Drs. David and Ellen Pace were biogeneticists hired by the government to synthesize a lethal toxic nerve gas; though opposed to violence, the couple accepted the job so that they could use its resources for their own project: gene-splicing human and animal DNA to create a new, hybrid species, which they hoped would combine man's intellect with the animal kingdom's proctivity toward peaceful coexistence. Assigned to Trinity Base (unofficially referred to as Vertigo Base and Tranquility Base due to its nerve gas research) in New Mexico, the Paces concealed their side project from their superiors by arranging to work off base on a farm outside the nearby town of Liberty. They successfully created a satyr-like being they dubbed Woodgod, with an accelerated metagrowth rate both physically and intellectually, designed to bring him rapidly to maturity. Within minutes of awakening he could speak rudimentary English, with his brain cell count tripling within 5 minutes of his birth. Within 2 days he had learned to walk, and was exploring the world with an infant's curiosity; by the third day hys physical growth had leveled off, but his mind showed no sign of slowing.
Unfortunately, the base had accidentally spilled some nerve gas a year earlier, causing deaths amongst the local sheep and illness amongst the populace, leaving the townsfolk suspicious of base personnel. Local man Greg Davis snuck onto the farm to spy, and spotted Woodgod. Racing into town, he soon returned with a drunken mob, who demanded the Paces hand over the "freak" immediately. When David Pace tried to reason with them, the mob beat him, then shot the confused Woodgod. Finding glass canisters containing bubbling liquid, the mob concluded the Paces were brewing more monsters, and despite desperate warnings from the Paces that the tanks contained nerve gas, the townsfolk shattered them. Within seconds, a cloud of purple gas slew virtually every living creature within 15 miles, except for Woodgod. Having swiftly healed from his wound and somehow immune to the gas, Woodgod wandered into Liberty looking for his "parents", unable to fully comprehend their deaths. At the nearby Vertigo Base, the personnel detected the town's demise and spotted Woodgod's wanderings of satellite surveillance. Major Del Tremens led a squad of men on floater bikes into Liberty to capture him, wanting to learn how he had survived the gas and cover up the base's culpability in the leak; however, Woodgod brought down the three fliers, damaging their pilots' protective clothing and killing them instantly. Only Tremens survived, a question he desperately asked Woodgod triggering memories of the crature's dead parents and causing him to halt the attack and wander away reminiscing.
Tremens swiftly quarantined the area, knowing they only had a short time to destroy the evidence before a government inquiry team arrived. To make matters worse, less than a day later, the man-monster Hulk wandered into Liberty, soon clashing with Woodgod. Tremen's orders to his men to destroy both recatures were picked up on the passing X-Shuttle's view screen as the X-Men flew home from an unrelated adventure; concerned for the well-being of the Hulk's alter ego, Bruce Banner, the X-Men's passenger, Spider-Man, asked the mutant heroes to drop him off near Liberty. Luckily for Spider-Man, a recent exposure to an anti-radiation mist unknowingly immunized him from the purple nerve gas. Upon his arrival, the Hulk and Woodgod initially stopped their fight and united against Spider-Man, whom they deemed a common enemy. Spider-Man thus allowed Tremens' men to cover them with an electro-mass net, designed to electrocute its captives while simultaneously becoming heavier the more they struggled. Realizing Tremens intended to kill his captives, Spider-Man destroyed the net's controls, allowing them to break free. Tremens instead subdued all three intruders with anesthetic gas, then took them back to Vertigo Base. He informed Spider-Man of his intention to fire Woodgod into space inside a converted ICBM, then blame the town's destruction on the Hulk and Spider-Man, but Spider-Man escaped and freed Woodgod, and together they released the Hulk. Tremens tried to slay them using an atomic cannon, but the Hulk and Woodgod destroyed it; the resultant shockwave knocked Spider-Man inside the ICBM, which Tremens launched. While the Hulk tried to rescue Spider-Man, Woodgod slew Tremens, then departed after watching his new friends vanish high into the stratosphere.
His intellect and understanding continuing to grow, Woodgod returned to his parents' farm, where he uncovered the Paces' files. Thanks to the quarantine, Woodgod was able to work in solitude as he memorized their gene-splicing techniques; after a week, having reached an adult intellect, he swore that as the only living member of the Pace family he would carry on his parents' legacy, then burned the farm down to prevent their secrets falling into the wrong hands. Breaking back into Vertigo Base, he stole his parents' corpses, intending to bury them in the new utopia he was going to create. He set up house in a remote part of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, where he created more hybrids like himself, calling his new people the Changelings. While most of the Changelings happily accepted Woodgod's rule, Leoninus and Viperus became discontended. While Viperus fled the Changelings' valley, risking revealing their existence to the outside world, Leoninus, wishing his creator's power for his own, learned the gene-splicing techniques, and secretly began creating his own Changelings: Elephantine, Fury and Pantherus.
