All three versions are a favorite, Activism, Collegiate, and even aid in tragedy with faith and good hearts.
Name: Amazing Man
Aliases: William Blake Everett Sr. (1940’s)/ William Blake Everett III (1990’s)/ Markus Clay (2000’s)
Origins: Detroit, Michigan/ Detroit, Michigan/ New Orleans, Louisiana
Affiliations: All-Star Squadron/ Justice League of America and Extreme Justice/ Justice Society of America
Created By: Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordaway/ Dan Vado and Marc Campos/ Geoff Johns and Dale Eaglesham
Publisher: DC Comics
First Appearances: All-Star Squadron #23 (July 1983)/ Justice League America vol. 2 #86 (March 1994)/ Justice Society vol.3 #12 (March 2008)
Biography/Story Line: Will Everett was an excellent athlete, going so far as to win a multitude of awards at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. However, upon his return to the U.S., he faced many of the same challengers other African-American youths had in finding a job. He eventually found a position as a janitor for scientist Terry Curtis, who was experimenting in atomic power. Everett was kidnapped by thugs of the Ultra-Humanite, and was used as the subject of a device designed by Humanite and Dr. Curtis. The device transformed Everett, giving him the ability to become any material he touched.
Curtis (calling himself Cyclotron) and Everett (calling himself Amazing-Man) were then blackmailed by the Ultra-Humanite, when the Humanite captured Curtis’ baby daughter Terri. Humanite had the two blackmailed henchman, as well as Deathbolt and Solomon Grundy, fetch powerful the artifacts that he needed to transfer his mind into the body of the All-Star Squadron member Robotman, all as part of his War on America. Amazing-Man was forced to fight the Atom and Dr. Fate when he broke into Fate’s Tower, then later fight the entire All-Star Squadron. Eventually, both Cyclotron and Amazing-Man turned on Humanite, once Cyclotron and the second Firebrand saved baby Terri. Amazing-Man, Cyclotron, and the All-Star Squadron defeated Ultra-Humanite’s plans, and Amazing-Man tried to return to his family in Detroit. However, his life as a hero was not yet behind him.
After Ultra-Humanite’s defeat, Amazing-Man returned to his home of Detroit. He proposed to his sweetheart Rachel Lindsay, and purchased a new home with his parents. However, as America entered 1942, Detroit was a racially-charged city. The Everett family had plans to leave their community of Paradise Valley, but they were thwarted by white supremacists. Members of the Ku Klux Klan were taking African-American members of society and burning them at the cross. One such group stampeded Will Everett, knocking him unconscious before he could defend himself. Everett found himself tied to a wooden cross with chains about to be burned alive. A member of the Klan was video-taping the event, and captured the surprise when, instead of being burned, Everett transformed himself into the iron of his chains and broke free.
The video grabbed the attention of the All-Star Squadron, and a group of them (Firebrand, Hourman, Johnny Quick, Liberty Belle, and Robotman) traveled to Detroit to investigate. They discovered that Will and his father were planning a protest, one that was attached by the agents of the Real American, a costumed white-supremacist. A race riot broke out between the residents of Peaceful Valley and the agents of the Real American. The All-Stars arrived, trying to calm both sides, but found that the Real American was able to manipulate people’s emotions to keep the fight raging. During the fight, police beat and arrested Will’s father, and Will was defeated one-on-one with the Real American.
As the riots flared up again, All-Star Squadron members Green Lantern and Hawkman traveled to Detroit to help out their teammates. However, the members of the All-Star Squadron found themselves under the sway of the words of the Real American; all but Robotman, that is. Something with Robotman’s build prevented Real American’s abilities from affecting him. Robotman freed Amazing-Man and snapped the All-Star Squadron out of their fugue state. The team defeated Real American, who was revealed to be a robot created by the Monitor and controlled by a local diner operator. With the immediate threat gone, Amazing-Man decided to join the All-Star Squadron, to show America an example of equality between the races.
