Madcap (comics)

Madcap (comics)


publisher=Marvel Comics
debut="Captain America" #307 (July 1985)
creators=Mark Gruenwald and Paul Neary
powers=Accelerated healing factor
temporary insanity inducement|

Madcap is a fictional character in the Marvel Universe. He first appeared in "Captain America" #307 (July 1985). He has clashed with Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Hawkeye, Nomad, the Power Pack, Quasar and She-Hulk.

Fictional character biography

Madcap's story begins with him as a deeply religious young man headed to a picnic with his church community. On the way, their bus collides with a tanker truck full of Compound X07, an experimental nerve agent developed by A.I.M.. Everyone aboard the bus, including his parents and sister Katy, dies. Only the young man survives. He is taken to a nearby hospital. When he awakes and discovers all other passengers on the bus had been killed the deeply religious man's mind shatters. His belief in a rational universe is swept away.

Exiting the hospital, he attempts to commit suicide by throwing himself in front of moving traffic. He is of course injured but the wounds heal almost instantly. This pushes him further over the edge. After purchasing a toy soap bubble pistol from a dime store and donning a garish clown costume stolen from the Ace Costume Shop, the newly-christened Madcap set out to convince others that life is entirely without reason.

His first battle was with Nomad, who at the time was Captain America's sidekick. This occurs when Madcap, now a prankster and absurdist philosopher, runs rampant through the streets of Manhattan causing mass chaos and a riot. Upon first confronting him, Madcap invites Nomad to take a free shot; Nomad does so, dislocating Madcap's jaw. Madcap then pops his jaw painlessly back into place, comically pokes Nomad in the eyes and made his escape. Nomad would later track Madcap down to trick him into making Nomad his protégé. Nomad then subdues and captures him at Coney Island. ["Captain America" #307, 309] Having gained confidence from the fight, Nomad would then step down as Captain America's partner and venture on a hero career of his own.

Madcap later escaped, and interfered with criminals smuggling guns, who were working for the Rose. Madcap then began appearing on Dollar Bill's show on Manhattan public access cable television. He was abducted by criminals following the Rose's order to kill him. He met Daredevil, and Madcap was then was burned alive in an attack by the Rose's men. Madcap was declared legally dead, but then returned to life, and Dollar Bill changed the name of his show to the "Madcap Mystery Hour." ["Daredevil" #234]

He then met Katie Power and Franklin Richards, and took then on an "adventure" in Manhattan, during which he tried to stop a bank robbery. ["Power Pack" #34]

At one point, Madcap encounters She-Hulk and she defeats him. ["She-Hulk" Vol. 2 #9; This appearance has a more comical tone. Writer John Byrne was using the "Sensational She-Hulk" series as more of a comedy book, shown by her breaking the fourth wall oft and conversing with her writer/artist. When she got fed up with Madcap in her book, she quite literally rips out a panel where he was featured, and shredded it. The actual continuity of this event is ambiguous.]

He was later captured by Vice and Triphammer of the Power Tools on the order of Dr. Karl Malus. Madcap was rescued by Hawkeye. ["Avengers Spotlight" #29]

Madcap was then asked by the Impossible Woman to teach her daughter Impia how to have fun. As part of his demonstration, Madcap used his powers on Quasar. ["Impossible Man Summer Vacation Spectacular" #1]

Madcap, after a self-monologue in which he stabs himself to no avail, decides he must show everyone that life is a joke. He goes to Grand Central Station and begins by causing a security guard to go mad. The guard, laughing, shoots several people. By the time Ghost Rider arrives, the entire station is rampant with people murdering each other and killing themselves. Ghost Rider saves who he can, including a baby from an incoming train, then beats Madcap and subjects him to the Penance Stare. Madcap feels all the pain he has caused his victims and he likes it. It's the first real sensation he has felt in some time. He vows that the Ghost Rider will continue to do this thing, no matter how many people must be hurt.

Silver Sable, leader of the country of Symkaria, hires a team of super-powered heroes to help protect a mad scientist from capture by the group Heroes For Hire. Sable believes that one of her employees is the aforementioned Nomad but soon discovers she has hired Madcap instead. The teams confront each other in the monastery of St. Eboar's, deep in Symkaria. Deadpool and Madcap, each learn that the other is hard to injure and delighted, fight. Deadpool is overwhelmed and teleports out. Madcap, despite his chaotic nature, obeys orders, guarding Misty Knight and Colleen Wing. His bad Monty Python routines are interrupted by Deadpool, who temporarily defeats him with a blow that seemingly snaps his neck. He returns minutes later, to battle Deadpool once again.

The entire incident, plus more, turns out to be engineered by the villain called Master of the World.

Powers and abilities

Madcap possesses two superpowers, as a result of the mutagenic effects of his exposure to Compound X07.

The first is his fantastic rate of regeneration and recovery: he heals from any physical injury instantly, and even if he sustains enough damage to kill him (such as being flattened or having his neck snapped), or destroy him (such as being incinerated), he will immediately resurrect. Somehow linked to this is a total inability to perceive pain. It is not known whether he can regenerate severed body parts, because he usually reattaches severed parts of his body simply by holding them to the correct portion of his body. Apparently, he can regenerate brain cells, since he survived a bullet wound to the center of his forehead with no apparent permanent damage. Madcap has even returned to life even after being declared legally dead by regenerating damage to his heart muscle, and apparently to his brain since brain cells deteriorate rapidly after death. Apparently Madcap's healing ability does not extend to the damage to most of his nerve endings, rendering him incapable of feeling pain and giving him unknown limitations on his senses of touch and taste.

Madcap's second power is a specialized form of insanity-inducement that immediately affects those he makes eye contact with. It is for this reason that he wears his garish purple-and-yellow costume and uses a distracting bubble-gun -- to draw the attention of others towards him, so they can meet his gaze. He has the ability to stimulate the inhibition centers in other people's brains. People affected by his power act in a euphoric, outlandish, uninhibited manner that verges on or becomes insanity and can end up killing themselves. Madcap cannot control "how" the person acts. This can lead to extreme peril if the affected person decides to, for example, tap dance up the on-ramp of an interstate. The duration of the state seems to be approximately 15-30 minutes, though Madcap risks making a person "pleasantly loony" permanently if he makes additional eye contact with them. Most of Madcap's adversaries at first mistakenly believe the cause of this madness to be the bubble-gun itself.

Madcap carries a toy soap bubble gun, called a "fun-gun"; Madcap uses the gun to mislead people into thinking that it causes the effects he induces psionically in his victims' minds.


External links

* [ Madcap's entry at Leader's Lair]
* [ Madcap's entry at]
* [ Madcap's entry at Villains of Marvel Comics]
* []

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