Who Is ‘X-Men ‘97’s X-Cutioner in Marvel Comics?


Editor’s Note: The below contains spoilers for ‘X-Men ’97’.

The Big Picture

  • X-Men ’97
    features X-Cutioner and Goblin Queen as new antagonists for the team to face.
  • X-Cutioner’s backstory involves tragic events leading to his transformation into a mutant hunter with alien weapons and tech.
  • X-Cutioner partners with the Punisher for a mission and later aligns with a mutant-hating group in a series of confrontations with the X-Men.

The premiere of X-Men ’97 has proven to be worth the wait, with the Disney+ series scoring well with fans and critics alike. The series has already introduced two long-time X-Men antagonists, with the Goblin Queen (Jennifer Hale) and X-Cutioner (Lawrence Bayne) appearing before the end of the premiere. X-Cutioner in particular looks to be troublesome for the gang… but who is he? The name might suggest a character from the “extreme” DC and Marvel heroes and villains of the 1990s (former Green Lantern Guy Gardner’s extreme makeover as “Warrior,” with guns for arms, is a personal favorite), and with his debut in the pages of Uncanny X-Men Annual #17 in 1993, X-Cutioner certainly fits the profile; but he also has ties as far back as 1963 and X-Men #2. Who is X-Cutioner? Let’s find out.

X-Men ’97

A band of mutants use their uncanny gifts to protect a world that hates and fears them; they’re challenged like never before, forced to face a dangerous and unexpected new future.

Release Date
March 20, 2024

Jennifer Hale , Cal Dodd , Chris Potter , Catherine Disher , Adrian Hough , Ray Chase , Lenore Zann


Number of Episodes

Streaming Service(s)

Who Is X-Cutioner in Marvel Comics?

While X-Cutioner himself is a relatively recent addition to X-Men lore, as mentioned above, his story begins with the introduction of one Agent Fred Duncan of the FBI in 1963. Duncan was sympathetic to the mutant cause, and a friend of Charles Xavier. And when the X-Men became active, Duncan became the team’s FBI liaison. Over the years, Duncan collected some of the technology and weaponry that the team encountered. He also kept his own records on the X-Men and was gifted a Psionic Headband by Charles Xavier which allowed him to transmit his thoughts directly to Xavier, and vice versa.

Fast-forward 30-odd years, when 12-year-old Carl Denti’s father, a soldier, was killed in combat under mysterious circumstances, setting Denti on a quest to find out what really happened. Denied by a wall of red tape, Denti earned a Master’s degree in Psychology from Syracuse University before starting a career with the FBI. Following years of dedication, Denti attained the security clearance necessary to learn the truth about his father’s death. The revelation was heart-wrenching, as it unveiled the grim reality that his father had been executed for ordering the killing of troops who refused to carry out his cruel commands. Thankfully, Denti had formed a close friendship with Agent Duncan, his mentor in the FBI. When Duncan was tragically killed by mutants, Denti took it hard. The loss triggered a belief that mutants were an aberration and a threat to humanity, causing him to vow revenge.

Carl Denti Takes Up the Mantle of X-Cutioner

With Duncan’s death, Denti was promoted to his former mentor’s position as the head of the FBI’s Superhuman Investigation Team. It also allowed him access to Duncan’s collection of weaponry and his X-Men files, things that Duncan would never have used against mutants. But in the hands of one seeking to destroy killer mutants in the name of justice? Bad news. There was a Shi’ar lance, capable of projecting psionic energy, which he could wield with Shi’ar battle armor. An alien Z’nox weapon with the ability to blast through Colossus’ organic steel armor. Claws that generate nero-charges, a force field, boots with Sentinel propulsion systems, a Culthan alien prison guard mask and, to round it off, access to alien teleportation tech. With mutant-busting tech in his hands and the seething hatred to use it, Denti became the mutant hunter X-Cutioner.

One of X-Cutioner’s first acts on his mutant-hunting crusade was to track Tower, a former member of the Alliance of Evil, to El Salvador, where he incinerated him. His next target, Mastermind, was under the care of the X-Men on Muir Island, having contracted a mutant plague known as the Legacy Virus. X-Cutioner was confronted by Colossus and Archangel, who were guarding Mastermind, and in the conflict, X-Cutioner left Colossus seriously wounded and knocked Archangel out cold. However, he was denied the kill when a lightning bolt from Storm began overloading his force field, forcing X-Cutioner to teleport away. X-Cutioner’s next contact with the X-Men came as he went after the White Queen, Emma Frost, in the walls of the X-Mansion, but was turned away by Cyclops and Cable. Shortly after, his attempt on Rogue’s life was thwarted by Rogue and X-Man.


‘X-Men ’97’: Rogue and Magneto’s Romantic Comics History, Explained

These two have been an item since…the ’90s, actually.

X-Cutioner Partners With The Punisher Before Breaking Bad Again

X-Cutioner began having doubts about his self-appointed vigilante mission, having repeatedly come out on the losing side of his encounters with the X-Men, and chose to focus his efforts on tracking actual mutant criminals, as opposed to mutantkind as a whole. At the same time, his alter-ego Denti was assigned to the protection detail for Reverend William Connover, a vocal proponent of mutants. Frank Castle, aka the Punisher, was also guarding Connover on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D. Despite multiple assassination attempts on Connover by the Mutant Liberation Front, the Punisher and Denti, as both an FBI agent and X-Cutioner, were able to consistently turn away the threats. When Castle discovered X-Cutioner’s identity, he confronted Denti, who insisted he no longer hated mutants. Taking him at his word, Castle explained that the MLF was a front for anti-mutant terrorists looking to stoke anti-mutant fires, information which Denti then revealed to the public.

Denti retired his X-Cutioner persona for years, but would return to his mutant-hunting days when the X-Men and other mutants formed the mutant nation Krakoa. He aligned himself with Homines Verendi, a mutant-hating group led by former members of the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle (X-Cutioner in X-Men ’97 is with the comparable Friends of Humanity). Aided by the Hate-Monger and Donald Pierce, X-Cutioner attacked the mutant refugee vessel Marauder, but their attempt ended much like X-Cutioner’s previous run-ins with the X-Men — another loss at the hands of Captain Pryde and her team that left the trio bobbing in the ocean. X-Cutioner’s last appearance in the pages of Marvel Comics came in 2021’s X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #104, arriving at a music awards show where X-Men member and pop star Dazzler was being honored. X-Cutioner’s anti-mutant rhetoric was cut short at the hands of the mutant pop princess. X-Cutioner hasn’t been seen since, but with his resurgence as a major antagonist in X-Men ’97, it’s likely that Denti and his alter-ego X-Cutioner will soon return in print. For his sake, hopefully it’s not in the pages of a Dazzler series.

X-Men ’97 is available to stream on Disney+ in the U.S., with new episodes releasing on Wednesdays.

Watch on Disney+


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