GUS MUSTIN

Real Name: Gus Mustin

Identity/Class: Human mutate (World War I, World War II, Post-World War II to Modern era)

Occupation: Janitor

Group Membership: None
formerly: US Army

Affiliations: US Army, Jack Power (Counterweight)

Enemies: World War I enemies of the United States, school bullies

Known Relatives: Opal Mustin (wife, deceased)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: A school in New York City

First Appearance: Marvel Fanfare I#55/1 (February, 1991)

Powers/Abilities: Gus gained enhanced human strength from being exposed to an experimental gas. His aging process was seemingly slowed down as well by the same incident. (see comments)

 

History:
(Marvel Fanfare I#55/1 (fb) ) - In World War I Gus lied about his age to join the army. He was proud to serve his country, but in his first battle the enemy used an experimental gas and Gus landed in an army hospital. Gus was discharged and after some months in bed, Gus found out that the gas had changed him. The day he tossed a tractor over his family's barn his father said that he was probably the strongest man in the world, but his father was afraid that Gus would be locked up or something and therefore they kept Gus' strength a secret.

After his father's death Gus moved into the big city and wondered what to do with his powers. World War II started and suddenly super-heroes popped up to help against the Axis powers. This gave Gus the idea to become a super-hero himself, but when he made his costume he ran a scissor through his hand and it needed 48 stitches to stop the bleeding. He decided to drop the idea of becoming a super-hero because strength alone wasn't enough in a war with bullets flying around.

The years after that he took up an ordinary job and got married. One day he decided to share his secret with his wife Opal, but she got so scared by the revelation that she let Gus swear that he would never use his powers again. Gus kept his promise until she died.

Now he was an old man working as a janitor at a school and he still wondered what his powers were good for.

(Marvel Fanfare I#55/1) - Gus was cleaning the floor when he saw Jack Power being attacked by some bullies. Gus told them to stop and they ran away laughing about him. Jack didn't want Gus' help and left too. Angered by the whole situation Gus forgot about his powers and accidentally buckled a banister he had to replace before somebody saw it.

The next afternoon a fight between super-heroes (Power Pack, Magik and Warlock) and some mystical being sent by Enchantress took place in the school's gym and Gus wanted to help, but the police didn't let him through and made fun of the old, helpless man. Again Gus got angry and squashed his toolbox without anybody seeing it. They sent him away and the children laughed.

That evening Gus returned to the bunker below the destroyed gym where he always went when he wanted to be alone. He heard Jack Power outside and asked him to come down. Gus Mustin told Jack about his history and his super-strength. Suddenly the ceiling came down and Gus had trouble holding it up. Jack secretly used his gravity power to help Gus, who was able to throw the ceiling away. The old man and Jack left the bunker and Gus was happy that finally somebody knew that he was special. Jack promised to keep the secret. The next day Jack was beat up again and Gus poured dirty water over them when they walked by his window.

 

Comments: Created by Terry Austin, Colleen Doran & Bob Wiacek

The events of this story took place before Power Pack I#52 and New Mutants I#73.

The strength level is based on the fact that Gus could throw a tractor over a barn (a small tractor weighed slightly more than 1 ton after WW1).

Concerning the enhanced lifespan I have this to say. He lied about his age in World War I, but I assume an age of 15 (or less/more). The United States entered the war in 1917 which would make him right now around 100 years old (over ten years minus in 1991, but even for that he looks too young). Does Gus look that old in the first image?

Profile by Markus Raymond

CLARIFICATIONS:
Gus Mustin has no known connection to:


images:
Marvel Fanfare I#55, p12, pan5 (Gus Mustin present)
Marvel Fanfare I#55, p20, pan2 (Gus Mustin past)


Last updated: 08/11/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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