Real Name: Matthew Linden

Identity/Class: Normal Human

Occupation: Student

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Hercules, Edwin Jarvis

Enemies: Tony

Known Relatives: None known

Aliases: "The Neighborhood Artist" (taunting title imposed by bullies)

Base of Operations: New York City

First Appearance: Thor I#356 (June 1985)

Powers/Abilities: Matthew possesses the normal human strength level of a young man of his height, weight and build who engages in extensive regular exercises. He has no superhuman powers. He is a very talented artist. He also has to wear eye glasses and is possibly nearsighted or far-sighted.





History: (Thor I#356) - Matthew Linden was a young artist living in the area of New York City near Central Park. As most boys played sports, Matthew always wandered off with a sketchbook and drew pictures of the god Thor. His persistent nemesis, a bully named Tony, however, came over with his usual gang of cronies and started verbally abusing Matthew and mocking him. Tony snatched away Matthew's sketchbook and sneered at the pictures in it. Criticizing Matthew's choice for a role model, he ripped a picture out of it and crumpled it up. At that time, Hercules and Edwin Jarvis chanced through Central park and Tony pressured Matthew to confront him over who was stronger, himself or Thor. Amused at the question, Hercules started boasting of his mythological exploits such as the Hydra, Cretan Bull and holding up the earth for the Titan, Atlas, and then went into an exaggerated tirade of himself besting Thor in a major fracas over much of Manhattan. 

During the overly extended, embellished and outrageous fabrication, Jarvis just managed to notice Matthew's sketchbook which Tony had dropped. He delicately pulled Hercules aside and explained the matter in secret. The revelation had a major impact on the ending of Hercules's tall tale, and he realized that the emotional welfare of a young man was more delicate than his own ego. In the end of his incredible story, Thor punched Hercules "to a place the gods forgot - New Jersey." Feeling deflated, Tony again ordered Matthew to leave his sight, but Hercules then warned him about his feelings on bullies. As Tony and his cronies fled, Hercules invited Matthew with him to go shopping with Jarvis and then dinner with the Avengers in order to regale him with the exploits of his good friend, Thor.





Comments: Created by Bob Harras, Jackson Guice and Bob Layton

    Overall, Matthew's appearance and story is a must-read and a great issue over all; not just for the crazy implausible modern myth which Hercules creates, but for anyone who has ever been subjugated by bullies, punks, jerks, hoods, nimrods or other menaces to society. (Doesn't anyone recall the lesson we learned from Columbine?)

    "I cannot abide a bully - if you can understand my meaning." - Hercules must be basing this on his experiences with Eurystheus.

    It's never revealed if Matthew got to meet Thor after all.

    As the writer of this entry, I apologize to the people of New Jersey, but that is what Hercules says."

Profile by: WillU

CLARIFICATIONS: Matthew Linden  is not to be confused with:  

Tony is not to be confused with:



Tony was the bully and antagonist who terrorized Matthew and mocked him for wanting to draw instead of going out for physical and competitive sports. He took Matthew's sketchbook away from him in order to mock him for him and snatched it away from Jarvis after a Frisbee knocked it from his hands. After Hercules realized his nature, Tony was sent away running, possibly wiser for his experience.

--Thor I#356 

Matthew main pic - Thor I #356, page 3, top of page
Matthew Close-Up - Thor I #356, page 4, middle left
Tony - Thor I #356,  page 3, middle right


Thor I#356 (June 1985)

Last updated: 01/15/06

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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