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MONSTER MASTER

Real Name: Julius Akerman

Identity/Class: Unrevealed (see comments)

Occupation: Carnival barker, self proclaimed doctor and "Monster Master"

Group Membership: Akerman's Traveling Monster Show

Affiliations: Kemp

Enemies: Battleworld Frankenstein Monster, Thing (Benjamin Grimm), Battleworld Wolf Man (Gregor Lupus)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Pal" (nickname used by Thing), "doc" (nickname used by Kemp)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed,
                                   formerly mobile throughout Battleworld (the Beyonder-created Secret Wars planet)

First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#274 (January 1985)

Powers/Abilities: The Monster Master possessed the ability to control minds through what was described as a mixture of arcane rituals and telepathy. Whenever he used his power, his left eye would flash bright red. His control over others was so great, he could force them to turn into their monstrous forms on the spot. Akerman treated the "monsters" he had imprisoned as little more than animals, keeping them caged and locked up at all times. His belief in his own power made him arrogant to the point of carelessness.

Height: 5'9"(by approximation)
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: White (balding)

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History:
(Thing I#19 (fb) - BTS) -  During his stay on Battleworld, a planet created by Beyonder that responded to the thoughts of those on its surface, the Thing accidentally caused the creation of Dracula and the Mummy, two famous movie monsters that used to scare him as a child. Presumably, Dr. Julius Akerman was brought to life as part of this train of thought as well (see comments). Aided by his associate Kemp, Akerman ran a traveling circus that featured monsters such as Wolfman (Gregor Lupus) all of whom Akerman kept in check using his mind control powers (see comments).

(Fantastic Four I#274 (fb) - BTS) - Hoping to add the Frankenstein Monster to his collection, the Monster Master sent his associate Kemp out to capture him. Kemp not only managed to catch the infamous creature, he also bagged the Thing who had been fighting the Frankenstein Monster when Kemp tracked him down.

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(Fantastic Four I#274) - The Monster Master was most pleased with his new additions. He locked them both up in the prison wagon even as he and Kemp continued on their way to the next town. However, not too long after that, Akerman's instrumentation warned him of a sudden, radical mass change in the containment area (Ben had changed back to human form to escape his chains). Kemp went to check it out but was easily knocked out by Ben. Angered at being captured, Grimm confronted Akerman who secretly unlocked Gregor Lupus' chains and telepathically forced him to  become the Wolfman. When Akerman realized that the werewolf was no match for Thing, he used his powers to summon the Frankenstein Monster to join the fight. However, the creature's damaged brain proved immune to the Monster Master's commands. Unaware he had no control over him, Akerman allowed the lumbering giant to come too close. Despite Akerman demanding to be let go, the patchwork creature casually crushed his skull, killing the Monster Master on the spot. Upon his death, Wolfman was released from Akerman's mind control spell.

Comments: Created by John Byrne (writer, pencils), Al Gordon (inks)

    Ah, the Monster Master... It's pretty hard to define just who or what Julius Akerman was. Not merely because he only appeared in a handful of pages without a clearly defined origin, but also the fact that he appeared on Battleworld, a patchwork planet whose make up was affected by the (sub)conscious of Ben Grimm. That makes it altogether possible the Monster Master was little more than a figment of Ben's overactive imagination. Considering that the Wolfman, Kemp and the Frankenstein Monster disappeared into nothingness as soon as Ben left them behind, it's a pretty safe bet good ol' Julius was dreamed up as well.  

The name "Julius Akerman" was a tribute to monster expert Forrest J Ackerman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forrest_J_Ackerman). This was confirmed in a letter column a few issues later...Shad Z.

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Monster Master should not be confused with


Akerman's Traveling Monster Show

 

    The Monster Master used his power over monsters to display them as freaks in his traveling show. The monsters were kept in a separate prison wagon, covered in straw and reminiscent of a pen, pulled by Akerman's truck, which was outfitted with living quarters for Akerman and his associate Kemp. Though seemingly primitive, the contraption sported monitoring devices that alerted Akerman if something was off. One of these devices picked up the sudden drop in weight when the newly captured Thing shifted back to his human form to slip his bonds. Akerman could also control the chains he'd put on his captives by remote control, releasing one or more with a single, barely noticeable push of the button.

-- Fantastic Four I#274



Battleworld Frankenstein Monster

After the wish-fulfilling power of the Beyonder on Battleworld caused the Thing to run into versions of Dracula and the Mummy, Ben wasn't too shocked when he stumbled across the Battleworld version of the Frankenstein Monster. Despite Ben's hesitant attempt to befriend the creature, the two came to blows. Their fight was interrupted by the arrival of Kemp, acting on orders from the Monster Master, who shot the monster with a tranquilizer dart. Kemp also knocked out Thing and brought both to his associate's traveling freakshow. The Frankenstein Monster found himself locked in a wagon along with Thing and the Wolfman. When Thing managed to break free and even knocked out Kemp, the Monster Master was forced to unleash the monsters, figuring his mind control would be sufficient to keep them in line. While he succeeded in bending the Wolfman to his will, Akerman was ill prepared for the Frankenstein Monster who approached the Monster Master, blocking his mind controlling eye with his hand, before crushing Akerman's skull. After Akerman's death, the Wolfman regained his free will. Now recognizing the Thing was actually a friend, the monster befriended Grimm who decided to leave the still unconscious Kemp with him and Wolfman. As the two monsters waved their new friend goodbye, they quickly faded away.

--Fantastic Four I#274


Kemp


    Kemp was Akerman's wise cracking, cigarette smoking associate who kept the monsters in the traveling circus in line. He wore a lightweight armor that protected him from fangs and claws and wielded a high tech hand weapon that, among other unspecified features, could fire tranquilizer darts strong enough to pierce the Thing's rocky hide and knock him out instantly.

    Kemp was sent by Akerman to retrieve the Frankenstein Monster who, at the same time, had run into the Thing. Kemp captured both and returned them to Akerman who gladly added the two monsters to his collection. Kemp was knocked out by Ben Grimm when he tried to escape and remained unconscious all throughout the fight against Akerman. Thing left Kemp in the custody of Wolfman and the Frankenstein Monster, all three of them faded away as soon as Ben left. 


--Fantastic Four I#274








Battleworld Wolfman


At an unrevealed point, Gregor Lupus was captured by Akerman and Kemp who exploited his lycanthropy as part of the Monster Master's traveling circus. During his time with Akerman, Lupus started to consider his existence "hell." Susceptible to Akerman's telepathic commands, Lupus was forced to fight fellow prisoner Benjamin Grimm when he tried to break free. His lupine form, though fast, was no match for the Thing. When Akerman was killed by the Frankenstein Monster, Lupus reverted back to normal. Thing left Gregor, the Frankenstein Monster and Akerman's associate Kemp behind, only for them to fade into nothingness.


-- Fantastic Four I#274


images: (without ads)
Fantastic Four I#274, p14, pan3 (main image)
Fantastic Four I#274, p17, pan3 (uses his powers)
Fantastic Four I#274, p18, pan5 (killed by Frankenstein Monster)
Fantastic Four I#274, p12, pan1 (Akerman's Travelling Monster Show)
Fantastic Four I#274, p17, pan4 (Battleworld Frankenstein Monster)
Fantastic Four I#274, p11, pan1 (Kemp)
Fantastic Four I#274, p21, pans 1,2,3 (Battleworld Wolfman)


Appearances:
Fantastic Four I#274 (January 1985) - John Byrne (writer, pencils), Al Gordon (inks), Michael Carlin (editor)


Last updated: 06/27/14

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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