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Gregory Gideon (Earth-616)

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Origins

Not much is known about the past life of Gregory Gideon. He was one of the most successful businessmen on Earth. Early on in his adult life he married his wife Claire and they had a single child, Thomas. Gregory used to care for his wife and son but eventually he became obsessed with attaining ultimate wealth and began neglecting his family. Eventually, some came to believe that he was almost rich enough to control the whole planet. [1]

Taking on the Fantastic Four

When he saw that it would take him another three years to accomplish this, he became impatient and called his remaining three competitors and challenged them to a bet: If he could complete any one task they would set for him within a week, they would all sell out to him at once. His competitors challenged him to defeat the Fantastic Four.

Gideon started his task by sowing dissent among the team, and having them fight among each other, while plotting to send them to another time using a variation of Doctor Doom's time machine. The plan backfired when his son Thomas -- a devout fan of the Fantastic Four -- tried to warn the team and was sent off by the machine alongside the Thing, which brought Gideon to his senses. Returning the Thing and Thomas to the present, Gideon vowed to renounce his greedy ways and give up his wealth and care for his family. Since nobody got hurt, the Fantastic Four decided not to press charges and allowed the Gideon family to begin a fresh start. [1]

The fresh start did not last long and ended in tragedy. Going on one more vacation before renouncing his wealth, Gideon chartered a private jet across the Atlantic with his family. They had the unfortunate luck of piloting near a nuclear bomb test out in the ocean. Claire died in the plane crash while Gregory and Thomas were recovered by the crew of a Russian trawler and returned to the United States for immediate medical attention. It was in hospital that Gregory was informed that both he and his son that they were exposed to excessive amounts of radiation and that radiation decay had set in. The doctors figured that Gregory had about two years to live while his son would have a little more than that. Gideon then began focusing his wealth at trying to find a means to cure him but had no luck. With his health beginning to fail, Gregory was forced to wear a biological shell to sustain his life. Brooding one day he happened upon a magazine article about the Fantastic Four. Recalling how the group gained their powers from exposure to cosmic rays, he believed he could find a cure by using the genes of the Fantastic Four. Gideon then began focusing on the means to capture the Fantastic Four to this end. [2]

Gregory Gideon (Earth-616) in biological shell from Fantastic Four Vol 1 134

Gregory Gideon in biological shell. [3]

Since Gideon last dealt with the Fantastic Four, Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman had married and had a son named Franklin. During the time that he was plotting to capture the Fantastic Four, Reed and Sue were undergoing a separation, with Sue taking Franklin to live with some childhood friends. Learning that the android creature known as Dragon Man -- a sometime foe of the Fantastic Four -- was frozen within a refrigerated rail car, Gideon hired a private army to free the creature to use it in his scheme. Gideon kept his plans a secret from his son. [4]

Death

Gideon sent out drones to monitor the Fantastic Four, catching the team as they investigated the disappearance of their ally Agatha Harkness. When they left in the Fantasti-Car, Gideon had the drone attack the Fantastic Four in the hopes that when their vehicle crashed they would be knocked out and his men could capture them, but they were relatively unscathed. He was more successful when he sent Dragon Man to capture the Invisible Girl and Franklin from the ranch they were staying at. When Mister Fantastic learned of Sue's kidnapping he, the Thing and Medusa went looking for her, tracking the Dragon Man to the factory where Gideon was holding her. Gideon was able to knock the team out and take them prisoner as well. Gideon also used one of his drones to lure the Human Torch to his lair and take him prisoner as well. [5]

With the Torch, Thing and Medusa imprisoned, Gideon placed Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Girl and Franklin in his Eternity Machine to siphon their cosmically altered genes in order to cure himself. The other members of the group managed to break free and attacked Gideon. Thomas walked in on his father and failed to stop him. As the Thing battled Gideon, Gregory gained the upper hand by trying to drain his opponent's life force. The tide of battle turned when Medusa convinced the Dragon Man to attack Gideon. The fight sent them crashing through the Eternity Machine causing it to explode, killing Gideon and deactivating the Dragon Man. [2] With Gregory no longer a threat, the Fantastic Four departed, leaving Thomas to deal with his father's body. Reed promised Thomas to try and find a way to cure him of his condition before they left. [6]

Legacy

Although Reed and Sue's marriage problems persisted, they eventually ended their separation [7] and the Fantastic Four continues to endure in one form or another to this very day.

Reed Richards never had the chance to cure Thomas of his condition because he was selected by the so-called Shaper of Worlds to be his student. The Shaper cured Thomas and transformed him into the dream fulfilling being known as Glorian. [8] The Dragon Man was later reactivated by the Machinesmith [9] and has also been consistently active since Gideon's death.

Gregory's fortune and investments were taken over by the Gideon Trust, whom for a brief period were also foes of the Fantastic Four before disappearing as mysteriously as they appeared. [10]




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