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William Stryker was a soldier in the U.S. military with a connection to the Weapon X program and the Adamantium process that created Wolverine, among others. Some time after his retirement from the military, Stryker had what some may call an epiphany regarding his role and purpose in the world. When his son was born different Stryker knew immediately that his child was a mutant. Distraught, he killed his son, his wife, and attempted to take his own life as well. His suicide attempt failed and he concluded that God must have prevented him from taking his own life so that he could serve God on Earth. Stryker's belief was that God allowed his son to be born a mutant so that he would be guided towards his true calling, to lead the war against all mutants. His hatred of mutants being based on a belief that they represented the Devil's corrupting influence on the world, and in order to save the world, mutants must die.
William Stryker became a preacher and Christian televangelist in order to spread his hatred of mutants. He also founded a secret paramilitary group called the Purifiers which carried out violent acts against the mutant population. at one point, the Purifiers managed to capture Professor X and kill several mutant children. After nearly killing Kitty Pryde, Stryker was shot and subdued by the authorities. He was imprisoned and his followers disbanded.
After being released from prison Stryker discovered the whereabouts of Nimrod, a Sentinel from the alternate future time-line chronicled in Days of Future Past. Stryker used the Sentinel's memory system to learn of the affects of M-Day months before it even happened. With this knowledge of the future, Stryker began to rescue human beings from events that history had recorded as having caused their deaths. One of these individuals was the elite sniper, Matthew Risman. With this new base of support, Stryker re-started the Purifiers and continued his assault on mutants and their kind.
The Purifiers believe that God did his part on M-Day by wiping out most of the mutant population, and that it is their job to finish his work by any means necessary. In pursuit of that ultimate goal the Purifiers massacred many mutants, including Wallflower and Icarus of the New X-Men. In revenge, Elixir managed to kill William Stryker. In the wake of his death, Matthew Risman has taken over leadership of the Purifiers who regard Stryker as not just as man who started a movement, but a martyr in a holy war.
First Appearance: Marvel Graphic Novel (1982) #5
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All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2006)
#11 All-New X-Men (2013)
- 'Stranger to Ultimo'
Epic Comic-Collection (1983)
#2 House of M (2005)
- 'Die Gruppe X: Verraten und verkauft'
Marvel Graphic Novel (1982)
New Mutants (2009)
#12 New X-Men (2004)
- 'Second Coming: Chapter 3'
#20 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
- 'Childhood's End: Part 1'#21
- 'Childhood's End, Part 2'#22
- 'Childhood's End, Part 3'#23
- 'Childhood's End, Part 4'#24
- 'Crusade, Part 1'#25
- 'Crusade, Part 2'#26
- 'Crusade, Part 3'#27
- 'Crusade, Part 4'#28
- 'Nimrod: Part 1'#29
- 'Nimrod: Part 2'#31
- 'Nimrod: Part 4'#36
- 'Mercury Falling: Part 4'
Uncanny X-Men (1963)
#523 Wolverine: Weapon X Files (2009)
- 'Second Coming: Chapter 2'
#3 X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills (1994)
- 'Angels and Demons: Part 3'#5
- 'Angels and Demons: Part 5'#6
- 'Angels and Demons: Part 6'#7
- 'Old Ghosts: Part 1'#21
- 'Necrosha: Chapter Two'
X-Men: Hellbound (2010)
X-Men: Second Coming (2010)
#1 X-Treme X-Men (2001)
- 'Second Coming: Chapter 1'
- 'God Loves, Man Kills II'#26
- 'God Loves, Man Kills II - Part 2'#27
- '600 Chariots'#28
- 'O Absalom'#29
- 'Pale Rider'
X-Men 2: X-Men United (2003)
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