Adam Brashear, occasionally called the Blue Marvel, is a superhero in the mainstream Marvel Universe. He was created by Kevin Grevioux, and debuted in the five-issue limited series Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel in 2009.
Adam is a veteran of the Korean War who gained tremendous power from an experiment with anti-matter gone wrong. For several years after the war, he protected America as the masked superhero known as the Blue Marvel, until his helmet was damaged during a battle and the country found out he was black. Wary of inflaming racial tensions, the President asked Adam to quietly retire, and he agreed to do so.
Adam stayed underground until the modern day, sharing several secret adventures with his eldest son Kevin and not bothering to use a superhero identity at all. Kevin was eventually sucked into an alternate plane of existence that Adam called the Neutral Zone; Adam and his second son, Max, spent many years trying to figure out how to reach and save Kevin to no avail.
During Tony Stark's tenure as the director of SHIELD, Adam's arch-enemy Anti-Man resurfaced. In an attempt to figure out where he'd come from, Tony declassified the story of the Blue Marvel and got back in touch with Adam, who had retired to teach physics at the University of Maryland. In the ensuing struggle, Adam's wife Candace was killed and Adam, in accordance with her wishes, resumed his activities as the Blue Marvel, albeit without a mask or a secret identity to speak of.
Adam continued to operate out of an underwater base near the Marianas Trench, working mostly outside the United States and continuing his personal research. During the Infinity crossover, he helped to protect New York alongside Luke Cage's hastily-formed Avengers team, and despite some friction with Luke, continued to work alongside him until the events of Secret Wars.
In the modern Marvel Universe, Adam is a member of the The Ultimates, working proactively to keep the world and universe safe. His son Max, a.k.a. Doctor Positron, worked at Roberto da Costa's "Avengers Idea Mechanics", and his daughter Adrienne has a position at the super-science laboratory Project Pegasus.
Notable Comic Books
- Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel (2009)
- Mighty Avengers (2013) (2013 — 2015)
- Captain America & The Mighty Avengers (2014 — 2015)
- The Ultimates (2015 — 2016)
- The Ultimates2 (2016)
Notable Video Games
- Lego Marvels Avengers (2016)
- Marvel Future Fight (2015- Added in 2017)
- Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 (2017)
Blue Marvel provides examples of the following tropes:
- Adorkable: The opening scene of an issue of Ultimates has him being amazingly embarrassing to his son, Kevin, when they're in the middle of an adventure, as Adam tries to use 90s slang.
- Arch-Enemy: Doctor Evald Skorpion, a nihilistic Mad Scientist. Their last encounter ended with a portal Evald had created sucking Adam's son into the Neutral Zone, while it vaporised Evald. His legacy was continued in the form of the terrorist organisation W.E.S.P.E. (in a further note of irony, Adam's son Max worked with them trying to recover Kevin).
- Becoming the Mask: Adam's wife Candace was born as Marlene Frazier, a government agent tasked with keeping an eye on Adam in the years after he went underground. Candace wasn't expecting to fall in love with Adam, and eventually committed entirely to her new identity, claiming to her husband and children that she was an orphan. Adam didn't find out about her birth identity or her government ties until their children were in college, when Tony Stark uncovered her secret.
- Came Back Wrong: Kevin Brashear was sucked into an alternate dimension in the late 1990s, and by the time his little brother Max figured out how to reach him, Kevin had adapted to the point where he can no longer survive on Earth. In fact, if he spends any longer than a few seconds on Earth, it'll cause a cataclysmic explosion due to his body now being comprised largely of anti-matter.
- The Cape: Despite his issues and poor luck, he's likely one of the most moral heroes in the Marvel Universe... something that often puts him at odds with the others.
- Combo Platter Powers:
- One of a handful of Superman-level superheroes in the Marvel Universe. Adam can fly at high speeds, survive in hard vacuum, is a super-scientist, is virtually invulnerable, ages slowly, doesn't need to sleep, can project destructive blasts, and has limited control of anti-matter particles.
- His arch-enemy, Connor "Anti-Man" Sims, was capable of wiping the floor with one of the most powerful squads of Avengers ever formed.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: He took out Ultimate Hulk (who, in the interest of accuracy, we should note is not quite as strong as regular Hulk) with one punch.
- Formula with a Twist: As per Word of God, this character was created based on the question: "What if Superman had been a Black guy?"
- Happily Married: Until shortly before her death, Adam and Candace were happily married for several decades.
