- 1 History
- 1.1 Early Life
- 1.2 Early Criminal Career
- 1.3 The Frightful Four
- 1.4 The Wingless Wizard
- 1.5 Reforming the Frightful Four
- 1.6 Thundra
- 1.7 Intelligencia
- 1.8 More Failed Recruitments
- 1.9 Continued Failure
- 1.10 Acts of Vengeance
- 1.11 Starting Over
- 1.12 Frightful Four Revival
- 1.13 Solo Again
- 1.14 The Hood's Gang
- 1.15 Secret Invasion
- 1.16 Dark Reign
- 1.17 Fall of the Hulks
- 1.18 Future Foundation
- 1.19 Crumbling Sanity
- 1.20 Superior Carnage
- 1.21 The Fall of the Fantastic Four
- 2 Powers and Abilities
- 3 Paraphernalia
- 4 Notes
- 5 Trivia
- 6 See Also
- 7 Links and References
Dr. Bentley Wittman grew up possessing near-superhuman levels of genius and, as an adult, became an inventor of great renown, selling his futuristic inventions to the wealthy and becoming quite rich. He also gained fame from his great intellect which he used to become a chess champion and renowned escape artist. He became known as "The Wizard" by legally assuming this stage name and using his advanced scientific inventions to perform feats of "magic." At some point in his career, the Wizard married a woman named Salamandra. He did not love the woman and only sought to reproduce with her in the hopes of creating super-powered offspring. When Salamandra refused to get pregnant, Bentley forcibly confined her and impregnated her through artificial insemination. After forcing Salamandra to bring the baby to term, the Wizard abandoned her and their newborn daughter Cole, because he believed that the child would not yield any super-human abilities.
Early Criminal Career
Following the birth of the super-hero group known as the Fantastic Four, the exploits of this team of adventurers -- particularly those of their youngest member the Human Torch -- became the center of the media's attention. Growing bitter from the loss of attention to himself, the Wizard became determined to prove himself superior to the Human Torch and began plotting to defeat the young hero. To this end, the Wizard made it appear that he was trapped while trying to drill a hole to the center of the Earth. When the Human Torch came to his rescue, Wittman invited the boy back to his futuristic home. There the Wizard incapacitated the Torch, and using various technological devices posed as the youth. While posing as the Torch the Wizard went on a crime spree which the Human Torch was blamed for. With the help of his sister the Invisible Girl, the Torch managed to free himself and recover the evidence clearing his name, ending in the Wizard's arrest and incarceration.
The Wizard was not in prison for long, after being given a job in the prison hospital for good behavior, he created a chemical formula to melt a way out of his cell. Holing up in his mansion the Wizard issued a challenge to the Human Torch to another duel. The Torch went after the Wizard and was captured once again. After being bailed out by his sister for the second time, the Torch quickly recaptured the Wizard and turned him over to the authorities. The Wizard was later broken out of prison by Paste-Pot Pete, another foe of the Human Torch. The two then conspired to defeat their mutual foe, framing the Torch for various crimes and acts of treason. Suspecting his old foes involvement, the Torch posed as a wealthy actor from England. With a planted newspaper story, the two criminals fell for the trap. Trapped by the Wizard yet again, the Torch used his ingenuity and flame powers to melt through the various traps. He once again captured the Wizard and Paste-Pot Pete who were incarcerated once again and the Torch was able to clear his name. When the criminal known as the Eel was on the loose, the Wizard offered his services to the authorities to stop the costumed criminal. These offers were refused and the Eel was eventually captured by the Human Torch. Escaping prison once again the Wizard began setting a series of dangerous traps across New York City, briefly taking over television broadcasts to drop clues to the Torch. This not only sent the Torch on the hunt for the Wizard, but also attracted the attention of yet another youthful super-hero the amazing Spider-Man. With Spider-Man's brilliant mind being able to decipher the increasingly cryptic clues, the Torch grudgingly agreed to work with the wall-crawler. The pair stopped attacks on various New York City landmarks before tracking down the mobile broadcasting truck that the Wizard was using to make his transmissions and brought him to justice once again.
While in prison the Wizard constructed the first prototype of his anti-gravity disks and used it to break out of prison. Seeking to get revenge against the Human Torch, Whitman used a disguise to trick the Torch into thinking he was putting on a recorded performance for charity. With the Torch subdued, the Wizard also captured the Invisible Girl and imprisoned the siblings in a giant billboard advertising matches. While the Wizard began plotting his next step, the Torch was able to send a message out to his other teammates, Mister Fantastic and the Thing who freed them. The Torch then tracked the Wizard down, who attempted to flee using a new miniaturized version of his anti-gravity disks. This escape backfired as the device malfunction sending the Wizard skyrocketing into the stratosphere. Unable to follow after his foe, the Human Torch stopped pursuit, presuming his foe would suffocate in the upper atmosphere.
The Frightful Four
The Wizard survived however, thanks to the intervention of two other super-villains who were previously defeated by the Human Torch: the Sandman and Paste-Pot Pete.[note 1] The Wizard's defeat at the Torch's hands coincided with a break out by the Sandman and Paste-Pot Pete who had hijacked a plane to escape. While flying through the air, they spotted the Wizard during his ascent and rescued him suffocation in the upper atmosphere. Realizing that they all had unique powers and a mutual hatred of the Fantastic Four, the Wizard suggested that they form a group that would be the evil counterparts to the Fantastic Four.
Needing a fourth member to their group, the Wizard had heard of a strange woman hiding out on a remote island on the Mediterranean who had complete control of her hair. Travelling there, the Wizard convinced Madame Medusa to join their ranks. Her past a mystery, Medusa agreed to join them and the Frightful Four was born. In order to keep Medusa under their control, the Wizard implanted a device that kept her lost memories from resurfacing. Making himself leader of the group the Wizard even developed a dynamic costume for himself. The formation of the Frightful Four came just after the Fantastic Four's Mister Fantastic and Invisible Girl had announced that they were engaged to be married. After an engagement party, the Frightful Four attacked the Fantastic Four's Baxter Building headquarters. Although they incapacitated the Thing, Mister Fantastic, and the Invisible Girl they were too late to stop the Thing's girlfriend Alicia Masters from sending out a signal flare to the Human Torch who was away from the building at the time. Although the Frightful Four used anti-gravity disks to end the Fantastic Four in the same way the Wizard almost perished, the Torch came to their rescue. Outclassed by the veteran heroes, the Frightful Four decided to retreat in the ensuing battle, setting their anti-gravity craft to self-destruct providing cover for the group to escape. The Frightful Four were later pulled forward in time by Aron the Rogue Watcher to battle the future Fantastic Four and their allies Fantastic Force. When Aron's plot to destroy the universe to recreate his own reality was stopped, the Frightful Four were returned to their appropriate time and place with no memory of what happened.
