AGENT AXIS

Real Names: Agent Axis; formerly Hiroyuki Kanegawa, Aldo Malvagio & Berthold Volker

Identity/Class: Composite human mutate (World War II to modern era);
   former citizens of Japan, Italy and Germany

Occupation: Retiree; former fascist agent, spy, saboteur, assassin

Group Membership: Super-Axis (Lady Lotus, Master Man/Wilhelm Lohmer, Scarlet Scarab/Abdul Faoul, Teutonic Knight/Franz Gerhardt, U-Man/Meranno, Warrior Woman/Julia Koenig)

Affiliations: Jonas Wilhelm Eckhardt, Hirohito, Adolf Hitler, Hyena (Henry Mortonson), Benito Mussolini, Nazis, Shark (Verrill "Hammerhead" Shark), his agents (including Enrico, Ishido, Wilhelm)

Enemies: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Gigantos, Invaders (Bucky/James Barnes, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Human Torch/Jim Hammond, Spitfire/Jacqueline Falsworth, Sub-Mariner/Namor MacKenzie, Toro/Thomas Raymond, Union Jack/Brian Falsworth), Kalahians, Kid Commandos (Bucky/James Barnes, Golden Girl/Gwenny Lou Sabuki, Human Top/David Mitchell, Toro/Thomas Raymond), Dr. Sam Sabuki, Thin Man (Bruce Dickson), U.S. Army

Known RelativesPterorists ("offspring", implanted with Agent Axis' mind)

Aliases: Mr. Schmidt, "Master of Murder"

Base of Operations: Jonas Wilhelm Eckhardt's mind
  formerly an apartment in Queens, New York City, New York;
  formerly mobile across Earth

First Appearance: (As hallucination) Tales of Suspense I#82 (October, 1966); (actual appearance) Invaders Annual I#1 (1977); (individuals identified) New Invaders#7 (April, 2005)

Powers/Abilities: Agent Axis literally possessed the combined strength (superior to Captain America's Super-Soldier Serum enhanced strength), speed (even in his later years he was quick enough to avoid a bullet in close range) and stamina of the three men his form was comprised of. He also possessed their combined knowledge and skills as an assassin, saboteur and spy. He was driven mad by the three different voices in his had constantly speaking in three different language and always hid his "horribly" (he didn't look that bad when he was seen as an old man, but maybe a plastic surgery or more helped out in that regard) altered face behind a full mask.

He possessed the ability to hypnotically control others. Upon releasing someone from his control the person was rendered unconscious. It is unknown if one of his components possessed this ability before they merged or if it was the result of the merge (triple brain power = telepathy?).

He usually used a Luger handgun. He was in possession of the Mechanical Mole, an underground vehicle.

Height: 7'1' (by approximation)
Weight: 285 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: White; formerly unknown

History:

(New Invaders#7 (fb) - BTS) - Berthold Volker was an Aryan supremacist. Aldo Malvagio was an Italian sadist with a taste for smooth European boys. Hiroyuki Kanegawa was a Japanese Imperialist.

(Invaders Annual I#1 (fb) ) - A German, Italian and Japanese agent were flying in a plane to confer personally with Hitler and Mussolini. During the flight they told each other about their exploits of blowing up army supplies and stealing top secrets as the Axis' foremost agents. Their plane crashed after it was struck by lightning, which miraculously merged the three agents into a single being. After the burning plane hit the ground only one man emerged from the wreckage with the combined powers of the three agents.

   His horribly altered face resembled neither any of his former selves nor anything human, so he started hiding behind a full mask. Agent Axis continued his work as an agent of the Axis Powers across the globe, sabotaging and killing for one Axis power after another.

(Invaders Annual I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Agent Axis was caught by Captain America and sent to prison. Agent Axis eventually escaped prison in America and traveled to Berlin to meet with Adolf Hitler.

(Invaders Annual I#1 (fb) ) <1942> - Though Hitler considered Agent Axis a madman and despised him because he was not willing to fully serve him, Hitler reconsidered his stance and had him sent in. Agent Axis vowed to serve Hitler for some time and was hired by him. Hitler outlined his plan to Agent Axis and promised to reward him, but Agent Axis didn't care for riches because he had nothing else left in his life than to serve. Agent Axis left for his mission and Hitler celebrated because he was either rid of Agent Axis forever or had his greatest enemies dealt with by him.

(Invaders Annual I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Agent Axis stole Captain America's original, triangular shield, but as he feared it lacked the special properties of the round shield.

(Invaders Annual I#1 - BTS) - When word got out that Agent Axis, the Hyena and the Shark were active again on the East Coast Major Rawlings and Colonel Farrow hired the Invaders (Captain America, Human Torch and Namor) in the name of the police and F.B.I. to capture them again.

