Friday, September 9, 2016

Legacy Of Greed


Name This Marvel Villain??

"For the man who has everything" is a phrase that would likely never apply to the man known as Gideon--although you'd never know it at first glance.

Gregory Gideon, for all his material wealth and holdings, is afflicted with a mixture of boredom and impatience--to say nothing of an affinity for the phrase "hostile takeover." Meeting the heads of the three largest financial empires in (during the 1960s, mind you) a video conference call, Gideon makes them all an offer that they can't refuse.

The thing is: they can refuse Gideon's proposal, and should. Gideon, after all, is offering them nothing except his word that he won't pursue world domination. What do they get out of that vague condition? And if Gideon succeeds in the challenge they propose, they agree to stop fighting Gideon's acquisitions of their assets and sell out to him immediately. It sounds like a lose-lose proposition for these gentlemen. Why not counter with the position that Gideon agrees to call off his takeover of their companies and assets if he loses? With those companies so crucial to Gideon's plans for world financial domination, they eliminate Gideon's loophole and would also be stopping him cold in terms of the bigger picture.

At any rate, Gideon eagerly agrees.  And it seems you get what you pay for, because his "planning board" has come with a pretty good plan:  Why not get the FF to take out each other?

In his story, we see that Gideon will also never likely have the phrase "family man" applied to him--rarely a presence at home, and hardly ever checking in with his son, Thomas, or his wife. Gideon instead feels that his work to give Thomas an invaluable legacy--the entire world--is more important and lasting than any affection he might offer his family. Thomas is regarded by Gideon more as an heir than a son--while his wife is constantly regarded as an intrusion and brushed off. On the bright side, Gideon never has to worry about receiving a light-up tie for Father's Day.

Complications arise in Gideon's plan when Thomas discovers his father's plan for the FF, a group the boy idolizes. Heading for the Baxter Building (which, we find out in passing, Gideon owns), he falls into the trap Gideon's men had set for the FF upon their return: a time displacer lying in wait, which sends Thomas into the past (along with the Thing, who had rushed in to rescue him). Fortunately, Reed arrives and shuts down the machine, which returns the two to the launch point--and when Gideon arrives, frantic at the thought of having endangered Thomas, his part in all of this is revealed.

The remorseful Gideon departs with his family and is presumably arrested later at his residence. However, it appears that Gideon's change of heart (or in his case, acquiring one) wasn't permanent, as we catch up with him again exactly one-hundred issues later in a story that shows that he's back to his old, lovable self.

It appears Gideon is once again after the Fantastic Four, this time putting in motion a careful plan to capture them (and with the controlled assistance of Dragon Man, at that) in order to acquire their power as part of a mysterious procedure. In spite of his vow to divest himself of his wealth*, he seems to have kept a tidy sum for a rainy day--and today, it's raining on the FF, who one by one fall victim to his private army.

*There are extenuating circumstances later to be revealed; apparently Gideon was never taken into custody, but instead embarked on a vacation with his family, after which he planned to renounce his fortune.

The "eternity machine" is in essence an energy siphon that uses the power from the FF's cosmic-ray-altered genes to replace the deteriorating cells of Gideon and his son, both decaying from radiation poisoning from exposure to the blast of an atomic bomb--a blast which killed Gideon's wife and forces him to wear a bio-support suit. Unfortunately, the procedure will ultimately lead to the deaths of the FF, which seems to matter to Gideon not at all; beginning the process with Reed, Sue, and Franklin, he finds that he's becoming a power in his own right. And being "drunk with power" is one phrase that was never foreign to Gideon.

In the meantime, the rest of the FF break out of their cells--but is it too late?

While the Thing and the Torch clash with Gideon and his men (respectively), Medusa removes the sonic control device that Gideon had been using to control Dragon Man, in the hope that his rage against Gideon (for capturing Sue) will resurface and he'll intervene in the fight between the Thing and Gideon. And does he ever.

This time it's curtains for Gideon (though reports of Dragon Man's demise are always premature), leaving his son Thomas an orphan, still dying from radiation sickness. However, Thomas will get a new lease on life in the aftermath to this story, when the Shaper of Worlds comes across one of Gideon's henchmen and offers to make his dreams a reality.


The Artistic Actuary said...

Gregory Gideon may also pop up in FF Annual #3. Check out the face in the bottom left corner of the big panel in which Thor cries "Avengers Assemble"

You can find the panel on this web page:

Comicsfan said...

You know, dangermash, I'd always wondered who that guy could be, but I just couldn't place him. Still, I don't think a financier like Gideon would be in the middle of a street brawl, especially with no physical power to speak of at that point in time. Our friend is also sporting either white hair in the back, or part of a collar. Maybe the Red Ghost grew a handlebar moustache?

The Artistic Actuary said...

Yes, his presence would be odd but you could also say that for Kang and for the Super Skrull (Doom's machine must be powerful if it can attract both off those).

As for the white hair, I'd never spotted that before. A bit Red Ghosty but the face is all wrong for him. It's all a big mystery.

Anonymous said...

We'll probably never know who that bald dude is in the corner, if it isn't Gideon.
It could be Jack Kirby's brother-in-law, for all we know.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...