Real Name: John Gaunt, Jim Twilley, others
Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Cynosure) human
former soldier, demon hunter, special ops, gladiator, temporal bounty hunter, police officer
Group Membership: Formerly Cadre, Grey Wolves, Lawkillers, T.D.P. (Trans-Dimensional Police), Demonknights, Wolfpac
Affiliations: Badger (Norbert
Binary (Carol Danvers), Bob the Watchlizard, Blackjac Mac, Corsair
(Christopher Summers), Vanth Dreadstar, Molly Knight, Judah the Hammer
(Judah Maccabee), Maethe Mathonwy, Rhian Mathonwy, Meta4 (Emily Cayce,
Craig Fallow, Allis Krafe, Dirk Penderwhistle), Gordon
(Horatio Hellpop), Roscoe Schumacher, Squalor (Harry Keller), William
"Turk" Turkel, Zhang-Ji, others;
Enemies: Dancer, Dys, Kalibos, Major Lash,
Known Relatives: Katar (son, deceased), Anya Laughton Gaunt (mother, deceased), Nick Gaunt ("Old Nick", father, deceased), Nick Gaunt Jr ("Young Nick", brother, deceased), Jake Gaunt (brother, deceased), Maite Laughton Gaunt ("Mouse", aunt/step-mother, presumed deceased), Joe Gaunt (half-brother, deceased), Jack Gaunt (uncle/alleged father, deceased)
Aliases: Joe Chaney, "Futurejack", Grinner, Haggard, Jackknife, John of the Dead, Old John
Base of Operations: Munden's Bar, Cynosure
First Appearance: (Unidentified, in shadows)
Warp#5/2 (First Comics, August 1983);
(identified) Starslayer#10 (First Comics, November 1983);
(Marvel) New Mutants#50 (April 1987)
Powers/Abilities: Grimjack is a very experienced and exceptionally lethal combatant, expert with numerous weapons, but most commonly handguns and swords (since the latter work in any realm, unlike more technological or magical weapons). Used to adapting to the unpredictable natural laws of different worlds, Grimjack will tailor his weapon choices to suit the situation, and usually has something appropriate for any given occasion, reality or foe, so long as he has some forewarning. He has strong magical potential, and knows a few minor spells, but lacks the calm state of mind required to work any major feats. He is able to resist psychic attacks thanks to his magical training.
Height: (Gaunt/Twilley) 6' (both by
Weight: (Gaunt/Twilley) 190 lbs. (both by approximation)
Eyes: (Gaunt/Twilley) Blue
Hair: (Gaunt) Black, gray streaks; (Twilley) red
(Starslayer, Grimjack) - "Call me mercenary. Call me assassin. Call me a villain. I am all that and more." John Gaunt was a native of Cynosure, a pan-dimensional city where realities fade in and out of sync, and the laws of physics and magic vary from block to block and moment to moment. Born in the Pit, the city's most depraved slum where poverty and violence are a way of life, he was raised by an abusive drunken father, "Old" Nick, and brutish, bullying elder brothers, "Young" Nick and Jake, after his mother died in childbirth. The only family members who showed John kindness were his uncle Jack, his step-mother Mouse, and younger half-brother Joe; Nick murdered Jack when John was five, and Mouse vanished soon afterwards under suspicious circumstances. When John was eight, Old Nick attacked John with a broken bottle, leaving him with a long vertical scar down his face across his left eye. John killed him in self-defense.
The brothers survived thereafter by stealing, until Young Nick murdered a merchant during a burglary, then knocked John out and left him to take the blame. Sentenced to the gladiatorial Arena, John was placed in a gang of child warriors dubbed the Wolfpac, and pitted against wild animals and past-their-prime gladiators for the crowd's pleasure. Despite the odds, John survived, and gained the fighting name Grinner because of the involuntary rictus death's head grin he wore while fighting; it was the only time he ever smiled. By the time he was sixteen, most of his Wolfpac were dead, some by John's own hand. He and the other survivors, including John's best friend Blackjac Mac, graduated to being full gladiators, and John was soon acknowledged as the Arena's second greatest fighter after the legendary Dancer (though, in truth, he was better; Dancer was just more popular because John lacked showmanship and finished his opponents too swiftly). When John was twenty-two, he finally won his freedom, but thirteen years of constant battle had left him hardened and swift to violence.
While hunting for his brothers, John was attacked and badly wounded in a street fight. Stumbling away, he chanced across the hidden entrance to the dimension of Pdwyr, an idyllic realm that had come into sync with Cynosure. There, for the first time in his entire life, he found genuine peace, taken in and cared for by the locals. The wizard Maethe Mathonwy sought to help heal his soul, teaching him that he had great magical potential but that the rage within him prevented him from accessing it. Under Maethe's tutelage, John learned to channel his mind and begin to control that potential. And John also found true love with Maethe's daughter, Rhian. However, his peace was not to last. Another resident of Cynosure, Major Lash, found his way to Pdwyr, and informed them that the city had literally phased into sync with Hell. Demons had flooded the city, slaying everything in their path, and if not stopped, would inevitably find their way to hidden Pdywr too. John reluctantly left his mentor and his love, promising to return once the war was over, little knowing that the Major was not to be trusted. John joined the Demonknights and fought for the next few years in the Demon Wars until Hell was finally shifted out of phase with the city, but just before the conflict's end, the Major betrayed Pdwyr to the demons. John returned home to find everyone had been recently and brutally tortured and slaughtered.
