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Most Powerful Android (Marvel Comics) (Mad Thinker) (Part 1)

Most Powerful Android

(Mad Thinker) (Part #1)


“He’s actually a deadly multi-function machine… built into the shape of a man !”

Context

This robot doesn’t have a name. Its creator, the Mad Thinker, simply states that it’s the most powerful android among his currently active series.

(Though the Thing addressed it as “Charlie”, so I guess we could call it that…)

It appeared in 1968, during the classic Kirby/Lee Fantastic Four run.

Witness the power of my ultimate form !

Oddly enough, this obscure creation went through three different forms over the decades.

  1. The “most powerful android” form. This here writeup.
  2. The .
  3. The Monster Android form.

These are functionally three different characters. So a small writeup for each form is clearer.


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Powers & Abilities

The MPA is a 12-foot tall armoured combat machine. It is programmed to fight the classic Fantastic Four by itself.

Its assets include :

  • Enough strength to effortlessly smash through solid steel. The MPA seems almost on par with the then-contemporary Thing (Benjamin J. Grimm), so it’s *at least* “Class 50”.
  • Matching durability, plus an ability to harmlessly absorb most forms of energy. It is particularly resilient toward heat and flame, including the Human Torch (Johnny Storm)’s.
  • Magnetised soles to walk along vertical surfaces.
  • Disintegrator cannons behind its “face”. These are its most powerful weapon.
  • A radar to locate invisible opponents, or navigate in darkness. It can be confused by multiple moving objects, though.
  • “Power jets” on its back. These were used to break a bear hug from the Thing, but are normally used as a short-range jump pack. It’s also useful for the MPA to leap back on its feet when knocked down.
  • Jet boots. Since they weren’t the MPA’s first mobility choice, they likely have limited fuel.
  • Knockout gas sprayers in its fingers. These are only useful point-blank, but the gas is powerful enough to take the Thing out.
  • Absorbing heat. This ices up the MPA, and can plunge a large room into Arctic temperatures. The cold can be focused to encase a target in ice.
  • Electrifying its outer shell when grappled.
  • Twin flamethrowers emerging from the chest.
  • A concussion blaster on the wrist.

So I wouldn’t call it underequipped.


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Other characteristics

The MPA curbstomped the entire team. In fairness, they were exhausted at that point. But the fight was one-sided enough that the MPA would have decent odds even against the rested FF of 1968.

It stands to reason that the MPA isn’t a robot but a synthesoid . The main reasons for this are :

  1. The way it was later modified. See the next profile for more about that.
  2. The precedent of the Awesome Android, another Mad Thinker design. The AA could adapt to fight its enemies, and the MPA looks like it was “pre-adapted” to fight the Fantastic Four. Perhaps through simulated fights against the FF.
  3. Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #242 specifically describes this class of android as comprising “magnanium steel”, micro-circuitry… and synthetic tissue.
  4. MODOK having shut down a similar model using what seemed to be a telepathic attack.

I shall retuuurrrnn ! (2006 edition)

In 2006, the MPA :

  • Seemed larger. But it could be argued that it was simply drawn as being 12 foot this time. Matching the 1968 caption, but making it bigger than the 1968 art.
  • Sprayed a large cloud of mist that froze those caught within. But it’s not functionally different from its heat absorption trick of yore.

History

Back in 1967, the Mad Thinker built a batch of green, faceless metallic androids to assist him.

Most Powerful Android (Marvel Comics) (Mad Thinker) (Part 1) bursting through

Most weren’t particularly powerful. They were just aides and guards. But one was built to take on the Fantastic Four.

The Thinker’s plan relied on softening the FF by turning the Thing against them. The general plot worked, but the Thinker was arrested.

However, he could still remotely order his last — and most powerful — android to attack the Baxter Building.

This assault worked. But the perennially underestimated Invisible Girl (Susan Storm) stumbled upon a means to revive the boys. Albeit outgunned, the FF held on by the skin of their teeth.

Dr. Richards eventually tripped the MPA, making it stumble through the gateway into the Negative Zone . He then grimly declared the android to be finished… forever !

Wrong again, doc.

My greenest adventure

In the Negative Zone, the MPA went through a “scavenger” form, then the “Monster Android” form.

See those separate profiles.

I shall retuuurrrnn ! (1975 edition)

The Mad Thinker took part in the “villains war”, to win the prize offered by the enigmatic Black Lama. This led to a clash with MODOK (George Tarleton).

Most Powerful Android (Marvel Comics) (Mad Thinker) (Part 1) beats the Fantastic Four

At this point, MODOK was piloting a powerful, giant humanoid mecha. The Thinker responded with an android of the same design as his MPA.

This unit fought MODOK toe to toe. But Tarleton shut down its mind with a mental blast.

