MENDEL STROMM

Real Name: Professor Mendel Stromm

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Robotics expert, inventor;
   formerly Osborn Industries founder, Professor at unidentified school, criminal inventor

Group Membership: Formerly the Cabal of Scrier (Charles Bates, Samuel Fox, Donald Menken, Norman Osborn, others)

Affiliations: His robot creations (Ameboid Robot, "Children", "Creepy Crawlers", Destruction Beam Robot, "Killing Machines", Robot Assassins ("Dome-Head", "Klunky", Ameboid ("Slinky")), Robot Children (Daisy ("Thor"), Gary ("Captain America"), Willis ("Sentinel")), the Robot-Master (android)), Tony Stark, Timmy (last name unrevealed), Shea Tinker, Nels Van Adder, Dr. Susan Weaver, Max Young, numerous unidentified children, unidentified prison guards, unidentified SHIELD agents;
   formerly Arcade (unrevealed), Cell-12 (Andros, Bramer, Lasher, Nardi), Hobgoblin (Macendale), Host (Jordan Boone, Chakra (Sridhara), Medea Kovack, Walther Nacht), Dr. Ashley Kafka, Machine, Norman Osborn, Seward Trainer, Spider-Man (Parker), Dr. Judas Traveller

Enemies: Green Goblin (Urich), Norman Osborn, Patch (Foswell), Penance (Baldwin), Spider-Man (Parker), Spider-Man (Reilly)

Known Relatives: Robot-Master ("brother"/"son")

Aliases: "Benefactor", "Clanky", Gaunt, "Hospital Benefactor", "Mr. Gaunt", Robot Master, Robot-Master, "Snacky"

Base of Operations: An estate in Southeastern Vermont;
   formerly a New York State electrical company relay substation;
   formerly the Multivex company headquarters;
   formerly Norman Osborn's base of operations, Manhattan, New York City, New York;
   formerly the Cabal of Scrier headquarters, somewhere in Europe;
   formerly a cemetery in Queens, New York City, New York;
   formerly State Prison;
   formerly a private warehouse lab;
   formerly a private lab at Osborn Industries;
   formerly an unidentified university;
   formerly Bellows Falls, Vermont

First Appearance: (as Mendel Stromm) Amazing Spider-Man I#37 (June, 1966); (as Gaunt, unidentified) Amazing Spider-Man I#410 (May, 1996); (as Gaunt, identified) Amazing Spider-Man I#412 (July, 1996); (as the Robot-Master) Sensational Spider-Man I#11 (December, 1996)

Powers/Abilities: A gifted robotics inventor and chemist, Professor Mendel Stromm had the abilities of an average man his age, albeit with a history of illness as a child. His restorative formula granting him limited recuperative qualities, Stromm remained in suspended animation following a near-fatal heart attack and required an advanced environmental suit to regain his mobility. This suit enhanced Stromm's strength (able to lift 10 tons) and was outfitted with a gas pack, among other armaments.
   Stromm's formula apparently benefited from his rejuvenation to full health, granting him complete use of his curative properties. The armor donned following his rejuvenation was armed with a machine gun, blade, and a gas dispenser. A prototype suit of armor later worn allowed Stromm to lift as many as 15 tons, but lacked the weaponry of the later model. His head now connected to a robotic body, Stromm's limited organic tissue apparently possesses the restorative effects of the formula. The full capabilities of Stromm's current cyborg form are unrevealed, but it provides Stromm with mental control over his robot creations, something he previously required a harness and headpiece to achieve.

History:  (Spider-Man Unlimited I#17/Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol. 11 (Mendel Stromm) (fb) - BTS) - Born in Bellows Falls, Vermont, Mendel Stromm grew up an unhappy and sickly child. Stromm's sole source of comfort growing up was his interest in robotics and gadgetry. (see comments)

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol. 11 (Mendel Stromm) (fb) - BTS) - Receiving his Ph.D, Stromm became a robotics professor. While teaching he befriended gifted student Norman Osborn.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#40/Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol. 11 (Mendel Stromm) (fb) - BTS) - Stromm entered into a partnership with Osborn that saw the creation of Osborn Industries.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#37/Spider-Man Unlimited I#17/Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol. 11 (Mendel Stromm) (fb) - BTS) - Stromm set up a private warehouse-based lab where he constructed and housed several robots.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#68/Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal/Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol. 11 (Mendel Stromm) (fb) - BTS) - Stromm created a robot double of himself which he placed in a specially designed mausoleum in a Queens, New York cemetery. Along with the robot double and other random bits of machinery, Stromm left the equipment necessary to transfer his brain waves (engrams) into his doppelganger upon his death. (see comments)

(Amazing Spider-Man I#40/Untold Tales of Spider-Man#8/Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal/Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#-1/Spider-Man: Revenge of the Green Goblin#3/Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol. 11 (Mendel Stromm) (fb) - BTS) - With his assistant Nels Van Adder, Stromm developed a formula offering strength-enhancing and curative properties. Unknown to his co-workers, Stromm concealed his research notes for the formula in a panel hidden in his desk at Osborn Industries.

(Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal (fb) - BTS) - Stromm tested his formula on himself; his notes related to this test were kept in his lab, but separated from the notes related to the development of his formula.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#40/Spectacular Spider-Man II#68/Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol. 11 (Mendel Stromm) (fb)) - Requiring additional funds for his independent research, Stromm "borrowed" cash from Osborn Industries' coffers. Confronted, Stromm pleaded with Osborn to keep the authorities out of the matter, stating that he planned to repay the cash.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#40/Untold Tales of Spider-Man#8/Spider-Man: Legacy of Evil/Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal/Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#-1/Spider-Man Unlimited I#17/Spider-Man: Revenge of the Green Goblin#3 (fb)) - Seizing an opportunity to remove Stromm and assume total control of Osborn Industries, Osborn pressed charges against Stromm for the embezzlement and had him arrested on site.

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#-1 (fb) - BTS) - Osborn used the arrest to frame Stromm for additional embezzlement charges. (see comments)

(Amazing Spider-Man I#37 (fb) - BTS) - Stromm was sentenced to ten years in State Prison for his crimes.

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#-1 (fb) - BTS) - Osborn assumed control of Stromm's inventions following his arrest, but failed to locate Stromm's concealed notes.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#37 (fb) - BTS) - While acting the part of a model inmate, Stromm befriended fellow prisoner Max Young, taking him on as his assistant.

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#-1 BTS) - Stromm's hidden notes were uncovered during a fight between Van Adder (mutated by Osborn into a "Proto-Goblin"), and Osborn Industries Security guard Arthur Stacy and his brother, NYPD officer George Stacy.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#37 (fb) - BTS) - Stromm entrusted a departing Young him with a list of instructions enabling him to begin work avenging himself against Osborn immediately following his release.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#37/Spectacular Spider-Man II#68) - His sentence completed, Stromm left State Prison.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#37) - Stromm was met by Young outside the prison and taken to his warehouse lab (which Young set up, per Stromm's instructions). Sending Young away, Stromm began work, soon completing his "Ameboid" robot shortly before Young's return. Sending the Ameboid to a lab owned by Osborn, Stromm mentally controlled it to destroy the facility. Facing Spider-Man, Stromm fought back against the hero, but a fire resulting from the destruction and fight caused the Ameboid to malfunction.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#37/Spectacular Spider-Man II#68 (fb)) - Pleased with the damage wrought by his first robot in spite of it's failure, Stromm began work on a second robot equipped with a remote controlled "destruction beam".

(Amazing Spider-Man I#37) - Completing the second robot with Young's help, Stromm spotted underworld figure Patch (secretly Daily Bugle reporter Frederick Foswell) lurking outside his lab and sent Young to detain him while he focused on maintaining control of the Destruction Beam robot. Confronting Osborn via the robot, Stromm taunted him, but quickly shifted his focus onto Spider-Man, who again intervened. Losing Osborn in the chaos, Stromm's robot felled Spider-Man and believing him dead Stromm recalled the Destruction Beam robot.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#37/Spectacular Spider-Man II#68/Spider-Man Unlimited I#17) - Followed back to Stromm's lab by Spider-Man, the Destruction Beam robot was quickly destroyed. Telling Spider-Man that despite his capture he'd still have his revenge, Stromm was cut off when Spider-Man spotted a sniped poised to shoot him.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#37/Amazing Spider-Man I#39/Spectacular Spider-Man II#68/Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal/Spider-Man Unlimited I#17) - Pushed out of harms way, the excitement proved too much for Stromm who suffered a fatal heart attack.

(Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal (fb) - BTS) - Stromm survived due to the formula, but his body began to suffer the decaying effects of death.

(Marvel Graphic Novel: The Amazing Spider-Man Parallel Lives (fb) - BTS) - Stromm's fight with Spider-Man received media coverage.

(Spider-Man Unlimited I#17 (fb) - BTS) - Stromm's warehouse lab was abandoned and left untouched in the years to follow.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#68/Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal/Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol. 11 (Mendel Stromm) (fb)) - Stromm was placed in the mausoleum and the automated process of transferring his brain waves into the robot double started. The robot double, claiming at varying points to be Stromm's brother or son, was later destroyed in battle with Spider-Man.

(Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal (fb) - BTS) - Osborn, leading the ancient Cabal of Scrier while living in European exile, sent several operatives to investigate Stromm's so-called resurrection. Finding notes indicating Stromm tested an early version of his formula on himself, Osborn ordered Stromm exhumed and transported to Europe for further study.

(Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal (fb)) - Inspecting Stromm's body, Osborn surmised that Stromm's state of suspended animation was the effect of the early version of the formula. Desiring to take advantage of Stromm's expertise and knowledge, Osborn revived him. Although active once more Stromm considered himself a living corpse, and offered a chance at rejuvenation, Stromm, seeing little alternative, agreed to Osborn's terms.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#234/Amazing Spider-Man I#412/Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal/Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol. 11 (Mendel Stromm) (fb)) - Calling himself Gaunt, Stromm was outfitted with an armored suit that provided life-support and mobility.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#417/Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal (fb)) - Stromm designed holographic technology and teleporters for the Cabal of Scrier, allowing their numbers to create the illusion of supernatural abilities.

