REMOVAL MAN

Real Name: Max Blanc 

Identity/Class: Unrevealed 

Occupation: Assassin 

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Mys-Tech, Oonagh Mullarkey, Scrueman

Enemies: Fantastic FiveFour, Killpower, Motormouth 

Known Relatives: None 

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed 

First Appearance: (Announced) Comics International#35 (September 1993);
    (cover cameo) Body Count (October 1993)

Powers/Abilities: Removal Man eats existence, allowing him to remove people, items and even memories from existence. He apparently can't remove a target in a single go, but instead nibbles away at their life, stripping away pieces of their past until gradually everyone forgets them; the target themselves don't seem to lose the memories or notice that parts of their lives are vanishing unless they interact with someone who should know them but no longer does. He also can't eliminate things at a distance, needing to touch something relevant for his powers to work; thus he can eliminate someone's time at school via their school photos, or their memory in whole or part by touching their head.

    He can fly, and change between a human-looking form and one that appears to be composed of energy/concept/thought (?), which may be his true form. When using his removal powers, his hands extend into talons made of the same energy. 

Height: Unrevealed
Weight: Unrevealed
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: (Human form) black; (energy form) none 

History:
(Removal Man vs. Motormouth#1) - Removal Man is an assassin who eats existence itself, killing his victims by eliminating them piecemeal from the timestream until they never existed in the first place. Apparently a being of energy or concept alone, he claims he has no real appearance and is literally nothing, with whatever form others perceive being because others expect it of him. 

(Removal Man vs. Motormouth#1 (fb) - BTS) - Removal Man may once have been human, though he tries to keep this a secret. One of his proudest achievements was eliminating one of the Fantastic Five, turning them into the Fantastic Four. Mys-Tech used him as an assassin of last resort, since even they hesitated to mess around with the timeline.

(Removal Man vs. Motormouth#1-2) - Believing she could regain control over her errant creation Killpower if only the bad influence of his partner Motormouth was removed, Mys-Tech's Oonagh Mullarkey instructed their agent Scrueman to eliminate the girl. When he found himself unable to kill Motormouth, he turned to Mys-Tech's assassin of last resort, Removal Man.

    Scrueman was surprised to see an apparently normal human, admitting he had been told by others that Removal Man was of horrific appearance, but Removal Man dismissively informed him that he had no appearance, only looking as he did because Scrueman expected it of him.

    Elaborating, he added that truly he was nothing, a complete waste of space like Scrueman, or like all "us" humans. Scrueman gleefully seized on this nugget of information, taunting Removal Man for admitting that he was actually human; realizing his comment was a careless slip, Removal Man immediately ate the memories of the last few seconds from Scrueman's mind, resetting Scrueman to the point where he first commented on Removal Man's appearance not being horrific.

    This time Removal Man replied that he was as horrible as he needed to be, and that he didn't need to be while talking to Scrueman, who was quite horrible enough for both of them. His proximity to Scrueman and his unholy fanaticism triggered Removal Man's "removal frenzy" and for a few seconds he revealed his energy form, lunging at Scrueman as if to feed more, but then he regained control and pulled back into his human form.

    A shaken Scrueman queried what motivated a being like Removal Man, who responded simply that everyone needed to eat, and his food was existence. Removal Man asked if Scrueman had heard of the Fantastic Five; Scrueman corrected him, pointing out that it was the Fantastic Four, and a smirking Removal Man retorted that was one of his finest jobs. Scrueman then enquired what the price would be, but Removal Man informed him that no one could know the price until the job was over, and set off to eliminate Motormouth.

   The temporal killer began by removing the "drab minutia of detail," visiting Motormouth's former school to remove her from school photos and records. Initially unaware of this, Motormouth's first warning was when old friends started acting like they had never met her before.

    Eventually Removal Man caught up with Killpower, but found him too powerful to take on for long; Removal Man swiftly drained Killpower's mind dry and left him to run amuck. Motormouth ran into her rampaging friend, and presumably managed to subdue him. Despite Removal Man's skill at what he did, he ultimately failed to eliminate Motormouth, who somehow turned the tables on him so that he ended up being wiped from existence himself.  

