Hydro-Man is a supervillain from Marvel Comics. He is a recurring enemy of both Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four.
Cargo ship crewman Morris Bench was accidentally knocked overboard by Spider-Man (who was battling Sub-Mariner) during the testing of a powerful new experimental underwater generator, the energies of which combined with gases from undersea volcanoes to trigger a weird mutation in Bench, who began to transform into living water. Physically and emotionally unstable, Bench dubbed himself Hydro-Man and soon attacked Spider-Man, but he evaporated after Spider-Man scattered his liquid form amidst the hot sunshine of the New York rooftops; however, the particles of Bench's body soon reintegrated, and he embarked on a long criminal career.
When Bench and rival criminal Sandman fought over the affections of barfly Sadie Frickett, the two men accidentally merged into a monstrous "mud-thing" that the police were ultimately forced to dehydrate into seemingly inert rubble. Hydro-Man and Sandman eventually managed to separate back into their original forms, but both were humiliated and traumatized by the experience. Sandman was so shaken that he went straight for years (until the Wizard brainwashed him into returning to crime), while Hydro-Man did most of his criminal work in groups from that point on, perhaps seeking safety in numbers.
Both alone and as a member of teams like the Sinister Syndicate, the Frightful Four and the Assembly of Evil, Bench fought a wide array of foes such as Silver Sable, Sandman, the Fantastic Four, Cloak; Dagger, the Avengers, the New Warriors, Thunderstrike, the Thunderbolts, Gambit and Black Panther, but most often clashed with Spider-Man. Hydro-Man was one of many super-criminals employed by corrupt billionaire Justin Hammer for a time, and later served in the Masters of Evil assembled by Hammer’;s daughter Justine, alias the Crimson Cowl; however, after Justine’s arrest and the apparent death of Justin, Hammer Industries phased out its criminal enterprises and Bench, along with fellow employee the Shocker, was laid off. The Shocker and Hydro-Man then teamed up for one last crime, seeking enough money to retire, but Hydro-Man’s thirst for revenge against Spider-Man led to their defeat. Trying and failing to go straight, Bench was recruited back into the Wizard’;s Frightful Four and, more recently, the Sinister Twelve.
Powers and Abilities
Hydro-Man possesses the ability to bodily transform himself, in whole or in part, into a watery liquid substance of unknown composition. While in this state, his consciousness can control every droplet that comprises his body. Thus he can will himself to turn liquid whenever struck. (Presumably if he were to will just his torso liquid, his still solid head and arms would fall to the ground. It is not known if this would cause injury to his solid parts or not. The Hydro-Man can also propel the liquid particles of his body at great pressure in the same style as water shooting through a fire hose. It is not known how he generates the pressure to create this effect. Also he can harden his fist as if it were ice hard. Apparently Hydro-Man's liquid particles each possess some form of attraction for one another so that his disintegrated consciousness can draw all of the particles back into cohesion after total dispersal. It is not known if there is a limit to the particles' ability to attract one another. Nor is it known if there is a limit to how long Hydro-Man can remain in a completely aqueous state. Although he can merge with ordinary water, or use if to increase his mass, he does not gain mental control over this liquid as he does his own. Apparently, he has no difficulty reforming his solid physical state, even while fully immersed in water. Hydro-Man consciousness either resides in each of the billions of droplets that his body becomes, or exists in an intangible perhaps gas-like state. Since Hydro-Man can convert his entire head into water, and his brain is still capable of rational motivated thought, his brain can no longer be organic. It is probably that even in its solid state when it appears to be made of flesh, tissue, and bone; the Hydro-Man's body is no longer truly organic, it is not known if the Hydro-Man needs to eat, sleep, or eliminate waste products anymore.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series