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ARON THE WATCHER

Real Name: Aron

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Watchers)

Occupation: Renegade, chaos-bringer

Group Membership: None, formerly Frightful Four (Hydro-Man (Morrie Bench), Klaw (Ulysses Klaw), Titania (Mary McPherran), Wizard (Bentley Wittman))

Affiliations: None; formerly Dragon Man, Fantastic Four clones, Rick Jones, Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell), Dark Raider (Reed Richards of Earth-944), the Watchers (Atul, Emnu the Elder, Ingu, Uatu, others)

Enemies: Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom), Fantastic Four (Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Human Torch (Johnny Storm), Invisible Woman (Susan Storm Richards), Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards), Ms. Marvel (Sharon Ventura), Thing (Ben Grimm)), Fantastic Force (Devlor, Huntara (Maria Alvarez), Psi-Lord (Franklin Richards), Vibraxas (N'Kano II)), Lyja the Laserfist, Molecule Man (Owen Reece), Puppet Master (Philip Masters), Nathaniel Richards, Kristoff Vernard, Zarrko the Tomorrow Man (disguised as Doom's aide Boris)

Known Relatives: Ikor (grandfather, deceased), Ecce (ancient ancestor), Uatu (uncle, deceased), Ulana (aunt)

Aliases: "Uatu" (posed as his own uncle), "Aron the Rogue" (nickname used by Mr. Fantastic),  "Charlie," "that little weasel" (nicknames used by the Thing).

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
                                     formerly a base in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars;
                                     formerly Jasper National Park, Canada;
                                     formerly "the Aerie," on the 100th and 101st floors of the Empire State Building, New York, USA;
                                     formerly Uatu's observatory on the Earth's Moon;
                                     formerly the Watcher homeworld

First Appearance: Captain Marvel I#39 (July, 1975)

Powers/Abilities: Aron possessed all the conventional powers of a member of the Watcher race, which were well beyond human comprehension. Among his recorded abilities were telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation, astral projection and clairvoyance. Aron could generate powerful energy blasts of unrevealed composition (possibly the Power Cosmic). He could fire them from either his hands or his eyes. He could also use the energy to create protective force fields or barriers. Aron was able to alter his appearance, shrinking or growing in size at will and even impersonating other members of his race. Even at reduced power levels he could effortlessly create multiple rifts through time and space, summoning specific individuals at will. Like all Watchers, Aron was exceptionally long lived though he was considered rather young compared to most of his race. His cranial development was years away from reaching full maturity, which made him act rash and rebellious, almost instinctively disobeying his race's sworn oath of non-interference. Curious by nature, he was also uncaring of the fate of those he observed, often treating humans like laboratory animals. Because of his relatively young age, he may not have been able to access the full range of his powers. Aron was an expert in the construction and use of various types of alien technology. He was also well versed in the history of the universe.

Height: Variable
Weight: Variable
Eyes: White
Hair: Bald

History: (Captain Marvel I#39 -(fb) - BTS) - Aron was the young nephew of Uatu, the Watcher assigned to Earth. Raised on the Watchers' homeworld, Aron was years away from being considered mature, though he felt he was wise beyond his years and spent a lot of his time exploring the wilderness of his planet alone. Aron was on one such hike when his uncle returned to the homeworld so he could be judged by the other Watchers for having broken his oath of non-interference. Unbeknownst to Uatu, the Kree hero Captain Marvel had traveled to the Watchers' homeworld to speak on Uatu's behalf.

