Hey everybody, welcome to another great character spotlight, right here in Marvel Snapshot! This week, we’ll be looking at one of the most powerful people in the Marvel U, but also one of the most timid! Owen Reece, A.K.A. Molecule Man, is the subject of our spotlight, so let’s get cracking! Owen was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1963 (Fantastic Four #20).
Owen Reece was born in Brooklyn, and was a very meek boy growing up. He was always being teased and taunted. Later, in adulthood, he got a job at a nuclear power plant as a lab assistant. While there, he was involved in an accident that bombarded him with some sort of radiation. It triggered latent psionic powers within him, and augmented them to cosmic levels. Reece first killed his boss after he was fired for the accident, and then began a life of revenge against anyone that he felt wronged him. Uatu the Watcher alerted the Fantastic Four, and they battled the Molecule Man, but were defeated quite handily. They then realized that he only used his powers against inorganic matter, so they tricked him using organic matter. He was then whisked away to another dimension by the Uatu.
He ended up getting back to Earth through unconventional means, and battled Man-Thing, Thing, and Iron Man. Reece then was part of the Secret War that was perpetrated by the enigmatic Beyonder. It was in this story line that Molecule Man was shown by Dr. Doom that his powers far surpassed even what he had first thought. He used this new revelation to transport himself, his new girlfriend Volcana, and most of the other villains back to Earth. He then took a normal job and lived peacefully with Volcana for a while. When the Beyonder returned to Earth again looking to dominate the universe, Molecule Man joined forces with the heroes of Earth to try and stop him. They succeeded, but it almost killed Reece. He did, however, retain his powers, but only he, Volcana, and Silver Surfer were aware of this fact.
More recently, Molecule Man began having a mental breakdown. He was approached by Norman Osborn and his group of “Avengers.” Initially, Molecule Man disintegrated the Sentry, and dispatched all of the “Avengers” easily. He was then confronted again by the Sentry, and this time he was defeated when the Sentry absorbed his powers and used them against him. He disintegrated Molecule Man right in front of everyone.
As usual, take a look at my recommended reading list, and see you next time!
Fantastic Four #20, 186-188, 318, 319, 372, 373
Avengers #215, 216, 266
Marvel Two in One #1
Secret Wars – Tpb
Secret Wars II – Tpb
Dark Avengers vol. 2 – Tpb