Allies (including the rest of the FF, of course)

Here's a bundle of short profiles of the other characters who rally round the Thing in his battles against evil.

Three Out of Four

Mr. Fantastic

Real name: Reed Richards
Powers: ability to stretch to incredible lengths rubber-style
Birthplace: Central City, California
Base of operations: New York City, New York
First appearance: Fantastic Four #1, November 1961

Reed Richards was the only son of wealthy physicist Nathaniel Richards and his wife Evelyn, but was a child prodigy with special aptitude in mathematics, physics, and mechanics. Evelyn died when Reed was seven. Nathaniel encouraged and guided young Reed in his scientific studies, and Reed was taking college-level courses by the time he was fourteen. He attended several universities. It was at NY State University in Hegeman, New York, that Reed Richards first met two of the most important individuals in his life. He was assigned to room with a foreign student, a scientific genius named Victor von Doom. But von Doom was so imperious, taking an immediate dislike to Richards, that he decided to move to another room instead, and years later would become Doctor Doom, Richards' greatest rival and enemy. Richards instead gained as his roommate former high school football star Benjamin J. Grimm, who became Richards' closest friend. Richards was already intending to build a starship for interstellar travel. When he told this ambition to Grimm, Grimm jokingly said that he would pilot the starship for Richards. While attending Columbia University, Richards rented living quarters at the Manhattan boarding house owned by the aunt of a young girl named Susan Storm, who'd later become his loving wife and companion in adventuring.

Three years before Reed Richards tested his starship, his father mysteriously disappeared. In fact, Nathaniel Richards had devised a time machine which he had used to attempt to journey into the future. However, the machine actually transported him to an alternate Earth with a history considerably different from our own; Reed Richards would be reunited with him while visiting this alternate Earth years later.

Finally, when building the starship, Richards recruited his old friend Ben Grimm, who had become a successful test pilot and astronaut, to pilot it. Richards was joined in California by Susan Storm, who was now an adult. Richards and Storm were engaged to be married. Shortly before the starship was to be launched, Richards used his scientific knowledge to defeat the extraterrestrial being Gormuu, who had intended to conquer Earth. Richards' encounter with Gormuu strengthened his resolve to finish the starship, which he saw as a first step for mankind to defend itself from extraterrestrial threats.

However, when the federal government threatened to withdraw its funding, Richards decided to test fly it himself. Though Grimm warned that the ship's shielding might be inadequate, Grimm, Susan, and her adolescent brother Johnny all chose to go. They intended to travel through hyperspace to another solar system and back. However, unbeknownst to Richards, a solar flare caused Earth's Van Allen radiation belts to be filled temporarily with unprecedented, ultra-high levels of cosmic radiation. The intense cosmic rays irradiated the four passengers and wrought havoc on the ship's controls. Grimm was forced to abort the flight and return to Earth, where the four passengers discovered that the cosmic radiation had triggered mutagenic changes in their bodies. Richards convinced the others that the four of them should use their newfound powers for the good of humanity as members of a team he named the Fantastic Four, with Richards leading the team. With the help of profits he made from his patents, Reed bought the top floors of the Baxter Building in NYC to serve as their headquarters and living facilities.

Due to his inventions and the constant adventuring with the Foursome, Reed found himself and the Fantastic Four instant celebrities. Eventually, Reed and Sue would be married in a ceremony attended by most of New York's superhuman champions. The two enjoyed a healthy marriage despite the Four's constant public scrutiny, for many years. However, the two fell into an estrangement at one point in 1973, with Sue dissatisfied with the public life as a superhero celebrity. She briefly left the team, and the Inhuman known as Medusa filled her spot on the team before Sue's return. When Sue became pregnant, she developed complications because of her unborn son's phenomenal power. Reed aided Sue by leading their teammates in recovering the Cosmic Control Rod from the extradimensional Annihilus, and Sue gave birth to Reed's son, Franklin. Later, Sue became pregnant again, but the same complications arose due to the power of her unborn daughter, and she was delivered stillborn. (In reality, the cosmic powers of Franklin allowed the daughter to be reborn elsewhere in another reality, and she grew to become the girl known as Valeria von Doom.)

