Marvel’s absorbing man just turned into a war machine


In the first issue of Gamma Flight, a former Hulk villain turned member of the titular team is impressively transformed into a true war machine.

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Gamma Flight # 1 by VC’s Al Ewing, Crystal Frasier, Lan Medina, Antonio Fabela, and Joe Sabino, on sale now.

After having figured prominently in Immortal hulk, Gamma-irradiated members of Gamma Flight obtained their own title. In the very first issue, one of their members, Carl Creed the Absorbing Man, demonstrated a new level of control over his already formidable powers, transforming himself into a veritable war machine.

Like the rest of Gamma Flight, Creel is currently on the run from the authorities since they made the decision to help the Hulk instead of hunting him down. While Creel and his wife Titania have been happy to put the team in their safe house for the time being, the team is still in desperate need of some very specific technology. As such, Creel and Sasquatch set out in search of a Phantom Base facility that they believe has been abandoned in search of what the team needs.

Even though the place is supposed to be abandoned, it’s still crawling with armed minions who are trained to shoot first and ask no questions. Creel is able to take the bullets that come to him, but when the lasers start flying, their need to escape becomes imminent. Sasquatch is the first to be transported out of the shootout, leaving Carl behind until Gamma Flight’s teleporter can recharge. Fortunately, there are a lot of powerful tech to absorb and her powers seem to have evolved. Creel no longer becomes just the material from which weapons are made, but rather becomes their essence. In this case, he becomes a literal war machine and even takes the form of the Marvel armored hero of the same name.

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When Creel first became the Absorbent Man in the 1965s Journey into the mystery # 114 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, this was after being sidelined after his stint as boxer turned executor Rocky Davis. While imprisoned for his crimes, Creel became an unwitting pawn in Loki’s vendetta against his brother Thor. After drinking a serum that Loki had slipped on him, Creel acquired the abilities he now has, although he is barely so adept at using them.

During the years 1975 Thor # 235 of Gerry Conway and John Buscema, the titular hero faced off against the Absorbent Man only for the villain to borrow the power of Mjolnir himself. This seriously disadvantaged Thor, at least until he could get Creel to grab a replica of his hammer, reducing the Absorbent Man to an easily crumpled corrugated cardboard form. In the years that followed, the Absorbent Man honed his skills to be able to avoid such humiliating defeats, while also learning to become more than the surface of everything he absorbs.

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Even though absorbent man has taken the form of all kinds of materials or energy over the years, it’s hard to think of another time when he was able to transform into something more than human. Not even when he had absorbed the power of a cosmic cube in the 2010s Mighty avengers # 33 by Dan Slott and Khoi Pham, did Creel have that level of control over his abilities.

Hopefully that’s a good sign for the future of Gamma Flight, given the amount of extra perks available to them, even though one of those perks is best known for being a dangerous villain.

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