Regrouping after their first defeat, the Wizard quickly organized a new plan to destroy their mutual enemies. During this period Paste-Pot Pete reinvented himself with a new name, the Trapster, in an attempt to sound more menacing. They captured the Invisible Girl and kept her prisoner on deserted military outpost in the South Pacific. When the Fantastic Four came to rescue their teammate they fell into the evil FF's trap. While the heroes rescued Sue, the Wizard activated his q-bomb while his team fled the scene. While the Fantastic Four survived thanks to one of the Invisible Girl's invisible force-fields, the radiation from the blast stripped them of their powers. The Frightful Four then returned to the Baxter Building to confirm if the Fantastic Four were dead or not. However they fled the scene when they confused the arrival of the Asgardian warrior Balder the Brave on Earth to be the Human Torch.[note 2] The Fantastic Four survived the assault, and eventually restored their powers.[note 3]
However following the restoration of their powers, the Fantastic Four's Thing was angered that he once again lost his humanity and quit the team. Slipping out of town on the back of a truck, the Thing fell asleep as the vehicle crossed over into New Jersey and a bumpy road threw him from the flat bed. The sleeping Thing was discovered by the Frightful Four who quickly kidnapped their sleeping enemy. By this time the Wizard had developed an ID machine and used it to change the Thing's personality so that he was evil. Although the Frightful Four bickered and fought among themselves, the group were able to defeat the remaining members of the Fantastic Four came to rescue their friend, they were easily captured with the aid of the Thing. The Wizard then reminded the Thing that Mister Fantastic was responsible for his transformation, sending the Thing into a frenzy. When the Fantastic Four attempted to break free another fight broke out. While Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Girl managed to escape, the Human Torch was captured and apparently enthralled by the ID machine as well. In reality the ID machine was damaged by the Invisible Girl and the Torch was only pretending to be under the Wizard's thrall, allowing his teammates to capture the Thing and escape. Mister Fantastic then created a device to restore the Thing back to normal. When the Frightful Four finally saw through the Torch's trick and attacked the Baxter Building, the Thing had full recovered and turned the tide of battle. While the male members of the group were apprehended, Medusa managed to escape in their anti-gravity ship.
While the Sandman and Trapster were arrested, the Wizard managed to escape by feigning an injury and fleeing while being transported to the hospital. The Wizard then tracked Medusa down to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in Westchester County where she was under the protective care of the X-Men. During the ensuing battle, the X-Men's leader Professor X discovered that Medusa was being mechanically controlled by the Wizard. Removing the device from the base of her neck allowed Medusa to fight off the Wizard's influence and defeat him in battle and he was apprehended. The Frightful Four then began the first of many searches for a new member. They selected the Beetle to join their group. However, the Beetle's membership proved to be short lived when the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man delivered a group a quick defeat when the Invisible Girl used her powers to turn the Wizard, Trapster and Beetle's pants transparent to embarrass them. The Wizard, Trapster and Sandman found themselves imprisoned at State Penitentiary and instantly began plotting a breakout. Shortly thereafter, the Wizard and Sandman staged a break-out, while the Sandman, escape the Wizard was recaptured, confident that with the Sandman now free their freedom was eventually assured.
The Wingless Wizard
Escaping prison once again, the Wizard learned that the Human Torch was getting involved in a government funded film and that the production was accidentally interrupted by Spider-Man. Seeking to destroy both heroes, the Wizard sought out Spider-Man's foe Mysterio. Then using his financial resources to set up a movie studio in Hollywood sent out a casting call to both the Human Torch and Spider-Man to star in a movie. The two heroes took the bait and the two villains tricked Spider-Man into thinking that the Torch attacked him on set. As planned, the two heroes fought it out, until they realized they were being deceived. They uncovered the Wizard and Mysterio's involvement and while the two crooks attempted to flee, they were captured and turned over to the authorities. Escaping captivity once again the Wizard vowed to get revenge against the Fantastic Four. Now calling himself the "Wingless Wizard", Wittman developed his powerful "Wonder Gloves" to destroy his foes. His attack came at a time when the Thing was briefly reverted back to human form. Although Ben Grimm was not much of a help against the Wizard and his new weapons, Mister Fantastic and the Human Torch were able to defeat the Wizard and turn him over to the authorities. Eventually Grimm changed back to his Thing form.[note 4]
Later when the Wizard learned that the Fantastic Four's Invisible Girl was being replaced with the Inhuman known as Crystal, he rebuilt his Wonder Gloves and attacked the group again. But, he underestimated Crystal who was a skilled tactician and a powerful elemental. Knocked into New York Harbor, the Wizard fled the scene before he could be recaptured.[note 5]
Reforming the Frightful Four
When all the members of the Frightful Four were free from prison they regrouped and began plotting against the Fantastic Four again. Rejoining them was Medusa who, unknown to the Wizard and the others, had since recovered her memory and was now an ally of the Fantastic Four. By this point Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Girl had a son, named Franklin, and were seeking a babysitter to care for the boy whenever they were on a mission. When they agreed to visit the witch known as Agatha Harkness at her home in Whisper Hill, the Fantastic Four were attacked by their evil counterparts. It was during this battle that Medusa revealed her true allegiances and turned on the Wizard and his allies. The Frightful Four proved no match for Harkness, who was a powerful mystic, and easily trounced the remaining members of the Frightful Four, securing her job as Franklin's caretaker.[note 6] This Frightful Four made an attempt to force Medusa to rejoin their ranks upon learning that her lover -- Black Bolt, ruler of the Inhumans -- was incapable of speech without destroying anything in his path. The Wizard at this point had converted his ID machine into a ray gun in the hopes of making it a more practical weapon. The evil FF convinced Medusa that Quadranium-99 could cure Black Bolt. In exchange for the material, Medusa promised to rejoin their ranks. This plan ultimately failed when Medusa figured out that the Wizard was fooling her and that the Quadranium was going to be used to power his new ID ray. Medusa then fled from their ship with the Quadranium and returned it to the United Nations facility in France where it had been stolen from.
Without Medusa, the Frightful Four once again attempted to recruit a fourth member into their group. At the recommendation of the Sandman they attacked the Baxter Building to access their portal to the Negative Zone to free his onetime ally Blastaar. While the other members of the Fantastic Four were already in the Negative Zone trying to stop Doctor Doom from acquiring the Cosmic Control Rod belonging to Negative Zone leader Annihilus, the Frightful Four attacked. They easily incapacitated the Invisible Girl and pulled Blastaar from the Negative Zone. They did not anticipate that the young boy named Rick Jones was present and were unprepared when he clashed his Nega-Bands together summoning his ally Captain Marvel to Earth. Despite this surprise attack the Frightful Four succeeded in defeating Captain Marvel.[note 7] However the addition of Blastaar proved to be short lived as an insult towards the Negative Zone angered Blastaar sufficiently that he attacked his comrades. During the ensuing battle, the rest of the Fantastic Four returned home and defended it from the invaders. While Blastaar was knocked back into the Negative Zone, the rest of the Frightful Four were easily defeated and turned over to the authorities.
During some downtime with the Frightful Four, the Wizard began developing weapons for the racist organization known as the Sons of the Shield. The group was later disassembled by Captain America and the Falcon. The Frightful Four reunited once again and attempted to manipulate the Negative Zone once more. To this end they captured Spider-Man and hypnotized him into joining their ranks. They used Spider-Man to infiltrate the Baxter Building when only the Human Torch was home. The Torch was easily subdued allowing the Wizard to gain access to the Negative Zone portal. This plan backfired when Annihilus attempted to use this intrusion to free himself from the Zone and onto Earth. Ultimately the Torch freed Spider-Man from the Frightful Four's control and the pair subdued their foes. Spider-Man then used his scientific know-how to deactivate the Negative Zone portal before leaving the Frightful Four with the Torch to turn over to the authorities.
