Central Rogues Gallery
Alter Ego: Lester (surname unknown)
Notable Aliases: Benjamin Poindexter ("official name"), Lester Jangles, Leonard McClain, Daredevil, Punisher, Hawkeye, Bulls, Ronin
First Appearance: Daredevil (Vol. 1) #131 (March, 1976)
Similarly to the distinguished competition's Joker, Bullseye's true origin isn't known, and his Multiple-Choice Past is part of the character's appeal. In the past, he has answered to the names Lester, Leonard, and Benjamin Poindexter, but none of them have ever truly been established as his real one. Instead, he is defined by his trademark skill: the ability to use anything as a projectile weapon.
He is also well-known as one of Daredevil's most frequent rogues, often antagonizing the Man Without Fear. He infamously killed both Elektra and Karen Page — two of Daredevil's most prominent love interests. After the Skrull invasion of Earth, he even (briefly) became the "new" Hawkeye, as part of Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers.
Bullseye has appeared in the following works:
Notable Comic Books
- Daredevil (Various Runs)
- Bullseye: Greatest Hits (2004 — 2005)
- Dark Avengers (Vol. 1) (2009 — 2010)
- The Punisher MAX (Vol. 2) (2010 — 2011)
- Bullseye (Vol. 1) (2017)
- The Punisher (1990)
- Spider-Man vs. the Kingpin (1991)
- The Punisher (2005), voiced by Steven Blum
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance (2006), voiced by Peter Lurie
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (2009), voiced by Brian Bloom
- Marvel: Avengers Alliance (2012)
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (2013), voiced by Dave Boat
- Marvel Puzzle Quest (added in 2014)
- Marvel Future Fight (2015)
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 (2017)
- Abusive Parents: One of the few constants to his Multiple-Choice Past is that one or both of his parents beat him when he was a kid. Another constant is that they stopped doing it because he murdered them.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: He's a complicated equivalent to DC's Deadshot. Deadshot came first by publication date but looked and acted nothing liks his modern incarnation and would go on a hiatus for a long time. A few decades later, Bullseye made his debut and established himself as Daredevil's Cold Sniper Arch-Enemy and a few years later, Deadshot would come back and fill the same niche to Batman as Bullseye did to Daredevil. So Deadshot ultimately came first but it's arguable that he might not have come back at all in his modern form if Bullseye wasn't created and found success in being the comic book bad guy with near-perfect aim.
- And I Must Scream: As of Daredevil 27, he's blind as well as totally paralyzed. He has lost all five senses and is now, in the words of Daredevil, "a living brain in a flesh and bone coffin." He has gotten better thanks to the Hand.
- Anti-Hero Substitute: To Hawkeye during his time in the Dark Avengers.
- Arch-Enemy: While Murdock and Fisk have drifted into Worthy Opponent territory at times, only pure hatred will ever exist between Murdock and Bullseye.
- Archnemesis Dad: His father was a horribly abusive and corrupt NSA agent who a young Bullseye tried to kill by setting their home on fire. Bullseye's father survived the fire, so Bullseye tried to kill him again decades later after tracking him down to a NSA black site prison, but the father survived (again) and escaped and came back looking for revenge in Dark Reign: Hawkeye.
- Asshole Victim: Murdered by Daredevil the same way he killed Elektra in Shadowland. He came back, but see And I Must Scream above. He has since been healed, thanks to the Hand.
- Ax-Crazy: One of the single most psychotic characters in the MU. Even being doped out on anti-psychotics didn't do much, if anything, to curb his homicidal sadism.
- Badass Biker: An element from his film appearance filtered its way into the comics.
- Badass Boast: He gives a brief but effective one before he kills Elektra.Put up...pretty good fight, toots...You're pretty good...But me...I'm magic.
- Badass Longcoat: In his modern appearances.
- Back from the Dead: Lady Bullseye resurrected him and he returned to seek revenge on Daredevil.
- Bald of Evil: Currently, now with a bonus bullseye that was once tattooed but is now scarred onto his forehead.
- Card-Carrying Villain: He even states that his childhood ambition was "to be the bad guy." And then there's the fact that he enjoys his Ax-Crazy psychopathy.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: While weaker than Daredevil, he is actually quite close to him in strength, and at times has showings like neck lifting people easily with one hand and breaking their necks, and impaling them with him fingers, or impaling a Swat helmet with a truncheon, in addition to throwing his improvised weapons with extreme piercing power.
- Combat Pragmatist: Bullseye does not fight fair and uses any dirty trick he has to to win as well as use whatever is in his vicinity as a weapon.
- Crazy-Prepared: The two issue comic Bullseye: Perfect Game showed that Bullseye can go to ridiculous extremes in preparing for a job. A job required him to go undercover as a baseball player, so he hired Satana to make his soul look different in case Doctor Strange or some other magic user was in the audience and he hired Taskmaster to teach him how to move and even pitch differently.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: He had tremendous potential as an athlete and baseball player due to his expert marksmanship, but his psychopathic nature came out and he killed a player. He actually does make a lot of money as an assassin, but he never spends any of it (He believes he may have more money than Norman Osborn from his jobs).
- Deadpan Snarker: On a good day or when he is hanging out with Deadpool, otherwise he is more psychotic than deadpan.
- Death Dealer: One of Bullseyes more common weapons are playing cards.
- Dirty Coward: Beneath his sadism and psychopathy, Bullseye is ultimately this. American Eagle pointed out that hes only fought against Daredevil and killed anyone weaker than him or who couldnt fight back because he knows hell get his ass kicked if he fights anyone stronger. He also devolves into panic when at a disadvantage or when Matt finally lashes out and abandons his restraint. When Daredevil blocks all his shots in Chip Zdarskys run, Bullseye instantly flees.
- The Dragon: To Kingpin. note
- The Dreaded: Everyone is frightened of him and with good reason. At the start of Brubaker's run, he is transferred from the Raft to Ryker's Island. Absolutely everyone in Ryker's — even a guard and a prisoner in the middle of a savage brawl — drops what they're doing and stares blankly in horror when they find out."I know something is wrong that morning, because a silence spreads through the prison. It starts at the transfer gate and then moves through the cell blocks, level by level... No matter where they are, slowly all the convicts in Rykers stop what they're doing... They stop yelling, they stop playing ball, they stop hurting each other... They just stop. But their pulses start racing. That's how I know that Bullseye had come to Rykers."
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: In the "Shadowland" arc. He got better.
- Empowered Badass Normal: He is at the absolute peak of human physicality and possesses astonishing skill with weapons, but had no real powers until part of his skeleton was laced with adamantium. However, the emphasis here is on normal, and he knows it. He is, as American Eagle put it before beating him into paralysis, a cowardly piece of crap who is very careful to avoid opponents who are out of his weight class. Daredevil and the Punisher are pretty much the upper limit of what he can safely handle. You won't see him going after any of the heavy hitters in the Marvel Universe.
- Enemy Mine: Forced to team up with Matt when the two of them and Fisk stage a breakout from Ryker's in Brubaker's run. Neither he nor Matt is happy about it.
- Evil Counterpart: One of the most iconic examples of this to Daredevil, if not the main one. He's a crazed killer with nearly perfect aim, contrasting the blind hero with superhuman senses. In addition, Daredevil himself is not immune to feeling a little crazy from time to time.
- Evil Cripple: Since coming back, he has been confined to an iron lung. Eventually, it gets even worse. Then in the third volume of Elektra's book, he got completely better.
- Evil Versus Evil: His own limited series has him bringing down a Colombian drug cartel led by a Bad Boss drug lord with a penchant for torture.
- Extremity Extremist: When not resorting to his usual Improbable Weapon User tricks, his fighting style mostly consists of kicking. Presumably this is because kicking leaves his hands free to grab a potential weapon.
- Faux Affably Evil: He usually has a mockingly polite tone, especially when dealing with Matt.
- Foil: Post "Shadowland", he becomes one to Daredevil himself. While DD has all senses and capabilities but his sight, Bullseye has only his sight left, stuck inside of an iron lung and can only watch everything before him. And then he loses even that, until the Hand comes in to fix him up.
