- I don't know if you're religious, or what your faith is, but you'd be surprised what a little faith would do.
- -- Ethan Edwards src
Many years ago Galactus had chosen to devour Tarnax IV, the Skrull Throneworld. The planet's chief scientist (creator of the Super-Skrull) knew the planet was doomed. He devised a plan to ensure the safety of his newborn son. The scientist imbued his son with powers far greater than any previously seen in the Skrull race. The child was then placed inside a specially designed craft and set course for a new planet. Upon arrival the child would disguise itself as a native until it was deemed ready to conquer the planet.
The craft landed in Iowa one night and a couple witnessed its arrival. Upon inspection of the craft it opened, and the couple was amazed to see a child inside. They considered it a divine gift and decided to adopt him, unaware of his true nature. Named Ethan and raised on the farm, he had a strong moral upbringing. After realizing Ethan had incredible powers, his parents taught him the importance of keeping them a secret. Eventually once Ethan had become a young man he felt he had a greater purpose in life and so left the farm.
After moving to New York, Ethan landed himself a job at the Daily Bugle, and was soon being referred to as their 'new star reporter' by J. Jonah Jameson. Peter Parker was at the Bugle in time to be introduced to Ethan and was then teamed up with him for a feature on Spider-Man after landing himself a new full time position.
On Peter's first day back, he and Ethan were taking a trip downtown when they spotted a man hanging from a window ledge. Peter quickly found a place to change into Spider-Man but the man fell from the window. He was caught in the air by a hero wearing a green cape. Inside the building Spider-Man tangled with the Absorbing Man. The green caped hero reappeared and sent Creel halfway across Manhattan with a single blow.
The two had a rendezvous atop a building, where the hero revealed himself to be Ethan and that he knew Spider-Man's identity. Ethan also revealed he wanted to use his powers for the good of mankind and Peter reluctantly agreed to be Ethan's superhero mentor.
Wanting to discover the full extent of Ethan's powers and their origins, Spider-Man took his new friend to the Baxter Building. Following some tests by the Fantastic Four, Ethan (now calling himself 'Virtue') proved to be in the same strength bracket as the Thing, able to see in any light spectrum, and able to match the Human Torch's speed and maneuverability in the air. Later that day Ethan's face was captured and broadcast on TV. Upon returning to the Bugle everyone knew who this new hero was and wanted his story.
Peter got a call from Mister Fantastic. Reed explained he and the FF had found the craft that brought Ethan to Earth. In Iowa near the site, the Fantastic Four were quizzing Ethan's father when Ethan arrived. The craft suddenly began to talk to Ethan in Skrull. He attacked the Fantastic Four before his father defused the situation. Ethan then flew away.
Back in New York, Ethan was now seemingly operating on a new set of directives, again appearing as Spider-Man was investigating Absorbing Man and the Owl. Ethan destroyed the building, unknowingly killing an informant Spider-Man was looking for.
He returned to the Baxter Building and demanded to see Reed Richards again. However, the Fantastic Four were still examining the craft back in Iowa. After smashing through the exterior of the building, the Avengers (who had been alerted by Spider-Man) arrived to try and stop him.
Seeing the events on TV, Aunt May and Jarvis arrived from Stark Tower. They managed to talk Ethan down by convincing him of the good he could do in the world by helping the needy. Following this advice Ethan moved overseas to help the less fortunate. He began to heal the sick and wounded. Hearing this from Parker puzzled Mister Fantastic; the craft did not mention any healing powers...
Simon Williams, Wonder Man, managed to convince some super heroes to take part in his Anti-Avengers team called the Revengers, one of them was Virtue. The Revengers defeated the New Avengers at Avengers Mansion, and later, they called a press conference at the court, where the Avengers appeared to confront them. After failing at discuss with Wonder Man, Iron Man trapped him in his ionic form in a containment unit. Not willing to fight with too many civilians near, Thor teleported the Revengers to the Citi Field, where they where subdued by both The Avengers and The New Avengers and later imprisoned.
- Superhuman strength: At a level equal or greater to the Thing.
- Flight: On par with Johnny Storm if not faster.
- Heat beams from eyes
- Enhanced vision
- The character's similar origins and abilities show a strong influence of Superman (albeit parodied so that everything that usually works for Superman just seems stupid when Ethan does it), particularly with regards to an alien origin, a sole survivor of a race, and his arrival in the countryside of Earth, where he was taken in by an older couple. His powers also reflect those of Superman, such as super strength, flight, super speed and maneuverability, x-ray vision, and the ability to project energy beams (though from his hands rather than his eyes). However, he lacks the character's invulnerable 'aura', meaning that although he himself is never injured his costumes always end up in tatters. Ethan's healing power can also provide a link between Superman and Jesus Christ (the very religious figure than Ethan was raised to believe in).
- His name may be derived from John Wayne's character from John Ford's film The Searchers.
- His name also follows the alliterative pattern of Silver Age superheroes like Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Matt Murdock, Scott Summers, Warren Worthington III and Reed Richards.
- 15 Appearances of Ethan Edwards (Earth-616)
- Media Ethan Edwards (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 5 Images featuring Ethan Edwards (Earth-616)
- 2 Quotations by or about Ethan Edwards (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Ethan Edwards (Earth-616)
- Ethan Edwards (Earth-616) at Wikipedia.org
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