Real Name: Lloyd Bloch
Identity/Class: Human mutate (ionic)
Occupation: Super villain; former super-hero of C.R.A.P., professional thief
Group Membership: Committee to Regain America's Principles (Quentin Harderman, Viper/Jordan Dixon), Secret Empire (Number One, Number Two)
Affiliations: Sanitation Unit, unidentified European mineral collector
Enemies: Avengers (Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Falcon/Sam Wilson, Giant-Man/Hank Pym, Hercules, Quasar/Wendell Vaughn, Vision), Count Nefaria (Luchino Nefaria), Guardsmen, Moonstone (Karla Sofen), Vittorio Silvani, Tumbler (John Keane)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Moonstone, "Nefaria junior" (nickname used by Captain America), "Bozo", "Neffer-ready", "Neffy" (nicknames used by Quasar)
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly Denver, Colorado;
formerly the Vault;
formerly New York City, New York;
formerly Nashville, Tennessee;
formerly Frederick, Colorado
First Appearance: (Moonstone) Captain America I#169 (January, 1974); (Nefarius) Captain America I#379 (November, 1990)
Powers/Abilities: Having undergone ionic augmentation, Nefarius had immense superhuman strength (Class 100), near-limitless stamina, metahuman durability and superhuman speed, agility and reflexes. He could leap vast distances and fire optic laser beams. When he possessed the moonstone, Bloch had superhuman strength (Class 10), increased stamina, reflexes and enhanced speed. He could also phase through solid matter and generate laser beams. Being tricked into giving up the power gem triggered a form of hyper psychosis Bloch never fully recovered from. Later evidence suggested that Bloch's mental decline was caused by the moonstone's alien energies damaging his brain. Bloch was incapable of channeling the moonstone's full capabilities such as its ability to fashion any kind of protective garment or armor the user thought of. During his time with the Secret Empire, he developed a certain level of unarmed combat skills.
Weight: 410 lbs.
(Captain America I#170 (fb) ) - Lloyd Bloch was a small-time
thief hired by a European mineral collector to steal moon rocks
from the university of Nashville's science department. Right before he
could escape with the moonstone (completely
unaware it was actually part of the ancient, cosmic Lifestone Tree),
he was caught by two security guards. Trying to escape, he threw his
burglar's toolkit at one of them. The heavy tools struck a deadly blow,
while Bloch himself slugged the other guard aside. Not quite
unconscious, the guard pulled his gun and tried to shoot Bloch. Instead,
the bullet hit the moonstone he was carrying in his hand. They were both
surprised to find the stone absorbed the projectile only to then turn
his entire hand invisible before disappearing altogether. Moments later,
Bloch tried to hit the guard again but instead generated a ray blast
that incinerated the man. Theorizing the rock must have interacted with
his "somehow unique" bio-chemistry he decided to become the super villain Moonstone.
(Captain America I#170 (fb) ) - After fashioning protective body armor for himself, Moonstone learned of the upcoming plans of advertising mogul Quentin Harderman and the super criminal Viper (Jordan Dixon). He offered his services to them after showing off his powers. Suitably impressed, Harderman gave him a place in their organization, provided he was patient enough to lay low for a while. Some time later, Harderman launched a smear campaign against Captain America, slowly turning the public against him through suggestive ads that questioned Cap's trustworthiness. Harderman planned to have Moonstone replace Cap as the nation's hero.
(Captain America I#170 - BTS) - The next phase of Harderman's plan to discredit Captain America involved framing him for murder. Harderman acquired the services of the minor super villain the Tumbler, who he planned to have Moonstone discreetly assassinate during a confrontation with Captain America.
(Captain America I#169) - Sticking to the plan, Moonstone
waited around in the rafters of the exhibition hall for Captain America
to arrive at Harderman's charity event (Harderman
had tricked Cap into believing he'd quit badmouthing him if he
participated in a charity wrestling match to prove his good will).
Quentin had the Tumbler accompany him, allegedly to needle Captain
America who was provoked into attacking the villain. Their fight drew a
large crowd and moments after Cap knocked Tumbler out, Moonstone killed
Keane by firing a razor-thin laser beam through his skull. Moonstone was
pleased that the crowd blamed Captain America for this, discrediting
the hero even further.