Amazing-Man served a short time with the All-Star Squadron before the war’s end. During his first mission, he defended the All-Star’s base of operations, the Perisphere, against an attack by Axis agents Prince Daka, Kung, Samurai, and Tsunami. When the Crisis on Infinite Earths hit Earth-2’s 1942, Amazing-Man fought alongside other All-Stars against the Anti-Monitor’s plans. Amazing-Man also served as a mentor to the Young All-Stars, even playing baseball with them once at Yankee Stadium
After the war, Amazing-Man’s identity was revealed to the world by J. Edgar Hoover. Though he received numerous death-threats against his life, Everett continued to maintain the Amazing-Man identity, becoming involved with the civil rights movement of the 1960s. He led marches against segregation across the United States of America, and also helped to quell riots in Detroit. Everett was also responsible for the capture of Martin Luther King's murderer James Earl Ray. In the DC Comics Universe, he is considered the third most important advocate for African American civil rights, behind acclaimed activists Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.
Everett retired and gave birth to a son, named Will Jr, who inherited the power. Will Everett Jr did not don the mantle of Amazing-Man, but rather used his abilities in the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, he perished there, but not before having a son: Will Everett III. Will blamed the powers for his father’s death and his grandfather’s cancer, and felt blessed he was born without them.
However, Will was wrong. When the evil alien entity called Overmaster sought to return to Earth, he sent his energies ahead, calling out for heralds to signal his return. While Overmaster’s powers triggered the metagene in various individuals, they also triggered the latent powers within Will Everett III. Waking from a nightmare, Will realized he inherited the powers of his father and his father’s father after grabbing his bed’s headboard and turning to wood. With his father deceased, Will turned to his grandfather, who told him to seek out the Justice League of America. Will donned his grandfather’s costume, and traveled to New York City to become the second Amazing-Man, and aid the Justice League in the second coming of the Overmaster.
Amazing-Man arrived in New York City, to visit the Justice League, and was introduced to them by a friend of his grandfather’s: Jay Garrick, the first Flash. Wonder Woman invited Amazing-Man to join the League as they prepared to take down the Overmaster. Amazing-Man journeyed with the League to Mount Everest, where he joined Captain Atom’s squad in the assault. He survived the initial attack by the Overmaster’s Cadre by transforming himself into nuclear energy. When the team reached the Overmaster’s base, they assaulted the alien, but Justice Leaguer Ice died in the process. In the final assault, Amazing-Man came to terms with being a hero, and stepped up to absorb the Overmaster’s powers. Amazing-Man fought toe-to-toe with the giant alien, using the Overmaster’s own power against him. With the Overmaster weakened, the League moved in and took down the Overmaster for good, while Blue Beetle helped disable the Overmaster’s devices.
After the Overmaster’s defeat and the death of Ice, the Justice League fractured. Amazing Man was offered positions in two of the splintered Justice League Groups, one led by Wonder Woman, and one led by Captain Atom. Amazing-Man joined with Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, and Maxima. Captain Atom named the group the Justice League, though they became more commonly known as “ Extreme Justice,” due to the extreme nature that they dealt with threats.
For their first mission, Captain Atom led Extreme Justice to stop a mad U.S. general from launching a nuclear strike against Russia. Since that first mission, Amazing-Man aided Extreme Justice in a number of operations, including taking over the defunct secret U.S. government research facility Mount Thunder as their base of operations. During the first fight, when Captain Atom was thought dead, Amazing-Man wondered whether he was cut out for being a super-hero, especially having seen both Captain Atom and Ice die. However, Blue Beetle reminded him of the need for heroes, and Amazing-Man stuck in the fight.
When Ronnie Raymond returned to being Firestorm, Amazing-Man welcomed him onto the Extreme Justice team. Amazing-Man fought alongside his Extreme Justice teammates against the return of Monarch, and intercepted the escaping Wonder Twins from their slave master. During this time, Amazing-Man began a relationship with Maxima, after Maxima’s spurning at the hands of Captain Atom. Amazing-Man also joined Extreme Justice in operations with the greater DC Universe. He joined in the defeat of the Crimelord and his alien nuclear arsenal; helped defend New York City during the Zero Hour event; and aided humanity during its Final Night. During their final mission, Extreme Justice defeated the Legion of Doom created by an insane Brainwave Jr.
