Real Name: Inapplicable

Identity/Class: Artifical Being

Occupation: Destroying Democracy and pretty much anything else in its way

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Professor Kai Chen (creator); Red Chinese Army (former), Frost Giants of Jotunheim (when controlled by Loki)

Enemies: Thor, Odin, Balder, The Warriors Three (Hogun, Fandral, Volstagg), Frost Giants of Jotunhiem, Loki, Thunderstrike, Code: Blue

Known Relatives: One of a kind; however, some aspects of its design based on the alien Ultimo robot

Aliases: "Subject 16"

Base of Operations: Lab outside of Beijing, China; later Jotunheim, in the Asgardian dimension

First Appearance: Thor I#168 (September, 1969)

Powers: The Thermal Man was powered by an "atomic pile", which made him nearly invincible to any attack. His eyes and hands unleashed a "Thermal Blast" capable of melting any earthly material into slag, up to and including bedrock and tanks. He was also strong enough to toss Thor around (Class 50?) and durable enough to survive direct hits from Mjolnir, and even an "implosion bomb" designed specifically to destroy him. He also had sophisticated sensor arrays designed to find the weaknesses in materials. He could not be reprogrammed, despite numerous attempts to do so. When later revived by Redfield Electronics, he no longer had an atomic pile engine and was somewhat less powerful, but could absorb energy directed at him.

Weaknesses: His processes shut down when exposed to environments of extreme cold. He had a very one track mind when it came to destroying America. He had a very small vocabulary. He was vulnerable to very powerful sorcerous attacks. His reflexes were also sub-par.

Physical Description: The Thermal Man was an 18-25 feet tall blue humanoid mechanical being. It had three fingers on each hand. It was constructed of a metal close to adamantium in strength.

Height: 25'
Weight: 15 tons
Eyes: Red
Hair: None

History: (Thor I#168)- Professor Chen developed the Thermal Man to be an industrial super-worker in China, but his prototype was seized by the Chinese military, who programmed it to destroy America, and sent it to American shores. Their aim was to test the capabilities of the Thermal Man design, as well as American defenses against such a weapon.

(Thor I#169)- The Thermal Man arrived in New York and started wreaking havoc. Odin dispatched Balder and the Warriors Three to combat it, and when they were defeated, he summoned Thor from deep space.

(Thor I#170)- Thor arrived to find most of New York evacuated, and some areas of the city on fire. He watched as the Thermal Man destroyed an American Army brigade, and then attacked with a regrouped Balder and Warriors Three on his side. They were all easily defeated.

The Chinese military sent the Americans an experimental "implosion bomb", to use in destroying the Thermal Man as a peace offering, to avoid an outright war with America over this incident. They also had become concerned about the massive destruction the Thermal Man was causing, worried he might turn aginst them. It didn't really matter, because the implosion bomb only succeeded in stunning the Thermal Man.

Thor left to help as Dr. Blake, and Balder and the Warriors Three were badly defeated and injured by the revived Thermal Man, who continued his rampage. Karnilla, who was watching, whisked her love Balder and the Warriors Three to Asgard. Thor heard of the new rampage, and confronted the Thermal Man again, but rather than use physical force, he created a massive typhoon in New York harbor, and succeeded in creating a tidal wave to wash Thermal Man out to sea, to be frozen in the Arctic, his atomic pile run down in the cold.

BTS- The Chinese military discontinued research into the Thermal Man and implosion bomb, and locked the designs away.

(Thor Annual#15/3)- Years later, a Chinese test of a neutron bomb in the Arctic revived the Thermal Man. It destroyed the Chinese camp after they radioed a description to Beijing. It began the long trek to America.

Members of the Central Committee in the Chinese government realized the Thermal Man was loose again, and they summoned Professor Chen from prison. They feared that America would blame China for his release and rampage. Chen was ordered to find a way to stop the Thermal Man, and created a device which could reprogram it by remote control.

Later, Thor saw fires break out in New York City, and found the Thermal Man responsible. Odin summoned Thor to fight an invasion of Frost Giants, but Thor ignored this to help Midgard. Thor was thrown through several buidings, thermal blasted, and tossed around until the American military showed up. They used a particle beam that stunned the Thermal Man long enough for them to erect a plasma cage around it.

The Thermal Man quickly broke free of his plasma cage, and Thor attacked him again, and was beaten back repeatedly. Professor Chen arrived, and using his control device, he managed to get the Thermal Man to pause in his rampage for a whole second-- to incinerate Professor Chen. Thor, desperate for a solution, decided to kill two birds with one stone, and summoned a dimensional gateway to send the Thermal Man to Jotunheim, where he started melting all the Forst Giants he saw, to the cheers of Asgard.

(Marvel Super-Heroes III#9/2)- A band of Frost Giants, hunted by the Thermal Man after seeing him kill many of their brethren, went to their shaman, Sludge. They begged him to contact Ymir, the only Frost Giant who could defeat the Thermal Man. Sludge's spell was intercepted by Loki, who appeared before him. Sludge explained their predicament, and Loki agreed to help out for a price to be named later. Using magic probably developed to take over the Destroyer armor, Loki seized control of the Thermal Man, mystically overriding its programming.

Loki raised up an army of Frost Giants, and led an attack to the very gates of Asgard itself with the Thermal Man. Odin summoned a council of war, ensuing a great battle. The Thermal Man defeated Balder and the Warriors Three (again!). Thor summoned his armor, and was able to withstand a few blasts of the Thermal Man, but couldn't stop or even slow him. He noticed that the robot spoke more, and figured out that Loki was in control. Thor developed a plan, and used his hammer to absorb a lot of thermal blasts, and then redirected them out in one burst. He manageed to crack the Thermal Man's shell, and with repeated hammer hits, opened a wide enough hole to rip out the atomic pile powering it. Apart from its cooling units, the pile quickly went critical. The Giants had seen Loki defeated, and fled in a mystic portal back to Jotunheim. Thor hurled the device after them, and incinerated all of them, and much of the Jotunheim coutryside in a thermonuclear blast. (Seriously!) Loki swore revenge, as a crisis was averted.