In the war's aftermath, John was at his lowest ebb, overcome with a nihilistic mood he would come to term "the Dark." When he finally found his brothers, Nick shot at him, prompting Joe to come to John's defense; only John walked away from the ensuing firefight. Lost to himself, John rode for a time with Major Lash's Lawkillers, becoming a Hard-Timer (temporal bounty hunter). Eventually, he realized that he was becoming too much like the cruel and black-souled Major, so he left the Lawkillers before it was too late. He joined the TDP (Trans-Dimensional Police), where he was partnered with Roscoe Schumacher, one of the few honest cops on the force, and they became good friends. However, John was ill-fitted to work under the weight of so many regulations, and after the Dancer made a failed coup attempt using an army of former gladiators, John quit the TDP to join the newly founded Cadre, a spy agency formed in response to Dancer's rebellion and run by the conniving Mayfair, dedicated to protecting Cynosure through any means necessary; John was one of Cadre's initially small group of operatives, dubbed the Grey Wolves,..
(Grimjack#45 (fb) - BTS) - one of whom was Zhang-Ji, a
Shang-Chi counterpart, a Master of Kung-Fu who always bitched about
being forced to play games of deceit and death,...
(Grimjack) - but the organization grew and the Wolves died or quit until John was the last of the originals remaining. When Mayfair attempted to have him killed as part of a fake assassination plot against a politician intended to ultimately give Mayfair control over all Cynosure's law-enforcement agencies, John quit, using the evidence he had of Mayfair's machinations to arrange a fragile truce with his former employer, a mutual agreement to leave one another alone. John then set himself up as a mercenary and private detective, buying Munden's Bar to use as his home and office.
For a time John's life stabilized, as much as it could in a city where literally anything can happen at any time, just solving cases, occasionally working with his old friend Blackjac, now a mercenary, sometimes assisted by or assisting Roscoe, and otherwise hanging out at Munden's Bar, which was run for him by his friend Gordon Munden and Bob the Watchlizard.
(Redfox#2) - In Mortimer's Tavern in the city of Targa on a world replete with magic and monsters, Grimjack stood waiting at the bar counter to be served alongside the Hyborian barbarian Conan and warrior maiden Redfox, while Cerebus the Aardvark played cards in the corner. Minutes later Redfox and her friend Lyssa the Axe became the spark that kicked off a barroom brawl, dragging in other patrons including the superstrong Gaul Obelix and a Dalek (see comments).
(Grimjack) - With John now in his late forties, the Dancer tried to make Cynosure ripe for another attempt at conquest by tricking John into triggering a Trade War that engulfed the city. John ultimately managed to stop him, but it cost John his left hand, which he replaced with a simple prosthetic (as more complex devices might fail in certain parts of Cynosure).
- Gaunt's fiftieth birthday sent the already brooding mercenary into the
depths of the Dark as he recalled those he had lost over the years, but
as he envisioned his dead the inebriated Gaunt unwittingly tapped into
his magical potential, giving his memories substance. Recalling his dead
siblings, Nick, Joe and Jake, his intoxicated mind conflated them with
other acquaintances of the same names, respectively Nick Fury, Judge Joe
Dredd and Jack "Scorpio" Fury. Brought back to his senses by his ghost
friend Spook, Gaunt dismissed the manifestations before they could do
any real harm.
(Grimjack) - Grimjack replaced his prosthetic with a hand claimed from the murderous robot Kalibos, capable of working in any reality.
Mutants I#50 (fb) - BTS) - The part of Cynosure where Munden's Bar was
located phased into sync with a bazaar on a fringeworld in Reality-616,
apparently taking along for the ride beings usually resident in other
dimensions such as the Herculoids (Zandor, Dorno, Tara, Gleep, Gloop,
Igoo and Tundro), the Micronauts (Arcturus Rann, Marionette, Fireflyte,
Acroyear and Bug) and interstellar killer of mass murderers Nexus
Blending in with the new locale, Munden's became M'nden's, while John, his surname deemed by the translation devices of the aliens present to be the synonymous "Haggard," soon established a reputation as the man to deal with if you wanted anything (see comments).
(New Mutants I#50) - The Starjammers, their numbers
recently expanded with the addition of Binary, Professor Charles Xavier
and deposed Shi'ar empress Lilandra Neramani, were forced to stop at the
fringeworld, desperately in need for parts to repair their damaged ship.
Starjammer leader Corsair soon heard that Haggard was the man to talk
to, so he, Binary, Lilandra and Xavier visited M'nden's Bar. After the
telepathic Xavier confirmed the bar was clear of both the law and bounty
hunters, Corsair and Binary met with "Haggard."
