Published February 21, 2019

Didja Know... The Controller

Get some downright delightful details from across the merry Marvel Multiverse!


Didja Know digs into the fun facts, strange stories, and divine details that helped build the hallowed halls of the House of Ideas!

He’s Iron Man’s proverbial bad penny, the baddie who turns up when Tony Stark least expects it and always overstays his welcome... He’s the Controller and he’s back in March 13's TONY STARK: IRON MAN #9!


Let’s dig right into this guy, Marvelites; you might be surprised at what lurks right under that armor of his…

Didja Know… The Controller’s tried to control some of the Marvel Universe’s most powerful people?

No surprise that someone named the Controller would, you know, try to control everybody around him, right?

Well, in Basil Sandhurst’s case, he started off as a research scientist in IRON MAN #13 who we’d kindheartedly label a “control freak.” Banned from his work due to “ethics violations,” he got all blown up real good and had to be stuck into a tin can suit—but one that increased his strength and all that jazz through the use of what he mirthfully labeled his “control discs.”

Iron Man (1968) #13

Iron Man (1968) #13

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So, ol’ Bashful Basil—now the Controller—went out to do some crowd control, but not necessarily the good kind. After being crushed by Iron Man, he set his sights a little higher and went after bigger fish like Namor the Sub-Mariner and Captain America, but he never quite—what’s the word? Oh: won.

Then, the Controller got really crazy. How crazy you ask? About Loki-level crazy? Not nutso enough for ya? Well, he went truly mad. And the man is still running around out there!

Didja Know… The Controller once got involved with Thanos?

A lot of our colorful criminal cut-ups at Marvel like to launch their own lines of mayhem, the thinking being, “Why should I share all this fun with someone else?” But the Controller once accepted aid from none other than the Mad Titan himself, Thanos. And, hoo-hah was that a fiasco, friends.

See, Basil was kind of down-and-out after a few brutal bouts with Iron Man, and when you’ve been beaten on by the best, you sort-of look for love in all the wrong places, yeah? Thanos stepped in to audaciously augment the Controller’s exo-skeleton in CAPTAIN MARVEL #28, and immediately unleashed him on the Avengers. And guess what, True Believers? He beat them all…and Captain Marvel for good measure.

Captain Marvel (1968) #28

Captain Marvel (1968) #28

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Flash-forward, oh frantic ones to CAPTAIN MARVEL #30 and the big rematch that everyone knew had to happen. Though backed by Thanos, the Controller went down all wishy-washy under Marvel’s punishing pummeling and, true to form, the Titan dropped Basil like a hot spud. Hey, it happens!

Didja Know… A lowly worm called Scrounger was the Controller’s greatest ally?

First of all, the name “Scrounger” creatively conjures up some volatile visions, doesn’t it? Get this: anything you can imagine is pretty much correct with this character. The Controller met Scrounger in IRON MAN #88 and though he may not have known it at the time, he’d met the best pal he could ever hope for. In fact, the little dude probably saved Basil’s life.

Now, Scrounger didn’t need a control disc—oh, no! He saw the kind of guy in the Controller he could really connect with, and not through the use of bio-chemical-schemical hoodoo! He brought the baddie food in IRON MAN #89 and began to learn all about his new pal’s darling discs, so much that when ol’ Shellhead canned the Controller up in some experimental plastic in IRON MAN #90, Scrounger pushed the program through to completion.

Iron Man (1968) #88

Iron Man (1968) #88

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It all came to a head in IRON MAN #91. Scrounger scrounged up some control discs and placed them on some innocent victims, which in turn fed brain energy to Basil. This allowed the Controller to crack the plastic and attack the Armored Avenger once again…which, of course, didn’t go the way he planned. Beaten and bruised, the baddie found himself being hauled off into the sunset by his little buddy Scrounger, who proclaimed he’d take care of Basil forever.

And we never heard from Scrounger again. Maybe some bad pennies just stay in the sewers.

Peruse these eye-poppin' publications with Marvel Unlimited right now! Then visit your local comic shop to read TONY STARK: IRON MAN #9 on March 13!