- I ain't just Crusher Creel, an ordinary con anymore! I'm the Absorbing Man... the most dangerous guy in the world!!
- -- Absorbing Man
- -- Absorbing Man
Carl Creel has the ability to absorb the properties of any substance into himself and transform the molecules that make up his body into that substance. He used this ability to succeed as a boxer, nicknamed "the Crusher," hiding steel fists beneath his gloves. Early on in his boxing career, he fought the fateful match against Battlin' Jack Murdock, in which the latter was fixed to take a fall, but instead beat Creel in the fight.
After a while, Creel gained the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D, who listed Creel on their Gifted Persons Index. S.H.I.E.L.D. deemed Creel too dangerous, and opted to have him eliminated rather than brought into their custody; however, the agent responsible for overlooking Creel's termination was John Garrett, who used the opportunity to fake Creel's death and recruit him into Hydra.
Sometime later, Creel's contact at Hydra ordered him to retrieve the Obelisk, a device the Strategic Scientific Reserve recovered from Hydra at the end of World War II and has been in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s possession ever since. To accomplish this, Creel killed a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent selling information on the device. The information revealed the location of the Obelisk, an army base which Creel was ordered to infiltrate. Creel got inside by attacking Brigadier General Glenn Talbot and his family, and letting the army take him into their custody.
Incarcerated within the facility, Creel absorbed the material that made up his cell into his body. When the soldiers guarding his cell went to investigate his apparent disappearance, Creel killed them and escaped. He then tried to retrieve the Obelisk, but found that Izzy Hartley, a mercenary employed by Director Phil Coulson of the newly reformed S.H.I.E.L.D, had already found it. Hartley tried to use the Obelisk against Creel, but the moment she grabbed the device it painfully paralyzed her hand so she couldn't let go of it. As Creel watched her writhing in pain, the rest of her team arrived and scared Creel away.
Later, as Hartley and her mercenaries Lance Hunter and Idaho were driving away from the base, Creel appeared in the street in front of them, absorbed the asphalt in the road into his body, and caused the car to crash into him and flip over. Hartley and Idaho were killed immediately, while Hunter watched helplessly from the car as Creel absorbed the rubber of the car's tire into his hand and took the Obelisk from Hartley's amputated hand.
Despite his precaution, the Obelisk was able to infect Creel, but was able to use his abilities to barely keep the infection under control. He made his way to a diner to hand over the Obelisk to his contact at Hydra, but he never showed up. While he was waiting, a waitress accidentally touched his arm, and was quickly overcome by the Obelisk's power. During the commotion, Creel hurried out of the diner while Melinda May, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent following him, hurried in to investigate. Creel made his way back to his trailer, where his contact informed him of the new location where he would hand over the device. However, his contact's refusal to help him control the Obelisk's infection only frustrated Creel. As Creel ended his call with Hydra, Raina appeared out of the shadows and offered to trade a rare mineral for the Obelisk. Creel refused, but took the substance anyway, calling it the price of doing business. The next day, Creel met up with his contact, who helped him overcome the Obelisk's infection. Before he could hand over the Obelisk, Lance Hunter ambushed them and fired at Creel's head. Creel turned his body into iron and deflected the bullet, and then chased Hunter into a nearby store. Just as Creel was about to kill him, Coulson sneaked up on him from behind and place a device on him that caused Creel to lose control of his abilities and turn to stone. The petrified Creel remained in S.H.I.E.L.D's custody until Coulson handed him back over to Talbot and the military, pointing out that since Carl could already turn into stone, his situation might not be permanent.
Glenn Talbot's Bodyguard
- Do you know how you got your powers?"
"Something went wrong?"
"Something went right!
- --Jemma Simmons and Absorbing Man
During his time in prison, Creel was returned to his normal human form from being frozen in stone. This time away from HYDRA also allowed Creel to finally break free of Daniel Whitehall's control over him, giving back his control over his own mind and making him regret his past actions. Major Glenn Talbot saw this change in him and after months of training, recruited Creel as his personal bodyguard.
