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Real Name: Emil Burbank

Identity/Class: Alternity Reality  (Earth-712/Earth-S) human technology user

Occupation: Inventor, world conqueror

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Cerebrac, Hyperion construct (aka Zhib-Ran), Professor Imam, Redeemers (Black Archer/Wyatt McDonald, Foxfire/Olivia Underwood, Haywire/Harold Danforth, Inertia/Edith Freiberg, Lamprey/Donald McGuiggin, Mink/Julie Steel, Moonglow/Melissa Hanover, Nighthawk/Kyle Richmond, Pinball/Chester Freeman, Michael Redstone, Remnant/Frank Edwards, Shape/Raleigh Lund, Thermite/Sam Yurimoto), Scarlet Centurion, Skrullian Skymaster (Sk'ym'x)

Enemies: Global Directorate, Nth Man (Joseph Lightner), Squadron Supreme (Arcanna Jones (aka Moonglow), Blue Eagle/James Dore Jr., Hyperion/Mark Milton, Lady Lark/Linda Lewis, Power Princess/Zarda Shelton, Dr. Spectrum/Joseph Ledger, Tom Thumb/Thomas Thompson, Whizzer/Stanley Stewart), Thor of Earth-616 (Thor Odinson)

Known Relatives: L.L. Burbank (brother)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations:  Utopia Isle;
    formerly various secret bases on Earth-712

First Appearance: Thor I#280 (February, 1979) (see comments)

Powers/Abilities: Master Menace possesses no known superhuman abilities, though he is known as his world's greatest living intellect. An expert in numerous fields of science and engineering, Burbank has mastered robotics and dimensional travel. 

    Burbank has created a battlesuit containing numerous potent, miniaturized weapons systems. Among the armor's features: Concussive force blasts from his gloves and erecting protective forcefields. Burbank's armor has an induction coil on his chest that serves as an auxiliary power source. The battlesuit has a built-in dimensional transporter and a multipurpose tool kit contained in the left upper-leg. The armor increases Burbank's strength to an unrevealed degree.

Height: 6'2"
Weight: 245 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Grey (black in youth)

(Thor I#280 (fb) - BTS) - The brilliant Emil Burbank developed a life-long resentment against Hyperion (Mark Milton) after the hero's "atom-vision" inadvertently caused Burbank's hormones to run wild, leading to explosive growth of his facial hair (see comments). As the years passed, he launched 300 attempts on Hyperion's life.

(Squadron Supreme I#6 (fb) - BTS) - Burbank's quest to kill Hyperion led to him associating with other supervillains, including Ape X and her Institute of Evil.

(Thor I#280 - BTS) - When Emil learned his movie director brother L.L. Burbank was heading up a movie on the Squadron Supreme, Emil hatched his latest scheme. He hid on the set with an experimental blaster of his own design that could potentially kill Hyperion.

(Thor I#280) - When Burbank spotted Hyperion on set, he immediately fired, only to realize this was actually his archenemy's Grandmaster-created replica/construct from Reality-616. Emil agreed to a partnership and led the Hyperion replica to his lab, where he instructed the super-strong villain how to assemble a giant attack robot he had lying around. Piloting the robot with this Hyperion at his side, Burbank returned to the movie set and launched an attack on Earth-712's Hyperion, the Squadron Supreme, and the visiting Thor; but the two villains were no match for the heroes. American Eagle was about to grab Burbank when the robot executed a pre-programmed escape maneuver.

(Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Master Menace had dealings with the time-traveling Scarlet Centurion.

(Squadron Supreme I#6 (fb) - BTS) - Burbank kept a low profile when the Squadron Supreme--influenced by Over-Mind and Null the Living Darkness--took over the United States. Now known as Master Menace and wearing a battlesuit, he spent six months of his time successfully conquering the Middle East before returning to one of his many hidden North American bases; there, he kept monitoring Hyperion and the Squadron's moves as they launched their Utopia Program, which was designed to address all social problems.

(Squadron Supreme I#6 - BTS) - Master Menace granted Institute of Evil members Mink, Remnant and Pinball access to his citadel.

