Real Name: Harlan Ryker
Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Earth-7484 / Earth-Deathlok) human mutate/cyborg
Occupation: Would-be World Conqueror
Group Membership: Project: Alpha-Mech
Affiliations: Creator of the Alpha/Doomsday Mechs (aka Homo Ascendant)
Enemies: Captain America (Steve Rogers of Earth-616), Deathlok the Demolisher, Godwulf and his Redeemers (Big Man, Gentle Sam, Iron Butterfly, Sage, Swashbuckler), Timestream
Known Relatives: Simon Ryker(brother)
Aliases: Homo Ascendant
Base of Operations: Formerly Long Island, New York, Earth-7484
First Appearance: Astonishing Tales#33 (January, 1976)
Powers: Hellinger is a cyborg (cybernetic organism), and as such is composed of a combination of mechanical and organic parts. His body is composed of his organic brain, contained within a protective shell, with a powerful exoskeleton protection his internal organs, and robotic limbs replacing his originals. He possessed a type of cybernetic telepathy, enabling him to control other machines and computers.
Hellinger had a number of "Terminal Eyes", which monitored events throughout New York, allowing him to be aware of virtually everything going on.
He controlled armies of his Doomsday Mechs, cyborg warriors, more machine than man. These mechs were walking plutonium bombs, designed to detonate on command in heavily populated areas to exterminate humanity.
Hellinger was an expert in cybernetic technology, weapons and surveillance equipment design, and genetics. He designed a clone of Luther Manning, which served as his silent companion.
(Captain America I#288 (fb) - BTS) - Harlan Ryker, Hellinger, was a researcher for the Brand Corporation, working in bionics and cybernetics.
(Captain America I#288 (fb)) - Hellinger is part of an alternate reality in which Roxxon's Nth Command banished all of the super-heroes to extradimensional realms where most, if not all, were instantly killed. Roxxon then staged a coup on the USA, which resulted in mass chaos and no clear victor. A number of separate factions struggled for control, including the CIA, the military, and other splinter groups.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#3) - Hellinger became an expert in cybernetics. His brother, Simon, received severe damage to his legs and spine after an altercation with their world's Dr. Doom, and Hellinger gave him cybernetic replacements.
Together, Hellinger and Simon spear-headed Project: Alpha-Mech, designed to build armies of cyborg super soldiers. It was Hellinger who converted the injured soldier, Luther Manning, into the cyborg warrior Deathlok the Demolisher. Simon wished to use the cyborgs to take control of the USA (and then the world).
Tales#25 (fb) - BTS) - It was at least rumored that Deathlok was not
the first person to have computer-housing installed into him or her. I'm not certain whether this might refer to Harlan or Simon Ryker, or just previous test subjects.
Hellinger, however, saw perfection in the cyborg form, in contrast to the chaos of humanity. He planned to use the army of these warriors, whom he referred to as Homo Ascendant, to exterminate humanity, and replace it with semi-lobotomized cyborgs under his control. This would rid the world of the chaos and "shades of gray" he hated, and replace it with a species which worshipped order. To this end Hellinger took Project: Alpha Mech and broke away from the military. Hellinger continued to advance his process, converting himself into a cyborg. He also continued advancing his Alpha-Mechs.
Hellinger somehow managed to wipe all knowledge of his own existence from the computers of his world. In addition, he created a clone of Luther Manning (in his original form, naturally).
(Astonishing Tales#26 + 27 - BTS / Marvel Spotlight I#33 (fb) - BTS) - Hellinger plotted the downfall of Simon Ryker; he arranged for the mind-lock of Nina Ferry with the Omni-Computer, which provided Hellinger with vital information to use against him.
(Astonishing Tales#33) - Hellinger summoned Deathlok, and duped him into believing that he was a prisoner of Simon Ryker and was suffering from radiation poisoning. Hellinger sent Deathlok to rescue his friends, Mike Travers and Nina, using a suitcase containing explosives that was attached to Deathlok's wrist (so it could not be knocked free in battle, I guess), but would be released when he approached the castle where they were held. However, Hellinger rigged the device so that it would not release.
(Astonishing Tales#34) - Hellinger watched via monitor as Deathlok held the briefcase inside the closed door of the castle, saving his own life, but blowing his arm off in the process. Deathlok had his arm rebuilt by agents of the CIA, and then he entered cyberspace to take his vengeance on Simon Ryker--all of which Hellinger observed via Terminal Eye. Hellinger then revealed that his Luther Manning Clone would be the first of his Doomsday Mechs.
(Astonishing Tales#35) - Hellinger watched Deathlok
defeat Simon Ryker, the Savior Machine, and then completed
conversion of the Luther Manning clone into the first Doomsday
Mech. He sent the mech out into the world, where its radioactive
mass would slowly deteriorate as it gathered unto itself the
destructive power of a plutonium bomb. Hellinger sent the mech to
the CIA headquarters in Fort Dix, where it would kill Deathlok
and his allies.
Meanwhile, Hellinger was discovered to be Simon Ryker's brother by the CIA. They designated Hellinger as Deathlok's next target.
(Astonishing Tales#36) - The Doomsday Mech arrived and attacked CIA headquarters, encountering both Deathlok and another clone of Luther Manning, created by the CIA. Deathlok blasted the mech with his laser pistol, which somehow caused the mech's energy to dissipate, and it seemingly disintegrated.
(Astonishing Tales#36 - BTS / Marvel Spotlight I#33 (fb) - BTS) - While Deathlok battled Hellinger's Doomsday-Mech, Godwulf clandestinely caused it to vanish before it could destroy Deathlok.
(Astonishing Tales#36 - BTS) - The CIA convinced Deathlok to work with them to take down Hellinger.
