The exact point at which Emil Burbank vowed to destroy Hyperion is unknown. At any rate, it is known that he blames Hyperion's "flash vision" for causing his hair to grow uncontrollably, although whether this is true or not is unknown. Emil Burbank (or as he prefers to be called, Master Menace) was first seen teaming up with the evil, Earth-616 Hyperion in an attempt to destroy Earth-712 Hyperion. Unfortunately for him, Thor had been visiting Earth-712 at the time, and assisted 712-Hyperion in defeating his counterpart and Burbank.
Emil Burbank was created by Roy Thomas
and Wayne Boring
, and first appeared in Thor
#280. However, most of his later personality and inventions displayed were additions of Mark Gruenwald
In his initial appearance in Thor #280, Emil was quite obviously based upon Lex Luthor
, although with more of a "mad scientist" type personality. Although he did offer something of a threat to Hyperion and Thor, and certainly displayed intellect by teaming up with 616-Hyperion, he still wasn't that much of a stand-out villain.
When Emil returned in Mark Gruenwald's Squadron Supreme
series, he was clearly more villainous and cunning. Here, he had a suit of Doctor Doom-esque armour, and had much more devious plans. He was not above working with his enemies if they had mutual needs, notably Nighthawk
, but was still untrustworthy and likely to betray them once the opportunity presented itself.
Major Story Arcs
The Utopia Principle
Between his original appearance and his appearances in Squadron Supreme, it is unknown what Emil was up to, particularly during the Overmind
's reign of terror of Earth. Once the Overmind was overthrown and the Squadron Supreme took over Earth in order to make it into a utopia, Emil didn't find out for several months, as he had been conquering the Middle East. Once he did find out, however, he decided that it clashed with his own world domination plans, particularly their newly invented Behaviour Modifier (or "B-Modder"), and agreed to send three of the Squadron's foes to another universe - namely Pinball
, the Mink
, and Remnant
From here, Emil carried out his plans to destroy the Squadron. Using Earth-616 Hyperion once again, Emil used a fake meteor to attract 712-Hyperion's attention, before teleporting him to an alternate dimension. From here, 616-Hyperion replaced 712-Hyperion in the Squadron, feigning amnesia to get around anything which he didn't know about the team. As the infiltration continued, 616-Hyperion started to fall in love with Power Princess
, even though he was going through with the deception so that he could be reunited with Thundra
, whom he had loved previously and been separated from. In the end, 616-Hyperion decided that he preferred Power Princess, and so travelled to Burbank's secret fortress to destroy him, lest Burbank reveal to the Squadron that Hyperion was an imposter. Although he failed to kill Burbank, 616-Hyperion opted instead to use Burbank's dimensional transporter to send Burbank to the same dimension which he himself had trapped 712-Hyperion in.
Trapped in this strange dimension, where there appeared to be no matter other than some ominous mists, Burbank ran into 712-Hyperion, who had been attempting to escape by flying at top speed, until he presumably broke some sort of dimensional barrier. Although Burbank hated working with his greatest enemy, he was forced to, as it was their only way out of the dimension. Hyperion used his super-vision to power up Burbank's armour, which then allowed Burbank to return to Earth-712. Although Burbank attempted to escape and leave Hyperion, Hyperion managed to grab him before he could fully teleport away, and successfully returned to Earth-712. From there, he got into a fight with 616-Hyperion, which ended with 616-Hyperion's death, although not before 616-Hyperion confessed to Power Princess that he had loved her.
Meanwhile, Nighthawk had been gathering together his team of Redeemers
to overthrow the Squadron Supreme. With almost all of the pieces in place, and ready to overthrow the Squadron, Nighthawk just needed one more thing - a way to undo the Squadron's Behaviour Modification, so that he could undo the Behaviour Modifications and recruit the former members of the Institute of Evil
into his team. Redeemer member Moonglow
managed to get the schematics of the B-Modder, which Nighthawk then turned over to Emil Burbank. Emil successfully found a way to undo the B-Modding, and whilst he helped the Redeemers capture all of the former members of the Institute of Evil and undo their B-Modding, he declined working with them, as he preferred to defeat the Squadron on his own terms.
Death of a Universe
Master Menace was not seen again until after the Squadron's reign on Earth ended. The Squadron found out from Professor Imam
that their world was going to be destroyed within 48 hours by the Nth Man
blocking the sun, and lacking Tom Thumb
's intellect, they turned to Emil for help. With the help of the Scarlet Centurion
, who had travelled from the future in curiosity as to how the Squadron's world seemingly survived (as he lived in their future, it must have somehow survived, although how it did was unknown to him), Emil travelled to the future to work on a device to stop the Nth Man from blocking the sun. After spending over ten years in the future, Emil returned to the present only 48 minutes after he had left, forgetting the exact minute in which he had left. With the Scarlet Centurion, he had created a device with which he hoped to shunt the Nth Man out of their dimension.
Unfortunately, in order for the device to be successful, the Squadron Supreme would have to travel into space, and surround the Nth Man with the four different parts of the device. Emil accompanied them, wanting to see how the device fared. Unknown to the Squadron, he had a backup plan in the event that it didn't work - he would use his dimension teleporter to escape to another universe which wasn't being plagued by the Nth Man. Unfortunately, the device which Emil had spent so many years of his life working on did fail, despite the fact that Emil had sincerely wanted it to work as much as the Squadron. With this in mind, Emil escaped to another dimension, apologising to the Squadron as he did so, and pointing out that they couldn't say that he hadn't tried.
New World Order
Unknown to the Squadron, Emil had secretly designed the spaceship which they had used to force the Squadron to another dimension (Earth-616, as it turned out), so that if he returned to their Earth, he could rule it unopposed. Unfortunately, due to a temporal flux, when he did return, it was years later than he had planned. With both he and the Squadron Supreme missing, the tyrannical Global Directorate had taken over the world using the devices which the Squadron themselves had used during the Utopia period. They proceeded to Behaviour Modify Emil, and use his intellect to further their agendas. When the Squadron were finally able to return to their own world, they initially suspected Emil of being behind the Global Directorate, before discovering the shocking truth. They ended up rescuing him and taking him to their new headquarters on Utopia Island.
Powers and Abilities
Emil Burbank is a highly intelligent man. As he was able to find a way to undo Behaviour Modification, something which Tom Thumb claimed was impossible, it is possible that he is the smartest person of Earth-712. He built many types of robots and gadgets to assist him in both his war against the Squadron Supreme and for personal use. His greatest invention was his dimension teleporter, which allowed the user to traverse between different universes. A portable version of this could be accessed within his armour, which itself had various weapons for defence.
In the Supreme Power universe (Earth-31916), Emil Burbank is a man with many aliases and possibly the greatest intellect on the planet. Emil Burbank was recruited to the Squadron because he was tested by the military and found to have been exposed to the retrovirus that had been released from Hyperion's spacecraft and bestowed superhuman abilities on numerous people around the world. Even though Emil's enhanced intellect is a direct result of the retro-virus, Emil denies it, insisting that his genius is his own doing. Immense intellect in humans is not unknown in history, such examples being Archimedes and Leonardo Da Vinci, but not to the extremes that Emil exhibits.