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Supervillain Origins: Toad

VO: Dan Paradis
The villainous mutant known as Toad is well-deserving of his name and was introduced as one of the original members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. An early X-Men foe, Toad's powers are indeed frog-like. Super-strong legs enable him to leap amazing distances and he possesses superior balance and coordination. Over the years he has also developed a tongue that can extend to great lengths and wrap itself around just about anything, making him a unique mutant to face off against. Join WatchMojo.com as we will explore the comic book origin of Toad. Special thanks to our user Justin Kennon for submitting the idea on our WatchMojo.comsuggest page!
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Transcript
Script written by Craig Butler.

Supervillain Origins: Toad


Believing in superpowers takes a leap of faith, and no one leaps better than the Toad. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of Toad.
As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginations and different
versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1964's X-Men #4 and which was expanded upon in 2001's X-Men Forever #1-6.

The villainous mutant known as Toad is well-deserving of his name. One of the X-Men's earliest foes, Toad's powers are indeed frog-like. Super-strong legs enable him to leap amazing distances and he possesses superior balance and coordination. In addition, over the years he has developed a tongue that can extend to great lengths and wrap itself around just about anything.

The villain's resemblance to a toad extends beyond his powers. This was evident in his debut in 1964. Introduced as one of the original members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, his physical appearance was rather like an amphibian. In addition, his obsequiousness toward Magneto, leader of the Evil Mutants, was the very definition of "toadying up."

While X-Men #4 was Toad's debut, readers learned very little about his actual origin. Even his actual name, Mortimer Toynbee, was not revealed until years later. Instead, the initial story simply focused on the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants' takeover of the country of Santo Marco. A typical Stan Lee-Jack Kirby slugfest ensued with the X-Men, which provided plenty of opportunity for the Toad to leap about with impressive agility, but little information about how he came to be.

As Toad made subsequent appearances, dribs and drabs of his past life emerged. Much of this information was gathered in 2001's X-Men Forever #1-6. In this convoluted but intriguing story arc, five individuals were brought together to save the future of the human race. Jean Grey and Iceman of the X-Men but also the villainous Juggernaut, Mystique and Toad were all forced to team up by Prosh, a sentient space ship who also could take humanoid form.

Prosh revealed that these five individuals were going to be sent on a journey in which they would revisit key moments from their lives. They were to use the information they gathered from this journey in order to prevent the destruction of humanity – and of all existence. It was an admirable goal – but for various reasons, Prosh couldn't tell them what the threat was or how they were supposed to achieve this goal.

During the long trip back in time, numerous details were revealed about all of the main players, including Toad. For example, Toad had spent time trapped with a celestial being of enormous power called the Stranger. He had stolen some of the Stranger's alien technology but frittered away the opportunities it could have brought him.

Readers also saw that Toad, who had undergone both psychological and physical changes over the years, used the drug Ridilin (With a “D”), to control chemical imbalances which brought about these changes.

More importantly, readers learned more of Toad's origin. Magneto had rescued him after he had a run-in with a mob which abused him because he was different. In gratitude, Toad had joined the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Eventually, he came to resent Magneto for treating him so poorly. It also turned out that, as an infant, Toad had been part of a secret experiment in which mutant babies had been studied – and perhaps altered.

In the comics, Toad has bounced between villainous and heroic activities. That ambivalence of character has been largely absent from his appearances in Marvel-related media projects. Presented as simply villainous in these projects, his froglike agility and powers enable him to add visual punch to the proceedings.

Are you a fan of Toad? For more comic book origins, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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