Real Name: Curtis Carr
Identity/Class: Human technology
U.S. citizen with a criminal record;
Dual identity as Chemistro publicly known, but identity as High-Tech is secret (known perhaps only to Deathlok (Michael Collins)
Occupation: Research scientist;
former professional criminal
Group Membership: Head of Stark Prosthetics
Affiliations: Bambina Arbogast, Luke Cage, Deathlok (Michael Collins), Iron Fist (Daniel Rand'Kai), Iron Man/Tony Stark, Jim Rhodes
Enemies: Chemistro (Arch Morton), Chemistro (Calvin Carr), Magnum, Moses, Magnum
Munitions, Mainstream Motors (Horace C. Claymore, Annabelle
Crawford, Howard, Jack)
formerly Power Man (Luke Cage)
Known Relatives: Calvin Carr (younger brother)
Aliases: Curtiss, High-Tech;
formerly Chemistro, Master of Alchemy, "Circles" (nickname from Cage)
Place of Birth: Kansas City, Kansas
Base of Operations: Stark
Prosthetics, Denver, Colorado
formerly New York City, New York
Education: Advanced degrees in chemistry, physics, and mechanical engineering
First Appearance: Hero for Hire#12 (August, 1973)
Powers/Abilities: Curtis is an inventive genius (see comments), with advanced knowledge of chemistry, physics, and mechanical engineering. He created the Alchemy Gun, work which he has proven capable of replicating (see comments). In addition, he has also a created--often within very short periods of time under conditions of high stress--a variety of neutralizers and nullifiers, the High-Tech armor, and a variety of advanced prosthetic technology.
Curtis was in excellent physical condition and a reasonably skilled streetfighter during his criminal career, but he strength has declined since he became crippled and retired from crime. Though initially requiring crutches after his injury, he has since developed advanced prostheses that replicate the function of his missing feet.
Curtis' Chemistro uniform
was composed of synthetic stretch fabric (Lycra). His primary
weapon was the Alchemy Gun (see left), a handgun-like device that
fired an unknown form of radiation that transmuted one substance
into another. Transformations have included turning wood into
rubber, wood into glass, paper to diamond, and flesh into steel.
These transmutations were unstable and the transmuted object
would turn to dust anyway after a certain period of time. The Gun
typically transformed its target into a single chemical, compound,
etc., and it could not be used to turn an inanimate object into a
living being. While the Gun could not alter the shape of its
target, it could raise or lower its temperature, turning a solid
to a liquid, etc. The barrel of the Gun was coated with a special
mist that rendered it immune to transmutations, and the same mist
could be used to coat other objects or even living beings to
render them at least temporarily immune to transmutation.
The exact mechanism of the gun's function is unknown. Curtis has described radiation as the source of the transmutations, but as nuclear fission or fusion seems unlikely in such a small device, it may be that it tapped into extradimensional power. Or something else altogether...
Curtis wore a suit of armor as High-Tech that allowed him to neutralize various security measures as well as providing a number of offensive capabilities. Its data-broadcasting web could make him invisible to any security sensor, but he remained visible to the naked eye. He could project a diffractory force field that protected him from lasers; a neural overload net that caused extreme pain in its victim, incapacitating him; and an Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) pulse that could disable most electronic systems. He also carried miniature time bombs, etc.
Weight: 185 lbs.
(Hero for Hire#12 (fb)) - Employed by Mainstream Motors--at the time advertised as America's second largest automobile manufacturer--Curtis designed additives for their chemistry laboratory. Bored by this, he began experimenting on his own, and he somehow developed his Alchemy Gun. His boss, Horace Claymore, was quite pleased until Curtis told him that he intended to keep the invention for himself. Curtis refused to give up the Gun when Claymore told him that it had been made on company time and that it belonged to the company, so Claymore fired him.
Deciding to make Claymore pay, Curtiss began weightlifting. As he began to bulk up considerably, he designed and put together a costume intended to frighten others. Curtis enjoyed going over his history in his mind, as it made him so angry that he was willing to do almost anything to get even with Claymore.