(Invaders Annual I#1) - Captain America met with a F.B.I. agent at the Statue of Liberty, unaware Agent Axis had him under hypnotic control and was using him like a puppet. The agent told Captain America about Agent Axis' origin and how he escaped prison after their last encounter and was now working for Hitler. Agent Axis dropped the facade and the unconscious F.B.I. agent when Captain America questioned how the F.B.I. knew so much about Agent Axis and confronted Cap with his original shield before shooting at him several times. Cap blocked the shots with his shield before he tackled Agent Axis, but was tossed against a wall by the equally strong Agent Axis before making his way to the top of the Statue of Liberty's torch. After reloading his Luger he lifted his arms to call in an autogiro to pick him up. Cap threw his round shield at Agent Axis after hurling himself up to the statue's crown, but it was drawn to the gyroplane by a hidden electro-magnet. Left with his triangular shield Cap blocked Agent Axis' bullets with his original shield, but couldn't prevent Agent Axis from escaping with his round shield on the gyroplane. Agent Axis' trap had worked as planned while Cap mysteriously faded away (to become part of a game between the Grandmaster and Kang the Conqueror).

   Later Agent Axis, Hyena and Shark were on Shark's boat on their way to rendezvous with a German U-Boat to hand over Captain America's shield, Namor's trunks (stolen by Shark) and a vial full of the Human Torch's android blood (stolen by the Hyena). They were attacked by the returning Invaders. Agent Axis blocked Human Torch's fire with Cap's shield, then used it against Cap himself, but Cap caught the shield and knocked out Agent Axis with it in return. Namor pulled Shark's boat to the shore with the three defeated Axis agents inside while a U.S. Destroyer dealt with the German U-Boat.

(Invaders I#27 (fb) - BTS) - Agent Axis came to Dr. Sam Sabuki and begged him to operate on him to cure him, but Sabuki was not willing to do it.

(Invaders I#26 (fb) - BTS) - Months later Agent Axis hired agents from Japan, Germany and Italy to aid him in the abduction of Dr. Sam Sabuki from the Sandy Flat Relocation Center (U.S. Detention Center No. 7).

(Invaders I#26) - Using the Mechanical Mole subterranean vehicle Agent Axis and his agents dug right into the bungalow where Dr. Sam Sabuki was kept. Bucky and Gwenny Lou Sabuki fought Agent Axis' agents, but when Bucky tried to flee from them with Sam, Agent Axis revealed himself as the orchestrator of this heist and threatened to kill Gwenny Lou if they fled. Bucky returned to deal with Agent Axis and attacked him after Gwenny Lou kicked the Luger out of Agent Axis' hand, but Agent Axis easily knocked out Bucky with his triple strength. He then ordered his agents to take Gwenny Lou and Bucky with them as well. Agent Axis escaped the camp inside the Mechanical Mole with his captives and agents before the guards could stop them.

(Invaders I#27) - Axis boasted to Bucky about his current operation before asking him why he was with Dr. Sabuki. When Bucky revealed that it was to get help for his injured friend Toro, Axis ordered the Mechanical Mole's pilot Enrico to bring them beneath the Pacifica General hospital to pick up Toro.

   After Toro was picked up from the hospital Axis still wouldn't give Bucky any answers and instead told him to just ask Dr. Sabuki, who revealed that Axis had asked him months ago to cure him. Axis then threatened to have Mitchell executed if Dr. Sabuki didn't operate on him. Bucky and Gwenny Lou came to Mitchell's aid against Axis' agents, but they surrendered when Axis threatened to shoot Toro in the head. In the end Dr. Sabuki agreed to operate on him if he was allowed to save Toro's life first. Axis agreed to these terms and Sabuki agreed to even operate on Axis if Toro died during the operation.

   At his underground citadel Axis had a hard time waiting for Sabuki to finish the operation on Toro because he was tormented by the three voices in his head. After Sabuki had saved Toro's life Axis ordered him, even though Sabuki was tired, to operate on him immediately. Axis led Sabuki to a surgical device created by fascist scientists, which would automatically repeat any moves Sabuki performed on Axis on Gwenny Lou and Mitchell, who were bound to two beds besides Axis. Axis also made sure that the teenagers could be electrocuted at any time with the touch of a switch. At the moment Sabuki activated the surgical device Toro broke free and attacked alongside Bucky Axis' agents. One of them accidentally fired at the device, causing it to short-circuit and ruin Agent Axis' plans. Mitchell and Gwenny Lou were both electrocuted and Axis jumped off his bed, but to his surprise the energy mutated Gwenny Lou and Mitchell. Gwenny Lou shot Axis with golden sunbursts while Mitchell started spinning like a human top. Axis ordered his agents to shoot all their prisoners and threatened to kill Dr. Sabuki himself when the Invaders (Cap, Namor and the Torch) suddenly burst through the ceiling.

