February 23, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Characters Case File #323: Power Broker

There's always some guy out there trying to profit off giving people superpowers...

I wrote up my Flag-Smasher entry not long after seeing the second episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.  During that episode, I thought I heard a reference to someone called the “Power Broker,” but with my tinnitus, that could have been anything.  It was enough to convince me to do an entry on a character by that name that often, though not exclusively, clashed with Captain America.

Then the third episode aired and the name got tossed around quite a bit.  As of this writing, the character has still not been identified as, well, anybody or even seen on screen, so for all I know, by the time this goes out, we’ll see the Power Broker was really Sam Wilson’s nephew the whole time.

But this series is for comic book versions, so let’s go.

Despite the fact Power Broker is probably most associated with Captain America, he made his first appearance in a 1978 issue of Machine Man.  Curtiss Jackson, a seemingly unassuming businessman from North Carolina, has a company with the creative name of the Corporation.  The Corporation, among other things, had a mad scientist type on the staff named Dr. Karl Malus who did things to give people superpowers.  They often got freaky appearances too, but this is Marvel.  Superpowers often come with unwanted side effects.

As it is, the Power Broker didn’t necessarily discriminate.  He gave superpowers to all kinds of people.  He gave a number of people in Ben Grimm’s wrestling league superstrength too, most notably the future She-Thing.

Then again, at one point his company was attacked the Scourge of the Underworld, causing Jackson to undergo his own process, becoming a massive slab of muscle that couldn’t move without a special exo-skeleton.  At one time during this period, he somehow became one of the Red Skull’s minions, but later on when he was restored to his original, normal form, he seemed to be working on his own.  The Skull thing was probably just a fluke.

It doesn’t much matter since he should have kept the superpowers…then maybe the Punisher wouldn’t have killed him in order to infiltrate a supervillain den.

Granted, with a name like “Power Broker,” anyone could be the Power Broker as long as they just gave out superpowers to people for money.

Like this pale freak.

Yes, there has been more than one Power Broker, but not much has been revealed yet about the current guy.  So, really, Sam Wilson’s nephew could be the Power Broker on Disney+.

Stranger things have happened.