(Squadron Supreme I#6) - Master Menace studied footage of Tom Thumb and his b-mod (behavior modification)  machine, capable of completely altering anyone's personality, which was being used to reform criminals against their wills. Menace decided he needed to get his hands on one of the devices to counteract its effects. He then granted Mink, Remnant and Pinball an audience and learned that they wanted his help to escape the Squadron, asking him to send them to another reality where people weren't so rough with villains. Master Menace agreed and used his dimensional transporter to send the villains to Earth-616. Menace declined Mink's offer to accompany them, vowing he would not flee his world even if he was the last criminal on Earth.

(Captain America I#314 (fb) - BTS) - When Nighthawk traveled to Earth-616 to round up Mink, Remnant and Pinball, he learned that Master Menace was responsible for transporting them to this alternate Earth.

(Squadron Supreme I#7 (fb) - BTS) - Menace started a cross-dimensional search for the Hyperion construct with which he had previously allied.

(Squadron Supreme I#7) - Aware of Nighthawk approaching his citadel, Master Menace had him captured in a force-sphere. Bringing the hero before him, Menace was stunned to learn Nighthawk was told of the location of his secret base by Remnant and the others. Nighthawk then requested Master Menace's aid in bringing down the Squadron Supreme. Convinced the hero was sincere, Menace still refused Nighthawk's offer to join forces, explaining that he would defeat Hyperion and the Squadron by himself instead.

(Squadron Supreme I#7) - Master Menace's dimensional scanners finally located the Hyperion construct, who had been stuck in interdimensional space following his separation from Thundra (@ Marvel Two-in-One I#67). Using his instruments, Menace ultimately rescued the construct. After reminding the confused villain of their past cooperation and hearing about his desire to find Thundra, Menace promised to help the construct reunite with her if he aided him in bringing down Hyperion and the Squadron.

(Squadron Supreme I#7 - BTS) - Menace formulated a scheme that would see the Hyperion construct replace the real Hyperion in order to infiltrate the Squadron Supreme and help him secure a b-mod device.

(Squadron Supreme I#7) - Disguising his airship as a potentially devastating meteor, Menace succeeded in drawing Hyperion to him. Menace dimensionally displaced the hero by firing his d-ray at him. He then ordered the Hyperion replica to evacuate the ship even as he detonated the vessel's outer-shell to make it seem like the meteor had been destroyed.

(Squadron Supreme I#7 - BTS) - The Hyperion construct took Hyperion's place with the Squadron and soon found he enjoyed playing the role of hero, especially after finding love with Power Princess after he made sure her husband Howard was out of the picture.

(Squadron Supreme I#7) - Master Menace was shocked when the Hyperion construct returned to his secret laboratory base with plans to murder him, to ensure he could remain as that world's Hyperion. Menace's forcefield was able to take the replica's blows and atomic blasts, but their fight threatened to destroy his labs, forcing Burbank to use his dimensional projector to flee.

(Squadron Supreme I#8 - BTS) - To make sure Menace could not return, the Hyperion construct smashed the dimensional projector.

(Squadron Supreme I#8) - Stuck inside a limbo-like transtemporal zone, Menace used the tools in his armor to work on a way to return home. He was pleasantly surprised when the true Hyperion located him. After bringing the hero up to speed, Menace informed him that he could free both of them using Hyperion's atomic vision, provided Hyperion promised neither he nor any of the Squadron would ever use the b-mod device on him. Hyperion initially refused, but ultimately accepted the terms, provided Menace would not interfere with the Utopia Program.

    Laughing, Menace gave him his promise as a villain before instructing Hyperion to direct his atomic vision on the induction coil on his chestplate. The beams powered Menace's built-in d-ray, which he tried to use for only himself, but Hyperion caught him in time to return home as well. Materializing high above Menace's laboratory, Hyperion allowed the villain to drop down while he rushed to deal with the Hyperion construct. As he fell to Earth, convinced his armor would protect him, Burbank stewed about the indignity.

(Squadron Supreme I#11 - BTS) - Master Menace and Nighthawk remained in contact over the b-mod technology. Menace promised to come up with a countermeasure if Nighthawk and his newly formed Redeemers could get him the plans for the device--Burbank couldn't obtain them himself, fearing that Hyperion would know he had broken his promise.

