Membership: Bruto the Strongman, Eden, Hawkeye, Hulk/Mechano, the Ringmaster (Maynard Tiboldt), unnamed acrobat, unnamed clown (see comments), two unnamed crewmen, unnamed crewwoman, unnamed human cannonball, unnamed ringmaster, unnamed showgirl, unnamed tight rope walker, two trapeze artists, two unnamed unicyclists (see comments)

Purpose: To amaze its audience and make money in the process

Affiliations: The Avengers (Hawkeye, Iron Man, Mockingbird, Tigra, Wonder Man), Hulk (as Mechano)

Enemies: Quicksilver, the Ringmaster (Maynard Tiboldt),  The LMD Zodiac (Leo, Libra, Virgo)

Aliases: Tiboldt's Traveling Circus

Base of Operations: Mobile

First Appearance: Avengers I#1 (September, 1963)

History: (West Coast Avengers Annual#1 (fb) - BTS) - Over a hundred years ago, the Keibler Circus was founded.

 (Hawkeye III#7 (fb)) - At some point after the Circus was founded, it was renamed the Tiboldt Circus when Maynard Tiboldt became its Ringmaster. A young Clint Barton, using the stage name of Hawkeye, had also joined the Circus, along with a tattooed girl named Eden and Tiboldt's right hand man, Bruto the Strongman. One day when the Circus was doing a show in Michigan, Hawkeye confronted Tiboldt about the murder of an art dealer that Maynard had spoke with days before. While questioning Tiboldt, Clint noticed that Eden was also inside Tiboldt's trailer, barely clothed. Clint stormed out of the trailer and Eden ran after him. Clint turned and accused Eden of helping Tiboldt commit murder, but Eden managed to convince Clint that she was innocent, much to the satisfaction of Maynard Tiboldt, who was using Eden to keep Clint under his influence.

 (Avengers I#1 - BTS) - After being duped by Loki into causing a train wreck, the incredible Hulk attempted to escape capture by disguising himself as a robot called Mechano. As Mechano, the Hulk joined the Circus.


(Hawkeye III#8 (fb)) - After the Hulk joined the Circus as Mechano, the Tiboldt Circus left towards another show in Minnesota. As the Circus was traveling, Hawkeye managed to break his bow while tightening the strings and searched the Circus for a soldering iron. Eden claimed that she had a soldering iron in one of the storage chests and when Hawkeye looked for it, he found a stash of paintings. Realizing that the art belonged to the murdered art dealer, Clint once again questioned Eden about her involvement in the murder after the Minnesota show. However, Eden just avoided answering the question.

 (Hawkeye III#8 - BTS (fb)) - Using the evidence he had found, Clint Barton turned Eden in to the police, where she was arrested and convicted of grand larceny and accessory to murder. The Circus's ringmaster, Maynard Tiboldt, was also eventually arrested for his crimes as well and had to leave the Circus.

 (Avengers I#1) - Not long after Maynard Tiboldt had been arrested, Ant-Man and the Wasp visited the Circus, now back to using the Keibler name, to search for the Hulk. While the Hulk, as Mechano, did a juggling act with an elephant, a seal, and a horse, Ant-Man sent his ants to burrow beneath the ground. The Hulk continued his act until the ants managed to cause a cave-in underground and capture the Hulk in a crevice created by the cave-in. The Hulk quickly freed himself from the ground to find that his trap had been set by Ant-Man and the Wasp, who were trying to track him down in order to find out the truth about the train wreck. The Hulk tried to run from them, but Ant-Man's ants caused a cylinder to fall from one of the tent posts. The cylinder fell on the Hulk, temporarily trapping him once again. While the audience roared with applause, thinking the fight between the heroes to be part of the show, the Hulk removed his Mechano disguise and revealed himself. He then began to battle Ant-Man and the Wasp until Iron Man arrived as well. Wanting to be left alone, the Hulk attempted to jump through the top of the circus tent, but was halted by a nylon net that Ant-Man's ants had laid across the top of the tent. While the net did slow the Hulk down, the force of the Hulk's jump carried the entire top of the tent with him as he leapt away. Freeing himself of the net and tent top, the Hulk left the Circus with Iron Man, Ant-Man, and the Wasp in hot pursuit.

