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William Stryker

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William Stryker
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Real Name William Stryker Jr.
Alias(es) Bill
Stryker
Colonel William Stryker
Major William Stryker
Species Human
Gender Male
Birth Place United States of America
Team Team X
Department of Domestic Security and Defense
Movie X2: X-Men United
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men: Apocalypse
Comic X2: X-Men United: The Movie Prequel: Wolverine
X2: X-Men United: The Movie Prequel: Nightcrawler
Status Deceased (Original Timeline)
Unknown (Revised Timeline)
Portrayed by Brian Cox
Danny Huston
Josh Helman
Mutants, I don't hate them. I just know what they can do. You don't realize this but we are at war. I took an oath: Protect this country. My name is William Stryker, and I am not a monster. I'm simply a patriot.
―William Strykersrc

William Stryker Jr. was a covert operations specialist and military scientist. Known for his anti-mutant stance, he worked tirelessly over several decades to develop solutions to what he saw as the "mutant problem". Ironically enough, he himself was part of the problem as only males can pass the mutant gene to their offspring.

Biography

Background

During the Vietnam War, William Stryker was an experienced helicopter pilot and flew many Black Ops missions into the jungles of North Vietnam.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

In 1973, Major William Stryker was a personal assistant and bodyguard of Bolivar Trask. He is first seen in an American airbase in Vietnam where he attempts to subjugate several mutants including Havok and Toad to be brought in for experimentation at a Trask Industries laboratory. Mystique poses as an army colonel to interrogate Stryker's intention, and subdues him, taking the mutant privates back to America. Stryker tries to stop them escaping, to no avail.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Stryker later accompanies Trask to the Paris Peace Conference held between the US and Vietnam military leaders. Whilst there, Trask unveils to the generals present the prototype specs for the Sentinels and the mutant detection devices to be fitted into each of them, until he detects Mystique's presence in the room. After Mystique subdues most of the guards in the room and kills Trask, Stryker tasers her and brings her in for experimentation. Through this, Mystique's genes are mapped and reverse engineered, providing Trask's Sentinels with the capability to imitate any mutant powers. Trask becomes a martyr for the anti-mutant movement, with Stryker spearheading the Sentinel initiative's development in his honour.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Between 1969 and 1971, William Stryker approached Logan and Victor to recruit them into his team of mutants - Team X after they survived execution by firing squad. He then led the team over the next couple of years on various covert missions to find the metallic compound known as adamantium. Stryker finally found the adamantium he sought while on a mission in Nigeria. Team X later disbanded, after a disagreement between Logan and the team and only Agent Zero and Victor stayed on with him.

During the next six years following Team X's disbandment, Stryker was promoted to Colonel and made Agent Zero and Victor his henchmen in order to abduct mutants for his upcoming Weapon X project - Weapon XI.  Stryker recruited Logan into becoming Weapon X (the tenth project of the Weapon X program), making him virtually indestructible by grafting adamantium onto his entire skeletal structure. After the process was successful, he ordered Logan's memory to be wiped to protect the location of the Alkali Lake facility. This prompted Logan to escape, and Stryker ordered Zero on a mission to kill Logan. After Zero failed in his mission, Wolverine took his receiver and announced his plans for killing the Major after killing Victor as revenge to Stryker.

While on his Three Mile Island facility, Stryker killed General Munson, his major military and financial sponsor, because the latter had threatened to end the Weapon X program due to Stryker's extreme personal vendetta against mutants, caused by his experiences with his son.

After Weapon XI failed to kill off Wolverine, and after his mutant prisoners had escaped, Stryker shot Wolverine twice in the head with adamantium bullets, causing the latter lose his memory. Before he could shoot Kayla, she used her tactile hypnosis to make him drop the gun and walk until his feet bled. He was later approached by military police, who wanted to question him about General Munson's death.

