hart-philip-johdad-full-seated-distantPHILIP HARTcontraxian_race-mariehart-older

Real Name: Philip Hart

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Research scientist

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None;
    indirectly, the Contraxians, as his son's power saved their sun.

EnemiesCorporation (notably Simon Maris)

Known Relatives: Marie Hart (nee Giffen; actually Marya, wife, deceased), Jonathan Hart (Jack of Hearts, son)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly the Hart Estate, New Haven, Connecticut;
Connecticut College, New London, Connecticut

First AppearanceDeadly Hands of Kung Fu#23 (April, 1976)

Powers/Abilities: Philip Hart was a genius research scientist, notably creating the Zero-Fluid, allegedly a limitless energy source (see comments).

    In addition to being devoted his wife, Marie, Philip was passionate about science as a tool for humanity; Oriental arms and armor (of which he had a large collection); and cards (especially gambling involving cards).

Height: Unrevealed (we only see him seated; parhaps 5'10")
Weight: Unrevealed (perhaps 200 lbs.)
Eyes:  Unrevealed (his eyes were only seen in black and white)
Hair: Bald (dark brown eyebrows); formerly brown


(Jack of Hearts#1 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#5: Jack of Hearts entry) - Philip Hart worked in energy research at Connecticut College.

contraxian_race-mariehart-younger(Jack of Hearts#2 (fb) - BTS) - Seeking an energy source capable of revitalizing their cooling sun, the Contraxians sent their scientists to every corner of the cosmos.

(Jack of Hearts#2 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#5: Jack of Hearts entry) - Contraxian Matriarchy scientist female Marya traveled to Earth, specifically to monitor the energy research conducted by the wealthy and renown Philip Hart.

(Jack of Hearts#1 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#5: Jack of Hearts entry) <Approximately 30 years before the main story (see comments)> - Posing as human and going by the name Marie Giffen, Marya worked at Connecticut College on her Ph.D., her research funded by grants from Philip Hart.

(Jack of Hearts#2 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#5: Jack of Hearts entry) - Suspecting Philips' energy research might save their sun, "Marie" aided Philip's experiments while earning her Ph.D in biophysics. 

(Jack of Hearts#1 (fb) - BTS) - Philip and Marie fell in love.

(Avengers III#62 (fb) - BTS <Philip Hart's diary> / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#5: Jack of Hearts entry) - Marie revealed her true identity and Contraxian nature to Philip.

(Jack of Hearts#1 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#15: Contraxians entry) - Philip and Marie married, and -- via genetic manipulation --  had a son, Jack. Philip continued to bankroll Marie's research.

(Avengers III#62 (fb) - BTS) <Philip Hart's diary> - Philip studied Jack's physiology from his birth.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#5: Jack of Hearts entry) - Philip and Marie soon realized Jack's half-alien physiology might become dangerously unstable.

Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#5: Jack of Hearts entry / Avengers III#62 (fb) - BTS) <According to Philip Hart's diary (see comments)> - Philip secretly shifted most of his research efforts to seeking an energy-dampening agent that could save his son someday. Concealing their research even from Jack, who was a seemingly normal young boy unaware of his alien heritage, the increasingly reclusive Harts were widely believed to be developing a limitless new energy source.

(Avengers III#62 (fb) - BTS) <Philip Hart's diary> - Philip allegedly designed the "Zero-Fluid" as a dampening agent to control Jack''s cellular activity, which would produce massive levels of energy. Without the fluid, Jack allegedly would have burnt out at an early age.
    Fearing that Jack might be taken away if the truth was known, Philip lied about his work, telling everyone the fluid he was producing was a fuel.

(Jack of Hearts#1 (fb) - BTS) - As Jack grew up, rumors of the research being conducted by Philip and Marie Hart had the energy industry in turmoil.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#23/2 (fb) - BTS) - Philip Hart had a few great passions in his life: His wife, Marie; science as a tool for humanity; Oriental arms and armor; and cards.

(Jack of Hearts#1 (fb) - BTS) - Years later (see comments) the Harts had apparently made an incredible breakthrough, the discovery of a limitless energy source. 

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#5: Jack of Hearts entry/Jack of Hearts#1 (fb) - BTS) - Marie tragically died in a fiery car crash.

(Jack of Hearts#1 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#5: Jack of Hearts entry) - A grieving Philip shut down his laboratories and spent the following years (see commentsin seclusion, secretly researching Jack’s condition in the Hart Mansion’s private lab, spending his spare time in casinos where the lifelong gambler Hart indulged his love of playing cards. hart-philip-johdad-seated-detailhart-philip-johdad-face-oblique-detail

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#23/2 (fb) - BTS / Avengers III#62 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#5: Jack of Hearts entry) - Philip collected antique and exotic suits of armor and may have modified some of his acquisitions with an eye towards developing a containment suit for Jack.
    Still unaware of his alien nature, Jack grew to young adulthood resenting his often absent parent. 

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#5: Jack of Hearts entry/Jack of Hearts#1 (fb) - BTS) -  Jack was sent off to the University of New Haven where he became a poetry major. 

(Jack of Hearts#2 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#5: Jack of Hearts entry) - Kaina of Contraxia was assigned to monitor the Hart family following Marya's death and to obtain the energy source Philip and Marie had developed. 

