|Created by John Broome and Gil Kane|
Aliases: Wild Card
Occupation: Professional criminal
Space Sector: 2814
Marital Status: Single
Base of Operation: Formerly California State Prison; currently unknown
Group Affiliation(s): Royal Flush Gang (former)
Weight: 156 lbs.
Hair: Brown with white temples
First Appearance: Green Lantern Vol. 2 #5 (March-April 1961): "The Power Ring That Vanished!"
Creators: John Broome and Gil Kane
Over one hundred years ago, a strange, radioactive piece of space debris entered the solar system. It broke into fragments, two pieces impacted on Jupiter and the Moon. The rest fell to Earth. An unnamed astronomer was the only witness to the meteor's fiery descent. The meteor broke apart again, two pieces crashing in the jungles of Africa, and one in the Kalihari desert. The remaining piece crashed on the west coast of North America. One of the African meteorites evolved the local gorillas into a scientifically advanced race, with technology far surpassing humanity in the present day.
Little is known of Hector Hammond's earlier life, even his real name remains a secret. He was wanted by the law for a number of reasons, and tried to avoid the authorities by wandering in a hilly area when he chanced upon a fragment of the meteorite. He was always interested in science, and was intrigued by the unusual trees and weeds surrounding the object from space.
Posing as a student, he took a photograph of his find and showed it to a university professor. He was told the photo was a hoax, the vegetation surrounding the meteorite could only exist one hundred thousand years from now, after they evolved from their present forms. He took his photo back without letting on it was anything other than a hoax.
He had suspected the meteorite had evolved the foliage and the professor had confirmed it. He surmised it might do the same to human beings. He kidnapped four scientists and subjected them to the meteor so he could benefit from the knowledge of their advanced brains. The scientists were locked away with the meteor on a lonely island.
Day by day, the meteorite evolved the scientists, but also weakened their will power. The disappearance of the four scientists remained an unsolved mystery. Within a year, the fugitive from justice had changed his name to Hector Hammond in order to avoid the police. Hammond decided to remain a normal human so he could mingle with others and enjoy his new found power. The scientist were trapped by a forcefield on Hammond's island.
Though he was unheard of just a month before, Hector Hammond quickly became a celebrity in Coast City. His seemingly incredible knowledge of science made him rich and powerful. In a party at his house, Hammond demonstrated his amazing inventions.
Carol Ferris, daughter of the owner of Ferris Aircraft, was attracted to the successful playboy. The attraction was mutual, though Miss Ferris had another suitor, Green Lantern and his alter ego Hal Jordan.
The test pilot noticed a connection between Hammond's talents in chemistry, physics, astronomy and biology: They were the specialties of the four missing scientists. He asked his friend and confidant Tom Kalmaku to pose as Green Lantern while he searched the coast looking for the missing scientists.
Kalmaku flew through Coast City, keeping himself on continuous display while the real Green Lantern continued his search. Hammond believed the ring wielder was trying to impress Carol Ferris with his high flying acrobatics.
On his secluded island, the four scientists had plans of their own. They built a device that used sigma rays to pull Green Lantern to their aid. The rays pulled the power ring harder than "Green Lantern" himself. The power ring was yanked off his finger before he reached the island.
The ring was found by Hammond. He gained confidence knowing he could take on a powerless Green Lantern. Hammond quickly subdued the scientists' revolt and used the power ring to "devolve" the emerald crusader to a chimpanzee.
The real Green Lantern found the island and realized Kalmaku had lost the duplicate ring. The two fought a power ring duel all the way to the mainland. Hammond created a bank of machine guns to kill Green Lantern when suddenly his power ring failed him. He did not realize the ring needed to be recharged every twenty-four hours. Green Lantern defeated Hammond and restored the scientists and Kalmaku to their old selves.
After escaping from prison, Hammond turned the meteorite's power upon himself. He evolved even further than the captive scientists had. Hammond's brain and cranium grew to enormous size, granting him vast psionic powers.
Hammond joined Mister Memory, the Pied Piper, the Angle Man, and the Sea Thief against the Justice League of America. The temporary alliance of villains met with defeat at the hands of the League.
Hammond later altered the meteor to bestow immortality on himself. Despite the obvious advantage of endless life, Hammond would spend the years completely immobile.
He knew the original meteor had broken up in space, but the alien rock resisted his telekinetic powers. Hammond surreptitiously employed Green Lantern to bring the fragments to Coast City's Science Institute.
The first fragment was buried in the sands of the Kalihari Desert. It was a simple matter to create a sandstorm to unearth it and attract Green Lantern. The ring slinger dispersed the sandstorm and turned the fragment over for research. The other two pieces were on the Earth's moon and Jupiter. Both fragments appeared to threaten the very solar system, but Green Lantern saved the day.
