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GULLIVAR JONES

Real Name: Gullivar Jones

Identity/Class: Normal human (1 Billion BC, 1950s to 1970s)

Occupation: Adventurer;
   formerly U.S. Marines officer (lieutenant, retired)

Group Membership: None;
   formerly U.S. Marines

Affiliations: Chak, Heru, Lu-Pov, Noltoi outcast, Wing-Men

Enemies: Ar-Hap, Bloodbeast, Giant Slugs, Jen-In, Lizardmen, Noltoi (Spider-Swarm), Parth, Phra, Ra-Kar, Technics Guild and their hybrids (Firstborn, others);
   formerly Viet Cong (topical)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: mobile on Mars (circa 1 billion years ago);
   formerly modern USA;
briefly east Asian war zone (see comments)

First Appearance: Creatures on the Loose I#16/1 (March, 1972)

Powers/Abilities: Gullivar Jones was a trained U.S. Marine, skilled in different ways to kill and in handling firearms, and experienced in a foreign war zone. On Mars, he quickly gained proficiency in sword-fighting. When on ancient Mars, he benefits from its reduced gravity; this provides him with extra strength and jumping height/length. Further, he wears the circular mystical Martian amulet of understanding, which translates ancient Martian language for him to understand, and makes his spoken English comprehensible for Martians. The amulet also enhances his healing and recovery times; however, he has no additional durability. The amulet has also shown the capacity to show the wearer a vision of what is happening elsewhere. While on Mars, he usually runs bare-chested and is armed with a sword. Jones is very protective of his loved one, making him brash in response.

Height: 6' (by approximation)
Weight: 190 lbs.(by approximation)
Eyes: Gray-blue
Hair: White (formerly black)

History:

(Creatures on the Loose I#16/1 (fb) - BTS) - Gullivar Jones was a member of the U.S. Marines, ranked lieutenant, in the Vietnam War. After years of experiencing savage warfare, he grew tired of fighting and disillusioned with the war, and returned to the USA.

(Creatures on the Loose I#16/1) - As Jones left the officers' club for the last time, he was confronted by the Martian mystic Lu-Pov on a floating disc of light. Lu-Pov had searched across eons for a champion like him. Jones protested that Mars was lifeless, but with his dying breath, Lu-Pov passed to Jones the golden amulet of understanding. As he died, Lu-Pov fell through the disc and it took Jones up instead, taking him into a colorful yet disorienting chronal whirlpool where winds ripped his suit apart and his hair turned from black to white.

   He emerged almost a billion years before outside the Martian city of Seth, where he saw the beautiful and golden-skinned Princess Heru being forcibly taken by monstrous red Lizardmen as a tribute wife for their leader, Ar-Hap. Chivalrous, he charged in to help the female; lower Martian gravity meant his strength was significantly enhanced, surprising him, and he easily overcame the Lizardmen, although one escaped by throwing Heru at Jones. The Earthman explained himself to Heru, who knew Lu-Pov, and she explained the basics of Martian life in Seth over the next few peaceful days. Jones and Heru shared a romantic evening, but Wing-Men minions of Ar-Hap flew in and kidnapped Heru as a tribute. Jones fought the attackers, but was kicked off mid-air and he fell onto a passing funeral barge heading downstream on the River of the Dead.

(Creatures on the Loose I#17/1) - Unconscious on the barge, Jones dreamt of his journey and arrival on Mars. He awoke passing a shore-bound group of Giant Slugs, which baited him with telepathic images of his desire: Heru. Taking a sword left on the barge, he made it to the river banks and fought several Slugs before bounding back to the ship with a Slug duplicitously masking itself as Heru. However, Jones realized the threat and kicked it overboard, where it sank. Exhausted, Jones fell asleep, but the barge was soon caught in a giant web spun by the hungry and bestial Noltoi. Also known as the Spider-Swarm, Noltoi jumped onboard and, despite his fighting skills, bound Jones in their sticky web-ropes. He was hauled to an altar as an offering and trussed up next to mutant Wing-Man Chak, also tied up. Chak warned him of what their fate was just as the giant creature Phra surfaced to claim his offerings.

(Creatures on the Loose I#18/1) - Phra ripped Jones and Chak from the altar and, taking one in each hand, swam underwater to his hidden lair. Jones had passed out during the trip and woke somehow reshackled while Phra slumbered nearby. Using his newfound strength, Jones freed himself and Chak, then investigated Phra's lair. Phra was oblivious to its true nature, but Jones found an electronic video database that summarized Martian history for him: the Hither People were once technologically advanced, but repeated cataclysms caused destruction and evacuation from cities; the power-hungry Technics Guild rose to safe-keep some scientific knowledge, but a Martian diaspora led to the evolution of eight additional races in a ravaged landscape. But Phra awoke and lunged at the two. Chak and Jones fought back, toppling the giant, but this triggered fires amongst the old machinery. Chak and Jones fled by jumping into the water, but were quickly pursued by Phra; however, Phra's lair exploded, pushing Jones and Chak to the surface, although Phra failed to resurface. The two emerged amidst a graveyard of dead bodies entombed in ice. Angry and feeling loss, Jones railed that he had been cast lost in the distant past on a planet far from his home.

(Creatures on the Loose I#19/1) - Amongst the ice-bound Martian corpses, Jones and the injured Chak found a cavern and lit a fire to keep warm, but strange sounds troubled them. Eventually they discovered it was a massive horde of Parth, small but fanged creatures. Using abandoned weapons, the two cleared Parth out of their cave, but were left exhausted. Later, feeling quickly healed, Jones realized that the amulet held special healing properties and let Chak hold it to help with his injuries. But with the amulet, Chak saw the otherwise invisible Ra-Kar, a savage creature intent on killing them. Jones grabbed the amulet and sword from the tripped Chak to fight the creature, but Jones was instead distracted by the amulet's vision of Heru in danger. Ra-Kar used the opportunity to knock down the two.

(Creatures on the Loose I#20/1) - Chak helped Jones recover and Jones coordinated a counter-attack that saw Ra-Kar kicked over a deep cliff face. Jones and Chak slowly climbed down the icy mountain, taking warmer clothes, food and weapons left for the spirits of the dead. Chak taught Jones of local edible fruits. They encountered an encampment of Lizardmen and fought. Victorious, the duo continued, but Jones was distracted with thoughts of Heru. Chak told Jones that the star of Jones' home was considered lifeless by Martian scientists, reminding the Earthman of how far back in time he had been cast.

   A roving patrol of Wing-Men captured the two and brought them to Ar-Hap's camp of Lizardmen where they were caged. Stripped back to his trunks, Jones had one arm tied behind his back and let loose to fight a fierce Bloodbeast for the evening's entertainment. Seeing Heru, Jones won, then chased Lizardman Jen-In, who trapped him in the tent of Ar-Hap in an attempted internal coup.

(Creatures on the Loose I#21/1) - Jen-In led Lizardmen to Jones, who knelt by the inert (actually sleeping) body of Ar-Hap and claimed Jones was an assassin. Jones fought back and escaped, also freeing Chak. Fleeing, Jen-In threatened his captive Heru, so Chak disarmed him, then Jones killed him with a single powerful punch. Heru pledged her love for Jones. Meanwhile, Ar-Hap woke and charged his troops at the trio, who bested many foes. Soon Wing-Men also arrived and Jones sent Heru away with Chak for safety. The Wing-Men's simmering feud with the Lizardmen erupted into battle with Jones as observer. Of the Lizardmen warriors, only Ar-Hap survived and Jones banished him into exile. The Wing-Men promised Jones their friendship and he rejoined Heru and Chak. While recognizing hazards lay ahead, Jones' Martian adventures reinforced to him that peace and love were worth fighting for.

