Amadeus Cho, a Korean American youth, was born with the ability to calculate and perceive the endless possibilities of a moment. He has a superhuman brain called a hypermind, which makes him one of the smartest people on the planet. At the age of 15, he was a senior in high school and competed in an online quiz sponsored by the Excello Soap Corporation. He won and was declared the seventh smartest person on Earth, receiving the prize of five hundred thousand dollars.
As smart as he was, Amadeus didn't realize what was really happening around him. The Excello quiz was actually a means used by a lonely, paranoid genius named Pythagoras Dupree to identify potential hyperminds like himself and eliminate them. Amadeus would have died in an explosion that destroyed his home and family, but he was distracted on his way home by a girl, secretly Athena in disguise, and was uncharacteristically late for dinner.
Paranoid and angry, Amadeus went on the run, adopting a coyote pup along the way that he named Kirby, short for Kerberos. The trouble he got himself into led to him being pursued by authorities, but a chance encounter with the Hulk saved him. As a result, he began to worship the Hulk as a hero who was strong enough to stand up to a cruel and unfair world.
Amadeus Cho was created by Greg Pak and Takeshi Miyazawa and first appeared in Amazing Fantasy Volume 2 issue 15, making that the breakout character of the issue. The character was intended to be a modern day Mastermind Excello. Pak was also interested in promoting more Asian American heroes in comics. As such, Pak used his time working for Marvel to further develop Amadeus as a larger part of the Marvel Universe.
Major Story Arcs
World War Hulk
For further details: World War Hulk
When the Hulk and his Warbound attack Earth, everyone tries to stop him. Cho's plan is different, however. He decides to form a group of Renegades consisting of Cho, Hercules, Angel, and Namora to help the Hulk. The Hulk and the Renegades even fight together against Thunderbolt Ross and the army. He tries to offer help to the Hulk, going so far as to say that they should use Angel's money to pay for a safe place; but the Hulk, determined to get revenge, ignores Amadeus’ advice. Amadeus refuses to give up feeling Hulk was not a monster like most people believe him to be. However, despite his trust in the Hulk, Cho ends up working with Scorpion and S.H.I.E.L.D. in an attempt to free Hulk's prisoners.
Cho also begins aiding in coordinating rescue and relief efforts as the Hulk's attack cause more and more damage to Manhattan. Soon, the conflict escalates to the point that the Hulk becomes so enraged, even Cho sees the monster people always accused the Hulk of being.
In the aftermath, Cho and Hercules partner together and evade S.H.I.E.L.D. authorities rather than submit to registration. The attempts to bring them in line anger Cho so much that he almost destroys S.H.I.E.L.D.'s technological infrastructure, but Hercules talks him down from doing anything so devastating out of anger.
For further details: Secret Invasion
Amadeus and Hercules seek out Athena, Hercules' sister, for help and guidance. She leads them to the west coast to a meeting with the Council of Godheads. Athena had discovered the Skrull invasion and now claims it threatens the gods as much as the mortals. Her intent was to assemble a team to strike directly at the Skrulls' gods, Kly'bn the Eternal Skrull and Sl'Gur't of Infinite Names. Without the support of their gods, it was Athena's belief that the Skrull invasion force would fail.
Amadeus finds himself included in the newly assembled God Squad, joining with Hercules, Snowbird, Ajak, Amatsu-Mikaboshi, and Atum. Athena warns him that he will have do the hardest thing he has ever done in order for them to succeed, but would not specify what that thing is. Amadeus leaves the mortal realm with the God Squad, traveling through Nightmare's dimension to reach the Skrull gods. It is during this voyage that Kirby is revealed to be a Skrull infiltrator who had replaced the pup while Amadeus was in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.
In their confrontation with the Skrull gods, Amadeus sadly realizes the difficult thing he has to do. It is to do nothing when Hercules needs his aid, forcing Hercules to fight Kly'bn alone and allow himself be sacrificed. Fortunately, Snowbird saves him from death, and they return in time to see Kly'bn killed. By coincidence or by result, the moment that Kly'bn died was the same moment that Reed Richards' escapes from Skrull imprisonment, which turns the tide against the Skrull invasion.
