The last cartoon character to appear in 2005 in the movie Fantastic Four is Jimmy O’Hoolihan, played by Kevin McNattie. He only has a small part in the movie: He’s the doorman of the Baxter building and exchanges a few lines with Reed Richards when he gets home. In the comics his role is only slightly expanded and his name is Sergius, not Jimmy: His original name would probably have been strong for a few seconds. Let’s take a look together, as always.
Little is known about Sergius O’Houlihan, except that he was clearly of Irish descent (his accent soon became legendary) and that he lived in New York. He was the doorman of the Baxter Building, a skyscraper that would soon become famous as the home of the Fantastic Four, the world’s first family of superheroes: What, like many others, had been a job for decades suddenly became something astonishing for O’Hoolihan, who entered into a good relationship with all members of the FF and even came to see himself as part of the family, a feeling of reciprocity that the quartet evokes. He was proud that young Johnny Storm had found stability with his new girlfriend, the lovely Crystal, and was happy to meet her in the building when she came to visit her boyfriend. Although he has always seen miracles, he was only surprised once when a tall young man asked him to take a taxi to Alicia Masters: Sergius had no idea who the man was, nor when or how he had entered the building, but he complied; he certainly could not imagine talking to the rocky thing, for he returned to his human alter ego Ben Grimm, if only temporarily. Apparently it was all over when Mr Fantastic lost his powers and the press learned that the Fantastic Four had been disbanded: To save time for his friends, O’Houlihan instead spoke to reporters and told about the team’s adventures against Dr. Doom and other enemies, but reporters eventually saw Invisible Woman, Torch Man, The Thing, young Franklin Richards and his nanny Agatha Harkness and ran after them, despite Sergius’ attempts to draw attention to them. Fortunately, Mr. Fantastic’s condition is not irreversible, the team will regroup soon and Sergius will keep his privileged position in their lives.
Because he’s so close to the FF, it’s only a miracle that O’Houlihan was only in serious danger once. Among the many enemies the FFs have created over the years, the heroes could be the Magic, one of the most notorious criminal organizations in the United States: One of their bosses, Top Man, came up with a plan to get his hands on the Baxter building and he first focused on O’Houlihan, who managed to take his place as a bouncer. After beating Top Man and being sent to jail, Sergius O’Hoolihan was able to return to his seat, happy to serve again and be with his friends. The years that follow are quiet, and Sergius doubts only once about a beautiful young woman who calls him by name and asks him the way to the headquarters of FF; O’Houlihan answers instinctively, but later worries that she is some kind of super villain, and wonders how she can know his name. Luckily she was not a super villain and she often talked about aunt Petunia, who was very different from what Sergius had imagined. But all good things must come to an end, even for an eager young worker like Sergius: After years of accompanying the Fantastic Four, the moment of retirement has now arrived for him as well, even though he has postponed it as long as possible. The final impulse came from the least expected source, Christoff Vernard, formerly of Dr. Doom’s station, who launched a massive attack on the Fantastic Four destroying the Baxter building. The Baxter building was rebuilt shortly after and the Fantastic Four still use it as their home, but Sergius O’Houlihan decided to leave the original building, finally leaving a much more exciting and satisfying job than he had imagined years ago.
Sergius O’Houlihan is a pleasant, gentle and cheerful man, hardworking and a good friend to everyone around him. After sixteen years in the Baxter building, he considers himself part of the Fantastic Four family, and the characters admire him just as much. Beginning as a simple doorman, Sergius was introduced to a world of aliens, inhumans, miracles and wonders, an epic story in which he was a privileged spectator: for which he will always be grateful.
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