Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human mutant (dating at least the post-Hyborian era and continuing into the modern era
Past Eras)

Occupation: Former industrialist and inventor

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Harold Becker, Philip le Guin, Eva Krauss, Professor Power, Ursula Richards, Secret Empire, Turner D. Century

Enemies: Avengers (Captain America, Iron Man (Stark), Thor, Wasp)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: fire-beast, Morgan MacNeil Hardy, sun-thing, Walking Nova, Willy;
    numerous over millennia, most unrevealed

Base of Operations: Currently unknown;
    formerly the Waldheim Hotel, the Catskills, New York;
    formerly the Hardy Estate, Marin, California;
    formerly San Francisco, California, most of the 20th Century
    various locations across the planet in different eras, including ancient Egypt

First Appearance: (Hardy) Spider-Woman I#33 (December, 1980)
    (Forever Man) Avengers I#218 (April, 1982)

Powers/Abilities: It is believed that his life cycle is somehow tied in with the life cycle of Earth itself, so that when he dies, the life energies of Earth revive him. His life force can be restored even as far away as the surface of the Earth's sun.

    When his body dies, it quickly turns to ash, and then reforms as a young boy, who ages at a roughly normal rate. Initially the rebirth required days, but after exposure to the Telepathic Augmenter, the process was accelerated to the point that it only took minutes. After most resurrections, he has no memory of his previous existence, but after exposure to the Telepathic Augmenter, he maintained his memory for a series of resurrections. It is uncertain whether he still retains any memory of his past existence.

    Hardy was highly intelligent and industrious, though many of his resurrections result in more average skills. In his final years, Hardy used a small motor car to move about.

    As a plasma creature he could generate and project flames and intense heat, and was resistant to conventional injury, though he was pained by contact with Captain America's shield. He could survive and fly in space, and achieve nova explosion.






(Avengers I#218 (fb) - BTS) - Apparently one of the first mutants on Earth, the Forever Man lived innumerable lives (stretching back at least as far as Ancient Egypt), and died innumerable deaths, each time being resurrected with no memory of his past existence.







(Spider-Woman I#33 (fb) / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#16: Turner D. Century)
    <1906> - The man who would become Morgan MacNeil Hardy was born amidst flaming ruins in the San Francisco. He was physically fifteen years old, and he was found and pulled to safety by police.






    Hardy felt that San Francisco had been his mother; after he had made a fortune as an inventor, he used his money to help rebuild and repair the city. However, as the years rushed forward, Hardy became stooped and slow, while he saw his "mother" infected with the disease called change. In the 1960's, Hardy led a campaign against alleged smut. Upon the failure of this movement, Hardy sold his property in San Francisco and retired to his vast estate in Marin, California. There Hardy put into effect a plan he had been nurturing for some time, the building of a life-size replica of a town similar to San Francisco around the turn of the century.

    When Hardy's chauffeur died, Hardy raised the man's son, Clifford F. Michaels, and Michaels came to see Hardy as his surrogate father. Michaels stood beside Hardy as the elderly man retreated further into his fantasy idyllic town, stocked with fake people, as well. Hardy taught Michaels much of his mechanical expertise, hoping that the younger man would be able to succeed where he had failed in restoring old-time moral values to San Francisco.

(Spider-Woman I#33) - Michaels, however, became obsessed with his mission, and he took the identity of Turner D. Century, initially making public speeches and acting as a hero by taking action against small-time criminals. However, when he saw that the city could not be restored to its past days, Century decided to wreak destruction as the 1906 fire had, so Hardy could rebuild it as he saw fit. Century began leveling establishments that he saw as impure, and then proceeded to attack "morally corrupt" people, and then even "impure" races. Spider-Woman tracked Century to Hardy's estate, where Hardy was mortified to learn what Century had done. As Century and Spider-Woman fought, Hardy's idyllic town replica was destroyed. Hardy convinced Century to stay with him as the town burnt to the ground, both apparently being consumed by the flames.
    Both men were later shown to have escaped the fire.








(Captain America I#264 (fb)) - As death loomed near, Hardy decided to escape the inferno, but he lost sight of Century, and so he escaped on his own via a special tunnel.










(Captain America I#264 (fb) - BTS) - Feeling he had to make up for what Century had done, Hardy used his remaining money, connections, and political weight to keep silent what had happened in Marin. With the aid of "certain groups" that shared his views, Morgan launched his greatest campaign. Scouring the USA for telepaths, Hardy connected them to his Telepathic Augmenter (Constructed by Hardy and his associates) and began to restructure reality, changing people, places, events, memories, etc., rebuilding the America he had known as a boy.