- For the Evulz: Bullseye is a paid mercenary and earns a sizable fee for his murders.... But he recently revealed he barely ever spends it since he'd rather spend his time killing even more people. He even states that he's gotten so much cash over the years for his various jobs he's probably richer than Norman Osborn.
- Once it's even established that one of the reasons why his services are so sought out by the criminal underworld is because he kills so many people "off duty" that it's next to impossible for the police to discern whether his latest victim was a hired hit or not.
- Freudian Excuse: His parents were abusive drunks. When Matt finds out, he uses it to taunt him in a fight and throw him off.
- Genius Bruiser: He's fiendishly intelligent and an excellent planner to the point of being The Chessmaster when he's motivated enough. For example, he once fired on Daredevil with a revolver which he then discarded after one shot. When Karen Page thinks she has an advantage and tries to shoot him, he reveals that it intentionally only contained one round. Furthermore, he's also a very adept hand-to-hand combatant, which has caught more than a few people by surprise.
Bullseye: What was done to me was not a setback, but a gift. When my body could move, could feel, I was merely a weapon. Now my mind has been freed. To do nothing but think and plot and plan.
- The "Genius" portion gets heavily emphasized and lampshaded in during the post-"Shadowland" arc when Bullseye is resurrected as a deaf, mute, and immobile invalid bound to an iron lung and an electronic voice box. He instead uses his devious mind and planning to make Matt's life a living hell and make "The Man without Fear" terrified for his life.
- Given Name Reveal: His real name was conclusively established as being Lester (which was previously indicated to just be his go-to alias) in Dark Reign: Hawkeye.
- Hate Sink: A psychopathic murderer with little-to-no redeeming qualities.
- Iconic Sequel Character: It can be easy to forget that Bullseye not only debuted a decade after Daredevil but he wasn't even created by Stan Lee (his creator is Marv Wolfman).
- Improbable Aiming Skills: They don't call him "Bullseye" for nothing. Certain heroes, primarily Daredevil, do give him trouble in this department however.
- Improvised Weapon: Things that Bullseye has used as weapons include, but are by no means limited to, playing cards, paperclips, toothpicks, paper airplanes, golf balls, peanuts, and several of his own teeth.
- Improbable Weapon User: Listing all the things he can kill you with would take up this entire page. To quote when he was in prison once:Bullseye: ... Instead of a toilet, I got this little hole in the floor—which could be a problem, except they got me on a liquid diet... and a lotta laxatives. See, they're afraid that if I have a solid bowel movement, I might just kill somebody with it. And I would, too... if for no other reason than just to say that I did. Because I'm like that.
- Kick the Dog: Where to even begin? In the interest of saving time, we'll only mention his murder of a church full of nuns and Karen Page in Kevin Smith's run. In general, acts of sadistic cruelty are pretty much the only reason Bullseye does what he does.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Bullseye may be crazy, but he's not stupid. He knows when it's time to retreat. He was also was the one to tell Osborn that his plan to invade Asgard was insane.
- Logical Weakness: Because he never misses his shots, there will be specific areas he will aim at and if he barrages projectiles, it will have a specific pattern to it. Matt points this out and uses it to block a barrage of bullets he fired. Seeing how easily Matt can predict his attacks now, Bullseye wisely cuts and runs.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Ask him for his backstory and he'll give a different story each time. The only thing that ever remains consistent any time he talks about his past is that he had Abusive Parents, that he kills his parents, and that he was a baseball player before becoming a Killer for Hire.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: He's been on the receiving ends of some absolutely devastating ones from Matt. In Bendis' run not only does he beat him nearly to death, but carves a bullseye symbol into his head and gives him a vicious "The Reason You Suck" Speech. This was when Bullseye tried to kill Milla and caught Matt at the end of his tether.
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Bullseye is known to turn down jobs if he thinks killing the target will be too easy or simply no fun at all. This trope is also the reason why he quit playing baseball — because his skills made the game too easy.
- Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: He's extremely dangerous to civilians and street level heroes but not to anyone above that level, a fact he is aware of and why he almost exclusively sticks to that level.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Has used the alias "Ben Poindexter" numerous times, but we've never found out his real name. He does respond to "Lester," but it's unknown if this his name or a frequent alias.
- Pet the Dog: In what is probably his only instance of this, Bullseye was shown to be genuinely broken up over Deadpool's death in "Funeral For a Freak." Their Vitriolic Best Buds relationship is later given a more in-depth showcase during Dark Reign.
- Not Wearing Tights: He originally wore the blue spandex costume pictured above. In more recent years, however, he has donned a costume based on his appearance in the film, consisting of motorcycle clothes, a trenchcoat, and a bullseye symbol on his forehead. He'll still use his costume depending on the story.
- Practically Joker: With his insanity, sadism, Multiple-Choice Past and very personal attacks on Daredevil who is often considered the Marvel Universe's answer to Batman, he's considered Marvel's answer to the Joker.
- Pragmatic Villain: One of the Marvel Universe's most triumphant examples. While Bullseye is a sociopath, he lacks the delusions of grandeur and lofty ambitions that crop up in his employers like Norman Osborn or Wilson Fisk, and sticks exclusively to his interest in murdering people for money. As mentioned elsewhere on this page, he cautiously avoids fighting anyone outside his weight class, and when his job starts to take him places that are clearly outside his pay grade, he'll happily bail. This can make him often more dangerous than his employers, since he knows when to lay low if that'll get the job done, and never making the classic supervillain mistake of letting his reach exceed his grasp.
- Professional Killer: Probably the best assassin in the Marvel Universe.
- Psycho for Hire: At one point, he reveals that he has spent basically none of the money he has made from his assassinations over the years. Money is just a handy way to keep score.
- Sadist: To the point where he'll still murder and torture people even when he's not on the job.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: He will find you even if it takes him to the ends of the earth.
- Self-Made Orphan: Details about where and when vary, but he does often state how he murdered his parents.
- Slasher Smile: Almost his default expression
- The Sociopath: The most obvious example among Daredevil's rogues, with his short temper, need to hurt people, and malignantly antisocial behaviour.
- Villainous Crush: Varies on writer, but Bullseye seems to have an attraction to Elektra since her resurrection.
- Villain with Good Publicity: When he was "Hawkeye" of the Dark Avengers.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Deadpool. He has admitted that Deadpool is the only person he likes, and he even attended his funeral and mourned him in secret. They're still perfectly okay with the idea of killing each other, though they tend to have more fun doing it to each other than anybody else.
- Would Hurt a Child: And has.
Alter Ego: Carl Burbank
First Appearance: Daredevil #249
A priest who abandoned his vows after the drug related deaths of his parishioners, Carl Burbank volunteered for a CIA experiment that replaced his skin with a malleable plastic that can stretch into a variety of shapes. After performing an unspecified amount of covert operations, Burbank went freelance, anticipating a lucrative market in using his skills to take out mutant and superhuman targets.
- Ax-Crazy: Openly admits that he has violent urges and likes to hurt people.
- Arm Cannon: Can transform his right arm into a giant gun.
- Body Horror: His transformation ability is shown graphically in Immortal Hulk with panels showing the process of the transformations. Then there's him being absorbed by a gamma-enhanced Hulk.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Looks like a bio-mechanical monstrosity, though some of his injuries also have a hand in that.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Disfigured after a fight with Wolverine.
- Fantastic Plastic: Is armored with a material called plastic that is both highly durable yet malleable enough to be shaped into weapons on the spot.
- Fantastic Racism: Against Mutants.
- The Fundamentalist: At times.
- Made of Iron: Plastic, actually, but it's helped him survive numerous encounters with the Punisher, so whatever works.
- Morality Pet: His wife, Marilyn, was one, before she saw the monster he truly was and left him.
- Psycho for Hire: Has worked for Baron Zemo, Kingpin, and the Hood.
- Rogue Agent: Was originally a CIA agent, before going rogue and becoming a freelance assassin.
- Sanity Slippage: After a trip to Hell in Immortal Hulk, he became more unstable and forgoes instantly killing Bruce. He wanted to instead torture him while rambling about how he would punish Bruce.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Can turn his arm into any weapon he wants, but usually goes this route.
- The Starscream: Becomes this to Kingpin during Civil War II.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Bullseye.
- You Are What You Hate: He at some point discovered that the CIA didn't alter him much beyond activating his dormant X-Gene. He took this revelation surprisingly well despite being an ardent mutant hater, and now believes that he was born to kill rather than built to kill.
