Full Name: Graydon Creed
Occupation: Founder and Chairman of the Friends of Humanity
Mutant Abilities: None
History: The life story of Graydon Creed is an intensely private if not closely guarded secret. That life, however, has significant holes that have never been fully addressed and it’s not even clear if Creed himself knows the full story.
The secrets of his life begin with his birth. The identities of his biological parents are completely unknown. As an infant, he was put up for adoption. However, his biological mother made sure that he was sent to a wealthy family. She also gave him the name Graydon Creed, which his adopted parents would maintain. The family that adopted him, Brandon and Scarlett Stocker, were a wealthy couple in Topeka, Kansas that had endured the deaths of two children and two miscarriages. It’s not clear if the family ever actually met Creed’s biological mother, but they embraced the opportunity to adopt Graydon as their own.
Much of Graydon’s early life was fairly comfortable. The Stockers kept him fairly sheltered in a gated community, most likely out of concern that they would lose him as they had other children. He attended numerous private schools where he excelled in math, political science, and business. He also became quite active in his community. He developed an early talent for rallying support among others, demonstrating a charisma that was often aggressive if not a little hostile at times. This charisma would be put on full display on the day he first crossed paths with mutants.
It started with an incident that took place in the city of Topeka when he was 15. At the time he was part of a student alliance that was known for speaking out against illegal immigration and homosexuality. When the Topeka city council proposed a bill that would restrict or ban mutants from public schools, Creed’s expressed support for it. He even attended a rally at city hall to support it. While there, a young mutant made an impassioned plea before the city council. During her speech, an unknown assailant attacked the mutant and a major fight broke out. Creed was not part of this fight, but he ended up getting caught in the crossfire.
The young mutant happened to have abilities that allowed him to form globs of an exotic sticky substance in his hands. In using that substance to restrain the attacker, some hit Creed and he ended up getting pinned to the ground. He ended up getting trampled as the riot broke out and had to be hospitalized. While in the ICU, Creed had a sever allergic reaction to the substance the mutant secreted. It caused him to go into cardiac arrest and he came very close to dying over the course of a week. He eventually recovered, but an indelible impression regarding mutants had been made and it only promised to get worse.
For the rest of his school career, he remained active in anti-mutant politics. His experience made him quite vocal in the growing controversy surrounding mutants, but he refrained from becoming too outspoken. He focused primarily on furthering his education and playing a more active role in his family company. This represents another significant hole in Creed’s history and one that remains a closely guarded secret.
Not much is known about the source of the Stockers’s wealth. Brandon Stocker founded a series of contracting firms that specialized in supplying weapons to various governments and military forces. There were frequent rumors about their company providing arms illegally. If they were true, it was never proven in court. However, this did make Creed and his family a target in a way that would change the course of his life.
By his mid-twenties, Creed was fully immersed in his family’s company. At this time more rumors emerged regarding the company conducting arms deals with several illegal militias in Sudan, Northern Ireland, and Central America. While the company remained clean in the eyes of the law, this didn’t stop a rival militia sending an assassin to take out the Stockers. That assassin turned out to be a mutant, one with the ability to turn into a shadow and follow Brandon Stocker home. Creed was with him at the time. When the mutant attacked, Creed tried to defend his father. Unfortunately, he failed. The mutant was able to kill both his adopted mother and his adopted father. He almost killed Creed as well, but once again he survived.
The death of his adopted family was a turning point for Graydon Creed. He became more aggressive and unstable. His disdain of mutants turned from an opinion to a passion. That passion would guide him in a new series of endeavors, many of which remain shrouded in secrecy. It started with a series of legal issues that arose regarding the succession of his father’s company. For a while it looked like Creed wouldn’t be able to gain control, but then his rivals and several members of the company board disappeared under mysterious circumstances. It isn’t clear whether Creed was involved. No charges were ever filed and Creed has never publicly spoken about the incident.
Once Creed took control of his family company, his activities become much more obscure. For a number of years, he ran the company in secret. He bought back many of the public holdings his company, allowing him to increase the anonymity of the company. At around the same time the illegal weapons trade underwent a mysterious boom and Creed’s company apparently profited a great deal. By the time he was in his early 30s, Creed had liquidated his share of the profits and used it to form a new organization, the Friends of Humanity.
After Graydon Creed stepped down from his family company, he dedicated the bulk of his time and energy to pursue an anti-mutant agenda. The rise of the X-men and growing concerns regarding mutants created a ripe environment for the Friends of Humanity. He was able to gain a long list of supporters and using his family ties, he was able to organize new smaller companies dedicated to anti-mutant research. As his ranks swelled, so too did his reputation. The Friends of Humanity have been implicated in numerous incidents of violence against mutants. These incidents ranged from violent beatings to full on murder. While Creed was able to avoid prosecution for these crimes, it did provide greater exposure to his organization.
This exposure was key in forging a partnership with Reverend William Stryker, another anti-mutant crusader that also had ties to the Senator Robert Kelly. When Stryker became Kelly’s chief advisor for his presidential campaign, he enlisted help from Creed to stage a demonstration of his best anti-mutant technology in the all-mutant community of District X. Unfortunately, this demonstration went horribly wrong and Graydon Creed was arrested. While this left him and his organization discredited, Creed remains a vocal and passionate opponent of mutants. He is among the most radical in his desire to deal with mutants, favoring all out extermination over any kind of containment.
Character Breakdown: Graydon Creed demonstrates many symptoms of serious pathology in his obsession with mutants. His secretive, private nature implies that he has feelings of anguish that he tries to hide and in doing so allows them to fester to a point where it has extreme effects on his mentality. Graydon Creed’s hatred of mutants is not just personal for him. It’s an obsession. The very presence of mutants disturbs him. Their continued existence upsets him. Since he has the resources and means to oppose them, he willingly sacrifices his personal comfort to oppose them.
However, Creed’s obsession isn’t the only driving force of his persona. Even before his hatred of mutants grew, he demonstrated xenophobic tendencies from a young age. This most likely stemmed from being so sheltered by his adopted parents. In their fear of losing him, they made him wary of unknown forces. He was not reserved about such wariness either. His ability and desire to rally others demonstrate signs of a narcissistic mindset where he seeks to use others to accomplish his own ends. Part of this narcissism involves having uncontrolled anger, which shows in how he projects his rage onto mutants and those that oppose him.
Yet these traits and Creed’s willingness to express them are not entirely self-serving. He does appear to put a high value on his own notion of humanity. Having been hurt both physically and emotionally by mutants, he sees all humanity as targets for mutants and sees himself as a defender of this threat. It’s similar to a messiah complex, but Creed’s obsession and instability at times make it more of a misguided drive of sorts. He cannot be convinced that all mutants aren’t a danger. This hostility towards mutants is just part of a larger manifestation in his pathological need to protect humanity by any means necessary, regardless of how violent or extreme they may be.