The Frightful Four soon obtained their first new recurring member, Thundra, a Femazon of the alternate future of Earth-715. The Wizard had promised her the opportunity to battle the most powerful man on Earth in exchange for helping them destroy the Fantastic Four. The quartet attack the Thing at a construction site. Although their attack was interrupted by Medusa, who had come to the Thing's aid, Thundra provided them with the upper hand and both the Thing and Medusa were subdued. Thundra's membership was not without its own troubles as she did not wish to allow the Frightful Four to eliminate the Thing as she viewed men as inferiors. While the evil FF conceded on that point for now, they attacked the Baxter Building, subduing both the Thing and Mister Fantastic. When they discovered the Invisible Girl with her son Franklin, Thundra refused to allow any harm come to the child and fought back against her opponents. Ultimately the Fantastic Four broke free and fought their evil counterparts into retreat once again. In the aftermath of the battle the Invisible Girl left the group over differences with Mister Fantastic, taking their child with her, Medusa then took her place on the team.
However Thundra was not finished with the Thing, seeking to utterly crush him once and for all she challenged him to a one-on-one fight to the finish. In order to force the Thing to agree to the battle, Thundra captured his girlfriend Alicia Masters and left her in the hands of the Frightful Four through the duration of the battle. While the battle took place at Shea Stadium, the Thing was briefly transformed back into human form by Mister Fantastic so that Thundra would forfeit the battle and flee. Meanwhile, the Human Torch rescued Alicia, forcing the Frightful Four to once again flee the scene. The Frightful Four later broke into the Baxter Building waiting to ambush the Fantastic Four after they seemingly lost the Invisible Girl to their sometimes foe the Sub-Mariner. Although the Frightful Four had the upper hand, Thundra's continued differences with the group -- particularly their constant sexism toward her -- prompted her to turn on them. Thundra then helped free the Fantastic Four and defeat her former comrades. The Wizard, Trapster and Sandman were then contained at the Baxter Building before the Fantastic Four went on to battle the Sub-Mariner who appeared to be calling for another invasion of the surface world. As it turned out these was merely a mock battle that was staged so that Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Girl could reconcile their marriage after a lengthy separation.
After escaping captivity again, the three founding members of the Frightful Four reformed, and during an extended absence of their foes put out a classified ad seeking a new fourth member, telling all applicants to meet at the Baxter Building. The Fantastic Four and their ally the Impossible Man soon learned of this and rushed to their headquarters to confront the Frightful Four. While the Impossible Man was distracted by a television, the Fantastic Four were quickly defeated and incapacitated. The Frightful Four then began screening potential members. They rejected the powerless Osprey, and the heroic Texas Twister before Thundra came crashing in on them. Thundra warned her former teammates that the Fantastic Four were off limits, but she was quickly subdued and made a prisoner alongside her new allies. The Wizard and the others then rejected the pyrophobic Captain Ultra, before they were attacked by Tigra who briefly freed the Fantastic Four. This escape attempt was then quashed by the most promising recruit to potentially join up with the Frightful Four: the Brute, Reed Richard's double on the distant world of Counter-Earth. The Brute helped defeat the Fantastic Four and their allies, securing himself as a member of the group. The Frightful Four then attempted to hold their heroic counterparts hostage for a massive ransom. When the governments of the United States refused to pay the ransom the Wizard decided that it was time to finally kill his hated foes. However, before he could activate his device the broadcast day had ended cutting off the television transmission that kept the Impossible Man preoccupied through out the entire battle. Seeking to boost the signal, the Impossible Man attempted to boost the signal causing a power surge powerful enough to temporarily cut the power in the Baxter Building to allow the Fantastic Four and their allies to break free. The Frightful Four were easily trounced by the good FF, Thundra, and Tigra. The Wizard, Trapster and Sandman were captured once again, while the Brute was seemingly lost in the Negative Zone.[note 8]
The Frightful Four were quickly incarcerated again, but just as quickly broke free while being processed by the authorities thanks to the Wizard's ingenuity. It was about this time that the Wizard was approached by fellow super-genius known as the Leader to join his group the Intelligencia. He joined the Leader, Egghead, the Mad Thinker, and the Red Ghost. Discovering a cache of Library of Alexandria still existed and was secretly hidden in various parts of the world they set about collecting these archives for their own ends. They located and secretly stole the first collection located on Olympia home of the Eternals. They also found the Eternal's cosmically powered Hulk robot and took it as well. While they kept the Hulk robot in storage, they entrusted their copies of the Alexandria archive with Latverian monarch Doctor Doom. The group also infiltrated Project PEGASUS to try and steal their Nth Projector, only to discover that it was already stolen by the Wizard's old ally Thundra. The Intelligencia also worked together to cheat death and escape incarceration whenever they were defeated. With these contingencies in place, the Wizard went about his personal business until their next meeting.
More Failed Recruitments
Reunited with the Frightful Four, the Wizard began seeking out yet another member. They selected Spider-Man's longtime foe Electro. After succeeding in a test run of his powers, they admitted Electro into their group. Seeking to get revenge against both Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, the new Frightful Four went to the Statue of Liberty. Electro then used one of the Wizard's devices that imitated the Human Torch's powers in order to trick Spider-Man into meeting them there. Expecting the Human Torch, Spider-Man was instead ambushed and overpowered by the Frightful Four who easily defeated the wall-crawler.[note 9] The Trapster then disguised himself as Spider-Man in order to infiltrate the Baxter Building where he easily subdued the Human Torch and the Thing before disabling the security systems. The Frightful Four then made an attack on Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Girl, but the real Spider-Man managed to break free and join the fray. With the regrouped Fantastic Four, the evil Frightful Four were easily defeated and once again turned over to the authorities. Escaping captivity once again the Wizard secretly offered his expertise to Professor Taylor Linnik at the Excel Experimental Energy Lab in Southern Virginia. Linnik was working on a new device that would harness the magnetic power of the moon as an energy source. The Wizard sought to use the device as a weapon. However when his attempts to do so coincided by a visit to the facility by the Human Torch, as well as Bruce Banner, the alter-ego of the Hulk. During the ensuing battle the Torch tricked the Hulk into smashing the device. The feedback from the device's destruction cause the Wizard to be thrust out into the upper atmosphere.
Somehow the Wizard survived and was incarcerated at Ryker's Island. He was broken out by the Sub-Mariner's foe Llyra. Llyra required the Wizard to defeat her old foe and he agreed to assist her provided that she help him destroy his old foe Spider-Man. The plan was Llyra would pose as a new tenant that Peter Parker would find attractive. Tracking the wall-crawler with a special device to his civilian home Llyra and the Wizard attempted to trap him by setting the apartment building ablaze. Spider-Man managed to save his fellow tenants, foiling the Wizard's plans. Llyra had the Wizard break out his fellow Frightful Four members, Sandman and the Trapster to help in her plot to get revenge against the Sub-Mariner. Llyra's activities got the attention of her prey who came to New York. The Sub-Mariner detected Llyra's presence and attacked the hotel where Peter Parker and his fellow tenants were put up for the night. This led to a battle between Sub-Mariner, Spider-Man, and the Frightful Four. The villains then blasted the two heroes with a weapon provided by Llyra. The device succeeded in transferring Spider-Man's Spider-Sense to the Sub-Mariner. Despite this handicap, the two heroes defeated the Frightful Four. While the Wizard and his cohorts were turned over to the authorities, Namor took Llyra into his possession to answer for her crimes in Atlantis.