(Squadron Supreme I#11) - After a month, Burbank received the b-mod schematics. Quickly analyzing the data, despite the fact his lab was still in ruins in the wake of the Hyperion construct's attack, Menace managed to build a b-mod device for himself.

(Squadron Supreme I#11 - BTS) - Retrofitting the technology, Menace constructed a device that undid the b-mod conditioning without any brain damage. He tested it on three converted convicts, who promptly resumed their criminal activities.

(Squadron Supreme I#11) - Menace contacted Nighthawk to inform him of his success. He demanded Nighthawk and the Redeemers bring them the b-mod altered former members of the Institute of Evil so he could help deprogram them. Menace personally oversaw the restoration of Lamprey and Shape. However, Blue Eagle had caught wise and tried to sneak up on the Redeemers. Menace had a simple solution: use the b-mod device on him and turn the hero to their side. Nighthawk refused, instead ordering Menace to simply make his former teammate forget about ever seeing them.

(Squadron Supreme I#12) - Menace was on hand to help deprogram Foxfire, the final member of the Institute of Evil. After adding her to the Redeemer ranks, Nighthawk was ready to move against the Squadron. Master Menace once again declined to fight alongside them, claiming the Squadron would fight them to the death, and that the best way to deal with the heroes was to use the b-mod technology on them. Nighthawk dismissed the notion out of hand, leading Burbank to pack up his technology and teleport away.

(Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe I#1) - Using his celestescope, Master Menace concluded the universe would cease to exist in a matter of hours (due to the arrival of the Nth Man). Burbank ordered his robotic servant Cerebrac to start packing all essential equipment and be ready to shift out of their dimension before it blanked out. He was interrupted by the Scarlet Centurion, who appeared before him as a chronographic projection that Menace futilely tried to blast away. The Centurion had come to offer his aid in stopping the mysterious universe-destroying force before it might threaten his future timeline, too. The villains were then alerted to the approach of Hyperion, who had also come to request Menace's aid. Hyperion wanted Menace to provide the Squadron with a spaceworthy vessel, but the villain revealed he had devised a plan to use his dimensional aperture generator to trap the approaching threat and send it elsewhere. In order to have sufficient time to adapt the technology, he had the Scarlet Centurion take him to the 40th century to make the necessary modifications.

(Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe I#1 - BTS) - It took Emil Burbank fifteen years to perfect the dimensional aperture trap, most of which was involved after its development, as he worked tirelessly on ways to miniaturize the required components.

(Squadron Supreme: Death of Universe I#1) - Hyperion was shocked to find Burbank had aged upon his return, and he surprised his archenemy even more when he not only provided the spaceship, but also insisted he accompany the Squadron along with the Centurion and their ally Professor Imam.

(Squadron Supreme: New World Order I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Menace secretly rigged the spacecraft to dimensionally displace the Squadron upon the completion of their mission.

    With only hours to spare, the group blasted off from Menace's laboratory base. As soon as they reached escape velocity, Burbank witnessed the death of Squadron member Redstone, whose lifeforce was tied with the planet. Paying no mind to this unexpected loss, Menace focused the ship's telescreen on the ever growing Nth Man, who had now become bigger than the Sun.

(Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe I#1 - BTS) - Burbank had not expected the 
Nth Man would expand this quickly. This rapid growth made his original plan--to surround the entity with his dimensional traps--impossible to achieve in time.

(Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe I#1) - Improvising on the spot, Burbank had Hyperion, Whizzer, Lady Lark and Doctor Spectrum go out in space to manually place the devices in strategic positions around the creature. However, despite his enormous speed, Hyperion could not reach his position before the 
Nth Man would expand to swallow the Sun. Master Menace entertained Inertia's suggestion to try to use her powers to redirect its expansion backwards.Aided by Moonglow and Imam's magics, Inertia tried, only to have the expansive force directed against her. Inertia's body was instantly reduced to a pink, pulpy mist that slammed a hole in Menace's vessel as it was hurled into space. After Moonglow sealed the hull breach, Menace regained control of the ship and ordered the four devices activated. He watched as the trap was set, but the Nth Man's nature prevented him from being shunted to other dimensions. Demoralized and dejected, Burbank felt that all hope was lost and activated his armor's built-in dimensional transporter.

