|First appearance||The X-Men #4 (March 1964)|
Stan Lee (writer)|
Jack Kirby (artist)
|Alter ego||Mortimer Toynbee|
Brotherhood of Mutants
Jean Grey School
|Notable aliases||The Terrible Toad-King, Stranger|
Expert kickboxer, mechanic, and machinist|
Superhuman leg and tongue strength and endurance, agility, reflexes, coordination, balance and leaping
Regenerative healing factor
Elongated prehensile tongue
Psychoactive venom secretion
Paralyzing mucus secretion
Ability to stick to walls, expel gusts of air from his lungs and communicate with amphibious life
Toad (Mortimer Toynbee) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is most often depicted as an enemy of the X-Men, and was originally a weak, hunchbacked mutant, with a superhuman leaping ability. He was Magneto's sniveling servant in the 1960s line-up of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. He eventually led his own version of the Brotherhood, which was more involved in petty crime than mutant liberation.
Ray Park played a significantly different version of Toad in 2000's X-Men film. He was cocky and sarcastic and his superhuman leaping ability, agility, toxic saliva, prehensile tongue and wall-scaling abilities made him a match for several X-Men. Aspects of this Toad have since been implemented into the comic book version. Subsequently, most versions of Toad written or drawn after 2000 resemble the Ray Park version more closely than the original Toad. A younger Toad appears in the film X-Men: Days of Future Past, played by Evan Jonigkeit.
Fictional character biography
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 also developed a crush on his teammate Scarlet Witch, but she did not return his feelings as she was repulsed by his appearance, mannerisms, and lack of hygiene.
As a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Toad aided Magneto in repeated clashes with the X-Men. Magneto tried to use him to infiltrate the X-Men, but they recognized his power and unmasked him. At one point, Magneto and Toad were captured by the alien Stranger as part of his collection, encased in cocoons, and taken on a journey through space. Magneto managed to escape by repairing a spaceship, but left Toad behind. When Magneto was re-captured by the Stranger, who Professor Xavier had telepathically communicated, 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 the 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 Juggernaut, 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.
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.
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. After the battle is over, Toad is seen together with Dragoness and Avalanche living on the X-Men's new Utopia homebase.
After Cyclops deputizes the population of Utopia to help fight an invasion of Nimrod Sentinels from an unknown future, Toad advises a group of mutants including Sack to remain behind on the island, where they could remain safe. In the middle of arguing with Sack, a Nimrod Sentinel fires on them, decapitating Sack and blowing off Toad's right index finger.
In the miniseries "Magneto: Not a Hero", Joseph is resurrected under unknown circumstances and forms a new Brotherhood of Mutants with Astra and mutated deformed versions of Blob, Mastermind, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Toad. It is soon revealed that the mutated versions of Blob, Mastermind, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Toad are clones created by Joseph.
Relationship with Husk
During the events of AvX, Toad and Husk have developed a sentimental relationship. The relationship led to him quitting the Grey Academy to join her at the Hellfire Academy where she had become a teacher, but he soon finds he is relegated once again to being a janitor, and sees Husk being twisted and corrupted by the Academy, quickly regretting that he joined.
In the Hellfire Academy he found himself disillusioned with their attempts to teach the children how to be villains, feeling they should actually try educating them and tell them how unfortunate the live of a villain could be, which ended up with Husk shoving him out of the room and claiming he had embarrassed her. When he witness Quentin Quire - whom he had brought to the Hellfire Academy along with him - being tortured by Sauron he finally took action and turned on the Hellfire Academy choosing to help Quentin escape. As they were escaping they are attacked by Husk and the All-New Hellions. Husk's increasingly slipping sanity causes her to attempt to kill Toad during the fight. Despite his reluctance to hurt her Toad begins to rip off layers of her flesh until she is left in her human form, confused about where she is and why she is not still in the Grey Academy, having apparently lost most of her memory. The Hellfire Academy is defeated, Kade Kilgore is trapped inside the Siege Perilous, Wilhemina Kensington manages to escape, but Manuel Enduque and Maximilian Frankenstein are forced to enroll in the Jean Grey Academy. Toad is seen sitting beside Husk's hospital bed.