Alter Ego: Philip Wallace Sterling
Notable Aliases: The Exterminator
First Appearance: Daredevil Vol. 1 #39
Phil Sterling began his career as The Exterminator, using his time displacement blaster to "disintegrate" victims without actually killing them. After falling victim to his own technology, Sterling became trapped in the void between realities, but was able to manifest in our reality as a phantom-like figure.
- Avenging the Villain: His mom tried to avenge his death, by luring Daredevil to a house filled with death traps.
- Intangibility: He was trapped in a dimension partially connected to Earth's dimension, and while naturally invisible and immaterial, could become visible and intangible, invisible and tangible, or visible and tangible for a few hours at a time.
- Killed Off for Real: In the last fight with Daredevil in a cemetery. Unable to overcome Death-Stalker's superior abilities, Daredevil knocked out the nearby street light, thus enclosing the cemetery in darkness. Fighting blindly, Death-Stalker dematerialized, unknowingly fell into a tombstone, and materialized while his waist was still intersecting with the tombstone. The impact cut Death-Stalker in half, killing him instantly. He is notable for being one of the very few Marvel super villains to actually stay dead!
- Legacy Character: A female Death-Stalker showed up working for the Purple Man, but her identity is unknown.
- Revenge Before Reason: Became obsessed with killing Daredevil after an accident left him "out of phase" with our dimension, giving him his powers, but cutting him off the rest from the rest of the world.
- Rich Boredom: Originally became a super villain because he was rich and bored.
- Science Versus Magic: Because of his spooky motif, he also fought the Ghost Rider and Doctor Strange; strangely, he could actually see Strange's astral form, suggesting that his powers were not entirely science-based.
- Touch of Death: His "cybernetic death-grip" device, stolen from AIM, was worn in his gloves, which emitted a dose of microwave radiation when activated by mental command, crippling or killing (depending on the duration of contact) any living creature in contact with it. This self-described "touch of death" energy has been described as microwaves, but seems to have properties of both lightning and truly intense cold.
- You Have Failed Me: Had a habit of killing any underling who lost a fight to Daredevil; at one point, DD let one of his goons go, knowing the Death-Stalker would just murder the man in his prison cell.
Alter Ego: Maxwell Dillon
Notable Aliases: "Sparky", Guillermo's Lapdog
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man #9 (February 1964)
Max Dillon was a human mutate who developed the power to manipulate electricity after a freak accident. Dillon decided to use these powers for personal gain, becoming the costumed supervillain Electro. Though powerful, his lack of ambition or imagination, coupled with extreme neuroses, generally tend to keep him from becoming anything more than a super-powered thug. Traditionally a foe of Spider-Man, Electro has the distinction of being the first super-powered villain that Daredevil has ever faced. Unsurprisingly, Electro harbors a grudge against the "normal" hero that was "lucky" enough to beat him.
For more information, see here.
Alter Ego: Melvin Potter
First Appearance: Daredevil Vol. 1 #18
A chemically unbalanced man who suffers from occasional various psychotic episodes. Sometimes they take the form of a delusion that he is an ancient Roman gladiator (or at least one as viewed through the lens of modern pop culture). Melvin Potter has been an ally and enemy of Daredevil depending on the state of his sanity, and whether he is taking his medication. Normally a non-violent individual, Melvin is easily manipulated by those who can persuade him that they serve the same "emperor" that he does.
- Anti-Villain: Gladiator's not evil, just insane and easily manipulated.
- Ax-Crazy: When he's in his Gladiator persona.
- Bald of Evil: Has a shaved head and he's an enemy of Daredevil.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: As part of his costume. It features both buzzsaw blades and sword blades.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: After Melvin is exposed to Mr. Fear's chemicals, he experiences one of the worst psychotic breaks of his life.
- Break the Cutie: Poor gentle Melvin suffers another mental break down after being manipulated by both Alexander Bont and Mr. Fear.
- The Brute: When he was a villain, he often worked as muscle for other villains.
- Clothes Make the Superman: A firm believer of this. In his first appearance, he rants that all it takes to be a superhero or supervillain is a good costume, and became the Gladiator to prove this.
- Cool Helmet: Even if it's more primitive in design than the actual gladiator helmets, it still looks pretty threatening.
- Dumb Muscle: Melvin is not especially bright (at least when off his meds) and can be easily tricked by those who understand his mania.
- Gentle Giant: Right after being cured of his insanity, Melvin was psychologically unable to attack others, even if his own life was being threatened.
- HeelFace Turn: After being treated for his insanity, Melvin quit being a villain and became a tailor.
- Lightning Bruiser: Big, strong, fast, agile, and well-trained, Melvin's a physical match for Daredevil when deep in his Gladiator persona.
- The Mentally Disturbed: Melvin used to have psychotic episodes where he thought he was a Roman Gladiator. He suffers from serious delusions, triggered by a chemical imbalance. These are worsened when he gets a dose of Mister Fear's gas during Brubaker's run.
- One-Steve Limit: Shares codename with Kallark, the leader of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard.
- Psycho for Hire: As the Gladiator.
- Redemption Failure: The ultimate result of Alexander Bont's and Mr. Fear's manipulations. Melvin's original HeelFace Turn is undone after Melvin is forced back into a life of crime by Bont threatening his family and Mr. Fear driving him insane with his fear chemicals.
- Unwitting Pawn: Of Mister Fear. Melvin doesn't even realize he's working for him.
Alter Ego: Jonathan Powers
Notable Aliases: John Powers
First Appearance: Daredevil Vol. 1 #42
Jonathan Powers wanted to be an actor, but lack of natural talent, combined with a ridiculously high opinion of himself, made him a laughingstock of the industry. Powers assumed the mantle of the costumed criminal Jester to seek revenge on all who mocked him.
- Attention Whore: He mainly commits crimes to get attention.
- Classically-Trained Extra: Jester thinks of himself as this, having got a role in Cyrano de Bergerac which was panned by critics, after which he couldn't get any roles besides being a side kick on a kid's show. However, it's a bit of a subversion in that Jester has no real talent as an actor and refused to take acting lessons.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: It seems like he may have been successful as an actor if he had just taken acting lessons in the first place, which would have negated his reason for becoming a super villain.
- Demonic Possession: In the Dealogue story, he allows himself to be host to a demon, gaining great strength in the process. When the demon leaves him, Powers is apparently left comatose.
- Frameup: In his civilian guise as Jonathan Powers, he stages his own murder at the hands of Daredevil. However, Daredevil clears his name by defeating and then unmasking the Jester on live television, demonstrating that his "victim" was still alive.
- Happy Harlequin Hat: Would he be a jester without one?
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Retired from crime for a while in the 80s. It didn't last and he became a villain again in the early 2000s.
- He Really Can Act: An In-Universe example. He apparently swallowed his pride and took acting lessons at some point, because he pulled off a mesmerizing Cyrano performance in Daredevil #218. It was so good, not only did Daredevil impersonate him to keep the police from arresting him, he voluntarily turned himself in once he was finished.
- High Hopes, Zero Talent: He wanted to be an actor and trained at everything from acrobatics to swordsmanship to juggling. What he really needed was acting lessons, which he refused to take because he was sure he was a natural talent. His auditions and performances were so bad that the only work he could get was being hit with pies on a kiddie show. That said, he apparently did swallow his pride and take lessons at some point, since he also pulled off at least one amazing performance as Cyrano de Bergerac.
- Killed Off for Real: During Civil War II, Powers apparently retires from his former role until he is arrested as part of an entrapment operation set up by undercover police officers despite the fact that all he was doing was talking about his old days rather than actually planning a crime. Despite She-Hulk making a passionate argument about the need to believe in redemption and not condemn someone for their thoughts, Powers is sent to prison where he is stabbed during a riot a couple of days later.
- Killed Offscreen How his death in Civil War II was handled.
- Killer Yo-Yo: His favorite weapon. A yo-yo with a weighted knob and steel cable which emits earsplitting sounds when whirled at high speed.
- Legacy Character: Jonathan was the first of several costumed criminals to use the identity of the Jester.
