Real Name: Frank Oliver
Identity/Class: Technologically enhanced human
(possibly a mutant human, see comments); Australian
Dual identity publicly known, criminal record in the U.S.A.
former criminal, boxer;
possibly step aerobics instructor (see comments)
Group Membership: New U Technologies' reanimations (Sally Avril, Big Man/probably Frederick Foswell but maybe Janice Foswell, Billy Connors, Martha Connors, Jean DeWolff, Doctor Octopus/Otto Octavius, Electro/Francine Fry, Green Goblin/Bart Hamilton, Hitman/Burt Kenyon, Hobgoblin/probably Jason Macendale but maybe Arnold Donovan or Daniel Kingsley, Jack O'Lantern/probably Steven Levins but maybe Maguire Beck, Ashley Kafka, Nick Katzenberg, Ned Leeds, Lizard/Curt Connors, Nathan Lubensky, either Carlos or Eduardo Lobo, Madame Webb/Cassandra Webb, Marla Madison-Jameson, Massacre/Marcus Lyman, Mirage/Desmond Charne, Montana/Jackson Bryce, Mysterio/probably Francis Klum but maybe Daniel Berkhart,, Ox/probably Raymond Bloch but maybe Karl Stragg, Prowler/Hobie Brown clone, Rhino/Aleksei Sytsevich, Rose/probably Richard Fisk but maybe Blume or even both, Spencer Smythe, Spider-Slayer/Alistaire Smythe, Spider-Woman/Mattie Franklin, George Stacy, Gwen Stacy, Stilt-Man/Wilbur Day, Oksana Sytsevich, Tarantula/Anton Miguel Rodriquez, multiple Miles Warren clones, others)
Affiliations: Jackal (Ben Reilly);
formerly Jonas Harrow;
perhaps Kid Colt (Blaine Cole), Melter (Bruno Horgan), Nighthawk (Kyle Richmond) (see comments)
Enemies: Jean DeWolff, Jonas Harrow, Prowler
(Hobie Brown clone), Spider-Man (Peter Parker);
came to blows over Vegemite theft Massacre (Marcus Lyman)
Known Relatives: None
Place of Birth: Sydney, Australia
Base of Operations: New U Technologies, San
formerly New York City, formerly Australia
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man I#81 (February 1970)
Powers/Abilities: Originally the Kangaroo didn't have any super human powers, but was near peak human condition, and after studying and spending years training to mimic a Kangaroo, he was able to jump incredibly high and far. Later on, after his enhancements by Jonas Harrow, Kangaroo gained an even greater jumping ability, able to jump 100 yards via his jet boots. He also gained superhuman strength with the aid of air jets enhancing his punch, so much so that he was capable of stunning Spider-Man with only a few blows. His flying kicks were powerful enough to crack stone floors. However, his overwhelming stupidity was always his undoing.
Weight: (without mechanical devices) 235 lbs.
History: (Amazing Spider-Man I#81 (fb)) - Frank
Oliver, who would later be known as the Kangaroo, used to spend his time
studying kangaroos in his native Australia. He would live with them, eat
with them, and travel with them until he could jump just as fast and
high as any of them. Eventually, Frank tried to cash in on his skills
and became a boxer, using his superior speed and leaping ability to
humble his opponents. However, in one fight, Frank jump-kicked his
opponent in the face, badly injuring him. People working on behalf of
the injured man threatened to press charges against Frank. For this, and
probably many other similar incidents, Frank fled the country to avoid
being tried. He fled to America, but was found without a passport and
the authorities prepared to deport him back to Australia.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#81) - Before
he could be deported, Frank broke free of the authorities grasp and
leapt away, deciding that if people around him were going to force him
to commit criminal acts with their intolerance, he would not fight it,
but embrace it. He declared himself the Kangaroo, and swore that he
would give everyone a reason to fear him. Looking to make a name for
himself, the Kangaroo saw several guards carefully guarding a brief
case. Kangaroo assumed that the case must be holding money, knocked out
the guards, and stole the case. Kangaroo then escaped to the rooftops
before anybody could stop him. Kangaroo opened the case and saw that
there was only a vial in it. He assumed the vial held jewels and put
them in his vest pocket. Little did he realize that the vial actually
contained an experimental deadly bacteria, which if unleashed upon the
city, would cause a massive plague.
