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Jason Wilkes

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"Do you want to be thunder struck?"
―Jason Wilkes[src]

Jason Wilkes is a scientist working at Isodyne Energy. When a series of murders were connected to Isodyne, Wilkes began assisting the Strategic Scientific Reserve in their investigation, while at the same time becoming close to Agent Peggy Carter. However due to an accident Wilkes became infected with Zero Matter, he spent the next few weeks attempting to cure himself until he was captured by Whitney Frost, who exploited his power until she inadvertently caused him to overload. Wilkes survived the overload and assisted Carter in stopping Frost before being employed at Stark Industries by Howard Stark.

Biography

Early Life

"I applied to sixteen companies when I got home. Isodyne was the only one that was willing to put one of…my kind in a lab."
―Jason Wilkes[src]

Growing up on an orange grove in southern California, Jason Wilkes desired to have more and be more than an orange picker like others in his family. He got a janitorial job at the Griffith Observatory, scrubbing floors at night, until he saved enough money to get a degree from college. When World War II occurred, Wilkes became a United States Navy engineer and eventually worked in weapons propulsion. Upon returning home, Wilkes applied to sixteen different companies for employment, but being an African-American made things difficult; Isodyne Energy accepted Wilkes' application and he worked in the containment research department.[1]

Isodyne Energy

"Do you…do you really believe Isodyne recruited you because they valued your brilliant mind?"
Whitney Frost[src]

Placed in the containment research department, because it was felt that a minority would be more loyal to the company than another,[2] Wilkes was in charge of keeping the Zero Matter contained.[1] He heard rumors that the physicist Jane Scott was having an affair with company founder Calvin Chadwick, but he did not participate in the conversation.[3]

Assisting the SSR

Wilkes worked in the containment research department, but he would grow bored and dabbled in chemistry. One day, while using chemistry to manipulate the taste of wine, a woman was walking the halls of Isodyne Energy Headquarters; since Wilkes needed a taste tester, he asked her inside his laboratory. After tasting his concoction and calling him a genius, the woman introduced herself as Agent Peggy Carter of the Strategic Scientific Reserve; she wanted help in the case of the death of Jane Scott, another scientist who worked for Isodyne Energy with the Particle Accelerator. Wilkes told Carter what little he knew about her, especially the rumor that she was sleeping with Calvin Chadwick, the company's founder. Suddenly, the Receptionist entered with a frown.

Outside the building, Wilkes gave Carter his business card and home phone number; however, when he began flirting and asked for her number, she hesitantly refused and left.[3]

Kidnapped

The Lady in the Lake 26

Wilkes studies Meltzer's strange death

"What is it you expect me to do?"
"You're gonna fix me. Go."
―Jason Wilkes and Andrew Henry[src]
This section requires expansion

Wilkes was called to the Los Angeles County Coroner Building after the frozen body of Medical Examiner Meltzer shattered on the floor. Peggy Carter and Daniel Sousa wanted to know if he could identify the substance that caused him to freeze. As Wilkes walked past Andrew Henry, who was in the hallway trying to get a drink of water, Henry grabbed Wilkes and, at gunpoint, demanded that he accompany him. Outside the building, Wilkes warned Edwin Jarvis to prepare himself before Henry broke his nose and stole his car.[3]

Providing Intel

The next morning, Wilkes went to work at Isodyne Energy Headquarters when a team of lawyers cornered him and reminded him that he was privy to classified information, threatening that he would be charged with treason and sent to prison, if not hung, if he revealed anything sensitive.

Later, that afternoon, Wilkes saw Peggy Carter and Daniel Sousa talking to the Receptionist; Carter approached Wilkes and asked him why the building was closed and if the containment leak story was true. Looking toward the Receptionist, Wilkes hesitantly confirmed her story. While speaking, Wilkes wrote a note to Carter to meet him at the Dunbar Hotel for the truth; Carter warned him not to get entangled with the schemes of Isodyne Energy. Wilkes proceeded into the laboratory and stole a film reel; he did not know he was being watched.

A View in the Dark 15

Wilkes meets with Peggy Carter

That evening, Wilkes met with Carter at the Dunbar Hotel, an African-American nightclub; she came alone, as his note specified. Sitting at the bar with Carter, Wilkes ordered her a drink but she refused. Wilkes offered small talk, but Carter reminded him that she was there for information, not a date; Wilkes told her that he was risking his life talking to her and he needed to be able to trust her because he was not going to the Strategic Scientific Reserve for protection. Carter then ordered a shot of whiskey. The Singer sang Wilkes' favorite song and he and Carter began to slow dance; Wilkes decided that he could trust Carter and the two left for Griffith Observatory.

