Membership: Boulder, Digger, Landslide, Water Witch
Purpose: Enforcers and warriors of Subterranea
Affiliations: Kala, Mole Man, Moloid
Subterraneans, the Mole Man's mutates, non-powered Outcasts;
Water Witch was a part of Superia's Femizons;
They have had hostile encounters with the Hulk, Iron Man, Rom, Spider-Man, Starshine (Landra), although these are most often misunderstandings.
Enemies: Avalanche, Deviants, other Subterranean races
(Gor-Tokians, Lava Men, Tyrannoids);
Maria Karsov, Robby Kyle, Claude LeBron, Brad Rossi (athletes of the Olympics)
Base of Operations: Subterranea
First Appearance: (regular Outcasts):
Fantastic Four Annual#13 (1978);
(super-powered outcasts) Marvel Treasury Edition#25 (1980)
History: (Fantastic Four Annual#13) - The Mole Man gathered a group of people considered homely on the surface world to dwell with him in Subterranea, as the Outcasts.
BTS - At least four of these Outcasts were bestowed with superhuman powers by Mole Man by unknown means (confirmed in Rom#28).
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25) - Kala, mistress of the Netherworld,
joined forces with Lava Men and began to war against the forces
of the Mole Man, in an effort to force him to allow her to have
access to the Fountain of Youth. The Mole Man, still angry at Kala
for her previous betrayal of him, refused her access.
Kala sought to improve her
chances against the Mole Man by abducting various athletes from
the 1980 (topical) Winter Olympics, and outfitting them with
advanced weaponry based upon their sports of expertise.
The Mole Man sent his Outcasts to try to stop Kala from obtaining the athletes, which failed. In the course of the struggle, the Hulk and Spider-Man were drawn into the conflict. Kala managed to drug the Hulk and convince him to fight on her side. Kala and the Mole Man agreed to suspend their war, and to allow the conflict to be settled by a battle involving the athletes (whom she coerced into working for her) with the Hulk, and the outcasts, alongside Spider-Man. The struggle went back and forth until Kala was buried by an avalanche caused by the Hulk. With her helmet shattered, she rapidly aged, and the Lava Men no longer recognized her. Without the Lava Men, she was no match for the Mole Man's forces, but the Mole Man still loved her. He called a truce to the war, and brought Kala to Subterranea to live with him.
(Incredible Hulk II#263(fb)) - The mutant known as Avalanche went solo, attempting to use his earth-shaking powers to ransom the state of California by threatening to trigger the San Andreas Fault. The upheavals caused tremors all the way down in Subterranea. Landslide could sense that the tremors were of unnatural origin, and so the Mole Man dispatched him to the surface to investigate.
(Incredible Hulk II#263) - Landslide found and confronted Avalanche, which turned into a three-way battle involving the Hulk. The struggle between Landslide and Avalanche was fairly even, until Avalanche caught Landslide off guard and unmasked him, blinding him with the bright light of the surface world. Before Avalanche could press the advantage, the Hulk pulled him away. When Avalanche tried to use his earth-moving powers directly against the organic, super-durable form of the Hulk, the feedback shattered his own arms. The threat over, Landslide returned to Subterranea.
(Rom#28) - Dire Wraiths living beneath the surface of Clairton, West Virginia, began to pull people of the town into the Earth. This resulted in a mistaken-identities battle between Rom (and his ally Starshine) and the Outcasts and other agents of the Mole Man. When the Dire Wraiths revealed their presence, Rom and the Mole Man's agents joined forces against them. Rom banished the Wraiths to a pocket realm of Limbo.
(Rom#29) - The Mole Man had Digger claw a pathway to the surface so that he could once more see the humans (Steve Jackson and Brandy Clark) who had befriended and aided them in defeating the Dire Wraiths. After briefly glimpsing them, he had Digger seal the hole he had made.
(Iron Man Annual#12) - During the events of the Subterranean War, Kala fled Subterranea to gain assistance from the heroes of the surface world. She went to Iron Man, whom she had first encountered years before. The Outcasts, mindless to obeying orders of the Mole Man that Kala must not be allowed to leave his realm, followed her and attempted to force her to return. The Outcasts attacked Iron Man, and Digger and Landslide grabbed Kala and headed back to their realm. Kala convinced them to take her to the Netherworlders, but the Netherworlders sought to kill her for past actions. However, Iron Man arrived and fought them off, with assistance from Digger and Landslide. The Netherworlders, fearing destruction from her allies, elected to offer Kala their rule once again. However, Kala declined the offer, and left to try to find and resuce the missing Mole Man.
(Captain America I#387, 388 - BTS, 389-391, 392 - BTS) - The Water Witch was one of the army of superhuman women gathered to Femizonia Isle by Superia, as her Femizons. Presumably, after the destruction of Superia's plans, the Water Witch returned to Subterranea.
COMMENTS: Created by Mark Gruenwald and Herb Trimpe.
