Art by Gary Frank
|First appearance||Amazing Fantasy #15 (January 2006)|
|Created by||Greg Pak
|Team affiliations||New Warriors
|Notable aliases||Mastermind Excello, Prince of Power, Iron Spider, Hulk|
Possesses Hercules' powers
Wields adamantine mace
Amadeus Cho, also known as Mastermind Excello, is a fictional superhero appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Greg Pak and artist Takeshi Miyazawa, the character first appeared in Amazing Fantasy vol. 2 #15 (January 2006). He usually appears as a supporting character or sidekick in books featuring The Avengers, or individual members of that group, such as Hulk or Hercules.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Kerberos ("Kirby") the Coyote
- 5 Other versions
- 6 In other media
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Amadeus Cho was created by Greg Pak and Takeshi Miyazawa, and first appeared in Amazing Fantasy (volume 2) #15, in one of an anthology of stories. Greg Pak brought Cho back as a major character in the World War Hulk storyline, and then as one of the primary characters in The Incredible Hercules. He subsequently starred in his own miniseries, Heroic Age: Prince of Power.
Fictional character biography
Amadeus Cho took part in the Excello soap company's "young genius" contest, winning easily. After his abilities were discovered, Pythagoras Dupree, the man behind the contest, had Amadeus' house blown up, killing his parents and leaving Amadeus on the run for his life, distrusting almost everyone he meets. Shortly after going on the run on his characteristic Vespa scooter, he adopted an orphaned coyote pup, whom he sometimes uses to gain sympathy. After once being saved from his pursuers by the Incredible Hulk, he considers the latter as a friend and strictly views him as heroic and reactive to the aggression of others.
Amadeus Cho has stated to Hercules, just before he first encountered Athena at her house, that he is Korean American, and mentions to Athena later at an Olympian dinner when questioned about his namesake that, due to his parents' love for Mozart's music and Methodist beliefs, they named him this.
The character is next seen during the events of the crossover event, World War Hulk, where he first comes across a de-powered Jen Walters. He then gathers a team of the Hulk's former colleagues of the super-group Champions, Hercules and Archangel, both of whom considered themselves in debt to the Hulk for mistakenly attacking him on a previous occasion. With the assistance of Namora they attempt and fail to stop the Hulk.
The Incredible Hercules
The Incredible Hulk series is then retitled Incredible Hercules from #112, and the character's adventures as the sidekick of Hercules are detailed. Due to them helping the Hulk they go on the run, but are chased by Hercules' half-brother Ares. The character then participates in a number of adventures, including helping Hercules and other Earthly gods defeat the pantheon of Skrull gods during the Secret Invasion storyline. During this, Nightmare finds out Cho's greatest fears at the time is finding out all the bad events in his life are his fault. It is revealed that Cho reminds Hercules of Hylas, a young companion who he lost during the Argonaut's voyage.
Following this storyline the pair battle Amazons, led by Princess Artume, who need him to decipher an Atlantean tablet that will lead to the Omphalos. Amadeus is attracted to the Amazon warrior Delphyne Gorgon, but upon her becoming queen she is obliged to end any flirtation, to his sadness.
Together with Athena, Amadeus and Hercules next confront the new head of the Olympians, Hera, and travel to the underworld to rescue Zeus from Hades. There it is revealed that Cho's sister is still alive and missing. Upon learning this, and realizing that Athena had to have known this all along, he tearfully leaves Hercules, determined to find out what happened to his sister.
Venturing to the town of Excello, Utah, he encounters former FBI Agent Sexton, who had contacted him shortly after the death of his parents, and does battle with Pythagoras Dupree, who claims to be the sixth-smartest man in the world. Cho realizes the incredible potential of his brain to serve as a 'hypercomputer', and figures out that Sexton is in fact Athena in disguise.
Amadeus finally confronts Dupree in person, and learns that Dupree was not aware of Amadeus' sister being missing, meaning she is still missing. Amadeus also learns that his destiny is to be the new hero of the modern era of reason, and to stop the "Primordial darkness" (this is revealed to the reader to be the return of Amatsu-Mikaboshi). Dupree then challenges Amadeus to a specialized version of Russian Roulette, which Amadeus refuses to do, leaving Dupree to simply shoot himself. After grieving about the situation, he then discovers the truth about Hera's mysterious "Continuum" project, which makes Athena and Amadeus both say in unison, "We need to get Hercules."