At the Observatory, Wilkes told Carter his backstory and why he was hesitant with betraying Isodyne Energy. Wilkes then showed Carter the film he had stolen and the origin of the Zero Matter that the organization possessed. Carter convinced Wilkes to steal the substance and give it to the SSR for study.[1]

On the Run

Suddenly, the man who was watching Wilkes, Rufus Hunt, led a team of men to kill Wilkes; Wilkes and Peggy Carter found another way to leave the Griffith Observatory. Outside, they found the car's tires flattened; Carter activated a summoning beacon hidden inside. Carter, questioning if Wilkes could fire a gun, then handed him a gun from her garter; he reminded her that he was in the United States Navy, before he started firing back at Hunt and his men, while Carter hot-wired another car to escape.

Wilkes and Carter were forced to stop when the car died. They walked until they found a pay phone, but neither had change to make a call. The two entered a convenience store, but the cashier seeing an African-American following a White woman at night questioned her safety and acted rudely to Wilkes. Wilkes was accustomed to the behavior and thought little of it, but Carter was offended; the cashier said he would not give change unless the pair made a purchase.

While eating the purchased pastry, Wilkes saw Carter try to use the broken pay phone. When a car approached, Carter grabbed him to hide him; the two shared a passionate kiss. Carter decided to steal another car to continue with their plan to steal the Zero Matter, leaving Wilkes frustrated.[1]

Infiltration of Isodyne Energy Headquarters

WhitneyFrost-JasonWilkes-Run

Wilkes and Frost drop the Zero Matter

"Miss Frost, you're making a terrible mistake, I can't in good conscience let you go through with it."
"So you're willing to die, for this crisis of conscience?"
"I'm starting to think that was your plan for me no matter what."
―Jason Wilkes and Whitney Frost[src]

Wilkes and Peggy Carter entered Isodyne Energy Headquarters, then split up with Carter to fight Rufus Hunt while Wilkes went to get the Zero Matter. After placing the black substance in a containment vessel, Wilkes was surprised by Whitney Frost, who ordered him at gunpoint to relinquish the vessel to her. Wilkes surmised that she would not shoot him as he held the container. Wilkes and Frost then struggled for the vessel when it was dropped; a devastating black explosion occurred. Carter was not able to find Wilkes afterwards.[1]

Affected by Zero Matter

Instead of being killed, Wilkes found himself invisible and unable to communicate with the world. He shadowed Peggy Carter and tried to get her to notice him, succeeding when he picked up a pen near Carter, causing everyone to think she was infected by Zero Matter.

Wilkes followed her as she went to Howard Stark's Estate for Stark to try to find a way to cure her condition, as it appeared that objects were floating in her presence. Howard Stark had created a formula to capture light for his motion picture company; when he sprayed his newest invention into the air, Wilkes became visible, to everyone's surprise. Wilkes was still unable to be heard, so Stark sprayed his throat, giving his vocal cords the needed mass to vibrate the air. Wilkes then explained how he was caught in the explosion with Whitney Frost and received his abilities.

BA 03

Wilkes converses with Carter

Wilkes spent the rest of the day and night with Stark, working on a way to reverse the effects of the Zero Matter before his state of intangibility and invisibility returned. The next morning, Stark, filled with caffeine and acting anxious, said that he was going to Peru to find his old teacher to gain advice; this gave Carter time alone with Wilkes to apologize for what had happened. Wilkes, noting that Stark, who had offered Wilkes a job in Stark Industries upon being cured, was a genius but dangerous to himself and others, wanted to leave, especially after there was an attempt made to kill Carter at the estate. Carter convinced Wilkes not to leave, simply by asking him to stay.[4]

No Sensation

With Howard Stark gone, Edwin Jarvis acted as Wilkes' hands and sounding board on the attempt to find the proper formula to return Wilkes to normal. Wilkes realized that he had no sensation from his body; he did not require food or sleep.

Peggy Carter was extremely hungry and eating ravenously as Wilkes showed her a picture of a patented invention created by Whitney Frost that surpassed the fast-neutron reactor in energy output. He told her of his lack of sensation preventing his hunger, and, as she was close to him, how frustrating his intangibility was.

As Wilkes and Jarvis worked on whether his atoms had lost atomic cohesion, Wilkes began to see and hear the world as distorted; when Jarvis asked him if he was alright, Wilkes just said that he was distracted. Their conversation was disturbed when Daniel Sousa entered, saying that he was going to raid the Arena Club.

Later, Sousa and Jarvis listened to the device that was planted on Rufus Hunt while Wilkes and Carter talked; he revealed to her that something was calling him, becking him to go somewhere, and he wanted to give in to it. Carter, remembering her brother, asked him to fight, while she, being supportive, tried to touch his arm. Wilkes and the others then suddenly heard the bug on Hunt go dead.[5]

Momentarily Tangible

Wilkes awakened Peggy Carter to show her that the Zero Matter inside the tissue sample of Jane Scott danced around when he was near it; suddenly, the black blob broke from its container and entered Wilkes' body. Wilkes' eyes turned black and, for a moment, Carter noticed that Wilkes was tangible.

