Real Name: Frank Ensign
Occupation: Formerly Guardsman Prime for the superhuman prison known as the Vault
Group Membership: The Vault Guardsmen
Affiliations: Howard G. Hardman (employer), Iron Man, Mike (another of the Vault's Guardsmen), and more than likely the rest of the staff at the Vault
Enemies: Klaw, Mister Hyde, Wizard,
and presumably any of the other inmates of the Vault;
formerly Iron Man (Tony Stark)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Guardsman Prime
Base of Operations: The Vault superhuman prison, located in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado
First Appearance: Avengers Spotlight#26 (December, 1989)
Powers/Abilities: Frank Ensign possessed no actual superhuman powers, but he did wear a suit of armor similar to that of the other Vault Guardsmen. Frank's suit granted him superhuman strength and durability and was capable of flight via internal boot jets and firing energy blasts.
(Iron Man I#228 / Captain America I#341 - all BTS (or at least unidentified)) - Frank Ensign was one of the Guardsmen present at the Vault when Iron Man used his neutralizer pack to destroy the Guardsmen's armor, as it contained some advanced technology which had been stolen and distributed to a number of other armor wearers. These events led to a breakout at the Vault which was partially contained by Captain America, D-Man, Falcon, Nomad, and Vagabond.
(Avengers Spotlight#26 (fb) - BTS) - The Guardsmen received new armor from Stane International, but this armor was not as powerful as the Stark-designed armor they had used before.
(Avengers Spotlight#26) - Frank
Ensign and another Guardsman from the Vault escorted the Wizard and his cronies
from the Frightful Four into the Vault. Once inside, Frank spoke with some
of the doctors working at the Vault. One of the doctors suggested that since
the Wizard had broken out of Ryker's Island too many times that he should
one of the Vault's standard "MacGyver-proof" cells until his trial. Frank
Ensign then put his Guardsman helmet back on and exclaimed that it was time
for him to go play "bad cop." He then flew outside the room and confronted
the Wizard, introducing himself and warning the Wizard that no one in the
Vault was badder than he was. He then told the Wizard that if he forgot that, he
would remind him. Frank and the Wizard then rode an elevator down to the Level 5
Containment Area of the Vault, where he told another Guardsman named Mike that
he was checking the Wizard in. Frank then showed the Wizard to his cell, telling
him to cheer up and say hi to the other prisoners.
Frank then returned to the doctors' room, where one of the doctors congratulated him on the psyche-out job he pulled on the Wizard. As Frank commented to another Guardsman that the newer model of armor that the Guardsmen were inferior in comparison to the original Tony Stark-designed ones, he noticed that the Wizard appeared to be talking to someone in his cell. Thinking that the Wizard was either going nuts or something was going down, Frank flew back to the cell, where he found the Wizard wearing his recently confiscated armor and anti-gravity discs. Frank warned the Wizard to surrender, but the Wizard just punched Frank away from him. Frank Ensign tried to fire off a repulsor blast at the Wizard, but the Wizard deflected the blast back at him, knocking him into the bars of Mister Hyde's cell. Mister Hyde then held Frank in place while the Wizard punched him in the face. The Wizard then demanded to know where he could find an access port to the control panel for the cells. The other Guardsmen soon arrived to stop the cell break, where they found themselves facing the Armadillo, Scarecrow, Electro, as well as Mister Hyde and the Wizard. During the breakout, Frank Ensign removed his helmet so that he could get it working again. Upon fixing it, Frank managed to send a message to Peggy Carter at Avengers Island.
(Avengers Spotlight#26/2) - Not long after the message was sent to the Avengers, Iron Man arrived and told Frank not to panic. Iron Man then introduced himself, but Frank explained that he knew who he was, as he was present when Iron Man had caused the last breakout.
(Avengers Spotlight#29/2) - After many of the escaped prisoners had been returned to the Vault, Frank Ensign and Iron Man presented the new Guardsman Mark III armor to the other Guardsmen in the Vault. Frank wore the suit as Iron Man explained its functions. When the Wizard was brought back to the Vault, Klaw appeared and attacked Iron Man. Klaw then told the Wizard to once again suit up, and the two attempted to stop Iron Man. Unfortunately for the Wizard, Frank Ensign had also arrived wearing the new suit of armor, which was more than a match for the Wizard's gadgets. Frank eventually knocked the Wizard out with a punch and brought him back inside the Vault. Once inside, the Wizard exclaimed that the new suits worked well, but in a one-on-one fight without the armor, Frank was no match for him. To prove the Wizard wrong, Frank removed his armor and punched the Wizard in the face. Almost instantly afterwards, Iron Man arrived and asked what happened to the Wizard, to which Frank replied that he had fallen down.
(Marvel: The Year in Review '89) - During an interview, Ensign expressed his frustration that if he had had the original armor (pre-Iron Man's neutralization), he could have stopped the Wizard the first time.
Comments: Created by Dwayne McDuffie, Dwayne Turner, and Chris Ivy.
Frank Ensign has no known connections to
Avengers Spotlight#29, p21, pan6 (Frank Ensign full body shot)
p21, pan8 (Frank Ensign headshot)
Avengers Spotlight#26 (December, 1989) - Dwayne McDuffie (writer), Dwayne Turner (pencils), Chris Ivy (insk), Mark Gruenwald & Gregory Wright (editor)
Avengers Spotlight#29 (February, 1990) - Dwayne McDuffie (writer), Dwayne Turner (pencils), Chris Ivy (insk), Mark Gruenwald & Gregory Wright (editor)
Marvel: The Year in Review '89 (1989) - Evan Skolnick (writer)
Last updated: 05/07/05
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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