Clay Quartermain

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Clay Quartermain
ClayQuartermain ST167.jpg
Clay Quartermain, from Strange Tales #167 (April 1968). Art by Jim Steranko.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Strange Tales #163 (Dec. 1967)
Created by Jim Steranko
In-story information
Alter ego Clay Quartermain
Team affiliations S.H.I.E.L.D.
S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Paranormal Containment Unit
Hulkbusters
Abilities Trained in espionage, firearms, hand-to-hand combat

Clay Quartermain is a fictional character, a secret agent in the Marvel Comics universe. Created by writer-artist Jim Steranko, he first appeared in Strange Tales #163 (Dec. 1967).

Publication history[edit]

Clay Quartermain appears as an agent of the fictional espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., beginning in the feature "Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." in Marvel Comics' Strange Tales in 1967, and continuing into the subsequent series Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. in 1968. He became the S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison to General "Thunderbolt" Ross' "Hulkbusters" military program, and a supporting character in The Incredible Hulk vol. 2, beginning with issue #187 (May 1975).[1] A Life Model Decoy (LMD) replica of Quartermain was a featured character in the 1988 miniseries Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D.. Quartermain has since had guest appearances in issues of Alias, Cable, The Defenders, Marvel Team-Up, The Pulse, Silver Sable and the Wild Pack, and the miniseries Secret War; in the "Nick Fury" feature in the omnibus Marvel Holiday Special (Jan. 1994); and in the "Elite Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." feature in the one-shot Captain America 2000 (Nov. 2000). He also led the S.H.I.E.L.D. Paranormal Containment Unit in the 2005-2006 series Nick Fury's Howling Commandos.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Clay Quartermain is a high-ranking agent of the fictional espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., a "blond-haired, fast-talking, grinning Burt Lancaster" sort[2] who first works with that organization's storied executive director, Nick Fury, during S.H.I.E.L.D.'s first conflict with would-be world tyrant the Yellow Claw, later revealed to have been a robot simulacrum of that Chinese-national Mandarin. Quartermain later becomes part of the U.S. military's "Hulkbusters" operation, which attempts to capture and contain the Hulk.

He becomes a fugitive and travels with Rick Jones and the Hulk. He meets his brother, a farmer. He testifies in Congress about a mass murder committed by the supervillain the Leader, who had detonated a gamma bomb in a town, obliterating it.[3]

Once more at S.H.I.E.L.D., Quartermain, along with many other agents, is seemingly killed by a self-aware, renegade "Deltan" variety of the agency's artificial-human "Life Model Decoys", and replaced by one such LMD.[4] The most advanced of the Deltite LMDs, it rebels upon learning it is not human, and after several confrontations, perishes.[5]

Retconned as a former romantic interest of Jessica Jones, Quartermain later becomes leader of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Paranormal Containment Unit. He is the agent sent to inform Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk) that she has been pressed into service as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.[6] He next leads a new incarnation of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s "Hulkbusters" unit, here She-Hulk, Agent Crimson, and Agent Cheesecake.[7] Clay and his team then defeat the electrical entity Zzaxx.[8]

Quartermain remains an ally of Jones, using her to bring down a conspiracy against the President of the United States.[9] He assists Jessica in the investigation of Mattie Franklin, a young female superhero trapped in mysterious circumstances.[10] Quartermain later leads a S.H.I.E.L.D. unit that rescues Jones from a HYDRA recruitment attempt.[11]

Death[edit]

At a meatpacking plant, Quartermain is found, apparently dead in a suspected Red Hulk attack. The commanding officer of the crime scene is Clay's old friend Gabe Jones.[12] It is later revealed, however, that his actual murderer was the now-insane Doc Samson. Quartermain had inadvertently stumbled upon a plot hatched by Red Hulk and Samson, and threatened to launch a full-scale investigation. This involved the Life Model Decoy of General Thunderbolt Ross, seemingly killed during a fight with the Red Hulk. Ross was actually the Red Hulk himself.[13]

Other versions[edit]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

Quartermain appears in the Ultimate Marvel universe as a S.H.I.E.L.D. field agent,[14] and is seen escorting Peter Parker out of school to respond to a major threat.[15]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Quartermain appeared in The Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #187-188, 192-200, 206-207, 209-210, 212-216, 219, 224, 226-228, 230-231, 233, 237-240, 243, 315, 322-327, 329-332, 334, 336-346, spanning May 1975 to August 1988 cover-dates, plus The Incredible Hulk Annual #15 (Oct. 1986)
  2. ^ Amazing Heroes #26 (July 1, 1983): "Fury of the Past: A Nick Fury Hero History" by Lou Mougin
  3. ^ The Incredible Hulk #337-343 (Nov. 1987 - April 1988)
  4. ^ Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. #2 (July 1988)
  5. ^ Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. #6 (Nov. 1988)
  6. ^ She-Hulk vol. 2, #14 (Jan. 2007)
  7. ^ She-Hulk #15 (March 2007)
  8. ^ She-Hulk vol. 2, #17 (April 2007)
  9. ^ Alias #1-4 (Nov. 2001 - Feb. 2002)
  10. ^ Alias #16 (Jan. 2003)
  11. ^ The Pulse #6-9 (2005)
  12. ^ Hulk vol. 2, #4 (June 2008)
  13. ^ Hulk vol. 2, #23 (June 2010)
  14. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #27
  15. ^ Ultimate Six #3 (2003)

External links[edit]