Real Name: Fred Hovel
Identity/Class: Human; unconventional (but unremarkable) weaponry-user
Occupation: Professional criminal;
former headmaster of a private prep school
Group Membership: Band of the Bland (Black Hole/Morton Kribbee, Sitting Bullseye/Oliver Bedwette, Tillie the Hun/Matilda von Tromp)
Affiliations: Doctor Angst (Floyd Mangles);
presumably le Beaver (Pierre Dentfris), Black Talon (Thibodaux Boudreaux), Jackpot, Jokester, Greedy Killerwatt, Kong Lomerate, Maller, Pro-Rata, Puffin, Quizling, and Wally Sidney (see comments);
unrevealed relationship with Brotherhood of Evil Prepositions (Amonger, Arounder, Betweener, Of, Underneather, Withiner), Galactongue
Enemies: Critic, Defenders (Dr. Stephen Strange, Hulk/Bruce Banner, Nighthawk/Kyle Richmond, Valkyrie/Brunnhilde), Howard the Duck, Louise Mason, She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters), Terror (Laslo Pevely), Brent Wilcox;
presumably Andy the Angel, Chirreep, Jennifer Kale, Korrek, Master C'haaj, Hemlock Shoals, Claude Starkowski (see comments)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Cleveland, Ohio
First Appearance: Marvel Treasury Edition#12 (1976)
The Spanker's weapon of choice is his paddle, which he uses to administer spankings to all manners of offenders.
The Spanker uses a motorcycle for transportation.
He wears a (presumably) padded or
even bulletproof uniform, as well as a helmet when riding.
History: (Marvel Treasury Edition#12 (fb)) - Hovel was fired from his job as
headmaster of an exclusive private prep school for administering
excessive corporal punishment.
His obsession apparently drove him
to establish a costumed identity as the Spanker to administer spankings to the
guilty wherever they may be.
The Spanker was one of four mediocre would-be
super-villains recruited by Dr. Angst to form the Band of the
Bland. Their first mission was to assassinate Howard the Duck,
who was at the time the presidential candidate for the All Night
Party. Angst duped them into believing that they were in it
solely to rise above their current levels and achieve fame. Angst
himself was doing it for profit, as he was hired by unidentified
parties. He also tricked them into believing he had enhanced
their powers with the mystic placebo known as Promethium.
Band was defeated by Howard and the Defenders. The Spanker was
presumably sent to prison.
(Sensational She-Hulk I#15 (fb) - BTS) - After being released from prison, the Spanker returned to his costumed identity.
(Steve Gerber's unpublished script for Howard the Duck#1 "Secret Crisis II" (fb) - BTS) - The Spanker was transported -- along with Dr. Angst and the rest of the Band of the Bland (Black Hole, Sitting Bullseye, Tillie the Hun), as well as le Beaver, Black Talon, Bzzk J'oh, Dr. Bong, Jackpot, Jokester, Greedy Killerwatt, Kong-Lomerate, Maller, Pro-Rata, Puffin, Quizling, and Wally Sidney -- to within a giant fire hydrant-like construct in an interdimensional space between Reality-616 and Reality-791021 (mirroring the storyline generated by the dark matter-powered Poporb of Krylorian techno-artist Chirreep).
Spanker took Wally Sidney over his knee and began delivering a spanking to him.
In addition to this construct, a motorhome (specifically a Winnebago)-like structure -- containing Andy the Angel, Dakimh the Enchanter, Jennifer Kale, Korrek the Barbarian, Man-Thing, Master C'haaj, Hemlock Shoals, Claude Starkowski -- was also present.
Gerber's unpublished script for Howard the Duck#1 "Secret Crisis II")
- After Howard the Duck encountered the Winnebago group, Hemlock Shoals
identified the hydrant group. Dakimh noted that, apart from their evil,
to have little in common...except that they all wanted Howard dead. And
Spanker kept spanking Sidney.
As Howard attempted to depart and met up with Chirreep, the monstrous mouth Galactongue appeared and disgorged an entire galaxy. As the contents formed a planet with an immense office building, Dakimh noted with concern the objects streaking toward them: The Brotherhood of Evil Prepositions (Amonger, Arounder, Betweener, Of, Underneather, Withiner) then appeared and challenged both groups to "Play both ends against the middle, and all you desire shall be yours."
Both groups were transported to the office building on the planet formed from contents disgorged by Galactongue; the Spanker's group arrived in the boardroom.
(Steve Gerber's unpublished script for Howard the Duck#1 "Secret Crisis II") - The Spanker sat on Doctor Angst's side of the table (as opposed to Doctor Bong's side), fifth down from Angst, directly between Tillie the Hun and Jackpot.
(Steve Gerber's unpublished script for Howard the Duck#1 "Secret Crisis II" - BTS) - Kong Lomerate led the villains in a plot to destroy the other group.
While Kong led Maller,
Jackpot, and Greedy Killerwatt to attack Howard and Chireep, the Spanker was presumably involved with another part of their
divide-and-conquer strategy, likely targeting Andy
the Angel, Dakimh the Enchanter, Jennifer Kale, Korrek the Barbarian,
Man-Thing, Master C'haaj
(sp?), Hemlock Shoals, and Claude Starkowski.
Spanker's involvement in the remainder of the conflict is unrevealed.
(Sensational She-Hulk I#15-17) - Fourteen years (Marvel time) after his original caper, Angst escaped from prison to instrument a plot he had begun at the time of his imprisonment. Angst convinced Hovel and the rest of the Band to reorganize and assist him in his plot, the Cosmic Squish Principle. Essentially, Angst sought to release a multitude of previous compacted pocket universes, the Encroachiverses, to squish the rest of the Earth dimension. He established five locus points in five equally mediocre places: a square block in Manhattan including Rad Ronin Fujiyama Funhous; Henderson, Nevada; El Segundo, California; most of New Jersey; and the planet Sqazzl. Within these five loci, Angst would create a new universe, the Insipiverse, which they could rule. This plot was foiled by a team composed of Howard (surprisingly enough), the Critic, Louise Mason, She-Hulk, the Terror, and Brent Wilcox. Louise Mason did not take well to receiving a spanking, and decked the Spanker.
Comments: Created by Steve Gerber, Sal Buscema & Klaus Janson.
It is uncertain whether the Band went to prison after their last adventure, as I'm not sure there is a law against trying to destroy the universe.
Gerber's unpublished script (http://www.stevegerber.com/writings/scripts/index.php3):
STRATEGIES! RUG-PULLING! DEATH! NEW
CLOTHES! MORE DEATH! PLUS-- IN CASE
YOU MISSED IT IN 1974-- THE ORIGIN OF
HOWARD THE DUCK! ALL IN THE ASTOUNDING
CONCLUSION OF "SECRET CRISIS II"--
REALITY: ITS PREVENTION AND CURE!
images: (without ads)
Sensational She-Hulk I#16, p12, pan8 (Spanker main image)
p11, pan2 (Spanker on motorbike)
Marvel Treasury Edition#12 (Spanker first appearance)
Marvel Treasury Edition#12 (1976) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscmea (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
unpublished Howard the Duck story by Gerber - 1985
Sensational She-Hulk I#15-17 (May-July, 1990) - Steve Gerber (writer), Bryan Hitch (pencils), Jim Sanders III (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
First Posted: 12/24/2001
Last Updated: 05/08/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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