Real Name: Sonny Baredo
Identity/Class: Human mutant
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Gaea, Ogre, X-Men (Beast, Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Professor X), pet dog (deceased)
Enemies: Arabian Knight,
Factor Three (Blob, Mastermind, Ogre, Unus, Vanisher),
Redeemers (Beetle, Charcoal, Citizen V, Fixer, Meterorite, Scream, Smuggler), humanity in general (though not intentionally)
Known Relatives: mother and father (deceased), Jenny (sister, deceased), Franco (brother, deceased)
Aliases: HS-1, Humus Sapiens
Place of Birth: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Base of Operations:
formerly stored within sub-basement of Mt. Charteris;
formerly outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Education: High school (unfinished)
First Appearance: F.O.O.M.#3 (1973);
(in-continuity) (BTS) Thunderbolts I#33;
(fully seen) Thunderbolts I#54 (September, 2001)
Powers/Abilities: Humus Sapien can deconstruct the atomic structure of anything that wasn't "sympathetic" to Earth--man-made technology, metal, synthetics, plastics--all removed from existence with a wave of his hand. His body is a combination of man and earth, an amalgam of human flesh, plant matter, and sediment. He can control vegetative life, shift tectonic plates, and repulse all non-organic matter.
He draws his power by randomly draining the life force of a person on Earth, slaying that person in the process.
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 395 lbs.
(Thunderbolts I#55 (fb)) - Sonny Baredo had a normal childhood until he turned 14, his powers surfaced, and he inadvertently slew his entire family and his pet dog. About that time he began to hear the call of Gaea, soft at first. His power spike presumably detected by Cerebro, Sonny was visited by Professor X and his X-Men, who explained that he was a mutant and offered to teach him how to control his power.
(Thunderbolts I#55 (fb) - BTS) - Sonny was sent to a foster home while Xavier tried to negotiate his release.
(Thunderbolts I#55 (fb)) - The Ogre and the Vanisher ambushed Sonny with a gas assault, placing a control helmet on him to suppress his power.
(Thunderbolts I#55 (fb) - BTS) - Humus Sapien was taken to Factor Three's Mt. Charteris base, which was shielded from Xavier's psychic powers.
(Thunderbolts I#55 (fb)) - The Ogre spent the next few years
studying Humus Sapien, challenging his power, pushing him ever harder,
subjecting him to "unholy experimentation." At some point they dubbed him
Humus Sapien as his body took on the composition of decayed plant and animal
matter. The call of Gaea grew into a scream as he grew older and more powerful.
She wished for him to use his power to rid the Earth of the blight that was
harming it; that blight was humanity.
At the age of eighteen his full powers had manifested themselves; they became so great that he became a danger to all life on Earth.
(Thunderbolts I#33 (fb) / 55(fb)) - Upon learning of Humus Sapien's heightened power they decided that he was too dangerous to control. The Ogre placed him in cryogenic suspension and vowed to protect the boy in the hopes of redeeming his role in having exacerbated his powers. He kept Humus Sapien's capsule hidden deep within one of the base's sub-basements, with files referring to it only as HS-1.
(Thunderbolts I#33 - BTS) - Humus Sapien's stasis chamber was seen in one of the sub-basements used by the Ogre.
(Thunderbolts I#36-38, [40-43 - BTS], 44, [45 - BTS], 46, [47 - BTS], 48) - Humus Sapien remained in stasis within the sub-basement.
(Thunderbolts I#48) - Deciding that his obligations to Humus Sapien outweighed his bond to the Thunderbolts, the Ogre took the HS-1 chamber, brought it down to one of the sub-basements and used a tesseract portal to access the egress to the Beta Lumaris Station Thirteen.
(Thunderbolts I#49, [50 - BTS]) - Humus Sapien remained in stasis within the Beta Lumaris Station Thirteen.
(Thunderbolts I#53) - The Ogre watched with trepidation as the Fixer discovered evidence of HS-1 from SHIELD's investigation.
(Thunderbolts I#54) - The Fixer located the dimensional tesseract and overwhelmed the Ogre's encryptions and defenses. Despite the Ogre's pleas, the Fixer neutralized the tesseract, which deactivated Humus Sapien's stasis chamber; Humus Sapien was returned to Earth and revived.
