FOREVER MAN

Real Name: Gideon Smith (one of his many names)

Identity/Class: Human (nature of ability unrevealed)

Occupation: Insurance Salesman, former incarnation have included a soldier, a thief, a movie actor, and numerous others

Affiliations: Glory (girlfriend)

Enemies: Dracula

Known Relatives: previous incarnations

Aliases: Gideon Smith (previous incarnation), Patrick J. O'Reilly, Franklin X. Pomeranze, Roger Perry-van Dumann, Clark Johnson

Base of Operations: Boston General Hospital, Boston , Massachusetts; formerly the Bronx, New York City, New York; previous incarnations have lived in many countries throughout the world

First Appearance: Tomb of Dracula I#57 (June, 1977)

Powers: Gideon Smith's sole superhuman power is that his soul is reincarnated into a newborn at the instant of his death. Most of the incarnations have no direct knowledge of their previous lives, although they do have certain recurring memories, as well as frequent feelings of deja vu. Gideon Smith has training in insurance and salesmanship, and previous incarnations have had varying levels of experience in other fields.

Each of the Forever Man's incarnations are marked with a crescent shaped birthmark over the right cheekbone.

History: (TOD I#57; (57(fb1-8), 57) - The origin of the Forever Man is unknown. Beginning approximately 813 years ago, his soul was reincarnated into a newborn infant at the instant of his death. As his incarnations were unaware of this fact, it affected their lives little to not at all.

In 1792, an English incarnation named Gideon Smith was traveling the world, and visited New Dehli, India. There a fortune-teller revealed to him his past lives, and prophesized that he would continue to be reborn until he meets the dead man. Although disturbed by this fact, Smith did not truly believe it. Three days later, while sailing back to England, he unwisely got in the middle of a poker argument, and was inadvertently shot dead. At the same time, he was reincarnated in the Irish newborn Patrick O' Reilly. O'Reilly grew to be a soldier until he took a bullet in the back of the head on September 8, 1820. He was reborn as Franklin X. Pomeranze, who died in 1860, when shot by a sheriff while committing a train robbery. As Frenchman Roger Perry-van DuMann, he was killed in a duel over the hand of Angelique DeBussi. As California-born Clark Jackson, he was a movie actor until getting drafted into World War II, and dying as a Sergeant on May 8, 1945.

Another incarnation named Gideon Smith was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He grew to be a talented insurance salesman. He was content with his life when he suddenly had a vision of "the dead man" prophesized by the fortune-teller. Although he did not know why, this image greatly disturbed him. Nonetheless, he was persuaded to take a trip to Boston to visit his girlfriend's sister, Cindy. Shortly after arriving, Gideon was hit by a car driven by a drunk driver, and hospitalized. At the same time, Dracula was injured by a cross, which badly burnt his face and left him temporarily incapacitated. Gideon was housed in the same hospital room as Dracula, whose face was covered by bandages. Gideon was not badly injured, but when Dracula's bandages were removed, he saw that his face matched the image of the "dead man" prophesized to end his existence. Dracula soon revived and did indeed try to make a meal out of Gideon, but the timely arrival of a nun bearing a cross forced Dracula to flee. Gideon, however, was intensely traumatized by the experience of looking his own death in the eye. His hair was bleached white, and he lapsed into a state of unawareness, his eyes staring vacantly into space for the rest of his existence.

Comments: Created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan.

Profile by Snood, reformatted by Luis Dantas

Clarifications: The Forever Man should not be confused with:

  • Forever Man, aka Morgan MacNeil Hardy, who was also eternally reincarnated,@ Avengers I#218. Pretty similar origins. Perhaps they're both members of some forgotten cult...Or maybe they were some of the tribe of Ulysses Bloodstone, who were killed by the Exo-Mind.
  • Eternity Man, aka Jason Beeres, who was kept alive to prevent the detonation of a bomb keyed to his heart, @ Avengers I#169

Last updated: September 6, 2001.

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