Invisible Woman

Real name: Susan Storm-Richards
Powers: making herself and other objects invisible, and also projecting force shields that she can form into any shape or size
Birthplace: Long Island, New York
Base of operations: New York City, New York
First appearance: Fantastic Four #1, November 1961

Susan Storm was born to a NY physician and his wife, and first met Reed Richards, now her husband, when he stayed at her aunt's boarding house while he was attending college. Later, when she was older, she went to California to pursue her ambitions of being an actress, though she later cast that dream aside for just a career in science research. There, she met Reed again and began a romantic relationship, and the two were soon engaged to be married. Sue was visited by her younger brother, Johnny, at the same time Reed was working on a starship of his own design that would make possible travel to other solar systems through hyperspace. When the United States government threatened to cut off its partial funding for the project, Richards decided to make an immediate test flight. He himself would ride in the starship as its main commander, with his friend Benjamin Grimm acting as pilot. Sue and Johnny insisted on going along as well. Sneaking first onto the launch site and then into the starship, the four launched themselves into space. The craft encountered unexpectedly intense radiation, which proved to be too much for the shielding to withstand. It has been theorized that this was the direct result of a solar flare and, as a result, the four people in the ship were exposed to intense cosmic ray bombardment. Aborting the test flight, the four returned to Earth. Upon landing, Sue Storm discovered that the cosmic rays had mutagenically altered her entire body, enabling her to become invisible. Sue took the name "the Invisible Girl", and agreed to join Reeds' proposed team of champions, the Fantastic Four, at which she continues to this day. Early in the course of her tenure, she began to explore the full extent of her powers, discovering her ability to create powerful force fields.

At first, in-between the constant adventuring of the Foursome, Sue tried to live quietly on Long Island with her brother, but that proved impossible due to the Fantastic Four's celebrity status. Eventually, Reed and Sue would be married in a ceremony attended by most of New York's superhuman champions. The two enjoyed a healthy marriage despite the Four's constant public scrutiny, for many years. However, the two fell into an estrangement at one point in 1973, when Sue became dissatisfied with the public life as a superhero celebrity. She briefly left the team, and the Inhuman known as Medusa filled her spot on the team before Sue's return. At one point, deciding that her code-name was too pejorative, she changed it to "the Invisible Woman." When Sue became pregnant, she developed complications because of her unborn son's phenomenal power. Sue was aided by her teammates recovering the Cosmic Control Rod from the extradimensional Annihilus, and she gave birth to her son, Franklin. During Sue's maternity leave, the Inhuman known as Crystal joined the team, until the allergies the Inhumans felt for Earth's pollutants forced her to leave. Sue soon returned to active duty.

Human Torch

Real name: Johnny Storm
Powers: Turning himself into a fire-based lifeform, flying, control over flame from within certain ranges
Birthplace: Long Island, New York
Base of Operations: New York City, New York
First appearance: Fantastic Four #1, November 1961

Jonathan Storm was the second of two children born to a physician and due to the fact that his mother died in a car crash when he was nine, Storm developed an interest in automobiles at an early age. Storm passed much of his leisure time in the company of automobile mechanics and enthusiasts and learned to totally overhaul a car's transmission before he was fifteen years old. For his sixteenth birthday his father bought him his first "hot rod." Storm went to California to visit his sister Susan, who had moved there hoping to become an actress and had become engaged to marry aeronautical engineer Reed Richards. Richards was working on a starship of his own design that would make possible travel to other solar systems through hyperspace. When the United States government threatened to cut off its partial funding for the project, Richards decided to make an immediate test flight. He himself would ride in the starship, with his friend Benjamin Grimm acting as pilot. Susan and Johnny Storm insisted on going along as well. Sneaking first onto the launch site and then into the starship, the four launched themselves into space. The craft encountered unexpectedly intense radiation, which proved to be too much for the shielding to withstand. It has been theorized that this was the direct result of a solar flare and, as a result, the four people in the ship were exposed to intense cosmic ray bombardment.

