|The Growing Man|
|First appearance||Thor #140 (May 1967)|
|Created by||Stan Lee & Jack Kirby|
|Alter ego||Growing Man|
|Abilities||Ability to absorb kinetic energy
The Growing Man first appears in Thor #140 (May 1967); and reappears in Avengers #69 (Oct. 1969). After an appearance in Iron Man #108 (March 1978), the Growing Man is not seen in Marvel continuity until Avengers #268 (June 1986), and then #300 (Feb. 1989).
After being found and used by new masters HYDRA in Thunderbolts #5 (Aug. 1997), the android appeared in Young Avengers #3 (June 2005) and in upgraded form in Sentinel Squad O*N*E #2 (April 2006). The Growing Man later appeared in Avengers vs. Atlas #1 (Jan. 2010).
Fictional character biography
The Growing Man is an android built by an enslaved alien race on behalf of the time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror. First appearing on Earth as an inert doll-sized figure, the android is found by New York police, reactivating and causing havoc until coming into conflict with the Thunder God Thor. The Growing Man is then deactivated and recovered by Kang, who is in turn defeated by Thor.
Kang also uses the Growing Man to abduct Tony Stark (the alter-ego of hero Iron Man) from a hospital. Superhero team the Avengers (including Thor) attack the Growing Man and follow the android into the future, where they become involved in a competition between Kang and the Elder of the Universe the Grandmaster. The alien colonizers of Rigel eventually find the Growing Man in one of Kang's abandoned vessels and send it back to Earth to use it against Iron Man, who defeats the android by overloading its circuitry.
The Growing Man reappears in the dimension of Limbo and attacks the Avenger Hercules, who hit it so hard that it collapses as its cells are overtaxed. and eventually finds its way to Earth, where temporary member Mister Fantastic devises a means of reversing the growing process, causing the android to shrink from sight.
The Growing Man is found and reactivated by the subversive organization HYDRA. The leader of HYDRA, Baron Strucker, Strucker orders the android to attack New York as part of a ploy to destroy the formative team the Thunderbolts. The heroes manage to defeat the android and also activate a beacon in its circuitry that will warn the ancestors of the original aliens of Kang's coming. Kang discovers the android when attempting to track his younger self and in upgraded form is sent by HYDRA to disrupt a political rally, but is stopped when its powers are overloaded.
Powers and abilities
The Growing Man is a stimuloid — a form of android that absorbs any kinetic energy directed against it. The kinetic energy stimulates the rapid multiplication of the stimuloid's artificial cells, causing it to grow significantly in size with a proportionate increase in strength and resistance to damage. The character's normal size is that of a child's doll, although it can grow to hundreds of feet in height. Its ability to absorb damage, while significant, is apparently not limitless, as Hercules has managed to overload it by hitting it exceptionally hard.
- Thor #140 (May 1967)
- Avengers #69 - 71 (Oct. - Dec. 1969)
- Iron Man #108 (March 1978)
- Avengers #268 (June 1986)
- Avengers #300 (Feb. 1989)
- Thunderbolts #5 (Aug. 1997)
- Young Avengers #3 (June 2005)
- Sentinel Squad O*N*E #2 (April 2006)
- Growing Man at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe