Full Name: Nathan Grimshaw
Occupation: General in the United States Military
Mutant Abilities: None
History: The life of Nathan Grimshaw and his family is inescapably tied to war, combat, and the military. The oldest of four children, he was another link in a long line of military men. The Grimshaw lineage can be traced all the way back to the American Revolution and nearly every man in the Grimshaw family has served in the military in some capacity. And from a young age, Nathan Grimshaw showed an early inclination to continue this tradition.
He grew up primarily in the suburbs of Washington DC. His father, an accomplished colonel in World War II, ran a strict but caring household. From an early age he and his siblings attended private schools where uniforms were required and discipline was strict. And Nathan seemed to thrive in these conditions, demonstrating an early aptitude for academics and physical fitness. While his father didn’t treat his children as soldiers, he held them to a higher standard and young Nathan met and often exceeded that standard.
From an early age, Nathan also showed the early signs of a skilled military mind. His favorite activity as a child involved using toy soldiers to set up elaborate battles and conflicts. It was an activity that made him somewhat odd compared to his peers, but one that helped develop a very tactical mind. His father would often join him and help him organize the battles while telling him stories of his own war experience. These stories along with an ambition that grew as he got older helped put Nathan on an early career path.
After graduating with highest honors from a private military school, Nathan Grimshaw formally enlisted in the United States Military. He underwent basic training at Fort Belvoir in Virginia where he quickly established himself as a strong leader. He specialized in small, coordinated units that conducted infiltration raids and marked targets for bombing. While he never saw combat, his officers saw his potential and this led him to the West Point Military Academy for officer training. Once again, Nathan thrived in the disciplined, ordered environment. But it is here where he started setting himself apart from other officers.
At the time, the war in Vietnam was escalating and becoming increasingly unpopular. This triggered a number of passionate debates among Nathan’s peers and teachers on how to manage the conflict. Nathan rarely took part in these debates, but when he did he often proposed unique and at times unorthodox approaches. He rarely identified the battle in terms of who was the enemy, focusing instead on the source of the conflict and the forces feeding that source. It put him at odds with the prevailing understanding of the time, but his ideas proved to be somewhat ahead of their time.
Nathan Grimshaw graduated West Point at the top of his class and gained the rank of corporal. This earned him a job as an officer at the Pentagon. Early on, he hoped to play a role in the ongoing wars in Southeast Asia. But by then the wars were coming to a close and his novel ideas did not resonate with the established order of the time. As a result, Nathan fell into obscurity within the Pentagon and remained in a state of career limbo for years.
During this time, Nathan kept a low civilian profile. He did a great deal of traveling, visiting numerous war zones in Europe, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. He also met an aspiring Army nurse, who he later married and had three children with. The obscurity allowed him to raise his children and observe world events from the outside. As the years went on, he noticed that the nature of war was catching up to his tactics. This allowed him to become more involved with combat and gain experience that would further strengthen his skills.
After attaining the rank of Colonel, Nathan began putting some of his tactics into practice by leading targeted raids by Special Forces. The growth of international terrorism and the end of the Cold War ensured that such skills were in high demand. He conducted operations all over the world, focusing primarily on South America and Africa. His success record eventually earned him an opportunity to organize operations in the Middle East during the first Iraq war. He was largely credited with conducting operations that destroyed missile sites and chemical weapons caches. This earned him the rank of General and vindicated his tactics.
His success and tactics helped earn him greater influence with both fellow officers and amongst politicians. In the years following the Iraq war, he continued to expand his influence by carrying out more successful operations using covert military forces. He also advised numerous foreign governments. But it was also during this time that he began studying the next great conflict and he quickly concluded that mutants would be the source.
Not much is known about the extent to which General Grimshaw studied mutants, but he did apparently monitor the activities of mutant communities and the X-men. He was a vocal opponent of the Weapon X program and was involved in numerous efforts to destroy all remaining elements of it. He also kept a close eye on the exploits of Magneto and the Brotherhood of Mutants. While he never got a chance to become involved, he did put himself in a position to understand mutants when he met a coarse young man and aspiring soldier named Jack Freeman.
While at a military base in California, General Grimshaw encountered Jack Freeman as he was going through advanced training. He was a punk and a former drug dealer who had a reputation for being abrasive to the point where both his officers and his fellow soldiers despised him. When it was discovered that he was a mutant, there was a push to expel him from the military. At the time there was an outstanding treaty that banned mutants in the military. But General Grimshaw used his influence to keep the young Private in the forces and took him under his wing.
Seeing potential in this young soldier, General Grimshaw helped Jack Freeman become a Green Beret. He eventually achieved the rank of Captain and came to see Grimshaw as a father figure. Armed with this man’s trust, General Grimshaw worked with Captain Freeman in various operations. Most of these operations were secretive, but successful. And over the years, the trust between them grew. However, the growing mutant conflict remained.
The biggest turning point was Magneto’s plot to destroy the world with an asteroid. In wake of the aftermath, the President was weakened politically and the military command structure was thrown into chaos. General Grimshaw was one of the few who were able to manage this chaos and with help from Captain Freeman, he was able to continue his many successful operations.
After the election of President Robert Kelly, General Grimshaw finally made his move. He confronted the new President with a new mutant initiative targeted at holding mutants accountable to the law. But he also showed a willingness to be aggressive, sending Captain Freeman to Genosha to steal Magneto’s helmet. The extent to which his initiative will affect mutants is not clear, but his tactical brilliance makes him both a strong ally and a dangerous enemy.
Character Breakdown: Nathan Grimshaw is a product of military culture. His family has close ties to the military and nearly every institution affecting his life has ties to the military. Because of this, his mentality is one of strict discipline and order. He is controlling in demeanor and thoughts, but analytical when it comes to the world around him. He doesn’t show an inclination to control the people and various forces around him. He sees them more as obstacles to either be overcome or circumvented.
This tactical mind is big part of what makes him a good General. However, he also demonstrates traits that set him apart from other military minds. While he may be strict in his approach to discipline and planning, he tends to think beyond the scope of the conflict or the mission. He’s willing to adopt novel approaches to a situation, sometimes to the point where it puts him at odds with his peers. This shows that he is adverse to merely conforming with others around him and is willing to take greater risks, as indicated by his willingness to support Captain Freeman.
This tendency to approach a situation differently is coupled with his exceedingly realistic, and sometimes cold, view of the world. Nathan Grimshaw does live in a world of ideals. He states outright that he has a very low tolerance nonsense or trivial matters. Because of this, he has a tendency to not show his emotions. He prefers to remain disciplined, stern, and competent. This type of unflappable demeanor is part of what a makes him a strong, charismatic leader. It has also helped him gain the influence that allows him to be so effective at his work.
In addition, General Grimshaw divorces moral aspects of a mission from pragmatic aspects, seeing it only as a means of avoiding conflict. This is what has caused him to adopt someone like Jack Freeman, with whom he shares little in common with, as a trusted associate. He is concerned less with the circumstances and more with the results. Much of his work revolves around either confronting or avoiding conflict and obtaining the necessary results. While it may cause him to make decisions that are cold and callous, it does allows him to be effective in his work.