While incarcerated the Wizard befriended another criminal known as the Plantman. When the two were being transferred to a new prison in Vermont, the pair orchestrated an escape attempt. While Plantman used plant-made bioforms to pose as the two criminals they escaped captivity. While the Plantman was recaptured by the Avengers, the authorities did not realize the Wizard escaped until much later. The Wizard briefly reunited with his fellow Intelligencia members and learned that Egghead had previously died battling the Avengers. The group then recruited the cyborg known as MODOK into their ranks.[note 10]
The Wizard attempted to revive the Frightful Four by hiring an entirely new members. This time around he hired the Taskmaster, Constrictor and mercenary Wade Wilson. This new iteration of the Frightful Four lasted for only one mission, wherein they attacked the Baxter Building only to be driven away by the Thing and his godson Franklin. By the time the authorities learned that the Wizard had escaped from prison, they assigned the Avengers to track him down. Captain America, the Scarlet Witch and She-Hulk searched the Wizard's home. Hiding out here, Bentley attempted to trap the invaders, but they broke his devices and quickly recaptured the Wizard. Escaping captivity once again, the Wizard reunited with the Intelligencia who recovered the next portion of the Alexandria texts from the African nation of Wakanda as well as a means to harness cosmic energy using Vibranium. Using this device they became aware of the powerful cosmic being known as the Beyonder who had recently waged a cosmic war between Earth's heroes and villains. When Spider-Man brought back a alien organism that he wore briefly as a costume, he later discarded it when he realized it was trying to permanently bond to him. The Wizard and other members of the Intelligencia recovered the symbiote and brought it back from the brink of death in the hopes that it would ultimately destroy the wall-crawler.[note 11] Eventually, the Beyonder came to Earth to learn about desire. Seeing the Beyonder as a threat, the demon known as Mephisto sought to unleash his Beyondersbane weapon on the nearly omnipotent being using an army of super-villains as his conduit. The Wizard became one of Mephisto's Legion Accursed sent to attack the Beyonder. They were opposed by the Thing who came to the Beyonder's aid, holding off the villains long enough for the Beyondersbane to hit critical mass, rendering the device useless. The Wizard and the other villains were then teleported back to where they came from.[note 12]
When it became public knowledge that the Human Torch was to marry Alicia Masters, the Wizard joined the Mad Thinker and the Puppet Master in a plot to kill the Torch during his wedding. However upon realizing how happy his step-daughter truly was to marry the Torch, the Puppet Master turned on his cohorts, unleashing the Dragon Man android upon them, forcing the Wizard to flee.[note 13] When the Wizard and the Mad Thinker later discovered that Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman's son Franklin had superhuman abilities, the Wizard sought to capture the boy for his own purposes. Seeking this scheme ending in failure and not wishing to harm a child the Thinker dissolved his partnership with the Wizard. Although the Wizard succeeded in kidnapping Franklin and the Thing, they were rescued by Franklin's parents. During the course of the battle the Invisible Woman defeated the Wizard and he was turned over to the authorities.
The Wizard formed yet another version of the team which included Hydro-Man, Titania, and Klaw. Their attack on the Fantastic Four coincided with the end of the so-called Inferno crisis. At this time the Fantastic Four was led by the Thing and included the Human Torch, and She-Thing. With the Human Torch incapable of controlling his flame powers due to the Inferno, and the recent departure of their teammate Crystal, Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman returned to the ranks of the group. The Frightful Four attacked just as Mister Fantastic used a device to restore the Torch back to normal. During the battle, the Thing was knocked into the same device, the resulting explosion resulted in the Thing being reverted back to his human form.[note 14] The Wizard allowed the Fantastic Four to defeat them and his team retreated. When the Fantastic Four tracked their evil counterparts to their hideout, it was right into the Wizard's trap. The Wizard had discovered that Aron the Rogue Watcher was observing the Fantastic Four. Aron incapacitated the Fantastic Four and arrived with his minion the Dragon Man. However Aaron was only interested collecting the Fantastic Four's DNA samples and quickly teleported away. With the Four defeated, the Wizard and his minions placed them in cryogenic suspension tubes. However they were located by Ben Grimm, who freed his comrades and freed them. The Fantastic Four then quickly defeated the Frightful Four, but, when they attempted to bring the group to the authorities both teams were teleported to another dimension. There they were confronted by Aron who revealed that he had created clones of the Fantastic Four to control and do his bidding and he incapacitated both teams.[note 15]
The Fantastic Four and the Frightful Four were then placed in suspended animation while the clones of the heroes ran amok. Eventually the Human Torch's powers allowed him to free himself from cryogenic suspension. When he placed Aron in suspension and freed his comrades a fail-safe not only freed the Frightful Four, but teleported the Fantastic Four clones to Aron's hideout in the Rocky Mountains. The Frightful Four were forced to team up with their enemies to stop the clones that suddenly attacked. During the course of the battle Aron freed himself. He then revealed that he had changed his plans, he teleported the Frightful Four to the Vault prison and the Fantastic Four back home. Aron then disappeared with his clones intent on monitoring their dreams for his own amusement.
Acts of Vengeance
The Wizard's stay at the Vault was very short lived, as he was approached by a mysterious man in his cell who was able to not only free the Wizard but restore his weapons and armor as well. The Wizard then staged a break out, allowing himself and a number of his fellow inmates to escape before the Avengers Iron Man and Hawkeye could arrive on the scene. The Wizard's mysterious benefactor also gathered others including Doctor Doom, the Mandarin, Magneto, the Kingpin, and the Red Skull. Unknown to all the villains gathered their benefactor was really the Asgardian trickster god Loki who was manipulating them for his own ends. This group were later referred to as the "prime movers" of what became known as the Acts of Vengeance conspiracy. This plot involved pitting Earth's heroes against foes to that they had previously no experience battling, all part of a larger scheme to crush their mutual foes the Avengers. Loki led each member of the conspiracy believe that they were in charge, while Loki was believed to be nothing more than a mere lackey recruiting the other members of the group.[note 16]
The Wizard was first challenged to destroy Spider-Man and hired his former ally the Trapster to carry out the task. Although the Trapster defeated Spider-Man at first, the hero later unknowingly gained the Enigma Force becoming the most recent incarnation of Captain Universe, and he later easily trounced the Trapster in battle.[note 17] The Wizard later freed the Brothers Grimm from prison and sent them to New York to face Spider-Man as well, but they proved no match for his cosmic powers either. He later recruited Chemistro to assist the Wrecker in his battle against Iron Man at the site of Stark Prosthetics, although both villains were defeated by the iron avenger. The Wizard briefly returned to his fellow prime movers to discuss their on-going yet unsuccessful campaign against Spider-Man. Wittman was also present when the Red Skull first officially joined the group. The Wizard was also responsible for convincing ousted Hellfire Club leader Sebastian Shaw into hiring the Hulk to battle Spider-Man, yet another failed attempt to slay the hero.[note 18] With Spider-Man reeling from having too much power, the Wizard hoped to force the wall-crawler to retire by sending the Dragon Man against the hero. However this plan backfired after Spider-Man defeated the Dragon Man to the elation of the people of New York, renewing his faith in heroics.
