Will o' the wisp (Marvel Comics)

Will o’ the Wisp


Will o’ the Wisp is primarily a Spider-Man character. He first appeared in 1977, and is quite powerful for his class.

Our notes about him are almost as old, though. They likely were part of early, experimental conversions from the TSR Marvel Super-Heroes Advanced Role-Playing Game . Which means in turn the early-to-mid 1980s version of the character.


  • Real Name: Jackson Arvad.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Unnamed father and mother.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 6’1” Weight: 195lbs.
  • Eyes: White Hair: Blond


Powers and Abilities

Will o’ the Wisp possess the power to exert conscious control over the sub-atomic electromagnetic particles that carry the force of attraction between the molecules of his body. This enables him to control his density, granting him such powers as superhuman strength, flight and intangibility.

Mentally willing himself to his maximum density, he can become as hard as stone. At this density, he becomes strong enough to lift 12 tons. Will o’ the Wisp can maintain this state of density for about 10 minutes before fatigue forces him to let up.

Mentally willing himself to his minimum density, Will o’ the wisp allows a non-critical number of random molecules to oscillate at a small distance from his body. That grants him intangibility. The process of dispersing his molecules is accompanied by a bright sparkling light.

Will o’ the wisp can also selectively solidify parts of himself. For example, he can keep his arm solid while making the rest of his body intangible.

Other abilities

By creating a short, highly accelerated oscillation of the energy states in the molecules of his chest, he can cause a dazzling light. These flashes give him various degrees of hypnotic control over those who witness it, depending upon the person’s susceptibility.

Will o’ the wisp can fly by becoming lighter than air and expelling excess molecules in a single direction behind him. That causes him to be propelled forward. When he travels faster than 5 miles per hour, the expenditure of molecular energy causes him to give off so much light that he appears to be an ethereal glowing sphere.



Jackson Arvad was a chief researcher for the Brand Corporation. Brand was a branch of Roxxon specializing in cutting edge experiments involving superhumans. Arvad had a highly antagonistic work relation with his boss, James Melvin. Thus, when Arvad was caught in a grave accident, Melvin just analyzed the situation, took notes and left him to die.

However, Arvad survived and gained superhuman powers. At first, it seemed his molecular dispersion abilities were decaying and that he would eventually fatally disperse. As a result, he sought the criminal doctor Jonas Harrow in order to stabilize his condition. Harrow succeeded, but forced Arvad to commit crimes on his behalf.

Spider-Man encountered the Will o’ the wisp. After much deliberation, Arvad accepted to side with Spider-Man. Harrow then triggered an implant which dispersed Arvad.


However, months later, the incorporeal Arvad took control of the cybernetics of the Killer Shrike armour. He used it to access equipment that reconstituted his body.

Will o' the Wisp vs Spider-Man

Arvad sought revenge against Melvin. But at the last second he decided not to kill him, and made him confess everything about Brand. This led to the closure of the New York branch of the firm.

Will o’ the wisp appeared again years later, when trying to collect a bounty on Spider-Man’s head. At this point, he thought Spider-Man has committed a crime. This case brought him in contact with the Outlaws, a bounty hunting/mercenary group he ended up joining.


See peekchur.


Jackson Arvad is a somewhat self-centered (and, at times, petty) man of uncertain morals.

He does not have, to put it mildly, a clear idea of where he should take his life as the Will o’ the wisp. Yet once he has committed to a course of action, he tends to be obsessive about it.

DC Universe History

Sorry, got a train to catch ! 🙂

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Will o’ the wisp

Dex: 06 Str: 09 Bod: 06 Motivation: Unwanted power
Int: 06 Wil: 05 Min: 04 Occupation : Unknown
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth} : 002
Init: 015 HP: 040

Control: 04, Dispersal: 12, Flight: 05, Hypnosis: 06, Skin armour: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Control can only be used against cybernetics and cybernetically-controlled systems (-2) – the OV for Control is generally an 8, although hardened systems may pose higher OVs.
  • Dispersal can be made partial.
  • If Flight is used a 2 APs or more, the Will turns into an ethereal glowing sphere and must Disperses (he can still solidify parts of himself, so that’s purely a special effect) (+0).
  • Hypnosis has an Area Effect.
  • Skin Armour is actually Density Increase, but technically works much more like Skin Armour (-0).
  • Skin Armour cannot be used simultaneously with Dispersal (-1).

Gadgetry: 06, Scientist: 06

Scholar (electromagnetics).

Outlaws (Low).

Public ID.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Spider-Man comics (Marvel Universe).