Wizard (Marvel Comics)
Leinil Francis Yu.
Strange Tales" #102 (Nov 1962)
Stan Lee Larry Lieber Jack Kirby
aliases=The Wingless Wizard
relatives= Cole Wittman (daughter),
The Wizard (Bentley Wittman), also known as the Wingless Wizard, is a
fictional character, a comic book supervillainin the Marvel Comicsuniverse. His first appearance was in "Strange Tales" #102 and was created as enemy for the Human Torch.
Fictional character biography
Bentley Wittman grew up possessing near-superhuman levels of genius and, as an adult, became an inventor of great renown, selling his futuristic inventions to the wealthy and becoming quite rich. He became known as the Wizard by legally assuming this stage name and using his advanced scientific inventions to perform feats of "magic".
Intellectually bored, however, he decided to defeat Johnny Storm, who had just appeared to the world as the Human Torch. Pretending to be a victim, he was rescued by the Torch and invited him to his high-tech, futuristic mansion on Long Island where he captured the Torch with ease. The Wizard then impersonated the Torch, launching a crime spree to destroy the Torch’s reputation, before being captured by the
Fantastic Fourand sent to prison.
The Wizard clashed many more times with the Human Torch until the conclusion of one encounter sent him flying uncontrollably upward by one of his anti-gravity discs, unable to descend safely. He was rescued by two other adversaries of the Torch: the Sandman and Paste-Pot Pete (soon after, the
Trapster). After he suggested they team up, a suggestion by the Trapster inspired him to form a team that would be a criminal counterpart to the Fantastic Four, with himself, his two rescuers, and Medusa, who was then suffering from amnesia; becoming the Frightful Four.
The Frightful Four proved to be one of the most formidable menaces that the Fantastic Four had yet encountered. The Frightful Four raided the Fantastic Four's
Baxter Buildingheadquarters, and affixed the Wizard's anti-gravity discs to the four - minus Johnny, but with Alicia Masters, who managed to alert the Torch with the Invisible Girl's flare gun. Johnny soon appeared and forced the Wizard to use his anti-grav ship to free his team members before they floated into airless space. Then, together they beat the Frightful Four until the Wizard and the Sandman exploded the Wizard's ship as a distraction, and escaped. Later, kidnapping the Invisible Girl, they lured the Fantastic Four to a Pacific atoll where they rigged an experimental "Q-bomb" to detonate. The Fantastic Four narrowly escaped. Weeks later, the Frightful Four made their third attempt. Capturing the Thing, the Wizard used his "Id Machine" to simulate the Thing's natural tendencies toward violence and brainwash him into obeying the Wizard's commands. The Fantastic Four finally managed to subdue the Frightful Four, then all but Medusa were turned over to the authorities.
In his continued quest to crush the Fantastic Four, the Wizard has tried many iterations of the Frightful Four. He twice brought Medusa back into the ranks, but, as she was no longer a criminal, having since regained her memories, she betrayed them both times. He also never succeeded in finding a permanent replacement for her. His first choice,
Thundra, also ended up allying herself with the Fantastic Four as Medusa did. Others who joined the team for a time included Electro, Llyra, and the Brute (Reed Richards of the original Counter-Earth). When the Sandman appeared to give up his life of crime, the Wizard formed a new team with Hydro-Man, Klaw, and Titania. But however formidable, the Frightful Four have always been thwarted by their heroic counterparts.
Very rarely has the Wizard operated outside of the Frightful Four. Once, he formed a partnership with
Mysterio, but was foiled by Spider-Man. Another time, he teamed up with the Plantmanto escape prison and ran into a conflict with the Avengers. He was later broken out of prison by Loki to join the inner circle of villains organizing the Acts of Vengeanceagainst the Avengers, but they were sorely defeated. Often avoiding the limelight that he once embraced, the Wizard hoped to hide from authorities using his former name Bentley Wittman. He was found by the Thunderbolts, however, who convinced the Wizard to provide anti-gravity discs in order for them to battle Graviton and, later, to attach to the Magneto Protocol Satellites. Later still, when the Sandman had appeared to reform his criminal ways, the Wizard took it upon himself to subject his former ally to his id machine, re-integrating the Sandman’s mind and restoring him to villainy.
