Roll Call: Crucible (Byron Calley), Meteorite I (Ned Lathrop), Mist Mistress, Occult (Peter Quinn), Rust, Quill, Paralyzer (Randall Darby), Think Tank (Marvin Flumm), and others.
Other Aliases: "Think Tank" has gone back to being Mentallo. Crucible, Meteorite, Occult and Paralyzer were respectively known as Burner, Lifter, Peeper and Shocker back when they and the snake-like Slither were collectively known as Mutant Force.
First Appearances: Captain America Annual 4, though they got the Mutant Force moniker in Defenders 78. They showed up as the core members of the Resistants in Captain America 343.
What's Their Problem? For years they were just violent, super-powered mercenaries; later on they became a violent, super-powered militant group opposing the Mutant Registration Act and those who enforced it. They might still be mercenaries, albeit unwitting ones, or they could be trying to climb the mutant supremacy ladder. You tell me.
Powers: Crucible switches between causing spontaneous combustion and plain old flame-throwing. Meteorite manipulates gravity to fly, lift, throw and/or catch heavy rocks and people, though he has been known to simulate superhuman strength and resilience. Mist Mistress projects a metal-melting acid-gas. Occult can see clearly for hundreds of miles as well as fire energy blasts from his eyes. Quill can shoot the needles on his skin to penetrate low-grade armor. Paralyzer emits a powerful electrical charge (often on contact) from the metal mitts that cover his bug-like claws. The late, unlamented Rust induced instant corrosion.
Favorite Quote: "Had enough, you pathetic champions of humanity? I haven't. You're not oozing yet!" Meteorite, the ne'er-do-well formerly known as Lifter, in Captain America 426. "Meety" expresses great joy in slapping around "Cap" (Steve Roger's ex-buddy Mike Farrel in disguise, long story there) and his fourth-rate pal Dead Ringer to boost the group's mutant "reputation" after putting on those useless Liefeld-esque leather straps. (You know, the ones with all those extra pockets and things?) For all you Defenders fans, yes, this was the same yutz who called Valkyrie "just another dumb blonde."
Heroes They Keep Running Into: After a couple of rounds with the original Captain America, Mutant Force made a bad habit of tangling with the Defenders. They got a major shellacking from John Walker, the earlier ersatz Captain A, and have since had it in for the Starred-and-Striped uniform despite Walker's "death" and the original Cap saving them from an attacking Magneto android. No run-ins with any X-teams that I know of...
People Who Think They're Not So Bad: Mutant Force beefed up their resumés by working for the unlikable likes of Magneto, the Mandrill, Mad-Dog, the Secret Empire, and Professor Power; heck, Slither even snuggled up to the Viper for a while! Once (and I hate when this happens) they were sent by the U.S. government to bring in the Hulk. They continued their flunky-streak as the Resistants, one of the Red Skull's many pawns of subversion, although it remains to be seen who knows this outside of Crucible and the Walker-walloped Rust.
Most Despicable Act: It was after helping Professor Power try to start World War Three that they changed their tights to yellow, but just couldn't mellow. In freeing Quill from Walker-Cap and his partner Battlestar, the Resistants shot down their chopper and killed the pilot. Other possible casualties may include Guardsmen that were blown-up and federal agents and/or civilians who were crushed. These are the people who staged a peaceful protest in front of the Capitol Building? Come on !
by Ray Schaff
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