Unsatisfied with his "jewels," the Kangaroo
set out to steal some cash. He attacked a group of people and demanded
they give him their cash, but before they could hand any over,
Spider-Man arrived. Kangaroo attacked Spider-Man, and although
Spider-Man knew he could easily best the Kangaroo with just a few
punches, Spider-Man was aware that the Kangaroo was carrying a deadly
virus and did not want to risk hitting the Kangaroo and accidentally
breaking the vial. After pointlessly trying to reason with the Kangaroo,
Spider-Man eventually held Kangaroo upside down and waited for the vial
to fall out, then caught the vial with his webs. Kangaroo then ran away
and escaped while Spider-Man saw to the return of the bacteria.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#18) - Humiliated by his defeat, Oliver fell into a deep depression and spent the following months as a vagrant in New York City.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#126) - Kangaroo saw Spider-Man
swinging by and reflected on his defeat by Spider-Man and wished that
there was some way for him to become stronger and more powerful. Before
he even completed his thoughts he was approached by Dr. Jonas Harrow,
who had been searching for him. Harrow made an offer to the Kangaroo: in
exchange for his loyalty, Harrow would perform a procedure on the
Kangaroo that would make him super humanly powerful. Kangaroo agreed.
Harrow soon went to work and after a seven hour operation had vastly
augmented the Kangaroo's abilities. Kangaroo tested his abilities by
punching clean through a concrete wall and jumping a hundred yards
effortlessly. However, Kangaroo was less willing to uphold his end of
the bargain and smacked Harrow away, claiming that he had plans of his
own and was not going to be a pawn of anyone.
The first thing
Kangaroo did with these new enhancements was track down Spider-Man.
Spider-Man expected Kangaroo to go down fast, but was surprised when
Kangaroo unleashed two clubbing blows that stunned Spider-Man. However,
before he could finish Spider-Man off, Jonas Harrow activated a device
he had implanted in the Kangaroo's brain which caused him incredible
pain if he did not obey Harrow's orders. Kangaroo fled the scene,
leaving Spider-Man free to recover, and returned to Harrow's lab where
he learned of the device in his head.
Harrow then ordered Kangaroo to retrieve a radioactive isotope that he needed for one of his experiments from a special lab on the Hudson river. Kangaroo broke into the lab and prepared to steal the isotope, but was once again confronted by Spider-Man. The two fought back and forth, with Spider-Man warning Kangaroo that the isotopes he was trying to obtain were very dangerous and could burn up a man in a matter of seconds. Just like in their last encounter, Kangaroo didn't listen, and with the arrival of the cops, Kangaroo rushed in to retrieve the isotopes and was immediately reduced to a pile of ashes by them.
(Deadpool III#0 - BTS) - Arnim Zola
acquired a genetic sample from Oliver's corpse, which he used to create
(Clone Conspiracy#2 (fb) - BTS) - Jackal
(Spider-Man's clone Ben Reilly) also acquired a genetic sample from
Oliver's corpse, and thus Oliver was one of a multitude of
people who had died despite Spider-Man's best efforts to save them who
was resurrected via the Jackal's cloning technology. All the clones,
especially the ones who had been villainous in their previous lives,
were kept from misbehaving as they required regular treatments of a
special formula, the Jackal's "chemical leash," to prevent their cloned
bodies from breaking down. Living in a suburban neighborhood within
Jackal's New U Technologies' San Francisco headquarters, he and the
other "reanimations" behaved themselves for several months, whether
because they genuinely wished to reform or just didn't want to risk
their second chance at life.
(Prowler II#1 (fb) - BTS) - Since the more villainous resurrectees tended to be dangerously short-tempered and lacking impulse control, Jackal tasked the clone of the heroic Prowler to keep them in line.
(Clone Conspiracy#2 (fb) - BTS) - When Spider-Man broke into New U to investigate what was going on there, Jackal had a number of the resurrected criminals, including Kangaroo, gather together so Jackal could show them off to the intruder.
(Clone Conspiracy#2) - Confronting the intruder, the Jackal tried to convince Spider-Man of his good intentions by showing him the resurrected, both the former criminals and fallen friends. However the attempt to win Spider-Man over fell flat when one of the supposed clones, Gwen Stacy, was exposed as an imposter (the Gwen Stacy from Earth-65 impersonating her doppelganger), prompting both Gwen-65 and Spider-Man to flee from the startled clones into the vents.
(Prowler II#1) - Hanging out with Montana, Tarantula and Mirage, Kangaroo watched with casual interest as an argument between Jack O'Lantern and Massacre turned to blows, only for Prowler to break it up.
(Prowler II#2 (fb) - BTS) - Kangaroo discovered that Massacre had eaten his prized Vegemite (see comments).
(Prowler II#2) - Enraged at the theft, Kangaroo brawled with Massacre, sending him flying before attempting to stomp the Vegemite-rustler into the ground. Dodging the floor-shattering blow that only narrowly missed his head, Massacre told Kangaroo to stop whining "mate," and got a kick to the midriff for his troubles, as Kangaroo angrily informed his fellow resurrectee that they were not mates. The fight was witnessed over New U's security cameras by Jackal.
(Amazing Spider-Man IV#22 - BTS) - Spider-Man confronted Jackal, learned his identity, and was convinced to listen while Jackal tried to explain his reasons for bringing everyone back from the dead.
(Amazing Spider-Man IV#23/Clone Conspiracy#4) - In the Haven, a facsimile of a suburban neighborhood within the
New U complex that had been set up by Jackal for the resurrectees,
Spider-Man watched as Kangaroo and the other clones queued up to collect
their pills to prevent cellular degeneration.
(Amazing Spider-Man IV#23) - Having had his pill, Kangaroo began to wander off.
(Amazing Spider-Man IV#23/Clone Conspiracy#4) - But like the other villains his attention became drawn to a heated discussion between Jackal and Spider-Man. Realizing Spider-Man would never be won over, Jackal ordered the villains to kill the hero, and Kangaroo joined the others in immediately leaping into battle. Seeing this, Prowler came to the hero's aid and joined the fight on his side.
(Amazing Spider-Man IV#23) - Kangaroo landed one blow against Spider-Man...
(Prowler II#4) - ...but the hero retaliated by coating Kangaroo in sticky webbing. As Kangaroo tried to rip himself free, elsewhere in the complex nother of the resurrected, Doctor Octopus, activated a siren whose blaring tone triggered cellular degeneration in all the resurrectees, Kangaroo included.
(Clone Conspiracy#4) - In agony as their bodies began breaking down, Kangaroo and several of the other degenerating clones desperately tried to snatch more of the pills from the New U staffer who had earlier dispensed the doses.
(Clone Conspiracy#5/Prowler II#5) - Trying to flee the sound, the clones began to run, but Spider-Man realized they were infectious, carrying the Carrion virus, a disease that could turn anyone infected, even non-clones, into ravening monsters. Knowing he would need to find Jackal's lab if he hoped to find a long term solution, Spider-Man tasked Prowler and another resurrectee, Police Captain Jean DeWolff, with containing the stampede.
(Prowler II#5) - Battling Prowler, Kangaroo gained the upper hand, only to be fatally shot by DeWolff.
(Clone Conspiracy: Omega (fb) - BTS) - Kangaroo's corpse turned
to dust, leaving behind only his medallion and sleeveless fur
(Clone Conspiracy: Omega) - S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives were called to New U to quarantine and sanitize the area. As they moved through the Haven, they passed by Kang
Comments: Created by Stan Lee, John Buscema, Jim Mooney, and John Romita.
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#18 Kangaroo entry speculates that the reason Oliver was able to match the superhuman leaping ability of a Kangaroo is that he was a mutant, whose abilities were triggered by his relentless training
After Oliver died, a guy named Brian Hibbs became the Kangaroo. There was a lot of confusion as to his connection to the original Kangaroo and whether or not they were the same guy, but it was all clarified by Snood in the Spider-Man encyclopedia. For the first and second Kangaroo's connection to each other, click this link Kangaroo. It will take you to the profile for Brian Hibbs.
When I read Amazing Spider-Man I#126, it seemed a little strange to me that Harrow sent the Kangaroo to retrieve some isotopes that would kill him on contact. That plan just seems slightly flawed...oh well. Maybe he didn't realize that the isotopes would kill Kangaroo...but that doesn't seem like a very good evil genius. Maybe Harrow didn't really need the isotopes, but realized how dangerous and disloyal Kangaroo was and wanted to get rid of him. But even then he probably could have just killed him by using the machine he already planted in the Kangaroo's head...oh well. Still, this is one of the goofiest, funniest characters around, great for comic relief. Too bad he never came back, but not too surprising. I mean, if you were writing Spider-Man, would you bring him back?
Kangaroo was also seen among the afterlife
characters in Sensational She-Hulk#53.
But these could all actually be hallucinations on the She-Hulk's part. I've read the brain continues functioning after the heart stops beating.
Given that some of the other characters who showed up in this supposed afterlife were later revealed to have not died in the first place - specifically Bucky, the original Green Goblin, the original Ringer, Nighthawk and the Mimic - the hallucination option seems viable. However, it is theoretically possible that the near-death experiences each of the aforementioned individuals suffered split off soul fragments (c.f. Dark Angel). If so, then it might have been the real Kangaroo in an actual afterlife, in which case the history would add the following between ASM I#126 and the Clone Conspiracy:
(Sensational She-Hulk#53 (fb) - BTS) - Oliver was rehabilitated in the afterlife and became a step aerobics instructor.