(Hero for Hire#12 (fb) - BTS) - Seeking to learn more about the company he wished to destroy, Chemistro broke into Mainstream Motors offices and began digging through their records.
(Hero for Hire#12) - Discovered by Mainstream Motors secretary Annabelle Crawford, Chemistro turned the floor below her into glass, and he made his escape as she fell through it. Crawford asked Luke Cage to get Chemistro for her, and Claymore paid the bill to hire him to do just that. Testing by Manny Redmond--a chemist friend of Cage's revealed that the materials transformed by Chemistro's Gun were unstable, turning to dust when subjected to heat.
(Hero for Hire#12 (fb) - BTS) - Chemistro slipped back into Mainstream Motors around dawn. Within their boardroom, he softened a hollow statue, softening it so he could slip inside and then hardening it again so he could listen to the next board meeting.
(Hero for Hire#12) - Mainstream Motors' Board of Directors elected to keep secret the knowledge of Chemistro's identity to prevent public scandal for their involvement, after which Chemistro leapt out confronting the board. When Claymore walked into the room, Chemistro tried to extort $100, 000 from him. However, Luke Cage had been listening in on the meeting too, and he confronted Chemistro. After a short struggle, Chemistro turned the floor below Cage into paper and then fled, turning the doorway into phosphorous after he exited, and even Cage could not brave those flames.
(Hero for Hire#12) - Three days later, at a New Jersey test track where Mainstream Motors exhibited and tested their prototypes, Cage and Claymore awaited an attack from Chemistro. Sure enough, Chemistro blasted the first car, turning it into molten metal, but Cage had replaced the driver, and he escaped unharmed with the protection of his flame-retardant racing outfit. Having seen the glint from Chemistro's gun, Cage chased Chemistro into the stands, tackling and unmasking him. Desperate to resist Cage's power, Chemistro blasted his own foot, turning it to steel. Chemistro kicked Cage in the chin, but his excitement turned to horror as the unstable transformation caused his foot to crumble to dust. Carr dropped to the ground, mortified over how he had let the Alchemy Gun ruin his life, trading in a potential wife and kids for crutches and prison.
(Power Man#37 (fb)) - Sent to prison, Curtis decided to go straight. However, another prisoner, Arch Morton, learned about Curtis' history as Chemistro and forced him to reveal the secrets of his Alchemy Gun.
(Power Man#37 (fb) - BTS) - After Morton was released a few weeks before him, Curtis heard how he built his own Alchemy Gun, which exploded in his hands, bathing him in its power. He also heard that Morton gained the power of the Alchemy Gun in his own body
(Power Man#37 (fb) - BTS) - Following his release from prison, Carr--unable to afford a prosthetic--chose to spend his time in his bed.
Man#37) - After an unseen attack by what he believed to be Chemistro, Cage--now
Power Man--used his street contacts to track down Curtis Carr. From his bed,
Curtis told Cage that he had gone straight, and so Cage believed that Curtis was
not acting as Chemistro. As he left, however, Curtis realized who the new
Chemistro had to be.
Following an actual confrontation with Chemistro, Cage returned to Carr's apartment, surprised to find him still in bed. Curtis revealed his past with Arch Morton, who had to be the new Chemistro. Curtis offered to help Cage.
(Power Man#38) - After a defeat from Chemistro, Cage returned to Curtis' apartment once again. Curtis told him he was still working on "a trick" for him, but that it might be another day before it was ready.
(Power Man#39) - Cage again visited Carr, who gave him the Nullifier he had designed. Geared to the properties of the original Alchemy Gun, it was intended to neutralize Chemistro's power. Cage thanked Carr, telling Curtis to come to him if he ever needed anything. When next encountering Chemistro, Cage used the Nullifier, which successfully rendered Chemistro powerless, and he was easily defeated.
(Power Man#94 (fb) - BTS) - With no job and no social life, Curtis began work on a new Alchemy Gun to keep his mind occupied.
(Power Man#94 (fb)) - Curtis was visited by his brother Calvin, who forcibly took the Alchemy Gun from him. Curtis tried to warn him about how the gun might make him feel invincible, but Calvin left with the Gun anyway.
