Hawley Griffin (Invisible Man)

Waiting to have some official confirmation on the identity of other characters spotted in the Venom trailer, we go on with Levi‘s request, and we pic another main character from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: the Invisible Man, portrayed by Tony Curran. In the movie, his identity is Rodney Skinner, a talented thief who stole the formula from its creator, but finds himself incapable of returning to his original condition. Mischievous and sneaky as he may be, Skinner is not nearly as evil and megalomaniac as the Invisible Man from the comics, Hawley Griffin, whom he replaces due to the studios failing to obtain the rights from Universal. Griffin is nowhere as funny and pleasurable as Skinner, and he is, in fact, the scientist the thief steals the formula from in the movie, created by the pen of H. G. Wells. Let’s see together.

Hawley Griffin was a genius born, a brilliant man from London who studied optical density at university, while attending his medicine classes. Affected with albinism, Griffin grew to despise other people, believing they saw him as a freak, and he committed himself to prove their inferiority with his researches. Believing to be close to an extraordinary discovery, Griffin left university, fearing that his professor would have taken credit for his studies, and robbed his father to finance his research, leading the old man to suicide. Eventually, his efforts were rewarded with the invention of a formula capable of bending the light around a body, reducing its refracting index and making it invisible: he first experimented it on a poor guy he used as a guinea pig, and then on himself. As enthusiast as he was for his incredible discovery, Griffin failed to notice that he had no idea on how to reverse the process: after enjoying some time as a new breed of human being, he eventually moved to the town of Iping, concealing his invisibility with bandages and sun glasses, and worked in isolation on a cure… but the population simply distracted him too much, and when the owners of the pub he was living in came asking for money, he found himself “forced” to rob local Reverend Bunting. The police caught him, and he revealed his invisibility to the shocked village gathered there, and was able to escape. He found a new shelter in the town of Port Burdock, where the betrayal of his tramp assistant, Thomas Marvel, turned his latent misanthropy into complete folly. He found an old school mate, Kemp, and tried to enlist him to establish a new world order, a true “reign of terror”, but Kemp, terrified by his old friend, gathered a mob and hunted the Invisible Man down. As soon as they reached him, they beat Griffin to death, and his albino body became visible again, after death. This was the end of the story… maybe.

Actually, Hawley Griffin had always been accompanied by his first test subject, also an albino, and it was him, sacrificed by the psychotic scientist, the one killed by the angry mob. Leaving his half-wit assistant behind, Griffin escaped and was on the run for a while, until he found a proper shelter in Miss Rosa Coote‘s Correctional Academy for Wayward Gentlewomen. Here, Griffin lived in the abandoned wing of the huge mansion, and lived with what he could steal from the kitchen; as a bonus, he had dozens of young ladies he could rape whenever he wanted, and every time one of his victims got pregnant, the impossibility of the circumstances brought Coote and the others to blame the Holy Ghost for it… but after three “immaculate conceptions”, things started to become suspicious, even for Reverend Septimus Harding, who called for investigations. One night, as he was having his way with another girl, Pollyanna Whittier, Griffin was stopped by the unexpected intervention of two men: Allan Quaterman and Captain Nemo, who had been sent by the British Government to apprehend him. As he easily escaped the two agents, Griffin was exposed and knocked out by a third one he didn’t see, Mina Murray, who made him “visible” with some simple flour. Captured and brought to London, in the Secret Annexe of the British Museum, Hawley Griffin was quite surprised in realizing that he hadn’t been captured for imprisonment, but rather because MI5 needed his unique gifts: if he aided the Crown in a matter of utmost importance, he would have received in return full pardon for his past crimes, a small fortune and aid in the research of a cure. Much to his now teammates’ displeasure, Griffin accepted the offer, and became a member of the new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. This, however, didn’t make the Invisible Man any less a psychopath, as soon everybody would have realized…

Hawley Griffin is a full-fledged psychopath, a serial rapist and a murderer, who was an unbalanced misanthropist before his experiments, and became a raging maniac after them. As the Invisible Man, he is completely invisible to the human eye (only the human one, though, as Mr. Hyde is perfectly able to “see” him due to his sense of smell and perception of body heat); for that, he’s a crafty spy, perfectly able to conceal his presence even from expert spies the likes of James Moriarty. Just as dangerous as the ones he’s supposed to be hunting down, the treacherous and murderous Invisible Man is just a valuable asset as he is a constant threat, an unpredictable sociopath with no loyalty but to himself.

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