(Marvel Spotlight I#33 (fb) - BTS) - Hellinger built an army of Doomsday mechs, each walking plutonium bombs, intending to exterminate all life on Earth and replace it with his own cyborg creations, which he dubbed Homo Ascendant.
(Astonishing Tales II#36 - BTS / Marvel Spotlight#33 - BTS / Marvel Two-In-One#27 (fb) - BTS) - Godwulf sent Deathlok back in time to remove him from Hellinger's attention, then attempted to return Deathlok to his proper time. However, this plan backfired, since Hellinger had monitored Godwulf's displacement of Deathlok, and not knowing who Godwulf was, Hellinger decided to return Deathlok to his proper time to find out. Independently, Godwulf also attempted to return Deathlok to his proper time. Neither got Deathlok, since the present villain Mentallo learned of Deathlok's existence by eavesdropping on Spider-Man's thoughts, and his partner the Fixer used a Doctor Doom-style time machine to bring Deathlok to the present and enslave him. Godwulf lost track of Deathlok due to this.
(Deathlok II#34 (fb) - BTS) - Timestream backed Godwulf in his opposition of Hellinger.
(Captain America I#288) - Deathlok returned to
his own timeline, alongside Earth-616's Captain America. They
joined with Deathlok and his Redeemers to stop Hellinger's plots.
As always, Hellinger was aware of their actions via his Terminal
Eyes, and led them into a trap. As the heroes approached his
base, he sent out some drones to offer token resistance, allowing
them to believe they had fought their way into his base. Once
they arrived inside his base, Hellinger dropped them into a giant
maze, where he divided and conquered them, allowing only Captain
America and Deathlok to actually reach him. Hellinger then took
control of Deathlok's cybernetic systems, forcing him to blast
Captain America from behind, incapacitating him. Hellinger
prepared to activate his Alpha/Doomsday Mechs and mocked
Deathlok's inability to stop him. However, Deathlok, inspired by
a previous speech from Captain America, overcame his programming
and blasted Hellinger repeatedly, blowing him to bits, as
Hellinger cried, "Illogical...Illogical..Illogicaakkkkkk*"
Apparently with Hellinger dead, his Alpha/Doomsday Mechs ceased to function as well.
Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo and Rich Buckler.
Deathlok's timeline diverged from Earth-616 in Captain America I#289, in which Captain America, armed with the knowledge of the future, led the disruption of Nth Command's power and prevented the mass banishments. The dates given in the Deathlok stories are most likely topical, unless in that world the "modern era" of the MU took place at a fixed time period, which would mean that now over 20 years have occurred since the defeat of Hellinger. This is entirely possible.
Much of Hellinger's above back history is a composite of information from Deathlok's Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe entries, flashbacks from Captain America I#288, and information interpolated from his accomplishments and situations seen in the Astonishing Tales and Captain America issues. It is difficult to place the events chronologically, and so I did not make a huge effort to do so.
Many thanks to J. M. DeMatteis for wrapping up and explaining the saga of Deathlok, as well as Hellinger.
Hellinger's name is sometimes given as Simon Ryker, which is really the name of his brother. His name was confirmed as Harlan in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#3, under Deathlok's profile.
I don't know if the name Swashbuckler was deliberately chosen as a(n) homage to Rich Buckler, who came up with the idea for Deathlok, or whether it was coincidental.
Harlan Ryker of Earth-616 designed his Deathlok version based on studies of Deathlok the Demolisher, constructed by his alternate dimensional counterpart.
Hellinger, Harlan Ryker, should be distinguished from:
Deathlok the Demolisher
Godwulf's Redeemers have no known connection to:
Big Man of Godwulf's Redeemers has no known connection to:
Sage of Godwulf's Redeemers
Also known as the Doomsday Mechs and Homo
Ascendant, these were the cyborgs created by Hellinger. The first
of these mechs was actually created using a clone of Luther
Manning. A batch of these were designed as walking Plutonium
Bombs, with which Hellinger planned to use to exterminate all
human life on Earth, leaving only he and his near-mindless
cyborgs, which would be his to control. The Luther Manning mech
attacked CIA headquarters with the intent of destroying Deathlok
and his allies, but it disintegrated after a single blast from
Deathlok's laser pistol. The remaining mechs spread out across
the world, waiting for Hellinger's signal to detonate, but the
signal never came. Apparently, once Hellinger died, the Mechs
were no longer a threat.
--Astonishing Tales#34, 35 (36, Captain America I#288
This picture actually shows the two clones of Manning.
Astonishing Tales I#26 (October, 1974) - Rich Buckler (concept/plot/pencils), Doug Moench (plot/script), Pablo Marcos (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Astonishing Tales I#27 (December, 1974) - Rich Buckler (concept/plot/script/pencils), Doug Moench (plot), Pablo Marcos (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Astonishing Tales I#33 (January, 1976) - Rich Buckler (plot/pencils), Bill Mantlo (script), Klaus Janson (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Astonishing Tales I#34 (March, 1976) - Rich Buckler (plot/pencils), Bill Mantlo (script), Klaus Janson (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Astonishing Tales I#35 (May, 1976) - Rich Buckler (plot/pencils), Bill Mantlo (script), Klaus Janson (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Astonishing Tales I#36 (July, 1976) - Rich Buckler (writer/layouts), Keith Pollard (finishes/inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Marvel Spotlight I#33 (April, 1977) - David Anthony Kraft (writer), Rich Buckler, Arvell Jones & Michael Netzer (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#3 (March, 1983) - Mark Gruenwald (writer/editor), Mike Carlin & Jim Shooter (editors)
Captain America I#288 (December, 1983) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Mike Zeck (pencils), John Beatty (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
First Posted: 07/21/2002
Last updated: 05/04/2019
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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