SPRAGG the LIVING HILL
Real Name: Spragg
Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (race unidentified) mutate
Occupation: Would-be conqueror of the Universe
Group Membership: "Hill
Led the Stone Clones
Affiliations: Formerly controlled the people of a village in Transylvania
Enemies: Al the Alien, Ulysses Solomon Archer, Big Enilwen, "Hill People", Louise Mason, Mole Man, Dr. Bob Robertson, She-Hulk, Milo Vinyl
Known Relatives: Possibly other members of his race
Aliases: The Hill that Walks like a Man
Base of Operations: Currently unknown;
formerly some outer space prison;
formerly the Star Stop;
formerly outer space;
First Appearance: Journey into Mystery I#68/1 (May, 1961)
Powers: Spragg's true form is composed of some form of energy, which animates and controls the rock around him. He can use it to form duplicates of himself. He can cause peaks of rock to emerge rapidly from the earth, large and swift enough to bring down an airplane. He can also form immense holes in the surface of the earth. He can create a humanoid form for himself. In space, he can fly at great speeds and direct large swarms of meteors. He has no need for air, warmth, or light. If the rock form he is inhabiting is destroyed, he can simply inhabit another. In addition, he possesses telepathic powers and can control the minds of humans within a short distance of himself.
His one weakness is pure iron, which can block out his mental powers. When covered in steel, he can be trapped in a relatively inanimate form.
The other Hill People possess telekinetic powers and can apparently cause earthquakes as well. They can navigate through space.
(Journey into Mystery I#68 (fb) ) - Spragg was a member of an unidentified race, whose origins are unknown. They existed as relatively inert spores billions of years ago, and drifted for eons through space. As Earth was forming, they were caught in its gravity-well and pulled into what would become the molten core of the planet. Initially they were trapped there, but eventually they developed telekinetic and other mental powers. These powers enabled them to create earthquakes. In recent history (about twenty years before the start of the modern era), one of these spores, a malevolent being known as Spragg, was caught in one of the spores' subterranean upheavals and brought to the surface of the earth, in the land of Transylvania.
There Spragg thought to use his powers to enslave the inhabitants of Earth and become the master of the surface world. However, he found that his powers had been damaged in his violent journey, and he was limited to telepathy and hypnotic powers within his immediate vicinity. He took control of a small number of people, but then threatened to kill them if the entire village did not approach him. Once they approached him, he took control of them as well. He began instructing his servants to build a powerful dynamo to increase his mental powers, enabling him to exercise them across the surface of the entire planet.
(Journey into Mystery I#68) - Geologist Dr. Bob Robertson took a vacation to Transylvania. While there, the earthquake which propelled Spragg to the surface occurred. He attempted to investigate, but found all paths in that direction barred. Finally he followed an abandonned mine shaft into the area and discovered the true nature of Spragg. Robertson's metal miner's helmet enabled him to hide from Spragg's telepathy and resist his mental control. Working in secret, Robertson altered Spragg's dynamo, transforming it into a huge rocket (I kid you not). When Spragg activated the "dynamo" he was instead hurled back into space.
(Sensational She-Hulk#31 (fb)) - Approximately ten years before the modern era, Spragg somehow returned to Earth. His previous stone form was vaporized in re-entry, but the electrical energy of his true form reached the surface and infused itself in the rock. Spragg eventually relearned how to control this rock, and began to periodically manipulate it to attack unwary travelers of low-flying aircrafts. Spragg also has a bad history with the Mole Man, and probably other inhabitants of Subterranea.
Bob Robertson discovered a peculiar electronic resonance in some seismic reading, which he compared to his old readings and found them to be indicative of Spragg. He spent the next twenty years tracking this "Spragg Force" across the continental United States.
(Sensational She-Hulk#31-33) - Spragg raised a mountain to intercept and destroy the plane of would-be rock star Milo Vinyl, killing everyone aboard. Reports from the pilot of a moving mountain drew the attention of the She-Hulk, while the "Spragg Force" had brought Robertson. Robertson used a Counter Frequency Generator to create a current opposite of Spragg's natural frequency. Spragg, irritated by this effect, created a wave of rock headed straight for the nearest town. Robertson had the She-Hulk plant a device to cause a counter harmonic to disrupt the wave, but then Spragg created a 5 mile deep hole into Subterranea, into which the She-Hulk fell.
Upon landing, the She-Hulk was attacked by the Mole Man, who (as always) assumed her to be attacking his realm. Soon both of them were confronted and attacked by Spragg, who took humanoid form to battle them directly. The Mole Man summoned some other rock creatures from his realm to fight Spragg, but they were quickly overcome. However, other members of Spragg's race (sometimes called the Hill People) then arrived and attempted to stop him. The Mole Man took advantage of the distraction to activate an "acceleration point in the Earth's geo-dynamic circulation," which caused an immense plume of magma to burst forth and propel Spragg through the surface of the earth, and into space again. The Hill People were also caught in this magma plume and hurled into space as well.
(Sensational She-Hulk#41(fb)) - The other Hill People chose to go peacefully on their way, deep into the galaxy. Spragg, however, happened to fall through a wormhole near Jupiter, which transported him into another sector. In a last ditch effort to save himself, Spragg reached out with his telekinesis and seized some of the rocky material that composes Jupiter's ring. Upon arriving through the wormhole, Spragg discovered the Star Stop, populated with many of the fleshy beings he hated. He spread his intellect through some of the larger stones he had brought with him, creating the Stone Clones. He then used the smaller stones to launch a series of assaults via meteor shower on the Star Stop.