By this point the schemes against the Avengers were coming to their endgame, leading up to a battle between the Avengers and the government sanctioned Freedom Force. Although it appeared that the villains were winning their war, constant in fighting between the members of the prime movers threatened to derail their plans. The Mandarin later rashly attacked the Avengers at Avengers Park. The Wizard then foolishly joined the battle as well and was brought low and captured by Wonder Man. Questioned, the Wizard hinted at what was going on but refused to reveal their plans. When the Wizard was locked into a cell, he used a device hidden under a false finger-nail to open the doorway back to the prime mover's hideout. This infuriated Loki who finally revealed his true identity and incapacitated the Wizard, Red Skull and Mandarin for the only members of the prime movers left. Sure enough Loki's fear came true, his step-brother Thor was able to detect his mystical energies from the doorway the Wizard used to escape and was able to teleport the Avengers to their location -- the Isle of Silence in Asgard. During the ensuing battle, the Red Skull and Mandarin managed to escape and Loki was seemingly vanquished by Thor.[note 19] Captured once again, the Wizard revealed the conspiracy to the Avengers as part of a plea bargain. The Wizard was returned to the Vault along with the other pawns of the Acts of Vengeance conspiracy. He attempted yet another break out only to be stopped by Iron Man and Vault Guardsman Frank Ensign.
Free from prison once again, the Wizard returned to New York City where his anti-gravity discs began to run low on power. Seeking to steal some batteries from an electronics store he was confronted by Volcana, who attempted to apprehend him. No match for her volcanic powers, the Wizard was landed a humiliating defeat and fled the scene. Still needing replacement batteries, Wittman grudgingly purchased some legally. Not long after this, the Wizard and the Trapster reunited and sought to bring the Sandman back into the fold.
When they found the Sandman they offered him to rejoin them, but the Sandman was making an effort to reform at the time. When he refused the Wizard threatened to inform the authorities of his location, as the Sandman was still wanted at the time, but the Sandman warned the Wizard that the biggest mistake he could make was being in the same prison as him if that happened. The Wizard then conceded, allowing the Sandman to go his own way. The Wizard and the Trapster later recruited Dreadknight and the Man-Bull. This new incarnation smuggled themselves into Canada in order to kidnap Nobel Prize winning physicist Doctor Cargill during his appearance at the Calgary Stampede. This kidnapping attempt was foiled by Spider-Man (who was there in his civilian identity Peter Parker, then a photographer for the Daily Bugle), the visiting Rangers and the novice hero Turbine. Imprisoned in the Vault once again, the Wizard staged a prison riot when the needs of the prisoners, particularly the needs of his cellmate Terraformer. This riot was quelled by the hero Marvel Boy who was also incarcerated in the Vault at the time who had the prison staff agreed to the prisoners terms.[note 20]
Following the defeat of the short-lived Fearsome Foursome, the Wizard was angered that a group formed using a similar name to his own creation. As such the Wizard broke out of the Vault and gathered a new Frightful Four which consisted of Klaw, Miss Thing, and the Red Ghost and his Super-Apes. With none of the members seeking to to be a subordinate, the Wizard decided that they would compete to see who was fit to rule by attacking the Fantastic Four. At the time the FF were reeling from the apparent death of their leader Mister Fantastic and included Ant-Man among their ranks at the time. Luring the Fantastic Four to the Wizard's home, each member battled a different member of the Fantastic Four. The group was ultimately defeated when the Wizard, while battling the Human Torch, trapped his foe in a pocket of non-causality. When the Torch goaded the Wizard into attacking him, the Wizard's Wonder-Gloves caused feedback to the non-causality field. This in turn sent a wave across the house revitalizing the Fantastic Four. Utterly defeated, this incarnation of the Frightful Four fled and parted ways following their defeat.[note 21]
When the demon Mephisto sought to ruin the wedding of the Hulk's allies Rick Jones and Marlo Chandler, he manipulated the Impossible Man into sending out invitations to various super-villains. The Wizard was one of the attendees, and although the arrival of various villains and intervention from Mephisto himself, the wedding went off without a hitch.[note 22] The Wizard was also in attendance of the wedding of fellow criminals the Absorbing Man and Titania. This wedding was crashed by the Avengers, who sheepishly retreated when they realized that they were interrupting a wedding instead of any criminal activity. Following the apparent deaths of the Fantastic Four and the Avengers during the Onslaught crisis, the Wizard was one of many criminals who attempted to break out of the Vault once again. This time the break out was thwarted by the newly formed Thunderbolts, who unknown to all at the time were secretly the Masters of Evil in disguise.[note 23]
Frightful Four Revival
What followed was an extended period of time where the Wizard and the Trapster worked for a prolonged period together usually changing up the other two members of the group during each scheme. Meanwhile, during his time away from the Frightful Four, the Sandman had redeemed himself as a hero, becoming a member of Silver Sable's Wild Pack, as well as becoming a reserve member in the Avengers. Disturbed by this trend, the Wizard kidnapped the Sandman and exposed him to his newly rebuilt ID machine. This restored the Sandman's previous persona, and although he did not rejoin the Wizard at this point, this would cause the Sandman to eventually return to his criminal ways. The Wizard, Trapster and Sandman then got involved in what a staged attempt on the life of Senator Stewart Ward. This attempt was to boost Ward's popularity, an orchestrated event that was made successful with the interference of Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. However the attempt ruined the Sandman's precarious cover, ruining any further pretensions that he had reformed for good. The Wizard and Trapster's part on Senator Ward's scheme were later foiled by Spider-Man.
The Wizard and Trapster then formed a new version of the Frightful Four which included She-Thing and the Punisher robot. They took over the Keewazi reservation in Silver Rock Springs, Oklahoma, seeking to find the location of lost gold and jewels of the Manidoog god Tomazooma. This plot was foiled by the Fantastic Four when they were summoned by their ally Wyatt Wingfoot and they were apprehended. Also during this time, the Wizard sought to get revenge against Deadpool for bungling a previous Frightful Four mission. Working with former failed Frightful Four inductees the Taskmaster and Constrictor, as well as Deadpool's ex-girlfriend the shapeshifter known as Copycat who posed as Titania. Ultimately their plan came to fruition when Deadpool exposed the plot and then blew up his home the Dead Lounge, although Deadpool survived.[note 24] When the time traveler known as Kang made his bid to conquer the modern age, he called out the super-villains in the world to join his cause. The Wizard was one of the many super-villains to attempts this, but did not appear to succeed in his bid to join Kang's legions. Kang was later defeated by the Avengers.[note 25] Shortly thereafter the Wizard's universe and the universe of a distant cosmos were at risk of destruction when the cosmic being known as Krona attempted to merge them together. This plan was opposed by the Avengers and the Justice League of America.[note 26] The final battle took place on the corpse of the world devourer Galactus where various members of the Avengers and JLA from different time periods were forced to fight an army of villains brought forth by Krona. The Wizard was one of the many villains brought into the battle. Eventually the crisis ended when the heroes stopped Krona and restored the natural order of both realities.
