GREGORY GIDEON

Real Name: Gregory Hungerford Gideon

Identity/Class: Human Technology User

Occupation: Industrialist

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Dragon Man; Wally, Andrew "Slugger" Johnson (underlings)

Enemies: Fantastic Four, Medusa, Menace

Known Relatives: Claire (wife, deceased), Thomas Gideon (son)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: New York City, New York

First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#34 (January, 1965)

Powers/Abilities: Normally, Gregory Gideon had no superhuman powers.  However, enhanced by his energy-sapping Eternity Machine, he temporarily gained superhuman strength comparable to that of the Thing.

His greatest ability was his enormous wealth, through which he believed he could buy, sell, control, or destroy anyone and anything.

Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 175 lbs.

History: Gregory Hungerford Gideon was a prominent industrialist, one of the wealthiest men in the world.

(Untold Tales of Spider-Man#21 - BTS) - The Gideon Museum of the Arts in Fort Lee, New Jersey, was robbed by Menace, one of several criminals claiming to be an evil mutant.

(Fantastic Four I#34) - Gideon met with his rivals from South Africa, Cairo and London, proposing that any challenge they presented him with, he would attempt to succeed at.  If he won, they would sell their businesses to him; if he failed, he would give up his plans for world domination.  The three men agreed and demanded that he attempt to defeat the Fantastic Four in one week.

Gideon set out to turn the Fantastic Four against each other, by having one of his men impersonate the Thing, and sign an order allowing his men to take Grimm's share of the Fantastic Four's equipment, including their Pogo Plane.  They also set up a phony space ship found by the police which contained information about a Skrull spy impersonating Mr. Fantastic.  This turned the Thing and Mr. Fantastic against each other.

Similarly, he turned the Human Torch and Invisible Girl against each other by making the Invisible Girl believe that a robot built by Dr. Doom was impersonating the Human Torch.

It cost a million dollars for Gideon to carry out this plan, but he considered it well-spent, although his wife and son were overwrought by his paying more attention to his business instead of them.  His son, Thomas, was a fan of the Fantastic Four and overheard Gideon planning his idols' defeat. Thomas ran to warn the Fantastic Four not to step into his father's trap at the Baxter Building, where a replica of Dr. Doom's Time Machine Gideon had built had been installed, but the heroes ignored him.

As the Thing smashed into the Baxter Building, he landed upon the Time Machine platform at the same time as Thomas!  Both of them then disappeared into the past.  The remaining members of the Fantastic Four broke up Gideon's men, then faced Gideon himself.  Gideon was despondent over his son's fate, and he promised Mr. Fantastic any amount of money if he would save his son.  Fortunately, Mr. Fantastic had turned the Time Machine off before it could complete its task, and the Thing and Thomas were brought back to the present.  Having finally realized how important his family was to him, Gideon vowed to give his money to charity and renounced his dreams of world conquest.

(Fantastic Four I#135 (fb), Fantastic Four I#136 (fb) - BTS) - Gideon embarked on a vacation with his spouse, Claire, and son, Thomas.  After this trip, Gideon intended to renounce his wealth and undo his financial empire.  Sadly, Gideon's aircraft blundered into a U.N. nuclear testing site.  The aircraft was destroyed, only Gregory and Thomas survived.  A trawler of a Eurasian country found them; three of the trawler's crew died due to radiation from the "safe-bomb" test.  Gregory and Thomas were hospitalized in the U.S.

Gregory learned he had only two years to live, though Thomas would live a little longer.  Shocked, Gideon set out to find a cure.  However, nothing worked, and his body's atomic structure collapsed apace.  Gideon took to wearing a "biological shell" to survive and slipped into a grave depression.  However, seeing the Fantastic Four on Time's cover as "People of the Year" inspired Gideon.  Surmising that their genes and those of Franklin Richards, which gave them cosmic-ray powered abilities, could be studied to find the power to undo the damage to his cells, Gideon started to plan.  He put an advertisement in the Daily Bugle to recruit cronies, one of whom ended up being "Slugger" Johnson.  Gideon sent his men to retrieve the Dragon Man from a railroad freight car that Namor had trapped it in, as Gideon knew that the Dragon Man's odd psychological attachment to Sue Richards could help his plans.

