Real Name: William Carmody
Identity/Class: Human mutate, citizen of the United States of America (pre-modern era)
Occupation: Adventurer; bio-geneticist; research scientist
Group Membership: First Line (Black Fox/Robert Paine, Blackjack, Doctor Mime, Effigy, Firefall, Flatiron/Russell, Mister Justice/Tim Carney, Morph, Nightingale, Oxbow/Sam Matonabbe, Pixie, Positron/Veronica, Rapunzel, Reflex, Squire, Templar, Walkabout, Yeti)
Fitzpatrick, Colonel Nick Fury, Princess
allies, at least, in the Skrull invasion fleet battle: Gadfly (T. Ruth MacRae), Katyusha (Anya), Mako, Riot-Act,
Enemies: Emperor of Mongolia (Ulan Bator), Kang the Conqueror (Nathaniel Richards), Warlord Kro's Deviant forces, Nocturne, Peg-Leg Martin, Skrull invasion forces
Known Relatives: Mary Carmody (daughter)
Aliases: "Blofeld", "Hitchcock" (nickname used by Nick Fury)
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly the Carmody Institute, Maine
First Appearance: Red Raven Comics#1/7 (August, 1940)
Powers/Abilities: Professor William Carmody possessed no known superhuman abilities prior to getting transferred into his "artificial heart" machine. As a disembodied brain, the Eternal Brain could project his thoughts, speech and hearing over distances of hundreds of miles, even reading and altering the thoughts of others courtesy of a telepathic receptor of his own design. Individuals with trained minds or strong wills were able to resist him. In person, he spoke and heard via radio equipment attached to a microphone and amplifier, respectively. He perceived his environment through similar technology. After transferring his consciousness into a series of miniature bodies, he could see without artificial aid. While ensconced within Walkabout, he could see through the robot's eyes and command its great strength, endurance and flight abilities. Carmody was a genius level scientist and inventor.
He designed a rocket sometimes used by his ally Jim Fitzpatrick, and possibly to transport the Eternal Brain as well.
Original human form
Weight: 179 lbs.
Hair: Black (balding)
Weight: 4 lbs.
Weight: 361 lbs.
Weight: 2 lbs.
(Red Raven Comics#1/7 (fb) - BTS) - Inspired by the research done by Charles Lindbergh on artificial organs in the 1930s (see comments), bio-geneticist William Carmody spent years perfecting Lindbergh's theories. Joined by his assistant Jim Fitzpatrick, Carmody used the technology in 1975 to keep a dog's brain alive for five years. Convinced the "artificial heart" (as he called the machine containing the canine's cranium) was safe, he and Fitzpatrick started work to adapt the technique to use for humans. By then, Jim and Carmody's daughter Mary had become a couple. The three worked and lived in Carmody's institute in Maine.
(Red Raven Comics#1/7 - BTS) - While Mary was being dragged away by Martin and his henchmen, she managed to scream for help. Hearing his daughter's cry, Carmody rushed outside to her aide, only to be shot through the chest by a sniper.
(Red Raven Comics#1/7 - BTS) - Fatally wounded, Carmody overheard their assailants talking about Mary becoming a slave to the Emperor of Mongolia.
(Red Raven Comics#1/7 - BTS) - Carmody told Jim about Mary's intended fate. Wanting to prevent this, he ordered Jim to operate on him and use the "artificial heart" to preserve his brain in a jar of life-giving fluids. With the operation a success, Jim also hooked up a telepathic receptor of Carmody's own design that gave the professor's bodiless brain vast mental powers. Carmody immediately began scanning the globe telepathically for his daughter, ultimately locating Bator's palace in Mongolia.
(Red Raven Comics#1/7 - BTS) - When Mary was presented
to the Emperor of Mongolia by Peg-Leg, her unsubmissive nature soon
rubbed Bator the wrong way and he planned to have her killed.
(Red Raven Comics#1/7) - Before Bator could do anything, he and his followers were shocked to "hear" the booming, commanding voice of William Carmody ordering them to leave Mary alone. Instinctively complying, the Emperor had Mary temporarily locked away in private quarters.
(Red Raven Comics#1/7) - Carmody informed Jim where he could find Mary in Mongolia and ordered him to take Carmody's rocket ship and free her. Shortly after setting down in Mongolia, Jim was attacked by Bator's forces. Thanks to his electric sword, he was able to hold his own until a pellet of paralyzing gas incapacitated him. After he came to in one of Bator's prison cells, Peg-Leg Martin ordered some of the Mongols to bring electric needles which would ensure Fitzpatrick's death would be extremely painful. Before any serious harm could befall Jim, the Eternal Brain used his powers of telepathic suggestion to turn Bator's men against the Emperor and Peg-Leg. Jim was eventually freed by one of the Mongols while the other natives ran wild. Fitzpatrick, guided by Carmody's mental presence, started searching the castle for Mary. When Jim found the room Bator was keeping Mary in, he knocked out the guards and freed her; thrilled to see Fitzpatrick, Mary kissed him. But her good mood quickly turned sour when Jim informed her what had happened to her father. Learning her fiance was responsible for turning her father into a brain in a jar, Mary became incensed and claimed she could never forgive him. Monitoring the conversation, the Eternal Brain weighed in and ordered his daughter to stop that nonsense and commanded her to obey Jim and help him stop Bator and Peg-Leg.
(Red Raven Comics#1/7 - BTS) - Bator and Peg-Leg found themselves besieged by the Eternal Brain-influenced Mongolians and decided to beat a strategic retreat. They figured they'd lay low for a while in Turkestan before returning to Mongolia. Bator used his personal supply of "destructobombs" to clear a path to his rocket ship.(Red Raven Comics#1/7) - Jim and Mary gave chase in their own vessel. En route over the Atlantic, they overtook Bator and Peg-Leg. Even though the Emperor managed to slightly damage their navigational controls, the Carmody craft proved superior when it blasted Bator's vessel to pieces, presumably killing both Peg-Leg and the Emperor Ulan in the process. Carmody guided the couple to a nearby island so they could make the necessary repairs.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation#9) - Jim and Mary watched as Carmody tried his new robot body out for the first time. Pleased with the results even though Fitzpatrick insisted it was still merely a prototype, the professor nonetheless complimented him on his work. Holding a photo of his old human self, he did mention he missed having a mustache, not to mention the lip it grew on. Mary, still not used to her father's "body," was shocked he could joke about something so "horrible." Slightly hurt by this, Carmody asked his daughter if he really was a horror to her now. Quickly apologizing for being mean, Mary listened as her father told her he preferred this new robot body to the alternative: being dead. Their conversation was interrupted by Effigy, who had used his shapeshifting abilities to imitate Jim, thereby bypassing the Carmody Institute's security protocols. The First Line's leader had come to the Institute to enlist Carmody's help, though he initially caused a bit of a stir by changing into an exact copy of Jim to prove his identity. Effigy explained he needed Carmody's telepathic skills to help rescue First Line member Mr. Justice, whose jet had been shot down over the Strait of Hormuz while on a mission to Halwan, where the nation's ruler Zafina had captured three American diplomats.
Effigy asked Fitzpatrick and Carmody if he could bring in the other members of the First Line. Meeting with the heroes, Carmody asked the Black Fox about rumors he had retired following the team's breakup during the Watergate scandals. In response, the Fox told him never to believe rumors and that he went where he was needed. Effigy then explained why the Eternal Brain was needed: sunspot activity was messing with satellite transmissions, causing the First Line to rely on Carmody's telepathy for communication. When their plan of action was agreed upon, Jim, Mary and Carmody watched the First Line go off. Fitzpatrick noticed Oxbow's obvious loyalty to Pixie. The professor couldn't help but notice there was something curious about the longtime First Line members Oxbow and Pixie, recalling how back when they joined in the early-1960s, Oxbow was younger than Pixie, while two decades later, he was clearly the elder of the two. Mary chided her father for even suggesting he might telepathically discover how old Pixie was. Carmody assured his daughter that he had no intentions to pry, adding that Pixie's natural psychic blocks were too strong for him anyway.
