Real Name: John "Johnny" Anvil

Identity/Class: Human extraterrestrial technology-user;
    true identity is publicly known;
    citizen of United States of America with a criminal record

Occupation: Security agent for Deterrence Research Corporation (DRC);
    formerly a
professional criminal;

Group Membership: Hammer and Anvil;
    the Deterrence Research Corporation

Affiliations: Leroy "Hammer" Jackson, Ivor Carlson, Chleee, DRC Mandroids;
    formerly Dr. Melloncamp

Enemies: Freaks (Gorilla Girl/Fahnbulla Eddy, Muck Monster, Six), Guardians of the Galaxy (Martinex T'Naga, Nikki/Nicholette Gold, Starhawk/Stakar/Aleta), Hulk (Bruce Banner), Dr. Melloncamp, Lawrence "Rap" Reynolds, Scourge of the Underworld (II), Amanda Sheridan, Samantha Sheridan, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew); unidentified prison guards;
    while he resented his father,
"Crackajack" Jackson, he didn't consider him an enemy, and his death was unintentional

Known Relatives: None

Aliases"Blondie." "Bright-Boy" (both from Hammer);
    "Flathead" (from Hulk
    "planet-dweller" (from Chlee)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    died in unspecified location in New Mexico desert, USA;
    formerly the Deterrence Research Corporation base, outside Los Angeles, California; possibly other DRC bases;
    formerly the Deterrence Research Corporation base, Manhattan, New York;
    formerly an unidentified prison, presumably in upstate New York (see comments);
    place of birth unrevealed

Education: High school dropout

First Appearance: Incredible Hulk II#182 (December, 1974)

anvil-johnny-h&a-spwm34-crackwhipPowers/Abilities: Without the energy synthecon, Anvil was a relatively large and muscular man, intensely exercising regularly to maintain his physique, and he was an experienced brawler (using basic street fighting techniques). He also had athletic speed, stamina, agility, and reflexes. Additionally, he was belligerent, responding violently to most challenges.

    The energy synthecon was a golden cable that linked Hammer's left wrist to Anvil's right wrist and seemed to vary or stretch in length from 8' to perhaps 15-20'. It drew power from all forms of kinetic energy around it (within an undefined radius), greatly increasing Hammer (and Anvil)'s strength and durability. 

    The degree to which the energy synthecon empowered Hammer and Anvil was directly proportional to the amount of kinetic energy it absorbed. The original synthecon, when sufficiently charged, allowed them to fight the vastly superhumanly strong (Class 100) Hulk. At other times, following reconstruction of the synthecon by terrestrial scientists, they struggled against the likes of Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, and even Muck-Monster and Gorilla-Girl (presumably due to the brief confrontation in a remote location with lower-powered opponents).

    The Master Edition entry on Hammer listed his strength at Superhuman Class 90, which means lifting somewhere between 75-90 tons)

    While its energies granted great superhuman strength to its wearers, it was painful and potentially fatal on contact by normal humans (fatal at least to the older Crackajack Jackson, who may or may not have been in good health), independent of the will or the desire of its wearers (or perhaps subconsciously influenced by its wearer's or wearers' desires). Superhuman beings like Spider-Woman or even the Hulk were severely pained to touch the synthecon, although they could overcome with pain via willpower.

    Hammer and Anvil frequently used the synthecon in combat, tripping or clotheslining (catching them across the neck) a foe; "cracking the whip," with one of them swinging the other to strike a great speed and force, like a whip; or to restrain or choke another being.

    The synthecon as originally created by Chlee also psychically linked Hammer and Anvil, and its destruction rendered them virtually/temporarily insane. When rebuilt by Deterrence Research Corporation (DRC) scientists, this psychic link was removed, and incapacitating or destroying the synthecon only deprived Hammer and Anvil of its power. However, in its final incarnation, the synthecon actually linked Hammer and Anvil's life forces.

Height: 6'2"
Weight: 215 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blond



(Incredible Hulk II#182 (fb) - BTS) - Anvil was imprisoned in a (presumably New York) "state prison" (see comments).

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#17?) - At some point, Anvil was assigned to a chain gang.

(Incredible Hulk II#182 (fb) - BTS) - An unidentified person in the prison's administration with a perverse sense of humor thought it would be funny to chain Johnny Anvil, a white man who hated black people to "Hammer" Jackson, whom they perceived as a black man who hated everything. However, their combined hatred helped them escape; in the process. A search party was sent out after Hammer and Anvil.

