Marvel's Absurd TECHNET:
A Lifetime Mystery Solved
Imagine being five to ten years old, opening up a comic book at a corner store, and seeing this panel with no additional context. A tentacled, pink blob pulls and stretches a human being like a piece of taffy, while another character addresses it as "Waxworks." Intrigued by this weird entity, I skimmed the rest of the book to no avail, failing to notice any other mention or appearance of the little guy before I had to go, leaving the book on the rack.
I still don't know exactly when I had this funny little experience, since this issue did indeed come out when I was only five years old, but I could have sworn I was older than that? Regardless of when it started, the character never stopped haunting the back of my memory, though that's not too rare an honor; creatures, characters, objects and environments from media always had a way of sticking in my mind and creeping back into my thoughts no matter how brief my encounter with them, especially if I seemed to be missing some vital explanation.
I would keep remembering "Waxworks" off and on for basically my entire life, though I actually misremembered him just slightly. For one thing, I thought I remembered the spelling of his name was "Waxworx," which certainly would have been in line with late 80's through 90's comics, and furthermore, I thought his design looked like this:
But somewhere around mid-2023, I happened to remember him once more. I did a google search for "comic book character" and "waxworks" once more, and...
Comicvine, Marvel Wiki, every thorough comic book character database apparently had an entry on Waxworks all along. ALL ALONG. He was obscure, but not nearly as obscure as I'd mistakenly deduced! He was even part of a fan-favorite faction that interacted with some pretty famous characters, and even had a couple of brand new story roles while I wasn't looking! What the hell, man?! You were like, RIGHT there?!
HE HAD WIKI NOTABILITY THIS ENTIRE TIME?!
...HE APPEARS IN HOW MANY ISSUES?!
He's some kind of alien, that much we also knew already, and yes, his defining power is to soften people's bones. The moment he touches you with so much as a single tentacle, your skeleton turns to jelly and you collapse into a puddle, squishy as an octopus. That's kind of an unbelievably terrifying power, though it is apparently temporary. How do your bones regain their original shape in the process of hardening up again? I'm not sure, but thankfully they do. Why can he do this? Why DOES he do this???
Gatecrasher is the leader of Technet, a big burly alien woman who can smash through just about anything, but she's also telepathic and diabolically clever. Yap is the little gremlin-like guy whose powers allow him to teleport the whole team wherever they need, and is always riding on his boss's shoulders. This is also because he has a weird complex and calls her his mom, but that's just as well, since he seems like her single most indispensable underling.
Gatecrasher (& Yap)
Thug is unfortunately the least interesting member. No offense, I mean, he has personality and all, but he's just a strong humanoid alien with big arms and a green face? Alright I guess! He does seem to be left behind by a lot of Technet appearances.
Ferro isn't too terribly exciting either, but his design is at least cool; he's a furry, fanged alien, kind of like someone 40% into their wolfman transformation, highly skilled in swordfighting with all four of his arms. The silliest thing about this guy is that he dies at some point, and gets replaced by his identical cousin whose name is Ferro 2.
Getting back into weirdness, Ringtoss is an enigmatic golden woman with a flat, blank dish-like surface for a face, which generates energy rings she can solidify.
Numbers is a very large alien kind of resembling a turtle with multifaceted eyes and no shell. He works as an accountant for Technet and has no apparent powers or combat skills, but he does fall in love with a goofy looking dragon and fathers a swarm of insect-eyed green dragonlings.
This floating, shining alien lady feeds on emotions, somehow, and her power allows her to "fire every synapse at once" in someone else's brain, leaving them in a stupor. She later joins a different team and changes her name to "Fascination."
China Doll is kind of mermaid-like in shape, blue and scaly with a tail instead of legs, though it ends more serpentine than fishlike. She also has a huge mohawk-like crest of hair and a pointed eyemask, none of which looks like the motif of a "China Doll," you may note. The name is more in reference to her power, which is to shrink anybody she's touching down to any size she wants.
This absurd member is a parody of Tweety Bird for some reason, and his gimmick is that he's also a living bomb. It technically works only once, but when his ghost continues to haunt Gatecrasher, she creates a new body for him to inhabit. He still doesn't appear much after that, possibly deemed too silly by subsequent writers, who are wrong.
Hard Boiled Henwy
This little guy is an infant-like psychic alien, a pudgy little pink thing with glassy little eyes, an almost spherical swollen forehead and matching ball-like stomach. He floats around on a personal hoverchair, and his power is to transform people into ironic versions of their innermost desires, or something like that. Like if you wish you were taller, he'll give you a big ungainly giraffe neck, that sort of thing. He does use it at least once to actually help someone, but it's still hard to say if the Monkey's Paw twists are inherent to his powers or he's just an asshole.
Probably the third most "alien," Bodybag is a reptilian looking alien with six insectoid-looking limbs and a short, flattened body that tapers into a sort of snakelike or eel-like head. She fights by drenching her opponent in paralyzing mucus, then stretching open her mouth to swallow them whole, storing them in stasis in one of three transparent, expandable sacs. Neat!
The most inhuman member, even moreso than our tentacled little buddy, and sadly only ever featured once or twice! Pandora is actually a vast, expanding, predatory and entirely nonsapient slime mold usually held in a tiny, floating orb. Also referred to as a "she" for whatever reason, everything Pandora consumes is compressed back into the orb's internal singularity as soon as she's satiated. Love a completely "unintelligent" organism treated as an actual team member.
It's also worth noting that in their very earliest appearance, one Technet member was an alien very similar to Waxworks, except they called this one "Elmo," and all he did was "drain energy." That implies their respective powers may not be natural to their entire species, but that possibility would be ruled back out by a much later story.
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