(Sensational She-Hulk#53) - When She-Hulk nearly died,
she visited the afterlife and was given a tour by Bucky (James
Barnes)'s soul fragment, which included Kangaroo's studio, where she
was surprised to see the former villain teaching step aerobics to
Nighthawk, Kid Colt and the Melter.
Oh man, this guy. His criminal career consisted of him stealing two incredibly dangerous things that he was too dumb to realize the danger of. It caught up with him the second time.
The Kangaroo's first appearance suggests that by living as kangaroos lived, and eating what they ate, Oliver gained their amazing jumping abilities. Oliver's OHotMU Deluxe Edition entry, more sensibly but less hilariously, suggests that Oliver was a latent mutant, and his training regimen just brought it to the surface.
Prowler II#2 establishes that Kangaroo is a
fan of Vegemite. For those who don't know what that is, it is a thick
brown food spread made from leftover brewers' yeast extract with
vegetable and spice additives which is very popular among Australians,
though for those not raised on it many would agree with Massacre's
description that it "tastes like sand having diarrhea." It's mentioned
in a song that should really be Kangaroo's theme, Land
Down Under by the band Men at Work:
"He was six-foot-four and full of muscle
I said, "Do you speak-a my language?"
He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich
And he said
"I come from a land down under
Where beer does flow and men chunder
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover"
Oliver has profiles in the OHotMU Deluxe
Edition and Master Edition, as well as the Gamer's Handbook of the
Marvel Universe#2. He also had an entry in Amazing Spider-Man Annual#13
in a "Gallery of Spider-Man's most famous foes." Given he'd only had two
appearances at that point, he'd probably not really earned that
Frank Oliver, alias the Kangaroo, should not be confused with:
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#18,
p14 (main image)
Amazing Spider-Man I#81, p6, pan6 (pre-enhancement)
Amazing Spider-Man I#126, p6, pan4-7 (Harrow empowering Oliver - "You've got to reach your prime. That's when you need to put yourself to the test, And show us a passage of time, We're gonna need a montage")
Amazing Spider-Man I#126 cover (attacking Spider-Man)
Amazing Spider-Man I#126, p13, pan2 (implant in skull)
Amazing Spider-Man I#126, p17, pan5-7 (death)
Prowler II#2, p9, pan2 (attacking Massacre)
Clone Conspiracy#4, p18, pan1 (suffering from cellular degeneration)
Prowler II#5, p6, pan1 (shot by Jean DeWolff)
Clone Conspiracy: Omega, p6, pan2 (dust, jacket and medallion)
Sensational She-Hulk#53, p11, pan4 (afterlife aerobics)
Amazing Spider-Man Annual#13, p32, pan1 (leaping, as part of the Gallery of Spider-Man's most famous foes)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition#18, p19, pan1
Amazing Spider-Man I#81 (February, 1970) - Stan Lee (writer), John Romita Sr. (co-plotter, finished pencils), John Buscema (breakdown pencils), Jim Mooney (inks)
Amazing Spider-Man I#126 (November, 1973) - Gerry Conway (writer), Ross Andru (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Deadpool III#0 (1998) - Joe Kelly (writer), Yancey Labat (pencils), Sean Parsons (inks), Matt Idelson (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk#53 (July 1993) - Michael Eury (writer), Darren Auck (pencils), Mike DeCarlo (inker), Renee Witterstaetter (editor)
Clone Conspiracy#2 (January 2017) - Dan Slott (writer), Jim Cheung (pencils), John Dell (inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
Clone Conspiracy#4 (March 2017) - Dan Slott (writer), Jim Cheung (pencils), John Dell and Cory Smith (inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
Clone Conspiracy#5 (April 2017) - Dan Slott (writer), Jim Cheung (pencils), John Dell, Jay Leisten and Jim Cheung (inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man IV#23 (March 2017) - Dan Slott and Christos Gage (writers), Giuseppe Camuncoli (art), Nick Lowe (editor)
Prowler II#1-2 (December 2016-January 2017) - Sean Ryan (writer), Javier Saltares and Jamal Campbell (pencils), Jamal Campbell (inks), Devin Lewis (editor)
Prowler II#4 (March 2017) - Sean Ryan (writer), Javier Saltares and Jamal Campbell (pencils), Lorenzo Ruggiero (inks), Devin Lewis (editor)
Prowler II#5 (April 2017) - Sean Ryan (writer), Javier Saltares and Jamal Campbell (pencils), Jamal Campbell (inks), Devin Lewis (editor)
First Posted: 01/02/05
Last updated: 01/30/2023
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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