Although born poor, Sebastian Shaw was already a millionaire at the age of 20. He raised Shaw Industries,
one of the largest suppliers of military equipment to the US government and responsible for building the Sentinels.
That's why he got a seat at the prestigious Hellfire Club, where only the rich and powerful could enter. There Shaw discovered the Council of the Chosen, a secret faction with claims to world domination through political and economic schemes. He quickly became part of this select group, replacing Black King with the help of Emma Frost, the White Queen. As soon as he assumed power as Black King, he changed the name of the Council to Inner Circle and went on to fight those who would become his greatest enemies, the X-Men.
One of his most surprising maneuvers was when he tried to persuade Jean Grey the Phoenix to enter the Inner Circle, the young Jean who had the power of a goddess eventually entered and became Black Queen for a short time. The mutant heroes managed to defeat him, but they paid a heavy price: Jean turned into Dark Phoenix and eventually died. Her main helper inside the Hellfire Club was Sage / Tessa, who worked as Xavier's undercover agent, before she joined the X-Men. Another achievement of Sebastian Shaw was to persuade Magneto to become Hellfire Club's White King for a short time.
During his tenure as Black King, Shaw suffered two attacks. One was engineered by Donald Pierce, the White Bishop. The other, by his son Shinobi Shaw, who blew up his father's hideout to earn points with the Upstarts. Assumed dead for months, He subsequently resurfaced, restructuring the Inner Circle, including sending Madelyne Pryor into the Club. At this stage, he again clashed with Teams X on a number of occasions, such as when he wanted to obtain Fu Manchu's 'Elixir Vitae' and was blocked by the X-Men, or when he attempted to seize the technology of Apocalypse, being prevented by Cable.
One of his most notable acts was a trap for Roberto da Costa, the Sunspot, which caused him to return to the Inner Circle of the new Hellfire Club, as the Black Bishop. Sebastian and his son, Shinobi Shaw, were one of 198 mutants who did not lose their powers during M-Day.
After the Phoenix Force dispersed that would restore the mutant powers and restart the Gene X in humanity Sebastian Shaw tried to rebuild the Hellfire Club by selecting new mutant members for the Inner Circle, among whom as the new White King was the brother of X-Men Colossus Mikhail Rasputin and the new White Queen Adrienne Frost ,Emma Frost's the original White Queen ,who had become a member of the X-Men , older sister.
Sebastian Shaw is an arrogant and manipulative man who considers himself above all and everyone and whose ultimate goal is the political-financial domination of the world. To achieve this goal he will deceive, lie, manipulate and even kill as many as he can and get in his way like the X-Men. He does not think much about the fact that he is a mutant Gene X for him ideological disagreements and hatred Xenophobic radicalism between Humans and Mutants are useful tools that he can use and manipulate in any way he wants to achieve his goals. He have fun and find ridiculous the foolish and futile moral discussion between Professor X and Magneto, and considers "good" and "evil" two simplistic, inferior abstractions of the mind created when one wants to have a side to turn to and something to believe in. For him only one concept is 100% guaranteed is the POWER and he will do everything to achieve it.
Shaw has been shown to have vulnerality to "passive" attacks (which do not release any energy) such as Lady Selene's inanimate material constructs, and metal material tentacles of Magneto etc.
Sebastian Shaw mistakenly considers himself a brilliant strategist who can foresee every move of his opponents which leaves him vulnerable to unexpected facts that he did not foresee when tracing his stratagems which often leads him to fail against unexpected enemies.
Powers and abilities
Shaw is a mutant with the unique ability to absorb all kinetic,electric, plasma, solar, cosmic,radioactive, photonic , atomic , sonic and thermal energy directed at him and use it to augment his strength, speed, stamina and recuperation capabilities to superhuman levels. He absorbs the energy of any impact he is struck by, including not only direct physical blows, but also the impact of bullets and throwing weapons, and less successfully, concussive energy beams; notably any kind of energetic attack directed at him. By absorbing successive blows from an opponent, Shaw can surpass the physical abilities of said opponent and then overpower them. His speed is the attribute most dramatically increased by his power; after absorbing enough energy he can attack more quickly than opponents can react. He also demonstrated that he can absorb physical attacks that cause damage by cutting, piercing, bruising,impact, crush and sheer physical strength like Wolverine's adamantium claws, Black Knight's ebony sword blade, Thor's Mjolnir hammer,Hulk punches etc. The only limitation is that very powerful attacks can effectively overwhelm his energy-absorbing power which at some point may crash and in that case he would suffer real damage from the attacks since he has already absorbed too much energy and needs to release it to your absorbing powers work again.
In the past, Shaw has been limited to a certain amount of energy and would lose consciousness when he surpassed his capabilities. Subsequently, however, Shaw has been shown to now be able to take in an indefinite amount of energy without any ill effects.The power he absorbs dissipates over time, and exposure to the elements causes it to drain rapidly. Without any absorbed energy, Shaw is merely a strong common human in excellent physical condition, but regularly works to keep his strength at a superhuman level. In one instance, he was shown to spend time hitting a wall after waking in order to build up his power reserves before starting the day. Shaw also can forgo sleep if he receives enough energy. Often he will have his mercenaries pummel him so that he would not need to sleep for some time.
Sebastian Shaw has also recently been shown to possess the power derived from a secondary mutation of absorb all forms of energy that are directed towards him and to release that energy from his body in the form of extremely destructive energy bursts. This power is passive, allowing Sebastian Shaw to absorb energy at all times.
He can release this energy in many different forms, usually as concussive blasts of energy, even amplified compared to the absorbed amount.Sebastian Shaw can also store absorbed energy within his personal reserves, whereupon the energy increases his strength and recuperative abilities, as well as affording him a measure of invulnerability. He is also able to absorb magic , cosmic and divine energy and the psychic energies of psionics as easily as all the other kinds. This does not prevent him from being read or manipulated by a telepath but only sustains him and helps him to slow them down. It has been clearly stated that Sebastian Shaw is also able to absorb and process all the forms of energy similarly to Bishop of X-Men, but in an extremely more efficient and destructive way.
His powers make it difficult to harm him with energy-based attacks; however, he can become overloaded from absorbing too much energy, though his upper limits are unknown, even to himself.
Sebastian Shaw is a highly athletic man, an excellent hand-to-hand combatant with many years of armed and unarmed combat training in the American army, and a superb marksman with firearms. He also wore his uniform, shaped like a Victorian nobleman suit but manufactured with tissue of unstable molecules that function as a body armor.
Shaw also has a successful business acumen and access to sophisticated weaponry. He not only prides himself on his power and the connections it allows him, but on knowing his opponents and how best to defeat them, whether in battle or in business. He also possesses technology that can block telepathic intrusions by Professor X.