The Wizard later formed yet another incarnation of the Frightful Four along with the Trapster. This group also included the Wizard's estranged ex-wife Salamandra. To this end, the Wizard wanted to exploit his daughter Cole to lure the Fantastic Four into a trap. The Wizard also re-recruited Hydro-Man onto the team after he was defeated in a battle against Spider-Man and the Human Torch. The Wizard then boosted Hydro-Man's powers but made him dependent on the Wizard to live. The Wizard's next part of his scheme was to secure Cole's loyalty by manipulating her into a romance with Human Torch. The end result of this hook-up was that Cole would help the Frightful Four infiltrate the Baxter Building and then the Wizard plotted for her to get injured making it appear that the Fantastic Four were responsible. Cole held up her end of the mission, having succeeded in arranging a meeting with the Torch after romancing him on an online chatroom. Once admitted into the Baxter Building, she used her special transporter ring to get the Frightful Four past the Baxter Building's security systems.[note 27] During the course of the battle the Wizard realized that his daughter had the ability to control the gravity of objects although it affected her personal mass in the process. This caused him to abruptly change his plans and when the Trapster attempted to eliminate his daughter as planned, the Wizard turned on the Trapster, trapping him in a temporal loop seemingly forever. After filming the defeat of the Fantastic Four for a world audience the Wizard then teleported his team away. Back at base, Cole was disgusted that her father would see her as merely an experiment and fled seeking out the Fantastic Four to cure herself of her condition and defeat her father and his minions. In the ensuing battle, Hydro-Man and Salamandra, the Wizard and Cole seemingly perished when she increased her mass to a massive level causing them to slam into the waters outside of New York City.[note 28]
The Wizard soon spent another period of time working alone, and went into hiding. His hideout was later located by Baron Zemo and his Thunderbolts who forced him to turn over his anti-gravity technology to them. Arrested again, the Wizard was incarcerated at Ryker's Island once more. There he appeared on the television series "Monsters, Myths and Marvels" where he attempted to add validity to a conspiracy theory that alleged that Galactus and his various attacks on Earth were nothing more than a hoax, a failed attempt to discredit his foes the Fantastic Four. The Wizard was later recruited and outfitted with new armor by former Latverian prime minister Lucia von Bardas to get revenge against SHIELD director Nick Fury, and various heroes he used to stage a coup against her rule the year prior. The Wizard joined an army of other villains in the attack against the heroes. When the combined efforts of the Fantastic Four and Avengers arrived at the scene, Von Bardas unleashed her revenge: all the villains armors combined to form a massive bomb that threatened to destroy all of New York City. However the heroes managed to disarm the weapon and the villains were all defeated.
Later, the Wizard was in a group of super-villains who were gathered by the Puppet Master and the Mad Thinker who were attempting to gather an army of villains to battle the Fantastic Four. This was a failed endeavor as none of the gathered villains wished to participate and left, unknowingly leaving the DNA samples that the two organizers of this plan really sought. These DNA sampled ended up in the hands of the Fantastic Four who came to believe that they would die within two year unless they permanently incarcerated their foes. The Wizard, was later apprehended by his foes in the most compromising way: while in the bathroom. When the Mad Thinker staged a massive breakout they were opposed by the Fantastic Four, the She-Hulk, and Hercules. When the fighting was too much both the Wizard returned to his cell. Free once again, the Wizard was approached by the time traveling mutant Cable to obtain gravimetric shield technology for his new new utopia called Providence. He was later visited by the Answer who sought to learn why the assassin Bullseye was after him, a question the Wizard could not provide an answer for.
The Wizard later reunited with the Intelligencia once again, this time they traveled to Edwards Air Force Base where they recovered the inert body of Betty Ross as part of their on-going schemes. After the Hulk was jettisoned into space, and the super-hero Civil War that ended in the apparent death of Captain America, the Intelligencia celebrated at Doctor Doom's castle. They later went after the final portion of the Alexandria library, hidden in Atlantis prior to its destruction. Although they were quickly betrayed by Doom shortly thereafter the Wizard and the rest of the Intelligencia continued on their mission, helping to create and recruit the mysterious Red Hulk to their cause for when the Hulk eventually returned to Earth.[note 29]
The Hood's Gang
The Wizard joined a gang of super-humans that was led by the mystically powered criminal known as the Hood. The Wizard's first task with the gang was accompanying the Hood and Madame Masque to purchase the Deathlok cyborg from the Owl. Instead of paying for the cyborg, the Hood gunned down the Owl and took it. While most of New York's heroes were busy fighting a Klyntar "bomb", the Wizard and the rest of the Hood's gang attempted to rob a bank in New Jersey with the assistance of the Deathlok cyborg. This robbery was interrupted by the New Avengers.[note 30] The Wizard and the others were taken off guard thanks to illusions cast by Doctor Strange and the majority of the gang were defeated and left in SHIELD custody.
The captured members of the Hood's gang did remain incarcerated for long as they were later broken out by the Hood. They then regrouped and learned the location of the New Avengers' hideout at Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum and launched an all out attack. Although the New Avengers were able to fight back the Hood and his gang, they were forced to abandon their headquarters after Strange was stripped of his title of Sorcerer Supreme during the course of the battle.
Sometime later the Wizard regrouped the Frightful Four along with the Trapster, Hydro-Man and Titania and once again sought to eliminate the Fantastic Four. It was during this period that Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman were on their second honeymoon on the moon of Titan while their spots in the Fantastic Four were filled by the Black Panther and his wife Storm. While Reed was away getting assistance on Earth to decipher a strange meteor he discovered the Wizard planted a bomb on his shuttle before going to Titan with his team and taking the Invisible Woman hostage. He then issued a challenge to the Fantastic Four to face him.[note 31] Suspecting a trap the Black Panther had the group remotely access Reed's ship causing the bomb to go off and the group went to Titan in another vessel. When the Fantastic Four arrived, the Wizard and his allies were not prepared to face the Black Panther and Storm fighting alongside Mister Fantastic, the Thing, and the Human Torch. However, the Wizard had a surprise of his own: a fifth member he had hidden, Klaw. The Frightful Four' secret weapon was defeated by the Thing thanks to some Vibranium earplugs that made him immune to Klaw's powers. The rest of the group were easily trounced. A vengeful Invisible Woman then threatened to end the Wizard's life by using her powers to cause him a heart attack, and the fear of her doing so caused the Wizard to faint in fear. The Fantastic Four then left Titan to attend to other matters.
The Wizard was present when the Hood uncovered a plot by the aliens known as the Skrulls to infiltrate his group as part of a larger invasion of Earth. Using his growing mystical powers, the Hood confirmed that the Wizard and most of his other minions had not been replaced by Skrull spies.
When the Skrulls finally launched their full invasion,[note 32] the Hood gathered his gang to watch as developments to unfold, hoping to take advantage of the situation whenever they could. The Hood and his gang waited on the side lines until the heroes of Earth went to face the last of the Skrull invaders in Central Park. When the final battle began, the Wizard and the others joined in the final battle for Earth. While the Wizard only played a minor role in the final battle of the so-called Secret Invasion, Thunderbolt's leader Norman Osborn became a national hero after killing the Skrull leader Veranke. Made director of SHIELD, which he promptly renamed HAMMER, Norman Osborn formed the Cabal, a group of villains plotting to shape the world. The Cabal included the Hood as a member.