Carmody used his telepathy to keep the First Line in mental contact with one another, monitoring how Positron and Blackjack infiltrated the Halwani royal palace while signaling the Black Fox to commence with a diversion. Despite his telepathic might, he couldn't prevent team-member Blackjack from being killed by the Halwan champion Scimitar. While Effigy posed as Halwan's ruler, Princess Zafina, and as Oxbow's prisoner, Carmody learned that Mr. Justice had already freed himself by stealing a jet from the Halwani air force.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation#10 (fb) - BTS) - Inspired by meeting the First Line, Carmody developed a taste for super-heroics. Through Scott (presumably), the professor established close ties with the defense department and got access to many of their classified files. Looking for ways to increase his mobility, Carmody and his associate Jim Fitzpatrick started work on a combat-capable form he could inhabit. They eventually developed a sentient robot who called itself Walkabout. Carmody also transferred his consciousness into (presumably) a clone of his original body. After a few months, he had grown into a homunculus that possessed Carmody's full intelligence, though it limited his psychic powers (see comments). To further increase his use in combat, Carmody developed a cyberlink system that allowed him to merge his consciousness with that of Walkabout, so he could control the robot's form.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation#10 - BTS) - CIA operative Nicholas Fury was ordered to infiltrate the Carmody Institute in an attempt to get a handle on Effigy and Carmody who had been taking steps to reform the First Line, using the institute as a new base of operations. At the same time, Deviant Warlord Kro decided it was high time to act on rumors he'd received about an Eternal (most likely Pixie, possibly Makkari) trying to encourage humanity's interest in "super-heroics." He took a small army through the subterranean tunnels in order to deal with the problem, even as 22nd century historian Cassandra Locke from Earth-700 time-warped into the First Line's base.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation#10) -
Walkabout detected Nick Fury and proceeded to apprehend him. Scanning
the World War II vet, he quickly confirmed his identity and brought
him to meet Carmody, Effigy and the others. Carmody, still stuck as a
homunculus in a jar, kept himself hidden and spoke with Fury via a
shadowed image on a video screen. At roughly the same time, Kro
ordered his Deviant forces to attack the Eternal (Pixie) he had
detected on his gouger. As Pixie dodged the
blasts, the Carmody Institute's klaxons went off, alerting new
recruits Morph, Yeti, and Rapunzel to the crisis. After bringing them
up to speed, Walkabout hurried to the lab where Carmody's new
homunculus form was being kept. The professor wanted to join the
battle, which Walkabout was apprehensive about--the robot's outer
shielding hadn't been installed yet, which left Carmody exposed and an
easy target. The professor convinced him it was necessary, claiming he
needed to take a more active role to stop the intruders. Their
cybernetic merger was observed by Cassandra Locke, who was fascinated
to learn of Carmody's survival. The merged heroes helped turn the tide
of battle, forcing the Deviants to retreat. Not wanting them to get
away so easily, Carmody ordered them stopped for interrogation.
Complying, Oxbow shot a net-arrow that covered the hole the Deviants
were trying to retreat back into.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation#10 - BTS) - Unwilling to have his troops captured or questioned, Kro decided they should not further contaminate the gene-pool--he purified them, incinerating the Deviants on the spot.
Comments: Created by Robert Louis Golden (pencils), other creators have not been credited.
