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Robert Grayson (Earth-616)

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Quote1 I'm here to stop people like you. You can call me...Marvel Boy. Quote2
-- Marvel Boy src
 

Preface

Many of Robert Grayson's early adventures were adapted into comic books published by Timely Comics, who altered some of the facts of the stories to better sell stories to their readers.[4] As such, this article will differentiate between the fictitious and real accounts whenever possible.

Origins

Robert Grayson was the son of scientist Matthew Grabshied, whose wife and daughter were killed by the Nazis when their passenger plane was shot down in 1934. Horrified by the atrocities of war, the elder Grayson -- an atomic energy expert -- constructed a rocket ship to escape the Earth. However, once they had flown past the moon, a strange force redirected their ship to the planet Uranus. There Grayson was surprised to find a civilization of people living on the planet. He and his son Robert were accepted with open arms and Robert was raised as a Uranian, learning their science and mastering the art of telepathy.

In 1950, Robert now an adult, Matthew decided to send his son back to Earth to act as a champion of his home planet of origin. With a new costume, and special light beam bracelets, Robert was dubbed Marvel Boy and sent to Earth in a rocket ship. Because being on Earth greatly weakened him, Robert was required to take special Uranium pills to boost his strength[5].

Marvel Boy The Uranian Vol 1 2 Textless

Marvel Boy: The Uranian

True Origins

Robert Grayson was born in the 1930s, the son of scientist Professor Matthew Horace Grayson and wife, Marna, in Germany. Horace was a rocket scientist who worked for the government, however when Hitler rose to power, Grayson did not support the ruling Nazis but was forced to continue his work. His wife lived in constant fear due to her Jewish ancestry and when this was learned by the Nazis, she was killed. Robert was spared, and his father Horace continued to work on a means of escaping the Nazis. He constructed a radio that beamed messages out into space.

Professor Grayson made contact with the Uranian Eternals[5], who provided him with the knowledge to build a rocket to escape Nazi Germany with his infant son Robert. The Eternals on Uranus then welcomed the Grayson family with open arms, raising Robert as one of their own. The Uranian Eternals were secretly plotting to re-establish ties with the planet Earth in an attempt to be reunited with their planet of origins and influence the society into what they viewed as a utopia. Monitoring the progress of the War on Earth, the Uranian Eternals waited for the ideal opportunity to begin their agenda, and upon witnessing the activities of Earth's super-soldier Captain America decided to groom Robert into the image of a super-hero the people of Earth could relate to, their ambassador to Earth[6].

In 1950, the Uranian Eternals dispatched Robert to Earth to establish himself as a super-hero. This was fraught with complications due to the rise of the Cold War, such as paranoia over his potential as a Communist spy. In one of his earliest adventures, Robert used his rocket ship to help protect a United States naval base located in Zambales in the Philippines. The base was under attack by a high tech villain calling himself the Man O' War who attacked the base in a massive air-ship armed with lightning devices. Easily defeating Man O' War, Robert found himself apprehended by the military under suspicions that he was a communist agent while they tried to examine his rocket. Robert eventually broke free from his cell and escaped, deciding to try establishing himself in society again, this time in New York City. His first attempt at heroics there was saving men working on a billboard whose scaffold threatened to fall. However, Robert was dismayed when the news of his heroics were buried in the back of the newspaper and that they got his name wrong.

However, Robert was soon approached by Dean, a writer for Timely Comics who offered to help Robert gain the publicity he was looking for by creating a comic book adaptation of his adventures. However, Dean informed him that there would need to be changes to the stories to sell them to the public, and also recommended a new name: Marvel Boy[6].

