Kangaroo (comics)

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Kangaroo is the name of two characters in Marvel Comics.

Publication history[edit]

The first Kangaroo was introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man #81 in 1970.[1]

The second Kangaroo was first seen in Cage #13 in 1993 and made his debut in The Spectacular Spider-Man #242 in 1997. Both are noted for their leaping ability.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Kangaroo (Frank Oliver)[edit]

The Kangaroo
Kanga1.jpg
The Kangaroo makes his first appearance. From The Amazing Spider-Man #81
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Amazing Spider-Man #81 (February, 1970)
Created by Stan Lee
John Buscema
Jim Mooney
John Romita, Sr.
In-story information
Alter ego Frank Oliver
Abilities Professional boxer
Peak physical condition
Air jet implants grant:
Ability to leap great distances
Superhuman strength in legs

Frank Oliver was born in Sydney, Australia. As a young man, he studied kangaroos in his native Australia with a passion. Oliver lived, ate and traveled with the kangaroos, developing a leaping ability that rivaled the animals he studied. Seeing an opportunity to make money, Frank decided to parlay his new-found leaping abilities into a boxing career. His superior speed and agility allowed him to best opponents time and again. However, during one match, Frank jump-kicked one opponent in the face, severely injuring his opponent. Facing criminal charges stemming from his opponent's injuries and possibly other similar incidents, Frank fled Australia for the United States of America. Once he arrived, he was discovered without a passport and held for deportation.

Rather than be deported, Frank broke free from detention and leapt away. Deciding that the intolerance of the world was oppressing him, Frank embraced a life of crime and declared himself the Kangaroo. Needing to make a name for himself, Frank then attacked several guards and stole their ward: a briefcase containing only a vial. While the Kangaroo pocketed the vial, thinking it to contain jewels, the vial actually contained an experimental bacteria which would unleash a devastating plague if set free. The Kangaroo was unhappy with his small amount of loot, and sought out another target, this time for cash. While attacking a group of people for their money, the Kangaroo encountered and began to battle Spider-Man. While the Kangaroo was not especially challenging for Spider-Man, he knew that the Kangaroo had stolen the vial of bacteria, and pulled his punches to prevent the vial from being shattered. After trading blows with his opponent and attempting to reason with him, Spider-Man then webbed up the Kangaroo and held him upside down until the vial dropped. While Spider-Man was busy with returning the vial, the Kangaroo absconded.[2]

The Kangaroo's defeat threw him into a deep depression, resulting in Frank becoming a vagrant in New York City. While watching Spider-Man swing by, Frank reflected on his defeat and wished for a means to defeat Spider-Man.[volume & issue needed] Shortly thereafter, Frank was approached by one Dr. Jonas Harrow, who wished to enhance the Kangaroo to a superhuman level. Frank agreed, and after a seven-hour procedure, found himself gifted with air jet-enhanced leaping and punching ability. Harrow wanted to use the Kangaroo as muscle, but the newly empowered Kangaroo resented being anyone's pawn. Smacking Dr. Harrow aside, the Kangaroo leapt away to pursue Spider-Man.[volume & issue needed]

Upon finding Spider-Man, the Kangaroo battled the web-slinger, who had underestimated his previously underpowered enemy. As the Kangaroo was gaining the upper-hand, however, Dr. Harrow activated an implant in Oliver's brain which caused him great pain. Forced by Dr. Harrow to obey him or suffer agony, the Kangaroo returned and was then ordered to retrieve a radioactive isotope. While breaking into the Hudson River lab which held the isotope, Frank once again encountered Spider-Man. As the two battled, Spider-Man found himself outmatched, and attempted to convince the Kangaroo of the dangers of the isotope's radiation. Refusing to listen to his enemy, the Kangaroo burst into the room which held the isotope and was reduced to a pile of ashes upon exposure to the radiation.[3]

Some time after his death, Arnim Zola recovered some of Frank's DNA and created a proto-husk of the deceased villain. When Deadpool followed another proto-husk to Zola's lair, the Kangaroo proto-husk was used to assault the mercenary. He was the second proto-husk to die, felled by a single shot from Deadpool.[4]

Kangaroo (Brian Hibbs)[edit]

The Kangaroo
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance (pictured) Cage #13 (April, 1993); (actual appearance) The Spectacular Spider-Man #242 (January, 1997)
Created by (pictured) Marc McLaurin and Scott Benefiel
(actual appearance) J. M. DeMatteis and Luke Ross
In-story information
Alter ego Brian Hibbs
Team affiliations Corporation
Spider-Man Revenge Squad
Partnerships Jonas Harrow
Grizzly
Spot
Gibbon
Notable aliases Billy Bob Jenks
Abilities Peak physical condition
Master hand to hand combatant
Armored suit grants:
Semi-prehensile tail
Pouch-level cannon
Ability to leap great distances
Enhanced strength, agility, and endurance

Brian Hibbs is the second person to take on the identity of the Kangaroo. He was first mentioned as an active operative of the Corporation, a crime-organization opposed by a variety of superheroes including Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Captain America, Hulk, and others. Hibbs, although not from Australia, idolized the original Kangaroo, going so far as to spend years studying the exploits of Frank Oliver and begin imitating his speech and style. Hibbs adopted Oliver's costume and appearance, but decided against confronting Spider-Man. To better prepare himself to avenge his idol, Hibbs secured a job working for the Corporation as one of their agents, based out of Taylor, Mississippi. Hibbs success against non-costumed adversaries led to his break from the Corporation and his genesis as a menace to costumed enemies. While bounding through New York City and shouting for people to get out of his way, Hibbs was knocked out by a single punch from Spider-Man, who swung away literally laughing about the situation.[5]

After escaping from custody, Hibbs then spent a sizable amount of his trust fund to purchase a suit of armor from the "Sharper Villain Catalogue." The kangaroo-themed armor enhanced his strength and leaping ability, as well as provided him with a semi-prehensile tail and a pouch-level cannon. Once again bounding through the streets of New York, Hibbs was again confronted by Spider-Man. After recovering from a blow by the superhero, the Kangaroo then unveiled his pouch cannon; Spider-Man hastily webbed the cannon shut, preventing it from firing. Hibbs nonetheless fired his pouch cannon, without first considering the consequences of his action. The pouch cannon exploded in his crotch region, rendering him unconscious, while Spider-Man webbed him upside-down from a streetlamp.[6]

Hibbs was freed shortly thereafter by another foe of Spider-Man, the Grizzly. The Grizzly proposed an alliance between the Kangaroo, the Spot, Gibbon, and himself, as a Spider-Man Revenge Squad (a riff on the Superman Revenge Squad). Kangaroo questioned the proposal, which resulted in him receiving a swift kick to the rear. Of his three teammates, the Kangaroo found himself most in-line with the Spot, as both wanted to pursue wealth from robberies rather than attack Spider-Man, as Gibbon and Grizzly both wanted. After resolving their internal strife, the Spider-Man Revenge Squad then sallied forth, with Kangaroo wearing polka dotted boxer shorts instead of his armor's destroyed bottom half. Upon encountering Spider-Man again, the team received the moniker "Legion of Losers," and was almost defeated by Spider-Man. However, Gibbon managed to cold-cock Spider-Man, with the Kangaroo landed a stomp to the hero's stomach which put him out of commission. Upon returning to their secret lair, located at the Grizzly's apartment, the team was once again at strife. Grizzly and Gibbon had a change in heart, and wished to return their stolen goods and go straight. Spot and Kangaroo, however, disagreed with their teammates. A battle then erupted, with the Kangaroo launching himself at Grizzly, flying through one of the Spot's spots, and smashing into a wall, knocking him out. Afterwards, Spider-Man took the Kangaroo to prison.[7]

Once out of prison, the Kangaroo tried to further emulate his idol, by gaining superhuman powers. As a result, his stature increased, with a corresponding decrease in his mental faculties. As a result, he attempted to make a name for himself by playing baseball and shunning the supervillain lifestyle. Taking the name Billy Bob Jenks, the Kangaroo found fame as a professional ball player, until his identity was revealed, resulting in his expulsion from the major leagues.[8] Turning back to the supervillain path, the Kangaroo then found himself incarcerated in the Cage, a prison where superhuman powers are dampened. Once again following his idol's path, Hibbs trained to become a master combatant. While in the Cage, he made a name for himself as a fighter, alongside Batroc the Leaper, another supervillain gifted with powerful legs.[9]

During all of this activity, Hibbs's mutation was rapidly advancing, as he gained bulk, growing to nearly nine feet in height, suffered facial deformity, and decreased in intelligence. After a short time period, Hibbs actually believed he was Frank Oliver, the original Kangaroo. As a result, he took on a very thick, almost unintelligible Australian accent.[10]

Still in the Cage, the Kangaroo then encountered Tombstone, who was suffering from heart aliments at the time. When the Kangaroo attempted to exert his influence upon Tombstone, the two ended up brawling; the fight was cut short by Tombstone suffering a heart attack. Later, Tombstone allied himself with several minor villains and attacked Kangaroo, nearly injuring him with a pair of scissors, until guards broke up the altercation and sent Tombstone to solitary confinement. Kangaroo then attacked Tombstone's friends, before hearing about a way he could revenge himself upon Tombstone proper. While Tombstone was under anesthesia, Kangaroo could attack him by crawling through the ductwork. However, this turned out to be a trap set by Tombstone: the ductwork was too narrow for the Kangaroo to squeeze into, resulting in Hibbs being stuck halfway out of the ducts. A group of inmates known as the Cruisers then found the Kangaroo in a compromising situation, which resulted in implied sodomy.[11]

Hibbs later appears in a multi-villain fight and as one of the villains in the bar.[12][13]

During the Civil War storyline, Hibbs was one of several attendees of an underworld summit held by Hammerhead.[14] In this appearance, Hibbs looks much as he did in his earlier appearances, implying that he might have lost his super-strength along with his malformed features.

