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Calvin Zabo was born in Trenton, New Jersey. He was a morally abject but brilliant medical research scientist who was fascinated by the effect of hormones on human physiology. One of his favorite stories was Stevenson's 1886 classic, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He was convinced that the experiment in the story could actually be performed and became obsessed with the idea of unleashing his full bestial nature in a superhuman form. However, he needed money to do this so he robbed his various employers systematically. Though too intelligent to be caught, the medical community was suspicious of his tendency to always be employed by organizations which were subsequently robbed.
He sought work as a surgeon in a hospital where Donald Blake was a directing physician, yet Blake would not allow him a job due to his history. Zabo was enraged that Blake would not give him the position (even though he did indeed intend to rob the organization) and swore revenge. He was eventually successful in creating his formula, and turned into a huge, Hulk-like creature he called "Mister Hyde", named after the character in the novel. In this new form, he found he had superhuman strength enabling him to crush cars and tear through steel as though it were made of cardboard. With his new superhuman powers he sought out Blake, who transformed into Thor and beat him senseless.
He went into business as a full time professional super criminal and partnered himself with the Cobra to get revenge upon Thor. With the Cobra, he was employed by Loki to kidnap Jane Foster, and they battled Thor again. Hyde and the Cobra next battled Daredevil. Cobra then teamed with the original Jester and Cobra against Daredevil. With the Scorpion, Hyde then battled Captain America and the Falcon. Teaming with the Cobra again, Hyde attempted to acquire Cagliostro's serum. Hyde was next employed by the Purple Man, and battled Daredevil in an arena alongside Cobra, the Jester, and the Gladiator.
Hyde and the Cobra frequently fought Thor, Spider-Man, and Daredevil, and were essentially inept criminals. Eventually, tiring of their repeated failures, the Cobra elected to sever their partnership. He escaped from Ryker's Island, taking the time to taunt Hyde before leaving. Hyde has never forgiven him for the slight. With Batroc, Hyde later blackmailed New York City with a hijacked super-tanker. Hyde attempted to destroy the entire city in order to kill Cobra. Eventually, he was defeated by Captain America with Batroc's aid. Hyde then stalked Cobra seeking revenge, and this time battled Spider-Man. He was imprisoned again but escaped Ryker's Island, and stalked Cobra again, and battled Spider-Man and the Black Cat. Hyde later battled Daredevil again.
Hyde later became a member of the Masters of Evil IV. With the Masters of Evil, Hyde invaded Avengers Mansion. He tortured the Black Knight and Edwin Jarvis. With Goliath and the Wrecking Crew, he nearly killed Hercules, but was defeated by the Avengers. Hyde later attempted an escape from the Vault alongside Titania, Vibro, the Griffin, and Armadillo. He was defeated and recaptured by the Captain. He later eventually escaped from the Vault alongside the Wizard and others. Hyde was later defeated in combat by the Cobra.
Hyde later fought with the Grey Hulk and received head trauma that limited his ability to transform. Shortly after he had several run-ins with the Dan Ketch Ghost Rider in which he was defeated with the Penance Stare.
Hyde briefly helped the symbiote-bonded Toxin track Cobra after a prison escape by providing a piece of skin for the symbiote to track.
Zabo was being held in The Raft (the Ryker's Island Prison complex) 6 months after the events of Avengers Disassembled. When a prison break was caused by the villain, Electro, Zabo emerged in his Hyde persona and fought with Daredevil and was knocked unconscious by Luke Cage.
At one point, Zabo was discovered by the Young Avengers to be selling a derivative of his Hyde formula on the street as one of the various illegal substances known as Mutant Growth Hormone.
Most recently, Zabo has gone on to begin to graft abilities similar to the powers of Spider-Man to homeless teenagers. After Spider-Man revealed his identity during the Civil War, Zabo sought to recreate the circumstances of Spider-Man's "birth", by taking in orphans off the street, imbuing them with spider-powers, and seeing whether or not the teenagers would give in to their darker impulses. During the ensuing battle with Spider-Man, Hyde pulled webbing off his face, taking his eyelids with it, and was hit in the face with hydrochloric acid, courtesy of one of his own guinea pigs. He was stated by Spider-man to have been left blinded and had his face ruined as a result. Dr. Curt Connors was later seen aiding Spider-Man in a cure for Calvin, one of Zabo's test subjects.
Hyde's daughter is Daisy Johnson, who is a member of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The Hood hired him as part of his criminal organization to take advantage of the split in the superhero community caused by the Superhuman Registration Act.
Later he was seen along with Firebrand, King Cobra, and Mauler, who attacked Yellowjacket, Constrictor and other Initiative staff and trainees.
Powers and abilities
The process that transforms Dr. Calvin Zabo into his Mr. Hyde persona is a hormonal transformation caused by ingestion of chemical formula. As his body adjusted to its new form, Mr. Hyde's strength, stamina, durability, and resistance to physical injury all increase to superhuman levels. Hyde's powers are sufficient to stand toe to toe with the likes of Thor and survive. Through further experimental procedures over the years, his strength has been increased beyond its original limits. Mr. Hyde must ingest his special chemical formula periodically to maintain his ability to transform himself from one identity to the other at will; mental fatigue or injury can impair his ability to transform himself into Mr. Hyde.
Due to the nature of the transformation, Hyde's skin is warped. This gives his face a distorted look reminiscent of the Lon Chaney, Sr. make-up used in The Phantom of the Opera.
Dr. Calvin Zabo is a brilliant medical research scientist with a Ph.D. in medicine with extensive knowledge of biochemistry, although these skills are lost on his Hyde persona.
Age of Apocalypse
In the Age of Apocalypse timeline, Mr. Hyde, as well as the Cobra, is near-feral and a cannibal, known to prowl graveyards and attack anyone entering his territory.
Mr. Hyde appeared in the Elseworlds Batman/Daredevil crossover book. Two-Face partnered with Hyde for a series of technological robberies. In truth, Two-Face had implanted Hyde's brain with the material needed to "grow" an experimental "organic" computer chip, and fed Hyde pills to keep him enraged. Once grown, the chip would kill Hyde. Hyde berates Two-Face, proud he has abandoned his past as Zabo and insults Two-Face for hanging onto his Harvey Dent side, as well as using a coin to decide between right and wrong. Two-Face is glad the process will kill Hyde. In the end, Daredevil uses his past friendship with Dent to talk Two-Face into supplying the antidote for the chip, which saves Hyde's life.