stafford-motw-kneesupshotEBEN STAFFORDstafford-eben-motw-1943-face

Real Name: Eben Stafford

Identity/Class: Human, advanced technology-user;
    active from early 20th century (at least starting from 1913, but likely sometime before, and possibly even late 19th century) to at least as last as 1943 (see comments)

Occupation: Warrior (defending Earth and humanity against extraterrestrials)

Group Membership: Formerly the Men on the Wall (at least four other men and two other women, all unidentified; member apparently transported to Mars)

Affiliations: Freedom's Five (Crimson Cavalier/Jean-Luc Batroc, Phantom Eagle/Karl Kaufmann, Sir Steel/Ned Chapel, Union Jack/Montgomery, Falsworth), Orson Randall (aka Iron Fist), Woodrow McCord (former assistant and subsequent successor);
    presumably Teddy Roosevelt (see comments);
    while these were not directly affiliated with Stafford, they were successors to his role as the Man on the Wall: McCord was succeeded by Nick Fury Sr., who was succeeded by James Barnes (aka Bucky and the Winter Soldier, although he does not seem to have retained this role);

Enemies: Entari (notably Dreel and various unidentified commandos), Entari monsters, Martian Masters, Teraphin Mox; unidentified tentacled (presumptive) alien; aliens in general

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: The Man on the Wall

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly a mountain base (presumably the Rocky Mountains (see comments))

First Appearance: Original Sin Annual#1 (December, 2014);
    (first name revealed)
All-New Invaders#12 (January, 2015)

stafford-motw-gun-atentmonstPowers/Abilities: Eben Stafford was an experienced warrior, able to physically brawl with large, powerful, and armored aliens.

    His large size grants him substantial strength, and he is willing and able to strike to kill, including fatally stomping on an aliens' skull.

    He will continue to fight despite lacerations to his torso and even having a whole blown through his abdomen. He may have had some alien regenerative serum or technology to allow him to recover from such trauma.

    He carried a number of blaster weapons, including a large rifle-type and a smaller pistol-type. The former was apparently powerful enough to slay an immense Entari monster. He was also experienced with bladed weapons.

    He flew a spaceship, presumably with some sort of warp-drive capacity, able to fly to various interstellar spaceports, etc.

    Apparently not fearing death, Stafford had a pathological hatred for aliens.

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 6'8")
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 250 lbs.)
Eyes: Dark (apparently blue in the closest image, although most others looked very dark, perhaps brown)
Hair: Gray (when last seen); brown in youth


men_on_the_wall-1913-group(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb) - BTS) - Eben Stafford was one of the Men on the Wall who had organized to keep humanity safe from (and ignorant of) extraterrestrial threats. They "earned their stripes" against the Martians Masters (see comments) in 1913.

(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb) - BTS) <1913> - The Men on the Wall took down some giant monster and then posed for a picture on top of it in Calcutta.

(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb) - BTS) - The Men on the Wall apparently impressed Roosevelt enough to convince him "that big stick of his needed a shield to match" (see comments).

    The Men on the Wall operated alone with complete autonomy because it was apparently considered that "some things were bigger than the rules."

    For decades, they manned an impenetrable wall against alien invasions.stafford-eben-motw-1917

(All-New Invaders#12 (fb)) <October, 1917> - As Freedom's Five (Crimson Cavalier, Phantom Eagle, Sir Steel, and Union Jack; with Orson Randall sitting in for an injured Silver Squire) battled the multiple Martian Masters' tripods assaulting London and considered that they had neither the means nor men to overcome this threat, Eben Stafford led the Men on the Wall to join the fight.

     A blast from the top of a building blasted a chunk out of the saucer section of another of the massive tripods, after which several of the Men rushed forward with their energy blasters.

   From a rooftop, Eben Stafford -- with a voice like breaking gravel -- barked out orders.

    Working from the shadows and the rooftops, the Men on the Wall destroyed multiple Martian Masters; as they were active some distance from Freedom's Five, those heroes had no chance to question their mission or standing.

    One of the Men on the Wall (whom Union Jack later described as "some maniacal chap who thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing like it was some grand day out") leapt from the top of a church spire he had scaled onto the top of one of the tripods, which he proceeded to blast repeatedly.

    Apparently sensing that they had been routed, the Martian Masters then teleported themselves and their tripods away (presumably returning to their Mars base), taking with them the "gleefully violent fellow."

(All-New Invaders#12 (fb) - BTS) - Union Jack subsequently learned -- on another journeyed exploit -- that the leader of the group who had aided them was Eben Stafford, whom he considered to be "a man among men."

(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb) - BTS) <"Decades" after the Men on the Wall's founding> - The Entari arrived and took apart the Wall in piecemeal fashion.

    Dreel later claimed responsibility for slaying six of the Men on the Wall.

    The sole survivor, Stafford, vowed never to have to sit on his hands again, and he threw down his shield and took up a sword, meaning he stopped being a reactive defender and started being a proactive attacker.

(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb) - BTS) - Stafford made a name for himself as a mysterious presence protecting Earth and killing those who would threaten it. Apparently none who saw his face lived to tell others.

    At some point, Stafford established a base within some mountains (see comments).



(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb) - BTS) - Extraterrestrials known as the Entari assaulted Boones Creek, abducting Woodrow McCord's mother and his brother, Cortland.

(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb)) <June 7, 1931> - The perhaps 15-16-ish Woodrow McCord dove out of a tree to attack one of the Entari riding atop a giant monster.

     Although McCord apparently knocked the Entari off the creature, the warrior soon gained the advantage over the youth, but the Entari was cut in half by a blast from Stafford's rifle.

     Stafford told McCord, "You're alive, boy. Stay down if you'd like to remain that way." As the immense Entari monster steed approached, Stafford leveled his rifle and fired.

(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb) - BTS) - Stafford presumably slew the Entari monster.

(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb) - BTS) - Stafford recruited McCord to join him at his base. McCord spent the next five years -- "years as strange as you could ever imagine" -- serving as Stafford's assistant in his base (largely cleaning the facility).

     McCord kept his own journal, and he learned of Stafford's history.



stafford-motw-tentacle-armstafford-motw-tentacle-ground(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb)) <June 7, 1936> - On the five year anniversary of his working for Stafford, McCord considered that Stafford had chosen him because he had no place else to go and was as alone as Stafford was.

     McCord further detailed in his journal the rise and fall of the Men on the Wall and how Stafford had stopped being just a defender and became an attacker after his teammates' deaths at the hands of the Entari.

(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb) - BTS) - Stafford apparently battled and slew some tentacled creature (presumably an alien).

(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb)) - Stafford returned to his base with a -- presumably severed -- tentacle wrapped around his right arm.

     Stafford allowed the tentacle to drop to the ground and kept on walking.





(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb) - BTS) - After some years in Stafford's mountain base, McCord finally came down off the mountain into the nearby town; Stafford did not react to this. In the first few nights, Woody drunkenly told stories around town about what was going on in the mountains. Even though Stafford did not seem to care, after awhile, Woody realized that he should not speak about those things.

(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb) - BTS) - Stafford became less secretive about his actions, allowing locals to see his ship take off and apparently communicating with aliens, such as Teraphin Mox, apparently hoping information on his location would draw in Entari (and specifically Dreel) to try to kill him.

(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb)) <October 3, 1943> - Locals outside of Sam's Diner watched Stafford's rocket ship take off. As McCord ate inside, a local named Cubby asked Woody to tell them about what was going on in the mountains, which nearly led to a fight when Woody feigned ignorance, stating that there was only nature up in those hills.  stafford-eben-motw-1943-punchentari

    Returning to Stafford's base, Woody was ambushed by an Entari commando, using some sort of shadow-cloaking technology. Although he slew this attacker, its partner then grabbed Woody by the neck and pinned him against the wall. Appreciating that Woody was not Stafford, the Entari nonetheless considered that he could die anyway.

    Stafford interrupted, cracking his knuckles as he noted, " takes two Entari to kill one Earth boy, eh? And here you are alone, facing a man."

     The Entari swung a blade at Stafford with its free hand, but Stafford dodged and then punched the Entari in the back, causing it to drop McCord.

     When the Entari grabbed Stafford by the neck, he swung his arm up into its elbow, possibly breaking it.

     Although the Entari slashed Stafford's side with his blade, he soon had the alien on the ground, stomping on its wrist to make it drop its blade, and then stomping on its head, almost certainly killing it.


stafford-eben-motw-1943-revealsploy    Pleased that the Entari had found him, just as he had intended, Stafford subsequently had Woody -- for his first mission -- accompany him in his rocket ship to travel to some space station, apparently a den of hustlers, thieves, and killers.

     Stafford spent much of the flight in the captain's chair with his shirt off and bandages around his abdomen (where the Entari had slashed him).stafford-eben-motw-1943-stabdreel

     As McCord apparently used shadow-cloaking technology taken from the Entari and hung out by the door, Stafford entered some tavern in the space station and confronted Teraphin Mox, grabbing him by the neck and telling him he had broken the rules by running his filthy mouth.

     Flanked by a pair of commandos, Dreel then confronted Stafford, mocking his seeming surprise at having been betrayed by a(n) habitual betrayer like Mox. Dreel further taunted Stafford, noting her pleasure in catching up to the only one of his group to evade her, as well as noting rumors she had never believed about his having died and haunted the spaceways. Having casually laid her weapon on a table as she took a shot of liquor (or whatever), Dreel then blasted a hole with that weapon, blasting a hole through his abdomen.

    Dreel mocked her fallen foe, noting that his "pathetic human need for a witness has seen him undone" and that his "lust for vengeance has led you to stumble right into my arms."

     Replying "I suppose I did," Stafford tilted his head as McCord emerged from the shadows, blasting and slaying the two Entari Commandos.

    As McCord dodged Dreel's blasts, Stafford lunged forward and impaled her with his blade.




   When McCord told Stafford it was over, Stafford countered that all of these "scum" had seen his face (as well as the wounded Stafford) and that if they told anyone the legend of the "Man on the Wall" would die.

     McCord argued that the conflict had been with the Entari and that the others were innocent, but Stafford argued that McCord could not be that stupid, as every one of these "scum" was a threat to the Earth. stafford-eben-motw-1943-walking out

     Stafford continued that it was McCord's job to stop them before they got to Earth and that McCord had stayed and learned at his feet" "No one forced you to. You wanted this. Well, the Wall's all yours now, boy. I'm finally done."

    Dropping the bladed weapon he had used on Dreel, Stafford then walked out of the room.

(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb) - BTS) - In his journal, Woody later considered that despite the fact that he had never seen Stafford again, he could not be certain that Stafford had died that day...and that he would likely even bet against it.

Comments: Created by Jason Latour and Enis Cisic (as a history expansion on a character created by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato).

    As stated most clearly by Howard Stark in Original Sin#5, the "Wall" in the the Men on the Wall and/or the Man on the Wall refers to the wall between humanity and annihilation.

    In Original Sin Annual#1, Woodrow McCord's journal entry from 1936 relates the history of the Men on the Wall. He notes that they earned their stripes against the Martians back in '13. He further notes that they impressed Roosevelt enough to convince him that his big stick needed a shield.

(1) The Martians reference in McCord's journal shows a tripod and he considers that H.G. Wells left them out of his books, so this pretty much confirms it to be the Martian Masters (who were very active on Earth-691 in the Killraven stories.
2) Teddy Roosevelt was president from 1901-1909, so I would think that if he was the one that gave the Men on the Wall official/secret sanction, it would have had to have taken place by 1909.
    So, what was the period of activity of the Men on the Wall?
    I would love to see further stories about the Men on the Wall with additional encounters the Confederates of the Curious and/or Freedom's Five or other heroes active in the early 20th century.

    The monster in the Calcutta picture from 1913 (the top image in the Men on the Wall profile) looks like it might be one of the Entari monsters...but not a perfect match.

    The positioning of the instruments in the image of the Entari in some phase of dissection really makes it look like Stafford cut off his genitalia. Maybe just a little bit higher, about the level of the top of the pelvis.

    Thanks to Donald Campbell for pointing out that McCord was apparently using the Entari shadow-cloaking technology before confronting Dreel. I thought he was just hiding outside the door, but he references "cloaked in shadow" when referrring to the Entari ambush as well as when he confronted Dreel.

    I detailed the events/actions of the issues, but here's some clarification on a few points that were strongly implied but not outright stated (at least this was my understanding):

Profile by Snood.

Eben Stafford
should be distinguished from:

Stafford's library and alien samples

stafford-motw-base-librarystafford-motw-base-tanksMcCord did a lot of cleaning of Stafford's base, including his library, which had pictures of the exploits of the Men on the Wall, and a laboratory in which aliens and/or pieces of aliens were stored in preservative fluid tanks.

Original Sin Annual#1

Note: For some reason, presumably because Stafford first showed up in Boones Creek, which presumably matches the real world neighborhood in Tennessee, I got it into my head that Stafford's base was in the Smokey Mountains, rather than the Rocky Mountains, where McCord's base was shown to be 1958 in Original Sin#5.

     While it may make some sense for McCord to have relocated his base as the Entari located Stafford's base in re-reviewing the story for various profiles, I find nothing to indicate the location of Stafford's base. So, I think it is most logical to ASSume the bases are the same until/unless something else says differently.

     The base really deserves its own profile at some point, but I just wanted to picture a few significant locations here for now.

Stafford's ship

stafford-motw-ship-fullstafford-motw-ship-flight    Stafford flew a spaceship (approximately 40-50' from engine/stands to its top/front tip.

    It was apparently a VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing ) craft.

     It appeared to have three rocket engines, which also what the rocket stood/rested upon when docked.inactive.

     It's fuel source is unrevealed, but Stafford seemed to have no problem acquiring fuel for regular flights into deep space.

     Stafford's base appeared to have some sort of iris-type opening section above where the ship was docked, allowing entry and subsequent closure (which could almost certainly be activated remotely to allow closure after flying out and opening before returning to base).

     The ship presumably had some sort of warp-drive capacity, able to fly to various interstellar spaceports, etc.

     It also presumably had a means of docking on various spaceports where there may or may not have been room for a vertical landing.

Original Sin Annual#1 (fb)) <June 7, 1936> - The ship was docked in Stafford's base while McCord cleaned.

(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb) - BTS) - By October, 1943, McCord was making regular spaceflights with little to no effort to prevent locals from seeing his ship.

(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb)) - Having taken off only hours before, Stafford returned to his base in time to help McCord finish off a pair of Entari who had come to kill Stafford.

     Stafford flew McCord and himself to some spaceport to confront Mox (and Dreel and the Entari)

(Original Sin Annual#1 (fb) - BTS) - With Stafford having passed his mission of being the Man on the Wall on to him, McCord flew the ship back to what was now his base.

     McCord almost certainly used the ship on numerous occasions until his death in 1958.

(Original Sin#5 (fb) / Original Sin Annual#1 (fb)) - The ship was within the Rocky Mountain base when Howard Stark brought Nick Fury there following McCord's death, ultimately convincing Fury to succeed McCord as the Man on the Wall.

--Original Sin Annual#1

Note: The specifications for the ship are not detailed, but if the ship did not have some sort of faster-than-light capacity, he would not have been able to interact with anyone outside of Earth's solar system, as the nearest star to Earth's solar system, Proxima Centauri, is over 4 light years away.

     As McCord is talking to his would-be girlfriend Hana in Sam's Diner's parking lot, a ship is seen flying behind his head. That ship is presumably either the Entari flying to Stafford's base or Stafford's ship returning. The rocket-exhaust pattern and shape of the tiny ship is a little different, so one might think it was the Entari ship, but I think exhaust and everything would look different while delerating close to a landing.
     On that same topic, while McCord had been drinking from a bottle of whiskey and was engrossed with Hana, he could easily have missed something flying outside of his field of view. I would think that the sonic booms occuring as the ships entered the atmosphere and decelerated would have been much harder to miss, but perhaps they had the means to silence those booms...

     The ship really deserves its own profile at some point, but I was just covering it for Stafford as part of this profile, at least for now.

images: (without ads)
Original Sin Annual#1, pg. 8, panel 1 (knees up, encounters McCord);
          panel 2 (confronting Entari monster);
          panel 3 (with gun, blasting Entari monster off-panel);
       pg. 9, panel 2 (Stafford's ship, docked);
          panel 3 (library);
panel 4 (Men on the Wall group picture);
       pg. 10, panel 2 (tanks of aliens);
          panel 3-4 (Stafford drops a tentacle on the ground);
       pg. 17, panel 2 (shadowed, cracking knuckles);
          panel 3 (face);
          panel 5 (punching Entari in the ribs);
       pg. 19, panel 1 (ship in flight);
       pg. 22, panel 4 (face, motioning toward McCord);
       pg. 23, panel 4 (stabbing Dreel);
       pg. 25, panel 3 (holding side);
          panel 4 (dropping blade and walking out);

All-New Invaders#12, pg. 14, panel 4 (Stafford);

Original Sin Annual#1 (December, 2014) - Jason Latour (writer), Enis Cisic (artist), Jake Thomas (assistant editor), Tom Brevoort & Wil Moss (editors)
All-New Invaders#12 (January, 2015) - James Robinson (writer), Barry Kitson & Marc Laming (flashback pencilers), P. Craig Russell (flashback inker), Emily Shaw (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)

First posted04/23/2023
Last updated: 04/30/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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