Aborting the test flight, the four returned to Earth. Upon landing, Johnny Storm discovered that the cosmic rays had mutagenically altered his entire body, enabling him to create fiery plasma all about him without harm to himself. Storm took the name "the Human Torch", the same name used by an android hero of the 1940s, whose own name was John Hammond. Storm agreed to join Richards' proposed team of superheroes, the Fantastic Four, at which he continues to this day. For a time, in-between the constant adventuring of the Foursome, Johnny Storm tried to live quietly on Long Island with his sister, trying to finish high school while hoping that no one in the community would know that he was the Human Torch; a fact which proved impossible to conceal from the city's citizens. Although he dated many girlfriends, his long-time crush was on Crystal, a member of the royal family of the Inhumans, a genetic offshoot of humanity, but she later married Quicksilver. After his graduation from high school, Johnny moved into the Fantastic Four's Baxter Building headquarters in New York City full time. He also entered college at Empire State University, but has yet to graduate, due to his constant adventuring. During this time, he developed a friendship/rivalry with the hero Spider-Man, who felt indebted to him for inspiring him never to give up when it came to dealing with Dr. Octopus.

The Thing

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More of the Allies and Friends

Franklin Richards

Powers: To reshape reality as we know it
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Residential area: New York City, New York
First appearance: Fantastic Four Annual #6, 1968

The son of Reed and Susan Richards, Franklin has had a major impact on the team ever since his birth. Franklin poses, quite literally, the mutant power to reshape reality. In fact he is so powerful that he can create an entire universe. His powers were brought out prematurely by Annilihus, lord of the Negative Zone, when he exposed Franklin to cosmic radiation, his powers were so out of control that he almost destroyed the solar system. Reed shut down Franklin's powers by using sonic barriers, but they didn't last.

Later on the barriers broke down and Franklin was transfored into an adult, he then came to understand his powers, but he knew he was suppose to be 4 years old, so he set up new barriers and returned to his normal age.

Nathaniel Richards

Birthplace: Central City, California
Base of Operations: currently unknown
First appearance: Fantastic Four #272, November 1984

Father of Reed Richards, he's almost always been by his son's side ever since the accident that made him and his teammates the Fantastic Four. He'd once been stuck in an alternate universe, where Reed would later visit and be reunited with him.

Later on, he hid some of his son's equipment in the Negative Zone, to keep it from being impounded by the government, and has since then been largely MIA. While it'll obviously be a problem for Reed, Nathaniel's location most likely won't be known for awhile.

Valeria Richards

Birthplace: New York City, New York
Residential area: New York City, New York
First appearance: Fantastic Four #15 Vol. 3, 1999

Complications with her pregnancy apparently caused Susan Richards, the Invisible Woman, to miscarriage her second child. However, in reality, her son Franklin subconsciously used his mutant powers to save the baby, which was taken away and cared for by the extradimensional guardian known as Roma in the heart of Eternity. The time would come when the baby would have to be returned to the Fantastic Four to fulfill a purpose, but when she was returned, she would be presented not as Valeria Richards, but as Valeria Von Doom, an alternate identity as the daughter of Doctor Doom and the Invisible Woman from a possible future. The Fantastic Four caught their first glimpse of Valeria when on the moon, during an encounter with the alien Ronan the Accuser, where they saw a vision of the possible future from which Valeria was purported to come. Subsequently, while the Fantastic Four were sent on jaunts through numerous other dimensions, Valeria herself arrived at Pier Four, the team's headquarters at the time. Franklin immediately recognised her from his "special dreams," and Valeria encountered the Four's associates Caledonia and Alyssa Moi. Before any explanations could be offered for Valeria's sudden appearance, the group was attacked in succession by Bounty, an interdimensional bounty hunter targeting Caledonia, and the Bacchäe, servants of the Greek god, Hades. The Bacchäe, seeking retribution for previous interference into their affairs, abducted everyone, taking Caledonia to Hades' realm. Valeria formulated a rescue plan which went fairly well, until the confrontation with Hades himself. They were rescued by the arrival of the Fantastic Four, Hercules, and Hades' wife, Persephone. Taking a look at Valeria, Sue Richards was shocked by Val's resemblance to her.

The trouble at first though, was that genetic scans implemented by Reed Richards to try and discern Valeria's identity were inconclusive. After overhearing Sue's denial that Valeria was her daughter, Valeria fled Pier Four, and wound up in a confrontation with Titania, the Absorbing Man, and a mind-controlled Thing, Bounty and She-Hulk. The Invisible Woman arrived to save the outmatched Valeria and finally accepted her into their home. Valeria deduced that the mind control agents used against Bounty, the Thing, and She-Hulk were microbial nanites, and she, Reed and Sue investigated the factory that was their source. They entered a fray at the San Diego Comic Con between the Human Torch, the Mad Thinker's android, and other nanite-infected heroes of the Avengers. An electromagnetic pulse Valeria helped calibrate rendered the nanites inert, and the masterminds were revealed as the Mad Thinker and the Red Skull, but both of them managed to escape.