(Invaders I#28) - Axis was shocked and retreated with Dr. Sabuki as hostage to the Mechanical Mole. He fled from the Invaders in his underground vehicle and surfaced in a water reservoir in the desert. When Namor rose from the water right behind him Axis tossed Dr. Sabuki into the water. Axis ran away while Namor saved Sabuki, but the Invaders were still after him. Captain America jumped from the Invaders' Atlantean flagship to tackle Axis, whose strength was superior to Cap, but Cap managed to knock him out with his shield and then drag him back to the other Invaders.

(Invaders I#28 - BTS) - In an effort to make the Kid Commandos look good in front of the Sandy Flat Relocation Center' Captain Simms Namor dressed up as Agent Axis and invaded the center with the Mechanical Mole. The Kid Commandos defeated him and Simms allowed Golden Girl to leave while her father, Dr. Sam Sabuki, voluntarily stayed at the camp. The Kid Commandos returned with the false Agent Axis to the other Defenders where Namor revealed himself to them.

(Invaders I#28) - The real Axis was tied up in the Invaders' Atlantean flagship ready to be handed over to the authorities.

(All-New Invaders#4 (fb) ) <July, 1944> - The Super-Axis, including Agent Axis, had the Invaders kneeling before them in defeat at the Crete coast and were going to kill them, but Namor returned with an army of sea monsters to defeat them, and save the Invaders.

(Marvel Comics Presents I#34/4 (fb) ) - At some point Captain America fought Agent Axis in the ruins of a town somewhere in Europe.

(New Invaders#7 (fb) ) <1945> - Thin Man and Captain America fought Agent Axis. During the fight Agent Axis revealed that the Nazis knew about Kalahia due to Thin Man's carelessness. He joked to holiday there after the war was won and become Kalahia's king. Thin Man threatened to shoot Agent Axis, but Captain America stopped him, saving Agent Axis' life (possibly the same fight as above).

(Marvel Comics Presents I#34/4 (fb) - BTS/New Invaders#1 (fb) - BTS/New Invaders#7 (fb) - BTS) - Less than three weeks later Nazis under the command of Agent Axis invaded Kalahia.

(New Invaders#7 (fb) - BTS) - Agent Axis killed the family of Thin Man's wife Olalla in front of her before she was taken away. Decades later he could still remember her screams.

(New Invaders#1 (fb) - BTS) - The Nazis raped the women, gelded the men, stole the Kalahian technology and ultimately killed all its inhabitants and destroyed Kalahia.

(Marvel Comics Presents I#34/4 (fb) - BTS) - Agent Axis had Kalahia destroyed with V-2 rockets.

   After the war the C.I.A. smuggled Agent Axis to the United States to get information on the Russians. Agent Axis admitted to all his war crimes, including the destruction of Kalahia, and made a deal that allowed him to get away with his crimes and to stay in the U.S. for the rest of his life. He changed his name to Schmidt and came to live in Queens, New York City.

(Tales of Suspense I#82 - BTS) - Drugged by the Adaptoid Captain America hallucinated Agent Axis attacking him in Avengers Mansion decades after he had apparently seen him die. (see comments)

(Marvel Comics Presents I#34/4 (fb) - BTS/New Invaders#7 (fb) - BTS) - Living in the US Axis grew old, living as Mr. Schmidt in an apartment in Queens, New York City.

(New Invaders#3 (fb) - BTS) - At some point Agent Axis got cancer.

(Marvel Comics Presents I#34/4) - Nazi hunter Thin Man found Agent Axis' file after it was finally declassified by the CIA and learned that Axis was behind the destruction of Kalahia.

(New Invaders#7 (fb) - BTS) - Thin Man somehow learned of Axis' terminal illness.

(Marvel Comics Presents I#34/4) - Thin Man asked Captain America for help to deal with Agent Axis. They found Mr. Schmidt in his Queens apartment and Thin Man quickly tried to shoot him when Schmidt tried to conceal his true identity from Captain America. When Schmidt easily dodged the bullet he admitted who he was and invited Cap and Thin Man in for a coffee. While Cap tried to make him realize the penalty he would face for his war crimes, the former Agent Axis made it clear that he would never be punished because he had made a deal with the C.I.A. decades ago. He knew Captain America wouldn't murder him either and began to laugh, which angered Thin Man so much that he attacked Schmidt because he knew from Agent Axis' file that he was responsible for the destruction of Kalahia. While trying to choke Schmidt to death, Captain America instinctively came to Thin Man's aid and punched Schmidt in the face, giving Thin Man the chance to kill him by breaking his neck. A shocked Captain America called the police to have Thin Man arrested for the murder.

