MIRACLE MAN

Real Name: Joshua Ayers

Identity/Class: Human;
    possible mutant (see comments), occasional magic-user

Occupation: Would-be world conqueror;
    former stage magician and monk

Group Membership: Deadly Dozen (Basilisk, Bird-Man, Cyclone (André Gerard), Death Adder, Firebrand (Gary Gilbert), Hijacker, Human Fly, Lascivious, Letha, Megatak, Mirage), Scourge victims

Affiliations: the Hood
    former pupil of the Cheemuzwa tribe (aka the Silent Ones);
    former pupil of Father Gosset and the monks of his monastery;
    Hellstrom's darksoul, the Monster from Mars, Rhino

Enemies: Cheemuzwa tribe, Defenders (Beast, Gargoyle, Hellcat, Overmind, Son of Satan, Valkyrie), Fantastic Four (Human Torch, Invisible Girl, Medusa, Mr. Fantastic, Thing), Ghost Rider (Blaze), Keewazi tribe, Punisher, Rhino, Scourge of the Underworld, Wyatt Wingfoot

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Brother Joshua

Base of Operations: New York City, USA;
    formerly the planes of the American Midwest;
    formerly the extradimensional realm of the Cheemuzwa;
    formerly the monastery of Father Gosset, in Massachusetts

First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#3 (March, 1962)

Powers/Abilities: The Miracle Man was a master hypnotist, able to mesmerize others with a glance and then cause them to experience whatever he wished them to. He could cause a variety of illusions, and those under his influence would see, hear, touch, and presumably even taste or smell the effects of these illusions. He could seemingly perform a number of superhuman feats or resist a variety of attacks via his illusions.
    On occasion, he has had access to much greater power, including telekinesis, animating inanimate matter, and restructuring matter, beyond simple illusion casting.

Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 140 lbs.

History: The source of the Miracle Man's mesmerism skills are uncertain. He may be a highly trained normal human, though the likelihood of some psionic component might make him a mutant or mutate.

(Fantastic Four I#3) - The Miracle Man was working as a stage magician when he noticed the nearly formed Fantastic Four in the crowd. Taunting them that his powers were greater than theirs, he proceeded to demonstrate that he was apparently tougher than the Thing. Afterwards, he decided to stop pretending to be a legitimate performer, instead proving to the world that they were powerless against him. He seemingly animated a statue of a monster by a movie theater and sent it on a rampage. The military was helpless against the monster, but the Torch eventually incinerated it. However, the Miracle Man then subdued both the Torch and the Thing and left, unaware that the Invisible Girl had hitched a ride with him. However, a dog picked up her scent and exposed her, and the Miracle Man then mesmerized her and directed her to summon the rest of the FF, so he could defeat them once and for all. Initially they were once again powerless against him, but the Torch created a bright flash of light that blinded the Miracle Man, neutralizing his power.

(Fantastic Four I#138 (fb)) - Sentenced to a prison in the midwest, the Miracle Man's eyesight gradually returned, but his powers did not. He began studying books on the subject of mind over matter. Upon his release, he sought out the Cheemuzwa, or the Silent Ones, a mystic tribe dwelling in the caves of mountains known as the Dark Hills. Encountering the Cheemuzwa, he convinced them to train him in their great power. They did so, but when he had mastered the skills he turned on them, trapping them under a landslide.

(Fantastic Four I#138) - He next began to further hone his abilities by attacking nearby villages, including the reservation of the Keewazi tribe. This attracted the attention of the Fantastic Four, and Ben, Johnny, and Medusa investigated, learning to their surprise that he was now a true "miracle man." After explaining his new powers to them, he then opened up a chasm in the ground which swallowed the heroes and the gathered villagers inside of it.

