The Clown is a fictional character in the Marvel Universe.
The character subsequently appears in The Amazing Spider-Man #16 (September 1964), #22 (March 1965), The Avengers #22 (November 1965), The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2 (1965), Thor #145-147 (October-December 1967), The Avengers #60 (January 1969), Super-Villain Team-Up #8 (October 1976), Ghost Rider #70 (July 1982), #72-73 (September-October 1982), #75 (December 1982), #80 (May 1983), The Sensational She-Hulk #1 (May 1989), The Incredible Hulk #471 (December 1998), Deathlok #4 (November 1999), X-Men and Power Pack #3 (February 2006), Civil War: War Crimes #1 (February 2007), The Amazing Spider-Man: Free Comic Book Day - 'Swing Shift' (June 2007), and The Amazing Spider-Man #552 (April 2008).
The character briefly appears as the Griffin in World War Hulk: Gamma Corps #1-4 (September 2007-January 2008).
The Clown appeared as part of the "Circus of Crime" entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #2.
He is apparently a member of the Circus of Crime from the outset but he is indistinguishable from the other clowns until he meets in a Hotel room with Human Cannonball, the Great Gambonnos and Princess Python when they decide to kick the Ringmaster out and go out on their own. They call themselves the Masters of Menace and elect Eliot as their leader. The Clown comes up with a plan to rob a Madison Avenue Art Gallery but the whole plot is eventually foiled by Spider-Man. After they get out of jail, the Masters agree to rejoin the Ringmaster as the Circus of Crime. They try to recruit Hawkeye, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch to the cause but fail.
After a run-in with the Hulk and the Thing, Iceman, and Giant-Man, Eliot leaves the group, wipes off the make-up, he hangs out with the Quentin Carnival because his father Corky is a clown there. He wants to go straight but the Circus of Crime finds him and won't leave him alone. When Corky's tent burns to the ground, the Ghost Rider steps in to save Eliot's dad. But Corky is badly hurt and the hospital bills will be high so Eliot goes back to the Circus and re-assumes his role as the Crafty Clown. The group even appoints him leader. He takes the group back to rob the Quentin Carnival but his real intention is to way-lay Fire-Eater as revenge for what was done to his father. This ambush is interrupted by the Ghost Rider who forces Eliot to look at his own tainted soul. The Clown sees his life as a hell and is reduced to near-catatonia. Unblinking and robotic, Eliot is given the job of pushing a broom around the Quentin Carnival. Corky recovers, returns to the show, and works hard to help Eliot improve. By the time Johnny Blaze leaves the carnival, Eliot is soft-spoken and stuttering but is able to communicate.
Sometime later, he rejoins the Circus of Crime and they battle Namor, the Shroud, the Hulk again, the She-Hulk, Power Pack, Ben Reilly, Spider-Man, Howard the Duck, Generation X, Devil Dinosaur and Moon-Boy.
He later joined the Gamma Corps, under the name Griffin with a mutation similar to Betty Ross' Harpy form. The team were assembled by General Ryker with the objective of destroying the Hulk. Franklin hold more personal grudges against the Green Goliath.
As Harpy-like man, based on the Betty Ross mutation. He has sharp claws and talons, and can spit a slimey corrosive venom. He is shown to be somewhat mentally unstable.