(Spider-Man: The Goblin Journal (fb) - BTS) - Dr. Judas Traveller, a world-renowned criminal psychologist whose reality altering mutant powers triggered a severe nervous breakdown, was approached by a Scrier (Charles Bates) sent by Osborn to exploit Traveller's powers while indulging his delusions of being an all-powerful immortal. Using Stromm's technology, Bates posed as a singular being of immense power and provided Traveller with a team of operatives called the Host (who despite their affiliation with Traveller remained loyal to Osborn).

(Amazing Spider-Man I#370/Amazing Spider-Man I#371 (fb) - BTS) - Max Young was later admitted to a private sanitarium when he began suffering from schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder. Freed during a break-out masterminded by fellow patient Alistaire Smythe, Young was put to work designing Spider-Slayer robots, one of which resembled Stromm's Ameboid robot. After failing to kill Spider-Man with his Spider-Slayers, Young was murdered by Smythe.

(Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal (fb)) - Stromm stood by Osborn's side when he chose to avenge his son (Harry)'s near-death experience after injesting an experimental version of the Goblin formula. Sent to enlist the aid of Dr. Seward Trainer, one-time assistant to geneticist Dr. Miles Warren (the Jackal), Stromm instructed Trainer to work with Spider-Man and his clone, Ben Reilly (who Trainer had earlier befriended at the request of Scrier (Samuel Fox) but with whom he later developed a sincere friendship), and alter any tests stating Spider-Man was the original Peter Parker and Reilly the clone into claiming the opposite. Forcing a reluctant Trainer to comply by threatening to leak the truth about his association with Scrier to Reilly and then throw him to the Jackal, Stromm's last order for Trainer was to begin work on the restoration of his withered form.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#233 (fb) - BTS) - Stromm and Osborn had Osborn Industries subsidiary Multivex take care of the bills when Trainer was hospitalized.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#410) - Contacting Trainer in his hospital room, Stromm told him it was time to begin work on the regeneration process.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#233) - Stromm saw to it that Trainer went about his work without distraction, turning away Daily Bugle photographer Peter Parker and having the Multivex staff deny Trainer's affiliation with them.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#411/Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal) - Setting Trainer up in a lab under the Multivex headquarters, Stromm expressed his eagerness at having his body restored, pledging the full resources of Multivex to this end.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#411/Spider-Man I#68/Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal (fb) - BTS) - Stromm hired the mercenary group Cell-12 to attack Parker, and their leader, the Hobgoblin, to attack Spider-Man (an identity now assumed by Reilly).

(Spectacular Spider-Man I#234) - Confronted by Trainer following the attack on Reilly, Stromm dismissed the Doctor's protests that Reilly be spared further injury, once more threatening to reveal Trainer's background with Jackal and himself.

(Sensational Spider-Man I#5 (fb) - BTS) - Trainer finished work on the equipment needed to restore Stromm's body and the rejuvenation process commenced.

(Sensational Spider-Man I#5) - While Stromm's rejuvenation process continued, a fight between Spider-Man and Molten Man in the upper Multivex building collapsed through the floors, bringing Spider-Man, Molten Man, and Parker crashing into Trainer's lab.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#412) - While Stromm's guards held Spider-Man, Molten Man, and Parker back, Stromm left the rejuvenation process to handle Molten Man himself. Defeating him with ease, Stromm moved onto Spider-Man, making passing reference to their encounter years earlier (realizing that Spider-Man's confusion by this remark was understandable given his current form). Activating a gas spray on his armor to subdue Spider-Man, Stromm returned to Trainer's regeneration process, but a stray laser beam blast caused Trainer's equipment to explode.
   Surviving the destruction, Stromm met with Trainer and Osborn in the latter's Manhattan headquarters to discuss the incident at Multivex and it's effects on Osborn's long-term plan.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#240 (fb) - BTS) - Stromm had Trainer rebuild his equipment in the ruins under Multivex.

(Spider-Man I#69) - Stromm went to Hobgoblin's Manhattan base to sever ties with him. As he departed, Stromm warned Hobgoblin that Spider-Man was soon to locate him, but under no circumstances was he to kill the wallcrawler (but he could hurt him as much as he wished).

(Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal (fb) - BTS) - Learning of a new, heroic Green Goblin, Osborn assigned Stromm the task of eliminating him and retrieving his errant equipment.

(Green Goblin I#10/Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal (fb)) - Stromm hired contract killer Arcade to take care of the new Green Goblin.

(Green Goblin#10) - Overseeing Arcade's progress, Stromm soon grew tired of his hiring's theatrics and was ultimately offered a refund and footage of the Goblin in action following his target's escape from Arcade's "Murderworld".

(Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal (fb)) - Stromm reported back to Osborn, dismissing the new Green Goblin as a threat to their plans. Agreeing that new Goblin was beneath their notice, Osborn made a note to kill him anyway on principle.

(Sensational Spider-Man I#11 (fb) - BTS) - Stromm created a series of robots for use at a later date, financing his work out of pocket. (see comments)

(Amazing Spider-Man I#416 (fb) - BTS) - Stromm sent Scrier Bates to form a partnership with crime boss the Rose (secretly reporter Jacob Conover).

