ADONIS

Real Name: Eric Cameron

Identity/Class: Human, mind in android body

Occupation: Former CEO of Cameron Electronics

Group Membership: Cameron Electronics

Affiliations: His agents (Harry, others);
   formerly Brady Cameron

Enemies: Brady Cameron, Captain America (Steve Rogers), NYPD, SHIELD (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-Enforcement Division), unidentified Central Park muggers

Known Relatives: Brady Cameron (son)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Formerly Cameron Electronics, Ithaca, New York and Manhattan, New York City

First Appearance: Captain America I#243 (March, 1980)

 

Powers/Abilities: Adonis possessed superhuman strength (lifting 9 tons) and durability. Bullets (at least those from handguns) didn't phase him, and he didn't need to breath, rendering him immune to tear gas and unable to drown. He had no special combat training, and was susceptible to electric shock.

    Eric Cameron was an invalid, requiring advanced mechanical life support. He was a gifted scientist, with sufficient electronics knowledge to adapt existing systems in his factory into a complicated life support system to keep his ailing body alive, and to invent/design micro-circuited scalpels precise enough to allow surgeons to transplant a live human brain in under twenty minutes. Linked to his factory via his life support, he claimed to know everything that happened within, and had installed a number of potentially lethal automated defenses to eliminate any intruders.

 

Height: (Cameron) 5'6"; (Adonis, pre-accident) 6'2"; (Adonis, post-accident) 5'8"
Weight: (Cameron) 133 lbs.; (Adonis) 339 lbs.
Eyes: (Both) Blue
Hair: (Both) Brown (see comments)

 

History:
(Captain America I#243 (fb) - BTS) - Eric Cameron started Cameron Electronics in his youth, dedicating his life to it and building it into a successful company. He was a domineering boss, shouting down anyone who questioned his decisions, and treated his son, Brady, the same way, believing the boy lacked backbone and never giving him the opportunity to prove otherwise. However, as he got older, he succumbed to an unrevealed debilitating condition which necessitated progressively more advanced medical care. To stay alive, Eric began piece by piece converting devices in his factory into a life support. Learning of the existence of SHIELD Life Model Decoys (LMDs), Cameron decided that he could regain his youth, and even become immortal by transferring his mind into one of them, a perfect body he dubbed in anticipation "Adonis." To this end, a group of his agents, under direction of Eric's son, Brady, were sent to steal the SHIELD Master Matrix, from which LMDs were created. The attempt was complicated by the intervention of Captain America, and during the ensuing fight a bullet from one agent's gun ricocheted off Cap's shield and, unnoticed in the heat of battle by anyone but Cap, damaged the Matrix. Ultimately Captain America seemingly failed to stop the theft of the Matrix, but actually let them take it so he could follow them back to their leader.

 

(Captain America I#243) - Brady went to his father to inform him of the operation's success, but this merely earned more derision from Eric, who stated he already knew because his connection to the facility made him aware of everything that happened within it. An alarm informed both Camerons of Captain America's intrusion into the facility, but Eric insisted they proceed with the brain transplant as planned, trusting in the facility's automated defenses to deal with the invader. Eric was transferred to a self-contained operating theater in the plant where special micro-circuited scalpels operated by two surgeons swiftly extracted his brain from his decrepit body and transferred it to the newly created artificial body, taking less than twenty minutes to hook up Eric's brain's neural network to the LMD's nervous system.

   With the only part of the process left to do being to provide a spark of electricity to activate the body, Brady now dismissed both surgeons, insisting that this last step was his responsibility, but instead of providing a small jolt to kick-start the LMD form, he instigated a deliberate overload. As the Matrix began to rapidly overload, heating the interior containing Eric's Adonis body to dangerous levels, Captain America finally reached the room. As he and Brady fought, within the Matrix Eric awoke in agony, feeling his synthetic flesh burning and melting. Before Captain America could shut it down, the damaged Matrix exploded, starting a fire, but still alive within the conflagration Eric cried out in pain and anger. As Eric hauled his melted, scarred and twisted form out of the wreckage, Brady recoiled in terror, and Eric angrily rounded on his son, blaming Brady for his fate and roaring that he would kill him.

