Hydro-Man (also spelled Hydro Man) is a fictional character that appears in the comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appears in Amazing Spider-Man #212 (January 1981), and was created by writer Dennis O'Neil and artist John Romita, Jr.
Fictional character biography
Morris "Morrie" Bench
gains his superpowers
while as a crewman
on the cargo ship the U.S.S.
Bulldog, having been knocked overboard while a powerful experimental generator is being tested in the ocean. The combination of unknown radiation and his immersion in a deep ocean dwelling bacteria turns him into the Hydro-Man. After his transformation, he encounters Spider-Man
for the first time. Soon after that, he becomes merged with the Sandman
into a composite mud/quicksand-like creature. Hydro-Man is a typical low rent super criminal, joining supervillain
teams such as the Sinister Syndicate
, including that of the Frightful Four
. While working with the Sinister Syndicate, Hydro-Man demonstrates a willingness to put up with just about anything in the name of financial gain. He ignores the constant politicking of the other members and looks past the Beetle
's betrayal of the group to the Kingpin
in the belief that the group was economically beneficial to him.
Morris was one of the 46 villains to escape the Raft when Electro broke out Sauron.
After Civil War
, he appears in Avengers: The Initiative
#3, in which he was shown alongside Shocker
. This group attempts to rob Baily's Auction House but are interrupted by Spider-Man and then Initiative members War Machine
. The latter are there to neutralize Spider-Man. The trio escapes, only to be found and attacked by government operatives called 'Scarlet Spiders'.
He has been hired by the Hood to take advantage of the split in the superhero community caused by the Superhuman Registration Act.
Brand New Day
He's recently appeared in Brand New Day
as one of the villains in the bar.
Powers and abilities
Hydro-Man is able to bodily transform himself into a watery liquid substance; he can access secure areas and small openings with relative ease; when his bodily mass is dispersed in this form it simply reforms, albeit slowly depending on how far apart the mass was. All of Hydro-Man's cells remain fully under his control when he is in his liquid state. Hydro-Man can also merge with and manipulate larger bodies of water when he is in his water form. He can increase his mass and cause tidal waves. He can turn parts of his body to liquid while retaining the rest of his human form, allowing him to slip from a foe's grasp or have projectiles like bullets harmlessly pass through him. Through great mental exertion, Hydro-Man can also turn to ice and steam. Other examples of manipulating his watery form include firing off small streams such as a fire hose, shaping parts of his body into 'solid-water', constructs, and mixing himself with other compounds for different effects. However, this last example can be used against him, since certain substances can either harden him (like cement or concrete), or make him feel sick (such as fire-extinguishers and chlorine). The Wizard
enhanced his powers, through the use of sophisticated equipment. These artificial enhancements granted him increased and more precise control over bodies of water and moisture near him, which he demonstrated by absorbing nearly all the moisture in The Trapster
Hydro-Man possesses a certain degree of superhuman strength, and has been shown to be an exceptionally skilled fighter, and adept at using his powers for that purpose. In some incarnations, depending on the writer, Hydro-Man can form his forearms into weapons such as Sandman does, except that Bench's weapons are made of ice.
Bench has extensive experience in street-fighting techniques due to his experience as a criminal before his transformation. Though cunning, he has been consistently depicted by writers as a low tier henchman with little formal education and is often tricked into using his powers in ways that incapacitate him (as explained above). His normal attire consists of a black shirt and blue/ or green pants, as well as a costume invented by the Wizard.
Hydro-Man appears in Spider-Man: Reign
as a member of the Sinner Six
In other media
- Hydro-Man appears in the 1990s Spider-Man animated series voiced by Rob Paulsen. Here, he is portrayed as Mary Jane Watson's former boyfriend. Hydro-Man was utilized in place of the Sandman, who was unavailable for use in the show due to being considered as one of the villains in James Cameron's failed Spider-Man film.
- Hydro-Man as well appears in the 1990s Fantastic Four animated episode And the Wind Cries Medusa, voiced by Brad Garrett. In this appearance, he is a member of the Wizard's Frightful Four.
Hydro-Man appears in the Spider-Man Questprobe
game, and in the Spider-Man Animated Series
game for Super Nintendo
while in the Sewer Level
- Hydro-Man can be seen in the Islands of Adventure ride The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal Orlando Resort as a member of the Sinister Syndicate. He uses his abilities at one point to throw water at guests and Spider-Man, before knocking them away. Later, during the climax on the roofs of New York, he attacked Spider-Man yet again, before Electro collided with him, seemingly destroying him, as he is not seen with the rest of the Syndicate during the final scene.