Wilkes revealed that he somehow felt where the body of Scott was, and, when Edwin Jarvis brought a map, showed him and Carter where the County Cold Storage Building owned by Thomas Gloucester was located. Carter and Jarvis decided to go there to bring Wilkes the corpse, in hopes that absorbing the Zero Matter in it would cure his intangibility.

Carter and Jarvis returned empty-handed, but they told Wilkes that Whitney Frost sought to procure an Atomic Bomb. Wilkes explained that, as a scientist, Frost needed the exact conditions to replicate the occurrence which resulted in the discovery of the anomaly; thus, she wanted to set off an atomic explosion to reopen the rift. Wilkes adamantly told his friends that Frost could not be allowed to succeed.

Wilkes listened as Carter and Jarvis discussed on the Roxxon Oil Corporation had an atomic bomb, but Hugh Jones had a special access key to the Roxxon Warehouse that Howard Stark could not obtain. Carter decided that she needed assistance from Daniel Sousa.

Late that evening, Carter returned to Howard Stark's Estate injured with a major wound to her abdomen. Wilkes was somber, knowing the Zero Matter came from a dark place, but he refused to share with Carter how he gained that knowledge. Carter, pleased that he was by her side, turned on the radio; Wilkes' favorite song was playing. Suddenly, Wilkes began to fade from sight, as Carter frantically screamed.[6]

Something Worse than Death

Wilkes found himself in another phase; a rift was beckoning him to enter. However, the voice of Peggy Carter, screaming his name hysterically, caused him to snap back to reality and visibility.

Wilkes told Carter about his experience; he was scared and felt that his time was short. Carter reminded him that he was a containment scientist and that he should build a containment chamber for himself. Wilkes reminded Carter that he had no mass to contain. Carter noted that the sample of Zero Matter he obtained from the body of Jane Scott made him tangible for a moment; so, another sample should be enough to give him mass to contain. Wilkes began work with Ana Jarvis as his hands on a containment chamber.

By the next night, Carter was debriefing Dottie Underwood as to her assignment of getting a blood sample from Whitney Frost using a Vacuum Syringe provided by the SSR, when Underwood insisted that Wilkes come and talk to her. Carter told Wilkes to stay away from the Russian; Underwood noticed how protective Carter was of Wilkes. When Wilkes walked pass Underwood, she tried to touch him; her hand passed through him.

When the morning arrived, Wilkes wanted to show his friends the blueprints that Ana had sketched for the containment chamber, but they were distracted by the escape of Underwood and the arrival of Jack Thompson.[7] As the morning progressed, Ana continued to assist Wilkes on the creation of the chamber while Edwin Jarvis worked to repair a transponder to help to locate Underwood. When Carter arrived from Frost's press conference about the death of Calvin Chadwick, she seemed more concerned about Edwin's work than Wilkes' and Ana's progress. Wilkes became highly upset and told Carter that her concern for a killer was misplaced while his life was on the line. Wilkes quickly apologized though, saying that he was not feeling well and asked Ana to continue her assistance.

Later the container was completed and, after injecting the blood sample, Wilkes became tangible and stable. When Carter approached, Wilkes stole a kiss, but Carter returned it with passion, to the surprise of the Jarvises. Wilkes stated that he was hungry; Ana cited that he had not eaten in days and decided to make a Hungarian feast for him. Wilkes asked Edwin if Hungarian food was good; Edwin gave a noncommittal answer, but Wilkes was too delighted to care.

Carter and Edwin went to rescue Underwood from the Chadwick Ranch while Wilkes and Ana ate and drank wine. Ana confessed that she wished that she did not know how dangerous the adventures of Carter and her husband were; Wilkes, noting how lucky Edwin was to have her, listened to Ana as she told her fears.[2]

Kidnapped Again

Wilkes was left alone as Ana Jarvis went to open windows on the July night in Howard Stark's Estate. Suddenly, Wilkes, from his containment chamber, saw Whitney Frost enter the room and stare at the blueprints of inventions of Howard Stark. Wilkes, shocked, remained still as Frost told him that she wanted the uranium rods that were stolen during the Infiltration into the Roxxon Warehouse. When Wilkes, fearing that he would dissipate, tried to stop Frost from opening his containment chamber, he accidentally absorbed Zero Matter from Frost into himself and gained a tangible form; Frost was surprised to see someone take the Zero Matter from her.

Frost decided a different approach than using force; she told Wilkes that by working together they could change the world and cited that they were both marginalized minorities in a society run by white males who could not realize their potential or struggles. Wilkes watched as Joseph Manfredi then arrived and confirmed Frost's words with a racist statement. Still tangible from absorbing the Zero Matter, Wilkes took a stance to fight Manfredi, but inversely, his tangibility allowed Frost to knock him unconscious. Wilkes was carried to the car, where Ana, who attempted to stop Frost, was shot and the three departed before Peggy Carter and Edwin Jarvis could arrive.[2]

Experimentation

Edge of Mystery 14

Wilkes is questioned by Whitney Frost

Wilkes, still unconscious, was brought to a facility where he woke, handcuffed, to find Whitney Frost studying him. Though Wilkes initially attempted to ignore Frost, she contined her attempt to convert Wilkes to her way of thinking. Eventually, Wilkes gave in and began accepting the Zero Matter inside him as Frost formed a plan to obtain the uranium using Wilkes' connection to Peggy Carter. Wilkes agreed to go along with her plan to reopen the rift that had first brought the Zero Matter.

As part of the exchange Frost set up, Wilkes left the facility with Carter and Daniel Sousa. However, the uranium rods Carter had brought to trade were fake, and Wilkes realized he needed to improvise to obtain them. Snatching up a rifle, he held it to Carter's head, knowing Sousa would give in before Carter was shot and reveal the location of the rods. His plan worked and Sousa told Wilkes the location. Wilkes left the truck and was picked up by Frost to get the rods.

Wilkes, Frost, and Manfredi set up a test area in the desert to set off the atomic bomb. The explosion successfully opened the rift again; Wilkes and Frost moved toward the rift. However, Wilkes was the only one to receive more Zero Matter, being lifted up through the rift before being expelled back through with more Zero Matter in his body. Wilkes fell unconscious as the jealous and furious Frost raced to him.

Wilkes regained consciousness in the car, where Frost inquired as to his condition. Wilkes felt he was unsafe and begged to be returned to the desert; however, Frost had no wish of letting him go without testing him and refused. Wilkes was brought back to the facility where Frost had her lab and was strapped down to a table, where Frost began experimenting on Wilkes, trying to draw the Zero Matter out of his body. However, her experiments failed, to her consternation. Wilkes' strain grew, but Frost would not stop her efforts.

Wilkes About To Explode

Wilkes overloads on Zero Matter

Frost left the room to speak with Jack Thompson, and Wilkes was shocked to see Carter break into the room and free him. Wilkes ordered Carter to leave him as the strain of holding in the Zero Matter was overcoming him. Knowing he could not hold it for long, Wilkes locked himself inside the room as Carter ordered him not to. Wilkes ignored her and once she had left, he went in search of Frost. Wilkes found her just as the Zero Matter inside him exploded and expelled itself from his body.[8]

Stopping Frost

To be added

Personality

"A colored scientist. I done seen everything."
Joseph Manfredi[src]

Jason Wilkes was ambitious and did not allow hindrances to stop his progress. As an African-American who stuttered in the 1940's, Wilkes knew discrimination and difficulty but he would not allow his desire to be more to be quelled. Wilkes learned not to be offended by disparaging remarks such as "boy" or "janitor", or allowed racial threats of "being hung" stop him from doing what was right. Ultimately, he went from an orange picker to a corporate scientist by working two jobs and filling out many applications.

This ambition extended into his personal life as well by manipulating a way to have a date with Peggy Carter, though she initially refused to go out with him.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

Invisible Wilkes

Jason Wilke's invisibility

Jason Wilkes obtained his powers from an explosion caused by Zero Matter.

  • Invisibility: Wilkes absorbs all forms of light around him; since sight occurs when the eye absorbs light reflected or emitted from an object, Wilkes cannot therefore be seen.
"You can't touch him any more than you can touch the light from a projector."
Howard Stark[src]
  • Intangibility: The explosion which granted Wilkes his abilities turned him into a being made of light. However, absorption of Zero Matter makes Wilkes temporarily tangible.

Abilities

"So you're a genius."
"No. But yes."
Peggy Carter and Jason Wilkes[src]
  • Genius Level Intellect: Wilkes was able to work with and impress Howard Stark, who thought of Wilkes as a genius, offering Wilkes a position in Stark Industries.
"Jason Wilkes is a physicist!"
Peggy Carter[src]
  • Master Scientist: Wilkes is knowledgeable in a range of sciences, including physics and chemistry. He was able to identify the physical properties of Zero Matter and changed the taste of wine using chemistry, realizing that manipulating the oxygen in the malic and succinic acids, he could tweak the potential of the hydrogen balance.

Equipment

Weapons

Relationships

Allies

Enemies

Appearances

Appearances for Jason Wilkes

In chronological order:

Trivia

  • In the comics, Jason Wilkes is a brilliant but greedy scientist who is paid by the agent of a communist country to developed an invisibility weapon, but ended up getting himself permanently invisible and intangible.

References

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