Robert Grayson was the son of astrophycisist Dr. Horace Grayson, a German Jew who fled from Germany when Hitler began his rise to power in Germany. Seeking to flee the Nazi powers before a world war would take place, he begun work on a private spacecraft for both him and his infant son (his wife died in child birth).
Originally, Horace Grayson had planned simply to circle the moon until the crisis had passed, but after he was denied a loan from the bank, he started to search for an extra-terrestrial race by monitoring radio broadcasts. He found one such race of Eternals, a genetic off-shoot of humanity who left Earth thousands of years before and had found a home on Uranus in an ancient Kree city. They gave Grayson the knowledge to build his space ship, thus Grayson left the Earth just weeks after his loan application was rejection and before the war broke out.
Robert Grayson was created by Stan Lee and Russ Heath. His debut was in Marvel Boy #1 in December of 1950.
Major Story Arcs
Life with the Uranian Eternals
The Grayson's were greeted with open arms by the Eternals. They would be safe living under the tiny dome which contained the city, roughly 5 miles in diameter. They were also given small wrist devices which emitted anti-gravitons which allowed them to resist Uranus's intense gravity. The Eternals helped Bob reach the peak of his potential and gave him a headband granting him telepathic abilities, but he nevertheless longed to return to the planet of his birth. While Robert Grayson was happy, being raised as an Eternal, he often wondered what it would be like back on Earth. When he was seventeen, his father relented. So, with his father's blessing, he was given a ship called "The Silver Bullet", more powerful set of wristbands that could be used as defensive weapons, and a tunic that would evoke Apollo, the god of light, and allowed to leave the colony. These wristbands contained the ability of absorbing sunlight and releasing it to blind his opponents. Robert Grayson would be become the hero of the 1950's known as Marvel Boy II.
Marvel Golden Years
For three years, Robert Grayson battled crime under the name of Marvel Boy, he even would answer the call to join Jimmy Woo's team known as the Agents of Atlas. The team worked for the government for only six months before it was disbanded. Shortly after Woo's team of heroes disbanded, Marvel Boy received a distress call from Uranus. It wouldn't be until he received the urgent summons to return with aid to the Uranian colony. Denied a loan for medical supplies, he eventually received enough funding for his return to Uranus.
He finally made his return to find the city in ruin only to learn the horrible truth that the city was actually a penal colony for rogue Eternals who had once attempted to conquer the Earth. The Earth Eternals exiled the Uranian Eternals to the inhospitable world of Uranus and forbade them from returning to Earth. Native Uranians live at the core of the planet. The Uranian Eternals made a pact with the native Uranians. The Eternals would stay forever, providing byproducts the Uranians could use. Should they try to return to Earth, they would stopped.
Banished by the Earth bound Eternals, the Uranian Eternals saw the Grayson's as a loophole to be exploited. The Uranian Eternals would make Robert Grayson into a great hero. He would become an ambassador who would pave the way for Earth's "lost race." The Eternals, of course, could not control Robert so they required a different "Marvel Boy." The Eternals chose one of their ranks that was close to Robert's appearance and modified his body. They altered his memories and rewrote his life. As Robert Grayson began his career as Marvel Boy, his headband transmitted his experiences into the Eternal copy as well as the message that the High Council of Uranian Eternals was infallible. He would be their true champion - a pureblooded Eternal. The Council thought that if the people of earth invited them, it wouldn't violate the terms of their exile. The Uranians disagreed with this assessment, thus dooming the Uranian Eternals.
While the Eternal's colony was being destroyed around him, all the technology the Eternals gave Robert failed. His headband, however, did not fail - only the inhibitor protocol preventing Robert from learning the truth stopped. Without his wristbands to absorb energy and strengthen Robert, he would die. The Uranian's, taking pity on Robert Grayson, offered to take him into their community, but the Uranians live as part of a communal organism. Marvel Boy had to be genetically reborn, and he spent decades in a membrane/chrysalis.
Robert Grayson's Double
During the Eternals' destruction, they rushed to completion a duplicate of Marvel Boy. The duplicate arose too late to be of any help, however - it was born an unstable creature with false and fractured memories. It believed that the Eternals' protective dome was destroyed, and it was the fault of bankers of Earth who stalled him when they denied his request for a loan to purchase medical supplies for his father. He rushed back to Earth to exact revenge, calling himself The Crusader, and he began a rampage. With a more powerful version of the bands, called " Quantum Bands", he faced the Fantastic Four. When he lashed out in rage against the Fantastic Four under the name 'Crusader', and nearly defeated them, but in his madness the bands found him to be unworthy and disintegrated the him, leaving just the Quantum Bands behind. These would be retrieved by Reed Richards, given to SHIELD, and passed down to Wendell Vaughn, the hero would take the name Marvel Man and then Quasar.
Agent of Atlas
For years, Bob Grayson lived a solitary existence, despite the Uranian collective, since he regarded himself a separate entity by nature. He passed the time by building a new flying saucer, although the Uranian culture forbade him from leaving the planet. Robert Grayson, feeling that he was not truly a part of the Uranian culture, eventually left when he received a distress call from his previous teammates of the Agents of Atlas. Jimmy Woo, of the team was near death, which Robert Grayson hurried to Earth to help, thus severing all ties between him and the Uranians. With the aid of Jimmy Woo, the Agents of Atlas once more became a team and would eventually become a powerful force for good.
Powers & Abilities
Marvel Boy has been reborn to share, on some level, a Native Uranian physiology. The full extent of this remains unrevealed, although it is known that he must breathe an atmosphere akin to that of Uranus and that, in order to eat, he must distend his esophagus.
Grayson was an accomplished athlete and schooled in sciences far beyond even today’s level of technology.
Originally, Marvel Boy utilized wrist-bands based known as the Quantum Bands. The first pair manipulated gravity and magnified light. The second pair, which he wore as Marvel Boy, controlled gravity and light to a greater extent than the first and absorbed solar radiation and transformed it into powers and enhanced abilities, such as superhuman strength, endurance, and resistance to injury. Marvel Boy possessed superhuman strength, stamina, and durability. Grayson also utilized a rocket-ship designed by his father Horace Grayson, based on designs by Uranian technicians. He wore polarized contact lenses which protected him when he manipulated light. His primary use of the wristbands was to magnify low levels of light to create blinding bursts in order to incapacitate his opponents.
Currently, Marvel Boy's primary weapons are the headband he received from the Uranians and the spacecraft he built from Eternal Technology. This headband consists of highly sophisticated technologies that not only allow him to control his spaceship remotely, but affords him a high degree of telepathic ability. He can read minds, project highly convincing images and commands into the brains of others, and can scan the physiological state of those around him. It can also record fantastic amounts of information, from complete atomic recordings of an area to a complete genetic structure of someone Marvel Boy made contact with. It can recreate this information and project it in the form of illusions into other people's minds. Marvel Boy's flying saucer is a model of extraterrestrial science, and it responds to his mental control by way of his headband. Its capabilities include: tractor beams, regenerative pools, hard-light holographic projections, virtual reality controls, and powerful energy lasers.