Hellfire Club (Movies only)
|Behind the Scenes|
|Created by||Chuck Austen, Sean Phillips|
Rumor has it that he is in actuality a true demon, or at least possesses the blood of one. Several mystical beings such as Mephisto and Blackheart have made slight references over time to the leader of the Neyaphem being much more than he seemed and had a strange set of 'ties' to mortals.
In ancient times he was sided with the Neyaphem, a horde of demonic humanoid mutants that went to battle against a rival group called the Cheyarafim, which were angelic yet xenophobic mutants. Despite Azazel and the Neyaphem's best efforts, the Cheyarafim were victorious and banished his group to an alternate dimension for all eternity.
Being the Neyaphem's leader, Azazel was the only one capable of breaching the dimensional void, if only briefly - this is due to his teleportation powers. His only hope to make a return to Earth was by impregnating women, as his offspring are linked to the Neyaphem's dimension. However, because giving birth successfully to a Neyaphem requires great physical strain, he was required to only breed with women who possessed unusual characteristics such as mutant abilities.
When he met Mystique in Germany, she was married to a rich baron named Christian Wagner, who was sterile and unable to bear her children. Azazel was Baron Wagner's business partner at the time, and Mystique had an instant attraction to him upon meeting. Though hesitant to betray the baron, she gave in to Azazel and this coupling would lead to the birth of Kurt Wagner, AKA Nightcrawler. Unfortunately for Mystique, she had fallen in love with Azazel but did not appear outwardly mutual. However, he had fallen for her too, making her the only woman he had ever truly loved. Instead, he had left her shortly after his "mission" because the Cheyarafim had learned of his location in Germany and would thus attempt to assassinate not only him but Mystique and their unborn child. Though he knew Mystique would be safe and able to protect their son, he failed to inform her as to why he had left, leaving her to hate him for it.
Not long afterwards, Mystique believed she had no other option and killed Baron Wagner because he suspected her infidelity. Only a few months later she would give birth to Nightcrawler, but due to the shock and strain of giving birth to a Neyaphem has even on a mutant's body, she lost concentration and accidentally revealed her true form, which was witnessed by those around her. Considered a demon, she was chased off by an angry mob, barely able to escape. Forced to take the form of a townsperson to survive and, acquiescing to the mob, tossed her newborn son into a ravine. However, the child was then teleported away, apparently by Azazel, and given into Margali Szardos' care.
Ultimately, Azazel would sire several dozen children who, along with Nightcrawler, were all mysteriously called together in their adulthood to sacrifice themselves on an island known as the Isla Des Demonas (Isle of Demons). If this sacrifice were to succeed, it would open a portal to bring the Neyaphem armies to Earth and destroy the Cheyarafim, which would thus allow the demonic mutants to live amongst the world's inhabitants and find their own place in it. Though left in a zombified state and forced to perform the ritual and open the portal to Azazel's own dimension, the X-Men had followed Nightcrawler to the island and jumped through the portal. Being an evil being by nature, Azazel took great pleasure in toying with the team, making them believe he was Satan himself. Although Azazel would ultimately fail to free the Neyaphem as the portal had to be opened in an area where Cheyarafim blood could not be found and Archangel was present at the time, being a member of the X-Men, causing the portal to be destroyed. Grief-stricken, Azazel vanished and has not been seen since.
Despite this, he did eventually return to Earth with the thanks to Frankenstein's Monster's former ally Carcabria, a witch of The Winding Way who is affiliated with Margali Szardos. He and his similar-appearing Bamfs would side with Kade Killgore and the Hellfire Club, where he would come to work with the Hellfire Academy. During this time, Azazel would come to claim that he had taken over both Heaven and Hell, though the likelihood of this statement seems nebulous, at best, given his other failures.