(Thunderbolts I#55 (fb)) - As Humus Sapien revived, the Redeemers attacked him. He lashed out, unwittingly slaying 2400 people across the planet to fuel his power; among those slain was Abdul Qamar, the Arabian Knight. His power surge incapacitated the Redeemers, SHIELD, and the Ogre.
(Thunderbolts I#55) - Humus Sapien then walked out of the base, hearing Gaea's call again for the first time in years. He acknowledged her call, but realized that his power was hurting others. Returning to Mt. Charteris he learned how many people had died from his use of his power (2400). He agreed to use his accumulated power to access the stargate and willingly head back to the space pocket in order to prevent anyone else from dying from his power. Wishing to make up for his past mistakes, the Ogre leapt through the portal at the last second, joining Humus Sapien in exile in distant space. Distant from Earth, Sonny's power no longer affected its residents, nor did he hear the call of Gaea.
Comments: Created by Michael A. Barreiro.
For the full deal, check out the letters pages of
Back in 1973, F.O.O.M.--Friends Of Ol' Marvel, an official Marvel fan magazine run by the legendary Jim Steranko--ran a "Marvel Character Contest," the winning character of which would appear as the villain in an unspecified title. The third issues announced the winner as Mike Barreiro's Humus Sapiens, and changed plans slightly by revealing that Humus Sapiens would be a charter member of the All-New, All-Different X-Men (which had been in reprints, but was to get the big relaunch). However, when Giant-Size X-Men#1 came out, there was no Humus Sapiens to be found. No one really knows what happened, but Marvel failed to deliver, and eventually people forgot (except Fred Hembeck, who did an article about his disappearance in a 1979 issue of the Buyer's Guide to Comic Fandom.)
In 1998, Kurt Busiek and Tom Brevoort ran a create a character contest for the Thunderbolts comic in partnership with Wizard; the winner was Charcoal, who remained with the team for several years. In the course of that contest, Tom brought up Humus Sapiens and he and Kurt decided to bring him to the light of day. They tracked Mike Barreiro down and mapped out why he would have vanished. The first hints occurred in Thunderbolts I#33, after which Fabian Niecieza took over the magazine. Fabian was equally interested in using Humus Sapiens (Fabian had even entered that very FOOM contest himself). Fabian played up the mystery for 20 issues before revealing the character's true identity. I consider myself a master of the obscure, but I had no clue on this one. Only Todd Britton wrote in and identified the character correctly.
They edited the name from Sapiens to Sapien and updated his appearance slightly and his origins significantly. He was remade as a mutant; as originally designed, he was created whole and spewed out of a volcano. He had lava for blood and a thin layer of gold skin over an interior of which he controls the density. He could be soft as loamy earth or as hard as granite. He was crowned with vegetation and had the memory of the tortured Earth.
Barreiro received some original artwork and was even allowed to ink the final page of the issue himself. It only took 28 years to get him his due!!
This profile, and the recent Dr. Yesterday profile reminded me of something (I sent this message out as I was doing this profile):
Fabian, I was promised a special "Fabian-Prize" for naming the issues from which the panels of Marvel Comics Presents#160's time portals were taken. I never received a thing. Do I have to wait until 2022 for it? I'm calling Barreiro!!!I have no idea what the heck you're talking about.Oh yeah, now I do. Dr. Yesterday. I'm kooky.Some editor must have dropped the ball. Editors suck. ;-)--Fabian
Fabian was then kind enough to pass on a modern treat to me. He sent me the script for New Thunderbolts#1 a few months before it came out.
Profile by Snood.
No known connection to:
not so much
Thunderbolts I#54, last story page
first page of "Who the Heck is Humus Sapien?!?" feature
Thunderbolts I#55, p14, panel 5 (Sonny)
Thunderbolts I#36-38 (March-May, 2000) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts I#44 (November, 2000) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Greg Adams (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts I#46 (January, 2001) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Greg Adams (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts I#48 (March, 2001) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Greg Adams, Mark McKenna & John Livesay (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts I#49 (April, 2001) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Patrick Zircher (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts I#53-55 (August-October, 2001) - Fabian Nicieza & Michael Barreiro (#54) (writers), Patrick Zircher (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Last updated: 11/15/05
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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