Real Name: "My true name would meaningless to you." (Avengers 247. So there.)
AKA: Anomaly. The Cosmic Assassin. Malcolm Stromberg.
First Appearance: Marvel Two-In-One 71
Died In: Too many appearances! He's been speared (and cloned) twice, scattered, squished, disintegrated and shrunk, all in the Mighty Marvel Manner (meaning, apparently, always available for come-backs.)
What's His Problem? Well, he spent time in the slave pits of the Deviants, the race that sired and killed his mother; he was raised in solitude by his father Phaeder, an Inhuman geneticist shunned by his race due to forbidden experiments. Over the century, Maelstrom learned Dad's trade and harbored a major grudge for both parents' races (plus anyone else who stood in his way). He later set the goal of becoming all-powerful after his beloved bedridden father passed on.
Abilities: Thanks to Dad, Maelstrom's a big know-it-all in genetics and has built super-villainous contraptions for cloning spare bodies or siphoning energy from otherwise inaccessible sources. Taking the Inhuman's Terrigen Mist gave Maelstrom control over kinetic energy, which he absorbs to increase his own strength and height or release as biokinetic blasts all while draining others. After one of his schemes was foiled, he was hyper-expanded like a big cosmic ghost only to slay and replace the abstract being Anomaly, making Maelstorm beyond even the Watchers' notice at times. He later augmented his power and knowledge by stealing a certain pair of quantum bands and Cosmic Awareness, later still he was backed up by the power of another abstract entity, Oblivion. He's closer to normal now--well, as normal as a microscopic hybrid humanoid can get.
Favorite Quote: "In that case, Thanos, you've just met an atheist." Quasar 24, where our center-of-attention dismisses the mad Titan's claim to god-hood and shrugs off energy from the Infinity Gauntlet itself. Apparently Thanos was too busy figuring out his crossover schedule to get back to him.
Heroes He Keeps Running Into: Maelstrom nearly wasted the Thing plus the Inhumans Gorgon, Karnak and Black Bolt; incidentally, it was BB's father Agon who Phaeder was angry with. His attempts to drain the Eternals' Uni-Mind and later the Earth's very rotation put several Avengers in his way. As the Cosmic Assassin he waged war against cosmic being Eon and his champion Quasar in order to destroy pretty much everything. His later revival depended on draining Deviant energy and was interrupted by the Fantastic Four and Eternals, but upon finding the Deviant called Ransak the Reject was his son, he cried and shrank from sight rather than face his shame (or the retconn). Ten bucks says he's conquering a Microverse right now...
People Who Think He's Not So Bad: He did care deeply for his father so let's just assume it was mutual. Maelstrom supplied Terrigen Mist to scientific nuts like Dr. Hydro and Arnim Zola in exchange for their data. The mysterious Deathurge acted as his assassin but under orders from Oblivion, who foresaw the hybrid's potential (if not his duplicity). Several dwarfish lab assistants and Maelstrom's Minions (strong yet adhesive Gronk, air-controlling Helio and fear-inducing Phobius) healthily respected a master who could transfer their minds into clone bodies after having them killed. Maelly also chose "weird sisters" Truth, Charm and Beauty to be his loyal consorts.
Most Despicable Act: Let's see: rocket attack on Attilan, cloning (ooh, bad! Bad!), tampering with the Earth's rotation twice, trying to collapse the known universe... Frankly, it's all "been there, seen that" territory. Often his Most Despicable Acts were the more Personal ones, like those against Quasar; he induced a fatal cerebral hemorrhage in Quasar's dad Dr. Gilbert Vaughn, stopped the heart of his Eternal friend Makkari and cut off the Avenger's hands just to get his quantum bands. Quaze and Mak got better, but Maelstorm proved to be one cranky old bird!

by Ray Schaff

Maelstrom Mug Shots!

Two In One 72

Avengers 250

Quasar 24

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