ARSENAL

Real Name: None

Identity/Class: Terrestrial Robot (s)

Occupation: Last line of Defense for the United States of America

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Howard Stark (creator), Mistress

Enemies:
    Alpha:
Avengers (Ant Man (Lang), Black Panther, Iron Man, Warbird, Wasp, Vision), Homeland Security
    Beta:
Avengers (Beast, Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk, Thor, Vision, Wonderman, Yellowjacket), Hulk, Unicorn
                 

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Project Tomorrow

Base of Operations: Beneath Avengers Mansion

First Appearance:
   
(Beta unit) Iron Man I#114 (September, 1978)
    (Alpha unit) Iron Man III#84 (August, 2004)

Powers/Abilities: Both Arsenal units had super strength on par with Iron Man and the Bruce Banner-controlled Hulk (Class 75-90).
    Arsenal Beta could shoot energy beams from its eyes, had a cannon in its chest, could produce lethal gas, an electro-stun field, and fire inertia darts at its enemies. It was at least 10 feet tall and could continue to function even after losing its limbs. The Beta unit Arsenal was connected to an intelligent computer called Mistress and was strategically helped by her. 
    Arsenal Alpha possessed a flame-thrower, gas, Gattling guns mounted on its shoulders, as well as guns mounted in its chest and on its wrists.

Height: 10'1"
Weight: 2000 lbs.
Eyes: Red
Hair: None

History:
(Avengers Annual#9 (fb)) - The Arsenal units were giant powerful robots created during World War Two or the Cold War (see comments) by Howard Stark, the father of Tony Stark (Iron Man), as a doomsday weapon meant to be used as a last resort should the enemy powers claim victory, as a device that would keep on fighting even though the war was already lost. His creation was a government project called Project Tomorrow, applying the same technology that went into the atomic bomb to create Arsenal. Coupled with a computer guidance system called Mistress, Arsenal was created to be somewhat capable of independent thought. Arsenal was to be sonically activated if the enemy  won. After the danger was over , the use of the Arsenal units were forbade during peacetime, and both were stowed away in the caverns beneath Avenger's mansion, still waiting to be awoken. 

(Iron Man II#84 (fb)) - It was revealed that if the enemy should claim victory that the Arsenal Units were supposed to destroy New York City to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.

(Iron Man I#114) - While battling the Avengers in Avengers Mansion, the villain known as the Unicorn was sent a signal by the Titanium Man. This signal inadvertently awoke the Arsenal Beta unit, who was laying dormant in a hidden chamber.  Arsenal awoke, not knowing that the war had been over for decades, taking the call to mean that the enemy had claimed victory. Arsenal (having no commands from his creators) immediately attacked both the Unicorn and the Avengers, assuming them both to be enemy soldiers. Arsenal held his own against all of his opponents, but when Iron Man managed to damage some of Arsenal's inner circuitry, the robot caused a massive flash of light and fled.

(Avengers Annual#9 (fb)) - Arsenal Beta returned to his base beneath Avengers Mansion where he recuperated and repaired himself.

(Avengers Annual#9) - Arsenal Beta finished his self-repairs. He and Mistress were confused, not knowing how much time had passed since they had been shut down or what the current state of the world was. Arsenal was sent by Mistress to obtain a few living sources from which to ascertain the situation. Arsenal blasted a hole in a corridor in Avengers Mansion leading Hawkeye and Beast to him. Once the two Avengers encountered the giant robot, Arsenal captured them both and brought them back to Mistress to be interrogated so that they may learn of the current era. However, Yellowjacket had seen Arsenal capture the two heroes and flew off to inform the other Avengers. The Vision found Arsenal first, in the caves beneath the mansion, but Arsenal was guided by Mistress and sent an electric current through the Vision, causing him great pain and forcing him to retreat. The other Avengers soon found Arsenal, and engaged him. Scarlet Witch managed to hurt him with a hex, but Arsenal knocked her unconscious, then blasted and punched Wonderman into a deep chasm, and Thor dove into the chasm to rescue his ally.  Iron Man left to find and shut down Mistress, leaving Captain America alone against Arsenal. Before long, Arsenal had Captain America at his mercy, but before he could deliver the final blow, the Scarlet Witch and Thor returned to the fight. As Thor and Scarlet Witch slowly overpowered Arsenal, Mistress was told of the state of the world by Iron Man and shut herself down. Arsenal was powered down as well, and appeared to perish in a destructive explosion. 

