CAPTAIN KEROSENE

Real Name: Gulliver Jones

Identity/Class: Human cyborg;
       British citizen, World War II era; modern era

Occupation: Former covert agent, scientist

Group Membership: Formerly affiliated with STRIKE, RCX, DUCK, Invaders (honorary member), possibly MI13

Affiliations: Old ally of Jack Smithers;
Ash, Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Captain America (Steve Rogers), Captain Britain,
Doorman, Plasmer, Silver Surfer, Tommy; Human Torch (Jim Hammond)

Enemies: Dr. Oonagh Mullarkey, Mys-Tech, the British Sleepers;
DUCK and the Ambassador (Antagonists)

Known Relatives: Unidentified mother; possibly unidentified wife (see Comments)

Aliases: "Captain K"; impersonated Human Torch (Hammond)

Base of Operations: London, England

First Appearance: Plasmer#1 (Marvel UK) (November, 1993)

Powers/Abilities: Via the artificial skin that was grafted to him, Captain Kerosene is able to generate a fiery plasma around his body allowing him to fly, create fiery shapes and release deadly heat blasts. He is also immune to all other forms of heat and flames. His powers were initially violent and unstable, and so he rarely pushed them to the limit. When he did once use his powers at their maximum, he was disintegrated. However, he reformed as a pile of ash, and eventually regenerated fully back into human form. Jones is a scientific genius, specializing in robotics.

Height: 6'
Weight: 170 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Gray; (when aflame) red-blond; formerly brown

History: (Captain America: America's Avenger) - Despite being comparatively young, Gulliver Jones was one of Britain's finest scientific minds, a former classmate of computer pioneer and codebreaker Alan Turing.

(Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains#44) - Admiring the U.S. invention of the android Human Torch, the British military tasked a group of the country's top scientists with creating the U.K.'s own fiery automaton. Gulliver Jones succeeded, creating the Artificial Superhuman, a.k.a. Ash.

(Captain America: America's Avenger) - Ash's powers were a product of paraffin-based technology.

(Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains#44) - Jones still had problems to resolve before Ash could be used in the field - though sentient, Ash needed stay within range of a large remote control to function, forcing Gulliver to follow his creation round wheeling the remote along on a large trolley. Unfortunately, an enemy bomb hit the lab, fatally injuring Ash and badly burning Gulliver. To save his creator, Ash somehow grafted his own combustible skin onto Gulliver, and when Gulliver awoke in the hospital he discovered to his shock that he had gained Ash's powers. Hoping to use these abilities to defend his country, Gulliver applied to join the Invaders, but they rejected him after the Torch personally deemed Gulliver's powers too unstable. However, Captain America softened the blow, giving Gulliver the codename Captain Kerosene, and noting that they might call on him in emergencies.

(Plasmer#1+2(fb)-BTS) - Kerosene was active during World War II, during which time he ghosted for the android Human Torch during certain "key missions," as well as being involved in a few obscure missions when they couldn't get anyone else.

(Plasmer#1(fb)-BTS) - Kerosene's old ally, Jack Smithers, seemed to be on death's door. Smithers was the sole holder of a secret (the British Sleepers activation codes), and Kerosene thought he might pass it on to him, but then Smithers suddenly vanished (abducted by agents of Mullarkey and/or Mys-Tech).

(Plasmer#1) - Captain Kerosene went to the Closed University, in search of STRIKE, whom had previously used it as a base. It was now occupied by DUCK, who tried to dismiss him. He fought his way in, but Pritchard, the acting director of DUCK told him that he wasn't needed, and that they would use the Ambassador to rescue Smithers.

(Plasmer#2) - As the first of the Sleepers (nicknamed Tommy) rampaged through London, Kerosene joined a number of other heroes in battling it. Realizing the potential danger, Kerosene attacked the Sleeper with his full power--resulting in an explosion which incinerated the Sleeper, as well as himself, and apparently Plasmer, who had been trying to control the Sleeper.
Tommy reformed, but was able to abandon its violent programming and join forces with the heroes against the remaining Sleepers.

(Plasmer#3) - Kerosene also reformed, literally from his own ashes, as a being now composed completely as ash. He remained on hand as Captain America showed up and the others deciphered the secret of Freestate technology, but he was not strong enough to return to action when the final Sleeper, Aftermath, started its rampage.

(Plasmer#4) - Kerosene eventually recovered fully, returning to human form, allegedly now with full control over his powers. He was back in action for the second round against Aftermath. He teamed with Smithers and dive-bombed Aftermath, but was nearly destroyed again when Aftermath released a destructive blast. He was saved by a force field from the Doorman.