X2: X-Men United: The Movie Prequel: Nightcrawler

To Be Added

Between X-Men and X2: X-Men United

After Magneto's defeat at Liberty Island and his capture by the authorities, William Stryker was notified and had Magneto transferred into the hands of the Department of Domestic Security and Defense. His department had dealt with the incarceration of mutant subjects before, so they constructed a plastic prison to keep Magneto contained without an ounce of metal that could aid in his escape.

Stryker also used the rare opportunity of having Magneto in his custody, being well aware of his connection with Charles Xavier, to interrogate him via the use of his son's mesmeric serum to discover more about their past together. Through Magneto, Stryker became aware of the existence of Xavier's Cerebro in the subbasement of the X-Mansion and what it was capable of. Seeing the possibility to wipe out mutants for good, Stryker set about formulating a new plan.

X2: X-Men United

Stryker re-emerged from hiding to enact his new agenda, brainwashing Kurt Wagner into assassinating President McKenna to justify an attack on the X-Mansion. However, this having failed, Stryker instead capitalises on the recent assassination attempt to convince the President to authorize an operation to infiltrate the Xavier Institute, claiming that it is a mutant training facility responsible for the attack.

During the evening, Stryker's military forces led by Sergeant Lyman invade the X-Mansion. While there, his soldiers are able to capture several students (though most flee), and briefly meets up with Wolverine - the man he had worked with, experimented on, and severely injured decades earlier. Stryker expects Xavier to investigate the assassination attempt, and orders Yuriko to intercept Charles Xavier en route to meeting Magneto, also capturing Cyclops in the process. He will brainwash Cyclops in the same manner he had Yuriko, Wagner, and Magneto.  Before leaving, Stryker and his soldiers infiltrate the Mansion's subbasement in order to extract more information about Cerebro.

At the Alkali Lake facility (the underground portion of which he still used following the abandonment and destruction of the main level), he reveals to Xavier that he was able to brainwash the mutants by extracting fluid from his son Jason's brain and injecting it into the back of their necks. He then puts his plan into action, having Jason control Xavier to use the Dark Cerebro he built and use his powers to concentrate intensely on all the world's mutants - which would kill them. Magneto and Mystique later foil these plans and "reprogram" Jason to manipulate Xavier to find and kill all of the world's humans instead.

While trying to flee the area, Stryker is confronted by Wolverine, with the former briefly tempting the latter to come with him so that the he could learn more about his forgotten past. However, Wolverine refuses and decides to return to the dam to save his teammates, but before he does, he chains Stryker to the leg of a helicopter.

After Dark Cerebro is reprogrammed, Stryker is shown to be in the same pain as every other human. Later on, Magneto ties Stryker to a concrete wall with the metal chain, using the helicopter as an escape vehicle and leaving Stryker there to die. As the Alkali Lake dam ruptures, Stryker is killed by the immense water pressure released by the dam. Wolverine and a mutant child named Artie were the last two people to see Stryker alive.

X-Men: The Last Stand

According to Charles Xavier, William Stryker was not simply drowned when the dam at Alkali Lake burst, but was disintegrated by the sheer force of the water pressure pummelling his body, a fate that would have beheld Jean Grey, if her powers did not shield her in a cocoon of telekinetic energy.


X-Men: Days of Future Past

Stryker later accompanies Trask to the Paris Peace Conference held between the US and Vietnam military leaders. Whilst there, Trask unveils to the generals present the prototype specs for the Sentinels and the mutant detection devices to be fitted into each of them, until he detects Mystique's presence in the room. After Mystique subdues most of the guards in the room and prepares to kill Trask, Stryker tasers her and attempts to bring her in, until Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine and Beast intervene, and Magneto uses his powers to attach the tasers onto him instead.

Whilst he is incapacitated by his own taser, Logan looks down at Stryker and experiences a flashback to Stryker's involvement in Weapon X. After recovering and removing the taser from his body, Stryker spares a fleeting glance at Wolverine's bone claws, before running out of the conference room. Later, Stryker is present at Trask's side when he unveils the Sentinel designs to President Nixon in the Oval Office, as a response to the impending mutant threat posed by Magneto and Mystique.

