Colossus (Piotr Nikolaievitch Rasputin) was born on a Soviet collective farm called the Ust-Ordynsky Collective near Lake Baikal in Siberia. He lived there with his mother Alexandra, father Nikolai, and sister Illyana. His older brother, Mikhail, had been a Soviet cosmonaut and had apparently died in a rocket accident. The 2006 comic mini-series Colossus: Bloodline established that the family was descended from Grigori Rasputin.
Peter’s superhuman powers manifested during his adolescence while saving his sister from a runaway tractor. Immediately after, Peter was contacted by Professor Charles Xavier, the founder of the X-Men.
Peter was part of the second generation of X-Men, formed by Charles Xavier to save the original X-Men from the living island Krakoa. He agreed to leave the farm community in which he was born to go to the United States with Xavier. Xavier gave him the name Colossus. After the battle was won, Colossus remained in the United States with the new X-Men.
Colossus is typically portrayed as being peaceful, selfless, reluctant to hurt or kill anyone, and always putting himself in danger to protect others. In some of his earliest missions, he battled the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, and visited the Savage Land, where he met Nereel.
Peter’s family always remained in his thoughts and he frequently wrote letters home. Shortly after joining the X-Men, a woman known as Miss Locke kidnapped many of the team’s loved ones to use as hostages in order to force the X-Men to aid her in freeing her employer, Arcade, from captivity by one of Doctor Doom’s robots. Among her captives was Colossus’ younger sister Illyana, whom Locke had kidnapped from the Siberian collective farm and transported to the United States. Arcade brainwashed Colossus into becoming “The Proletarian”, who then battled the other X-Men until they countered the brainwashing. The X-Men freed Illyana from captivity, and she went to live with her brother Peter at Xavier’s mansion. Due to her later captivity in a dimension known as Limbo, where she spent years while only mere moments elapsed on Earth, Illyana became the adolescent sorceress known as Magik. As a side effect, an alternate timeline version of Colossus dies in Limbo.
When the X-Men fought the evil mutant Proteus, Colossus attempted to kill Proteus by punching him with his metal skin, an act he found morally questionable even though he did it to save Moira MacTaggart’s life. During his early career with the X-Men, Peter started what was arguably his most significant relationship with fellow X-Man Kitty Pryde. Although they were only together as a couple for a short while, the relationship provided the foundation of a deep and lasting friendship.
Colossus was later almost killed in a battle with Mystique’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but was saved by Rogue and the Morlock Healer. During the Secret Wars, he became infatuated with the alien healer Zsaji, and realized his feelings for his teammate were not wholly genuine, ending his relationship with Kitty Pryde. Emotionally distraught, he afterwards engaged in a bar fight with Juggernaut.
During the Mutant Massacre, Colossus became heavily involved in the X-Men’s efforts to save the Morlocks from the Marauders. When Kitty was severely injured by Harpoon, Peter gave in to his rage and snapped Riptide’s neck. He eventually passed out from previous wounds inflicted by Riptide. Magneto, with the aid of Shadowcat, used his powers to heal Peter’s armored form, but the process left him paralyzed. He was sent to Muir Island to recuperate, along with Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, and the surviving Morlocks.
Over time, Colossus’ wounds healed, but he was trapped in his armoured form, and could only maintain his human form with the utmost concentration. When he saw the X-Men in Dallas during the Fall of the Mutants, he had his sister teleport him to the battle, where he became a wild card, as Destiny had not seen him in her vision of the X-Men’s demise. When the team decided to sacrifice themselves to stop the Adversary, Colossus went along, dying to save the world. Like the rest of the X-Men, he was revived by Roma and decided to let the world believe him dead while he and the X-Men worked out of an Australian base.
Following the Inferno event, Illyana was returned to her original Earth age. Colossus decided it would be better for Illyana if she went back to live with their parents in Russia.
In time, Colossus was reunited with Nereel in the Savage Land, and met her son.
