Absorbing Man

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The Absorbing Man
The Absorbing Man (background) on the cover of Thor #376 (Feb. 1987).
Art by Walt Simonson.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Journey into Mystery #114 (March 1965)
Created by Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Alter ego Carl "Crusher" Creel
Team affiliations Masters of Evil
They Who Wield Power
Legion Accursed
Worthy
Partnerships Titania
Notable aliases Rocky Davis, Lightningbolt, Greithoth: Breaker of Wills
Abilities Ability to mimic any form of matter or energy via physical contact

The Absorbing Man (Carl "Crusher" Creel) is a fictional character, a supervillain that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books, the Absorbing Man has featured in over four decades of Marvel continuity and other Marvel-endorsed products such as animated television series, video games, and merchandise such as trading cards.

Publication history[edit]

The character first appears in Journey into Mystery #114 (Mar. 1965) and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Carl "Crusher" Creel was a boxer and jailed criminal who becomes the Absorbing Man when he drinks a liquid which the Asgardian god Loki laced with rare Asgardian ingredients. Discovering that he could absorb the properties of anything he touched, Creel escaped prison by absorbing metal from the guards' bullets and went on to battle Thor. Although he is only mortal, Creel's fantastic abilities make him a worthy opponent for Thor, who is later forced to end the battle due to Loki's kidnapping of Jane Foster. Creel then breaks into a house and attacks the occupants. Thor comes to the rescue and tricks Creel into changing his atomic structure into pure helium. Thor accomplishes this by using his hammer's powers to transform the ground's molecular makeup. As Creel is acquiring additional mass from direct contact with the Earth when this happens he ends up drifting harmlessly into the atmosphere.[1][2]

A short time later, Loki retrieves Creel from space using Asgardian technology after he has knocked out an Asgardian warlock and sends Creel back to battle Thor. After Creel is nearly beaten due to Thor's fighting skill, Loki transports him to Asgard and reveals the true source of his "absorbing" powers. After being humbled by Loki, Creel agrees to act as his agent, and he is directed to take over the city. The Absorbing Man defeats the Asgardian legions without too much trouble and eventually confronts Odin himself. Creel absorbs Odin's attacks and then the properties of Asgard itself, hoping to rule the Universe, and he towers over Odin as Loki arrives to gloat. Thor is ordered by Odin not to keep attacking. Loki and Creel are then beaten by trickery; once given Odin's Rod of Rulership the two quarrel over it, the Absorbing Man trying to absorb the rod, and the two find they cannot let go. Odin then advises them that his power lies not in a mere object, but deep within himself. The pair are then banished to space.[3]

The Absorbing Man eventually returns on a comet and battles the Hulk. Bruce Banner had been sent to divert the comet, as it was feared it was radioactive, but the Absorbing Man leapt aboard and began absorbing the Hulk's strength. He tried to bury the Hulk under a mountain, but when the Hulk turned back, the Absorbing Man was unable to support the great weight and was buried.[4] But he goes on to battle many other heroes, such as the Avengers,[5] Daredevil,[6] Dazzler,[7] the Hulk,[8] and Spider-Man.[9] Creel is one of the villains who participates in the Secret Wars, and also develops a relationship with the superstrong villainess Titania.[10]

The pair also join the reformed fourth version of the Masters of Evil.[11] Creel has several more battles with Thor[12] (and the Eric Masterson Thor)[13] and a skirmish with cosmic hero Quasar.[14] Creel is later incarcerated in New York's experimental "Ant-Hill" prison called the Big House, where all prisoners are reduced in size via Hank Pym's "Pym particles". An escape attempt is thwarted by She-Hulk.[15]

The Absorbing Man later battles and is apparently killed by the hero Sentry during the events of Civil War.[16] Creel, however, later appears at the funeral of the villain Stilt-Man.[17]

Creel and Titania later come into conflict with the heroine She-Hulk and her Skrull partner Jazinda after they attempt to arrest Creel's cousin Rockwell "Hi-Lite" Davis.[18]

During the events of Dark Reign, Creel joins a new version of the Lethal Legion led by the Grim Reaper.[19] After a defeat, Creel escapes prison and absorbs a shard of the artifact the Cosmic Cube.[20]

The Absorbing Man suffers a setback when villain Norman Osborn uses an enchanted sword—provided by Loki—to remove his absorbing powers completely.[21]

Creel is also revealed to be the father of the hero Stonewall.[22]