He then accompanies Trask to the public demonstration of the Sentinels outside the White House, expressing surprise at the Sentinels' remote activation at the hands of Magneto. Once the Sentinels begin attacking the humans at Magneto's behest, Stryker shepherds Trask into the White House's Presidential bunker for their safety. Whilst in the bunker, Trask is alerted to the presence of a mutant inside the bunker, prompting the Secret Service agents and Stryker to pull out their weapons to subdue Mystique. Magneto uses his metal powers to cause their guns to hit the roof, prompting Stryker to pull out his plastic gun, which a disguised Mystique takes off him during the commotion. Magneto pulls the bunker out of the White House in an attempt to kill Nixon, and Mystique uses Stryker's plastic gun to shoot Magneto in the neck, incapacitating him.

Mystique later poses as Major Stryker to fish Wolverine out from the Potomac River, where he was flung by Magneto, and states that she will take him under her care.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Since the future changed significantly due to the repercussive actions of Wolverine time travelling back to 1973 in ensuring the Sentinel program is cancelled, one of the secondary results of the time travel is that Jean Grey is also still alive. This could possibly mean that the events wherein Stryker kidnapped Xavier and the affair at Alkali Lake (where Jean Grey sacrificed her life to protect the X-Men from the Alkali Lake dam bursting its banks) either happened with a different outcome, or did not happen at all.

Therefore, Stryker's ultimate fate as of 2023 is unknown.

Relationships

Equipment

Trivia

  • Stryker is one of only two people who can see through Mystique's disguise, the other being Wolverine. Stryker sees through Mystique's abilities whilst she is imitating Wolverine to enter Stryker's base at Alkali Lake. He states that "if there's one thing I know better than anyone, it's my own work".
  • William Stryker is the second-most recurring villain in the X-Men film series, second only to Magneto. Both men believe that the motivations behind their actions are for the greater good.
  • Despite his apparent hatred for mutants, he frequently operates with military teams composed entirely of mutants. Examples are his formation of Team X, his creation of Deadpool, his control over Lady Deathstrike and the fact that he decided not to kill his son for being a mentally-ill mutant and for killing his wife. 
  • A notable discrepancy exists between the two portrayals of Stryker by Josh Helman and Danny Huston respectively; although Helman's incarnation is meant to predate Huston's, Helman only wears military decorations from the Vietnam War (1955-1975), whereas Huston wears decorations from the Korean War (1950-1953) and the Vietnam War.
  • According to his military dogtags in Days of Future Past, William Stryker is a Protestant.
  • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Stryker has won the following military decorations (according to those apparent on his uniform):
    • Silver Star (Ribbon) with "V" Valor Device
    • Purple Heart (Ribbon)
    • Meritorious Service (Ribbon) with "V" Valor Device
    • National Defense Service (Ribbon)
    • Vietnam Service (Ribbon) with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, indicating won twice
    • Vietnam Campaign (Ribbon)
    • Combat Infantry Badge
    • Master Parachutist Badge (Army)
    • Army Presidential Unit Citation
  • His father, William Stryker Sr., has a minor role in X-Men: First Class. Stryker himself is mentioned by Xavier in passing, as his father was thinking about him during Xavier's meeting with the CIA.
  • A deleted scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past presents an alternate take on Logan's recovery from the Hudson River at the end, wherein Stryker is asked what to call him, simply responding "Just call him... 'X' ", a reference to Logan's status as "Weapon X", the culmination of Stryker's mutant experiments to synthesise adamantium bonding to a mutant's exoskeleton to create the ultimate mutant soldier. Additionally, the Stryker that was featured during this alternate scene appeared to be the real William Stryker, and not Mystique posing as Stryker as was shown during the final scene of the theatrical cut.
  • In X-Men: The Official Game, a mistake is made regarding Stryker's rank. Although he was referred to as a general in the game, the highest military rank he attained was that of colonel before his death in X2: X-Men United.

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