Iron Cross

Real Name: Oskar Mors

Identity/Class: Human armored warrior;
    Nazi (presumptive German citizen)

Occupation: Warrior

Group Membership: Nazi party, Uberkommando (Baron Blood/John Falsworth, Master Man/Wilhelm Lohmer , U-Man/Meranno, Warrior Woman/Julia Koenig/Lohmer?)

Affiliations: Masked Raider (Dirk Mehler), Arnim Zola, unidentified Nazi scientist

Enemies: Blazing Skull (Mark Todd), Bucky (James Barnes), Captain America (Steve Rogers), Destroyer (Roger Aubrey), Human Torch (Jim Hammond), Invaders, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Namora, Spitfire (Jacqueline Falsworth), Toro (Thomas Raymond), Union Jack (Brian Falsworth), Vision (Aarkus); villagers of Vliet, the Netherlands

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None;
    Blazing Skull referred to him in derisive German nicknames, like "Fritz" and "Kraut"

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly Schreckstadt, Germany

First Appearance: Midnight Sons Unlimited#9 (May, 1995)

Powers/Abilities: Presumably Oskar Mors' Iron Cross armor has similar abilities to that of Helmut Gruler's. It was certainly superhumanly strong (Gruler's armor allowed him to trade a series of punches with someone with Class 100 strength; Mors was shown to be able to throw someone through a brick wall, and -- if it was him in the Agents of Atlas#6 flashback against Namora and Namor, he could indeed trade punches with Namor). It was highly durable, being unphased by electric blasts, machine gunfire, or a lamp post swung by someone with perhaps low level superhuman strength, and it could handle at least a few fiery blasts from the android Human Torch; but it was incapacitated, if not destroyed, by a missile/buzz bomb. He could fly via rockets or jets in his boots.
    In the Vliet conflict, he could discharge some sort of electrical blast; he did not demonstrate this in the Schreckstadt conflict, perhaps indicating the weaponry was damaged by the Human Torch, or that he just didn't have the opportunity (or think to) use it in latter struggle.
    For a single mission, he carried a 1940s era movie camera to film a missile launch/strike.

 

 

Height: Unrevealed (like Gruler, his armor appeared to be perhaps 7' tall, or taller)
Weight: Unrevealed (armored or unarmored)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Unrevealed

 

 

History:
(Midnight Sons Unlimited#9 (fb) - BTS) - Iron Cross allied with the Nazi Masked Raider (Dirk Mehler) in his plot to destroy locations both strategic in and symbolic of the United States of America's power via a number of target-transmitters placed over a series of months by their spies, which would guide their Nazi's Vergeltungswaffe Drei (V-3 - see comments) to these locations. Two such V-3 missile bases were established: one in Schreckstadt, Germany, and one in an unidentified small island in the Atlantic Ocean.

(Midnight Sons Unlimited#9 (fb) - BTS) - The Destroyer (Roger Aubrey), working behind enemy lines, convinced the Nazis he was loyal to them.

(Invaders Now#2 (fb) - BTS) - As part of the Uberkommando, Iron Cross defended the castle base of Arnim Zola in the Netherlands village Vliet, in which Zola was using minerals imbued with the essence of the Great Old One demon known as Shuma-Gorath to develop a viral doomsday weapon that turned the infected into berserk monsters.

(Invaders Now#2 (fb)) <January, 1945> - The Uberkommando fought the Invaders (Bucky/James Barnes, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Human Torch/Jim Hammond, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Spitfire/Jacqueline Falsworth, Toro/Thomas Raymond, Union Jack/Brian Falsworth), alongside the Vision (Aarkus) sent there to thwart Zola's plot. Iron Cross withstood several fiery blasts from the Human Torch before being ordered to flee as the villagers mutated by Zola were released. Iron Cross grabbed at least one fallen Nazi soldier and made the escape.

(Invaders Now#2 (fb) - BTS) - The Invaders slew Zola (who transferred his mind into his first android form) and were forced to destroy Vliet and the infected villagers (virtually the entire population) to contain the plague.

(Midnight Sons Unlimited#9 - BTS) - <January, 1945> - Blazing Skull (Mark Todd) discovered Nazis led by the Masked Raider planting a transmitter on the Statue of Liberty. Blazing Skull defeated them and claimed the transmitter, as well as the Nazis' notes that indicated the Nazis' plans to next strike at the Club Copa, at London's Picadilly Circus.

(Midnight Sons Unlimited#9 - BTS) - Todd arrived at the Club Copa and warned Brian Falsworth -- who was holding a party to benefit the troops at war -- that he had received word that the Germans might be planning to bomb the club. Falsworth elected to not take a chance, and they began to evacuate the club.

