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Quote1 The only thing worse than hating a Yancy Streeter is havin' to be grateful to one! Quote2
--The Thing

Appearing in "The Mysterious Molecule Man!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #20.

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Synopsis for "The Mysterious Molecule Man!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #20.
Fantastic Four Vol 1 20 Title
After examining an asteroid with proof of organic life in space, the Fantastic Four investigate a strange fireball that has appeared in the streets.
Owen Reece (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 20 002
Sucked into it, they find it's a device belonging to the Watcher. Inside, the Watcher tells the Fantastic Four of a man who was exposed to a nuclear accident which transformed him into the Molecule Man.[Continuity 1] Warning of the potential danger of the Molecule Man's molecule altering abilities, the Watcher sends out the FF to stop him.[Continuity 2]


In their initial conflict, the FF seem unable to defeat him and each attempt to stop the Molecule Man is met with failure. Fed up with the FF's interference, the Molecule Man erects a glass dome around Manhattan and demands that the people of the city help him capture the FF.

Owen Reece (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 20 004

Reed eventually realizes that the Molecule Man's powers don't seem to have any effect on organic material and so they lay a trap in which they pose as statues in Alicia's apartment, while Alicia alerts the Molecule Man of their location.[Continuity 3] When the Molecule Man's powers fail to affect the FF, they are able to knock his wand -- the focal point of his power -- out of his hands and keep it away from him long enough for the Watcher to arrive and take the Molecule Man away. The Watcher takes the Molecule Man to an alternate dimension where time travels faster so that he would age soon and die.

Appearing in "The Uncanny Unicorn"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales of Suspense #56.

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Synopsis for "The Uncanny Unicorn"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales of Suspense #56.

Lamenting about the state of his life, Iron Man trashes his lab in a fit of rage. He decides to stop being Iron Man and to spend what's left of his life focused on his millonaire playboy lifestyle. Tony starts arranging a date when the Avengers call Stark Industries looking for Iron Man to deal with a new threat that they were too busy to handle. However, Stark simply tells them that Iron Man was sent away for "a long vacation."

This threat was a new villain named the Unicorn, who attacked Stark Industries a moment after the Avengers had called. Meanwhile, Tony Stark is out on a date with a girl named Pamela. The Unicorn starts wreaking havoc on the plant, and in light of both Iron Man's and Stark's absence, Happy Hogan tries to fight off the villain. The villain proves to be a strong opponent, and beats Happy up. Pepper tries to call for help, but the Unicorn had ripped out the phone cables. Once he knocks out Happy, the Unicorn hears Pepper's scream, and kidnaps her, hoping that will lure Iron Man to him.

After the villain escapes, Happy is hospitalized. Tony Stark is notified of the events and leaves for the hospital, but Happy can't have visitors. Meanwhile, the Unicorn has taken Pepper to a private estate on the shore of Long Island, and tells her his origin.

The Unicorn had trained for years behind the Iron Courtain, mastering a costume with a power horn that had been built by the original Crimson Dynamo before his defection. The horn allows the Unicorn to repel objects with ease, project energy rays, and even shield himself from harm's way.

Back in Stark Industries, Tony Stark is scolding himself for having been so selfish. He suits up with his Iron Man armor and uses a black light add-on to track down the Unicorn's energy signature to his hideout. He crashes through the house's wall and confronts the Unicorn. Before the villain can activate his power horn, Iron Man dive-kicks him. But as soon as he recovers, the Unicorn strikes back with his bolt-ray. Using his own ray, Iron Man knocks out the Unicorn and flees with Pepper.

Iron Man doesn't suspect that the Unicorn has his own jet-assisted flight, and the criminal follows him to Stark Industries. Once the villain gets to the factory, he places a time-bomb with enough charge to blow up the entire plant. The Unicorn subsequently calls out Iron Man, and informs him of the bomb that will explode in fifteen minutes. The only way for Iron Man to prevent that would be to surrender himself, and let the Unicorn take him to the Soviet Union. Iron Man tries to find the bomb using his suit's sensors, but there's too much background noise to track it down. Tony decides that he can't jeopardize the lives of Pepper and the other employees, and surrenders with only sixty seconds left. The Unicorn recovers the explosive and disarms it.

Minutes later, they take off in the Unicorn's plane. When the Unicorn gloats that he has defeated Iron Man by making him keep a promise that he can't break, the Golden Avenger reminds him that his promise only involved surrendering and letting the Unicorn take him on a plane bound for his homeland. Whatever happened after that was not arranged. Iron Man starts tearing up the plane, causing it to plummet to the ground. Iron Man catches a glance of the three Soviet agents that jump from the plane, and wonders if the Unicorn had taken off and disguised himself as one of his assistants. The villain had instead escaped using his flight ability.

The next day, after the Soviet agents have been imprisoned, Tony arrives at Stark Industries and Pepper informs him that Happy is off the critical list. They visit him, and Pepper is particularly attentive toward Happy. Tony wonders whether she has grown fond of Happy, or if she's trying to make him jealous. Tony ultimately concludes that Pepper is better off with Happy, considering that he himself can't lead a normal life.

Appearing in "The Challenge of Loki!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Strange Tales #123.

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Synopsis for "The Challenge of Loki!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Strange Tales #123.

In order to get control of Thor's hammer, Loki tricks Doctor Strange into believing that Loki is a helpless prisoner of the "evil" Thor, and the only way to free him is by gaining control of Thor's hammer. Using a spell to draw Thor's hammer to him, Loki reveals his ruse before the hammer can get to them. Canceling the spell and having Thor track its path to his Sanctum, Doctor Strange attempts to fight off Loki. Loki proves to be more adept at magic than Strange; however, Loki is forced to retreat when he sees that Thor is on his way. With Loki gone, Thor continues on his merry way, unaware of the plot against him that almost succeeded.

