William "Willie" Lumpkin was born in Glenville, Nebraska. His grandfather Bill "Gramps" Lumpkin was a retired city mail-man who delivered mail during World War II. Growing up to hoping to follow in his grandfather's footsteps, he sought out a romance with Lila Brown, and was friends with Charlie Boomer. Willie aspired to marry Lila and move to the big city and be a mail carrier there. However one Christmas Eve, when Willie met with Lila and Boomer to exchange gifts he learned that they were getting married, as Lila thought that Boomer had more potential to be successful as Postmaster General of Glenville. With nothing left in Glenville, Willie left to follow his dreams in the big city.
Mailman to the Fantastic Four
Willie began making regular mail deliveries to the Baxter Building headquarters of the Fantastic Four, and quickly became a staple in their extraordinary lives. Willi once even jokingly offered to join the team, explaining that he had the power to wiggle his ears. When the Fantastic Four were tricked into temporarily disbanding by the Mad Thinker, Reed Richards had the forethought to install a special button in the building that once pushed would deactivate all of his scientific equipment in the event that their headquarters was taken over. The FF were compelled to return home and before entering their headquarters, Reed contacted Willie and had him come to the building and press the special button at 4 o'clock that afternoon. When the group was attacked by the Mad Thinker and his Awesome Android, the foes were defeated when Willie arrived promptly at 4 to press the button, rendering all the Mad Thinker's traps inert and useless. Willie was later invited to an art sculpture display put on by Fantastic Four associate Alicia Masters. When Reed Richards sought to teach the Human Torch and the Thing a lesson, he used Willie to deliver a telegram issuing a challenge to both of his teammates. Willie was later invited over to the Baxter Building on Christmas Eve to celebrate with the Fantastic Four. During the festivities the Baxter Building was attacked by the Super-Skrull. Willie was pushed into a closet for safety and was trapped inside for six hours, nearly forgotten until the Invisible Girl found him while looking for a sewing kit to mend Mr. Fantastic's pants. Willie continued to deliver mail to the Baxter Building, he always assumed that only the Fantastic Four could access the upper floors of their headquarters, but was proven wrong when he witnessed someone doing so later. Willie regularly told his family about his exciting adventures with the Fantastic Four, however they all believed that these stories were made up. His nephew Freddy Lumpkin came to think that his uncle was actually senile, and humored him.
Later, Willie became the pawn of the temporal being known as Tempus who had grown tired of living through all eternity and decided to destroy all time in the Earth-616 universe so he could die. To do so he sought out to create a number of time paradoxes that would ultimately cause the universe to collapse. To this end, he put Willie in a dream like state and prompted him to enter the Baxter Building and use the Fantastic Four's Time-Platform to go into the past. He was first sent to the year 1777 during the War of Independence. Willie's appearance coincided with the point in history where General George Washington crossed the Owl Bridge. The bright flash of light caused by Willie's appearance caused Washington to be thrown from his horse and he was summarily captured by the British army. Willie was then transported away, and shortly thereafter Mr. Fantastic arrived in that era, having learned of the crisis from the Watcher and rescued Washington, thus preserving history. However a divergent reality where Washington remained captured and was executed as a result of Willie's interference. Willie next found himself transported to Chicago in the year 1928. In a dream-like state he soon found himself in the company of some mobsters and began telling them about the upcoming stock market crash. However Willie was stopped just in time by the Thing and Medusa and they made a hasty retreat. Like his appearance in 1777, Willie's trip to 1928 also created an alternate reality where the mob took advantage of the stock market crash. Willie and the Fantastic Four found themselves transported to the realm of Tempus where the team eventually defeated their foe. They were then returned to their native reality of Earth-616, and found everything was back to normal. When Willie snapped out of his trance, his memories of the entire incident faded from his mind.
Willie's next brush with danger was when he delivered mail to the Baxter Building when it was captured by Mentallo and the Fixer who mentally controlled the Thing to do so. Ben was later rescued by SHIELD director Nick Fury. Willie entered semi-retirement by this point. But when he learned that the Fantastic Four were disbanding he delivered what he thought was one final telegram to the group, however the group eventually got back together. When the Thing went to Hollywood to demand a television show be made about him, the script to the pilot was eventually mailed to him and delivered to the Baxter Building by Willie. Willie was later invited to another Fantastic Four Christmas party, thankfully for Willie, it proved less eventful then the last time he spent Christmas with his most famous customers. During a period in which the gamma-powered Hulk maintained the mentality of his alter-ego, scientist Bruce Banner, he was pardoned for his past crimes and a large parade was thrown in his honor. Willie represented the US Postal Service, leading over mail carriers in delivering bag upon bag of fan-mail to the Hulk during the festivities. However the Hulk eventually reverted back to a rampaging monster eventually. Willie later delivered a personal letter from actress Alynn Chambers to the Thing, his old girlfriend from college.
When Willie learned that the Fantastic Four changed their line-up again, he paid another visit to their headquarters the Four Freedoms Plaza to jokingly petition them for membership again. During Christmas that year, Willie paid a visit to the Fantastic Four again to deliver their mail and asked them to pay a visit to his nephew Freddy and his family as a surprise. Willie then returned home where he was confronted by the Spirit of Christmas who mistook Lumpkin for his true target, Daily Bugle owner J. Jonah Jameson. Posing as the Ghost of Christmas Past, the spirit made Willie relive the Christmas where Lila broke his heart, and the embarrassing Christmas spent trapped in a closet. Then as the Ghost of Christmas Present, the spirit showed Willie his nephew and his family and learned what Freddy really thought of him. Then as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, the spirit brought Willie to a possible future where his funeral was attended by the Fantastic Four and their associates the Inhumans. Willie became upset when he heard that his cause of death was due to a heart attack from seeing the Inhuman's teleporting dog Lockjaw. The ghost finally realized that despite his rough life, Willie Lumpkin was a good man and realized his error, transporting him back to his own time. When the Fantastic Four and Freddy's family later surprised him with a late night visit, he screamed "Bah Humbug!!" and slammed the door shut in their faces. Willie continued delivering mail to the Four Freedoms Plaza. One day he was almost knocked off his feet while delivering mail when the hero Quasar zipped by him to get to his civilian job on time.
Dating May Parker
Willie eventually returned to his good natured world view and began delivering mail on a new route in Queens. There he had a chance encounter with elderly widow May Parker when she forgot to put proper postage on a letter to her friend Anna Watson. Willie instantly had a crush on May and asked her out on a date to a band concert and she accepted. May and Willie soon began dating and she invited him over for a barbecue in order to meet her nephew Peter Parker (secretly Spider-Man) and his wife Mary Jane Watson-Parker. During a lunch date with Peter and Mary Jane, Willie pulled Peter aside while May and Mary Jane were busy. Lumpkin then put Peter's mind at ease, explaining that he had nothing but good intentions and had no intention to break May's heart. Willie gave May a piece of mind while they were dating, reassuring her that when Peter and Mary Jane didn't answer her phone calls that they were probably fine.
The couple later spent the Christmas holidays together, however even though he was dating seemingly normal May Parker, Willie's holidays with her didn't keep super-humans out of his life. On Christmas Eve, May's ex-fiancée Dr. Octopus came to spend the holidays with her. However noticing that she was happily with another man he decided to leave so as not to spoil Christmas for his former love. However before Otto could leave Spider-Man arrived and thinking Dr. Octopus had come to harass his aunt battled him in the front yard. As the battle raged, May and Willie went outside to hear what the commotion was. Noticing this, both Octavius and Spider-Man stopped fighting and parted company. Willie next took May, Peter, Mary Jane, and Mary Jane's cousin Kristy to a art display being held by Alicia Masters at the Rossilini art gallery in Greenwich Village. However the event was attacked by the Headmen who were seeking to claim Spider-Man's body so they could attached their bodiless member Chondu the Mystic's head onto it. Spider-Man and the Human Torch easily defeated the Headmen and turned them over to the authorities. Willie next accompanied Peter, Mary Jane, and May to a charity being held at the infamous Poseidon Hotel, which was being converted into a homeless shelter. However the festivities were attacked by a band of sewer dwelling mutants known as the Morlocks and the villain Firebrand. While Spider-Man dealt with the Morlocks, the Black Cat, Cloak and Dagger rescued the party guests, including May and Willie, from Firebrand who was ultimately defeated by Spider-Man. Not long after this, Willie was one of the many guests attending a surprise birthday party being thrown for May's nephew Peter.
Willie didn't always end up in danger thanks to dating May due to her by-proxy relationship with her nephew's alter-ego Spider-Man, sometimes it was even Peter's civilian job as a photographer for the Daily Bugle. When Peter was miscredited as taking a photo of the Rose and Richard Fisk. Hitmen came to May's house to kill Peter. While Mary Jane rushed Willie and the others into the basement, Peter (as Spider-Man) dealt with the hit-men. Despite how well their relationship was going, both Willie and May eventually drifted apart.
Not long after his relationship with May ended, he had heard that May had recently passed away. Grieving over his former love, he took a visit to her grave on Christmas Eve to pay respects. In a sort of morbid moment of whimsy, when the winter wind blew the rose he left on the grave across the cemetery. This led to a chance encounter with Doreen Greenwater a fellow mourner and the pair hit it off. However it does not appear that a relationship bloomed from the chance encounter.
Lumpkin also suffered another personal loss when it appeared that Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four was killed battling his old foe Dr. Doom. Willie went to the funeral to pay his respects to the seemingly deceased leader of the Fantastic Four.