(Captain America I#170) - Fleeing the maddened crowd, Captain America rushed outside only to be met by Moonstone who first shot him in the back with an energy blast only to announce he was here to replace the "traitor Captain America" as the hero the American public could depend on. Fired up by this challenge, Cap attacked but he hadn't counted on Moonstone's strength, intangibility and laser blasts. Bloch knocked out the Avenger just as Harderman and a group of spectators arrived to witness the events. The skilled orator immediately capitalized on the moment and launched into a prepared speech announcing Moonstone was "the new defender of their heritage, a man they could trust". Later, standing right outside Captain America's jail cell, Harderman had Moonstone give an impromptu press conference during which he told a heavily edited version of his origins. In this tale, he claimed to be a mere janitor in a small Midwestern university who one evening while sweeping up spotted a mysterious blue moon rock that shattered when he touched it, granting him incredible powers he wanted to put to proper use. That's why he approached Harderman and the Committee to Regain America's Principles, repeating his dedication to battling everything evil. Captain America watched in quiet fury as the press lapped up the lies.
(Captain America I#171) - The Sanitation Unit (actually a group working for Harderman) broke Captain America out of jail by gassing everyone and kidnapping Cap. After he woke up and found out the Sanitation Unit was only trying to discredit him further, Cap struck out on his own unaware Moonstone quietly followed him. Moonstone witnessed Cap's encounter with his old partner Falcon and taped their conversation, delighted when he heard Falcon's offer to help Cap. Announcing his presence by claiming he was going to tell the world Falcon was Captain America's criminal accomplice, Moonstone mocked the duo. After shutting off the recording device, he confirmed Cap's suspicions that he, Harderman and the Committee were working together for reasons most sinister. He even revealed he'd been responsible for the Tumbler's death. Bloch added that he only did it for the power, the bucks and the sheer joy of seeing the Avenger destroyed. Furious, Falcon flew up and attacked, only to find Moonstone could fly as well. He was not prepared for the villain's laser blast that knocked him out. Cap rushed to catch his falling comrade, leaving him open to Moonstone's followup attack that put him out as well.
(Captain America I#172) - The triumphant Moonstone was about to kill Cap and Falcon, but Quentin Harderman arrived in time to stop him from turning them into martyrs. Instead, he planned to generate even more publicity by having Moonstone deliver them to the authorities. Moonstone dragged the unconscious heroes to the nearby Sanitation Unit and told his forces to guard them while he called the media. Unfortunately, by the time Moonstone returned Cap and Falcon had woken up and were fighting the Sanitation Squad. Spotting the powerful villain, the duo decided to beat a strategic retreat before they could be captured again. Unable to chase them because he couldn't risk losing in public and with no story to tell the incoming reporters, Moonstone ordered one of his terrified Sanitation Unit squadders to knock him over the head to make it look like the heroes had ambushed him.
(Captain America I#174) - Moonstone went on a PR campaign masterminded by Harderman to rapidly increase his already growing popularity. Moonstone made appearances on talkshows, smoothly chatting while selling Harderman's slander against Captain America. During an appearance on a morning talkshow, Moonstone was asked how it felt to be America's newest idols. He answered that living constantly with danger was terribly wearing, but the thought that his first arrest was the disgraced, murderous Captain America made it all worth it. Watching from the wings, Harderman thought to himself that his ad campaign had accomplished what the Secret Empire had ordered him to do: make people trust this stranger as the new hero in their midst.
(Captain America I#175) - Moonstone and Harderman were in Washington, DC where he was the star witness of a congressional hearing on Captain America's recent criminal actions. Afterwards, the elated Moonstone was chatting with the equally delighted Harderman when the ad man spotted the Secret Empire's flying saucer. He explained to Moonstone that the saucer's arrival meant all their work was about to pay off. The saucer opened, with the Empire's leader Number One demanding America's immediate and unconditional surrender. When the military's weapons proved useless, Moonstone decided to give it a go. By now, camera crews had gathered to watch the spectacle. However, Moonstone was quickly defeated by Number One's minion Number Two whose helmet allegedly drained his powers. Moonstone was dragged into the saucer where Number One complimented him on his convincing performance during the staged fight. Moments later, Moonstone emerged from the saucer and claimed he had been shown weaponry that had convinced him the United States was already defeated. Number One then joined him outside, claiming there were nuclear bombs being placed in every major city, ready to detonate if anyone tried to move against them. Not too long after that, Captain America, Falcon and the X-Men broke free from their jail inside the Secret Empire saucer. Cap faced Moonstone on the White House lawn and got so fired up by the villain's repeated lies that he single-handedly beat his vastly powerful opponent into submission. He then had Moonstone confess all the intricacies of Harderman's smear campaign and the Secret Empire's plans to take over the government on live TV.
