• Joe Pace

Favorite Fictional Characters, #373: Unus the Untouchable

Updated: Feb 20


U can't touch this.

Top-shelf supervillains like Loki, Thanos, and Magneto are awesome, but a lot of the fun in comics comes from the deep roster of lower-wattage costumed crooks who provide our heroes with their routine job security. Spider-Man in particular enjoys a menagerie of B-list sparring partners who help him keep in shape between title bouts. I've always been fascinated by these dollar-store baddies. Some are sympathetic, with bad luck or bad choices leading them down the path of the devils, and often our protagonists are given the opportunity to unleash their inner social worker on these poor slobs who were never going to cut the crime scene anyway. Others are legitimate sociopaths or just greedy jerks, and wind up part of the frequent flyer program at the state penitentiary.


The X-Men have had their share of these guys: one-hit wonders, recurring irritants, cannon fodder for big-timers. Some hooked up with each other as part of Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, as was the case for today's profiled character, the delightfully-named Unus the Untouchable. Born Angelo Unuscione in Italy, he changed his name to Gunther Bain and became a pro wrestler in the States. A mutant, Unus had a virtually impenetrable personal force field that repelled blows, force beams, even telepathy. Unus controlled the field so that he could touch stuff and so that light and sound could get through to him. Unus tangled with the X-Men, sometimes with the Brotherhood and sometimes without, but he never quite got the hang of it. At one point his field went wacky and he lost control of it, to the point that he could no longer eat or breathe. Whoops.


It was originally believed that Unus died when his field cut him off from sustenance and oxygen, but this is the comics and nobody dies forever. He came back later to tangle with the Hulk and Spider-Man, with predictable results. Some guys just never learn. Unus was a cocky loser, with an inflated sense of his own power, and an amazingly pedestrian costume. Just a face in the crowd, perhaps, but it can't be Dr. Doom every month.

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