(Incredible Hulk II#182) - Two hours later, Hammer urged Anvil to move his feet and prove his belief that he was better, but Anvil argued that they had lost the search party two hours earlier. When Anvil angrily continued that while neither of them liked being chained together, they were in this together, Hammer began to threaten what he would do if Anvil spoke that way to him again.

    However, they were then distracted by the form of Chlee (although he did not identify himself at the time), of the extraterrestrial Glx race, who was injured and beseeched/besought their aid. Not trusting the alien, Hammer shot him four times with the gun he had stolen from a guard. However, as Glx's race absorbed metal to survive, this intended assault ironically saved Chlee's life.

    Thanking the two "planet-dwellers" for preventing his termination (and apparently not appreciating Hammer's intent), Chlee sought to repay their generosity by using his molecular transfuser to transform their drab chain (which Chlee assumed to be adornments) into an "energy-synthicon" (see comment). 


anvil-johnny-h&a-ih182-hulksammyHammer and Anvil were originally furious that they were still chained together in some manner, but Chlee informed them that it was no longer a shackle, and he demonstrated its power by convincing them to run the energy-synthicon through a large tree. When their reluctant rush led to their bodies charging with energy and the synthecon slicing through at least a couple feet of solid wood, both men were convinced, after which they saw Chlee's ship take off, as he had departed during their jubilation.

    With both men wishing revenge on their former prison's staff, Hammer and Anvil rushed back there.

(Incredible Hulk II#182 - BTS) - Hammer and Anvil began assaulting the prison. 

(Incredible Hulk II#182 - BTS) - The Hulk helped his new friend Crackajack Jackson (Hammer's father) enter the otherwise blocked off prison.

(Incredible Hulk II#182) - As the guards futilely struggled against Hammer and Anvil, the Hulk arrived with Crackajack. When Crackajack desperately rushed forward and accidentally grasped the synthecon, he was instantly killed.

    Seeing the death of his friend, the Hulk angrily shouted at Hammer; and despite Anvil's advising getting drawn into a fight with the Hulk, Hammer
furiously challenged the Hulk for talking to him thusly. The Hulk then rushed forward and punched both Hammer and Anvil, but when they took the blow and remained standing, they resolved to prove they were tougher. As Hammer held the Hulk's neck, Anvil slammed into the Hulk, but the green goliath insisted that they were strong, but that he was stronger. In response, Hammer and Anvil wrapped the synthecon around the Hulk and hurled him into and through a stone wall.


    When the Hulk smashed the ground with his fists and knocked them both into the air, Anvil told a concerned Hammer to keep cool and that no one was as strong as they were as long as they wore the chain. In response, the Hulk tried to break the chain, but when he grabbed it, its energies burned him enough to make him let go. Hammer and Anvil then wrapped the synthecon around the Hulk's neck, and they pulled with all their might. However, as he gasped for breath, the Hulk recalled his fallen friend Crackajack, and he grew angrier and stronger as he pulled on the synthecon. Hammer and Anvil continued to pull harder to match the Hulk's efforts, until finally the synthecon shattered, and -- having been psychically linked as well as physically by the synthecon -- Hammer and Anvil screamed in agony on the brink of madness.

(Marvel Team-Up I#86 (fb) - BTS) - Recovering from "nearly having their brains fried," the powerless Hammer and Anvil were sent back to prison. anvil-johnny-h&a-mtu86-powerless

    Ivor Carlson, the head of the
Deterrence Research Corporation. (successor to Moses Magnum), having heard that Hammer and Anvil were "the best" at what they did and would serve as excellent agents for the DRC, arranged their release from prison.

    Hammer and Anvil served as powerless security agents for the DRC, while -- unbeknownst to them -- DRC scientists either repaired or recreated the synthecon, altering it so that it only linked Hammer and Anvil physically and not psychically, so that they could remove it whenever and as often as they wished.

    After Lawrence "Rap" Reynolds obtained photographic evidence of the DRC's plans to raid Drydock, the ship of Earth-691's 31st century Guardians of the Galaxy then stationed in Earth-616's modern orbit (as well as footage of the Guardian Martinex, who was there to erase evidence of the Guardians' presence in modern times), Hammer and Anvil responded to an alarm set off by Reynolds. As Reynold hid under a desk, Anvil checked the room and reported it as empty to Jackson.

(Marvel Team-Up I#86) - Anvil encountered Reynolds as he fled the DRC building, tore off his videotape backpack, and announced his intention to bring Reynolds to his superiors. However, Spider-Man, who was investigating the DRC and had seen Reynolds activities and flight from security, then arrived and webbed Anvil to the wall.

