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Morris Bench (Earth-616)

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Early Life

Morris Bench was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He began working as a crewman on a cargo ship.[1]

Accident

He was accidentally knocked overboard by Spider-Man while a powerful experimental generator was being lowered into the ocean for testing. Exposed to the energy conversion process of the generator while being bombarded with volcanic gases, Bench's cellular structure was altered. When he was rescued from the depths, his body began exuding great quantities of a watery substance, which Bench first thought was perspiration. Annoyed by the incessant dripping, Bench went to a local pub to stir up trouble. Finding none, he was astonished to learn that he could convert his entire physical form into a watery liquid.[2]

Hydro-Man (Morris Bench)

Hydro-Man

Becoming Hydro-Man

Soon after discovering his powers, Hydro-Man set out to find those he held responsible for his condition in order to make them pay. He eventually encountered Spider-Man, and on their second altercation, was defeated when Spider-Man managed to splatter the nucleus of his body sufficiently far enough apart that Hydro-Man could not reform himself before evaporating.[2]

A few weeks later, Hydro-Man reintegrated his form in a water tower on a Manhattan rooftop where apparently the majority of his body particles had fallen as rain. Returning to his favorite pub, he was chagrined to find William Baker, alias the Sandman, romancing his sometime-girlfriend Sadie Fricke. The two criminals soon began fighting over her until Spider-Man came along to try to stop them. Turning their attentions to him, the two joined forces against their mutual foe. Spider-Man, however, tricked the two into running into each other, each in his altered particulate state. Collapsing into the harbor, the two soon emerged from the brine as a composite sand-water creature containing both of their substances but neither's full intelligence. Dimly recalling their desire for Sadie Frickett, the mud-being sought her out at her apartment. After getting over her initial shock, Frickett decided to exploit the creature's devotion to her and through a theatrical agent, arranged for a special exhibition of the mud-thing. The creature inevitably went berserk but was stopped when a special gas sprayed from police helicopters dehydrated it and caused it to crumble. The soggy sand was scooped up by the authorities and taken to a police laboratory where researchers tried to restore the men to life by various stimuli, including chemicals and radiation. Believing the task was hopeless, the police dumped the canister containing them. A short time later, Hydro-Man and Sandman managed to integrate themselves into their separate rightful forms. Wanting no more of each other's company after their humiliating ordeal, the two went their separate ways, with Hydro-Man heading out of town.[3]

Sinister Syndicate

He was recruited into the Sinister Syndicate along with the Beetle, Boomerang, Rhino, and Speed Demon. At Coney Island, Spider-Man and Silver Sable, who were working together to catch Jack O'Lantern, battled the villains and only managed to defeat them with the help of Sandman.[4]

Hydro-Man battled Spidey at a construction site, but was forced to flee when Spider-Man combined him with cement.[5]

Frightful Four

Hydro-Man joined The Wizard's new version of the Frightful Four, which also included Titania and Klaw.[6] The Wizard allowed the Fantastic Four to defeat them and his team retreated. When the Fantastic Four tracked their evil counterparts to their hideout, they fell right into the Wizard's trap. The Wizard had discovered that Aron the Rogue Watcher was observing the Fantastic Four. Aron incapacitated the Fantastic Four and arrived with his minion the Dragon Man.[7] However, Aron was only interested in collecting the Fantastic Four's DNA samples and quickly teleported away. With the Four defeated, the Wizard and his minions placed them in cryogenic suspension tubes. However they were located by Ben Grimm, who freed his comrades and they quickly defeated the Frightful Four.[8]

Assembly of Evil

Some time later, Hydro-Man joined the Assembly of Evil. The Assembly confronted a small contingent of Avengers who were holding a press conference regarding the "Acts of Vengeance."[9] The Avengers defeated the Assembly with the help of Cloak and Dagger, who had only agreed to join the villains so they could foil their plans. The Assembly was remanded to custody and the various members have never since banded together again.[10]

He was easily defeated by the Captain Universe enhanced Spider-Man.[11]

Rejoining the Sinister Syndicate

Hydro-Man rejoined the Sinister Syndicate.[12] He became a regular visitor to the Bar with No Name.[13] Along with the other Sinister Syndicate's members, Hydro-Man went up against the New Warriors.[14]

Black Cat was asked by Lester Cromwell to test his security system at his estate. However Hydro-Man was hidden inside the swimming pool. He followed her into the building disguised as a puddle. He then attacked her with a blast of water. She used a medieval tapestry like a towel to soak up Hydro-Man. She put the tapestry inside an airtight and bulletproof case where he was trapped.[15]

The Sinister Syndicate was confronted by the Wild Pack, led by Silver Sable.[16]

