Real Name: Eliot Franklin
former human mutate
former government agent, circus performer, clown
Group Membership: Circus of Crime/Cirque
du Somnambulism (Antoro,
the Strong Man/Bruce Olafsen, Fire-Eater/Tomas
Ramirez, Great Gambonnos/Ernesto & Luigi Gambonno, Human Cannonball/Jack Pulver, Live Wire/Rance
Princess Python, Rajah/Kahir
Mahadevu, Ringmaster/Maynard Tiboldt, Sultan
the elephant, Teena the
Fat Lady/Mary Stenson);
formerly Army of Evil (Absorbing Man/Carl Creel,Anaconda/Blanche Sitzniski, Armadillo/Antonio Rodriguez, Baron Blood, Blackout/Marcus Daniels, Boomslang/Marc Riemer, Bulldozer/Henry Camp, Bushmaster/Quincy McIver, Clown, Coachwhip, Cottonmouth, Cyclone/Pierre Fresson, Death Adder/Theodore Scott, Dragonfly/Veronica Dultry, Fer-de-Lance, Ferocia, Fire-Eater, Graviton/Franklin Hall, Great Gambonnos, Grey Gargoyle/Paul Duval, Ironclad/Mike Steel, Klaw/Ulysses Klaw, Kraven the Hunter, Living Laser/Arthur Parks, Madame Menace, Mr. Hyde/Calvin Zabo, Nitro/Robert Hunter, Piledriver/Brian Calusky, Princess Python, Puff Adder/Gordon Fraley, Ringmaster, Rock Python, Sidewinder/Gregory Bryan, Skein/Sybil Dvorak, Slither/Aaron Salomon, Squid/Donny Callahan, Teena the Fat Lady, Thunderball/Eliot Franklin, Tiger Shark/Todd Arliss, Vapor/Ann Darnell, Vector, Viper/Jordan Dixon, Whirlwind/David Cannon, Wizard/Bentley Wittman, Wrecker/Dirk Garthwaite, X-Ray, Yellowjacket/Darren Cross), Gamma Corps (Grey/Brian Talbot, Mess/Nicole Martin, Mr. Gideon/Gideon Wilson, Prodigy/Tim Wilkerson), Masters of Menace (Human Cannonball/Jack Pulver, Great Gambonnos/Ernesto & Luigi Gambonno, Precious, Princess Python/Zelda DuBois), Sinister Sixteen (Armadillo/Antonio Rodriguez, Beetle/Janice Lincoln, Bi-Beast, Boomerang/Fred Myers, Cyclone/Pierre Fresson, Fly/Richard Deacon, Kangaroo/Brian Hibbs, Mirage/Desmond Charme, Mountain Man, Overdrive, Scorcher/Jamal Hudak, Shriek/Frances Barrison, Speed Demon/James Sanders, Spot/Jonathan Ohnn, Squid/Donny Callahan)
Affiliations: Baron Helmut Zemo, Boris,
Doc Samson (Leonard
Sax (Jack Dulouz), Humanoids, Hydra, Iron Patriot (Norman Osborn), Johnny
Guitar (Johnny Logan), Mr. Kim, Mr. Negative (Martin Li), Owl (Leland Owlsley), Quentin
Carnival (Red Fowler, Corky Franklin, the Great
Vincenzo, Jeremy the Monster Man, Ralph Quentin, Steel Wind/Ruriko
Tsumura), Cynthia Randolph, Relf,
Prince Rudolfo, General John Ryker, Roxanne Simpson, Sylvia, Taskmaster;
formerly Devil Dinosaur, Dragon Man, Howard the Duck, Moon Boy
Enemies: A.I.M., Avengers
(Black Panther/T'Challa, Hawkeye/Clint Barton,
Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff, Scarlet
Witch/Wanda Maximoff, Valkyrie/Brunnhilde,
Venom/"Flash" Thompson, Vision/"Victor Shade," Wasp/Janet Van
Dyne, Yellowjacket/Goliath/Hank Pym), Beast (Hank McCoy), Black Ant
(Eric O'Grady LMD), Black Bolt (Blackagar Boltagon), Luke
Cage (Carl Lucas), Captain America (Sam Wilson), Chameleon (Dmitri Smerdyakov Kravinoff), Circus of Lost Souls (Blossom, Dog-Faced
Minor, Meriam, Stilts), Crimson Dynamos,
Cyclops (Scott Summers), Daredevil
(Matt Murdock), Deathlok (Jack Truman), Dr. Strange, Officer Dragon,
(Fancy Dan, Montana, Ox), Flux, Frankie, Nick Fury/Doyle, Generation X
(Chamber/Jonothan Starsmore, Husk/Paige Guthrie, Jubilee/Jubilation
Thomas), Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Goliath/Black
Goliath (Bill Foster), Gorilla-Man (Arthur Nagan), D.W. Griffith, Harry, Howard the
Duck, Ignatz Hubley, Hulk/Doc Green (Bruce Banner), Hulk LMD, Iceman
(Bobby Drake), Iron Man
(Tony Stark), Jacobs, J. Jonah Jameson, Edwin Jarvis, Joe, Alicia
for Money (Deadpool/"Wade Wilson," Domino/Neena Thurman, Gorilla Man/Ken
Hale, Hit-Monkey, Machine Man/X-51, Masacre, Negasonic
Teenage Warhead/Ellie Phimister), Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards), Power Pack (Alex Power, Jack
Power, Julie Power,
Katie Power, Franklin Richards), Project
Omega, Iris Raritan, Paul Same,
Sergei, She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters), S.H.I.E.L.D., Shroud
(Maximillian Coleridge), Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Spider-Man
(Ben Reilly), John Steele, Sub-Mariner (Namor McKenzie), Beverly