Athena reveals to Cho that he is her choice to be the next Prince of Power, the "Hero of the mind", as opposed to the hero of strength that Hercules represented. Furthermore, there cannot be more than one Prince of Power at any one time; this means that Hercules will soon meet his death. Cho vows to prevent this. Delphyne then uses a weapon forged by Hephaestus to turn Athena to stone, seemingly killing her. Hercules and Cho aim to retrieve her body and Delphyne changes sides in the process, though it is ultimately the arrival of the divine thunderbolt after Zeus and Hera are killed by Typhon that restores Athena to life. Hercules successfully defeats Typhon, but Athena reveals to Hercules that he must now die and seemingly allows him to perish by destroying the Continuum, causing the Universe Hercules is in to be destroyed. She claims he must die so Cho can take over the group, and that he rid the world of monsters so that intelligence could take over.
A funeral service is held at the Parthenon in Athens, where a tearful Amadeus demands Athena show herself and pay her respects. In her place appear a collection of Earth's heroes including Thor and the Warriors Three, Bruce Banner, Skaar, Namor, Namora, the Black Widow, Wolverine, Angel, and Snowbird. They share memories of their adventures with Hercules until Athena finally arrives. She reveals to Amadeus that he is the new leader of the Olympus Group. Some of the other gods object and each chooses a mortal proxy to do battle for them. Amadeus is chosen by Athena and he is joined by Namor and Bruce Banner, representing Poseidon and Hebe. They are pitted against Skaar and Phobos representing Artemis and Apollo. Nyx, goddess of night also arrives and chooses Nightmare as her mortal champion. Poseidon gives Namor his trident which greatly increases his power, and helps him in his fight against Skaar. Cho and Banner manage to get rid of Nightmare and convince Phobos not to fight them. The combatants turn against the gods and Phobos uses his power over fear to manipulate Hades into opening a portal to the underworld. Amadeus travels into the land of the dead to look for Hercules and meets Persephone, wife of Hades. She tells him that Hades would not have allowed him in if Hercules' soul had been there. The following Monday Athena arrives at Olympus Group headquarters to find that Amadeus has accepted her offer and is now acting as CEO. He tells her that he is not her champion, he's Hercules' champion, and that he will be using all the powers given to him to find Hercules.
Prince of Power
Athena is shown meeting with the Council of Godheads to discuss the new Heroic Age, and who should be selected to confront the coming darkness of Mikaboshi. Other Skyfathers suggest Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America, but Athena states that Cho will save the world. Cho, now in charge of the Olympus Group, with Hebe working as his assistant, spends half a trillion dollars in order to have Bruce Banner build a device capable of scanning the multiverse to find Hercules. However, it is determined that this will take over a billion years to work. After a battle with the Griffin, Cho is visited by Vali Halfling, the leader of the Pantheon, who proposes an alliance in order to gather the necessary ingredients to become as powerful as the Skyfathers: Hebe's ambrosia, the golden apples of Idunn, the spells of the Book of Thoth, and the amrita cup of Dhanavantari. Cho steals the list from Vali and goes to Asgard himself, only to find that Vali had already stolen the apples, framing him for the theft. Cho convinces Thor that he is innocent, and Thor then joins his quest to both stop Halfling and resurrect Hercules. With some additional assistance from Delphyne, who is now his girlfriend, Cho succeeds in thwarting Halfling and using the elixir to assume true godhood. However, he realizes that he is inadequate to wield this power permanently, and he instead transfers it to the returned Hercules, as Hercules warns that the Chaos King is coming.
Amadeus Cho is among the characters present when Hercules warns the heroes of the coming of Amatsu-Mikaboshi. After what happened to Nightmare, Amadeus Cho helps Hercules and Thor gather Sersi, Venus, Daimon Hellstrom, Silver Surfer, and Galactus together as the second incarnation of the God Squad. Amadeus Cho calculates that Amatsu-Mikaboshi by now has consumed most of the Multiverse. Amadeus Cho urges humanity to escape to an unpopulated and sealed-off continuum of which he knows. While Hulk and his allies, the God Squad, Alpha Flight, and the surviving Dead Avengers fight Amatsu-Mikaboshi's forces, Amadaeus Cho and Galactus work on a machine that will transfer Earth to the sealed-off continuum, but Amatsu-Mikaboshi is eventually defeated when he is thrown into the continuum in question himself.