Hector Hammond commanded three thieves to break in to the Science Institute and bring the meteorites to him. The stolen specimens were useless to Hammond, as Green Lantern had covered them with forcefields.
This did not stop the immortal mastermind. He now seized command of Green Lantern's power ring and drew his emerald adversary to him. Working through the power ring, Hammond ordered Green Lantern to remain completely motionless and remove the forcefields from the stolen space rocks.
The ring complied instantly, but Hammond's next request was for the ring to go to its new master's hand. The ring removed itself from Green Lantern's finger, only to fall to the floor, powerless. Hammond commanded the ring to make the meteors glow, but to no avail.
The emerald warrior had prepared for an attack by a superior mind force. Before his arrival, Green Lantern ordered his ring to instantly drain itself of all power if it was ordered off his finger. Despite Hammond's telekinetic barrage, Green Lantern was able to knock out his foe with a left hook. The mental madman's evolved mind was later shut down by the recharged power ring.
Weeks later, Hammond recovered from Green Lantern's power ring order. He had willed his mind to shut down before Green Lantern's ring could act. The power ring believed it had fulfilled its command. Hector Hammond used the criminal Sonar to battle Green Lantern while he remained safe in prison.
The villain planted a suggestion in Jordan's mind to learn how he would attack the master of sound. Once Hammond had his answer he was ready to guide Sonar to victory. The Modoran criminal managed to get Green Lantern's power ring for a short time, but lost his tuning fork gun to the green gladiator. Despite Hammond's planning, Green Lantern was too clever to be defeated by Sonar. Hammond resolved to use others to do his work, striking at Green Lantern in secret.
Hammond spent months devising a plan to best Green Lantern. His mind reached out to Jordan, following the ring wielder to Oa, home of the Guardians of the Universe. He was surprised to learn Green Lantern called the Oans "masters" and quickly altered his plans.
Returning to Earth, Hal Jordan was attacked by a Guardian that claimed to have destroyed his brother Guardians. The renegade Guardian sent an energy sphere to seek and destroy Green Lantern anywhere in the universe.
Jordan escaped by shifting himself into an alternate universe. He willed his ring to find the near-indestructible form of Hector Hammond as a shield from which to attack the Guardian. He did not know of Hammond's involvement in the renegade Guardian's story.
The chairbound villain was about to use the "Guardian projection" he created to restore his lost mobility when the projection was abruptly attacked. The "Guardian" defended himself by blasting at his "master". Hammond was forced to destroy it before it deadened his mind.
Green Lantern never suspected Hammond's involvement in his fight with the renegade Guardian. A trip to Oa showed the "renegade Guardian" was a hoax.
With his knowledge of the Guardians and the Green Lantern Corps, Hammond tried to discredit Green Lantern by influencing the ring wielder to commit crimes. For a short time, it appeared the Guardians stripped Green Lantern of his power ring. Hammond's henchmen gave the super-hero four scarlet rings so he could continue his life as Green Lantern.
The rings worked for a short while, but they furthered Hammond's influence on Jordan. The Green Lantern soon found himself behind bars, at the mercy of Hammond. Jordan was too weak to fight off Hammond's mental commands. He was near death when the attack was interrupted by the prison guard.
A group of hippies Hal had befriended arranged bail. Hammond had exerted much of his energy trying to kill Green Lantern, he did not have the strength to control the jailers or the hippies.
Even without his power ring, Green Lantern was capable of taking on Hammond's henchmen. After the foursome were defeated, a Guardian appeared before Jordan. The power ring had never been taken. Hammond deluded Green Lantern into imagining the Guardian had taken the power ring.
Seeking revenge against his most formidable enemy, Hammond mentally traveled the world looking for a way to destroy Green Lantern. He believed he had found his answer in the Justice League of America's case books.
Focusing on an area of tundra in northern Chile, Hammond freed the Shaggy Man. The huge, hairy monstrosity was a living plastic organism whose only impulse was to destroy. The Justice League had imprisoned their virtually indestructible foe but for Hammond the Shaggy Man would be the perfect weapon to defeat Green Lantern. Even Hammond's mental powers would prove strained as the Shaggy Man was at times difficult to control. He teleported the artificial beast to the Justice League satellite, orbiting 23,000 miles above the Earth.
The Justice Leaguers fought the Shaggy Man in pairs, unaware of Hammond's involvement. The mental madman intervened when it appeared the heroes might triumph over the beast. Unfortunately, during the course of one such fight, the satellite's support mechanisms had been damaged, causing its orbit to decay. The satellite and everyone on board would be destroyed in reentry.