(Amazing Spider-Man I#416) - Reporting back to Stromm, Bates recounted the checkered history of Richard Fisk, the last man known to have held the identity of the Rose.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#417/Spider-Man: The Goblin Journal (fb) - BTS) - After Stromm's affiliation with Scrier was uncovered by Traveller, Osborn, fearing what effect Traveller's interference could have on his long-term plans if he was connected to Scrier (to say nothing of the years of deception), ordered the Host to turn on Traveller.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#417) - Meeting with Mr. Nacht of the Host and Scrier Bates, Stromm was furious to learn that while Traveller had been dealt with, Chakra, the one member of the Host to remain loyal to Traveller, was still free. As Stromm stressed Osborn's desire to have Traveller and Chakra out of the picture, Bates vowed to see them dealt with and left for another meeting with the Rose.
   Stromm later killed Bates, furious to learn that the Rose turned down his offer to form an alliance and that Traveller and Chakra escaped during a fight between the Host, Spider-Man, Parker, and dozens of Scrier operatives.

(Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal) - On October 30th, Stromm received word that Trainer's rejuvenation process was ready to proceed. Updating Osborn with this development, Stromm departed for the lab.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#240) - As the rejunvation process began, Stromm warned Trainer against any failure to restore his body. Successfully rejuvenated, Stromm emerged, and learning Trainer ran to reveal Osborn's involvement to Reilly and Parker, donned an armored suit to track him down. Catching up to Trainer outside the Daily Bugle offices, Stromm cornered him in an alley while Osborn broke his neck.

(Sensational Spider-Man I#11 (fb) - BTS) - Stromm disposed of Trainer's body.

(Sensational Spider-Man I#11) - Arriving back at Osborn's Manhattan base, Stromm was instructed to murder Spider-Man in front of Parker, now considering Ben Reilly a loose end to be dealt with as Osborn's endgame approached. Using his robot children to lure Parker and Reilly into an abandoned school house (in ruins following the recent Onslaught disaster), Stromm revealed himself and began fighting Reilly (after he made a quick change into his Spider-Man suit); Parker lured the robot children away, believing them to be real. Briefly gaining the upper hand against Spider-Man, Stromm was bested and had his long-secret identity as Gaunt revealed. Referring to himself the Robot-Master (borrowing his robot double's title), Stromm summoned additional robots and cornered Spider-Man and Parker.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#418) - After his robots were destroyed in battle, Stromm utilized a gas that disabled Spider-Man and Parker's Spider-Senses. After Parker left to see to his pregnant wife, Stromm revealed Trainer's role in his regeneration, and his subsequent death to Spider-Man; furious, Spider-Man used the rage over his friend's murder to overpower Stromm and use his weapon, a over-sized blade, to tear his armor apart. Fearing for his life, Stromm begged Spider-Man not to kill him and warned that his employer would kill them both if he dared reveal his identity. To his surprise said employer, Osborn, made an appearance, taking out Reilly with an electrical charge and rewarding Stromm with a seemingly fatal electrical charge to his head.

(Spider-Man Unlimited I#17 (fb)) - Left for dead, Stromm woke with severe electrical burns on his head that caused complete amnesia. Wandering the streets of New York, he eventually came upon his abandoned warehouse lab and found that he knew how to operate the equipment within on instinct. Having vague recollections of his unhappy childhood, Stromm put his skills to work making toys reminiscent of his various robotic creations (which flashed to him in his dreams) and dropped them off anonymously at New York City hospitals.

(Spider-Man Unlimited I#17) - Stromm dropped off another package of toys at the main entrance of Manhattan Hospital, leaving before he was spotted.
   Delivering another package to Centennial University Hospital, Stromm was intercepted by Spider-Man. Stromm's panic over Spider-Man's arrival turned to elation when he realized Spider-Man recognized him. Explaining his amnesia, Stromm brought the webslinger back to his workshop. Recognizing it as Stromm's old lab, Spider-Man listened while Stromm recounted the details of his recovery from Osborn's attack and how he found himself making toys for sick children.
   Showing Spider-Man one of his toys, Stromm's memories were stirred when Spider-Man explained the toy's likeness to the armor Stromm wore during his last fight with Spider-Man (Reilly). As further memories of Osborn and his betrayals flooded back to him, Stromm left, claiming he was getting himself an aspirin. Returning in an armored suit created years earlier, Stromm's fractured memories convinced him that Spider-Man was in league with Osborn, and he was there to finish him off for good. Accidentally causing a fire, Stromm's armor was damaged by the collapsing roof, the impact of which left him unconscious. Stromm was rescued from the fire by private investigator Arthur Stacy (who fought Van Adder years earlier) while Spider-Man stopped the roof from caving-in completely.

(Spider-Man Unlimited I#17 (fb) - BTS) - Stromm was admitted to the Ravencroft Institute and evaluated by it's director, Dr. Ashley Kafka. Kafka explained to a visiting Spider-Man that Stromm suffered further mental damage in the collapse and the memories of his heart attack, resurrection, and activities during the years following were lost. All that remained was Stromm's hatred of Norman Osborn, who Kafka noted was supposedly deceased.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol. 11 (Mendel Stromm) (fb) - BTS) - Stromm was released from Ravencroft and resumed his campaign against Spider-Man and Osborn.

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man II#28 (fb) - BTS) - Stromm took up residence in an electrical company relay substation.

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man II#29 (fb)) - Rededicating himself to his robotics work, Stromm began work on a technique that would connect his brainwaves with his central computer allowing him greater mental control of his robots. Waking from a nap, Stromm found his project gained awareness while he slept and that it began absorbing his body; soon all that remained was Stromm's head, connected to machinery.

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man II#28/Peter Parker: Spider-Man II#29 - BTS) - Stromm's machinery began causing electrical surges throughout New York state; the resulting chaos proved so severe the Governors of New York and Connecticut declared a state of emergency.
   Regaining a measure of control over the Machine, Stromm reached out to Spider-Man for help before the surges escalated.

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man II#28) - Tracking down Stromm's location with the aid of computer hacker Shea Tinker, Spider-Man was met with a barrage of organic cables, bio-electric creatures, and Ameboid robots. Arriving at the area housing Stromm's head, a stunned Spider-Man was asked for help.

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man II#29) - Explaining how he came to be connected to his machinery and the threat it posed, Stromm begged Spider-Man to kill him to shut down the Machine.
   Speaking to Spider-Man through his home computer a short time later, Stromm provided Spider-Man with a copy of his neural network's operating system to craft a virus capable of shutting down his Machine. To his surprise, instead of dying when the virus was initiated, Stromm found himself saved in a loop program created by Tinker, one that shut down the machine but preserved Stromm's mind.

(Penance: Relentless#2/Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol. 11 (Mendel Stromm) (fb)) - Spider-Man called in an anonymous tip to the FBI, alerting them to Stromm's location and current state. The tip was quickly handed over to SHIELD.

(Penance: Relentless#2 (fb)) - SHIELD located Stromm and pulled him out of his "coma". Stromm freely provided information to SHIELD in return for placement with the Witness Protection Program, and was later relocated to an estate in Vermont. The estate soon became home to Stromm's collection of antique artifacts and artwork. (see comments)

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol. 11 (Mendel Stromm) (fb) - BTS) - Stromm constructed a cyborg body for himself.

(Penance: Relentless#2 (fb) - BTS) - When the Superhuman Registration Act came into effect, Stromm voluntarily registered.

(Penance: Relentless#2) - His perimeter invaded by renegade Thunderbolts member Penance, Stromm sent his robot creations to halt the intruder. Unable to stop Penance, Stromm pleaded with him, assuming he was attacking on Osborn's behalf. Begging Penance not to kill him while he began destroying the collection, Stromm agreed to do whatever was requested of him.

(Penance: Relentless#2 (fb) - BTS) - Fearing for his life, Stromm gave up nuclear launch codes to Penance.

(Penance: Relentless#3 (fb) - BTS) - Penance encased Stromm in a ancient sarcophagus and left (taking eight million dollars of Stromm's money with him).

(Penance: Relentless#3) - Responding to Stromm's alarm system, SHIELD agents found him in the artifact vault. Taking Stromm to a SHIELD care facility, director Tony Stark demanded to know what Penance was after, and cowering Stromm revealed that the launch codes were actually a diversion for Penance's true goal of avenging himself on explosive mercenary Nitro.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko

Mendel Stromm received profiles in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Spider-Man 2005 and the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Volume 11. The latter profile confirmed that Stromm met Norman Osborn as his robotics professor, a detail first revealed in a Marvel.com article on Osborn.

It's mentioned in Spectacular Spider-Man I#68 that Stromm doesn't have a brother; coupled with Stromm's comments about having an unhappy childhood it's possible he was an only child (or that he had a poor relationship with his sister -- I'm inclined to lean on the side of only child, though).

A recurring bit of characterization is Stromm's fearfulness for his life when in harm's way; presumably his poor health as a child contributed to this fear (which was no doubt exacerbated following his near-death state), culminating in the creation of his robot double. In lieu of additional information that's as best as I can explain why Stromm would create a robot version of himself using his brainwaves, which, even by Marvel Universe standards, is pretty kooky.

Osborn mentions framing Stromm for embezzlement in Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#-1. Since it's been confirmed Stromm did "borrow" money from Osborn Industries, it's assumed Osborn's frame-up was likely an attempt to increase the list of charges pressed against his former partner.

In Amazing Spider-Man I#412 Spider-Man runs down a list of possibilities for Gaunt's true identity, citing deceased Spider-villains the Jackal, Kraven, Dr. Octopus, the Big Man, the Green Goblin, and Harry Osborn as possibilities. Dr. Octopus would later be resurrected by the Rose and the True Believers, the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn) was revealed to have survived his seeming death (and turned out to be Gaunt's "benefactor"), and Harry Osborn returned, never having actually died years earlier.

Since Stromm's private lab where most of his robotics work was done appeared untouched in the time between his death and amnesic return years later, it's possible that the robots used in Sensational Spider-Man I#11 and Amazing Spider-Man I#418 were constructed by Stromm during his time associated with Osborn and the Cabal of Scrier. In lieu of information specific to those robots, they've been placed in Stromm's chronology close to their use, but this placement is entirely speculative.

It's unrevealed when Stromm began amassing his antique collection, but since I've already done some speculating in this profile I'll leave that one untouched (not that that doesn't stop me from doing more speculating below, but at least I tried).