(Captain Britain & MI13#1 BTS) - Captain Kerosene was presumably drafted into MI13 during the Skrull invasion of Earth, as were all other active UK-based superheroes.

Comments: Created by Glenn Dakin and Pascual Ferry.

I'd really like to see Captain Kerosene used to explain the appearance of Raymond the Flame Guy:
He shows up in Power Pack#56, and is clearly intended to be Toro, Thomas Raymond, who is supposed to be dead. Ann Raymond, Toro's widow, even shows up in Power Pack#60. However, no explanation is ever given for this as Toro has been shown time and time again to be dead. This is the Marvel Universe, where the realm of death has a revolving door, but it still remains unexplained. The only explanation I can come up with is that this guy is not Toro, but instead Captain Kerosene, Gulliver Jones,...er...make that Gulliver Raymond Jones, another, lesser known World War II flame-based character. He shows up in the Plasmer series, and will be getting a profile within a few months. Or we could file it under "D", for D'oh!

 

I'd also love to see what Kerosene's missions were...but I may well be the only one! Nope, you are not the only one - I'd be interested in seeing him, Union Jack (Brian), Spitfire, Captain Midlands and maybe some of the Crusaders (returned to action) active as a British wartime superhero team, probably working alongside Jack Smithers. - Loki

 

Captain Kerosene reappeared in a pair of stories in Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains#44 and #49, a series published in the U.K. (and Australia) by Marvel licensee Eaglemoss. Though the stories were not set in the mainstream Marvel Universe, Reality-616, Kerosene's creator Glenn Dakin took the opportunity to include a one page origin file / story for the Captain, the details of which hold true in Reality-616 too, as confirmed in Captain Kerosene's handbook entry in Captain America: America's Avenger. Glenn also kindly provided some additional background details for Gulliver Jones.

 

In SM: H&V#44 the alternate universe Captain Kerosene circa 1944 mentions that he is married; whether this means Captain Kerosene-616 was likewise married, and if so what her modern day status is (dead, divorced or still putting up with him) remains unrevealed.









CLARIFICATIONS:
No known connection to:


Captain Kerosene (Earth-10995)

(Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains#49 (fb)) - During the war Captain Kerosene was easily captured by the Red Skull (Johann Shmidt), and held prisoner in a base beneath New York City, where he witnessed the Skull trying to coerce an unwilling German psychic, Kurt Relm, into becoming a mind-weapon, before deciding instead to place Relm in suspended animation inside a "mind bomb," with implants designed to make his powerful mind lash out when the Allies finally found him. After watching these events Kerosene was tortured and drugged, causing him to forget the incident. Eventually he escaped.

(Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains#44 (fb) - BTS) - Captain Kerosene's powers remained unstable and he did a lot of exploding.

In 1944 Albert Einstein worked for months on a time gate, hoping to glimpse the future and so help win the war. As the gate seemingly neared completion, Allied leaders, fearing the Red Skull or other Nazis might make a move against the experiment, instructed the Invaders to provide security. Captain America (Steve Rogers) and Namor the Sub-Mariner visited Einstein's lab, but for Health and Safety reasons, fearing damage to his priceless equipment, Einstein banned the Human Torch (Jim Hammond) and Toro from attending. Receiving notification of the initial request but not the later memo, Captain Kerosene also went to the lab, only to accidentally explode himself, and the extreme heat served as a catalyst, triggering the time gate.

(Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains#44) - In the modern day Spider-Man (Peter Parker) was in Oscorp Tower investigating a portal, allegedly a gateway to many worlds, belonging to the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn), through which Harry Osborn had just vanished; the time gate linked to this, pulling Spider-Man back into 1944, where he was confronted by a suspicious Cap and Namor, the former demanding to know if the strangely garbed new arrival was working for the Red Skull. Einstein briefly theorized if the newcomer had caused the explosion, but a sheepish Captain Kerosene announced his presence and admitted that was his fault. While Einstein chastised Kerosene for being there, an impetuous Namor attacked Spider-Man for not yet answering Cap's question, and as Spidey began dodging, Cap joined the fight. Evading them, Spider-Man tried to re-enter the time gate but rebounded off the equipment, as the portal had closed. As he again evaded the other two Invaders, Captain Kerosene ignited his hand, preparing to launch a fireball, only for Einstein to swiftly smother the flame with a blast from a fire extinguisher and chastise Kerosene again. As Einstein tried to figure out what had gone wrong with the experiment, Spider-Man offered his aid, and Einstein instructed the Invaders to leave the future hero alone. A moment later Einstein had a Eureka moment, realizing that it had been Kerosene who had triggered the gate. Einstein enlisted Kerosene to test his theory (and return Spider-Man home), and Kerosene powered up, thinking about a sausage casserole his wife had made him in order to make himself angry. Kerosene exploded as intended, and Spider-Man vanished back to his own time.

(Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains#49 (fb) - BTS) - By the modern day Gulliver Jones was living in a New York retirement home, quietly remembering his glory days, and even going so far as to covertly wear his old costume under his bathrobe.

(Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains#49) - In the modern day demolition workers finally uncovered the Red Skull's base while working at a construction site. The mind bomb unleashed a psychic wave that attacked everyone nearby, then stopped. S.H.I.E.L.D. locked the area down, and Nick Fury and Dum Dum Dugan led a team to investigate. Iron Man (Tony Stark) also turned up to check out the situation. With the city in a panic after the initial psychic attack, S.H.I.E.L.D. informed the news stations that they would safely destroy the bomb, but when Gulliver Jones saw the news report, it triggered his memories of Relm. Desperate to save the innocent trapped within the device, Jones fled the retirement home; having been visiting his Aunt May, who was volunteering at the home at the time, Peter Parker pursued, not recognizing the older, bearded Jones and hoping to prevent the agitated elderly man from coming to harm. However, once they exited the building, Kerosene ignited himself, and Peter finally realized who he was.

Switching to his Spider-Man costume, Peter followed, and he and Kerosene reached the construction site just in time for Kerosene to stop Iron Man from blasting the bomb. Kerosene hastily explained himself to an angry Iron Man and Fury, but the discussion was interrupted by the arrival in a claw-armed flier of the modern day Red Skull (Shmidt's unidentified successor), seeking to claim his namesake's legacy. Boasting that his computerized craft was prepared for all known super hero powers, the Skull sealed Spidey, Iron Man and Fury inside spherical force fields, but the computer disregarded the elderly Kerosene and his low-level paraffin-based powers as a threat; noting with annoyance that he had been similarly ignored during the war because he had always been afraid to go to full power, but adding that at his age he had nothing left to lose, Kerosene rammed the Skull's vehicle and exploded. In the aftermath there was no sign of either the Skull or Kerosene, but the blast had shattered the bomb casing, allowing Fury to confirm that Relm was still alive, and unhurt. After seeing to Relm's medical treatment, the heroes wondered about Kerosene's fate; Spider-Man sadly noted that Kerosene's old body had not been able to contain the man's power, but Fury consoled him, recounting a rumour he had heard that Kerosene could reform himself out of ash, and saying the old hero would be back one day, if he wanted to be.

Comments: The first story featuring Captain Kerosene meeting a time-traveling Spider-Man carries strong evidence that the tales in Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains Collection are not set on Earth-616, as 1944 Captain America is still carrying his pointy shield and has a bare neck - obviously it isn't impossible for 616 Cap to have returned to using his old costume and shield for a brief period (see how Invaders Annual#1 handles similar costuming problems when tying in with Avengers I#71), but they'd be contrived. But hang on, you say, time travel stories traditionally have the hero slide sideways through time, so the 1944 story might not be set in the same reality as the modern day one? That might work, except that modern day Captain Kerosene, who has only time traveled the regular way by living through the intervening years, explicitly remembers meeting Spider-Man (as evidenced by the dialogue in the panel to the left).

--Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains#44 (Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains#49


images: (without ads)
Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains#44, origin page, panel 4 (Jones awakes in hospital to discover he has powers)
Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains#44, origin page, panel 5 (Jones' Invaders application is rejected by the Human Torch)
Captain America: America's Avengers Handbook, Captain Kerosene entry (young Captain Kerosene in costume)
Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains#44, p5, pan 2 (Kerosene ignites his fist)
Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains#49, p2, pan 5 (elderly, bearded Kerosene)
Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains#44, p4, pan 1 (elderly and bearded Kerosene flying)


Appearances:
Plasmer#1-4 (November, 1993 - February, 1994) - Glenn Dakin (writer), Paschalis Ferry (pencils), Sean Hardy (inks)

Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains#44 (April 2011) - Glenn Dakin (writer), Kevin Hopgood (art)
Spider-Man: Heroes and Villains#49 (September 2011) - Glenn Dakin (writer), Mike Collins (art)


Last updated: 01/14/14

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