During the Fear Itself storyline, Amadeus Cho ends up in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with X-23, Spider-Girl, Power Man, and Thunderstrike. During the battle, they are attacked by samurai sharks. It's revealed that Amadeus assembled them in the hopes that they would join him as a new super team. The others get angry because he was manipulating them and they turn down his offer.
As part of the Marvel NOW! event in the pages of Savage Wolverine, Amadeus Cho appeared on an island in the Savage Land where he stops the fight between Wolverine and a tribe of Neanderthals after one of them had killed Shanna the She-Devil. He convinces them that he is their god and to help save Shanna's life. Using the lifeblood of a Man-Thing that was native to the Savage Land, the Neanderthal tribe resurrected Shanna. Amadeus Cho told Shanna what the Neanderthal natives had explained to him. The machine powering the damping field was also powering a prison, one holding an ancient hostile alien presence. Realizing that Wolverine would be releasing this creature, Shanna raced to stop him. She arrived in time with Amadeus Cho right behind her and was able to stop Wolverine. Suddenly, Hulk appeared before them, however, and quickly entered a scuffle with Wolverine in which the machine was damaged anyway.
Following an eight-month time skip, Cho is seen as a member of the Illuminati. He is captured by a joint S.H.I.E.L.D. / Avengers task force led by Susan Storm. As seen in All-new All different Marvel,It has been revealed that Amadeus is now a Hulk,and happy to be one.
Powers and abilities
Amadeus is a teenager gifted with a super-genius mind, bearing the "natural ability to identify the variables and quantum possibilities in any situation". He is described by Reed Richards as being the seventh most intelligent person in the world, though Hank Pym claims that, with his return to Earth from Skrull captivity, Amadeus is actually the eighth. Meanwhile, Bruce Banner claims he is actually the tenth, but later says to the Leader that Cho is one of the eight smartest. The Eternal Ajak believes that Cho is actually more intelligent than some immortals, and he has claimed to Athena, who says that intelligence is essentially "pattern recognition", that he sees patterns better than 99.999999993% of people on Earth. Hercules has claimed twice, the first instance to Athena herself, that Amadeus is smarter than even she, and the super-genius Olympian god of fire and invention Hephaestus himself admits that Cho is more intelligent than he is.
Amadeus is able to rapidly and without mechanical aid perform mental calculations of almost unimaginable complexity enabling him to, with minimal stimuli on his part, set multiple physical reactions into motion in his vicinity, forestalling technological and human activity with equal ease. This intelligence is portrayed in the comics as various numbers and other details labeled on everything he sees as relevant, shown from his point of view. He has shown himself capable of doing anything from redirecting a laser-guided missile with a wing mirror or tracking the Hulk based on his trajectory and jump height. However, performing mental calculations in rapid succession costs him immense amounts of energy, requiring him to consume large amounts of food thereafter. He previously rode a Vespa scooter and carried a phone/radio, Walkman, or other device altered to control nearby electrical signals.
In Incredible Hulk #610, Amadeus, along with hundreds of others, is zapped with the Cathexis Ray, which further enhances his intelligence. It also allows him to alter the laws of physics within a ten-foot radius of himself. He uses this power to shut down the Leader's equipment and revert MODOK to his original human form. He loses this power when Bruce Banner uses a recalibrated Cathexis Ray to remove the powers of the newly created Hulks.
When the helmet of Scott Lang, also known as the second Ant-Man, fell into Amadeus' possession, he, with Cassie Lang's blessing, chose to use it as a telepathic enhancer, downplaying the size changing aspect of the Ant-Man power to focus on the mind-controlling abilities on the insect mind instead.
After the "death" of Hercules, Amadeus is made the new Prince of Power and head of the Olympus Group by Athena. This status somehow protected him from certain effects of the Chaos King. He also has access to all of the Olympus Group's wealth and resources.