Switzler, Claire Temple, Thing (Ben Grimm), Thor (Odinson), Ulik, Mary Jane Watson, Kate
Winda Wester, Whitey, Winter Soldier (Bucky Barnes), Wonder Man (Simon
Williams), Wraith (Yuri
formerly Anaconda, Asp
Known Relatives: Corky Franklin (father), possibly unidentified half-brother
Aliases: Griffin, "Crafty," Crafty the Clown, Grumpy the Clown, Funny Man
Base of Operations: Mobile
First Appearance: (As Clown): Incredible Hulk
I#3 (September, 1962);
(first name revealed): Ghost Rider II#69 (June, 1982);
(full name revealed): Ghost Rider II#70 (July, 1982);
(as Griffin): World War Hulk: Gamma Corps#1 (September, 2007)
Powers/Abilities: Proficient in riding a unicycle, the Clown frequently used weapons in combat, including explosives, a blasting cane, gas from a horn cane, a hooked cane, explosive juggling balls, juggling balls full of gas, squirting flowers, plasma knives and other themed weapons. The Clown had some experience in designing technology and he helped design the Inferno Discs used by Fire-Eater. A natural leader and schemer, Clown had used guns in many forms in various murders.
After being infused with DNA from the Harpy, Clown mutated into a Gamma being, turning green and grotesque, and giving him enhanced strength, wings that allow flight and large feet with sharp talons. He could turn back into his human form, seemingly at will. Clown was later cured of being the Griffin when the Gamma radiation from his body was removed.
Weight: 175 lbs.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition I#2 (fb) – BTS) – Born in Orlando, Florida to a career clown named Corky Franklin, Eliot Franklin grew up learning the craft of being a clown.
(Ghost Rider II#72 (fb) – BTS) – Corky Franklin put a lot of pressure on his son, Eliot, to be the best clown he could be.
(Incredible Hulk II#470 (fb) – BTS) – Corky repeatedly told Eliot a phrase that stuck with the boy: "Hold on 'til yer fingers bleed… if that's what you gotta do…"
(Ghost Rider II#70 (fb) – BTS) – Eliot Franklin once saw Johnny Blaze perform in his cycle show.
(Ghost Rider II#73 (fb)) – Corky taught Eliot that their family had been clowns for generations and he had big wishes for his son's future.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition I#2 (fb) - BTS) - Eliot used the name "Crafty" in his performances.
(Ghost Rider II#73 (fb)) - Clown went from circus to circus until he joined the Circus of Crime.
(Incredible Hulk I#3/3) – The Circus of Crime, including the Clown, performed a series of robberies in various American cities. They were soon defeated by the Hulk and the F.B.I.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#16) – The Circus of Crime tried their biggest robbery ever in New York City but they were defeated by Spider-Man and Daredevil.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#22) – After spending time in prison, the Circus of Crime was let go. After they were confronted by Spider-Man, the Great Gambonnos, Princess Python and Human Cannonball turned against Ringmaster, declaring the Clown their new leader in their own super villain team. Riding his unicycle to distract civilians and pretending that he was hired by J. Jonah Jameson, the Clown covered while his team robbed an art gallery but when Jameson got curious, the villains were exposed and Human Cannonball knocked Jameson out, badly wounding him. The villains escaped and had just decided on the team name Masters of Menace when Spider-Man attacked. During the fight, the Clown rode his unicycle and kept hooking Spider-Man with a large cane. Clown considered betraying the team and rushing off with the art himself but Ringmaster knocked him out. Later, they were all arrested, including Ringmaster.
(Avengers I#22) – After getting out of jail, the Circus reformed and tried manipulating the disbanded Avengers Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver into joining them but the heroes turned on the villains. During the battle, Clown was tripped up by one of the Scarlet Witch's hexes.
(Thor I#145) – The Circus auditioned circus strong men to aid them in a plot to steal the Golden Bull. They ended up hypnotizing a man claiming to be Thor (actually Thor, stripped of his god-like powers) to aid them.
