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Sunday, June 27, 2021

Boy with a Gun

The cover of Avengers #218 was particularly disturbing, with a boy pointing a gun to his head. Having arrived at Avengers Mansion seeking help, the boy could not convince the heroes to take him seriously until he pulled out a gun and shot himself. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Wasp were beside themselves as they witnessed the boy's body disintegrate … only to return to life within minutes.

The boy claimed to be a reincarnation of Morgan MacNeil Hardy, an inventor who had died of mental backlash resulting from his Psi-Augmentor (Captain America #264). The boy explained that he had lived numerous lifetimes, always returning to life as a child after he died. In the past, he would have no memory of his earlier incarnations. Because of the Psi-Augmentor, however, the boy now retained the anguished memories of Morgan MacNeil Hardy and knowledge of his perpeptual existence.

Desperately wanting to end this cycle, the boy snuck aboard a scientific probe headed to the Sun. Instead of permanently dying, the boy mutated into a plasma monster and returned to Earth. Defeated by the Avengers, the creature exploded into nothingness, then regrew to a boy—seemingly unburdened by the knowledge of his past selves.

A flashback to Captain America #264 showed the four telepaths who initially tested Morgan MacNeil Hardy's Psi-Augmentor. Two of them died from the mental backlash. The survivors, Ursula Richards and Philip Le Guin, were two of the six telepaths who would subdue Over-Mind.

Avengers. Vol. 1. No. 218. April 1982. "Born Again (and Again and Again…) J.M. DeMatteis (scripter/co-plotter), Don Perlin (layouts), Joe Rosen (letterer), Christie Scheele (colorist), Jim Salicrup (editor), Jim Shooter (co-plotter/editor-in-chief).

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