Real Name: Jason Lorne Cragg
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Occupation: Professional criminal;
former agent of the Red Skull (Shmidt);
former agent of the Hungarian government
former professional orator;
former radio announcer;
Group Membership: Skeleton Crew (Crossbones, Mother Night, Machinesmith, Sleeper),
"People's Defense Force" (Beasts of Berlin, Madame X, Scarlet Beetles, el Toro, unnamed communist agents)
Affiliations: Crossbones, Quicksilver, the Red Skull, the Hungarian
unfriendly alliance with the Controller
Enemies: Avengers West Coast, Black Queen (Selene), Captain America, Hellfire Club, Magneto, Henry Pym (Ant Man/Giant Man/Goliath/Yellowjacket/Dr.Pym)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: The Man with the Voice of Doom, the Voice of Doom, the Voice of Truth
Base of Operations: Currently unknown;
formerly the Smith Building, Washington, DC;
the Vault; Hungary; New York;
Place of Birth: Gary, Indiana
First Appearance: Tales to Astonish I#42 (April, 1963)
Powers/Abilities: Cragg has the ability to cause anyone within the sound of his voice to believe he is speaking the truth and to obey his every command. In later appearances he used a set of speakers on his shoulders to amplify the sound of his voice, which is equally effective and works over greater distances as well as over louder noises. He is also equipped with a large harness to distribute the weight of the speakers.
His voice is also effective when transmitted over radio (and presumably television).
Height: 5' 10" Weight: 200 lbs. Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown
(Tales to Astonish I#42 (fb)) - Jason Cragg was an unspectacular radio announcer from the midwest, until he was mutated by "ionized atoms" which had escaped from a nearby atomic experimental laboratory and traveled through his microphone. Suddenly Cragg's voice changed, developing an unnatural tone, which caused all those who heard him to follow his every word. As his company's sales tripled virtually overnight, Cragg soon realized that he was a different man. He quit his job and began using his vocal powers for profit, starting small and gradually building in scale. As he traveled, he became bolder, and he began to assume the appearance of a flamboyant orator.
Arriving in New York, Cragg saw the hero Ant-Man in action, and decided to test his powers against him: "If I can defeat Ant-Man, I can defeat anyone...with Ant-Man disposed of, this city can be mine!"
(Tales to Astonish I#42) - Cragg set up a soap box and began speaking on a street corner in Manhattan. At first, he was dismissed as a kook, but soon his voice had won over everyone within shouting distance. After getting their attention, Cragg then told the crowd that Ant-Man was a sinister villain who must be driven from the city. Soon, everyone in the city was out to get Ant-Man. Only Pym himself, whose cybernetic helmet somehow protected him from Cragg's power, was not under his control. Ant-Man's reduced size allowed him to remain hidden from Cragg, but when his horde began using a metal detector to find him, he took off his helmet and shrinking and enlarging canisters to avoid detection. When the detectors located these devices, Cragg realized Ant-Man no longer was protected from his power and forced him to reveal himself. He then commanded Pym to walk off a pier and make no effort to swim when he hit the water. And Ant-Man drowned, and that was the end of it.
Well, not really...several of Pym's loyal ants saved him, even without his cybernetic commands. Pym escaped back to his home and donned a duplicate of his costume, and after a short pit-stop at a hospital, he confronted Cragg anew. Cragg had realized that Ant-Man had escaped and so was preparing to go on national television and make the entire country hate Ant-Man. Pym set up a gun aimed at Cragg, with an apparatus so that his ants could fire it at will. He then climbed up to Cragg's collar and used the threat of the gun to force him to reverse his previous statements about Ant-Man.
Ant-Man then told Cragg he could relax, because the gun wasn't even loaded. Furious, Cragg prepared to turn everyone against Ant-Man again, but then found that his voice swiftly became hoarse. Soon, he could barely speak at all. Ant-Man revealed that he had exposed Cragg to microbes...the microbes which cause laryngitis. Cragg continued to speak out against Ant-Man, but no one listened to him anymore, and he was nearly run over by the angry mob.
(West Coast Avengers II#36 (fb) / 37 (fb-BTS)) -
Cragg ended up a bum on the streets, unable to work even as a
normal announcer, until Madame X found him and revealed that her
government would help him. Hungarian scientists performed
hundreds of micro-operations on his vocal cords and tongue. They
also built him a rig to amplify his voice with digital precision.
Fearing that the Hungarians might try to brainwash him, Cragg used his power to train himself to throw off such attempts.
(West Coast Avengers II#36) - Working alongside a number of Pym's old foes, as well as Quicksilver (who was at the time again an enemy of the Avengers, due to manipulations of Maximus), Cragg stopped the West Coast Avengers from attacking, He then commanded the rest of the group to capture Pym, although he did give Pym a head start in order to be sporting. Pym managed to stay out of his mind-controlled allies' hands, until he came upon what appeared to be Maria Troyvana, his wife, long believed to have been killed in Hungary. Although this was later revealed to be false, the woman did believe herself to be Maria, and Pym was able to convince her to use her giant, mutated brain to stop the attacks, and to prevent Cragg from speaking any further.
(West Coast Avengers II#37 (fb)) - Using his anti-brainwashing condition, Cragg managed to cast off "Maria's" control, and he left Hungary and fled to California to gain revenge against the Avengers. He arrived at the same time as Mantis (or a fragment/aspect of her), who had come to the Avengers for help in regaining her memory. The Voice took control of Mantis and commanded her to attack the Avengers.
(West Coast Avengers II#37) - Mantis attacked the Avengers, but Hawkeye, recognizing that she was being manipulated, searched the grounds and found the Voice. Hawkeye sneaked up behind Cragg, stuck a pointed arrow in his neck, and forced him to free Mantis from his control. The Scarlet Witch then cast a hex on him that temporarily robbed him of speech--long enough for him to be taken to the Vault prison and properly contained.
(Solo Avengers#26? - BTS) - During the so-called Acts of Vengeance, Cragg was freed from the Vault. He was then recruited by the Red Skull.
(Captain America I#366) - Under the guidance of the Red Skull's aid, Crossbones, the Voice forced the Controller to follow the Skull's plans. While on a flight back to the Smith Building, they were attacked by Captain America. Cragg's voice could not be heard over the whine of air through the broken hatch. He tried to get closer to Captain America so his voice could be heard, but before he could make any commands, Cap knocked his wind out with an elbow to the solar plexus. Cap and the Controller ended up both going out the hatch, but the Controller returned to them, and all three of them returned to the Smith Building.
(Captain America I#369, 370) - Following the Acts of Vengeance, Magneto had abducted the Red Skull. Seeking to locate his boss, Crossbones led the Skeleton Crew, including Cragg, to search for the Skull. They investigated the Hellfire Club, where Magneto had spent time as the White and Grey King. Their approach was discovered by a squadron of armed Hellfire Club guards, but Cragg immobilized them all with a single word.
They soon found that the Red Skull wasn't there, and prepared to head out, but were then confronted by Selene, the Black Queen. She imprisoned the legs of the entire Skeleton Crew in solid rock. Cragg told her not to move, and so she couldn't, but she could still use her mind. Selene formed hands out of a stone wall to choke Cragg and crush his speakers. She told him to restore her mobility or she would kill him, and then released the hands. Panicked, he told her she could move again, but she then made the hands choke him again.
Her energy and vitality faded from the large power usage, an aged Selene began draining Cragg's life force. She was interrupted by Crossbones and the Sleeper/Machinesmith. With the aid of both Captain America and Diamondback, Selene was defeated, and the Skeleton Crew took the badly injured Cragg back to the Smith Building.
Comments: Created by Stan "The Man" Lee, Larry Lieber, and Don Heck.
The Voice has a profile in the OHotMU Master Edition, where it states that he may have been a latent mutant, one whose powers were merely triggered by the "ionized atoms."
The Maria Troyvana imposter later went on to became SODAM (yes, really), and them MODAM, the successor the MODOK...until, of course, she got killed, and MODOK stopped being dead.
I don't think the group of old Tales to Astonish foes was ever named, but the UOHotMU site named them the "People's Defense Force," and I'll go with that.
No known connections to:
images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition (Voice main image)
(Voice with the hat)
West Coast Avengers II#36, p3, pan3 (Voice head shot)
Tales to Astonish I#42 (April, 1963) - Stan Lee & Larry Lieber (writers), Don Heck (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
West Coast Avengers II#36-37 (September-October, 1988) - Steve Englehart (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Mike Machlan (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Captain America I#366 (January, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#369-370 (April-May, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Last updated: 03/09/03
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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