Amazing Man

+ Amazing Man II + Amazing-Man III

Created by Jerry Ordway & Roy Thomas

Amazing-Man I

NAME + ALIASES:
William Blake Everett

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Jake Everett (father), Lula May Everett (mother), Rachel Lindsay (fiancé), Unnamed son (deceased), William Everett III (Amazing Man II, grandson, deceased)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
All-Star Squadron

FIRST APPEARANCE:
All-Star Squadron #23 (July 1983)

APPEARANCES:

  • All-Star Squadron #23-27, 38-43, 46, 47, 50, 53, 54, 57-60, Annual #2
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths #5
  • Justice League America #87
  • Justice Society of America v.3 #12
  • Young All-Stars #2, 3, 7, 9, 12-14, 25, 27, 30-31, Annual #1

Amazing Man II

NAME + ALIASES:
William Everett III

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Unnamed father (deceased), William Everett I (Amazing Man I, grandfather, deceased), Jake and Lula May Everett (great-grandparents, deceased), Markus Clay (Amazing-Man III, cousin)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Justice League, Justice League Europe

FIRST APPEARANCE:
As Will: Justice League America #86 (March 1994)
In costume: Justice League Task Force #13 (June 1994)

APPEARANCES:

  • Extreme Justice, 18 issues (1995-96)
  • Justice League America #86-87, 89-91
  • Justice League Task Force #13-15
  • Justice League International v.2 #65-67

Amazing-Man III

NAME + ALIASES:
Markus Clay

KNOWN RELATIVES:
William Everett I (Amazing Man I, grandfather, deceased), Jake and Lula May Everett (grandparents, deceased), unnamed uncle (deceased), William Everett II (Amazing Man III, cousin, deceased)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Justice Society of America

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Justice Society of America v.3 #12 (Mar. 2008)

APPEARANCES:

  • Justice Society of America v.3 #12-23
  • Justice Society of America 80-Page Giant #1

History

The DC character Amazing Man was created for the All-Star Squadron by Roy Thomas, as an homage to another Golden Age hero. The original Amazing-Man was a character conceived by a different comics publisher, Centaur. He first appeared in Amazing-Man Comics #5 (Sept. 1939, the first issue). Centaur's comics are now in the public domain. Thomas named DC's Amazing-Man after the Centaur hero's creator, Bill Everett. Everett is known for having also created the Sub-Mariner, and he worked on many early Timely (Marvel) comics. The Centaur bears no resemblance to DC's, in powers or appearance.

In the Tower of Fate. From All-Star Squadron #23 (1983); art by Jerry Ordway and Mike Machlan.

Will Everett was raised in the South to a family of sharecroppers. When young Will defied their landlord, they were forced to give up farming and migrated to Detroit. Will studied and trained in track and field, becoming so good that he qualified for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Along with Jesse Owens, Everett won a gold medal at Hitler's prize event. Despite having gained international acclaim, Everett was unable to find good work upon his return to the U.S. and became a janitor at a laboratory owned by Dr. Terry Curtis.

In 1942, Superman's enemy, the Ultra-Humanite, kidnapped both Curtis and Everett, and subjected Will to an electro-generator built by Curtis. During the experiment the generator exploded, granting Everett superhuman powers. He could take on the physical properties of any non-organic thing he touched. Ultra-Humanite dubbed him Amazing-Man and threatened to kill his parents if he did not pledge servitude. Amazing-Man played along with the Ultra-Humanite until the opportunity to break free presented itself. His first task was to steal Dr. Fate's Helm of Nabu from within Fate's tower. Dr. Fate and the Atom bested Amazing-Man and they used a magical orb to learn his story. (All-Star Squadron #23)

Amazing-Man became the captive of the All-Star Squadron but freed himself soon. (#24) He took on the entire team until yielding upon a comment by Liberty Belle. She mentioned that Ultra had threatened Detroit, something she'd promised not to do. Will's concern for his parents' safety was enough to gain the Squadron's trust, and they set course for Detroit. (#25) Amazing-Man played double agent and helped the heroes get access to Ultra's lair. (Annual #2) Will remained in Detroit after that, to decide whether super-hero work was his best path. (#31)