(Fantastic Four I#139) - Unaware that the Torch had saved everyone with a thermal updraft, the Miracle Man created a futuristic city from which he would rule. When the Thing--followed by the Torch and Medusa--dug his way up into the city, the Miracle Man created animated warriors to oppose his foes. He then created a whirlwind that swept them up and cast them miles away. They returned to face him, and he drew power from across the planet, draining the proton supply of the world's radioactive material, threatening to cause a worldwide nuclear explosion. As he continued to fight, however, the Cheemuzwa returned and transported the Miracle Man away, hoping to cure him of his madness.

(Marvel Two-In-One#8 (fb)) - As the Cheemuzwa continued their efforts to educate the Miracle Man, he accessed an even greater level of power (and madness), which he turned against them, defeating them and returning them to human form. Believing himself a god, he thought to prove himself by creating a new messiah. On the eve of Christmas, he formed a bright new star in the skies above the Keewazi reservation in Arizona, transformed the reservation into a replica of Bethlehem, transformed three of the Cheemuzwa into duplicates of the Biblical Three Wise Men, and transformed the fourth into an infant.

(Marvel Two-In-One#8) - The sudden appearance of the star and its timing drew the attention of many beings across the world, including the Thing and Ghost Rider (Blaze), who traveled to investigate. Furious at the trespassers in his "perfection," the Miracle Man attacked them, creating monstrous forms to battle them. As the Ghost Rider shook his confidence by proving immune to several of his attacks (see comments), the Thing managed to get close, blinded the Miracle Man with sand in his eyes, and flattened him with some good old fashioned "Clobberin' Time!" As the Miracle Man's transformations all faded--except the infant, who stayed with the Keewazi, the Cheemuzwa returned to normal and took the Miracle Man with them once again.

(Defenders I#121 (fb) - BTS) - The Cheemuzwa released the Miracle Man after placing a veil of ignorance over him, hoping to spare the world from his evil.

(Defenders I#120 (fb) - BTS ) - A mindless wreck with no memory of his past, the Miracle Man wandered into a Massachusetts monastery. The brothers there nurtured him back to health, bringing him alive--physically, mentally, and spiritually. Taking the name "Brother Joshua," he remained at the monastery, training to take his vows to become a monk.

(Defenders I#120) - Daimon Hellstrom--searching for meaning in his life--traveled to the monastery and encountered Brother Joshua. Hellstrom observed Joshua glowing with light and was struck down by him, but promised not to reveal the information to the other monks for fear that they would drive him out. However, as "Joshua" took his vows, he regained his full memory and powers. He toyed with the monks, levitating them through the air and then turning them to stone. When Hellstrom became the Son of Satan and attempted to stop him, the Miracle Man stole his darksoul and his powers.

(Defenders I#121) - The others Defenders arrived, drawn by Patsy's psychic sensing of Hellstrom's pain. Claiming to wish to help others, the Miracle Man transported them all to the island of Java, in Indonesia, where he transformed the poverty stricken village into a virtual paradise. He used his powers to cure several, but when one man refused to relinquish his blindness--seeing it as a gift from the Lord--he was overcome with rage. The darksoul rose within him and he fought and struck down the Defenders in series. Ultimately, Daimon managed to speak to the darksoul, offering it to return to his body in full control. However, as it did so, the Overmind and Hellcat combined their psychic powers to drive the darksoul away, and it ended up inside a snake that escaped into the grass. Without the darksoul, the Miracle Man lost his powers and they were all returned to the Massachusetts monastery.

(Defenders I#122) - Once again powerless and in the mind of Brother Joshua--or perhaps posing as so to avoid capture--the Miracle Man decided to stay at the monastery to complete his training under Father Gosset.

(Thing I#24 (fb) - BTS) - Regaining his mind and his powers of mesmerism, the Miracle Man left the monastery, seeking a means to regain his full power.

(Thing I#24) - Seeking the Rhino to help him in his plot to regain his powers, the Miracle Man took a bus towards Project: PEGASUS, unintentionally riding alongside the Thing. Mesmerizing the Thing to not notice the commotion around him, the Miracle Man then hypnotized the driver of the Rhino's security vehicle, then freed the Rhino and had him knock the bus and the Thing off of a cliff. After some further struggle with the Thing, the Rhino began to throw off the Miracle Man's control, but suddenly Scourge, disguised as a drifter, pulled out his gun, confronted the Miracle Man, and shot him dead. "Justice is Served!"

