The Impossible Man was born on the planet Poppup and is a member of a race of beings who reproduce asexually, able to alter their muscularly malleable bodies at will to temporarily assume any shape imaginable. Poppup was a particularly harsh and dangerous world, and the Poppupians' shape-changing abilities enabled them to survive its many perils. By the time of the Impossible Man's birth, the Poppupians had evolved a collective consciousness, linking the minds of the entire race in a group mind. (Hence, Poppupians have no names because they were, in effect, all the same being.)
Endowed with a slight mental variation that permitted him a degree of individual thought, the Impossible Man acted upon the boredom that his entire race experienced. He did so by transforming himself into a space vessel and leaving Poppup. Eventually, he arrived on Earth and found the planet to provide a great source of amusement potential, especially with the use of his shape-changing powers. During this first visit to Earth, he met the Fantastic Four. He was dubbed "the Impossible Man" after the Thing commented on how the absurd ways the alien used his shape-shifting powers made him "impossible." The Impossible Man made a major nuisance of himself until the Fantastic Four pretended to be bored with him, persuading other people to act the same way. Convinced that Earth was dull, the Impossible Man departed.
After touring other inhabited worlds, the Impossible Man returned to Poppup to share his experiences with his people. When the world-devouring Galactus threatened to consume other inhabited worlds, the Poppupians sent the Impossible Man to lead him to their world, which Galactus consumed. Bored by existence to the point of despair, the Poppupians welcomed the death of their world and their physical bodies. With the Impossible Man's survival, the minds and souls of the Poppupian race would live on in the person of their most adventurous member.
The Impossible Man accompanied the Fantastic Four back to Earth, where he became fascinated by Earth's popular culture. Observing the feelings between Thing and his then-girlfriend Alicia Masters, as well as the emotions of others, the Impossible Man learned the human concept of 'love.' Lonely for someone else like him to share love with, the Impossible Man cloned himself a mate, the Impossible Woman, from his own body. The two aliens then left Earth to explore the frontiers of love and to recreate the Poppupian race.
The Impossible Man and Impossible Woman each cloned many offspring from themselves, known as the Impossible Family. Eventually, however, the Impossible Man returned to Earth, where he asserted that his mate and their children had all developed minds unlike his own. The question had arisen as to who should lead these new Poppupians. The Impossible Man said that to prove his own worthiness, he would agree to compete in a large-scale "scavenger hunt," in which he accumulated many items connected with Earth's super-powered beings. However, the Impossible Man was judged to have lost the contest. (Whether the Impossible Man was telling the truth about his family and his reasons for the scavenger hunt is unknown.)
In space, he met the Silver Surfer. He was intrigued that the Silver Surfer seemed to have no sense of humor. The Surfer believed him insane and asked to be left alone. They were met by a fleet from the planet Ergonar, who demanded that Impossible Man be turned over to them for execution, since the Impossible Man insulted their monarch. He asked the Surfer to help him, which he did. He made Impossible Man promise to never return to Ergonar and went and apologized for Impossible Man's actions and his own, but not before he played his own practical joke on Impossible Man, turning the tables on him.
The next time they met, the Surfer struck a more serious tone. Impossible Man warned the Surfer that if he didn't loosen up and have some fun, he would surely be killed by the coming danger of Thanos, who, in his opinion, was even 'less fun.' The Surfer agreed to try this.
After this, Impossible Man and Impossible Woman decided to go on a vacation with their children. Their first destination was Earth, where Impossible Man tried to have some fun with Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and the Punisher. After leaving Earth, they went to Satriani, the Skrull homeworld, to have a little more fun with Empress S'byll. After showing the Skrulls the pictures of their vacation, they extended it. Impossible Man went on to torment a Watcher, Psycho-Man, Hank Pym, Ka-Zar, and Thor. He then went to Asgard and caused much trouble, transforming into Kurse to try to get them to fight. They are stopped by Frigga, who actually gives the Impossible Man a spanking. He ended his vacation in New York City, and he and his family went on 'tour' to sing to the universe (like the Partridge Family).
The Impossible Man was last seen creating a toy line of himself with the reformed villain Arcade, although Arcade was not as reformed as he claimed to be.
Powers and Abilities
The Impossible Man, like all Poppupians, has the ability to rearrange the molecules of his body at will into any form he chooses. He can simulate some of the abilities and functions of the object or living being he imitates, depending on what that object or being is. For example, He can become a working electric fan, water hose, or jet-propelled engine (although they empower these objects by their own molecular energies rather than by electricity, water, or jet fuel). However, if he imitates an object such as Thor's enchanted uru hammer, Captain America's vibranium-adamantium shield, or the Silver Surfer's cosmic surfboard, he can only take on the appearance of said objects, and not their special properties.
The degree to which he can imitate the superhuman powers of other beings is unknown.
The Impossible Man can even separate himself into various parts in changing form, such as when he becomes a large number of flowers, or when he becomes a bag of water, which then spills its contents. He retains his full consciousness in whatever form he takes, and can control all the parts into which he divides, and reassemble them into his own single, natural form.