(Captain Marvel I#39) - Aron spotted Captain Marvel and his young ally Rick Jones in the woods as they tried to fight off the lethal assault of Mad Eye, a wild rackcat with electric antlers. Fascinated by the confrontation, Aron initially merely observed, watching as Captain Marvel managed to stun Mad Eye and fly off with Rick Jones. He then noticed that the furious rackcat decided to give chase and followed both of them to the Temple of Justice, where Uatu's trial was underway. Just as Captain Marvel tried to convince the Council of Watchers that Uatu getting involved was actually a good thing, Mad Eye entered the temple. The rackcat attacked Marvel from behind, stunning him in the process. Aron then came in as well, calmly concluding that the animal's next attack would kill the now defenseless hero. Rick Jones pleaded with Uatu to interfere but the heartbroken Watcher had to refuse. Aron then offered to step up and act, which led to him being openly chastised by his fellow Watchers. In the end, Rick Jones fought off Mad Eye long enough for Captain Marvel to recover and end the fight. By then, the Watchers' council had reached a conclusion, with the elder known as Emnu dismissing the Captain's appeal outright. Emnu explained that taking action even once leads to another, which was why Watchers should not falter even once. He also noted that encountering Captain Marvel had influenced young Aron's thinking as well, which was of some concern to him. In the end, Uatu's trial ended with him promising to do better. Aron remained on the homeworld as Uatu, Rick Jones and Captain Marvel teleported back to the Moon.

(Fantastic Four I#400 (fb) - BTS) - Rebellious, Aron openly voiced his disgust of the One, their race's leader.

(Fantastic Four I#328 (fb) - BTS) - Eventually, Aron was sent to Uatu to learn what it meant to be a Watcher. Aron was still having difficulty with the concept of honoring his race's oath of non-interference. Uatu tried his best to convince his nephew that the life he had led was not the proper  way.

(Fantastic Four Annual I#21) - When the High Evolutionary decided he had need of the Inhumans' Terrigen mists, he traveled to the Moon with his Gatherers and Eliminators to attack Attilan and acquire the mists. Uatu and Aron were both aware of the Evolutionary's presence and overall plan. Uatu went to talk with the mad geneticist, ordering Aron to watch from a distance. The Watcher assured the High Evolutionary that he would not interfere in any way, even if he was well aware of what his goals were. Pleased, the Evolutionary waited right outside Attilan for his troops to carry out their mission. However, the combined forces of the Inhumans, their royal family and the newly arrived Fantastic Four proved too much. The surviving Gatherers and Eliminators fled back to the Evolutionary, who teleported them away. This was all observed by the Watcher from a nearby rooftop but he refused to reveal to the FF where their enemies had gone off to, once again repeating that he only watched. Aron then showed himself, ready to tell the heroes all they needed to know. Before he could speak, a visibly annoyed Uatu silently forced him to keep quiet before taking him away. Disappointed, Aron followed his uncle's orders.

(Fantastic Four I#321 - BTS) - Fed up with his people's rules, Aron struck out on his own. He moved to Earth, constructed armor that generated an ephemeriscreen that made him undetectable and started to scheme in his base, the Aerie, at the top of the Empire State Building. One of Aron's first acts was taking the android Dragon Man as his pet. Aron became obsessed with the Fantastic Four and decided to clone them so he could use them to study the nature of heroics and directly involving himself.

(Fantastic Four I#321) - After a confrontation between the Hulk and Thing in the heart of New York City, Aron showed up to collect a sample of the Thing's hide. He was spotted by the She-Thing (Sharon Ventura), whom he immediately zapped before teleporting away. Fascinated by the very nature of conflict, Aron sent the Dragon Man to fight She-Thing in order to obtain her DNA sample. She-Thing happened to be in the company of She-Hulk when Aron's android servant found her. After a fierce fight, Dragon Man fled back to his master with the sample he needed. Aron was most pleased, telling Dragon Man now all he needed a sample of the Human Torch.

(Fantastic Four I#322) - From his Aerie, Aron continued studying the Fantastic Four, plotting ways to get his hands on the Human Torch's DNA as New York started to fall prey to an invasion from the demonic limbo. Aron observed how the FF confronted and eventually beat the super villain Graviton (Franklin Hall), who offered to use his massive powers to stop limbo from merging with Earth. Aron was fascinated by the notion that "doing the right thing" doesn't necessarily mean it was also the best thing to do. It led him to conclude that taking action instead of remaining passive was more complicated than it initially appeared.

(Fantastic Four I#323) - While the limbo merging event continued, Aron watched as the Fantastic Four ran across Mantis, who wanted their help in rescuing her son from the Cotati. Aron was more concerned with his own well being, telling Dragon Man that, ever since he came to Earth's vicious and finite milieu, he had been buffeted by such unexpected evils that he feared for his very soul. As he continued his lament, Aron was not aware he was being observed by the disembodied spirit of the malevolent sorcerer Necrodamus.

