|“||My boy... The Great Illusionist!||„|
|~ William Stryker about his son Jason.|
Jason Stryker is the son of the anti-mutant extremist William Styker, and a recurring antagonist in The X-Men film series. He served as a supporting antagonist in X2: X-Men United, a minor character in X-Men origins: Wolverine and a mentioned antagonist in X-Men Days of future past.
A powerful mutant capable of psychically altering human perceptions and planting immensely realistic illusions in the minds of those around him, the possible uses of his powers are limited only by the current state of his brain: having been lobotomized by his father in order to make him more pliable, he is now childishly devoted to furthering William Stryker's goals and earning his approval by any means necessary. To that end, he spends much of the film aiding his father in his primary goal of eradicating Earth's mutant population, namely by brainwashing individuals integral to Stryker's plans - either through the mind-controlling serum derived from his own spinal fluid or through the direct application of his impressive psychic powers.
In the movie, he was portrayed by Michael Reid McKay, who also played The Man Who Can't Breathe in Insidious: Chapter 3, and Theodore Victor Allen in Se7en. In X-Men: The Official Video Game, he was voiced by Keely Purvis. As a young mutant girl, he was portrayed by Keely Purvis.
Jason Stryker was born in 1963, and despite his father's sordid past, apparently enjoyed a relatively normal upbringing until his mutant powers manifested during puberty. Regarding mutation as a disease, William sent his son to Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters in the hope that Professor Xavier might have some way of curing Jason's "condition"; however, Xavier did not accept the elder Stryker's perspective, and encouraged both father and son to see Jason's powers as a gift rather than an affliction. Unfortunately, William refused to even countenance this belief, and once it became clear that there was no way of "curing" the mutation his son had developed, he removed him from the school in disgust. However, this only made things worse in the long run: according to William, Jason soon grew angry and resentful towards his parents, blaming them for his mutation, and set out to punish them by toying with their minds and warping their perceptions of reality. Given William Stryker's noted anti-mutant bias, it's not known if Jason really was as malicious as his father claimed or if he'd simply lost control of his abilities as a result of being removed from Mutant High before he could master them completely. What is known is that after a long period of being assaulted with nightmarish images and terrifying scenarios, Jason's mother attempted to "bore out" the visions with a power drill, killing herself in the process. Grief-stricken, William was able to subdue his son and imprison him in a state of cryogenic suspension - where he is briefly seen during the events of X Men Origin: Wolverine.
Eventually, Jason was removed from cryostasis and lobotomized in order to make him easier to control. Over the course of this operation, William discovered that the newly-christened Mutant 143's spinal fluid could also be used as a powerful mind-controlling serum, and set out to harvest it through a shunt at the back of his head: initially only using it to keep his mutant bodyguard Yuriko Oyama under control, Stryker eventually found a much greater use for it in his plan to eliminate the mutant population of Earth. After capturing Kurt Wagner and recognizing his potential for turning public opinion against mutants, he dosed Kurt with the fluid and sent him on a mission to assassinate President McKenna.
Jason remains unseen for much of the film, though his influence can be seen throughout X2 in the form of the mind-control serum - most prominently when William Stryker uses it on Magneto over the course of their final interrogation session. However, after Charles Xavier and Scott Summers are captured by Stryker's forces and incarcerated at the Alkali Lake facility, William finds himself unable to control Xavier through the use of the serum even after fitting him with a neural inhibitor, and thus formally introduces Professor X to Jason Stryker - now horribly emaciated and confined to a wheelchair.
For the next few days, Jason bombards Xavier with illusions in an attempt to wear him down and force him to submit to his will. After trying and failing to lull the Professor into complacency with a fantasy of him being able to walk again, he ultimately resorts to tricking him with a very specific illusion (most of which is presented only in the deleted scenes): presenting Xavier with a scenario in which he and Scott are able to escape the facility and return to the mansion, Jason poses as a little girl left abandoned at the school, encouraging Xavier to find the missing mutant students via Cerebro. Under the illusionist's guidance, Professor X willingly descends to Cerebro, totally unaware that he is actually being ushered into Dark Cerebro, a jerry-rigged replica created at the Alkali Lake facility: here, Jason redirects his efforts to finding every single mutant on the planet and telepathically murdering them all at once (Xavier and Jason presumably being protected from this psychic attack by Cerebro).
