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Franklin Hall is a physicist involved in an experiment in a private research facility in the Canadian Rockies. A mistake in Hall's calculations causes graviton particles to merge with his own molecules, and Hall later discovers that he can mentally control gravity. Hall at first tries to hide his newfound ability, but becomes tempted by the potential power, and donning a costume adopts the alias "Graviton".
When Graviton takes over the research facility and forbids all communications with the outside world, a fellow scientist sends a distress signal to the superhero team the Avengers. A furious Graviton then lifts the facility several thousands of feet into the sky and threatens to kill the scientist. The Avengers then arrive and attack, but with the exception of the Black Panther are all defeated when trapped in a gravity field. The Panther escapes and summons the thunder god Thor, who battles Graviton to a standstill until Graviton is tricked into thinking a fellow scientist he cares for has committed suicide. Graviton then panics and causes the entire facility to collapse on him, forming a giant stone sphere that is dropped into a river by the Avengers.
Graviton later reappears, although is suffering from amnesia and is flickering in and out of existence. Somehow guided to the female scientist he has feelings for, Graviton attempts to abduct her but is stopped by Fantastic Four member the Thing and the Inhuman Black Bolt. During the battle, Graviton describes himself as becoming a "living black hole" and morphs into a 50-foot (15 m) humanoid. Graviton is then attacked until he loses concentration, and then apparently implodes and is considered dead. Graviton is eventually able to reform his body, and decides to seek a bride. Elevating a Bloomingdale's store into the sky, he takes several women hostage until tricked by Thor. Thor then maroons a defeated Graviton in an alternate dimension.
Graviton is able to return when an anomaly opens a portal to Earth. Arriving in Los Angeles, Graviton attempts to unite all criminal elements under his leadership, but is defeated by the West Coast Avengers. Graviton was among the villains recruited by Mister Bitterhorn into Mephisto's Legion Accursed. They were used in part of a plot to kill the Beyonder with Mephisto's Beyondersbane weapon, but were delayed by the Thing until the weapon melted down. Graviton then recruits the supervillains Halflife, Quantum, and Zzzax as allies, but they are once again defeated by the West Coast Avengers. Graviton then defeats Spider-Man, and after a skirmish with the Fantastic Four, is defeated in turn by a cosmic-powered Spider-Man.
Graviton then attacks the Avengers again, but is defeated when they overload his powers, banishing him to yet another alternate dimension. He then sends out a distress signal, which is noticed by the villains Techno and Baron Zemo. Graviton is eventually freed and attacks the teams the Thunderbolts and Great Lakes Avengers, but is persuaded by Thunderbolt Moonstone to rethink his priorities. Desiring still more power, Graviton recruited a team of criminals and looted the city of San Francisco, until eventually defeated by the Thunderbolts with the use of technology from Machine Man, whose flight capabilities cancel gravity.
Banished once again to the same alternate dimension, Graviton becomes insane from the constant defeats and exile from Earth, and returns with the goal of total world conquest, accompanied by an adult-level P'tah named M'reel. Seeking revenge on the Thunderbolts, Graviton storms their headquarters to discover they have disbanded and been replaced by the group the Redeemers. Graviton kills almost the entire team before being defeated by a reformed Thunderbolts. Discovering that M'reel was channeling his power to create a dimensional warp enabling the P'tah to invade Earth a furious Graviton apparently dies stopping the alien invasion and saves the Thunderbolts.
Under unrevealed circumstances, Graviton returned to Earth once more and was rendered powerless long enough to be imprisoned on the Raft with other superhuman criminals; however, when Electro shorted out the Raft's defenses to free Sauron, Graviton and dozens of other inmates escaped, only to be confronted by the heroes who would soon organize as the latest incarnation of the Avengers. Although recaptured, Graviton evidently sustained a head injury that somehow greatly dampened his powers, making him much less powerful than at his previous encounter with the Thunderbolts. He also was more megalomaniacal than ever during his next escape, declaring himself capable of forgiving and punishing sins. The reorganized Avengers again fought him at Ryker's, and after wounding Captain America and Spider-Man, Graviton was downed and almost killed by an Extremis enhanced Iron Man.