Miracle Man defiant (Punisher VII#5) - Aided by Dormammu's dark magic, the Hood resurrected Miracle Man along with several other of Scourge's victims to fight the Punisher.

(Punisher VII#6) - The Hood addressed the assembled villains (including Miracle Man) who had been resurrected to kill the Punisher, warning them that failure to do so would leave them dead again after 30 days, but lying to them that it was the Punisher disguised as Scourge who had killed them. Each one resurrected had been augmented, armed and costumed by the Hood. Miracle Man defied the Hood and tried to hypnotize him, but the Hood instead made an example of him before the others by causing him great pain

(Punisher VII#8) - With Mirage's help, Miracle Man was disguised as one of the (1980s era) Avengers as part of an elaborate masquerade to engage the Punisher, but the vigilante saw past the ruse, quickly scattering them. Miracle Man disappeared in the chaos.

 

Comments: Created by Stan "The Man" Lee and Jack "King" Kirby.

See the Clarifications for another possible appearance.

Blaze was not sure if he was immune to the Miracle Man's powers due to the actions of his recent Friend, or due to the actions of Satan (actually Mephisto). Though the Friend was initially meant to be a representation of Jesus Christ, it was later revealed/changed into just an alias of Mephisto, as detailed here: http://www.vengeanceunboud.com/news16.html.

With the exception of his hypnotic mind-control, the Miracle Man's original powers almost exactly resemble those of the mutant Mastermind (Jason Wyngarde), which suggests that the Miracle Man may be a mutant as well.
Also given his powers of illusion and hypnosis, it's possible that Scourge did not in fact kill the Miracle Man, and that the "Mister Miracle" seen on a viewscreen in Cage#14 was, in fact, the Miracle Man, still alive.
--Omar Karindu

Miracle Man was also seen among the afterlife characters in Sensational She-Hulk#53.
--John McDonagh
But these could all actually be hallucinations on the She-Hulk's part. I've read the brain continues functioning after the heart stops beating.
--Will U

The Punisher appearances indicate that he was indeed killed by Scourge.
--Grendel Prime

Miracle Man's real full name was revealed in Ghost Rider (Blaze)'s entry in OHOTMU A-Z Hardcover#4.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No known connection to:


MONSTER FROM MARS

Full-sized monster movie prop animated by the Miracle Man. Combatted the military and the Fantastic Four until the Human Torch lit it ablaze and it burned up.

- Fantastic Four I #3


images:
Fantastic Four I#3, p1 & p2, pan6 (main image and top headshot)
Fantastic Four I#139, cover (punching)
Defenders I#121, cover (green costume)
FF I #3, page and panel unknown (Monster from Mars) . Image kindly provided by Monster Blog.
Punisher VII#6, p12, pan1 (resurrection costume)


Appearances:
Fantastic Four I#3 (March, 1962) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Sol Brodsky (inks)
Fantastic Four I#138-139 (September-October, 1973) - Gerry Conway (writer), John Buscema & Joe Sinnott (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Two-In-One#8 (March, 1975) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Defenders I#120-122 (June-August, 1983) - J.M. DeMatteis & Don Perlin (#121) (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Jack Abel (#120-121), Kim DeMulder (#120, 122), Andy Mushynsky (#120-121), Alan Kupperberg (#121) (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Thing I#24 (June, 1985) - Mike Carlin (writer), Ron Wilson (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Punisher VII#5 (July, 2009) - Rick Remender (writer), Jerome Opena (art), Axel Alonso (editor)
Punisher VII#6-8 (August-October, 2009) - Rick Remender (writer), Tan Eng Huat (art), Axel Alonso (editor)


Last updated: 12/14/11

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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