Marvel Boy also came to the defence of his adopted people, such as when Uranus was invaded by the Satanians attempted to sow dissent among the masses[1], corruption among the Uranian police force[7], and a plot from Uranian dissidents to steal a new atomic formula[8]. However, these stories were adapted by Timely Comics into comic books about Marvel Boy's exploits and may be false[6]. By 1955, the Uranian Eternals began to feel that they were losing their grip on Marvel Boy and he was straying away from his mission, in order to get him back on track they secretly murdered his father, making it appear he died of a Uranian disease in order to get Marvel Boy back to Uranus. When they found that the boy was intent on returning to Earth and continue his mission, they gifted him with hover technology to allow him to fly in the hopes of giving the human race a "real" super-hero to eventually trust[4].

1950s

One of Marvel Boy's earliest recorded missions found him investigating an island that rose out of the Pacific ocean after an earthquake. He soon found that he island had been found first by international pirate Count Varron who sought to claim the island for himself. Marvel Boy also discovered a population of "Fish People" who lived below the surface of the island, an offshoot of humanity that lived under the ocean for the past 1200 years. Seeking to defend the Fish People from Varron and his pirate, Marvel Boy won the fight when Varron's men detonated TNT to try and kill the Fish People, but only succeeding in causing the island to sink, drowning Varron and his men.

While on Earth, Robert initially took on a job working for the Daily Monitor newspaper. His first assignment was to interview a scientist named Professor Vance. However, at that very moment Vance was in a lab accident that granted him x-ray vision. Seeking to profit from this, Vance rushed Grayson out of his office. Grayson next covered the appearance of a new show business sensation, the Great Video -- secretly Vance -- who used his x-ray vision to trick people into thinking he was a mentalist. As Marvel Boy, he attempted to stop the Great Video from robbing a man with a loot of stolen jewels. However he was knocked out by the x-ray vision. Realizing that his powers could would or kill, the Great Video became a master criminal until Marvel Boy caught up with him. Blasting Video in the eyes with his light bands stripped the Great Video of his powers and he was brought to justice[5].

In 1951, in his capacity of an insurance investigator Marvel Boy investigated the cult leader Mr. Death who used his warped interpretation of the Muslim religion to murder people and claim their insurance policies, using trickery to force a confession out of him. Returning to Uranus he helped defend it from invasion from the Satanians who believed their home planet was going to hurtle into the sun. Marvel Boy uses Uranian science to prove to the king of Satanians that their belief was false, ending their invasion. Returning to the Earth, Marvel Boy attempted to stop mobster Dynamite Carr from blowing up FBI headquarters for his communist employers. Due to the inaction of all levels of authority, Marvel Boy failed to stop the bomb from going off, but succeeded in evacuating it before it exploded[1]. He next traveled to Europe to assist Starr Ryder in rescuing her father who was captured by the vampire Madame la Morte, slaying her and her undead army in the process. Back on Uranus, Marvel Boy stopped the corrupt Water Commissioner who was attempting to control the flow of water on the Eternal colony in order to rule it. Back on Earth and once more in his capacity of insurance agent, Grayson helped expose a plot by Gideon Frost and his doctor to murder his niece and inherit the property of his late wife[7].

In one of his more rash adventures, Marvel Boy tracked the intergalactic criminal Orion Rex who had stolen an anti-radiation ray that he developed on Earth under the guise of Dr. Noiro in a plot to invade the Earth. Tracking the criminal to the Grand Canyon, Marvel Boy dropped an atomic bomb in the canyon seriously injuring Orion and leading to his easy defeat. Marvel Boy then used the anti-radiation device to restore the Grand Canyon to normal. Later he investigate the strange murders of zoo staff carried out by the mysterious snake worshiping Serpent, slaying her in the process. He then prevented a conspiracy between Uranian and Earth criminals to steal atomic secrets by holding the Uranian girl Lilli and Robert's father hostage both on Earth and Uranus. Despite this danger, Marvel Boy prevented the secrets from falling in enemy hands and rescued both his father and Lilli[8]. Marvel Boy was next sent back to Earth by his father to investigate the strange powers of magician Pasha Emit Erut-Uf. Marvel Boy witnessed as Pasha slew some criminals who sought to exploit his magical powers and then vanished claiming he would return in a few hundred years. Marvel Boy theorized that Pasha and his assistant were really the Biblical Adam and Eve. Marvel Boy next came to the assistance of millionaire Jasper J. Corpa who was given a pen that forced him to write checks to the Stalinist regime until Marvel Boy put a stop to it by slaying the agents extorting Corpa and destroying the pen. He also captured Professor Diminuito of the planet Argo who was killing people on Earth to test out his contracting fabric experiments[9].