As Major Talbot saw his wife Carla leave the airport, he met Phil Coulson. In the middle of their conversation, Creel, who was sitting on a bench watching over Talbot, rose up and began to follow the pair to ensure their safety. Lincoln Campbell, who was there to look for anything suspicious, found Creel following the two into a parking lot. Right when Creel walked in to the lot, Coulson, who believed Creel was still a HYDRA assassin, pushed and locked Talbot inside a S.H.I.E.L.D. SUV as Melinda May ordered Campbell to attack.
Before he could reveal his true intentions, Creel was knocked down by Campbell with a blast of electricity. In order to protect himself, Creel grabbed hold of a car tire and transformed his body into rubber, making him immune to Campbell's electrical abilities. After throwing Campbell into a garage door, Creel walked towards Coulson, who shot him multiple times in the head. Campbell quickly recovered from the attack and once again challenged Creel to finish the fight, distracting him from Coulson.
As Creel went to attack Campbell again, Melinda May whacked him in the head with a metal pipe, tricking him into transforming him body into metal. Now metallic, Campbell electrocuted Creel, knocking him to the ground and slowly killing him by overheating him. However Campbell was quickly ordered to stop by Coulson and May. After Glenn Talbot was freed from his car, he rushed over and informed Coulson that Creel was his bodyguard, picking him up and standing by his side.
Creel was taken to the Playground where he was placed in a Containment Module while the S.H.I.E.L.D. team attempted to analyze and protect themselves from his powers. Creel was visited by Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons, the latter of which questioned him about exactly how he obtained his powers. Creel revealed that he gained his powers from an experiment but gave only short answers when Simmons asked him about what it felt to touch an Obelisk and how he survived the experience.
Despite strong objections from almost all of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents at the Playground, a deal was made between Coulson and General Talbot that Creel would be allowed to join them on their mission, acting as Talbot's personal bodyguard. This mainly angered Lance Hunter who still held a deep distrust for Creel after he killed Isabelle Hartley and Idaho while still under Daniel Whitehall's control. However once on Zephyr One, Creel put on his headphones and listened to music, ignoring Hunter's scrutiny.
Saving George Talbot
- Where's my son?"
"He's still with HYDRA, Hunter found him but he almost blew my cover, I had to hurt him, a little.
- --Glenn Talbot and Absorbing Man
Creel drove the S.H.I.E.L.D. team through Taiwan in a van to the mansion where the symposium was being held while Major Glenn Talbot and Phil Coulson entered as the invited guests and searched for the mole out of the other delegates. Meanwhile the small S.H.I.E.L.D. team used fingerprint scans to break into the room, leaving Creel in the van with specific orders not to leave his post as his was still under suspicion.
However Creel ignored these orders and followed the ones given to him by Major Talbot, to track down Talbot's son George, who was being held hostage by HYDRA to blackmail the General. However Lance Hunter spotted Creel leaving his post and assumed that he was attempting to escape, he therefore left his post and began tracking down Creel. Eventually Hunter found George Talbot in a van, trapped in Suspension Gel; in order to stop him giving the team the wrong impression that he was still working for HYDRA and jeopardizing the mission, Creel knocked him out, although he ensured that he was not badly injured.
Having discovered that General Talbot and Director Coulson had been captured by Gideon Malick's soldiers and were being prepared for execution, Creel ran to their aid. Using a pillar, he made his body completely into marble before attacking the two guards and helping Talbot and Coulson escape. Creel explained how he had been forced to hurt Hunter and had found George Talbot, although he was still being held by HYDRA. Before Creel could break off their handcuffs, another guard attacked, forcing Talbot and Coulson to run while Creel defended them and eventually defeating the guard.
As Creel made his way through the mansion, he found Hunter still fighting the HYDRA guards, with Creel saving Hunter's life in the process. Despite this Hunter remained adamant that they were not even after Creel had previously killed his friends. Talbot and Coulson rushed in the room and Creel freed them from their handcuffs and the furious Talbot question a guard about his son's whereabouts. While Hunter was sent to find Bobbi Morse, the rest escaped once Melinda May had located George Talbot.
