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Real Name: Samuel Smithers
Occupation: Former gardener, now professional criminal
Identity: Known to the authorities
Legal Status: Naturalized citizen of the United States with a criminal record
Former Aliases: None
Place of Birth: London, England
Marital Status: Divorced
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: Former associate of the Maggia under Count Nefada, ally of the Wizard
Base of Operations: A submarine somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean
First Appearance: STRANGE TALES #113

History: Samuel Smithers was born in London and orphaned at an early age. Some time during adolescence, he left the orphanage and went to work as a lab assistant to a noted London botanist who was exploring the low-order mental activity of plant life. After ten years, the botanist died. Smithers then emigrated to the United States, where he hoped to continue the work he had begun under the London botanist: an invention to increase the intelligence of plant life so that human beings could communicate with plants. Lacking formal education and ridiculed for his ideas, Smithers found work as a gardener in Glenville, Long Island, New York. His employer, Morris Evans, eventually fired him because he was spending more time tinkering with his invention than gardening. Shortly thereafter, a bolt of lightning hit his experimental plant ray-gun, somehow charging it with the power to control and animate all plant life. Donning a disguise and calling himself the Plantman, Smithers plotted revenge on Evans for firing him. He concocted a scheme to frame Evans for robbery but Evans' daughter's then-boyfriend, Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, intervened and cleared Evans' name. Although the Torch destroyed his plant-gun, the Plantman nevertheless managed to escape.

Months later, the Plantman devised a second, more powerful plant-gun and attempted to kill the Human Torch in revenge. The plan failed and the police took the Plantman into custody. He was released a short time later and recruited by Count Luchino Nefaria to join the Eel, Unicorn, Porcupine, and Scarecrow as Nefarta's lieutenants in the Maggie. Nefaria wanted their aid in helping restore his family to prominence in the Maggia organization. Plantman and his compatriots kidnapped the X-Men to use in a scheme to extort a hundred million dollars from the U.S. government. When the plot fell through, the Plantman managed to escape.

Having stolen certain technology from the Maggia, the Plantman built huge, highly sophisticated versions of his plant-stimulating guns and launched an attack on his native London by the Leviathan, a huge organism made up of seaweed. The Sub-Mariner and Triton stopped the Leviathan before it could do much damage, and the Plantman escaped aboard his submarine. Needing funds to continue his research, the Plantman created a simulacrum of himself made out of plants, clad it in the old version of his costume, and dispatched it to de mercenary work. Its actions controlled remotely, the bogus Plantman joined the Eel, Scarecrow, Porcupine, and original Viper as operatives of a criminal police officer calling himself the Cowled Commander. They were instructed to launch a crime wave, but Captain America and the Falcon overpowered them.

The Plantman sent a second simulacrum to kidnap wealthy businessman Kyle Richmond in order to extort ten million dollars from Richmond Enterprises for his release. The intervention of Dr. Strange, Power Man, and the second Red Guardian forced him to abandon the plan.

The Plant-Man apparently acquired the funds he needed to operate and launched his most ambitious scheme to date, the takeover of a S.H.I.E.L.D. base by human looking plant simulacra and the capture of the U.S. president. The Avengers stormed the base to rescue the Chief Executive from the thousand-strong army of plant simulacra, and even destroyed the Plantman's most powerful creation yet, a hundred-feet tall tree-man. The Plantman is still at large, however, plotting further schemes.

Height: 6 ft.
Weight: 190 lbs.
Eyes: Green
Hair: Dark gray

Strength Level: The Plantman possesses the normal strength of a man of his age, height, and weight, who engages in minimal regular exercise.

Known Superhuman Powers: None

Weapons: The Plantman wields several gun-like projectors that emit an energy-field of an as yet unknown nature capable of stimulating the naturally-occurring psionic field of the cholorophylic process of plant photosynthesis. Once so stimulated, a plant becomes receptive to the ordered human thoughts of the projector's manipulator. The Plantman can animate the roots of a plant like prehensile limbs, uproot trees, cause vines to grow at a super-accelerated rate to choke a victim, force plants to shed their leaves, or drain them of their moisture. Depending on the size of the plants involved, plants tend to remain under the mental influence of the Plantman for as long as an hour after stimulation by the ray. The Plantman has created life-mimicking plant simulacra of human beings composed primarily of living wood. They are capable of movement, speech, and a preprogrammed series of complex activities. It is not known how they are constructed, programmed, or motivated. The Plantman has redesigned and modified his vege-ray gun several times since its invention, to increase its range to about 500 yards and increase the frequency selectivity of its psionic field.

The Plantman has equipped his plant doubles with various special paraphernalia including, poison thorn-shooters and spore launchers.

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