In many ways, however, Amadeus' intellect can also be a prominent weakness. Although he is a calculating genius with not-insignificant tactical skills, he has been known to become set in his views of situations until something drastic happens to change them, such as siding with the Hulk during World War Hulk until the Hulk's actions nearly destroyed the entire eastern seaboard, or simply shifting his 'allegiance' to Hercules without recognizing the need to surrender to S.H.I.E.L.D. after the fight was over. While his rigid viewpoint makes Amadeus particularly dedicated to those he considers friends- as shown in his attempts to find Hercules- it nevertheless leaves him potentially vulnerable to manipulation if his actions are based on relatively limited information, particularly since he sometimes focuses on the personal issues to the exclusion of taking the larger picture into account. This aspect of his personality came to a head when he once nearly destroyed S.H.I.E.L.D. before Hercules made him see sense, forcing Cho to recognize that he was going to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. simply because he perceived them as a threat without recognizing the greater need for their presence because he was simply blinded by his own issues with them. This intellect has also shown in a certain lack of imagination, able to conceive of incredible plans and advanced technology but lacking an ability to improvise, such as when he attempted to create a pocket dimension to send Earth to safety during the Chaos War which was later used by Hercules to dispose of their opponent instead. His focus on patterns has also been shown to be another weakness, as his defence of the Hulk primarily focuses on the idea that the Hulk has never destroyed the world whereas other characters recognise that it was only through exceptional last-minute circumstances that Earth was saved from Hulk's rampages rather than Hulk himself choosing not to do so.
Kerberos ("Kirby") the Coyote
Amadeus was once usually accompanied by a coyote pup who peered out the front of Cho's jacket. He picked him up along the side of the road, near a roadside diner where he met the Hulk for the first time. The coyote's mother had been hit and killed by a car, but the pup had remained with her body. Cho, not failing to see the similarity, took him in. Cho has since trained him to distract opponents and perform simple search operations.
Kerberos' name was chosen in a contest held by the writers of the comic; the winner was a reader from Montevideo, Uruguay, Martín "MaGnUs" Pérez. The name was chosen by the reader both because of the mythological connotations and the computer network authentication protocol of the same name.
During the Secret Invasion, it was revealed that Kirby was abducted immediately following World War Hulk by Skrulls posing as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents after they knocked out Amadeus with gas; Kirby was then replaced with a Skrull agent. The infiltrator was able to destroy the ship by driving it off course after disguising himself as Cho. He is slain by Cho's ally, Aton, who sees him transform back to Kirby and bites his head off. Using a tracking system he had implanted in the pup beforehand, Amadeus manages to track Kirby down, finding him in the Mojave desert. Once there, he discovers that the now full-grown Kirby has adapted to the wild, even gaining a mate. Amadeus decides to leave Kirby where he is, reasoning that his life had become too dangerous for him.
Marvel Zombies 5
A version of Amadeus Cho appears in the pages of Marvel Zombies 5, in an alternate reality based in Machine Man-Iron Man 2020. He and Delphyne Gorgon are poor denizens of a dystopia future. They are addicted against their will to a compelling virtual reality soap opera. A villain uses Cho's computer skills and desires to see the soap opera to further a murderous plan.
In the Ultimate Universe, Amadeus Cho is a 15-year-old genius tasked by S.H.I.E.L.D. with studying the portal Mysterio opened between the Ultimate Earth and Earth-616. During Galactus' invasion, Cho is the one who sends Spider-Man and Reed Richards to Earth-616 in order to find a way to stop the creature.
Secret Wars (2015)
In an alternate universe as revealed in the Secret Wars, Amadeus Cho is shown as being a boy genius. He works alongside Dr Bruce Banner (who has not become the Hulk in this reality) at Bannertech, a large technology company. Amadeus performs an unauthorized experiment, exposing pigs to gamma radiation. The pigs mutate into wild, large creatures which shock Dr. Bruce Banner. However, Amadeus is pleased that he has increased the pigs' size and therefore their meat content. Dr. Banner and Amadeus are then contacted by a S.H.I.E.L.D. director that explains a gamma bomb in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s possession has been stolen and launched at a civilian population by A.I.M.Dr Banner attempts to evacuate the facility, whilst Amadeus uses flight technology to get onto the gamma bomb. Amadeus attempts to hijack the bomb but both him and the bomb crash into the tower at the Bannertech facility. Amadeus is presumed to be killed in the explosion caused by the gamma bomb as he is not seen again.