After the X-Men began falling apart with Rogue vanishing, Wolverine taking off, Longshot quitting, and Storm apparently killed, Psylocke telepathically prodded the remaining three to disband and travel through the Siege Perilous to gain new lives. Peter emerged in New York with no memory of his past life, inventing a new persona for himself as ‘Peter Nicholas’, where he quickly became a successful artist. He battled the Genoshan Magistrates. He began having visions of a beautiful model, who turned out to be Callisto transformed by Masque. The two were kidnapped by the Morlocks, though Peter had no memory of his time with the X-Men. He resumed his armored form and defeated Masque. He was saved by Forge, Banshee, and Jean Grey, who decided it better that he live his new life rather than be dragged back into theirs.
Peter was psychically dominated by the Shadow King and sent to hunt down Stevie Hunter and Charles Xavier. Xavier had no choice but to destroy the Peter Nicholas persona to break the Shadow King’s hold. Colossus joined in the battle of Muir Island, and rejoined the X-Men as a member of Storm’s Gold Strike Force. Peter is shown to be traveling to the Savage Land, where he locates Nereel. He is astonished to learn that the child she bore was not his, but that of another lover. Disheartened, he departs the Savage Land.
The X-Men later found themselves in another dimension, where they discovered that Colossus’ brother, Mikhail, was alive and acting as a messiah to the population of that world. Mikhail returned to Earth with the X-Men, but was distraught with having been responsible for the deaths of the original crew from his first trek into the other dimension. Mikhail established himself as leader of the Morlocks and transported them to another world. Peter was disappointed by his brother’s abrupt departure and blamed himself.
Not long after, Peter’s parents were slain and Illyana kidnapped by the Russian government, who hoped to genetically evolve Illyana to the point where she would have the use of her powers again, to defeat the mutant known as the Soul Skinner. Colossus, with the help of the X-Men, saved Illyana and brought her back to the Mansion.
Later, Illyana became an early victim of the Legacy Virus and died from it. The loss of his immediate family, as well as brain damage that forced him to remain in armored form, caused Colossus to rethink his position with the X-Men and join Magneto and his Acolytes, who had offered him an alternative to the X-Men’s pacifist philosophy of peaceful mutant/human coexistence. Colossus recovered from the brain damage soon after, but decided to remain with the Acolytes of his own volition, hoping he could temper their extremist methods with what he had learned from Professor Xavier.
Powers and abilities
Colossus is a mutant with the ability to transform his entire body into a form of “organic steel”, with properties similar to osmium but of still unknown composition. Colossus must transform his entire body into this armored state; he cannot transform only a portion of his body. When he transforms, he gains approximately 1 ft (30 cm) in height; official figures state his height at about 7 ft 5 in (230 cm) in transformed state versus 6 ft 6 in (200 cm) in normal human form) and his weight is at least doubled. In his armored form, Colossus possesses superhuman levels of strength, as well as superhuman stamina and durability. His physical strength is currently greater than when he first joined the X-Men due to the realignment of his cells by Magneto following an injury during the Mutant Massacre. While in his armored form, Colossus requires no food, water, or even oxygen to sustain himself, and is extremely resistant to injury. He is capable of withstanding great impacts, large caliber bullets, falling from tremendous heights, electricity, and certain magical attacks. While he has great resistance to temperature extremes of hot and cold, extreme heat followed by rapid super-cooling has been shown to cause extreme damage. As he is vulnerable to the anti-metal vibranium in his metal form, his body instinctively shifts to human form when faced with a vibranium weapon.
Colossus is an excellent hand-to-hand combatant, having received training from Wolverine and Cyclops. He has had training in acrobatics and sword fighting from Nightcrawler. In his human form, he is still exceptionally strong and in superb physical condition, though not superhumanly so. He has completed college-level courses at Xavier’s school.
As the unstoppable Avatar of Cyttorak, Colossus gained additional superhuman strength and resistance to injury, as well as other mystical powers. Among these is the power to ignore impediments to his movement, hence the “unstoppable” moniker.