Real Name: Hemlock Shoals
Identity/Class: Extra-Dimensional (Maltesia) magic-user
Occupation: Inter-Dimensional Detective
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: R. L. Haney, Howard the Duck, and Prei-Ying Mantis
Enemies: Cockroach, Pro-Rata
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Maltesia (dimension)
Appearances: Howard the Duck II/Magazine#4 (March, 1980)
Powers: Hemlock Shoals is a trained as a detective, and specializes in magical investigations. He can speed up time (or teleport) to make an interstate journey take seconds. He can conjure images, travel between dimensions, are track magic items across the dimensional gulf. He claims not to have mystical abilities, but merely to manipulate objects along a planet's lines of magnetic force.
He uses a walking stick with a mallet at one end and a retractable blade at the other. In addition, he is a semi-humanoid insectoid, and likely possesses a number of adaptation beyond his obvious caterpillar-like form. He possesses some knowledge of Earth, mostly learned from "Fodor's Guide to Earth,"which apparently lacks descriptions of one-way streets and forms of monetary exchange.
History: (Howard the Duck II#4 (fb) ) - Shoals was summoned by the Chief Accountant of Maltesia, Prei-Ying Mantis, who feared for his life, and rightfully so. When Shoals arrived, Mantis had already been killed by the sorcerer Pro-Rata, who sought the Cosmic Key. Shoals knocked the Key from Pro-Rata's grasp, causing it to fall into an interdimensional portal containing pathways to a myriad of dimensions. Pro-Rata entered his own portal and escaped, but without the Key.
Months later, Shoals tracked the Cosmic Key to the Citadel of Sai'Furr, but found it missing. He followed the trail of the lone clue (a cigar of Howard the Duck) to Earth, in Cleveland, to Pro-Rata's credit card tower, but found he was still behind, as the Key was again long gone. Shoals continued to track the Key, following the trail from the pawn shop Howard had hocked it to for clothing.
(Howard the Duck II#4) - Shoals utilized a taxi-cab driven by Howard to travel to Manhattan, to the Barqu Bookstore, where he found it in the possession of the store's owner, R. L. Haney. However, when Haney revealed the Key, it was snatched by the Cockroach. The Cockroach had been mutated from its normal insect form into a giant, semi-humanoid form and intellect, and sought to use the Key to evolve a number of other cockroaches to form an army and takeover the World.
Shoals, and Haney pursued the Cockroach, eventually catching up with him when Howard managed to delay him in a newly made glue-trap. The Cockroach tore free of the trap, but was skewered and apparently killed by Shoals walking stick, thrown by Haney. Shoals transformed the sign for the Coach Motel, in which the Cockroach had met his fate to read "Roach Motel," to serve as an epitaph for their fallen foe. Shoals then returned Howard to Cleveland, and returned with the Cosmic Key to Maltesia.
Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo and Gene Colan.
Prei-Ying Mantis was the Chief Accountant of Maltesia, and as such was guardian to the Cosmic Key. He sensed the possibility of an attack on his life, and summoned Hemlock Shoals, but was too late. Prei-Ying was assaulted by the sorcerer Pro-Rata, who broke his neck with a slide rule and took the Key, when he refused to surrender it.
R. L. Haney, aka the Yakima Yahoo, was the owner of the Barqu Bookstore in Manhattan, New York City. He unwittingly obtained the Cosmic Key along with a shipment of books from Cleveland, but was unaware of its true nature. He placed the Key in a drawer in the store, and was also unaware when its energies transformed an ordinary insect into the Cockroach. However, he joined Shoals in the pursuit of they Key and the Cockroach, and it was his hand which threw Shoal's bladed walking stick to skewer the Cockroach. He had some experience wiht knife-throwing, and would hurl his own pig-sticker in warning at those he suspected of being book rustlers.
Last updated: 08/01/02
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