Either failing to spot them or trying
to keep a low profile, Xavier seemingly failed to recognize Commander
Arcturus Rann and Marionette of the Micronauts, who were sitting at an
adjacent table with Fireflyte buzzing around them. Haggard, however,
immediately recognized his guests and informed them that the Shi'ar
Imperium had placed the biggest bounty anyone had ever heard of on their
heads. To their relief, he confirmed he wasn't interested in trying to
collect...at least, not today.
However, before they could complete the deal, Xavier sensed the presence of one of his New Mutant students, Magik (Illyana Rasputin), in distress nearby, and raced out the bar, past several of the Herculoids (Zandor, Dorno, Tara, Igoo and Tundro) and Acroyear and Bug, to a slave market attended by (among many others) Gleep, Gloop and Nexus, where an insensate Magik was being sold. Forced to blow their cover to come to her rescue, the Starjammers departed without concluding their business with "Haggard."
(New Mutants I#50 - BTS) - In time, Munden's neighborhood phased out of sync with Reality-616 and back into sync with the rest of Cynosure.
X-Men I#245 (fb) - BTS) - Munden's Bar came into sync with Earth-616's
(Uncanny X-Men I#245) - John was sitting on a stool by the counter drinking when Logan, Peter Rasputin, Longshot and Alex Summers of the X-Men visited the establishment, but paid them no more heed than he did when members of the extraterrestrial army, the Conquest, entered the premises during an attempted invasion of Earth (see comments).
(Grimjack) - Forced to slay his latest lover, John fell under the sway of "the Dark" again, making him easy prey when Major Lash returned. Confronted in the cemetery where his brothers were buried, John was killed by the Major. Gordon avenged him, killing the Major, unaware that Lash was cursed and would inevitably rise from the grave.
An associate of John attempted to resurrect him via cloning,
unwittingly nearly capturing John's departing soul.
To his surprise given his violent life, John
found himself in Heaven, surrounded by most, though not all, of his dead
loved ones. Despite his dark deeds, John had always tried to do the
right thing, and thus had been spared damnation. Allowed to view events
back on Cynosure, John learned to his horror that Dancer had reanimated
John's corpse as a weapon to kill Blackjac, and that if his friend died
at this juncture, he would be condemned to Hell.
Unwilling to stand by and let this happen, John quit Heaven and animated the clone body he had previously spurned, enabling him to destroy his old body, though not before his new body received a scar identical to the one he used to have. John now possessed a slightly younger body, but as clones had no rights in Cynosure, he adopted the alias Cheney.
The..?!#2/4) - Tired of the constant demands others made of his because
he was his reality's Sorcerer Supreme, Reality-665's Doctor Deranged
left his multiverse to visit the dimensional crossroads of Cen*sure
(Cynosure) where he believed no one would know him. His sudden
appearance was noted without comment by Grimjack as he waded through a
crowd whose numbers included Gaulish warriors Asterix and Obelix, the
anthrotoonmorphic rabbit Freelance Police officer Max (partner of Sam),
Beanworld hero Mr. Spook, dimension-hopping artist Phil Foglio and his
plush dragon Winslow, and Zatananana (an alternate reality counterpart
of Earth-1's Zatanna).
(Grimjack#45) - Thor, Batman and a Dalek were among the
crowd who watched as Grimjack's friend Blackjacmac (actually an
imposter, Rastus, working for Grimjack's enemy Mayfair) announced his
intention to run for office in Cynosure. Grimjack teamed up with Zhang-J
and other old allies who were determined to stop Mayfair; the elderly
martial artist died during the attempt.
(Crossroads#5) - The arrival of Reality-8116's Vanth
Dreadstar in Cynosure was sensed by the Merk, an immensely powerful but
insane alien who could detect mass murderers and was fixated on
executing them via his often-unwilling assassin Nexus.
Since Dreadstar had destroyed the entire Milky Way in his own reality, he instantly moved to the top of Merk's hit list, and Nexus was dispatched to Cynosure. Trying to evade Nexus, Dreadstar encountered Grimjack, who advised him to seek refuge in a section of Cynosure where the different laws of physics would negate Nexus' immense powers. Tracking Dreadstar's trail to Munden's Bar, Nexus blew it up, but missed his target. Following Grimjack's advise, Dreadstar lured Nexus to a dimension where his powers didn't work, and Grimjack took the opportunity to violently express his displeasure at Munden's destruction. Luckily for Nexus, he and Grimjack proved to share a mutual friend, Judah Maccabee, whose intervention ended the fight while he was still in one piece. Learning the circumstances behind Dreadstar's "crime," Nexus deemed the Merk wrong to want him dead, promised to see to Munden's restoration, and the group parted on semi-amicable terms.
(Grimjack) - Grimjack encountered a man who claimed to be his reincarnation from 3,000 years in the future. Heaven had been offended by his departure and would not readmit him, but he had already been judged and could not be sent to Hell. Thus he was doomed to perpetual reincarnation, each life remembering all the previous ones, for as long as Cynosure existed. "Futurejack" had come back in time to set in motion events he hoped would hasten the city's ultimate destruction, and managed to do so before John shot him. John was left unsure whether "Futurejack" had been telling the truth, or was just insane, and eventually died under unrevealed circumstances without knowing the answer.
