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The Growing Man is a stimuloid — a form of android that absorbs most forms of kinetic energy directed against it, which in theory renders it impervious to physical harm. The absorption of the energy stimulates the rapid multiplication of the stimuloid's artificial cells, causing it to grow significantly in size with a proportionate increase in strength and resistance to damage. It is assumed that in order to grow the stimuloid draws its additional mass from an extra-dimensional source. The Growing Man's original size is that of a child's doll, but it can achieve the height of a building ten stories tall. Kang is also capable of using an unknown form of energy that causes the Growing Man to revert to its original size. The Growing Man's circuitry appears to have limits, however, as both Thor and Hercules are able to disorient and damage the android with a series of super-strong blows
The Growing Man was originally built by an alien race on behalf of the time-traveling villain known as Kang the Conqueror, who had subjugated their planet, Kosmos. Knowing that the android would be used as a weapon in the past, the scientists of Kosmos build a device into the android which would deliver a warning message to their ancestors to prepare for Kang's coming. For some unknown reason, however, the warning beacon does not activate.
The Growing Man first appears on Earth as an inert doll-sized figure found by New York police. The android reactivates soon after and battles the Thunder God Thor, before being deactivated and recovered by Kang. Months later, Kang uses the Growing Man to abduct Tony Stark - the alter-ego of Iron Man - from a hospital. The Avengers attack and follow the Growing Man into the future, where they become involved in his competition against the Elder of the Universe the Grandmaster.
The alien colonizers of Rigel eventually find the Growing Man in one of Kang's abandoned vessels and send it back to Earth to use it against Iron Man, who eventually defeats the android by overloading its circuitry. Kang later revives the Growing Man and directs it against New York City, although Mister Fantastic devises a means of reversing the growing process, causing the android to shrink from sight.
The Growing Man was later recovered by the subversive organization HYDRA, led by terrorist Baron Strucker. Strucker orders the Growing Man to attack New York as part of a ploy to destroy the formative team the Thunderbolts. The Thunderbolts, however, not only defeat the android but also manage to activate the warning beacon.
Kang later dispatched a new variation of the Growing Man against the superhero team the Young Avengers in an attempt to track his younger self, who had retreated to the past and was now posing as Iron Lad. This Growing Man collapsed and split into multiple, smaller units when struck.
First Appearance: Thor (1966) #140
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Avengers Forever (1998)
#9 Avengers vs. Atlas (2010)
- 'Break: Reflections Of The Conqueror'
Die Rächer (1979)
#47 I Am An Avenger (2010)
- 'Gestern noch ein Held'
Iron Man (1968)
#108 L`invincible Iron Man (1972)
- 'Growing Pains!'#109
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
Sentinel Squad O*N*E (2006)
#2 The Avengers (1963)
- 'Tin Can Heroes, Part 2: Growing Pains'
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Master Edition (1990)
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Update '89 (1989)
#5 Young Avengers (2005)
- 'Growing Pains'#13
- 'In the Courts of Kosmos!'
#3 Young Avengers Presents (2008)
- 'Sidekicks Part Three'
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