WANTED: Earth-Two's Most Dangerous Super-Villains
Occupation: Conqueror, Alternative life-form
First Appearance (Golden Age):Comic Cavalacde #5 (December 1943)
Nothing is known of the malevolent botanical species known as the Maldita Toxicohedron prior to his appearance in Keystone City in late 1943. Phineas Burton, a mild-mannered botanist and agrarian maintained a greenhouse on the outskirts of Keystone and in a standard shipment of exotic plants, received one he could not readily identify. Curious, he potted the strange plant and retired for the evening. The next morning, the strange vine had grown remarkably and when Burton expressed his surprise, he was further astonished when the plant telepathically spoke back. Moreover, the plant (identifying itself as the Maldita Toxicohedron) was demanding, requiring materials for even further growth. When Burton pleaded he lacked funds for that kind of purchase, the Toxicohedron ensnared him strangling vines and threatened him until he agreed to commit crimes. To assist him, the Maldita provided an extract to apply to other plants.
In the following days, Burton began delivering plants as gifts to specific targets. His first known visit was to the Industrial Trust Company, where he provided a pitcher plant laced with the extract to the guard. Returning to his plants, he found the three Jersey nitwits that followed the Flash examining the content of his van. One of them had been bitten by one of the plants and while Burton admonished the three, the pitcher plant had grown to monstrous size and taken on features of the Toxicohedron. It rampaged through the office and was beginning to eat the workers there until the timely arrival of the Flash, who rescued the staff and used an axe and high speed to dismember the plant. In the ensuing confusion, the other plants cleaned out the safe.
Over the next several days, more bizarre plant-based crimes
ensured. Back at the Burton Greenhouse,
the Maldita Toxicohedron had grown to enormous size, filling the room it was
housed in. Demanding even more, it
charged Burton with recruiting criminals to enact its goals and building a car
it could travel in.
In the meantime, the Flash has been recruited by the Mayor to solve the crimes and after a search through local records, he and the nitwits conclude that Phineas Burton is a person of interest. While the three tagalongs go to the Burton nursery, the Maldita has recruited gangsters and infected a gas plant, which they use to explode the Good Time Clock Factory, bringing the Flash to the rescue.
As the clock plant theft is thwarted, the Maldita quietly
watched the nitwits intrude and once they are inside, ensnares them with the
intention of killing them. Burton flees
rather than witness the carnage but the rapid arrival of the Flash free his
hapless fans and after a brief melee,
destroy the Toxicohedron. Burton
confesses his crimes but the Flash assures him of the mercy of justice under
Whether the Toxicohedron or some sprouts of it survived is unknown. Whether the Keystone Toxicohedron was in fact the parent plant or a sprout itself is unknown.
Powers and Abilities
The Maldita Toxicohedron is a unique lifeform of unknown origin. It possess enormous intelligence and will power for a plant, tho does not appear to be terribly technically savvy. It is able to secrete the essence of itself into a liquid form that confers strength, mobility and aggression to other plants, tho it is unclear if they assume it's intelligence. It could grow at enormous rates, increasing it's mass from a sapling to a form large enough to fill a green house in a small number of weeks. It's strength appears proportional to it's size. It's longevity and reproduction potential is unknown.
Weaknesses and Limitations
While enormous and able to project vines for considerable distances, it could not actually move. Also, it was not particularly invulnerable and once cornered by the Flash, fell victim to physical force in fairly short order.
No version of the Maldita Toxicohedron is known to exist in any timeline but Earth-Two.