Cover of Amazing Spider-Man #133. Art by Ross Andru.
|First appearance||Amazing Spider-Man #28 (September 1965)|
|Created by||Stan Lee
|Alter ego||Mark Raxton|
|Team affiliations||Exterminators |
|Abilities||Expert safe cracker
Organic-liquid alloy grants:
Superhuman strength, durability, and endurance
|This section requires expansion. (December 2012)|
Fictional character biography
Mark Raxton was born in New York City. He was a scientist who could not wait to use his skills to become rich, and once worked at Oscorp Industries, Inc., as the laboratory assistant to Dr. Spencer Smythe, creator of the Spider-Slayers. Raxton and Smythe developed an experimental new liquid metallic alloy for the Spider-Slayers from a radioactive meteor, but Raxton attempted to steal it and sell it for his own profit. In the ensuing fight with Smythe in the laboratory, Raxton spilled the liquid alloy all over himself, his skin absorbing it and turning golden. Fearing for his life, Raxton ran for the nearest hospital, only to discover that the alloy had changed him for the better when he angrily punched an irate motorist's hood, buckling it. Realizing the great potential his new abilities afforded him, Raxton, now calling himself the Molten Man turned to crime to further his gains. Peter Parker, as Spider-Man, was forced to nearly miss his high school graduation to stop the Molten Man's first crime spree. He was released from jail before long, only to continue his criminal activities. However, he was once again defeated by Spider-Man.
Eventually, his body begins to give off intense heat and to consume itself. His metal skin became molten, and he stole meteor fragments from a museum to attempt a cure. An encounter with Spider-Man resulted in his submergence in the polluted East River, which temporarily reversed the deterioration.
After a few more encounters with Spider-Man, it was revealed that Peter's friend Liz Allan was Raxton's stepsister. Raxton broke into a pharmaceutical company to steal chemicals which would reverse his condition permanently. When the procedure failed, he went berserk and kidnapped Liz. Liz was saved by Spider-Man, but the Molten Man was buried beneath the laboratory. He later resurfaced at the same site and once again sought his sister out. Spider-Man prevented the Molten Man from hurting her, knocking him into a swimming pool, thus extinguishing his flames and cooling his molten properties. He was then taken to the Vault. Raxton realized that his stepsister was the only member of his family who had not abandoned him. He was eventually released from the Vault and approached Liz once again, this time to apologize. Spider-Man misunderstood his intentions and battled him once more. Reconciled with Raxton, Liz and her husband Harry Osborn gave Raxton a job as head of security at Osborn Industries. Molten Man later teamed up with Spider-Man and the second Green Goblin against Tombstone and Hammerhead. Molten Man was then kidnapped along with Liz, Normie Osborn, and Spider-Man by Harry Osborn, who had suffered a mental lapse, making him the evil Green Goblin once again. Molten Man was saved by Spider-Man. Molten Man and Spider-Man have since become friends, and Molten Man has occasionally used his powers to come to Spider-Man's aid against other supervillains. A few times he has been a bodyguard for Peter Parker's friends and family when disasters overwhelm the city.
However, in the months following the Clone Saga, Raxton was abducted by Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, and brainwashed. Under mind control, Molten Man attacked and killed Osborn's henchwoman Alison Mongraine, the only person who knew of the location of Peter and Mary Jane's baby. While Molten Man has since recovered from the mind control, he still bears a heavy burden of guilt over the incident.
Sometime after Harry Osborn's death, Raxton is called in when mysterious forces kidnap Liz Allan's son, Normie. He uses his brawn and brains to help Spider-Man and the Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich uncover what happened.
Raxton is later pressed into a super-villain group again when the Chameleon approaches him and threatens to kill Normie if Raxton does not join his 'Exterminators'. Raxton is then forced to attack Liz Allan.
During the Civil War, Molten Man and Scarecrow were used as bait for Captain America's Secret Avengers only for the Punisher to arrive. Raxton is left in critical condition after being attacked by Punisher.[volume & issue needed]
Raxton next appears, still in bad condition, under the care of Liz Allan. When Harry Osborn comes to visit Liz and Normie, he and Liz get into an argument. Hearing Liz speak Harry's name, Raxton suddenly awakens and attacks him, screaming that Harry has hurt his family for the last time, and will "die for real". Spider-Man intervenes, but has trouble fighting Raxton, whose powers have grown greatly out of control. Spider-Man manages to trap Raxton in asphalt, and Harry provides him with a cure that Oscorp had been working on upon using volunteer Charlie Weiderman, the other "Molten Man". The cure works perfectly, returning Raxton to his original human state.
Powers and abilities
Molten Man was given superhuman powers after exposure to an organic liquid metal alloy obtained from a meteor discovered by Spencer Smythe. His skin completely absorbed the experimental alloy, turning all of the external tissues of his body into a solid metallic substance, as well as the trunks, belt, and boots he was wearing at the time of the accident. As a result, Molten Man possesses superhuman strength and his skin is composed of a frictionless metal that grants him a high degree of resistance to physical injury. Raxton's metallic fingers are sensitive enough to pick locks (making him an expert safe cracker), and his skin is so slick he cannot be restrained with Spider-Man's webbing. Molten Man's skin can also generate intense heat, burning anybody who tries to touch him and shooting flaming projectiles at his foes. At one time, his skin was like molten lava, allowing him to project radiation and heat up to 300 °F (149 °C). In his molten form, the Molten Man's skin may reach a critical stage at which point his skin could actually melt off him.
Additionally, unlike most of Spider-Man's more thuggish villains, Molten Man had brains to complement his raw physical strength. An intelligent and completely sane scientist, Molten Man was smart enough to learn from his mistakes and not fall for the same trick twice. He is a college graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering.
Ultimate Molten Man
In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Mark Raxton is a guitarist in a local punk rock band, the name of which is later revealed to be Molten Man. One of their songs includes the lyrics "I am your molten man, and I'm melting on you".
He first appears in the story "Dumped", in Ultimate Spider-Man #78. He asks Mary Jane Watson on a date. She reluctantly accepts, but spends most of the evening talking about Peter Parker, who has just broken up with her. Raxton remains a gentleman the entire time. Later, he encounters Mary Jane at the mall, and upon learning that the boy she was with was Peter, tells her "Good for you," and leaves without further incident.
He later appears in Ultimate Spider-Man #88, the third part of the "Silver Sable" storyline. In the story, a student from Parker's high school dresses up as Spider-Man and runs out in front of the press. He is revealed to be Mark Raxton, who tries to promote his band Molten Man before being dragged away by police.
In other media
- Molten Man appears in the second season of The Spectacular Spider-Man voiced by Eric Lopez. In this version, he is renamed Mark Allan and is Liz Allan's biological brother, and like her is re-imagined as Hispanic. Mark Allan also has gambling connections to Blackie Gaxton. Mark is introduced in "First Steps", the fifth episode of Season 2, as having recently returned after spending six months in juvenile hall. He is regretful about his criminal past, having stolen a car to repay gambling debts. He has a romantic connection to Mary Jane Watson which begins casually but quickly becomes serious. In "Subtext", the eleventh episode of Season 2, Gaxton tells Mark he can repay his debts by letting Miles Warren inject nanobots into his bloodstream, which turns him into the Molten Man. Their boss, the Green Goblin, then blackmails Mark into killing Spider-Man in exchange for the device that controls his transformation. Liz and Mary Jane both try to dissuade Mark, but he insists on fighting Spider-Man and is defeated, and is depowered by the Goblin for his failure. In the episode "Opening Night", Molten Man is shown as an inmate at the Vault, where he and the Rhino are kept in a special section (supposedly for superpowered inmates). Like the others, he is released when the Green Goblin takes control of the prison with Spider-Man inside. The Goblin re-activates Mark's powers and orders him to help the other inmates kill Spider-Man; he is defeated along with them when Walter Hardy releases knock-out gas. In both battles Mark proves dangerous but easily fooled, with Spider-Man goading him into making costly mistakes, such as destroying a Mysterio robot simply because Spider-Man dared him to try to hit him.
- Molten Man appears in the PS3 and Xbox 360 version of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 voiced by Andrew Kishino. He is among the supervillains under the control of the Control Nanites used by S.H.I.E.L.D. In the Pro-Registration campaign, he is used to assist the heroes in fighting Goliath. In the Anti-Registration campaign, he and She-Hulk are shown attacking Cloak and Dagger until the heroes arrive. When the nanites take a mind of their own, Molten Man is among the supervillains that attacks both sides. He will attack the heroes after they replaced the power cores needed to power up the portal that leads out of Prison 42.
- Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2012). "1960s". Spider-Man Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. Dorling Kindersley. p. 30. ISBN 978-0756692360.
Mark Raxton was a corrupt partner of [Spencer] Smythe's who worked with him on a liquid metal alloy project.
- Amazing Spider-Man #28
- Amazing Spider-Man #35
- Amazing Spider-Man #132-133
- Amazing Spider-Man #172-173
- Spectacular Spider-Man #63
- Web of Spider-Man #62
- Web of Spider-Man #66
- Spectacular Spider-Man #189
- The Amazing Spider-Man #440-441
- Marvel Universe Appendix
- Amazing Spider-Man #581
- Amazing Spider-Man #582
- Ultimate Spider-Man #78
- Ultimate Spider-Man #88
- Comics Continuum by Rob Allstetter: Monday, January 14, 2008
- Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 NPC Spotlight: Wizard, Shocker and Molten Man
- Molten Man at Marvel.com