Molten Man
Molten Man (Mark Raxton).png
Mark Raxton as the Molten Man, as appeared on the cover of The Amazing Spider-Man #35,
art by Steve Ditko
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Amazing Spider-Man #28 (September 1965)
Created byStan Lee (writer)
Steve Ditko (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoMark Raxton
SpeciesHuman (currently)
Human mutate (formerly)
Team affiliationsThe Exterminators
Alchemax
Notable aliasesBurning Man
Abilities(Raxton)
  • Genius chemical engineer

(Molten Man)

The Molten Man (Mark Raxton) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.[1] Once a chemical engineer who longed to get rich, Mark Raxton was caught in an accident that saw his body get covered by an experimental organic-liquid metal alloy, which granted him superpowers, including the ability to generate extreme heat and radiation. Turning to a life of crime, he started off as an enemy of the superhero Spider-Man, but eventually was redeemed. He is also the stepbrother of Liz Allan.

The character has made appearances in several forms of media, including animated series and video games. A creature based on the "Molten Man" appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), which was actually an illusion created by a series of drones operated by Mysterio.

Publication history

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2012)

The character was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #28 (September 1965).[2]

Fictional character biography

Mark Raxton was born in New York City. He was a scientist who could not wait to use his skills to become rich and once worked at Oscorp Industries as the laboratory assistant to Dr. Spencer Smythe, creator of the Spider-Slayers. Raxton and Smythe developed an experimental new liquid metallic alloy for the Spider-Slayers from a radioactive meteor, but Raxton in his greed and impatience, attempted to steal it and sell it, ignoring Smythe's protests that it needed further testing. In the ensuing fight with Smythe in the laboratory, Raxton spilled the liquid alloy all over himself, his skin absorbing it and turning golden.[3] Fearing for his life, Raxton ran for the nearest hospital, only to discover that the alloy had changed him for the better when he angrily punched an irate motorist's hood, buckling it. Realizing the great potential his new abilities afforded him, Raxton, calling himself the Molten Man, turned to crime to further his monetary gains. Peter Parker, as Spider-Man, nearly missed his high school graduation to stop the Molten Man's first crime spree.[4] Raxton was later released from jail, only to continue his criminal activities. However, he was once again defeated by Spider-Man.[5]

Cover of The Amazing Spider-Man #133, art by John Romita Sr.
Cover of The Amazing Spider-Man #133, art by John Romita Sr.

In his third encounter with Spider-Man, it was revealed that Peter's friend Liz Allan was Raxton's stepsister, and the Molten Man's metallic skin had begun to give off intense heat and to consume itself. His metallic skin became molten and he steals meteor fragments from a museum to attempt a cure. An encounter with Spider-Man resulted in his submergence in the polluted East River, which temporarily reversed the deterioration.[6]

In another encounter, Raxton broke into a pharmaceutical company to steal chemicals which would reverse his condition permanently. When the procedure failed, he went berserk and demanded to speak to Liz, who agreed to talk to him and also tried to convince him to surrender. Liz was saved by Spider-Man and the Molten Man became buried beneath the laboratory.[7] He later resurfaced at the same site and once again sought his stepsister. Spider-Man prevented the Molten Man from hurting her, knocking him into a swimming pool which extinguished the Molten Man's flames and cooled his metallic skin. He was then taken to the Vault, a prison for superhuman criminals.[8]

Raxton realized that his stepsister was the only member of his family who had not abandoned him. He was eventually released from the Vault and approached Liz to apologize. Spider-Man misunderstood his intentions and battled him once more. Reconciled with Raxton, Liz and her husband Harry Osborn gave Raxton a job as head of security at Osborn Industries.[9] The Molten Man later teamed up with Spider-Man and the second Green Goblin against Tombstone and Hammerhead.[10] The Molten Man was then kidnapped along with Liz, Normie Osborn and Spider-Man by Harry Osborn, who had suffered a mental relapse, making him the Green Goblin once again. The Molten Man was saved by Spider-Man.[11] The Molten Man and Spider-Man have since become friends, and the Molten Man has occasionally used his powers to aid Spider-Man against other supervillains.[volume & issue needed] A few times he has been a bodyguard for Peter Parker's friends and family when disasters overwhelm the city.[volume & issue needed]

