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Real Name
John "Johnny" Horton
Current Alias



Formerly Secret Empire, HYDRA


Base Of Operations
Mobile; Formerly the Fridge


6' 9" (18'0" wingspan)



Unusual Features
Horton's transformation has caused him to take on the appearance of the mythological Griffin. He has large, eagle-like wings, feline facial features, a spiked tail, fangs, scales, and claws.


Marital Status


Against his will, Johnny Horton was transformed by a scientist using mutagenic techniques and surgical procedures at the orders of the Secret Empire.

Place of Birth


First appearance


Quote1.png Lady, the only good super-hero is a dead one! Quote2.png
-- The Griffin

Early Life

Johnny Horton was a small-time criminal who was captured by agents of the second subversive organization to be known as the Secret Empire. The Secret Empire assigned a surgeon in its employ to transform Horton into a superhuman being by using various techniques, including grafting wings and claws onto Horton's body permanently and administering an experimental mutagenic serum into him. Horton was named the Griffin after his new appearance, which vaguely resembled the mythological griffin, a creature that was half lion and half eagle.


At first, Horton retained his normal intelligence and sanity in his new form. He loathed his new appearance, believing he was now a freak, but nevertheless obeyed the Secret Empire's orders to attack the mutant known as the Beast. The Beast and his colleague, the Angel, defeated the Griffin, who was sent to prison. While in prison, the mutagenic serum the Griffin had taken caused him to go insane and further transformed his body, giving him a spiked tail and vastly increasing his strength. The Griffin broke free of prison and hunted down the surgeon who had transformed him. When the surgeon was unable to tell him the location of his former masters in the Secret Empire (which had by this time been defeated), the Griffin hurled the surgeon from a great height in rage. The costumed crimefighter, Spider-Man, caught the falling surgeon, but the two men struck a water tanker when Spider-Man's webbing broke and they both plunged into the water. The Beast, who had learned of the Griffin's escape, helped Spider-Man and the surgeon to safety. Although Spider-Man took the brunt of the impact against the tanker, the surgeon died. Together, Spider-Man and the Beast defeated the Griffin, who was taken into police custody.

The Fridge

Griffin is arrested and transferred to the Fridge by S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent John Garrett, who was secretly a HYDRA member. During the HYDRA Uprising, Horton was freed by Garrett himself.

Powers and Abilities


  • Mutagenic and Surgical Transformation: Johnny Horton's body has been almost completely transformed to resemble the form of the mythological beast called the Griffin. Johnny's physiology includes a combination of feline and avian features. As a result, Horton possesses various superhuman abilities;
    • Superhuman Strength: Horton possesses great superhuman strength that has increased dramatically since he was first transformed. His strength has increased to the point where he is capable of lifting about 90 tons.
    • Superhuman Speed: Horton can run and move at speeds that are beyond the physical capability of the finest human athlete.
    • Superhuman Stamina: Horton's advanced musculature produces considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of an ordinary human. At his peak, he can currently exert himself physically for about 24 hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood begins to impair him.
    • Superhuman Durability: Horton's body is highly resistant to physical injury. He can withstand powerful impact forces such as being struck repeatedly by Wonder Man, falls from great heights, exposure to extremely high temperatures, and high caliber bullets without being injured.
    • Superhuman Agility: Horton's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.
    • Superhuman Reflexes: Horton's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are superior to those of the finest human athlete.
    • Flight: Horton possesses huge, eagle-like wings that have grown from between his shoulder blades and as a result can fly through the air at great speeds. It is believed that he can achieve a maximum speed of around 150-160 miles per hour.
    • Fangs and Claws: Horton also possesses extremely sharp and powerful teeth and claws that he often uses as offensive weapons. They're sufficient to rend most conventional materials such as wood, flesh, stone, and even some types of metals.
    • Tail: Horton also possesses a long tail covered with spikes that he is known to use as an offensive weapon.
    • Ongoing Mutation: For some unexplained reason, Horton's body undergoes radical changes whenever he pushes his powers to their limits, resulting in further mutation. Horton's body has mutated on multiple occasions, resulting in his change from mostly human to his current form. Also, all of his physical attributes have continually increased, though his intelligence has currently been reduced to below human levels.
    • Avian Telepathy: Horton also possesses the ability to mentally communicate with and control birds.


None known.

Strength level

The Griffin possesses superhuman strength, enabling him to lift around 90 tons.


None known.


Equipment: None known.
Transportation: Flight under own power.
Weapons: None known.



  • No trivia.

See Also

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Links and References

  • None.

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