In the 2015 comic book miniseries Secret Wars, Owen Reece, the Molecule Man, has a quirk where, despite being virtually omnipotent, he consistently asks the visitors coming to see him if they've brought him any food.

Molecule Man asking for food in "Secret Wars"

It's a peculiar sight—this immensely powerful being hitting up the likes of Doctor Doom, Spider-Men (Peter Parker and Miles Morales), and even the Reeds (Mr. Fantastic and the Maker) for a bite to eat. You'd think he could just whip up a meal with a snap of his fingers… (And does he even need to eat?)

The only one who actually had any food on them was Miles Morales, carrying a three-week-old burger in his pocket. He handed the questionable delicacy over to the Molecule Man, who eagerly devoured it.

As someone unfamiliar with the Molecule Man's extensive comic history, this bizarre obsession with receiving handouts of food has left me perplexed. Is there some deeper meaning or reference to his past that explains this bizarre obsession with snack handouts? 

  • 3
    That's very curious. When I read the comics about the Beyonder, Molecule Man never asked for food.
    – Clockwork
    Commented May 20 at 8:57
  • 3
    He's a cheapskate, always looking for a handout.
    – FreeMan
    Commented May 20 at 15:43
  • 1
    If he was a hipster, he would be happy with molecular gastronomy. Judging from his facial hair (or lack thereof), his man bag (or lack thereof), his coat worn like a cape (or lack thereof) and his choice of using a fixie for transportation (or lack thereof), he isn't a hipster.
    – Klaws
    Commented May 21 at 16:03

1 Answer 1


This may be a nod to that he has historically found food difficult to make (there are other times when he's done it effortlessly, but that's part of the character, that his competence varies wildly based on his state of mind and what the author remembers him doing).

Image from Avengers Volume 1, #216 where Molecule Man indicates to Tigra that he finds making food to be hard Click to enlarge

Presumably, sustenance by absorbing molecules is much less satisfying, so he's been craving real food.

  • 10
    I think i's an extension of the idea that he couldn't originally manipulate organic molecules. So he could animate a building, but couldn't knit together a hamburger. It was so they didn't have to deal with the idea that he could kill, or create life. firestorm had the same limitation, on and off. Commented May 20 at 19:29

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