Number One, Doctor Powers
165 lbs. (Anthony),
220 lbs. (Matthew)
Marvel Team-Up (1st series) #117
Matthew Aaron (son, deceased),
historian, political advisor,
enhanced form employs a
to give him superhuman strength,
armored resistance to physical injury, missile-launching fingertips, an alpha-converter that harnesses mental energy for concussive blasts from his hands or eyes, and boot jets allowing flight
Consciousness can be mentally preserved outside a living body, allowing him to jump between different specially prepared organic or android forms
Anthony Power was born in Norfolk, Virginia, to a rich and prominent family. Dedicating himself to higher education as he came of age, Anthony earned several degrees and became a leading authority on history, political science and foreign affairs. Eventually becoming a professor, Anthony taught at several top universities in the country and acted as an influential advisor to several presidents from both political parties. A dedicated patriot, Professor Power believed in the American Dream and felt that one day America could peacefully usher in a democratic utopia across the globe.
Professor Power also started a family, and he had a son named Matthew with his wife who came to emulate his father's cherished views of America. The great orator was not so great at home, however, and Anthony Power rarely expressed his love for his son, causing Matthew to grow up with a desperate need for the approval of his absentee father. Matthew had an Ivy League education thanks to his father, but left academics when he volunteered for the Armed Forces to defend America's interests aboard. Tragically, the horrors of war were too much for Matthew Power's mind to handle, and he suffered a psychotic break, retreating from reality and settling into a fugue-like state.
Matthew's illness brought about a severe change in his father's world view. Blaming the government for his son's condition, Anthony Power decided America was not strong enough to lead the world into the utopia he envisioned. Retiring from active politics and the public eye, Professor Power began to plan for a new world order under his direction. With his talent for oration and personal fortune, Power gathered a legion of followers from America's greatest minds, as well as mercenaries culled from the ranks of the CIA, FBI, SHIELD and so on. Power started to idolize Alexander, and the Roman conquerors of the ancient world, dressing up his mercenary forces as Roman Centurions, but still armed with advanced technology. One of his more ostentatious creations was a mobile castle, capable of burrowing underground and traveling on rails through hidden tunnels at high speeds throughout the Adirondacks. [Marvel Team-Up (1st series) #118]
Professor Power devised a plan to wipe out Russia, leaving the "weak-willed" leaders of America a clear path towards controlling the world uncontested. He funded several experiments and research studies by the likes of Morgan MacNeil Hardy and August Masters to locate psychics in the population. Once the psychics were prepared, Power's agents would direct a mechanically-harvested telepathic blast at Russia, destroying the minds of every man, woman and child in the country. The kidnapping of the psychics came to the attention of Captain America and the Defenders, who interfered with the endeavor and prevented the death of all of Russia. [Captain America (1st series) #264, 268, Defenders (1st series) #102-106]
Recognizing the threat superhumans potentially posed to his future efforts, Professor Power lured Spider-Man to the site of his mobile castle to test him. By sheer chance, Wolverine also happened to be hunting in the area, and so Power had him captured as well. In addition to testing their physical capabilities, Professor Power also challenged their moral fiber. Through one of his robot servitors, Power announced to the duo that they could have a clear path to him inside the castle, but he was also sending his soldiers to murder a nearby town in one direction, and a prison full of hardened criminals in the other. Wolverine thought one of them should go save the town while the other pursued their captor, but Spider-Man insisted on saving the prisoners as well. Both attacks were revealed to be a ruse, and by the time Spider-Man and Wolverine returned to the site of the castle, they found it had moved without a trace. [Marvel Team-Up (1st series) #117]
Professor Power's plan for the psychic attack on Russia had a secondary purpose -- finding a cure for his boy, Matthew. Anthony Power hoped that a powerful enough telepath would be able to coax Matthew's mind back from the abyss, and restore his son to him. While Spider-Man and Wolverine were still recovering from their ordeal at the X-Mansion, Power sent word to Professor Charles Xavier that he wanted a meeting. Intrigued by the mysterious offer, Xavier accepted the car Power sent him in Westchester and traveled to Power's estate in Scarsdale. Over wine, Xavier learned that Power's government connections had provided him with the secret of Xavier's telepathic powers. Anthony Power told Xavier what had happened to Matthew, and hoped the mutant could save Matthew just as he once saved Gabrielle Haller. Although he was concerned by Anthony Power's erratic behavior (and the ramifications of the psi-dampeners used to conceal the true purpose of their meeting from Power's mind), Charles attempted to reach out to Matthew telepathically. Through their psi-link, Xavier determined that Matthew's condition was virtually hopeless, and it would take years of psychic therapy to repair the boy's mind, and even then only if he wanted to be saved.
The paranoid Anthony Power could not accept this, and accused Xavier of maliciously refusing to help his son. Prepared for this "treachery," Power ensnared Xavier in a psycho-plastic cage. Power had also recruited the criminals Fixer and Mentallo, and the former had constructed an elaborate device to drain psychic energy from Xavier and feed it into Mentallo, repairing his mind and giving him the power to do what Xavier "refused" to do, as well as continuing Power's "mind war" against Russia. Professor X was forced into a telepathic battle with Mentallo who, thanks to Fixer's device, was using Xavier's own mental energy against him. Professor X won out over Mentallo, but at great cost -- the psi-link he had constructed with Matthew Power was still active during their astral battle, and the mental conflict inadvertently destroyed what little remained of the mind of Anthony Power's son. [Marvel Team-Up (1st series) #118]
Professor Power was unable to accept Matthew's mind-death or his own part in it. Instead, he blamed Charles Xavier completely for Matthew's loss, and swore vengeance on Xavier. The unstable professor chose to use his son's body as the instrument of his own revenge. Power had his scientists develop the psychometer device to transfer his mind into Matthew's body, giving him a youthful form in which to carry out his campaigns. Professor Power also had his new body encased in a fusion-powered exoskeleton armor, so that he had the physical power necessary to eliminate his foes. Power decided to take revenge on Xavier by killing his own "children" one-by-one: the X-Men. Targeting the publicly-known Hank McCoy, Power attacked Beast at a restaurant lunch with his parents. Spider-Man happened to be swinging by as well, but even together the two heroes were overcome by Professor Power's armored strength and alpha wave blasters. Power was prepared to crush a dazed Beast to death with some construction equipment when his mother Edna McCoy rushed to her son's defense. She pleaded with Professor Power as a parent, begging him not to kill her boy. Momentarily haunted by his own personal loss, Professor Power chose to leave and continue his mission of revenge another day. [Marvel Team-Up (1st series) #124]
Regrouping, Professor Power momentarily put aside his personal vengeance and concentrated on building up his private empire. Power incorporated the remnants of the Secret Empire into his organization, taking the role of Number One of the Empire. He also assimilated RoXXon's Nth Command and made efforts to acquire other potentially useful resources. Power recruited a number of superhuman operatives for the Secret Empire as well, including Mutant Force, Mad Dog, Harridan, Seraph and Cloud. The last of these agents was forcibly recruited and brainwashed with memory implants to make her serve Power and his people.
When Harridan, Cloud and Seraph failed to acquire the synthezoid Vision for study because of intervention by the Defenders, Professor Power realized his old opponents were once again a threat to his plans. He sent Mad Dog and Mutant Force to attack the wedding of Defenders Hellcat and Son of Satan, but they were captured by the new Defenders in the process. Still, Power managed to arrange for their escape from the SHIELD facility they were held at by engineering the escape of another inmate, the Leviathan. [Defenders (1st series) #123-126]
In the meantime, Professor Power began orchestrating Project: Sublimate. Through the resources he acquired from the Secret Empire, Power constructed a satellite that would beam subliminal thought waves to the Earth below, pushing the leaders of the United States and Russia into World War III. Expecting mutually assured destruction to be the result, Anthony Power and the Secret Empire planned to live out the nuclear holocaust in underground bunkers, so that the greatest minds on the planet would one day emerge and start civilization over, ushering in a true utopia.
The satellite was nearly ready for launch when agent Cloud shook off the brainwashing done to her by the Secret Empire and fled from Professor Power, seeking help from the Defenders. Power sent his Mek-Men to retrieve Cloud, and allowed the Defenders to track them back to his headquarters, where Power's posse of super-agents managed to defeat them. Despite being hours away from triggering worldwide Armageddon, Professor Power couldn't escape his obsession with vengeance on Charles Xavier. With three of Xavier's original students on the Defenders, Power demanded the Secret Empire use his Mind-Ripper device to forcibly brainwash the Defenders into killing Xavier's latest "children," the New Mutants. The Defenders fought off the programming, however, and were soon freed by Cloud and Seraph, who was actually a secret Russian agent in the Empire. Valkyrie and Moondragon destroyed the satellite in mid-launch before it reached the upper atmosphere, and Power's war was aborted.
Although he escaped the Secret Empire's base before SHIELD and the Defenders could capture him, Professor Power's ego kept him from slipping away quietly. He was waiting for the Defenders when they returned to their chalet in the Colorado Rockies, and attacked the team for cheating him of his vengeance. The Defenders could not defeat the armored Power physically, and so Moondragon attacked his mind. Specifically, she reached the mind of Matthew Power, which still existed in the smallest fragments inside the body his father had stolen. Matthew and Anthony Power were forcibly brought together in the shared psi-scape. Matthew could not believe the horror of what his father had done to him and to others, and Anthony could not handle Matthew's psychic rejection. Professor Power was reduced to a vegetative state, not far removed from the condition Matthew first fell into after the war. [Defenders (1st series) #127-130]
The Defenders turned the unresponsive Professor Power over to SHIELD, but eventually agents loyal to Power freed him from the prison hospital and brought him back to his mobile castle. The Commission on Superhuman Activities dispatched John Walker, the new Captain America, and his partner Bucky to storm the castle and recover Professor Power.