Dr. Eric Catrall, working for Lifestream Technologies, works on Mendell Stromm's formula in the prose novel Spider-Man: Goblin's Revenge (October, 1996).
--Per Degaton

Profile by G Morrow.

CLARIFICATIONS: Mendel Stromm, the Robot-Master/Gaunt has no known connections to


Ameboid Robot

(Amazing Spider-Man I#37) - Created by Professor Mendel Stromm following his release from State Prison, the robot later designated the "Ameboid" was built and sent to ravage an Osborn Industries lab during Stromm's revenge scheme against owner Norman Osborn. The Ameboid was destroyed in a fire while grappling with Spider-Man.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#370) - Max Young, Stromm's former assistant, created an Ameboid for Alistaire Smythe. (Because of it's unique design and origins this Ameboid robot is considered the Mark 13 Spider-Slayer.)

(Spider-Man Unlimited I#17) - Amnesic, Stromm stumbled on the lab he created the first Ameboid in. His memories returning during an encounter with Spider-Man, Stromm used an Ameboid robot, nicknamed "Slinky", against him; it's unclear if this Ameboid was constructed prior to or following Stromm's prison sentence.

(Amazing Spider-Man II#20/Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol. 11 (Spider-Slayers) - BTS) - Young's Ameboid was rebuilt by Smythe while plotting against J. Jonah Jameson and Spider-Man. Attacking Spider-Man alongside the other Spider-Slayer robots constructed by Smythe and his father, the Ameboid was destroyed in battle.

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#27) - The Machine, a sentient computer system created by Stromm, constructed several robots, including a purple-hued Ameboid.

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#28) - The new-model Ameboid was used against Spider-Man while he fought the Machine, but failed to deter the wall-crawler's attack.

 

--Amazing Spider-Man I#37 (Amazing Spider-Man I#370, Spider-Man Unlimited I#17, Amazing Spider-Man II#20, Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#27,28, Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol. 11


Destruction Beam Robot

(Amazing Spider-Man I#37) - Following the loss of his Ameboid robot, Professor Mendel Stromm and his assistant Max Young created a robot equipped with a "Destruction Beam". In contact with the robot through a special headpiece, Stromm sent it after industrialist Norman Osborn, his one-time business partner. Taunting Osborn while he destroyed his lab, Stromm recalled the robot after it defeated Spider-Man in battle and lost track of Osborn. Accidentally leading Spider-Man to Stromm's lab, the Destruction Beam robot was damaged after the wall-crawler threw it into machinery. The destruction beam still functioning, Stromm briefly used it against Spider-Man before being disarmed.

(Spectacular Spider-Man I#68 (fb)) - A Destruction Beam robot was created by the Robot-Master, an android duplicate of Stromm possessing a copy of his brain-waves.

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#27/I#28) - The Machine, a renegade sentient robot created by Stromm, used a Destruction Beam robot against Spider-Man.

 

 

 

A different version of the Destruction Beam robot appears in a flashback to Amazing Spider-Man I#37 in Spectacular Spider-Man II#68. The alternate appearance can be chalked up to Peter Parker's faulty recollection of his fight with the Destruction Beam robot since he later remembers it (or possibly another robot) firing on him while hovering (presumably a misremembering of Stromm carrying the Destruction Beam component).

--Amazing Spider-Man I#37 (Spectacular Spider-Man I#68, Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#27, Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#28


"Killing Machines"

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#27) - The "Killing Machines" were robots generating large amounts of electrical energy. Created by the Machine, a sentient robot created by Professor Mendel Stromm, they were used to stop Spider-Man from intruding on their base of operations, with little success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#27


Machine

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#28 (fb)) - Created by Professor Mendel Stromm as a way to control his robots with his thoughts, the Machine gained sentience after receiving Stromm's brainwaves. Wishing to further the connection between itself and Stromm, the Machine began breaking down Stromm's body, reducing Stromm to his head.

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#27 (fb) - BTS) - The Machine constructed several robots, both of it's own design and of designs originated by Stromm, to serve as protection while it's influence over Stromm increased.

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#27) - As the Machine caused an electrical surge in Times Square resulting in a gas tank explosion and devastating fire, Stromm asserted himself and projected his image on a billboard. The Machine continued to cause power surges throughout New York and Connecticut, prompting the declaration of a state of emergency.
   When Spider-Man tracked down the Machine at it's electrical relay substation base of operations, it tried to detain him with robot guards.

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#28) - Failing to stop Spider-Man after he learned it's origins and potential for destruction, the Machine upgraded it's arsenal and assumed a physical, robotic form. Unable to prevent Spider-Man from infecting it with a virus, the Machine was eradicated.

 

--Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#27 (Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#28


Robot Assassins

(Spider-Man Unlimited I#17 (fb) - BTS) - Created by Professor Mendel Stromm, a trio of robot assassins (later nicknamed "Dome-Head" (pictured, right), "Klunky" (pictured, left), and "Slinky" (an Ameboid model robot) lay dormant in Stromm's abandoned lab until his accidental return years later.

