main image


Real Name: Kenneth Sturdy (born Klaus Sturdy)

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Scientist/inventor

Group Membership: Maggia, Project N (Dr. Hellen Rachelson, Dr. Archibald Stancheck, Dr. Withers, two unidentified scientists)

Affiliations: Ani-Men (Ape-Man/Gordon "Monk" Keefer, Bird-Man/Henry Hawk, Cat-Man/Townshend Horgan, Dragonfly/Veronica Dultry, Frog-Man/Francois "Frog" LeBlanc), Lethal Legion (Living Laser/Arthur Parks, Power Man/Erik Josten, Whirlwind/David Cannon);
formerly Count Nefaria, Baron Heinrich Zemo

Enemies: Count Nefaria

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Basement laboratory inside Count Nefaria's home in uptown New York City, New York

First Appearance: (behind-the-scenes): Avengers I#9 (October, 1964); (unnamed) X-Men I#94 (August, 1975); (named) Avengers I#164 (October, 1977)

Powers/Abilities: Professor Sturdy had no superhuman powers, but was a skilled scientist and inventor.

Height: 5'10" (by approximation)
Weight: 150 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Grey


(Avengers I#9 (fb) - BTS) - Professor Sturdy was an assistant to Baron Heinrich Zemo, where he helped design the machine that eventually transformed Simon Williams into Wonder Man.

(X-Men I#94 (fb)) - After his stint with Baron Zemo, Professor Sturdy came under the employee of Count Luchino Nefaria, and assisted Dr. Stancheck and Hellen Rachelson in the transformation of the Ani-Men into superhumans.

(Avengers I#164) - Following Nefaria's defeat and retreat at the hands of the X-Men, the Count returned to his home in New York where he found his employees complaining about how the battle with the X-Men cost Nefaria his fortune and they were no longer being paid. They asked about their back-pay and Nefaria explained that when Project N was completed, he would enjoy dismissing them. Professor Sturdy spoke up, exclaiming that he was worth the money he was owed, as he was the first assistant to Baron Zemo. Nefaria quickly interrupted Sturdy's speech by arguing that Zemo's machine might have transformed Simon Williams into Wonder Man successfully, but it failed to transform Erik Josten into Power Man as easily, leaving Josten a "pale imitator." When Nefaria's Lethal Legion arrived, Professor Sturdy used the Project N machine to increase their powers.

(Avengers I#165 - BTS / All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z#1 - Atlas entry) - Sturdy's effects were only temporarily as the real purpose of Project N was to allow Count Nefaria to absorb the powers of the Lethal Legion into himself.

(Avengers I#165) - After Count Nefaria had absorbed the powers of his Lethal Legion into himself, he destructively made his way to Avengers Mansion where he battled the Avengers. As the battle was going on, Professor Sturdy crawled his way from the wreckage of the now-destroyed Project N, mumbling about how Nefaria was a fool.

(Avengers I#166) - Sturdy stole Count Nefaria's Rolls-Royce and drove it through a police barricade to Avengers Mansion, where he confronted Count Nefaria and explained that there was a side effect of his power augmentation: Nefaria was aging at an incredible speed. Sturdy explained that only he would have been able to halt the aging process and then died of an apparent heart attack.

Comments: Created by Chris Claremont (writer), Len Wein (plotter), Dave Cockrum (artist), Bob McCleod (inks), named by Jim Shooter.

I chose to list Professor Sturdy as being behind-the-scenes in Avengers I#9, given that he helped design the machine that transformed Simon Williams into Wonder Man. The Official Marvel Index to the Avengers II#1 does not mention Sturdy as being behind-the-scenes in that issue, but it seems obvious to me that he was.

Sturdy's birth name was given in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#13's Count Nefaria entry. Stanchek's first name and Hellen's last name were revealed in Iron Manual Mark 3's Ani-Men profile.

Updated to new format, images and subprofile by MarvellousLuke.

Profile by Proto-Man

Professor Kenneth Sturdy has no known connections to

unidentified scientists

These two unidentified scientists and Dr. Withers came under the employment of Count Luchino Nefaria. Nefaria had already established a team of scientists consisting of Professor Kenneth Sturdy, Dr. Stancheck and Dr. Hellen Rachelson. These two scientists were to be part of Nefaria's Project N. The scientist depicted on the left was seen when Nefaria visited the team of scientists after his Lethal Legion had robbed a bank to provide them with a paycheck. Happy with her back pay she wished bygones to be bygones. The scientist depicted on the right was seen alongside Dr. Withers when Nefaria introduced them to the Lethal Legion. She helped Sturdy to duplicate the criminals' powers into Nefaria's body.

Note: Although not seen in Avengers I#166, The Official Index to the Marvel Universe: The Avengers revealed all scientists including Withers, Rachelson and Stancheck died in Avengers I#166.

--Avengers I#164, Avengers I#166 (fb), Avengers I#166 - BTS

images: (without ads)
Avengers I#165, p11, pan4 (mainimage)
Avengers I#164, p10, pan4 (closeup)
Avengers I#164, p10, pan2 (scientist 1, left)
Avengers I#166, p10, pan1 (scientist 2, right)

Avengers I#9 (October, 1964) - Stan Lee (writer), Don Heck (artist), Dick Ayers (inker)
X-Men I#94 (August, 1975) - Chris Claremont (writer), Len Wein (plotter), Dave Cockrum (artist), Bob McCleod (inks)
Avengers I#164 (October, 1977) - Jim Shooter (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks)
Avengers I#165 (November, 1977) - James Shooter (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks)
Avengers I#166 (December, 1977) - Jim Shooter (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks)
All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z#1 (2006) - Atlas entry - Sean McQuaid (writer), Tom Grummett (art), Pond Scum & Jerron Quality Color (art reconstruction)

First Posted: 07/15/06
Last Updated: 03/24/19

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:

Special Thanks to for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters