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"GENERAL WILLIAM BRIDGES"

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Dire Wraith) shape-changer and magic user

Occupation: Sorceress, infiltrator

Group Membership: Dire Wraith Witches (aka the Sisterhood)

Affiliations: Wraith-sisters

Enemies: Avengers, "Dr. Woodrow Cather", General Bridges, Sci-Wraith Rocketeers

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: General William Potter Bridges

Base of Operations: (As Bridges) John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida;
   (previously) Mobile through space, possibly originating on the planet Wraithworld in the Dark Nebula system

First Appearance: (In assumed form, as Bridges) Avengers I#244 (June, 1984);
   (True form) Avengers I#245 (July, 1984)

Powers/Abilities: Transforming from Bridges to native formAs a Dire Wraith, "General Bridges" possessed all the standard powers of her species. Bridges had the ability to change her shape, color, size and mass so as to become any physical being she may have wished (within certain limits). By transforming into an appropriate creature, Bridges could then use that creature's physical abilities (like flying while in the form of a bird) but she could not alter her brain/body structure enough to replicate any psionic or paranormal abilities which the being she was imitating may have possessed.

   In her natural form, Bridges possessed an unspecified level of superhuman strength. She would also have increased strength when she had assumed the physical form of species who naturally possessed such strength levels. However, her human form had the same limits as normal humans.

   As a female Dire Wraith, Bridges had a significant ability to manipulate the unique mystical energy emitted by the Dark Nebula's Black Sun. Her powers on Earth were strong enough that she could summon the Mists of the Dark Nebula, a sorcerous fog that obscured the vision and numbed the minds of any non-Wraith beings (even androids) who were enveloped by it.

   As a Dire Wraith, this Witch's natural form had a barbed, razor-sharp tongue which she could use to absorb the brains of victims, thereby gaining their memories. This Witch used this ability to kill the real General William Potter Bridges and devour his mind so that Bridges' memories lived on inside her.

   As a Dire Wraith, Bridges was hatched from an egg and had a lifespan of many Earth-centuries but her actual age was never revealed. However, if she was hatched on Wraithworld, then she must have been over 200 Earth-years old when she lived on Earth.

   As a Dire Wraith Witch, Bridges rejected the use of all of the advanced technology which the SciWraiths had developed.

 

Height: (As Bridges) 6' (estimated); (Wraith form) unrevealed (also variable)
Weight: (
As Bridges) unrevealed; (Wraith) unrevealed (also variable)
Eyes: (
As Bridges) brown; (Wraith) yellow (also variable)
Hair: (
As Bridges) brown; (Wraith) none (also variable)
Skin: (
As Bridges) pink; (Wraith) red (also variable)
Fingers: (
As Bridges) four (plus opposable thumb); (Wraith) three (spatulate, also variable)
Toes: (
As Bridges) five; (Wraith) three (also variable)Bridges face

History:
(Rom#1 (fb) - BTS/Rom#17 (fb) - BTS) - Beginning in the 1940's, members of the alien race known as the Dire Wraiths began to secretly arrive on Earth. Using their shape-shifting abilities to disguise themselves as human beings, these Wraiths infiltrated Earth's population and began to secretly lay the groundwork for their conquest of Earth. Their ultimate goal was to use Earth as a base from which they could conquer other worlds.

(Rom#48) - Decades later, and months after the Galadorian cyborg Spaceknight Rom arrived on Earth to continue his quest to banish every Dire Wraith to Limbo, the leaders of the SciWraiths and the WitchWraiths secretly met at the United Nations Building in New York City. The meeting went badly and ended with the female Wraith leaders, who had always blamed the SciWraiths for the loss of their homeworld as a result of the failed attempt to conquer Galador, killing the SciWraith leaders and renouncing science in their continued attempt to conquer Earth.

(Avengers I#244 (fb) - BTS) - Following this coup, the Wraith-sisters (or, at least, some of them) began to hunt down and exterminate the other male Wraiths who were then on Earth.

(Avengers I#244 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, perhaps alerted by a number of supposed accidents occurring there, three Wraith-sisters tracked a group of male SciWraiths to the vicinity of the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

(Avengers I#245 (fb) - BTS) - In order to infiltrate the Space Center, one of these WitchWraiths secretly killed and replaced the human in charge of military security at the Cape, General William Potter Bridges, consuming his brain and absorbing his memories while assuming his form.

(Avengers I#245 (fb) - BTS) - "Bridges" remained undercover for "a number of days" but was unable to locate all of the Wraith-brothers whom she was hunting.

(Avengers I#244 (fb) - BTS) - Human officials in Washington had also begun to suspect that the accidents at the Cape had actually been acts of sabotage caused by Dire Wraiths. The government had called in the Avengers to investigate, and a meeting between them and General Bridges had been set up to discuss the possible sabotage.

(Avengers I#244) - Less than an hour before that meeting was to take place, four Rocketeers attacked Test-Pad Five. The Avengers sprang into action and quickly overcame the foursome. Mystically observing the battle and its aftermath from afar, Bridges (or one of her Wraith-sisters) judged the humans to be skilled indeed and realized that they would have to be handled carefully. To test them, the Wraith summoned the Mists of the Dark Nebula, a sorcerous fog that obscured the vision and numbed the minds of any non-Wraith beings (even androids) who were enveloped by it. With all the Avengers weakened, the Rocketeers were able to escape, and the fog then dispersed.

   Sometime later, Bridges called Dr. Woodrow Cather to his office and introduced him to the Avengers as the base's highest ranking civilian scientist. The Avengers then provided a briefing about what Washington feared was responsible for recent supposed accidents: an alien beast that called itself a Dire Wraith. The Vision then provided a brief recap of some recent events, including the apparent extermination of the breed of Dire Wraiths who used advanced technology by the Dire Wraiths who had mastered sorcery, and Captain America promised Bridges that the Avengers would find and stop the aliens. Cather then spoke up, demanding that some priority be given to his ion-drive project and that the guard by his prototype rocket be doubled. Bridges was dismissive of Cather's wishes, considering his "fool ion-drive project" to be less important than the space shuttle, and stated his intention to call out a full battalion to help the Avengers guard it. However, the Vision emphatically refused to allow any extra security to be brought in.

(Avengers I#244 - BTS) - The next morning, the Avengers were able to detect and apprehend four intruders after they had entered Experimental Complex 27 and a hex sphere cast by the Scarlet Witch revealed their true nature and trapped them in one form. When the experimental ion-drive rocket prototype then launched, the four Wraiths realized that they had been abandoned and betrayed, and they then revealed to the Avengers that they had also been doomed because the star-drive engine they had secretly fabricated from human technology was unstable and could explode at any time like a massive anti-matter bomb!

(Avengers I#245 (fb) - BTS) - The four captured Wraiths were imprisoned in an isolation lab deep within the Space Center but two Wraith-sisters, possibly secretly aided by Bridges, gained access to the secured complex and killed their Wraith-brothers.

(Avengers I#245) - Bridges was with the Avengers in the Space Center's communications complex when Captain America radioed Captain Marvel to inform her that the rocket she was pursuing was potentially explosive. Minutes later, Bridges was still there when Captain Marvel radioed back information about the current situation on the rocket, including the fact that Dr. Cather was a Dire Wraith and that there must have been at least one female Wraith in the area of the Cape. As the Vision headed off with Starfox to intercept the starship, he ordered Captain America and the Scarlet Witch to remain on duty at the Cape in case the female Wraith came after the captured male Wraiths. Captain America then took Bridges with him to check on the captives. 

   As he escorted Captain America to a specially secured complex deep within the Space Center, Bridges expressed how shocked he still was about Cather being an alien creature and he reassured Cap that the captives being held in the A-1 Isolation Block would never be harming anyone. As he invited Cap to see for himself, Bridges opened the security door of the laboratory to reveal the two other WitchWraiths standing amidst the corpses of the four male Wraiths. 

    Bridges then grabbed the shocked Cap from behind in an iron grip, pinning his arms to his sides, and urged him to take a closer look. As Cap realized that his captor wasn't General Bridges, Bridges corrected him, stating that he had been Bridges for a number of days now. Transforming into her true form, the Wraith revealed that she had absorbed Bridges' memories when she had devoured his mind and that Cap's memories were now going to live on in one of her sisters because his mind held knowledge that would be of great value to Wraithkind. 

