vanvroot-gideon_rival4.jpg JACOB van VROOT

Real Name: Jacob van Vroot (see comments)

Identity/Class: Human (civilian);
    presumably South African (he was at least based out of South Africa; see comments)

Occupation: Financier

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Mr. Favorsham, Mr. Tamiroff

Enemies: Gregory Gideon;
    while not an enemy of the Fantastic Four (Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Invisible Girl/Sue Storm, Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards, Thing/Ben Grimm), he and his associates did drive Gideon to target the Fantastic Four

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: South Africa

First AppearanceFantastic Four I#34 (January, 1965)

Powers/Abilities: Van Vroot has no superhuman abilities. He leads a large business empire of unspecified size and nature, but presumably has access to great wealth and/or technology, etc.

Height: Unrevealed (head only shown)
Unrevealed (head only shown)
Eyes: Unrevealed (shown in grayscale)
Hair: Unrevealed (apparently dark; perhaps brown, black, or dark gray)

vanvroot-gideon_rival1.jpg(Fantastic Four I#34 (fb) - BTS) - Based out of South Africa, Van Vroot established a large financial empire, and he possessed the title of Commander.vanvroot-gideon_rival2.jpg

(Fantastic Four I#34 (fb) - BTS) - Multi-billionaire and financial wizard Gregory Gideon progressively gained control over his top rivals, Favorsham, Tamiroff, and Van Vroot.

(Fantastic Four I#34) - Van Vroot answered a conference call from Gideon via his TV intercom unit, and Gideon instructed him to remain where he was as Tamiroff and Favorsham answered the call as well.

    Gideon then explained that while, at his current rate, it would take three more years to drive them all out of business (and to take over financial mastery of the world), he had not the patience for that and wanted to own everything now.

    One of the three rivals told Gideon he sounded like a madman, but to accomplish his goal, an unconcerned Gideon offered the trio a challenge to set him a task, anything they thought impossible, and he would accomplish it in one week; if he failed, he would give up his plan for world domination.

    Favorsham readily accepted the challenge for his associates, naming Gideon's task as "the most impossible one of all time," to defeat the Fantastic Four. 

    Eager for the challenge, Gideon readily accepted and summoned his top planning board.

(Fantastic Four I#34 - BTS) - As Gideon's plans proceeded, he vowed to defeat the Fantastic Four in "the hardest way possible" to show Van Vroot, Tamiroff, and Favorsham that his money could achieve anything for him.

(Fantastic Four I#34 - BTS) - Ultimately, Gideon forfeited his challenge when his son, Thomas, was endangered by his plot, and Gideon realized the importance of family and vowed to donate his vast wealth to charity.

Comments: Created by Stan "The Man" Lee, Jack "King" Kirby, and Chick "...the brick?" Stone.

    Van Vroot's name was spelled "Vanvroot" in Fantastic Four I#34. The spelling is corrected in the Official Marvel Index to the Fantastic Four#3 entry for Fantastic Four I#34.
    My understanding is that most American born people with the "van" part of the name capitalize the "V" as "Van Vroot," while most European and other nations keep it lower case, as "van Vroot."
    It was spelled "Van Vroot" even when used in the middle of a sentence in the
Official Marvel Index to the Fantastic Four#3. It was spelled "van Vroot" in the Marvel Atlas

    Given his name and his location in South Africa, I would guess he (or at least his surname) was of Dutch ancestry.

    Van Vroot was the first member of the group to answer Gideon's call, although he appeared in the middle/center screen in the TV intercom unit. Did that mean Van Vroot was contacted first, and perhaps the most wealthy, powerful, and/or respected? Or was he just the first to respond, and did that indicate that he was most concerned with Gideon's wishes? These and no other questions will most likely be answered never.

    These images are from the original comic, but the characters were only shown in gray colors.

    Thanks to Brendan Nash for pointing out that commander van Vroot had received a first name in the Marvel Atlas entry to South Africa.

Profile by Snood.

Favorsham should be distinguished from:

images: (without ads)
Fantastic Four I#34, pg. 4, panel 2 (smallest picture; hand on chin; cigar);
            panel 3 (best detail, but only left 3/4 of face);
            panel 4 (moderate detail, hand on chin, cigar clearly seen);
        pg. 5, panel 2 (full face, without cigar or hand on chin)

Fantastic Four I#34 (January, 1965) - Stan "The Man" Lee (writer, editor), Jack "King" Kirby (penciler), and Chick "...the brick?" Stone (inker)

First posted: 05/01/2018
Last updated: 05/04/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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