This entry deals only with the super-powered Outcasts. The population of normal Outcasts may receive a separate entry at some point.
The inside back cover of MTE#25 previews a sequel, associated with the 1980 Summer Olympics. While this never happened, the grouping looks almost exactly like the grouping seen in the first Marvel Super-Heroes: Contest of Champions, which was seen a short time later.
CLARIFICATIONS: The Outcasts have no
Boulder has no known connection to:
Digger has no known connection to:
Landslide has no known connection:
Water Witch has no known connection to:
The Fountain of Youth is
the legendary source of immortality found by Ponce de Leon. This
is the source of immortality of Tyrannus. While the original
source is most likely the same, this subterranean store should be
Kala's Netherworld refers to a
subterranean realm, formerly Netherannea (or something like
that), which was a land that sank into Subterranea around the
time of the Great Cataclysm.
It has no connection to various other-dimensional Netherworlds.
All of the Outcasts, as a consequence of living in dimly lit Subterranea, are extremely sensitive to bright light. for this reason, they wear light filtering hoods when heading to the surface world. Unless, of course, the writer/artist forgets to put them on...
Boulder has superhuman strength (Class 25?) and durability. He's a big fan of the bear hug, as well as throwing rocks and boulders at his foes.
Digger has sharp talons, with which he can carve a tunnel through solid ice or earth. These claws can easily rend flesh, and can carve rents into Iron Man's armor. He presumably has some degree of superhuman strength (Class 5?) and durability.
cause intense vibrations and tremors in anything, animate or
inanimate, that he touches. He can cause earthquake level
tremors, or cause injury to a living thing on contact. He is
limited by his need to directly touch an object, and he cannot
project his power across a distance.
Landslide is also a pacifist, and, while willing to use force when necessary, he will often try to solve problems through discussion or less violent means.
It was Landslide who was sent to the surface to investigate the tremors caused by Avalanche, and he acted independently of the group in that adventure.
Water Witch can control water in all of its forms. Her Dowsing
Rod may be the source of her abilities, or it may be a
focus. She can project ice, water, or steam in various fashions.
In one instance, however, she panicked and thought she would
drown when she fell through broken ice into freezing waters. This
may have been the first time she got to actively try out her
The Water Witch briefly left the group to check out the offer of Superia to join her Femizons. This seems out of character, but she could have been sent to investigate (i.e. spy) for the Mole Man.
The Olympic athletes were forced into serving Kala, and were pitted against the Outcasts. Kala cheated the whole time, but the Olympic athletes did their best to keep it fair, and destroy any unfair tactics being used by them.
Maria Karsov (Russian figure skater) received slashing, razor-sharp "Super-Skates". She was pitted against the Water Witch, in a simple game of tag, with each of them being "it." She saved the Water Witch from the Lava Men's device that was melting the ice below her, and later managed to tag her when the Hulk shattered all of the ice around them.
Robby Kyle (Canadian hockey champ) received a "super stick that fires power pucks". He was pitted against Boulder, who attempted to throw rocks into the goal that he was defending. He fought off several attempts, and even destroyed the Lava Men's flame shooter, which was launching fire rings at Boulder. However, when the Hulk shattered the ice below everyone, it knocked Robby off balance long enough that Boulder was able to get in the goal.
Claude LeBron (French Bobsledder) received the "Bombsled, armed with fiery flame-cannons" (what other type of flame-cannons are there?). He was pitted against Digger, who was to attempt to prevent his trip down a downhill run. Digger carved an alternate path in the ice and obstructed his initial path. The Lava Men destroyed the obstruction, allowing Claude to slide past to victory--although he felt no pride in a victory "so cheaply won."
Brad Rossi (American skier)
received "Rocket Skis and Power Poles, capable of
incinerating an enemy." He was a former classmate of Peter
Parker at Midtown high school. It was his fiancée, Heather Ryan,
who was captured by Kala, aged to a geriatric state, and held
hostage to force the others to fight for her.
He was pitted against Landslide, who was to attempt to stop him from getting past him on a downhill. He managed to vault over the chasms created by Landslide and win the race. He then turned around and raced toward the housing where Kala was holding Heather. The Hulk fell over a ledge and ended up rolling into a giant snowball that destroyed the housing, freed Heather (who had regained her youth), and exposed Kala to the surface air.
Fantastic Four Annual#13 (1978) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Marvel Treasury Edition#25 (1980) - Mark Gruenwald, Steven Grant & Bill Mantlo (writers), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Bruce Patterson (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#263 (September, 1981) - Sal Buscema & Bill Mantlo (writers), Sal Buscema (artist), Al Milgrom (editor)
Rom#28 (March, 1982) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Rom#29 (April, 1982) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Chic Stone, Mike Esposito, Frank Giacoia, Al Milgrom & Rick Magyar (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Iron Man Annual#12 (1991) - Roy & Dann Thomas (writers), Tom Morgan (artist)
Captain America I#389-392 (August-September, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Last updated: 09/18/13.
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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