MONOCLE

Real Name: Michel Berman

Identity/Class: Human, technology user;
    German citizen

Occupation: Conspirator, Spy

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Former agent of the Enclave and another, unnamed, group of terrorists;
    former director of Security University (aka Security College), employed Lanie, Dean Joseph Wayne, and others

Enemies: Fantastic Four (Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing), Spider-Man

Known Relatives: none

Aliases: none

Base of Operations: formerly Security University, Lainesville, New York

First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#95 (February, 1970)

Powers/Abilities: The Monocle is skilled in espionage, sabotage, etc. His primary weapon was his monocle, which could fire blasts of destructive energy, or could be used to mesmerize others.

He used a variety of weapons, including:  a camera containing a "Neutrak Ray," which fired powerful bursts of destructive energy; mesmerization rays; a hand-held concussion shell launcher; a rocket jetpack; a small, escape submarine; and a mini-jet.

History:
(Fantastic Four I#95) - Posing as a member of the Foreign Press Corp, the Monocle was able to approach a United Nations delegation. Those he served wished him to precipitate World War III, which they expected to result in an atomic cataclysm, from which they would be safe in their underground shelters. The Monocle decided to first test his "Neutrak Ray" weapon against the Fantastic Four, who had been assigned the task of safeguarding the delegation. He blasted their Fantasticar as it flew overhead, and Reed and Sue narrowly managed to avoid crashing into the city, hitting the river instead. A second blast toppled a nearby building, but the Thing, who had been flying in a separate section, held up the building until further support could be arranged. With the Fantastic Four thus occupied, the Monocle targeted the arriving delegates, but the Human Torch then arrived on the scene. From a window within the UN Building, the Monocle blasted several structures outside, occupying the Torch with saving others. The Monocle then stood up in the UN meeting and activated his disguised weapon, but it blew up in his hands; Reed had recognized the energy from the ray that had struck the Fantasticar, and had developed a reversal ray. Having thus flushed out the would-be assassin, Reed then confronted the Monocle, who fired concussive shells at him and then fled. Sue jumped the Monocle behind, but he tossed her off of him and leapt out of a window. Activating his rocket jetpack, the Monocle planned to fly to his escape sub, but the Torch destroyed his jets, and he fell into the waiting hands of the Thing below. Ben turned him over to the police.

 

BTS - The Monocle was employed by the Enclave to take over Security University, which was a school that would be safe for the children of the wealthy and famous. Under the control of the Enclave, it would use those students to pry into government, diplomatic, and business records to secure precious information.

 

 

 

 

(Fantastic Four I#204) - The Monocle sent Lanie to meet up with Johnny Storm, belittling his knowledge and interests, in hopes of encouraging his interest in returning to  college. Almost immediately thereafter, he sent a letter from Security University, inviting him to attend. Johnny checked out the campus, during which time the Monocle fired an energy blast, damaging a building, so that the Torch would save the others students. Johnny earned the gratitude of the other students, and he listened to a pitch from from the dean. Meanwhile, the Monocle congratulated Lanie on successfully drawing in the Torch, and commented that while the Torch was more powerful than he had remembered, he would be able to control him and use him to his ends.

(Fantastic Four I#205) - After Johnny Storm had accepted the invitation to Security University, the Monocle erased Lanie's knowledge of her involvement and sent her back to her classes. After communicating with one of his employers in the Enclave, the Monocle then directed mesmerized the Torch in his sleep. Along with the rest of the students, Storm assembled in the administration building, awaiting further orders.

(Fantastic Four I#207) - As a test of how well they were under control, the Monocle sent the students out to retrieve some valuable information or materials from their parents, etc. The Torch stole a restricted weapons file from Reed Richards' vault in the Baxter Building. The Monocle, pleased with the results, then sent the students back to their rooms, in preparation for the initiation of his master plan, the following night. Meanwhile, Daily Globe publisher Barney Bushkin sent Peter Parker to work as an undercover reporter, investigating Security College while posing as a student.

    The Enclave decided that since they had the information they had sought, and since the operation was beginning to attract outside notice, that it should dismantle operations immediately. Furious, the Monocle severed his ties to the Enclave and continued plans as before. Recognizing Parker as an outsider, the Monocle had a guard stationed outside his room. He then activated the other students, loaded them into army-type trucks, and brought them to an army base. Upon arrival, the students rushed the guards, who hesitated to fire on unarmed civilians, and were overwhelmed. The Human Torch quickly helped polish off the remaining guards, while the students planted bombs at several strategic locations. Spider-Man--who had sensed the impending danger, escaped out a window, and followed the students--swung in and saved the guards, taking them away before the explosion. He also prevented the students from stealing the intended weapons.

    Returning to Security University, Spider-Man confronted Johnny Storm, who refused to believe what he had done, until Spidey showed him some pictures which confirmed it. Meanwhile, the Enclave chastised the Monocle for betraying them and demanded an explanation. Telling them he now worked for himself, the Monocle blew up the monitor. After learning that the mission had failed, he activated the other students and sent them to confront the Torch (and Spidey). After containing the students, the pair located the Monocle, who simply used his mesmerization ray to retake control of the Torch and sent him to destroy Spidey. The wall-crawler managed to web up the Torch, stopping him briefly, and he went after the Monocle himself. The Monocle managed to escape into his hidden mini-jet, though the Torch--having regained his mind--flew after him. The Monocle blasted the Torch into submission, but as he flew off the jet exploded. Somewhere in Europe, two members of the Enclave then commented that they never accepted defections.

(Spider-Man: Secret of the Sinister Six (fb) - BTS) - The Monocle made his long-belated reappearance, providing less than five minutes of distraction before going down for the count.

 

 

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

The group of terrorists for which the Monocle is working in Fantastic Four I#95 remains unidentified, even in the Official Marvel Index to the Fantastic Four#6, which comments that it is unlikely to have been the Enclave, since they probably would not have had time to regroup since the destruction of their Citadel of Science in FF#67.

Could his employers in FF #95 have been the Life Foundation (the guys who rebuilt the Tri-Sentinel?
--Caesar Godzillatron
   
These guys?

LIFE FOUNDATION (Carlton Drake, Mr.Pullman,  Protectors )
    - An organization of survivalists, the Life Foundation created luxurious living compounds for the ultra-wealthy to flee to in the case of a nuclear war or long-term national collapse. To protect their first compound, Sanctus Maximus, the Foundation hired Chance to steal some experimental weaponry, then double-crossed him. Spider-Man rescued Chance and destroyed the facility. Later, they re-activated the Tri-Sentinel as their agent, but Spider-Man and Nova defeated him and them.Drake's foundation then formed the Arachnis Project, attempting to mutate people to survive any devastation. Drake himself was mutated into a giant man-spider (Homo Arachnis), but lost his powers in the explosion that destroyed that base
    --Amazing Spider-Man I#298

Sure...though it could have been anyone--Snood.

Monocle received a real name in Human Torch's entry in OHOTMU A-Z Hardcover#5.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No known connection to:

The Enclave for which the Monocle was employed (Hamilton, Morlack, Shinsky, Zota), @ Fantastic Four I#66, was the group that created Him (Adam Warlock), Paragon (Her), and who were associated with Crucible. They should not be confused with:

Security University has no know connection to:

 


Appearances:
Fantastic Four I#95 (February, 1970) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks)
Fantastic Four I#204-205 (March-April, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), Keith Pollard (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks)
Fantastic Four I#207 (June, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), Sal Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks)
Spider-Man: Secret of the Sinister Six (March, 2002) - Adam-Troy Castro (writer)


Last updated: 02/25/04

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