(Thor I#146) – The Clown and the Circus performed with Thor, who remained under hypnosis. That night, they robbed the local museum with Clown distracting guards on his unicycle. All went according to plan until the guard's gunfire snapped Thor out of his trance.
(Thor I#147) – The Circus fled to safety while Thor was questioned by police.
(Avengers I#60/Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes II I#6-7) – The Circus of Crime (Ringmaster, Princess Python, Great Gambonnos, Human Cannonball, Clown) posed as wedding caterers, snuck into Avengers Mansion, tied up Edwin Jarvis and prepared to set off nitro explosives. After Yellowjacket and Wasp were married, Hawkeye discovered the Circus but was apprehended. When Wasp cut the cake, she found the snake Precious inside. The Circus soon attacked but they were swiftly defeated, especially as Yellowjacket was revealed as Goliath (Hank Pym). During the fight, Clown tried firing his blasting cane at Vision but he was defeated by Vision's solar beam instead. As they were arrested, they were disappointed they couldn't get revenge on Thor.
(Thor I#173 (fb) – BTS) – The Circus of Crime, with new member Mike, who dressed as Thor, robbed an electronic store, stealing a valuable Dual Computer, which they then hid in a 5000-lbs barbell. During the robbery, Clown helped distract the guards.
(Thor I#173) – While performing the Circus, a battle broke out between Thor and Ulik. When the police arrived, cops Harry and Joe knocked Clown off his unicycle and the Dual Computer was exposed. The Clown and the Circus of Crime were then arrested.
(Power Man I#25 (fb)) – The Circus of Crime was released from their prison van by Live Wire, who joined the team.
(Power Man I#24) – Using the alias Funny Man, Clown and the Circus of Crime attacked Power Man and Black Goliath, determined to recruit them. The heroes' allies Claire Temple and D.W. Griffith were nearby.
(Power Man I#25) – Griffith was defeated and Claire Temple was zapped by Princess Python. When Temple defeated Princess, she then used her electric prod to zap Funny Man and wake up the heroes. Power Man avoided a blast of gas from Funny Man's horn cane then bashed Funny Man on the head. Funny Man again attacked with gas then considered fleeing from the Circus for good but he was knocked down by a thrown box and defeated.
(Howard the Duck I#25) – The Circus of Crime were hired to perform for a party of rich socialites (including Paul Same and Winda Wester) by Iris Raritan. They robbed the party then forcibly recruited Howard the Duck.
(Howard the Duck I#26) – In Skudge, Pennsylvania, the Circus forced Howard to perform then robbed the crowd, including Ignatz Hubley. Later, when they stopped for gas, Hubley shot Ringmaster's hat off and the Circus rushed away in the ensuing chaos, leaving Howard behind.
(Howard the Duck I#27) – Howard and Iris tracked the Circus to Cleveland, recording their next robbery. The Circus attacked them but the duo defeated the criminals, with Iris knocking the Clown his unicycle, then turned over evidence of the Circus' crimes to the police.
(Super-Villain Team-Up I#8 (fb) – BTS) – Feeling too much heat in the United States, the Circus of Crime relocated to Europe.
(Super-Villain Team-Up I#8) – The Circus, with new member Rajah, briefly battled Shroud and Sub-Mariner in Latveria. During the fight, Sub-Mariner threw Clown into Cannonball. The two heroes briefly posed as members of the Circus as they performed for "Dr. Doom" (secretly Prince Rudolfo).
(Super-Villain Team-Up I#8) – Ringmaster exposed the disguised heroes to "Doom" and Boris showed the Circus out of Latveria.
(Incredible Hulk II#217) – The Circus of Crime pursued former side-show performers/teammates the Dog-Faced Boy, Blossom, Stilts the Man with the Rubber Body and Major Minor, who had fled with sea nymph Meriam, capturing them along with the Hulk. Clown hit Blossom to grab Meriam himself and later, the side-show performers escaped and defeated the Circus, returning Meriam to the sea. In the final fight, Major Minor avoided Clown's cane-blaster and knocked him off his unicycle.
(Ghost Rider II#73 (fb) – BTS) – Clown worked with new member, Fire-Eater, develop flammable and explosive Inferno Discs.
(Marvel Two-in-One I#76) – The Circus set up in another town and prepared to perform. Clown rushed to warn the Ringmaster that the Thing had been spotted outside but Ringmaster ordered the show to go on. After Ringmaster hypnotized the crowd, the blind Alicia Masters wasn't affected, so they kidnapped her but ended up battling Thing, Iceman and Goliath, who had attended the Circus. During the battle, Clown used juggling balls full of gas to distract Iceman so he could grab Alicia, taking her away on his unicycle. When all appeared lost, Clown tried helping Ringmaster escape in their truck but Thing stopped them.
