Dr. Franklin Hall was a scientist working at a private physics research facility called Research City in the Canadian Rockies on a practical teleportation device. In the midst of an experiment, Hall attempted to align a set of matrices and induce teleportation, but only succeeded in overloading the power handling capacity of his equipment, causing an explosion that intermingled his molecules with the sub-nuclear graviton particles that were being generated in a nearby series of companion particle accelerators. Recovering from the accident, Hall discovered that he could mentally control gravity. At first he tried to hide his vast powers, believing he would be shunned as a freak of nature, but the urge to use them was too great to resist, and soon Hall used his abilities openly. To his pleasure, people began to fear him, and he started to take whatever and whomever he desired.
Eventually Hall, a man of great ambition, designed a costume, and began to call himself Graviton, taking over the research facility, and forbidding all communications with the outside world. Realizing the danger, one of Graviton's former colleagues, a young man named Joe, managed to send a distress signal to the Avengers in New York. Furious, Graviton used his power to lift the facility several thousands of feet into the sky before threatening to 'make an example' of Joe by crushing his body. Joe was only saved when his wife Judy Parks, the unwilling object of Graviton's affections, used her influence with Graviton to make him stop his torture. During Graviton's attempts to court Judy, the Avengers tried to rescue the facility. Despite their best efforts, the team quickly discovered that they were no match for the new master of gravity, who was full of confidence in his vast powers and wielded them with great skill.
With the Avengers as his prisoners, Graviton brought Research City to a halt over New York itself, were he engaged in a titanic battle with Iron Man and Thor. In the fury of battle, Graviton was tricked into thinking that Judy had committed suicide, and angrily unleashed sufficient power to cause the matter of the sky-borne laboratory to collapse inwardly around him. The matter of the facility was infused with the atoms of his body for a time, giving his new 60-foot form a massive gravitational field. Eventually, however, he was able to separate his organic atoms from the atoms of the land mass he had merged with.
Suffering from amnesia and flickering in and out of existence, Graviton attempted to abduct Judy but was stopped by the Thing and Black Bolt. Graviton told them he was becoming a "living black hole" and grew to 50ft in height. Graviton was then attacked until he lost concentration, and then apparently imploded and is considered dead. Graviton was able to reform his body, and decided to seek a bride. Elevating a Bloomingdale's store into the air, he took several women hostage until he was defeated by Thor. Thor then transported Graviton to an alternate dimension.
Graviton was able to return when an anomaly opened a portal to Earth. Setting up a base of operations in Los Angeles, Graviton attempted to unite all of its criminal mobs under his leadership, but was thwarted in the attempt by the West Coast Avengers. Graviton was placed in police custody, under heavy sedation to prevent him from using his power.
On a giant boulder, Graviton reminisced about how the Avengers West Coast banished him there. He noticed a large "gravitational anomaly" in New York City and decided to investigate. Graviton observed a demon invasion and got ambushed by the Thing and Ms. Marvel. Graviton used his gravitational powers to fend off the attack and push them into the ground. The Human Torch showed up, but Graviton created a vacuum to forced him to flame off. Graviton then made Ms. Marvel and the Thing try to crush Johnny and finished the job by crushing all three with a building. The Thing and Ms. Marvel push away from each other to stop themselves from crushing Johnny, who woke up and used his flame to burn his way out of the building's ruins. Once again the Human Torch faced Graviton, but this time the Torch pushed his flame to a higher level, drawing in air to create a gale of fire. Graviton prepared to run, but the Thing emerged from the ruins and knocked him down.
Hall again returned to battle the Avengers in revenge, but during the battle the Avenger Vision merged his intangible android body with Hall's, then increased his density, causing Hall's to collapse in on itself. Hall was thus shunted from reality, finding himself in another dimension. The natives of the dimension, which Hall named the P'Tah, hailed his arrival as one of a god's, and Hall used this to his advantage, although their limited intelligence soon left him frustrated. Using his scientific abilities, he constructed a beacon so that someone might find and rescue him.