Norman Osborn soon set up his own Avengers team and sought to wipe out the New Avengers. To this end, he tricked Spider-Woman into leading her comrades into a trap at the Hellfire Club, then unleashed the Hood's gang upon them. The Wizard participated in the battle, but overpowered by the New Avengers, the Hood and his gang eventually retreated. Bentley and his fellow gang members soon became increasingly upset with the Hood's leadership, especially after hearing that he had sided with Osborn. The Wizard was later present at a funeral the the Hood was having for Sam his driver, unaware that the Hood had killed Sam for learning too much about the Hood's personal life.
The Wizard primarily stayed at the Hood's many safehouses, where dissatisfaction in the ranks continued to grow as the Hood struggled with the demonic influences of his powers. He later joined the Hood to Newark, New Jersey to face Force and White Fang, two armored heroes looking to bring the Hood to justice. Defeating the heroes there, the Wizard later joined the gang when the Hood went to battle Force and White Fang at the Fresh Kills Landfill in New York. There the Wizard witness the Hood defeat his foes as well as stop a coup of his gang by his cousin John and the Controller. The Wizard was also present when the Hood considered recruiting the Enforcer into his ranks. Eventually, the Wizard left the Hood's gang to pursue his own goals.
Fall of the Hulks
After years of preparing, the Intelligencia was finally ready to enact their plans to take over the world. A plot to take over the world using a gamma powered army following the utter destruction of the Hulk and his allies.[note 33] One of their pawns in this scheme was the mysterious Red Hulk, who ultimately betrayed the Intelligencia to work with Bruce Banner, the Hulk's alter ego.
During the initial planning phase of this plan the Wizard sought to reform his Frightful Four after learning that Thundra was back in his native time, he planned on using her in this latest incarnation. The Wizard then gathered Klaw and the Trapster and approached Thundra asking her to rejoin their group. By this point she had allied herself with the Red Hulk and summoned him. The three villains were no match for the Hulk and Thundra and fled. Soon the Intelligencia learned that Thundra had a daughter, with DNA taken from the Hulk, in the future of Earth-8009. This daughter, Lyra, had come to the modern age after being shunned in her own era. When it appeared that Lyra held animosity toward her mother and the Wizard seemingly convinced her to join his Frightful Four after sending the savage Red She-Hulk upon her to illustrate that the world feared Hulks. Lyra joined the group, but the Wizard and his cohorts were unaware that this was only a means to find her missing friend, the original She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters.[note 34]
Part of the Intelligencia's plot was to kidnap the 10 greatest minds in the world. The Frightful Four were then sent to capture Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. Although their attack on the Baxter Building was complicated with interference from the Red Hulk, the Frightful Four were successful in their mission. Lyra soon betrayed the Frightful Four after finding the She-Hulk imprisoned aboard the Intelligencia's helicarrier, and freeing her. Ultimately, the Intelligencia's plans began falling apart thanks to the interference of the Red Hulk and Bruce Banner.[note 35] This ended with a final battle between the true Hulk and his red counterpart. During the ensuing clash the Wizard, Trapster, Klaw, the Red Ghost, and Mad Thinker all attempted to rob the US Treasury, but their attempt was interrupted by the two warring behemoths.
Around this time the Fantastic Four discovered that the Wizard was creating clones of himself. One, the young boy known as Bentley-23 was recovered and taken in by the group. Mister Fantastic became determined to raise the boy in the hopes that he would become something greater than the original Wizard. When Richards later formed his Future Foundation, Bentley-23 was among the founding class. By this point the Wizard was becoming mentally unstable, due to a tumor growing in his brain. The members of the Frightful Four went their own ways only to be hunted down by the She-Hulk and Lyra and imprisoned at the old Gamma Base in Death Valley, Nevada. The Trapster was captured in Las Vegas, the Wizard in Monte Carlo, the Red Ghost in St. Petersburg, and the Mad Thinker and Klaw in Switzerland. The Wizard briefly broke out and attempted to get revenge against Lyra, but he was quickly recaptured.
The Wizard was later moved to the P.A.V.L.O.V. Metahuman Psychiatric Facility where he was kept in solitary confinement. The Wizard's mental state continued to deteriorate to the point where he had developed a religious fanaticism. He was liberated by Doctors Andrew Forson and Robert Jema to lead a rogue faction of AIM. This breakout was opposed by the Fantastic Four, who were calling themselves the Future Foundation at the time, but their attempts at stopping the escape failed. When Reed Richards later was attempting to seek a means of stopping the Interdimensional Council of Reeds, a cabal of alternate reality counterparts, he sent members of the FF to recruit his greatest foes. An invitation was sent to the Wizard by his clone Bentley-23 and the Invisible Woman, which he accepted. The Wizard and his AIM minions joined Doctor Doom, Diablo, the Mad Thinker, Nathaniel Richards, Reed's daughter Valeria, and the High Evolutionary in developing a plot to stop this council from potentially destroying the Earth. The group discussed plans for hours while the other members of the Future Foundation battled the Council's forces at the site of Old Atlantis.
Later when the Council of Reeds attacked the High Evolutionary's Forever City, the Wizard and his allies officially joined the Future Foundation, wearing their colors. Interestingly, the Wizard incorporated a preacher's collar to his costume. During the course of the battle, Wittman, Forson, and Jema were overpowered by the evolved Moloids that dwelled in the Future City and fled the scene, leaving the Future Foundation to deal with the crisis without them.
The Wizard then returned to the Intelligencia where they developed a new Zero Cannon at their secret base located on the North Pole. They were soon attacked by Doctor Octopus and his Sinister Six who were competing with the Intelligencia for world domination. During the course of the battle the Wizard was forced to battle his old ally the Sandman before he was jettisoned into Earth's orbit by the Zero Cannon with most of the other members of the Intelligencia. MODOK managed to escape and recovered his comrades, saving them from death in space. The Intelligencia then regrouped aboard a ship in the North Sea where they decided that with the constant infighting between superheroes and the continued fracturing mutant community their best chance was to lay low. Their location was discovered by Deadpool who tried to sink their vessel, but all aboard survived and the Trapster seemingly slew Deadpool as the mercenary tried to escape. Two weeks later the Wizard grew tired of the Trapster's boasts that he had killed Deadpool and showed his ally evidence to the contrary, sending the Trapster on a failed attempt to destroy Deadpool once and for all.[note 36]
When AIM later took over the island nation of Barbuda, the United States government decided to allow it provided that the Wizard was no longer in charge of the organization. The newly reformed Fantastic Four were then dispatched to take down the Wizard. AIM gladly accepted the terms and conditions set out by the United States government with the Wizard no longer commanding them. The Wizard was reincarcerated at the PAVLOV institute where Mister Fantastic attempted to get Bentley to come to terms with his crumbling sanity and quickly approaching death. The Wizard refused to listen, so Reed had Bentley-23 approach his creator. The Wizard then attempted to encourage young Bentley to embrace his destiny as the new Wizard. This was a fate that Bentley-23 flat out rejected and turned his back on the Wizard. The Wizard escaped again and rejoined the Intelligencia. They intercepted what they thought was Spaceknight technology but turned out to be the robot Ultron who had returned from space to take over the Earth. Bentley and his cohorts were no match for Ultron, who was ultimately stopped by the Avengers.[note 37]
The Wizard soon became obsessed with proving himself to his clone, Bentley-23, coming to regard him as a son. During a period in which the Fantastic Four were missing in action, four replacements were selected to act in their stead: Ant-Man, Medusa, She-Hulk and pop-star Darla Deering. To this end, the Wizard sought to create the polar opposite to the Fantastic Four. Enslaving Medusa again, he also recruited Blastaar and absconded with Bentley to form a new Frightful Four.[note 38] Creating a bizarre version of the Baxter Building in the Negative Zone, the Wizard transported the real building there as well. The replacement Fantastic Four and the Future Foundation then went on a rescue mission to free Bentley. Bentley turned against his own father helping the group free Medusa and incapacitated Blastaar. With his Frightful Four "family" defeated, the Wizard was turned over to Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans, for punishment.