As a cosmic instability "storm" was bearing down on Earth, Sue sent Franklin to Haven, a special shelter-base at the end of the universe, to protect him from the danger. Valeria was supposed to go along with him, but avoided boarding the ship during the chaos of the storm. The storm had been exasperated by the return of the long-absent Doctor Doom into this reality and from the Counter-Earth Franklin had created months beforehand. Doom was most amused by Valeria's profession of being his daughter but quickly warmed to the intelligent girl. In the crypt of the Dreaming Celestial, the alien being who had wrested control of Franklin's Earth from Ashema, the Celestial in whose care the world had been left, Valeria used her force field to hold off the crypt's defences, a creature of pure shadow, while Reed and Doom worked to free Ashema. Valeria was consumed by the shadow-creature, but Ashema was successfully freed and defeated the Dreaming Celestial, freeing all those who had been consumed. Afterward, Valeria was sent to Haven.

Valeria and Franklin remained in Haven until the emergence of the cosmic entity known as Abraxas. Franklin foresaw its coming in a dream in which Abraxas killed Valeria. As a result, Valeria and Franklin returned to Earth, but the Fantastic Four had left, journeying into parallel dimensions to search for the Ultimate Nullifier, the only weapon that could stop Abraxas. Valeria and Franklin were attacked by Abraxas himself, but they escaped using Valeria's time-jumping powers. The two wound up in Roma's realm, where they learned of Abraxas's true nature: the counter-force to Eternity who was released into being by the death of the cosmic being known as Galactus. Valeria also learned the secrets of her true origin. Abraxas appropriated the Nullifier once the Four returned, and he also captured Valeria and Franklin, bringing them to Earth. In the ensuing battle between Abraxas and the Fantastic Four, Valeria realised what she had to do-- to fulfill the purpose for which she had been saved. Valeria combined her energies with Franklin's, resurrecting Galactus, who took the Nullifier away from Abraxas. Reed realised the only way to claim victory was to undo all that had happened, to activate the Nullifier. Reed destroyed our reality, allowing it to be born again without Abraxas or any of the events caused by his schemes. Valeria too was wiped from the timeline, but during the period of reality-restructuring, Valeria was returned to the state that she had been in before Franklin had saved her. Sue was pregnant again. Shortly thereafter, the baby was about to be born, although Sue began to experience the same complications as before. Her brother, Johnny, the Human Torch, elicited the help from Doctor Doom, as Reed was unavailable on another adventure. Doom acted as midwife for the birth, using his scientific talents to successfully deliver the child. When asked what he was expecting as compensation, Doom asked that the child be named Valeria, after his childhood love. Though he secretly whispered more incarnations, making Valeria his magical familar to later strike at the FF. While being brought up in the Fantastic Four, Valeria is under the protection of Dr. Doom and if any harm comes to her, then Doom will deal with the attackers personally, though he never actually made that promise to her own family. Now able to focus his sorcery at the Fantastic Four though Valeria, she became nothing more then a pawn to Dr. Doom. Following Dr. Doom's defeat, Val's connection with Dr. Doom was broken leaving her a normal child again. While she is loved by her parents, the menace of Dr. Doom will always loom over her.

Willie Lumpkin

Birthplace: Glenville, Nebraska
Residential area: New York City, New York
First appearance: Fantastic Four #11, February 1963

Willie was the FF's mailman for many years, whom Reed appointed as the guy in charge of delivering their fan mail to their headquarters. Originally created as the protagonist in a short-lived comic strip Stan Lee and Dan deCarlo were working on in 1960, he was then turned into a recurring cast member in the FF, whom he half-jokingly asked for membership since his "power" was to wiggle his ears. Occasionally, he'd get mixed up in their adventures too. Willie later retired and his niece Billie took over his job.