In the months following the Clone Saga, Raxton was abducted by Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, and brainwashed. Under mind control, the Molten Man attacked and killed Osborn's henchman Alison Mongraine, the only person who knew of the location of Peter and Mary Jane's baby.[12] Although the Molten Man has since recovered from the mind control, he still bears a heavy burden of guilt over the incident.[volume & issue needed]

Sometime after Harry Osborn's death, Raxton is summoned when mysterious forces kidnap Liz Allan's son, Normie Osborn. The Molten Man uses his brawn and brains to help Spider-Man and the Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich uncover what happened. Raxton is later pressed into a supervillain group again when the Chameleon approaches him and threatens to kill Normie if Raxton does not join his 'Exterminators'.[13] Raxton is consequently forced to attack Liz Allan.[volume & issue needed]

During the Civil War storyline, the Molten Man and the Scarecrow were used as bait for Captain America's Secret Avengers, only for the Punisher to arrive. Raxton is left in critical condition after being attacked by the Punisher.[14]

Raxton next appears, still in poor condition, under the care of Liz Allan. When Harry Osborn comes to visit Liz and Normie, he and Liz argue. Hearing Liz speak Harry's name, Raxton awakens and attacks him, screaming that Harry has hurt his family for the last time and will "die for real".[15] Spider-Man intervenes, but he has trouble fighting Raxton, whose powers have grown out of control. Spider-Man manages to trap Raxton in asphalt, and Harry provides him with a cure that Oscorp had been working on upon using volunteer Charlie Weiderman, the other "Molten Man". The cure is successful, returning Raxton to his original human state. Although he finally was rid of the alloy, he still retained his powers, such as super strength, energy manipulation and a new power to incinerate anything by producing fire from his palms. Harry built him a special suit, using a part of the alloy and his DNA, to help him control his powers.[16]

When Liz Allan became the head of Alchemax, she used the company's cutting-edge technology to cure Raxton of his condition. Even though he was constantly monitored, he was no longer a threat to society and started working as a member of Alchemax's security force. As Alchemax and Parker Industries competed for a contract to build a new prison, Raxton and Tiberius Stone used Raxton's connections to hire the Ghost to sabotage Parker Industries.[17]

Powers and abilities

Originally, Mark Raxton was given unnatural powers after the exposure to an experimental liquid metal alloy obtained from a meteor discovered by Spencer Smythe. His body completely absorbed its organic properties, turning all of these external tissues into a solid metallic substance, as well as trunks, belt, and boots he wore right before the accident. As a result, the Molten Man possesses superior strength and high resistance to physical injury. His skin is composed of a frictionless metal that causes things to slip off, including Spider-Man's webbing. Raxton's metallic fingers are sensitive enough to pick locks (making him an expert safe cracker).[18] He can generate fierce flames, incinerating anybody who tries to touch him or shooting fire-like blasts at his foes. At one time, his body became molten lava, allowing him to project radiation and heat up to 300 °F (149 °C).[19] In this form, the Molten Man's metallic skin would reach a critical stage at which point it could actually dissolve, slowly at first, then faster, and eventually be burned away by its own temperature.[20]

Additionally, unlike most of Spider-Man's more thuggish villains, the Molten Man had brains to complement his raw physical strength. An intelligent, but very sane scientist, Raxton was smart enough to learn from his own mistakes and not fall for the same trick twice. He is a college graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering.

Other versions

Ultimate Marvel

In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Mark Raxton is a guitarist in a local punk rock band, the name of which is later revealed to be "Molten Man". One of their songs includes the lyrics "I am your molten man and I'm melting on you".[21]

He first appears in the story "Dumped", in Ultimate Spider-Man #78. He asks Mary Jane Watson on a date. She reluctantly accepts, but spends most of the evening talking about Peter Parker, who has just broken up with her. Raxton remains a gentleman the entire time. Later, he encounters Mary Jane at the mall, and upon learning that the boy she was with was Peter, tells her "Good for you", and leaves without further incident.[21]