    After being released from Spider-Man's webbing (either an hour after being webbed up when it dissolved, or if otherwise freed somehow by DRC agents), Anvil, along with Hammer, met with Carlson, telling him he would have had Reynolds if Spider-Man hadn't butted in. Offering a chance at redemption, Carlson then revealed the rebuilt or recreated synthecon, assuring Hammer and Anvil of the new version's safety while still providing the same level of power.

(Marvel Team-Up I#86 (fb) - BTS) - Hammer and Anvil accepted the synthecon, as well as donning DRC-designed costumes, and Carlson presumably sent them to bring in Spider-Man.

(Marvel Team-Up I#86) - Shortly thereafter, Hammer and Anvil attempted to clothesline Spider-Man as he swung by in search of Reynolds (as he was working to aid the Guardians' efforts to erase evidence of their presence and to oppose the DRC's plot against them). Spider-Man's danger sense enabled him to evade the synthecon, but the pair caught him in midair and punched him out.

(Marvel Team-Up I#86 (fb) - BTS) - Hammer and Anvil brought Spider-Man into the DRC facility, where his hands and feet were manacled (and...pedicled?) to the wall.

anvil-johnny-h&a-mtu86-trip-nikki(Marvel Team-Up I#86) - Hammer and Anvil were present as Carlson (behind a semi-opaque barrier) related plans to learning his identity and the source of his power and killing him. However, as Carlson instructed Anvil to remove Spider-Man's mask (why wouldn't they have done that as soon as he was bound, rather than waiting for him to recover?), Anvil was distracted by some assault against the far wall. Seconds later, the Guardians' Martinex, Nikki, and Starhawk burst in, having already destroyed the DRC's recordings on Drydock. Hammer and Anvil tripped Nikki with their synthecon, but as she fell, she blasted Spider-Man's restraints, freeing him.

    While Anvil punched back Starhawk, Spider-Man stunned Hammer with one of his strongest punches, after which Anvil "cracked the whip," using the synthecon to swing Hammer into Spider-Man and Nikki. Deducing and announcing the chain to be the source of their foes' power, Starhawk blasted Anvil, paining him. As Anvil turned to attack Starhawk, Martinex fired a frigid blast that swiftly lowered the synthecon's temperature toward absolute zero, after which Spider-Man capitalized on its brittle state, snagging the synthecon with a web and then yanking it, causing it to shatter.

(Marvel Team-Up I#86 (fb) - BTS) - Hammer and Anvil were swiftly subdued, and Spider-Man webbed up their hands and feet. Martinex then used his "psi-comp" to ensure Hammer and Anvil would have no memory of the Guardians (or Spider-Man for that matter).

(Marvel Team-Up I#86) - Hammer and Anvil sat with their heads down, either dejected on unconscious as Spider-Man and the three Guardians discussed matters before departing.

(Marvel Tales (II) Featuring Spider-Man#256/2 (fb) - BTS) - Dr. Melloncamp rebuilt the energy synthecon, restoring Hammer and Anvil's powers and allegedly saving their lives.

    At some point, Melloncamp fled from Hammer and Anvil. Wishing to keep her around in case they needed her to restore the synthicon again, they pursued her.

(Marvel Tales (II) Featuring Spider-Man#256/2) - Hammer and Anvil caught up to Dr. Melloncamp just after she had encountered the Freaks, who had formerly served in a circus freakshow until being liberated by Spider-Man (Peter Parker) and Ghost Rider (John Blaze/Zarathos). As the duo tried to abduct Dr. Melloncamp, Six surprised both men by covering their eyes, only for Anvil to cast him away.

    Appearing nude in her human form, Fahnbulla Eddy (aka Gorilla-Girl) distracted both criminals, and Muck-Monster punched out Anvil, after which Fahnbulla returned to her Gorilla-Girl form and punched out Hammer.

(Spider-Woman I#34 (fb) - BTS) - The DRC presumably rebuilt Hammer and Anvil's synthecon again. anvil-johnny-h&a-spwm34

(Spider-Woman I#34 (fb) - BTS) - Seeking to takeover Sheridan Industries, the DRC sent Hammer and Anvil to abduct CEO Amanda Sheridan so she could not prevent their intended takeover at the next board meeting.

(Spider-Woman I#34 (fb) - BTS) - Spider-Woman's crime-fighting associate Scotty McDowell learned of the intended Sheridan kidnapping, of which he informed Spider-Woman, although he was unaware that the would-be kidnappers had superhuman powers.

(Spider-Woman I#34 (fb) - BTS) - Hammer and Anvil assaulted the Rolls-Royce carrying Amanda Sheridan and her granddaughter, Samantha.