(Ghost Rider II#72 (fb) – BTS) – The Circus (Clown, Human Cannonball, Gambonnos, Bruto) broke out of jail and left the Ringmaster behind.
(Ghost Rider II#73 (fb) – BTS) - The Circus elected Clown their new leader.
(Ghost Rider II#66 – BTS) – Corky the clown, working at the Quentin Carnival, mailed his son a letter. The others teased him for how often he bragged about his son, the famous Clown.
(Ghost Rider II#73 (fb) – BTS) – Clown decided he wanted to go straight. Needing a break, he decided to go visit his dad, sneaking away from the circus.
(Ghost Rider II#69 – BTS) – Corky mailed another letter to his son. Soon, a telegram from Eliot came back, saying he was coming for a visit, and Corky found himself scared.
(Ghost Rider II#70) – Eliot arrived at the Quentin Carnival, meeting Ralph Quentin, Jeremy the Monster Man and Johnny Blaze before greeting his father Corky, who seemed nervous to see Eliot. After turning down an interview with Cynthia Randolph, Eliot rode with Corky, who asked his son if he was going to go straight this time. Days later, Corky was hosting a blackjack and poker night in his tent when the place was overrun with circus freaks (sent by Renaldo) looking for Jeremy.
(Ghost Rider II#72) – As Eliot enjoyed a quiet night and a cigarette, Corky invited him to join the show in a father and son clown act but Eliot turned him down, not wanting to perform anymore. That night, the Human Cannonball plunged through the Big Top and Eliot found a note left for him, telling him to rejoin. Similar notes were left on subsequent nights, along with acts of sabotage: Live Wire overloaded the carnival generator and the Gambonnos stole the show's box office. Corky wondered if Eliot was behind the robbery, hurting Eliot's feelings. Eliot planned to depart peacefully and Corky realized he knew who was behind everything but Eliot refused to tell him anymore and tearfully said farewell. When Fire-Eater set Corky's tent on fire, Eliot panicked and tried to save his father but Red Fowler held him back as Johnny Blaze rescued Corky. Corky was rushed to the hospital, where he was to be treated for severe burns. Realizing the medical bills would be several thousand dollars, Eliot snuck away and put on his Clown gear again. He found the Circus and they enthusiastically put him in as leader again. When Blaze followed Clown, the Circus apprehended him and knocked him unconscious.
(Ghost Rider II#73) – With John Blaze tied up, the Circus listened to Clown's plans to return to the Quentin Carnival and take it over. Fire-Eater hinted they should kill John Blaze but Clown loudly stated there would be no killing. They attacked the Carnival and Clown humiliated Ralph Quentin, Cynthia Randolph and Red Fowler then had time alone with them, in which he convinced the Carnival that he was on their side and helped them put together a plan to take down the Circus. Quentin turned the Carnival against the Circus and the villains were swiftly defeated. Clown, on his unicycle, rushed after Fire-Eater, avoiding his Inferno Discs and flames, but then Ghost Rider rushed in on his motorcycle. Frightened of the demon, Fire-Eater ran through a wall of flame to escape. Ghost Rider assumed Clown was one of the villains and he trapped him with his penance stare, leaving Clown a stuttering mess.
(Ghost Rider II#74) – Clown lay nearly catatonic, driven mad by Ghost Rider's penance stare.
(Ghost Rider II#75) – Corky got out of the hospital and, bandaged, returned to Quentin Carnival, where he looked out for Eliot. Eliot mindlessly pushed a broom without speaking, unable to get over his treatment at the hands of Ghost Rider. The magician, the Great Vincenzo, tried cheering Eliot up, inspiring Eliot to speak again then Quentin showed in new cyclist performer, Steel Wind.
(Ghost Rider II#80) – John Blaze left the Carnival with his friend Roxanne Simpson. Corky and Eliot, who was still recovering the ability to speak, said farewell.
(Incredible Hulk II#292 (fb) – BTS) – The Circus (Ringmaster, Clown, Fire-Eater, the Great Gambonnos, Human Cannonball, Live Wire, Rajah (aboard his elephant Sultan), Teena the Fat Lady, Bruto the Strong Man and Princess Python (with Precious)) headed to Mexico, fleeing warrants. Ringmaster forced Dragon Man to perform with them.
(Incredible Hulk II#292) – When the Circus saw the Bruce Banner arrive with his girlfriend Kate Waynesboro, Ringmaster forced Banner to change to Hulk and battle Dragon Man. Before the fight concluded, the Big Top was destroyed.
(Captain America I#319) – When the Serpent Society had one of their members murdered, Asp and Anaconda attacked Ringmaster and Clown, wondering if they were behind it, as they had recruited Princess Python from them earlier.
(Sensational She-Hulk I#1 (fb) – BTS) – Using the name the MacFadden Brothers Circus, the Circus of Crime started taking paid gigs. They were hired by a mysterious source (secretly the Headmen) to test the strength of She-Hulk.