(New Invaders#7 (fb) - BTS) - Captain America was at Thin Man's trial where he was found guilty for the murder of the being collectively known as Agent Axis.

(New Invaders#7 (fb) - BTS) - The necromancer Jonas Wilhelm Eckhardt used his abilities to summon the spirit of Agent Axis.

(New Invaders#2 (fb) - BTS) - Eckhardt imprinted the synthetic beings known as Pterorists with the memory of Agent Axis.

(New Invaders#1-3, 6 - all BTS) - Agent Axis reveled in the fact that his spirit was now inhabiting thousands of beings fighting the Invaders, Atlanteans, Mazikhandarian freedom fighters, British and American soldiers alike.

(New Invaders#3 (fb) - BTS) - A Pterorist thanked Thin Man for executing Agent Axis' cancer-riddled body and freeing him so he could become the Pterorists.

(New Invaders#7) - After the Axis Mundi's necromancer Eckhardt was caught by the Invaders Thin Man had his brain exposed and attached to a machine in the Infiltrator's interrogation room where Thin Man forced Nia Noble to use her telepathic powers to connect Thin Man to Eckhardt's dream wherein Thin Man accessed Eckhardt's ability to summon the spirits of the individual beings that composed Agent Axis. Within the dream Thin Man tortured the three men to learn the Axis Mundi's plans. They were shocked that Thin Man somehow managed to separate them because even in death they were one being before this. Before Thin Man could stab one of them he was kicked out of Eckhardt's dream by Nia, who was not willing to continue abusing Eckhardt's mind. Thin Man forced her to continue, but this time brought the trio into his own mind to show them his origin and Kalahia. The three men didn't care much for Thin Man's prattling and just wanted to know what he wanted from them, which angered him. After showing them how he found Kalahia destroyed he showed them how he murdered Agent Axis and was sent to prison for it only to be released to become the leader of the new Invaders. Thin Man then asked them about the Axis Mundi's plans, but Volker had no intention to tell him anything. Thin Man picked him up and killed him, telling the other two parts of Agent Axis that he could torture and kill them over and over again because even if he killed all of them he could bring them back using Eckhardt's powers to do it again.

(New Invaders#7 - BTS) - The three parts of Agent Axis eventually gave in and told Thin Man that Axis Mundi wanted to fulfill an ancient Atlantean prophecy to drown the surface world.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils) & Frank Giacoia (inks).

Agent Axis' first appearance in Tales of Suspense I#82 wasn't actually a real first appearance and the revelation of his demise in this story was proven wrong years later as well. Apparently even the memory of Captain America can't be trusted. Maybe it was the drugs...

   ...or the fact that the character was actually a DC character, who first appeared in Boy Commandos#1 (December, 1942). Boy Commandos#1 was drawn by Jack Kirby, so it is pretty obvious who was behind his appearance in Tales of Suspense. Probably by accident, but he became his own character later on in Invaders!

DC Comics' Agent Axis is a woman disguised to appear male like her Timely Comics counterpart the Leader/N-4 [Marvel Mystery Comics#23 (September, 1941) Human Torch story].
--Gammatotem

   Or decades later someone like Comrade X.
--Markus Raymond

According to an editorial note in Invaders Annual I#1 the issue took place between Invaders I#15 (April, 1977) and Invaders I#16 (May, 1977). I love these kind of information!

In All-New Invaders#4 Agent Axis was towering over the other members of the Super-Axis. He never seemed that tall before, but he usually walked bent over so who knows.

Profile by Markus Raymond.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Agent Axis should not be confused with:

Mechanical Mole has no known connections to:


Mechanical Mole

(Invaders I#27 (fb) - BTS) - The Mechanical Mole, a subterranean vehicle, was designed by the leading scientists of the Third Reich, Imperial Japan and Italy.

(Invaders I#26) - Agent Axis and his agents used the Mechanical Mole to dig right into the building were Dr. Sam Sabuki was kept at the Sandy Flat Relocation Center in California. They also used it to get away with the kidnapped Dr. Sabuki, his daughter and Bucky.

(Invaders I#27) - With Axis, his agents and their prisoners on board the Mechanical Mole dug its way beneath Pacifica General hospital to pick up the injured Toro. Enrico dug through the floor and then took the Mechanical Mole back underground after Ishido and Wilhelm abducted Toro and teenager David Mitchell.

