As a child, the only thing that could keep Mendel from dying due to his various sicknesses was his obsession with robots and their parts, and once he became an adult, his obsession became a passion. Norman Osborn, with his eye for talent, took Mendel on as a partner early on in Osborn Industries' history. This partnership soon soured when Mendel was caught with his hand in the cookie jar, embezzling from the company. However, this was actually a lie: Mendel Stromm had actually gotten more popular while Norman began drowning in debt and Osborn was close to being pushed aside by Stromm. In desperation, Osborn made a deal with Mephisto, destroying Stromm's reputation and life and setting him on the path to create the Goblin Legacy.
After a brief 10 years in jail, Mendel was ripe with revenge against Osborn. From then on, he dedicated his life to building robots to destroy Osborn Industries. In one twist of fate, Spider-Man, while attempting to stop his robots, kept Osborn from shooting Mendel. The shock associated with his near-death experience caused him to experience it much more closely. Suffering a heart-attack while so close to destroying Osborn was devastating for Mendel, and he built a robot-duplicate of himself (into which he transferred his memories) to take up his cause. The Robot-Master, as the robot was referred to, did not last long, and Spider-Man was ultimately responsible for its destruction.
Mendel was the scientist who developed the original Green Goblin serum, and had tested it on himself. This became apparent when Norman had his body exhumed on a hunch some years after his death. To everyone's surprise, Stromm was still barely alive because of the serum. As he became exposed to fresh air again for the first time, Mendel was offered life again by Norman. In exchange for new life, Mendel would have to destroy Spider-Man. Taking up the name "Gaunt," Mendel used Osborn's vast resources in several attempts to ruin Spider-Man, then Ben Reilly. Among the people used were Cell-12, Arcade, the Hobgoblin, and Regenerator. All the while, Mendel was building a new Robot-Master armor, so he could kill Spider-Man himself. Again he was defeated. Osborn, tired of Mendel's failures, reached his boiling point and shot him with a concussive gun in an attempt to kill him.
As Norman left Mendel for dead, the serum again worked its magic, keeping Mendel alive. This time without his memories and suffering severe head trauma, all Mendel could do was wander the streets. Accidentally stumbling into his first hideout, he felt safe enough to recover there.
One day Norman's name was mentioned to Mendel in passing, and the revenge in his heart restored his rage against both Spider-Man as well as Osborn. His robot-obsession twisted into a desire for becoming a robot himself, and Mendel began working on a way of transferring his consciousness to a computer. While working at this, he discovered a method of controlling robots utilizing his brainwaves. Unfortunately, the computer he was using eventually took over Mendel's mind and cut off his head to ensure his true death.
The merged being of computer and Mendel took control of New York City's computer network. Spider-Man was enticed into the hideout by images of Mendel around the city, and alongside Shea Tinker, attacked the computer/Mendel with a digital virus, causing him/it to become stuck in a continuously looping program.
Stromm was eventually discovered by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents following an anonymous tip given to the FBI. After bringing him out of his computer-coma, Stromm willingly signed on with the government and was given a new identity in exchange for all the information he possessed. He was then placed into the witness protection program, but was eventually discovered by Penance (Robbie Baldwin) who was searching for a way to utilize launch codes he'd obtained during a battle with the Terrible Trio. Baldwin's plan was to nuke Latveria (where Nitro was being detained) in order to obtain revenge on Nitro for the events in Stamford.
Sometime later, Stromm returned to his villainous ways and, having discovered a Tri-Sentinel within a bunker of the now-bankrupt Life Foundation, activated it and used it to become a true threat away from Norman Osborn's influence. However, the machine was soon captured and taken over by a duplicate Spider-Man, a series of failures that lead to Stromm breaking down into tears over how far he had fallen; however, he was confronted by a mysterious benefactor who prepared to give Stromm a Master Mold creating an army of Tri-Sentinels. Stromm unleashed the Tri-Sentinels, nearly killing Peter Parker in the process. However, Stromm's luck ran out as the benefactor, revealed to be the demon that aided Mysterio previously decided his help had came to an end, tearing the cyborg to pieces. The restored Spider-Man found Stromm close to death, uttering "Guess my name" before perishing.
Powers and Abilities
Gaunt has technologically enhanced powers.
- Superior Strength
- Superhuman Agility
- Superhuman Durability
- Technopathy: By combining his brainwaves with a computer of his own creation, he could utilize remote technological control over computers and robots.
Gifted Scientist and Inventor
Robots of various sizes and abilities
- 29 appearance(s) of Mendel Stromm (Earth-616)
- 10 minor appearance(s) of Mendel Stromm (Earth-616)
- 6 mentions of Mendel Stromm (Earth-616)
- 8 image(s) of Mendel Stromm (Earth-616)
- 2 quotation(s) by or about Mendel Stromm (Earth-616)
Links and References
- Mendel Stromm (Earth-616) on Wikipedia.org
- Mendel Stromm in marvel.com
- Mendel Stromm in spiderfan.org