In the Heroic Age, Creel is revealed to have regained his powers. He storms Avengers Tower to recover his ball and chain. He is defeated by Avengers' coordinators Maria Hill, Sharon Carter, and Victoria Hand after absorbing the latter's cold.[23] Creel is sedated while the Avengers Academy escorts him to his prison. He manages to control his wrecking ball telekinetically and uses it to break himself free. He fights the Avengers Academy and begins to prevail. Hank Pym, (one of the teachers for Avengers Academy), joins the fight. As the fight progresses, Creel begins to make cruel taunts to Hank, saying what a bad Avenger he is and how he always breaks under the pressure of handling too much responsibility. This provokes Hank to grab Creel and make them both larger, outgrowing each dimension at a time, which almost drives Creel insane. So he decides to surrender before going any further. Creel then begs Pym not to take him back to prison, because the prison guards constantly keep him sedated, so he can't absorb any material to escape. He hates being trapped in his own body in that type of manner. Pym, displaying compassion, decides to build him a specially-made prison cell that would eliminate the necessity of keeping Creel under sedation.[volume & issue needed]

"Fear Itself"[edit]

During the 2011 "Fear Itself" storyline, Creel and Titania encounter two of the divine hammers that contain the essences of the Worthy, generals to Odin's brother and adversary, the Serpent. Coming into contact with the hammers, Titania and Creel were transformed into Skirn, Breaker of Men,[24] and Greithoth, Breaker of Wills, respectively.[25] and went on a rampage depicted in a number of "Fear Itself" tie-in books, most prominently Avengers Academy #15 - 19 and Iron Man 2.0 #5 - 6, as well as that storyline's core miniseries.

Powers and abilities[edit]

Courtesy of a magical potion, Crusher Creel has the ability to duplicate the properties of anything he touches - gas, liquid, solid, or even energy sources. This transformation also extends to the clothing and ball and chain that Creel was wearing when the potion took effect (for example, if Creel touches the metal titanium, his body, clothing, and ball and chain would take on the appearance and properties of titanium). If the object is large (e.g., a building), Creel can absorb sufficient mass to attain the same height. Creel also retains his intellect and capacity for speech and full physical movement (although the character's first attempt at absorbing water cost Creel his sanity when he drifted apart)[26] and can reform if his body is damaged in any way while in altered form, which he discovered when Wolverine cut his arm off during the Secret Wars while he was in a stone form and he held it in place as he deactivated his powers.[27]

Creel's overall power increases in direct proportion to the strength of the material absorbed. There is almost no limit to what Creel can absorb, as he has absorbed the properties of bronze;[28] cocaine;[29] Odin's Cosmic Bolt and later cyclonic storm;[30] diamond;[31] glass;[32] light;[7] rock, silk, soil;[33] spikes;[34] steel;[35] Thor's uru hammer Mjolnir;[36] water;[26] and even the properties of Asgard itself.[30] Although absorbing the Sentry's power proved too much for Creel, causing him to become overloaded with energy and killing him.[16]

Creel is now also capable of combining previously absorbed abilities.[37]

Other versions[edit]

Age of Apocalypse[edit]

In the Age of Apocalypse reality, Absorbing Man (alongside Diablo) works as a prison camp warden in Mexico.[volume & issue needed]

Earth X[edit]

In the limited series Earth X, set in the alternate universe Earth-9997, Creel is also capable of absorbing knowledge, and eventually able to remember everything previously absorbed and to display any of these properties at will.[38]

House of M[edit]

In the House of M reality, the Absorbing Man is seen as a member of the Hood's Masters of Evil.[39]

Marvel Zombies[edit]

In the Marvel Zombies reality, Creel, as a zombie, works for the zombie Kingpin. He battles the interloper Machine Man while in stone form. He is tricked into absorbing the weak physicality of the zombie Karnak and Machine Man swiftly destroys his head.[40]

Old Man Logan[edit]

In the Old Man Logan reality, an elderly Hawkeye reveals to Logan that Creel, along with Magneto, was responsible for defeating Thor.[41]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Absorbing Man is one of the characters in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episodes "Hulk vs the World", "The Breakout" Pt. 1, "Gamma World" Pt. 2, and "Assault on 42", voiced by Rick D. Wasserman. In this series, his powers are the result of gamma radiation exposure.
  • Absorbing Man makes an appearance in the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "The Skarr Whisperer",[42] voiced by Jonathan Adams. He and the Wrecking Crew start a riot at the Vault. Skaar takes on Absorbing Man and is knocked back by his attack. Hulk then engages Absorbing Man until Skaar throws a rock at him. When Absorbing Man grabs Skaar's energy whip, he knocks down Skaar and hijacks She-Hulk's jet. When Skaar shoots down the jet and it crashes, She-Hulk wonders how Absorbing Man got out. After the jet is dragged back to the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.'s base, Hulk discovered that Absorbing Man had absorbed some gamma energy. As Hulk fights Absorbing Man, Hulk tries to warn Absorbing Man that he can lose control. Their battle ends up crashing Doc Samson's therapy with Skaar. As Absorbing Man approaches the base's reactor, he starts to absorb its energy from the reactor as he starts to lose control. Upon Hulk saying please, Skaar ends up fighting Absorbing Man and tricks him into absorbing the papers in a book where he defeats him. In the episode "Monsters No More," Absorbing Man appears as a member of Leader's Agents of C.R.A.S.H. and was the one who told Hulk about the group's adamantium-made stealth belts.