(Jack of Hearts#2 (fb) - BTS) - Traveling to Earth, Kaina established the identity of Marcy Kane, and studied science at the University of New Haven.

hart-philip-johdad-death(Jack of Hearts#1 (fb) / Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#23/2 (fb)) - Philip Hart decided to share his Zero-Fluid -- reportedly a self-renewing, limitless energy source -- with humanity. Fearing a loss of their profits, the Corporation sent their agent Simon Maris to dissuade Philip.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#23/2 (fb) - BTS) - Maris entered into a fruitless discussion with Philip -- who worked a deck of cards in his hands (presumably he did this frequently) -- at the Hart Estate, with Jack present, having returned home after having graduated from college that day.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#23/2 (fb)) - When Maris suggested Philip send his son away so they could finish their discussion, Philip countered that the discussion had been finished quite awhile ago, and his answer was still "No." He continued that, as Jack was heir to his estate, he prefered Jack stay to be aware of how to deal with unpleasant situations when it was his turn to do so. 

    Maris called him a fool, but Philip argued that he was also a genius, and that Maris feared that his Zero Fluid would make all other fuel sources obsolete. Maris admitted he was afraid, specifically that a lot of people who had invested a lot of money were going to lose it when Hart turned the Zero Fluid over to the public. As Philip explained that he was giving away his discovery so people could stand a chance against "devouring wolves like you."

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#23/2 (fb) - BTS) - Meanwhile, Corporation agents, having been instructed to move in without a signal to the contrary, prepared to assault the Hart Estate.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#23/2 (fb)) - Maris warned Philip that he was giving him one last chance to reconsider, if not for himself, for his son; but Philip told him he was doing this for his son, "not that I'd expect you to understand that."

    As Corporation agents broke in, Maris reminded Philip that he had warned him, but now it was too late. Incredulous that Maris was serious, Philip told Jack to phone the police; however, the Corporation agents then fired on Philip, who was dead before he hit the floor.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#23/2 (fb) - BTS) - When Maris ordered the Corporation assasins to kill Jack Hart, he fled into his father's lab and sealed himself behind the fire door. 

    Having reviewed the house's blueprints, Maris' agents had brought a laser weapon, which they used to melt through the door. As the energy beam penetrated the door, Jack dodged, and the blast struck a vat filled with Zero-Fluid. The energy mutated and empowered Jack, who used his new abilities to destroy Maris and the other Corporation agents present. 

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#23/2 (fb)) - Jack then approached his dead father, telling him his killers were dead and he could rest now. Picking up one of the cards -- the Jack of Hearts -- his father had dropped, Jack was inspired by it, and he used bits and pieces of his father's collection of armor that seemed to contain the energies seething within him. He modeled the armor to mirror the Jack of Hearts and then adopted that name in the costumed identity he would use almost constantly for the rest of his life.

(Jack of Hearts#4 - BTS) - Jack's power saved Contraxia's sun.

Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo, Gil Kane, and Rico Rival.

    I don't buy the retcon of the Zero-Fluid having not been a fuel or power source. It seems like some plot twist that Geoff Johns thought would be exciting, without having read any of the stories. There is the whole pursuit of a fuel source that the Contraxians were seeking...that's a whole four issue series involving another planet/race that revolved around that, as opposed to a few panels in a story. If it was not a fuel source and never served any purpose beyond dampening Jack's powers, why did Philip Hart make a production of preparing to deliver it to the public? Since he never wanted to reveal Jack's alien nature and powers, why would he have forced the revelation of its nature? And, if it dampened his powers, why did exposure to it cause his powers to emerge for the first time? I think its more likely that his father also developed the Neutro-Mist, and the story of Avengers III#62 conflated the two...

    In the flashback as reviewed from SHIELD files in Jack of Hearts#1, Marie Hart was killed when Jack was at least 15, and he was sent off to school shortly thereafter. In the ret-con flashback in Avengers III#62, Jack says his mother died when he was a kid and he didn't remember her very well. Being a kid could be very subjective, but the OHotMU entry spelled out that over a decade occurred between Marie's death and Jack going off to college. I'm not sure how to resolve those contradictions.

    Genetic manipulation produced the hybrid Jack of Hearts, presumably indicating that humans and Contraxians could not produce offspring under normal methods...or perhaps it just meant that Marie did something to potentially make Jake able to metabolize energy in hopes that he could bring an energy solution to Contraxia...or something else.

    Marya's real name, as well as the maiden surname of her human identity, Marie Giffen, was revealed in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#5: Jack of Hearts entry. Her maiden surname of her human identity is an obvious homage to Jack of Hearts art creator, Keith Giffen.

    In Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#23/2, Jack of Hearts seems to think the Corporation was involved with the death of his mother, as he starts his flashback to his father's death and his own empowerment with "...in a stinking chain that took my mother away from me years ago -- that waited until the day Jack graduated from college to take my father..."

Profile by Snood.

Philip Hart
should be distinguished from:

images: (without ads)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#23/2, pg. 11, panel 3 (full, B&W, seated);
            panel 4 (face, oblique, better detail);
        pg.  12, panel 3 (face, profile, lower detail);
            panel 5 (mostly full, B&W, better detail);
        pg. 13, panel 1 (death)
Jack of Hearts#1, pg. 14, panel 2-3 (Marie & Philip Hart);

Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#23 (April, 1976) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Gil Kane (penciler), Rico Rival (inker), David Warner (associate editor), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Jack of Hearts#1 (January, 1984) - Bill Mantlo (writer), George Freeman (artist), Bob Budiansky (editor)
Avengers III#62 (February, 2003) - Geoff Johns (writer), Gary Frank (penciler), Jonathan Sibal (inker), Andy Schmift & Marc Sumerak (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor)

Last updated: 11/27/17

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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