The Absorbing Man
(Carl "Crusher" Creel
) is a fictional character
that appears in comic books
published by Marvel Comics
. The character first appears in Journey into Mystery
(#114, Mar. 1965) and was created by Stan Lee
and Jack Kirby
Fictional character biography
Carl "Crusher" Creel
was a boxer and later jailed criminal who becomes the Absorbing Man when he drinks a liquid which the Asgardian
laced with rare Asgardian ingredients. Discovering that he could absorb the properties of anything he touched, Creel escaped prison and went on to battle Thor
. Although he is only mortal, Creel's fantastic abilities make him a match for Thor, who eventually tricks Creel into transforming into helium, which drifts harmlessly into the atmosphere.
A short time later, Loki retrieves Creel from space and reveals to him how he had obtained his "absorbing" powers. After being humbled by Loki, Creel agrees to act as his agent and attacks Thor on Earth once more. The battle is deadlocked until Loki transports Creel back to Asgard and directs him to take the city. The Absorbing Man defeats the Asgardian legions and eventually confronts Odin himself. Creel absorbs Odin's attacks and then the properties of Asgard itself, and towers over Odin as Loki arrives to gloat. Loki and Creel are then beaten by trickery: once given Odin's Rod of Rulership the two quarrel over it and find they cannot let go. Odin then advises them that his power lies not in a mere object, but deep within himself. The pair are then banished to space and do not return for some time.
The Absorbing Man eventually returns and goes on to battle many other heroes, such as the Avengers, Daredevil, Dazzler, the Hulk, and Spider-Man. Creel is one of the villains who participates in the Secret Wars, and also develops a relationship with the villainess Titania.
The pair later join the reformed fourth version of the Masters of Evil. Creel has several more battles with Thor (and the Eric Masterson Thor) and a skirmish with cosmic hero Quasar.
The Absorbing Man later battles and is apparently killed by the hero Sentry during the events of Civil War. Creel, however, later appears at the funeral of the villain Stilt-Man.
Creel and Titania later come into conflict with the heroine She-Hulk and her Skrull partner Jazinda after they attempt to arrest Creel's cousin Rockwell "Hi-Lite" Davis.
Powers and abilities
Crusher Creel has the magical power to 'absorb'/duplicate the properties of anything he touches - gas, liquid, solid, or even energy, and physical traits from animals or superhumans. This transformation also extends to the clothing and ball and chain that he was wearing when the liquid he drank took effect. For example, if Creel touches titanium
, the tissues of his body, clothing and his ball and chain would take on the appearance and properties of titanium. If the object is large (eg. a building), Creel can absorb sufficient mass to attain the same height. Creel also retains his intellect and capacity for speech and full physical movement regardless of the material he absorbs. Creel is also able to reform if his body is damaged in any way whilst in altered form.
Creel's overall power increases in direct proportion to the strength of the material absorbed. There appears to be no limit to what Creel can absorb, as he has absorbed the properties of bronze; cocaine; Odin's Cosmic Bolt and later cyclonic storm; diamond; glass; light; rock, silk and soil; spikes; steel; Thor's Uru hammer Mjolnir; water; and even the properties of Asgard itself.
Creel can also now merge properties, and recently combined the attributes of the heroine She-Hulk and a tiger shark.
Creel's power also has drawbacks, as absorbing some materials is detrimental. His first attempt at absorbing water cost Creel his sanity when he drifted apart, and when in diamond form the hero Daredevil was able to use his radar sense to precisely target the flaws in Creel's diamond form and defeat him. Creel's great weakness is that he is something of a thug and not a thinker. Several heroes have used this weakness to outsmart him.
In Earth X
, Creel absorbs knowledge. After absorbing the knowledge of the current Ultron
, he is able to remember everything previously absorbed and to display any of these properties at will.
Age of Apocalypse
In the "Age of Apocalypse
", the Absorbing Man aligned himself with Apocalypse
, and served as a warden in Apocalypse's prison camps in the Aztec ruins of Mexico alongside Diablo
In other media
The Absorbing Man was featured in an early script of the 2003 film Hulk