Real Name: Harold Joseph "Happy" Hogan
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Occupation: Rampaging monster
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Virginia "Pepper" Potts-Hogan
Enemies: Iron Man (Tony Stark)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Happy, the Living Cobalt Time-Bomb, the Walking Bomb
Base of Operations: Stark International's Long Island plant, or wherever he was recreated
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#74 (February, 1966)
Powers/Abilities: The Freak possesses superhuman strength and durability. He was described as surpassing normal strength by 100x, which would make him able to lift 10,000 - 20,000 pounds, putting him in the Class 10 range. He was pained by bullets fired from a distance and Iron Man was reluctant to use his repulsor rays on him, so just how tough his skin is remains uncertain. The Freak has limited intellect and is a rampaging monster, though it does recognize Happy's attraction to Pepper.
At one point, the Freak absorbed a further amount of cobalt radiation and grew at least 2-5 times more powerful. In that form, he could also discharge blasts of cobalt energy, release lethal levels or radiation from his skin, and threatened to build to critical mass which would result in a nuclear explosion.
Height: 7' 9"
Weight: 789 lbs.
(Tales of Suspense I#74) - In an effort to save a desperately ill Happy Hogan, doctors used a new surgical technique including a cobalt ray machine powered by Tony Stark's experimental Enervator. The process indeed saved Happy, but also mutated him into the monstrous, virtually mindless Freak, who broke free and went on a rampage. Iron Man arrived too late to prevent the machine's use, and the Freak smashed him aside when he tried to contain him. Iron Man then followed the Freak as he wandered aimlessly through the streets.
(Tales of Suspense I#75) - Iron Man led the Freak back to his laboratory but ran out of power in the process and collapsed. The Freak continued on and encountered Pepper, who fainted at the sight of him (that's what women did in the Sixties, you know). The Freak picked her up and carried her away but was attacked by police, who fired on him, causing him to drop Pepper. Iron Man, having recovered, saved Pepper and then led the Freak back to his lab, where he exposed him to the Enervator. However, the process appeared to be working too slowly, and Iron Man's armor turned red hot from the feedback, as the Freak continued to advance on him.
(Tales of Suspense I#76) - The Enervator finally began to work, and Happy returned to normal.
(Iron Man I#3) - Happy was exposed to cobalt rays while helping Iron Man rebuild his armor, and he was again transformed into the Freak. Smashing Iron Man through a wall, the Freak ran into Pepper and took her with him (she fainted again, of course). Roaming aimlessly, the Freak climbed up a partially constructed building, where he was again assaulted by Iron Man. Stark convinced the police not to fire at the Freak. Instead, Iron Man led the Freak into an armored car, where they pumped in anesthetic gas to drop him.
(Iron Man I#4) - Stark again used the Enervator to drain off the energy from the Freak, returning him to Happy's form.
(Iron Man I#26) - Seeking to add the Freak to his collection, the Collector kidnapped Happy and Pepper, which drew the attention of Iron Man. The Collector ran some tests with his Converto-Ray to determine which particular element would effect the transformation of Happy into the Freak. Iron Man convinced the Collector to let Happy go free if he could find something equally worthy for his collection in exchange. The Collector dispatched Iron Man to a dark dimension to obtain the Solar Sword from Val-Larr of Luminia. Iron Man did so, but the Collector, having discovered the needed element while Iron Man was gone, attempted to use the power of the Solar Sword to recapture the lot of them. Iron Man managed to force the Collector to release everyone, and he returned the needed Sword to Val-Larr.
(Iron Man I#67 - BTS?) - The use of the Enervator transformed Eddie March into a virtual duplicate of the Freak.
(Iron Man I#84) - Despite the previous events, Stark thought he had corrected the problems with the Enervator, so he authorized its use in an effort to save Happy, who was suffering from major internal injuries while standing in for Iron Man. Surprisingly enough, it again transformed Happy into the Freak, who went on yet another rampage. He wandered into a room in which cobalt materials were stored, increasing his power, and causing him to glow with energy that would eventually reach critical mass and explode. The two continued their battle until they ended up in the sewers, where they shattered some water pipes and caused a flood of water that flushed them both out into the East River. Their struggle continued until the Freak bear-hugged Iron Man, overloaded his thermocouples with energy, fused his circuitry, and left him behind, hitching a ride on a passing elevated train.
(Iron Man I#85) - Getting an energy recharge, Iron Man returned to Stark International, where he created his first suit of polarized armor and went back after the Freak. The two fought fiercely for some time, until Iron Man assembled and activated a miniature version of his Enervator, powered by the third rail. The device drained the Freak's power and once again returned him to Happy Hogan.
Comments: Created by Stan "The Man"
Lee and Adam Austin (a pseudonym for Gene Colan--as pointed out by Grant
Rybicki, the Continental Op)
This entry is ONLY to cover the Freak, and is not intended to cover Happy Hogan (who has had hundreds of appearances). Ditto for March.
I think there is some untold story behind the Freak that Eddie March would be mutated into such a similar form by the same machine. Perhaps the Freak is an extra-dimensional entity and the cobalt energy and/or the Enervator open a portal and summon it to Earth. Something...
The Freak hasn't returned in about 30 years.
Hogan's version of the Freak has an entry in Marvel Legacy: The 1960s Handbook.
Profile updated/edited by Kyle Sims
No known connection to:
Tony Stark's friend Eddie was badly injured in a fight with Thor while wearing Iron Man armor and controlled by the power prism Krimonn. Though knowing that his Enervator had transformed Happy Hogan into the Freak, Stark used it in an effort to save Eddie, hoping that the precautions he had added would be enough to prevent the unwanted transformation. He was wrong, and Eddie, too, was transformed into a virtually mindless, rampaging Freak. Iron Man tried to stop him, while at the same time trying not to actually injure him, and protected him from police who fired on him. Iron Man herded the Freak back into the hospital, where he managed to knock him out with a few nerve punches. Upon collapsing into unconsciousness, the Freak returned to the form of Eddie March, and Dr. Donald Blake was able to operate on his strengthened form and save his life.
--Iron Man I#67
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Tales of Suspense I#75-76 (March-April, 1966) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Gene Colan (pencils), Jack Abel (inks)
Iron Man I#3-4 (July-August, 1968) - Archie Goodwin (writer), Johnny Craig (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Iron Man I#26 (June, 1970) - Archie Goodwin (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Johnny Craig (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Iron Man I#67 (April, 1974) - Mike Friedrich (writer), George Tuska (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Iron Man I#84-85 (March-April, 1976) - Len Wein & Roger Slifer (writers), Herb Trimpe (pencils), John Tartaglione (#84) & Marie Severin (#85) (inks), Len Wein & Marv Wolfman (#84) (editors)
Last updated: 11/22/03
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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