("The Shroudling and the Guisel," Amberzine#8) - Gaunt's corpse was buried alongside Remo Williams and Denny Colt, a.k.a. the Spirit. (see comments)
(Grimjack) - Two centuries later he was reborn as Jim Twilley. As part of regaining his past life's memories in his late teens, Twilley deliberately reinflicted his facial scar, and adopted his old alias of Grimjack once more. He resumed his detective career, facing foes new and old, and finally ending Major Lash's unholy existence permanently.
(The Gift) - Grimjack was hired to retrieve the multiple souls of Zak Bainbridge, which had been cast out of his body by Dys, the entity responsible for Cynosure's creation. The mercenary learned that Dys was trying to decide whether to destroy the multiverse, and had dispersed Zak's souls across different realities as part of his decision-making process. In each reality, Zak's souls encountered local heroes - Vanth Dreadstar, Nexus, mentally-disturbed martial artist the Badger, temporal-visionary Squalor, the elementally powered members of Meta4, Nexus and his friend Judah the Hammer, and hard-core law enforcement partnership Molly Knight and "William Turk" Turkel of the Zero Tolerance agency - and ultimately brought them back to Cynosure, where they had to work together to save Zak and convince Dys that all reality deserved another chance.
(Grimjack) - Eventually Twilley also died, sacrificing himself when the enemies he had accumulated went after his new life's friends and loved ones. He knew he was doomed to be reborn, but he had something else to do first. Some of his friends had died and gone to Hell, and Twilley intended to storm the gates of perdition and get them out.
Grimjack was later reborn as twins, and subsequently entered a thus far mostly unchronicled cycle of death and rebirth for 3,000 years until he reached his blond, bearded incarnation later dubbed "Futurejack," who went back in time to set in motion Cynosure's ultimate destruction.
Comments: Created by John Ostrander and Tim Truman.
"Cynosure. Sweet, cynical Cynosure - where the dimensions meet. Magic works here, science works there, swords work everywhere." The saga of Grimjack is a series well worth checking out, a tour de force in fantasy and science-fiction detective noir. While it's not all gold, there's a load of good stuff in it, and it ranks as John Ostrander's best work in my opinion. After debuting as an unidentified cameo in First Comic's Warp#4, Grimjack got his own series as a back-up strip in First's Starslayer series, and then moved on to his own title, which lasted 81 issues, and only ended because First was planning to publish their series as strings of miniseries, until said plan was scuppered when they ran into financial troubles, not because the series itself was doing poorly. Grimjack has returned for a few miniseries since then, both published by IDW.
Obviously Haggard isn't explicitly acknowledged to be Grimjack when he appears in New Mutants I#50, though there's no question the appearance is a homage to the character and Munden's Bar. So in theory it could be that Haggard is 616's counterpart to Grimjack. However, Grimjack lives in an extradimensional city, so he shouldn't have counterparts in normal realities, and that city's whole shtick is that it phases in and out of sync with other dimensions and realities so seamlessly that the people who stumble into Cynosure that way usually don't even realize it. Grimjack's resident back-up strip, Munden's Bar (see below), has had more crossover character visits than virtually any other series. Heck, the New Mutants issue had the Micronauts in the bar, full size (decades before Bug did so in order to work with Star-Lord); either they managed to figure a way to leave the Microverse without ending up titchy for the first and (for several years) only time, or M'nden's was also in phase with the Microverse. Throw in the presence of the Herculoids and Nexus for good measure, and the evidence supporting the theory that all these extradimensional types ended up on the planet by way of Cynosure only grows. Plus Grimjack uses aliases, and Haggard is a synonym of Gaunt, just the sort of mild mistranslation you might get when his name in English is translated into an alien tongue by the residents of the fringeworld and then back into English by Corsair's translator. So, since it is feasible for Haggard to be the "real" Grimjack, I've treated him as such for the purpose of this profile. Anyone reading this who disagrees is free to ignore everything in the entry except for the New Mutants history.
As to where in Grimjack's history the New Mutants appearance would go? The issue came out around the same time as Grimjack#33, which was when Grimjack had his cyborg hand and just before Major Lash killed him. We don't see Haggard's hands, but even if we had, Grimjack's prosthesis wasn't overly obvious and he usually wore gloves. So I see no reason not to place the New Mutants appearance at around the same time in his life as events happening concurrently in his own title.
I almost missed the cameo of Grimjack in Uncanny X-Men I#245. I admit, since he's only seen with his back to the reader and somewhat indistinct, I'm not totally sure it is Grimjack, BUT it is set in Munden's Bar, and the guy at the bar on the far left is wearing what looks like it could be a beret and a long coat similar to the one worn by Grimjack in the top lefthand image on this page.
Xavier met Rann and Marionette in the X-Men and the Micronauts crossover miniseries, but fails to acknowledge their presence in M'nden's. There's a lot of reasons why this might be the case: When he met them, they were only inches tall, so he'd be forgiven for neither associating them with full-sized people, nor recognize faces that he'd only previously seen action figure size (and Rann had grown a beard since, which also wouldn't help); Xavier was trying to keep a low profile and didn't know them all that well, so it's not unreasonable that even if he had recognized them he might not want to interact with them; Xavier had been possessed by his evil side for much of that miniseries, which meant he'd hardly interacted with the Micronauts during that crossover.
Grimjack had a large number of characters cross over into either his own strip or Munden's Bar. In the former case, they were usually other characters published by First: Starslayer (Torin Mac Quillon), Dynamo Joe, the aforementioned Nexus and his friend Judah Maccabee, to name but a few. The number who have visited Munden's is ridiculously long, and comes from all over the comics' sections of the Omniverse, with a few novel and movie characters thrown in for good measure. The Shadow and Batman can be seen hanging out in a few issues, both in Munden's and at a bowling alley with the Flash. 2000AD's Johnny Alpha (Strontium Dog) and Rogue Trooper were both members of Gaunt's Demonknights unit during the Demon Wars. Grimjack himself has made cameos and appearances in other comics and even on the Roger Zelazny's Amber novels. For the purpose of this profile however, I've tried to stick to covering only those where Marvel and Marvel-adjacent characters were present. Thus the issue of Redfox gets included because Conan showed up; Crossroads and The Gift for the presence of Dreadstar; the Amberzine story (reprinted in the anthology Manna from Heaven, for those who might wish to track it down) because of Remo Williams (who had a number of comics published by Marvel, which are arguably set in 616). If I've missed any Marvel characters interacting with Grimjack or the world of Cynosure, please let me know! There's almost certainly a couple of sneaky cameos I've overlooked of Marvel characters wandering round the background of Cynosure.
In terms of the Redfox story, it is set on her world; Grimjack, being able to travel to other realities, is considered the real deal, but the Conan seen in the bar might native to Redfox's reality and so a counterpart to the Marvel and novel versions. However, the incongruous presence of Obelix, Cerebus and, bizarrely, a Dalek, suggests the possibility that Mortimer's Tavern in Tagra had merged with Munden's Bar, thus enabling all these characters from different times and realities to mingle, in which case the Conan seen could conceivably be the 616 version. Or I'm just reading way too much into a sight gag.
Profile by Loki.
Grimjack, a.k.a. Grinner, a.k.a. John Gaunt, a.k.a. Haggard, has no known connections to:
Munden's Bar has no known connection to:
Nexus has no known connections to:
The Herculoids have no known connections to:
M'nden's Bar/Munden's Bar
(Grimjack, Munden's Bar Annuals) Munden's Bar was
originally owned by Gordon Munden until he lost it in his divorce. John
Gaunt bought it from Munden's ex-wife and re-hired Gordon to run the
place while he used it as his drinking haunt come office.
By the nature of Cynosure, it was a place where literally anyone or anything could, and usually did, wander in.
(Grimjack#27/2) - Dying while at the bar counter of a
drinking establishment in a pan-dimensional city proved problematic for
Munden's regular T.M. Murray, because it meant his soul had a plethora
of Heavens to visit.
The DC multiverse's had a lengthy queue
of Crisis victims waiting outside to be processed, including Kole,
Supergirl, Earth-2's Robin, Dove (Don Hall), the
Flash (Barry Allen) and Lori Lemaris, while the nearby Marvel
multiverse Heaven had a revolving door whirling around like a hurricane
as individuals such as Phoenix, Dark Phoenix, Wolverine and Elektra flew
in and out.
Murray was taken to a tribunal to learn
his final fate, Heaven or Hell, with his case being heard just after the
Demon Etrigan's. Realizing Murray was going to Hell not for being bad
but simply for having wasted his life, Murray's counsel got a
continuance, during which time Murray was remanded to Limbo, keeping
company with cancelled heroes from First's multiverse, including
adventurer Zot, boy detective Blaze Barlow, energy beings E-Man and Nova
Kane and their koala pal Teddy Q, space privateers Torin Mac Quillon
(Starslayer) and Tamara, and Martian terraformers Morgana and Winston.
As Deadman and the Phantom Stranger flew past, a desperate man wearing a noose tried to tell Murray he'd been framed by someone called Peter but was hauled away by a pair of angels; when Murray asked the other Limbo residents who the man was, he was told they couldn't remember exactly: "Jude. Judd. Jughead. Something." Recalled to his tribunal, Murray was told he was going to be given probation, which meant he'd have to go through reincarnation fifty times.
(New Mutants I#50) - Munden's Bar synched up with a
fringeworld in Reality-616 Earth dimension as M'nden's Bar, resulting in
an increase in extraterrestrial clientele.
It also apparently synched up at the
same time with the 616 Microverse (see comments), allowing
Commander Arcturus Rann and Marionette to retain their "normal" size
while enjoying a drink, rather than being inches tall in comparison to
the other patrons.
The Starjammers visited the bar hoping to buy vitally needed spare parts for their spaceship from Grimjack, but had to cut short and abandon the deal in order to rescue Magik from interstellar slavers.
