Tony Masterson was a quiet college professor, humbly teaching English literature. He would have continued to do so for the rest of his life, had he not fallen victim to an experimental gamma bomb test from S.H.I.E.L.D..
The bomb mutated Masterson, giving him strange vampiric powers while withering his skin and bleaching it a ghostly green. His mind unhinged, Masterson believed himself dead and only artificially animated. Calling himself Half-life, he wandered about in a demented rampage. He came across the Hulk at the behest of the similarly gamma-mutated Leader, one of the Hulk's greatest foes and found that his touch drained significant amounts of strength from the Hulk. Their fight ended when the Hulk ripped off Half-life's limbs and left.
The Leader recovered him and provided Half-life with a shell of titanium armor which had a camera mounted on the chest, so that the Leader could observe the Hulk in combat. In this second battle, Half-life had all but killed his opponent, who at the time was possessed of Banner's intelligence, when the Hulk reminded him that his stolen powers would wear off and that he would grow weak and frail again. Half-life revolted at this idea and tried to overtax his powers. He fell into a coma, mummified. The Leader, watching the fight, declared that Half-life would not be getting up again soon.
As Half-Life, Masterson has the ability to drain the life-force of others through his touch (even to the point of death) and absorb it into himself. Like a vampire, Half-life is dependant on such energy for survival. If Half-life tries to drain the life of a person who was granted powers by gamma radiation, Half-life drains the powers of his victim instead, transferring them to himself. Gamma-powered victims may recover quickly, however, and Half-life loses such power at a similar rate.
Half-life is very difficult to injure or kill. He has proven to recover from battles after being left for dead, and if his body parts are detached, they can move independently while still under Half-life's control, and can re-attach themselves. He also wears a golden armor provided by his master, the Leader, which provides him with phenomenal invulnerability, able to withstand blows from even the Hulk.
Unable to move around in the daytime
Suit provided by the Leader
- 6 Appearances of Tony Masterson (Earth-616)
- Minor Appearances of Tony Masterson (Earth-616)
- Media Tony Masterson (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 3 Images featuring Tony Masterson (Earth-616)
- Quotations by or about Tony Masterson (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Tony Masterson (Earth-616)
- Gamers' Handbook to the Marvel Universe
- Unofficial Handbook of the Marvel Universe
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