He later appears in Ultimate Spider-Man #88, the third part of the "Silver Sable" storyline. In the story, a student from Parker's high school dresses up as Spider-Man and runs out in front of the press. He is revealed to be Mark Raxton, who tries to promote his band Molten Man before being dragged away by police.[22]

In other media

Television

The Molten Man as he appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man
The Molten Man as he appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man

Film

A member of the Elementals inspired by the Molten Man appeared in the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe film Spider-Man: Far From Home.[27] Director Jon Watts described his take for the creation: "There’s so many Spider-Man villains from the rogues gallery that I wanted to dig a little bit deeper than what anyone might be expecting...villains like Hydro-Man and Molten Man, who may not be on the highest list. But that opened up such amazing visual possibilities and poses really dangerous challenges for Spider-Man".[28] Identified as the Fire Elemental, Mysterio claimed it used its abilities to feed off of metal and energy from Earth's core to destroy his Earth. The Fire Elemental attacks Prague during the Signal Festival, though Spider-Man and Mysterio defeat it. Not long after however, the web-slinger discovers all of the Elementals were illusions created by Mysterio and his fellow ex-Stark Industries employees to obtain Tony Stark's technology and make Mysterio look like a hero.

Video games

References

  1. ^ Rovin, Jeff (1987). The Encyclopedia of Supervillains. New York: Facts on File. pp. 231–232. ISBN 0-8160-1356-X.
  2. ^ Manning, Matthew K. (2012). "1960s". In Gilbert, Laura (ed.). Spider-Man Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. Dorling Kindersley. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-7566-9236-0. Mark Raxton was a corrupt partner of [Spencer] Smythe's who worked with him on a liquid metal alloy project.
  3. ^ Brevoort, Tom; DeFalco, Tom; Manning, Matthew K.; Sanderson, Peter; Wiacek, Win (2017). Marvel Year By Year: A Visual History. DK Publishing. p. 110. ISBN 978-1465455505.
  4. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #28. Marvel Comics (New York).
  5. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #35. Marvel Comics (New York).
  6. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #132–133. Marvel Comics (New York).
  7. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #172–173. Marvel Comics (New York).
  8. ^ Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #63. Marvel Comics (New York).
  9. ^ Web of Spider-Man #62. Marvel Comics (New York).
  10. ^ Web of Spider-Man #66. Marvel Comics (New York).
  11. ^ Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #189. Marvel Comics (New York).
  12. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #440–441. Marvel Comics (New York).
  13. ^ Exterminators at Marvel Universe Appendix
  14. ^ "Punisher's Hit List". Marvel Comics. January 24, 2007. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  15. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #581. Marvel Comics (New York).
  16. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #582. Marvel Comics (New York).
  17. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 3 #16. Marvel Comics (New York).
  18. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #35. Marvel Comics (New York)
  19. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #132-133. Marvel Comics (New York)
  20. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #172-173. Marvel Comics (New York)
  21. ^ a b Ultimate Spider-Man #78. Marvel Comics (New York).
  22. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #88. Marvel Comics (New York).
  23. ^ Allstetter, Rob (January 14, 2008). "Continuum by Rob Allstetter: Monday, January 14, 2008". Comicscontinuum. Archived from the original on July 26, 2018. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  24. ^ a b "Voice Of Molten Man – Marvel Universe – Behind The Voice Actors". Behind The Voice Actors. Archived from the original on May 11, 2019. Retrieved May 11, 2019. Check marks indicates role has been confirmed using screenshots of closing credits and other reliable sources((cite web)): CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  25. ^ "Inhumanity". Ultimate Spider-Man. Season 3. Episode 18. August 5, 2015. Disney XD.
  26. ^ "Brand New Day". Spider-Man. Season 2. Episode 45. October 20, 2019. Disney XD.
  27. ^ Hullender, Tatiana (May 8, 2019). "Confirmed: Spider-Man: Far From Home's Elemental Villains Based on B-List Villains". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on May 8, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  28. ^ Small, Gretchen (May 8, 2019). "Who Are the Elementals in SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME?". Nerdist. Archived from the original on May 9, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  29. ^ "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 NPC Spotlight: Wizard, Shocker AND Molten Man". Marvel. September 9, 2009. Archived from the original on March 22, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2019.