|Kearson Z. DeWitt|
|First appearance||Iron Man Annual #13 (July 1990)|
|Alter ego||Kearson DeWitt|
Fictional character biography
Kearson Z. DeWitt described his father as a brilliant engineer decades ahead of his time. Upon being ignored and ridiculed, Kearson's father died penniless and heartbroken with only his designs and unrealized potential. Kearson then suspected that Tony Stark was to blame for stealing his father's designs and using them to build the Iron Man suit. He vowed revenge on Tony Stark and Iron Man unaware that they are one person.
At the time when Tony was shot in the spine by Kathy Dare resulting in Tony becoming paralyzed, Kearson DeWitt developed the idea to control Tony's nervous system by doing a surgery that would plant a chip in his spine. Through this, he would gain control of Tony's movement. He met with twins Desmond and Phoebe Marrs of the Marrs Corporation who agreed to fund his project. The equipment he set up for the chip required human monitors causing Kearson to hire people to keep watch of it.
Kearson and his fellow scientists began measuring the results in Tony's body. Professor Clemens told Kearson that they have no way to see through Tony's eyes.
Kearson controlled Tony's nervous system causing him to sleep for three days while his assistant Cassandra watches over him. When Tony wakes up in San Francisco disoriented, Cassandra informed Kearson of this.
Kearson chided Dr. Calvin when he recriminated about having no visual contact once again. When Desmond and Phoebe Marrs arrived, Desmond demanded to see physical evidence of the project and hoped that by taking control of Stark while he was exerting so much, they might harm him.
After Desmond learned that Stark was successfully being controlled, he reasserted his power over Kearson, reminding him who was in charge. Phoebe even told Desmond what a worthy opponent that Tony Stark was and allowed Kearson to continue the project.
In order to see Tony Stark, Kearson has Tony's security man Cartwright to have all security footage of Tony Stark forwarded to him. His team controlled Tony Stark to walk through Stark Industries when James Rhodes tries to stop him. Kearson through Tony Stark ordered his men to take down James Rhodes which results in Tony and James getting into a fight. James manages to land a lucky punch onto Tony causing Kearson's men to lose control when Tony is knocked unconscious. James ended up hiding Tony's body and strapping him down so that Kearson couldn't find Tony on the cameras. Kearson got angry at Dr. Samuelson, Atkins, and his other aides. They then told him that Tony is resisting the chip.
After three hours, Kearson's aides were unable to figure out how Tony is resisting the chip. DeWitt threatened them by reminding them what the Marrs twins would do them. When Tony Stark ended up television, Kearson was mad until Matheson pointed out that it might be a trick. Kearson then ordered his men back to their stations.
Kearson then views footages of Iron Man on television and wonders what Tony's game plan was. He ordered his men to restore Tony's nervous system to Tony which caused pain to Tony. James Rhodes managed to rein Iron Man in as a Marrs Helicopter is watching. Tony then deduced that Mars Corporation is partially responsible for his troubles. As Iron Man, he storms Mars Corporation destroying the equipment responsible and scattering Kearson's men. Kearson donned an armor and attacked Iron Man. Upon realizing that Tony Stark and Iron Man are one person, Kearson once again takes control of Tony's nervous system. While taunting Iron Man, Kearson battered him around until Iron Man took off and attacked Kearson from the skies. During an aerial fight, both of them damaged their flight components like Iron Man's boots and Kearson's jet pack causing them to be unable to fly and crash to the ground. They continued fighting until James Rhodes dons another Iron Man suit and helps Iron Man defeat Kearson. Upon Kearson's helmet being removed, the building collapsed burying Kearson.
Kearson DeWitt turned up alive and using a wheelchair. He forms partnerships with A.I.M. and Professor Power where they began trading and selling armor like the Force Ten armor, the Iron Monger armor, and some Stark Industries designs. During this time, Iron Man and War Machine with the help of Darkhawk found out about the armor trading and learned that Professor Power is involved from Savage Steel.
Iron Man recruited the Avengers (consisting of Hawkeye, Living Lightning, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman II, U.S. Agent, and Wonder Man) and split them into two teams: one to attack Professor Power and A.I.M and one to defend Stark Industries. Iron Man assaulted A.I.M. as Kearson attacked him with a remote-controlled version of Kearson's former armor. When Iron Man defeated that one, Kearson unleashed two more on him while revealing his motives for hating Tony Stark as the battle continued. Iron Man destroyed the other armors with a plasma cannon and Kearson (who was cybernetically connected to the machines) ignored the powerful neural feedback he was receiving and tried to superimpose his entire will over the station's entire arsenal. He temporarily succeeded, but found the feedback too much and caused the base to explode. It is unknown if he survived the explosion or not.
Powers and abilities
Kearson DeWitt controlled a massive suit of armor that he claimed was "virtually indestructible." While none of its arsenal was clearly revealed, the armor seemed to have laser cannons, electric blasts, boot jets, and the ability to put a lot of power behind a swung punch. Kearson later directed similar suits of armor via remote control. Before his seeming death, Kearson temporarily had the ability to control a vast arsenal via a neural link.
In other media
- Kearson DeWitt appears in the Iron Man 2 video game voiced by Doug Boyd. In this version, an ex employee of Stark Industries Theoretical Weapons Division until Tony shut it down. Outside of Kearson working on the prototype to the arc reactor, Pepper also revealed Kearson to be working on a secret project called PROTEAN until he was fired upon discovery of the project and the dangers it exhibited. Kearson later began working with A.I.M. and forged an alliance with Russian General Valentin Shatalov and the Roxxon Energy Corporation when it became necessary to steal a copy of the J.A.R.V.I.S.' program to advance and run their projects. Later in a transmission Kearson DeWitt tells Shatalov that there is a spy in his ranks and is displeased that he has brought S.H.I.E.L.D. to their front door. Kearson, faced with losing everything uses the copied J.A.R.V.I.S. program to create Ultimo and then merges his PROTEAN technology with it, allowing it to grow uncontrollably and quickly transforming it into an enormous metal Ultimo the size of a scyscraper. With the merge complete, Kearson has his men upgraded with PROTEAN implants and merges himself with Ultimo in an organic/machine hybrid. On discovery War Machine acts as a distraction to prevent Ultimo moving to another location while Iron Man battles with the internals of the Kearson/Ultimo. Upon defeat of the Kearson/Ultimo hybrid, Iron Man learns that the effects on Kearson are irreversible.
- Kearson DeWitt at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe