Power Broker

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Power Broker is the name of two characters in Marvel Comics.

Concept and creation[edit]

The "Power Broker" concept was devised by Mark Gruenwald as a satire on the public obsession with health and fitness.[1]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Curtis Jackson[edit]

Power Broker
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Machine Man #6 (September 1978)
as Power Broker: The Thing #35 (May 1986)
Created by Jack Kirby
In-story information
Alter ego Curtiss Jackson
Team affiliations The Corporation
Power Broker, Inc.
Partnerships Red Skull

Curtiss Jackson was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. He became a professional criminal, and an executive with the criminal organization known as the Corporation.

As a member of the Corporation, Jackson attempts to take control of Machine Man.[2] With Eugene Stivak, Moonstone, and the Vamp, he later battles Captain America, Marvel Man, the Falcon, and the Hulk.[3] Jackson kidnaps Trish Starr, and battles the Hulk and Machine Man again.[4]

Dr. Karl Malus, a mad scientist who experimented on various superhuman individuals, goes to work for the Power Broker Corporation founded by Curtiss Jackson, using technology to augment the strength of paying customers to superhuman levels. The strength augmenting process is tremendously risky, with half the subjects dying or becoming severely deformed, but this information is kept a closely guarded secret. Power Broker and Malus use highly addictive drugs on their subjects, telling them that the chemical is necessary to stabilize their powers, but in fact it only serves to keep the subjects working for—and paying—the Power Broker. Many wrestlers of the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation, which is only open to those with super-strength, use the Power Broker's services, and wind up indebted to them.[volume & issue needed]

The Power Broker offers Sharon Ventura superhuman strength. She is reportedly sexually abused while drugged. She breaks free before Malus can administer the addictive drug, so the Power Broker sends the Grapplers to kill her.[5] The Power Broker later kidnaps Demolition-Man, and battles Captain America and the Shroud when they come to rescue him.[6]

When Power Broker, Inc. is attacked by the Scourge of the Underworld, Curtiss Jackson exposes himself to his own augmentation device. The process goes awry, leaving him so grotesquely muscle-bound that he cannot move.[7] Jackson was revealed to be a patient at Los Angeles County Hospital. Malus decided to take advantage of this situation by sending Vagabond, who knew Jackson (having previously approached him about gaining super-strength herself), to obtain a copy of his fingerprints so that Malus could access all of Jackson's personal accounts and vaults. He used an explosive wristband to force Vagabond's cooperation, but she managed to knock Malus out, destroy the fingerprint mold, place the band on his wrist, and inject him with the drug he had planned to use on her.[8]

The Power Broker had Malus' legs broken for his betrayal, then promptly re-hired him to try to cure Jackson's condition. Malus captured and experimented on several augmented individuals, including Battlestar to perfect the de-augmentation process, which drew the involvement of the U.S. Agent. Jackson appeared, revealed to be using an exo-skeleton to move. Together, Battlestar and the Agent defeated Jackson and freed the captured wrestlers, and forced Malus to restore their strength. The U.S. Agent then destroyed Malus' equipment and records, leaving Jackson in an over-augmented state.[9]

Power Broker has been responsible for providing augmented henchmen to various criminal organizations, such as the Sweatshop,[volume & issue needed] and the Power Tools.[volume & issue needed]

The Power Broker was later revealed as one of the Red Skull's division chiefs.[10]

Jackson resurfaced following the Maximum Security storyline, when Earth was made into an intergalactic penal colony. His extra-muscular bulk had been shed in-between appearances leaving him looking normal once again. Seeing an opportunity to recruit many of the exotic prisoners being dumped by the Kree and other alien races, Jackson raced to an area his computers determined would have a large amount of arrivals. Unfortunately for Jackson, the aliens were less than pleased at having been dumped on Earth, and attacked him. Playing dead, Jackson came upon a parasitic organism (Jackson calls it an alien, but U.S. Agent believed it to be an escaped S.H.I.E.L.D. experiment to control the alien criminals) who had lost its host. In exchange for becoming its host, Jackson would be granted the use of the parasite's spawn to infect and control others. In his plan to take over the world, Jackson smuggled the parasite spawns to a HYDRA base and a rebel Atlantean group. These operations were broken up by S.T.A.R.S. and their main agent, U.S. Agent, leading the group to take down the Power Broker once again.[11]

Successor[edit]

A new Power Broker has appeared in Avengers: The Initiative Annual #1. Very little is known about him other than he wears a battle suit, and can project bolts of energy from his hands. This new Power Broker has apparently taken over Power Broker, Inc.. He was responsible for giving Paul Brokeridge super-strength to wrestle in the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation, a move that led to Paul attaining the championship and later being crippled by a stronger wrestler. He was also responsible for giving Paul's brother Roger super-powers; Roger later became the superhero Hardball.[12]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The Curtiss Jackson version of Power Broker was an ordinary man until he exposed himself to his own chemical and radiation strength augmentation process. This granted him superhuman strength and durability, but left him with a grotesquely overdeveloped muscular physique which renders him unable to move without artificial aids. Dr. Karl Malus invented a powerful steel alloy exo-skeleton with tongue controls and flight capabilities to enable the Power Broker to move. Jackson has managed to de-augment himself and no longer uses the exo-skeleton. Jackson was briefly the host to a parasitic organism. This allowed him to mind-control anyone infected with the organism's spawn.[volume & issue needed] Jackson has a college degree in business administration, and is a highly skilled administrator and planner.

The second Power Broker wears a battle suit and can project bolts of energy from his hands.

Power Broker Inc.[edit]

Power Broker, Inc. is a fictional criminal corporation in the Marvel Universe which provides individuals with superhuman physical abilities for a price. The organization was created by Mike Carlin and Paul Neary.

Power Broker Inc. was founded by Curtiss Jackson and Karl Malus. Power Broker Inc. specializes in augmenting the strengths of anyone at a superhuman level.

Clients of Power Broker Inc.[edit]

The following characters have been clients of Power Broker Inc. and have gone through the Power Broker process:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zimmerman, Dwight Jon (January 1988). "Mark Gruenwald". Comics Interview (54) (Fictioneer Books). p. 15. 
  2. ^ Machine Man #6
  3. ^ Captain America #230; Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 #232-233
  4. ^ Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 #234-237
  5. ^ Thing #35
  6. ^ Captain America #329-331
  7. ^ Captain America #358-362
  8. ^ Captain America #363-364
  9. ^ Captain America #375-378
  10. ^ Captain America #394
  11. ^ U.S. Agent #1-3
  12. ^ Avengers: The Initiative Annual #1

External links[edit]