Upon learning that the United States government had taken the Venom symbiote and bonded it to one of their Corporal Eugene Thompson, the Wizard sought to create the polar opposite by manipulating the symbiote wearing serial killer known as Carnage. The Wizard and Klaw took over a maximum security prison and incapacitated Carnage for their own use.[note 39] Bringing Carnage back to his hideout, the Wizard was surprised to find that its host, Cletus Kasady, was brain dead and therefor impossible to control with his mind control helmet. Seeking the assistance of criminal scientist Doctor Karl Malus, the Wizard failed in his attempts to control Carnage and instead opted to have the symbiote bond to Malus instead.[note 40]
With Malus/Carnage under his control, the Wizard and his new Frightful Four then set their sights on taking over New York City hall the first step Bentley's bid to take over the world, yet another attempt to win over his "son" Bentley-23. With their new "Superior" Carnage in tow, the Wizard and Klaw attacked city hall seeking to assassinate Mayor J. Jonah Jameson, only to find that Superior Spider-Man was waiting to stop them. During the course of the battle, the Wizard discovered that the Spider-Man he was fighting was not his regular foe, but Doctor Octopus, who had taken over Spider-Man's body. As the battle raged one, Wittman lost control of Carnage who then seemingly slew Klaw. The sudden blast of sound energy freed the Carnage symbiote from Malus' body, and it instead chose to bond itself to the Wizard himself.[note 41] The Wizard-Carnage battled Spider-Man until his minions could bring the body of Cletus Kasady to the battlefield. When presented with its original host, the Carnage symbiote left the Wizard and reunited with its original host. Carnage attempted to eat the Wizard as punishment for separating the symbiote from Cletus, but was quickly defeated by the disembodied Klaw. The Wizard was incarcerated once again, and upon medical examination it was determined that the symbiote healed the tumor growing in his brain.
The Fall of the Fantastic Four
Recently it was revealed that the so-called Quiet Man had apparently been manipulating the Fantastic Four and their foes for years due his obsession with the Invisible Woman and the perception that Mister Fantastic stole her from him during their college years. The full scope of these manipulations and how they might have affected the Frightful Four and its individual members over the years is as yet unexplained. However, the Quiet Man quickly began setting off a series of events that he hoped would ultimately discredit and destroy the Fantastic Four. This began with an army of creatures that invaded New York. This battle ended with the Human Torch losing his powers thanks to a device that Reed used to incapacitate the invaders. While the Fantastic Four were still reeling from this loss, the Quiet Man hired the Wizard to form new versions of the Frightful Four to attack the group. This first group of attackers consisted of members of the Wrecking Crew including the Wrecker, Thunderball, and Bulldozer. This incarnation of the Frightful Four was defeated thanks to the combined efforts of the Fantastic Four and their FF back-ups. However, as a result of the battle SHIELD took possession of the Baxter Building and custody of the Future Foundation children.
The Quiet Man then continued his campaign against the Fantastic Four, eventually framing the Thing for the murder of the Puppet Master. Found guilty the Thing was incarcerated at Ryker's Island. The Quiet Man also orchestrated events so that Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman began working for one of his alter-egos, the futurist John Eden. The Wizard was next dispatched to Chicago with a Frightful Four consisting of the female members of the Salem's Seven: Gazelle, Vertigo, and Reptilla. Mister Fantastic had to face off this group alone, and challenge due to the magical nature of their powers. However he defeated this new incarnation of the evil FF with the assistance of the Scarlet Witch. By this point the Quiet Man was reaching his end game, using his Avengers from Counter-Earth to capture Franklin Richards, the Wizard was charged with overseeing the manipulation of the boy's powers for a full out invasion of Earth. This reunited the Wizard with Bentley-23, whom he tried to convince to join the Quiet Man.
When the Quiet Man launched his invasion of mutated creatures all over Earth, Bentley-23 turned on his creator and helped free Franklin and the other members of the Future Foundation and escape. This act of rebellion actually impressed the Wizard, who gave his clone his blessing. Later, the Wizard recruited a new Frightful Four team consisting of She-Thing, Thundra, and the Sandman to assist in fighting the Quiet Man's invasion of Earth. Ultimately the Fantastic Four ended the Quiet Man's invasion once and for all.
Powers and Abilities
After temporarily fusing with the Carnage symbiote, he gained its superhuman strength, regeneration, shapeshifting, and other powers typical of its species. After being cured of the symbiote, he currently has none, and depends on his armor for power.
- Genius Intelligence: He is a genius-level inventor specializing in physics, sub-atomic particles and other dimensions.
Bentley Wittman suffers from a non-lethal nut allergy which includes, but is not limited to, peanuts. Consuming them has been shown to cause his face to swell.
Formerly, The Wizard suffered from a progressive mental illness which caused him blackouts and memory loss. However, this condition was cured once Wizard shortly bonded with the Carnage Symbiote.
- Wizard Armor: His powers are derived from the weapons and inventions incorporated into his battle-suit. The suit is slightly armored and can generate a force-field of considerable strength.
- Wonder Gloves: His power gloves enhance his strength, can fire energy blasts and project his "Typhoon Sphere" around a target (creates an area of buffeting winds and forces around a target). The gloves can also mimic the powers of the Fantastic Four. 
- Anti-Gravity Discs: also carried multiple of his world-renowned anti-grav discs or "Flight Discs", which allow him to fly, move objects and incapacitate his victims. 
- ID Machine: which he can use to brainwash and take over other people's minds.
- Anti-Gravity Airship: He sometimes uses an anti-gravity airship for transport.
- The Wizard early appearances a reprinted in various comics such as Marvel Tales.
- The Wizard hates marzipan.
- 204 appearance(s) of Bentley Wittman (Earth-616)
- 33 minor appearance(s) of Bentley Wittman (Earth-616)
- 19 mention(s) of Bentley Wittman (Earth-616)
- 136 image(s) of Bentley Wittman (Earth-616)
- 14 quotation(s) by or about Bentley Wittman (Earth-616)
- 4 item(s) used/owned by Bentley Wittman (Earth-616)