Real Name: Eric Heller
Identity/Class: Human; ?? citizen
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: DuBose Wilson, Jeremy Mchele, Shanna the She-Devil
Enemies: Mlima, Sir Guy Cross-Wallace, "John Smuggler", "T'Munee", "Warriors from Story Times", other allies of Cross-Wallace
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Africa
First Appearance: Marvel Comics Presents#68/2 (1991)
Powers/Abilities: None. Except for writing, photographing and being tasty he had no abilities at all. He could carry a rifle, but he never showed that he could use it.
(MCP#69/2 (fb) ) - The reporter Eric Heller was hired by the Zairian government to do a photo-essay on foreign mine licenses.
(MCP#68/2) - Eric Heller investigated about diamond smugglers in one of Zambia's big diamond mines. A foreman told him that only black workers stole diamonds and not the management. While taking photos Eric got hit by a wagon with rubble that was pushed down on him by a worker.
(MCP#69/2) - Eric's injuries were taken care of by a medic at the mine. Eric threatened the foreman to return info on the thefts to the government. The foreman told Eric to return to Kinshasa with his photo-essay and nothing more so that everybody would stay happy. Later Eric was warned by a nurse not to take the medicine he got from the medic because it was poison. She told him to leave the mine and go over Mitumba Mountains to Lake Tanganyika. Eric did like she told him and when he entered the woods he heard a shot that killed the helping nurse. At the lake it was not hard for Eric to find somebody who would get him across to Tanzania despite their fear of the smugglers because he had western capital as payment.
(MCP#71/2) - In Tanzania Eric asked natives questions about the diamond smugglers and when he took a drink with a native he suddenly had Jeremy Mchele's gun at his head. He was checked by the Mchele who believed Eric to be a reporter. Eric couldn't help him with info on poachers, but he thought that the diamond smugglers were probably connected to them. Jeremy told Eric rumors about smugglers in the Moyowosi Swamp and Eric offered Jeremy money to become his guide. Eric was brought to a small trading town in the swamps and together with Jeremy he learned about men dressed like warriors from the old times who came through and paid everybody with diamonds to be quiet. The warriors headed down the river, but before Eric could leave with Jeremy, Shanna landed with a hydroplane and joined them together with her partner DuBose Wilson on their journey down the river.
(MCP#73/2) - Eric was informed by Shanna that indeed the diamond smugglers, poachers, and dead animals in European zoos were all connected, and Sir Guy Cross-Wallace was behind it. Eric thought that there had to be more behind it than just diamond smuggling and Shanna told him about Cross-Wallace obsession with magic and the influential Africans who were traveling to him for unknown reasons. Eric didn't like this crazy talk, but Jeremy told him that Shanna was the right woman to help them. On their way down the river near the Lake Tanganyika they saw a dead Tanzanian Border Patrol. After they had crossed the lake they continued to travel at the border between Zaire and Burundi on the Ruzizi River. They saw empty villages, people running away from them and villages filled with dead people. In the evening they stopped to eat and get some sleep. Eric wanted to know how Shanna could find food so fast and DuBose told him not to ask. Eric didn't think that it was a good idea to go after Cross-Wallace at night and Jeremy said that he didn't want to because Cross-Wallace was only killing black people. Later that night Eric woke up when Shanna heard something in the woods. Eric asked her what it was and was surprised by her outfit when she went into the jungle.
(MCP#74/2) - Eric woke up the others and armed himself with a rifle to go after Shanna. Jeremy warned him not to do this, but Eric didn't listen to him. Eric was captured by a warrior and brought to Cross-Wallace's citadel. Eric offended Cross-Wallace by questioning his tactics to bring back the Soul of Africa. He refused to answer any of Cross-Wallace's questions, after which Cross-Wallace's warriors poured wax over him. He got a pipe to breath and was then put over a fire to become barbecue. Eric's screams were heard throughout the jungle.
(MCP#75/2) - Eric was still cooking over fire and the warriors and Cross-Wallace watched it. Eric was presented as the marriage feast of Shanna and Cross-Wallace. The wax cocoon was opened and when the melted body of Eric was seen by his former partners, Jeremy Mchele flipped out. In the process Jeremy died and Shanna was able to flee.
Comments: Created by Gerard Jones, Paul Gulacy & Gary Martin
At the time of publication the Democratic Republic of Congo was still known as Zaire and therefore I only mention the country as Zaire. I don't do this because I'm an ignorant, but because it is possible that the events responsible for Zaire to become D.R.C. Congo never happened on Earth-616.
Eric's citizenship stayed a mystery and although I first thought that he was British, it was never revealed.
Eric the cooked meatball was ignored throughout the rest of the story and although nobody had eaten him he was never seen again. He was probably burnt like other victims in Cross-Wallace's citadel.
Eric Heller has no known connections to
Eric Heller body shot: Marvel Comics Presents#69, p13, pan3
Eric Heller head shot: Marvel Comics Presents#71, p13, pan1
Eric Heller the meal: Marvel Comics Presents#73, p14, pan2
Marvel Comics Presents#69, 71-75 (1991)
Last updated: 12/07/04
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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