(Spider-Woman I#34) - As Hammer and Anvil enjoyed tearing apart Amanda Sheridan's Rolls-Royce, Spider-Woman spotted them, swooped down, and knocked Anvil off his feet, although she felt like she had run into a brick wall (she had been weakened by taking medication to suppress her pheromone powers). Hammer hurled a chunk of the Rolls at Spider-Woman, and after she dodged this, Anvil "cracked the whip," swinging Hammer at her. She narrowly dodged this, but Anvil was then able to tag her with a punch while the two criminals mocked women's lib, as it meant that women could get punched out like men. When Hammer and Anvil prepared to take both Amanda and her granddaughter, Samantha, Spider-Woman sent a venom blast into the synthecon, paining both criminals. Hammer was ready to kill Spider-Woman, but Anvil wrapped the synthecon around Amanda and reminded Hammer that they were under orders. Spider-Woman was forced to watch helplessly as Hammer and Anvil departed with Amanda on a hovercraft.

(Spider-Woman I#34 - BTS) - As Anvil had dropped his DRC electronic ID card, Samantha's suspicions of who had arranged the abduction were confirmed. She shared her grandmother's history with the DRC and their goals in kidnapping her.

(Spider-Woman I#34 - BTS) - Scotty McDowell gathered information on the DRC for Spider-Woman and created an ID card for her based on Anvil's. Using this ID, Jessica Drew infiltrated the DRC facility as Ariadne Hyde and sought out Amanda Sheridan.

(Spider-Woman I#34) - Hammer ambushed Spider-Woman, after which he and Anvil clotheslined her with their synthecon. When they tried to use their "crack the whip" assault again, however, Spider-Woman anticipated it, sidestepped the approaching Anvil, anchored herself and judo-tossed him while jerking Hammer off of his feet; as a result, when Anvil flew though a wall, Hammer was pulled after him, and they fell 18 stories.

    As Spider-Woman fled the DRC facility with Amanda, Hammer and Anvil joined a number of Mandroids in assaulting them, slingshotting a boulder at Spider-Woman and causing her to temporarily drop Amanda. Fighting back and stunning the pair with venom blasts, Spider-Woman correctly reasoned the synthecon to be the source of their powers. She then grabbed the synthecon and was immediately wracked with excruciating pain, but she focused past this and projected her bio-electric venom blast energy into the synthecon, ultimately overwhelming the synthecon and rendering it inert. She then swung the de-powered Hammer and Anvil into each other, knocking both men out, after which she took Amanda to foil the DRC's efforts at the Sheridan Industries' board meeting.

(Marvel Fanfare I#29 (fb) - BTS) - Hammer and Anvil received/adopted new costumes, featuring hammer and anvil images, respectively.

anvil-johnny-h&a-marvfan-emblem (Marvel Fanfare I#29 (fb) - BTS) - Targeting Hammer and Anvil, the Scourge of the Underworld ("Scourge II") impersonated a Native American and arranged an encounter with the virtually mindless Hulk (whose Banner persona had submerged itself) in a part of New Mexico's desert land and had information sent to Hammer and Anvil so they would come seeking vengeance.

Marvel Fanfare I#29) - Arriving and finding the Hulk in a virtual trance via Scourge's neuro-tranquilizing vapors, Hammer and Anvil sneaked up behind the Hulk, wrapped their energy synthecon around his neck, and began strangling him. Wishing to return to his previously tranquil state, the Hulk pulled the synthecon off his neck, tossing Hammer and Anvil over his head.anvil-johnny-h&a-marvfan-death

    However, as Hammer and Anvil struggled to get to their feet, Scourge shot and killed Hammer. Anvil picked up and hugged Hammer's corpse, as if trying to hold his life in, and noted how the chain linked them together like they were one being, noting "an' if Hammer dies..." he collapsed atop Hammer as he voiced, "Anvil...dies...too..."

Comments: Created by Len Wein and Herb Trimpe.

    Hammer and Anvil encountered the Hulk shortly after his first encounter with Wolverine, which took place in Quebec, Canada. After being briefly gassed, captured and flown through the air, the Hulk had broken free and escaped, aimlessly wandering for a day, and "the province of Quebec <was> soon lost in the distance. That's when he encountered Crackajack, who was in a wooded area en route to see his son in prison. They then made their way to the "state prison," where they encountered Hammer and Anvil, who were returning to use their new powers to punish their former guards. As far as I know, it was never spelled out where this prison was. If the Hulk is leaping, he can cover a mile in a single jump and cover a lot of ground quickly, but if he's just walking, which is what "wandering aimlessly" implies to me, I wouldn't think he'd go more than perhaps a dozen or perhaps as much as a few dozen miles.