(Thunderstrike#15/Code: Blue#3 (fb))- Eventually, the Frost Giants cast the Thermal Man out of Asgard, and into a New Jersey landfill.

(Thunderstrike#14/Code: Blue#2)- The Thermal Man was appropriated by Redfield Electronics, who saw in it the potential for a powerful new weapon.

(Thunderstrike#15/Code: Blue#3)- Redfield were able to create a tape of everything the Thermal Man's sensors had seen. Jim Redfield had his company rebuild the Thermal Man, installing an experimental engine, so he could resell it to the Pentagon and keep his company afloat. Paul Conklin, who was chief enginneer on the project, objected to testing it even on a limited basis. But test it they did, and the Thermal Man was now able to absorb energy, and quickly regained full power, broke his restraints, and once again, started killing scientists and totalling the lab.

Paul Conkln called his wife, Police Captain Shelley Conklin, and asked her to send in her Code: Blue unit to halt the Thermal Man. She frantically agreed and ordered Code Blue to the scene, despite having been disbanded by the city. Code: Blue attacked with artillery rocket shells, but they had no effect. They tried freezing it with liquid nitrogen, but as it no longer had an atomic pile, this failed. Thunderstrike arrived, but was only able to momentarily stalemate the Thermal Man, who continued his rampage around the building.

Code: Blue received a present from Stark Industries -- monomolecular adamantium wire -- which they handled with special gloves. While one end was tied down, Thunderstrike took the other end and sliced the Thermal Man at the knees, then decapitated the robot, "like a ginsu knife through hot butter". The Thermal Man was finally laid to rest. Documents discovered on the premises revealed that Paul Redfield had secretly programmed the Thermal Man to run wild so he could collect the insurance on his business.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

    I personally would like to know what the Chinese were doing testing nuclear devices in the Arctic. They don't actually own any land there, and I don't see Greenland or Canada renting it out to them.

    The Thermal Man is pretty similar (even the first time) to the Destroyer in both motivation and appearance. I guess when you're thinking up someone to fight Thor, a giant invincible robot is a pretty good choice. (There's numerous less well-known ones such as Replicus, Crypto-Man, Growing Man, and the Protector)

    And has the fact that Thor caused a nuclear holocaust in the land of Jotunheim, home of the Frost Giants, ever been addressed anywhere? Jeez, and he wonders why they're always attacking Asgard. He killed like 50,000 of them and made part of their already pretty barren land unlivable and their crops radioactive. I'd be screaming for his head, too.

    In Thunderstrike#22, Code: Blue member "Mad Dog" Rassitano is seen playing with the newly-licensed Code: Blue action figures-- which include a toy Thermal Man.

    An alpha generation or precursor of the Thermal Man was kept "on ice for an undefined time period since point during the cold war (essentially the end of World War II in 1945 to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991). A group of Soviets were held in stasis until they detected a nuclear explosion in the USA, at which point they sent these agents -- Crimson Dynamo (Mark 1 armor), Gargoyle (Yuri Topolov), Iron Maiden, Mongu (Boris Monguski), Thermal Man, Ursa Major -- to attack. The energy unleashed by the Order's battle with the Infernal Man in the Order II#1 (September, 2007) was detected by the sleeping Soviets who sent in the "alpha gen Soviet Super Soldiers." Pepper Potts/Hera was able to track the sleeping Soviets to Drenkov Island, and Supernaut terminated the Soviets' life support. The Crimson Dynamo precursor proved to be a robot and detonated a nuclear bomb, but the Order's Aralune smothered the explosion.

    Thermal Man has an entry in Marvel Legacy: The 1960s Handbook.

Profile by: caliban

Clarifications: The Thermal Man should not be confused with:

Professor Chen has no known connection to:


Professor Chen In his youth, Prof. Chen allied himself with the Mandarin to reprogram the Ultimo robot. He left the Mandarin's service and took what he learned to create his prototype Thermal Man for the glory of Communism and such. However, during the Cultural Revolution, the military confiscated his prototype and designs, and when he protested he was labelled a traitor, and left to rot in prison. The military set the Thermal Man loose with the above results.

Years later he was freed and, still loyal to China's government, agreed to help stop the Thermal Man to prevent an international incident. His research notes were dug out of storage, his lab was reopened, and he quickly created a remote control device for the Thermal Man. He was flown to America to use it, but it proved ineffective and he was incinerated to ashes by a blast of his own creation, the Thermal Man. -Thor I#168, Thor Annual#15/3



Thor I#168-170 (September-November, 1969) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), George Klein (#168-169) & Bill Everett (#170) (inks)
Thor Annual#15 (1990) - Ron Frenz (writer), Gary Hartle (pencils), Mike DeCarlo (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel Super-Heroes III#9 (April, 1992) - Randall Frenz (writer), Kevin West (pencils), Brian Garvey (inks), Ralph Macchio & Rob Tokar (editors)
Thunderstrike#14-15 (November-December, 1994) - Tom DeFalco & Ron Frenz (writers), Ron Frenz (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Order#1-2 (September-October, 2007) -  Matt Fraction (writer), Barry Kitson (penciler), Mark Morales (inker), Alejandro Arbona (assistant editor), Warren Simons (editor)

First Posted: 06/07/2002
Last updated: 08/24/2007

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

All characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:

Special Thanks to for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters