main imageJOSEPH "LICORICE" CALHOUN

Real Name: Joseph Calhoun

Identity/Class: Human mutant (World War II-era to present)

Occupation: Patient;
   
formerly clarinet player at the Flamingo Club jazz club

Group Membership: None;
    formerly "Sweet" Tommy Connors' band

Affiliations: Fantastic Four (Human Torch (Johnny Storm), Invisible Woman (Sue Richards), Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards), She-Hulk (Jen Walters)), S.H.I.E.L.D. (Nick Fury, others) (although he was unaware of it)

Enemies: Mr. Cleveland (first name unrevealed) and his thugs

Known Relatives: Unidentified mother (presumably deceased)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: New York City, USA

First Appearance: (behind-the-scenes): Fantastic Four I#290 (May, 1986); ("dream self"): Fantastic Four I#291 (June, 1986); (fully seen): Fantastic Four I#292 (July, 1986)

Powers/Abilities: "Licorice" Calhoun had a mutant brain capable of uncontrollably transforming reality to reflect his dreams.

Height: 5'7"
Weight: 154 lbs.
Eyes: Brown (see comments)
Hair: White (formerly black)

History

(Fantastic Four I#291 (fb) - BTS) - Growing up, Joseph Calhoun's mother often told him that his dreaming would one day get him into trouble. As he got older, Calhoun began to realize that things that he would dream would often come true, soon learning that if he thought about something hard enough, he could influence what he dreamed about. After "Licorice" Calhoun obtained a job as a clarinet player with "Sweet" Tommy Connors' band at the Flamingo Club, the Club's owner, Mr. Cleveland, learned of Calhoun's abilities and sought to use him for his own personal gain. In 1936, Calhoun was warned to dream about Mr. Cleveland's horse winning the biggest pot ever won or risk having his fingers broken by Cleveland's goons. Terrified, Calhoun eventually fell asleep that night and had nightmares full of blood, fire and inhuman screams. The following day, "Licorice" awoke to learn that Cleveland's stables had burned down overnight and Cleveland's horse had died in the fire. Blaming Calhoun for his prize horse's death, Mr. Cleveland sent goons out to kill Calhoun.

(Fantastic Four I#292 (fb) - BTS) - After being deliberately run down by a car full of Mr. Cleveland's goons, Calhoun fell into an irreversible coma and was placed in the charity ward at Midtown General Hospital, where he remained comatose for decades. In the modern era, Calhoun's mind began to briefly emerge from its comatose state for only moments at a time. During the short periods his brain would emerge from its coma, Calhoun would uncontrollably and unknowingly transform the world around him to reflect his last memories of the world: 1936 New York.

Dream self(Fantastic Four I#290) - A day or so later, when She-Hulk, Human Torch and Invisible Woman of the Fantastic Four (along with Nick Fury) returned from a battle against Annihilus, they found themselves in 1936 New York due to Calhoun's transformative dreaming.

(Fantastic Four I#291) - As reality altered and returned to normal along with the real Calhoun's dreams and state of mind, She-Hulk ran afoul of Calhoun's dream self, who was running from Mr. Cleveland's thugs. Despite orders not to interact with the 1936 locals, She-Hulk could not allow Calhoun to die and rescued him, learning about his powers and trouble with Mr. Cleveland, once the goons had fled.

(Fantastic Four I#292 (fb) - BTS) - Unbeknownst to She-Hulk or the other Fantastic Four members, when She-Hulk rescued Calhoun's dream self and altered how the original events unfolded, she and the other Fantastic Four members were unknowingly drawn inside the real Calhoun's comatose mind, becoming comatose themselves while trapped within Calhoun's mind. Learning of Calhoun's reality warps, Mr. Fantastic had the real Calhoun moved from Midtown General Hospital to a S.H.I.E.L.D. base for care and observation.

(Fantastic Four I#292) - Calhoun's dream self continued to accompany the members of the Fantastic Four as they progressed through what they thought was a transformed reality. Within Calhoun's mind, Nick Fury flew to 1936 Germany, where he was captured by Adolf Hitler. Upon escaping, Fury shot Hitler dead, shocking himself, She-Hulk, Invisible Woman and Human Torch from their own comas. Confused, the four heroes were met by Mr. Fantastic, who introduced them to the real Calhoun, who had been in a coma for decades. Having learned of his allies' actions within Calhoun's mind due to a S.H.I.E.L.D. ESP Unit, Mr. Fantastic informed his friends of Calhoun's powers and how they had actually been trapped within Calhoun's mind.

Comments: Created by John Byrne and Al Gordon.

With Marvel's sliding time scale, the year 1936 would be rendered topical. At current, "Licorice" Calhoun could have been comatose since 1936 but he must have been much younger when went into a coma. Either that, or he was unconsciously transforming present-day New York into 1936 New York based on stories told to him by older relatives. Perhaps, since reality changed to reflect Calhoun's dreams, Calhoun was simply dreaming that the earlier event in his life that caused him to fall into a coma had happened in 1936 rather than the pre-modern day?

Joseph "Licorice" Calhoun's eye color was never definitely shown. There were several closeups of his dream self's face and each time, the iris was shaded in completely, suggesting that he had a dark eye color, probably brown. This was, of course, just his dream self and it's very possible that he dreamed himself with a different eye color. When we finally see Calhoun's true self, his eyes were closed because he was in a coma. 

His height and weight were identified in Marvel Encyclopedia Vol. 6: Fantastic Four.

Profile by Proto-Man.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Joseph "Licorice" Calhoun has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)
Fantastic Four I#292, p21, pan1 (main image)
Fantastic Four I#292, p21, pan2 (headshot)
Fantastic Four I#291, p16, pan2 ("dream self")


Appearances:
Fantastic Four I#290 (May, 1986) - John Byrne (writer, pencils), Al Gordon (inks), Michael Carlin (editor)
Fantastic Four I#291 (June, 1986) - John Byrne (writer, pencils), P. Craig Russell (inks), Michael Carlin (editor)
Fantastic Four I#292 (July, 1986) - John Byrne (writer, pencils), Al Gordon (inks), Michael Carlin (editor)


Last updated: 11/22/13

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