With the return of the “magnificent seven” ( Aquaman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter,Superman, and Wonder Woman) to the Justice League, all the existing Justice League teams (including Extreme Justice) disbanded. Five of the former members of the League reformed Justice League Europe, operating once again out of Paris. Amazing-Man joined Blue Devil, Crimson Fox, Ice Maiden, and Firestorm.
Unfortunately, the first mission of the new Justice League Europe was also its last. Unknown to its members, the second Mist infiltrated the group as Ice Maiden. She set up an elaborate ambush as the League was guarding the Comtalle Diamonds. She targeted each Leaguer one-by-one. After she killed Crimson Fox, she was discovered by Amazing-Man. Amazing-Man thought he was reaching for the brick wall to transform himself into brick, but actually transformed himself into veneer. The Mist then shot Amazing-Man with a pistol, shattering him to death.
After the death of Will Everett III, another of Will Everett’s grandsons, Markus Clay, adopted the identity. Markus, who also had the ability to transmute into any material he touched, made his base of operations in the southern United States. After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the third Amazing-Man traveled to the city, where he began helping the people rebuild. Amazing-Man became a cult hero of the city of New Orleans, protecting its homeless citizens from the dangers of the city, while helping them rebuild not only their city but their lives.
In the wake of the Lightning Saga, the Justice Society of America started an enrollment drive, where they planned on expanding their membership. Hawkman recommended Amazing-Man for membership, and Power Girl and the Superman from Earth-22 went to New Orleans. Amazing-Man accepts membership in the JSA, in exchange for Superman and Power Girl’s help in removing a displaced levee in the city.
Amazing-Man joined the Justice Society in time for them to face the coming of the mad god Gog, and his herald Magog. Magog had come from Earth-22, the same home as the JSA’s Superman: a world where Magog destroyed the heartland, and where an all-out war between heroes and villains triggered that world’s governments to try to destroy them both. On our world, Magog was hunting false gods, until Sandman tracked down his location. Magog attacked Sandman, and took the fight to the JSA headquarters. Amazing-Man and the twenty-or-so members of the Justice Society fought Magog across New York City. During the fight, Magog teleported the fight to Africa, to the temple where he first discovered his powers. Magog was successful in bringing Gog into the world, at the cost of his own life.
The god Gog arrived in Africa, where he began to cure the inhabitants of a local village of poisoning. When Mr. Terrific could not communicate with Gog, it was Amazing-Man as a man of faith that opened the lines of communication. Gog cured Damage’s face, and began to cure Africa. The Society called in Justice League, and the teams took shifts watching the god as he transformed Africa into a paradise and cured many of the Justice Society members of their illnesses. When Gog transformed Congolese soldiers into trees, the heroes grew suspicious of the god, and when JSA member Lance was killed by those soldiers, Gog resurrected him as a new Magog.
Soon, a schism developed in the Justice Society: those that believed in Gog and those that did not. Amazing-Man sided with Gog, believing him to be a force for good. The two factions of the Justice Society soon became at odds, and fought over Gog’s fate. However, Gog finally showed his true colors: a parasitic god that was draining the Earth. Amazing-Man was shocked, but joined the rest of the JSA in destroying Gog and transporting him to the Source Wall.
As a member of the Justice Society, Amazing-Man aided the JSA in their fight against the revitalized Kobra. Amazing-Man also joined the other JSA members to form a new All-Star Squadron during the Final Crisis.
Soon after, Amazing-Man decided to leave the Justice Society. Based on visions from the elemental Olorun, Amazing-Man decided to start his own super-hero team in New Orleans. This team would focus on repairing the city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, while giving the southern U.S. some hope and protection. Amazing-Man has since returned to New York to attend the funeral for fallen ally Damage.
Powers/Skills: Abilities to duplicate the properties of matter and energy