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Absorbing Man
REAL NAME: Carl "Crusher" Creel
KNOWN ALIASES: Rocky Davis, Lightningbolt
OCCUPATION: Professional criminal, former boxer
IDENTITY: Publicly known
PLACE OF BIRTH: New York City, New York
KNOWN RELATIVES: Mary MacPherran (Titania, wife)
GROUP AFFILIATION: Former member of both Baron Zemo’s and Dr. Octopus’ Masters of Evil; part of the unnamed team of super-villains on Battleworld, former agent of Loki and of They Who Wield Power
EDUCATION: High school dropout
FIRST APPEARANCE: (as Davis) Daredevil Vol. 1 #1 (1964); (as Creel) Journey Into Mystery Vol. 1 #114 (1965)
PORTRAYED BY: Brian Patrick Wade, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

HISTORY: Prior to becoming superhuman, Creel had a history of violence, first as a boxer, and then as a brutal criminal. While in prison, “Crusher” Creed had his amazing powers bestowed upon him by the Norse god Loki in an attempt to create a pawn to use against his brother, Thor. The Absorbing Man battled against Thor on several occasions before his first meeting with the Hulk.

The initial meeting between the Hulk and Absorbing Man was after Odin had hurled Creel into space. Creel happened upon a comet and steered it toward Earth. Bruce Banner piloted a rocket to divert the comet, unaware that he had picked up a deadly passenger in the process. Banner was soon forced to become the Hulk when Creel attacked, and the savage Hulk failed to understand the nature of his foe’s powers; he was soon at the villain’s mercy as the Absorbing Man latched on and absorbed his strength. However, the absorbing Man was defeated when he continued to absorb the Hulk’s power during his transformation into Bruce Banner while holding a large boulder in his other hand. Without his strength to support the boulder, Creel decided to absorb the properties of the rock, but it was not enough, and he shattered under the boulder’s weight.

After two more conflagrations with the mighty Thor, Creel was contacted by the mysterious They Who Wield Power and offered a chance to kill the Hulk. He readily accepted and tested his might against the Hulk a second time. Again the Absorbing Man’s amazing power was ultimately his undoing. When he was thrown from a building, he reached out to absorb the properties of the steel building was made of, but instead grabbed glass and was shattered on the ground. After this defeat, the Absorbing Man decided to leave the country with a hostage in tow. However, he was opposed by the Avengers; at the end of their battle, he absorbed the properties of the water in the ocean to escape. Creel found it very difficult to control this form and washed out to sea, the experience of having his body and mind nearly dispersed leaving him just a little insane.

He eventually washed up on Easter Island, still insane and paranoid from his experience. The Hulk later found himself there as well after swimming for days following an adventure in Japan. Once on the shore, Hulk reverted into Bruce Banner. Creel found Banner and his paranoid mind convinced himself that Banner was on of “them” – beings he barely remembered but who had opposed him in the past. Creel took Banner and held him captive until he lost control and the Hulk emerged. In an effort to overpower the Hulk, the Absorbing Man soon tried to absorb the entire island, but was punched into the air by the Hulk in mid-transformation. The shock of the disruption of his absorption process made Creel lose what little grip on reality he had left, and he floated there in the water, becoming an island himself. Eventually recovering, he returned to America only to be defeated by the Dazzler.

The Absorbing Man was one of the many villains taken by the Beyonder to his artificial planet, Battleworld, and was involve in the so-called “Secret Wars,” pitted against a group of heroes. It was during these events that he met his future wife, Titania. After returning to Earth, he and Tatiana joined Baron Zemo’s Master of Evil, fought Spider-Man, and then took over Avengers Mansion until the team railed and ousted all of the villains.

Following another encounter with Thor, the Absorbing Man fought with the Hulk during the Hulk’s stint as “Mr. Fixit”. Creel had been hired to take Fixit out due to the threat he posed to all of his employer’s competitors. They fought their way across a casino, their struggle eventually taking them to the Hoover Dam. Creel absorbed the properties of the Dam’s electricity, but was tricked into swinging his ball and chain into some water while in his electric state. To avoid a severe electrical shock, Absorbing Man immediately absorbed the properties of concrete. Once he had done this, the Hulk quickly shattered him.

After a string of defeats against the like of Quasar, Thor, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and even Speedball, the Absorbing Man was one of several others who received a bogus invitation to – and attended – the wedding of Rick and Marlo Jones. Perhaps tiring of his repeated defeats, the Absorbing Man then appeared to be trying to live a crime-free life, but it was not easy, as his girlfriend Titania was still very much into her criminal life. The two had confrontations with Thunderstrike, some friendly, some not. The two did manage to develop at least a mutual respect, as Absorbing Man later went to Thunderstrike’s grave to pay his last respects to the hero. One of the most major events in the Absorbing Man’s life followed when he married Titania before a gathering of super-villains.