(Monsters Unleashed I#4/5) - Keen to find a way home to Earth, Jones traveled with Chak and Heru through the desert to Seth to challenge the Technics Guild for information. However, they had been shadowed by a Noltoi outcast, which had been exiled due to physical and mental differences, and sought the three as companions. Protective of Heru and hateful of the Noltoi, Jones attacked the Noltoi outcast, piercing it with his sword. Jones discovered the outcast's peaceful motives as it died and berated himself. He resolved not to act so brashly in the future.

(Monsters Unleashed I#8/5) - Approaching Seth, the trio saw a giant Bloodbeast hybrid attacking the local Hither People and killed it. The Hither People were initially passive in response, but seeing their outcast princess, they became abusive. Discovering the hybrid beast had belonged to the Technics Guild, the threesome pushed past to challenge the owners, attacking a lone hooded Technic at the city gates. The Guild's defenses kicked in with disorienting sounds and winged humanoid slug hybrids armed with swords. The trio savagely fought back, forcing the hybrids' retreat, but new Technics appeared and easily overpowered the trio with sleeping gas. The trio were manacled and hauled for trial. They woke to hear the death sentence pronounced. Jones was defiant; knowing a little Martian history, he stated that Seth belonged to the Hither People, but the Technics Guild derided the golden-skinned Martians as inferior and that the cities were saturated with radiation. The Technics' leader revealed his deformed face and unleashed what he considered the perfect manufactured species: a giant, tentacled cyborg monster dubbed Firstborn. Jones used his augmented strength to break his chains, then freed Heru and Chak. Jones killed the creature and berated the now-silent Technics for wasting scientific opportunities on genetic experiments and not helping existing Martians or healing Mars. Realizing the Technics Guild could not help them, the trio strode off.

 

 

Comments: Created by Edwin L. Arnold (writer). Adapted by Roy Thomas (writer), Gil Kane (pencils), Bill Everett (inks).

Gullivar Jones (originally conceived by Edwin L. Arnold in his novel "Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation") and John Carter (created by Edgar Rice Burroughs) have many similarities. This was discussed in the editorial/letters column in Creatures on the Loose I#16 (and reprinted partially in Monsters Unleashed I#8), which asserted that Arnold's character (first published 1905) predates John Carter (first published around 1912). An old friend of Marvel scripter Roy Thomas named Dick Lupoff passed a copy of Arnold's book to Thomas and comic stories followed (after modifications) at a time when Marvel sought new sci-fi/fantasy properties. Lupoff theorized that Arnold's work may have inspired Burroughs, but this was inconclusive. See GJ's Wikipedia page for more info and sci-fi fan's review.

The wizard Lu-Pov's name was a nod to comic fan and writer Richard Lupoff, who introduced Roy Thomas to the character of Gullivar Jones.

In Monsters Unleashed I#8, the anonymous "Bullpen" suggested that Gullivar Jones would beat John Carter in a duel. Fair enough: GJ's a contemporary marine while JC is a Confederate soldier.

It's not definitively stated when in ancient Mars Jones appeared. Martian computer records and an in-text  box indicated a billion years ago, yet other text stated hundreds of millions of years. Whichever, it seems Jones was the first human on Mars. I think it still sits neatly in Earth-616 continuity, given the huge intervening period. Enduring radiation on Mars led to new races and mutations, easily accounting for the myriad of Martian life-forms seen since. Hopefully, one day, someone will tie Martian history together.

I think Marvel could easily bring Gullivar Jones back -- maybe even collect his appearances in one volume (or an omnibus of other sci-fi/fantasy masterworks from anthology series)! There's certainly more that could be told of Gullivar Jones. Lu-Pov seeking Jones as the champion, when other candidates also existed across time, almost suggests some sort of time travel mission meant specifically for Jones.

His final look in Monsters Unleashed I#8 was like a classic Killraven with cuffed boots, upper chest collar and long hair.

The Monsters Unleashed stories were printed in black and white.

Profile by Grendel Prime.