Another version of Amadeus Cho is when he appears as a boy genius member of the Runaways. He was a student in the Victor Von Doom Institute For Gifted Youths.
In other media
- Amadeus Cho is featured in The Super Hero Squad Show. In the episode "Hulk Talks Smack!", the Hulk checks out the library book 'The Effects of Theoretical Quantum Physics of the Negative Zone Made Easy' by Cho (Hulk checked this book out so he could eat it as it was all words and 'Pictures taste bleah!'). In the episode "Too Many Wolverines", Amadeus makes a non-speaking appearance as a classmate of Reptil and Firestar at the local school. He wins first prize at the science fair by cloning the Mayor of Super Hero City.
- Amadeus Cho appears in the third season of Ultimate Spider-Man, voiced by Eric Bauza. This version is a 13-year-old genius who was accredited by Nick Fury to be at least the seventh smartest being on Earth. Peter Parker is jealous of Cho due to the fact that his enrollment at Midtown High took away Peter's title of being the smartest student. Cho ends up becoming the new Iron Spider after he proves himself perfect to operate the armor. At first, they do not get along, to the point where Amadeus calls the web-slinger a "menace" and tries to be a "true hero". He is attacked by Taskmaster attempting to steal the Iron Spider armor, but Spider-Man assists him and saves innocents. This changes Amadeus' view of Spider-Man and realizes the truth of Spider-Man. Taskmaster uses a nanobot to hack the armor which causes Cho to fight Spider-Man uncontrollably. Amadeus manages to fix the problem but Taskmaster gets away and the nanobot nearly causes the Iron Spider armor to explode. However, Spider-Man removes the nanobot and Cho resolves the virus. Spider-Man lets him keep the Iron Spider armor and recruits him as a member of the New Warriors along with Agent Venom. He ends up accidentally causing the reawakening of Arnim Zola, but Spider-Man takes the blame not wanting Amadeus to get kicked out of S.H.I.E.L.D. In the Season 3 finale four-parter, Amadeus along with Flash Thompson discover that Peter Parker is in fact Spider-Man.
- In the novelization of The Incredible Hulk by Peter David, Banner bribes Amadeus Cho with pizza to enter a lab. A similar scene in the film has actor Martin Starr in a non-speaking role accepting the pizza. He is credited as "Computer Nerd" in the credits.
- Amadeus Cho appears in the anime film Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher, voiced by Daisuke Namikawa in the Japanese version and by Eric Bauza in the English dub.
- Claudia Kim's character in the film Avengers: Age of Ultron is confirmed to be Helen Cho, who bears the same name as Amadeus' mother from the comics.
- Amadeus Cho will appear in Lego Marvel's Avengers.
- PakBuzz: Amadeus Cho
- Incredible Hulk 106 (2007) World War Hulk pt. 2
- Incredible Hulk #107
- Incredible Hercules #116-120
- Incredible Hercules #121-125
- Incredible Hercules #127-128
- Incredible Hercules #129-131
- Incredible Hercules #133, 135
- Incredible Hercules #137
- Mighty Avengers #21
- Incredible Hercules #138
- Incredible Hercules#139
- Incredible Hercules #141
- Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #1
- Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #2
- Heroic Age: Prince of Power #1-4
- Chaos War #1
- Chaos War #2
- Chaos War #4
- Chaos War #5
- Fear Itself: The Home Front #5
- Fear Itself: The Home Front #6
- Savage Wolverine #3
- Savage Wolverine #4
- Avengers (vol. 5) #35
- The Incredible Hulk #106 (July 2007)
- Mighty Avengers #21
- Incredible Hulk Vol.2 #607
- Incredible Hulk Vol.2 #610
- The Incredible Hercules #118
- The Incredible Hercules #116
- The Incredible Hercules #124
- Chaos War #2
- The Incredible Hercules #140
- Mighty Avengers #25
- Heroic Age - Prince of Power #1
- Incredible Hercules #118
- Scan of the panel where the name is revealed
- Incredible Hercules #126 (2008)
- Marvel Zombies 5 #4 (2010)
- Cataclysm: The Ultimates' Last Stand #2
- Planet Hulk #1
- Steinbeiser, Andrew. "New Avengers: Age Of Ultron Character Descriptions For The Vision, Ulysses Klaue, & More". http://comicbook.com/. Retrieved 9 April 2015.