Molecule Man


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Molecule Man

(pop culture)
Uatu the Watcher, an alien whose duty is to study planet Earth, has vowed not to intervene in human affairs. Yet Uatu violated his oath to warn the Fantastic Four about a menace to the entire universe: the Molecule Man, whom editor/writer Stan Lee and artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby introduced in Fantastic Four vol. 1 #20 (1963). This dire threat is Owen Reece, a timid, embittered assistant at an atomic research laboratory. Reece accidentally activates an experimental particle generator, which opens a “pinhole” into another dimension, bombarding him with radiation. The radiation leaves scars resembling lightning bolts on Reece's face, but also activates his latent psionic ability to control matter at the molecular level and manipulate all forms of energy as well. As Molecule Man, Reece decides to use his new powers to take vengeance on the world he believes has mistreated him. A recurring foe of the Fantastic Four, the Molecule Man was imprisoned in another dimension by the Watcher, although the villain ultimately managed to return to Earth. The all-powerful being called the Beyonder transported Reece to his Battleworld planet to participate in a Secret War involving many of Earth's superheroes and supervillains in the best-selling limited series Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars (1984–1985). There Reece fell in love with fellow supervillain Volcana. Giving up their roles as supervillains, Reece and Volcana returned to Earth to live peaceful lives together. Reece aided Earth's superheroes in defeating the Beyonder, only to later imbue Volcana with his powers and physically merge with the Beyonder to form a power object called a Cosmic Cube. However, this newly created Cosmic Cube expelled the powerless Reece from its form and evolved into the being called Kosmos. By chance, Volcana encountered Reece and subconsciously returned his powers to him, but Volcana then rejected Reece, who was still in love with her. Molecule Man appeared briefly in television animation in the Hanna-Barbera–produced Fantastic Four cartoon (1967–1970). As of 2006 the Molecule Man remains at large.
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