Mole Man: Can You Dig It?

There’s this guy who calls himself the Mole Man and he’s attacking New York again in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #3, out January 11. “Again?” you ask, and well you should, because the history of the king of the underworld’s steeped in hatred for those of us topside—the so-called outside world!

Born Harvey Elder, the Mole Man’s less-than-handsome looks and surly personality won him no friends and many abusers. In FANTASTIC FOUR #1, he regaled the famous family of super heroes with his tale of a fall into Subterranea, extreme damage to his eyes, and his ascension to the throne of the land below the surface. Now ruler of the strange creatures known as Moloids, Elder turned his anger to what would become an obsession for him: destroy everything up above!

After his initial defeat by the Fantastic Four, Mole Man returned in FANTASTIC FOUR #31 to renew his attacks, eventually branching out to fight Earth’s Mightiest Heroes alongside Red Ghost in AVENGERS #12. A long-standing enmity and struggle with fellow underground denizen Tyrannus kicked off in TALES TO ASTONISH #80, one the Mole Man continued with the unknowing aid of the X-Men in UNCANNY X-MEN #34, and the Hulk in INCREDIBLE HULK #127.

Love blossomed in Subterranea between the Mole Man and Kala, the queen of the Netherworlders, in FANTASTIC FOUR #127, but the woman betrayed him for Tyrannus and did not return to his side until Elder declared a truce to confront the Deviants as a single force in AVENGERS ANNUAL #17.

The Mole Man’s hatred waned after many years and he moved to create a sanctuary in his underground kingdom for those who fled oppression like himself. This inner peace eventually dissipated and the diminutive villain once again challenged the surface world, aiming to level its cities. One such sortie played out in MIGHTY AVENGERS #4, but ended in another betrayal for the Mole Man, courtesy of a new female Ultron.

More events followed, as Elder embraced the Sakaarian aliens left behind by the Hulk’s devastation of Earth in INCREDIBLE HULK #605 and later became Mandarin-Six when the Mandarin’s rings ought him out to aid in revenge on Tony Stark beginning in IRON MAN #25.

Still later, Elder found himself in a Subterranean civil war in NOVA #4, fighting forces marshaled by his own son, Mole Monster and bringing him up to the present day.

What’s next for Mole Man? Read AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #3 by Gerry Conway and Ryan Stegman, arriving January 11!