Gregg Willis a.k.a Gravity
Gravity created by Mike Horton and Sean McKeever. First Appearance: Gravity #1, 2005
This week on The Heroes, Villains and Sidekicks Show we’ll be looking in the origins of a relatively new character to the Marvel Universe who was co-created by Mike Norton, Eisner Award winner for his webcomic Battlepug who we’ll actually be talking to later. This week we’ll be talking about Greg Willis, a.k.a Gravity.
So Gravity was created by writer Sean McKeever and artist Mike Norton back in 2005 and debuted in his own five part mini-series for Marvel titled after the character. The five part series was later collected in a digest-formatted graphic novel that was a part of the Marvel Next imprint that was directed at younger readers which makes sense since the character was inspired by Spider-Man when he was in his college.
So who is Gravity and what can this young hero do. Well, Greg Willis was born and grew up in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Now we don’t really get to see the accident that created gravity till the fifth issue of his mini but it’s alluded to throughout the series. Greg and his family were out sailing one day when there was a freak storm and Greg was thrown overboard and was drawn into a black hole, a vortex hovering right above the water. He vanishes and then returns floating face down looking quite dead for all intents and purposes. And that’s really all we get as far as an origin story here. Fast forward a bit and Greg realizes he has powers, pretty cool powers to be honest. Gravity has the power over, well, you may have guessed it…Gravity. Greg is able to manipulate the gravitational forces that surround him and can affect nearby objects. So why is that such a cool power? Well think of it, by manipulating gravity you can do things like fly, lift anything, make yourself or any object dense as steel and draw anything to you. I’m sure there are a million more things that you could do that I can’t imagine. But all in all it’s a cool powerset that a writer can do a lot with.
Once Greg realizes he has amazing powers, shortly after graduating High School he goes where any fledgling superhero goes, he heads to New York City to attend college at New York University. While at an interview a super battle ensues as a nefarious looking character crashes through the wall. Greg runs off to do a quick change to fight off the bad guy. There is a funny scene where he is trying to change quickly and it’s just taking too long and he comments he needs to ask Spidey how he does it. Gravity rushes in and punches Rage, the big bad guy through the wall. Quite pleased with himself Greg doesn’t realize there is another super in the room, Black Death, who attacks and mocks him, then escapes. It’s then, with Greg, we realize he punched the good guy and let the bad guy escape. So Gravity is feeling pretty down as you can imagine and wonders if he should chuck it in. There’s even a real Spider-Man like cover where Greg is throwing his mask away. But Gravity gets some wins under his belt and gains some confidence and even meets a girl Lauren who he in time will have a relationship with.
Gravity even makes a new superhero friend known as the Greenwich Guardian. But here’s the thing, his new buddy is actually the Black Death in disguise and when it’s revealed to Greg it really undermines his confidence especially when Black Death tries to use Gravities powers to try and destroy the world. Gravity stops Black Death in the end and all’s right with the world. There is even a nice moment for Greg when Spidey shows up at the end and congratulates him on his victory.
The next time we see young Greg is in the pages of the 2006 mini-series Beyond!. In this mini Gravity is transported to an alien world only to find he’s not alone. On the planet he encounters Spider-Man, Henry Pym, the Wasp, Venom, Kraven, Firebird, and the Hood who have also been brought there by the Beyonder. They realize at some point there are there to fight each other and do battle. Hank comes out on top but it’s only a ruse to find out who the Beyonder actually is. Turns out Hank didn’t kill them, he just shrunk them down. We then learn that the entity that brought them to the planet was The Stranger, an eternal that likes to study things. Before the Stranger can attack the group Uatu shows up and freaks out the Stranger and he takes off. But the Stranger was what was holding the planet together and it starts to break apart. Enter Gravity. He uses his power over gravitational forces to hold the planet together long enough for everyone to get aboard a spacecraft. Using all he has Greg manages to get himself on the ship, but dies shortly after. The power it took to hold an entire planet together was just too much for him. So wow, here the character is created in 2005 and is then killed off not a year later. But remember, this is comics, and this show’s not over.
Gravity’s story picks up in issues 545 and 546 of the Fantastic Four in 2007 when Michael Collins, the second Deathlock finds Greg’s gave desecrated and his body gone. He enlists the members of the FF, who were at the time Blank Panther, Storm, Human Torch and The Thing. They follow the cosmic residue that trailed his body as it was taken into deep space to find that Gravity’s body was actually taken by Epoch and resurrected. And not only was he resurrected, Epoch imbued within him incredible power that transformed him into the new Protector of the Universe. Gravity, the FF and Silver Surfer then comes up against Galactus who is feeling more than a bit peckish. Gravity pours all of his newfound power into Galactus, not trying to destroy him, but to feed him. With Galactus sated our young hero is allowed to return to earth feeling none the worse for wear.
Mike Norton’s Eisner Award winning webcomic. It’s so much fun. Check it out.