The All-Star Squadron learned from newsreels that the Ku Klux Klan (Nazi agents) were terrorizing black communities in Detroit. In the footage they saw none other than Will Everett fighting for his life. This formation of the Klan was called the Phantom Empire and led by the Real American. Even the white population was under their thrall. (#38) Amazing-Man discovered that the Real American had super-powers of his own and the Squadron looked only helplessly as Will was arrested for allegedly killing a white man. (#39) Both Will's father Jake and fiancé, Rachel Lindsay, cursed the heroes for standing idle. The Real American's activities soon crossed all legal boundaries and the All-Stars decided to free Will from jail. He broke the Real American—literally—and revealed him as an android fitted with some sort of persuasive voice technology (provided by the Monitor). The heroes found its operator, the Phantom Empire's Emperor. Will surprised everyone by agreeing to join the All-Star Squadron. (#40)

Will says goodbye to his parents and fiancée. From All-Star Squadron #40 (1984); art by Richard Howell and Bill Collins.

During the first great "Crisis," Amazing Man was drawn decades into the future with fellow Squadron members Johnny Quick, Liberty Belle and Tarantula. (Crisis #5, All-Star Squadron #53)

After the war, Will's secret identity was revealed by J. Edgar Hoover. In the 1960s his family and friends were threatened by racist violence, and he became a leader in the Civil Rights movement. He even captured the killer of Martin Luthor King, Jr., James Earl Ray. (Justice Society of America v.3 #12)

Amazing Man II

Will Everett had at least two children (though its unknown whether he married Rachel Lindsay), and his super-powers were inherited by some of his descendants. Everett's son was said to have manifested the form-changing ability, but he died in the service of the Army (presumably in Vietnam). Everett's grandson, Will Everett II grew up in Detroit and his powers manifested later in life. The arrival of the alien conqueror called the Overmaster triggered his first violent transformation, the college student found that he could change his body in ways beyond that of his grandfather; the young man could also mimic forms of energy. His grandfather suggested that his old friends might be able to help. Will had recently seen the original Flash with the Justice League and so he decided to seek help from them. When he left Detroit, Will's grandfather was in the hospital, dying of cancer. (Justice League America #86-87) (NOTE: In the letters column of Extreme Justice #9 (1995), editor Ruben Diaz estimated Will's age 23.)

Grandfather and grandson, in the hospital. From Justice League America #87 (1994); art by Marc Campos.
Will absorbs the Overmaster's energies and defeats him. From Justice League International v.2 #66 (1994); art by Chuck Wojtkiewicz and Bob Dvorak.
Maxima takes lessons in love from an Earth man. From Extreme Justice #16 (1996); art by Tom Morgan and Ken Branch.
Destroyed by the Mist. From Starman v.2 #38 (1998); art by Dusty Abell and Dexter Vines.

When he arrived at the Justice League embassy in New York, Will had the chance to meet the legendary Flash. But it was a turbulent time for the JLA. (#89) Will reluctantly donned his grandfather's uniform but insisted that he was no hero. Wonder Woman pressed him on this, and asked whether he'd chosen a code name. He joined their mission as Amazing Man II and in the final battle against the Overmaster, Will bested the tyrant by absorbing his power. (Justice League Europe #66)

Amazing Man stayed among the League and witnessed as it splintered into three factions. Captain Atom was frustrated by the JLA's leadership and went off to forms his own team. Amazing Man joined him, along with Maxima, Blue Beetle, and Booster Gold. They established headquarters at Mt. Thunder, a former military complex in Nevada. (Extreme Justice #0) Things did not go smoothly for this team and Amazing Man nearly abandoned his career as a super-hero. Booster Gold dissuaded him by lauding Will's instinct to protect others. (#2)

