Real Name: Ronald Lithgow
Identity/Class: Human brain in an alien body;
publicly believed to be the sole survivor of a cancelled government cyborg program
Occupation: Writer and would-be-explorer doing very odd jobs
Affiliations: Dr. Maureen Vonnegut (biologist who studies Concrete - her main scientific interest); Larry Munro (grad student and would-be novelist who handles normal equipment Concrete cannot use). Mark Douglas (US Senator and Lithgow's former boss); monitored by US National Science Agency.
Enemies: None to speak of after death of Stamberg, a NSA controller who wanted to turn him into a government agent.
Known Relatives: Elaine Lithgow (mother, deceased by cancer); Lionel Lithgow (father, deceased by suicide)
Base of Operations: Warehouse converted to home in Eagle Rock Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, USA
First Appearance: Dark Horse Present #1 (Dark Horse; 1986); Concrete #1 (Dark Horse, 1987)
Powers/Abilities: Concrete's alien body makes him strong enough to lift a car or demolish it by hand. He can jump upwards a couple of metres. His alien eyes have more than excellent telescopic vision day and night. He can regenerate most damage and is bullet-proof. He isn't invulnerable - a blow from a bear once made him bleed and being struck by a full clip of submachine gun bullets makes him feel raw. He can eat just about anything and can hold his breath for about an hour. His physical endurance is nearly limitless.
However, his inconvenient size and weight gives him serious liabilities in the human world. He cannot sit on a chair or lean on a table without breaking them. His large fingers make it impossible for him to handle normal human equipment like phones, computers or to drive a car - he hired Larry Munro do that for him. He has no sense of touch or smell. His inner body temperature is near the boiling point of water. He can eat anything but tastes nothing and his equivalent to saliva is a corrosive acid. His love for Doctor Vonnegut remains both unrequited and his sexuality is sublimated to collecting nude paintings.
History: Relatively mild-mannered speechwriter Ronald Lithgow was hiking with his friend Michael when aliens abducted them. The brains of both men were transferred to alien bodies that resembled crude walking statues. Michael helped Ron to escape. The last Ron saw of him was when the alien spaceship demolished the mountain it had been embedded in and left.
Concrete contacted his old boss, a US senator who pulled some strings. He was initially handed out to the National Science Agency for research but eventually grew weary of his status as a research subject and demanded freedom. Eventually NSA agreed to let him go public if he would say that he was a product of a non-existent cyborg research program instead of a human mind in alien body. They flooded the media with news about Concrete and various commercial endorsements to make the public fed up of the subject. He was released under the supervision of biologist Maureen Vonnegut. Since then only a couple of harmless crackpots have even suspected the truth.
Concrete decided to use his newfound abilities to, as he says, "dare great things". He has tried to swim over Atlantic and climb the Mount Everest unaided but also worked for a bodyguard of a eccentric rock star and worked as a special effect for a movie studio. He even joined the radical environmentalist group Earth First for some time.
Comments: Created by Paul Chadwick
Concrete was one of the first stars of Dark Horse, appearing for the first time in a short story in Dark Horse Presents #1. In 1987 he gained his own series, which lasted 10 issues. This was followed by a string of specials and eventually a collection, The Complete Concrete (1994). Subsequent to this Concrete continued to turn up in the odd short story (usually in his old home Dark Horse Presents). The Concrete Color Special, featuring the first (non-cover) colour appearance of the character, was set a few months after the end of his original series. The next time he had a comic all to himself was the 1990 Concrete Celebrates Earth Day, where Concrete began to develop his environmentalist streak. This was followed by Concrete: Fragile Creatures in 1991, the first in a number of colour mini-series with short stories interspersed between them. Next was Killer Smile (1994), then Think Like A Mountain (1996, six issues instead of four), and finally Strange Armor (1997, retelling and retconning his origin in an expanded form).
For the collector, his DHP appearances include: #1-6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 (two stories), 22, 28, 32.
Many thanks to Vesa Lehtinen for much of the above information.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
The Thing, who also appears to be made from stone
Blok of the Legion of Superheroes, an alien with a stone-like body.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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