ODD JOHN

Real Name: John Judson

Identity/Class: Human technology (and insect) user

Occupation: Entomologist

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Controlled a swarm of mutated insects
...and possibly--the
Cockroach Conspiracy...

Enemies: Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Micronauts (Acroyear, Biotron, Bug, Cilicia, Mari, Microtron, Arcturus Rann)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Master of the Mutant Insects; Buggsy (a derogatory childhood term)

Base of Operations: A farm, presumably in upstate New York

First Appearance: Micronauts I#19 (July, 1980)

 

Powers/Abilities: John has no inherent superhuman abilities.  However, John has an extensive knowledge of Entomology (the study of insects) and has developed a process by which he can mutate insects into larger, more powerful, and more aggressive forms.  He used a "telepatho-communicator" of his own design to control these mutated insects, to direct their flight, and direct them to their targets.

Odd John carries a spraying canister full of a sedative gas, which he uses to capture his insects.  In addition, he has access to pitchforks and other farming implements which can be used as weapons, as well as other conventional weapons, such as a shotgun.

History:
(Micronauts I#19 (fb)) - Even as a child, John was obsessed with insects and enjoyed spending time with them more than with people.  This didn't sit well with other kids, who mocked him, calling him Buggsy and Odd John.  But their laughter only drove him closer to his six legged friends: "Ah, you who dwell in darkness could be so much greater than those who mock me--if only evolution had given you an equal chance!  Evolution?  That was it!  The Answer!  I would do for insect-kind what evolution had failed to do!"

He built an artificial environment in his barn, then began to gather insects of all types, from near and far.  In his own words, John's reason for doing this was: "As man evolved from apes, so too must insects evolve from their present, passive state--to a larger, more aggressive, mutant stage where they will be capable of taking from humanity their fair share of Earth's bounty!  After, of course, they have secured for me my revenge against those who laughed at me and called me mad!  And from this day forth, mankind will tremble in fear at the name...Odd John!"

 

(Micronauts#19) - Not too longer after this, a group of adventurers from the extradimensional Microverse arrived on Earth.  One of these, an Insectovorid known as Bug, scouted out their environment, only to be discovered by Odd John.  Despite taking a blast from the miniature warrior's rocket-lance on the hand, Odd John subdued Bug with his gas and then exposed him to his mutagen gas.

Soon enough, Bug's teammates came looking for them in their ship, the Endeavor.  When the ship proved resistant to his gas, John smashed it with a pitchfork.  When Rann and Acroyear engaged John, he grabbed a shotgun and blasted the ship.  After being blasted a few times by the flying warrior, he released the newly mutated Bug and other insects.  Bug blasted Acroyear into unconsciousness, while John gassed Rann.  After checking out the micro-warriors and deciding they weren't insects, John decided to just preserve them, by skewering them on the board next to his butterfly collection.  He also sent his swarm of mutated insects to start their war on humanity.

As John's needle drew ever nearer to Rann's chest, a swarm of normal insects gathered the attention of Ant-Man, who flew off to the rescue aboard his trusty steeds, Blixen and Vixen.

(Micronauts#20) - Another of the micro-warriors, Mari, having regained her bearing after being knocked out in the attack on the Endeavor, leapt from a height and catapulted a hammer across the room, smashing into Odd John's head and knocking him out.  By the time John had regained consciousness, Rann and Mari had bound him in chains, and they told him that they would stop his insect army and restore their ally.  He revealed that when he had fallen to the ground, he had smashed his control device and that the insects could not be called back.

Correctly figuring that the insects would respond to their instinct for food, the Micronauts located the swarm approaching a nearby Food World™.  Joining together with Ant-Man, who arrived on the scene just a few minutes before them, they fought the swarm, eventually discovering that Ant-Man's Pym Particles not only would shrink the giant insects, it also reversed their mutation almost instantly.  The process proved effective on all of the insects, and on Bug as well, and the threat was eliminated.  Ant-Man then followed the Micronauts back to Odd John's farm, where he saw to it that John was arrested, and his lab dismantled.

Sadly though, Vixen, one of Ant-Man's ants was slain by one of Bug's blasts.

Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo and Pat Broderick.

Certainly a few of the mutated insects might have broken off from the swarm before arriving at the grocery store, and thus would never have been returned to normal. A few could breed and turn into quite a large number within a few years, around the time Odd John may have been released.  And perhaps Odd John's activities attracted the attention of the Cockroach Conspiracy...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the mysterious arachnophile, in [Amazing Spider-Man I#228 ("Murder By Spider")], look a lot like Odd John of the Cockroach Conspiracy?  Just curious: Carycomix@aol.com

As far as the Micronauts go, I'm pretty sure Acroyear, Biotron, and Microtron are the licensed ones, which is why Bug, Mari (formerly Marionette), and Rann are still seen sometimes.  Rann's fine, as long as he doesn't go by the alias Space-Glider, which is also licensed.  I don't know why Acroyear can't just go by another name, without his armor, too.  Perhaps he could be called Spartak, named after the world he's from?  Actually since his title was an Acroyear (a warrior of Spartak), he should have a real name, which was never revealed.

Anyway, I'm reading and enjoying the new adventures of the Micronauts over at Image now, and I recommend you do, too.
Still, I wish Marvel would have kept the license and done something with them--and then they gave up the license to Conan and the rest of REH's characters--arrrrrgh!
At any rate, the Image Micronauts should be considered as distinct from the Marvel Micronauts, as far as I can see.

How Mantlo can do such excellent work as on the Micronauts (and several other series) and then put out such shite as the Human Fly (and a few others) is beyond me.

Profile updated/edited by Kyle Sims

CLARIFICATIONS:
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Appearances:
Micronauts I#19-20 (July-August, 1980) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Pat Broderick (pencils), Armando Gil (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)


Last updated: 10/20/03

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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