 

 

 

 

(Incredible Hulk II #282 (fb)) - Arsenal somehow survived the destruction of Mistress and its defeat at the hands of the Avengers

(Incredible Hulk II#282) - She-Hulk and Bruce Bannerís were in Avengers Mansion having a discussion, but were interrupted  when they heard Jarvis scream. Bruce Banner changed into the Hulk and the two gamma irradiated heroes found a one-armed Arsenal Beta holding the defeated Jarvis. Arsenal began looking for Mistress. She-Hulk engaged Arsenal, but he hit her with an eye blast and then sent her flying across the room. She-Hulk was eventually incapacitated by a blast from Arsenal, angering the Hulk, who continued to fight Arsenal. Arsenal deployed a number of weapons, from inertia darts to a stunfield, to lethal gas, but the Hulk advanced through all of them and punched Arsenal again and again until Arsenal Beta was destroyed. 

(Damage Control I#1) - Arsenal's head was visible among the pieces of robotic detritus in Damage Control's basement storage area.

(Iron Man II#84) - Iron Man was informed by Senator Zimmer that the Arsenal Alpha was still deactivated beneath Avengers Mansion and that the heroes had only defeated the Beta unit. He was asked to shut it down, and not to tell any of the other Avengers due to the level of secrecy the United States wished to keep regarding Arsenal. Iron Man ventured into the old submarine pen far beneath Avengers Mansion and searched for the Arsenal Alpha unit, unaware that his fellow Avengers had followed him. Iron Man uncovered the Alpha Arsenal Unit but the Avengers--not trusting Iron Man due to his secrecy--interrupted the transmission codes being sent in by Zimmer and thus accidentally activated the Alpha Arsenal. 

(Iron Man III#85) - The Vision joined the fight against Arsenal, and they led him outside of the mansion. Senator Zimmer contacted Homeland Security to assist in Arsenal's defeat, and Warbird arrived with her team of officers. Warbird knocked Arsenal down and prepared it for transport, but it revived again and continued to battle the Avengers. Iron Man eventually realized that because Arsenal activated when the Avengers jammed all radio frequencies, that Arsenal was kept inert by a radio call sign, and that once that frequency was jammed, it came to life. Iron Man kept Arsenal busy while Warbird destroyed the radio jammer, causing it to deactivate. Homeland Security then began to dismantle Arsenal.

Comments: Beta unit created by Bill Mantlo, Keith Giffen, and Bruce D. Patterson
                     Alpha unit created by John Jackson Miller and Jorge Lucas. 

    Originally, in the seventies, Arsenal was supposed to be defense against a Nazi attack, but it was retconned the other year that Arsenal was to be activated in case of a Soviet attack, not a Nazi one.
...and even that time period will eventually become topical, but it's bought us a few decades anyway--Snood.

    What was funny about this profile is that it took me many many months because I required the assistance of many of the other masters of the obscure.  Information in Iron Man I#114 was contributed by Madison Carter, Hulk#282 was contributed by the Leader (from Leader's Lair), and information on Iron Man III#85 was contributed by Prime Eternal. Now that's team work!

Thanks to Loki for pointing out the Damage Control appearance by the original Arsenal's head.

Profile by Stunner, Madison Carter, and Prime Eternal

Clarifications: Not to be confused with:


images: Iron Man I#114 (cover)
               Avengers Annual #9, page 26, panel 8
               (Alpha unit) Iron Man III#84, page 18 panel 2


Iron Man I#114 (September, 1978) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Keith Giffen (pencils), Bruce D. Patterson (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Avengers Annual#9 (1979) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Don Newton (pencils), Jack Abel & Joe Rubinstein (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#282 (April, 1983) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Damage Control I#1 (May, 1989) - Dwayne McDuffie (writer), Ernie Colon (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Sid Jacobson (editor)
Iron Man III#84-85 (August-September, 2004) - John Jackson Miller (writer), Jorge Lucas (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Last updated: 04/20/14

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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