Real Name: Steve Harmon
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Occupation: Student, playing cruel tricks on crime
Group Membership: Avengers Resistance, Counter Force, the Initiative, New Warriors
Affiliations: Mike Peterson
Armory, Bengal, Black Goliath (Tom Foster), Luke Cage, Captain America (Steve Rogers), Cloud 9, Constrictor, Damage Control, Daredevil (Matt Murdock), Firestar (Angelica Jones), Gauntlet, Ghost Rider (Dan Ketch/Noble Kale), Hardball, Heavy Hitters (Nonstop, Prodigy, Telemetry), Human Torch (Johnny Storm), Impossible Man, Invisible Woman (Susan Richards), Iron Fist, Iron Man (Tony Stark), Mike Jefferies, Justice, Komodo, Marvel Boy (Vance Astrovik), Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards), Monstro, Namorita, Night Thrasher (Dwayne Taylor), Nova (Rich Rider), Mary Jane Parker, Quasar (Wendell Vaughn), Rage (Elvin Haliday), Scarlet Spiders, Scientist Supreme of Dimension X, Scorpion (Carmilla Black), She-Hulk, Speedball (Robbie Baldwin), Speedball (Darrion Grobe), Spider-Man (Peter Parker), the Thing (Ben Grimm), Thor (Eric Masterson), Thor Girl (Skrull imposter), Trauma, Triathlon, Turbo (Mickey Musashi), Ultragirl, Mr. Van Patrick, the Vision, Visioneer, Yellowjacket (Henry Pym)
Joey, Barb Halsey, Heather, Don Winston, Sydney Deborah Bartsch, Vinnie, other students at his high school
Enemies: Badoon, Brother Grimm, Dr. Denton, Dr. Yesterday, Force of Nature (Aqueduct, Skybreaker, Sunstreak, Terraformer), Freedom Force (Challenger, Cloud-9, Equinox, Think Tank), Griffin, Hindsight Lad (Carlton LaFroyge), Hiroim, Hulk, Elloe Kaifi, KIA, Korg, Living Laser, Miek, the Neutron Bum, Nightmare, Overkiller, Overlord of Dimension X, Ragnarok (Thor clone), Razor-Fist (Douglas Scott), Scorcher, Shadow Initiative (Badd Axe, Ringer, Warbow)
Known Relatives: Unnamed mother and father. An uncle "Jar-Head" on his mother's side.
He discounted possible aliases:
Captain Clown (stupid);
Jester (stupid AND taken)
Base of Operations: Plainview, New Jersey
First Appearance: Slapstick#1 (November, 1992)
Powers/Abilities: Slapstick's body is made of living unstable molecules (dubbed Electroplasm by the Scientist Supreme of Dimension X) and is therefore indestuctable. The Scientist Supreme added a molecular stabilizer into Slapstick's left glove which allows him to maintain a minimum of molecular cohesion. This glove also has a transformation inducer that allows him to transform from Slapstick to his "normal" self and back. His right glove contains a sub-spacial storage pocket that allows him to store items (most commonly his mallet). He can access these items by making a special gesture with that hand, though to anyone observing it would appear he is pulling them out of thin air. Of course, all that really boils down to is that Slapstick is a living cartoon character. Also, when electrocuted, he becomes stronger for a time.
Height: variable (as Harmon) 5'7"
Weight: variable (as Harmon) 145 lbs.
Eyes: Blue pupils, yellow irises (as Harmon) Blue
Hair: Purple (as Harmon) Blond
History: (Slapstick#1 (fb)) - Steve Harmon was born in a New Jersey hospital after his mother went through eighty-six hours of labor. A troublesome child, when his parents bought him an "indestructible toy truck" he used it to demolish his other toys. In school he would re-interpret his assignments to make them more enjoyable for himself, such as dressing in a costume to do a report on the movie Robot Monster.
(Slapstick#1) - Walking home after detention (for having a medical school cadaver delivered to a faculty dinner), Steve was approached by a clown who informed him of a carnival visiting his town. Hoping to get revenge on Don Winston, who had told the teachers the cadaver was Steve's prank, Steve dressed as a clown and went to the carnival intending to embarrass Winston. However, when Steve witnessed the carnival's clowns kidnapping people and taking them through a dimensional portal in the funhouse mirrors, he grabbed a mallet and went in after them, but as the portal was closing, Steve's body was altered.