(Captain America I#264) - Hardy's plan went into effect, but he soon found that the unconscious minds of his subjects had been breaking through, unbalancing the augmenter and changing his chosen reality into theirs. One of the subjects, Ursula Richards, recognized that what they were doing was wrong, and used her powers to lead Captain America to Hardy and the Augmenter, despite the changing reality around them all. As Captain America arrived, Hardy hooked himself into the Augmenter, directing the psychics powers himself. However, when he tried to wipe Captain America from reality, Richards, to whom Captain America literally represented the United States of America, subconsciously began to cause the entire country to fade from reality as well. Distraught that he was destroying the nation he sought to save, Hardy drew the psi-energy back into the Augmenter, but the backlash slew him. The psychics Harold Becker and Eva Krauss, whose views were plagued with racism and other forms of hatred, were killed by the backlash. The other two, Richards and the young Phillip Le Guin, survived relatively unscathed.





(Avengers I#218 (fb) - BTS) - Agents of SHIELD I, summoned by Captain America, buried Hardy's body on his Marin Estate, but three days later, he was reborn anew. However, due to the massive jolt his mind had received from the Telepathic Augmenter, all of his hereto-untapped memories were set free. Driven mad by his destiny to keep starting over with nothing, the boy tried to commit suicide, but each attempt resulted in yet another life.

(Avengers I#218) - The youth sought out the Avengers to help end his life, shooting himself in the head to prove his point when the adults believed him to be pulling a prank. Initially sympathizing with the youth, the Avengers spent days analyzing him and coming up with theories to describe his existence. While Iron Man offered to help the youth find a solution, the other Avengers opposed the idea of assisting in suicide. Disgusted, the boy fled into the night, coming up with a new idea, and he hitched a ride on a train to Cape Canaveral, where he posed as the grandson of General Nelson to gain admittance on the base, and then managed to sneak into the Star Core Three ship. The ship took off on its mission to orbit the sun, and since it was not meant to accommodate passengers, he soon fell prey to the extreme cold and lack of oxygen. However, he continued to be resurrected, only to die again, though during his brief agonized moments of existence, he used Hardy's knowledge to reprogram the probe's guidance system, sending the ship plunging into the sun.

    Within the sun, his life cycle was accelerated even more, and he was incinerated as soon as he was reformed, and he died ten thousand times in ten thousand seconds. Eventually, another change occurred, and he was reborn as a creature of plasma and pain. Seeking to end that pain at any cost, the plasma creature returned to Earth and assaulted midtown New York, where it was confronted by the Avengers. The Avengers met with failure in opposing the monster, which eventually recalled who it was, sharing that info with its attackers. Captain America's shield proved sufficient to cause the creature pain, disrupting its molecular structure to some extent, and the Avengers focuses their assaults on that region. Enraged, the creature prepared to go nova, but Thor formed a mystic vortex that sent the creature outside the Earth's atmosphere where it exploded relatively harmlessly.

    Back on Earth, the youth was discovered by the Avengers. He appeared to have again lost all memory of his past existence, and the Avengers took him off to find a new home for him. However, each of them wondered if the amnesia was real or an act, and they wondered what they would do if it turned out to be an act.





Comments: Created by J. M. DeMatteis, Steve Leialoha, and Bruce Patterson.
    All three of Hardy's stories were written by DeMatteis.

    Though the sliding timescale now makes Hardy 110+ years old at the time of his demise, I see no reason to make that topical, as his powers might slow his aging to some degree without his knowledge.

    Ursula Richards and Phillip Le Guin were amongst the psychics used by August Masters for the Secret Empire. These psychics were merged into a single psychic entity, which temporarily controlled the Overmind, until being ejected by its true personality.
    Ursula Le Guin wrote the book Lathe of Heaven, about George Orr, a man whose dreams can change waking reality...similar to what the Forever Man wanted.
--Per Degaton

    The Forever Man claimed to have had 10, 000 names, but that may have been hyperbole, or possibly even an underestimation.

In Mystic#56 (February, 1957) in the story "While The City Sleeps!" it says the tunnelling by invading Molemen triggered earthquakes that started the fires in San Francisco in 1906.

The names of Harold Becker and Eva Krauss were revealed in Forever Man's profile in the Avengers Assemble Handbook.

Profile by Snood.

No known connection to:

Spider-Woman I#33, p19 (town)
Captain America I#264, p13, panel 4 (Hardy youth)
    p14, panel 2 (Hardy in cart)
        panel 3 (Hardy face)
    p18, panel 3 (Augmenter)
Avengers I#218, p2, panel 3 (youth)
    p6, panel 1-6 (rebirth)
    p7, panel 3 (past lives)
    p12, panel 12 (fire monster)

Spider-Woman I#33 (December, 1980) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Steve Leialoha (pencils), Bruce Patterson (inks), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Captain America I#264 (December, 1981) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Mike Zeck (pencils), Quickdraw Studios (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Avengers I#218 (April, 1982) - J.M. DeMatteis & Jim Shooter (writers), Don Perlin (pencils), Embellishers Assembled (Dan Green, Frank Giacoia, Pablo Marcos, Bob Layton, Joe Rubinstein, Chic Stone, Marie Severin, Al Milgrom & Jack Abel) (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)

Last updated: 06/03/17

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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