I shall retuuurrrnn ! (1983 edition)

In 1983, the Mad Thinker sent an android of the same class after Spider-Man (Peter Parker). The goal was to determine if Spidey truly had a danger sense.

This specimen seemed slightly more fragile. But it was still obviously too strong for Mr. Parker to engage directly.

However, Spidey could consistently outmanoeuvre the synthesoid, and predict its attacks. Eventually, he tricked it into being crushed by two enormous electrical generation turbines.

I shall retuuurrrnn ! (2006 edition)

The original MPA returned in its original form (or close enough) in 2006. It had been rebuilt, perhaps by Annihilus, to serve among the Annihilation Wave.

Simply referred to as “the robot”, the MPA was detailed to Ravenous’ assault team.

Ravenous was also assisted by Paibok the Power Skrull, plus two universe-616 aliens controlled by Negative Zone parasites – Terrax the tamer, and the Delinquent (aka the Infant Terrible).

Praxagora mostly stalemated the MPA. But the assault was a success, with the Annihilation Wave breaking the United Front resistance.


Personality

The MPA is entirely silent. It just walks up to its targets in a straight line, then relentlessly attacks.

Its basic tactic is to focus on one target until it’s stunned, then immediately move on to the next. The idea is to have at least half the opposition lying on the floor at any given point. So they can’t muster a Team Attack that could damage the MPA.


Sharing



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

“Charlie”

Dex: 05 Str: 13 Bod: 12 Motivation: N.A.
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 04 Occupation: Full-time robot
Inf: /// Aur: /// Spi: /// Wealth: N.A.
Init: 016 HP: 025

Powers:
Cling: 04, Cold immunity: 03, Energy absorption: 05, Energy blast: 13, Flight: 05, Growth: 03, Flame immunity: 04, Flame project: 08, Fog: 03, Ice production: 08, Knockout gas: 10, Jumping: 02, Lightning being: 07, Mental blast: 09, Radar sense: 03, Self-Link (Gadgetry): 13, Temperature control: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Cling doesn’t quite cover the MPA’s mass. So it cannot be used on ceilings and overhangs.
  • Energy blast can be emitted from the MPA’s back, but it is then Diminishing.
  • Flight likely has limited fuel.
  • Fog has a Special +14 Volume Bonus.
  • Fog can be Combined With Temperature Control.
  • The MPA cannot see through its own Fog, so it’s not used much.
  • Growth is Always On and Already Factored In.
  • Ice production can only do the “encase” application.
  • Ice production can only be used after at least two successive Phases of Temperature Control running.
  • Knockout Gas has neither Range nor Area of Effect, but is its own AV. It likely has but a few Ammo.
  • Lightning Being requires one Automatic Action to be maintained for that Phase.
  • Temperature Control only to Subtract Heat.
  • Temperature Control has a Special +12 Volume Bonus.

Skills:
Martial Artist: 07

Advantages:
Familiarity (Powers and tactics of the 1960s FF), Life Support (Full), Lightning Reflexes.

Drawbacks:
Creepy Appearance.

Equipment:
BUILT-IN COMS [BODY 01, Radio coms: 22, Bonuses: Radio coms is Encrypted and Transdimensional, and includes video].


Design notes

A lot here depends on the stats that Ben had back in 1968, particularly DEX, STR and BODY.

I’m also assuming a Partial Attack Vulnerability toward gas for the Thing. It’s not in our crude, early benchmarks for Ben but it’s common among Marvel bricks . Here again, specific numbers for the late 1960 Thing would help fine-tune.

Adding one or two Omni-Gadgets with 8 APs or so would make sense for the MPA, who had quite an arsenal.

Most Powerful Android (Marvel Comics) (Mad Thinker) (Part 1) jet boots flying

Temperature control

Ice production didn’t need much APs. If the Torch had attempted to fully counter it, he’d have fried his nearby allies. Which is what the MPA was counting on.

The APs of Temperature Control assume that the FF wore insulated uniforms with APs of Cold Immunity back in 1968. This too would have to be adjusted using FF profiles for this exact era.

Furthermore, it is likely that the Torch was partially compensating for the temperature drop to protect his teammates. So it’s hard to assess Temperature Control EV for this scene.

Retuuurrrnns

The 1983 version seemed to have BODY 10 and Skin Armour: 02, with Skin Armour also working vs. energy attacks. So, basically, two fewer “hit points”. It also seemed to have but 010 Hero Points.

Two additional APs of Growth, raising STR and BODY, would be reasonable for its 2006 appearance. It held his own against the powerful Praxagora.

In fact, you could boost the scores further for the 2006 version. There’s but a few panels so we can’t tell, but having derived extra power from its exposure to the Cosmic Control Rod wouldn’t be surprising.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel comics.

Helper(s): Darci.

Writeup completed on the 30th of December, 2019.