Circus of Crime

Eliot Franklin was born in Orlando, Florida, the son of a man named Corky. When he began his criminal career, he joined the Ringmaster's Circus of Crime, working as a circus clown, comedian, juggler, and unicyclist. Their first major crime spree involved the Ringmaster hypnotizing entire towns while Clown and the rest of the troupe robbed everyone of their wealth, they attempted this on Rick Jones but he summoned the Hulk through a mental link they shared. Upon his arrival, the Clown and others managed to subdue the Hulk and chain him up until he broke free as the FBI arrived to arrest Clown and the circus. [1]

Eliot Franklin (Clown) (Earth-616) from Incredible Hulk Vol 1 471 0001

Franklin as the Clown

When the Circus of Crime acted independently of the Ringmaster, the Clown often served as the leader[2]. For a time he broke from the Circus, setting himself up as a professional hitman, and clashing with Deathlok when he tried to kill his former friend the Ringmaster (who had reinvented himself as a political candidate).

Gamma Corps

Eliot Franklin

As Griffin

Later the Clown underwent Gamma mutation to become the Gamma Corps' Griffin.

Griffin and the rest of the Gamma Corps were attacked by a haywire Hulk A.I., who wanted to kill them as part of the plan of the original Hulk to neutralize every Gamma-powered mutate from the Earth, even though the original Hulk's plan didn't include lethal force. After following the haywire A.I. to Fort Knox, Hulk saved the Gamma Corps from their deaths, but later stripped them of their powers.[3]



Expert juggler & unicyclist. Marksman.


Formerly a unicycle


As the Clown, he used a gas-emitting cane and juggling implements

Griffin's powers mimic those of the Harpy (Betty Ross and Marlo Chandler)

  • For a brief period of time, Franklin was known as the "Funny Man". [4]

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