head shotReal Name: Inapplicable

Identity/Class: Synthezoid

Occupation: Terrorist;
    formerly anti-aircraft weapon

Group Membership: Formerly the Axis powers of World War II

Affiliations: None
    formerly the Axis powers of World War II, Gremlins

Enemies: Victoria Anderson, Derek Hoffman, Steve Hoffman, the United States of America in general, the Vision (synthezoid)

Known Relatives: Phineas T. Horton (co-creator), Sigmund Fell (co-creator), Jim Hammond (Human Torch), Vision, Adam-II, Volton (all "brothers")

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Mobile throughout the world

First Appearance: Avengers Icons: The Vision#2 (November, 2002)

Powers/Abilities: The Gremlin could extend tendrils from its body, which it could use for varying effects, including typing, grasping, trapping, constricting, and linking with other mechanical devices, such as computer systems or phone lines. When it linked with the Vision, it affected his memory cells, causing him to lose some of his memory. When the Gremlin linked up with humans, it could gain control of their body and mind.

full bodyHistory:
(Avengers Icons: The Vision#1 (fb)) - On August 31st, 1939, during the New York World's Fair, a group of reporters met with Professor Phineas T. Horton, who introduced them to the "Vision of Tomorrow," a new synthezoid that he had created. Horton also showed the reporters his Solar Gem, a gem containing an artificial intelligence hundreds of times more powerful than the human brain. He then demonstrated the Vision of Tomorrow, which quickly caught on fire, causing the reporters to flee in fear. As Professor Horton sighed, the Vision of Tomorrow spoke of its own free will until a mysterious man confronted Horton and asked if he had ever considered moving to Berlin. Knowing that the man was some sort of spy for Germany, Horton ordered him to leave. The man explained that Horton would part of the future, whether he liked it or not. As the man exited, Horton noticed that the second Solar Gem he had created was gone.

 (Avengers Icons: The Vision#3 (fb) - BTS) - The Nazis used the stolen gem to create a group of synthezoids of their own, called the Gremlins.

 (Avengers Icons: The Vision#3 (fb)) - The Gremlins destroyed many Allied planes during the war. Professor Horton recognized they were based on his inventions, though he denied this even to himself. Working with the heroes of the 1940s, he helped to destroy most of the Gremlins, all except the leader. The main Gremlin was captured by the Russians and held for decades in Northern Siberia, until it eventually escaped.

 (Avengers Icons: The Visions#3 (fb) - BTS) - The Gremlin, following its programming to terrorize the U.S. from the skies, crashed a plane from Berlin on the East Coast of the United States.

 (Avengers Icons: The Visions#3 (fb)) - A black box was found in the crashed plane and the now elderly Horton realized it was the escaped Gremlin and deduced its mission. It targeted him, but failed on the first attempt. The Professor worried that he would not survive his next encounter and made a holographic message to be seen by his "Vision of Tomorrow" and his granddaughter, Victoria Anderson. A month later he died.

 (Avengers Icons: The Vision#1 - BTS) - In the present day, the Gremlin targeted the Avenger known as the Vision, the current form of Horton's "Vision of Tomorrow". It managed to download and steal most of the Vision's memories. The partially amnesiac Vision escaped, and sought help from a young boy named Derek. 

 (Avengers Icons: The Vision#2 - BTS) - The Gremlin attacked the Vision and Derek with a helicopter as the pair visited Horton's grave seeking to rekindle the Vision's lost memories. Derek dove for cover, and the Vision avoided the attack by altering his density. When the police arrived, the Gremlin took over the police car and tried to ram its opponent with the vehicle, which also failed. Vision and Derek then fled in Derek's father's car.

 (Avengers Icons: The Vision#2) - Back at the police station, the Gremlin watched on various surveillance cameras as the Vision and Derek left the graveyard. When one of the police officers returned the room, the Gremlin hid itself. As the Vision and Derek visited Professor Horton's old house, they discovered the location of Phineas Horton's granddaughter, Victoria Anderson. Unknown to the Vision and Derek, the Gremlin had linked with the off-the-hook phone at Horton's old home and had also discovered the location of Victoria. The Gremlin then linked up with the computer systems at Pennsylvania State University and spied on Victoria sleeping in class. Soon after at LaGuardia Airport in New York, the Gremlin hijacked a plane to University Park, Pennsylvania by wrapping his tendrils around the pilot and controlling his mind.

