Wizard was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby.
The Wizard was originally the enemy of the Human Torch during his solo days, but he eventually started terrorizing the Fantastic Four and lives to prove to the world that he is superior to the mind of Mr. Fantastic. At some point, due to his ego, he legally changed his name from Bentley Wittman to The Wizard.
Wizard was a famous child prodigy and chess champion, but as he grew older, the novelty of his brilliance faded and he turned to stage magic to get back the attention he'd gotten used to as a child. When this also failed he decided to get attention as a super-villain, defeating the most visually flashy superhero at the time-- the Human Torch. (Basically, he has an advanced case of child-star syndrome.)
The Wizard put this plan into action and pretended to be a victim. Johnny saved him and Wizard let Johnny into his high-tech mansion. Easily, Johnny fell for the trap and was captured. Wizard then impersonated the Human Torch and started a crime spree. The Fantastic Four eventually came and stopped him and saved Johnny. Wizard tried again and again to defeat Johnny alone but to no avail. At one point one of his own anti-gravity discs sent him flying upward. Wizard could not get down and could not change direction. He was then saved by Sandman and Paste-Pot Pete. Wizard then got an idea, to make his own Fantastic Four with Sandman, Paste-Pot Pete, Medusa (who was suffering from amnesia at the time), and himself.
Wizard as well at this time met and communicated with a infant Black Bolt and his brother, Maximus, who had escaped from their Inhuman base known as Attilan to explore the outside world out of curiosity. While he was with them, Bentley designed a temporary inhibiting collar for Bolt, as well as training them in their respective powers for a while (as well as pitting them against the likes of Spider-Man without their knowledge as apart of his schemes)
Fantastic Four #36 introduced the Frightful Four. The Wizard's Frightful Four raided the Baxter Building and defeated the Thing, Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Girl. Johnny was not there at the time. Alicia Masters just happened to visit the Baxter Building and found a fallen Sue Storm on the floor. Very concerned, Alicia took a flare gun and alerted Johnny. After capturing Alicia, the Frightful Four attached anti-gravity discs to the unconscious foursome and sent them floating helplessly into the atmosphere. Fortunately for his comrades, Johnny came and forced Wizard to use his anti-grav ship to save the Fantastic Four from drifting out into space. After being saved, the Fantastic Four defeated the Frightful Four. To create a distraction, The Wizard and Sandman made the Wizard's ship explode. The Frightful Four then escaped. Though the Frightful Four lost this first encounter, it was only by the slimiest of margins that Ben, Reed and Sue did not suffocate high in the atmosphere.
Their next attempt in FF #38, "Defeated by the Frightful Four", involved Medusa capturing the Invisible Girl/Invisible Woman and luring the Fantastic Four to a Pacific atoll where the Frightful Four rigged a 'Q-Bomb' to detonate. The Fantastic Four narrowly escaped, but the explosion took away their powers for all of issue #39 and most of issue #40, which left them quite vulnerable to an attack by Dr. Doom. This was without a doubt the most successful Frightful Four battle with the Fantastic Four and if the Fantastic Four had not found Sue in the underground chamber, just in time, there is no doubt whatsoever that the Q-bomb would have destroyed the Fantastic Four and then Stan Lee would have had to change the title of the comic to the Frightful Four.
The third attempt, in issue #41, had the Frightful Four capture Thing, and use a machine of the Wizard's creation called a "Id Machine". It was used on The Thing causing Ben to obey The Wizard's commands by reversing his morality to one more suited for a villain, turning Ben into a angry and spiteful character. With the mighty Thing on their side, the Frightful Four easily defeated Mr. Fantastic, the Torch and the Invisible Girl. Wizard and Trapster created prisons to hold Reed and Johnny, while Medusa brilliantly had Trapster design a chemically treated plastic bag to hold the Invisible Girl. However, over the course of the next two issues, the FF broke free of their prisons and Mr. Fantastic freed the Thing from the Wizard's control. Hence, by the end of issue #43, the Fantastic Four have again beaten the Frightful Four, although they came very close to permanently beating them this time.