(Midnight Sons Unlimited#9) - With a large video camera attached to his right shoulder, Iron Cross filmed the approaching of a new buzz-bomb missile (one of the aforementioned V-Ss) that blew up the Club Copa, which contained one of the Raider's transmitters, in hopes of obliterating England's leaders and aristocracy;

(Midnight Sons Unlimited#9 - BTS) - Falsworth and Todd were the last one out of the door when the buzz bomb hit. Falsworth made it out, while Todd was caught under rubble.

(Midnight Sons Unlimited#9) - Todd survived as Blazing Skull, only to be confronted by the immense Iron Cross, who took credit for the bombing. Blazing Skull, soon joined by Falsworth as Union Jack, futilely assaulted Iron Cross, who weathered being shocked by Union Jack's electrical blasts and being struck by a Skull swung lamp post, while a single punch from Iron Cross knocked Blazing Skull halfway through a brick wall. Noting how easily he could grind his foes to powder, Iron Cross decided he had wasted enough time on them, and departed via his boot jets.

(Midnight Sons Unlimited#9 - BTS) - Iron Cross left behind the camera, the footage on which allowed Union Jack to identify that the buzz-bomb had been launched from the German town Schreckstadt.

(Midnight Sons Unlimited#9 - BTS) - Iron Cross returned to Shreckstadt. If not before, he learned of the Destroyer's seeming alliance; Iron Cross did not truly believe the Destroyer had joined their cause.

(Midnight Sons Unlimited#9 - BTS) - Via his Infiltrator jet, Union Jack flew Blazing Skull below radar to Schreckstadt to meet with his ally the Destroyer; Union Jack had to return to London to help protect the citizens from a renewed blitz. However, Blazing Skull's flaming head and loud crash through the trees as he approached the meeting site forced the Destroyer to capture the Blazing Skull and give him to the Nazis to prevent his cover from being blown.

(Midnight Sons Unlimited#9) - Seeing the Blazing Skull thus bound, Iron Cross admitted he had not believed the Destroyer had joined their cause, but now seemed convinced. After striking the Blazing Skull, the Cross revealed the extent of their plans with the target-transmitters. Hearing this, the Destroyer slipped away, located a cache of V-3S, and reprogrammed one of the V-3s to explode shortly, but was discovered by the Nazis before he could return; as Iron Cross prepared to execute the "traitor," the Destroyer feigned an attempt to prove his loyalty by turning a flame-thrower on the Blazing Skull, knowing the Skull was impervious to the flames, which would only incinerate his bonds. The Destroyer then turned the flame-thrower on the Nazis, while the Skull grabbed the Nazis' schematics and a target-transmitter, and the two took off on a motorcycle and sidecar. The Nazi doctor discovered the V-3 set to explode, but Iron Cross told him to deal with it while he dealt with their foes. Unable to diffuse the V-3 in the time available, the Nazi doctor launched the V-3 so it would detonate some distance away. Iron Cross caught up to Destroyer and Blazing Skull and laughed off the Destroyer's machine gun fire, but Blazing Skull struck him in the chest, sticking the target-transmitter there in the process. The two allies drove away as quickly as they could, and the startled Iron Cross could only yell, "Nein!! Neiiiinn!" as the V-3 approached. There was a massive explosion as the V-3 detonated, and the Nazi base was ignited and its weaponry destroyed in the explosion, though the heroes made it clear.

    The Blazing Skull subsequently prevented the Masked Raider from transmitting a new code to destroy the White House over the Masked Raider radio show (in the guise of giving decoder ring information to its child viewers), apparently killing the Raider in the process.

See comments for possible additional appearances

Comments: Created by Dan Slott, James W. Fry III, and Andrew Pepoy.

    Captain America: America's Avenger (August, 2011), continued that years special editions of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. The Warrior Woman entry therein incorrectly referenced the Iron Cross who was a member of the Uberkommando in 1945 as Helmut Gruler. His status as a different Iron Cross and his real name, Oskar Mors, was revealed/confirmed in the Spitfire entry in subsequent OHotMU special, Vampires: The Marvel Undead.   

    While by himself in Midnight Sons#9, the Iron Cross refers to "mein  Fhrer," indicating he is a loyal Nazi, something Gruler was most emphatically not. The Midnight Sons version also referred to "our Reich." 
    Gruler wanted the armor at its maximum power to be able to support Germany, though he was certainly willing to accept collateral damage in his initial struggles. Within 10 years of these events he united with various heroes of 1951 to oppose international and planetary threats. The Midnight Sons#9, Iron Cross was proud and amused to witness and film a bombing of a nightclub, and actively supported the effort to bomb
    These actions and the timing of events -- with Gruler being known to be active in mid-1941 and subsequent events in this profile both taking place in January, 1945 -- make it pretty clear that the Iron Cross in Midnight Sons#9 and Invaders Now#2's World War II flashback were the same character, but not Gruler.

