Real Name: Mitchell Tanner
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Occupation: Mercenary, former soldier
Group Membership: Former agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. II
Affiliations: Former employee of Atom
Smasher (Michael English), Connors, Alexander Ryking, Sebastian Shaw;
former ally of Constrictor, Tombstone, and Man-Bull;
empowered by Noah Burstein
Enemies: A.I.M., Atom Smasher (Ronald English), Major Arthur Barrington, Black Goliath, William Hao, Iron Fist, Misty Knight, Moira MacTaggart, Maverick, Power Man (Luke Cage), Lt. Rafael Scarfe, Colleen Wing, X-Men (Banshee, Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Phoenix, Professor X, Storm, Wolverine)
Known Relatives: Liu Thanh Tanner (wife, deceased)
Aliases: The Ultimate Soldier
Place of Birth: Gainsville, Florida
Base of Operations: Currently unknown;
formerly Pier 78, Manhattan, New York;
Education: Unrevealed; presumably includes extensive military training
First Appearance: Marvel Premiere#23 (August, 1975)
Powers: Warhawk has steel hard skin and
superhuman strength (Class 10-25). His powers did seem to
fluctuate at times. One time he laughed off an "Iron
Fist" punch, another he was taken out by a couple of
normally powered strikes.
He is a highly trained assassin, soldier, marksman, and armed and unarmed combatant. He has quick, if not superhuman reflexes, and is a lethal warrior. He's also experienced with explosives, electronics, and computers.
He usually uses a standard high-powered rifle, but has also used a gun firing tranquilizer darts, and a fletchette pistol, which fired rocket-powered darts. He may have used a device to hide his thoughts from Professor X and Phoenix, or his own training may have allowed him to keep his conscious thoughts hidden from unwary telepaths.
After his mutation by Ryking, Warhawk had "omnium skin" which was bulletproof, at least on one impact. He was bigger, and presumably stronger, and he was filled with some sort of unstable energy. This energy would react explosively with oxygen.
Weight: 550 lbs.
(Power Man and Iron Fist#83(fb)) - During a military action in Vietnam, Tanner was a career soldier, one of the best. He was a bit...bloodthirsty by "today's enlightened standards" (that statement was made in 1982), but he was a good soldier, and his men were intensely loyal to him...until they were all wiped out in an ambush. Only Tanner himself survived, and he was wounded, completely cut off from help. The people of a nearby village took him in and nursed him. After a time, he went "native" and virtually became one of them, marrying a local girl, Liu Thanh. Then, like his battalion before him, his new home, and his wife, were wiped out.
This time, Tanner wasn't so lucky: he was shot to ribbons, living on nothing more than willpower. The military valued him and they brought him to army surgeon Noah Burstein. Burstein used his "process" (a precursor to that which mutated Luke Cage, Power Man) to heal Warhawk, granting him steel-like skin at the same time. Warhawk then became a virtual killing machine, but his experiences, or the process, unhinged his mind.
the modern era, Warhawk, half-believing himself to be back in the
'Nam, started taking shots at the Viet Cong walking the streets
of Manhattan. He took out two people walking through the park,
and blew up the police squad car that arrived on the scene. Danny
Rand (Iron Fist) and Colleen Wing were in the park, dodged his
bullets, located him from his line of fire, and confronted him.
Iron Fist underestimated him, and paid for it, receiving a
beating and a half from Warhawk, who also took out Colleen, and
took her with him.
Warhawk saw Colleen as his wife, Liu, and was more than willing to smack her around if she said differently. Iron Fist tracked them down and again took on Warhawk. Iron Fist was on the receiving end again, but after a distraction from Colleen, he used the Iron Fist to knock Warhawk out. Out of the Pier, that is. Warhawk was drifting through the rapidly moving water and saw Iron Fist's outstretched hand as a VC soldier. Fearing the VC would imprison him in a cage (as they apparently did before?), Warhawk pulled his hand back and was swept out to sea.
(Black Goliath#2-3) - Warhawk was hired by Cross Technogolical Enterprises' Connors to assassinate Atom Smasher (Ronald English), apparently so he could steal the powers for himself. Warhawk succeeded, taking Atom Smasher out with a bullet to the back. Black Goliath went after him, but he escaped capture, without ever being clearly seen .
(X-Men I#110)-Sebastian Shaw hired Warhawk to "test" the X-Men. Posing as a telephone company repair man (after presumably damaging the phone line himself), Warhawk gained access to the X-Mansion via Moira MacTaggart, and then drugged her and made his way into the mansion. When next the X-Men went to practice in the Danger Room, Warhawk ambushed and drugged Professor X and Phoenix. He then overrode the safety controls and locked the X-Men within the Danger Room. As several members fought off the lethal attacks, Nightcrawler teleported himself and Wolverine outside, but they were both incapacitated by the effort. Wolverine revived quickly and encountered Warhawk. After an evenly matched struggle, Wolverine was joined by the X-Men, who broke out of the Danger Room. Warhawk, realizing he was outmatched, prepared to use a gas bomb to stop them. However, Nightcrawler had taken the bomb from Warhawk's belt, and Colossus dropped him with a single punch. Warhawk was taken into custody. Although defeated, Warhawk was successful in primary missions, which were to bug the X-Mansion, and to test the abilties of the X-Men.
(Power Man and Iron Fist#76)-Warhawk, free again, set his sights
on Iron Fist. Not wanting to kill him without his knowing who had
done it, Warhawk fired a shot that creased his skull, knocking
him out. As Warhawk then opened fire on the gathering crowd, Lt.
Scarfe called for back-up while Misty Knight went after him.
Misty found Warhawk on a nearby roof, and shot him with her
magnum, but he got up and advanced on her. Despite her training,
gun, and bionic arm, she was no match for him. Warhawk, however,
fled as Iron Fist made his way up to the roof.
Iron Fist followed Warhawk's trail to the freighter, "The Dove", but was hit with a drugged dart by the ready and waiting Warhawk. Warhawk set a bomb and then leapt down to take on Iron Fist. After a short struggle, Iron Fist punched a hole in the side of the boat, flooding the room they were in. Iron Fist took advantage of Warhawk's surprise and took him out with some "Kung Fu Fighting," and then escaped with him off the boat before it could explode. Warhawk was again taken into custody.
Man and Iron Fist#83)-Warhawk
escaped yet again. This time he took some hostages in Chinatown,
again seeking vengeance against those he saw as the enemy. Iron
Fist located him, but this time, was powerless to stop him. Warhawk laughed off an "Iron Fist" blow, and then beat
Danny senseless. Iron Fist's partner, Power Man, went after
Warhawk, but always seemed to be one or two steps behind the
assassin. Meanwhile, Warhawk continued his siege on Chinatown,
bombing establishments, and firing at people on the street.
The US government went to Noah Burstein, hoping he could help treat his madness. Burstein went to Power Man for help. After Noah explained Warhawk's true origins to him, Cage heard a radio broadcast announcing that Warhawk had been located and was surrounded by police. Cage entered Warhawk's building, and walked right into a bomb set in an elevator. Cage was tough enough to take the explosion, and then take on Warhawk. Burstein's two former subjects met head-on, and Cage proved to be the better man. Luke brought the unconscious Warhawk outside, where he was hooked up to a gas mask, and placed in custody of Noah.
(X-Men II#10/2 (fb) - BTS) - Warhawk, not really rehabilitated at all, was severely debilitated by some sort of treatment by Major Barrington, apparently as punishment for his earlier defeat by the X-Men (it's not explained...I guess Warhawk's referring to his appearance in X-Men, way back in I#110...there's even a footnote that says "Hmmmm?--B.H. (presumably Bob Harras)). Anyhoo, Warhawk then came under the care of Dr. Alexander Ryking, who used a "bio-genetic experiment" to restore, and possibly increase his power. The experiment was incomplete, and Warhawk was in a "highly volatile" form.
(X-Men II#10/2, 11/2)-Major Barrington sent Maverick to assassinate Dr. Ryking. Warhawk, needing Ryking to stabilize him, defended Ryking and attacked Maverick. Warhawk pounded him around for awhile, but Maverick kept at him, eventually penetrating his skin by using a bolt gun and firing on spots previously weakened by his gunfire. When Warhawk's internal energy leaked out and was exposed to the air, it caused a powerful explosion, which apparently blew up Warhawk and killed Ryking.
(Wolverine III#30 (fb) - BTS) - Warhawk survived and was sent to prison. He agreed to serve as an agent of SHIELD in exchange for reducing his sentence.
(Wolverine III#30) - Alongside the Constrictor, Tombstone, Man-Bull, and a number of SHIELD agents, Warhawk assaulted an AIM facility working on developing the Null android from technology stolen from Reed Richards.
(Dark Reign Files) - Quasimodo researched Warhawk for Norman Osborn.
Comments: Created by Chris Claremont and Pat Broderick. His origin was fleshed out by Mary Jo Duffy...and he was blown away by Scott Lobdell, the bastich! And resurrected by Mark Millar!
Alright, so he got blown up...what Marvel
villain hasn't? I still like him, and think he should come back.
Better than Arcade or either of the Masterminds (and their ever
repetitive plots and defeats) any day.
--Yeah, he's back, baby.
I can't begin to explain, or even discuss, the post-traumatic stress of war, but Warhawk seemed to be a good portrait of it.
Rafael Scarfe, NYPD, remembered Warhawk's
origin as slightly different, but he was going by third hand
information. I'd have to go with Noah's version, who was directly
involved in Warhawk's transformation. Rafe remembered Warhawk as
being a CIA killing machine over in Nam. He acted as an assassin
for 8 years and the VC never laid a hand on him.
Warhawk could have (and probably did) become an assassin for the CIA after his mutation. How long he acted in that capacity is flexible, since the time period of the war is irrelevant (see below). Obviously, the VC injured Tanner, but maybe once he was Warhawk, he was unstoppable.
Viet Nam in the Marvel Universe: This issue is discussed here.
Tanner was probably at least a sergeant.
It takes some digging around to fill in the holes in Warhawk's appearances. The original Marvel Comics Index (good luck finding them!) reveals that the assassin who killed the original Atom Smasher is Warhawk. You won't get that info reading the comics. I didn't. After you find it out and read it again, you realize the assassin was meant to be Warhawk from the beginning, but they never got around to revealing it. He used Warhawk's trademark "Bo' " (which I guess is short for Boss?), and the story was written by Claremont.
In fact, if you read Black Goliath (I mean,
if you're the other one, besides me), you'd swear that the
Kingpin hired Atom Smasher's assassin (although the guy did
have rings on every finger, which I don't think the Kingpin does).
Atom Smasher's brother, who went on to succeed him as Atom Smasher, later
claimed responsibility for his brother's death. It would have seemed that his
powers did wonders for his previous weight problem....however, that's not all...
The "Final Answer" as revealed by "the Continental Op":
The mystery behind Warhawk’s employer in the Black Goliath series was actually resolved in, of all places, a Hawkeye story in the back of Marvel Fanare I#3. Hawkeye and El Aguila defeat a Cross Technological Enterprises executive named Connors, who STRONGLY resembles the Kingpin (at least from behind; Connors has a moustache, but is bald, hugely fat/muscular, wears rings and a fancy suit complete with scarf and diamond stickpin, etc.). Connors reveals to them that Crosstech has a working model of a “nucleonic radiator” that “was developed by a former employee. He had to be… released when he got—ERR—huffy about patent rights.” The device “emits killing radiation at short range” that can be blocked by an insulated suit worn by the user; Connors intends to sell the weapon to third-world dictatorships. Reading between the lines, it’s obvious that the original Atom Smasher was the scientist who created the nucleonic radiator and used it to become a criminal when Crosstech tried to cheat him out of the patent, or something. And Connors “released” him by hiring Warhawk to whack the guy. The shadowy “Kingpin” figure calling the shots in the earlier story was Connors. (How to explain the Atom Smasher’s brother taking the credit? Well, either he was used as a third party by Connors to hire Warhawk without being directly connected, or maybe he just hated his brother enough to claim the credit anyway).
The Official Index to the X-Men (graphic album
format)#6 reveals that Warhawk was employed by Shaw, on behalf of
the Hellfire Club. Warhawk himself didn't know who his nameless,
faceless master was. His master used psychic attacks, which were
presumably performed by Emma Frost, or Mastermind, using the
technology he used to influence Phoenix. This information was
first given by Mastermind in Uncanny X-Men#129 ("Your man
Warhawk did his bugging well.")
--Thanks to Omar Karindu for the info assist!
...and after all that, I missed his final
appearance, in the X-Men, of all books! T
Thanks to the Wizard and Squad Member, from the Marvel Universe message board, for pointing that one out.
Warhawk has an entry in OHotMU 2006 A-Z#12.
Warhawk, Mitchell Tanner, has no known connection to:
Atom Smasher, ( Warhawk's victim, @ Black Goliath I#1, should be distinguished from
Marvel Premiere#23 (August, 1975) - Chris Claremont (writer), Pat Broderick (pencils), Bob McLeod (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Black Goliath#2-3 (April-June, 1976) - Chris Claremont (writer), George Tuska (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
X-Men I#110 (April, 1978) - Chris Claremont (writer), Tony DeZuniga (pencils/inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Power Man and Iron Fist#76 (December, 1981) - Chris Claremont & Mike W. Barr (writer), Rudy Nebres & Frank Miller (pencils), Ricardo Villamonte (inks), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Power Man and Iron Fist#83 (July, 1982) - Mary Jo Duffy (writer), Denys Cowan (pencils), Carl Potts & Joe Chioda (inks), Denny O'Neil (editor)
X-Men II#10-11 (July-August, 1992) - Scott Lobdell (writer), Mark Texiera (pencils/inks), Suzanne Gaffney & Bob Harras (editor)
Wolverine III#30 (September, 2005) - Mark Millar (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Jennifer Lee, Axel Alonso & Joe Quesada (editor)
Dark Reign Files (February, 2009) - Michael Hoskin & various others (writer), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Last updated: 09/11/10
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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