Portrayed by Scott Glenn
|Known Aliases:||The Kingmaker|
|Introduction:||December 18, 2003|
David Langstrom is the current Assistant Deputy Director of Operations (ADDO) for the Central Intelligence Agency. A career intelligence officer, Langstrom is a mutant specialist, personally groomed by the late Chester Whelan to replace him in the Agency's hierarchy.
Name: David Arnold Langstrom
Aliases: The Kingmaker
Occupation: Assistant Deputy Director of Operations, CIA
First appearance: December 18, 2003
Family: Helen (wife), Henry (son), Karen (daughter)
Langstrom had a standard middle class Mid-Western childhood. He joined the military in the early 80s, in order to pay for university. After graduating from the University of Chicago with a degree in psychology and a Masters in International Relations, he was place in military intelligence. Langstrom distinguished himself as an uncommonly successful field officer, well suited and comfortable working in tense or dangerous situations. He served in Intelligence until 1991, when he was injured during the Gulf War. A nearby mine explosion injured his back and pelvis, leaving him unable to walk.
He accepted a honourable discharge due to medical reasons from the Army, and during his rehabilitation, was approached by Chester Whelan, then the current ADDO of the CIA. Whelan offered the experienced operative a job in the Agency's operations division as a group supervisor; a fairly advanced position even considering Langstrom's experience. Langstrom agreed, and spent the rest of the next year split between re-learning to walk again and coming to grips with the complex networks of the world's premiere intelligence agency.
Over the next few years, Langstrom moved rapidly up to take over a new position created by Whelan; the mutant desk. All intelligence, analysis and operations that involved mutants went across his desk, and he quickly built up a strong awareness of the increasing trend of mutation. Whelan also began to pass over information and control of his own network of covert operations and assets, kept secret from Congress, the Executive, and in some cases, the Director himself. Amongst those were Lost Boys, Whelan's secret group of mutant operatives.
When Whelan retired in 2001, Langstrom was promoted to his mentor's job, ADDO, with all of the Agency's operations involving mutants now his direct sphere of influence. He wisely closed down numerous programs' of Whelan's, some stretching back to the fifties, and destroyed the traces. The remaining programs he quickly reorganized and reburied, creating his own resources separate from Whelan's control. With the growing emergence of Charles Xavier's school, Langstrom decided to seed an old agent, Gambit, into the school as insurance should Xavier's intentions every run counter to the interests of the United States. When they activated Gambit, he was dismayed to discover not only had their conditioning failed, but Gambit retained his knowledge of the Agency's secrets and was directly involved in the death of Whelan himself.
Since then, Langstrom has been quietly expanding his information on his former agent, as well as any associates. Xavier's remains a priority for him, in terms of observation and analysis, looking for the first hint of danger. He has strongly criticized the relationship between the President and the X-Men, arguing that the elected representatives of the government should not be beholden to the whim of a private citizen in terms of national security and defense. The necessity of working with the X-Men in the situation at Alcatraz has only deepened the distrust.
David Langstrom is a driven man; fervently patriotic and unapologetic for it. Much like his mentor, he has no issues circumventing established procedures or even legal restraints if he must to safe guard US interests abroad. Despite his distrust of the X-Men, Langstrom is not anti-mutant, and has repeatedly urged the Agency to focus on recruiting and training them for the operations end of the CIA. His abilities and leadership are widely respected in Washington, and he's proven numerous times to be one of the most skillful officers to hold the post.
In September 2008, Langstrom revealed to Amahl Farouk that it was none other than himself operating under the guise of "The Kingmaker" who had a hand in various incidents in Iran, Afghanistan, Cuba, and Pakistan, among others. The use of the 'Kingmaker' label was to allow him to orchestrate 'win-win' scenarios for the United States by setting rival factions in other countries against themselves. So far, his machinations have been extremely successful in terms of shaping foreign policy and moving more power into the hands of the CIA.
During the attack on Manhattan by Apocalypse, Langstrom was forced to resort to using Gambit as an asset against Apocalypse. Remy LeBeau had revealed that he had not been killed during the attack on Alcatraz as Langstrom believed, in order to stop a second Mutant Massacre taking place on the returned Morlocks. Langstrom had Remy hunted throughout Europe for over half a year, until he was forced to make a deal in order to use him against Apocalypse.
Langstrom was part of a meeting discussing the Genosha situation, which reluctantly agreed there was nothing to be done to aid Xavier's people without international incident. He did, however, manage to get a degree of satisfaction, when the Genoshan Ambassador approached him with a proposal and Langstrom refused - and broke the other man's hand with a stapler.
In Phase 2, Langstrom is distanced from his "Kingmaker" role.
PB: Scott Glenn
Socked by: Dex
Langstrom is loosely based off of the original comics canon character of Henry David Gyrich. Since the movieverse Gyrich was both a young staffer of Kelly's and killed by Mystique in X1, his inclusion was impossible.