(Captain America I#175 - BTS) - After his on air confession, Moonstone was taken into custody.
(Incredible Hulk II#229 (fb) - BTS) - For his involvement
in the botched Secret Empire coup d'état, Moonstone was sentenced to
serve time. He was kept in an expensive high tech cell that cancelled
out his powers.
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#61 (fb) - BTS) - While in jail, he caught the eye of Karla Sofen, a former student of the criminal psychologist Doctor Faustus who made no secret of her lust for power. When Faustus was defeated by Captain America, she was forced to look elsewhere for the power she craved. Eventually, she learned of Moonstone and came up with a plan to claim his power for her own.
(Incredible Hulk II#229 (fb) ) - Sofen offered her services as a licensed psychologist to help "cure" Moonstone. Eager to rid himself of the villain's costly, special cell, the warden agreed to let Sofen work with Bloch. As soon as she was left alone with him, Sofen exposed Bloch to a special hallucinogenic gas that made him exceptionally suggestible to the vocal command techniques Faustus had taught her. In a state of hyperpsychosis and believing his powers made him an actual monster, Bloch rejected the moonstone and willingly offered it to Sofen who happily accepted the gem. An explosion accompanied the absorption process, alerting the guards to Moonstone's cell. However, the delirious Bloch was so traumatized by the experience that he was unable to tell anyone what had just happened.
(Captain America I#379 (fb) ) - As a result of Karla Sofen's mental manipulations, Bloch was left completely psychotic and had to be institutionalized. Years of intense therapy were necessary to return him to a semblance of sanity. During this time, his thirst for revenge on the woman who had done this to him continued to fester and grow. At the hospital, he met a fellow patient who claimed he had rediscovered the ionic augmentation process that turned Count Luchino Nefaria into a super powered powerhouse capable of taking on the Avengers single-handedly. Once they were both released, Bloch allowed his friend to experiment on him. The procedure was a success and Bloch, dressed in Nefaria's costume (see comments), decided to call himself Nefarius from now on.
(Captain America I#379) - Nefarius' first official deed
was getting revenge on Moonstone. Tracking her down to a Manhattan court
house where she was standing trial, Nefarius used brute force to kidnap
her. The event caught the attention of nearby Avengers Captain America
and Quasar who rushed to the scene. Though Cap didn't recognize Bloch,
he did identify the costume as Nefaria's. But when he approached
Nefarius, the villain shot heat beams from his eyes that ricocheted off
Cap's shield. Worried he might accidentally flash-fry Sofen before he
had his revenge, Nefarius decided to leap away with his hostage,
promising Cap and Quasar she would die if they dared to follow him.
(Captain America I#379 - BTS) - The two Avengers ignored this threat, with Quasar using his Quantum Bands to continuously search for Nefarius' energy signature. But because Bloch didn't use his heat vision for an extended period, the bands didn't detect him.
(Captain America I#379) - Nefarius took Karla Sofen to a
nearby church where he explained to the cunning criminal psychologist he
was going to kill her because he hated what she'd done to him. Sofen
used her training, knowledge of the human psyche and her female allure
to convince Bloch that his obsession with her also indicated that he
harbored a deep love for her. Shifting her prison garb into her
Moonstone costume, she proceeded to put the moves on him, playing with
Bloch's still fragile state of mind until he believed that this denied
affection for her was what had kept him going over the years.
(Captain America I#379 - BTS) - Quasar inadvertently picked up Moonstone's power use, leading him and Cap to the church Nefarius was at.