 

(Captain America I#244) - Adonis advanced on the cowering Brady, then grabbed him by the throat and hoisted him into the air, accusing his son of tampering with the Matrix in an attempt to kill him. To save Brady's life Captain America struck Adonis with his shield, the sudden impact knocking him off balance but causing no actual damage. Nevertheless, it caused him to drop his victim, and Cap pulled Brady away before Adonis could recover. Shouting that he would kill them all for what they had done to him, Adonis batted aside the remains of the Matrix as if it weighed nothing, but they struck some nearby equipment and triggered another, smaller explosion. The sudden wash of heat and flames reminded Adonis of being trapped in the confines of the Matrix, burning and feeling his flesh melting. Overcome with panic, he leapt through a window to escape the fire, dropping several stories to smash through the roof of a truck parked outside the building. Still haunted by the memory of being trapped in the flames, Adonis ripped through the side of the truck, screaming that he would never let them do that to him again, then smashed his way past parked cars and through the plant's perimeter wall.

 

   Adonis wandered through the woods near the plant, smashing down trees and terrifying the wildlife as his increasingly fractured mind processed what had happened to him, ultimately deciding that his new body was a shell, not true life, and deciding that "they" had taken away the beauty, so now they would have to deal with the beast. Spotting his reflection in a lake, he waded in and began smashing away at it, frustrated that the image kept returning whenever he let the water settle. Eventually he became mired in the muddy lake bottom and disappeared under the surface, and as a result when Captain America passed overhead in a police helicopter a while later to see tracks entering but not leaving the water, he presumed Adonis had drowned. However, the artificial body had no need to breath, and shortly after Cap departed Adonis waded back out of the lake.

 

(Captain America I#244 - BTS) - Over the next day Adonis made his way into Manhattan, initially on foot, and later by hiding in the back of a small pick-up truck, arriving after night fall.

 

(Captain America I#244) - Slipping out the back of the truck in a darkened spot on Fifth Avenue, Adonis headed into Central Park, and wandered for a few hours. Just before midnight a trio of would-be muggers accosted him, thinking the bent, shadowed figure was an old man who would be easy prey, and fleeing in terror when they discovered otherwise. Spotting the Simon Bolivar statue as he continued his wanderings, Adonis ranted that people built statues worshiping beauty, then pushed the statue over, railing that beauty was false, and that for him there was only ugliness and pain. The statue smashed to pieces, but the ruckus had caused someone to call the police, who arrived moments later. However the cops soon learned their weapons had no effect on Adonis, who smashed through their ranks with ease.

   After spending some time demolishing the cops, Adonis headed out onto the corner of 5th Avenue and 59th Street, where he spotted a beautiful woman in the back of a cab. Having come to the conclusion that he should destroy all beauty, he ripped the cab door off and pulled the unfortunate woman out, intending to kill her, swatting away her male companion when he tried to intervene. Luckily for the woman Captain America had heard the police radio report about Adonis' rampage and arrived in time to prevent the murder, again knocking Adonis over with his flung shield. Cap tried to reason with Adonis, offering to help him, and for a moment the sincerity in his voice almost got through to the maddened man within the LMD body, but just at that moment a storm broke. The lightning flash triggered violent memories of the electricity that had caused the fire that burned him, and Adonis reacted in fear-induced rage, throwing another cab at the hero, then fleeing into the sewers while the hero extricated himself.

 

   However, the city was dredging the 59th Street lake and had thus blocked off the sewers, forcing Adonis to surface at the lake. Aware of the work, Cap had anticipated this and was there waiting as Adonis emerged above ground. The hero tackled Adonis, but the creature knocked him backwards into an arc light, causing it to fall over into the remaining lake water. Grabbing the hero, Adonis threw him against a bulldozer, then leapt at him, but Cap dodged at the last second. Landing violently on the bulldozer, Adonis became stuck on the bulldozer's gearshift, and while struggling to free himself Adonis knocked the vehicle into neutral. It rolled forward, carrying Adonis into the lake, which was still live with electricity thanks to the arclight. Screaming in fear to once again experience the same pain that had his LMD form had woken to, Adonis was electrocuted, apparently fatally.

 

(Captain America I#245) - As Captain America finished explaining how Adonis had perished to a police lieutenant two men from the coroners loaded the body bag contained the LMD's remains into a van, with one commenting that he didn't know why the creature had been called Adonis since it was as ugly as sin.

 


Comments: Created by Roger McKenzie, Rich Buckler and Don Perlin.

