Main Article: Hellfire Club
PREPARED BY MARIA HILL
THE HELLFIRE CLUB
S.H.I.E.L.D. Internal Dossier
The origins of the Hellfire Club date back to 18th century London. It has since grown to include chapters in most of the world's leading cities, including New York, Paris, and Hong Kong. Some memberships are hereditary while other new members are invited to join if their resources or connections are deemed to be potential assets. Its primary reason for existence is to amass power and influence. Public members with S.H.I.E.L.D. association-either as ally or adversary-include Tony Stark, Norman Osborn, and the Braddock siblings known as Psylocke and Captain Britain.
The Hellfire Club maintains a public face as a society of the wealthy and influential, but within it is a more secretive inner circle whose members are given coded monikers derived from the names of chess pieces: White and Black Kings, Queens, Rooks, Bishops, and Knights.
Membership in this inner circle is violently contested at times. Currently the Organization is controlled by mutants but the identities of all the members of the inner circle are not known. Only Sebastian Shaw as Black King and Selene as Black Queen are certain. Recent events indicate that Mystique may have made a play for the role of White Queen, but it is also possible that Emma Frost retains that title.
Other possible members are numerous and extremely difficult to confirm. At one time Daimon Hellstrom made a claim to be White King, as did Magneto. The current status of these claims is not known. GIven the mutant predominance in the Hellfire Club's existing makeup, S.H.I.E.L.D. considers it unlikely that Hellstrom remains as White King.
Intelligence about the Hellfire Club is scarce and difficult to gather owing both to its traditional secrecy and the mistrust felt by organized mutant groups towards S.H.I.E.L.D. and other non-mutant authorities. It should be considered an enemy organization at all times, even if certain of its members are not individually engaged in hostile acts.