    Perhaps it was Clinton Correctional Facility, above, in Dannemora, N.Y. The maximum-security prison is about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of the Canada-U.S. border between Quebec and New York state.

    Per New York/Philadelphia/Physics/Aunt May expert Spider-Mike: The Upstate Correctional Facility in Malone, NY is closer to the border, and was considered the first NY Supermax prison.  However, it is further west than Clinton.

    Chlee called the device he created an "energy-synthicon." Ivor Carlson of the DRC called the version they repaired or recreated an "energy synthecon. The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#17 entry on Hammer and Anvil calls it an energy synthecon, as does Hammer's Master Edition#4 entry and Anvil's Master Edition#26 entry, although the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#15: Appendix to Alien Races: Glx entry calls it an "energy synthicon" (without the hyphen).
    "Energy synthecon" is the most popular usage, even though "energy-synthicon" was the precedent.

    Starhawk said that the psi-comp would remove Hammer and Anvil's memory of Spider-Man, but they noted that he had destroyed their synthecon in Marvel Tales I#256/2. Perhaps Carlson and or others witnessed his involvement and told them later...or there were recordings the Guardians didn't get...or perhaps waking up with their hands and feet webbed up gave it away...

    Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#17: Hammer and Anvil entry noted that the DRC repaired the synthecon after Spider-Man had shattered it, while the subsequent Marvel Tales I#256/2 story stated the Dr. Melloncamp had restored the the synthecon. Since Hammer and Anvil were working for the DRC in both the stories before and after Marvel Tales I#256, it makes logical since that Dr. Melloncamp worked for the DRC.

    Apparently the last time the synthecon was rebuilt, it linked their life forces...

    Hammer is certainly more powerfully built than Anvil, and he's reported as an inch taller. I think the 5 lbs. difference between the two is underestimated, but there may be other reasons why their weights are closer. The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#17: Hammer and Anvil entry shows Anvil to be at least 2-3 inches taller than Hammer, despite the opposite being the case. hammer-jackson-h&a-ohotmude17

Location of Hammer and Anvil's deaths:

This profile was completed 2/10/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.

Profile by Snood.

should be distinguished from:

images: (without ads)

Incredible Hulk II#182, pg. 5, panel 1 (pre-powering Hammer and Anvil; chained);
       pg. 6, panel 7 (chain transforming into energy-synthicon);
       pg. 14, panel 1 (Anvil slamming into Hulk);
            panel 4 (slinging Hulk)

Marvel Team-Up I#86, pg. 6, panel 7 (Anvil in security uniform);
        pg. 14, panel 4 (tripping Nikki);
        pg. 15, panel 2 & 3 (Anvil cracking the whip; Hammer hitting Spider-Man and Nikki);
Marvel Tales (II) Featuring Spider-Man#256/2, pg. 3, panel 1 (ambushing Freaks)
Spider-Woman I#34, pg. 2 (crack the whip, swinging Hammer into Spider-Woman)
        pg. 3, panel 1 (Anvil punching out Spider-Woman);
Marvel Fanfare I#29, pg. 17 (thrown on back by Hulk);
       pg. 20 (falling dead on top of Hammer);
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition#26: Anvil entry

Incredible Hulk II#182 (December, 1974) - Len Wein (writer), Herb Trimpe (artist), Roy Thomas (editor)anvil-johnny-h&a-otmume26
Marvel Team-Up I#86 (October, 1979) - Chris Claremont (writer), Bob McLeod (artist), Allen Milgrom (editor)
Spider-Woman I#34 (January, 1981) - Chris Claremont (writer/co-plotter), Steve Leialoha (penciler/co-plotter), Patterson & Al Milgrom (inkers), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Marvel Fanfare I#29 (November, 1986) - John Byrne (writer/artist), Al Milgrom (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#17: Hammer and Anvil entry (August, 1987) - Peter Sanderson (writer/researcher), Kevin McGuire (penciler), Josef Rubinstein (inker), Gregory Wright (assistant editor), Marcy Siry & David Wohl (editorial assistant), Mark Gruenwald (editor/designer)
Marvel Tales (II) Featuring Spider-Man#256/2 (December, 1991) - Scott Lobdell (plot), Dan Slott (script), Mark Pacella (penciler), Dan Panosian (inker), Kelly Corvese (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition#26 (December, 1992) - Glenn Herdling, Peter Sanderson, & Murray Ward (writers), Keith Pollard (penciler), Josef Rubinstein (inker), Mindy Newell (assistant editor), Tom Brevoort (editor), Mark Gruenwald (senior executive editor)

First posted: 09/26/2021
Last updated: 09/25/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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