(Power Man#93 - BTS) - Power Man and Iron Fist fought the new Chemistro, who escaped, but not before he turned their friends Bob Diamond and Colleen Wing to glass.
(Power Man#94) - Power Man and Iron Fist visited Curtis, who told them of Calvin. Curtis expressed his sympathies over what had happened to Bob and Colleen, accepting partial responsibility for it. Curtis later met with D.W. Griffith, asking his assistance in helping Luke Cage and his friends.
(Power Man#94 (fb) - BTS) - Curtis managed to reverse the Alchemy Gun's effects on Bob and Colleen, turning them back to normal
(Power Man#94) - Curtis accompanied Bob and Colleen in showing Power Man and Iron Fist that they were back to normal, but the distraction allowed an otherwise defeated Chemistro to escape. Nonetheless, Iron Fist told Curtis that he would try to get him a job working for Tony Stark.
(Power Man#96) - Following a defeat by Chemistro, Power Man and Iron Fist met with Curtis, who sprayed them with a mixture he had used to coat and protect the barrel of the Alchemy Gun. Protected from its effects, the Heroes for Hire defeated Chemistro at their next meeting.
(Iron Man I#251 (fb) - BTS) - Tony Stark hired Curtis, putting him to work at Stark Prosthetics, a division of Stark Enterprises.
(Iron Man I#251 (fb) - BTS) - Curtis met Stark's pilot and bodyguard, Jim Rhodes.
(Iron Man I#251 (fb) - BTS) - Curtis designed a prosthesis to replace his right foot. He similarly designed prosthetics to replace limbs, etc. in other people.
(Iron Man I#251) - Tony Stark and Jim Rhodes visited Curtis at Stark Prosthetics, where they were all attacked by the Wrecker, sent there by the Kingpin as part of the "Acts of Vengeance." Panicking, Curtis sought assistance from his brother Calvin, leading Chemistro to Stark Prosthetics to face Iron Man, who had exhausted his power narrowly defeating the Wrecker.
(Iron Man I#252)
- After Chemistro had turned Iron Man's armor to lead and defeated Rhodes, Curtis
tried to convince Calvin to stop the madness. Calvin explained how he was
working for the Wizard (also as part of the Acts of Vengeance) and was trying to
make a name for himself. Calvin then turned from Curtis to finish off Iron Man,
but the distraction had allowed Rhodes to free Stark from the armor, enabling
the two to escape.
Stark later summoned Curtis to his office, promising him that he would rebuild Stark Prosthetics, and that he would keep Curtis and his staff on full salary until this was done. He then brought Curtis to his personal laboratory, where Curtis began to work on a neutralizer against Calvin's power. Curtis designed an energy shield that protected Iron Man from Chemistro's power, but Chemistro managed to overload the beam. Chemistro overpowered Iron Man, at which point Curtis rushed out with his freshly completed jamming rifle. However, the beam from the rifle struck Chemistro in the chest, and had no effect on the power in his wrist weapons. Chemistro then blasted Curtis' left foot, which turned to glass and shattered. After Curtis had fallen, Chemistro blasted and destroyed his jamming rifle. The distraction allowed Iron Man to free himself, and he defeated Chemistro and destroyed his weapons.
Curtiss vowed to be back on his feet in no time...feet he would make himself.
(Deathlok II#11 (fb) - BTS) - Curtis wished to pursue other methods of data collection or of furthering his work that were less-than-legal. To this end he designed the High-Tech armor, with which he could act without linking himself or Stark Prosthetics to his activities.
(Deathlok II#11 (fb) - BTS) - Curtis decided to use High-Tech to obtain information from Cybertek's prosthetics program from Magnum Munitions, which had bought out the smaller company.
- As High-Tech, Curtis invaded Magnum Munitions' main factory complex,
neutralizing an electrified fence and the rest of the security measures.