G-Men

By 1957, Marvel Boy became the centre the subject of interest of a subversive FBI agent who was ultimately stopped by agent Jimmy Woo who then recruited Marvel Boy into Department Zero much to the protests of his Uranian masters, but by then Marvel Boy had determined that the human race needed to find its own way and not be tampered with by the Uranian Eternals. Unbowed, the Eternals planned for the eventual return of Marvel Boy and began grooming the Eternal Thelius to be their Marvel Boy replacement[3]. Soon the native Uranians learned of this plan and found it in violation of their pact with the Eternals and wiped them all out. The dying Eternals sent a distress call to Marvel Boy who came in answer to it, learning the truth of his adopted people along the way. He arrived too late to save them and was absorbed into the Uranian hive mind, his biology adapted into a hybrid form. Meanwhile, his doppelganger, Thelis, with an incomplete transfer of Marvel Boy's memories was rushed through completion and was released, Marvel Boy being bonded to the Uranians was unable to stop him as he flew to Earth, however he would not reach there until the modern age[10].

Becoming Agents of Atlas

Robert lived among the Uranians for decades as part of their collective. He was always slightly disconnected from the rest of his adopted family due to his human physiology. While the Uranians had modified his physical form to allow him to join their collective, he continued to spend time apart from them.[10] During this time apart, he applied his knowledge of Eternals' technology to build a space ship. Robert was contacted by his old Earth comrade Gorilla-Men of the group known as the G-Men to return to Earth and save the life of their old team leader Jimmy Woo. Woo had been seriously injured on a rogue mission. He was then found by S.H.I.E.L.D. and taken back to a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility with very little brain function and on life support, with plans to switch it off after they closed the investigation. Dugan brought in Gorilla Man for questioning as the only clues they had, linked this mission to the original G-Men and Hale was the only member they could contact. With no knowledge of what Woo had done, Hale requested to say a final goodbye, but Hale instead contacted M-11 and Marvel Boy who rescued him. Marvel Boy was able to restore Woo by reconstructing him as he last remembered Woo, which was from there time together in the 1950's. This restored his youth, at the expense of Woo's memories of the intervening 50 years.[11]. Marvel Boy left the Uranian hive mind to save his friend even though this would prevent him from ever rebonding with it ever again[11]

The quartet traveled to Woo's house for clues and found Derek Khanata already there. After taking Jimmy Woo's Car and Marvel Boy took an imprint of the house, the G-Men attempted to leave without Khanata but Khanata revealed that he had discovered the whereabouts of Venus. Traveling with the group to Africa, the G-Men met Khanata's cousin, who found Venus at the site of Gorilla Man's transformation, having turned the once war-torn area to peaceful place. But soon after their arrival Yellow Claw attacked the group.[12]

After a small scuffle, this Yellow Claw was revealed to have been a robot and Jimmy was rescued by his team-mates. Leaving Africa with Venus, the team returned to where Jimmy was initially injured, in hopes of finding a temple. However, they found nothing. Leaving M-11 behind, Woo and the team traveled to an old coffee shop that Woo used to visit. Gorilla Man revealed that M-11 had visited him before SHIELD did, to inform Hale that he needed to rescue Woo. Marvel Boy revealed his origins and how there was a second version of himself. As the story concluded, the team discovered that M-11 was trying to travel to Antartica, since he had concluded that Namora was not really dead and needed to be rescued. Traveling there, the team found what appeared to be the remains of Namora. [10]

