human body's natural limits.
- Superhuman Durability: The Toad's body is somewhat tougher and more resistant to physical injury than an ordinary human's. He can withstand impacts and physical trauma that would severely injure or kill an ordinary human with moderate discomfort. However, he is far from invulnerable and can be injured in ways similar to an ordinary human. For instance, he is not bulletproof and can be injured by weapons composed of conventional materials.
- Super-Prehensile Tongue: The Toad has the ability to extend his tongue up to 25 feet in distance and ensnare objects and people. His tongue is superhumanly strong to the extent that he once killed a magistrate of Genosha by ensnaring him with his tongue and squeezing him, causing the magistrate to be crushed to death.
- Mind Alteration: The Toad's super-prehensile tongue contains mind altering toxins bending a person's will so that they obey Toad's commands.
- Toxic Saliva: He is also able to spit a caustic phlegmatic substance.
- Paralytic Resin: His pores secrete a mucus resin that adheres to any surface and paralyzes the nervous systems of whatever it touches.
- Superhuman Respiratory System: He can also contain large amounts of air in his expanding cheeks and throat and expel it with enough force to knock someone off their feet.
- Amphibian Control: In the past, the Toad has demonstrated the ability to psionically communicate with amphibian life, such as frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders.
The Toad has no knowledge of hand-to-hand combat. However, his powers enable him to execute a leaping kick of superhuman force at an opponent. The Toad has a surprisingly great knowledge of advanced technology, thanks to his studies of machinery in the possession of Arcade, Magneto, and the Stranger. However, he is not himself talented at developing technological devices, mostly because he dislikes machines.
Superhuman Strength: The Toad is superhumanly strong, primarily in his lower body, and is capable of leg pressing 3 tons. He possesses superhuman strength in his upper body as well, although to a much lower degree, and can lift about 1 ton.
- Mortimer's identity is known to law enforcement agencies.
- As a result of not bathing and the fact that his skin secretes unusual chemicals, the Toad usually has an offensive odor. The Toad also has a neurological chemical imbalance, which explains his drastic changes in personality.
- Toad has always had an unstable mutation, thanks to his infancy in the Black Womb Project.
In other Media
- Toad appeared in the X-Men animated series episodes Secrets, No Longer Buried, and Graduation Day. In his first appearance, Toad is part of the Children of the Shadow, a mutant-supremacist group led by Bill Braddock, a.k.a. Solarr.
- He appears in the X-Men: Evolution cartoon as an American teen named Todd Tolansky instead of Mortimer Toynbee. In the series he is a member of the Brotherhood and a former classmate of the X-Men. He has a crush on Magneto's daughter, Wanda, a.k.a the Scarlet Witch. He was one of the mutants who helped defeat Apocalypse in the series finale. He was voiced by Noel Fisher
- Wolverine and the X men
- Toad appeared as a character in the 2000 movie X-Men, played by Ray Park. He is a member of Magneto's Brotherhood and possesses enhanced leaping capability and acrobatic speed, agility, dexterity, reflexes, coordination, balance, a sticky prehensile 13-foot tongue. He was defeated by Storm. He was supposed to appear in the sequel but was written out due to schedule conflicts.
In X-Men 3: The last stand, a mutant with toad-like powers appears.
- Toad also had an appearance in X-Men Mutant Academy 2, X:Men Legends 2: Rise of Apocalypse and X-Men: Next Dimension as a playable character.