MELVIN J. WEAL
Real Name: Melvin J. Weal
Identity/Class: Normal human
Occupation: Video store clerk (part-time), would-be warlock
Group Membership: None
Enemies: Beast, Multiple Man, Andy Smith, Helen Smith, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane, unnamed guests at the Donnybrook Country Club
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Rutland, Vermont, USA
First Appearance: X-Men Unlimited I#21 (December, 1998)
Powers/Abilities: Melvin Weal was a normal but overweight, slovenly and short human with grand aspirations to harness the force of hell to achieve personal power. He used the Hell Toupee in his bid to command the dark minions. He also has a large but disorganized collection of comics.
(X-Men Unlimited I#21 (fb) - BTS) - Melvin J. Weal coveted the power to command hell to retaliate against those who disrespected him at the video shop he worked at, and to marry his secret love, Helen Back. He acquired the Hell Toupee plus other minor talismans and a grimoire of incantations through unknown means in his efforts to realize his quest.
(X-Men Unlimited I#21) - Melvin was outraged at the prospect of Helen Back's marriage to Andy Smith, ranting in his apartment how he wanted to become a hellish overlord like that he saw in a comic book. He soon set off to the wedding reception at the local country club, which was also hosting a Halloween party. Weal then descended alone to the basement and began his arcane ceremony, with his incantation opening a dimensional portal to hell, warping the immediate surrounds.
Elsewhere, Beast, Madrox, Wolfsbane and Strong Guy detected the dimensional anomaly and quickly flew to its location.
Meanwhile, Weal's rite caused the building to resonate on the same plane as the fiery pits of the "netherworld", with the guests at the two parties at the country club intended as the sacrificial feast for the demon army. He then donned the Hell Toupee and appeared before the guests, claiming Helen Smith as his queen. While Weal was distracted before his demon minions, Madrox evacuated the country club as Strong Guy confronted the would-be hell lord, who panicked when he saw that the guests had left, leaving the demons with no feast. He then rushed into the portal, intending to send the demons back, but tripped, losing the Hell Toupee, which fell at Strong Guy's feet. Using the hellish hairpiece, Strong Guy then commanded the demons to go back. Weal then ran off to escape the wrath of Strong Guy.Comments: Created by Todd Dezago (writer), Andy Smith (pencils) and Andrew Hennessey (inks).
The circle that Melvin sat in for the initial satanic ceremony was unusual in that it was scribed as a giant X in a circle and not the generic pentagram.
Hell Toupee is a pun on "hell to pay", while Helen Back (the bride's maiden name) can be interpreted as "hell and back". This issue was a Halloween-themed one.
It is very likely that the Andy Smith of the story is meant to be Andy Smith, the book's illustrator.
Melvin may well have collected the Marvel/Paramount series of Star Trek comics, given the Enterprise model ship seen hanging from his ceiling and the scattered comics in his messy room. However, this line ended in 1998, the same year this issue was published.
Profile by Grendel Prime.
Melvin J. Weal has no known connections to:
The Hell Toupee was a mystical talisman that Melvin Weal had somehow acquired. The headpiece gave the wearer command over assorted demons from hell and he used it to gain control over the gathering and to try to capture Helen Smith. Weal lost it when he tripped up at the doorway to hell, but it was quickly retrieved by Strong Guy, who then used it to order the demons to return from whence they came. He then threw the toupee in after the demons as the portal to hell closed.
--X-Men Unlimited I#21
Andy Smith married Helen Back, but encountered the lovesick Melvin Weal at the wedding reception. He was protective of his wife but was caught up in the arrival of the demon horde. He was later rescued by Strong Guy.
--X-Men Unlimited I#21
Helen Smith (nee Back)
The woman born Helen Back married Andy Smith, but very vaguely knew Weal from the video store where he worked. Melvin Weal held secret amorous feelings for Helen and sought to capture her and bend her to his will at the evening wedding reception using the Hell Toupee. She was captured by Weal when the portal but was soon rescued by Strong Guy.
--X-Men Unlimited I#21
X-Men Unlimited I#21, p2, pan2 (main image)
X-Men Unlimited I#21 (December, 1998) - Todd Dezago (writer), Andy Smith (pencils), Andrew Hennessey (inks), Frank Pittarese (editor)
Last updated: 01/09/09
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