When Alyosha Kravinoff, the son of Kraven the Hunter, began collecting a zoo of animal-themed super-beings in his container ship, Hibbs is clearly seen in one of the cages. However, after being let loose on the sinking ship along with all the others (all of which are in an unstable mental state), Hibbs is seen face-down in a pool of water presumably dead.[15]

During the Ends of the Earth storyline, Kangaroo turns up alive and was among the characters that Spider-Man rallies to help stop the construction of Octavius' satellites.[16] It was shown that after he was released, Kangaroo starts a superhero career in Australia when Spider-Man enlisted his help to disable the facilities that Doctor Octopus had built where the satellites would be constructed. When Kangaroo entered one of those facilities, he is ambushed and seemingly killed by Lady Deathstrike.[17]

Kangaroo is shown to have survived when he appears as a member of Boomerang and Owl's Sinister Sixteen, assembled to distract the Chameleon's forces while Boomerang steals from him.[18]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The Frank Oliver version of Kangaroo had his natural abilities enhanced by Jonas Harrow's implants connected to his nervous system, giving him superhuman strength in his legs and the ability to leap great heights and distances. He was also trained as a professional boxer.

The Brian Hibbs version of Kangaroo is at the peak of physical fitness and a master hand to hand combatant. He has also worn a suit of armor that conveys the following attributes: enhanced strength, agility and endurance, the ability to leap great distances, a pouch-level cannon, and a semi-prehensile tail.

Other versions[edit]

Spider-Man: The Manga[edit]

In Spider-Man: The Manga, the manga version of the Kangaroo appears in issues #7-9. He is a wrestler who was a wanted criminal in the United States and got kick out of the American Pro Wrestling Association. He first fights Spider-Man and escapes. Then he steals a medical bacteria which he mistook for money. He is then defeated by Spider-Man.[volume & issue needed]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

Kangaroo (Frank Oliver) first appeared in Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #2 (2006). He operates as a gang-boss, taking advantage of the Kingpin's misfortunes to take over territory and rackets, with Punisher killing his cousin in prison, Jake Palento. The Kingpin targets the man, utilizing his corrupt policewoman girlfriend Jeanne De Wolfe. Various heroes confront Oliver; this leads to his arrest by De Wolfe. However as she was gloating to Oliver, the Punisher shoots her dead.[19]

Following his release from prison, Kangaroo assaults a man who he claims owes him money. Just as he prepares to kill the man, Oliver is defeated by the new Spider-Man.[20]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • The Frank Oliver version of Kangaroo had a cameo in the X-Men episode "Sanctuary." He is among the mutants that take refuge in Asteroid M. He later appeared in "Graduation Day" as a member of Magneto's army.
  • The Brian Hibbs version of Kangaroo has a cameo appearance in the third season of Ultimate Spider-Man in the episode "The Vulture". He appears in one of Spider-Man's daydream cutaways buying coffee from Spider-Man in a café along with Lizard and Vulture, and later appears on Norman Osborn's computer as one of Doc Octopus's DNA projects along with eight other candidates.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2012). "1970s". Spider-Man Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. Dorling Kindersley. p. 52. ISBN 978-0756692360. "A new villain jumped into Spider-Man's life when the Kangaroo debuted, thanks to writer Stan Lee and artists John Buscema, Jim Mooney, and John Romita." 
  2. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #81
  3. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #126
  4. ^ Deadpool Vol. 3 #0
  5. ^ Spectacular Spider-Man vol.2 #242
  6. ^ Spectacular Spider-Man vol.2 #244
  7. ^ Spectacular Spider-Man vol.2 #245-246
  8. ^ Nova vol.3 #7
  9. ^ Wolverine vol.2 #164-165
  10. ^ Spider-Man Encyclopedia #16-17
  11. ^ Tangled Web of Spider-Man #16-17
  12. ^ Underworld #3.
  13. ^ Daughters of the Dragon #3.
  14. ^ Civil War: War Crimes one-shot
  15. ^ Punisher War Journal Vol. 2 #13-15
  16. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #685
  17. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man: Ends of the Earth #1
  18. ^ Nick Spencer (w), Steve Lieber (p), Rachelle Rosenberg (i). "Department of Revenge-Ucation" The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #12 (4 June 2014), United States: Marvel Comics
  19. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #2
  20. ^ Ultimate Fallout #4 (August 2011)

External links[edit]