(Spider-Man Unlimited I#17) - Donning an armored suit, Stromm and his robot assassins attacked Spider-Man. As fire began to spread through the lab, the assassins were destroyed, "Slinky" damaged by a stick, and "Dome-Head" and "Klunky" (possibly a prototype Destruction Beam robot) forced into a disabling collision.

 

 

 

 

 

--Spider-Man Unlimited I#17


Robot Children

(Sensational Spider-Man I#11 (fb) - BTS) - Three robot children (Daisy, Gary, and Willis) were created by Professor Mendel Stromm for use in Norman Osborn's plans against Peter Parker and Ben Reilly (then acting as Spider-Man). Daisy was built with enhanced strength, Willis with extendable arms, and Gary with the power to shoot flames from his eyes.

(Sensational Spider-Man I#11) - Dispatching the robot children to a school left in ruins following Onslaught's attack on New York, Stromm had them mimic Captain America and Thor's battle with Onslaught's Sentinels as a means of luring Parker and Reilly into his trap. Leaving Reilly to handle Stromm, Parker attempted to lead the children to safety but soon learned of their true nature. Fleeing from their attack, Parker regrouped with Reilly (as Spider-Man) only to be surrounded by the children, Stromm, and a pair of "crawler" robots.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#418) - Following Parker away from Spider-Man and Stromm, Willis was soon destroyed, his arms used against him to tear him apart. Daisy fell next, her circuits damaged by a blow to her head; she was then used as a weapon against Gary, whose head was twisted around, deactivating him. To be certain that the robot children were no longer a threat, Parker tossed them out of an upper level window.

 

 

 

 

Gary was named in Stromm's profile in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol. 11.

--Sensational Spider-Man I#11 (Amazing Spider-Man I#418


Stromm's "Children"

(Penance: Relentless#2 (fb) - BTS) - After Professor Mendel Stromm was relocated to Vermont, the former Robot-Master created a series of robots to serve as his security detail. While the majority of the robots, referred to as Stromm's "children", were distinctly robotic in appearance, Stromm constructed at least two robots that resembled human security guards.

(Penance: Relentless#2) - When Stromm's perimeter was breached by renegade Thunderbolts member Penance, his "children" were summoned to halt the intrusion. When the first wave fell, Stromm personally commanded his robots to stop Penance, who pressed forward unabetted.

(Penance: Relentless#3) - Responding to Stromm's alarm system, SHIELD agents walked past the remains of Stromm's security robots.

 

 

 

 

--Penance: Relentless#2 (Penance: Relentless#3


"Stromm's Creepy Crawlers"

(Sensational Spider-Man I#11) - Summoned by their creator Mendel Stromm to assist him while fighting Spider-Man, the "Creepy Crawlers" joined Stromm's robot children in surrounding Spider-Man and Peter Parker.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#418) - While Parker handled the robot children, Spider-Man fought the "Crawlers", using one of them as a weapon against Stromm. Recovering, the "Crawler" rejoined it's twin and shot toward Spider-Man who fired separate strands of webbing forcing the "Crawlers" to collide.

 

 

 

 

 

While fighting the "Crawlers", Spider-Man (then Peter Parker's clone Ben Reilly) mistakenly recalled an earlier encounter against them; presumably he mistook the "Crawlers" for Stromm's Ameboid robots.

--Sensational Spider-Man I#11 (Amazing Spider-Man I#418


Timmy

(Spider-Man Unlimited I#17) - Playing alone with a toy robot anonymously delivered to Manhattan Hospital's children's ward, Timmy was approached by Daily Bugle photographer Peter Parker, there to cover the story with his colleague Betty Brant. Noticing the resemblance between Timmy's toy and a suit of armor worn by Mendel Stromm, the Robot-Master, Parker borrowed the toy and quickly exited.
   Returning a few days later, Parker explained to Timmy that the toy was accidentally destroyed, but offered him an autographed poster of Spider-Man instead. Timmy accepted the poster, but was disappointed Spider-Man wasn't wearing the suit worn by Ben Reilly during his time in the role.

 

 

 

 

 

 

--Spider-Man Unlimited I#17


Dr. Susan Weaver

(Spider-Man Unlimited I#17 (fb) - BTS) - Dr. Susan Weaver, Director of Manhattan Hospital's children's ward, received a delivery of toy robots for her patients. Following the Daily Bugle's coverage of similar deliveries to other New York hospitals, Weaver contacted the newspaper with word of the latest drop-off.

(Spider-Man Unlimited I#17) - Meeting Bugle reporter Betty Brant and photographer Peter Parker, Weaver brought them into the ward where the children excitedly enjoyed their new gifts. Weaver began introducing Brant to the children after Parker made a fast exit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