(Squadron Supreme: New World Order I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Master Menace miscalculated the effect of the temporal flux on his dimensional transport. Arriving back on Earth-712 years later than he had planned, he found the world dominated by the Global Directorate, a ruthless new world order that used b-mod technology to gain dominance. Burbank found himself chased and eventually captured by the Directorate's forces, the Blue Eagles. Subjected to b-modification, Burbank was forced to use his brilliance to aid the Directorate as its minister of science.

(Squadron Supreme: New World Order I#1) - When the Squadron Supreme returned to Earth-712 after a lengthy stay on Earth-616 (thanks to Menace's tampering), they were shocked to find the Global Directorate had turned their world into a police state. Hyperion grew furious when he learned Burbank served as minister of science, and he had the Squadron attack Burbank's citadel. Inside, Hyperion found the elderly, broken Burbank, who explained what had happened to him. Feeling compassion towards his old enemy, Hyperion took Burbank with him to the Squadron's new base on Utopia Isle.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, Wayne Boring, Tom Palmer.

    The Squadron Supreme and their villains are all loosely based on the members of DC's Justice League and their respective rogues galleries. Master Menace is a clear analogy for Superman's archenemy Lex Luthor, right down to his origins--Luthor blamed Superman for his baldness, while Hyperion caused MM's hair to grow out; at one point, Luthor also eventually used his own battlesuit.

...And with all the above in mind, this character's name was probably derived from botanist Luther Burbank.--Ron Fredricks

    Master Menace received a profile in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89 I#5. 

However, that profile casts some doubt over the validity of his claim that Hyperion's atomic vision altered Burbank's hormones and caused his facial hair to grow wildly--surely a hormonal disturbance would have caused all of Burbank's body hair to grow at a rapid rate--not simply the hair on his head --yet there is no evidence that it does so. It was also suggested that in his first recorded appearance, Burbank was recovering from a nervous breakdown, and therefore the origin of his hatred for Hyperion could just have been a fantasy that he concocted.

And although the first actual appearance of Emil Burbank was in Thor I#280, he may have been first mentioned a few years earlier in Avengers I#147 (May, 1976)--when the Avengers were transported to Earth-712, Hyperion bent a lamppost to tie up the Vision ("Victor Shade"), and he mentioned that he once used the same technique against his arch-foe Burbank; however, Hyperion didn't specifically say that it was Emil Burbank (...maybe he was referring to another brother, a cousin, or just someone with the same surname?), therefore it can't be confirmed as Emil Burbank's first "appearance".--Ron Fredricks  

    This profile was completed 3/20/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.

Profile by Norvo

Master Menace should not be confused with

images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Update 89 I#5, p4, pan1 (main image)
Thor I#280, p17, pans4&5 (300 attempts on Hyperion's life)
Squadron Supreme I#7, p9, pan2&3 (denies Nighthawk)
Squadron Supreme I#11, p7, pan1 (receives the b-mod schematics)
Squadron Supreme I#12, p6, pan4&5 (bids Nighthawk adieu)
Squadron Supreme Death Of A Universe I#1 p19, pans5&6 (aged 15 years)
Squadron Supreme New World Order I#1 p45, pans4,5,6 (broken by b-mod)
Avengers I#147, p15, pan2 (Hyperion mentions Burbank (underlined in red) as he uses a lamppost to tie up Vision)

Avengers I#147 (May, 1976) - Steve Englehart (writer), George Perez (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Thor I#280 (February, 1979) - Roy Thomas (writer), Wayne Boring (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Guenwald (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#6 (February,1984) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Sam de la Rosa & Keith Williams (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#314 (February, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Neary (pencils), Dennis Janke (inks), Michael Carlin (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#7 (March, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Jackson Guice (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#8 (April, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Bob Hall (pencils), Sam de la Rosa (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#11 (July, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Sam de la Rossa (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#12 (August, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Sam de la Rossa (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe I#1 (October, 1989) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme: New World Order I#1 (September, 1998) - Len Kaminski (writer), Anthony Williams (pencils), Andy Lanning (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)

First Posted: 09/04/2021
Last Updated: 08/31/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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