(Sensational She-Hulk I#1) – Bruto helped She-Hulk work out until Ringmaster put her under hypnotic control then the Professor made her up as Glamazonia to join the Circus. After the team robbed the crowd that night, the Professor tried to kill She-Hulk then Gorilla-Man, disguised as an actual gorilla, stole Ringmaster's hat and freed She-Hulk, who then tied up the Circus members to be arrested.
(Power Pack I#59) – At the MacFadden Brothers Circus, the Ringmaster tried convincing the Circus (Human Cannonball, Great Gambonnos, Clown, Bruto, Live Wire) to go legitimate but they wanted one last major heist, having heard that foreign royalty would be in the crowd. Clown took over leadership of the group. During the live performance, they tried stealing the crown off the prince but Power Pack and Franklin Richards, who were in the crowd, fought back and the Circus was easily stopped. When the police arrived, Ringmaster used his powers to make the Circus appear innocent.
(Spider-Man Team-Up I#5/2 (fb) – BTS) – The Ringmaster officially retired from the Circus, leaving the Clown in charge. They changed their name to the Cirque du Somnambulism (a fancy word meaning sleep-walking) and began wearing edgier costumes. The mysterious and powerful Relf, an elf with a gun, teamed up with them, seeking revenge on a truck driver who had killed a cousin of his. The Cirque sent him to retrieve the Ringmaster's hypnosis disc.
(Spider-Man Team-Up I#5/2) – Relf returned to the Cirque (Clown, Great Gambonnos, Human Cannonball, Princess Python) with a ukulele instead of the disc. When they grew furious, he shot the men in the Circus but later removed the bullets. Relf went back for the disc, only to learn that Officer Dragon of the FBI had it. He gave Princess Python's python wings and flew to Cleveland, where the Cirque ended up in a battle with Officer Dragon, Spider-Man (Ben Reilly), Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson, Howard the Duck and Beverly Switzer.
(Generation X I#32) – The Circus performed in Massachussetts, where the students of Generation X sparred with them. During the fight, Clown sparred with Synch. In the end, the mutants let the Circus go free if they promised to donate their proceeds to charity.
(Amazing Spider-Man/Devil Dinosaur '98 Annual (fb) – BTS) – The Circus added Antoro the animal trainer to their ranks. Ringmaster hypnotized government officials into releasing Devil Dinosaur and Moon Boy to his custody.
(Amazing Spider-Man/Devil Dinosaur '98 Annual) – The Circus rehearsed for their new performances with Moon Boy and Devil, and their shows sold out. While the crowds gathered, however, Circus members robbed local stores. Soon, Spider-Man attacked, freeing Moon Boy from hypnosis, then helped take the Circus down. During the fight, Clown threw exploding juggling balls at Moon Boy but was soon knocked out.
(Incredible Hulk II#470 (fb) – BTS) – Ringmaster left the Circus of Crime and wanted to shut them down permanently. Clown took over the leadership again and, with Princess Python, Human Cannonball and the Great Gambonnos, they took on a long-term gig performing at the Three Rings Casino in Las Vegas. They adopted a busy schedule of two shows per night plus a matinee on Sundays. When not performing, they would wear all black and rob banks.
(Deathlok III#4 (fb) – BTS) – Clown dated a showgirl named Sylvia, who worked at the Royale.
(Incredible Hulk II#470 (fb)) – Ringmaster met with Clown, telling him he had a permanent plan to shut down the Circus. Clown was immune to Ringmaster's attempts at hypnosis.
(Incredible Hulk II#470 (fb)) – The Circus robbed a bank. Later, when they sought to rob a casino, thugs Frankie and Whitey were committing the same robbery. The snake scared the men but then Hulk (sent by Ringmaster) attacked and the Circus managed to knock him out by choking him into unconsciousness with the snake.
(Incredible Hulk II#471 (fb)) – Clown was furious when local gamblers starting placing bets on the Hulk and he yelled at the Circus. Clown placed a bet that Hulk would destroy the Circus, believing it was a surefire win. They kept Bruce Banner chained and sedated in a cage. At show time, Hulk attacked, easily defeating the Circus performers and tearing down the Big Top. In the battle, Clown boldly stood up to the Hulk, planning to shoot him in the face but he was swatted aside.
(Incredible Hulk II#470) – Clown met with Doc Samson, telling him what had happened with the Hulk.
(Incredible Hulk II#471) – Clown finished his narrative to Samson.
(Thunderbolts I#26 (fb) – BTS) – After being betrayed by Clown, the Human Cannonball ended up in Seagate Prison.
(Deathlok III#2) – After being imprisoned for a time, Clown crawled out of the sewage pipes from Utah State Prison, escaping. He blamed Ringmaster for his imprisonment.
(Deathlok III#3 (fb) – BTS) – Clown donned a new, more frightening, costume then went to Los Angeles, determined to stake his own claim and get revenge on Ringmaster once and for all.
(Deathlok III#3) – Clown killed a few men on a hit, for money.
(Deathlok III#4) – Clown accepted a hit for $3000, killing a producer and then stealing his TV and taking it back to his hotel room. As he watched for news of the Ringmaster, he heard about the streets of Las Vegas being badly damaged in robot battles and the Royale being destroyed with many killed. He went to the hospital to see the sole survivor, Sylvia, in a body cast and badly burned. Later back at his hotel, Clown was yelling at the front desk manager when a car burst through the wall, striking him. A red robot got out and killed the manager then stole the TV out of Clown's room. Clown gave chase through the crowded Vegas streets, shooting at the robot and following it back to a building where dozens of red robots waited. They surrounded Clown, who fought back for a few hours before he conquered them. He surveyed the sight and realized the robots were some sort of electronic repo men. He left, wounded and planning revenge.
(Deathlok III#8) – After hunting down another movie executive in Hollywood for money, Clown met Mr. Kim, who had a new hit for him.
(Deathlok III#9) – After researching Kim's target, a mob boss named Doyle (secretly a hypnotized Nick Fury), Clown killed another hit. He soon attacked "Doyle" but Nick Fury had his memory back and was flanked by Deathlok (Jack Truman).
(Deathlok III#10) – Clown used gunfire and flash powder on Fury and Deathlok but after he realized Deathlok was a robot, he exploded a semi-truck to cover his escape then fled. Later eating at a diner that he planned to rob, Clown saw a headline about presidential candidate Martin Thraller and he realized it was Ringmaster.
(Deathlok III#11) – Clown realized "Thraller" was hypnotizing people through his television and he left with disgust. He planned a hit, using intel from an old criminal acquaintance, Riley. That night, Clown infiltrated a political rally and opened fire on Ringmaster but Deathlok intervened and battled Clown. Clown snuck away and shot Ringmaster and the people around him then fled into the sewers after getting hit in the head by a reporter. Deathlok cornered Clown but ultimately let him go free.
(Deadline II#2) – Clown relaxed at the Bar With No Name.
(Avengers: The Initiative I#27 (fb)) – At some point Johnny Guitar and Dr. Sax wanted to join the Circus but Clown and the Gambonnos turned them down.
(World War Hulk: Gamma Corps#2 (fb)) – At Leavenworth Maximum Security Prison, Clown ridiculed the Enforcers (Ox, Fancy Dan, Montana) and they beat him up, ridiculing him for once thinking he could beat the Hulk. Later, in solitary, guard Jacobs showed in General John Ryker. Clown agreed to be experimented on after being sprung from prison, knowing it was part of a plot to take down the Hulk.
(World War Hulk: Gamma Corps#4 (fb) – BTS) – Clown was given Gamma radiation treatments, a variation of the Harpy mutation, and they mutated him into the Griffin, a Gamma beast with super-strength, fangs, bird-like taloned feet, sharp claws on his hands and wings. He began training with other Gamma mutates in the Gamma Corps, including Prodigy, the Grey, Mess and Mr. Gideon.
(World War Hulk: Gamma Corps#1 (fb) – BTS) – On a mission for the Gamma Corps, Griffin allowed himself to be captured by A.I.M., just to toy with the villains.
(World War Hulk: Gamma Corps#1) – In his human form, Franklin was beat by the A.I.M. men until he transformed into Griffin and slaughtered the men. As he was battling black market tech Crimson Dynamos, the rest of Gamma Corps arrived then Grey killed their target Flux, who had been captured by A.I.M. previously. The Corps received a new assignment,
(World War Hulk: Gamma Corps#2) – The Gamma Corps trained against a Hulk LMD.
(World War Hulk: Gamma Corps#3) – The Gamma Corps lured Hulk in with a group of Humanoids then attacked directly. During the fight, Griffin slashed at Hulk's face and taunted him before being batted aside. Grey seemingly killed the Hulk by breaking his neck.
(World War Hulk: Gamma Corps#4) – The Corps wondered if there were other Gamma units out there and they contemplated instructions that they would be sent to Iraq soon. Hulk healed and tried jumping away, and the Corps attacked. Hulk broke Griffin's arm and leg and tossed him aside before jumping away. Healing, the Corps were given the mission of hunting down heroes Black Bolt, Iron Man, Dr. Strange and Mr. Fantastic.
(Dark Reign: Made Men#1/4 (fb) – BTS) – Cut off from the government and Ryker, the Gamma Corps went into hiding, waiting for assignments. They frequently bickered, growing annoyed with Griffin's crass humor.
