LUDDITES

Membership: General Ludd (leader), Brother Basil, Brother Nigel, Brother Seraph (Reggie Bitters), Brother William, others

Purpose: Destroy modern technology

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Sybil Carmichal, Iron Man (Tony Stark), James Rhodes

Base of Operations: A derelict castle in a country wood somewhere in England

Aliases: None

First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes III#14/1 (July, 1993)

History:
(Marvel Super-Heroes III#14/1 (fb) - BTS) - Founded in 1811 during the industrial revolution, the Luddites fabricated that the original Ned Ludd led them in their mission to force a halt to mechanization and get the jobs back they had lost. 

    They ultimately failed (see comments).

(Marvel Super-Heroes III#14/1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point a man calling himself General Ludd founded a modern version of the Luddites. He found followers like a former R.A.F. pilot, who saw three of his mates die when an experimental V.T.O.L. (Vertical Take Off and Landing) plane crashed.

(Marvel Super-Heroes III#14/1 (fb) ) - A passing Luddite witnessed Reggie Bitters, who had been mutated in an experiment by Conrad Aviation, being humiliated when his out-of-control powers caused a soda machine to malfunction. Bitters soon joined the ranks of the Luddites as Brother Seraph.

(Marvel Super-Heroes III#14/1) - At night, General Ludd led the Luddites to the Royal Science Exposition in England. Brother Seraph used his powers to short-circuit an electric fence's circuit box. Brother Nigel then used a wirecutter to cut through the fence. They then attacked the guards outside Stark International's exhibit building before storming the building with guns blazing. Stark diverted a grenade tossed by Ludd with his briefcase and then used the smoke created by a fire to suit up and attack the fleeing Luddites outside as Iron Man. When he got hold of Brother Seraph, whom he believed to be their leader because he was dressed differently, Seraph used his powers to shut off Iron Man's armor. Following this the Luddites escaped in their van.

   Arriving at their hideout, the Luddites handed in their weapons, and Seraph got into a discussion with General Ludd. Seraph considered it hypocritical that they used weapons and a van, but Ludd explained to him that they only used the power of these technologies against technology because they had to. In Ludd's opinion, not using technology against technology caused the original Luddites in 1811 to fail during the industrial revolution. Ludd felt certain that the involvement of Iron Man would be no problem because of Seraph's powers.

   General Ludd and Brother Seraph arrived at a private airfield outside London with a truck filled with Luddites. Ludd claimed he wanted to film Conrad Aviation's new hovercraft, but he was not allowed to enter. Seraph used his powers to force open the gate while Ludd knocked out the guard. The Luddites drove to the hovercraft, where they forced a group of scientists into the back of their truck before rendering them unconscious with sleeping gas. The Luddites then took control over the hovercraft, which a former R.A.F. pilot among them flew to Stark International's presentation of the Sensonic Drill. During the flight, Ludd asked Brother William to keep an eye on Brother Seraph because he was acting weirdly.

   When the Luddites arrived, they attacked the crowd with guns, but once again Iron Man attacked them. Brother Seraph hijacked an experimental riot control rig to overpower Iron Man, who blasted the rig with a repulsor ray. While Iron Man's James Rhodes took control over the abandoned hovercraft, Iron Man faced off with Brother Seraph one on one. Seraph used the Sensonic Drill against Iron Man until Rhodes crashed into the stage, destroying the drill in the process. Buried under debris, Iron Man seemed helpless when Brother Seraph approached him, but he projected a counter-magnetic field to negate Seraph's powers and then knocked him out with a single punch to the face.
    Meanwhile Ludd tried to escape in a car, but he couldn't get it started. The police arrested him and the other members of the Luddites.

Comments: Created by David Michelinie, Brian Bauer, Bob McLeod, Ralph Cabrera & Jim Amash.

    The original Luddites referred to in this story were a radical 19th century organization, who opposed new technologies. To protest against textile manufacturers who used machines, they destroyed said machinery because many of them owned textile workshops themselves and lost their livelihoods when factories, which required fewer workers due to the use of machinery, could sell the same products they produced far cheaper. Luddites became a term for people opposing new technologies.

    The Luddites named themselves after Ned Ludd, a weaver from Ansley, who allegedly destroyed two stocking frames in a fit of rage in 1779. He had no actual association to the Luddites, who were founded in the 1810s and appropriated his name.

    Sybil Carmichal, who appeared in this story, also appeared in Iron Man I#136 (July, 1980). On the Marvel Chronology Project this story was placed within the events of this issue.

    This profile was completed 01/10/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary's celebratory event.

Profile by Markus Raymond.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Luddites should not be confused with:

Brother Seraph (Reggie Bitters) should not be confused with:


General Ludd

(Marvel Super-Heroes III#14/1 (fb) - BTS) - A man calling himself General Ludd founded a modern version of the Luddites in the modern era. Over time he was joined by the likes of a former R.A.F. pilot, a failed Conrad Aviation test subjects, and others.

