Marvel Boy (Robert Grayson)

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Marvel Boy
Agents of Atlas #3.
Cover art by Tomm Coker
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Marvel Boy #1 (Dec. 1950)
Created by Stan Lee
Russ Heath
In-story information
Alter ego Robert Grayson
Team affiliations Agents of Atlas
Notable aliases The Crusader, the Uranian, Blue Marvel
Abilities Telepathy
Light blasts
Superhuman strength, stamina, and durability
Accomplished athlete
Expert pilot

Marvel Boy (Robert Grayson), also known as The Uranian, is a fictional character, a superhero in the Marvel Comics Universe, one of several to use the name "Marvel Boy". He was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Russ Heath, and first appeared in Marvel Boy #1 (December 1950).

Publication history[edit]

Robert Grayson is the 1950s Marvel Boy, created by Stan Lee and Russ Heath in Marvel Boy #1 (December 1950), from Marvel 1950s forerunner, Atlas Comics. Writer-artist Bill Everett took over with issue #2. Marvel Boy continued to star when the series title changed to Astonishing with issue #3. The character's final Atlas story was in Astonishing #7 (Dec. 1951).

Grayson would not appear again until issue #9 (June 1978) of Marvel Comics' alternate-reality series What If. This version of Marvel Boy was revived within mainstream Marvel continuity in the 1950s-set, 12-issue miniseries Marvel: The Lost Generation (2001–2002) and the six-issue Agents of Atlas (2006).

Fictional character biography[edit]

The characters and related events are described, below, using in-universe tone.

Robert Grayson was born in Trenton, New Jersey, the son of Dr. Horace Grabshield (later Anglicized as Grayson). Robert's father was a Jewish scientist who fled Earth with his infant son during the rise of Nazi Germany. The Graysons landed on Uranus, where they were greeted by the native Uranian Eternals. When he grew older Robert was given a costume and a pair of powerful energy-band bracelets, and returned to Earth in the 1950s to battle crime. He battled such foes as the Great Video.

The Crusader[edit]

Robert Grayson purportedly returned much later as an antagonist and vigilante, having been revived from suspended animation. He was apparently driven insane by grief over the death of the Uranian colony and called himself The Crusader (no relation to the medieval character from the Atlas Comics title The Black Knight). He attempted to murder banker Calvin McClary and battled the Fantastic Four. When the Crusader lost control of the energies channeled through his power wrist-bracelets, referred to as "Quantum Bands," they overloaded, and he was vaporized.[1] His ghost later appeared in the pages of Quasar, as the Blue Marvel.[2]

Agents of Atlas[edit]

The 2006 Marvel miniseries Agents of Atlas retconned the Crusader's existence by claiming that he had actually not been Robert Grayson, but instead was a confused and surgically altered Uranian Eternal who had been given the Quantum Bands as an equivalent to Marvel Boy's power bracelets. This individual was intended as an unquestioningly loyal servant of the Uranian Eternals, conditioned to obey them and to believe he was actually the original Marvel Boy. However, the plan went awry when a disaster destroyed his creators midway through the project, leaving the Crusader in a deranged and delusional state.[3]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Atlas Comics' Marvel Boy #1 (Dec. 1950): Cover artist uncertain; possibly Sol Brodsky.

During his career, Marvel Boy utilized two different pairs of wrist-bands. Both manipulated gravity and light; the second pair was stronger than the first. He wore polarized contact lenses which protected him when he manipulated light, creating blinding bursts to incapacitate his opponents. By manipulating gravity, he was able to fly. The bands provided these abilities by absorbing and transforming solar radiation. Through them, Marvel Boy gained superhuman strength, stamina, and durability. He also used a rocket-ship designed by his father, Horace Grayson, based on designs by Uranian technicians.

Marvel Boy's primary weapon is now the headband he received from the Uranians. This headband consists of highly sophisticated technologies that not only allow him to control his spaceship remotely, but affords him a high degree of telepathic ability. He can read minds, project highly convincing images and commands into the brains of others, and can scan the physiological state of those around him.

Marvel Boy has been reborn to share, on some level, a Uranian physiology. The full extent of this remains unrevealed, although it is known that he must breathe an atmosphere akin to the planet Uranus' and that, in order to eat, he must distend his esophagus.[4] It should be noted however, that these are not characteristics of an actual Uranian Eternal (see Eternals) and were not seen before the Agents of Atlas series.

Grayson is an accomplished athlete and completed advanced studies of science and technology at the Uranian Academy, giving him knowledge well beyond what has been discovered on Earth. He is also an expert pilot of air and spacecraft.

Other versions[edit]

The manipulative mastermind Thanos created a duplicate of Marvel Boy via the Infinity Gauntlet;[volume & issue needed] this double was later renamed the Blue Marvel and attempted to become the Punisher's sidekick but was rejected and was later exiled to a limbo dimension.[volume & issue needed]

The parallel universe anthology What If #9 (June 1978) showed a world where Marvel Boy was a member of a team of 1950s "Avengers."[5] This team battled the Yellow Claw and his superhuman minions, though the team was asked to disband by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.[volume & issue needed] This alternate timeline was destroyed in the 1998-2000 limited series Avengers Forever.[volume & issue needed]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Fantastic Four #164-165 (Nov.-Dec.1975).
  2. ^ Quasar Volume 1 #42
  3. ^ Agents of Atlas #1-6 (Oct. 2006 - March 2007)
  4. ^ Agents of Atlas #3
  5. ^ What If #9 (June 1978)

References[edit]

External links[edit]