Real Name: Dr. Edward Lasning
Identity/Class: Human (mad scientist type)
Occupation: former director of San
Marino State Hospital;
former professor at an unspecified teaching hospital
Affiliations: his mutates (including Old Billy) and his armed guards
Enemies: Champions (Angel (Worthington, Black Widow (Romanoff), Ghost Rider (Blaze), Hercules, Iceman), Ivan Petrovich
Known Relatives: none
Base of Operations: San Marino State Hospital, San Marino, California
First Appearance: Champions#4 (March, 1976)
Powers/Abilities: Lansing had an unspecified medical background, and was highly skilled in biochemistry. He had access to a large number of guards and mutates. He used a control box to command his mutates. This box could apparently be attuned to control others, as well.
(Champions#4 (fb)) - Lansing once held a full professorship at a great teaching hospital, but the administration...disapproved of his theories and methods (The Fools!)--and he was dismissed. Lansing went out to San Marino, where he found a Welfare hospital which served as a dumping ground for those society wished to ignore...or forget...the old poor, the sick, the mentally infirm.
Lansing's dream was to recreate the legendary Super-Soldier serum, to create a race of invincible warriors. At San Marino, he experimented on his population of outcasts--no one interested in their fate, no one caring. After years of failure, years of deaths recorded as "accident" or "natural causes," he succeeded, creating his "warrior supreme." However, the process had definite limitations, as it left its subjects childlike simpletons or mindless beasts. Lansing wasn't too worried, figuring that he would work that out eventually. After his prototype, Old Billy, Lansing created several more "warriors" (at least five more).
(Champions#4) - When Hercules and the Black Widow wandered along the beach by the San Marino hospital, Old Billy rushed out and attacked them. Briefly stunning Hercules, Old Billy then attacked the Widow. Though she was much quicker and more skilled a fighter than Old Billy, she was knocked off balance by a large wave, and then caught by one of his powerful punches. Before Billy could finish her off, however, Hercules recovered, stopped him, and then punched him to the ground. Not having seen him clearly before, the two were shocked to see an old man sprawled across the ground in front of them. Then a squad of Lansing's guards appeared and blasted them into oblivion.
They awakened in Lansing's office, and the Widow recognized him and called him insane. After he proudly recounted his history--like any good villain--Hercules broke free, but Lansing threatened to activate a device that would kill the Widow if he did not stop, and follow his orders. Lansing next used his mind control device to send the Widow, Hercules, and several of his mutates to slay the rest of the Champions. Lansing's agents found Angel, Iceman, and Ivan, who proved unable to stand against them (and perhaps unwilling to fight back with full force). When the Ghost Rider arrived, he and his two teammates held Hercules at bay, and Ivan did well against the mindless mutates. The Widow then jumped Ivan and beat him to within an inch of his life, but she was unable to slay her old friend, and she threw off Lansing's programming, turning on him instead. Lansing fought back with a neural disruptor blaster, but the Widow dodged his fire and kicked him, knocking him to the ground, and knocking the control box from his hands. Natasha then destroyed the control box before he could reach it, freeing Hercules in the process. Lansing fled onto the beach, but he ran headlong into his mutates, who were no longer under his control, and were none to happy about how he had treated them. Lansing's corpse was found on the beach in the morning, surrounded by his shuffling mutates.
Comments: Created by Chris Claremont and George Tuska.
Not the most developed plot ever. I'm really not sure what Lansing was trying to accomplish by sending his agents against the Champions. Maybe Old Billy's attacking them was unintentional, but he couldn't let them go once they'd seen him. And then he figured that the rest of the Champions would come looking for them, and so on...yeah, that's the ticket!
The various versions of the Super-Soldier serum are discussed here, but I'd guess that this was an attempt to recreate the version used to create Captain America.
So where is ol' Billy these days...hmmm? Ultimate Billy, maybe?!
A perfect example of the condition known as "Tuska Teeth."
I don't know why all of the images scanned in such poor detail.
The comic is old, but not that old!
No known connection to:
Old Billy and the mutates should be distinguished from:
Actually armed mercenaries, serving Lansing. They carried conventional weaponry, as well as blasters capable of bringing down even mighty Hercules.
All information detailed above. Old Billy is pictured here.
The mutates possessed great strength (peak human to enhanced human at most) and fury, but we extremely limited mentally and emotionally--mostly just anger, and/or confusion.
Billy may have been more powerful than those who followed, as he proved able to knock Hercules off his feet, and then to only be stunned by one of his punches. He also laughed off a series of kicks and punches from the Black Widow.
--Champions#4 (4(fb), 4
Champions#4 (March, 1976) - Chris Claremont (writer), George Tuska (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
First Posted: 11/07/2003
Last updated: 11/08/2003
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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