    The Wraith held Cap even as his knees buckled but as her sister's barbed tongue lashed out at Cap, the Avenger kicked off from the floor, propelling his body up and out of the path of the tongue, allowing it to strike his captor in the chest, killing her instantly. The body of the female Wraith formerly known as General Bridges then crumbled into ashes.

 

   Within a few minutes of her death, the other two Wraith Witches had also died, killed while battling Captain America and the Scarlet Witch.

 

Comments: Created by Roger Stern, Al Milgrom & Carmine Infantino, and Joe Sinnott.

   The full name of the human whose identity this Dire Wraith Witch stole (William Potter Bridges) wasn't revealed until the entry for DIRE WRAITHS that appeared in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Update#2 (August, 2010).

   It is uncertain if General William Potter Bridges was meant to be the same person as the General Bridges who had appeared in early Captain Marvel stories from 1968/69. However, until this connection is established officially, I have chosen to treat them as two different characters who happen to have similar names and jobs.
    Given it was Roger Stern who wrote the Avengers issues, I would think it was indeed meant to be the previous General Bridges, but you're certainly right that it is unconfirmed for now.
    --Snood

   As far as I know, it was never specified that Bridges was a general in the United States Air Force. However, since the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is adjacent to NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center, it would seem reasonable to assume that he was USAF.

 

   As seen by comparing the image to the left with the two images at the top of this profile, the "Bridges" who was depicted in Avengers I#244 had hair that was uniformly brown but throughout the following issue he was depicted as having a noticeable amount of white hair at his temples. Oddly, none of the Avengers noticed this "reverse Grecian Formula" effect.

 

 

   In Rom#17, reformed Wraith Jacob Marks had a flashback to when he had first encountered other members of his race after having lived peacefully amongst humans for decades. Marks had tried to disguise himself from his people by displaying the emotions that a human in that situation would have had but the other Wraiths reminded him, "You know us, just as we know you. No Wraith can hide from another." This caused me to believe that perhaps all Wraiths had some sort of "Wraith-sense" that told them when there were others of their kind in close proximity, even if they were in non-Wraith forms. However, if that were the case, then how could "Cather" and "Bridges" have been in the same room together without realizing who they really were? As I see it, there are two possible explanations: Either my whole "Wraith-sense" idea is wrong or some Dire Wraiths were able to block this "Wraith-sense" and prevent other Wraiths from detecting them. Since Cather had mystical abilities which Marks lacked, this would imply that the sense-blocking ability was mystical in nature. Plus, given that neither Cather nor Bridges were able to detect each other, it could be that using the ability to keep other Wraiths from sensing them also preventing them from sensing other Wraiths.
   Sadly, since the "Wraith-sense" idea is just speculation on my part and given that this whole "recognize each other" scenario was only depicted once, the possibility that my theory is completely unfounded seems very likely. Oh, well.

   One of the SciWraiths wondered if "the Sisterhood" had found them. It is not clear if that term was meant to refer to this particular group of three Wraith Witches or if it was a reference to ALL female Wraiths. This is the only time that that name is ever used in connection with any Dire Wraiths.

   The bodies of six of the eight Dire Wraiths who appeared in this storyline dissolved into ashes or slime within seconds of their deaths, as is normal for Dire Wraiths. Oddly, the bodies of the other two Wraiths, the Wraith Witch who was engulfed in liquid nitrogen and the SciWraith ("Cather") who died in the void of space, did not quickly dissolve/decay, presumably because being flash-frozen by sudden, intense cold had prevented that normal bodily process from functioning. I would assume that those two corpses would have dissolved if/when they were exposed to any warmth.

Profile by Donald Campbell.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Dire Wraith Witch who became "General Bridges" has no known connections to anyone except her victim, General William Potter Bridges

General William Potter Bridges has no confirmed connection to

General William Potter Bridges also has no known connections to


General Bridges

   The real General William Potter Bridges was a male human who was in charge of military security at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

   General Bridges died at the hands of a Dire Wraith Witch, one of the Wraith-sisters who were hunting down and exterminating their Wraith-brothers. This Wraith Witch killed Bridges by using her barbed tongue to stab into his skull and feed upon his brain. This process enabled the Wraith to devour his mind and absorb his memories even as her body transformed itself into a duplicate of Bridges' human form. The real Bridges' body crumbled to ash within seconds.