Although Reed eventually returned alive and well, this did not apparently last long. Willie was out delivering mail during the Onslaught Crisis and witnessed the final clash between the psychic entity known as Onslaught and the combined forces of the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Avengers, the Hulk, and Dr. Doom. A battle where all present (save for the X-Men) seemingly sacrificed their lives in to seemingly destroy Onslaught. However the heroes were later found alive and well and soon returned to regular operations.
Return to Service
When the Fantastic Four returned to their old headquarters the Baxter Building, Willie came out of retirement to work that mail route again. However, this apparently seemed short-lived as Willie came to deliver mail to them one day to find out that the Fantastic Four had hit money troubles and were moving out of the Baxter Building and to a new home in Washington Heights. This did not discourage Willie, as he continued delivering mail along his route. The Fantastic Four eventually managed to pull themselves out of their financial troubles and return to the Baxter Building, Willie attended the open house that was organized to greet the public. When they did, they hired Willie to work in the mailroom, and part of his job was training the robot known as Elektro in his duties. Willie also attended the Thing's Bar Mitzvah. When dropping off material from Reed Richards to the offices of Marvel Comics for use in their authorized Fantastic Four comic book, Willie was witness to a battle between the villain known as Electro and the Masked Marvel. During the super-hero Civil War, Willie participated in a documentary being made about the Fantastic Four.
When the human race soon became afraid of reading, Mr. Fantastic sought out the aid of the most well-read human being he knew: Willie Lumpkin. Using Willie's mind as a gateway into the realm of literature the Fantastic Four sought to find the cause. Willie watched in his mind as the Fantastic Four fought their way through various literary worlds to reach the source of the danger: the demon known as Nightmare. With Willie's help, the Fantastic Four managed to defeat Nightmare and force him out of the land of literature so that humanity could read again. Willie later found himself out in a small town and was refused a car rental, incidentally missing a battle between the original green Hulk and his red successor. During a birthday party for Reed and Sue's son Franklin, Willie agreed to dress up like Spider-Man as a playful birthday prank with Ben and the real Spider-Man.
Although appearing to be in good health, Willie had developed a brain tumor and eventually lapsed into a coma. Taken to a nearby hospital the doctors tried in vain to cure him and suspected that Lumpkin had only a week left to live. However when the Fantastic Four learned of Willie's health they came to visit and Reed used his genius to shrink the team down to size so they could remove a tumor themselves, saving Willie's life. While the Fantastic Four was on a leave of absence from their newest endeavor, the Future Foundation, it was left in the hands of many of their allies and Willie was assigned to teach sexual education to the Foundation's young charges. When the Fantastic Four returned home, Willie was among members of a welcome back party on the Blue Area of the Moon.
The Fantastic Four clashed with a villain known only as the Quiet Man who claimed that he manipulated the group from its early beginnings over a long time obsession over Susan Richards stemming back to her college days. When the Quiet Man's schemes were foiled, he was last seen disappearing into a crowd by taking on the form of Willie Lumpkin. If this was merely a disguise, or if the Quiet Man has been posing as Willie Lumpkin this entire time as a means of being close to the Fantastic Four over the years remains to be seen.
While Deadpool was trying to save a bus full of children of wealthy families from being kidnapped by the Wrecker, Willie was impaled by a piece of shrapnel. After surgery, some of the shrapnel that was too dangerous to remove was edging closer to Willie's heart with every breath that he took and his doctors could do nothing more than keep him stable in a coma. Wade was told by Willie's doctor of a treatment for such an injury invented by Tony Stark, but it required an inch-long piece of vibranium. When Deadpool tried to obtain some vibranium from Wakanda, King T'Challa discovered that if he combined cells taken from Wade's body with his newly invented star cells, he could make people immortal. Willie was administered this miracle treatment, healing him of his wound. Though T'Challa planned to study how to reverse the immortality aspect of the treatment, until he does so, Willie will apparently live forever.
Powers and Abilities
Willie Lumpkin can wiggle his ears.
- Willie Lumpkin was played by Marvel legend Stan Lee in the 2005 movie, Fantastic Four.
- Willie Lumpkin was first created by Stan Lee and Dan DeCarlo for a newspaper strip, Willie Lumpkin, in 1960, as a fairly young man delivering the mail in Glenville, Nebraska. He was later made part of the Marvel Universe in Fantastic Four #11, and his backstory has since been elaborated on to include his newspaper appearances. They are not listed as his first appearance on this wiki as they were not originally published by Marvel.
- Willie Lumpkin is the head of the "Fantastic Forum".
- 59 appearance(s) of William Lumpkin (Earth-616)
- 2 minor appearance(s) of William Lumpkin (Earth-616)
- 16 mention(s) of William Lumpkin (Earth-616)
- 18 image(s) of William Lumpkin (Earth-616)
- 2 quotation(s) by or about William Lumpkin (Earth-616)