Fin Fang Foom's History
Although once believed to be a native of the Valley of the Sleeping Dragon in China, Fin Fang Foom -- whose name, roughly translated, means "He Whose Limbs Shatter Mountains and Whose Back Scrapes the Sun" - is actually a Makluan, a shape-shifting alien being from the world of Kakaranthara, who resembles a somewhat anthropomorphic Chinese dragon. Foom and several other like-minded members of his race departed their peaceful homeworld centuries ago with the intention of conquering other planets. Landing in ancient China, the crew used their natural shape-shifting powers to mimic human form, intending to enter human society and bide their time before beginning their conquest. The navigator of the craft, Foom instead elected to serve as a "back-up" in case something went wrong, and was placed in a tomb and given a herb that would send him into a deep slumber, so that he might sleep while his fellows entered man's world.
Fin Fang Foom was somehow briefly awakened in the 8th Century, and returned to sleep through a second application of the herb. He consequently entered into Chinese legend, and a group of humans were placed as guards outside his tomb, passing the job on to their descendants. The surrounding region became known as the Valley of the Sleeping Dragon. Foom slept until the year 1961, when he was deliberately awakened by teenager Chen Liuchow, whose homeland was under threat from the Communist Chinese. Liuchow taunted Foom with the threat of the herb, goading the dragon into chasing him, and led him straight into the Communist camp, which Foom decimated. Liuchow subsequently led him back into his tomb, where the herb returned Foom to his sleep.
At some point, the sleeping Fin Fan Foom was captured by the Elder of the Universe known as the Collector and imprisoned in his subterranean collection of monsters. Foom and the other monsters were liberated when the Mole Man attacked the facility, but were later rounded up by the recently-formed Fantastic Four and deposited on Monster Isle. The island had no real security measures, however, and Foom, being more intelligent than his fellow monster, simply departed the island and returned to his hibernation. Outside forces again acted upon him as the madman called Doctor Vault took mental control of Foom and had him attack It the Living Colossus. Resiting control, Foom instead helped It fend off an invasion of Earth by the alien race called the Stonians, thus saving the planet for his own race to later conquer. Vault's mind control again briefly forced Foom to battle It, and Foom overpowered his opponent with martial arts before freeing his mind and returning to his tomb yet again.
Years later, Fin Fang Foom was again roused from his slumber when his body was possessed by the demon Aan Taanu. Combating the group of occult adventurers known as the Legion of the Night in New York, Taanu was exorcised from Foom's body by his opponents, and the confused Foom once again escaped to his resting place.
At some point the villainous Mandarin was directed to the Valley of the Sleeping Dragon by the starship captain Axonn-Karr, in the human guise of Chen Hsuin. There the Mandarin ransacked the starship for artifacts, including his now-signature rings of power. He also awoke Fin Fang Foom, using him to threaten the Chinese government. Iron Man quickly confronted the villains and was defeated, but when the remaining dozen other Makluans shed their human forms to begin their conquest, Iron Man and the Mandarin combined forces to combat the threat. Ultimately the Mandarin combined the power of his rings with Iron Man's armor, yielding a small nuclear blast which wiped the aliens out.
This was not, however, the end of Fin Fang Foom. Though his body was destroyed, his spirit endured by bonding itself to a small dragon statue. This statue was later stolen from a curio shop by teenager Billy Yuan at Foom's mental urging. Using Yuan's body as a conduit for his power, Foom summoned thousands of lizards from the sewers beneath New York, merging them with Billy's body to recreate his own form. Iron Man was successfully able to defeat him, however, with some help from the last remnants of Billy's mind within Foom's own, and he was taken into the custody of Sunset Bain. Legal complications resulted in Foom being exiled to Monster Isle once again, where he and several other monsters briefly battled the dimensionally-displaced Justice League of America.
Shortly after this, Thor was heard to claim that the Hall of Bones on Asgard was crafted from the skeleton of Fin Fang Foom, who he professed to have slain. This is actually probably a form of the Midgard Serpent, whom Thor also fought, and who has also taken a form similar to that of Fin Fang Foom.
Having spent some time rethinking his role in the world, Foom had become a follower of Buddhism, and, with the rest of his crew gone, he decided to reform. He willfully entered into a rehabilitation program spearheaded by Reed Richards, in which he and three other monsters - the robot Elektro, the giant ape Gorgilla, and the alien Googam - were shrunk down to human size, hypnotically stripped of their powers, and allowed to enter human society. Taking up a job as head chef in a Chinese restaurant within the Baxter Building, Foom later teamed up with the other monsters to defeat the microverse's size-changing warlord, Tim Boo Baa. For a time the four were celebrated as minor heroes.
The special anti-terrorism Nextwave Squad recently encountered Foom again, however, while investigating a dig conducted by the sinister Beyond Corporation in Abcess, North Dakota. Foom, considerably less intelligent than in past encounters, was eventually killed when Machine Man Aaron Stack, cut his way out of the creature after being swallowed. Given the Beyond Corporation's fondness for replicas in their extensive, unusual arsenal, some question remains as to whether this was the true Foom or some duplicate.
It appears to have been a duplicate, as Foom later appears along with several other Dragons and Pet Avengers.