    The circumstances by which Mors obtained his Iron Cross armor are unrevealed. We don't really know what happened to Gruler after he and his Iron Cross armor fell into the Atlantic Ocean after his armor's mechanisms were melted by the Human Torch...we also don't know how Gruler had an active set of armor in 1951. This would make a great story, by the way...Gruler's evolution from the German nationalist willing to work with Nazis into the member of the V-Battalion...

Other Iron Cross/Mors appearances?

Agents of Atlas#6

 

 

 

Avengers/Invaders#11-12

    In the divergent Reality-93198, in the winter of 1943, the Red Skull (Johann Shmidt) obtained the Cosmic Cube during World War II as a result of Paul Anselm's bringing the Cosmic Cube back in time from the modern era in an effort to save his friends. As a result, the Nazis conquered Earth.

(Avengers/Invaders#11) - Iron Cross was amongst a group of Nazi and other German-allied superhuman warriors -- including Baron Blood/John Falsworth, Master Man/Wilhelm Lohmer , Thor Odinson, U-Man/Meranno, Warrior Woman/Julia Koenig/Lohmer?) -- summoned/gathered by the Cosmic Cube-possessing Red Skull to defend Berlin from the gathered heroes -- including the Invaders (Bucky/James Barnes, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Human Torch/Jim Hammond, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Spitfire/Jacqueline Falsworth, Toro/Thomas Raymond, Union Jack/Brian Falsworth) and time-traveling Avengers (Luke Cage, Iron Man/Tony Stark, Ms. Marvel/Carol Danvers, Spider-Man/Peter Parker, Spider-Woman/Jessica Drew, Wasp/Janet Van Dyne, Wolverine/Logan/James Howlett) of Reality-616.

(Avengers/Invaders#12) - The two forces battled, with Iron Cross battling Iron Man, who had taken the form of the robot Electro to avoid drawing the Red Skull's attention to their time-travel. Eventually the heroes reclaimed the Cosmic Cube and restored their reality after Anselm used the Cube to summon every hero of the time to defeat the German and/or Nazi warriors.

    Since this is an alternate/altered reality (it would actually be Reality-616 overlapped with Reality-93198 until the events were reversed), all bets are off. The events are over two years after the last KNOWN appearance of Gruler during World War II, but about a year before the first CONFIRMED/KNOWN appearance of Mors. Or maybe it was nothing but a suit of armor created/animated/controlled by the Cosmic Cube-possessing Red Skull.

 

   

 

 

 

    In Invaders Now's modern portions, a successor to Mors was part of the modern incarnation of Uberkommando, as all still-active beings or their closest counterparts present during the initial conflict, were drawn to Vliet when the sole survivor of the plague attempted to use mystic means to force the Invaders to surrender their lives to him or risk re-infection with the plague.
    I'll cover the modern Iron Cross successor shortly.

    You can google V-3 and see that it referred to a large gun where secondary propellant charges were fired to add velocity to a projectile. The weapons in this story were missiles guided by transmitters.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Iron Cross
(Oskar Mors)  should be distinguished from:


images: (without ads)
Midnight Sons Unlimited#9, pg. 11, panel 2 (full body, with camera)
    pg. 14, panel 1 (mask, showing eyes);
        panel 2 (flight)
Avengers / Invaders#11, 2nd to last page
Agents of Atlas#6, story page 4, panel 4 (w/ Namora)
Invaders Now#2, pg.3-4 (vs. Human Torch)
        pg. 6, panel 1 (carry Nazi soldier; still steaming hot!)


Appearances:
Midnight Sons Unlimited#9 (May, 1995) - Dan Slott (writer), James W. Fry III (penciler), Andrew Pepoy (inker), Evan Sklonick (editor)
Agents of Atlas#6 (August, 2009) - Jeff Parker (writer), Gabriel Hardman (penciler/inker), Lauren Sankovitch (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Avengers / Invaders#11 (July, 2009) - Alex Ross & Jim Krueger (plot), Kim Krueger (script), Steve Sadowski & Patrick Berkenkotter (pencilers), Tom Brennan (assistant editor), Stephen Wacker (editor)
Avengers / Invaders#12 (August, 2009) - Alex Ross & Jim Krueger (plot), Kim Krueger (script), Steve Sadowski & Jack Herbert (pencilers), Tom Brennan (assistant editor), Stephen Wacker (editor)
Invaders Now#2 (December, 2010) - Christos Gage & Alex Ross (story), Christos Gage (writer), Caio Reis (artist), Rachel Pinnelas (assistant editor)


Last updated: 01/28/14

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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