Full Name: Cameron Hodge
Age: Mid 50s
Occupation: military general and former ruler of Genosha
Mutant Abilities: None
History: Cameron Hodge was born into a world of prestige and conflict. When the iron curtain descened over central Europe and the Cold War was in full swing, the countries dominated by the Soviet Union were never far from destruction. Hodge's family was in a unique position to be insulated from that destruction because both his parents were prominent officials in the communist party. Officially, he was born in Hungary, but because of his parents he had citizenship in every country behind the Iron Curtain. This allowed him and his siblings to travel with their parents and see the vast breadth of the Soviet Union. Along the way, young Hodge was struck by the power and grandeur of the communist empire. This instilled in him a great deal of pride and he gave in fully to the communist propaganda of Soviet superiority.
When Hodge wasn't traveling with his family, he was studying in some of the top schools in the USSR. He excelled in nearly every class. He even skipped a few grades along the way. He seemed poised for success in whatever path he chose. The one that sparked the most interest in him was history. From the time he learned to read, he was an avid history buff. His specialty was the rise and fall of great empires. He studied up on periods like Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, China, the Mongols, Napoleon, and Nazi Germany. By the time he was a teenager he seemed poised to make history his career path. Then tragedy struck.
It happened during a small uprising in Budapest. His father and other prominent communist officials were meeting with a few Russian military officers when a group of organized dissidents stormed the hotel they were staying at and set fire to several rooms. Most of the officials made it out and the Soviet police brutally crushed the uprising. However, Hodge's father was not among the survivors. He was severely burned and died after an agonizing three-day fight in a hospital. Hodge and the rest of his family was devastated. This loss led to a profound change in him and overnight he abandoned his plans to study history. The day after his father was buried, he joined the Red Army. Since his father was such a prominent figure, he was put on the fast track to becoming a high ranking military officer.
As the years passed, Hodge worked his way up the military ranks. His ascent was not as fast as his earlier pursuits. The death of his father left him angry and very anti-social. At one point he completely cut himeslf off from his family, focusing entirely on being a great military mind. He alienated a number of his fellow officers and was seen as a loose cannon by his superiors. This didn't stop him from attaining the rank of General. Again, his family name seemed to be the most influencial factor. But before he could get a chance at leading an army, history caught up with him.
Now in his early 30s, Hodge was on the front lines when he saw the Soviet Union collapsed. The empire he once thought was so strong as a boy crumbled before him. He was at the Kremlin the day the Soviet flag was lowerd for the last time and he was also in Hungary when they formally declared their independance from the USSR. It was an inglorious ending, but one he did not fight. He seemed to sense the end of the Soviet Union coming, his knowledge of history and the fall of empires providing the necessary clues. He also sensed he would be out of a job. Again, he turned out to be correct in this respect. Shortly after a new regime entered the Kremlin, there was a large-scaled purging of old Soviet officials. Many feared that someone would sieze control of the military and organize a coup. Hodge was at the top of the list and had his rank and title stripped within a week after the new government was in place. He was still offered a job in the Kremlin, but he turned it down. It's at this point where Hodge's activities become shrouded in mystery.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Hodge disappeared almost completely. He took with him a small contingent of loyal subordinates who had also lost their jobs and rank. Some rumors place him in the Middle East looking to gain control of several unstable governments. Other reports have him in South America and Africa where he gained some political support from a number of far left governments. Whatever his activities, when he came back into the public eye he had with him a full blown army and a vast array of military hardware. With these new resources, he set his sights on the island nation of Genosha.
At the time, Genosha was in a fresh round of political chaos. Having gone through several brutal dictators within the last century, the country was ripe for another coup. The biggest controversy on the island was the mutant population. For reasons still unknown, the island has an abnoramlly high rate of mutant births. Since at the time mutants were becoming a global political issue, Hodge seized the moment. He used his new hardware to infiltrate and take over the island. Since the government was so weak at the time, it took a mere two months before he proclaimed himself General and dictator of Genosha. In the years that followed he set up a Soviet style system that was as brutal as it was efficient, turning the country into an authoritarian state with every citizen of the island working under him as wage earners. This brutal regime turned off a lot of other nations and Hodge's country was listed as a rogue nation by the UN.
However, Hodge was able to regain some credibility upon enlisting an obscure and disgraced scientist named Bolivar Trask. During his reign, there were rumors of a major discovery on the island. For reasons still unknown, Genosha routinely is the site of exotic technology being developed seemingly out of nowhere. Whatever the discovery, it provided Hodge with resources that Trask was in a primse position to utilize. With him he put together what he hoped to be a comprehensive plan to deal with the growing mutant issue, one that he promised to demonstrate to the world on his island. Since mutants were being seen as an increasing threat, his regime was given special attention.
That attention came to ahead when the mutant leader, Magneto, staged an uprising against Genosha. During this ordeal, Hodge unleashed Trask's creation, the Sentinels. These powerful machines were not only supposed to give him the perfect weapon to contain mutants, they were also supposed to make him the leader of the most powerful army in the world. However, his plan failed. The X-men and Magneto's Brotherhood exposed his plot and destroyed his sentinels. This led his regime to complete failure. He was eventually turned over to the UN where he was charged with war crimes. His fate has yet to be determined.
Character Breakdown: Cameron Hodge's character is a product of having been immersed in a totalitarian system his whole life. From the day he was born, he was bombarded with the propaganda of communist superiority. This along with seeing the vastness of the Soviet Empire with his father created an identity that was strongly associated with inherent superiority. Since his family was a part of that authority, he has always enjoyed a certain senes of dominion over others. This dominion creates a very skewed sense of morality because it takes away any sense of wrong he may feel in forcibly dominating another. He lives by a different standard compared to everybody else and his standard allows him to kill, oppress, and even torture without remorse. For him it is akin to beating a disobedient dog.
His desire for an empire strongly reflects an ego shared by many conquerors of the past. Alexander the Great, Ghengis Khan, and Napoleon all had a certin bloated ego that created in them a sense of destiny. They like Hodge felt equipped if not obligated to bring the world under one dominion. This is part of what drove Hodge to become a military man. He learned through his studies in history that great general's do the conquering and even greater generals do the governing as well. When the Soviet Union collapsed, it actually created an opportunity for him because now he was no longer bound to a country. He could take his skills and his resources abroad to forge his own empire. This nomadic sense of searching helped reinforce this psychological sense of destiny that he was to be a conqueror.
When he took control of Genosha, he exerted that sense of dominance to do what he believed to be a strategic necessity. He put everyone in his country under a single authority and like many empire builders in the past, he used scapegoating to rally support. In this case the mutants were the victims. It was more a choice of convenience because at the time so much of the world was worried about mutants. Since Hodge has so few moral issues with lying and deceit, he used that in an attempt to gain more power. It's this same arrogance that brought him down. He still sees himself as a class above everyone else. Even without mutant powers, he is convinced of his own inherent superiority and because of this ego his inclinations will always lead him towards tyranny.