Ajax (comics)

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Ajax is the codename belonging to two different characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. One character is the descendant of a demigod, the other a mercenary.

The mercenary Ajax is portrayed by Ed Skrein in the 2016 feature film Deadpool.

Pantheon character[edit]

Ajax
Ajazpantheon.jpg
Ajax threatens Atalanta
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Incredible Hulk #379 (March 1991)
Created by Peter David
Dale Keown
In-story information
Team affiliations Pantheon
Abilities Accelerated healing factor
Extended lifespan
Via exoskeleton battle-suit:
Superhuman strength, durability and reflexes

Publication history[edit]

Ajax first appeared in Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #379 (March 1991), and was created by Peter David and Dale Keown.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Ajax is a member of the Pantheon, and is one of the descendants of the immortal Agamemnon, along with Achilles, Atalanta, Cassiopeia, Delphi, Hector, Paris, Perseus, Prometheus, and Ulysses. Ajax was born in Texas. He was named after Ajax, a Greek warrior who fought in the Trojan War.[volume & issue needed]

When the warriors of the Pantheon first encounter the Hulk, for the purpose of inviting him to join them, Ajax attacks the Hulk after he believes the Hulk has struck Atalanta, for whom Ajax bears an unrequited crush. To prevent injuries to nearby civilians, Hulk pretends to be rendered unconscious so that the Pantheon will take him captive.[1] When the Pantheon returns to their headquarters, The Mount, the formerly captive Hulk frees himself, and Ajax fights him again but this time is defeated by him.[2] After the Hulk accepts the Pantheon's offer to join them Ajax attacks him again, but Atalanta, to whom Ajax is submissive, tells him that the Hulk is now a member of the Pantheon, and that he must now regard him as a friend.[3]

Ajax serves on many of the Pantheon's missions while the Hulk is part of the team. Ajax fights rioters in New York City alongside Atalanta, killing some of them because his companion ordered this.[4] Alongside the Hulk and the Pantheon, he battles S.H.I.E.L.D. and the forces of Farnoq Dahn in the Trans-Sabal war,[5][6] and battled the People's Protectorate.[7] After Atalanta is injured Ajax visits her in the Mount's hospital.[8] He battles Dracchiss alongside the Pantheon,[9] and is badly burned in a fight with the U-Foes.[10]

When he discovered Atalanta and Achilles in a romantic interlude, Ajax flies into a jealous rage, threatening to hurt both of them. He is eventually restrained and calmed by the Hulk.[11]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Ajax is so massive that he cannot move quickly without a special exoskeleton battle-suit, which grants him superhuman strength, durability and reflexes. His strength increases as his anger builds, much like that of the Hulk. Like other members of the Pantheon, Ajax has a fast healing ability and an extended lifespan. Without support from his battle-suit, Ajax's legs and spine would collapse under his tremendous weight. His body is disproportionate in shape. He also has poor vision.

Personality[edit]

He has the mentality of a young child, making him sometimes difficult to control. Atalanta has always been able to calm him down, as he idolizes her and will do anything she says. Of course, this sometimes leads to other problems. For a time, he did not understand the difference between romantic love and platonic friendship love and this drove him into a rampage, where he even threatened Atalanta herself. The rampage was ended before anyone was seriously hurt (in Pantheon terms) or killed. Ajax took his rage out on an inanimate mountain, not realizing he was endangering himself as well. The Hulk managed to talk him into calming down.

The Hulk has also gotten into trouble when he fails to treat Ajax with the proper mind frame. At first he attacks Ajax again when he mistakes a simple hug for another threat against Atalanta. Then the Hulk let it slip that Bambi's mother had died, distressing Ajax who had been told, by Atalanta, she had run away and come back after the movie had ended.

Deadpool character[edit]

Ajax
Deadpool volume 01 issue 17 1997Jun (cover) lowResolution.png
The cover art of Deadpool Vol. 01, Issue #17 depicting Ajax and Deadpool.
Artwork by Chris Sotomayor.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Deadpool #14 (March 1998)
Created by Joe Kelly
Walter McDaniel
In-story information
Alter ego Francis Freeman
Team affiliations Weapon X
Notable aliases The Attending
Abilities Enhanced strength
Intuitive capacity
Via implants:
Superhuman speed and agility
High tolerance to pain

Publication history[edit]

Ajax (Francis) first appeared in Deadpool #14 (cover-dated March, 1998) and was created by artist/writer Joe Kelly and writer Walter McDaniel.

