Freak (Marvel Comics)

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The Freak is the name of three fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Two are associated with Iron Man, while the most recent version appears in The Amazing Spider-Man.

Publication history[edit]

Happy Hogan first appears as the Freak in Tales of Suspense #74–76 (February–April 1966), by Stan Lee and Gene Colan. He appears as the Freak again in later issues of Iron Man.[1]

Eddie March first appears as the Freak in Iron Man #67 (April 1974), by Mike Friedrich and George Tuska.

The third Freak first appears in The Amazing Spider-Man #552 and was created by Bob Gale and Phil Jimenez.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Happy Hogan[edit]

Freak I
Cover to Iron Man #3 starring the Freak
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceAs Hogan:
Tales of Suspense #45 (September 1963)
As Freak:
Tales of Suspense #74 (February 1966)
Created byStan Lee
Gene Colan
In-story information
Alter egoHarold Joseph "Happy" Hogan
AbilitiesAbility to absorb large doses of cobalt radiation and discharge them from his hands

The first Freak is an alter-ego of Happy Hogan, a friend of Iron Man (Tony Stark).

When Happy Hogan becomes desperately ill, doctors try to cure him using a cobalt ray machine powered by Stark's experimental device known as the Enervator. Instead of being cured, however, Happy mutates into a large, savage, nearly mindless and superhumanly strong humanoid known as the Freak.[2] Though he is restored to his normal self,[3] Happy turns into the Freak again several times after being exposed to cobalt radiation on several occasions, mostly due to repeated use of the Enervator on him.[1]

Eddie March[edit]

Freak II
EddieMarch HCV.jpg
Interior art for Iron Man (vol. 1) #21
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceAs March:
Iron Man #21 (January 1970)
As Freak:
Iron Man #67 (April 1974)
Created byDavid Anthony Kraft
Rich Buckler
In-story information
Alter egoEdward "Eddie" March

The second Freak was Eddie March, another friend of Tony Stark.[4]

While wearing the Iron Man armor, Eddie March is badly injured in a fight with Thor. Stark decides to use the Enervator on Eddie in a desperate attempt to save him. Though Stark takes precautions to prevent the device from transforming Eddie into a monstrous creature, Eddie nonetheless becomes a new version of the Freak. Stark, as Iron Man, tries to subdue him while simultaneously protecting him from the police. He is able to knock out the Freak with a few nerve punches. Once unconscious, the Freak reverts to human form and Thor's alter ego, Dr. Donald Blake, is able to operate on March to save his life.[5]

Eddie has not transformed into the Freak again since this incident.

Freak (Spider-Man villain)[edit]

Freak III
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Amazing Spider-Man #552 (March 2008)
Created byBob Gale
Phil Jimenez
In-story information
Alter egoUnknown
Notable aliasesArmadillo Man
AbilitiesSuperhuman strength and durability
Acidic saliva
Ability to adapt to conditions through metamorphosis and shoot toxic spores from his body at will

The third Freak is a villain that first appears in Spider-Man: Brand New Day. A drug addict nicknamed Freak is chased down by Spider-Man after attempting to steal from the poor at the soup kitchen where Spider-Man's Aunt May works.[6] Freak stumbles into a laboratory owned by Curt Connors and injects himself with animal gene fluids, thinking that they are crystal meth. A chrysalis forms around Freak's body, and he later emerges as a skinless monster.[7] After being shot at by police, he falls into the sewer and forms another chrysalis. Emerging as an animal hybrid and completely bulletproof, Freak tracks Spider-Man by his scent.[8] After a violent confrontation, Freak gives in to his addictions and finds a meth lab. Spider-Man follows him. During the ensuing fight, the building is set ablaze. Freak is caught under the flaming debris, but survives and creates a new chrysalis, which has made him fireproof and even stronger.[9] Freak emerges as an armadillo-like creature and again tries to kill Spider-Man. When Connors arrives with the quicklime necessary to incapacitate Freak, Spider-Man tricks him into thinking Connors has drugs. Freak tears open the bags and is covered in the quicklime. He again forms a chrysalis, with Spider-Man pouring quicklime over it, to permanently incapacitate him. The chrysalis is taken by a hazmat crew — which is later revealed to be an Oscorp research group.[10]

Freak is next seen cut open and hooked up to machines in an Oscorp lab where scientists are using his unique abilities to cure various diseases.[11] Norman Osborn injects him with a sample of the anti-venom antibodies to create "super-venom", a virus capable of killing millions with a single drop. He then uses the super-venom to re-power Mac Gargan who was "cured" of his symbiote by Anti-Venom. Osborn also mentions that Freak is incapable of becoming intoxicated because his body has adapted to his drug addiction by removing the pleasure center of his brain.[7] In the confrontation between Spider-Man and Osborn, Osborn activates the building's self-destruction with Freak still inside. A search afterwards by Oscorp reveals "no signs of life", which made the team reason that Freak was killed, with Osborn immediately retorting "Idiot. Think about it for a second."[12]

During the Origin of the Species storyline, Freak is invited by supervillain Doctor Octopus to join his team in exchange for securing some specific items for him. Freak goes after Spider-Man for Menace's infant. He collides with Vulture (Jimmy Natale) before Rhino arrives.[13] Spider-Man goes on a rampage against the villains after the infant is kidnapped from him by the Chameleon, and Spider-Man defeats Freak.[14]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The Happy Hogan version of the Freak can absorb large doses of cobalt radiation without harming himself and also discharge cobalt blasts from his hands.

The third Freak can adapt to any situation by forming a chrysalis around himself after being wounded or killed, then returning to life in a different appearance. He also has Hulk-like bulletproof durability and strength and acidic saliva, can shoot toxic spores from his body at will, and can adapt to certain harsh environments.


  1. ^ a b Iron Man #3–4 (July–August 1968), #26 (June 1970), and #84–85 (March–April 1976)
  2. ^ Tales of Suspense #74 (February 1966)
  3. ^ Tales of Suspense #76 (April 1966)
  4. ^ Iron Man #21 (January 1970)
  5. ^ Iron Man #67 (April 1974)
  6. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #546
  7. ^ a b The Amazing Spider-Man #552
  8. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #553
  9. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #554
  10. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #558
  11. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #572
  12. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #573
  13. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #644
  14. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #645

External links[edit]