After many months, Hall's signal was noticed by the villain Techno, who at the time was working with the evil Baron Zemo. At Zemo's direction, Techno reconfigured a robotic version of the monster known as the Hulk, and Zemo set the robot Hulk against his former lackeys, now the hero team Thunderbolts, who fought against the machine. The battle allowed the robot to siphon and store enough energy to breach the dimensional barriers and release Hall. Not caring about the particulars of his rescue, Hall lashed out at the Thunderbolts and the Great Lakes Avengers (then, the Lightning Rods) who were on the scene. He was about to kill them all when the Thunderbolt Moonstone convinced Hall that his power and ambition meant nothing if he had no goals. Losing face, Hall left the scene to think about this fact.
Hall soon returned, commanding a large mass of floating land and declaring himself ruler of a new nation, Sky Island. He recruited his subjects, dubbed Sky Raiders, and a harem in return for granting them the power to defy gravity, and they began to loot and pillage San Francisco, California. He was again opposed by the Thunderbolts with their ally, the mutant hero Archangel, and he summarily defeated them. They were freed by the Thunderbolt Jolt, who borrowed technology derived from Machine Man, whose flight capabilities were powered by "canceling out the gravity equation."
Now unaffected by Hall's power, the Thunderbolts escaped and continued to battle, ultimately canceling out Hall's access to his power. When Hall regained his power, gravitational force rushed inward, collapsing inward on himself once again. Hall was shunted to another dimension once again. There, Hall was rescued by a mysterious stranger, a representative of the P'tah known as M'Reel, and both came to Earth. M'Reel encouraged Hall to begin discovering his true calling, and Hall recruited Moonstone of the Thunderbolts for help, still spurred by her accusations of thinking too small. Moonstone helped Hall to further refine his godlike power and fueled his ego, thinking that by so doing, she would be better able to manipulate him for her own ends. Instead, Hall embarked on an ambitious plan to capture every major world city, hold the world's heroes captive, and literally reshape the planet in his own image.
Also bent on revenge, Hall confronted the headquarters of the Thunderbolts, although the team at this time had disbanded and been replaced by the Redeemers. The Redeemers opposed Hall and were killed, except for the Fixer, who joined Moonstone alongside Hall, and Citizen V, who recruited the remaining Thunderbolts to confront Hall. Through a mixture of surprise tactics and negotiation, all of the Thunderbolts managed to fight Hall to a standstill, and Hall sustained fatal injuries as a result. At this time, Fixer discovered M'Reel was surreptitiously using Hall's ambient energies, funneling them in order to open a portal to the P'Tah's dimension. M'Reel succeeded in opening the portal, revealing this to be his motives in helping Hall. The Thunderbolts fought back the P'Tah invasion, but it took Hall's dying effort to cause the portal to implode, sending himself and the P'Tah back. At the same time, Hall attempted to save the Thunderbolts from a similar fate, using his powers to send them to the planet known as Counter-Earth.
Graviton tried to escape from the Raft prison facility. The New Avengers arrived on the scene and engaged Graviton in combat. Spider-Man was injured by Graviton's attack, but Iron Man arrived and unleashed an excessive amount of energy from his chest-beam against Graviton. Captain America had to pull Iron Man back less he accidentally kill him.
After fighting Iron Man again, he was framed for murder by Paragon. He used his powers to trigger an aneurysm in his brain seemingly killing himself, concluding that he would never receive a fair trial and wanting to end things on his terms.
Months later, Graviton was offered the position of Minister of Science in A.I.M.'s new High Council after the organization became public. Not long after that, Graviton was captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. and placed in a clandestine super-prison named Pleasant Hill, where the sentient Cosmic Cube named Kobik turned him into a mild-mannered chef named Howie Howardson. Following a massive break-out from Pleasant Hill, Graviton was approached by Baron Zemo to join the Army of Evil, a congregation of supervillains that had been prisoners of Pleasant Hill.