When Steve awoke, he was imprisoned in a dungeon in Dimension X, with that dimension's former Scientist Supreme. The scientist explained to Steve what had happened to him and modified his gloves so that they would hold him together and let him become human again. The scientist prodded Steve into fighting the Overlord of Dimension X. The Overlord was using a device called the Mediocritizer to take over the minds of the kidnapped people and when Steve arrived he tried to use it on him, but Steve would not conform. Steve broke the Mediocritizer, knocked the Overlord away and led the prisoners back to Earth, breaking the mirror behind them. When they were alone, Mike Peterson revealed that he recognized Steve, his best friend, even as Slapstick and together they came up with the name Slapstick that Steve would use, not to fight crime, but to play cruel tricks on it.
(Slapstick#2) - Going to the mall with friends, Steve was annoyed by a group of young children attending Oliver Denton's birthday party. In retaliation, Steve became Slapstick and told the children he was an alien who had come to eat their blood. The Overkiller, who had come to the mall when his devices detected a mutant within, saw Slapstick, assumed he was the mutant and attacked. The two had a highly destructive fight throughout the mall that ended when Slapstick kissed Overkiller on the nose and while the mutant hunter reacted with disgust, Slapstick knocked him out. Spider-Man arrived and webbed up the villain. When Spider-Man asked what was going on, Slapstick told him off and left.
(Slapstick#3) - Steve worked up the nerve call Barb Halsey and she invited him to come to the Denton residence, where she was babysitting that night. Steve happily obliged, but when he arrived and met Barb's boyfriend Vinnie, excused himself. Soon, hearing Barb scream, he turned back and saw Oliver Denton and his robot, Teddy, attacking her. He became Slapstick, barged through the door and was quickly knocked out by Teddy. When he woke up he was being studied by Denton. When Denton electrocuted him, Slapstick became more powerful and broke free. He attacked and destroyed the device Denton used to control Teddy, who then went berserk. Slapstick fought the robot and won when he dropped a wrench into Teddy's mouth, destroying him. Slapstick gave Denton a spanking and was kissed by Barb. Slapstick left when the Denton parents arrived home and excitedly told Mike that, she may not care for him as Steve, but Barb loved him as Slapstick. Mike countered by pointing out that as Slapstick, he didn't have any organs (you know...).
(Slapstick#4) - In Manhattan waiting to see a concert, Steve, Mike and Syd witnessed a series of explosions caused by the Neutron Bum. Mike tried to convince Steve to help, but Steve didn't care until the Tower Records building was damaged. He turned to Slapstick and investigated, only to be blown away by the Bum's explosion. As other heroes began arriving at the scene, Slapstick met Speedball, Daredevil, and the Ghost Rider (Dan Ketch). Slapstick tried to explain that the Bum only wanted a cup of coffee but the heroes would not listen. As the New Warriors, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers all showed up and formulated a plan of attack, Slapstick went to a coffee shop and bought a cup. He brought it to the Bum and as he enjoyed it, knocked him out. The other heroes were unhappy with Slapstick's lack of respect and Ben Grimm punted him across town. Slapstick swore he'd be back
(Marvel Comics Presents#159/4) - Steve went with Mike to the Museum of National History in Manhattan and was amusing himself when Dr. Yesterday appeared. With three members of the New Warriors, who also happened to be in the museum, Slapstick opposed the villain.
(Marvel Comics Presents#160/4) - When Dr. Yesterday explained his plan to turn time inside-out, Slapstick decided to help the Warriors deal with it, because it would help him impress chicks.
(Marvel Comics Presents#161/1) - When Mike Peterson and Mike Jefferies were approached by time-displaced versions of Devil Dinosaur and Moonboy (who intended no harm), Slapstick attacked the monsters.
(Marvel Comics Presents#162/2) - Slapstick fought hordes of time-displaced warriors and was eventually captured by Dr. Yesterday.
(Marvel Comics Presents#163/1) - After breaking free and hurting Dr. Y, the villain shot Steve with a time-blast that reverted him to a time before he had his powers. When Yesterday undid the damage he had caused, Steve returned to his "normal" Slapstick self.