However, no sooner had he copied all of the files he had wanted when he was
confronted by head of security Mr. Lawson. High-Tech incapacitated Lawson and
escaped, but when he returned home and loaded the disks, he set off a tracking
signal that alerted Magnum Munitions to his location. Curtis recognized what was
happening and terminated the signal immediately, but they had still determined
his general area. This signal was also detected by Deathlok (Michael Collins),
who decided to check out the man that had stolen the Cybertek files to learn his
interest and to warn him that Magnum Munitions would seek vengeance for his
Deathlok slipped into Stark Prosthetics, but his presence was detected by Carr, who changed into High-Tech and ambushed him. Deathlok initially tried to convince Carr of his innocent intent, but failing this he feigned injury and then destroyed the High-Tech armor. After Deathlok explained himself, he decided to work with Carr's people to further advance their technology while they waited for Magnum's Terrordome weapon. The wait was short, but Deathlok managed to destroy the Terrordome, and forced its pilot, Lawson, to wait for the arrival of the police.
(Deathlok II#11 (fb) - BTS) - When the police arrived, Curtis turned himself in. However, Magnum Munitions denied responsibility for the Terrordome as well as denying that anything was stolen from them. Curtis was released, and he went back to Stark Prosthetics.
(Civil War: Battle Damage Report) - Tony Stark considered High-Tech as a potential Initiative recruit.
Comments: Created by Steve Englehart, George Tuska, and Billy Graham.
The cover of Hero for Hire#12 has Chemistro colored in green and yellow, when it's always been red and white (or light blue).
In Iron Man I#252, Curtis
stated that he had never been able to duplicate the accident that
produced the radiation-emitting compound that powered the Alchemy
Gun. That's not true, because Curtis gave the secrets of the Gun
to Arch Morton, and Morton gained power from that Gun. In
addition, it was a THIRD Alchemy Gun that Curtiss had built which
was stolen by Calvin.
The OHotMU Master Edition described Curtis as of only gifted intellect. I'm going to disagree, as he not only created the Alchemy Gun, but also a variety of neutralizers and nullifiers, the High-Tech armor, and a variety of advanced prosthetic technology.
Also in Iron Man I#252, Curtis revealed the energy blasts that transmuted his feet also cauterized them, which explains why he didn't bleed to death after his feet fell off.
Chemistro (all three of them) had an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update'89#2, as well as the Master Edition#24.
In the novel Doomgate by Jeffrey Lang following Civil War, a man named Jenkins visited the previous Carr at Stark Enterprises and noted a picture he keeps of himself as Chemistro, in memory of past follies.
Profile by Snood.
Curtis Carr, aka Chemistro and High-Tech, should be distinguished from:
Hero for Hire#12, p5, panel 3 (Chemistro unmasked)
p13, panel 5 (Chemistro)
p16, panel 3 (Chemistro mask - closeup)
p19, panel 2 (Alchemy Gun)
Power Man#94, p7, panel 5 (modern Curtis face)
(November, 1976) - by Marv Wolfman, Ron Wilson, and A. Bradford
Power Man#38 (December, 1976) - by Marv Wolfman, Bill Mantlo, and Bob Brown
Power Man#39 (January, 1977) - by Marv Wolfman, Bill Mantlo, and Bob Brown
Power Man#93 (May, 1983) - by Kurt Busiek, Denys Cowan, and Ricardo Villamonte, and Denny ONeil (editor)
Power Man#94 (June, 1983) - by Kurt Busiek, Ernie Chan (artist), and Denny O'Neil (editor)
Power Man#96 (August, 1983) - by Kurt Busiek, Ernie Chan, Mike Mignola, and Denny O'Neil (editor)
Iron Man I#251 (December, 1989) - by Dwayne McDuffie, Herb Trimpe, Al Milgrom, and Howard Mackie
Iron Man I#252 (January, 1990) - by Dwayne McDuffie, Herb Trimpe, Al Milgrom, and Howard Mackie
Deathlok II#11 (May, 1992) - by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Mike Manley, and Tom Brevoort
Civil War: Battle Damage Report (2007)
Fantastic Four: Doomgate (November, 2008) - Jeffrey Lang (writer)
Last updated: 09/30/05
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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