(Fantastic Four I#324 - BTS) - Aron was unaware Necrodamus used the data he had collected to form a scheme designed to return him to power. Planning to sacrifice Mantis, the erstwhile Celestial Madonna, when all planets were in alignment, Necrodamus was stopped by the FF and Kang the Conqueror.

(Fantastic Four I#327 - BTS) - Following yet another unsuccessful attempt at defeating the Fantastic Four, the Wizard started to study ways of making sure his Frightful Four would prove victorious.

(Fantastic Four I#328 (fb) - BTS) - Wizard discovered Dragon Man was being controlled by an outside force. Once he realized that force was a Watcher, he contacted Aron and extended an invitation to join through Dragon Man.

(Fantastic Four I#327) - The Fantastic Four, joined by former members Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, tracked the Frightful Four down to their hideout and attacked. Thanks in part to the element of surprise, the FF beat the villains with very little effort. However, just as the heroes thought the battle was won, Aron arrived and psychically knocked them all out before telling the Wizard he accepted Frightful Four membership.

(Fantastic Four I#328) - As the FF lay defeated, the Wizard was ecstatic, claiming this was the ultimate, unassailable proof of his superior mind. He then ordered Aron to kill them, which the Watcher refused. Ignoring the furious Wizard, he calmly explained his origins and his plans for the FF, admitting he only joined up to obtain the Human Torch's DNA. With that objective completed, he was ready to leave. Not willing to let Aron go, the Wizard ordered the other members of the Frightful Four to attack him. Initially, Aron was content to let Dragon Man handle them but the android proved no match for Titania. Just as the evil FF prepared to jump him, Aron knocked them all out with a mere flick of the fingers and departed.

(Fantastic Four I#328 - BTS) -  While Aron was busy creating clones of the Fantastic Four, the actual team was eventually freed from the clutches of the Frightful Four by Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters.

(Fantastic Four I#328) - Moments after the FF had once again beaten the Frightful Four, Aron reappeared to announce he had finished his project. He abducted both teams to an alien dimension where he introduced them to clones of the original Fantastic Four plus Ms. Marvel.

(Fantastic Four I#329 (fb)) - Aron placed the real FF and the Frightful Four in suspended animation, moving them to his new hideout deep within Alberta, Canada's Jasper National Park. He sent the clones back to New York City, where they assumed the lives of the actual FF, only with him pulling their strings, invisibly and unnoticed by Uatu. This FF would experience adventures the way Aron desired to observe them. He decided not to kill the originals because he might need them to create additional copies in case his first batch of clones died during their missions.

(Fantastic Four I#329 - BTS) - Influenced by Aron, the clone FF felt the need to relive every single adventure the original team ever experienced, starting with their debut fight against Mole Man.

(Fantastic Four I#330) - Aron watched a recent mission of his cloned FF during which they went up against the Psycho-Man. He told his constant companion, the Dragon Man, that he thoroughly enjoyed watching the Fantastic Four, especially since they were now action figures he could control directly. He went on to explain that he kept the originals, as well as the Frightful Four, around in suspended animation because he planned to stage a pseudo-war that summer between heroes and villains he'd both control, adding: "if it truly happens, who's to say it's not real?" He then decided that when and if he would kill off the real FF, the first victim would be the Invisible Woman who he felt was utterly useless (see comments).

(Fantastic Four I#331) - Aron was elated when he observed how his FF clones interrupted a magic show in New York City in an attempt to mimic the original team's first confrontation with Miracle Man. After chasing off the terrified stage magician, the clones announced they would start charging for their services. The audience would only be allowed to leave the theater after paying this "Fantasti-Tax," which Mr. Fantastic set at 50 dollars.

(Fantastic Four I#332) - Aron continued to study and enjoy the alternate FF's adventures, unaware that the actual team was experiencing a series of increasingly vivid dreams while in suspended animation. The Torch's dreams caused him to subconsciously use his powers to start raising the temperature of his cryogenic tube.

(Fantastic Four I#333 (fb) - BTS) - Eventually, the Torch's involuntary temperature increase caused him to actually wake up. Quickly freeing himself and his teammates, the heroes proceeded to assault Aron, who was thrown into one of the open cryogenic chambers, apparently freezing instantly. In reality, Aron preferred to watch what would happen next when the Frightful Four was thawed out as well and immediately attacked the heroes.

(Fantastic Four I#333) - To add further excitement, Aron teleported the cloned FF to his Canadian base. The copies were stunned to see the Fantastic Four fight the Wizard's team. After a few confusing moments, during which the copies declared they had no intention of giving up being the FF, Aron revealed he was just fine. He then decided it was time for a new game, having realized he enjoyed watching his clones more than the real thing. He now planned to put the clones in suspended animation, studying their dreams in peace. The Watcher returned the real FF back to their New York headquarters and sent the Frightful Four to the Vault, the US government's maximum security prison.

(Fantastic Four I#369 - BTS) - Eventually tiring of watching his clones, Aron abandoned the project. Remaining on Earth, he moved to the Arctic wastes.

(Fantastic Four I#369) - When the Magus used several cosmic cubes to freeze every single person in the universe in place in preparation for being merged with and replaced by a realm more of his choosing, Aron was one of the few beings on Earth who remained unaffected. Thinking of a way to benefit from these events, Aron teleported to New York City, where he abducted Alicia Masters from her home, right under the nose of her equally comatose stepfather Philip Masters, the Puppet Master. Aron's actions were observed by Uatu from his domicile on the Moon, who watched his nephew's actions with great sadness.

(Fantastic Four I#370 - BTS) - Following Magus' defeat, every single person in the universe returned to normal. Shocked to find his stepdaughter missing, Philip Masters hurried to Four Freedoms Plaza to get the Thing's help in finding Alicia.

(Fantastic Four I#371 - BTS) - Thing and Masters returned to Alicia's apartment, joined by Mr. Fantastic, who used his technological expertise to construct a trans-temporal reflector, which played back the events leading up to Alicia's disappearance. Stunned to find the culprit was Aron, the heroes returned to Four Freedoms Plaza to gather the equipment needed for a rescue attempt. With the Invisible Woman and the Human Torch unavailable, they were joined by the visiting Sharon Ventura. Using the reflector to determine Alicia's location, the three heroes teleported to the Arctic. Before they left, they told Philip Masters he couldn't come because someone needed to alert the Avengers should they fail. As he watched them teleport away, Philip was determined to help save his stepdaughter.

(Fantastic Four I#371) - Aron watched from a distance as the trio arrived near his base in the Arctic. There, they found Alicia strapped to an intricate contraption that connected Alicia's mind to an artificially created universe hovering over her head. Just then, Aron appeared, announcing to Mr. Fantastic, the Thing and Sharon that they'd be the next inhabitants of this mini-universe that was founded on Alicia's hopes, desires, fears and visions.

(Fantastic Four I#372 - BTS) -  Unwilling to idly stand by while others fought for Alicia, the Puppet Master used his radioactive clay to sculpt a statue of the most powerful being he could think of. Deciding on the Molecule Man, Masters forced the weak-willed Owen Reece to come to Alicia's aid. At the same time, Aron had placed Reed, Ben and Sharon inside the tiny universe governed by Alicia's subconsciousness.

(Fantastic Four I#372) - Aron was delighted watching the three new arrivals trying to cope with their unfamiliar existence as part of Alicia's universe. His revelry was interrupted by the arrival of the Molecule Man, who rather meekly announced he had come to free Alicia Masters.

(Fantastic Four I#373 - BTS) - Thanks to Sharon Ventura, who was secretly working for him, Doctor Doom became aware of an unidentified source of incredible energy in the Arctic. Doom ordered his men to pinpoint its location and prepared to obtain the source of his power.

(Fantastic Four I#373) - Aron engaged the Molecule Man, smugly fighting the master of all inorganic matter with little discernible effort before trapping Reece inside a field devoid of air or any other molecules until he passed out. Momentarily distracted when the FF had managed to escape his artificial universe, Aron failed to notice the arrival of Doctor Doom, who immediately hit him with a device that absorbed a fair amount of his cosmic power, causing the Watcher to faint while Doom triumphantly left with his prize. As the FF emerged from the cave, they found Uatu had come down from the Moon to be with Aron. However, Uatu refused to tell even Mr. Fantastic who or what had caused his nephew's defeat.

(Fantastic Four I#374 - BTS) - Uatu took the comatose Aron back to the Moon, where he was placed inside a stasis chamber that monitored his condition. At the same time, Doctor Doom transfered Aron's Power Cosmic into a specially designed battery he planned to use as the power source for a new armor which incorporated the energy absorption technology. Doom decided Uatu was his next target.

(Fantastic Four I#374) - Uatu was tending to Aron when he picked up the imminent arrival of Doom. Wearing his new armor, Victor breached the Watcher's lunar abode, announcing his arrival by yelling that he had come to claim the power inside Uatu.

(Fantastic Four I#374 - BTS) - Unable to interfere directly per his oath, Uatu instead summoned the Fantastic Four and Lyja the Laserfist from Earth, tearing them away from their fight with the "Secret Defenders" (Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Hulk and Spider-Man).

(Fantastic Four I#375) - Uatu gave the FF the briefest of explanations for abducting them, only pointing out Doom was nearby, powered by Aron's cosmic energies. Uatu then departed, announcing he was returning Aron to the Watchers' homeworld to face a jury of his peers for the crimes he had committed. 

(Fantastic Four I#375 - BTS) -  Uatu returned shortly after the FF, with some timely assistance from the Inhuman royal family, managed to overload Doom's new armor which forced Doom to flee.

(Fantastic Four I#399 (fb) - BTS) - While in the custody of his fellow Watchers, Aron slowly recovered though he still hadn't regained the power Doom had stolen from him. Those energies were being kept by Uatu in a storage battery hidden in his citadel. Aron was to be tried for his insolence but before the trial could start, most of the Watchers were summoned to attend to the One in preparation for the coming war against the Celestials. Left to his own devices and aware the Watchers could never win, Aron began to plan for his survival.

(Fantastic Four I#400 (fb) - BTS) - Aron set up a base in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. He started work on a universal converter that would transform the solar system into a pocket universe he could rule over. In order to keep Uatu occupied and help him get technology he required, Aron rescued the Reed Richards of Earth-944, who inadvertently caused the destruction of his Earth when Galactus came to Earth and he took too long searching the devourer's ship for weapons such as the Ultimate Nullifier. Now calling himself the Dark Raider, Earth-944's Reed was determined to kill all the variant Reed Richards in the multiverse. To further complicate matters, Aron decided to involve the Fantastic Four by repeatedly impersonating Uatu, appearing as his uncle to distract the heroes.

(Fantastic Four I#388) - Aron, disguised as Uatu, appeared before the Dark Raider just as he was planning to travel to Earth-49487 to kill that reality's Reed Richards. The Watcher begged him to reconsider but the Dark Raider was determined, reminding him of his people's oath of non-interference.

(Fantastic Four I#389) - Aron, operating out of Uatu's citadel, became aware of the Collector approaching Earth to add the offspring of the Human Torch and Lyja to his collection. He also witnessed how part-time hospital housekeeper Raphael Suarez gained the powers of the Laserfist after touching the Skrull implant left behind by Lyja after giving birth there. All these events convinced Aron he had to take an even more proactive role. His first act was luring the Fantastic Four (then Invisible Woman, Thing, Ant-Man and the visiting Namor the Sub-Mariner) to Earth-944 by making it appear Sue's renegade teenage son Franklin was hiding out there. The foursome gave chase, leaving Earth-616 via Doom's time platform and arriving on what they initially thought was a primitive Earth. However, they soon found a giant, modern monument adorned with statues of the FF. Hiding inside the structure to avoid the furious locals, the team was startled to find Aron (disguised as Uatu) waiting there for them. "Uatu" froze Ant-Man and Namor before telling the two founding FF members the Fantastic Four was indirectly responsible for causing this planet's current predicament.