When Hydra employed the powers of Kobik, its reality-warping effects were particularly felt by Graviton due to his abilities. This brush with the Cosmic Cube drove Hall insane, and prompted him to attack the Avengers Unity Divison on a whim, in order to show how the universe and its occurrences were random beyond comprehension, and how futile and meaningless living actually was. Graviton initially subdued the heroes, but his hold was interrupted by a psychic attack from Synapse, giving the Avengers a chance to fight back. When Graviton was occupied crushing down Rogue, the Scarlet Witch attacked him from behind, allowing Rogue to break free from Graviton's powers and get close enough to kiss him, using her powers to temporarily steal his powers and knock him unconscious. Rogue also absorbed Franklin's memories and madness, driving her insane until Synapse calmed her down.
Powers and Abilities
Gravitikinesis:: Graviton possesses the ability to mentally manipulate gravitons (that carry the attractive, gravitational force between atomic nuclei), enabling him to control gravity. He can surround any object or person including himself with gravitons and anti-gravitons (particles similar to gravitons but with opposite charge and spin), thus increasing or decreasing the Earth's pull of gravity upon it.
- Graviton Manipulation: Graviton can exert his gravitational control over a maximum distance of 2.36 miles from his body. Thus, the maximum volume of matter he could influence at once is 55.0585 cubic miles. He once exercised this control by lifting into the air an inverted conic frustum-shaped land mass whose uppermost area was 4 miles across, and causing it to fly as though it were a dirigible. He can also erect a gravitational force-field of similar proportions. (Graviton can perform as many as four separate tasks simultaneously. (He has not only lifted a 4 mile wide land mass as high as cloud level, but he has also surrounded himself with a force-field, gyrokinetically held most of the Avengers against a slab of rock, and projected force-bolts at Thor all at the same time). Graviton can use his power at maximum capacity for up to eight hours before mental fatigue significantly impairs his performance, and considerably longer (up to eighteen hours) if he conserves his energy during that time.
- Flight: By decreasing the pull of gravity beneath him, he can fly at any speed or height at which he can still breathe. However by using his force field generation he can also breathe in space.
- Movement Impairment: By increasing the pull of gravity beneath his opponents, he can pin them to the ground, having made them too heavy to move, or cause sufficient gravitational stress to impair the normal functioning of the human cardiovascular system.
- Graviton Attraction: He can also cause an inanimate object (such as a 1-foot diameter rock) to radiate enough gravitons to give it its own gravitational field, able to attract nearby matter and energy.
- Graviton Blast: By rapidly projecting gravitons in a cohesive beam, he can generate a force blast with a maximum concussive force equivalent to the primary shock wave of an explosion of 20,000 pounds of TNT. If concentrated enough Graviton can exert this power to level a whole city.
- Force Field Generation: He can also create a gravitational force field around him capable of protecting him from any concussive force up to and including a small nuclear weapon.
Graviton is an experienced physicist.
Graviton possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in minimal regular exercise. Although he has never displayed this ability, he could probably increase his strength to superhuman levels by utilizing his gravikinetic powers.
Nihilist Insanity: When Graviton sensed a planetary-level of reality-warping caused by a Cosmic Cube, he was driven mad. Believing that the universe was ruled purely by chance, he claimed life was futile and had no meaning. This has prompted him to attack the Avengers Unity Division simply because he could.
- Captain America has quoted Moonstone as assessing him as 'a frightened little man whose vanity and insecurity doom him to perpetual failure'.
- 67 appearance(s) of Franklin Hall (Earth-616)
- 7 minor appearance(s) of Franklin Hall (Earth-616)
- 11 mention(s) of Franklin Hall (Earth-616)
- 37 image(s) of Franklin Hall (Earth-616)
- 1 quotation(s) by or about Franklin Hall (Earth-616)
- 3 victim(s) killed by Franklin Hall (Earth-616)