Woodgod led an expedition to retrieve Viperus, apprehending him hiding out in a carnival, but their pursuit had led them too close to humans. Out on a hunting trip with the gamma-powered Doc Samson, the mentally unbalanced General "Thunderbolt" Ross caught a glimpse of the Changeling Centauron, and shot at him, mistaking him for the Hulk. The wounded centaur collapsed at Ross' cabin, where Ross' daughter Betty and her friends Fred Sloan and Rick Jones tended his wounds. Woodgod soon came looking for his lost Changeling, overpowering Samson and taking the others back to the Changeling village, intending to execute them if Centaurion died. Woodgod prepared a healing elixir for Centaurion, but Leoninus, hoping to sow dissent among Woodgod's followers, secretly poisoned it while it was being delivered by Siren. The Hulk soon came in search of his kidnapped friends, battling the Changelings who tried to stop him, but his friends asked him to leave since he was only making things worse; annoyed, the Hulk departed. Meanwhile, with Centauron having died, Leoninus demanded the death of the humans and revealed his own Changelings, challenging Woodgod as leader of their people. Siren, having figured out what Leoninus had done, flew after the Hulk and convinced both him and Doc Samson to return to the Changeling village. With the revelation of Leoninus' murdering actions and the assistance of the Hulk and Samson, Leoninus' coup d'etat was thwarted. Afterward Woodgod elected to stand down as Changeling leader, wanting his people to learn to govern themselves, and Fred Sloan chose to stay with the group for a while after the other humans left.
At some point Woodgod was kidnapped by the mysterious Stranger, who took him to his laboratory world for observation alongside several other specimens. Eventually the Over-Mind invaded the lab world, using his mind powers to direct the captives there into attacking the Stranger and the hero Quasar (Wendell Vaughn). After being freed, Woodgod joined several other Earth super-beings in pooling their abilities to return home, eventually landing in Siberia. From there, Woodgod returned to the Changeling village, and resumed creating new Changelings, including Dovinia, a satyr-like hybrid like himself. They briefly became romantically involved, but then Woodgod broke off the relationship, convinced he had to stand alone from the other Changelings for their own safety. Woodgod also befriended Nick Fury, head of the spy ageny SHIELD, under undisclosed circumstances; Fury nicknamed Woodgod "Bambi".
Meanwhile, Leoninus -- seemingly forgiven for his past transgressions -- made contact with a Roxxon scouting team which had been investigating rumors of the Changelings' existence. He made a deal with Roxxon's Dr. Malachi Oz, kidnapping all the female Changelings to be used in Oz's crossbreeding program. Tracking down the missing women, Woodgod rescued them and killed Oz before he could begin his experiments; Leoninus escaped. Some time later, the forces of Vertigo Base finally tracked the Changelings down, apparently slaying all but Woodgod, who reverted back to his more taciturn and aggresive youthful personality as a result of the trauma of seeing his friends slaughtered. Alongside SHIELD super-agent Psi-Borg, Nick Fury discovered the massacre and encountered both the Vertigo Base agents and Woodgod. Sending Psi-Borg for reinforcements, Fury battled the agents, but when Woodgod began slaying them, Fury intervened, stunning him with a blaster shot. Claiming Woodgod was dead, Fury removed the body, and dropped the recovered Woodgod off in the forest 40 miles away.
Woodgod apparently found a new home on an island with a lighthouse, either creating new Changelings or locating other survivors; Woodgod later rescued a seemingly delirious Namor from the sea when the Sub-Mariner temporarily lost his ability to breathe underwater. Some time after this encounter Woodgod was captured, ending up in the custody of Canadian agency Department H, who held him insensate on Floor 13 while they tried to extract his unstable DNA. His subsequent fate following the exposure of Department H's wrongdoing and their closure is unrevealed.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Woodgod possesses various superhuman abilities due, at least partially, to his unique Changeling physiology.
Superhuman Strength: Woodgod is superhumanly strong and, at his peak, is capable of lifting approximately 50 tons.
Superhuman Stamina: Woodgod's musculature produces less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of a human being, granting him some level of superhuman stamina. While the limits are unknown, he can at least exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood begins to impair him.
Superhuman Durability: Woodgod's bodily tissues are harder and more resistant to certain types of injury than those of a human. For example, he has been shown to be able to withstand powerful impact forces, such as falling from great heights or blows from the Hulk, that would severely injure or kill a human being.
Superhuman Reflexes: Woodgod's reflexes are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.
Superhuman Sense of Smell: Woodgod's sense of smell is also heightened to a degree beyond the capability of a human being. His sense of smell is developed to the point where he can recognize and track individuals by their scent.
Regenerative Healing Factor: If Woodgod does sustain injury, his body is able to heal damaged tissue faster and more extensively than an ordinary human. However, the limits of his accelerated healing isn't known. It isn't known if he can regenerate missing limbs or organs, is more resistant to disease, or extends his lifespan. However, he is more resistant to chemical toxins than humans.
|Power Grid |
Woodgod knows enough about genetic engineering to be able to create viable living creatures. Also, even though he has had no formal training, Woodgod's powers make him a formidable combatant.
- 20 Appearances of Woodgod (Earth-616)
- 2 Images featuring Woodgod (Earth-616)
- Quotations by or about Woodgod (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Woodgod (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Woodgod (Earth-616)
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