BOSS BARKER

Real Name: unrevealed

Identity/Class: Extra-terrestrial (Skrull) technology user

Occupation: mobster, slave-keeper

Affiliations: Skrulls of Kral; Napoleon G. Robberson (fight trainer)
    formerly enslaved Taxtor, the Thing (Ben Grimm);
    He also led a gang of mobster-types and kept a small harem of womenfolk

Enemies: Captain Mar-Vell, Fantastic Four (Crystal/Crystalia Amaquelin, Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards, Thing/Ben Grimm), Lippy Louie and his gang, Torgo

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Boss

Base of Operations: formerly the planet Kral IV;
    formerly an interstellar ship

First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#91 (October, 1969)

Powers/Abilities: Like all Skrulls, Barker could change into any shape or duplicate any appearance within his general volume. He employed a wide variety of advanced technological weapons, including Slave-Collars, which released an incapacitating neuro-ray on command; a Hypno-Glow generator, which could force those exposed to it to obey others; Brain-Blast Guns; a Sonic Disruptor, which was trained on the home planets of the slaves to ensure their cooperation; an inter-stellar ship possessing a powerful arsenal of weaponry; anti-gravity vehicles in the form of prohibition era Earth automobiles.

Height: Variable; (natural form) unrevealed; (Barker form) 5'11" (by approximation)
Weight: Variable; (natural form) unrevealed; (Barker form) 170 lbs. (by estimation)
Eyes: Variable; (natural form) green; (Barker form) blue
Hair: Variable; (natural form) black; (Barker form) black

 

History: (Fantastic Four I#91 (fb) - BTS) - Boss Barker was one of the Skrulls of Kral IV, who mimic the appearance and behavior of prohibition era gangsters of Earth. He led a gang on Kral and purchased slaves to compete in a gladiatorial arena. He used his slaves to fight the slaves of rival gang lords to settle territorial and any other kind of dispute. His chief rival was Lippy Louie.

(Fantastic Four I#91) - Barker paid ten perfect power stones for the Thing, who had been captured from Earth by a slaver. Actually, he only put one stone as a down payment, promising the rest when his slave was trained in the arena. He and Lippy Louie argued over whether the Thing could defeat Louie's champion, Torgo. Later, Barker's trainer, Napolean G. Robberson, tested the Thing against another gladiator, Taxtor, who showed the Thing that Barker and his men didn't kid around.

(Fantastic Four I#92) - After Robberson finished training and testing the Thing, Barker and his men escaped a bomb planted by Lippy Louie's men. Barker then confronted Louie, who denied the allegations. They both then headed to the Palace, in preparation for the games to begin.

(Fantastic Four I#93) - Barker and Louie watched the battle between Torgo and the Thing, each crying foul as the other's slave took the advantage. Barker and Louie continued to argue throughout the bout, increasing the amount of their bet in the process. However, when the Fantastic Four arrived to rescue the Thing, they destroyed the Sonic Disruptor which threatened the slaves' home planets. Torgo then led a rebellion of the slaves, slaughtering their former keepers.

(Marvel Two-In-One#45 (fb)) - Barker took the form of a corpse during the struggle, fooling the slaves, who thus left him behind.

(Marvel Two-In-One#45 (fb) - BTS) - Barker got his revenge on Torgo, decapitating him and taking his head as a trophy.

(Marvel Two-In-One#45) - Barker flew his ship to Earth, he then used a vehicle in the form of a prohibition automobile to do a drive by on the Thing. When the Thing pursued and caught hold of the car's bumper, Barker flew the craft into the air and then teleported away, leaving the Thing to fall into the harbor. The Thing was rescued by the Kree Captain Mar-Vell. Barker later ambushed Mar-Vell, blasting him and leaving him for dead.  Barker then confronted, blasted, and captured the Thing, taking him back to his base. Mar-Vell, however, recovered and tracked down Barker, occupying he and his androids while the Thing broke free from his restraints. Barker summoned his ship, knowing that it's power could slay the two heroes, but the head of Torgo reactivated long enough to fire an energy blast that dropped Barker, who returned to Skrull form before collapsing.
    The Thing responded, "He lived a bum, and he died a bum! C'mon, Let's go."