Unfortunately, Absorbing Man’s non-criminal life was not to be, and he soon returned to his criminal ways, possibly because the police would always assume he was in the process of committing a crime even when he was doing something innocent as buying his wife a present. He was contacted by the New World Order to stop the Hulk, who had been empowered even further by Apocalypse as the horseman known as “War”. Creel fought the Hulk, but quickly found he was no match for his new powers and was defeated with unprecedented ease. Around the same time Creel found himself fighting many heroes, from She-Hulk to Daredevil to the Fantastic Four to Captain America, sometimes for money and sometimes for no more reason than the crime itself. He was defeated each time.

Absorbing Man’s life took a turn for the worse his wife Titania contracted cancer, and he was powerless to help her at all because they’d be arrested if they went to a hospital; in addition, they had no money for medical care. After kidnapping a doctor and fighting with Thor, Absorbing Man eventually agreed to let Titania be treated by professionals. Creel later became a loyal follower of his former nemesis Thor after the Asgardian moved Asgard to Earth and started righting all of humanity’s wrongs, regardless of what humanity wanted.

Around the same time, as a result of a temporal warp, Creel was incarcerated in a prison that nullified his power. After prolonged isolation he developed the ability to take control of a person’s mind. Using this ability, he took a hostage and forced the Hulk to here his body from prison. The Hulk did so and then fought the Absorbing Man. This time the Absorbing Man had much greater control of his powers and defeated the Hulk. However, Absorbing Man ultimately lost the day when he was tricked into taking over the mind of a corpse, and his own real body decayed as a result. Creel was incarcerated at the Pym Experimental Penitentiary Number One, also known as the Big House, a miniaturized super-villain prison.

HEIGHT: 6 ft. 4 in. (variable)
WEIGHT: 365 lbs. (variable)
EYES: Blue
HAIR: Bald

STRENGTH LEVEL: Variable, when he is not absorbing the properties of anything, the Absorbing Man possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engage in regular exercise. Depending on what he absorbs and how long he can remain in contact with it, his strength can increase to the Class 100 range (able to routinely lift 100+ ton).

SUPERHUMAN POWERS: The Absorbing Man possesses the ability to bodily duplicate at will the physical properties of anything he touches or that touches him. This power extends to both animate and inanimate objects and certain forms of energy. The matter of the Absorbing Men's body magically undergoes a materiel and physiological change so that his body becomes composed of the matter or energy with which he is making contact. While he is in this altered state, he still possesses his sentience despite the fact that his brain is now composed of the same material all the rest of him. Among the more ordinary materials he has been transformed into include steel, stone, wood, and glass. More unusual have bean his transformations into water, fire, snow, helium, and silk. His most powerful transformations have been into energy-states such as cosmic, nuclear, thermal or light.

The Absorbing Man can also absorb specific properties relating to the form or mass of an object he touches. For example, he can assume the height of a skyscraper or the spike of a mace. He can also assimilate mystical properties of object or beings He can mimic the properties of Thor's hammer as well as the strength of Thor himself.

If the Absorbing Man's body is broken or dispersed somehow when he is in nonhuman state, his sentience is capable of reassembling himself over a period of time end returning himself to human form. For example, he was able to return to normal after being shattered in glass form and dissipated in liquid form. During the first "Secret War" his arm was severed while he was in non-human form, but the Absorbing Man was able to reattach it to himself by holding the severed arm to its correct position on his body and then transforming it and himself back to human form.

LIMITATIONS: There are undefined limits to the amount of power that the Absorbing Man can absorb. He met his first defeat when he exploded upon attempting to absorb the power of the entire planet Earth.

WEAPONS: The Absorbing Man's prison ball and chain, which he was wearing at the time of his original transformation, magically possesses the same properties of transformation as his body, providing he is in contact with them.

Given powers by Loki, fought Thor for the first time (Journey into Mystery Vol. 1#114, 1965)
Cast into space by Odin (Journey into Mystery Vol. 1 #123, 1965)
Fought the Hulk (Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 #125, 1970)
Fought Thor again and absorbed his hammer (Thor Vol. #235-236, 1975)
Hired by They Who Wield Power to kill the Hulk (Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 #208-209, 1977)
Driven insane upon turning into water, washed out to sea (Avengers Vol. 1 #183-184, 1979)
Fought Hulk on Easter Island (Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 #261, 1981)
Fought in the Secret Wars, met Titania (Secret Wars Vol. 1 #1-12, 1984-1985)
With Masters of Evil (Avengers Vol. 1 #273-275, 1986-1987)
Fought the Grey Hulk in Las Vegas (Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 #348, 1988)
Married Titania (Avengers Unplugged #4, 1996)
Fought Hulk/War (Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 #456-457, 1997)
Discovered that his wife had cancer (Thor Vol. 2 #25, 2000)
Became a follower of Thor (Thor Vol. 2 #55, 2002)
Utilized new psychic power against Hulk (Incredible Hulk Vol. 3 #55-59, 2003)

NOTE: Updated from The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Hulk 2004

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