Some other interesting ways he has adapted his body include: turning himself into a living bomb, turning his body into non-conductive material so he wouldn't be affected by Klaw, and recreating Klaw's sound-projecting cannon, allowing him to reproduce Klaw's sound powers, including the ability to create independent sound creatures.
The Impossible Man can temporarily discard unnecessary molecules of his bodies when imitating objects or beings of considerably less mass than his own: a fountain pen or a hat, for example. (He customarily disperses his spare molecules over a large enough area that they cannot be discerned, and regains them on returning to his original form.) He can also draw additional molecules from an undisclosed, perhaps extra-dimensional, source to increase his size. In order to clone the Impossible Woman from his own body, for example, the Impossible Man had to draw enough additional molecules to create a being from himself who had the same amount of mass as he did. There are apparently limits to the amount of mass that he can temporarily add to his own at any one time. It has been theorized that the Impossible Man employed technology to help him impersonate the gigantic Galactus on one occasion. (It is also theorized that he employed technology to teleport many of the items,' some of them enormous, that he gathered in his "scavenger hunt" to different locations.)
Impossible Man's transformations occur within a fraction of a second, and are accompanied by a "pop" sound.
The Impossible Man was twice able to resist the power of the Molecule Man (this is before the Molecule Man reached his full power in Secret Wars). In the first instance, the Molecule Man was able to turn him into a block, but then the Impossible Man changed his shape, thrusting a huge fist out of the block and punching the Molecule Man, saying that the Molecule Man might be able to control other molecules, but not his molecules. Later, the Molecule Man was completely unable to control the body of the Impossible Man (even though the Molecule Man could control other organic molecules at that time).
The Impossible Man and Impossible Woman can travel through hyperspace by transforming themselves into an imitation of a starship. They can survive in the vacuum of space for months without food, water, or oxygen by inducing in themselves a low metabolic state similar to hibernation. (During that time, if they are in starship form, their subconscious will guide them to their destination.)
Impossible Man has been told that he is as dangerous as the Phoenix itself. If this is true it is unknown. Galactus told him this.
Levitation: The Impossible Man can psionically levitate himself in any of his forms.
Serial Reproduction: Like all Poppupians, the Impossible Man reproduces by dividing himself into two identical beings. This is a form of cloning, involving a mitosis-like process undergone by all the cells of his body.
Strength Level: The Impossible Man ordinarily possess the normal Poppupian strength of a Poppupian of his age, height, and build, who engages in exercise only when it is not boring. Presumably he can increase his strength by changing form.
Impossible Man of Earth-14845 had been enslaved by the Controller. Morph of the Exiles freed him from the mind control.
Earth 295-Age of Apocalypse
He came to Earth asking to meet its leader. He was taken to Apocalypse and then he gave Impossible Man to dark Beast who experimented on him. Dark Beast was intrigued with the way Impossible Man could make exact clones of himself. He is in a weakened state from all the experiments, he is then teleported away after Dark Beast told Blink to kill him in order to stop his misery.
In Other Media
- Impossible Man appears in The Fantastic Four episode "The Impossible Man," voiced by Frank Welker.
- Impossible Man appears in the Fantastic Four: The Animated Series episode "Hopelessly Impossible." After arriving on Earth while being pursued by the Super-Skrull, he begins recapping the events of the show's second season, serving as the framing device for a clip show. He eventually encounters the Human Torch and Lockjaw, and agrees to help the Torch get inside Attilan (which had been trapped beneath an impenetrable energy dome earlier in the season) in exchange for protection. After being encouraged by the Human Torch to "get mean," Impossible Man ends up defeating the Super-Skrull by kicking him into orbit. He was voiced by Jess Harnell.
- Impossible Man appears in the Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes episodes "Impossible" and "Contest of Champions," voiced by Terry Klassen.
- Impossible Man appears in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Tremble at the Might of...M.O.D.O.K.," with Jess Harnell reprising his role.
- Impossible Man appears in the Avengers Assemble episode "Avengers: Impossible," voiced by Tom Kenny. After witnessing the Falcon's battle with the Wrecking Crew, Impossible Man takes an interest in the young hero and decides to make him the star of an action movie. Wanting to film exciting battle scenes, Impossible Man begins bringing in ever increasing threats to fight the Avengers, including Attuma. After Impossible Man brings the Chitauri to Earth, Falcon persuades the alien nuisance to get rid of them by making him a deputy Avenger. Giddy with praise from his hero, Impossible Man saves the day by scattering the Chitauri forces across unknown dimensions. He leaves after this, but promises to return when he's ready to cast Falcon in a sequel.
- Tom Kenny reprises his role as Impossible Man in the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "Mission Impossible Man."
- Impossible Man was featured in the HeroClix figure game, both as part of the Secret Invasion series and as a San Diego Comic-Con 2014 exclusive.
- Impossible Man was featured in Fantastic Four Classics, the sister line to ToyBiz's Marvel Legends series. The figure came as a pack-in with the Human Torch figure from Series 1.
- A painted lead figurine of Impossible Man was featured in The Classic Marvel Figurine Collection from Eaglemoss Publications.