The next Frightful Four-Fantastic Four encounter did not happen until issue #94. Here Medusa pretended to go along with her former teammates plan, but then she turned traitor as she had regained her memories long before then. Attacking the FF at Agatha Harkness' mansion, the evil threesome easily defeated the Thing and the Torch. Then they trapped Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Girl in their guest bedroom. Seeing that her former partners were about to destroy the Fantastic Four, Medusa tried to help, but she was easily beaten. Unfortunately for Wizard, Sandman and Trapster, they had not counted on fighting Agatha Harkness and her powerful black cat and the evil FF are again defeated. However, they were not beaten by the Fantastic Four. It took a new ally of the FF to intervene and save the day.
FF #129-130 had Wizard enlist the powerful Thundra onto his team, to replace Madam Medusa who had betrayed him. Once again, the evil FF defeated the Fantastic Four using the art of surprise. However, two events happened to change the eventual outcome. First, toddler Franklin Richards used his latent powers to wake up an unconscious Thing. Then when Wizard was about to use a machine to kill Mr. Fantastic, Thundra turned traitor to her teammates, saying that there would be no killing of men or children: while she was willing to defeat her foes in battle, Thundra was not willing to kill them.
FF #148 provided some momentary success for the evil FF, but they made a big mistake in attacking the Fantastic Four before securing a new fourth member to replace the traitorous Thundra. Not only that, but Thundra appeared on the scene to help the FF secure a victory. Somehow the odds of 5 to 3 don't seem fair. However, things got a little better in FF #177-178, as the Frightful Four were victorious at the end of issue #177. Wizard and his two male partners defeated the Fantastic Four and had imprisoned all four of them in individual traps specifically designed to neutralize all of their powers. Wizard wanted them to watch their tryouts for a new fourth member. The tryouts turned out to be a joke and Tigra and Thundra even came to try and help the FF, but they got captured and imprisoned as well. However, Tigra was able to free both the Thing and the Torch. The Torch and Tigra were quickly beaten, but it took some unexpected good luck for the Thing to be defeated. Reed Richards from Counter-Earth, aka The Brute, suddenly made an appearance and he beat the mighty Thing, which secured an end-of-issue win for the Frightful Four. Nevertheless, the evil FF are beaten back in FF #178.
FF #218 provided a slight twist in the Frightful Four-Fantastic Four saga as Spider-Man made an appearance. The new Frightful Four lineup: Wizard, Sandman, Trapster and Electro. The evil FF found Spidey nearby at the start of the issue and Trapster pasted him. Then Trapster, dressed up as Spiderman, was able to defeat both the Human Torch and the Thing, all by himself, using the environment combined with his own equipment. Electro then easily defeated the Invisible Girl by turning her into a living statue. Then the entire Frightful Four joined together to defeat Mr. Fantastic. Unfortunately for the evil FF, Spidey got free of his paste bonds and entered the scene. His appearance was enough of an advantage for the FF to secure a victory. Wizard obviously made a mistake by tackling the FF with Spiderman on hand.
The second Frightful Four-Fantastic Four triple saga occurred in FF #326-328. Here the Frightful Four secured a 75% change in their membership, with Klaw, Titania and Hydro-Man joining with the Wizard. Things did not go well in issue #326. However, by the end of FF #327, the Fantastic Four were once again defeated. However, an unreal and most embarrassing event occurred in the concluding chapter to the three part saga, as a human Ben Grimm saved the day in "What Can One Man Do?"
Fantastic Four Unlimited #5 provided the most success that the Frightful Four ever had in a single issue saga over all four FF members, since the legendary FF #38. The new evil FF lineup: Wizard, Klaw, the Red Ghost and his apes and a mutated She-Thing, aka Sharon Ventura. This was an extra large issue and provided long battle scenes. Mr. Fantastic had been presumed dead at the time and was replaced by Ant-Man. All four of the FF members were beaten badly and were about to be finished off by their respective Frightful Four foes. The scene was: Wizard vs. Torch, Klaw vs Ant-Man, Red Ghost and his apes vs. Thing and She-Thing vs. Invisible Woman. Unfortunately for the Wizard and his partners, Wizard made a grave mistake. He tried to throttle the Torch to death and by putting his hands on Johnny Storm, this opened up a pocket of non-causality (created when Wizard himself used it to take the advantage) wherein any and all events become possible. It so turned out that the pocket of non-causality gave each of the FF members just enough extra strength to defeat their foes.
