CLOWN-9

Real Name: Hardy Laurel

Identity/Class: Human technology user (Earth-77013)

Occupation: Actor, professional criminal

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Jericho Brand, Derek Derleth, Vince Everett, J. Jonah Jameson, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Mary Jane Watson-Parker

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: An apartment in New York City

First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip (April 27, 2012)

Powers/Abilities: Clown-9 carries a number of weapons, including a high-pressure water pistol (which he can load with water or acid), glue bombs, a deafening siren in his clown nose (which he wears earplugs to counteract), a mechanical mouse, binding hoops, a mallet with a hidden rocket in its handle, a chloroform-laced cream pie, and an exploding cigar.  He wears spring-bottomed shoes, allowing him to leap great distances; the shoe can also extend, allowing him to trip opponents.  His clown suit can inflate with enough force to snap Spider-Man's webbing, and features an extending false arm, detachable fake arms with launching fists, and a glove-mounted laughing gas nozzle.  He is a skilled acrobat and hand-to-hand combatant, and evidently a talented inventor.  He drives a miniature clown car, and occasionally uses a pogo stick.

History: (Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip (fb) ) - All his life, Hardy Laurel wanted to become a circus clown to make people laugh.  When he was cast as the understudy in the new Broadway comedy Picture Perfect, he secretly pushed the leading man, Vince Everett, down a flight of stairs in his house, breaking his leg.  

(Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip) - Laurel arrived on set and immediately began hitting on his co-star, Mary Jane Watson-Parker.  Once he got on stage, he began forgetting his lines, and started ad-libbing corny jokes and hackneyed slapstick.  Once the curtain fell, the director, Derek Derleth, fired him, replacing him with movie star Jericho Brand.  Back at his apartment, Laurel swore revenge.  He donned a clown suit, proclaiming that while he wore it, he'd be "on Cloud 9!  That's why I'll call myself - Clown-9!"  He sped to the theatre just in time for Brand's debut.  Driving through the aisles in his clown car, he released several miniature balloon replicas of himself, and shot Brand with a water pistol.  Spider-Man, who had been in the audience as Peter Parker, tried to put a stop to Clown-9's rampage, but Hardy inflated his suit to snap Spider-Man's webbing, and then shot him with laughing gas.  With Spider-Man incapacitated, Hardy fled.

Emboldened by his success, Hardy decided to become a master criminal, and to destroy Spider-Man.  The next night, he crashed a charity ball and robbed the attendees, including J. Jonah Jameson, who he hit with a pie.  After leaving, he lingered outside until Spider-Man arrived; Spider-Man promptly punched him in the nose, triggering its deafening siren.  As Spider-Man writhed in pain, Clown-9 planted a "Kick Me" sign on his back and sped off.  Later, hoping to lure Clown-9 away from the theatre, Spider-Man publicly challenged him to a fight at the circus that night.  Clown-9 accepted, but when he heard that the public would be kept away from the circus, he crashed a TV studio and demanded that the public be let in, otherwise he wouldn't show up.

At the circus, Clown-9 released a mechanical mouse to panic an elephant; as Spider-Man saved its rider, Clown-9 tripped him with his extending shoe.  Spider-Man avoided the stampeding pachyderm and broke through Clown-9's binding hoops, only to lose him in a crowd of circus clowns.  Before his spider-sense could alert him to Clown-9's presence, Laurel hit him with a mallet and leaped onto the high wire.  Spider-Man followed, but Clown-9 threw his rocket mallet at the crowd; to save the audience, Spider-Man took the brunt of its impact.  As Clown-9 mugged for the crowd, he offered a hand to the prone super hero - only to be jolted backwards by the web-slinger's souped-up joy buzzer.  Spider-Man webbed him up, but Clown-9 was delighted to hear the crowd laughing at him.  He was taken away by the police, but got in one last gag as he handed a cop an exploding cigar.  Later, in jail, as the other prisoners laughed at him, a guard offered him something to wipe his makeup off with, but he declined, appreciating the laughter.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Alex Saviuk and Joe Sinnott.

This storyline ran forever.  Stan must have thought he was really on to something with this evil clown thing.

"Hardy Laurel" is obviously a reference to comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

The Spider-Man newspaper strip does not take place on Earth-616, but rather on Earth-77013.

Big thanks to Monzo for compiling these strips for me.  Well, sort of big thanks, because I had to read them for this profile.  Seriously, the Spider-Man newspaper strip is really bad.

Profile by Minor Irritant.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Clown-9 has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)
Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip, June 10, 2012 (main image)
Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip, April 30, 2012 (Hardy Laurel)
Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip, June 2, 2012 (in clown car)


Appearances:
Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip (April 27-October 6, 2012) - Stan Lee (writer), Larry Lieber (art, weekdays and Saturdays), Alex Saviuk (pencils, Sundays), Joe Sinnott (inks, Sundays)


Last updated: 12/11/12

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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