Monday, July 30, 2012

Marvel Universe Handbook, 1983: The U-Foes!

Marvel Universe Handbook Vol.1, No. 11, Nov 1983

I've used profiles from these Marvel Universe handbook issues several times on the Super-DuperToyBox when discussing characters featured in my posts- favorite relics from my childhood fandom. They tie my past and renewed, present reading hobby together cognitively, unify my posts thematically, and are just plain fun! Related to their appearance in my last post on Darkhawk #6, the U-Foes profile page in Vol.1, No. 11:

From Wikipedia:
Simon Utrecht, a former politician and multi-millionaire, funded an operation to gain superpowers the same way the Fantastic Four did. He reviewed thousands of files, interviewed hundreds of applicants, and chose three other members. He even got the contractors who built the FF's ship to build his. His group flew a spaceship into outer space, and were exposed to cosmic rays. What the group did not know was that they would be exposed to an even more massive amount than the Fantastic Four and that it would most likely kill them. The Hulk had wandered into the launching area and turned back, meaning Dr. Bruce Banner was at the launch site and upon realizing this brought the ship down by reprogramming their computer before the group was exposed to the terminal levels of cosmic rays. The group however did gain their powers and the newly christened U-Foes attacked Banner for interfering in their affairs. After several defeats at the hands of the Hulk and his allies, each of the U-Foes were banished to a different dimension. They managed to reunite and find their way back to Earth when the mutant Portal's powers began manifesting. The U-Foes attempted to murder Portal to keep him from opening another portal to banish them, until they were defeated by the Avengers. They would later attempt to kidnap Portal to exploit his mutant powers, and were defeated once again by Captain America, Darkhawk, and Daredevil.


  • Real Name: Simon Utrecht
  • Power: Telekinesis, limited to attract or repel matter from his own body. Enormously powerful, as by focusing his power into blasts he was even capable of flaying most of the Hulk's skin and muscle tissue from his body when the latter resisted, and repelled the structure of reality itself within the 'Crossroads' nexus, with force he claimed was sufficient to hurl entire worlds. Also capable of flight.
  • Background: Simon Utrecht was a successful businessman, industrialist, and politician who craved more power. He used his resources to copy everything about the Fantastic Four's flight into space, and hired a crew in the hopes of gaining superpowers.


  • Real Name: Ann Darnell
  • Powers: Has the power to alter her form into any known gas, usually the most lethally poisonous she can imagine while invading an opponent's body. Vapor can transform into her fully human state for only brief periods.
  • Background: Was hired by Simon to be the life-support engineer on his space ship. Is Jimmy Darnell's older sister.


  • Real Name: James "Jimmy" Darnell
  • Powers: Has been permanently transformed into a living energy field, intangible and immune to most physical harm. Has the power to expel various forms of heavy radiation in the form of very potent blasts, shown capable of hurting even the Hulk and severely weakening Thor when combined with three other energy blasts and the ability to fly, or turn invisible. He has also been able to emit negative-gamma rays that turn the Hulk back into Bruce Banner, but this is only effective so long as he is conscious.
  • Background: He was hired by Simon to be the spaceship's fuel-propulsion systems engineer. Is Ann Darnell's younger brother.


  • Real Name: Michael Steel
  • Powers: Permanently transformed into organic metal similar to the X-Man Colossus. Superhuman strength, durability, and the ability to increase or decrease his own weight, hovering in the air, or crushing like a mountain. Ironclad's form was initially composed of jagged folds of metal; however, after briefly losing control of his weight-altering powers and sinking deep into the Earth's crust, he emerged with his body smoothed and polished by the friction of his passage.
  • Background: He was hired by Simon as a scientist, engineer, and skilled pilot.
More Later- Make it FUN!


  1. The U-Foes have always been such a interesting group of villains to me.

  2. If their needed to be a bastardized version of the Fantastic Four, I am glad it's these guys. They have great powers and are deliciously evil. The fought the smart Hulk and need to be made in action figure form.

  3. The U-Foes always intrigued me, though I only ever saw them in the pages of Marvel Universe.

  4. Wish they would make them as Marvel Universe figures.

  5. I loved these characters from their first appearance. Way back in Oct/Dec 1980! Man times fly by way too fast & I feel old! I always wondered why they never fought the FF though?