   Eric had brown hair to begin with, but for some reason when Marvel recolored the issue for digital release he became more of a red-head - see the digital vs. non digital close-ups of his face for comparison.

   Though it's not confirmed either way, Captain America suspected the grand jury case was a smokescreen generated to steal the Master Matrix; if this is the case then Eric (or perhaps Brady) somehow started the investigation into alleged misappropriation of SHIELD funding, perhaps by bribing appropriate officials or perhaps by simply spreading the rumor of such malfeasance until someone felt the need to investigate it.

   In Captain America I#243 only Brady calls the robot body his father's "Adonis," and that only in his thoughts, but the next issue confirms that this was just him echoing what his father had dubbed it, initially when Eric's thoughts reveal he too calls it that, then when Cap also calls it that name in his thoughts, and then finally said out loud when Adonis calls himself that while attacking Cap. Since at no point prior to this last do we see anyone actually say the name, Eric must have shared the name with Brady prior to the raid, with Brady then presumably telling Cap it during police questioning.

   Good ol' brain surgery. Never fails in the comics.

   Just on the off chance you don't already know, Adonis was named after a character out of Greek or Roman mythology who was physically perfect.

   Who ever heard of an android that couldn't be rebuilt?


Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Adonis has no known connections to:


Cameron's agents

  

Seeking a way to escape his failing human body, Eric Cameron learned of the top-secret SHIELD Master Matrix, an electronic cradle designed to create robot human facsimiles known as LMDs (Life Model Decoys). Believing he could transfer his brain into such a body to become effectively immortal, Eric decided to have it stolen, but it was normally housed in a high security facility. Eric either heard of, or perhaps even somehow arranged, for a grand jury probe into alleged misappropriations of SHIELD funding, resulting in the Matrix being taken to the comparatively much more vulnerable Federal Courthouse in Lower Manhattan, where it was to be used as Exhibit A. Once it was there, a group of twenty-plus agents (presumably mercenaries) attempted to steal it in a daring raid, but ran into trouble as Captain America was purely by coincidence in the courthouse in his civilian identity at the time. Changing into costume the hero attacked the raiders, overpowering many of them, but the remainder still managed to get the coffin-like Matrix outside to be carried off by a waiting helicopter. As the hero followed them outside, the raiders took a woman hostage, and though Captain America swiftly saved her, it had given time for the helicopter to depart with its payload.

 

   To the surprise of those on board the chopper, Captain America predicted their route and took to the rooftops to intercept them. Seeing him standing in their flightpath, the raiders decided to ram him with the helicopter, and believed they had slain their opponent, but Cap had instead slipped under the helicopter at the last second and hitched a ride on the landing struts until the raiders arrived at Cameron Electronics. Unaware they had brought along a stowaway, the remaining raiders delivered the Matrix to Eric Cameron's son, Brady, and apparently departed, their job complete and still oblivious to the fact that they had also brought Captain America straight to their employer.

 

Comments: Since I can't see an electronics firm normally having a team of operatives willing and able to attack federal courthouses I have to think the agents were mercenaries rather than full time employees of the company.  Maybe they'll turn up again working for someone else. Maybe they already have - plenty of criminals need thugs for hire - and we just haven't realized it because they are wearing different uniforms.

 

--Captain America I#243

 


images: (without ads)
(Source Bookname for the first image) (volume number in Roman Numerals) #?, p?, pan? (main image)
Captain America I#243, p10, pan3 (original body)
Captain America I#243, p10, pan4 (original body face close-up - digital vs. original coloring)
Captain America I#243, p13, pan1 (undamaged LMD body, headshot)
Captain America I#243, p13, pan2 (undamaged LMD body)
Captain America I#244, p1, pan1 (melted and twisted Adonis form)
Captain America I#244, p5, pan3 (smashing his reflection)
Captain America I#244, p5, pan6 (sinking beneath the lake surface)

Captain America I#244, p17, pan2-5 (demise)
Captain America I#243, p3, pan3 (agents)


Appearances:
Captain America I#243 (March, 1980) - Roger McKenzie (writer), Rich Buckler (pencils), Don Perlin (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Captain America I#244 (April, 1980) - Roger McKenzie (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Tom Sutton (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Captain America I#245 (May, 1980) - Roger McKenzie (writer), Carmine Infantino (pencils), Joe Rubinstein (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)


First Posted: 09/14/2001
Last updated: 10/01/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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