After fighting their way through Leviathan and the Mek-Men, the duo found Power being subjected to a cerebro-stimulator by his followers, trying to recover his mind. When they attacked, the disoriented Power was loaded into an automated escape rocket, but Walker brought the craft down with his shield. The addle-minded Power was barely aware of his surroundings, but struck out at Walker with an alpha-blast, enraging the replacement Captain enough that he beat Matthew Power's body to death with his bare hands before regaining his self-control. [Captain America (1st series) #338]
Anthony Power survived his son's death; his consciousness autonomically transplanted back into his own body as Matthew died. Power became part of a ring of tech-based criminal organizations (including Savage Steel, Kearson DeWitt, and AIM), who were sharing stolen blueprints and designs from Stark Industries and Stane International for their own benefit. Power was interested in mass-producing the Iron Monger armor designed by Obadiah Stane, and set up an assembly line in Kansas City to accomplish this task. He accidentally engineered his own downfall, however, when his men caught Jim Rhodes from Stark snooping around one of his "vendors," and brought him back to Kansas City for interrogation. This allowed Iron Man and the Avengers West to track down Power's operation and dismantle it. [Avengers West Coast Annual #7, Iron Man Annual #13]
[Note: There's a discrepancy between chapters 2 and 3 of Attack on Armor City, mentioned above. Power and his associates were rendered unconscious and captured by Iron Man and the Avengers in the AWC Annual, before they moved on to the next link in the tech theft chain, DeWitt and AIM. When Stark battled DeWitt and set off a series of explosions destroying the AIM facility in the Iron Man Annual, however, he remarked that that was the last anyone would hear from Professor Power as well, indicating Power was supposedly on the island with DeWitt and AIM. Later Power stories would also ignore his capture in Chapter 2, and acknowledge his off-panel death in Chapter 3.]
With his original body and his son's body now both dead, Anthony Power survived regardless. Reduced to a state of pure consciousness, Power was sustained through the psychometer technology, his mind kept in stasis until his followers could arrange for a new body to house him. Or, rather, an old body. Apparently operating under Power's pre-arranged instructions, the professor's people gruesomely exhumed the body of Matthew Power, reanimating and rebuilding it using cybernetic technology until Anthony could safely inhabit his son's corpse. Still blind to the torments he heaped on Matthew before and after his death, Anthony Power renewed his quest for vengeance against Charles Xavier. He attacked the original X-Men when they were dining in New York City, using his amplified power to capture Cyclops, Iceman, Archangel and the Beast. He took them aboard his now-flying mobile castle, and planned to attack Xavier directly at his Westchester estate, forcing Professor X to watch as he killed Xavier's first students before his eyes. Unknown to Power, Jean Grey and Spider-Man had snuck aboard the castle, and freed the X-Men. In the battle that followed, Jean repeated Moondragon's trick by forcing Power to confront his own memories of his life with Matthew: the truth, instead of the rose-colored view Anthony tried to project. Seeing his own hand in Matthew's unhappiness, his distant but demanding nature, the rift that drove Matthew to volunteer for a war he didn't believe in to please his father, Professor Power retreated from reality and psychically abandoned his body rather than continue confronting his own shame. [Spectacular Spider-Man (2nd series) #197-199]
Professor Power was once again trapped in a formless state of pure consciousness for many months. For reasons of her own, the woman known as Haven directed her agents to arrange for Power's resurrection. Matthew Power's body was reconstructed to be larger and more powerful than ever before. Although SHIELD managed to take custody of the body and block it from Power's alpha wave pattern in a special coffin, Haven arranged for several android powerhouses to be at Power's disposal, allowing him to temporarily possess these robots to engineer his own "escape." While SHIELD and X-Factor were transporting Matthew's body to a secure holding site, Power's androids attacked the convoy and ripped open the "coffin," allowing him to re-possess Matthew's undead cyborg frame once more. Anthony Power initially couldn't help himself from trying to kill Xavier's "children" on the scene, but eventually recognized that he needed time to regain his strength, and fled to fight again another day. [X-Factor Annual #9]
In the years that followed, however, Professor Power apparently fell on hard times. Instead of renewing his feud with Charles Xavier or his other campaigns, Power found himself as a mere consultant to a new incarnation of the Secret Empire. With his former agent Mad-Dog at his side, Power arranged to "beta test" a new form of social engineering for the Empire. Under the guise of "Doctor Powers" at Aiken Garvey High School in New York, Powers began working as a civics teacher. Through his access to the student body, Power conditioned five students from five different social groups and ethnic backgrounds to respond to the convenient message of Desmond Daniels, running for student body president. Using them to influence others, Power quickly managed to organize the entire student body behind Daniels' message. The Secret Empire hoped to employ Power's process to sway entire populations to support the policies and candidates of the Empire across the country. Professor Power did not anticipate the presence of a young crime-fighter called Nomad at the high school, however, or the extremist shift among some of his conditioned students that led to violent rioting in the streets after Daniels was elected president. Nomad and the Young Avengers helped end the riot, and Power escaped in the chaos. [Nomad: Girl Without a World #1-4]
He attempted to have Nomad eliminated as she continued trying to track him down, but was unsuccessful. When last spotted, Professor Power was being prepped by the Secret Empire to participate in the next stage of their plans. Where Power and the Empire will turn up next remains to be seen. [Captain America (1st series) #602-605]