Later, it transpires Husk's unhinged personality was caused by a secondary mutation that caused her powers to affect her mind along with her body. Due to his earlier betrayal Toad is fired by Wolverine as janitor of the Grey Academy. As he leaves the school, Husk arrives to apologize to him. Toad accepts her apology and tells her he always knew things between them were too good to last. Before he can go, Husk asks him to visit her in a nearby coffee shop so she can try to get to know him and remember what she liked about him before she lost her memory. But, Frankenstein creates self-replicating energy robots to attack the city and distract the staff so he and Endque can escape the Grey Academy. Toad tracks them down and tells them how he was given a second chance and intends to take it. Frankenstein tells him to show him to prove his commitment, Toad does this by attacking and hospitalizing Endque. Husk sits alone in the destroyed coffee shop and Toad never shows up, later she gives Endque counselling and finds Toad left her message saying he had to leave else someday she would wake up a see him for what he really was. Toad is seen crying silently as he now works for Maximilian Frankenstein and recommends they go someplace nobody can hurt them.
Powers and abilities
The Toad's intellect and physical abilities have gone through some changes over the years. In the character's inception, he possessed superhuman leg strength and endurance, agility, reflexes, coordination, balance, a superhuman ability to leap great distances. However, over the years, the Toad's original powers have increased and he has gained additional powers through further mutation, including adhesive saliva and an elongated prehensile tongue.. As a result of further mutation, he now has mottled green skin and pointed-tip ears.
Toad's primary mutant ability is a superhuman leaping ability that allows him to leap many times higher and farther than an ordinary human. He possesses some degree of superhuman strength and endurance, primarily concentrated in his lower torso and legs, which grants him his superior leaping abilities. His vertebral column and skeletal structure are unusually flexible, enabling him to remain in a constant crouching position and contort his body into unusual position without injury or 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 (as Toad once weighed over 250 lbs this could be potentially harmful). Recently, he has demonstrated a better sense of combat and a leaner physique, using both his leaping ability and his elongated prehensile tongue to his advantage.
As a result of having his genetic structure restored (thus stabilizing and augmenting his mutation) Toad has the ability to extend his elastic tongue up to 25 feet in length to ensnare objects and people. His tongue is superhumanly strong and tough to the extent that he once killed a magistrate of Genosha by ensnaring him within his tongue and squeezing, causing the magistrate to be crushed to death almost immediately. He can also secrete odorless pheremonous venom and psychoactive chemicals from his tongue and fingertips that allow him to influence, manipulate, and control the minds of others to a limited extent. Thanks to special pads on his hands and feet, Toad can stick to and climb most surfaces with ease, even if they are vertical, inverted, or slick. He can also secrete a highly adhesive resin from his pores that paralyzes the nervous system of anybody that touches it. Toad has also demonstrated the ability to psionically communicate with amphibian life (which he often uses as spies), and to expel powerful gusts of wind from his lungs capable of knocking someone down.
Toad's intellect has increased beyond his original levels and he has considerable knowledge of advanced technology and access to vast technological and scientific knowledge, which he gained as a lackey to Magneto and while he was held captive by the Stranger, as well as his studies of machinery in the possession of Arcade and Arkon. He once possessed alien technology that he stole from the Stranger's world, and could utilize it to create synthezoid robots, among other uses. He has demonstrated the ability to apply this advanced technology, but lacks the creativity to make progress beyond his existing knowledge. For example, while he could construct and utilize a powerful exoskeletal armor, he would be unable to improve on its base design.
Although Toad's amphibian-like traits extend to his physical appearance, this was revealed to be contingent upon his mutation during the events in which the High Evolutionary deprived the world's mutant population of their extraordinary abilities. Following the events, Toad was revealed to be an extremely handsome young man. This is as he would look had he not been born a mutant.
Toad appears in the Marvel 1602 series working as a spy for Enrique (Magneto) in the Vatican. As Enrique's plot was to recruit the "witchbreed" who could conceal their abilities in the unfriendly world, it is unclear why Toad was included, as he is shown with a long tongue constantly coming out of his mouth. He also has the ability to move around on walls and ceilings. When his deception is discovered by the Papacy, he betrays Enrique and his allies in exchange for his life. However, when Enrique's group breaks free, they capture Toad. Enrique promises to kill him, but his death is at least delayed, as he is seen alive on the ship later, though he doesn't appear in the climax.
Age of Apocalypse
In the Age of Apocalypse, Toad was a member of Forge's resistance group, the Outcasts. This version of Toad was a highly articulate Shakespearean actor, and a master swordsman. When the Outcasts were attacked by Domino, Toad killed her henchman Caliban but dies immediately afterward at the hands of Grizzly.
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.
In the limited series Powerless where the characters of the Marvel Universe are ordinary humans, Toad, referred to simply as Mortimer or Mort, appears as member of the shadowy organization headed by Erik Lensherr. He briefly aids Victor Creed as they search for Weapon X, but they are attacked by their target and their car runs off the road. Mortimer's fate is unseen but Creed assumes Weapon X kills him. He does not appear again.