(Sensational She-Hulk#40(fb)) - Wide Load Annie, one of the co-owners of the Star Stop, recognized the meteor shower as an attack by a sentient threat.
(Sensational She-Hulk#39-42) - After Al the Alien and U. S. Archer failed to stop the attacks on the Star Stop, Al the Alien used his technology to activate the emergency recall on the She-Hulk's flying car. She-Hulk was pulled along to the sector of space of the Star Stop, where Al and U. S. explained the situation. She-Hulk agreed to help, and attacked Spragg and his Stone Clones. She-Hulk was overwhelmed and encased in a coccoon of rock by Spragg, but was freed by the timely assistance of Al and U. S. Using information she had learned from Prof. Robertson, the She-Hulk goaded the swarm of Stone Clones to learn which was the original Spragg, and then encased him in metal netting, nullifying his powers. With the former Stone Clones now inert rock, they brought him back to the Star Stop, where he became part of the collection of pet rocks of the giant, childlike extraterrestrial named Big Enilwen.
[bts]-Spragg somehow ended up in an intergalactic prison.
(Maximum Security #1(fb)) - Spragg was one of the extraterrestrial criminals banished to Earth by the Intergalactic Council as part of the events of Maximum Security. He was opposed by the heroes of the New Warriors.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee(?) and
Jack Kirby, I believe.
...I've only got a reprint (without credits). Help anyone?
Journey into Mystery I#68 is reprinted in Creatures on the Loose#15, and most of the story is retold in Sensational She-Hulk#31.
Spragg was most likely returned to his extraterrestrial prison at the conclusion of Maximum Security, but his actual fate is unrevealed.
The Hill People who opposed Spragg in Subterranea were described as Rock Cops. There may well be more of the Hill People who did not involve themselves in the conflict, and thus were not expelled into space.
I think Xemnu the Titan should make a comeback, side-by-side with Spragg, Grottu, and a bunch of other old Marvel Monsters. I love the stories that bring the monsters into the mainstream Marvel continuity.
Clarifications: I believe the Mole Man had a Mecha-Mole at some point as well, but Robertson's creation is separate from that. They both probably accomplished the same function.
Also known as the Rock Cops and the Living Hills, these were the rest of the alien spores who drifted to Earth and inhabited stone forms. They dwelled in Subterranea and actually opposed Spragg's plans to conquer Earth. However, they were caught up in the Mole Man's magma-plume and exiled into space alongside Spragg. Unlike Spragg, however, they chose to go peacefully on their way, deep into the galaxy.
--Journey into Mystery I#68 (68(fb), Sensational She-Hulk II#31-33, 41(fb)
Professor Bob Robertson
is a geologist. He discovered Spragg in Transylvania and served him his
first defeat. He discovered Spragg's return to Earth and tracked him
for nealy twenty years, before finally exposing him alongside She-Hulk.
Spragg pulled the She-Hulk down into Subterranea, Robertson, alongside
Weezi Mason, followed her in the Mecha-Mole, corkscrewing around the
tunnel Spragg had created. Spragg pulled the Mecha-Mole
the rest of the way down to Subterranea, destroying it in the process.
Robertson and Weezi met the rest of the Hill People, and informed them
of Spragg's activities. They then rode the Hill People over to the
battle against Spragg, where they were rejoined with the She-Hulk.
Robertson determined that the Mole Man's magma plume would send the
Hill People into space as well, and tried to convince the Mole Man not
to use it, but to no avail. Robertson is a classic comic book
scientist, possessing extensive knowledge in all fields, despite the
fact that he was originally just supposed to be a geologist. Some time
after his adventures, he visited Frank
Johnson, curator of the Museum of the Monstrous and Strange, and
related the tale of Spragg to him.
--Journey into Mystery I#68 (Sensational She-Hulk#31(fb), 31-33, Marvel Monsters:
From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone and the Monster Hunters#1 (fb)-BTS
Milo Vinyl was a rock star whose career was threatened when it was discovered that he was not actually singing the lyrics, although he claimed this to be a lie. It was his private plane that Spragg crashed into a mountain. There was some comment about Spragg wanting revenge on "rock" stars. -- Sensational She-Hulk#31
images: (without ads)
Sensational She-Hulk#32, p22 (Spragg main image)
Sensational She-Hulk#31, p13, pan1 ("Hill People" spores)
(Spragg's first attack)
Sensational She-Hulk#31, p18, pan3 (Spragg strikes back)
Sensational She-Hulk#33, p4, pan5 (Spragg walks)
Sensational She-Hulk#42, p9, pan2 (Stone Clones)
Sensational She-Hulk#32, p14, pan4 (Rock Cops)
Sensational She-Hulk#31, p16, pan4 (Bob Robertson)
Sensational She-Hulk#32, p3, pan2 (Mecha-Mole)
Sensational She-Hulk#31, p6, pan2 (Mily Vinyl)
Creatures on the Loose#15 (January, 1972) - reprint Journey into Mystery I#68
Sensational She-Hulk#31-33 (September-November, 1991) - John Byrne (writer/pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Renee Witterstaetter (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk#39-42 (May-August, 1992) - John Byrne (writer/artist), Renee Witterstaetter (editor)
Maximum Security#1 (December, 2000) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Jerry Ordway (pencils), Will Blyberg, Chris Ivy, Paul Ryan & Al Vey (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Last updated: 12/07/05.
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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