The CRAWLING UNKNOWN
Real Name: Morton Clegstead
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Occupation: United States Senator
Group Affiliations: Project: Greenskin
Allies: Senator Andrew Hawk, Dr. Alvin Lathrop
Enemies: Opponent of Senator Roger Dutton;
enemy of the Hulk
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: The Thing that Lives, Thing that Crawls (names used by the Hulk)
Base of Operations: Washington, D.C., USA
First Appearance: (Clegstead) Incredible Hulk
II#150 (April, 1972);
(Crawling Unknown) Incredible Hulk II#151 (May, 1972)
Powers: The Crawling Unknown was composed of an amorphous mass of cells, and could not be harmed by conventional attack. It moved via pseudopodia, or false limbs that it formed to pull itself along. It could also form pseudopodia to grasp other objects or beings, and even the Hulk could not escape its grip. It secreted a corrosive liquid, which enabled it to dissolve and then absorb and digest any form of organic matter with which it came into contact. It could rapidly grow in size and power by consuming large amounts of plant of animal tissue.
(Incredible Hulk II#150 (fb) - BTS) - Morton Clegstead had a long history as a US Senator.
(Incredible Hulk II#238 (fb) - BTS) - Clegstead was the mentor of the younger Senator Andrew Hawk.
(Incredible Hulk II#238 (fb) - BTS) - Clegstead was responsible for the initial construction of Project: Greenskin/Hulkbuster Base.
(Incredible Hulk II#150 (fb) - BTS) - After discovering that he had terminal cancer, Clegstead came into contact with a Dr. Alvin Lathrop, who theorized the radioactivity within the blood of the Hulk would act as a superior form of radiation treatment and destroy the malignant cells within Clegstead. Seeing no other options, Clegstead set about accomplishing this task.
(Incredible Hulk II#150) - Clegstead acted as a strong proponent of Project: Greenskin, arguing against others, such as Roger Dutton, who felt the money could be better spent on other problems. Clegstead succeeded in having the base reinstated, and had Lathrop planted amongst the other scientists working there. Lathrop obtained a large blood sample from the Base and injected it directly into Clegstead, who had been becoming increasingly ill from his disease. Clegstead instantly felt much better, but then began to mutate horribly.
(Incredible Hulk II#151) - Clegstead's body lost its shape, dissolving into an amorphous mass of living cancer cells. Lathrop was the first to fall, consumed by the creature's voracious appetite. The creature killed Lathrop while he was driving, and the car crashed into the middle of a busy city block. The amorphous mass spilled forth from the car and hungrily sought out more life to sustain it, growing larger with each living organism it contained. Coincidentally, Bruce Banner had come to Washington University, seeking Dr. Henry Pym, and encountered the creature as the Hulk. The Hulk proved unable to harm the formless creature, whose corrosive touch threatened to consume even him. In desperation, the Hulk finally used a flagpole in an attempt to skewer the heart of the creature. Although it had no heart, during the thunderstorm which raged throughout the conflict, the flagpole acted as a lightning rod drawing a powerful lightning bolt into the creature. The creature was destroyed by the shock, leaving only a back smear on the ground, which was washed into the drainage ditch.
Comments: Created by Archie Goodwin, Herb Trimpe, and John Severin.
The Crawling Unknown is among the Gamma Mutates in World War Hulk: The Gamma Files, and Lathrop received the first name Alvin there.
Clarifications: The Crawling Unknown should not be confused with:
Incredible Hulk II#150-151 (April-May, 1972) - Archie Goodwin (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), John Severin (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#238 (August, 1979) - Roger Stern (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Jack Abel (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Last updated: 01/20/08
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