Love and War
After the war with the Skrulls, Amadeus tags along with Hercules for some rest and relaxation. Unfortunately for him, this means being a third wheel as Hercules makes time on an island with Namora. The vacation is rudely interrupted by a band of Amazons who attack and abduct Amadeus. He is taken before their new queen, Artume, and seduced into deciphering an old Atlantean scripture that tells the location of the Omphalos, an item of power so great that it can alter reality.
Believing he would be intimately rewarded, Amadeus translates the writings without knowing the consequences and is then imprisoned. He attempts to thwart Artume's plans, and is aided by her servant, Delphyne Gorgon, who had developed an attraction to him during his captivity. However, Artume could not be prevented from taking the Omphalos' power and remaking the world to her wishes. She creates a new universe where she is president over a matriarchal civilization. In this reality, Amadeus is Artume's loyal assistant rather than Delphyne. Things are ultimately set right when Delphyne successfully challenges Artume for leadership, killing the former queen and returning reality to normal. As the new queen of the Amazons, Delphyne informed Amadeus that they cannot pursue their relationship any further, while at the same time Hercules is being told by Namora that she doesn't want to get seriously involved with him. The two jilted heroes leave to get pizza.
For further details: Dark Reign and the Unspoken
Amadeus and Hercules learn that the Olympians who had been forced to Earth by Mount Olympus' destruction had gathered and formed the Olympus Group, a mortal corporation that organizes their godly holdings. With Zeus' death, it is now Hercules' old enemy Hera who holds the controlling interest. Also at this time, Norman Osborn has secured his position as the authority over world security. It doesn't take long for Amadeus, Hercules, and Athena to find themselves caught between the Olympus Group and the Dark Avengers.
Amadeus, along with Hercules, falls in with a new group of Avengers that come to be led by Hank Pym. These Mighty Avengers are seemingly guided by the phantom of the Scarlet Witch to intervene on crises around the world and outside of Osborn's reach. Amadeus begins using one of Pym's old Ant Man helmets to aid him in the field and also begins looking up to Pym as a fellow genius.
With the threat of Hera and the Olympus Group still looming, Amadeus and Hercules descend into Hades to rescue Zeus as part of Athena's latest plan. They are escorted on their quest by Aegis, Athena's recently deceased champion. While Hercules fights for his father's salvation, Amadeus journeys to the Elysian Fields to see his family once again. Upon seeing his parents once more, he learns a frightening truth. His sister, Maddy, was not there. This means she had been alive and lost this entire time, ani It also raises serious suspicions in Amadeus about Athena, who he believed had known his sister was alive and didn't tell him.
No longer trusting Athena, Amadeus splits from Hercules without explanation to investigate his own past. He learns the truth about the Excello Soap Company and Pythagoras Dupree, who wanted him dead because of his hypermind, but he also uncovers the truth of Athena's involvement in his life. Athena was grooming a champion, and Dupree was a past, failed attempt. Amadeus was the current success. This entire time she had been preparing him to replace Hercules as the Prince of Power for a new age, one that would need intelligence, rather than strength, to save it.
Prince of Power
For further details: Assault on New Olympus, Fall of the Hulks, World War Hulks and Siege
Amadeus discovers that the Olympus Group's Continuum plan is to overwrite all of reality with an artificial one the gods have created in a pocket universe. He and Athena reunite with Hercules to stop it from happening, and Hercules calls upon a team of Avengers allies to storm the earthly home of the gods. In the battle, Amadeus finds himself on the opposite side of his former girlfriend Delphyne, who worked for the Olympus Group as queen of the Amazons, seeking revenge on Athena for creating the gorgon curse that plagued her. Hercules and Cho are separated as they try to stop Continuum, and when Amadeus finds Hercules again he appears to be dead. Athena claims that Hercules died to stop Continuum from spilling out into the true reality and destroying everything. In truth, she betrayed Hercules in those final moments in order for Amadeus to rise as the new Prince of Power.
