Comet Man (Stephen Beckley)
Real Name: Dr. Stephen Beckley
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Comet Man can teleport himself over vast distances, from Earth to any location in outer space. The limits on Comet Man's teleportational range are as yet unknown. Comet Man's teleportational ability is triggered subconsciously when he is in danger. He can utilize his teleportational power consciously through the use of a "psiamplifier" device given him by Reed Richards. Comet Man can teleport himself into the presence of another person by concentrating on that person, even if Comet Man does not know where that person is. Apparently Comet Man subconsciously psionically scans the area to which he teleports himself to make sure he does not materialize within a solid object.
Comet Man can psionically project a portion of his own consciousness into the mind of another human being or the mind of an animal. In this way Comet Man can read the memories of that other human being or animal and can even influence the thoughts and emotions of that person or animal. Comet Man refers to this power as "thought pitching." As a side effect of receiving psionic abilities, Comet Man's capacity for feeling emotions himself has increased.
Dr. Stephen Beckley was the son of Jack Beckley of the United States Air Force. Stephen's parents were enraged when Jack went out to the South Pacific as a naval aviator; Jack was unaware that his fiancee was pregnant. Her family sent her to Florida to have the baby, who was then put up for adoption. Returning as a highly decorated hero; Jack married his fiancee and they had two children, Stephen and Rosemary.
However, Jack remained unaware of the existence of his older son, John. John eventually became a powerful figure in naval intelligence and developed his own top secret intelligence agency known as The Bridge. As the leader of the organisation, John was known as the Superior. Tracing his own background, John discovered the identity of his father. John went to see Colonel Jack Beckley and told him he was his son. Jack, however, not knowing the truth, said he had only one son. The vengeful John determined to destroy the Beckley name and arranged an airplane crash in which Colonel Beckley died.
Stephen Beckley had become an astronomer and astrophysicist. He and his wife, Ann, a former astronaut, had a young son, Benny. Stephen and Ann Beckley were also the creators and heads of the Edmond Project, a joint effort by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to investigate astronomical events.
As the culmination of the project, Stephen Beckley piloted a spacecraft that encountered an apparent comet passing through the solar system. Beckley lost directional control of his spacecraft; which was drawn into the tail of the comet. Within the comet, however, was another spacecraft piloted by an alien who called himself Max, a being from the so-called Colony Fortisque. Max claims that his race has "seeded" planets in the Milky Way Galaxy and that it is thus responsible for the origin of human life on Earth.
When Beckley's spacecraft entered the tail of a unknown comet concealing Max's starship. the intense heat of the comet vaporized Beckley's craft as well as Beckley himself. However, Max employed Fortisquian technology to gather up Beckley's molecules to reconstruct his body. Max's technological devices do so in such a way as to bestow upon Beckley various superhuman powers.
With his new powers, Beckley returned to Earth, where he was believed to have died in space. Beckley encountered David Hilbert, a man whom he believed to be his friend and who was chief of Bridge operations. Hilbert allowed Ann to continue to believe her husband was dead and he quarantined Beckley, subjecting him to tests of his new superhuman abilities.
Stephen Beckley later escaped captivity, unaware that his wife and son had also been made prisoners. Ann made an escape attempt, taking Benny with her, but was accidentally killed when she made contact with an electrical fence. Benny was subjected by order of the Superior to a brutal series of tests and experiments in altering his own molecular structure by a scientist Dr. Fishler in an attempt to duplicate Stephen Beckley's powers within his son.
Searching for his missing wife and child, Beckley encountered and nearly defeated the Hulk. Reed Richards, leader of the Fantastic Four, saw Beckley battling the Hulk on television and went to see him in person. The news media dubbed the newly superhumanly powerful Beckley "Comet Man." Richards aided Beckley in controlling his power of self-teleportation by giving him a "psi-amplifier" device. Concentrating on his wife, Beckley teleported himself into her presence only to discover her within a buried coffin. Returning to Richards, Beckley then learned about his older brother John, who was now the Superior, from SHIELD.
Beckley teleported himself into the presence of his son, only to find him seemingly dying in Bridge captivity. Unknowingly, the anguished Stephen Beckley transmitted part of his own life force into Benny, thereby apparently activating superhuman powers given Benny by the Bridge's experiments. Awakening, Benny, enraged and perhaps driven by insanity by the shock of his father's seeming death, his witnessing his mother's death, and the torments he had undergone at Fishler's hands, used his new powers to attack his father and to kill Fishler. Benny blamed his father for abandoning him and his mother to the suffering they had undergone. Benny then fell into a catatonic state. Stephen confronted the now repentant Hilbert, who vowed to take care of Benny.
Meanwhile, men serving the Bridge had reached Max's starship and had gone aboard. They invited Max to return with them to Earth. Comet Man teleported himself aboard Max's starship just as the Bridge's men were about to kill the alien, who had refused to go to Earth with them. The Bridge assassins then attacked Comet Man. Faced with violence for the first time in his life, Max, who was from a pacifistic culture, turned insanely violent, in the grip of emotions stirred in him through observing violence on Earth. The Bridge assassins fled Max's starship. Max told Comet Man that he intended to wipe out the human race on Earth before its violent ways contaminated the rest of the sentient races of the galaxy. Beckley calmed Max down and agreed to accompany him on a visit to the Fortisquian colony.
Back on Earth the Superior triggered a nuclear device to destroy Max's starship and his brother with it. Max sensed the danger, and he and Comet Man teleported away to safety. Max took Comet Man to the Colony Fortisque, where Beckley gained more control over his powers through training. Beckley and Max returned to Earth, where Beckley found his sister, Rosemary, and his son, Benny, living with his brother, John. Comet Man used his powers to free Benny from his catatonic state. Ultimately, Comet Man learned John was the Superior, who then paid for his crimes.
First Appearance: Comet Man (1987) #1
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Captain Marvel (1999)
#7 Civil War: Battle Damage Report (2007)
- 'Night of the Comet, Man'
Comet Man (1987)
#1 Fantastic Four (1961)
- 'The Coming of the Comet Man'#2
- 'Try to Set the Night on Fire!'#3
- 'When the Truth is Found to be Lies!'#4
- 'The Damage Done!'#5
- 'All Your Love's in Vain!'#6
- 'The Rest is Silence'
Marvel Comics Presents (1988)
#50 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A To Z Update (2010)
- 'Breaking Point/A Family Affair/I Just Flew in From Poughkeepsie/You Can't Go Home Again'#51
- 'Face-Off/Bad Blood!/The Other Way Out/...The Straight Approach!'#52
- 'The First Cut is the Deepest!/Reunion/Last Resort/Kids Will Be Kids'#53
- 'Animals Under the Skin/Final Jeopardy/Brotherly Love/Heads I Win, Tales You Lose'
#1 The Marvel Encyclopedia (2006)
- 'Marlene Alraune to Zuri'
HC The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Update '89 (1989)
- 'The Marvel Encyclopedia'
- 'Champion to Ecstasy'
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