- Manipulative Bastard: In all three of the multi-issue story arcs he's had in Daredevil, he's proven to be an expert media manipulator capable of framing anyone for anything.
- Modern Major General: Took lessons in fencing and acrobatics to improve his acting career, but didn't take acting lessons.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Mark Waid turned him from a campy C-List villain to a scheming, sociopathic mastermind who loves fooling society into tearing itself apart and takes huge pleasure in torturing Matt when he can.
- Practically Joker: Expy of The Joker, but more silly and less dangerous.
- The Prima Donna: Male example. He was a struggling actor with a huge ego who finally got his lead break as the leading character in an off-Broadway revival of Cyrano de Bergerac that end in a flop and Powers was fired after one performance. He turned down suggestions that he take actual acting classes, insisting that he already had more raw acting talent than anyone who'd ever lived. Still, Powers was only able to find employment as a stooge in a children's television show taped in New York and this led to him becoming a criminal.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: The clothes he wears are purple and green.
- Small Name, Big Ego: He was convinced he was the greatest actor who ever lived even without any lessons, but the audiences and critics begged to differ. He also vastly overestimates his threat level as a villain.
- Troll: He's proven himself an expert at spreading fake news even in a pre-Internet age, albeit using the kind of technology you could only find in superhero comics.
- Villainous Harlequin: He wears and act like a classic jester. He used a variety of modified toys and gimmicks as weapons.
Alter Ego: Wilson Fisk
Notable Aliases: The Brainwasher
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #50 (July, 1967)
- Kingpin: The reason you and your brethren in the Federal Bureau of Investigation are always and forever unsuccessful in your pursuits... is that you do not understand, or refuse to admit to yourselves, how badly a city like this needs men... like me. Not wants. Needs. This city was literally built by my people. Brick by blood soaked brick. And decade after decade the city tells you, screams at you, that it cannot function financially without men... just like me. The city is structured socially, politically, economically around us. Through us. Because of us. What I am telling you is that when you finally do understand this... your life will become a lot less stressful.Agent: Wow. You really are as arrogant a fat #$%@ as they say.Kingpin: I really am.
Growing up poor and bullied, Wilson Fisk drove himself to become stronger, more powerful, and more ruthless than everyone around him, eventually becoming deeply involved in organised crime. Starting out as a bodyguard for Don Rigalotto, Fisk murdered his boss and seized control of the don's empire for himself, expanding his reach until he controlled almost the entirety of New York's underside. He has known who is under Daredevil's mask for a long time, and regularly uses that information to try and ruin Matt Murdock's life.
Alter Ego: Vincent Patilio
First Appearance: Daredevil Vol. 1 #25
A former toy inventor, Vincent Patilio set out to make some money by embarking on a criminal career after he created a pair of electrically-powered jumping coils. Encountering Daredevil, Spider-Man, and Iron Man, a string of comically embarrassing defeats soon followed, which caused him to retire eventually.
- Abusive Parent: Subverted. Vincent Patilio is actually a good father and kind towards his son Eugene.
- Bungling Inventor: Patilio thought he was a Gadgeteer Genius but most of his inventions did not work well, which is why he turned to crime in the first place; even his Leap-Frog suit was not very impressive.
- Butt-Monkey: Patilio was so lame, even Silt-Man looked down on him.
- HeelFace Turn: Patilio eventually retired from crime and his son is a D-list super hero.
- Harmless Villain: Patilio
- In a Single Bound: The Leap-Frog gave superior jumping abilities to those who wore it.
Alter Ego: Buford Lange
First Appearance: Daredevil Vol. 1 #25
Buford Lange, an abusive father, found an abandoned Leap-Frog costume, adopted the persona and began robbing small-time businesses. Lange managed to be even more of a loser than his predecessor though, as he got electrocuted by his own autistic son and fell from a rooftop to his death.
Alter Ego: William Taurens
First Appearance: Daredevil Vol. 1 #78
Taurens, under the nickname Bull Taurus, was a legbreaker for Emil Borgdsky, who Taurens knew as "Mr. Kline". Kline sent Bull to round up people to be used as test subjects for an experimental serum (taken from bulls) made by one of Kline's clients, the Professor. Bull and his crew were thwarted by Daredevil, and as punishment for his failure, Bull became a guinea pig for the serum, which turned him into a human bull. Using his newfound strength, Bull sought revenge on Daredevil, but has occasionally also clashed with Iron Man and the Fantastic Four.
- Beast Man: Man-Bull eventually began to turn savage; he lost the power of speech, sprouted a tail, and grew more inhuman.
- The Beastmaster: Taurens has displayed the ability to mentally command bulls and other bovine animals when he becomes Man-Bull.
- Big Eater: He has to eat several times as much as an ordinary man. His diet must also include large amounts of proteins.
- The Brute: Man-Bull's mutation actually decreased his already limited intellect. It caused him to go feral for a while, to the point where he was wandering the wilderness attacking cattle and became a glorified attack beast for the Frightful Four.
- Dumb Muscle: He's not very bright, but strong like a bull.
- Horn Attack: He has a set of horns which he can use as weapons.
- I Just Want to Be Normal
- I'm a Humanitarian: A really weird subversion in that it was his bull side that technically became cannibalistic. When his mutation decreased his intellect and made him go feral, he started wandering rural America and then butchering and eating cattle to survive. He degenerated to the point that even The Incredible Hulk refused to kill him and said that letting him live would be the worst punishment he could suffer.
- Later, during the period when the Emerald Warlock transformed him into a proper Minotaur, he became this for real.
- Made of Iron: His dense flesh gives him a high degree of resistance to physical and energy attacks.
- Not Quite Dead: While apparently killed during Hunted, he later reappears alive at Ravencroft Institute.
- Our Minotaurs Are Different: He's been turned into a humanoid minotaur.
- Super Strength: The serum almost triples Taurus body mass. It also increases the robustness, endurance and efficiency of his muscles, skeleton and other tissues—allegedly by a factor of 20.
- Super Toughness: His entire skin is thick and callused. Between that and his muscles, he could ignore Daredevils punches and center-of-mass .45 ACP impacts.
- Took a Level in Badass: When the Emerald Warlock enhanced him (apparently just for the hell of it) and let him wander Santorini, he was a full-blown Minotaur capable of taking on everything the Greek army could throw at him, including killing their national superhero. Eventually the Scarlet Witch stripped him of those powers, leaving him Driven to Suicide.
Alter Ego: Frank Farnum
First Appearance: Daredevil #16
Criminal with powerful Opti-Blasts that can temporarily blind a person.
- Alliterative Name: Like many other characters associated with Daredevil.
- Not Quite Dead: Like nearly every villain that was apparently killed by the Punisher when he blew up the Bar with No-Name, he turned up alive later, having his stomach pumped and being treated for third degree burns.
- Purple Is Powerful: Well, he at least survived being killed by The Punisher and his suit is purple.
Alter Ego: Manuel Eloganto
First Appearance: Daredevil Vol. 1 #5
A matador banned from the sport of bullfighting in his native Spain for unsportsmanlike conduct, Manuel came to America to try his hand at being a dashing supervillain. Because no one in the United States knew about his shame, he was able to pass himself off as a Gentleman Thief until Daredevil exposed him. Never a particularly effective villain, he eventually retired.
- Dashing Hispanic: Matador is a trained bullfighter and a skilled swordsman.
- Harmless Villain: His early track record against Daredevil was actually pretty decent, but it didn't take him long to turn into a lightning rod for beatings and swift defeats.
- Retired Monster
- Toros y Flamenco: Deliberately played up the stereotype of the Spanish matador.
- Villain with Good Publicity: In his first appearance, the Matador presented himself as a Just Like Robin Hood Gentleman Thief, gaining the admiration of the New York City public. Daredevil was eventually able to defeat him and show the Matador for the Jerkass he was.
Mister Fear III
Alter Ego: Larry Cranston
First Appearance: Daredevil Vol. 2 #88
A college mate of Matt Murdock's, Larry Cranston overheard Starr Saxon (Mister Fear II) murdering Zoltan Dragon (Mister Fear I). After learning of Saxon's death, Cranston stole his gear and became the third Mister Fear, using fear-inducing chemicals to scare the competition into submission. He eventually internalized the effects of these chemicals, and can now instill fear in anybody he meets.