Bruce Banner appeals to Amadeus' grief over Hercules' loss so that he can get Amadeus' help against the Intelligencia and save Betty Ross. Amadeus signs up to help, along with Skaar, Namor, Korg, A-Bomb, Wolverine, and Spider-Man. In the chaos, Amadeus is exposed to the Cathexis Ray, along with many other heroes, and is mutated by it. He changes much like the Leader had under gamma radiation, and he stays in control of himself due to his enhanced intelligence. Before being returned to normal, he uses his newfound mental powers to revert the Leader and MODOK to their original, unintelligent states.
What remains of the Mighty Avengers disbands as its members, including Amadeus Cho, storm off due to Pym's increasingly erratic and questionable leadership. The faith Amadeus had built up for Pym quickly crumbles away, and it was later Amadeus who assembled what members of the team he could find in order to help with the siege of Asgard. He had picked up a signal leaked by Ghost detailing Osborn's plans for the Thunderbolts to steal Odin's spear in the chaos, so what's left of the Mighty Avengers intercepts Osborn's team of mercenaries.
For further details: Heroic Age
A new heroic age dawned with the fall of Osborn's reign after the attack on Asgard, and Athena claims that Amadeus will be its greatest hero. With both Hera and Zeus now dead, she installs Amadeus as the new C.E.O. of the Olympus Group to prepare him for what will be needed and give him the resources to see it through. However, Amadeus has other things on his mind. He had journeyed to Hades again, only to discover that Hercules was not there as he should have been.
With Hebe as his loyal personal assistant, Amadeus, the Prince of Power and C.E.O. of the Olympus Group, commits all of the resources at his disposal to finding Hercules to bring his friend back. He changes his usual look to befit his new status as a solo act and begins using Hercules' adamantine mace as a weapon along with a small assortment of gadgets, some borrowed from Bruce Banner. Unfortunately, his prospects for finding Hercules are not promising.
A possibility Amadeus had not considered arrives with Vali Halfling, an old enemy of the Hulk's and leader of the Pantheon. The immortal son of Loki knows of a recipe capable of making one into a true god, and he proposes an alliance with Amadeus to acquire the ingredients, which are Olympian ambrosia, golden apples of Idunn, the Book of Thoth, and the Moon-cup of Dhanvantari. Amadeus knows better than to trust Vali, so a race for the ingredients begins. Amadeus believes that if he can become a god then he can bring Hercules back.
After fending off an attack by Thor who mistakenly thinks Amadeus has stolen from Asgard, Cho enters into an awkward partnership with the God of Thunder in order to acquire the ingredients. However, Vali is able to stay one step ahead of them every time. The partnership with Thor soon falls apart as the Odinson confesses he finds Amadeus to be far too much like a young Loki, and Amadeus is forced to trick him so he can reach Vali first. At the last minute, he is able to get his hands on all the ingredients and complete the ritual himself, becoming a god on the level of a skyfather. In this enlightened state, he realizes Thor was right and this power cannot be trusted with him, so he brings Hercules back and bestows all of his godlike power on his friend.
For further details: Chaos War
Hercules, with the power of a skyfather, warns of the imminent return of Amatsu-Mikaboshi, the Chaos King, who will come with an unrelenting army of enslaved gods at his back. The opening attack on Earth is overwhelming and sees most of the population and a majority of the heroes rendered unconscious. Amadeus and Hercules join with a new God Squad that consists of Sersi, Daimon Hellstrom, Venus, Silver Surfer, and Galactus in an attempt to save the universe.
The Chaos King tears through Nightmare's realm, conquers Hell, and destroys the boundary between life and death. All of reality is being consumed into the chaotic void to which Mikaboshi wants it all to return. Soon, even Amadeus with his hypermind cannot see any way to win. He and Galactus begin working on the means to transport survivors to the Continuu, a pocket reality created by Hera and in which Hercules had been imprisoned for so long. But when the time comes, he realizes that they could not save everyone this way, and he is unwilling to coldly choose who gets to live and who has to die. A new plan comes together in Amadeus' mind, and Hercules forces the Chaos King into the pocket reality, letting him consume that instead. Hercules then expends all of his godly power to restore reality and Amadeus is finally reunited with Delphyne.