(Captain America I#379) - So enthralled by Sofen's claims she was taken by his sudden, rugged display of manliness, Nefarius decided to disable the manacles with his eye lasers so she would be free to caress him. Cap and Quasar stormed into the church, with Captain America grabbing Moonstone while Quasar focused his attention on Nefarius. He immediately tried to render him unconscious by placing a quantum energy bubble around his head. Nefarius struggled to break free, eventually jumping up and crashing through the roof of the church to get away. Quasar followed his opponent, shifting the energy field to completely trap him. He soon realized Nefarius' power was not to be underestimated. Nefarius' brute strength put the quantum bubble to its limits, he even managed to manipulate the field, hitting it with sufficient force to strike Quasar in the face. With the Avenger unconscious, his light constructs disappeared as well. Nefarius took Quasar as a potential hostage, ready to trade him for Moonstone who had been disabled by Captain America. Before he could suggest the hostage trade, Cap tried to hit Nefarius upside the head with his shield. However, the villain caught the indestructible discus between his teeth and defiantly spat it out. He then declared that Captain America didn't stand a chance against him back when he was Moonstone and he was even stronger now. He then hurled Quasar at Cap, who tried to break his teammate's fall only to be temporarily dazed as well. Nefarius then picked up Moonstone and walked off with her. Before he could jump away, Moonstone used her now free hands to generate a dual laser blast sufficient to take Nefarius out. Pinned down under the villain because her legs were still shackled, Sofen had no choice but to surrender. Quasar promised to take both villains to the Vault.
(Captain America I#443 (fb) - BTS) - Through unrevealed
ways, Nefarius escaped from the Vault (see
(Captain America I#443 (fb) ) - In New York City, he ran into Captain America (who was dying and dependent on a combat armor at the time). Cap tried to fight his foe, but proved no match for him. Nefarius clobbered him so badly, he passed out in an alley.
(Captain America I#443 - BTS) - Cap had a vision when he was out. His infrequent, mystical ally Black Crow told the ailing hero he had only 24 hours of life left.
(Captain America I#443) - Nefarius found himself under attack from Captain America once again. However, when Bloch disabled the miniature rockets Cap had launched with his armor, the hero suddenly realized the futility of his endeavor. With less than a day to live, he figured other heroes would eventually take care of Nefarius. He abandoned the chase and went about to settle his personal affairs before the inevitable end.
(Avengers Unplugged#1 (fb) - BTS) - Eventually, Nefarius resumed his quest to kill Moonstone. Learning she was still at the Vault, he allowed himself to be captured, figuring he would be sentenced there so he'd be conveniently close to his opponent.
(Avengers Unplugged#1) - When a chained up Nefarius arrived at the Vault, he was wheeled past Moonstone's cell. Seeing his old enemy made the mentally unstable villain so furious he forgot his plan and immediately burst free from his bonds. He smashed the cell Moonstone was kept in, physically threatening her to the point of breaking one of her arms as a sadistic way of showing "mercy" before properly killing her. Sofen desperately tried to sweet talk Bloch again, but found him unresponsive. As luck would have it, a small number of Avengers including Black Widow, Hercules, Hank Pym and the Vision were on site and rushed to deal with the situation. While the male Avengers took on the fighting mad Nefarius, Black Widow went after Moonstone who had decided to make a run for it. Though he was more than a match for the three remaining Avengers physically, Nefarius was ill-prepared for the team's final offensive: Pym and Hercules hurled the ultra dense Vision at their opponent, which proved to be sufficient to knock him out. Nefarius was taken into custody.
(Iron Man Annual 1999 (fb) - BTS) - Nefarius was
eventually able to free himself. He continued his obsessive desire to
kill Sofen, who by that time was part of the renegade heroes called the
Thunderbolts. He was unaware that Count Nefaria's henchman Vittorio
Silvani had targeted him as a potential victim for the vampiric count's
(Iron Man Annual 1999 - BTS) - Through unrevealed ways, Nefarius' youthful looks had given way to him appearing as an elderly, gray-haired older version of himself (see comments).
(Iron Man Annual 1999) - Count Nefaria caught up with Nefarius who happened to be stalking the Thunderbolts in Denver. Bloch was about ready to surprise his old opponent Sofen in the middle of a rescue operation the Thunderbolts were involved in. Before Nefarius was aware of what was happening to him, Count Nefaria drained his ionic energies. Nefaria supposedly continued to feed off him until Bloch perished (see comments).
Comments: Created by Steve Englehart & Mike
Friedrich (writers), Sal Buscema (pencils), Frank McLaughlin (inks)
As Moonstone, Bloch worked for the Committee to Regain America's Principles...or, C.R.A.P. for short. Oh, Steve Englehart, you subtle, naughty boy.