Finally, when the Fantastic Four’s popularity reached an all-time low, the Wizard decided it was time to re-form the Frightful Four once more. No longer motivated by petty jealousy, the Wizard believed the Fantastic Four to be the source of all his troubles, his fall from grace. He rescued the Trapster from the Negative Zone, boosted the powers of Hydro-Man, and called upon his ex-wife,
Salamandra, to round out the Frightful Four. He also manipulated Cole, his and Salamandra’s daughter, to develop a relationship with the Human Torch in order to teleport to her and bypass the Fantastic Four’s defenses. During the resulting battle, the Wizard turned on the Trapster, revealing that he intended Cole to be the next member of the Frightful Four. When the Frightful Four defeated the heroes, the Wizard flaunted his success on television and left them humiliated. However, when the Wizard admitted that he only wanted to include Cole once he saw her exhibit superhuman powers, she turned on him. She sought out the Fantastic Four to lead them back to her father and to try to find a cure for her powers. The Wizard and Cole confronted each other, and Cole used one of the Trapster’s traps to ensnare her father, then used her powers over gravity to bring the Wizard’s lair down around him.
The Wizard is among the characters recruited in The Hood's syndicate of villains. ["
New Avengers" #33] He is then seen in a blue uniform reminiscent of his original outfit. [ [http://uk.comics.ign.com/articles/796/796467p4.html IGN Interview: Marvel's Massive Avengers Conspiracy] ] He helped them fight the New Avengers but was taken down by Doctor Strange. In " Secret Invasion", he is one among many of supervillains who rejoined of The Hood's crime syndicate and attacked a Skrullforce. ["Secret Invasion" #6]
Powers and abilities
GravityDiscs" can lift several hundred pounds each, and can be remotely controlled via relays in his armor. These give him the ability to fly, which is, contrary to popular belief, accomplished "without" wings.
*His gauntlets (alternatively referred to as "Power Gloves" or "Wonder Gloves") can unleash potent electrical blasts or use directed gravitational fields to increase his strength. The strength he can gain from his Wonder Gloves is unknown. When he constructed one for
Imus Championin an appropriate size, the villain was able to hurt both Thor and Hyperion in battle.
*His armor provides him with protection from assault, and devices in his helmet allow him to control the minds of others.
:In "", the 17th century version of the Wizard is self-described as "the greatest scientist alive in the year 1602". He claims to have been captain of a ship that reached the edge of the world and found a golden city, with the "Four Most Frightful" as his crew. Shortly before arriving in
Atlantiswith Otto von Doom, he admits that this was an exaggeration.
:Like his mainstream counterpart, he has some means of defying gravity, although its exact nature is unclear. He refers to having some magical abilities.
Fantastic Five", the Wingless Wizard is confined to a hover chair and blames Reed Richards for crippling him. He gathers a new team, the Wizard's Warriors: two women, Dominator and Freefall, and three men, Bullet, Binder and Impact. The team are supplied with the Wizard's various inventions. They attack the Fantastic Five, but the Wizard's real objective is to discover the true location of Reed Richards. ["Fantastic Five" #2]
:Later most of the team are captured by Psilord and
Spider-Girl. He and Dominator nevertheless invade Reed Richard's space station in the Negative Zone, but the inbuilt defences capture them, and Reed states that they must remain in "cold storage" until the rip in the universe is repaired. ["Fantastic Five" #3-#4]
In other media
* The Wizard appeared in the 1978 version of the "Fantastic Four" cartoon series where he assembles Medusa, Sandman, and Trapster for his
* The Wizard appeared in the 1981 "Spider-Man" cartoon series where he takes control of Medusa to help him steal an electrical device from a military base.
* The Wizard appeared in the 1994 "Fantastic Four" cartoon series voiced by
Ron Perlman. In his appearance, he assembled Medusa, Hydro-Man, and Trapster to form the Frightful Four. He also used a device to control the Thing.
* The Wizard is confirmed to appear in "" where he assembles
Klaw, Dragon Man, and Trapster to form the Frightful Four.
* The Wizard was the first boss, of three, in the third stage in the arcade game "
Captain America and the Avengers".
* [http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix4/wizwarriorsmc2.htm Profile of the Wizard's Warriors in the Appendix to the Marvel Handbook]
* [http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix4/wizardmc2.htm Wizard profile from MC2 timeline]
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