Who is Mr. Immortal? The latest She-Hulk guest star explained
This week on She-Hulk we met a new superpowered human. So what's he about?
Another comic book Avenger has just been introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it’s understandable if you haven’t heard of him. The latest episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law featured Mr. Immortal, the man who can’t die. Who is he, and how does he differ from his comic book counterpart? Let’s dive into the complicated life of Craig Hollis.
Who is Mr. Immortal?
Mr. Immortal was first introduced in West Coast Avengers #46 (1989). The costumed crimefighter was seen leading his own team in Milwaukee. He called his group the Great Lake Avengers, which eventually caught the attention of Hawkeye and Mockingbird. Although they were initially apprehensive, Hawkeye gave them their blessing to continue using the Avengers name, provided he become their manager.
Later appearances fleshed out Mr. Immortal’s backstory. Craig Hollis was born a mutant, but he didn’t learn about his rapid healing factor until adulthood. After his girlfriend Terri committed suicide, Hollis was overcome with grief and decided to kill himself. After his various suicide attempts failed, Hollis realized he was incapable of dying. Craig Hollis then became Mr. Immortal, hoping to use his powers for good.
Throughout his life Hollis has been observed by a cosmic entity known as Deathurge. The mysterious being has acted as somewhat of an unconventional mentor to Hollis, helping him understand his powers. Their relationship eventually fell apart after Craig’s teammate and lover Dinah Soar died during a battle with the villain Maelstrom. Hollis blamed Deathurge for Dinah’s death, and attacked his former mentor in a rage.
Mr. Immortal’s powers and abilities
Mr. Immortal is a mutant with an aggressively fast healing factor. As his name implies, Hollis' healing factor is so strong that he is able to survive almost any injury. During times when Hollis is killed, his healing factor allows him to return to life in minutes. While this makes Mr. Immortal invulnerable, he still feels pain every time his body is harmed. The pain and the psychological toll of his deaths and revivals usually leaves Hollis in a state of unbalanced fury when he comes back to life. These emotional episodes usually subside after time, or when his teammate Dinah Soar uses her sonic powers to calm his brain.
Mr. Immortal’s healing power has also prevented his body from physically aging, eternally giving Hollis the appearance of a young man. According to Deathsurge, Craig Hollis is a homo supreme, unlike other mutants who are classified as homo superior. A homo supreme is the final phase of human evolution, an ultimate human who has evolved to the point of immortality. Deathsurge also told Hollis that he is destined to outlive everyone in the universe and learn the secrets of life.
How Mr. Immortal fits in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
While the comic book version of Mr. Immortal leads his own superhero team, Hollis’ MCU counterpart seems to be more focused on collecting spouses. Craig Hollis was featured in the She-Hulk: Attorney at Law episode 'Just Jen' and portrayed by David Pasquesi, an actor known for his roles in Veep and The Book of Boba Fett. Pasquesi is currently 61, making him visually different from the comic book version of Hollis who is a young man.
At one point in the episode Hollis jumps out of a skyscraper, lands on a car, and then walks it off nonchalantly. This implies that he doesn’t feel pain, something that sets him apart from the source material. While the comic book version of Craig Hollis was born in the modern era, his MCU counterpart implies that he’s a few centuries old. It also appears that he is constantly creating new identities, and then kills them off in order to avoid discussing divorce. Throughout his many lives he’s been known as Spencer, Arnie, Roger, and Paul.
Hollis' habit of abandoning his identities has left him with a string of ex-wives and an ex-husband who eventually catch up with him. This causes him to retain the services of the law firm Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg, and Holliway. Throughout his dealings with attorney Mallory Brook and paralegal Nikki Ramos, it becomes clear that Mr. Immortal is afraid of confrontation, at one point going as far as jumping out a window when things get uncomfortable. There is no indication that this version of Mr. Immortal is a costumed superhero.
The episode never explained the origin of Mr. Immortal’s powers, but it’s possible that he’s a mutant like his comic counterpart. If that’s the case, then he’s one of the first mutants we’ve seen in the MCU, alongside Ms. Marvel and Charles Xavier. However, the MCU has been known to change the origins of their characters, as we saw with Wanda and Pietro Maximoff. Perhaps Hollis received his powers from one of the Infinity Stones or other unknown means. It’s likely we’ll never know, since every indication seems to be that he’s a one-off comedic character.
Sharp-eyed fans on social media pointed out that Mr. Immortal actually made his MCU debut earlier than we thought. Craig Hollis can be seen in a photograph on a bulletin board in the offices of Damage Control during the post-credit sequence in the Ms. Marvel premiere. Titania’s photo can also be seen on the same bulletin board, giving the scene another She-Hulk connection. It seems like Mr. Immortal’s eccentric antics have caught the attention of Damage Control, so perhaps he’ll be needing the services of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg, and Holliway again.
Interestingly, we almost got a completely different version of Mr. Immortal in another Marvel television series years ago. Back in 2017, Marvel Television began development on a half-hour comedy series called The New Warriors. The series would’ve featured Squirrel Girl, Debrii, Speedball, Night Thrasher, Microbe, and Mr. Immortal. Derek Thaler, the actor best known for his lead role on the ABC Family sitcom Baby Daddy, was cast as Craig Hollis.
Thaler’s age indicates that the show was probably going for a take closer to the comics than the one we got in She-Hulk. Freeform initially ordered ten episodes of the series, but later passed on the show due to scheduling issues. At that point a pilot had already been filmed, leading Marvel Television to shop the show to other networks. When no distributor was found, Marvel canceled the series.
It remains to be seen if Mr. Immortal will appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe again. With numerous movies and television shows in development, perhaps there is a place for him to show up again, even if it’s a brief cameo. However, if this was the only appearance he’ll ever have in the MCU, then at least he made his mark. Just ask the car he landed on.
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