Appearing in "The Hulk"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Incredible Hulk #1.

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  • Soviet version of X-15

Synopsis for "The Hulk"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Incredible Hulk #1.

Part 1: The Coming of the Hulk

At an Army base in the desert, Doctor Bruce Banner is readying the first test of his invention, the G-Bomb. General "Thunderbolt" Ross wants to know why Banner keeps delaying the test. His daughter Betty tries to calm him down, with little success. Banner tells Ross that the final countdown has begun. His assistant, Igor, demands that Banner share his work so that someone may check his calculations. "I don't make errors, Igor," says Bruce, and, when Igor threatens him, "You know how I detest men who think with their fists."

Banner takes a last look at the bomb with binoculars. He notices a teenage boy in a car, tells Igor to halt the countdown, and hurries after the boy in a jeep. Igor, who supposedly defected to the U.S. from the Soviet Union, is a spy and decides not to stop the countdown so that America will lose its greatest nuclear physicist. Banner gets the boy into a trench, but, before he can jump in himself, the G-Bomb explodes! Gamma rays saturate Banner's body.

Bruce Banner (Earth-616) from Incredible Hulk Vol 1 1 002

Birth of the Hulk

Hours later, Banner regains his senses. The boy, Rick Jones, who drove onto the base on a dare, brought him back to base. Banner waits for some kind of symptoms to appear. When night falls, Jones turns on a "radio," actually a Geiger counter. Its clicking increases, and Banner changes into a huge grey figure. "Get out of my way, insect," says the figure, shoving Jones aside. He pushes through the wall, wrecks a jeep full of soldiers when it hits him, and wanders off to hide. Jones follows.

Part 2: The Hulk Strikes!

Bruce Banner (Earth-616) from Incredible Hulk Vol 1 1 003

The thing that was once Banner, with Jones trailing him, sneaks past the soldiers trying to find him and finds Banner's cabin. Inside, Igor is trying to find Banner's notes. He shoots at the Hulk, without effect. The Hulk takes away his gun and crumples it with one hand. He picks up Igor and slams him down on a lab bench. Jones notices a folder taped to the bottom of a large beaker, labeled "Top Secret: Report on Gamma Ray Bomb," and takes it. The Hulk picks up a photo of Banner and says, "I—I know that face!! But it is weak—soft!! I hate it! Take it away!" Jones reminds him that he is Banner. The Hulk briefly remembers what happened, then says, "I don't need you! I don't need anybody! With my strength—my power—the world is mine! As for you—you are the only one who knows who I really am!" He advances on Jones. The sun comes up at that moment, and the Hulk changes back into Banner.

Part 3: The Search for the Hulk

The MPs storm in, arrest Igor, ask Banner about the Hulk, take the folder, and leave. Betty comes to apologize for her father's outburst and tells him he should get medical attention. Banner says he'll call her and shows her out. He tells Jones that he's afraid he will change again at sunset.

Part 4: Enter... the Gargoyle!

In his cell, Igor uses a transmitter overlaid on his thumbnail. The message finds its way to the Gargoyle, a deformed Soviet scientist and secret agent, who travels by submarine and short-range missile to the desert. Banner and Jones take a jeep out into the desert before night falls, in case he changes again. He does change, and the Hulk wrecks the jeep. He recognizes the area near Ross's house and decides to visit Betty. At the same time, Betty decides to take a walk. She encounters the Hulk and faints in his arms. The Gargoyle appears.

Part 5: The Hulk Triumphant!

The Gargoyle shoots the Hulk and Jones with drug-filled bullets, making them like robots. They follow him to a truck, whose driver also gets shot. Ross finds Betty, who was frightened by her encounter but says, "In spite of everything, there was something... something sad about him!! Almost as though he was seeking... help!" Ross says, "If it takes an eternity, I'll find that monster!"

The Gargoyle and his captives reach a sub on the coast and get into a jet. As they streak towards the USSR, the sun rises on the Hulk, who changes back into Banner. Upon landing, the Gargoyle is astounded to find a man instead of a monster. He begins to cry, because he wants to be normal too. Banner treats him with radiation, which makes him look normal but takes away his super intelligence. The man who was once the Gargoyle realizes how the state has used him, so he puts Banner and Jones on a jet for home and blows up his base along with himself.

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. Fantastic Four #319 reveals that the accident that created the Molecule Man interrupted the process of the creation of a Cosmic Cube by the enigmatic Beyonders making the Molecule Man an imperfect portion of the Cube's energies. The other portion was in another dimension. Per Secret Wars II #6 the accident created a pin-prick in reality that allowed the other portion of energy to view the Earth-616 universe. This allowed it to gain sentience, eventually becoming the god-like being known as the Beyonder. However these facts have been called into question by the events of New Avengers: Illuminati Vol 2 #3, which has stated that the Beyonder is really a mutant Inhuman. However this might have been a deception on the part of the Beyonder.
  2. It was later revealed in New Avengers Vol 2 #33-34 that Owen's powers were actually planned by the Beyonders as a catalyst to destroying the multiverse when they finally grew bored with creation, suggesting that all other explanations for his powers were deceptions.
  3. It is later revealed in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11 the reason the Molecule Man initially had to focus his powers through his wand and was limited to control over inorganic matter was due to a low-self esteem creating these perceived limitations.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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