(Fantastic Four I#390) - While keeping Namor and Ant-Man in stasis, "Uatu" told Ben and Sue all about the fate that had befallen Earth-944. When Galactus first arrived on this Earth, the Watcher also intervened just like on their world. On Earth-616, Uatu picked the Human Torch to travel to Galactus' worldship but on Earth-944, he had chosen Mr. Fantastic. Reed's natural curiosity got the better of him once he had arrived on the gigantic vessel and he wasted too much time field-testing possible weapons before deciding what to take. When he returned, his three teammates had been killed, along with most of his world. Even though Ben didn't believe the Watcher's tale, doubting if he was even the true Uatu, the Invisible Woman agreed to help out. Not wanting to let Sue face such danger by herself, Ben went along. "Uatu" then teleported Namor and Ant-Man home while retrieving the Human Torch. He took all three of them back in time, replacing the spirits of the original three FF members native to Earth-944 with those of their older, more experienced counterparts from Earth-616. Much to their surprise, they now had to face Galactus.

(Fantastic Four I#391) -  Aron, as Uatu, appeared during a lull in the battle between the FF and Galactus. As they were catching their breath inside the Baxter Building, the Watcher came to encourage them before vanishing once more. Not too long after that, the three Earth-944 FF members died fighting Galactus.

(Fantastic Four I#392) - Aron used his powers to switch out the minds of the Earth-616 FF members at the instant of their Earth-944 counterparts' deaths, returning them to their own bodies in the process. He later appeared at Four Freedoms Plaza at the height of a confrontation between the FF, their associates Lyja, Devlor, Huntara and Vibraxas, and the Dark Raider, who greeted "Uatu" as his "old friend." Unable to beat so many foes through conventional means, the Dark Raider eventually pulled out the Ultimate Nullifier that was supposed to have helped save his own reality. Expecting this and in need of a Nullifier to carry out his plans, "Uatu" rather melodramatically chose to break his oath and act, seemingly vaporizing the Raider with a blast from his hands. He then took custody of the Nullifier, claiming he would return the weapon to where it belonged before going into exile to "a distant place where there was nothing to watch" as punishment for having actively interfered.

(Fantastic Four I#396) - Even though the Fantastic Four had mostly broken up following their fight against the Dark Raider, Aron still felt it was necessary to keep the team distracted by sending an illusion of a burning Invisible Girl to Four Freedoms Plaza in an attempt to scare and confuse the only truly active members, Thing and Ant-Man. However, the apparition had the exact opposite effect, bolstering the two heroes' spirits and prompting to locate the Invisible Woman. From his citadel, still disguised as Uatu, the rogue Watcher was mocked by the Dark Raider, who reminded Aron that his little stunt didn't just fail, it might also cause the FF to track it back to them. Surprisingly pensive, "Uatu" told the Raider that such a thing would be a pity, for it would only result in their utter destruction.

(Fantastic Four I#397) - Not too long after the Human Torch rejoined the team to help find the Invisible Woman, Aron decided he would try one final time to distract the FF. Appearing inside Four Freedoms Plaza while Thing, Torch and Ant-Man were preparing their advanced Stealth Hawk craft for departure, the Watcher warned of an approaching Skrull warship that needed to be dealt with immediately. The Fantastic Four openly questioned the validity of the Watcher's statements and why he had suddenly come out of supposedly self-imposed exile. Realizing he could no longer manipulate them, Aron dropped the pretense and openly attacked the heroes. Unfortunately, his still depleted powers made it impossible for him to take his opponents down immediately. His attack was eventually brought to a stop when the Human Torch fired one of Mr. Fantastic's experimental weapons, a dekion pulse cannon designed to drive the cosmic energy from a Watcher's form. Weakened but not beaten, Aron destroyed the dekion blaster with his eyebeams and was ready to finish off the FF when the true Uatu appeared, coming to the Earthers' defense. When Uatu dismissed Aron's offer to join forces and survive the end of the universe together, he teleported away. Uatu, without saying a word to the puzzled heroes, vanished as well.