Green Lantern caught the satellite before it hit Metropolis and put it back in orbit while Superman fought the Shaggy Man in his hometown. The JLA teamed up but could not stop their foe. The moment that Hammmond was waiting for had finally come but he had exhausted his mental energy trying to stabilize the satellite. Green Lantern neutralized the Shaggy Man by reducing him to mere inches in height. Hammond would have to wait for another day to claim vengeance.
In his next scheme, Hammond used his mental powers to manipulate the stock market in his favor. He worked with Wilhelm Baggins aka Bill Baggins, a man whose formidable will power could control Green Lantern's power ring. Baggins established Braintrust, Inc. with the money from Hammond's investments. Hammond later manipulated the parole board to free himself.
World leaders were influenced to seek Braintrust, Inc. for advice, and the company grew. Hammond planned to use this as a starting point to take control of the world in twenty-five years. He created a religious cult, "the Divinity Mission" as an exercise to see how far people could be led. Unfortunately for him, it caught the attention of Green Lantern and Green Arrow. Hammond and Baggins were stopped by the emerald avengers and imprisoned once again.
Since stealing Green Lantern's power ring seemed impossible, Hammond spent his time stealing its green energy. He mentally tracked Green Lantern around the country, siphoning off a portion of the energy without the ring wielder noticing.
He drew enough power to create an energy exo-skeleton, granting himself mobility to search the stars for fragments of the meteor. Eventually, Green Lantern noticed the power outages and confronted Hammond.
The super-evolved villain turned the emerald energy on Jordan, trapping Green Lantern in a fist formed of the prison walls. Hammond returned to his search in space while Green Lantern broke free.
Fighting in the midst of a meteor storm, Hammond tried to steal more power but was blocked by Jordan's ring command. The enemies were deadlocked in space, until Hammond's power deserted him. The twenty four hours worth of energy Hammond stole from Green Lantern had run out, leaving him helpless.
Hammond was returned to prison, an electronic head band kept the mental madman from mustering up enough concentration to free his mind. The device worked well, but the designers did not count on a hungry rat gnawing through the machine's only power line. For months, Hammond plotted the downfall of the Justice League of America.
Under Hector Hammond's mental domination, Derek Reston, the president of Megaform Industries, created a new Royal Flush Gang. He sent the villain team after the members of the Justice League, but was found out by Black Canary and the Elongated Man. A number of the Leaguers had been immobilized by the "Z-radiation" of the Royal Flush Gang's weapons before the villains were defeated.
After the radiation faded from the stricken heroes, Hammond would be free to absorb the psychic energies. He would have ample power to move his body once again.
The Justice League did not know of Hammond's involvement or the one man who eventually saved them. Martin Stein, part of Firestorm, created a spirit body to attack Hammond on the mental plane. Hammond was impressed by Stein's will, but he too could create a body. He planned to kill Firestorm's mental persona.
The fight did not go as well as Hammond hoped. Stein was not always part of Firestorm's matrix, he was used to physical conflict. Hammond had forgotten what pain felt like. Stein kept striking the mental persona until Hammond agreed to leave the Justice Leaguers.
After all his defeats, Hammond decided to turn his concentration upon himself and evolve even further. His powers were amplified to allow him to roam the stars, searching for the element that could restore him mobility.
He found it inside an asteroid, ironically the living place of his hated enemy. By order of the Guardians, Hal Jordan had been exiled from Earth for a year. The asteroid was his home in space.
Hammond used his powers to turn the very asteroid against Green Lantern. The ring slinger had no choice but to destroy his newest home. There were no strange energies detected by Jordan, but he felt the tug of memory looking at the glowing rock in the debris field. Hammond blasted the emerald gladiator with his mind powers.
This fragment could be pulled to Earth by Hammond's telekinesis. He bathed in the radiation and found his mobility restored. Hammond killed his two guards and flew out into space.
Green Lantern had survived Hammond's assault. He recognized the glowing rock form their previous confrontations. Hammond subjected the ring wielder to a massive physical attack, pulling stellar material to incinerate his foe. When that failed, Hammond manipulated Green Lantern's mind, but was unable to press his attack. Jordan had correctly surmised that the meteor would restore Hammond's mobility, but would return him to a normal twentieth century man. The effect was sped up each time Hammond used his power.
Rather than lose his mental prowess, Hammond returned to Earth. He preferred paralysis to the alternative of normalcy.
Presumably, the prison authorities learned of Hammond's faulty mental inhibitor and repaired the device. The villain's next breakout would be with the assistance of an unlikely pair.
