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Emil Burbank was a man with many aliases and possibly the greatest intellect on the planet. He had doctoral degrees in biology, chemistry, metallurgy, psychology, economics, and literature from three different universities. As a child, Emil was noted for malicious and homicidal retribution against those he feels have wronged him, having a group of teenagers who bullied him killed in a building fire he started. Emil also sexually abused his older sister after drugging her unconscious with chemical compounds, eventually leaving her in a permanent catatonic state. At 18, his parents died in a car accident, which he arranged to collect on their life insurance and boasts about even while trying to say it was an accident. Emil also killed a professor who accused him of cheating in a fire he started.[1]

Working For the US Government

After identifying himself and agreeing to work for the government, General Alexander sent Emil, Nuke, Arcanna, and Shape to apprehend or destroy Hyperion. While fighting Hyperion, Arcanna's quantum powers, Nuke's radioactive blast, and Hyperion's flash vision combine to create an effect that sent them all to an alternate reality, where Hyperion and most of the other heroes waged war against Earth's governments, to "save" humanity. However, the "alternate" reality was actually the same reality, only years in the future. Emil and Hyperion were the only two members of the Squadron Supreme aware of this information after the five were returned to the correct time stream.[2]

Squadron Supreme

Emil was to be on the covert operations team after Hyperion's return to America, but after Mark informed Jason Scott of the project and gave him a list of the super-humans working for the government, the U.S. President gave a press conference and announced the formation of the Squadron Supreme.[3] The team was sent to Uganda to apprehend John M'Butu, a fast-rising tribal leader gifted with a powerful verbal suggestion ability, who called himself the Voice. Burbank revealed that he has developed countermeasures to defend himself from everyone on his team, except for Hyperion and Doctor Spectrum. Before Amphibian attacked him, he attempted to defeat her with a powder he designed to kill her by suffocation.[4]

On a mission code-named "Long Walk", to take down insurgents of the Ilam Province in Iran, Emil developed technology that disrupted the functioning of the inner ear, incapacitating the soldiers, who Emil then proceeded to shoot. After Inertia found a little girl, using Emil Burbank as a translator, Edith learned that the girl's relatives had the girl's mother stoned to death for being raped, a perceived dishonor in their culture. So, Inertia had them buried them up to their necks. She then gave the girl a steel bar with which to kill them. After "Long Walk", Emil Burbank was at the conference to act as a bodyguard.[5]

After observing how Emil managed to incapacitate Amphibian and revealed he had plans for detaining all the members of the Squadron except Hyperion and Dr. Spectrum, the government coordinators of the team commissioned Emil to secretly create plans to neutralize superhuman threats and members of the Squadron should the need arise under penalty of death.[6] Nighthawk stole one of Emil's inventions to effectively fight against Hyperion at a later point.

Ultimate Power

Emil later appeared again as the one responsible behind the tens of millions of deaths in Washington D.C. as a result of a massive alien organism covering the country. Emil admitted the Defense Department of his Earth's Pentagon approached him to develop a weapon to kill Hyperion, who Emil had grown to hate out of envy for the public adoring his power over Emil's intellect. The alien organism raging across the country was the result, with the alternate universe probes of Reed Richards of Earth-1610 serving as a scapegoat to eliminate the trail to the Defense Department. After the Squadron Supreme captured Reed thinking he was the perpetrator, Emil revealed himself as the culprit to Reed before knocking him out with an odorless gas. Previously feigning unconsciousness, Reed managed to take Burbank hostage and demanded Burbank to reveal the truth to the world. Emil was imprisoned for his crimes after managing to get rid of the alien organism.

Squadron Supreme Return

Emil later returns again working with Nick Fury and managed to get secret amnesty for his crimes after helping coordinate an aerospace lunar mission of Icarus One and joined Fury in an attempt to find out what happened to the mission's crew. The two along with Arcanna manged to find the crew in an Air Force facility and release them before the crew decided to escape, putting Emil in a coma in the process. Emil later awakened from his coma and wore a mask to hide a scar he perceived that he received (later revealed to never have been present) during the Icarus crew escape attempt and went about helping Fury collect superhuman candidates to form his new SHIELD organization while also planning revenge against the Icarus One crew for damaging him. When Hyperion returned to Earth after disappearing for five years to stage a takeover of the United States, Emil planned to have his own team of metahumans kill whoever was left standing after Hyperion's team and Nick Fury's metahuman squad destroyed each other, unaware his own members were planning to betray him. Emil and his team confronted Hyperion who killed the traitorous members of Emil's group and mocked him for being consumed by envy. Emil then joined Fury to get revenge on Hyperion once and for all using Fury's new ship, but the ship created a reaction wave which robbed nearly everyone on Earth of the powers granted to them by the retrovirus Hyperion brought to Earth. Emil was then taken away before screaming in anguish that he permanently lost his superhuman intellect.

Final Incursion

If Emil was alive at the time, Emil was likely killed when the Cabal invaded his world and destroyed it during an Incursion in order to preserve their own world.[7]



Superhuman Intelligence: Emil was described as a genius of incalculable intelligence. Even though Emil's enhanced intellect is a direct result of the retro-virus, Emil denies it, insisting that his genius is his own doing. The military tested him for the retro-virus and its presence led them to recruit him. Immense intellect in humans is not unknown in history, such examples being Archimedes, Leonardo Da Vinci and Buckminster Fuller, but not to the extremes that Emil exhibits. He's often been referred to as "The World's Smartest Man" by many others including himself, and has demonstrated levels of inventiveness and planning that far surpass conventional intellectuals.


Though not displaying any physical super powers, Emil demonstrates that he can defend himself in combat situations by the use of certain types of technology[8] As well as English, Emil is able to speak fluent Farsi.[9] He might know other languages.


  • Emil Burbank was created as a pastiche of DC Comics' Lex Luthor.

See Also

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