Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Alternate reality (Earth-78423) human mutate technology user
Occupation: Cult leader; former scientist
Group Membership: Cult of Entropy (Cynthia, and four unidentified members)
Affiliations: An unidentified oil corporation (see below)
Enemies: Howard the Duck, Principle of Entropy, Beverly Switzler
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: The Leader
Base of Operations: The Dome of Eradication on the west bank of the Ashtabula River near Ashtabula, Ohio
First Appearance: Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip (August 5th, 1977)
Powers/Abilities: Due to the mutational powers of Gamma Radiation, the Leader constantly exuded fuel grade oil from the pores on his scarred and blackened face.
The Leader was a skilled scientist specializing in chemistry and physics and possessed a keen mind for inventing and engineering.
The Leader wore a white robe with a hood that covered his face. The robe seemed to be made out of a phosphorescent material that glowed in the dark making him appear ghostly. To distinguish himself as the leader, he had a circular green and a yellow snakelike design on the front and back. (See comments.)
The Leader created an Anti-Energy device that could temporarily empower himself and others with Anti-Energy by placing their hands within its many round recepticles. Once empowered they were able to negate all forms of energy, even from dormant objects that could produce energy such as unlit matches, gas and oil, life forces, kinetic motion, by absorbing it and later transferring it into the device. The device had a side effect on those who used it which changed their hands into an old and withered appearance. The Anti-Energy could also age a person (or duck) and could be reversed which caused the person doing so to become aged instead. When the device was destroyed, all energy it once absorbed returned to their original state and location from where it was taken from. For some unknown reason, nuclear energy could not be properly absorbed and would cause unforeseen mutation.
The Leader used an Egyptian style barge that could sail on water or fly swiftly through the air and was large enough to accommodate several people.
Height: Unrevealed (approximately 5'8")
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 150 lbs.)
(Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip September 16th - 18th, 1977 (fb) - BTS) - The man who would become the Leader was once the head scientist for a major oil company, creating artificial fossil fuels by bombarding dead cows with gamma radiation. The experiment literally blew up in his face scarring him badly and mutating his pores to constantly exude fuel grade oily sweat in the process. The company he worked for, realizing he would become a public relations problem, paid him a handsome stipend believing money would be enough to replace his ugliness and pay for his lack of a social life. No longer employed he went into exile. Wanting to tell his story, he explored every alternative such as contacting TV stations, but they were not interested and cared more about not endangering their gasoline advertisers. He even approached his congressman, but he was a lobbyist on the payroll of the oil companies. After trying all known avenues and having them simply slam their doors in his face he came to realize that the world did not wish to be saved and that man was unprepared for the inconvenience of truth that finite resources limits growth! Adopting the principle of entropy, he used his fortune to create an Anti-Energy device, his own flying barge, and a headquarters in an inverted observatory near Ashtabula, Ohio and recruited five young adults from a nearby college who shared his beliefs and formed the Cult of Entropy.
(Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip August 5th - 21st, 1977 - BTS) - Using his Anti-Energy device, he empowered his followers with the ability to negate energy by absorbing it and sent them out to spread his word. Sent to Cleveland, the Cult of Entropy began their task in negating and absorbing energy. One member of the Cult of Entropy met up with a speeding police car that was dispatched to the restaurant "Happiness is a Warm Hamburger" to end a brawl between Howard the Duck and the Kidney Lady. Standing in the middle of the road, with the police car about to hit him, the cultist pointed his withered finger and caused the car to suddenly halt in place without any power. The startled police officer exited the car and, in a panic, attempted to shoot his gun but the weapon ceased to function with the bullet simply falling to the ground.
A little time later, another member of the Cult of Entropy appeared on Howard and Beverly's street mumbling "we are born...we expend our energies...We die...as it does for men, so it does for worlds and cigars," and pointed his finger at a nearby Howard the Duck and extinguished his lit cigar and altering his matches making them unable to produce flame.
All through the night, vehicles and other powered devices began to systematically stop and become non-functional. During a live TV news broadcast, one cultist appeared and reduced the news anchor to a deathlike unconscious state by absorbing his life energy. The TV station then went off air as the cultist negated and absorbed the building's power.
After one of the Cultists told the Leader about his encounter with Howard, a cigar smoking duck, the intrigued leader sent them back to Cleveland to kidnap him.
Three cultists abducted Beverly Switzler as she was leaving her apartment and then captured Howard the Duck while he was trying to take a shower.
(Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip August 22nd - September 12th, 1977) - Howard was then brought aboard the cult's flying barge on the Cayuga River and paraded before their leader. The Leader began to explain his motives stating that the universe was running down, constantly expending energy and in time, none would be left for man to use. When that happened humankind would die a cold and painful death and that he meant to avert that catastrophe by destroying the world. The Leader, puzzled by who or what Howard was, questioned him as to his nature. Howard explained he was from another world and universe and became trapped on Earth when the Cosmic Axis temporarily malfunctioned. The unexpected revelation that other universes existed and that they couldn't destroy a billion, billion worlds left the cult in a quandary, unsure if their mission was in vain. The Leader believed the answer was simply to absorb more energy, enough to rend the fabric of reality and sent three of his followers to drain the power from a nearby nuclear power plant.
(Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip September 15th - 30th, 1977) - Howard and Beverly attempted to escape by making a loud racket inside their cell and confronted the Leader who came to see what was going on. Howard punched him in the face and proceeded to threaten him and he became a snivelling coward who rambled on about his origins to them. Using his story as a distraction, Howard and Beverly quickly exited the cell and closed and locked the Leader inside and began searching for a way out of the Dome of Eradication. While trying to escape, Cynthia, one of the members of the Cult of Entropy, discovered them. Angered, she used her Anti-Energy powers to age Howard into an elderly version of himself and threatened to do so to Beverly if they did not explain where the leader was. Returning to the cell where Howard and Beverly left the Leader, Cynthia, for the first time saw the leader's horrible oily face much to his embarrassment, and she revealed to him that the three cult members that went to drain the nearby nuclear power plant came back mutated when the radiation and Anti-Energy did not mix. The three members of the cult became mutated by the plant's radiation creating a single giant gestalt body and it returned to their leader claiming to now be the Principle of Entropy. Breaking a hole into the cell wall and ceiling, the Principle of Entropy grabbed the leader and they set out towards Cleveland while leaking deadly radiation. Howard then asked Cynthia to reverse his elderly state so he could help stop the giant from causing painful death due to its leaking radioactive emissions from its body. Cynthia used the Anti-Energy device at the risk of her own life and reversed Howard's aged appearance and slipped into an unconscious state. Howard and Beverly then took the Anti-Energy device and boarded the Leader's flying barge and raced to Cleveland. Flying above above the rampaging Principle of Entropy, together they dropped the device on top of the giant's head and the resulting impact caused the device to explode, disintegrating the Principle of Entropy, the leader and the Anti-Energy device saving Cleveland from disaster. With the destruction of the Anti-Energy device, all the absorbed power returned to its respective receptacles where it was drained from, restoring Cleveland's power.
Comments: Created by Steve Gerber and Gene Colan.
Steve Gerber may have liked the idea of a Cult of Entropy as he had also created a similar named one three years earlier in the pages of Marvel Two-in-One and Giant-Size Man-Thing. Maybe they are both related somehow or simply an alternate Earth parallel with different sets of history. This version had the Leader and the other featured Jude the Entropic Man. Could they both be the same person but from a different parallel Earth?
The unidentified oil company he once worked for was most likely to have been Roxxon.
The image on his robe was hard to define but appeared to represent possibly a snake eating itself. This symbol was of ancient Egyptian origin and called an Ouroboros and was used a mystical representation of the concept of death and rebirth. Other ancient religions and myths later shared this concept such as the Norse tale of the Midgard Serpent and Ragnarök, the biblical Leviathan, and even in Veddic (ancient Indian) texts and rituals.
Its ironic that he believed energy was slowly being used up and would no longer exist in the universe, yet his mutation allowed him to constantly create a near limitless amount of fuel grade oil from the pores on his face. He could have used his intellect to figure a way to mutate others with similar oil producing abilities as an endless supply of energy.
This story was a parody of the fuel crisis in the 1970's where much of the Western world experienced almost a decade of fuel shortages caused by a war in Israel and a revolution in Iran. These events caused economic instability in the Middle East that triggered constant interruptions in oil exports. Due to market uncertainty and the perceived demand for oil, the price became over inflated creating an even bigger crisis. You can learn more about the 1970's Energy Crisis here 1970s energy crisis - Wikipedia.
Profile by AvatarWarlord
The Leader of the Cult of Entropy has no known connections to:
Dome of Eradication
The Leader used his wealth to buy this inverted observatory that was located on the west bank of the Ashtabula River near Ashtabula Ohio and would later serve as the Cult of Entropy's base of operations.
--Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip September 4th - 28th 1977
The Leader designed and built an ancient Egyptian style barge that could both float on water and fly and was later used by the Cult of Entropy as their main mode of transportation. The Cult of Entropy had accesses to at least two.
--Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip August 22nd - 31st August, 1977, September 4th, 1977, September 28th - October 2nd, 1977
Images: (without ads)
Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip September 11th, 1977, pan2 (main image)
Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip September 18th, 1977, pan2 (face)
Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip August 28th, 1977, pan1 (questioning Howard)
Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip September 4th, 1977, pan1 (Flying Barge and Dome of Eradication)
Howard the Duck Newspaper Strip (August 22nd to September 30th, 1977) - Steve Gerber (writer), Gene Colan (pencils & inks).
First Posted: 04/02/2022
Last Updated: 04/08/2022
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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