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Straw Man (Earth-616)

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The Straw Man is a benevolent entity that appears to emerge from a dimension within its painting. Centuries ago, he opposed the demon Kalumai. During one of their early battles, the Straw Man ripped one of Kalumai's horns from his head and closed the gateway through which he manifested on Earth, sealing it behind an oil painting known only as "The Scarecrow." As a result, the Cult of Kalumai was virtually destroyed and the painting became a sought after occult item as occultists tried to fathom its secrets and Kalumai attempted to reopen the gateway.

In more modern times, the painting found its way to New York City. Cultist Gregor Rovik attempted to purchase it but writer Dave Duncan intervened so that his younger brother Jess could win it. Later Rovik stole the painting and tried to sacrifice Jess' girlfriend Harmony Maxwell using Kalumai's horn. The Straw Man intervened, rescued Harmony and the painting and killed Rovik.[1]

Later, Kalumai sent his agent Bartolome to retrieve the horn by commanding night demons through the use of his flute. The Straw Man, however, succeeded in defeating and banishing both Bortolome and the demons, much to the chagrin of Kalumai.[2]

The Scarecrow painting was eventually publicly displayed and Kalumai found a sympathetic onlooker whom he was able to recreate into an avatar for his power. The possessed man came into conflict with the Fantastic Four's Thing who had been at the gallery with his artist girlfriend Alicia Masters. The Straw Man appeared, presumably controlling Dave Duncan again, and tricked Kalumai's pawn into sealing the painting's gateway permanently with Kalumai's own power. The Straw Man then vanished into the burning painting.[3]

Years later, the Fear Lords gathered to discuss how they might cause more fear and terror on Earth in order to strengthen themselves. The Straw Man opposed the others, having gone to the meeting only to inform the others that Earth was under his protection and he would oppose their plans. To aid humanity in resisting their fear-mongering, the Straw Man mainfested on Earth under the name of Skirra Corvus and created the "Horror TV" cable network to help inoculate humanity against fear. He also informed Doctor Strange of the Fear Lords' actions through 'Horror TV.' The Straw Man's avatar was soon destroyed by the Lurking Unknown but he left Strange with the Scarecrow painting, through which he could again return. As the Fear Lord' plot unfurled, D'Spayre betrayed the other Fear Lords and absorbed their powers. He was opposed by the Straw Man who allowed D'Spayre to set another one of his straw manifestations on fire, in order to use the flames to free Dr. Strange from his restraints. The Straw Man continues to observe humanity from his otherworldy home.

Powers

  • The Straw Man forms scarecrow-like grain-stalk bodies to exist out of his painting. His manifestations are immune to almost all physical damage except flame. Bullets and bladed weapons do superficial damage at best, and his straw-packed limbs restitch themselves immediately after suffering the slightest injury.
  • His manifestations are apparently mute apart from their hideous laughter, which causes paralyzing fear in those who hear it.
  • These bodies can also summon and control a murder of crows, animate plant life, affect weather, open spatial or dimensional warps, communicate telepathically and assume human appearance.

Strength level

Straw Man can probably lift up to 5 times his own weight.

Weaknesses

His straw bodies are vulnerable to fire and it takes him some time to reform.


  • Straw Man first appeared in Dead of Night #11, it was intended for Scarecrow #1, which even made it to subscription pages, but that series was never published. Straw Man was also intended to appear bi-monthly in following issue of Dead of Night, but the title was canceled with issue #11.

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