In the limited series X-Men Ronin, Toad is an elderly teacher that several of the X-Men turn to for help when the entire Prefecture are made to believe they are monsters. Toad works to help heal Wolverine, who had been laid low by a telepathic blast.
In the Earth X reality, Toad gains Magneto's powers and rules over Sentinel City, humiliating Magneto as payback.
In the Ultimate Marvel continuity, Toad was a founding member of the Brotherhood of Mutants. In this version, he is not the sycophantic Toad from the mainstream universe, but rather is ruthless and vicious. This Toad is also British like the mainstream version but has four fingers, green skin and can walk on walls and ceilings like Spider-Man. He became good friends with Ultimate Cyclops, when they were in the Brotherhood together. This friendship carried on even after Cyclops returned to the X-Men. It appeared that Toad returned in Ultimate X-Men #69, where he crashed a dance alongside the Brotherhood, but was later revealed that the Brotherhood in that issue was an illusion cast by another villain.
After the supposed death of Professor Xavier and the consequent passing of control of the school to Cyclops and Jean Grey, Toad works as an instructor at the school, something with which Jean feels mildly uncomfortable. Cyclops asks Toad to visit the Morlocks and tell them of the new school regime that he is trying to create. Sunder, the Morlock leader had taken in Nightcrawler and believes the two to be working against him. Toad and Nightcrawler are then taken captive and then freed by Cyclops, Jean, Rogue, and Iceman.
After the Apocalypse debacle, Professor X returns to the Institute. The world outside has returned to how it was before Apocalypse appeared, but the mansion has both Cyclops' group who remained behind and Bishop's team of New X-Men together as a much larger team. Toad officially joins the team and, like Iceman, wears a bandana with the "X" symbol on it.
Toad is then rarely seen in the Ultimate X-Men comic following this and is not even shown during the "Banshee Drug" storyline where Colossus makes an X-Men team of drug-enhanced X-Men to fight Xavier's X-Men. He is a part of Xavier's X-Men during the storyline, but is not shown. The Ultimatum Wave then hits New York, prompting William Stryker to attack the X-Men mansion with his soldiers. Toad is killed defending Firestar in the resulting massacre.
Ultimate Toad's personality and appearance is more snarky British punk than subservient yes-man, and he has been shown as a relatively competent fighter in his few appearances. In the first story arc ("The Tomorrow People"), Toad successfully disables both Cyclops and Storm by leaping on them, but is defeated by Iceman, who freezes his legs. Storm then strikes him with a kick across the face.
In other media
- Toad made a cameo in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends on a TV monitor, when Magneto is demanding for The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to be freed from prison in the episode "The Prison Plot". Magneto describes him as "obedient and super-agile".
- Toad appears in the pilot episode X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men, voiced by Frank Welker. He is an eager-to-please sycophant barely tolerated by Magneto, who at one point tells him to "go play in an airlock".
- 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.
- The Toad who appears in the X-Men: Evolution cartoon (voiced by Noel Fisher) is an American teen named Todd Tolansky instead of Mortimer Toynbee. In the series he speaks with a heavy Brooklyn accent and 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 and shares a rivalry with Nightcrawler. Although mostly depicted as a misguided youth and delinquent, he aids his Brotherhood teammates and the X-Men in defeating Apocalypse in the series finale.
- Toad first appeared in the Wolverine and the X-Men episode "Hindsight" Pt. 2, voiced by A.J. Buckley. He is seen sporting dreadlocks, and a bandana. Toad is a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants and was shown captured by the Mutant Response Division until Blob rescued him. Toad was mentioned to have been captured by the MRD many times, so many times in fact, that in the episode "Time Bomb" Quicksilver contemplated leaving him behind to just be rid of the nuisance of having to save him. He is an inexperienced fighter as shown is the episode "Battle Lines," after knocking Cyclops' glasses off, he stands in front of him to taunt him and ends up getting zapped. He even at one point refused to fight the X-Men in the episode "Time Bomb" believing it would be better if he did not get involved.
- A.J. Buckley reprises his role of Toad in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Hulk Talk Smack." There is also a reference to Storm's movie line, when Thor blasts Toad into the water, knocking him out, Silver Surfer replies, "Oh, so that is what happens to a toad when it is struck by lightning. What a let-down."
- Toad was mentioned in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Doomed." He was mentioned as having been previously beaten by Spider-Man.
