Hello and welcome to another exciting character spotlight, right here in Marvel Snapshot! Most characters out there are famous because of appearances in one title. The character we’re going to check out today, was a big deal in two different titles, in two different decades! In the 1970’s, Stan Lee and ‘Big’ John Buscema created a character called The Overmind, and he challenged the Fantastic Four, pushing them to the brink! A decade or so later, J.M. Dematteis and Don Perlin revived this character in The Defenders, and took him from one end of the spectrum to the other! Grom (The Overmind), was created by Stan Lee and John Buscema (RIP), in Fantastic Four #113 (1971).
Grom is from another galaxy, on a planet called “Eyung,” and was called into service by his fellow people to fight a war. Being that he was the greatest warrior from his planet, he took on the sacrifice and was force-fed all of the minds of the planet. He emerged with god-like powers, but also with a possible mental disorder. He arrived on Earth, and immediately tried to subjugate the population.
In that first issue of the FF (of his appearance), we see the team, as they’re in disarray after a donnybrook with the Hulk. They thought Ben was killed by the green behemoth, but it wasn’t so, but the Watcher made his presence known, and warned of the coming of The Overmind! We all know that when Uatu gets involved, something big is going down. The FF are in hot water though, as the fight with the Hulk caused major damage to the city, and the mayor wants to have a chat about it. He listens to their side of the story, but then has them go with the police to the station to be arrested. Behind the scenes, we see that The Overmind is controlling the mayor. You see, the Overmind has great telepathic abilities, along with superhuman strength, stamina, and speed.
Eventually, the Overmind is defeated, but not just by the Fantastic Four, but with the aide of the enigmatic Stranger! You see, the Stranger belongs to a group of beings called “Gigantians” and were the hated enemies of Grom and his people. His next insidious plot, involved an alternate reality where he took over the planet (Earth -712) that is occupied by the Squadron Supreme. He defeated them and every other hero, then posed as the president of that world, which was Kyle Richmond, A.K.A. Nighthawk of the Defenders. Another version of Richmond was then able to contact Dr. Strange from Earth -616 (regular continuity), and then he summoned the Defenders to that reality to help Richmond and the people of that Earth. The Defenders eventually defeat him (with a little help), but then find out that he was being controlled by Null – The Living Darkness! Grom then has a change of heart, and fights alongside the Defenders for a short time.
Grom is a cool character that was used very sparingly since these days (Thunderbolts, Quasar), but really could be much more than he’s been since the Bronze Age. As usual, check out my recommended reading list, along with some great shots of The Overmind! See you next time!
Fantastic Four vol. 1 #113-116 (1971)
The Defenders vol. 1 #111-122 (1982/83)