   This character's full name, William Potter Bridges, wasn't revealed until 26 years after his death, as part of the entry for DIRE WRAITHS that appeared in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Update#2 (August, 2010)

Note: Since the real General Bridges never appeared in this storyline, not even in flashback, I am not including any images for this sub-profile. Of course, if you want to see what he looked like, just look above.

--Avengers I#245 (fb) - BTS


Wraith-sisters

   These two female Dire Wraiths were part of a three-member team of Wraith Witches who were hunting for five male SciWraiths. Eventually, their search led them to the vicinity of Cape Canaveral, Florida, where one of the three killed General William Potter Bridges, the male human in charge of military security at the John F. Kennedy Space Center. Although the other two Wraith-sisters presumably remained in the area while "Bridges" was undercover, it is not known what actions they took during that period of time. However, if it wasn't "Bridges" who mystically observed from afar the battle between an Avengers team and four SciWraiths disguised as Rocketeers and then summoned the Mists of the Dark Nebula to test the human champions and enable the four captured SciWraiths to escape, then it must have been one of these two Wraiths who did so. Aside from that possible action, neither of these two Wraiths were depicted using either their sorcery or their shape-changing abilities but the use of their barbed tongues and the superhuman level of strength they possessed in their true form were both demonstrated.

   The following day, after the four "Rocketeer" SciWraiths had been trapped in one form by the Scarlet Witch, captured by the Avengers and imprisoned in an isolation lab deep within the Space Center, the two Wraith-sisters gained access to the secured complex and killed their Wraith-brothers. Soon afterwards, "Bridges" brought Captain America into the lab where one of the Wraith-sisters told him to come in because he had nothing to fear from their Wraith brothers who had all expired. As "Bridges" grabbed Captain America from behind and restrained him while transforming into her true form, one of the Wraith-sisters approached. As she prepared to kill him, devour his mind and obtain his memories, the Wraith Witch mocked Cap for being held in such high esteem by the others since his knees were already buckling in fear. However, this was a ploy as the Wraith discovered when her barbed tongue lashed out at Cap only for him to leap up out of the way at the last possible instant, leaving "Bridges" to be fatally impaled by the tongue. As her sister's body swiftly decayed into ashes and Cap retreated, the Wraith called out to him that he could not escape because he was sealed in the lab with them.

   After Cap was able to remain hidden within the lab for a while the two Wraiths began to tear the place apart in their search for him. Cap then showed himself, kicked one of the Wraiths to the floor and ripped loose a high voltage cable. As the two Wraiths advanced on him, the heavy security-sealed door was blown inward by a hex cast by the Scarlet Witch, part of a maneuver which she and Cap had secretly coordinated via their comlinks. The door struck one of the Wraiths and drove her directly into the power cable held by Cap, electrocuting her. As the dead Wraith's body dissolved into ashes, the Scarlet Witch's entrance into the lab distracted Cap so that he didn't see the other Wraith about to attack him with her tongue. Fortunately, the Scarlet Witch warned him in time for Cap to block the tongue with his shield, and then the female Avenger cast another hex sphere on the last Wraith, causing miniature seismic quakes to hurl the Wraith away from Cap and into a cryonics tank that was being ruptured by those quakes. Hundreds of gallons of liquid nitrogen washed over the Wraith Witch who was instantly killed by the intense cold. As the Wraith's flash-frozen body did not dissolve, Captain America reassured the distraught Scarlet Witch that it was over now and that she had done what she had had to do.

--Avengers I#244-BTS (Avengers I#245)


images: (without ads)
Avengers I#244, page 13, panel 2 (main image)
      page 13, panel 5 (head shot)
Avengers I#245, page 13, panels 2-4 (transforming)
      page 14, panel 2 (holding Cap)
      page 14, panels 4-5 (death)
      page 10, panel 6 (alternate head shot)
      page 13, panel 1 (Sisters with brothers)
      page 20, panel 4 (electrocution)
      page 21, panel 6 (frozen)


Appearances:
Avengers I#244 (June, 1984) - Roger Stern (writer), Al Milgrom & Carmine Infantino (pencilers), Joe Sinnott (inker), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers I#245 (July, 1984) - Roger Stern (writer), Al Milgrom (penciler), Joe Sinnott (inker), Mark Gruenwald (editor)


Last updated: 01/29/06

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