By this time, however, the X-men and Magneto have arrived to stop Stryker: over the course of this final assault, a mind-controlled Scott is deployed against Jean Grey, who is able to non-lethally defeat him - but ends up doing serious damage to Alkali Lake's dam in the process. While Wolverine battles Lady Deathstrike and William Stryker attempts to escape the collapsing facility, Xavier completes preparations to "find all the mutants" and unleashes his psychic attack: fortunately, Magneto's helmet makes him effectively immune to telepathic intrusion, and is able to force open Dark Cerebro's doors and stop the attack before anyone dies. Though Jason's illusory self is reduced to almost blind panic by the plan's failure, Mystique is able to pacify him by transforming into his father and - at Magneto's prompting - giving him a new objective: find all humans on the planet and eliminate them.
Long after Magneto and Mystique have departed, the reassembled X-men locate Dark Cerebro in the slowly-flooding base and discover the plan to destroy humanity: though they are unable to open the doors, Nightcrawler is able to teleport himself and Storm into the room, forcing Jason to confuse them with an overlapping illusion of an empty chamber, unoccupied except for his illusory self. However, Storm isn't fooled, and creates a snowstorm inside the chamber that debilitates Jason just long enough for Xavier to break free of the illusion; now too distracted and too upset to use his powers, Jason's illusory self is just able to force out the words "he's going to be so mad at me!" before his illusions vanish all together.
With no time to rescue both of them before the facility collapses in on itself, Nightcrawler has just enough time to teleport Storm and Xavier to safety - the Professor sparing one last regretful glance in his former student's direction - before being forced to leave Jason behind. Soon after, Jason Stryker was presumably killed in the destruction of the Alkali Lake facility, either crushed to death by falling wreckage or drowned when the dam finally gave way.
X-Men: The Official Game
Jason reappears as the main antagonist of the game, having somehow survived the apparently fatal circumstances he was left in and recovered enough willpower to act of his own accord; however, he is still a slave to his dead father's mission, and is motivated solely by the desire to see William Stryker's work accomplished. Having discovered the Master Mold hidden beneath Alkali Lake, he has since adopted it as his main base of operations, using it to produce an army of Sentinels capable of destroying all mutants.
However, he also begins to develop a secondary personality, commonly manifesting through his power of illusion as a much younger version of himself: this second personality is the only part of Jason's brain that is not under his father's control, and wants to stop the Master Mold by any means available to him. Appearing throughout the game as a ghostly figure "haunting" Nightcrawler, his true intentions are not revealed until the final chapters of the game, when Master Mold is unleashed upon Kowloon. During this sequence, Jason's "good" personality guides Nightcrawler through the innards of the Master Mold, helping him to disable its internal mechanisms; unaware of the sabotage, the more dominant personality continues directing the Sentinels, pausing only to assault Wolverine with nightmarish visions based off his memories of his time as Weapon X.
Eventually, Jason's main personality becomes aware of Nightcrawler's presence within the Master Mold, and attempts to trap him in an illusion based on his worst nightmare: a scenario in which the mutant is revealed to be the demon he was always believed to be, his teleportation unveiled as a gateway to Hell. Fortunately, Nightcrawler is able to resist the illusions long enough disable the memory banks at the heart of the Master Mold, permanently disabling it; as the Sentinel factory breaks down, Nightcrawler escapes - this time taking Jason with him.
However, as they prepare to leave Kowloon, Jason's secondary personality tells Kurt to leave him behind: without around-the-clock medical care or the life-support systems of the Master Mold, he will soon die - allowing Jason to find peace at long last. Though reluctant, Kurt agrees, bidding the paralyzed mutant farewell before leaving him to his fate in the ruins of the city.
X-Men: Days Of Future Past/Revised Timeline
Following X-Men: Days Of Future Past, the events of the first three movies have been erased from the history, presumably including Jason's breakdown and lobotomy. His current status is unknown, though in conversation with Bolivar Trask, a much younger William Stryker remarks that his son just turned ten, indicating that this is long before his mutant powers manifested.
- Jason Stryker's film version is based off Mastermind/Jason Wyngarde from the comics.
- In the comics, Jason was killed as an infant after his father realized that he was a mutant, eventually prompting William Stryker's descent into villainy. However, this has since been retconned: in the All-New X-Men comics, his father took him to A.I.M. to have his condition treated, and by the present day, Jason has taken over leadership of the Purifiers.