CLARIFICATIONS :
Gullivar Jones has no known connections to:


Lu-Pov

Lu-Pov was a wizard of the Hither People outside the city of Seth on ancient Mars. Long-lived, he knew how the now-empty monolithic Martian cities were built and why they fell. He was respected by Princess Heru. Lu-Pov sought an enduring champion who could effect positive change on Mars.

   Near the end of his life, he took the mystical amulet of understanding across many millions of years to Earth to find his champion, Gullivar Jones. With few words of the expected task, he passed the amulet to Jones and then died, falling through the transportation light disc onto the Earth street. The disc then took Jones to Lu-Pov's former location, leaving the dead Martian on Earth.

 

 

 

 

--Creatures on the Loose I#16/1 (17(fb), 18(fb), Monsters Unleashed I#4/5 (fb)


Giant Slugs

The Giant Slugs hunted on the banks of the Mars' River of the Dead. They duped their prey with short-range telepathic images to mimic the prey's desire. Jones was fooled by some as he sailed past and "saw" Heru threatened. He jumped to shore to rescue "her", fighting many off before carrying the duplicitous slug back to his barge. Seeing through the telepathic haze as the slug lunged to bite, Jones kicked it off into the river. Unable to swim, it sank below the surface. Later, Jones discovered that the Technics Guild had genetically mixed Giant Slugs with Wing-Men to create giant, flying humanoid slugs armed as guards.

The riverside Giant Slugs appeared more like caterpillars, but long and thicker than a human torso. Carnivorous, they had slobbering fangs.

 

 

--Creatures on the Loose I#17/1


Parth

Parth were small animals indigenous to Mars. Fanged and yellow-eyed, they flocked in huge numbers and generally lived within the ice-walled polar mountains, but colder winter temperatures led the hunger-driven creatures over the tall polar barrier. Jones and Chak unwittingly fell in the path of a massive running herd of Parth, but the two cleared their cavernous hideaway by killing the small intruders before blocking them out.

With striped tails, they looked liked demon-possessed raccoons.

 

 

 

 

--Creatures on the Loose I#19/1


images: (without ads)
Creatures on the Loose I#21, cover (main image)
Creatures on the Loose I#16, p2, pan2 (headshot - black hair)
Creatures on the Loose I#17, p2, pan5 (on disk)
Creatures on the Loose I#18, p7, pan4 (torso with amulet)
Creatures on the Loose I#20, p9, pan3 (cold-weather tunic)
Monsters Unleashed I#8/5, p48, pan2 (twisting, B&W)
Creatures on the Loose I#16, p2, pan6 (Lu-Pov, body)
Creatures on the Loose I#16, p2, pan4 (Lu-Pov, headshot)
Creatures on the Loose I#17, p4, pan6 (Giant Slug)
Creatures on the Loose I#19, p4, pan2 (Parth horde)


Appearances:
Creatures on the Loose I#16/1 (March, 1972) - Roy Thomas (writer), Gil Kane (pencils), Bill Everett (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Creatures on the Loose I#17/1 (May, 1972) - Roy Thomas (writer), Gil Kane (pencils), Sam Grainger (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Creatures on the Loose I#18/1 (July, 1972) - George Alec Effinger & Gerry Conway (writers), Ross Andru (pencils), Sam Grainger (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Creatures on the Loose I#19/1 (September, 1972) - George Alec Effinger (writer), Wayne Boring & Gil Kane (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Creatures on the Loose I#20/1 (November, 1972) - George Alec Effinger (writer), Gray Morrow (pencils/inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Creatures on the Loose I#21/1 (January, 1973) - George Alec Effinger (writer), Gray Morrow (pencils/inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Monsters Unleashed I#4/5 (February, 1974) - Tony Isabella (writer), Dave Cockrum (pencils/inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Monsters Unleashed I#8/5 (October 1974) - Tony Isabella & Doug Moench (writers), George Perez (pencils), Duffy Vohland & Rich Buckler (inks), Tony Isabella (editor)


Posted: 04/29/18
Last updated: 05/12/18

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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