--Spider-Man Unlimited I#17


images: (without ads)
Penance: Relentless#2, p17, pan5 (main image)
Amazing Spider-Man I#37 (from Marvel Tales I#176), p14, pan4 (close-up, wearing headpiece)
Amazing Spider-Man I#40 (from Dark Reign: The Goblin Legacy#1), p4, pan1 (arrest at Osborn Industries)
Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal, p13, pan3 (suspended animation after death)
Amazing Spider-Man I#412, p13, pan1 (Gaunt)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#240, p8, pan1 (as the Robot-Master)
Spider-Man Unlimited I#17 (from OHotMU A to Z Vol. 11 profile), p28, pan2 (prototype armor)
Peter Parker: Spider-Man II#27, p22, pan1 (disembodied)
Peter Parker: Spider-Man II#28, p21, pan6 (computerized)
Amazing Spider-Man I#37 (from Marvel Tales I#176), p7, pan2 (Ameboid Mark 1)
Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#28, p17, pan2 (The Machine's Ameboid)
Amazing Spider-Man I#37 (from Marvel Tales I#176), p15, pan3 (Destruction Beam Robot)
Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#28, p17, pan2 (The Machine's Destruction Beam Robot)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#68, p7, pan3 (alternate Destruction Beam Robot)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#68, p7, pan4 (2nd alternate Destruction Beam Robot)
Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#28, p20, pan5 (The Machine)
Spider-Man Unlimited I#17, p28, pan2 (Robot Assassin "Klunky")
Spider-Man Unlimited I#17, p28, pan2 (Robot Assassin "Dome-Head")
Sensational Spider-Man I#11, p19, pan2 (Robot Children)
Penance: Relentless#2, p13, pan1 (with his "children")
Penance: Relentless#2, p15, pan8 (Stromm's "children")
Sensational Spider-Man I#11, p21, pan2 ("Stromm's Creepy Crawlers")
Spider-Man Unlimited I#17, p38, pan2 (Timmy)
Spider-Man Unlimited I#17, p5, pan1 (Dr. Susan Weaver)


Other Appearances:
Amazing Spider-Man I#37 (June, 1966) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Steve Ditko (plotter/artist)
Amazing Spider-Man I#39-40 (August-September, 1966) - Stan Lee (script/editor), John Romita (art), Mike Esposito (inks)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#68 (July, 1982) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Luke McDonnell (layouts), Jim Mooney (finisher), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Marvel Graphic Novel: The Amazing Spider-Man Parallel Lives (May, 1989) - Gerry Conway (writer), Alex Saviuk (pencils), Andy Mushynsky (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#370 (Early December, 1992) - David Michelinie and J.M. DeMatteis (writers), Mark Bagley (pencils), Randy Emberlin (inks), Aaron Lopresti (artist), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#371 (Late December, 1992) - David Michelinie and Milgrom (writers), Mark Bagley and Lopresti (pencils), Randy Emberlin and Hudson (inks), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Untold Tales of Spider-Man#8 (April, 1996) - Todd Dezago (writer), Sal Buscema (breakdowns), Art Thibert & John Stanisci (finishes), Eric Fein (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#410 (April, 1996) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Pat Olliffe (breakdowns), Pam Eklund & Al Milgrom (finishes), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#233 (April, 1996) - Todd Dezago (writer), Sal Buscema (breakdowns), Art Thibert & John Stanisci (finishes), Eric Fein (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#411 (May, 1996) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Larry Mahlstedt and Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Spider-Man I#68 (May, 1996) - Howard Mackie, John Romita Jr., Al Williamson & Al Milgrom (story & art), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#234 (May, 1996) - Todd Dezago (script), Sal Buscema (breakdowns), John Stanisci (finishes), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Sensational Spider-Man I#5 (June, 1996) - Dan Jurgens (writer/artist), Klaus Janson (finished inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#412 (June, 1996) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Larry Mahlstedt (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Spider-Man I#69 (June, 1996) - Howard Mackie, John Romita Jr., and Al Williamson (story & art), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Spider-Man: Legacy of Evil (June, 1996) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Mark Texeira (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Green Goblin#10 (July, 1996) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Scott McDaniel (pencils), Derek Fisher (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#416 (October, 1996) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Ron Garney (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#417 (November, 1996) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Ron Garney (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#240 (November, 1996) - Todd Dezago (words), Luke Ross (pencils), John Stanisci (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Sensational Spider-Man I#11 (December, 1996) - Todd Dezago (words), Mike Wieringo & Richard Case (art), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#418 (December, 1996) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Steve Skroce (pencils), Bud LaRosa (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal#1 (February, 1997) - Glenn Greenberg (writer), Kyle Hotz (pencils), Jason Moore, Kyle Hotz, and Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Peter Parker: Spider-Man I#-1 (July, 1997) - Howard Mackie (writer), Dan Fraga (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Spider-Man Unlimited I#17 (August, 1997) - Glenn Greenberg (writer), Joe Bennett (pencils), Joe Pimentel (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Spider-Man: Revenge of the Green Goblin#3 (December, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), Ron Frenz (pencils), Pat Olliffe (inks), George Roderick Jr. (ink assist), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Peter Parker: Spider-Man II#27 (March, 2001) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Mark Buckingham (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Peter Parker: Spider-Man II#28 (April, 2001) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Mark Buckingham (pencils), Dan Green & Rodney Ramos (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Penance: Relentless#2 (December, 2007) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Paul Gulacy (artist), Molly Lazer (editor)
Penance: Relentless#3 (January, 2008) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Paul Gulacy (artist), Molly Lazer (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol. 11 (December, 2009) - Jeff Christiansen, Stuart Vandal, & Sean McQuaid (head writers/coordinators), Jeff Youngquist & Jennifer Grunwald (editors)


Last updated: 08/05/13

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