Film[edit]

  • Absorbing Man appears in an early script of the 2003 feature film Hulk.[44] Although the name Absorbing Man isn't used in the film, some reviewers have suggested that his powers were combined into the character of Dr. David Banner.[45][46]

Video games[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Journey Into Mystery #114-115 (March - April 1965)
  2. ^ DeFalco, Tom (2006). The Marvel Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-7566-2358-6. 
  3. ^ Journey Into Mystery #121-123 (Oct. - Dec. 1965)
  4. ^ Hulk #125
  5. ^ Avengers #183-184 (May - June 1979)
  6. ^ Daredevil #360 (Jan. 1997)
  7. ^ a b Dazzler #18 (Aug. 1982)
  8. ^ Hulk #208-209 (Feb. - March 1977), #347-348 (Sep. - Oct. 1988), #457 (Oct. 1997), Hulk Annual #18 (1992)
  9. ^ Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #13 - 18 (June - Nov. 2005)
  10. ^ Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #1 - 12 (May 1984 - April 1985)
  11. ^ Avengers #270, 273 + 275 (Aug. + Nov. 1986 + Jan. 1987)
  12. ^ Thor #375 - 376 (Jan - Feb. 1987); vol. 2, #14 (Aug. 1999)
  13. ^ Thor #446 (April 1992)
  14. ^ Quasar #5 (Dec. 1989)
  15. ^ She-Hulk #10 (Feb. 2005)
  16. ^ a b Civil War: The Return #1 (Jan. 2007)
  17. ^ Punisher War Journal vol. 2, #4 (April 2007)
  18. ^ She-Hulk vol. 2, #22 - 23 (Nov. - Dec. 2007)
  19. ^ Lethal Legion #1 - 3 (Aug. - Oct. 2009)
  20. ^ Mighty Avengers #32 (Dec. 2009)
  21. ^ Mighty Avengers #33 (Jan. 2010)
  22. ^ Secret Warriors #12 (Jan. 2010)
  23. ^ Age of Heroes #3
  24. ^ Matt Fraction (w), Stuart Immonen (p), Wade von Grawbadger (i). "The Worthy" Fear Itself 2 (July 2011), Marvel Comics
  25. ^ Christos Gage (w), Tom Raney (p), Scott Hanna and Andrew Hennessy (i). "No Unwounded Soldiers" Avengers Academy 15 (August 2011), Marvel Comics
  26. ^ a b Avengers #184 (July 1979)
  27. ^ Secret Wars #7 November 1984
  28. ^ Journey into Mystery #114 (April 1965)
  29. ^ Marvel Knights Spider-Man #16 (Sep. 2005)
  30. ^ a b Journey Into Mystery #123 (Dec. 1965)
  31. ^ Daredevil #360 (July 1997)
  32. ^ Journey Into Mystery #121 (Oct. 1965)
  33. ^ Journey Into Mystery #115 (April 1965)
  34. ^ Journey Into Mystery #122 (Nov. 1965)
  35. ^ Journey Into Mystery #114 (March 1965)
  36. ^ Thor #376 (Feb. 1987)
  37. ^ She-Hulk vol. 2, #23 (Dec. 2007)
  38. ^ Earth X #0-12 (March 1999 - April 2000)
  39. ^ House of M: Masters of Evil #1
  40. ^ Marvel Zombies 3 #3 (2009)
  41. ^ Wolverine #67
  42. ^ [1]
  43. ^ http://marvel.com/news/tv/2014/8/21/23132/crusher_creel_to_menace_marvels_agents_of_shield.
  44. ^ Dayna Van Buskirk. "Feature Article: The Lost "Hulk" - David Hayter's Draft". UGO. Archived from the original on October 4, 2009. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  45. ^ Daniel James Wood. "Elements of Classical Mythology in Ang Lee's Hulk". The Film Journal. Archived from the original on 22 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  46. ^ Bill Warren (August 1, 2007). "Hulk". AVRev. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  47. ^ [2]

External links[edit]