(Fantastic Four I#398) - After reuniting with the Invisible Woman and her new allies Nathaniel Richards, Kristoff Vernard and Doom's loyal aide Boris (actually a disguised Zarrko the Tomorrow Man), the FF took the Stealth Hawk to the Moon to confront the Watcher about the recent doppelganger incident at Four Freedoms Plaza. Entering Uatu's home, the Watcher approached them and was about to share what he knew when suddenly he was called away by the Summoner, who demanded his presence (as part of the Watchers' war against the Celestials). Barely a minute after Uatu was forcibly taken away, Aron (still disguised as Uatu) appeared in Uatu's citadel to renew his conflict with the team.In reality, he had come to look for his missing cosmic energy still stored inside the battery Uatu had hidden. During the fight, Aron revealed who he had been all along. Mocking the stunned heroes, Aron warned them they were rapidly nearing the end of the universe as the "pitiful insects" had always understood it.

(Fantastic Four I#399) - Aron held the FF and their allies (minus Nathaniel, who had teleported back to Earth) suspended in the air as he ranted and raved about the impending end of the universe and how he would be the only one to survive. Startled by a combined attack of the heroes, he let them all go, but quickly recovered and sent away the Invisible Woman to a remote asteroid field where she was confronted by the Dark Raider, who at first acted like he was her Reed Richards. While the Human Torch distracted Aron, the cooperative efforts of Kristoff and Ant-Man proved sufficient to locate the power battery. As Aron approached, Vernard feverishly worked to make adjustments to the unit. When Aron eventually touched it, hoping to reclaim his might, the battery had the opposite effect, draining even more of his cosmic power. Weakened but not defeated, Aron nevertheless decided to depart, assuring the heroes they would surely perish in the coming cataclysm.

(Fantastic Four I#400 - BTS) - As Aron worked on the converter that would assure the creation of a pocket universe, the Fantastic Four, Fantastic Force and their allies got involved with the war between the Celestials and the Watchers, whose leaders Exitar and the One were about to duke it out. The resulting fight would lead to the destruction of creation. The heroes located the true Uatu amongst the hundreds of Watchers assembled for the final confrontation. Using his telepathy, Psi-Lord forcibly read Uatu's mind, learning what Aron was planning while the fight was going down. The Invisible Woman decided to split up their forces, sending Ben to lead a team to stop Aron. Huntara's teleportational powers delivered Thing and the others to Aron's asteroid.

(Fantastic Four I#400) - Unimpressed by the appearance of Thing, Psi-Lord, Ant-Man, Vibraxas, Huntara and Kristoff, the rogue Watcher casually used his abilities to teleport in some of the Fantastic Four's most hated enemies to keep the heroes busy while he continued his work.

(Fantastic Four I#400 - BTS) - Acting on orders from the Celestial Arishem the Judge, Exitar acted, killing the One. Moments later, the Invisible Woman (who had managed to breach the Celestial's armor and reach its "brain"), used her force fields to destroy Exitar's mind, effectively destroying him as well. Uatu kept everyone safe and assured them that, with both Exitar and the One gone, the final conflict had been postponed for a few millennia. He then took all the Earthers to Aron's asteroid for a final showdown.

(Fantastic Four I#400) -  Determined to stop Aron as the other heroes fought their old foes, Ant-Man shrunk down, climbed into the converter and then began to grow, effectively blowing up the contraption in the process. Annoyed but undaunted, Aron assured Ant-Man he could restore the device within moments. However, he never got the chance because Uatu and the others arrived to stop him. Uatu, realizing he had to act despite his oath, used his vastly superior powers to protect the Earthlings he had come to love. Uatu ended his nephew's existence by forcing him to become living energy which he then redirected into forming the core of the One's inevitable regeneration. 

Comments: Created by Steve Englehart, Al Milgrom and Klaus Janson.

Who knew Aron first appeared in Captain Marvel? Even though Aron's actual appearance occurred 13 years earlier, his creator Steve Englehart wrote Aron in 1988's FF annual like he was a new character. Aron fulfills an interesting role in Englehart's run on Fantastic Four that might have gone over the heads of both the Marvel higher ups and a very vocal part of  the readership, who hated the changes he made to the book. So what does Englehart (or, "John Harkness," his pen name) do? He has Aron create clones of the FF that act like broad characterizations of the way Stan Lee used to write them back in 1961. They have the same adventures and "Harkness" even lifted more than a few lines of dialogue verbatim from the source material.

