Kids can be cruel, and the kids in the group home Mortimer Toynbee grew up in were definitely cruel to Mort. He was mocked and bullied relentlessly, called a freak for his build, his skin, the way he tended to move...everything. It was traumatic, and lonely. So much so that it actually affected his abilities in school. By the time he was eleven or twelve years old, his teachers and caretakers had determined he was mentally disabled, even though his was somewhat gifted. Mort became desperate for affection. So desperate that he developed an almost sycophantic personality, latching on with utter and complete devotion to anyone who showed him the slightest bit of kindness. When no such person existed, he retreated inward, spending his time trying to study how to be ‘cool.‘ It didn’t do much good. Then one day, when he was fifteen, Magneto arrived. He was going to take Mort away, he said, to train him up with a group of similarly superior teenagers. Magneto said he recognized Mort's gifts. It was the nicest thing anyone had said to him for a long time. And, just like that, Mort was hooked.