Gideon's men melted a path in the ice surrounding the Dragon Man and placed a device in its head to allow Gideon to master it with a sonic control.  Gideon had the Dragon Man revived, and it followed Gideon's men obediently to a Gideon-owned research center.

(Fantastic Four  I#134) - Gideon observed the Fantastic Four with a spy "multi-lensed flying eye" that quietly floated after them.  Pushing a button, Gideon activated a weapon that struck the FF's Fantasticar.  They were downed, but survived the crash.  Thomas entered Gideon's control room, but Gregory chided his son for interrupting him.  Gregory proceeded to a contingency plan.

Sue Richards was, at this time, away with her son Franklin on a Pennsylvania farm.  Gideon sent the Dragon Man to acquire them.  It did so and took them to Gideon's base of operations.  Elsewhere, Johnny Storm went to the home of an old girlfriend, Doris Evans.  There another flying eye attacked him.  Storm resisted the attack successfully and pursued the fleeing eye.  Working independently, the Thing, Medusa, and Reed Richards followed reported sightings of the Dragon Man to Long Island.  They arrived at Gideon's base, but his minions defeated them all.

(Fantastic Four I#135) - The Torch arrived at Gideon's base, but Gideon used the Dragon Man to defeat him.  Gideon had his men place the Torch in a cell.  Gideon intended to use a device called the Eternity Machine to drain power from the Fantastic Four, whom he had all placed in cells or under restraints on platforms.  The Dragon Man acted up when it saw the trussed up Sue, but Gideon subdued the robot.

As preparations continued, Medusa revived and used her hair to awaken the Torch.  Working together, they freed themselves and the Thing.  Gideon's men mounted a poorly organized offensive against the liberated adventurers, but they prevailed.  However, Gideon had begun to leech power from Sue, Franklin, and Reed, and employed that power against the Thing.  In fact, Gideon even began to siphon power from Ben.  Medusa, having deduced the way in which Gideon controlled the Dragon Man, used her hair to remove the sonic controller in its skull.  Dragon Man awakened, frightening Gideon.  Ben used that moment to muster all of his strength to hurl Gideon away.  The perturbed Dragon Man slammed Gideon with its tail, and jumped on the Eternity Machine.  The Machine exploded, killing Gideon.

(Fantastic Four I#136) - Soon after, Gideon's corpse was recovered, and his son Thomas grieved over it.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Gregory Gideon actually returned 100 issues after his last appearance for the storyline in which he died.  Leave it to Roy Thomas, who wrote that later storyline, to come up with a milestone in that vein.  But as pointed out by Grant Rybicki, the Continental Op:
The second Gideon story was written by Gerry Conway, not Roy Thomas, although Roy was the editor and it could have been his idea.

Gregory Gideon actually had a few coattails.  His son Thomas became a pupil of the Shaper of Worlds, under the name Glorion.  Gregory Gideon's Earth-S counterpart was revealed to have found the Serpent Crown on that world, and opposed the Squadron Supreme.  In Fantastic Four III#35, the Gideon Trust, an organization allegedly related to Gideon's estate, appeared for the first time.

"Slugger" Johnson, one of Gideon's lackeys, was struck by a ray from the Eternity Machine in the next issue, and this somehow attracted the Shaper of Worlds to him.  The result was a bizarre world based on Johnson's nostalgia for his youth in the 1950's, with characters based on everything from rock and roll, the film The Wild One, Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, Joe McCarthy, and so forth.  When FF I#136-137 came out, it was perfectly feasible for "Slugger" Johnson to have been a youth during the 1950's, but due to Marvel's sliding timescale, we'll have to presume it was all based on his having frequently watched Lords of Flatbush, Happy Days, Grease I-II, Book of Love, The Outsiders, Inventing the Abbots, and so forth.

By Per Degaton and Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
Gregory Hungerford Gideon should not be confused with:

Dragon Man should not be confused with:

The Human Torch, Johnny Storm, should not be confused with:


Appearances:
Fantastic Four I#34 (January, 1965) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Chic Stone (inks)
Fantastic Four I#134-136 (May-July, 1973) - Gerry Conway & Roy Thomas (#136) (writer), John Buscema & Joe Sinnott (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Untold Tales of Spider-Man#21 (May, 1997) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Pat Olliffe (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Last updated03/20/14

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