Guy Gardner and The Shark made fast work freeing Hector Hammond from confinement. Other villains were freed with the offer to join Gardner in an assault on Qward. The only other option was death. Hector Hammond had plotted to take over Guy's group before he was shut down by the Green Lantern. Gardner went off to free Goldface from prison.
Gardner's plan was halted in the antimatter universe of Qward. Had he and his army been successful, they would have inadvertently destroyed the positive matter universe. The villains swore revenge against the rogue Green Lantern as Gardner escaped from the Green Lantern Corps.
Gardner fled to the far off planet Zamaron to seek an alliance with Star Sapphire. Seeking revenge against Hal Jordan, Hammond projected his mental image to Guy Gardner and Star Sapphire. He proposed pooling their talents to destroy their mutual foe.
Jordan flew through space, unaware of the new threat, when he spotted The Flash (Barry Allen) on an alien moon. They spoke for a moment before his friend faded away, only to be replaced by Tomar-Re. The Green Lantern of Xudar had been killed in Gardner's assault on Qward. He told Jordan that the Flash and he were dead, and others were coming to see the Green Lantern of Earth.
Jordan was startled to see Carol Ferris, but was caught unawares by her change to Star Sapphire. Her attack was joined by Gardner and Hammond. Though his opponents were formidable, Jordan overwhelmed them. Hammond was stretched beyond his limits, and back on Earth his body fell face first into the sand.
Gardner was sent to Maltus with Appa Ali Apsa. While there, it was hoped he would be trained in the proper responsibilities of a Green Lantern. Star Sapphire returned to Zamaron, Queen of an empty kingdom. As for Hal Jordan, he and six other ring wielders chose to form the Green Lantern Corps of Earth.
The new Corps was a threat to foes of Green Lantern. They banded together for their own protection. Doctor Polaris and his henchmen sought out Hector Hammond to join with them against Earth's Green Lanterns. They arrived too late, as Hammond was gone.
Star Sapphire had taken Hammond to Zamaron in a plot against Hal Jordan. They had been spying on the Green Lanterns since their last defeat and were now ready to move against their foes. They decided to separate Jordan from the rest of the Corps and kill him. The remaining Green Lanterns would be demoralized by his death and easier targets for the villainous pair.
Jordan and fellow Green Lantern Arisia had fallen in love. They took a romantic getaway to the Hawaiian island of Kauai. After a long talk, Jordan dosed while Arisia took a walk along the beach.
She was ambushed by Hector Hammond and Star Sapphire. Hammond easily gained control of her mind while Sapphire planned her actions. Under their guidance, Arisia "accidentally" attacked Hal Jordan, claiming it as the result of an illness from her forced growth.
Arisia and Hal flew to her homeworld to find the cure for her problem, carrying her power battery so they could recharge their rings in route. She deserted Jordan in deep space as his ring ran out of power. The battery was a fake, his life saving reserve power was used up in Arisia's accidental attack. The Green Lantern of Earth apparently exploded in the vacuum of space.
Arisia was brought on board the Zamaron Deep-Cruiser and subjected to humiliations by Star Sapphire. The two villains would return to Earth and eliminate the rest of the Green Lantern Corps. Their partnership was strained by their attitudes to each other, but it ultimately mattered little.
Hal Jordan was not dead. Before leaving Earth, he had secretly scanned Arisia and brought along his power battery. Jordan created the image of his destruction and spent the hours since dismantling the defenses of the Zamaron cruiser. He was controlled by Hector Hammond until a fight ensued between the mental madman and Star Sapphire.
Though he was superior to Star Sapphire in terms of power, Hammond could not conquer her. He required a tighter grip on a female's mind than a man's,and the sapphire gem prevented Hammond from gaining that grip.
Each wanted control of Jordan, and their hold on Arisia lessened. She was able to break free of their domination and turn the tables on the two villains. Presumably Hammond was taken back into custody.
To gain favorable public opinion, nine American corporations banded together to create the superhero team known as the Conglomerate. Though initially successful, the team started having reservations regarding their sponsors' choice of missions. Team leader Booster Gold spoke out against one of the corporations, Ovel Oil, after an oil spill in the Pacific Northwest. Corporate liaison Mr. Thrunctcuous was charged with turning around the negative public opinion.
To aid him in his endeavor, Thrunctcuous arranged for Hector Hammond's release from prison. Hammond agreed to repay his debt by assisting in the programming of a supposedly brain dead superhuman operative to take the place of the Conglomerate. Thrunctcuous planned for Booster Gold and his team to be killed in a failed attempt to contain a toxic cloud, with the creature saving the day. The creature would be regarded as a hero. Hammond probed the mind of the creature, and found a rudimentary consciousness. It was easy enough for the advanced mind of Hammond to suppress the creature's mind.