(Marvel Super-Heroes III#14/1) - At night General Ludd led the Luddites in an attack on the Stark International exhibit building at Royal Science Exposition. A grenade tossed by Ludd was diverted by a briefcase carried by Tony Stark, who used the fire caused by the grenade to put on his Iron Man armor and force the Luddites to flee. They only managed to escape because Brother Seraph shut down Iron Man's armor.

   Back at their base General Ludd got into a discussion with Brother Seraph, who considered their use of technology hypocritical, but Ludd defended the use of technology as necessary to defeat technology. Ludd was also sure that Iron Man's involvement could easily be countered by Brother Seraph.

   The next night Ludd and Seraph tried to gain entrance to a private airfield outside London. Ludd claimed he wanted to film Conrad Aviation's new hovercraft, but the guard didn't allow him in and told him to take pictures at the hovercraft's presentation at the science expo. Ludd knocked out the guard after Seraph opened the gate with his powers. Ludd led the Luddites to hijack the hovercraft and asked one of his men, a former R.A.F. pilot, to fly it to the expo. He also asked Brother William to keep an eye on Seraph, who was acting weird.

   During the attack at the expo, Ludd soon realized that Seraph had more trouble dealing with Iron Man than he originally expected. Ludd fled, but was caught by the police when the car in which he tried to escape didn't start.

--Marvel Super-Heroes III#14/1 ([Marvel Super-Heroes III#14/1 (fb)], 14/1


Brother Seraph

    Brother Seraph had the power to mentally control electric pulses, allowing him to short-circuit, shut off or manipulate technology with a mere touch through his mind.

(Marvel Super-Heroes III#14/1 (fb) - BTS) - Unemployed for two years, Reggie Bitters had had enough of government handouts and decided to take matters into his own hands.

(Marvel Super-Heroes III#14/1 (fb) ) - Bitters joined Conrad Aviation's Project Seraph and signed release papers that prevented him from suing in case something went wrong. He was subjected to daily chemical and radiation treatments that changed his cell structure so he could control electric pulses by touch. His new powers worked fine in flight simulators, but he soon discovered that he couldn't turn off his powers when he accidentally destroyed a TV by merely touching it. His motorbike cut out when he tried to leave Connor Aviation and when he confronted the scientists he was told that they would make sure to make they needed adjustment for their next test subject. Bitters was out of luck though because of the release papers he had signed. When a Luddite witnessed Bitters getting humiliated in public when a soda machine malfunctioned due to his powers, he was offered membership among the Luddites. Bitters gladly joined them as Brother Seraph.

(Marvel Super-Heroes III#14/1) - Seraph joined an attack by the Luddites on the Royal Science Exposition at night. He short-circuited the circuit box of an electric fence to give them entrance to the complex. When Iron Man fought the fleeing Luddites outside he caught Seraph, whom he believed to be their leader because he was dressed differently, but Seraph shut off his armor after grabbing Iron Man's arm. The Luddites escaped.

   On the way back to their base, Seraph pointed out the hypocrisy in using technology against technology, but Ludd defended their tactics because he believed using the power of technology against technology was the only way to win. He was also sure that Seraph's powers would be the perfect counter to Iron Man.

   The next night, Ludd and Seraph tried to gain entrance to a private airfield outside London, but the guard didn't let them through. Seraph then used his powers to open the gate, and Ludd knocked out the guard. They led the Luddites to a hovercraft created by Conrad Aviation and hijacked it. On their way to a science expo, Ludd asked Brother William to keep an eye on Seraph because he was acting weird.

   At the science expo, Seraph took control over an experimental riot grid and used it to catch Iron Man with synthetic bolas and a bomb wrap, but Iron Man broke free and then blew up the rig with a repulsor ray. Seraph then went on the stage and took control over Stark International's Sensonic Drill hitting Iron Man with the full force of the drill. Iron Man held his own against the drill with a reflector beam until James Rhodes, who had taken control of the abandoned hovercraft, crashed into the stage. The drill was destroyed and Iron Man was buried under debris. Seraph saw his chance to finish Iron Man off, but Iron Man found the right frequency to project a counter-magnetic field to negate the powers of Seraph, who was then knocked out by Iron Man with a single punch to the face. Seraph was arrested by the police along with the rest of the Luddites.

--Marvel Super-Heroes III#14/1


images: (without ads)
Marvel Super-Heroes III#14, p4, panq (main)
Marvel Super-Heroes III#14, p12, pan4 (a truckload of Luddites)
Marvel Super-Heroes III#14, p4, pan2 (General Ludd body shot)
Marvel Super-Heroes III#14, p11, pan2 (General Ludd head shot)
Marvel Super-Heroes III#14, p13, pan6 (Brother Seraph head shot)
Marvel Super-Heroes III#14, p5, pan5 (Brother Seraph body shot)


Appearances:
Marvel Super-Heroes III#14/1 (July, 1993) - David Michelinie (script), Brian Bauer (plot), Bob McLeod (pencils), Ralph Cabrera & Jim Amash (inks), Rob Tokar (editor)


First Posted: 09/25/2021
Last updated: 09/24/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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