Just in time for Halloween, we’re back to feature all those creepy, kooky, and scary characters of comic book lore! This time, we’re going to take a look at monsters from the vaunted House of Ideas. So, enter, if you dare, for Comic Book Monsters 2012: The Mighty Merry Marvel Edition!
Comic Book Monsters – October 18th: The U-Foes
Millionaire Simon Utrecht decided to use his money to fund an operation to gain superpowers the same way the Fantastic Four did. The selected three others to join him in his plans. After having the very same person who designed the ship used by Reed Richards and his gang, they launched into outer space. Everything went according to plan when they bombarded themselves with cosmic rays. Well, everything but one thing went to plan. They didn’t plan on being hit with an exponentially larger amount of the rays than the FF.
Thanks to the Hulk wondering into the launch site, Bruce Banner was able to bring their ship back by reprogramming the flight computer. Banner was able to keep them from dying, but they had gotten powers, but they were different from the FF. The newly named U-Foes consisted of Vector (Utrecht) who has telekenetic powers, Vapor (Ann Darnell) who can alter her body to any known gas, X-Ray (Jimmy Darnell) who is now a living energy field, and Ironclad (Michael Steel) who has a body of organic metal much like Colossus. Almost immediately after being saved by Banner, the U-Foes attacked him for messing about with their plans. This transformed Banner into Hulk and a fight broke out with the Hulk winning (as to be expected).
As the years passed, they were beaten time and time again by the Hulk. They eventually got thrown into a different dimension. When they returned, they ran into the Avengers who, once again, defeated them. After that, the U-Foes would occasionally work as hired hands for the Leader and others. They came into direct conflict with the Pantheon and the West Coast Avengers. By the start of Brian Michael Bendis’ New Avengers series, they were captured and imprisoned in the Raft, but Electro freed them with the other villains. They weren’t free for long before Spider-Man, Captain America, and Iron Man was able to capture them and throw them back into prison.
The U-Foes did play a role in the Superhero Civil War. They were given a choice of either joining the Thunderbolts or go back to jail. Once Norman Osborn took over S.H.I.E.L.D. and transformed it into H.A.M.M.E.R., the U-Foes were put into Camp H.A.M.M.E.R. as part of the new, “darker”, Initiative of Osborn’s. This connection to Osborn led to the U-Foes playing a huge role in the head of H.A.M.M.E.R.’s plan to incite a war against Asgard. This plan included the U-Foes attacking Volstagg in Chicago resulting in an explosion at Soldier Field. The attack killed thousands and gave Osborn the ability to fan the fires of war against the Norse Gods. They are eventually captured at the end of the Siege of Asgard and sent back to prison.
That wraps up today’s Comic Book Monsters. Tomorrow, I get to talk about a race of aliens that were the major villains of one of my all-time favorite comic series who have also made a major return to Marvel – especially their cosmic stories.