 (West Coast Avengers Annual#1) - Years later, the Keibler Circus was still around, playing to smaller cities. During one of their shows, the Circus was attacked by the LMD Zodiac. Libra was the first to attack, appearing in front of the trapeze artists mid-leap. While Libra surprised the trapeze artists, Leo freed the lions from their cages. As the animals began to rampage, the audience of the show made a run for it, with one of the audience members commenting how the Hulk had attacked the Circus once when he was a child. The Avengers soon arrived at the Circus, having tracked their traitorous member Quicksilver there. Deciding to join in the attack, the Keibler Circus human cannonball had Scorpio fire him into the Avenger Mockingbird, knocking her out. Soon after, Scorpio hit Hawkeye and Wonder Man with a blast of his neurotoxin gas, causing both to go unconscious. As the Zodiac made their escape from the Circus, Virgo placed a machine on Iron Man's armor that caused the armor to freeze up and become unable to move. Tigra soon got to drop on Virgo, however, pinning her to the ground while the other members of the Zodiac got away with their boss, Quicksilver.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Dick Ayers.

I would like to point out that the images taken from Avengers I#1 were used from the CD-Rom version of the issue, as seen in the Marvel Collector's Edition Vol. 1 CD, which collected the first ten issues of certain characters including Spider-Man, X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, etc. etc. So if the page numbers are different than the page numbers in the original 1963 Avengers I#1, I apologize as I was going off of the page numbers listed on the CD-Rom. -Proto-Man

I included in the history section the issues of Hawkeye's 2004 series, because in issue#8, the Hulk as Mechano was seen in the background of the Circus, thereby meaning that it was the Keibler Circus that Hawkeye had joined after leaving the circus where he grew up. The only problem with this is that in the Hawkeye issues, the Circus was called the Tiboldt Circus because the Ringmaster, Maynard Tiboldt, was the head of it. The way that I fit the Hawkeye issues into the Keibler Circus history is that I believe that after his defeat at the hands of the Hulk, Maynard Tiboldt, along with his Circus of Crime ally, Bruto the Strongman, used his influence to usurp the Keibler Circus from its original owner and planned to turn the Keibler Circus into a second Circus of Crime, given that his original Circus of Crime met with defeat at the hands of the Hulk in Incredible Hulk I#3 (September, 1962). Of course, after Maynard had usurped the Circus, he ended up killing an art dealer with the aid of Eden. He was eventually arrested and had to leave the Circus. With Maynard Tiboldt gone, the Circus was free to resume using the name of the Keibler Circus and that was the name they used when they did their show that was interrupted by Ant-Man, the Wasp, and Iron Man. I think that is a good explanation, don't you? -Proto-Man

Yet another comment. In Hawkeye III#8, there was a clown who was part of the circus as well. It's possible that he could be Eliot "Crafty" Franklin, who used the codename of the Clown while a member of Maynard Tiboldt's Circus of Crime. Franklin could have joined the Keibler Circus with Bruto the Strongman when Maynard took it over. But considering the clown in that issue was never named, it's also possible that it was just an unnamed clown. -Proto-Man

Profile by Proto-Man


No known connection to:


Avengers I#1, p9, pan4 (The Keibler Circus, the Hulk as Mechano, ringmaster, acrobat, and tight rope walker-main pic)

 p13, pan5 (The Keibler Circus, pic of the circus from outside the tents)

West Coast Avengers Annual#1, p25, pan1 (The two trapeze artists)

Hawkeye III#8, p1, pan2 (The Tiboldt Circus, with Hawkeye)

Avengers I#1 (September, 1963) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks)
West Coast Avengers Annual#1 (1986) - Steve Englehart (writer), Mark Bright (pencils/co-plotter), Geof Isherwood (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Hawkeye III#7-8 (June-August, 2004) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Joe Bennett (pencils), Sandu Florea (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)

First Posted: 08/03/2005
Last updated: 07/30/2005

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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