Real Name: William Evans, junior
Identity/Class: Human mutant
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Grunt (aspect of personality); Fantastic Four, Guardsman (Michael O'Brien), Iron Man (Stark), Dr. Henry Wallace, X-Factor (would-be allies)
Enemies: Project: PEGASUS
Known Relatives: William (father), Doris ("Dee Dee", mother, deceased)
Base of Operations: Formerly New Hope Memorial Hospital, Project: PEGASUS
Appearances: Fantastic Four I#203 (February, 1979)
Powers: Willie possessed immense psionic powers. He could form solid creations from his own thoughts at will. He formed duplicates of the Fantastic Four and X-Factor that actually surpassed the originals in power. He could restructure solid matter at will as well. He could release energy in the form of blasts or explosions sufficient to demolish an entire building. He could form dense shields. The more he used his powers, the weaker he became physically. Exhausting his powers completely was fatal to him.
Height: 4' 8"
Weight: 80 lbs.
Grunt was a malevolent aspect of Willie's personality. Perhaps originally a portion of his repressed subconscious, Grunt eventually became able to access Willie's powers himself and became a separate entity.
History: (Fantastic Four I#203) - Willie Evan, Sr. was a soldier in the Viet Nam war whose platoon was involved in an experiment to determine the close range effects of a "Cosmic Ray Bomb." Although no one suffered any short-term effects, Willie's gene structure was mutated so that he passed on mutated DNA to his son. Willie, Junior was normal at birth, but at the age of nine years, he lapsed into a coma. Identifying the radiation as the likely cause of the mutation, Willie's physician, Dr.Wallace, summoned Reed Richards to assist in the case. Reed had been a student of Dr.Wallace, and readily agreed to help, donating a "Comatron" to monitor his condition while they ran a few tests. Willie, however, sensing the presence of Richards, subconsciously created a monstrous version of the Fantastic Four (see bottom), which rampaged in the city.
When the original Fantastic Four opposed their doppelgangers, Willie Willie continued to feed them with more and more energy to allow them to overcome their opponents. However, the massive output of energy was extremely draining to the comatose boy, sending him into critical condition. Reed finally determined what was going on and used his brand-new Radi-Absorber to siphon the energy out of them, causing them to dissolve and not further drain Willie. Willie recovered from the coma. Reed explained to Mr. and Mrs. Evans that Willie was a mutant and recommended they contact Professor Charles Xavier for assistance.
(Iron Man Annual#8) - Feeling that they wanted their son to have as normal of a life as possible, they elected against taking him to Xavier. They instead moved out of New York City and enlisted Willie junior in a normal school, attempting to keep his powers under control themselves. Perhaps out of feelings of loneliness due to his differences, Willie created a playmate for himself in the form of a small, talking frog-like man named Grunt. Grunt apparently represented a portion of Willie's repressed frustrations and angers, and he could access Willie's powers without his knowledge. When Willie's mother forced him to do chores and his homework, Grunt forced her car off the road, killing her.
Grunt encouraged Willie to become increasingly hostile towards everyone in his environment. After Willie manifested his powers in public, he and his father began to receive threats, and they fled to a new location. This happened on several occasions until the research group Project: PEGASUS learned of this. They tracked the Evans down and abducted Willie, keeping him heavily sedated while they experimented to determine the extent of his powers. Willie, Sr. contacted the group X-Factor, initially believing them to be responsible for the abduction, and then requested their assistance in rescuing Willie.
Tony Stark, in the form of Iron Man, was cooperating with Project: PEGASUS when he saw Willie Jr. being carted through the halls. Questioning the Guardsman, then the security chief for the Project, Tony learned that Willie was not there voluntarily. When X-Factor came to investigate, they initially were oppsed by the Guardsman. The distraction caused a nurse to delay giving Willie his sedation, which allowed Grunt to force him to revive. Rather than simply escape, Grunt goaded Willie into attacking the Project for revenge. As X-Factor, Iron Man, and the Guardsman opposed him, Willie used more and more power against them. The output of violent emotions and energy strengthened Grunt, who began forcing Willie to do his bidding, attacking even those who were attempting to help him. Grunt even blasted Willie's dad, and then revealed to Willie that he had killed his mother, and that Willie had subconsciously wanted it. Grunt grew in size and power, even manifesting himself to others present as he prepared to kill them all. Willie mustered all of his power and concentration, forcing Grunt back where he belonged. However, the effort required to do so proved terminal for Willie. After Willie's funeral, Grunt appeared on his grave, promising that they'd make everyone pay. However, with Willie dead, Grunt appeared to be powerless to do anything about it.
Comments: Willie was created by Marv Wolfman and Keith Pollard.
Grunt was created by Bob Harras and Paul Neary.
Another excellent use and wrap-up for a former one-shot character. I'd like to see a lot more of this.
Clarifications: Grunt is not
to be confused with:
Willie Evans Jr. has no known connection to:
Doris Evans, Willie's mother, was no relation
Dorrie Evans, a former girlfriend of
Johnny Storm, the Human Torch (Johnny Storm)
Fantastic Four I#203 (February, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), Keith Pollard (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks)
Iron Man Annual#8 (October, 1986) - Bob Harras (writer), Paul Neary (pencils), Brian Akin & Steve Garvey (inks)
First Posted: 09/06/2001
Last updated: 08/02/2002
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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