Fantastic Four: The World's Greatest Comic Magazine #9-#10 was kind of a throwback to the Silver Age concerning Sue's role, but then the entire 12 issues in the limited series were meant to be a reminder of the Silver Age. The new Frightful Four lineup: Wizard, Sandman, Trapster and Blastaar. Sandman had his best success against Sue Storm's fore field ever in issue #9, as his repeated attacks smashed the force field and caused the girl to run for her life. Just then Blastaar entered the scene and fired at the blonde beauty, knocking her unconscious. Trapster then pasted her quite securely. The issue ended with the Frightful Four victorious over the Fantastic Four at the end of an issue for a fifth time, as Sue Storm was a helpless hostage and the rest of the FF were trapped in the Negative Zone! Yes, believe it or not, this issue, along with FF #38, #41, #177 and #327 equals five real end-of-issue wins for the Wizard's Frightful Four! However, Sue was able to free her partners from the Negative Zone in issue #10 and the Frightful Four were then quickly beaten.
Regardless of what some may say, the Wingless Wizard has proven to have very high intelligence and also good leadership skills. While his Frightful Four have been somewhat of a joke in recent years, they had a lot of success in the Silver Age and some as well in the Bronze Age.
The Gloves Are On!
The Wizard eventually broke out of jail and created a pair of gloves (dubbed as the "Wonder Gloves") that would enhance his powers, yet again, he was defeated (even though the four were without Sue). Wizard then came up with another set of gloves, this time with the ability to mimic the Fantastic Four's powers. Although these gloves were powerful, he was unprepared for Sue's replacement, Crystal, and was defeated. Other than that, the Wizard rarely ever worked outside the Frightful Four. He has recently been seen working with The Hood.
The Wizard was recruited at an unspecified time into the Intelligencia by the Leader. Along with other great, yet underrated minds they were able to recreate the Library of Alexandria by stealing knowledge from the Eternals, the Wakandans and the Atlanteans. But they were all betrayed by Doctor Doom and the knowledge taken by him for his own use.
The team reformed much later and has formulated a plan to capture the eight greatest genius of Earth who could possibly stop them. With a new Frightful Four, the Wizard was able to capture one of them, his long time rival, Mr. Fantastic. He defeated Mr. Fantastic so badly, that many fans complained about the fact that Wizard caused Mr. Fantastic to lose control of his bodily functions. This fight and abduction took place in Hulk #19 (March 2010). If ever Wizard got his revenge against Reed Richards for all of the defeats that his Frightful Four suffered at the hands of the Fantastic Four through the years, it surely was in Hulk #19. With nearly all eight captured, they began their plans to take over the United States and destroy the Hulk once and for all. The plan failed, and the Leader and MODOK were depowered. The remaining Intelligencia escaped.
The Wizard decided to take a vacation on a massive yacht, which was subsequently attacked by She Hulk and Lyra, who were sent to capture the Intelligencia members that escaped. Bentley was captured and taken to Gamma Base as prisoner. After negotiating with She Hulk and the Hulk, he was given better living conditions in exchange for any information that would help capture the remaining members still at large. It was a ruse as the Wizard reunited with the "new" M.O.D.O.K. Superior and the rest of the Intelligencia to steal a Space Knight that had crash landed in the Savage Land. S.W.O.R.D. had sent Spider-woman to investigate the Space Knight, but was captured as a result. Eventually the Avengers appeared and fought the Intelligencia, but soon the Space Knight activated and it was revealed to be Ultron who quickly escaped by creating a large explosion. The Intelligencia was imprisoned later by S.W.O.R.D and the Avengers.
The Wizard, alongside Diablo, The Mad Thinker, and others, was recently contacted by the Future Foundation to find a way to hypothetically defeat Reed Richards (due to the Council of Reeds, a league of alternative universe counterparts coming after Reed himself) after being broken out of a prison by A.I.M.
The Wizard recently started succumbing to dementia due to Black Bolt tampering with his mind. As a last ditch effort to secure his legacy and see his son Bentley 23 again, he decided to reform the Frightful Four and take over city hall. This new lineup would consist of himself, Klaw, Dr. Karl Malus, and his secret weapon: Carnage.
