Real Name: Ephraim Soles

Identity/Class: Human (Gamma-powered)

Occupation: Former prospector, sneak thief, and scavenger

Group Membership: None known

Affiliations: None known

Enemies: Defenders (Angel, Beast, Cloud, Gargoyle, Iceman, Moondragon, Valkyrie)

Known Relatives: None known

Aliases: The Phantom of Gamma-Ray Flats (never officially named, only in story title)

Base of Operations: Formerly the deserts of New Mexico

First Appearance: (New) Defenders I#132 (June, 1984)

Powers/Abilities: Ephraim Soles had no powers before receiving his gamma powers. Later, his body drew moisture from the air, causing rapid mutation into a beast-like gamma creature, and later into a plant-like gamma creature. Ephraim had super-human strength and resistance to telepathy, ice, and bioelectricity. Strong tentacles grew long and reformed after injury. Flowers that grew from the tentacles contained teeth that could bite into victims. If a portion of the creature adhered to another person, it grew and attempted to take over the biological form it had adhered to. The gamma-creature had an extreme aversion to heat.

History: ((New) Defenders I#132 (fb)) –Little is known about the background of Ephraim Soles. At some point, he worked as a prospector, and had also been a thief and a scavenger. He was accustomed to surviving in the desert, finding food and water where he could.

((New) Defenders I#139 (BTS)) - Moondragon's struggles to remove Odin's headband gave off low-level telepathy that drew Ephraim Soles into the area.

((New) Defenders I#132) – Ephraim Soles was drawn past the blown-down government fence on to an army base in the desert. He did not know that the desert had been the sight of a gamma-bomb testing, a lichen-like plant grew. When Soles came across the plant, he ate it for survival, not caring if it was poisonous. Soon Soles succumbed to the desert heat and collapsed. After a time, he rose again, and continued wandering until he came across the New Defenders base outside Elijah, New Mexico.

The Defenders invited the wandering Mr. Soles inside and offered him clothes and a place to rest. The moist air in the facility quickly interacted with Soles’ body, causing him to turn into a large brown monster. While the Defenders decided what to do, the monster attacked Moondragon with tendrils from his mouth. The Defenders quickly attacked, but the monster shrugged off swords, hits, ice, lightning, and bioelectricity. Finally Cloud and Gargoyle worked in tandem with a lightning attack, causing the monster to explode all over the walls. When Valkyrie stabbed the corpse to prove the creature was dead, flowers sprouted from the wound, and soon the flowers attacked Cloud. Iceman froze the corpse and the Defenders dispersed.

Later, while Angel was in the shower, he noticed a section of the creature adhered to his back. He flew high until the section fell off. The corpse mutated again and burst through the ice, attacking Iceman and Valkyrie. After another battle, Iceman had Gargoyle burst a small hole through the window. Iceman pushed his arm through the hole and withdrew all the moisture in the room, sending it out through the glass. With no moisture, the creature lost all consistency.

Later, spores from the creature blew on the wind away from the mansion.

((New) Defenders I#140) - In a small New Mexico town, a family was delivering a calf, but the cow gave birth to Gamma Spores in the form of Ephraim Soles.  The spores expanded and killed the family.  (See the profile on Chris Larmouth and the Gamma Spores for the rest of the story).

Comments: Created by Peter B. Gillis, Don Perlin, and Kim DeMulder.

The spores that flew from the gamma creature later infected Chris Larmouth (see his profile) in (New) Defenders I#141.

Profile by Chadman.


Ephraim Soles, has no known connections to any other gamma-powered characters out there.

(New) Defenders I#132, p2, pan5; p6, pan5; p17, pan3

(New) Defenders I#132 (June, 1984) - Peter Gillis (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Kim DeMulder (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
(New) Defenders I#140 (February, 1985) - Peter Gillis (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Kim DeMulder (inks), Carl Potts (editor)

Last updated: 03/24/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other 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:

Back to Characters