Grayson deduced that there was a hologram in place and broke it, consequently revealing the still-living form of Namora. While M-11 began to free her, Grayson and the rest of the team were attacked by giant crabs and were rescued by the revived Namora. The team fully formed, they began to investigate all possible operations of the Atlas Foundation, with every single site they visited being one. After taking down some pirates, the team was attacked again by Yellow Claw and his terracota army. During the fight, Yellow Claw escaped and not even Grayson could detect his presence.[13]

During the search, Namora revealed the secret about Venus' true nature, having known of the legend of the Siren. Venus fell into depression and filled all of her companions with despair. This caused Marvel Boy to reveal the fact that Jimmy suspected M-11 of being the traitor in the midst. Feeling betrayed, Marvel Boy attacked and seemingly destroyed M-11. His wrath was fueled by the knowledge that he had abandoned the Uranians forever, just to be used as a puppet. This angered Namora who felt M-11 had cared enough to track her down and free her. She destroyed Marvel Boy's spaceship and attacked Marvel Boy himself. Gorilla Man jumped to Marvel Boy's aid, so Namora attacked him as well. While the rest of the team began to fight each other, Woo calmed Namora and was able to help Venus rediscover her confidence. Venus proceeded to sing, soothing the rest of the team. They returned to their mission to take down the Atlas group.[14]

Woo and his team went back to the San Francisco branch of Atlas and re-entered the hidden room. This time, they survived and confronted Yellow Claw and Mr. Lao. It turned out that Yellow Claw was waiting for Woo to come, to claim the mantle of Genghis Khan. With the title of Great Khan, Woo also assumed control over the holdings of The Atlas Foundation. Jimmy then asked Khanata to lie to S.H.I.E.L.D. and tell them that they actually perished in the temple, so that they could continue operating in secret.[15]

The transition away from being a criminal organization was not easy however as one of the the early missions after becoming the Atlas foundation involved a rogue faction of the organization who did not want to stop their criminal activities. Using a theatre production they would use the audiences life force, combined with totemic vessel to create an army of Monsters. The group teamed up with Spider-Man to stop them, after him and the group were attacked. Initially unsure which side the group was on Spider-Man fought with Gorilla Man until Siren used her song to calm him down. Teaming up, they stopped the rogue faction when M-11 destroyed their power source at the Rockefeller Center. In order to keep. their existence a secret, Martian Boy wiped everybody but his teams memory of the incident including Spider-Man's.[16]

Secret Invasion

During the Secret Invasion, Namora killed a Super Skrull and was captured by other Skrulls. She was later rescued by Gorilla Man and M-11, and returned to the Martian Boy's Ship with a Skrull as a hostage. Dissecting the hostage, Martian Boy learns the secrets of the Skrull invasion just as their location is discovered, the team defends the ship and Jimmy asks Venus to us her powers the kill the attackers. Venus doesn't want to use her powers to kill and Martian Boy reveals that the Skrulls are not malevolent and just want to join the human and skrull race together. Jimmy however, is defending the human race and gets M-11 to wipe out all the attacking Skrulls.[17]

Dark Reign

The Atlas Foundation hindered the Skrulls' activities on the West Coast during their Invasion. Afterwards, however, the world had changed, and Woo and his team took a surprising step: to use Plan Chu's villainous reputation to present themselves as the Agents of the Atlas Empire. Their first act was to steal all the gold in Fort Knox, which Norman Osborn had earmarked for special weapons programs.[18]

Powers



Weaknesses

Grayson can only breathe a Uranian atmosphere, and must now remain in a spacesuit at all times. This extended isolation has had detrimental psychological effects.


Equipment

  • Uranian's Suit: Spacesuit that recreates Uranian environment. Also equipped with a Uranian headband which gives him telepathic abilities.
  • Quantum Bands: A set of duplicates that gave him power as Marvel Boy.

Transportation

  • The Eternal doppelganger Thelius would eventually escape his containment pod when Marvel Boy returned to find the colony devastated. This doppelganger would return to Earth under the Crusader identity, and eventually died fighting the Fantastic Four when he underestimated the improved Quantum Bands he wore.

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Footnotes



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