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Ephraim Soles was a prospector, scavenger and occasional thief who made his living in the deserts of New Mexico. At one point, Ephraim entered the grounds of an abandoned military base and located plant life within the base and used it to cook his meal. He was not aware the grounds had been used to test gamma-bombs. He He later reached the Defenders' headquarters at Elijah, New Mexico. The Defenders took him in and offered him clothes and a place to spend the night. He was within the headquarters when the radioactive plants he had eaten earlier resulted in a great transformation that mutated into a plant-like gamma creature. Theorizing the plant creature needed moisture to survive, Iceman used his powers to remove all available moisture from the vicinity of Ephraim, causing him finally collapse and die. Some time later, spores left over from the creature were blown away by the wind, resulting in new mutations.[1]

Some of the spores infected alfalfa sprouts that were later eaten by Chris Larmouth, who worked at the Defenders Mansion, was infected. He was engulfed in mutated plant tendrils. The mutation was halted with Iceman froze Larmouth in ice. Other spores began spreading and engulfing everything in their path. It wasn't long before they transformed into a massive green blob with no apparent weaknesses. Beast eventually realized radiation was the culprit after studying Larmouth. The blob was eventually destroyed when Gargoyle zapped them with bio-electricity.[2]

Larmouth was kept frozen to prevent the spores from taking over his body[3] until he was cured by Moondragon using the power of the Beyonder.[3]

Powers

By drawing moisture from the air, Ephraim could transform into a beast-like gamma creature and later a fully plant-like creature. In both forms, Ephraim possessed superhuman strength, regenerative healing, multiple tendrils and a resistance to telepathy, ice, and bio-electricity.[1] After transforming into spores, he had the power to affect anything and everything in sight and became a formless blob with no physical weaknesses as well retained the ability to absorb moisture and regenerate from damage. He also could form tendrils with superhuman strength.[2]


Weaknesses

In his monster form, Ephraim had an extreme aversion to heat.


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