   Though Enrico dug through the floor with the Mechanical Mole too close to Toro his colleagues easily abducted Toro and teenager David Mitchell. The Mechanical Mole returned to the underground and dug its way through to Axis' underground citadel.

(Invaders I#28) - Axis took Dr. Sabuki hostage and fled with the Mechanical Mole when the Invaders attacked his underground citadel. He bore his way through the ground to a water reservoir in the desert where he escaped after tossing Sabuki back into the water.

   Namor later used the Mechanical Mole while posing as Agent Axis to dig his way into the Sandy Flat Relocation Center for a battle with the Kid Commandos. Toro sealed it up with fire for the U.S. Army.

--Invaders I#26 ([Invaders I#27 (fb)], Invaders I#26-28


Agents of Agent Axis

(Invaders I#27 (fb) - BTS) - The German Wilhelm, the Italian Enrico and the Japanese Ishido became agents of Agent Axis along with others.

(Invaders I#26) - The trio was employed by Agent Axis to abduct Dr. Sam Sabuki from the Sandy Flat Relocation Center aboard the Mechanical Mole. On Agent Axis' order they also took Bucky and Dr. Sabuki's daughter Gwenny Lou with them.

(Invaders I#27) - Enrico piloted the Mechanical Mole beneath Pacifica General hospital to pick up Toro while the other agents kept Bucky, Gwenny Lou and Sam Sabuki in check.

   Enrico dug through the floor too close to Toro, but his partners Wilhelm and Ishido still managed to pick up the young hero along with David Mitchell, who opposed them and was then abducted along with Toro. Axis tried to force Dr. Sabuki to operate on him by having his men threaten the life of teenager David Mitchell. Bucky and Gwenny Lou fought the agents until they surrendered when Axis threatened to shoot Toro in the head. They soon arrived at Axis' underground citadel where more of Axis' agents were stationed. The agents took Toro to an operation room and guarded the proceedings. During Axis' own operation another fight broke out when Toro freed himself. Bucky joined the battle against Axis' agents and one of them accidentally fired his gun at Axis' surgical device, which exploded and electrocuted Mitchell and Gwenny Lou, accidentally giving them super-powers. Axis ordered his agents to kill everyone, threatening to kill Dr. Sabuki himself.

(Invaders I#28) - While the Invaders and the newly empowered Gwenny Lou and David Mitchell defeated Axis' agents, Axis himself escaped with Dr. Sabuki as his hostage.

--Invaders I#26 ([Invaders I#27 (fb)], Invaders I#26-28


surgical device

This surgical device was invented by the combined efforts of fascist scientists. Axis used it to guarantee that Dr. Sam Sabuki made no mistakes in his operations on him because the device would automatically duplicate whatever Sabuki did on David Mitchell and Sam's daughter Gwenny Lou, who were bound to tables next to Agent Axis. The device was blown up by accident during a fight between the young Invaders Toro and Bucky and Axis' agents. One of Axis' agents accidentally shot the device and it electrocuted Gwenny Lou and Mitchell, giving them super-powers by accident.

--Invaders I#27


images (without ads)
Invaders I#26, p16, pan1 (main)
Invaders Annual I#1, p14, pan4 (Kanegawa, Malvagio & Volker)
Invaders Annual I#1, p14, pan8 (merged)
Invaders I#28, p6, pan6 (running with triple speed)
Marvel Comics Presents I#34, p28, pan6 (aged, as Mr. Schmidt)
New Invaders#7, p1, pan1 (in Eckhardt's mind)
Invaders I#28, p5, pan4 (Mechanical Mole)
Invaders I#26, p13, pan3 (agents)
Invaders I#27, p13, pan3 (surgical device)


Appearances:
Tales of Suspense I#82 (October, 1966) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Frank Giacoia (inks)
Invaders Annual I#1 (1977) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor)
   Story 1 & 5: Frank Robbins (pencils), Frank Springer (inks)
   Story 3: Don Rico (artist)
Invaders I#26-28 (March-May, 1978) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Frank Robbins (pencils), Frank Springer (inks)
Marvel Comics Presents I#34/4 (late December, 1989) - Sholly Fisch (writer), Jack Sparling (pencils), Randy Emberlin (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
New Invaders#2 (November, 2004) - Allan Jacobsen (writer), C.P. Smith (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
New Invaders#7 (April, 2005) - Allan Jacobson (writer), C.P. Smith (artist), Andy Schmidt (editor)
All-New Invaders#4 (June, 2014) - James Robinson (writer), Steve Pugh (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)


First Posted: 05/27/2020
Last updated: 05/27/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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