Registered: August 2011
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Owen Reece was a small, frail, timid child from Brooklyn, New York who obsessively clung to his mother. He grew into a weak-willed adult, made bitter and lonely by his mother's death, and full of fear and hatred of what he regarded as a deeply unfriendly world. Reece became a lowly laboratory technician working at a nuclear plant owned by the Acme Atomics Corporation. He was disgruntled by his job's long hours and low pay. One day, growing careless, Reece accidentally activated an experimental particle generator, which bombarded him with an unknown form of radiation. The radiation had a mutagenic effect on Reece, releasing his potential for psionic powers on a cosmic scale. Reece could now control all matter, even down to the molecular level, and all energy. The radiation also left markings resembling lightning bolts across Reece's face. Reece named himself the Molecule Man after his power to control molecules.
Owen Reece gained superhuman powers by mutation through exposure to radiation from an experimental particle generator, which (as later revealed) also opened a "pinhole" into the dimension of the Beyonders, irradiating him with the energy that infuses a Cosmic Cube. As the Molecule Man, he has the psionic ability to manipulate all forms of matter on a subatomic level, and to manipulate all known forms of energy and to convert matter into energy or energy into matter, e.g.: the creation of powerful force fields and energy beams. He is able to manipulate some of the most powerful and most durable materials within the Marvel Universe including destroying and reforming Captain America's shield, Thor's enchanted hammer Mjolnir, and the Silver Surfer's surfboard. During this time, Reece also destroyed Iron Man's armor but is unable to reform it at this time due to difficulty with understanding the complicated circuitry and technology. However, over time, Reece's skills have increased considerably, as shown during the Secret Wars mini-series. He can now manipulate complex pieces of technology with ease and can also open hyperspace portals, allowing him to travel at speeds much faster than light. As a result of the accident in which he gained his powers, the Molecule Man has a series of jagged scars radiating from the bridge of his nose in a lightning-like pattern. He can use his powers to conceal the scars at will.
Although the energies that gave Owen Reece his powers came from the same power source as the Cosmic Cubes, Owen Reece generally does not use this capability to the same extent as "true" Cosmic Cubes do, limiting himself to manipulation of "mere" matter and energy. Regardless he has been able to effortlessly recreate an entire galaxy even in his regular state, and on a later occasion unleashed his 'darkest aspect', which possessed sufficient might to fight, and overpower, the Beyonder in a more than 3-dimensional battle, which in turn was claimed by Kubik to be far less than his full potential.
Originally, the Molecule Man subconsciously imposed mental blocks on himself to prevent his using his powers to their full potential. Hence, he believed his powers were ineffective on organic molecules. These mental blocks have since been overcome. Also the Molecule Man formerly had a psychological dependency on using a steel rod ("wand") to focus his powers but he subsequently learned how to direct his powers without it. While the Living Tribunal has stated that the Molecule Man's power is practically limitless, Reece himself has stated it to be below that of Eternity and the Tribunal. It is unknown how he compares to the Celestials, as Kubik similarly once claimed that these space-gods possess power several orders above its own.