Thrunctcuous did not count on the Justice League assisting in the staged disaster. He ordered Hammond to send the creature after the heroes. Unfortunately for Hammond, Justice Leaguer Guy Gardner recognized him and hammered his protective chair. Without it, Hammond could not control the creature.
The creature was actually a worker at Dupree Chemical, believed to have been killed in an industrial accident. Named Ernie, the creature had a mental link with his brother, Phil. Hammond's probing apparently had reactivated this link, bringing Phil to the site of the toxic cloud. The brothers were reunited, they sought to link with each other. The resulting explosion disintegrated both brothers and Thrunctcuous.
After their long disappearance, the return of the legendary Justice Society of America made national news. Hector Hammond was disgusted to find the Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott was in possession of a power ring while he remained an invalid. Hammond believed the eldest of Earth's Green Lanterns would be easy prey, but he overestimated himself.
Hammond staged the "death" of Doiby Dickles, Alan Scott's best friend, to draw out the elder Green Lantern. Once Scott touched the "body" of his friend he was attacked by Hammond. The Green Lantern was drawn into a mind world Hammond created within the power ring.
Scott had heard about the "man of the future" from the other Green Lanterns, and he was well aware of the power he was facing. Despite his ability to draw off some of the green energy, Hammond could not overcome Scott's link to the power ring. In the decades he'd worn the ring, the Golden Age Green Lantern had absolute control of it. Scott severed Hammond's link to the green power, to reveal the mental madman's holographic impersonation of Doiby Dickles. Their entire battle had taken but a moment.
Over the years, Hector Hammond made many acquaintances in the underworld. Perhaps one of the strangest, Gorilla Grodd, was a foe of The Flash. The man of the future and the super gorilla had much in common. They both were evolved by identical meteorites. The two kept up a chess game that in reality was their way of surreptitiously communicating with each other. When Hammond was ready, Gorilla Grodd staged a prison break with the help of his younger ape followers.
For his part, Hammond escaped from detention in Central City and took mental control of Wally West, Barry Allen's successor as the Flash. With the scarlet speedster's power, Hector Hammond gained transportation to Africa. Grodd had found another meteor that could be used for a super weapon.
After a brief skirmish with Green Lantern and the Flash, Grodd and Hammond began their search for the meteor. They soon found the local jungle had been altered by the meteor's presence. When the heroes caught up with them, the villains were ready.
Green Lantern managed to hold off Hammond's power but was surprised Grodd was simply defending himself, rather than joining in an attack. The ape let Hammond take the power of the meteor, but it proved to much for the future man. Hammond was devolved to a Cro-Magnon. Grodd had probed Hammond's mind to see how the meteor could be controlled and manipulated him into overloading the meteor and taking the power backlash. With the power under his control, Grodd evolved himself, gaining a hyper-advanced brain his former ally had. Green Lantern was devolved but the Flash's cranium grew to enormous size.
Grodd left to organize an army while Green Lantern and the Flash fought. Though the scarlet speedster could not run, he commanded vast mental powers as Hammond had. He controlled Green Lantern's ring to force the meteor to return them to normal.
The heroes met Grodd's army in Gorilla City. While they battled the apes, Grodd fought their unusual allies, Rex the Wonder Dog and Detective Chimp of the Bureau of Amplified Animals. Using the "force of mind" power, Rex dampened Grodd's mind, rendering him harmless. Hammond and Grodd were held in Gorilla City where they would be rehabilitated.
The Flash's old foe, Grodd, has recently been returned to full intellect by the power of Neron. Whether or not Hector Hammond struck a deal of his own with Neron remains unknown.
Hector Hammond recently responded to an invitation to the newest incarnation of the Secret Society of Super-Villains. Other foes of Green Lantern, such as Major Disaster and Star Sapphire, were also in attendance. Purportedly gathered by the original Brainwave, the new Secret Society was intended to be a direct answer to the formation of the newest version of the JLA. This, however, proved to be a ruse. "Brainwave" was actually the Martian Manhunter and the JLA had gathered the villains in one area for easier capture.
For a definitive list of appearances of Hector Hammond in chronological order click here
Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #10 (December 1985)
I was surprised to find so many chunks of that space rock scattered around the DC Universe. It would be interesting to find where the original rock came from and how it gained its evolution altering powers. Thanks to my "Classic JLA Advisor," ToyMaster, for the JLA info on Hector Hammond.