- 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 (4.0 m) tongue, and the ability to spit an acidic mucus that hardens almost instantly. He has a different personality from the comic incarnation, confident and comical. Toad also appears to have some scientific ingenuity, as he was seen working on Magneto's machine that can induce mutations in normal humans. Toad battles Storm, Cyclops, and Jean Grey all at once in the battle in the Statue of Liberty, he starts by locking Cyclops in a display case, sends Storm to the second floor and spits slime on Jean Grey as she stops him in mid-air. Storm returns to stop Toad from harming Jean but is knocked down an elevator shaft, however Storm flies up again and blows Toad out of the statue. Toad manages to latch his tongue onto a support beam, but Storm strikes his tongue with a lightning bolt and the shock causes him to fall into the Hudson River.
- Evan Jonigkeit portrayed a younger Toad in the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past. In the interview in which he revealed the role, he said, "I read a lot of the comic books. I found out the storyline of my character, who is Toad," he said. "X-Men fans will know that Ray Park played him in the first movie, so it's a generation story of how he came to be. It's really cool." He is shown as an American GI - along with Alex Summers - who is nearly taken into custody by Bolivar Trask as part of his anti-mutant efforts before they are rescued by Mystique. He is later shown working in a diner as he watches Magneto's broadcast. He possesses his long tongue and has mottled skin.
- Toad is an unlockable character in the video game X-Men: Mutant Academy.
- Toad is a regular character in X-Men: Mutant Academy 2.
- Toad is a regular character in X-Men: Next Dimension.
- Toad makes an appearance as a mini-boss in the multiplayer action-RPG video game X-Men Legends voiced by Armin Shimerman. Like most of the other characters in that game, he has the physical appearance of his Ultimate version, but has the history and personality of the 616 version. The X-Men encounter him at a HAARP base and defeat him. He was imprisoned in their holding cell until Magneto later rescued him. Upon arrival on Asteroid M, Emma Frost took control of Toad's mind to open the entrance to Asteroid M.
- Armin Shimerman reprises his role of Toad who is a playable character in the sequel X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse. He has special dialogue with Stryfe and Blink (when she is rescued). He also has a crush on Magneto's daughter Scarlet Witch and often praises and compliments her.
- In the GBA version of X-Men: The Official Game (which fills in the gap between X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand), Toad appeared in a minor role.
- Toad appears in X-Men: Destiny, voiced by Alexander Polinsky in a cockney accent.
- Toad is featured as a boss in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Toad is a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Greg Cipes.
- Toad had one figure in the Marvel Legends toy line's debut, and several in the X-Men Movie line.
- There was also a figure made of X-Men: Evolution Toad which came with 'slime dumping locker' accessory.
- The X-Men movie lineup includes a figure of Toad, modeled after Ray Park, with a long removable and whipping tongue as his accessory.
- X-Men #4-7
- X-Men #5
- X-Men #11
- X-Men #18
- Avengers #47-49
- X-Men #43-45
- Avengers #53
- X-Men #59-60
- Avengers #75
- Avengers #137-139
- Marvel Two-in-One #68
- Amazing Spider-Man #266
- X-Men Forever #1
- Vision and the Scarlet Witch Vol. 2 #6-7, 11
- New Mutants Annual #7; New Warriors Annual #1; Uncanny X-Men Annual #15; X-Factor Annual #6
- X-Force #5-7
- X-Factor #82
- Darkhawk #19-20
- X-Men: Forever #1-6 (2001)
- Wolverine Vol. 2 #167-168
- New X-Men #132
- New X-Men #150
- X-Men: The 198 #1
- Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1
- X-Men: Legacy #226
- X-Men: Legacy Annual #1 (2009)
- New Mutants #14 (2010)
- X-Men: Regenesis #1 (2011)
- Magneto: Not a Hero #1-4
- Wolverine & The X-Men #9 & #15
- Wolverine and the X-Men #30-32
- The Uncanny X-Men #379, 2000
- Marvel 1602 #7
- Marvel 1602 #8
- X-Man #3
- X-Men: Noir #1
- House of M #5
- Powerless #5
- Universe X #3
- Ultimate X-Men #15
- Ultimate X-Men #82
- Ultimate X-Men #93
- Ultimate X-Men #3
- "Marvel Super Hero Squad Voice Cast". Comics Continuum. 28 July 2009.
- Sullivan, Kevin P. (7 January 2014). "Which Classic 'X-Men' Character Is Making A 'Days Of Future Past' Comeback?". MTV.
- "Lego Marvel Super Heroes IMDB". Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- Toad at the Marvel Universe wiki