A.I.M. Weapons Expo

Hydro-Man was among the many criminals to visit the A.I.M. Weapons Expo on Boca Caliente, but the event was however crashed by Captain America.[17]

Under unknown circumstances, Hydro-Man was sent to the Vault, but he managed to escape from there alongside many other villains.[18]

He was one of the many villains recruited into the Maggia.[19][20][21]

He attended the wedding of Absorbing Man and Titania.[22]

He later joined the Sinister Syndicate again to battle Spider-Man.[16]

Masters of Evil

Hydro-Man was one of many super-criminals employed by corrupt billionaire Justin Hammer for a time, and later served in the Masters of Evil, assembled by Hammer's daughter Justine, alias the Crimson Cowl.[23] However, after Justine's arrest and the apparent death of Justin, Hammer Industries phased out its criminal enterprises and Bench, along with fellow employee the Shocker, was laid off.[24]

The Shocker and Hydro-Man then teamed-up for one last crime, seeking enough money to retire, but Hydro-Man's thirst for revenge against Spider-Man led to their defeat.[25]

HydroManSuit

Enhanced Hydro-Man

Return to the Frightful Four

The Wizard also re-recruited Hydro-Man onto his team after he was defeated in a battle against Spider-Man and the Human Torch. Hydro-Man had his powers boosted by the Wizard, but was also made dependent of him to live.[26] During a battle against the Fantastic Four, Hydroman, Salamandra, the Wizard and Cole seemingly perished when Cole increased her mass to a massive level, causing them to slam into the waters outside of New York City.[27]

Raft

He was one of the 46 villains to escape Raft when Sauron was broken out by Electro. He attempted to drown the New Avengers.[28]

Puppet Master & Mad Thinker

Hydroman was among a group of super-villains who were gathered by the Puppet Master and the Mad Thinker, who were attempting to gather an army of villains to battle the Fantastic Four. This was a failed endeavor as none of the gathered villains wished to participate and left, unknowingly leaving the DNA samples that the two organizers of this plan really sought. These DNA samples ended up in the hands of the Fantastic Four who came to believe that they would die within two years unless they permanently incarcerated their foes.[29] Hydroman was among those captured and placed in a new Vault prison built in the Negative Zone.[30] When the Mad Thinker staged a massive breakout, they were opposed by the Fantastic Four, She-Hulk and Hercules.[31]

Sinister Twelve

Hydro-Man later joined the Green Goblin's Sinister Twelve, but was defeated and the team disbanded by Spider-Man.[32]

Hydro-Man watched TV in disbelief when Spider-Man revealed his identity to the world.[33]

He, along with the Sinister Six, went up against the new hero Guiding Light, who was working with Spider-Man.[34]

Civil War

During the Civil War, Hydro-Man worked with Shocker and Boomerang to try to rob Baily's Auction House, but was stopped by Spidey. However they escaped when War Machine and Komodo arrived to arrest Spider-Man regarding the Superhuman Registration Act. They were later tracked down by the Scarlet Spiders.[35]

Frightful Four

He rejoined the Frightful Four when they went up against the FF, led by the Black Panther and his wife Storm.[36] The two teams battled, however, the Wizard had a surprise of his own: a fifth member he had hidden, Klaw.[37] The Frightful Four's secret weapon was defeated by the Thing thanks to some Vibranium earplugs that made him immune to Klaw's powers. Hydro-Man and the rest of the group were easily trounced.[38]

Hood's Gang

During the Dark Reign, he was recruited into the Hood's criminal gang.[39]

Spider-Island

Previous to the events of the Spider-Island, Morris tried to rob a jewelry store and defeated the Young Allies, then Spider-Man arrived and, using a special spider-tracer, turned Hydro-Man into ice and left him into the custody of the Young Allies until the authorities appeared.[40]

Dying Wish

Hydro-Man was one of the many villains who got a message from Doctor Octopus (in reality Spider-Man whose mind was swapped with that of Doctor Octopus by a special Octobot, leving him to die in the Doc's decaying body) to get him out from the Raft, but was one of the only three who took the job, the others being the Trapster and Scorpion. After they successfully broke him out of the Raft, they took him to one of Doc Ock's many secret hideouts, where Peter planned a way to return to his body with the villains' help. During the final confrontation between the body-swapped Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus, Hydro-Man found all of Peter Parker's colleagues hidden in a room and tried to drown them, but the Horizon gang siphoned his water body into a tank and contained his "soul molecule."[41]

Dirty Job

Planning to drown New York City in its own filth if he wasn't given the amount of money he wanted, Hydro-Man went to the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant to absorb the wastewater and put his plan into motion. However, Hydro-Man was confronted by Spider-Man and almost had his plan foiled by him, if not by Deadpool, who dragged Spider-Man away. After absorbing the wastewater, Hydro-Man went back to the city and crossed paths with Spider-Man and Deadpool again. This time, however, Spider-Man threw Deadpool inside Hydro-Man and detonated Deadpool's grenades, blowing his plan to bits.[42]

Powers

HydroManFullLiquid

Bench in his full liquid form.

  • Transformation - Water: Hydro-Man possesses the ability to bodily transform himself, in whole or in part, into a watery liquid substance of unknown composition. While in this state, his consciousness can control every droplet that comprises his body. Thus he can will himself to turn liquid whenever struck. (Presumably if he were to will just his torso liquid, his still solid head and arms would fall to the ground. It is not known if this would cause injury to his solid parts or not. The Hydro-Man can also propel the liquid particles of his body at great pressure in the same style as water shooting through a fire hose. It is not known how he generates the pressure to create this effect. Also he can harden his fist as if it were ice hard.[43]
    • Apparently Hydro-Man's liquid particles each possess some form of attraction for one another so that his disintegrated consciousness can draw all of the particles back into cohesion after total dispersal. It is not known if there is a limit to the particles' ability to attract one another. Nor is it known if there is a limit to how long Hydro-Man can remain in a completely aqueous state. Although he can merge with ordinary water, or use if to increase his mass, he does not gain mental control over this liquid as he does his own. Apparently, he has no difficulty reforming his solid physical state, even while fully immersed in water.[44]
    • Hydro-Man consciousness either resides in each of the billions of droplets that his body becomes, or exists in an intangible perhaps gas-like state. Since Hydro-Man can convert his entire head into water, and his brain is still capable of rational motivated thought, his brain can no longer be organic. It is probably that even in its solid state when it appears to be made of flesh, tissue, and bone; the Hydro-Man's body is no longer truly organic, it is not known if the Hydro-Man needs to eat, sleep, or eliminate waste products anymore.[45]
    • Recent alterations of his powers by the Wizard have enabled Bench to mentally manipulate water sources outside his own body, and have given him a finer degree of control over his own fluid form.[46]

Strength level

  • Hydro-Man possesses slightly superhuman strength, due to the process that gave him his powers. He can lift (press) about 550 pounds under optimal conditions.[47] Though the larger he expands by himself or with another body of water his strength increases.[48]

Weaknesses

  • Hydro-Man can be easily defeated turning him into ice, and keep him at the right temperature. Such as when Spider-Man used an Ice Pellet to take him out effortlessly. [40]
  • Soul Molecule: When Morris transforms into water, one molecule in his body contains his mind and tells the other molecules what to do. If this molecule is separated, the rest of his body becomes ordinary water.[49][50]


Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition #11
  2. 2.0 2.1 Amazing Spider-Man #212
  3. Amazing Spider-Man #217
  4. Amazing Spider-Man #280-281
  5. Amazing Spider-Man #315
  6. Fantastic Four #326
  7. Fantastic Four #327
  8. Fantastic Four #328-336
  9. Cloak and Dagger Vol 3 #8
  10. Cloak and Dagger Vol 3 #9
  11. The Spectacular Spider-Man #160
  12. The Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #1-4
  13. Marvel Comics Presents #97
  14. New Warriors Annual #2
  15. Web of Spider-Man Annual #8
  16. 16.0 16.1 Silver Sable & the Wild Pack #17-18
  17. Captain America #411-412
  18. Venom: Deathtrap: The Vault #1
  19. Spider-Man: Power of Terror #1
  20. Spider-Man: Power of Terror #2
  21. Spider-Man: Power of Terror #3
  22. Avengers: Unplugged #4
  23. Thunderbolts #64
  24. Thunderbolts #67-69
  25. Peter Parker: Spider-Man Vol 2 #51-53
  26. Fantastic Four #512-514
  27. Fantastic Four #516
  28. New Avengers #2
  29. Fantastic Four: Foes #1
  30. Fantastic Four: Foes #5
  31. Fantastic Four: Foes #6
  32. Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #6-11
  33. Amazing Spider-Man #533
  34. Spider-Man and Power Pack Vol 2 #1
  35. Avengers: The Initiative #3
  36. Fantastic Four #547
  37. Fantastic Four #548
  38. Fantastic Four #549
  39. Dark Reign: The Hood #4
  40. 40.0 40.1 Amazing Spider-Man #666
  41. Amazing Spider-Man #699-700
  42. Spider-Man/Deadpool #1
  43. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #6
  44. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #12
  45. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #6
  46. Marvel Encyclopedia #Fantastic Four
  47. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 #12
  48. Heroic Age: Villains #1
  49. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 3 #3
  50. New Avengers Most Wanted Files #1
  51. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #5
  52. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 5



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