Marvel Boy/Justice

Real name: Vance Astrovik
Powers: telekinesis, psychokinesis, ability to prject psionic energy that cause concussions
Birthplace: Saugerties, New York
Base of operations: New York City, New York
First appearance: Giant Size Defenders #5, July 1975

Justice, also formerly known as Marvel Boy, is a mutant, and the only son of Arnold and Norma Astrovik. His father despised the fact that his son was a mutant or superhuman of any sort, and began beating Vance to assert his domination over him. Vance ran away from home and joined the Unlimited Class Wrestling Foundation, and even a travelling circus in Ohio, where he later met the Thing at the time he was travelling across country while starring in his own solo book. The circus turned out to be a training ground of the Taskmaster's for underworld criminals, and together Vance and Ben took down the Taskmaster and his gang. He even once tried to apply for membership with the Avengers, but was initially turned down because they felt he inexperienced enough during the time he was a teenager to qualify.

Later, Vance returned home after he learned that his father had begun taking therapy sessions. Vance joined the young superhero team New Warriors, where he met and fell in love with Angelica Jones/Firestar, and fought alongside them until he again was beaten by his father. This was the last straw as Vance struck back against his father, throwing him through a wall. Vance's father later died from his wounds, and Vance was sent to jail for the murder of his father. After his release, Vance stayed with the New Warriors until he and his fellow team member (and fiancee) Firestar became honorary, and then official members of Avengers. Having finally proved himself a member of the EMH, who'd been his childhood icons, he was quite proud indeed.


Real name: Angelica Jones
Powers: manipulating microwave energy for various effects including flight and heat projection
Birthplace: unavailable
Base of operations: New York City, New York
First appearance: Uncanny X-Men #193, May 1985

Angelica Jones is another young mutant who first began training at the Massechusettes Academy, a mutant training center, under the administration of Emma Frost/White Queen, who manipulated her emotionally in hopes of traning her as an assassin. When Angelica discovered the corrupt nature of Frost and the Academy at the time, she left angrily, trying to resume a normal life. She turned down an offer of membership with the X-Men, but reluctantly returned to adventuring when she was persuaded to become a founding member of the suer-hero youth team known as the New Warriors. During her time with the Warriors, Firestar gradually became a more confident and formidable fighter, and she also began a loving, lasting romance with teammate Vance Astrovik (now known as Justice), a relationship that survived a long separation when Vance was jailed for accidentally killing his abusive father.

When Firestar learned that her microwave powers posed risks to her own health (including possibly rendering her sterile), she and Justice began to spend less time on superheroics, and Firestar again became reluctant in adventuring. Despite this, they continued to assist in New Warriors cases on an irregular basis, and were eventually drawn into a conflict between Morgan Le Fay and the Avengers that led to the post-Onslaught reorganization of the Avengers. Justice played a key role in the Le Fay case, and then convinced Firestar to help him subdue Whirlwind, a super-criminal who had previously escaped the Avengers. This prompted Avengers veteran Hawkeye to recommend the young couple for Avengers membership. Justice, a lifelong admirer of the Avengers, agreed elatedly, and an unenthusiastic Firestar accepted the offer as well. The couple were designated reservists at first, but soon upgraded to active membership, filling vacancies in the active roster and moving into Avengers Mansion. Soon afterwards, Hank Pym found a way to cure the fangerous side effects of her microwave powers, and she became more confidant and enthusiastic in becoming a superheroine again.

She was later asked by Speedball if she would rejoin New Warriors, but declined, because she was happy as an Avenger. Nevertheless, she later helped her former teammates defeat Blastaar, when the Negative Zone's most notable warlord next to Annihilus came round to menace the earth again.

Black Panther

Real name: T'Challa
Powers: martial arts training
Birthplace: Wakanda, Africa
Base of operations: Wakanda, Africa
First appearance: Fantastic Four #52, July 1966

Panther is the son of the late king T'Chaka, who was slain by the evil American scientist and ivory hunter Ulysses Klaw, who sought to take possession of Wakanda's Vibranium mound when T'Challa was a young teenager. T'Challa succeeded in thwarting Klaw when he got hold of his own sound blaster when the villain wasn't looking, and blew off his right hand with it, though Klaw would later return to continue his criminal career as a creature of living sound, known chiefly by his last name.