Powers and Abilities
Omni-morph Duplication:The Absorbing Man possesses the ability to bodily duplicate at will the physical properties of anything he touches or that touches him. This power extends to both animate and inanimate objects and certain forms of energy. The matter of the Absorbing Man's body magically a material and physiological change so that his body actually becomes composed of the matter or energy with which he is making contact. While he is in this altered state, he still possesses his sentience despite the fact that his brain is now composed of the same material as the rest of him. Among the more ordinary materials he has been transformed into include steel, stone, wood and glass. More unusual have been his transformations into water, fire, snow and silk. His most powerful transformations have been into energy-states such as cosmic, nuclear, thermal or light.
The Absorbing Man has learned through practice to only absorb the properties of objects that he wishes to absorb. Originally he could be tricked into absorbing the properties of objects that would render him relatively vulnerable. There appears to be no time limit to how long he can retain a given property. When he is rendered unconscious or in a coma, he retains the form which he last consciously assumed. There would also not appear to be a minimum amount of time he must retain one form before assuming another. He can even become more than one substance at once.
The Absorbing Man can also absorb specific properties relating to the form or mass of an object he touches. For example he can assume the height of a skyscraper or the spikes of a mace. He can also assimilate mystic properties of objects or beings.
The Absorbing Man can alter the molecular structure of his body, his clothes, and his wrecking ball to mimic the properties of any material he touches. This process also gives him enhanced strength, endurance, and in most cases, resistance to injury. If the object touched holds some form of energy, such as a battery or a blast furnace, Creel absorbs these properties as well. He also has limited shape-changing abilities when absorbing certain objects, such as forming hammer-like fists when touching a hammer or growing to enormous size when copying items of massive power or strength themselves.
When he is not absorbing the properties of anything, the Absorbing Man possesses the normal human strength of a man his age, height and build who engages in intensive regular exercise. Depending on what he absorbs and how long he can remain in contact with it, his strength can increase into the Class 100 range, allowing him to lift (press) over 100 tons.
- Automatic Absorption: Ironically, his own power is also his biggest weakness. Originally, Creel had little to no control of his power, and automatically absorbed any kind of matter and energy around him. As a result, there has been in numerous occasions where his adversaries had successfully tricked him into absorb random materials that makes him weaker or non-solid. He later learns how to absorb a specific material without absorb other materials by simply touch, and is even capable of absorb more than one material at once. However, there are limits by how much he can "ignore" matter around him, and will still absorb it if there's too much of it surrounding him.
- Non-Solid Absorption: Though he can absorb almost all kinds of matter and energy, Creel has trouble in maintain a stable physical body if the material itself is not on solid state, and will likely fuse and dissipate with the material (Ex: If he absorbs helium or other gases, he will float and decompose in atmosphere).
- Narcotic Absorbtion: Creel will automatically take on the properties of narcotics he takes, giving him an even greater high. However while in the state he is highly vulnerable as any user would be. While in a narcotic state Creel can and has been reduced to powder and sold to junkies. Those who take Creel while he is in this state will temporarily gain his powers and absorb the properties of whatever they are touching at the time, which since they don't get all of Creels powers has proven fatal.
- Magic: though he can, and has, absorb any kind of supernatural and cosmic energy, Creel is not immune to spells and can be affect by it if the magic user is experienced enough (if anything, his absorption powers only makes the effect worse).
Equipment: None known.
Transportation: None known.
- Ball and Chain, which also possesses the same properties of transformation as his body, providing he is in contact with it.
- No special notes.
- During his fight with Talbot and May, Creel turned a chain railing into a ball and chain flail, the first version of his signature weapon.
- While Coulson's team is discussing Creel, Isabel Hartley refers to him as an "absorbing man", a passing reference to his comic book alias.
- Appearances of Carl Creel (Earth-1010)
- Character Gallery: Carl Creel (Earth-1010)
- Quotations by Carl Creel (Earth-1010)
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