Real Name: Baron von Emmelmann
Identity/Class: Swamp golem - vegetation and muck animated by will / ghost of dead human.
Enemies: former Skywolf
Known Relatives: Lisa Schaf von Emmelman (wife, presumably deceased by modern day), Karl (son), Joachim (grandson), unidentified great-grandson
Base of Operations: Wassau Swamp, Poland.
First Appearance: Air Fighters #3 (Hillman, December, 1942)
Powers/Abilities: Bog monster - superhuman strength, extremely difficult to injure, able to eventually reform if destroyed. He is unable to breath, so digests living creatures to obtain the oxygen in their blood.
History: Baron von Emmelmann was a WWI flying ace who was shot down over Wassau Swamp in Poland on October 12th, 1918. Though his body perished, his will to live was so strong that some two decades later he arose again, now formed from the muck and vegetation of the swamp.
Comments: Initially appearing as an opponent of Airboy's ally Skywolf, the Heap eventually starred in his own strip, and became Hillman's recurring monster character during the 1950's horror fad. His strip ended in 1953, a few years before the Comics Code defanged the horror comic genre. Another version of the Heap was briefly revived by Skywald comics in the 1970s, returning in Psycho #2 in March 1971. In the 1980s Eclipse Comics bought the rights the Hillman characters, and the Heap returned as a supporting character in the new Airboy title. After Eclipse went bust and Image's Todd McFarlane bought their characters, he introduced a new Heap, similar in name and swamp background only, but different in looks and specifics of the origin.
Thanks to Lou Mougin, writer of Eclipse's Airboy, for additional information.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Swamp Thing, D.C.'s main bog monster
Man-Thing, Marvel's main bog monster
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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