Englehart used this upstart Watcher as a stand in for fanboys who complain bitterly about only getting to watch. Oftentimes, they disagree with a creative team's choices and want to influence what happens in their  favorite comic, often insisting nothing really changes about the characters they enjoy, preferring to rehash their adventures. Having Aron contemplate staging "a pseudo-war between heroes and villains" while basically looking the readers straight in the eye is a rather brilliant, subtle piece of  commentary on some of the genre's much maligned tropes.

Still, Englehart got a bit sloppy during his final Aron arc. The initial issues stress that Aron was unaware the FF were having dreams in suspended animation yet he eventually lets them go so he can put the clones under and study whatever they dream of. Of course, it's possible he only got the idea after reading the minds of the Fantastic Four while he was pretending to be frozen... but it still could have been explained a tad better.

The idea of a Watcher who wants to do more than, well, watch is a fascinating one. Uatu himself had been guilty of acting on more than one occasion but Aron takes proactive to the next level. During the DeFalco run, he was mainly portrayed as a villain which is a bit of an oversimplification but then again... it's the DeFalco run, where the really complicated part was trying to figure out when Aron was posing as Uatu and when the team was dealing with the real Watcher. Turns out one of them never wore gloves... (well, most of the time). See, simple as that!

Aron received profiles in Marvel Encyclopedia: Fantastic Four and The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition I#28.

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Aron should not be confused with


images: (without ads)
Fantastic Four I#399, p3, pan1 (main image)
Captain Marvel I#39, p4,pan1 (first appearance)
Fantastic Four Annual I#21, p31, pans 2&3 (wants to help the FF)
Fantastic Four I#323, p11,pan1 (feels ill at ease)
Fantastic Four I#333, p14, pan4 (acts all helpless and frozen)
Fantastic Four I#369, p20, pan4 (abducts Alicia Masters)
Fantastic Four I#373, p27, pan1 (gets drained by Doctor Doom)
Fantastic Four I#398, p29, pans 2,3,4 (reveals his true appearance)
Fantastic Four I#400, p50, pans1,2,3 (dies)


Appearances:

Captain Marvel I#39 (July, 1975) - Steve Englehart (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Fantastic Four Annual I#21 (September, 1988) -  Steve Englehart (writer), Kieron Dwyer (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#321 (December, 1988) - Steve Englehart (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Romeo Tanghal (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#322 (January, 1989) - Steve Englehart (writer), Keith Pollard (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#323 (February, 1989) -
Steve Englehart (writer), Keith Pollard (pencils), Romeo Tanghal (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#324 (March, 1989) - S.F.X. Englehart (writer), Keith Pollard (pencils), Romeo Tanghal (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#327 (June, 1989) - John Harkness (writer), Keith Pollard (pencils), Romeo Tanghal (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#328 (July, 1989) - John Harkness (writer), Keith Pollard (pencils), Romeo Tanghal (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#329 (August, 1989) - John Harkness (writer), Rich Buckler (pencils), Romeo Tanghal (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#330 (September, 1989) - John Harkness (writer), Rich Buckler (pencils), Romeo Tanghal (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#331 (October, 1989) - John Harkness (writer), Rich Buckler (pencils), Romeo Tanghal (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#332 (November, 1989) - John Harkness (writer), Rich Buckler (pencils), Romeo Tanghal (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#333 (December, 1989) - John Harkness (writer), Rich Buckler (pencils), Romeo Tanghal (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#369 (October, 1992) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralf Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#370 (November, 1992) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#371 (December, 1992) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#372 (January, 1993) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#373 (February, 1993) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#374 (March, 1993) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#375 (April, 1993) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#388 (May, 1994) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#389 (June, 1994) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#390 (July, 1994) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#391 (August, 1994) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#392 (September, 1994) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#396 (January, 1995) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#397 (February, 1995) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Fantastic Four I#398 (March, 1995) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Fantastic Four I#399 (April, 1995) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Fantastic Four I#400 (May, 1995) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)


Last updated: 09/16/14

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