Puppet Master
Puppet Master
Personal Info:
Real Name: Phillip Masters
Also Known As: No known Alias
Place Of Birth: Dragorin, Transia
First Appearance: Fantastic Four Vol.1 #8 (1962) Silver Age Villain
Known Associates: Egghead, Mad Thinker
Group Affiliation: None
Base Of Operations: New York City
Grudges: Fantastic Four
Creators: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Gallery: Click
Sympathetic Magic: By means of a special method he has developed, the Puppet master may mentally control the minds of others. The process requires him to carve and colour an effigy of his intended victim from radioactive clay brought from Wundagore Mountain in his native Transia. Once the effigy resembles a specific individual, he can grasp it and actively control the real personís body and mind. By physically manipulating the figure, he can cause his victim to perform identical movements. Such cases cause the victims to retain consciousness but lose control of their bodies. The Puppet Master can even control a person by simply grasping the effigy and concentrating on it. This enables him to perform more complex feats. He is able to blot out a victimís mind, alter the victimís memory, and force them to perform complex activities. Generally he can control only a single individual at one time.
Mind Transferral: With Dr. Doomís assistance, Masters developed the ability, by using his special clay and Doomís devices, he is able to transfer minds into miniature android bodies.
Mineral Body: Early in his career, Mastersí body was destroyed in a battle with the Fantastic Four. However, his conscious mind survived and was able to create a duplicate body from his own clay. This new body resembled his original body but possessed unique features. Masters was able to split himself into 1-10 smaller replicas. These replicas shared a communal mind but were capable of independent actions. Furthermore, each replica was capable of shape-changing to become an effigy of an intended victim. Once the change was complete, the effigy could control that personís actions. Mastersí clay form was later returned to normal flesh.
Philip Masters was born in the tiny Balkan country of Transia, his parentage unknown. He lived there until the age of eight when his parents emigrated to America. A precocious child, Masters learned English rapidly and did very well at his studies in school. He was, however, a social outcast, for his cultural differences and personality made it difficult for him to make friends. He spent much of his spare time making wooden marionettes and sculpting clay figurines from the unusual clay he had brought with him from his native land. Masters eventually enrolled in college and sought a degree in biology. While there he met two fellow students, Jacob Reiss and Marcie Deaton, who became his first real friends. Upon graduation, Masters joined Reiss as a partner in a small research centre in upstate New York that Reiss's inheritance had enabled him to establish. Reiss had by that time married Deaton and had sired an infant daughter Alicia. Masters soon began to resent the success of his partner (his wealth, his wife, and his child), believing that he would never have the same. One night, his bitterness overwhelmed him and he decided to rob his partner of one of his successes by sabotaging the research facility where they worked. Reiss, however, had noticed the lights on in the main building and stopped to investigate, leaving his family in the car.
Caught in the act, Masters pummelled his partner, finally knocking him into a vat containing some of the unusual clay from Transia, which they were using in their experiment in an attempt to recreate primordial conditions on Earth, which may have promoted the first development of life. Reiss's plunge into the vat precipitated the explosion, which Masters had rigged. The explosion caught Masters, as well as Marcia and Alicia, who had come from the car to see what was keeping Reiss. Although they all miraculously escaped major injury, Alicia was blinded by exposure to hot, vaporized clay. Not revealing exactly how Jacob Reiss had come to die, Masters courted his partner's widow. She married him a year later, simply so her daughter would have a father. Masters had finally achieved all the things that had been his partner's, but at the expense of his stepdaughter's sight. He determinedly tried to reformulate the mixture that had exploded believing that its formulation might contain the answer to curing Alicia's blindness. But he failed in this task, and at some point his wife Marcia died from long-acting poisons to which she had been exposed in the explosion. Soon after Marcia's death, Masters sold the research centre and moved to Manhattan. Placing his stepdaughter in a school for the visually handicapped, he opened a sculpture workshop and withdrew into his own world of figurine making. Masters taught the art of sculpture to Alicia, who proved to have great talent for it.
Masters learned that his special clay had properties that he had never dreamed it possessed. By moulding it into the likeness of a person, Masters found he could mentally control the actions of that person by manipulating the figurine. Calling himself the Puppet Master, Masters decided to use the clay's powers to gain power over other people.
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