(Dark Reign: Made Men#1/4) – The Gamma Corps tracked Iron Man, hoping to apprehend the hero to get back in the good graces of the government. Iron Patriot (Norman Osborn) infiltrated their headquarters and they initially attacked him but they soon realized he was recruiting them to be bounty hunters for H.A.M.M.E.R. The Corps relocated to H.A.M.M.E.R. headquarters after being granted a full pardon.
(Hulk III#12) – Project: Omega, an artificial intelligence of Bruce Banner in an armored suit, sought to eliminate Gamma Corps. Doc Green, Hulk's new form, intervened in the fight with Maria Hill standing by. Doc Green won the fight then he depowered the Gamma Corps, returning them all to human forms, leaving Griffin as plain old Eliot Franklin.
SECRET WARS III HAPPENED
(Captain America: Sam Wilson#7 (fb) - BTS) – The Circus of Crime, including the Clown, were arrested and transported to Pleasant Hill, a S.H.I.E.L.D. prison where supervillains were transformed by Kobik, a sentient Cosmic Cube, into innocuous civilians and used to populate an idyllic small town. The Circus of Crime became Pleasant Hill's circus.
(Captain America: Sam Wilson#7) – Revereted to their original form the members of the Circus of Crime, including the Clown, fought Captain America (Sam Wilson) and Winter Soldier at Pleasant Hill.
(Deadpool and the Mercs for Money II#6) – The Circus of Crime, inside the giant Mecha-Lord Big Top, attacked the city and Deadpool led his Mercs for Money (Gorilla Man, Hit-Monkey, Machine Man, Masacre, Domino, Negasonic Teenage Warhead) to fight back. They fought back against clowns with rocket boots then the Circus itself (Clown, Bruto, Live Wire, Fire-Eater, Great Gambonnos, Princess Python, and Ringmaster on a giant robot elephant). During the fight, Clown threw radioactive water at Negasonic Teenage Warhead but she destroyed his unicycle. Upon the Circus' defeat, the villains were delivered to S.H.I.E.L.D.
(Captain America: Steve Rogers#13) – Baron Helmut Zemo approached the Circus (Ringmaster, Great Gambonnos, Fire-Eater, Bruto, Clown, Teena the Fat Lady) for an alliance. They later gathered with a larger army, forming the Army of Evil.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (penciler) & Dick Ayers (inker).
In Cyclops I#1 (2011), Clown is in an art museum
looking at a
painting. He says that his son could do a better job and Princess
responds "Isn't your son 36, and a claims adjuster?" I’m not counting
the chronology as it doesn't fit in the narrative of Clown's story. If
something else is canonized, this can be fixed later.
Well, actually the Cyclops I#1 (2011) story actually takes place in the "First Class" reality (X-Men: First Class, Uncanny X-Men: First Class, Wolverine: First Class, etc. etc.), which was ruled to not be in Earth-616 continuity. Similar events might have occurred on Earth-616 (such as the X-Men meeting Gorilla Man early in their career) but until we have some sort of in-story confirmation, the Cyclops I#1 story is considered an alternate reality. - Proto-Man
Many of Clown's appearances just show him in the background with the rest of the Circus, riding a unicycle and battling some super hero for a panel or two before the Circus is defeated. However, outside of the Ringmaster, Clown is the Circus member who has been given the most back story and character development. In recent years, he has become a mass murderer while striking out on his own and has joined the Gamma Corps as a murdering government agent. In his recent appearances, before he was cured of his gamma radiation, he had the ability to transform back and forth from human form to Griffin form. Thus, in all recent appearances of the Clown with the Circus of Crime. I have assumed was Eliot Franklin.
In Dark Reign: Zodiac, a different Clown was introduced. Zodiac stated he assumed it was the half-brother of Eliot, the son of Corky Franklin, but Clown never confirmed this. This Clown was a lazy and crass character who enjoyed senseless violence and murder. It is possible that recent appearances of the Clown with the Circus of Crime have been the new Zodiac Clown but it is never stated clearly which it is. This is much like the problem that exists with the Enforcers, with two Ox characters running around and the reader never quite knowing which is which.
Profile by Chadman.
