Published August 29, 2023
Since his introduction in GIANT-SIZE X-MEN (1975) #1, Piotr Rasputin, AKA Colossus, has pretty much always looked out for his friends. In the process, he has earned a reputation as one of the Marvel Universe’s kindest heroes.
However, Colossus hasn’t always been perfect. In fact, the hero has committed acts that range from morally grey to outright reprehensible. With the character once again taking a dark turn in X-FORCE (2019), let’s break down seven of Colossus’ crimes.
Colossus Murders an Enemy Combatant
In MUTANT MASSACRE, Mister Sinister unleashed his Marauders on the Morlocks living underneath New York City. Numerous heroes, including Colossus and the X-Men, banded together to try and protect the sewer dwellers, but their actions were in vain.
By the end of the crossover, pretty much all the Morlocks were dead, and numerous characters were badly injured, including Kurt Wagner, AKA Nightcrawler, and Kitty Pryde, AKA Shadowcat. In response to the stress of the situation, Colossus murdered Janos Quested, AKA Riptide, a member of the Marauders.
What’s more, the way Colossus murdered Riptide was particularly brutal, and he committed the act more out of anger than a desire to protect others. In the aftermath, his teammates even agreed the act was a dark one. This action is the first in what became a gradual darkening of Colossus as a character, and the hero’s physical and metal scars remained long after the battle.
Colossus, Acolyte of Magneto
Max Eisenhardt, AKA Magneto, has long served as a foil for Professor Charles Xavier. While both men dream of a better future for mutantkind, Magneto has generally been much more militant in his beliefs. Followers of both men have, on occasion, defected to the other’s side, and Colossus is no exception.
After the death of his sister Illyana, AKA Magik, from the Legacy Virus, Colossus turned his back on Xavier and joined Magneto’s Acolytes. Even as a member of the group, Colossus didn’t always agree with their actions, which ultimately led him to leave. Still, the Acolytes were a frequently deadly and extreme group, making Colossus’ association with them questionable at best.
Age of Apocalypse’s Colossus Was a Jerk
The AGE OF APOCALYPSE crossover explored a dystopian reality in which Xavier died at the hands of his son David Haller, AKA Legion. This led Apocalypse to return sooner than he had on Earth-616. As a result, the villain successfully took over Earth, leaving Magneto and a handful of mutants as the only real resistance.
Colossus belonged to Magneto’s resistance, and in that reality, he married Pryde. However, during the climactic battle between Magneto and Apocalypse, Colossus flew into a rage over his sister’s safety. When Pryde attempted to stop him, Colossus accidentally killed her.
Although the AGE OF APOCALYPSE was no hero’s finest hour, this remains a particularly dark chapter in Colossus’ story. His actions here showed that, under the wrong circumstances, he could easily destroy those closest to him.
Colossus Beats Up Kitty Pryde’s Boyfriend
After leaving the Acolytes, Colossus decided to seek out Pryde, who belonged to the United Kingdom’s Excalibur team at the time. Eventually, he found her kissing Pete Wisdom, her new boyfriend. Rasputin lost his temper at the sight of this and attacked his fellow mutant out of jealousy. The battle didn’t last long, and Colossus joined up with Excalibur soon after.
Many of Colossus’ acts on this list are the result of extenuating circumstances that forced him into a particularly dark place. However, his attack on Wisdom was an act of jealousy. The confrontation showed that, like his AGE OF APOCALYPSE counterpart, Colossus’ emotions can lead to real violence.
Colossus: The Unstoppable Juggernaut
In FEAR ITSELF (2011), an Asgardian called Serpent spread panic across Earth. To accomplish his task, Serpent turned several characters into powerful hammer-wielding entities called the Worthy, including Cain Marko, AKA Juggernaut. As Kuurth, Juggernaut posed a major threat to Earth’s heroes. To stop this foe, Colossus struck a deal with the demon Cyttorak and became the Juggernaut himself.
Colossus had the best intentions when he made his deal with Cyttorak. However, Rasputin soon found himself unable to get rid of the demon’s influence. This led to a dark period in which the kind, gentle Colossus became increasingly brutal and unable to control himself. While the trade undoubtedly saved lives, the road to villainy is often paved with good intentions.
The Phoenix Force Corrupts Colossus
At the start of AVENGERS VS. X-MEN (2012), five mutants gained the power of the Phoenix Force: Cyclops, Namor, Emma Frost, Magik, and Colossus, who was still Cyttorak’s avatar at the time. Dubbed the Phoenix Five, the group tried to use their incredible powers to change the world for the better. However, tensions with the Avengers continued to rise. Soon, the Phoenix Five began committing morally questionable acts, and in some cases, outright atrocities.
To his credit, Colossus proved himself one of the Phoenix Five’s more peaceable members by the end of the series. However, that doesn’t mean he acted the hero. In addition to abetting awful crimes, Colossus threatened to destroy the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, as he came to believe the institution had turned Pryde against him.
Mikhail Rasputin Manipulates Colossus into Villainy
Colossus’ older brother, Mikhail Rasputin, has caused numerous problems for the X-Men and other heroes over the years. Most recently, Mikhail began working with a reality-altering mutant known as the Chronicler to seize control of Colossus. Under the influence of his older brother, Colossus recently killed his girlfriend Kayla and actively worked to undermine Krakoa’s interests while on the Quiet Council.
In the past, Colossus made his own decisions when he broke bad–even if he didn’t intend to hurt others. Now, Mikhail is forcing Colossus’ body to perform these evil actions. As such, Colossus must face a reckoning with X-Force as they piece together “his” motivations for these actions, as well as their failure to protect mutantkind during Orchis‘ deadly attack on the Hellfire Gala.
To find out what dark deed the mind-controlled Colossus commits next, pick up X-FORCE (2019) #43, on sale now!
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In this article: Colossus (Piotr Rasputin)