(Grimjack#38/2) - A group of alternate Iron Men from across the
multiverse congregated in Munden's, at the same time as it was being
visited by Selina, a catwoman who may have been an alternate reality
Tigra/Catwoman. Then Magnus (an alternate reality counterpart of the
Technarch Magus) entered, complaining that his son Wartop (alternate
Warlock) had run away from home and joined Ford Fairmont's Nude Mutants
(Chris Clairmont's New Mutants).
Even as he said this, the Nude Mutants - Wartop, Corona, Squawguard, Zoid, Starflirt, Wuffy and Rainbow Brighter (counterparts to Warlock, Sunspot, Moonstar, Cypher, Starfire, Wolfsbane and Rainbow Brite/DNAgents' Rainbow respectively) - teleported into the bar. Wartop attacked his father and a general brawl broke out, during which Fairmont was sent flying through a portal into another dimension, but eventually the barkeep Gordon broke up the fight, forced Wartop to leave with Magnus and got rid of the rest of the Nude Mutants by giving them passes to the Disney Dimension.
(Grimjack#39/2) - Dr Strange visited Munden's Bar, where he argued with fellow wizard Zatara over cards.
(Grimjack#44/2) - Another group of Iron Man counterparts hung out in Munden's, playing cards.
(Grimjack#45/2) - The Iron Men were either partially transformed by Cynosure's shifting nature, or replaced by other alternate reality counterparts with similar armor but a spherical, cuboid and cone-shaped heads.
(Grimjack#46/2) - and then another Iron Man whose helmet
lacked a mask, leaving his human face visible.
(Uncanny X-Men I#245 (fb) - BTS) - Wolverine had visited Munden's Bar, and knew it as a good place as any to blow off steam.
X-Men I#245) - While the X-Men were hiding out in Australia and believed
dead by most of the world, the male members decided to alleviate their
cabin fever with a night out in their civilian identities. Wolverine
took Colossus, Longshot and Havok to Munden's, then in sync and blending
in with Sydney, Australia. While they were there, the extraterrestrial
alliance known as the Conquest invaded; when some of the Conquest forces
detected that Munden's was a nexus of "significant enhanced bioforms"
they entered to investigate, focusing on Longshot. Colossus came to his
teammate's rescue, and a fight ensued, which ended with the alien
warrior cadre defeated. Meanwhile the flying female aliens See-Cubed
targeted Longshot, but he won them over with his charming personality,
while Wolverine roped the Conquest's Lord Autarch into a poker game. The
Conquest's Strike Force Commander was shocked at his force's failings
when he arrived on the scene, but was convinced by Havok to take any
further combat outside of the bar to be settled.
Munden's Bar digital comic) - Suffering from insomnia, Morpheus the Lord
of Dreams visited Munden's, accompanied by his raven familiar Matthew.
To help him, Gordon mixed a Munden's nightcap, which knocked Morpheus
out within a second of downing it. Unfortunately, the now dreaming
Sandman suffered from night terrors, causing him to morph into an
African-American "butt kicking philosopher" in a leather trenchcoat, who
then wandered round the bar telling the confused patrons that no one
could be told "what the Matrix is." Returning to the counter, he asked
the disinterested Gordon to choose between a blue pill and a red pill.
Before Gordon could respond, a group of identical men wearing sunglasses
and ties popped into existence behind Morpheus and identified themselves
as Agent Smith. Ignoring Neo sitting at another table, Agent Smith(s)
Seeing that everybody was kung-fu fighting, a confused Gordon asked Matthew for an explanation, and the raven explained that Morpheus' field of dreams was expanding and had now sucked in some of the other patrons. Moments later, Matthew realized the field had now encompassed him too, and transformed into another kind of crow, Eric Draven. Watching Draven join the battle, the now annoyed Gordon told Bob the Watchlizard to get the blowgun. On the bar room floor, Morpheus and Draven suddenly changed into Nightmare and Dreamstalker, the first of whom told the "foolish mortals" present to tremble before the Lord of Nightmares. Before he could act on his threats, a dart laced with the distilled dregs from last month's coffee pot struck him on the back of the neck. Nightmare instantly transformed back into Morpheus and collapsed, out cold, while everything around him reverted to normal (as measured by Munden's scale of normal). Waking up refreshed moments later, Morpheus announced to Matthew that it was time to go, prompting Gordon to remind Morpheus there was a bill to pay. To Gordon's disbelief, Morpheus told him to put it on his tab, as he didn't carry cash, but before Gordon could explode, Matthew literally coughed up a mucous-covered coin. As he walked out the door, Morpheus asked Matthew if he should recommend the bar to his sister Death, thinking she might enjoy it. Hearing this, Gordon told Bob the bar was becoming trendy, and asked the room in general to "shoot me now."
Years of Puberty," Munden's Bar digital comic) - At Cynosure's North by
Northwest High School's prom, students including a Dalek, an Andorian,
the robots R2-D2, V.I.N.C.E.N.T. and Maximillian, the Herculoids Gloop
and Gleep, a Ferengi, M-113 Salt Vampire, Gorn, Mugatu, Cheron,
Talosian, Nausicaan, Balok and Melotian danced while a version of
Spider-Man watched Harry Osborn spike the punch (see comments).
