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|Dr. Mendel Stromm|
In his first appearance, Dr. Mendel Stromm watches as Spider-Man battles two of his robots. From The Amazing Spider-Man #37.
|First appearance||The Amazing Spider-Man #37 (June 1966)|
|Created by||Stan Lee (Writer)
Steve Ditko (Artist)
|Full name||Mendel Stromn|
|Notable aliases||Robot-Master, Gaunt|
|Abilities||Cybernetic implants that provide superhuman strength and regenerative powers.|
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Fictional character biography
Mendel Stromm was Norman Osborn's college professor and later became a partner in OsCorp Industries. His early research was on a chemical that would provide enhanced strength in its test subjects and would eventually turn Osborn into the Green Goblin. Osborn, wanting the formula for himself, discovered that Stromm had been embezzling funds from OsCorp. Stromm explained that he was merely borrowing but Osborn turned him over to the police. After several years in prison, Stromm was released and tried to kill Osborn for revenge using evil robots. He was stopped by Spider-Man and seemingly died of a heart attack when he was nearly shot.
Stromm had made plans for his death, however, by arranging to have his brain waves transferred to a robot double. Now calling himself "Robot Master", Stromm returned in Spectacular Spider-Man #68 (July 1982). Spider-Man defeated and destroyed the robot double.
In Spectacular Spider-Man #233 (April 1996), Stromm returned again, this time as a cyborg called "Gaunt". It was revealed that he survived through a cybernetic suit fused to his body - attached by none other than Osborn. Osborn had discovered that Stromm had survived his heart attack thanks to the Goblin Serum, but on a level of consciousness supported only by his suit. Eventually, via Seward Trainer, he was cured of his need for the suit and came back in a large suit of robotic armor, only for it to be destroyed by Ben Reilly and Peter Parker despite Stromm's attempt to defeat them both with two flying robots and three childlike androids attacking simultaneously. Shortly afterward, Norman Osborn knocked him out with a laser blast and left him for dead, though he survived and only had amnesia. He came back in yet another robot suit, only to be stopped by Spider-Man once again.
In Peter Parker: Spider-Man vol. 2, #27 (March 2001), Stromm tried to create a sentient robot to kill Osborn, but it turned on him and destroyed his body, keeping his severed head alive. This artificial intelligence then attempted to take over New York City's electrical grid, but was stopped when Spider-Man fought his way into its core processor and uploaded a computer virus into it, putting both the A. I. and Mendel into a comatose state.
The artificial intelligence took over Electro's body and tried to use his powers to create a horde of self spawning robots,[volume & issue needed] but after the interference of Spider-Man the AI altered Spidey's spider sense, after which Spider-Man defeated the AI.[volume & issue needed]
In Penance: Relentless (2007), it is revealed that Spider-Man tipped S.H.I.E.L.D. off to Stromm's whereabouts and that they were able to rescue him from the suspended loop he was stuck in. He eagerly registered as part of the Initiative. Later, Penance goes AWOL on the Thunderbolts and stages an assault on Stromm's home, threatening to kill him unless Stromm tells him how to activate nuclear launch codes Penance has stolen in a bid to get Nitro deported from Latveria.
During the Civil War II storyline, Mendel Stromm meets Clayton Cole at the henchman bar called Moynihan's Social Club during its happy hour. He gives Clash an offer to work for him in his plan to get revenge on Harry Osborn. While sporting the new version of his Clash outfit that he ordered from Tinkerer, Clayton Cole arrives at Mendel Stromm's apartment where he meets with Stromm in his Robot Master form and his robots. Robot Master then compliments Clash's outfit and claims that Spider-Man won't know what hit him. When Clash attacks Robot Master stating that he will look out for himself, Robot Master unleashes his robots on Clash even when Spider-Man arrives. Spider-Man manages to web Robot Master in the air with foam web. When Spider-Man was talking Clash into getting back to the civilized life, Robot Master rises and attacks them. While Clash flies away, Spider-Man defeats Robot Master by ripping his remote control mechanics from within his robot body, deactivating his robot army.
During the Secret Wars storyline, a version of Mendel Stromm resides in the Battleworld domain of Arachnia. He appears as one of the Oscorp scientists where they are attempting to decipher the Web of Life and Destiny.
In other media
- Dr. Stromm under the name Wardell appears in the 1990's Spider-Man, voiced by Philip Abbott. In the episode Enter the Green Goblin, he is Norman Osborn's assistant and one of the few to know Norman's connection to the Kingpin.
- Mendel Stromm appears in the 2002 Spider-Man film, played by Ron Perkins. This version is a scientist employed by Oscorp to develop Human Performance Enhancers, although he expresses doubts in the Enhancers' effectiveness because the initial mouse test subjects having demonstrated violent insanity. Despite his doubts, he assists Norman Osborn in his attempt to use the still-unstable serum on himself. After acquiring his powers, Osborn's resulting 'Green Goblin' personality kills Stromm by grabbing him by the throat and hurling him through a glass window into some lab equipment.
- Mendel Stromm will appear as one of the villains of Sony's Silver and Black (based of Spider-Man supporting characters Silver Sable and Black Cat).
- Mendel Stromm appears in the Spider-Man video game, voiced by Peter Lurie.
- In Spider-Man: Edge of Time, there's a newspapers about Mendel Stromm in both timelines.
- Mendel Stromm appears in The Amazing Spider-Man video game (based on film of the same name), but his voice actor was uncredited. He is an Oscorp scientist who is responsible for a cross-species experiment codenamed "Nattie" (based on Curt Connors's research) which is a red-bellied piranha/human hybrid where Mendel and the scientists with him injected human DNA into a red-bellied piranha. Mendel Stromm named it Nattie due to the subject's scientific name of Pygocentrus nattereri. In the game, Mendel Stromm is among the scientists infected by the Cross-Species Virus. When the Cross-Species Virus starts to take over Mendel's body, one of Alistair Smythe's Combat Sentries detects Mendel and attacks him.
- The Amazing Spider-Man #37 (1966)
- Spectacular Spider-Man #68 (July 1982)
- Spectacular Spider-Man #233 (April 1996)
- The Spectacular Spider-Man #240
- The Sensational Spider-Man #11
- The Amazing Spider-Man #418
- Spider-Man Unlimited #17
- Peter Parker: Spider-Man #27-28
- Penance: Relentless #1-2
- Civil War II: Amazing Spider-Man #2-4
- Spider-Verse Vol. 2 #4