Real Name: Chris Larmouth
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Occupation: Former plane technician; former employee of Warren Worthington
Group Membership: None known
Affiliations: infected by the Gamma Spores; former affiliate of the (New) Defenders (Angel, Beast, Cloud, Gargoyle, Iceman, Moondragon, Candy Southern, Valkyrie)
Enemies: Former enemy of the same (New) Defenders
Known Relatives: Unnamed father and mother
Aliases: None known
Base of Operations: Formerly Elijah, New Mexico (Worthington Aerie/Defenders Mansion)
First Appearance: (New) Defenders I#141 (March, 1985)
Powers/Abilities: As a normal human, Chris Larmouth had no powers, though he had above average athletic strength and a knowledge of planes. After ingesting the gamma-irradiated alfalfa, Chris became a host body for the Gamma Spores. The spores could push forth tentacles or vines with super-human strength, and fed off of the moisture in the air. The spores were connected with the spores under the earth in the immediate area.
History: ((New) Defenders I#132) – Ephraim Soles ate a gamma-irradiated plant and turned into a gamma-creature that was defeated by the Defenders. Spores from his corpse blew away on the breeze.
((New) Defenders I#141 (fb)) – Little is known about the background of Chris Larmouth. He was frustrated with his short size and decided to bulk up through eating healthy and working out. Against his parents wishes, he cultivated his own alfalfa sprouts for his diet. When Chris heard that Warren Worthington, the Angel, was hiring a plane technician, he took the job for the good pay and to be closer to superheroes, whom he secretly admired. Chris worked long hours by himself.
((New) Defenders I#141) – Chris was working at Defenders Mansion one evening, reading a magazine, when he made himself a sandwich with alfalfa sprouts. Unknowingly, the sprouts had become infected by the gamma spores. Chris’s muscles began to grow, then large green tendrils grew from his body and mouth. The sprouts were growing quickly, but Iceman quickly put Chris’s body in deep-freeze, halting the growth.
Somehow, the activation in Chris’s body served as a catalyst for the spores in the immediate area to mutate as well. As the Defenders flew with the ice-block, they were attacked by large gamma-tendrils sprouting from the ground, and other spores taking human form were witnessed by a family who lived a few miles away. The Defenders made it inside the Mansion, and sealed it tightly so nothing could penetrate it. More tentacles attacked in the form of colony of bunnies. The Beast investigated Chris’s body and discovered the single cells of the gamma spores were each "the ultimate organism: no real vital organs, no weak spots, nearly infinitely malleable" and with the ability to reform itself rapidly. The Beast realized that radiation might be causing the mutation.
Meanwhile, another group of Defenders discovered a thick gamma fog from the spores that turned any biological organism that came into contact with it into another gamma creature that had overrun the town of Elijah. A gigantic gamma creature attacked that team. As more gamma creatures swarmed the mansion, Moondragon took the science information needed from the Beast’s mind. As the creature got bigger and bigger, the Defenders realized it was going to swell in size until it covered the planet. Moondragon sacrificed herself to the creature and was absorbed. Moondragon contacted the Gargoyle telepathically from inside the creature and instructed him to join her inside the creature. As the Defenders attacked the creature, Moondragon guided Gargoyle’s bioelectric powers to cancel out the cells. The creature quickly dissolved.
((New) Defenders I#142) – Apparently Chris was the only human infected by the gamma spores, so the Defenders had to keep him in deep-freeze. The Angel and Candy Southern watched over him in the lab, promising to find a cure for him.
((New) Defenders I#143-151-BTS) - Chris remained frozen in the Defenders’ lab during this time, while several battles took place in and around Defenders Mansion.
((New) Defenders I#152) – As the Defenders battled the Dragon of the Moon, several members were required to sacrifice themselves in order to permanently beat the Dragon. Beast, Angel, and Iceman retreated within the headquarters in order to save those that were helpless, including Chris Larmouth. The ‘slime creature’ inside of Chris almost escaped from the ice form, but the Beast rebooted the machine and refroze the creature in Chris’s body. As the essence of the Dragon disappeared, taking the souls of several of the heroes in the battle, Moondragon reached out with her mind and healed Chris Larmouth with the power of the Beyonder, doing one last act of good before her (temporary) death.
Comments: Created by Peter B. Gillis, Don Perlin, and Kim DeMulder.
Possibly the lamest origin story of all time, Chris got super-gamma powers from… EATING ALFALFA!!! Chris Larmouth has not appeared in any comics since New Defenders ended. He may still be working for the Angel. His was another of the one-shot villains that filled the New Defenders last few years.
The story of Ephraim Soles is found in Defenders I#132, or see his profile. I think we can assume the spores are gone for good, though why Chris was the only human infected by them in that foggy deluge, I’ll never understand.
It would seem likely that the New Mexico gamma bomb testing would refer to the same bomb that empowered the Hulk, and the Outcasts, though this is unconfirmed.
The Gamma Spores are among the Gamma Mutates in World War Hulk: The Gamma Files.
Chris Larmouth and the gamma spores have no known connections to any other gamma-powered characters, except Ephraim Soles from whom the spores originated.
The Gamma Spores
After the United States military tested a gamma bomb at a later abandoned military site in the New Mexico desert, remaining gamma energy caused a plant to grow. Later, Ephraim Soles ate that plant, and the energy took over his body.
Soles died battling the Defenders, but spores from his body blew away, seeding
the area. The Spores infected the body of a coyote, causing it to sprout into a
mutated form; when the coyote was killed by a hunter, the spores continued
growing. The Gamma Spores later manifested themselves as the body of Ephraim
Soles, to which a cow gave birth. The Spores killed a family, and began growing
all over the land, even manifesting themselves as flowers growing toward
Chris Larmouth ate alfalfa sprouts that contained this energy and became a new host to it. Once the gamma energy was activated in him, it triggered the spores in the topsoil.
The spores took on enormous proportions, absorbing earth, plant-life, air, and
animal-life. The spores would have continued growing until they filled the
Earth, but the Defenders managed to stop it with a strong bio-electric attack.
Later, spores infected Moondragon's body, making her ill. She realized that the
spores controlled her digestive and circulatory
systems. Later, the Dragon of the Moon cured her. Chris Larmouth remained infected until later cured by Moondragon using the power of the Beyonder.
The Gamma Spores immediately absorbed whatever they came into contact with and added it to their bulk. At the rate the spores were increasing, they would have eventually over-run the earth. The spores could take the form of hills, bunnies, people on horseback, or human appendages. They could also appear as a thick fog. The spores demonstrated aversions to dryness and bioelectricity.
--(New) Defenders I#132 (139, 140, 141, [142-151 - BTS], 152
((New) Defenders I#141), p3, pan4; p16, pan2
Last updated: 03/24/05
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