Later on, T'Challa was sent off to be educated at the finest schools in Europe and America. Upon reaching his adult years, T'Challa returned to his homeland, bearing a degree in Physics and becoming an expert in studying martial arts and technology, to assume the mantle of leadership. He was given two tests: to triumph against six of Wakanda's greatest warriors in unarmed combat and to obtain the secret heart-shaped herb that grants great physical strength and heightened senses. T'Challa proved successful with all the tests and donned the ceremonial garb of the Black Panther, the totem of the Wakandan people.

As the Black Panther, T'Challa has both protected his land from outside invaders and led his small nation into greater industrialization and wealth. After meeting Captain America, the Panther was offered membership in the Avengers. Taking a leave of absence from his royal duties, he served with the Avengers for a lengthy interval, which enabled him to study American methods of crime fighting. It was during his time with the Avengers that he met the love of his life, a social worker named Monica Lynne.

Inevitably, he subsequently returned to Wakanda, only to find it in turmoil due to his prolonged absence. T'Challa subdued an uprising led by Erik Killmonger, an ambitious angry man intent on usurping the throne. After regaining the respect of his people, the Panther then worked to bring his country out of it's isolation from the rest of the world. He has since made several trips to the United States. During one such trip, he joined the world's heroes in battling the creature known as Onslaught, and was consequently jaunted into an alternate dimension for a year. He has recently returned only to have his throne taken from him through manipulation by factions within the United States Government. Wakanda was under the joint leadership between evil Reverend Achebe and T'Challa's step-mother Ramonda, under the condition that the Panther not return to his homeland. The Black Panther eventually retook his throne only to have his mantel fall into the hands of his old enemy, Killmonger. Following Killmonger's death, T'Challa once again became the Black Panther, though he had to settle at least one more conflict before he could restore full order in the country. Since then, he has continued his role as king of Wakanda and a member of the Avengers, though today, because of his increasing responsibilities as the Wakandan leader, he's more a reserve member than a regular one.

It's said that when he was young, he may have once been in love with Storm/Ororo Munroe of the X-Men, when she had journeyed from Egypt to Africa where she was raised for some time before returning to the US to become a member of Prof. Charles Xavier's team.

Captain America

Real name: Steve Rogers
Powers: heightened reflexes, combat training, acrobatic talents
Birthplace: New York City
Base of operations: New York City
First appearance: Captain America Comics #1, March 1941

Steve Rogers was born during the Depression and grew up a frail youth in a poor family. His father died when he was a child, his mother when he was in his late teens. Horrified by newsreel footage of the Nazis in Europe, Rogers was inspired to try to enlist in the Army. However, because of his frailty and sickness, he was rejected. Overhearing the boy's earnest plea to be accepted, General Chester Phillips of the U.S. Army offered Rogers the opportunity to take part in a special experiment called Operation: Rebirth. Rogers agreed and was taken to a secret laboratory in Washington, D.C. where he was introduced to Dr. Abrahan Erskine (code named: Prof. Reinstein), the creator to the Super-Soldier formula.

After weeks of tests, Rogers was at last administered the Super-Soldier serum. Given part of the compound intravenously and another part orally, Rogers was then bombarded by "vita-rays," a special combination of exotic (in 1941) wavelengths of radiation designed to accelerate and stabilize the serum's effect on his body. Steve Rogers emerged from the vita-ray chamber with a body as perfect as a body can be and still be human. A Nazi spy who infiltrated the lab and observed the experiment murdered Dr. Erskine mere minutes after its conclusion. Erskine died without fully committing the Super-Soldier formula to paper, leaving Steve Rogers the Sole beneficiary of his genius.

Roger was then put through an intensive physical and tactical training program,teaching him gymnastics, hand-to-hand combat and military strategy. Three months later, he was given his first assignment, to stop the Nazi agent called the Red Skull. To help him become a symbolic counterpart to the Red Skull, Rogers was given the red, white, and blue costume of Captain America.

During the war, he served as both a symbol of freedom and America's most effective special operative. Then, during the final days of the war, he was trying to stop a bomb-loaded drone-plane launched by Nazi technician Baron Heinrich Zemo when the plane exploded, killing his partner Bucky; and throwing him unhurt into icy Arctic waters. The Super-Soldier formula prevented crystallization of Captain America's bodily fluid, allowing him to enter a state of suspended animation. Decades later, he was rescued by the newly-formed Avengers and became a cornerstone of the team. His might undiminished, Captain America remains a symbol of liberty and justice, and continues the fight for the sake of good even today.

Wundarr the Aquarian

Birthplace: the planet Dakkam
Powers: superhuman strength
Residential area: unknown
First appearance: Adventure into Fear #17, October 1973

On a distant planet called Dakkam, a scientist named Hektu feared that the sun was going nova and would destroy his world. In a last effort to save his family, he and his wife, Soja, have an infant son named Wundarr, whom they plan to save from their world's destruction. They place him aboard a ship that is able to maintain his life support as long as necessary, and then launch him into outer space. Hektu and Soja later make flight and are captured and executed by the Internal Security Force to prevent them from alarming the populace. It is later found out that Hektu's apocalyptic prediction is incorrect, and that he sent his son away for nothing.

During its travels in space, Wundarr's ship is caught by Earth's gravitational pull, and passes through a layer of cosmic rays before entering Earth's atmosphere and crashing in a Florida swamp. An elderly couple only known as Maw and Paw observe the crash from their car. Paw considers checking out the crash site, but Maw insists that it might contain Martians or Communists and demands that he ignore it; thus, Wundarr remains in his ship for a number of years, growing to physical maturity, though retaining the mind of a child. Twenty years later, Man-Thing senses someone inside the rocket, and is compelled to free whatever is trapped inside. Man-Thing being the first creature Wundarr sees, he is convinced that this is his mother. Man-Thing, being emotionless, does not react to Wundarr's cravings for attention. He learns very quickly of his amazing strength and bests Man-Thing in battle. Man-Thing's continued attempts to be left alone result in Wundarr eventually deciding that Man-Thing is not his mother.

With his great leaping ability, he eventually reached Hydro-Base, where Namor and Namorita were trying to rehabilitate the population of Hydro-Men. Namor believed that Wundarr is a malicious intruder and scared him off. Two Dakkam officials, Tuumar and Zeneg, believe that Wundarr may seek to avenge his father and send a Mortoid robot to assassinate him. Wundarr's leaps bring him down in New York City, where he encounters Ben Grimm walking home from a screening of Five Fingers of Death. Landing in the middle of traffic, Wundarr is hurt and lashes back childishly, throwing the cars around. Ben pulls no punches trying to stop him, but quickly realizes he is not dealing with a supervillain. Namor and Namorita, having followed Wundarr, tried to restrain Ben, which led to another clash between Namor and Ben.

Tuumar and Zeneg, who've also tracked Wundarr to NYC, use this as the opportunity to kill him "for tranquility." When Ben and Namor team up and destroy the Mortoid, Tuumar and Zeneg fled, and Ben was left to be "Unca Benjy" to Wundarr, whom Reed Richards determines to be of high intellect, but with the knowledge and experience of a child. Reed designs a containment suit for Wundarr that enables his body to expel small amounts of energy so that his body does not overload from too much strain.

Wundarr was later captured by the Project Pegasus leaders in order to test his abilities. During these tests, the project leaders decide to use his energy-dampening abilities to probe the Cosmic Cube, a device of great cosmic power. During the probing, the Cosmic Cube overloads Wundarr's mind and body, sending him into an autistic coma (though his energy-dampening field still functions). This overload of energy greatly boosted his abilities, both mental and physical, giving him his power "dampening" field. Being in communication with the Cube, even for so short a time, he is granted great knowledge and a sense of purpose. He awakens from his coma, and is further transformed by the Cosmic Cube. With all this new knowledge at his disposal, he renamed himself The Aquarian. His new power made it possible for him to defeat the 9th Man. He then took to roaming somewhat aimlessly, seeking to bring peace and enlightenment to the Earth. For a time, he led the Water-Children, a philosophical cult dedicated to pacifism and awaiting the coming of the Celestial Messiah.

Aquarian serves as a psychic "nesting place" for the Cosmic Cube, just before it awoke to sentience. Aquarian is attacked by fellow Dakkamite Quantum, but is saved by the hero Quasar. Aquarian also aids Doctor Strange in preventing planet-wide disasters on Earth.

An interesting bit of trivia: Wundarr was intended as a parody of Superman when he first debuted.

Copyright Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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