(Avengers: The Initiative#10 (fb)) - Some time later, Ultragirl and Slapstick aided the New Warriors in thwarting an invasion by the extraterrestrial Badoon. In recognition of their assistance, Ultragirl and Slapstick were made full members of the New Warriors. Slapstick jokingly asked Namorita if this meant "membership with prvileges," which nearly won him a clobbering.
(She-Hulk II#8) - After members of the New Warriors were killed battling Nitro in Stamford, a battle that cost many civilian lives, former member Hindsight Lad began revealing information of former New Warriors members on the internet. He was finally located by the She-Hulk, and she confronted him alongside Slapstick, Ultra Girl, Justice, and Rage.
(Avengers: The Initiative#1) - Slapstick became a trainee of the Initiative, and was put into basic training by the Gauntlet alongside Rage, Cloud 9, Armory, Bengal, Thor Girl, Trauma, Ultragirl, Komodo and Hardball.
(Avengers: The Initiative#3) - Slapstick's training with the Initiative continued, and he was part of the team sent to combat the Thing as preparation for facing a "class 100" threat.
(Avengers: The Initiative#4) - The Initiative's training was interrupted by the arrival of the Hulk and his Warbound in Manhattan, come for revenge against the "Illuminati" who had seemingly destroyed the Hulk's people on Sakaar. The Initiative were assigned to crowd control under Triathlon's authority, with Slapstick providing morale. However, Rage broke ranks to try and help the Avengers, and Slapstick was among the trainees who sided with Rage.
(Avengers: The Initiative#5 (fb)) - Slapstick and the other trainees were swiftly beaten by the Hulk and his Warbound.
(Avengers: The Initiative#5) - Slapstick and other trainees were imprisoned at Madison Square Gardens and given obedience disks to control them. They were rescued by the Initiative's black ops team and returned to Camp Hammond.
(World War Hulk: Aftersmash - Damage Control#1-2) - Slapstick was among the heroes who gathered in New York to volunteer their aid in repairing the Hulk's rampage with Damage Control. When the Thunderbolts objected to the use of non-registered heroes, Damage Control employee Bart Rozum stepped up to deal with them. Making a digression, Rozum wondered why Slapstick had registered with the government when he was an anarchist; Slapstick explained that "I'm a masked vigilante who's registered with the government. That's more than crazy, that's practically Dadaesque."
(Avengers: The Initiative#6) - Slapstick and the other trainees who had broken ranks were treated severely by the Gauntlet when they returned to training.
(Avengers: The Initiative#6 (fb)) - The tension between the trainees and the Gauntlet increased during the day, and Slapstick witnessed altercations between the Gauntlet with Rage and Justice. Finally tired of the Gauntlet's constant trash-talking of the New Warriors, Slapstick ambushed him on his way to work and delivered a savage beating, leaving a bloody "NW" on his chest.
(Avengers: The Initiative#6) - The ex-New Warriors Ultragirl, Slapstick, Rage, Debrii and Justice were all confined and run past S.H.I.E.L.D. for interrogation. S.H.I.E.L.D. ultimately called off the investigation when the Gauntlet awoke and identified his attacker as the Ghost. Slapstick's role in the beating was not discovered, and he laughed to himself at the memory of beating the Gauntlet.
(Avengers: The Initiative#10) - As Rage, Ultragirl, Slapstick and Debrii discussed the problems their reputations had suffered since the Gauntlet's injuries Slapstick was about to confess he was the culprit when they were suddenly contacted by Justice, using Slapstick's old New Warriors communicator. They followed a summons from Justice to the Van Patrick farm outside Bulls Gap, Tennessee. When Initiative cadets Cloud 9, Hardball and Komodo came in dire need of Michael Van Patrick's brain patterns, the former New Warriors attacked them, no longer trusting the Initiative.
(Avengers: The Initiative#11) - Before the cadets could convince the ex-New Warriors to aid them, KIA arrived. Slapstick led the charge against him, thinking himself invulnerable, but KIA's Tactigon informed him how to generate a counter charge which would destroy his molecular bonds, turning him into a puddle of goo. After KIA's defeat, Iron Man generated a charge which rebuilt Slapstick's body. Finding that KIA's brain patterns had been downloaded by the heroes and could now be transferred to a new body, Slapstick put the helmet into his infinite pockets to "save for later."
(Avengers: The Initiative#12 (fb)) - Justice, Slapstick, Rage, Debrii, the Scarlet Spiders and the Michael Van Patrick clone decided to form their own team to keep an eye on the Initiative, calling themselves "Counter Force." Slapstick revealed to Rage that he had been in his cartoon form for so long since joining the Initiative that something had gone wrong with his powers - he couldn't become Steve Harmon any more. Worse, he found he liked it that way.
(Avengers: The Initiative#21) - The new New Warriors team (Debrii, Justice, Night Thrasher, Rage, Scarlet Spiders, Slapstick) returned to Camp Hammond to fight off another clone attack, this time of the evil Thor clone, Ragnarok. They arrived just in time to save Gorilla Girl from being killed.
(Avengers: The Iniatiative#22) - The New Warriors surrounded Ragnarok, who easily held off their advances. Slapstick drew his wooden hammer and advanced on the clone, who swiftly smashed Slapstick, leaving him a puddle of goo holding an "ouch" sign. After Ragnarok left Camp Hammond to find the true Thor, Justice found the body of MVP, determined to expose the death to the public.
(Avengers: The Initiative#23) - Slapstick and the other New Warriors watched as Justice exposed MVP's death to the media. Soon afterwards he left Camp Hammond with the New Warriors.
(Avengers: The Initiative#25) - The New Warriors delivered the body of MVP to his father, Mr. Van Patrick, in rural Mississippi, but he quickly ordered them away, keeping only his cloned son with him. The New Warriors rescued Gauntlet and Tigra from their attackers, Scorcher, Living Laser, Griffin, and Razorfist, and recruited them in their fight against Osborn. They began calling themselves the Avengers Resistance.
(Avengers: The Initiative#26) - Slapstick and the others discussed recent missions and tactics at their headquarters in Chicago. Partly due to Slapstick's levity, a fight nearly broke out among the tense heroes, but it was quickly broken up as they were reminded of their true mission.
(Avengers: The Initiative#28) - When the Avengers Resistance heard that the Heavy Hitters (Nonstop, Prodigy, Telemetry) were succeeding from the Initiative due to Osborn's leadership, they debated about whether or not it was a trap, but, under Tigra's leadership, decided to investigate and recruit the heroes. When they arrived, they found the Heavy Hitters battling the Force of Nature (Aqueduct, Skybreaker, Sunstreak, Terraformer), the U-Foes (Ironclad, Vapor, Vector, X-Ray), Freedom Force (Challenger, Cloud-9, Equinox, Think Tank), members of the Shadow Initiative (Badd Axe, Ringer (Keith Kraft), Warbow), and other trainees (Brother Grimm, Griffin, Scorcher, Razor-Fist). They briefly battled, and swiftly departed with Nonstop and Telemetry, though Night Thrasher was captured. Prodigy, initially angry at Justice's team for trying to intervene, chose to remain behind and make a final stand for himself. Nonstop, Telemetry, and Debrii chose to flee the country to Europe.
(Avengers: The Initiative#29) - The Avengers Resistance (Gauntlet, Justice, Rage, Scarlet Spider, Slapstick, Tigra, Ultragirl) attacked Camp HAMMER in an attempt to free the captive Night Thrasher. They fought off HAMMER agents, Scorcher, Ringer, Quicksand, and Badd Axe before Taskmaster and Penance arrived to stop them.
(Avengers: The Initiative#30) - As Nightmare attacked Camp HAMMER, Tigra ordered Slapstick to go provide backup to the others, but he was soon overcome with his own nightmare of having to work in an office. As the battle ended, the Resistance escaped with Night Thrasher.
(Avengers: The Initiative#34) - During the battle for Camp: HAMMER, Slapstick, with a sword and shield and shouting about the Spartans, launched himself at Scorcher. Soon, the battle was joined by Penance (who revealed himself as Robbie Baldwin), Bengal, Butterball, and Batwing, and Hood rushed off with many of his soldiers.
(Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt#1) - When the Serpent (Cul) began his reign of terror on Earth, Steve Rogers commissioned Prodigy to reassemble the Initiative to handle the fear-induced rioting that was spreading across the country. Slapstick was among the Initiative members who gathered in Washington DC to rejoin.
Comments: Created by Len Kaminski and James Fry III
In the old Bullpen Bulletins page, Slapstick was voted best new character of 1992 over Carnage. If only Slapstick had shown up nearly as often. I demand Maximum Slapstick!
