ELECTRO

Real Name: Ivan Kronov

Identity/Class: Human (Russian), Mutate

Occupation: Servant of Communist USSR

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Red Skull

Enemies: Bucky (50's), Captain America (50's)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Russia

First Appearance: Captain America Comics#78 (September, 1954)

Powers/Abilities: Electro possesses the ability to absorb and release blasts of electricity; however, his power is such that he can be short-circuited or electrocuted by an overload. Although he has been seemingly killed in the past, he can be revived by a charge of electricity. He can also use his power to tunnel underground.

History: (Captain America Comics#78)- Bemoaning Captain America's effectiveness as a fighter of Communism, a pair of Soviet officials introduced a new super-agent whom Soviet scientists had just created-- Electro, an "electrically charged creature".

The officials reminded Electro that he must recharge himself at a dynamo every 24 hours, then they landed him on the shores of NYC to go after Cap and advised him to remember that Cap's one weakness is his "affection for his young partner Bucky."

Cap and Bucky were making an appearance at a festival in Times Square honoring "business progress and achievement." Suddenly, atop the "business machines building," a message in bright lights appeared: "Captain America Dies Today"! Cap and Bucky climbed a nearby fireman's ladder to investigate, and encountered Electro.

The ensuing battle led them all into the building, where Electro fell into the guts of a giant typewriter (obviously built by the Dick Sprang Typewriter Company) on exhibit there, and Cap and Bucky pummeled him senseless by jumping up and down on the keys!

Electro managed to short-circuit the machine and the feedback knocked Bucky down, after which Electro threatened Cap not to come any closer or he would fry the kid. Fortunately for Electro, there just happened to be a dynamo nearby, which Cap noticed him reaching for. Fortunately for Cap, though, there also just happened to be a "waterfall exhibit" nearby, and as Cap tried to reason with Electro, he not-so-subtly reached for the big switch labelled "Waterfall Control" on the wall next to him. (Though apparently subtly enough to fool Electro, who seems to lack Cap's keen eyesight -- Electro is, after all, standing all of three feet away, apparently too far for him to read the six inch letters on the switch or see Cap's arm reaching for it.)

Cap threw the switch and Electro, caught in the increased downflow of the water, was electrocuted.

Victorious, Cap and Bucky rejoined the festival below, then noted that the sign above had been changed to read "Captain America Lives" in tribute.

(Captain America Annual#13 (fb))- Some time later, the Red Skull tracked Electro's body down to a morgue and revived him using a device which recharged him with electricity. The Red Skull had been sent to recover Hitler's strongbox from the UN building, and brought Electro with him to ensure the mission succeeded. They managed to obtain the strongbox (although it later proved to be a plaque), but were intercepted by Captain America and Bucky. The Red Skull abandoned Electro to escape with the strongbox while the two heroes fought him. Electro was defeated when Bucky rammed him with a car. Finding that Electro was, once more, seemingly dead, they wondered what could have done it-- possibly the charge of the battery in the car, although they couldn't be certain.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee and John Romita.

Many thanks to my friend Crusher Hogan for providing information from Captain America Comics#78.

Crusher's comments: Electro's most frightful feature is not his green skin, glowing eyes, or ability to shoot electrical bolts from his hands, but what must be the most enormous and hairy exposed pot-belly ever to be sported by a super-villain. About 70 pounds overweight, he had, we can safely assume, survived Stalin's government-engineered "famine" in the Ukraine. Maybe "Uncle Joe" had just sent Electro to eat everything before the Kulaks could get to it!

Regarding Cap's "affection for his young partner Bucky", one suspects Dr. Wertham must have missed this issue, or it would surely have been mentioned in "Seduction of the Innocent".

How a guy who's pretty much made of electricity could get electrocuted is left unexplained.

After the battle, Cap and Bucky, as was their custom in Golden Age stories, calmly stand around and chat over their enemy's corpse -- or apparent corpse, as we know he lived to fight again in What If?#9, evidently having done some dieting and weight-lifting in the meantime.

The 1950's Avengers story occurred on Earth-9904.

Electro in What if I#9:

(What If I#9)- In 1958, Electro was re-powered by the Yellow Claw using alchemy potions, and was one of several superhuman criminals assembled by the Yellow Claw as part of his scheme to capture President Ike Eisenhower. Alongside Skull-Face, the Great Video, and the Cold Warrior, he kidnapped Eisenhower from a golf course by having Electro tunnel up underneath him. Electro sealed their opening up, and they brought the President to the Yellow Claw.

Later, Electro discovered that FBI agent Jimmy Woo had snuck into the Yellow Claw's base and blasted him with electricity. The Yellow Claw took Woo captive, but his niece Suwan contacted the Avengers whom Woo had brought together. Electro first confronted the Gorilla-Man, and frightened him off with a blast of electricity. He then attempted to menace Venus, but Marvel Boy brought her to safety. 3-D Man then jumped in the fray, and ran circles around Electro to trick him into freeing the Human Robot from the block of ice that the Cold Warrior had frozen him into. The Human Robot then confronted Electro, and absorbed his electrical powers, then released it back at him, causing him to short-circuit and fall unconscious.

A note on the Avengers of the 1950's: In the Avengers Forever limited series they were seemingly ret-conned out of existence. However, in a personal communication with Kurt Busiek (on Avengers Message Board), he specifically stated that he did not wipe the Avengers of the 1950s from existence. One alternate timeline containing them was wiped out. The group may well have existed in the mainstream past, but they just weren't called the Avengers. He suggested the name: "The G-Men".

Electro in Russian is Elektro or Elyektro. I would use the Elyektro spelling to distinguish him from the robot Elektro. Electro could be a product of the Russian answer to Project: Rebirth called Department X (Captain America V#11; November, 2005), who also created the Winter Soldier.
--Gammatotem

Profile by Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
Electro should not be confused with:


Appearances:
Captain America Comics#78 (September, 1954) - John Romita (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain America Annual#13 (1994) - Roy Thomas (writer), Arvell Jones (pencils), David & Dan Day (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)


Last updated: 07/12/03

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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