After battling Iron Man once again - having been framed for murder by an associate of the Mandarin who possessed similar gravity-manipulating powers to his own - he ends his own life by using his powers to trigger an aneurysm in his brain, concluding that he will never receive a fair trial and wanting to end things on his terms.
It appeared that Graviton had an evil son with the same powers as he has, named Singularity, but he was revealed to be a normal kid unrelated to Graviton, who was brainwashed and mutated by the evil son of the Leader, The Superior.
Powers and Abilities
Franklin Hall was a normal human until empowered by an explosion that intermingled his molecules with sub-nuclear graviton particles generated by a nearby particle generator, which gave him the ability to manipulate gravitons (the subatomic particles that carry the force of gravitational attraction) and anti-gravitons (similar particles but with opposite force and spin of gravitons). Graviton could surround any person or object, including himself in order to fly, with gravitons or anti-gravitons, thereby increasing or decreasing the pull of gravity upon it. Hall was able to manipulate gravitons for various uses, including the projection of destructive blasts, formation of gravitational force fields and levitation, and had also been proven capable of generating gravitational fields in various objects, making them attract any nearby matter (or individuals) not heavy enough or physically strong enough to resist. By decreasing the pull of gravity beneath him, then manipulating its direction of effect, he could fly at a speed higher than mach 1 and reach any height at which he could still breathe. However, by using his force field generation capabilities he could also breathe in space. By increasing the pull of gravity beneath his opponents, he could pin them to the ground, having made them too heavy to move, or cause sufficient gravitational stress to impair the normal functioning of the human cardiovascular system. He could also cause an inanimate object (such as a large rock) to radiate enough gravitons to enormously increase its own gravitational field, able to attract nearby matter and energy.
By rapidly projecting gravitons in a cohesive beam, he could generate a energy blast with a maximum concussive force equivalent to the primary shockwave of an explosion of 20,000 pounds of TNT. He could also create a gravitational force field around him capable of protecting him from any concussive force up to and including a small nuclear weapon.
On a large scale Graviton could exert his gravitational control over a maximum distance of 2.36 miles (3.80 km) from his body. Thus, the maximum volume of matter he could influence at once is 55.1 cubic miles (230 km3). He once exercised this control by lifting into the air an inverted conic frustum-shaped land mass whose uppermost area was 4 miles (6.4 km) across, and causing it to float in the sky as though it were a blimp. He could also erect a gravitational force-field of similar proportions. Graviton could formerly perform as many as four separate tasks simultaneously – at one time, he not only lifted a 4-mile (6.4 km) wide land mass as high as cloud level above San Francisco in his debut story, but at the same time also surrounded himself with a force-field, descended on a small rock, and hurled some policemen and a helicopter 10,000 miles (16,000 km) into orbit. Graviton could use his power at maximum capacity for up to eight hours before mental fatigue significantly impaired his performance, and considerably longer (up to eighteen hours) if he conserved his energy during that time.
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Graviton appears in the two-part episode "The Breakout" in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, voiced by Fred Tatasciore. Franklin Hall joined S.H.I.E.L.D. in a plan to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum. Hall ended up causing the accident that gave himself limitless gravitational powers. Due to him being dangerous, Hall ended up imprisoned at The Raft by Nick Fury for several years. When a technological problem occurred at The Raft (likely due to Loki Laufeyson), Graviton was freed and planned his revenge on Nick Fury and then the whole world. This was interrupted by Thor, Wasp, Iron Man, Hulk, and Ant-Man who as a team fought Graviton, which inspired them to stay united as "The Avengers".
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Two versions of Graviton appeared in the ABC TV series Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..