Time Runs Out
Following an eight month time skip, Amadeus is seen as one of the new members of the Illuminati after Namor's departure. During a raid on Avengers Tower, Cho attempts to steal information that Tony Stark had left behind on the computers. The operation turns out to be sting, and he is attacked by Captain Marvel, Hawkeye, and a squad of War Machine drones. Amadeus almost manages to evade his pursuers after hacking into one of the War Machine armors, but his plan is thwarted after he is captured by the Invisible Woman.
Powers and Abilities
Amadeus Cho's brain operates like a hypercomputer, performing an infinite number of simultaneous calculations. This has been described as a "hypermind." It allows him to identify the variables and quantum possibilities in any situation, and he uses this information to adjust the outcome to whichever is most favorable to him. His hypermind also makes him one of the most intelligent people on the planet, ranking him somewhere in the top ten smartest beings alongside Reed Richards, Tony Stark, Dr. Doom and Hank McCoy.
Amadeus' brain needs sugar to operate at that high of a level, however, so he requires candy and junk food to fuel his intelligence.
Weapons and Equipment
Since becoming the Prince of Power, Amadeus Cho has taken to using Hercules' adamantine mace as his own personal weapon. He often takes advantage of its striking power as a blunt instrument, but he also uses it as a capacitor capable of redirecting even the most unlikely of energies, thanks to the divine materials it is made from.
Alongside the mace, Amadeus utilizes a select few pieces of technology. One is an extremely advanced computer of his own design, which he's housed inside the case of an old Nintendo Gameboy. Another is a personal force field designed by Bruce Banner. It protects him from physical harm as long as its charge holds, and can also heals his injuries on a cellular level while it is activated.
On Earth-8410, an alternate reality described as a cyberpunk dystopia, Amadeus is a cyber junkie who hacks into Stark's database and steals what he thinks is the final episode of a world hit televison show. He unwittingly releases a cyber virus that turns a person into a mindless flesh eating "zombie". Amadeus then mistakenly infects himself and his girlfriend Delphyne.
The Super Hero Squad Show
For further details: Super Hero Squad
Amadeus Cho made two small cameo appearances in the Super Hero Squad animated series, where he was a super-intelligent classmate of Reptil's in a Super Hero City school.
Amadeus Cho appears in Season 3 of Ultimate Spider-Man as a recurring character. He is introduced in "The Next Iron Spider" as a 13-year old prodigy who attends Midtown High, as well as Peter Parker's chief academic rival. He is also shown to be skilled enough to develop technology that can work in tandem with Stark's Arc Reactor tech. After Peter brings Tony Stark's Iron Spider armor to school as part of a fundraiser, Amadeus steals it in order to become a superhero, which brings him into conflict with Spider-Man, Nova, and Power Man. After evading the heroes, Amadeus is attacked by the Taskmaster, who attempts to steal the armor from him, forcing him to team up with Spidey to defeat the villain. At the episode's close, Nick Fury welcomes Cho into S.H.I.E.L.D. as part of Spider-Man's New Warriors training program.
Amadeus is voiced by Eric Bauza, who reprises his role from the Avengers Confidential film.
Incredible Hulk (2008)
In The Incredible Hulk, student at Culver University allows Bruce Banner access to the campus' computers in exchange for pizza. It's not confirmed if he's actually Amadeus Cho, but in the novelization he refers to himself as such. The unnamed character was played by Martin Starr.
Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher (2014)
Amadeus Cho appears in the Japanese anime film Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher, voiced by Eric Bauza in the English dub and Daisuke Namikawa in the original Japanese version. In the film, Cho is portrayed as a teenage prodigy who works for S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as a friend and chess partner of Natasha Romanoff.