Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Incredible Hulk #254 (Dec. 1980)
Created by Bill Mantlo
Sal Buscema
In-story information
Member(s) Ironclad

The U-Foes are a fictional supervillain team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics usually as enemies of the Hulk. The group consists of four members: Vector, the group's leader who can repel matter telekinetically; Vapor, who can transform into any form of gaseous matter; X-Ray, who can generate and project radiation and fly; and Ironclad, who has a metallic body and can control his density.

Publication history

The U-Foes first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #254 (December 1980) and were created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema. Per The Incredible Hulk #254 credits, editor Al Milgrom designed the costumes of the U-Foes while editor-in-chief Jim Shooter helped with the names of the U-Foes

As noted on the first page of that issue, the group's name was inspired by the 1979 Graham Parker song "Waiting for the UFOs".[1]

Fictional team biography

Simon Utrecht, a former politician and multi-millionaire, funds an operation to gain superpowers the same way the Fantastic Four had, by flying into space and being exposed to cosmic rays. He chooses three other members to join him: Ann Darnell, Jimmy Darnell, and Mike Steel. What the group did not know was that they would be exposed to much higher amount than the Fantastic Four and that it would most likely kill them. The Hulk, in his Bruce Banner form, brings the ship down by reprogramming their computer before the group was exposed to the terminal levels of cosmic rays. The group did manage to gain powers and the newly christened U-Foes attacked Banner for interfering, convinced they could have become even more powerful without his intervention. Banner transforms into the Hulk and a fight ensues, but the U-Foes lose due to their inexperience with their newly gained powers and inability to fight as a team. Sometime later they escape from jail, and X-ray discoveres a way to keep Bruce Banner in his human form by generating 'anti-gamma rays'. Hulk is freed by his allies and defeats the team.

After several defeats at the hands of the Hulk and his allies, each of the U-Foes are banished to a different dimension.[2] They manage to reunite and find their way back to Earth when the mutant Portal's powers began manifesting. The U-Foes attempt to murder Portal to keep him from opening another portal to banish them, but are defeated by the Avengers. They later attempt to kidnap Portal to exploit his mutant powers, and are defeated once again by Captain America, Darkhawk, and Daredevil.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the team generally work alone, but occasionally work as hired hands for other villains. Working for the Leader, they attack the Pantheon, injuring dozens of civilians.[3] Despite the handicap of an orphan girl who had gotten mixed up in the battle, the Hulk and the Pantheon soldiers manage to subdue some of the U-Foes. The villains are tricked into hurting each other. During the Acts of Vengeance, the U-Foes face the West Coast Avengers with the help of the Mole Man, but they are defeated.

Around this time, they play an important part in The Vault prison breakout in "Venom Deathrap; The Vault". The various U-Foes work together and with other villains to fight against the prison's security, its forces, Freedom Force and the Avengers. The U-Foes and other prisoners are neutralized by technological mind-control.

The team later encounters the Hulk in the Arctic ice fields outside the Leader's devastated sanctuary for cancer victims. The Hulk, believing he had just lost his friend, intimidates them into fleeing.

Both of the fights with the Hulk are part of manipulations by the Pantheon's ancient leader, Agamemnon. Neither side realizes the old man is secretly a power-crazed murderous psychotic who enjoys manipulation.

Later, the U-Foes are again part of a breakout from the Vault. During this, they manage to destroy the entire facility.

The U-Foes also are freed from the Raft, when Electro breaks them out in the New Avengers,[4] but are distracted from escaping by a confrontation with Crossfire and his team of mind-controllers—including Mandrill, Mister Fear, Corruptor and the Controller—over technology that had been stolen from them, until Spider-Man, Captain America and Iron Man are able to capture them.

Civil War

The Superhuman Registration Act brings the U-Foes to the attention of the United States government. The U.S. sends the B-Squad version of the Thunderbolts (Blizzard, Joystick, Fixer and Quicksand), after the U-Foes. After a battle in Portland, the U-Foes are arrested.[5] Instead of due process, they are given the choice of joining the team or facing jail time.

The U-Foes are among the villains recruited to join Hood's crime syndicate.[6] In Avengers: The Initiative #25, The U-Foes are seen to be among the new recruits for Camp H.A.M.M.E.R..

Dark Reign

The U-Foes are revealed by new Initiative leader Norman Osborn as the new Initiative team for the state of North Carolina.[7] Osborn orders the U-Foes to attack the Heavy Hitters after they secede from the Initiative. They help the other Initiative teams to defeat and capture the Heavy Hitters' leader, Prodigy.[8]


The U-Foes play a role in the beginning of Siege, when Norman Osborn sends them to fight Volstagg. The resulting clash leads to Volstagg being (falsely) blamed for destroying Soldier Field and killing thousands, and giving Osborn the excuse to start his war with Asgard.[9] With the help of other villains, they bring down Thor after he is attacked by the Sentry. Osborn defeated, the whole team surrenders and is then incarcerated.







X-ray is among the enthralled villains defending Krona's stronghold when the heroes assault it in #4. He is seen fighting Captain Atom.

In other media


Video games


  1. DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1980s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 199. ISBN 978-0756641238. Inspired by the 1979 Graham Parker song Waiting for the UFOs, the creation of the U-Foes was truly a team effort. Writer Bill Mantlo and artist Sal Buscema produced the first U-Foes story, but editor Al Milgrom helped design the costumes and Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter suggested some of the names.
  2. Incredible Hulk #304-305 (Feb.-March 1985)
  3. Incredible Hulk #397
  4. New Avengers vol. 1 #01
  5. Thunderbolts #104
  6. New Avengers #32 - 37 (2007)
  7. Avengers: The Initiative #26
  8. Avengers: The Initiative #28
  9. Siege #1
  10. The Incredible Hulk vol. 1, #398 (Oct. 1992)
  11. 1 2 Incredible Hulk vol.2, #305
  12. 1 2 The Incredible Hulk vol. 1, #397 (Oct. 1992)
  13. Siege #1
  14. The Incredible Hulk: The Pantheon Saga for DOS (1997) - MobyGames
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