Ah, Nefarius...we hardly knew ye. But from the handful of appearances he did make, it's safe to conclude he was mostly used as the unwitting stooge, pigeon or flunky. And that's a little sad, because the power he wielded was considerable, yet he always wound up losing it in one way or another. While Karla Sofen made a far more interesting Moonstone, he was still the first and was even instrumental in the Secret Empire's most successful scheme to date. Most of his next appearances, as a bargain basement Nefaria rip off, were spent trying to get his revenge on Sofen but that never quite worked out either because he isn't all that clever about it. Consider this: Nefarius wants to kill Moonstone. He's taken to the same prison as his opponent, yet he breaks free without bothering to even look for her first? He eventually even allows himself to be captured and sentenced (!) so he can re-enter the Vault again in Avengers Unplugged#1. Makes *no* sense, even if he's supposed to be mentally impaired.
Also: just who was responsible for helping Bloch become
Nefarius? Mark Gruenwald established that one of the patients in the
mental hospital he'd been taken to had "rediscovered" Professor Sturdy's
ionic augmentation process that had given Nefaria his power. Considering
it's too much of a coincidence a random stranger could duplicate that
procedure right down to the same Sturdy designed uniform Nefaria wore...
It seems most likely one of Sturdy's lab assistants seen in Avengers
I#164 were the unnamed masterminds behind Bloch's empowerment.
But how he or she got to the hospital remains unexplained.
The Nefarius art in the OHotMU Master Edition erroneously has him depicted with grey/white hair, while he was supposed to be blond. No in story explanation was given for this mix up: he was blond in Avengers Unplugged#1 and gray again in his final appearance in Iron Man 1999. Chances are the colorist used the Master Edition as a reference file, unaware of the error. But if you're looking for an in-universe explanation: perhaps Bloch was so obsessed with Moonstone he didn't realize Nefaria had been slowly draining his energies from a distance, causing him to "age" and weaken considerably before moving in for the final kill?
Given the fact you can't destroy energy and Nefarius was
100 percent ionic energy (allegedly), it shouldn't be too difficult for
him to reconstitute himself. Atlas, Wonder Man and Count Nefaria all did
it too. Maybe his mental instability prevents him from achieving this
feat Or maybe, just maybe, having Nefaria kill him off in the pages of Iron Man 1999 was probably
the kindest thing to do to the character.
Lloyd Bloch, as Moonstone and Nefarius, received profiles in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition#32 and Captain America: America's Avenger#1
Profile by Norvo.
Nefarius should not be confused with:
images: (without ads)
Captain America - America's Avenger#1, p28, pan1 (main image)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition#32, p18, pan1 (overview)
Captain America I#170, p10, pans2&3 (receiving his Moonstone powers)
Captain America I#170, p7, pan3 (presented as America's new champion)
Captain America I#172, p7, pans4-5 (orders his troops to knock him out)
Incredible Hulk II#229, p12, pans6-7 (tricked into giving up the Moonstone)
Captain America I#379, p12, pans2-3 (hits Quasar)
Avengers Unplugged#1, p16, pan1 (faces the Avengers)
Iron Man Annual 1999, p4, pan4-5 (drained by Nefaria)
Captain America I#169 (January, 1974) - Steve Englehart & Mike Friedrich (writers), Sal Buscema (pencils), Frank McLaughlin (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Captain America I#170 (February, 1974) - Steve Englehart & Mike Friedrich (writers), Sal Buscema (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Captain America I#171 (March, 1974) - Steve Englehart & Mike Friedrich (writers), Sal Buscema (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Captain America I#172 (April, 1974) - Steve Englehart & Mike Friedrich (writers), Sal Buscema (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Captain America I#174 (June, 1974) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Captain America I#175 (July, 1974) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#229 (November, 1978) - Roger Stern (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Bob Hall (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#229 (December, 1981) - Roger Stern & Bill Mantlo (writers), Ed Hannigan (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Captain America I#379 (November, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Chris Marinnan (pencils), D. Hedd (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#443 (September, 1995) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Dave Hoover (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Avengers Unplugged#1 (October, 1995) - Glenn Herdling (writer), M.C. Wyman (pencils), Sandu Florea (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Iron Man Annual 1999 (August, 1999) - Kurt Busiek & Joe Casey (writer), Terry Shoemaker (pencils), Bud LaRosa (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Last updated: 12/23/15
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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