However the prom had to be abandoned
when zombies overran it. While Buffy Summers, Spike, Rupert Giles,
Willow Rosenberg, Xander Harris and Chris Griffin dealt with the
intruders, other students headed to Munden's to hold an afterparty
attended by eternal teenager Andy Archins and his boyfriend Jiggs,
Andy's ex-girlfriends Betty Jean and Verotika and Andy's former love
rival Remy, as well as Sailor Moon, Norville "Shaggy" Rogers, Jeremy
Duncan, Beast Man and Orko, Captain
Gal and Weatherman,
E.T., a Jawa, Dengar the Executioner and Zuckuss, Cassie
Hack and her partner Vlad, and Gravity (Greg Willis).
Comments: Commander Rann and Marionette are
normal human size in the New Mutants I#50 bar scene, the only time this
is the case for any Micronaut until Bug turns up in the Annihilation
The simplest explanation for this would be that Munden's has synced both with 616's Earth dimension and the Microverse.
How do I know it was Zatara arguing
with Doctor Strange and not Mandrake the Magician, who also wears a top
hat and tuxedo? I don't for sure, but Mandrake normally also wears a
short cape and no visible tie, while Zatara wears no cape and a bow tie.
The lack of cape also rules out Timely's Monako.
"100 Years of Puberty" parodies Archie characters, in case you haven't already spotted that. At first I thought the Spider-Man in 100 Years of Puberty was just a kid in fancy dress for the prom, and presumed that was the case for all the other cameos from other fictions...
Then I (a) realized that the "normal"
characters like Betty Jean and co. were in tuxedos and prom dresses, so
it wasn't a fancy dress party; and (b) remembered that this is Cynosure,
where literally anyone can show up. So while it might not be 616 Spidey,
it was presumably at least an alternate reality Spider-Man.
The Gravity seen in Munden's is another
story; while some of the people there were students from the prom,
there's no reason to believe everyone was. Given Munden's history of
walk-ins from other realities, I'm happy to run with the assumption that
this was 616 Gravity.
(Nexus) - Horatio Valdemar Hellpop was the son of
Theodore Hellpop, once the dictator of the planet Vradic until a popular
uprising had overthrown him.
Fleeing Vradic with his wife, Theodore blew the planet up, killing over ten million of his former subjects. The Hellpop's ship was sucked through a black hole and stranded in a remote sector of space, where their son Horatio was born.
Raised in isolation without any knowledge of his father's crimes, Horatio was covertly influenced and modified as he grew up by the Merk, the last of an ancient alien species, who had stayed in Horatio's reality when the rest of his species transcended beyond corporeal form. Having chosen to sit in judgment of humanity, the Merk wanted to create an executioner who would eliminate mankind's worst mass murderers, so he began haunting Horatio's dreams with increasingly intense nightmares of those murderers' crimes, beginning with Theodore.
The Merk then then granted Horatio
superhuman powers - the ability to survive unaided in space and fly at
interstellar speeds, a protective forcefield, and lethal energy bolts
that could twist and bend round obstacles to hit their chosen target -
to facilitate the executions of his targets, the first of whom was
Theodore Hellpop himself.
Ever a reluctant assassin, Nexus, as he became known, nevertheless had little choice but to do as the Merk directed.
(New Mutants I#50) - Nexus was present on a fringeworld in Reality-616, where he watched Charles Xavier intervening in a slave auction that was trying to sell Magik of the New Mutants.
(Uncanny X-Men I#245) - In Reality-616 once again, Nexus and his friend Judah Maccabee were present among a smorgasbord of aliens om board the flagship of the Conquest as its leader announced they planned to invade Earth.
(Crossroads#5) - When Vanth Dreadstar visited Cynosure
and so came into range of the Merk's telepathic senses, Nexus was sent
to slay him, blowing up Munden's Bar during the pursuit.
Unimpressed, Grimjack assisted Dreadstar in luring Nexus to a zone of Cynosure where his superpowers were negated, then proceeded to pummel him. Luckily for Nexus, their mutual friend Judah Maccabee intervened, and once Nexus was informed of the circumstances behind Dreadstar's "crimes" he chose to disregard the Merk's orders and made amends with Dreadstar and Grimjack.
(The Gift) - The powerful entity Dys lured Nexus and others including Dreadstar to Cynosure, where they encountered Grimjack again and worked together to convince Dys not to destroy the multiverse.
(Sleeze Brothers#6) - On Earth-89547, Nexus and Judah attended a crowded conference
where the Dharmalama was scheduled to reveal a message from the Messiah,
squeezed into the venue alongside a Thanagarian Hawkman, mutant bounty
McNulty, Bugs Bunny, a Dalek,
Bungle and George, Gilbert
the Alien, Captain Britain (or another, similar looking, Corps
member), Judge Dredd, Spock, the Spirit (Denny Colt), the ghost Slimer,
an alien Xenomorph Queen, and the two-headed "Mad" John Carnell/Andy
"Fingers" Lanning, among many others.