 (Avengers Icons: The Vision#3) - As the plane arrived at University Park, the Gremlin took a long look at the pilot and severed its link with him, causing the plane to go out of control, while the Gremlin made its exit. It fell from the crashing plane, then made its way to an army base near Penn State where Derek's father was (having followed his stolen car there). The Gremlin linked up Derek's dad, then remotely took over a distant car now occupied by Derek and Horton's granddaughter Victoria, locking them in and speeding them over to the base, with the Vision in hot pursuit. The Vision was soon stopped by a speeding truck and the car housing Derek and Victoria sped its way to the University Park Air Force Base. As the car came to a stop, mechanical tendrils pulled Derek from the car and revealed themselves to be coming from the Gremlin-controlled Mr. Hoffman. The Vision arrived soon after and demanded that the Gremlin release Derek and his father. The Gremlin-controlled Hoffman replied that it/he was prepared to wipe the Vision's circuits clean and asked if he sensed it. As the Vision turned, he was surrounded by military vehicles and tanks under the Gremlin's control.

 (Avengers Icons: The Vision#4) - The Gremlin/Hoffman informed the Vision that he had become infected by the humans and asked to be granted access to the Vision's solar gem, so that it/he could reprogram and erase the humanity from the Vision. It/he then claimed that he could do it, even if it was one human at a time. Derek demanded that the Gremlin release his dad, but the Gremlin explained that by using Mr. Hoffman as a host, it would be able to pilot the B-52 Stratofortress. It/he then explained that its program was to create as much fear and death on American soil as its abilities allowed, and that when it was done, the Vision would join it or be dismantled. As the Gremlin/Hoffman began to fly the Stratofortress towards Philadelphia, the Vision phased inside and began ripping pieces of the Gremlin tendrils from Mr. Hoffman's body, freeing him from the Gremlin's control. The Gremlin then demanded that Mr. Hoffman pilot the fortress or it would rip the fortress apart. As the Gremlin began commanding the fortress to release its warheads, the Vision stopped it by fusing the bombs in place using his solar gem. The Gremlin then explained that Vision had now sealed the humans' fate by forcing it to down the Superfortress. It then returned inside the fortress to attack Victoria Anderson, who yelled at the Vision to let the Gremlin assimilate him. As the Gremlin attempted to control the Vision, it could not gain a footing on the Vision's internal structures, as the Vision had changed his density to that of quicksand. The Gremlin was stuck inside the Vision, unable to save itself as the Vision's immune system destroyed it piece by piece. As it was destroyed, the Vision's memories returned to him and he destroyed the Gremlin's solar gem using his own.

Comments: Created by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, and Joe Pimental.

The flashback occuring one month before Horton's death took place shortly before the flashback in Avengers I#135, which took place roughly around and during the events Fantastic Four I#68, before Fantastic Four Annual#5, and before the debut of the Vision in Avengers I#54 due to the chronologies of Quasimodo, Ultron, and the Mad Thinker.
--Per Degaton

Profile by Proto-Man


This character, the Gremlin, has no known connections to


The Gremlins were created by German scientists during World War II, using the solar gem technology stolen from Professor Horton. The Gremlins were programmed to cause fear and terror from the skies by destroying Allied planes. Professor Horton worked with many of the Allied heroes during World War II to destroy most of the Gremlins. Only one Gremlin survived the war and it was placed in suspended animation until it escaped in the present day.

--Avengers Icons: The Vision#3 (3(fb)


Avengers Icons: The Vision#2 p21, panel 3 (Gremlin fullbody)
Avengers Icons: The Vision#3 front cover (closeup of Gremlin's head)
Avengers Icons: The Vision#3; p11, panel 4 (Gremlin boarding plane)
Avengers Icons: The Vision#3; p11, panel 5 (Gremlin destroying plane)

Avengers Icons: The Vision#1-3 (October, 2002-December, 2002)
Avengers Icons: The Vision#4 (January, 2003)

First Posted: 04/11/2005
Last updated: 09/04/2010

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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