(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with Marvel Cosmic and its many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CosmicBookNews.com. He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)
By Byron Brewer
The Faceless One is one of those obscure aliens thrown out in the early 1970s who popped up a few times but never really made any impact. If the Hood were a cosmic being, my guess is that the Faceless One would be part of his “mob,” a sort of Legion of the Lost, if you will.
First appearing in the volume of Astonishing Tales that divided the book between Ka-Zar and Dr. Doom, the Faceless One (from the Doom half) was a member of the Kt’kn race of the Tk’kn star system in the Milky Way Galaxy. Its true form possesses six insect-like legs projecting from a featureless globe. It communicates telepathically and has psionic senses rather than physical ones. It absorbs food and air across its body surface rather than eating it. It possesses limited telekinetic powers and secretes a nerve toxin from the sharp base of its claws which can cause temporary paralysis.
The Faceless One utilized an android body of a headless human form to disguise its true nature. It can control this form mentally, even when separated from it. This form carried a laser rifle and could generate a powerful force field. The Faceless One also used an interstellar starship, an Omni-Sphere for air travel, a teleport globe and a device which (when embedded in the back of a human neck) enabled it to control a person.
This alien evidently had thoughts of taking over Earth, and to that end had aligned itself with Latverian Prince Rudolfo, apparently hoping to wrest control of the European nation from Victor Von Doom and use it as a base from which to take over the planet. Shortly after Doom’s forces had defeated Rudolfo’s rebellion, the Prince escaped by replacing himself with a robot double. The Faceless One discovered the original Doomsman, an android created by Doom with his own memories and thought patterns. Rudolfo then led a group of rebels to invade Castle Doom and occupy Doom’s human and robot guards. Meanwhile, the Faceless One led the Doomsman to confront Doom himself. Doom sought to control the Doomsman as well, and their two attempts at control cancelled out each other, allowing the Doomsman to regain its own mind and attack them both.
However, Doom was able to use a mind transference method learned from the Ovoids to take control of the Doomsman and turn it against the Faceless One. The Doomsman shorted out the alien’s force field and grabbed the body of the Faceless One, which was forced to reveal its true form in order to get free. It then detonated its android self and used the confusion to escape in an Omni-Sphere. But instead of escaping, the alien made its way to Doom’s master command center to turn his own castle’s defenses against him. Doom fled, and Rudolfo and the rebels claimed victory, but Doom then activated a vibration machine to cause an earthquake to destroy the castle.
It was not the end of the Faceless One. Besides leading a revolt of all the robots in Doom’s castle, it later took control over the space station Drydock, at the time the base of the time-traveling original Guardians of the Galaxy. The Faceless One planted a mind-control device in the neck of astronaut Salia Petrie, whom it had captured when she appeared to burn up while free-falling through Earth’s atmosphere. It had Petrie go to her old friend, Carol Danvers, for help. Petrie caught her unawares and with a weapon blasted her into unconsciousness.
The Faceless One teleported Danversand Petrie aboard Drydock as it attempted to take control of Danversas well. But she broke free, met up with Guardian Vance Astro and (as Ms. Marvel) joined him in combat against the alien. The duo separated the Faceless One from its android body, but it injected Ms. Marvel with its toxin and sought to place a mind-control device in her neck. Vance Astro tore of two of the Faceless One’s limbs and then destroyed its body before it could attack Ms. Marvel again. Petrie was also free from her slavery to the alien.
Realizing its defeat, the Faceless One teleported away, claiming that its next attempt at world conquest would be successful. Apparently, if that attempt has come on Marvel-Earth, it was not successful … or at least no one has noticed!