Fictional character biography[edit]

The man known as "The Attending" (real name Francis Freeman) was the former enforcer at Dr. Killebrew's laboratory, known as the Workshop, part of the Hospice for failed supersoldiers at the Weapon X Project. Francis acted as the strongarm for Killebrew, reining in the project's "washouts" that were fodder for Killebrew's sadistic experiments whenever they stepped out of line. This included Wade Wilson, who would later be known as the mercenary Deadpool.[12]

Having had his nerves removed by Killebrew for better pain management, Francis would later have enhanced strength and intuitive capability, as well as receiving subcutaneous implants for super-speed and agility.[12]

After endless taunting from Wilson, Francis was given permission by Killebrew to kill him. Francis orchestrated events so that Wilson would perform a mercy killing on another inmate, which was against the rules; the inmate Deadpool was to kill was one to whom he had grown particularly close. After Francis removed Wilson's heart, his healing factor manifested itself for the first time by regenerating a new heart for the mercenary. However, the entire series of events cost him his sanity. Taking the codename Deadpool, he hunted down and seemingly killed Francis.[12]

Revealed to have survived, Francis resurfaced years later using the codename of Ajax. He hunted down and killed many of the surviving members of the Weapon X project to exact his revenge on Deadpool. Ajax tortured Killebrew at his mountain home in the Alps in order to obtain Wade's teleporter frequency; after which he teleported Wade next to a nearby cliff and sucker-punched him, sending Deadpool to his apparent death.[12]

In a near death experience, however, it was revealed that because Wade came back from the dead once to kill Francis, he was now bound by honor and destiny to finish the job he began those many years ago, urged on by the ghosts of Francis' victims who had also been Wilson's friends. The battle continued as Deadpool rescued Killebrew and sought shelter at Killebrew's neighbor's house. This was owned by Ilaney Bruckner who was reluctantly dragged into the conflict when Deadpool destroyed the house to slow down Francis.[13]

Francis caught up with the trio and proceeded to punch Deadpool repeatedly at super-speed. Before he could kill Deadpool, however, Killebrew doused him with gasoline and lit up a flare, destroying Francis' head and neck protection. For doing this, Killebrew was shredded at super speed.[14]

Once again catching up with the fleeing Deadpool, Ajax fell victim to a trap laid by his intended victim which resulted in his armor's circuitry being exposed. Taking advantage of this, Deadpool arranged for Ajax to plunge both of them into a lake, short-circuiting his armor and giving Deadpool the opportunity to kill him, which he did by snapping his neck.[14] Ajax "re-appeared" years later in one of Deadpool's nightmares, more specifically on a television set.[15]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Francis has enhanced strength and intuitive capacity, as a result of genetic modifications by Doctor Killebrew. After receiving implants, he gained superhuman speed and agility. His nerves were also removed to dramatically increase his tolerance for pain.[12]

In other media[edit]

Film[edit]

The Francis Freeman version of Ajax appears in the movie Deadpool, portrayed by Ed Skrein.[16] He works in an underground facility (which he was also formerly a patient in) and tortures Wade Wilson to bring out his mutant genes and be sold as a super slave. He is annoyed by Wade's constant mocking, especially when Wade discovers his real name and claims he got the name Ajax from the cleaning product. His experiments result in Wade's hideous mutation and the destruction of the facility he worked in. He is injured by Wade (now known as "Deadpool") on the freeway, and escapes when his enemy is distracted by Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. He and his partner Angel Dust retaliate by kidnapping Wade's girlfriend Vanessa. Deadpool and the two X-Men confront Ajax and his team at a scrapyard with a downed Helicarrier, where Ajax loses and is killed by Wade after he reveals he can't fix Wade's disfigurement.

References[edit]

  1. ^ David, Peter (w), Keown, Dale (w). Incredible Hulk #379. Marvel Comics
  2. ^ David, Peter (w), Keown, Dale (w). Incredible Hulk #381. Marvel Comics
  3. ^ David, Peter (w), Keown, Dale (w). Incredible Hulk #382. Marvel Comics
  4. ^ David, Peter (w), Keown, Dale (w). Incredible Hulk #385. Marvel Comics.
  5. ^ David, Peter (w), Keown, Dale (w). Incredible Hulk #391-392.
  6. ^ David, Peter (w). X-Factor #76. Marvel Comics
  7. ^ David, Peter (w), Keown, Dale (w). Incredible Hulk #393. Marvel Comics
  8. ^ David, Peter (w). Incredible Hulk #395. Marvel Comics
  9. ^ David, Peter (w). Incredible Hulk Annual #18. Marvel Comics
  10. ^ David, Peter (w), Keown, Dale (w). Incredible Hulk #397. Marvel Comics
  11. ^ David, Peter (w), Frank, Gary (p), Smith, Cam (i). Incredible Hulk #405. Marvel Comics
  12. ^ a b c d e Kelly, Joe, Steve Harris, Reggie Jones, et al (w). "A Kiss, A Curse, A Cure" 1998 Annual Starring Deadpool and Death (July 1998), New York, NY: Marvel Comics
  13. ^ Kelly, Joe, Walter McDaniel (w). "Payback Part One: Karmic Relief" Deadpool 18 (July 1998), New York, NY: Marvel Comics
  14. ^ a b Kelly, Joe, Walter McDaniel (w). "Payback Part Two: The Quick and the Dead" Deadpool 19 (August 1998), New York, NY: Marvel Comics
  15. ^ Nicieza, Fabian (w), Brown, Reilly (p), Freeman, Jeremy (i), Gotham (col), Sharpe, Dave (let), Boose, Nicole (ed). "Past Indiscretions" Cable & Deadpool 35 (February 2007), New York, NY: Marvel Comics
  16. ^ Skrein, Ed (April 7, 2015). "Ed Skrein on Twitter". Retrieved April 8, 2015. 

External links[edit]