Jar-head is a military slang term. Thus, Slapstick's uncle could have served in the military.
Actually, Jar-head is a slang term from the army.
(Glad I read all those 'Nam glossaries). A jar-head
means a marine. So Slapstick had a marine for an uncle?
James Fry himself adds:
somewhere out there, in a parallel universe in which Len and I got to do more Slapstick adventures, his Rogues' Gallery would have expanded to include such previously established Marvel villains as:
THE TOAD MEN, clearly the "Fredo Corleone" of Marvel's collection of Conquering Alien Races, and
THE BLACK TALON (from The AVENGERS) and GAMECOCK (from CAPTAIN AMERICA). Unable to contain our amusement at the idea that Marvel was home to not just ONE but TWO poultry-themed African-American supervillains, we planned to reveal that these guys were rival siblings. Slap would have teamed up with the FALCON and engaged the Fowl Fiends in an apocalyptic battle that lasted all of, say, a page and a half, four panels of which would have consisted of the heroes doubled over with laughter. Ah, what might have been...
Snood:"You could've put Bantam in that Slapstick story alongside Gamecock and Black Talon.
James Fry III:"BANTAM!!! Holy Mother of All Things Great and Small, how did I forget about Bantam??? He hadn't made his first appearance yet, back when we were making plans for Slap, but there's no excuse for us not amending our plans once this guy saw the light of day. Thank you, Jeff! If Marvel Editorial ever falls and hits its collective head, has a massive brain hemorrhage and somehow gets its judgement sufficiently impaired to allow Len and me to do more SLAPSTICK, we'll make certain that Bantam Gets The Attention He Deserves!"
Slapstick has an entry in Marvel Legacy: The 1990s Handbook. Fry revealed Syd's full name for Slapstick's profile in OHotMU A-Z HC#10.
byPatrick D Ryall and Prime Eternal
Slapstick should not be confused with:
Images taken from:
Slapstick#3, page 17, panel 4
Slapstick#4, page 6, panel 6
Slapstick#1, page 30, panel 1
Slapstick#1-4 (November, 1992 - February, 1993) - Len Kaminski
(writer), James W. Fry III (pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Bobbie Chase
Marvel Comics Presents#159-163 (July-September, 1994) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Robert Walker (pencils), Scott Koblish (#159-162) & John Stanisci (#163) (inks), Richard Ashford (editor)
She-Hulk II#8 (July, 2006) - Dan Slott (writer), Paul Smith (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Civil War: Battle Damage Report#1 (2007)
Avengers: The Initiative#1-5 (June-October, 2007) - Dan Slott (writer), Stefano Caselli (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative#6 (November, 2007) - Dan Slott (writer), Steve Uy (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
World War Hulk: Aftersmash - Damage Control#1-2 (March-April, 2008) - Dwayne McDuffie (writer), Salva Espin (artist), Nathan Cosby (editor) Avengers: The Initiative#11 (May-June, 2008) - Dan Slott, Christos N. Gage (writers), Stefano Caselli (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative#12 (June, 2008) Dan Slott, Christos N. Gage (writers), Steve Uy (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative#21-22 (March-April, 2009) - Christos N. Gage (writer), Humberto Ramos (penciler/inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative#23 (June, 2009) - Christos N. Gage (writer), Humberto Ramos (penciler/inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative#25 (August, 2009) - Christos Gage (writer), Humberto Ramos (penciler/inker), Jeannine Schaefer (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative#26 (September, 2009) - Christos Gage (writer), Rafa Sandoval (penciler), Roger Bonet (inker), Jeannine Schaefer (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative#28 (November, 2009) - Christos Gage (writer), Rafa Sandoval (penciler), Roger Bonet (inker), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative#29 (December, 2009) - Christos N. Gage (writer), Jorge Molina (penciler), Victor Olazaba (inker), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative#30 (January, 2010) – Christos Gage (writer), Jorge Molina (penciler), Victor Olazaba, Andrew Hennessy (inkers), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative#34 (May, 2010) – Christos Gage (writer), Jorge Molina (penciler), Andrew Hennessy (inker), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt#1 (July, 2011) - Sean McKeever (writer), Mike Norton (artist), Lauren Sankovitch (editor)
Last updated: 10/15/11
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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