Incorporating the Eternal Brain and supporting cast members like his daughter Mary and Jim Fitzpatrick into Marvel: The Lost Generation was a smart idea on the part of Stern and Byrne. The Eternal Brain's origin story may have been published in 1940, but the introductory caption to his tale specifically mentions it's half-a-century after Charles Lindbergh had experimented with artificial organs (a heart, in his case). This is a reference to Lindbergh's 1938 book The Culture Of Organs, which he started researching as early as 1930. Both John Byrne and the Eternal Brain's OHOTMU entry have confirmed the Brain's introductory tale does indeed take place in 1980.
While the Eternal Brain's OHOTMU entry states that transferring his consciousness into his homunculus form didn't result in any loss of power, that contradicts Carmody's own comments in M:TLG#10. The Eternal Brain laments the fact his telepathy is no longer at its peak, which may have something to do with his new body. After all, an unborn child's brain is a lot smaller than a human adult's, which might explain the lack of (pardon the pun) brainpower available to him.
If the Eternal Brain had a number of homunculus bodies grown, it's entirely possible he survived the destruction of the Skrull armada when his consciousness automatically transferred itself to one of the spare copies back on Earth... Or better yet, back to his original brain, since that cerebrum was never shown to have been destroyed after all.
It seems likely the Eternal Brain appearing in Avengers Forever was an alternate reality counterpart. However, the source page in Avengers Forever I#12 specifically states that the Eternal Brain was indeed from Red Raven Comics#1. Perhaps the Brain hailed from some future time when he joined the team... he *is* eternal, after all.
After conferring with Snood, yours
truly has decided not to include the events of the Marvel
Zombies: Destroy limited series in the Eternal Brain's main
profile. As Snood put it: "Multiple characters from that series were
wildly out of character and/or had powers or origins differing
significantly from their established norms." For instance, the Eternal
Brain reveals he's actually an Eternal (brain,
get it?) who tried to hide from his enemies by assuming the
human form of William Carmody. As amusing a notion it is to have a
superhero with an exposed brain fight zombies in regular continuity, the
adventures of the Eternal
Brain and the Ducky Dozen have been relegated to a sub-profile as
a counterpart of some sort.
The Eternal Brain received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z#4 (2008).
Blofeld is a reference to Ernst
Stavro Blofeld, the recurring scarred James Bond villain, first in
From Russia with Love, and also the inspiration for Austin Powers' Dr.
Fury also called him "Hitchcock" (#10, p5 pan3)
("That's some yarn, Hitchcock!" -- most likely a reference to movie
director Alfred Hitchcock)
The Eternal Brain is
one of the characters whose chronology is largely unaffected by
attaching the First Line to "just before the Modern era." At the time of
the Marvel: The Lost Generation series, the fight against the Skrull
fleet would have occurred just shy of 1990, just a decade after the
Eternal Brain's origin story. Given he had already adapted a
not-quite-human homunculus form with a preservative tank within
Walkabout, it really wouldn't make a difference if the Skrull fleet
battle took place 25+ years later for him as the sliding timescale would
cause as of 2014.
Ultimately, my vote would be to make the interactions with Reed Richards and Ben Grimm as being topical (just like them being shown to have been active in World War II in early Marvel stories was shown to be), as the overall series (along with several characters in particular) suffers by stretching the last few issues out decades, etc.
We have only listed
confirmed teammates under First Line membership. Given his established
chronology, the Eternal Brain and/or Walkabout could not have joined
prior to the first issue in which he appeared (#9). Given we don't know
his powers, it's hard to speculate under what circumstances he might
have survived if he was present. Ultimately, all we know for certain is
that he was a member circa #9, anything else is speculation.
Other known members he was not seen to be teammates with include:
Frank (see comments), Liberty Girl/Beverly, Major Mercury/Makkari, Rebound, Yankee Clipper/Pat Carney,
Thanks to Ron Fredricks for a couple of corrections.
Profile by Norvo.