Comments: Created by Glenn Dakin (writer), Pedro Espinosa (pencils) and Tim Perkins (inks).

   Removal Man vs. Motormouth was one of many projects planned by Marvel UK in 1993 that were delayed and then ultimately cancelled when the comics market collapsed late in that year. The project was announced in Comics International#35 (September 1993), noting it was due to ship on November 9th 1993, and he appeared on the cover of Marvel U.K.'s promotional title Body Count (see the Alan Davis artwork below - unfortunately he was in the top corner, so he's largely obscured by the book's title). Then Comic World#22 (cover dated December 1993, but presumably released circa October 1993) announced that it was one of the titles being delayed by Marvel U.K.'s financial woes. The first issue was fully drawn and lettered when the plug was pulled.

   Giving credit where credit is due: Though I'd read a little about the lost Marvel U.K projects in solicitations in the comics and comic news magazines back in 1993, I first learned more about them from the excellent blog Starlogged. This profile was put together with information from there, articles on Down The Tubes, and from interviews I did with creators for an entry on the lost projects for Eaglemoss' Marvel Fact Files. Space constraints for the Fact Files entries meant I could only use a tiny fraction of what was so kindly provided, so this and similar Appendix entries are a way of hopefully addressing that injustice, letting fans know more about some of the fun characters and concepts that were in the works. I have zero clue how the rights issues now lie, but assuming those wouldn't be a problem, I'd love to see all these characters eventually make it into proper publication; I want to read these stories!

   Glenn Dakin informed me "This was a two-issue tale, centered around a new villain, MAX BLANC the Removal Man. He had the power to remove people from time, as if they had never existed. MyS-TECH only used him in a real emergency, as messing around with the timeline is nuts. I have copies of the lettered art for the whole first issue, which got to colour mark-up stage before being abandoned. I can't recall the artist's name, but will show it to John Tomlinson, who might recognize the style. As I recall, Paul Neary didn't like the way it was turning out, so it was put on one side… (Things didn't tend to return from that side!)"

   I suspect a list of his victims might include Golden Grenadier, Slaughter, Killfrenzy, Warhide, Ripwire, Officer Outbody, Starhawk, Cougar, Decathlon, S.T.O.M.P., Heavy Weapon, Red Squirrel Man, Captain Anglia and Captain Kingdom. Never heard of them? Of course you haven't - Removal Man is that good.

    I have to wonder if Removal Man is an aspect/avatar of the Un-Being.

Profile by Loki.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Removal Man has no known connections to:

Scrueman has no known connections to:


Scrueman

   

    Scrueman was an insane Dickensian debt collector who handled Mys-Tech's most lost causes, such as trying to assassinate Motormouth. He wore some sort of mechanical brace and had a metal skull cap, possibly hinting at steampunk-era bionics, presumably because of his advanced age. Most of Mys-Tech feared him, apart from Oonagh Mullarkey, who openly disparaged him as an "old bloodsucker"; even the board members were surprised at her boldness in this, noting that she was the only human who dared to talk about Scrueman this way. 

   

    He normally eliminated targets very quickly, to the point where his failing to slay Motormouth after five days was considered exceptional. As a result, Scrueman hired Removal Man to eliminate Motormouth, though he clearly had not personally met that assassin before (or didn't remember it, thanks to Removal Man's powers).

   

--Removal Man vs. Motormouth#1

   


images: (without ads)
Removal Man#1, p14-15, pan 1 (main image)
Removal Man#1, p15, pan3 (headshot, talking to Scrueman)
Removal Man#1, p13, pan3 (removing Scrueman's memories)
Removal Man#1, p13, pan2 (manifesting talons)
Removal Man#1, p21, pan1 (flying in energy form, battling Killpower)
Body Count cover (Removal Man in energy form and in color)
Removal Man#1, p14-15, pan 1 (Scrueman body shot)
Removal Man#1, p15, pan 4 (Scrueman side headshot)
Removal Man#1, p13, pan 4 (Scrueman front headshot)


Appearances:
Body Count (October 1993) - Alan Davis (cover artist)


First Posted: 01/30/2019
Last updated: 01/30/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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