His powers sometimes frightened Will and they sometimes fluctuated. (#3) He worked with Blue Beetle to test their limits and found that there were virtually none. Unlike the way he mimicked material substances, with energy he could absorb and store even the most powerful forces, including those from Captain Atom and Firestorm. (#4)

Will's body responded by putting on muscle mass, which did not go unnoticed by his teammate Maxima. (#10) Will accused of her of having certain fantasies about him—related to his race—which she denied. She explained that her people had long since become racially homogeneous and yes, she was attracted to his unfamiliar coloring. (#12) Soon enough they found themselves testing their intimacy. While watching TV, the two happened upon a sex scene. Maxima knew nothing of physical love because her people had distilled procreation to a scientific act. She impulsively initiated their first kiss. (#16) Their romance probably stalled because Captain Atom's team was soon dissolved and both left the JLA. (#18)

Later, Amazing Man joined the Crimson Fox's unofficial re-grouping of Justice League Europe. This group barely got off the ground before they were decimated by the Mist (who was impersonating Icemaiden). Amazing Man was killed when he turned to glass and his body was shattered. (Starman v.2 #38)

Amazing-Man III

The third Amazing-Man was Markus Clay, who also inherited his grandfather's elemental super-powers. Like his grandfather, he chose a path of public service after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. He met Superman and Power Girl in his home city of New Orleans when the Justice Society was recruiting members. After the elder heroes helped him remove a barge from a hurricane-ravaged neighborhood, he followed them back to New York. (Justice Society of America v.3 #12)

Amazing-Man on patrol in New Orleans. From Justice Society of America v.3 #12 (2008); art by Dale Eaglesham and Ruy José.

Markus was drawn into the JSA's confrontation with a Fourth World god called Gog. On the surface, Gog claimed to be altruistic and performed numerous "miracles" in Africa (where he'd been awakened). Although Gog's motives were suspect, Amazing-Man couldn't deny that eliminating militant overlords might be a good thing for the local population. (#18)

Meeting the Olorun. From Justice Society of America 80-Page Giant #1 (2010); art by Roberto Castro and John Floyd.

When JSA headquarters was rocked by a mystical artifact, Amazing-Man had a metaphysical experience in which he met the Olorun—the elementals who granted his powers. In their test, Markus discovered that he could pass his abilities on to others through touch. (JSofA 80-Page Giant #1) This experience might have been the reason for Amazing-Man's quick departure from the JSA. Amazing-Man left the team and Green Lantern remarked that Markus had considered starting his own team down south. (#23)

The New 52

The Amazing Man of DC's New 52 universe appeared on Earth-0 (maintstream Earth), not Earth 2. He is Rocker Bonn, a former agent of the global agency called Checkmate. Forced experimentation by Cadmus bestowed him with the super-power to take on any mass and its properties through absorption. He can also discharge this energy with force. Bonn came into conflict with O.M.A.C. in Wayne, Texas when authorities caught up to him. During the scuffle, Amazing Man absorbed O.M.A.C.'s powers and was overtaken by the champion's creator, the Brother Eye. It had been Brother Eye's goal to use Bonn for its own ends. Brother Eye's circuitry infected Amazing Man and he disappeared. (O.M.A.C. #2)

Rocker Bonn fights O.M.A.C. From O.M.A.C. #2 (2010); art by Keith Giffen and Scott Koblish.

Notes

The name of the first and third DC Amazing-Man were spelled with a hyphen, and the second was spelled without one.

+ Powers

Amazing-Man could absorb inorganic material such as bricks or steel and transform himself into a living, breathing, mobile facsimile of that material. Each transformation was of limited duration, but he could switch almost instantly from one material to another. For a time Amazing-Man could repel magnetic objects with his right hand and attract them with his left.

Amazing Man II had the additional ability to absorb and re-release forms of energy. He used his grandfather's utility belt, which contained various materials for easy access to those elemental properties.

Amazing-Man III had his grandfather's ability, plus he found that he could extend his powers to others. If someone were in contact with him, she could take on Markus's adopted physical properties.