THE BLUE MARVEL
Adam Brashear, physics professor, adventurer, and former Marine and All-American football player, is a prominent hero from the 1960 known as the Blue Marvel! He uses his skills and anti-matter energy powers to fight villains, and receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President John F. Kennedy. Though he is forced into early retirement due to racial tensions after his costume was damaged and revealed him as a Black man. Though he reemerges in the modern age at the ready to use his powers again to defeat dangerous threats.
Golden Age Guardian
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Adam Bernard Brashear grows up to join the United States Marine Corps. During the Korean War in 1951, Adam—an Ivy League undergraduate and enlisted Marine PFC—earns several medals saving three soldiers’ lives, including Sergeant Conner Sims. When Sims later saw racist white soldiers abuse Brashear because of his success as a Black man, Sims decides to fight racism.
After the war, Brashear becomes an All-American football player for Cornell University, graduating magna cum laude in 1954 with Ph.D.’s in electrical engineering and theoretical physics. Afterward, the government contracts Brashear to build a reactor that could convert anti-matter into energy, but prior to 1958, an accident occurs that would have killed Brashear if Sims, also serving at the base, hadn’t pulled him to safety. The incident infuses both men with anti-matter, apparently disintegrating Sims and rendering Brashear superhuman.
Brashear swiftly builds an undersea secret sanctuary in the Mariana Trench to conduct research and befriended aquatic mutant Namor McKenzie, AKA Namor the Sub-Mariner, who soon disappears. Afterward, Brashear becomes a celebrated Super Hero as the Blue Marvel.
A living anti-matter energy containment unit, the Blue Marvel can survive in space’s vacuum or in a nuclear explosion. He can fly at sub-light speeds, has incalculable strength and uses his engineering knowledge to lift large objects without compromising structural integrity. He can focus some of his energy into force blasts or expel large amounts through powerful bursts, though this ability is tiring. Brashear’s advanced technological creations include a pressurized undersea base and a negative reactor. He also has extensive military training from Montford Point.
Family, Foes, and Fantastic Allies
Brashear marries undercover CIA agent Marlene Frazier, AKA Agent 314, AKA Candace Brashear, and together they have three children, two sons, Max and Kevin, and one daughter, Adrienne. Max and Kevin grow up to follow in their fathers footsteps, somewhat, though Max allies with some villains to recover a lost Kevin. Kevin becomes empowered in the Neutral Zone, as Brashear and Max often work together to recover him.
A month after the accident that turns Brashear into a superhuman, his similarly anti-matter affected friend, Sims, awakes from his coma. The shock of learning he might die from anti-matter poisoning, and that the Ku Klux Klan had murdered his FBI-agent brother, drives Sims to become the villainous Anti-Man. Over the years, the Blue Marvel repeatedly opposes Anti-Man’s use of deadly force to fight world prejudice. The Blue Marvel’s powers are able to match Anti-Man’s energy output, and their powers are linked given their similar source.
Brashear often confers with Reed Richards, AKA Mister Fantastic, relating over science. He later becomes close to and romantically involved with his Avengers teammate, Monica Rambeau, AKA Spectrum. They work together, battling baddies, and eventually join T’Challa, AKA Black Panther’s short-lived Ultimates team, and eventually Alpha Flight.
The Blue Marvel’s Biography
In 1962, the Blue Marvel and Anti-Man nearly destroyed each other in battle. Anti-Man dissipated into energy and Blue Marvel’s torn mask publicly revealed him to be Black. Pro-segregation groups feared the Blue Marvel’s influence, while militant integration-supporters
demanded he lead them in revolt. Fearing Brashear could hurt the growing Civil Rights movement, President Kennedy privately awarded him a Presidential Medal of Honor and asked Brashear to step down as Blue Marvel. Soon afterwards, the president assigned Brashear one last mission: intercepting an alien approaching Earth. Discovering the alien was an invasion’s vanguard, Blue Marvel fought him, their battle ending in a massive explosion. En route home Brashear stopped on the moon to discard his medal, encountering Uatu the Watcher, who advised him not to let prejudice stop him from saving the world. Their conversation was interrupted by the rest of the invasion force, which Blue Marvel quickly dispatched. The government told the public that Blue Marvel had died in the space explosion.
CIA agents Timothy “Dum-Dum” Dugan and Nick Fury refused orders to monitor Brashear, but General Harmon Mason accepted the job, assigning it to Agent 314, Marlene Frazier. Posing as a girl named Candace, Frazier soon fell in love and asked that her mission be revoked. Her request was denied, but 18 months into her mission, contact with her superiors ceased and she subsequently married Brashear. During his married life, Brashear became godfather to Sims’ children, and Sims’ widow Jen became godmother to the Brashear children. When Namor resurfaced, he and Brashear reconnected.
Anti-Man eventually rematerialized and battled the Avengers before temporarily losing molecular cohesion again. Investigating Anti-Man’s mention of the Blue Marvel, Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man, declassified files to find Brashear, who was teaching at the University of Maryland in the Physics department. When Tony sought Brashear out, he found his wife, which led Brashear to discover his wife’s duplicity and strained their marriage. Brashear reluctantly agreed to be Blue Marvel again, but clashed with the Avengers over how to handle Anti-Man. Reconciling with his wife and convincing the Avengers to follow his lead, Blue Marvel helped them defeat Anti-Man, but not before he killed many civilians, including Candace. Donning a new uniform she had designed, Brashear remained active as the Blue Marvel.
Brashear heals Spectrum, after she becomes incapacitated by Proxima Midnight. Luke Cage declared him as one of the Avengers, also known as the Mighty Avengers, and as such was a part of the team but spent most of his time working in Kadesh, his undersea base.
After Brashear loses his son Kevin in the Neutral Zone, his younger son Max, AKA Doctor Positron, allied with villains to try and bring him back. Max’s attempt has disastrous results, Kevin remains stuck in the Neutral Zone, while Brashear learned from Mister Fantastic, that Uatu the Watcher has died. He met Ulana the Watcher, Uatu’s next of kin, on Earth’s moon, and they discussed Uatu’s life. As Brashear grieved the loss of his friend, he decided to find Uatu’s killer.
Brashear and Spectrum started to have romantic feelings for one another, and started a relationship. Brashear also had luck with his son Max as they started working together against the Beyond Corporation who had a portal to the Neutral Zone. They reprogramed their portal and succeeded at bringing Kevin back, who was empowered by being in the Neutral Zone. Though he fought Beyond’s agent and with Jennifer Walters, AKA She-Hulk’s help, they both disappeared back into the Neutral Zone. This loss did not get Brashear and Max down as they attempted to reach Kevin again.
Brashear then joined the Ultimates, led by Black Panther, with Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel, and America Chavez, AKA Miss America. Brashear suggested Spectrum for the team’s roster and she joined as well. He also suggested that they refrain from applying violent solutions, when possible. That changed when they explored the Neutral Zone and came upon Brashear’s old rival, Anti-Man. Brashear attempted to kill him, but it was Kevin who was able to persuade him otherwise. Soon after, their ship was destroyed, and Galactus returned them to Earth. Their team was terminated after the second superhuman Civil War, though they reformed in secret when Galactus requested them to seek out the culprit responsible for imprisoning Eternity. The Ultimates discovered it was the First Firmament, and the team was then absorbed into Alpha Flight, thus reinstated as a public, sanctioned team.
Brashear then joined Jimmy Woo’s Three Xs with Dwayne Taylor, AKA Night Thrasher, to help investigate the identity thief posing as the Masked Raider, and assisted other heroes in solving a murder. When the explosion of a space station caused a Black Hole, Brashear was asked to recover an escaped Victor Von Doom, AKA Doctor Doom. He worked with Mister Fantastic’s robot known as Humanoid Experimental Robot B-Type Integrated Electronics, AKA H.E.R.B.I.E., but also had to face Morgan le Fay, Silver Sablinova, AKA Silver Sable, Victorious, and Nathaniel Richards, AKA Kang, and as such, Doom escaped his grasp. Brashear then worked with Mister Fantastic in contacting Doom, who informed him that Brashear was capable of fixing the problem using his anti-matter powers.