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Friday, July 9, 2021

The Making of Marvel Man

Marvel Man was largely unknown when he joined the Defenders for a Day. During his debut in Captain America #217, the character had introduced himself as Marvel Boy—differentiating himself from an earlier hero with that same name—only to become Marvel Man in #218.

The original Marvel Boy had appeared in comic books published in the 1950s by Atlas Comics (the immediate predecessor to Marvel Comics). The character's origin story tied to recent history. In 1934, to escape the threat of Hitler, scientist Matthew Grayson fled Earth in a spaceship, taking his infant son with him. They arrived on Uranus, where young Bob Grayson developed intuitive telepathic abilities, like the planet's peaceful inhabitants. As a young adult, Bob returned to Earth to stop crime as Marvel Boy, wearing Uranian wristbands that could generate a blinding light.

The character made a jarring return in Fantastic Four #164-165. Now calling himself Crusader, the former hero went on a rampage and then vanished, leaving behind his wristbands. From there, Anthony Stark's crew developed the wristbands worn by the new Marvel Boy/Man in Captain America #217-218.

Following the events in Defenders #62-65, Marvel Man guest-starred in The Incredible Hulk #233, with his name highlighted on the cover. Marvel Man could use his wristbands to fly and manipuate energy in various ways. His confidence plummeted, however, when a boy told him that Marvel Man was a dopey name. In #234, the hero changed his name to Quasar, distinguishing himself from other recognizable Marvel characters, including Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel.


Justin said...

I never knew Quasar had earlier names--and certainly didn't know how far back the "Marvel Boy" moniker went!

james said...

Thank you for your comments!

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