Real Name: Unknown (if any)

Identity/Class: Giant terrestrial insectoid creature/Unknown (See Comments)

Occupation: Unknown (if applicable)

Group Membership: None

Affiliations:  None known; possibly the Cockroach Conspiracy (See Comments)

Enemies: Captain Mar-Vell

Known Relatives: None known

Aliases: the Flea 

Base of Operations: Unknown, presumably mobile

First Appearance: In a Hostess ad appearing in January 1982 editions of Marvel comic books (example: Marvel Team-Up#113)

Powers/Abilities: Little is known about the powers or abilities of the Giant Flea Market Eating Flea.  Presumably, the Flea possesses the characteristics similar, if not completely identical, to conventional, terrestrial fleas, which would be directly proportional to its great size.  Such abilities would include Hulk-like leaps of great distance, superhuman strength (50 times that of its body weight), and an atmospheric-change detection system similar to a "danger" sense.  Unlike common fleas, the Flea apparently levitates through the air via a nimbus of invisible energy similar in appearance to the Invisible Woman's force field (See left-sided image).  This may be due to some type of psionic (mentally -powered) ability.  If the Flea's levitation power is mentally-based, it may be a sentient creature, despite the relatively small size of its head, where the brain of a regular flea would be located.  Of course, the bulk of the Flea's brain could be located within its large thorax (its body or trunk) as well as its head, making it a creature with a cephalothorax, in turn.      

History: BTS - The Giant Flea-Market-Eating Flea devoured the Englishtown Flea Market.

A month later, the Flea appeared at the world's largest flea market, startling those in attendance.  Either by coincidence or design, Captain Marvel arrived, as well.  The alien superhero baited the Flea with Hostess® Twinkies and then trapped it under a net, ending its insatiable threat.

Comments: Creators unknown

Like most of the other Hostess characters, little is known about the Giant Flea Market Eating Flea.  Given that Captain Marvel encountered the Flea, perhaps it hailed from the extra-dimensional realms of the Negative Zone or the Microverse.  Given its insectoid appearance and name, the Flea might join as an ally in the Cockroach Conspiracy!

Of all the Hostess villains, only Icemaster has shown up in an Earth-616 title.  He could have crossed over to Earth-616 from "Earth-Hostess, " but I say leave them on Earth-616 until proven otherwise.  Nonetheless, until they do show up in regular continuity, they remain outside regular canon.  Surely someone will write a story teaming them all together

This is not true anymore as some Hostess ad villains were mentioned in the Fantastic Four Encyclopedia as natives of Earth-616. And lets not forget about Printout Man in the New Avengers Most Wanted Files.

    -- fleas are part of the order Siphonaptera.
    --“ptera” means wings.


You can get the whole story, and some clever commentary from Seanbaby's The Hostess Page.  It might not meet with the Comics Code Authority's approval, so kids, ask your parents before checking that out!

Thanks to CHANGELING for providing the images for this entry.

CLARIFICATIONS: The Hostess ad character, the Flea Market Eating Flea should not be distinguished from:

Any other flea market eating character, you know, since there are so many of them out there!  NOOCH!


"Flea Bargaining", pan5 (main image)

pan1 (first attack)

Last updated: 05/06/03

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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