JANUS the NEGA-MAN

Real Name: Janus (last name unrevealed)

Identity/Class: Human mutate, technology user

Occupation: Former research scientist, later would-be world conqueror

Group Membership: Gideon Trust

Affiliations: Former colleague of Reed Richards; Annihilus (uneasy alliance)

Enemies: Fantastic Four, N-Explorers

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Janus

Base of Operations: Unknown. formerly the Gideon Tower, Manhattan, New York City; Distortion Area of the Negative Zone; and Midvale, New York?

First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#107 (February, 1971)

Powers: Originally The Nega-Man was a separate form which split off from Janus, containing the majority of his negative emotions. After this form was destroyed, Janus himself later became the Nega-Man, allowing his darker emotions to guide him.

Janus wore a control module which harnessed "Negative Energy" or "Nega-Power" to enable him to perform a variety of feats. While it could harness the energy of anti-matter, neither he nor it could survive direct exposure to anti-matter. It could fire concussion blasts able to demolish a large building. It could enhance his physical strength and durability (allegedly by increasing the mass of his atomic structure). Using solely the power of the harness, he could achieve sufficient power to easily batter the Thing into unconsciousness (Probably at a minimum Class 75-90). It could release powerful bursts of electricity, easily able to knock a man out. It also could release a tranquilizer mist able to render people instantly unconscious. It could generate and project cold and ice, sufficient to bring down a small aircraft in flight.

The Nega-Man used a small, one-man gyroscopic aircraft to travel between cities. It was durable enough to be used as a battering ram to smash a hole into a building or a truck and remain undamaged.

Janus was forced to use crutches to get around, presumably the result of some childhood illness or injury. He later cured this weakness with Nega-Power.

Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 170 lbs.

History: Janus was a college student and science major alongside Reed Richards, possibly at State University. Janus became obsessed with finding a new source of energy. He learned of a source, Negative Energy (or the Nega-Power), and sought Reed's aid in harnessing it, but Reed refused, warning him of its inherent dangers. Janus continued his search and ultimately succeeded, but exposure to the Nega-Power caused him to split into two separate beings. The new form contained his repressed darker urges and, calling itself the Nega-Man, overpowered Janus and sought to harness the Nega-Power to become master of the world.

The Nega-Man was next seen robbing a bank. Both the Thing and the Human Torch were on hand to try to stop him, but the Nega-Man easily overcame both of them. Janus contacted his old colleague Reed Richards for assistance, but the communication was cut off by the Nega-Man. Suspecting the connection, Reed and Sue traveled to Midvale to meet with Janus, while he sent Ben and Johnny to patrol the city in case the Nega-Man returned. He did, and blasted their Pogo Plane out of the sky, leaving them with a threat to the city--to turn over its treasury or it would perish. Sue and Reed met with Janus, and Reed succeeded in ambushing the Nega-Man and restraining him so he couldn't manipulate his control module. Janus, desperate to end his tortured dual existence, then grabbed a gun and shot the Nega-Man, who subsequently faded into nothingness.

Janus, however, couldn't stop experimenting. He used the Nega-Power to cure the weakness in his legs, and ended up succumbing to his darker urges, becoming the Nega-Man himself. Seeking a greater source of Nega-Power, Janus duped Reed into showing him the portal to the Negative Zone, then ambushed him from behind and entered the Distortion Area. Once there, he was detected and confronted by Annihilus. The Nega-Man challenged Annihilus, but was quickly overwhelmed by the power of the Cosmic Control Rod. In desperation, the Nega-Man offered to lead Annihilus back to the portal to Earth in exchange for allowing him to live. The Nega-Man apparently also negotiated with Annihilus to have two of his servants bring him to the edge of the anti-matter interface, where he could tap the ultimate source of Nega-Power. Annihilus' servants were instructed to let the Nega-Man gain some power, but to turn the ship away from the anti-matter before he could gain power greater than Annihilus. When they tried to turn away, the Nega-Man killed them both, but with the last of its strength, one of the servants ejected the Nega-Man out of the ship. Before he could stop, he was pulled into the "Exploding Atmosphere," the matter/anti-matter interface, where he was apparently annihilated.

However, since Janus received his power from negative energy/anti-matter (or because one half of his dual-self survived (no explanation was given)), he survived. He later claimed to have deliberately "died" in front of Reed Richards to allow himself to continue his pursuits of the Negative Zone unmolested. He joined with a group known as the Gideon Trust, who supplied the funding in exhange for his knowledge and power in a plot to siphon the power of the Negative Zone. This plot involved sending the N-Explorers into the Zone to set up a siphon to shunt the power to them. This power transfer was interrupted and redirected by Noah Baxter, using the energies of the Alexandria Space Station. Apparently the energy disruption proved fatal to Janus, as he was dead in the demolished Gideon Tower when the Fantastic Four investigated it.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee and John Buscema.

I think the "Negative Energy" used as a power source by Janus is meant to be anti-matter, or the energy released by the interaction of matter and anti-matter.

If you read Fantastic Four I#107, I think you'll find Janus had another power: the ability to make others act like a moron. (1) Reed Richards knew Janus was insane and wanted to enter the Negative Zone. In spite of this, Reed allowed Janus into the Baxter Building and opened the portal to the Negative Zone right in front of him, telling him it was just too dangerous. Not so unexpectedly, Janus zapped Reed from behind and ran into the Negative Zone. (2) Annihilus had the Nega-Man at his mercy, and agreed to let him live in exchange for showing him the portal to Earth. Annihilus then agreed to have two of his servants bring the Nega-Man closer to the anti-matter interface to gain more power. Annihilus trusts no one and wouldn't allow an uneasy ally to gain greater power. Again, unsurprisingly, once he gained greater power, the Nega-Man turned against Annihilus. (3) Knowing that Janus has died and returned easily before, the Fantastic Four made no effort to search for "another Janus" after finding his dead body in the Gideon Tower.

Janus is seen on the cover of Avengers: The Initiative#1.

Clarifications: Janus the Nega-Man is not to be confused with:

  • Janus, the Roman God associated with doors, gates, and beginnings, represented with two opposite faces. (No appearances in Marvel Comics, but he is likely the inspiration for most characters with this name.)
    Janus, the son of Dracula and Domini, @Tomb of Dracula I#51
  • Janus, of the Derangers, @ Alpha Flight I#49
  • Janus, of the Collection Agency, @ Silver Surfer III#61-64

Appearances:
Fantastic Four I#107-109 (February-April, 1971) - Stan Lee (writer), John Buscema, Jack Kirby (#108) & John Romita (#108) (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Fantastic Four III#40 (April, 2001) - Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Marin & Jeph Loeb (writer), Carlos Pacheco (pencils), Jesus Merino (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Fantastic Four III#43-44 (July, 2001) - Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Marin & Jeph Loeb (writer), Joe Bennett (#43) & Carlos Pacheco (#44) (pencils), Sandu Florea (#43) & Jesus Merino (#44) (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)


Last updated: 05/01/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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