(Guardians of the Galaxy Annual III#1 (fb) - BTS) - Though Barker died, his gang remained active, even retaining the name (whether this was out of a sense of loyalty to commemorate their late employer, or because another Skrull stole the identity, remains unrevealed).

(Empyre#2 (fb) - BTS) - Skrull High Command learned that the Cotati were testing their Death Blossom, a potentially world-destroying plant weapon, on some of the worlds in the Kral System. With the weapon not yet fully perfected, the High Command had time to respond.

(Empyre#3 (fb) - BTS) - Aware that any world in the Kral System not yet infected soon would be, and hoping to stop the Cotati in their tracks, the Super-Skrull Kl'rt...

(Empyre#2 (fb) - BTS) - decided to destroy the entire system...

(Empyre#3 (fb) - BTS) - using the Pyre, an astronuclear weapon capable of triggering a supernova.

(Empyre#2 (fb) - BTS/Guardians of the Galaxy Annual III#1 (fb) - BTS) - Not wanting to publicly disclose the true reason for this drastic action, the High Command came up with a false narrative to justify their actions.

(Guardians of the Galaxy Annual III#1) - Skrull High Command designated the Skrulls of the Kral system as a subversive element, degenerates in love with an enemy culture, and announced their intention to destroy the entire Kral solar system by triggering a supernova. Since Kral IV was ten light-minutes from their local sun, a small percentage of the Skrulls on Kral IV managed to evacuate in time, including Boss Barker's boys.

Comments: Created by Stan "The Man" Lee and Jack "King" Kirby.

The title of MTIO#45 was "The Andromeda Rub-Out!"
    I always liked that, for some reason.

 

CLARIFICATIONS:
Boss Baker has no known connection to:


Napoleon G. Robberson

 

Also known as the Slave-Keeper, Robberson was the trainer for the slaves used in the gladiatorial combat. He taunted the Thing when his Hypno-Glow prevented the hero from trying to attack him. He tested the Thing against Taxtor, a Magno-Man, and a Rhinogron. When the Thing began to resist the effects of the Hypno-Glow, Barker's agent used a Brain-Blast Gun to subdue him. Barker then activated his crushing Hydraulo-Press and was most impressed when the Thing not only resisted it, but destroyed it. He prepared the various slaves, including Torgo, the Thing, the Primitoid, and the Cat-Man for combat in the Palace. He was presumably slain in the slave revolt.

Comments: Napoleon G. Robberson's appearances and distinctive speech patterns (the most obvious being punctuating the end of sentences with "see?") are based on the actor Edward G. Robinson, and especially his role as the gangster Caesar Bandello in the 1931 movie Little Caesar. Thus one conquering dictator, Caesar, becomes another, Napoleon, and G. Robinson becomes G. Robberson. Robinson's gangster persona had permeated popular culture, and had also inspired the cartoon characters Rocky (the gangster foe of Bugs Bunny) and Clyde (leader of the Ant Hill Mob in Wacky Races, which started broadcasting in 1968, the year prior to his Skrull counterpart's debut).

 

--Fantastic Four I#91 (92, 93

 

 

 

 

 


images: (without ads)
Fantastic Four I#92, p13, pan4 (main)
Fantastic Four I#92, p12, pan
3 (head shot)
Fantastic Four I#92, p13, pan2 (full body)
Marvel Two-In-One#45, p17, pan3 (fatally blasted by Torgo)
Marvel Two-In-One#45, p17, pan4 (death)
Fantastic Four I#91, p15, pan5 (Napoleon G. Robberson)


Appearances:
Fantastic Four I#91-93 (August-December, 1969) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Joe Sinnott (#89-92) & Frank Giacoia (#93) (inks)
Marvel Two-In-One#45 (November, 1978) - Peter Gillis (writer), Alan Kupperberg (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Roger Stern (editor)


First Posted: 11/20/2003
Last updated:
03/05/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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