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We heard late last week that Kevin Bacon was in talks to join the cast of X-Men: First Class. What we didn’t know at the time is who he’d play, other than that it would probably be the movie’s villain. People started throwing out guesses, but here’s one with some heat behind it. Forces of Geek says he’s playing Sebastian Shaw, leader of the Hellfire Club.

This is surprising, if only because Shaw isn’t exactly one of the seminal villains of the X-Men universe. There are plenty of bigger, more interesting bad guy names in their rogue’s gallery which haven’t been explored yet. It’d be great if one of these X-Men movies finally got around, for instance, to showing us the Sentinels. Or how about Mr. Sinister or Silver Samurai? Sebastian Shaw is sort of an underwhelming choice as a bad guy, but maybe he’ll prove to be an interesting one.

So who is this guy? What’s the Hellfire Club? In the Marvel Universe, the Hellfire Club is a society of mutants with a thing for period dress. The group attempts to influence world events to suit their own agenda. Sebastian Shaw is their leader, a mutant with the ability to absorb energy and transform it into pure strength. Other well known Hellfire Club members include eventual good guy Emma Frost (aka White Queen) and at one point or another Phoenix.