Comments: Created by Mike Baron and
Steve "the Dude" Rude, Nexus debuted in Capital Comics' Nexus I#1
on January 1981.
After three issues, later
gathered as a graphic novel, he transferred to a new series with new #1
published by First Comics.
Like Grimjack, Nexus isn't
a stranger to reality hopping, having done so to encounter Dreadstar,
Grimjack, the Badger, Madman and Magnus, Robot Fighter, in full on
crossovers. Additionally, his own series had cameos from characters
belonging to other realities, including (relevant considering the next
subprofile) the Herculoids - so it's far from a stretch that Nexus could
have ended up in Munden's Bar when it phased into Reality-616, nor that
the Herculoids could have also been present when this occurred.
Nexus isn't the only
character from his reality to visit Marvel and Marvel-related titles;
his friend Judah Maccabee is not only present in Sleeze Brothers#6 and
Uncanny X-Men I#245, as noted above, but also has an additional cameo in
Sleeze Brothers: Some Like It Fresh at the interstellar shuttleport.
Nexus' associate Amphigory of Headworld is also at the shuttleport that
same issue, and has another cameo in Sleeze Brothers#5. Others present
at the aforementioned shuttleport include Spider-Man, Namor, the Thing,
the Hulk, Judge Dredd, the robot from Lost in Space, and someone who
might be Spock from Star Trek.
(Herculoids cartoon and related comics) - Zandor, Tara, their son Dorno, the malleable blob-like Gleep and Gloop, rock ape Igoo, space dragon Zok and dinosaur-like Tundro are the defenders of the planet Amzot (a.k.a. Quasar), taking on various threats to their homeworld and occasionally teaming up with other heroes such as Space Ghost, Birdman, Moby Dick, the Mighty Mightor and the Galaxy Trio.
(Hanna Barbera TV Stars#3) - The Herculoids stopped a warrior of the Abyx race from using rapidly multiplying maggot-like creatures to destroy all life on Amzot.
(New Mutants I#50) - Zandor, Tara, Dorno, Gleep, Gloop, Igoo and Tundro all visited a fringeworld in Reality-616. They were outside M'nden's Bar when Charles Xavier raced out and bumped passed them, having telepathically sensed his student Magik was in danger nearby. Gleep and Gloop then watched as he interrupted a slave auction that was attempting to sell her.
Comments: Created by Alex Toth, the Herculoids
debuted in the Hanna Barbera cartoon of the same name on September 9th
They later enjoyed new episodes as part of the Space Stars anthology cartoon in the early 1980s.
In comics, they've had various licensed
stories, notably appearing in Marvel's Hanna Barbera's TV Stars in 1978.
Having encountered other Hanna Barbera superheroes back in the 1960s
cartoons, in recent years they've been teamed up more frequently with
said heroes as part of DC's Future Quest comics.
really enjoyed the Herculoids cartoons. I used to annoy my parents and
brothers my mimicking the sounds made by Gleep and Gloop, and I loved
Igoo and Zok...what do you do when you're eyebeams aren't enough? Fire
another beam from your tail!
images: (without ads)
New Mutants I#50, p4, pan 5 (main "Haggard" image)
Grimjack Omnibus#1 (main Grimjack image)
Grimjack: Killer Instinct#6 (second Grimjack image)
Grimjack#24/4, p4, pan 3 (Grimjack remembering his siblings as Nick Fury, Joe Dredd and Jake Fury)
New Mutants I#50, p5, pan 1 (negotiating with Corsair and Binary)
Uncanny X-Men I#245, p9, pan3 (Grimjack on the left, X-Men on the right)
Grimjack#40 cover ("Chaney"/clone body)
What The--?!#2/4, p2, pan 5 (Grimjack walks by Doctor Deranged)
Grimjack#53, p18-19 (Grimjack's many lives)
Grimjack#55 cover (Jim Twilley)
New Mutants I#50, p3, pan 3 (M'nden's Bar, exterior)
Grimjack#27/2, p4, pan 1 (entrance to Marvel's Heaven)
Grimjack#38/2, p1, pan 1 (Iron Men in Munden's)
Grimjack#38/2, p2, pan 1 (Nude Mutants)
Grimjack#39/2, p1, pan 1 (Dr Strange in Munden's)
Uncanny X-Men I#245, p9, pan1 (Munden's in Australia)
Munden Bar's Annual#1 cover (Munden's interior, with Gordon, Grimjack and varied clientele)
Grimjack on ComicMix, p52, pan 3 (High School afterparty at Munden's)
New Mutants I#50, p6, pan3 (Nexus)
New Mutants I#50, p6, pan1 (Herculoids)
Future Quest#11 variant cover (Herculoids)
New Mutants I#50 (April 1987) - Chris Claremont (writer), Jackson Guice (pencils), John Beatty (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
What The--?!#2 (September 1988) - Peter B. Gillis (writer), Phil Foglio (artist), Carl Potts (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#245 (June 1989) - Chris Claremont (writer), Rob Liefeld (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
First Posted: 03/23/2019
Last updated: 04/17/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
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