Griffin/Clown has no known connections to:
images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition I#2, p36, pan3 (Clown juggling, main image)
Ghost Rider II#72, p5, pan1 (Eliot relaxing)
Thor I#173, p17, pan4 (on unicycle)
Power Man I#24, p17, pan1 (Funny Man)
Spider-Man Team-Up I#5, p47, pan3 (Cirque du Somnambulism costume)
Incredible Hulk II#471, p18, pan1 (shooting at Hulk)
Deathlok III#3, p22, pan1 (with gun)
World War Hulk: Gamma Corps#1, cover (as Griffin)
World War Hulk: Gamma Corps#1, p14, pan1 (Franklin transforming)
World War Hulk: Gamma Corps#1, p15, pan1 (Franklin as Griffin)
Incredible Hulk I#3 (September, 1962) – Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (penciler), Dick Ayers (inker)
Amazing Spider-Man I#16 (September, 1964) – Stan Lee (writer/editor), Steve Ditko (artist)
Amazing Spider-Man I#22 (March, 1965) – Stan Lee (writer/editor), Steve Ditko (artist)
Avengers I#22 (November, 1965) – Stan Lee (writer/editor), Don Heck (penciler), Wally Wood (inker)
Thor I#145-147 (October-December, 1967) – Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker)
Avengers I#60 (January, 1969) – Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Mike Esposito (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Thor I#173 (February, 1970) – Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (penciler), Bill Everett (editor)
Howard the Duck I#25-27 (June-September, 1976) – Steve Gerber (writer/editor), Gene Colan (penciler), Klaus Janson (inker)
Super-Villain Team-Up I#8 (October, 1976) – Steve Englehart (writer), Keith Giffen (penciler), Owen McCarron (inker), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#217 (November, 1977) – Len Wein (writer/editor), Sal Buscema (penciler), Ernie Chan (editor)
Marvel Two-in-One I#76 (June, 1981) – Tom DeFalco, David Michelinie (writers), Jerry Bingham (penciler), Chic Stone (inker), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Ghost Rider II#66 (March, 1982) – Michael Fleisher (writer), Tom Sutton (artist), Jim Shooter (editor)
Ghost Rider II#70 (July, 1982) – Roger Stern (writer), Bob Budiansky (penciler), Dave Simons (inker), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Ghost Rider II#72-75 (September-December, 1982) – Roger Stern (writer), Bob Budiansky (penciler), Dave Simons (inker), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Ghost Rider II#80 (May, 1983) – JM DeMatteis (writer), Bob Budiansky (penciler), Kevin Dzuban (inker), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#292 (February, 1984) – Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Joe Sinnott (inker), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Captain America I#319 (July, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Neary (penncils), Dennis Janke (inks), Michael Carlin (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition I#2 (January, 1986) – Mark Gruenwald (writer/editor), various artists
Sensational She-Hulk I#1 (May, 1989) – John Byrne (writer/penciler), Bob Wiacek (inker), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Power Pack I#59 (October, 1990) – Michael Higgins (writer), Tom Morgan (artist), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Spider-Man Team-Up I#5/2 (December, 1996) – Steve Gerber (writer), James Fry (penciler), Chris Ivy (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Generation X I#32 (November, 1997) – Tom DeFalco (writer), Mark Buckingham (penciler), Al Vey, Jon Holdredge, Scott Hanna (inkers), Mark Powers (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man/Devil Dinosaur '98 Annual (July, 1998) – Tom DeFalco (writer), Tom Lyle (penciler), Robert Jones (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#470-471 (November-December, 1998) – Joe Casey (writer), Ed McGuinness (penciler), Nathan Massengill (inker), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Thunderbolts I#26 (May, 1999) – Joe Casey (writer), Leonardo Manco (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Deathlok III#2-4 (September-November, 1999) – Joe Casey (writer), Leonardo Manco (artist), Ruben Diaz (editor)
Deathlok III#8-9 (March-April, 2000) – Joe Casey (writer), Leonardo Manco (artist), Ruben Diaz (editor)
Deathlok III#10 (May, 2000) – Joe Casey (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Tom Palmer (inker), Ruben Diaz (editor)
Deathlok III#11 (April, 2000) – Joe Casey (writer), Leonardo Manco (artist), Ruben Diaz (editor)
Deadline#2 (July, 2002) – Bill Rosemann (writer), Guy Davis (artist), Joe Quesada (editor)
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes II#6-7 (March-April, 2007) – Joe Casey (writer), Will Rosado (penciler), Tom Palmer (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
World War Hulk: Gamma Corps#1-3 (September-December, 2007) – Frank Tieri (writer), Carlos Ferreira (penciler), Sandu Florea (inker), Mark Paniccia (editor)
World War Hulk: Gamma Corps#4 (January, 2008) – Frank Tieri (writer), Carlos Ferreira (penciler), Sandu Florea, Rudolfo Muraguchi (inkers), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative I#27 (October, 2009) – Christos Gage (writer), Rafa Sandoval (penciler), Roger Bonet (inker), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Dark Reign: Made Men#1 (November, 2009) – Frank Tieri (writer), Ben Oliver (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Hulk III#12 (May, 2015) – Gerry Duggan (writer), Mark Bagley (penciler), Drew Hennessy (inker), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Captain America: Sam Wilson#7 (May, 2016) – Nick Spencer (writer), Angel Unzueta, Daniel Acuna (artists), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Deadpool & the Mercs for Money II#6 (February, 2017) – Cullen Bunn (writer), Brian Level (artist), Jordan White (editor)
Captain America: Steve Rogers#13 (May, 2017) – Nick Spencer (writer), Ro Stein (penciler), Ted Brandt (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
First Posted: 10/28/2018
Last updated: 12/31/2019
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
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