CHEMISTRO

Real Name: Archibald "Arch" Morton

Identity/Class: Human technology user;
    U.S. citizen with a criminal record

Occupation: former professional criminal

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Baron, Checkpoint Charlie

EnemiesBig Brother, Curtis Carr, Power Man (Luke Cage)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Place of Birth: Sheridan, Wyoming, USA

Base of Operations: Manhattan, New York, USA
    Milehigh Keep, location unrevealed, AFAIK

Education: High school graduate

First Appearance: Power Man#37 (November, 1976)

Powers/Abilities: Chemistro's hand (or hands - see comment) duplicated the powers Alchemy Gun (see left), enabling him to fire an unknown form of radiation that transmuted one substance into another. Transformations have included turning brick into rubber, concrete into paper, wood into glass, cloth into tar, cloth into steel, etc.. These transmutations were presumably similar to those of the Alchemy Gun, meaning that they were likely unstable, and that the transmuted object would turn to dust anyway after a certain period of time. He typically transformed his target into a single chemical, compound, etc., and could not turn an inanimate object into a living being. While he could not alter the shape of his target, he could raise or lower its temperature, turning a solid to a liquid, etc.

    Arch Morton was of athletic build and abilities, and he was experienced in basic streetfighting techniques.

Height: 6'0"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Bald, light brown on sides

History:
(Power Man#37 (fb)) - While in prison, Arch Morton learned about Curtis Carr's history as Chemistro and forced him to reveal the secrets of his Alchemy Gun.

(Power Man#37 (fb)) - After Morton was released from prison, he built his own Alchemy Gun, which exploded in his hands, bathing him in its power. Morton gained the power of the Alchemy Gun in his own body (see comments).

(Power Man#37 (fb) - BTS) - Morton became the new Chemistro.

(Power Man#37 (fb) - BTS) - Chemistro was employed by the Baron, who sent him to attack Luke Cage, Power Man, and to frame the Baron's rival, Big Brother, as Chemistro's employer. The Baron intended for Cage to go after and eliminate Big Brother, enabling him to take over the underworld.

(Power Man#37 (fb) - BTS) - Chemistro turned Cage's Times Square office into glass, leaving behind a message that stated, "Don't get involved with me Cage!  'Big Brother'"

(Power Man#37 - BTS) - Cage fell through the floor of his office and correctly reasoned that Chemistro was responsible, though he missed the message. Cage subsequently sought out Carr, but left after finding him to be confined to his bed.

(Power Man#37) - Chemistro ambushed Cage as he left the hospital room of Noah Burstein, turning the walls around him to molasses. While Cage was briefly stuck in the molasses, Chemistro warned him to lay off Big Brother's operations or when next they met he would destroy him. Chemistro escaped before Cage could free himself.

(Power Man#37 - BTS) - Chemistro met up with fellow Baron agent Checkpoint Charlie and staked out Carr's apartment, knowing that Cage would return their, since he still believed that Carr was Chemistro.

(Power Man#37) - Cage confronted Carr again, and Carr told him of Arch Morton. As Cage left Carr's apartment, Chemistro confronted him again. They fought until Chemistro turned the ground below Cage into quicksand, after which he turned Cage's shirt into lead to speed his descent.

(Power Man#38 (fb) - BTS) - Carr began work on a device to nullify Chemistro's powers.

(Power Man#38 (fb) - BTS) - Chemistro escaped after Cage had sunk below the surface. He staked out Carr's apartment yet again, in case Cage survived and returned there. 

(Power Man#38) - When Cage visited Carr's apartment, Chemistro turned the stairs below Cage into paper, causing him to drop into the basement where Chemistro awaited him. Chemistro continued to warn him about Big Brother, then attacked Cage with a variety of alchemical assaults. Surviving them all, Cage managed to grab and crush Chemistro's hands, after which he punched Chemistro out and left him for the police.

(Power Man#38 (fb) - BTS) - Chemistro either escaped before the police arrived or was sprung from prison by the Baron.

(Power Man#39 - BTS) - Upon confronting Big Brother, Cage learned that the Baron had been the one behind Chemistro. Cage then went back to see Carr, who gave him a nullifer device to neutralize the Alchemy Gun-based power.

(Power Man#39) - Cage invaded Milehigh Keep, the base of the Baron. Upon smashing through a castle wall, Cage found Chemistro. He hurled the nullifer at Chemistro, and it stuck to his chest, neutralizing his powers. Cage then punched out Chemistro, after which he defeated the Baron and the rest of his minions.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89 #2: Chemistro) - Arch Morton was returned to prison.

 

Comments: Created by Marv Wolfman, Ron Wilson, and A. Bradford.

When first seen, Chemistro claimed that the power was now in his hand (and he used his left hand at that point). However, in several other instances, he was seen to use the power with his right hand, so either he learned to use it with both hands or it was an error. I'm going with both hands, though the OHotMU Update '89 #2 entry on Chemistro (as well as the Master Edition) says differently, specifying that the power is only in his left hand.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Chemistro (Arch Morton) should be distinguished from:


images:
Power Man#37,
Power Man#38, p1, panel 4 (full body)
Power Man#38, p9, panel 3 (masked face)
Power Man#39, p12, panel 4 (nullifier)


Appearances:
Power Man#37 (November, 1976) - Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), Ron Wilson (pencils), A. Bradford (inks)
Power Man#38 (December, 1976) - Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), Bill Mantlo (script), Bob Brown (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks)
Power Man#39 (January, 1977) - Marv Wolfman (writer), Bill Mantlo (script), Bob Brown (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)


Last updated: 10/01/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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