When the Super-Soldier Project was first begun during WWII, there was a special meeting between President Roosevelt, top members of the War Department and various scientists. One of the scientists, Professor Schumann, feared that once an army of super-soldiers won the war, they would return home and take over America. Schumann suggested the creation of a special robot, TESS (Total Elimination of Super-Soldiers), that would be built to neutralize super-soldiers. F.D.R. went ahead and okayed the suggested project.
Unfortunately, the only man who knew how to create super-soldiers, Professor Erskine, was killed after creating only one super-soldier, Steve Rogers (Captain America). Now useless, the TESS project funds were cut off, and Schumann was ordered to destroy his work. Instead, the paranoid Schumann took his work to his home somewhere in the Midwest. He completed building the robot, and programmed it to kill Captain America. Schumann eventually died, and left the robot in a bomb shelter underneath his house. 
Years later, a retired agent of espionage organization SHIELD, Richard Rennselaer, somehow found out about Schumann's robot. Rennsaeler was a mutant that could mentally control machines. Rennsaeler's son, Johnny, had been afflicted with "Nuclear Psychosis," causing the boy to totally withdraw from reality. The psychosis was caused by the knowledge of the possibility of nuclear war and its effects. The desperate Rennsaeler decided to use his powers to control Schumann's robot and make sure that the possibility of nuclear war was eliminated. He mentally activated the robot, and made it come to him. The robot left the underground bomb shelter, which was now located underneath the parking lot of a Kwikkie Burger. No one saw the robot leave, but everyone noticed the hole in the parking lot the next morning. Two men went down to investigate, but didn't come back up. Captain America's computer information network, Stars and Stripes, informed him about the apparent cave-in and the missing people. Captain America investigated and found the two men unconscious, knocked out by phosgene gas. Captain America rescued the men and then continued to explore the bomb shelter. After avoiding a few more death traps, Captain America discovered the room where the robot had been kept. From clues in the room, Captain America deduced that the room must have once contained a large robot. Captain America found out that the land had once belonged to a retired government man, named Schumann. Captain America then asked all the members of his Stars and Stripes network to be on the lookout for a large robot.
Meanwhile, near Salem Center, New York, the X-Man known as Wolverine encountered Bob Frank, who was attacked by the patrons of a bar that Wolverine was at. Bob Frank had once been the super-powered mutant known as Nuklo, the son of the WWII hero, the Whizzer. Frank easily defeated the drunken men and wandered away from the bar. A curious Wolverine followed Frank through the woods. Nearby, Rennsaeler, who now called himself Overrider, was preparing to hijack a semi-truck. He briefly lost control of Schumann's robot, which he called TESS. The wandering robot encountered Bob Frank and attacked him for some reason. Wolverine intervened and saved Frank, but the robot got away. 
Overrider gained control over TESS again, and hijacked a truck going to Adametco Metallurgy. Arriving at the company, Overrider forced some worker to coat TESS with a layer of Adamantium. Following different trails, Captain America and Wolverine arrived at Adametco just after TESS had been covered with the Adamantium. The two heroes fought TESS and Overrider, but the robot and its master were able to escape. Captain America and Wolverine split up to follow their own leads and met a day later. Captain America found out about the robot's origin, while Wolverine found out who Overrider was. Captain America was contacted by one of the members of his Stars and Stripes network, who had sighted TESS in the back of a van, near an air base in Nebraska. Wolverine and Captain America arrived at the base after Overrider had begun his attack. Working together, the two heroes were able to severe TESS's head, disabling the robot. Captain America and Wolverine stopped Overrider before he sent all of America's nuclear missiles to the bottom of the sea, without detonating them. 
Much later after being placed in the custody of the US army, TESS was activated by the Super-Adaptoid, and made a member of a loose-knit team of robots, Heavy Metal. TESS and the robots were ordered by the Adaptoid to attack the hero team Avengers on their floating headquarters, Hydro-Base. She-Hulk and Marrina forced TESS off the island, causing the robot to plummet to the bottom of the ocean.
The robot was later salvaged and repaired by Doctor Doom. Doom provided the robot with some new powers and sent it after Spider-Man, who had recently gained cosmic-level powers. Spider-Man easily defeated the robot, exploding it. During the battle, the robot absorbed some of Spider-Man's cosmic energy. Doctor Doom then took the piece of TESS-One that had absorbed a small quantity of Spider-Man's energy, planning to use the energy himself. 
TESS-One was retrieved and re-commissioned by A.I.M..
Powers and Abilities
|* Higher speed in flight|
Tess-One is a robot originally designed as a possible defense against soldiers the U.S. government planned to enhance with the Super-Soldier Serum during World War II. As a result, the robot possesses various superhuman abilities.
Superhuman Strength: TESS-One's hydrolics provided the robot with superhuman strength. At peak operating capacity, the robot possessed sufficient strength to lift 25 tons.
Superhuman Stamina: As a robot, TESS-One wasn't suseptible to fatigue in the same sense as most organic beings are. TESS-One didn't have muscles to produce fatigue toxins, hence it had potentially limitless stamina. Even after lying dormant for decades, the robot was in perfect working condition.
Superhuman Durability: Initially, TESS-One's body was constructed of a durable steel alloy that rendered it highly resistant to physical injury. However, Wolverine's Adamantium claws could easily slice through it. However, shortly after being reactivated, the robot's outer skin was bonded with Adamantium approximately 1 inch thick. This rendered the robot almost invulnerable to physical attack.
Energy Beams and Absorbtion: TESS-One was equipped with force beam projectiors with in its hands that allowed it to fire powerful bolts of energy. The full power of these blasts and the duration in which he could fire them isn't known. Later, as a result of being outfitted by Doctor Doom, TESS-One gained the ability to absorb energy from nearby sources, and to absorb energy attacks directed towards it harmlessly for the purpose of bolstering its own energy source.
Flight: TESS-One was also equipped with built in thrusters that allowed it to fly through the air. Given the robot's great bulk, the thrusters were powerful and were capable of propelling it at speeds of at least 100 miles per hour.
Although TESS-One had lied dormant for decades, and was seemingly primative compared to more recent examples of robots, it was as efficient and highly effective in combat situations as when it was first created.
Although TESS-One's outer skin was bonded with Adamantium, it's joints were sprayed with a special lubricant, the name and composition of which isn't known, that prevented the Adamantium from hardening the robot's joints during the coating process. As a result, the robot's joints were not nearly as well protected as the rest of its body.
- 16 appearance(s) of TESS-One (Earth-616)
- 1 minor appearance(s) of TESS-One (Earth-616)
- 3 mention(s) of TESS-One (Earth-616)
- 6 image(s) of TESS-One (Earth-616)
Links and References
- TESS-One at the Marvel Appendix