The Wizard orchestrated a jailbreak to gain control of Carnage, but discovered that he could not control the beast, because its host Cletus Kasady had been lobotomised. After having the symbiote nearly kill him due to a failed attempt to control the creature, Wizard secured Kasady to a sound cage with Klaw's help to turn off Carnage. Wizard then decided to transfer the symbiote to someone's brain that he can control, and that person ended up being Dr. Malus.
With Malus under Wizard's control as Carnage and the Frightful Four assembled, the team led a raid on city hall. During the raid, the team discovered that Mayor J. Jonah Jameson had been moved to a secure bunker and Spider-Man (secretly with the mind of Doctor Octopus after switching bodies with the latter) and his Spider-Minions were there, armed and ready for battle.
During the ensuing battle, Wizard was thrown out of the window by Spider-Man, After crashing onto the street below, Spider-Man brought up The Wizard to the roof to arrest him. Trying to get the upper hand, Wizard read into his mind and discovered that he was actually Doctor Octopus. Shocked that his identity was revealed, Spider-Man dropped Wizard onto the street below again. The Frightful Four raid continued to go downhill from there, as Carnage killed Klaw by ripping his sonic form apart and the subsequent sonic explosion ripped the symbiote from Dr. Malus and attached itself to Wizard.
This new powerful Wizard went on a rampage, yelling for his son and mowing through Spider-Minions, and killing his former ally Dr. Malus, Wizard then went to fight Spider-Man one on one, taunting him about his true identity.
Left with no other options, Spider-Man revealed the body of Cletus Kasady that he had obtained from the wreckage of the Frightful Four's base. The symbiote then ripped itself from the Wizard's body and went after Kasady and both Wizard and Carnage were thrown in jail.
It is revealed later that being attached to the Carnage symbiote had cured Wizard of his dementia due to the restorative effects of the suit, and he had managed to start a conversation with his son over the internet.
The New Frightful Four
Given resources by the secretive Quiet Man, a obsessive villain who had been manipulating the FF for years, Bentley is given the Wrecking Crew (minus the original Bulldozer, whom had died) to attack the already overwhelmed group, whom were going with a depowered Human Torch and were already outnumbered. While unsuccessful in actually beating them, this Frightful Four was able to get the Future Foundation children away from Reed's protection, as authorities believed they were too much in danger with the continuous attacks they had experienced.
Later on, he gets another version of the Frightful Four via the remaining members of Salem's Seven to take on Reed Richards, who due to his inexperience with magic badly struggled with the team until a assist from Scarlet Witch was able to fight them away again. This of course was just a distraction for the Quiet Man to kidnap Franklin Richards without resistance, and Bentley would later be charged with manipulating the boy's reality warping powers for a complete invasion of Earth. After his clone, Bentley-23, turned against the Quiet Man, his father would follow suit, forming yet another Frightful group with old members: namely She-Thing, Thundra, and Sandman.
Wizard is currently still at large, having recently battled against the short lived Infamous Iron Man (Doctor Doom, whom took the mantle after Stark stepped down)
Powers and Abilities
The Wizard is incredibly intelligent (through despite his boasts, he is significantly less intelligent than the likes of Reed Richards or Doctor Doom) and has made several devices in which to carry out his criminal schemes. Most notable is his anti-gravity disc which creates a field repulsing gravity's natural pull and therefore capable of lifting practically anything.
As well as this, the Wizard operates a technologically advanced suit that allows him to withstand blows from the likes of Wonder Man without being knocked out in the process, as well as a pair of Wonder Gloves, which are capable of enhancing his strength to the point of casually tearing through solid steel and can also match the power of the Thing himself.
In the MC2 universe, Wizard leads the Wizard's Warriors in an attempt to prove that he is intellectually superior to Reed Richards.
In the House of M reality, Wizard is a part of The Hood's Sapien Rights League, a front for his gang of enhanced criminals.
He later reveals himself to be a coward, by refusing to fight with his teammates to protect their Sapien utopia of Santo Rico from the coming Red Guard invasion. He does however, with the help of Chemistro, design flying disks with cloaking technology to help the other members of The Hood's gang get away in time without being caught, showing that while he is cowardly, he wasn't heartless.
The Wizard was a boss in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, teaming up with Scorcher to fight Nick Fury's own team, but is quickly defeated, with Nick himself taking his Wonder Gloves for his own use.