The Eternal Brain should not be confused with
Ducky Dozen Eternal
Recruited by A.R.M.O.R. to help combat the threat of an interdimensional band of Nazi zombies, the Eternal Brain joined the Ducky Dozen. This elite combat unit consisted of several other pre-modern era heroes (or duplicates or other counterparts of same) and was led by Howard the Duck (who inspired the name of the squad). The Brain was one of the few Ducky Dozen members the prolonged, brutal struggle against both the Nazi zombies and their allies: the zombified forces of Asgard. In order to stop the evil undead, the Ducky Dozen planned to detonate the extradimensional copy of the atomic bomb Big Boy the zombie forces had on display in their headquarters. During the final hours of the mission, the Eternal Brain revealed he had actually been an Eternal who had taken the human guise of William Carmody to escape his enemies, only to survive now as an Eternal('s) brain. When the Dozen were about to be overrun by the enemy, the Eternal Brain sacrificed himself by demanding his ally Rosie the Riveter smash his glass dome and allow his grey matter to grow to its true, gigantic size. The sight of so massive an amount of gray matter caused the ever brain-hungry zombie forces to jump him. In death, the Eternal Brain gave his allies the chance they needed to complete their mission.
--Marvel Zombies Destroy!#1-5
During their final confrontation with the Time-Keepers, a group of time-displaced Avengers found themselves confronted with alternate Avengers from realities in which the team had become an evil, destructive force. Using the Destiny Force, their ally Rick Jones brought forth a legion of Avengers from realities in which the team stayed true to its heroic ideals. Among them was the Eternal Brain, who was granted a measure of mobility thanks to a propulsion unit attached to his jar. The Brain joined his otherworldly teammates in opposing their evil counterparts while Jones and "his" Avengers opposed the Time Keepers. After Captain America destroyed the Forever Crystal, the Brain and all the other time-lost Avengers returned to their native times and realities.
--Avengers Forever I#11 (Avengers Forever I#11, [Avengers Forever I#12]
Professor Carmody owned a red rocket ship of unknown design that he used for personal transportation. The ship was fast enough to travel from the United States to Mongolia within a matter of hours. It had considerable maneuverability and carried a weapons array that offered it superior firepower compared to the ship of the Emperor of Mongolia. Carmody's assistant Jim Fitzpatrick was also licensed to fly the ship, which he used to travel to Mongolia and free his girlfriend Mary Carmody.
--Red Raven Comics#1/7
images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z#4 (2008) (main image)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#9, p1, pan1 (pre-transformation)
Red Raven Comics#1, p60, pan6&8 (gets put together)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#10, cover (homunculus)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#10, p5, pan3 (covert form)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#12, p14, pan3 (dies)
Marvel Zombies Destroy!#3, p9, pan1&2 (Ducky Dozen)
Avengers Forever I#11, p23, pan1 (Avengers Forever)
Red Raven Comics#1, p62, pan2 (Eternal Brain's rocket ship)
Red Raven Comics#1/7 (August 1940) - Robert Louis Golden (pencils), uncredited others
Marvel: The Lost Generation#12 (March, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#11 (April, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#10 (May, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#9 (June, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
X-Men: The Hidden Years#16 (March, 2001) - John Byrne (writer, pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Jason Leibig (editor)
Avengers Forever I#11-12 (November-December, 1999) - Roger Stern (plot), Kurt Busiek (plot & script), Carlos Pacheco (pencils), Jesus Merino (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Marvel Zombies Destroy!#1-2 (July, 2012) - Franklin Marraffino (writer), Mirco Pierfederici (artist), Jacob Thomas (editor)
Marvel Zombies Destroy!#3 (August, 2012) - Peter David (writer), Al Barrionuevo (pencils), Rick Magyar (inks), Jacob Thomas (editor)
Marvel Zombies Destroy!#4-5 (August-September, 2012) - Peter David (writer), Mirco Pierfederici (artist), Jacob Thomas (editor)
First Posted: 04/11/2014
Last updated: 07/05/2014
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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