- Hero of Another Story: In Mighty Avengers, it's made clear that, being a Superman Expy, he's busy a lot of the time. When investigating Doctor Positron's secret lair, he just remarks it's the third secret volcano lair he's dealt with that week.
- Kryptonite Factor: Neutronium, also known by some as Iso-8.
- Lamarck Was Right: Averted. Adam has three children with Candace/Marlene: Kevin, Max, and Adrienne. While all three of his kids are extremely intelligent, and Max is a straight-up Mad Scientist, none of them inherited any of Adam's powers. Adam does theorize at one point that proximity to him may have slowed down his family members' aging process, as Candace/Marlene was just as slow to age as he was.
- That said, New Avengers shows a potential grandkid of his as inheriting his powers, becoming a legacy version of Ms. Marvel.
- MayDecember Romance: During Ultimates, he and Monica Rambeau start a relationship, Adam having at least fifty years on Mon.
- Military Superhero: Adam was a member of the Marine Corps when he fought in Korea.
- The Needless: He doesn't need to eat or sleep, though he notes after Candace's death that he wouldn't be doing much of the later anyway.
- Older Than They Look: Adam's powers slow his ageing, meaning he looks no older than his early fifties. His wife, Candace/Marlene, was perhaps an even more dramatic case of this, not looking any older than 35 prior to her death, when she could have been at least 75. To explain this, Adam later speculates that proximity to him slowed her ageing process.
- Remember the New Guy?:
- The 2009 Adam miniseries retroactively acquaints Adam with the Watcher and with Namor. His original superheroic career is explained as being extremely brief, to the point where many modern superheroes don't remember him at all. He was a legend in the African-American community, however, to the point where Luke Cage chews him out over his retirement in Mighty Avengers.
- Adam's oldest son Kevin was introduced by Al Ewing in Mighty Avengers and isn't mentioned at all in the original Adam miniseries.
- This gets a Lampshade Hanging during The Ultimates (2015), when Galactus gives a lecture on Comic-Book Time, and as he addresses how the past can change, he directly speaks to Adam. Adam has no idea what he means, but is unsettled all the same.
- Required Secondary Powers: His powers come from being a "living anti-matter reactor", but his actual body is still composed of normal matter. Fortunately for him (and everything around him), he's also immune to the effects of the anti-matter he generates.
- Retired Badass: Technically, he retired as Blue Marvel in the 1960s, but by the mid-70s he'd taken up action science on the DL again, continuing up until he lost his son.
- Superman Stays Out of Gotham: He was doing his own superheroics when the Fantastic Four were just starting out. An issue of Mighty Avengers even shows what he was doing when Galactus first came to Earth - dealing with his own problems (and confident Uatu knew what he was doing)).
- Superman Substitute: He's got the right powers, the right costume, and the right personality. Even his creator basically said he was "What if Superman was a black guy in the 60s?"
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
- He and Luke Cage headbutt a little. Luke is resentful of Adam for retiring when he could've been an important symbol for African-Americans, and Adam isn't too fond of Luke's criminal past. They do at least get over it (and in fairness, Luke tends to headbutt with everyone).
- With T'Challa, on the Ultimates. Adam previously expressed dislike for T'Challa's autocratic tendencies, and this gets worse when the subject of Connor Sims comes up, as T'Challa thinks he should be executed as a danger, while Adam (who has more reason to be angry than the King of Wakanda) would rather see he got a fair trial.
- Tragic Villain: Connor Sims, who initially appears to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist who was outraged by the mistreatment Adam received for being black, and how he wasn't given the credit he deserved for being a genius war-hero with multiple doctorates. As it turns out, thanks to a combination of his powers and the helmet Adam built for him to try and stabilise his visions actually amplifying them into an unstable form of cosmic awareness, he was actually driven mad by it.
- Underwater Base: Kadesh, Adam's "science fortress" at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. He cut a deal with Namor in order to build it there.
- We Used to Be Friends: Adam served in Korea with Connor Sims, saving the man's life on his first day on duty. They then gained their superpowers in the same lab accident (Connor was serving as security), and Adam risked his life to recover Connor from the Neutral Zone afterward. Then his powers caused him to Go Mad from the Revelation, and the two spent years fighting. And then during Connor's last rampage, he killed Candace.
- Worf Had the Flu: In Hickman's Avengers, Adam and the rest of the Mighty Avengers are used as little more than muscle against a team they should easily be able to mop the floor with. Captain America and the Mighty Avengers explains they were holding back because they didn't actually agree with Steve Rogers or the Illuminati.