THE MANIPULATOR

Real Name: Ferrel J. Thompson (see comments)

Identity/Class: Human, mutate, technology user

Occupation: Conclave operative

Group Membership: The Conclave

Affiliations: (former) Mike Clemson, Deathweb

Enemies: Avengers (West Coast), Larry Carpenter, Rachel Carpenter, Mike Clemson, Elizabeth Cornwall, Walter Cornwall, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Mobile, including Los Angeles, California; Thompson Biochemical Inudstries.

First Appearance: Avengers West Coast#85 (August, 1992)

Powers/Abilities: The Manipulator has the ability to manipulate the actions of others, such as rendering people incapable of speech or causing a cardiac arrest. He also surrounds himself with technology in order to keep in contact with the Conclave's many operatives across America, and usually makes appearances as a hologram. He also carries smoke bombs to help him escape, and had a gun at his side.

History: (Spider-Woman II#4 (fb, BTS))- Ferrel J. Thompson was the founder of Thompson Biochemical Industries, which was shut down during a recession. He eventually developed superhuman powers, and set himself up as a master of information, and became an agent of the Conclave.

(Spider-Woman II#2 (fb))- The Manipulator approached scientists who had helped the Commission on Superhuman Activities grant superhuman powers to Julia Carpenter, and had them subjected to the spider-serum. The three test subjects became Therak, Antro and Arachne, and served the Manipulator as his Deathweb. Scientist Carter Napier was paid to keep his mouth shut.

(Avengers West Coast#84 (BTS))- The Manipulator set into motion the Deathweb's attempt on the life of Liberty Party presidential candidate Michael Galvan in order to install Wilson Lambert as his replacement.

(Avengers West Coast#85)- The Manipulator appeared in hologram form in Los Angeles to communicate with Conclave operatives across America. He and Mike Clemson met with the rest of the Conclave over their monitors, and the Manipulator assured them that the Deathweb's mission was proceeding according to plan. When the Manipulator made Clemson look like a fool in fron of the Conclave Clemson attacked him, but passed through his holographic body.

When Spider-Man and Spider-Woman invaded Clemson's base, the Manipulator arrived in person with Therak and Antro to confront the heroes. The Manipulator revealed to Spider-Woman that her daughter Rachel Carpenter was a prisoner of Arachne, and that unless she killed Spider-Man, he would order Arachne to kill Rachel.

(Avengers West Coast#86)- As Spider-Man and Spider-Woman fought, their battle caused the base to go up in flames. The Manipulator abandoned Clemson, teleporting away with Antro and Therak.

The Manipulator then appeared as a hologram to the rest of the West Coast Avengers and order them to attend the Liberty Party rally that evening or he would kill Rachel. After Rachel was freed from where the Manipulator had left her by Spider-Man and Spider-Woman, the Manipulator tracked her down and killed her father Larry Carpenter by giving him a heart attack. When Spider-Man and Spider-Woman arrived he remarked: "Outraged motherhood plus super-powers-- a formidable combination, even by my meticulous standards!" The Manipulator used a smoke bomb to escape, promising he would return, but would likely forego the "spider motif" as the Deathweb had all been captured.

(Spider-Woman II#1 (BTS))- The Manipulator changed his mind, and broke the Deathweb out of prison. When Dr. Napier threatened to inform Dr. Valerie Cooper all about the Manipulator, he had Therak track him down and kill him with his venom.

(Spider-Woman II#3)- The Manipulator led the Deathweb in capturing Walter and Elizabeth Cornwall in the Amazon to have them lead him to the herbs and venoms they had provided Napier with years earlier. They refused until the Manipulator threatened Rachel Carpenter's life. The Cornwalls agreed, and went with the Deathweb while the Manipulator took Rachel to his base at Thompson Biochemical Inudstries.

(Spider-Woman II#4)- The Manipulator appeared to Spider-Woman as a hologram while the Deathweb held her in the Mojave Desert. The Manipulator had the Deathweb inject her with a new formula they had developed to see how it might affect them at a later time, but the Manipulator had to cease watching when his holographic projector ran low on power.

Spider-Woman managed to escape, and led Mike Clemson and FBI agents to the Manipulator's base at Thompson Biochemical Industries, just as he had injected the Deathweb with the new formula, increasing all of their powers. The Deathweb engaged Spider-Woman in combat, but she managed to outsmart them and defeat them. The Manipulator attempted to fight back against Spider-Woman, but Therak, angered at his newly-mutated form, crushed the Manipulator in his fist, rendering him unconscious.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, David Ross and Tim Dzon.

Ferrel J. Thompson, whose portrait is seen in Spider-Woman II#4, wears a beard like the Manipulator's. Since the Manipulator was using the Thompson Biochemical Industries as his base, it is likely that he himself was Thompson.

In Arachne's profile (the former Spider-Woman) in OHotMU A-Z Hardcover#1 it was revealed that Thompson was indeed the Manipulator.

by Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Manipulator should not be confused with:


Images taken from:
Avengers West Coast#85, page 27, panel 3
Spider-Woman II#4, page 17, panel 1
Avengers West Coast#86, page 25, panel 1


Avengers West Coast#86 (September, 1992)
Spider-Woman II#2 (December, 1993)
Spider-Woman II#3 (January, 1994)
Spider-Woman II#4 (February, 1994)

Last updated: 07/01/04

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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