Real Name(s), I: Curtis Carr; II: Arch Morton; III: Calvin Carr.
AKA: Circles; what else do you call guys who use a Spirograph on their spandex? And don't ask me why, but Curtis was spelled "Curtiss" when his brother first took over.
First Appearance, I: Luke Cage, Hero For Hire 12; II: Power Man 37, though he's on the cover of issue 36 (which reprinted Hero For Hire 12); III: Power Man and Iron Fist 93.
What's Their Problem? It all started when Curtis Carr got tired of the day-to-day grind in Mainstream Motors' chemistry lab and created his own "alchemy gun". Thing is, he built it on company time so when he insisted on keeping it, the company president fired him. Carr tried his hand at revenge as Chemistro before he finally put his foot in it... the gun's line of fire, that is. In prison, fellow inmate Arch Morton forced him to reveal how the gun worked but the results were somewhat mixed. Years later, Curtis kept busy by building an improved alchemy gun which his younger brother Calvin stole to move up in the world after 10 years in jail; thumbing his nose at his "gutless" older brother was a definite bonus.
Abilities: All three Chemistros were pretty good athletes. Curtis Carr is also an expert chemist and mechanical engineer. Morton wasn't as talented; his weapon exploded in his hands, enabling him to use its power by actually touching his target with whichever hand he (or the artist) felt like.
Weapons: The alchemy guns themselves could fire a radiation burst that changed nearly any form of matter into whatever substance the wielder chooses, be it rubber tables, steel lampshades or floods of tar. They've transmutated entire hallways and trucks, altered items up to three times in a row and even changed some back, but they cannot create anything as complex as a human being. The new matter is also unstable and eventually turns to dust, which exposure to heat really speeds up. They've also failed to convert energy to matter. The Wizard rebuilt the last gun into a pair of Spidey-style wrist-blasters, but those were broken along with Calvin's hands.
Favorite Quote, Chemistro I: "Yeah, that's the way it was, all right! I love thinking about it -- over an' over -- till it gets me so steamed I know anythin' I do to even the score is worth it!" (Hero For Hire 12. Curtis Carr warms up with the old origin-and-motivation routine.)
Favorite Quote, Chemistro II: "A pity we haven't spent more time together, Cage -- but common sense dictates that it's time for me to go!" (Power Man 38. After biting off more than he could chew, Arch Morton turns tail and flees into the sewers as anyone dressed in pea-green and squash-yellow should.)
Favorite Quote, Chemistro III: "Let the floods come!" (Iron Man 252. In a prime example of an alchemy-induced God complex, Calvin Carr converts a whole Stark Industries building into water just to get Shellhead's attention. He got it, all right, and then some...)
Heroes They Keep Running Into: Chemistro debuted by hospitalizing a fan of Luke Cage, who also got paid (if not informed) by Carr's ex-boss. As Power Man, Cage fought two more incarnations of Chemistro that got paid to hassle him, though Calvin also got Iron Fist in the bargain. During the Acts of Vengeance, Chemistro was hired to bump off Iron Man just after the Wrecker gave it a go. Now that's an opening act!
People Who Think They're Not So Bad: Cage came to pity and eventually respect Curtis Carr, who helped neutralize Arch Morton's power and provided protection against his brother's attacks. It was a grateful Iron Fist who got Curtis his job with Stark, where he created devices for the disabled. Arch Morton worked for a joust-happy crime-lord named The Baron while claiming to be from their cyborg-rival Big Brother, so Luke took'em all down. Calvin Carr tried to replace Cage as Times Square's Hero for Hire with the support of local "business interests" and residents who preferred him to the morally upright Power Man. That's not much of a stretch; some New Yorkers still praise Bernard Goetz and John Gotti...
Most Despicable Act: When Mainstream Motors secretary Annabelle Crawford caught Chemistro No.1 in her office, he turned the floor she stood on into glass. The ensuing fall cut her up so bad she needed plastic surgery, so who knows what she'd think of Curtis Carr's reform. Arch simply tried to drown Luke Cage a few times, a bad idea for sure. Now look at Calvin's resume'; he changed Bob Diamond and Colleen Wing to glass (but Curtis cured them), burned Rafael Scarfe and three other cops with their own coats-turned-phosphorus and crystallized his own brother's left foot (the good one). Ironic, nasty and dysfunctional; what would Doc Samson say?
by Ray Schaff
Hero for Hire 12
Power Man and Iron Fist 96
Iron Man 252
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