BARRY WITHERSPOON

Real Name: Barry Witherspoon

Identity/Class: Human, mutate

Occupation: Test subject

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Dr. Oliver Broadhurst, Hiram R. Goldsmith, Machine Man, Peter Spalding

Enemies: Archie Goldsmith, Fred Greenfield

Known Relatives: Gloria Witherspoon (wife), unnamed son, unnamed daughter

Aliases: Impersonated Machine Man

Base of Operations: Manhattan, New York

First Appearance: Machine Man I#14 (April, 1980)







Powers/Abilities: Barry Witherspoon formerly possessed the superhuman ability to draw upon excess mass from another dimension. By doing so, he could become practically impervious to harm including electrocution, and obtained superhuman strength. Barry's sensory powers were negligable in this state, but with sonic amplifiers Fred Greenfield and Archie Goldsmith could transmit orders to him, which he would obey.

History: (Machine Man I#14) - Barry Witherspoon was serving as a test subject for Hiram R. Goldsmith, much to his wife's displeasure. In a test to bombard the human body with excess mass from another dimension, Barry gained superhuman density powers, but became blank-minded, with little willpower. Political opportunists Fred Greenfield and Archie Goldsmith used sonic amplifiers to take control of him, and realized that he could be a useful pawn in their campaign for Senator Brickman to turn the public against Machine Man.

Barry was dressed up as Machine Man and sent out to commit crimes then bring the loot to Fred and Archie. During a jewelry store robbery, Barry encountered the real Machine Man, and knocked him unconscious. To prove to the public that he was not the robber, Machine Man placed himself in police custody. When Barry robbed a bank that evening, it proved Machine Man's innocence.

When Archie became skittish and wanted to end the crimewave, Fred turned Barry on him, and Archie fled to Machine Man for protection. When Machine Man realized that Barry was being victimized by Fred, he stole the sonic amplifier from Fred and used it to halt Barry, then took Fred prisoner.

Machine Man had his friend Dr. Oliver Broadhurst reverse the effects of Hiram Goldsmith's experiment, and Barry lost his powers and regained his faculties. He thanked Broadhurst, and returned to his family.

Comments: Created by Marv Wolfman and Steve Ditko.

by Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
Barry Witherspoon should not be confused with:

  • Colonel Witherspoon, victim of a werewolf, @ Marvel Preview#16
  • Emilia Witherspoon, clairvoyant, ally of Excalibur, @ Excalibur I#44

    GLORIA WITHERSPOON and her children

    Gloria Witherspoon did not approve of her husband using himself as a guinea pig. When he was finally cured of his superhuman powers by Dr. Broadhurst, she and their son and daughter were pleased to have him home.

    --Machine Man I#14














    HIRAM R. GOLDSMITH

    Hiram R. Goldsmith was a scientist conducting experiments with mass. He believed that one could siphon excess mass from another dimension and saturate a human being with it. He used Barry Witherspoon in a test of his theory, but when Barry became super-dense, it caused an explosion that knocked Hiram down. Before passing out, Hiram gave his brother Archie and Fred Greenfield a sonic amplifier which would be able to get through to Barry. By the time Hiram awoke from his coma, Barry had been cured.

    --Machine Man I#14












    ARCHIE GOLDSMITH

    Archie Goldsmith was a member of Senator Brickman's campaign team alongside Fred Greenfield. They came up with the idea of Brickman using Machine Man as a scapegoat, claiming he would take jobs away from humans. Brickman took all of the credit for the idea. While they brainstormed ways to help Brickman win an election, they attended a test conducted by Archie's brother Hiram in which Barry Witherspoon gained superhuman density powers. After determining how to control Barry with a sonic amplifier, they dressed him up as Machine Man to commit crimes then bring them the loot. When Archie tried to end the crimes, Fred turned Barry on him, but Machine Man saved Archie, captured Fred, and returned Barry to normal. Archie testified against Fred.

    --Machine Man I#14


    FRED GREENFIELD

    Fred Greenfield was a member of Senator Brickman's campaign team alongside Archie Goldsmith. They came up with the idea of Brickman using Machine Man as a scapegoat, claiming he would take jobs away from humans. Brickman took all of the credit for the idea. While they brainstormed ways to help Brickman win an election, they attended a test conducted by Archie's brother Hiram in which Barry Witherspoon gained superhuman density powers. After determining how to control Barry with a sonic amplifier, they dressed him up as Machine Man to commit crimes then bring them the loot. When Archie tried to end the crimes, Fred turned Barry on him, but Machine Man saved Archie, captured Fred, and returned Barry to normal. Archie testified against Fred.

    --Machine Man I#14


    DOROTHY MAYSON

    Dorothy Mayson was a reporter who investigated Machine Man, and the robberies committed by his imposter. She also followed Senator Brickman's speeches as he used anti-Machine Man rhetoric to aid him in his campaign.

    --Machine Man I#14















    Images taken from:
    Machine Man I#14, page 11, panel 1
    Machine Man I#14, page 3, panel 5
    Gloria- Machine Man I#14, page 3, panel 3
    Hiram- Machine Man I#14, page 3, panel 1
    Archie- Machine Man I#14, page 11, panel 4
    Fred- Machine Man I#14, page 11, panel 4
    Mayson- Machine Man I#14, page


    Last updated: 08/05/06

    Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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