- The Bad Guy Wins: To Karma Houdini levels. In Brubaker's run, was able to drive Milla Murdock insane and make Matt Murdock miserable and was sent to Ryker's, where he's treated like a king due to gaining control over pheromones from using a perfume that brings up people's most happy memories and content to stay until he feels like making Murdock miserable again. He lost his gang to the Hood, but he didn't care about them, and is happy with the Hood continuing to torment Matt after he goes to prison with both of their resources.
- Black Cloak: The first Mister Fear to use a black costume.
- Cool Mask: His signature, skeletal-like gas mask. When he and Taskmaster meet, they accuse the other of stealing their look (Mr. Fear debuted a few years before Taskmaster). He's rather annoyed when Fisk forces the Thunderbolts to work without masks, and Figment doesn't recognize him at first without the mask.
- Deadly Gas: His fear gas.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Is willing to try to kill and torment Matt Murdock and his loved ones because Murdock used to make him feel inferior back in university.
- Drives Like Crazy: Hilariously subverted. As said so by himself, he might be crazy but he's not a reckless driver, driving at least 10 miles below the limit.
- Evil Is Petty: Has a very petty grudge against Matt Murdock, hating him for being a better lawyer than himself.
- Expy: Of DC's The Scarecrow.
- In the Hood: Wears a hood to go with his mask.
- It's Personal: His motive is revenge against Matt Murdock; everything else is irrelevant to him.
- Legacy Character:
- The third person to don the mask and hood of Mister Fear. In a twist, he's the only one to consistently wear it.
- Also, Cranston's nephew Alan Fagan became the fourth Mr. Fear when Cranston was believed dead.
- Living Aphrodisiac: Although his principal gimmick is fear gas, he has also experimented with pheromones that make men irresistible to women, and used it to try to convince Betty Brant to kill Spider-Man. In Brubaker's run, his prolonged use of the gas gave him pheremone control powers and he even uses them while in prison, allowing him to live like a king, rule the prisoners and guards, and force female prison guards to have sex with him.
- The Man Behind the Man: The Gladiator's rampage in Brubaker's run.
- Manipulative Bastard: As shown when he impersonated Milla Donovan's psychiatrist and drove her to madness.
- Pheromones: He uses these as the basis for his fear gas; specifically, he uses the "flight scent" that some animals emit to warn others about danger.
- The Resenter: His hatred for Matt Murdock stemmed from being defeated by him in a mock trial in Law School.
- Serial Rapist: He uses his control over pheromones to force women to serve his depraved whims and does so multiple times off-screen and during his stay in Ryker's Island Prison.
- Supernatural Fear Inducer: His trademark gas can instill unrelenting terror in his victims. In lesser doses, he can induce a constant feeling of paranoia (as opposed to all-out screaming terror) which can be far more deadly in the long run.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The Thunderbolts can barely stand him, with Taskmaster gladly punching him in the face when Kingpin tells him to do it, Batroc kicks him in the throat while Star doesn't even bother trying to defend him.
- Token Evil Teammate: Among the Thunderbolts recruited by Kingpin during King In Black, he's easily the most despicable and unstable.
Alter Ego: Quentin Beck
Notable Aliases: Ludwig Reinhart, Nick Macarbe
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #13
Quentin Beck was once a talented special effects technician, but he eventually grew tired of anonymously working behind the scenes. After failing as an actor, he decided to use his talents for crime. Traditionally an enemy of Spider-Man, during the The Clone Saga Mysterio was led to believe that the Spider-Man he fought in the past was an impostor and decided that he needed to find another worthy target. He found it in Daredevil, who he saw as a fellow "second-stringer".
Alter Ego: Frank Simpson
Notable Aliases: Scourge, Weapon VII
First Appearance: Daredevil Vol. 1 #232 (July, 1986)
A former sergeant in the US Army, Frank Simpson lost what was left of his sanity (already fractured by a traumatic childhood) when he was captured in Vietnam and tortured by a Russian intelligence liaison. After the war, Frank was inducted into the Weapon VII program, meant as an attempt to create a new Captain America. The program enhanced his physiology by grafting a bulletproof sub-dermal mesh into skin and giving him a secondary heart that, working in conjunction with some Adrenaline Pills, controlled his aggression, giving him an addiction that would (in theory) make him an effective puppet for his handlers. He eventually became too violent to control, and struck out on his own as a mercenary and terrorist, intent on destroying anyone he perceives to be "enemies of America."
- Abusive Parents: His mother was an abusive alcoholic.
- Bad Boss: As leader of the Thunderbolts, tending to threaten them in order to keep them in-line. Unlike the others, who are either don't want to be there, punching a clock or plain Psychoes for Hire, Scourge is determined to do as he's told.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: His newer backstory reveals that it was never the pills, just torture and conditioning.
- Captain Patriotic: A dark version. In contrast to Captain America's noble patriotism, Nuke is all about crazed jingoism.Nuke: Because of you, Americans are ASHAMED of themselves! ASHAMED OF OUR BOYS!
Captain America: I'm an American -- And you sure as HELL don't speak for me!
- "I need a Red!"/"Give me a Red!"
- "Our boys! Our boys!"
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Averted. The cybernetics didn't make Nuke a crazy murderer. Years of systemic torture and brainwashing did that.
- Cyborg: He's been taken apart and pieced back together so much that he's become little more than a Terminator-esque Skelebot 9000 covered in flesh.
- Evil Counterpart: To Captain America.
- Foil: To Captain America and U.S. Agent:
- Steve Rogers: Whereas Steve Rogers volunteered to fight in World War 2, even if that meant undergoing an experimental Super Soldier procedure, Nuke was drafted to fight in the Vietnam War and was forcibly recruited into his own Super Soldier project, as part of which he was brutally tortured and indoctrinated until his mind broke. Also, whereas Steve Rogers is a chemically induced mutate, Nuke is a drugged-up cyborg.
- John Walker: Both Nuke and John Walker have views somewhere on the right of the American political spectrum. But whereas John Walker, jerkass tendencies aside, is a nuanced character who understands that there are things more important than his ideological hang-ups and wants to do good even if that means challenging his political positions, Nuke is a homicidal maniac motivated solely by his crazed sense of jingoism.
- Freak Out: He's one of the few people shown to be immune to Venus of the Agents of Atlas's siren song, mainly because it makes him start seeing dead people. Dead people that he killed, coming to get him.
- Kill It with Fire: During Siege, John Walker tried doing this to him. It didn't work.
- Magic Feather: It was retconned so that the pills, which originally were mood-manipulating super-steroids, are actually placebos.
- Malevolent Masked Man: As "Scourge", on Norman Osborn's Thunderbolts.
- Manchurian Agent: During his time on the Thunderbolts, he was brainwashed by the Agents of Atlas to kill Norman Osborn. It didn't quite work out, and he killed Headsman instead.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: As a boy, he had an unhealthy affection for his nanny. She exploited these feelings to get Frank to kill his mother, so she could be with his dad.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: The really, really dark version. He'll do whatever his superior officer tells him, morality be damned, because those are orders. People who disagree with him get shot.
- One-Steve Limit: His Nuke codename is shared with Squadron Supreme member Albert Gaines. That said, Frank debuted about a year after Gaines was killed.
- Psycho for Hire: He is a Super Soldier driven insane from years of harsh experiments and being pumped full of drugs.
- Psycho Serum: Nuke's pills were originally depicted as this. Red pills were adrenaline-boosting "uppers", causing him to fly into berserk furies that granted him increased strength and resistance to pain. White pills were mood stabilizers, keeping him balanced and clear-headed. Blue pills were adrenaline-nullifying "downers", cooling him off and ending his berserker rages.
- Rogues' Gallery Transplant: While he was introduced as a new Daredevil rogue, he's since become more associated with Captain America and Wolverine, the latter of which kidnapped Nuke when he was a child on behalf of the Weapon Plus Progrm. In fact, he and Matt have not had any further run-ins at all outside of their initial one. What really helped in his transition to becoming a Cap rogue was that Captain America was present in the story where he made his introduction so they were tailor-made to interact with each other from the start.
- Self-Made Orphan: Tricked into murdering his own mother.
- Sociopathic Soldier: He's totally off his rocker, thinks he's still fighting The Vietnam War, and will slaughter anyone he thinks is threatening "our boys"; his gun keeps a count of his kills.
- Super Soldier: A near-failed one, as whilst he is a physically superhuman warrior, he's also dangerously unstable.
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Has the American flag painted/tattooed/carved on his face.
- Would Hit a Girl: Tried shooting Stature during the events of Siege.
Alter Ego: Leland Owlsley
First Appearance: Daredevil Vol. 1 #3
Daredevil's Silver Age arch-nemesis, Leland Owlsley was a Wall Street financier turned would-be crime lord, who ingested a special serum that gave him the power to glide. After years of experimenting on himself, and a great deal of Sanity Slippage, Owlsley has become a mutant birdman, with talons, natural flying ability, and a hunger for live mice.
- Animal Motifs: Unsurprisingly, an owl. Notably, he was associated with owls even before becoming a supervillain due to his incredible financial smarts.
- Arch-Enemy: Stan Lee created him to fill this role for Daredevil, though he's fallen by the wayside since thanks to the presence of better known and more thematically appropriate candidates like Kingpin, Bullseye, and the Hand. That said, of the long-running Daredevil villains he's still consistently portrayed as the most dangerous, with even Kingpin treading lightly about him, and has the best claim to the title of any of them.
- Ax-Crazy: One thing that Daredevil and Kingpin both agree on is that The Owl is a homicidal maniac, rendered crazier by his abuse of himself.
- Badass Longcoat: Almost never without his trademark green one.
- Bad Boss: His goons have an incredibly high turnover rate because of his explosive temper, constantly shifting and incredibly mercurial mood, and increasingly cruel and violently psychopathic tendencies.
- Beard of Evil: Often sports a classic evil goatee.
- Beast Man: Has become one of these through experimentation. Unlike most mutation-based examples, his intelligence has not diminished, but his sanity has to the point where even Kingpin exercises great caution when dealing with him.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Imagines himself to be the next Kingpin. He is still very dangerous, but pigs will fly before this happens. Not only are his resources far more limited than Fisk's (still impressive, but not "rule most of the East Coast's underbelly" impressive), but his rapidly eroding sanity means that even if he did have comparable resources, he wouldn't be able to keep it together.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Depending on the Writer, he's often portrayed as such due his inexplicable one-track obsession with owls and making himself similar to them, to the point of eating vermin recreationally.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: He was an excellent businessman before turning to crime, though he was quite crooked even before his troubles with the IRS forced him out.
- Depending on the Writer: If he's a vicious psychopath that other criminals are fearful of or an ineffective buffoon. His explosive temper and unstable emotions are pretty consistent, however.
- Diabolical Mastermind
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": In most portrayals, do not call him Owlsley. His name is The Owl.
- Evil Cripple: For a time, Owlsley could not walk without the aid of leg braces and an exoskeleton.
- Evil Genius
- Fat Bastard: In the Silver Age.
- Fatal Flaw: His bad temper and murderous mood swings, which derail his attempts at holding gangs together. While he has always had these problems, his various alterations have not helped.
- Flight: Can glide under his own power. Initially, he did so slowly enough that it was all but useless.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He was a corrupt but otherwise unremarkable Wall Street mogul, but after charges of corruption were brought against him, Owlsley decided to become a criminal mastermind. He turned out to be exceedingly good at it.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He's always had anger issues, but the treatments he's had have made him even more volatile over time.
- Knowledge Broker: Oftentimes his specific niche in New York's crime scene is knowledge (as befitting the owl motifs). He controls the flow of information.
- Lightning Bruiser: After the treatments.
- Mood-Swinger: Infamously unstable, and it's only getting worse.
- Ominous Owl: Once again a character's owl theme portends bad things.
- The Owl-Knowing One: He first became associated with owls due to his impressive financial skill, which was compared to the wisdom folklore gives to owls.
- Sanity Slippage: Owlsley's sanity has deteriorated as he's become less and less human, rendering him correspondingly more dangerous.
- Took a Level in Badass: Has gone from a fat guy who could fly to a vicious, sewer-dwelling madman whom even Kingpin is wary of.
- Transhuman Treachery: He's lost more and more of himself as his body mutates.
- Underestimating Badassery: On the receiving end. Daredevil, more often than not, treats him as a minor nuisance and doesn't really give him his full attention. This always proves to be highly unwise.
- Unskilled, but Strong: He doesn't work out very much and his formal combat training is virtually nil, but his enhancements allow him to go toe-to-toe with people like Daredevil quite easily.
- Villainous Breakdown: Happens quite a lot with him.
- Villains Never Lie: The Owl has an admitted distaste for lies, so he tends to be straight with Daredevil. Which of course doesn't impede him from using Metaphorically True statements.
- Villain Team-Up: Once recruited Stilt-Man, Gladiator and a one-time Daredevil foe Copperhead who came back from the dead as a zombie in an attempt to overthrow Kingpin. This went about as well as you'd expect it to. He's been a part of several other team-ups before and since.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The various treatments and procedures he's had done on himself over the years have made him a highly dangerous physical combatant without diminishing his intelligence in the slightest. His sanity has not fared quite as well, however; while he's still highly functional, his bestial tendencies have become increasingly difficult for him to deal with.
- Wolverine Claws: Possesses both steel gauntlets that roughly resemble those of Wolverine and implanted talons in place of his nails ala Sabretooth.
- Would Hit a Girl: Threatened to torture and rape Dakota North to get information on Daredevil.
Alter Ego: Frank Castle
Notable Aliases: Johnny Tower, Charles Fort, John Smith
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #129
- Blindspot: Who is that guy?Daredevil: His name is Frank Castle.Blindspot: Hold on— the Punisher? Isn't he, you know, a good guy? Goes out and catches the bad guys. Just like you?
Frank Castle was a career officer in the U.S. Marine Corps Force Recon Division who tragically lost his wife and children to gang violence. When the police failed to bring his family's killers to justice, Frank became the Punisher, using the skills he learned in the Corps, combined with the Mafia's own assassination tactics, to fight a one-man war of attrition against the criminal underworld. Though they fight for similar goals, Castle's use of lethal force is something that Daredevil cannot abide. Likewise, the Punisher sees Daredevil as naive for refusing to kill criminals that cannot stay locked up. Haunted by his failure to steer Castle toward a less lethal path, Daredevil believes it is his responsibility to find a humane way to end Castle's violent crusade. With each (usually) seeing the other as a Worthy Opponent, the two have had a long history as bitter enemies, uneasy allies, and everything in between.
The Purple Man
Alter Ego: Zebediah Killgrave
First Appearance: Daredevil Vol. 1 #4 (October, 1964)
A master manipulator with purple skin and the power to force others to do his bidding, Zebediah Killgrave is a professional criminal with a long list of nasty habits. One of Daredevil's oldest foes, Killgrave has found the Man Without Fear's Heroic Willpower to be a source of unending annoyance; as his hypnotic powers do not effect the vigilante to the same degree that they do the general populace. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Joe Orlando, he first appeared in Daredevil #4 (October 1964). His body produces pheromones which allow him to verbally control the actions of others. Initially a recurring enemy of Daredevil, he later emerged as the archenemy of Jessica Jones.
Originally a spy, Zebediah Killgrave got into an accident with chemicals which... well... turned his skin purple. As a side effect though, the chemicals gave him the power of mind manipulation, able to have people believe him or follow his commands without much effort on his part. Now able to take whatever he wanted, Killgrave gave up being a spy, instead taking up a full life of crime.
A master manipulator with purple skin and the power to force others to do his bidding, Zebediah Killgrave is a professional criminal with a long list of nasty habits. He's clashed with Daredevil repeatedly and has always been frustrated by the fact that his commands do not effect the vigilante to the same degree that they do the general populace.
Purple Man provides examples of:
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Go on, just guess how he got his name.
- Arch-Enemy: To Jessica Jones and her husband, Luke Cage.
- Back from the Dead: He died in Emperor Doom. They had a funeral in the pages of Alpha Flight and everything. Ten years later, he came back.
- Bullying a Dragon: Yes, try and Mind Control the Crazy-Prepared and absurdly strong-willed super-intelligent sorcerer in battle armour. See how well that works out for you (spoiler - it doesn't).
- Card-Carrying Villain: This should say it all.◊
- Color Character: Purple.
- Compelling Voice/Mind Control: His power. It was more his presence that bent people to his will, but he still had to order them around verbally. Which he did.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Invoked. He retired for a while in The '70s, when he realized he didn't need to be a villain for the money when he could just make people give him what he wanted.
- Deader than Dead: This seemed to be the case for a while, as he let himself die and then had his corpse hurled into the sun by Captain Marvel. But then the "Purple Daughter" storyline revealed that his body (which eventually resuscitated itself) was whisked away by the Purple Children, who only made Danvers think that she had cremated Killgrave.
- Depending on the Artist: His coloration varies from a very pale thistle to a dark eggplant-like shade. It also varies whether his hair is purple or black.
- Driven to Suicide: By the Jessica Jones series he's become so burnt out that he seeks Jessica out because as the only one who "understands" him he believes that she can help him find some kind of purpose in life or remove his abilities or assist him with relearning how to be good and normal. After repeatedly pestering her to aid him or at least tell him what to do, Killgrave apologizes for everything and then kills himself after Jessica just keeps telling him to "go."Purple Man: I see your point. I'm sure it's why I came here. I just needed... I don't know.Purple Man: No. I said I think you couldn't do me in. I didn't say what I could do. I know what to do.Jessica: N—
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His ex-wife and their daughter Kara, known as Persuasion, though both hate him for good reason. While Killgrave would like to reconcile with them, he's made no real effort to and it's been made clear (via Nate Grey reading his mind) that he prioritizes taking over the world and continuing to do things For the Evulz over them. And while he was initially fond of the Purple Children, that got thrown out the window when they turned on him, leading him to abandon his Evil Is One Big, Happy Family plans for them in favor of just weaponizing or outright killing them.
- Evil Is Petty: Perhaps the grand champ of the Marvel Universe. He could do unbelievable things with his powers, but always uses them for petty reasons.
- For the Evulz: That didn't stop him from doing really, really nasty things to people just because he could.
- Glorified Sperm Donor: Thanks to the fact that he frequently abuses his powers to turn women into Sex Slaves, he's actually got a fair number of kids knocking around, most of them with at least some of his powers. None of them are quite as monstrous as him.
- Healing Factor: Retconned to have one, Norman Osborn-style, when they decided to bring him back 10 years after his "death" in Emperor Doom.
- The Hedonist: Since coming back from retirement, he is rarely seen without a mind-controlled woman (or a harem of them) on his arm.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: Deep, deep, deep down he's secretly obsessed with being loved unconditionally, and this longing for genuine affection occasionally surfaces, albeit in ways twisted by his sociopathy. He released a woman who he had taken as his wife from his control because the genuine fondness that he had developed for her led him to believe that she could reciprocate his feelings in spite of what he had done to her. Obviously, her immediate response to being freed was to take off as quickly as possible (Killgrave doing nothing to stop her). He eventually also started rounding up his children, wanting to form a family with them... and also have them help him Take Over the World.
- Immune to Mind Control: He runs into this because his powers don't work on everyone, and when that happens he's just an ordinary man with normal durability and no fighting skills. Daredevil, Doctor Doom, the Kingpin, Captain America, and Frank Castle have all shown they can resist him through sheer willpower. Spider-Man's spider-sense sets up so much interference that Killgrave's power just can't get through. Deadpool's brain cells are in such a constant state of flux that Killgrave attempts to control him just don't register. And Nate Grey was only vulnerable until he noticed and filtered it out (something later nodded to when Daken tried to use his admittedly weaker pheromone powers on Nate and got dismissed).
- In the Blood: His daughter Kara/Persuasion inherited his powers but, fortunately, she went the opposite way in terms of morality.
- Kick the Dog: He once stopped an entire restaurant from breathing so he could eat his eggs in peace.
- Manipulative Bastard: Via his powers, directly and indirectly - usually more indirectly when dealing with someone powerful, like Nate Grey.
- Meaningful Name: Just look at the picture above and tell me that The Purple Man isn't the Meaningful Name.
- Medium Awareness: A dark example of this in Alias where he is fully aware that he's in a comic book. He made Jessica Jones believe her life was a comic book, with an audience of loyal readers, and that every time he made her strip for him, she was taking her clothes off for them.
- Mind Rape: Lots of people, but what he did to his wife and Jessica Jones stands out.
- Morality Pet: Subverted. Learning he has a daughter seems to have made him worse, since he thinks she'll love him if he can conquer the world.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Zebediah Killgrave?
- Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Any A-list or B-list hero with psionic abilities could crush him effortlessly (he's no threat to the likes of Professor X or Psylocke, and he'd be an amoeba next to Jean Grey - as was amply demonstrated when he tried to control Jean's son, Nate). However, he's a significant threat because he's pitted against "street level" heroes like Daredevil and Jessica Jones, being smart enough to avoid drawing the attention of the larger fish in the sea.
- No-Sell: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, the Kingpin, Dr. Doom, and Nate Grey have all proven able to resist his powers. Daredevil's non-conventional senses allow him to concentrate on resisting his commands, Jessica Jones received psionic shielding from Jean Grey, and the Kingpin was able to resist through sheer force of will (albeit with some obvious struggle). Dr. Doom however takes the cake, as he was able to easily ignore his power without any visible effort, all while he was connected to a device that amplified his ability to planet-influencing levels. Nate, meanwhile, was somewhat controlled until he twigged to the Purple Man's presence. As he informed Killgrave, in full Glowing Eyes of Doom mode, "My body is only vulnerable until my mind decides otherwise."
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Writers have turned him from a camp, one note bad guy to a full-fledged monster. He even managed to manipulate Nate Grey for a little while, intending to use him as an instrument to create his perfect world. Unfortunately for him, Nate caught on.
- Oh, Crap!:
- In the first New Avengers arc, he intends to use his powers to make Luke Cage attack the other assembled heroes. He also makes obvious threats toward Jessica Jones and her and Cage's unborn child. Cage then informs the unaware villain that his food contained special drugs designed to negate his powers. He has a look of sheer terror before Cage moved in on him and proceeded to deliver a brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, and from the looks of it, possibly might have killed him if Captain America did not interfere.
- In general, someone powerful not being affected by his powers causes this, as demonstrated by his priceless expression when Nate Grey explained to him in small words complete with Glowing Eyes of Doom that his body was only vulnerable until his mind decided otherwise.
- Parental Favoritism: It's highly implied from the statements made by one of Killgrave's sons that, out of all of the children that he has sired, Zebediah views Kara as the favorite despite the fact she is (morally) nothing like him.
- Pheromones: The Purple Man secretes pheromones that can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled. They allow him to control affected creatures with verbal commands. And for extra-special-squick, he used it to father at least one daughter with a mind-controlled lady friend. That daughter, known as the Purple Girl, inherited the power, and used it to mind control Northstar in her first appearance (though unlike her father, she didn't take it past going swimming together).
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Many times, most horrifically when he ordered thirty-odd innocent bystanders at a Denny's to stop breathing so he could enjoy his eggs in peace.
- Rape by Proxy: Killgrave never actually raped Jessica Jones. What he did do was bring many women back to bed with him and rape them, while making her watch and using his powers to force her to feel upset that it wasn't her being raped.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: One of the reasons why he is regarded as such a vile villain.
- Redeeming Replacement: His daughter Kara, better known as Persuasion, is very much his Distaff Counterpart, having inherited his purple skin and powers. But she's nothing like him and uses her power to help people, not to have them cater to her every whim or to corrupt them into evildoing.
- Resignations Not Accepted:
- When he tried to retire from villainy, Big Bads like the Kingpin and Doctor Doom kept pulling him back in. Well, overt villainy anyway. He has never stopped committing crimes or being evil; he just stopped picking fights with superheroes or trying to Take Over the World, since he realized his powers were perfect for living the high life while keeping a low profile, removing all risk of getting his face rearranged by a superhero. Temporarily. He still conned, brainwashed, robbed, and murdered his merry way through life.
- He was perfectly willing to let himself die after an aborted HeelFace Turn, but the Purple Children stole his body at the behest of their older brother Benjamin, who let their father's healing factor revive him before imprisoning him, and experimenting on him in order to develop serums and gasses that granted him his own form of Mind Control. Killgrave, more or less back to his old self, is reduced to forming an extremely shaky Enemy Mine with Jessica Jones to try and deal with the "Purple Son."
- Rogues' Gallery Transplant: He's faced off against S.H.I.E.L.D., The Avengers, and other Marvel folks several times. And to say nothing for Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.
- Serial Rapist: Why he is so reviled.
- Smells Sexy: The Purple Man smells like whatever he wants to smell like, so that you do whatever he wants you to do.
- The Sociopath: He uses his mind control pheromones to rape and kill women For the Evulz, he made an entire restaurant stop breathing because he wanted to eat in peace, and tortured Jessica Jones by raping captured women in front of her and making her watch it all.
- Take Over the World: His motivation since coming out of retirement.
- Took a Level in Badass: The year-long Daredevil storyline where he manipulated the father of Daredevil's girlfriend (who was the CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation) into letting him take over the company and bankrolling his anti-Daredevil efforts. The story ended with the father being Driven to Suicide, the girlfriend breaking up with Daredevil, and the Horned One being whaled on by four of his toughest foes at the same time.
- Turn Out Like His Father: One of several very good reasons why his ex-wife kept his daughter far away from him. And (for the most part) Persuasion averts this trope.
Alter Ego: Wilbur Day
Notable Aliases: "Stilty", "Daddy Long Legs", the Sensational Stilt-Man
First Appearance: Daredevil Vol. 1 #8
A loser in civilian life, Wilbur Day turned to crime, only to become a loser there as well. Donning a mechanical exoskeleton equipped with telescopic legs, he tried to become a professional criminal, only to be thwarted by Daredevil again and again. A joke in-universe and out, he was eventually killed by the Punisher.
- Back from the Dead: After being dead for years, he was revived by the new Jackal during Dead No More and survived the Clone Degeneration many other clones succumbed to.
- Berserk Button: Wilbur doesn't take kindly to jokes about his height or even perceived jokes about his height.
- Butt-Monkey: Nothing good ever happened to Stilt-Man, his equipment is even tagged "Loser" instead of his villain name in S.H.I.E.L.D. storage. Although he did eventually marry Princess Python.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Actually justified in his first appearance, where it turns out he's actually stolen the inventions he uses — including his stilts — to try and frame his bitter, condescending boss. Later stories turned him into more of a typical Gadgeteer Genius, however, putting him squarely within the trope.
- Dumb Muscle: For a supposedly capable inventor, Wilbur Day was remarkably dense, and usually ended up as the unthinking (and ineffective) muscle for whatever criminal group was using him today.
- Enemy Mine: Once aided Daredevil when Turk Barrett (see below) stole his armor. In fact, all Day had to do is tell Daredevil where the essential gyroscopic mechanism is in the suit so he could rip it out and Turk instantly learned that it's impossible to keep balance without it. Of course, Day later modified the suit so DD couldn't pull that move on him.
- Harmless Villain
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: One of the more baffling villains of his era, writers gave up on revamping him into a serious threat a long time ago. Since then, whenever you needed a really pathetic villain to beat up, Stilt-Man was your guy. Eventually, the Punisher killed him.
- Joke Character: Reduced to this, especially in his later career.
- Killed Off for Real: By the Punisher.
- Legacy Character: Now, while Stilt-Man may be dead, his legacy lives on in... Lady Stilt-Man! Her first appearance consisted of being mocked by Spider-Man (who thanked her for improving the miserable day he was having), and being defeated by stepping into an open manhole. Even Spider-Man felt sorry for her when she started crying. This changed in her next appearance in "Villains for Hire", where she upgraded her armor and Took a Level in Badass.
- Meaningful Funeral: One that was attended by many other also-rans of the criminal world.
- The Napoleon: Wilbur Day was a very short man. This played into his desire to wear a suit that made him taller.
- Only in It for the Money: Day was just greedy. He wasn't out to hurt people or Take Over the World — just get rich quick.
- Powered Armor: His suit was equipped with a number of weapons.
- Punch-Clock Villain: According to Spider-Man, he was a pretty nice guy — apart from the whole "bank robbery" thing.
- Rogues' Gallery Transplant: A minor case, but he was one of the many armored criminals to be targeted by Iron Man during the Armor Wars. (This led to Stilt-Man appearing in the 1994 IM animated series when it adapted the Armor Wars arc, no Daredevil in sight; Daredevil did appear in the partner Fantastic Four series, though).
- Shrink Ray: Made several attempts at stealing one from his former boss, Carl Kaxton.
- Sizeshifter: Downplayed. Day's legs could extend, but the rest of his body could not.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Somehow managed to marry Princess Python, who while a similarly ineffective villain, was a knockout in the looks department.
- Villain Team-Up: Regularly recruited into team-ups by more competent villains.
Alter Ego: Mary Walker
Notable Aliases: Mutant Zero
First Appearance: Daredevil Vol. 1 #252
Mary Walker, better known as Typhoid Mary (alternatively Bloody Mary and Mutant Zero), is a Marvel Comics character created by Ann Nocenti and John Romita Jr., first appearing in Daredevil #254 (dated May 1988).
Suffering from dissociative identity disorder that manifests as three distinct personalities note , Mary is a professional assassin whose services have been utilized by the likes of The Kingpin and Doctor Doom. Dangerous enough from extensive martial arts training, her mutant abilities which include super reflexes, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, and limited telepathy also make her a force to be reckoned with.
While most frequently associated as being a part of ex-lover Daredevil's rogues gallery, she's also tangled with Spider-Man, Deadpool, and the X-Men. For a brief period, she joined the Avengers' Initiative as Mutant X as a means of containing her more violent sides, but it only lasted for so long.
Mary has appeared in other media, most notably the second season of Iron Fist, as portrayed by Alice Eve. This version of the character, a former PoW whose time in Sokovia triggered the split, notably lacks her mutations and backstory with Daredevil. She also appeared in the 2005 Elektra movie as a secondary antagonist, portrayed by Natassia Malthe.
Typhoid Mary appears in:
Notable Comic Books
- Daredevil (various runs)
- Spider-Man (various runs)
- Deadpool (various runs)
- Typhoid (1995 — 1996)
- Avengers: The Initiative (2007 — 2009)
- Shadowland (2010)
- Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive! (2011 — 2012)
- X-Men vol. 4 (2013 — 2014)
- Typhoid Fever (2018)
- Elektra (2003), portrayed by Natassia Malthe
Typhoid Mary provides examples of:
- A Day in the Limelight: The "Typhoid Fever" crossover between Spider-Man, X-Men and Iron Fist.
- Anti-Villain: Is sympathetic when you consider she really is criminally insane and her Mary Walker persona is actually a good person who has to deal with two evil personas.
- Ax-Crazy: Even before she shows her true colors Deadpool found her too crazy for him.
- Bed Trick: She got Deadpool to sleep with her by using her powers to impersonate Siryn.
- Combo Platter Powers: Typhoid Mary possessed telekinesis, pyrokinesis, limited Mind Control powers, and outstanding swordsmanship skills. The catch was that her Split Personality disorder left her Ax-Crazy and possessing different levels of control over her abilities at different times.
- Create Your Own Villain: When Daredevil was just starting out, he raided a brothel to catch the criminal running it. Much to his shock the prostitutes began attacking him, and he accidentally knocked one out of a window, seemingly to her death. She would recover, but the incident proved to be the final straw, and she suffered a total psychotic break becoming Typhoid Mary. However, when Mary confronts Daredevil about it, he refuses to take responsibility for what she became, telling her that no matter what happened to her, she ultimately made her own choices. This causes Mary to suffer a complete mental collapse.
- Dark Action Girl: As Typhoid Mary and Bloody Mary, she is very skilled in martial arts and the use of edged weapons.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Was a former prostitute before Daredevil kicked her out of a window by accident.
- Dramatic Unmask: Mutant Zero was introduced in Avengers: The Initiative issue 4. It wasn't until over two years later that Taskmaster figures out who she is and knocks off her mask to reveal Mary underneath.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: The first few issues blurred the lines between the current characterization of Mary, and Typhoid; hinting that Typhoid was a more hidden aggressive persona, while the current Typhoid persona was in-fact Mary. However, later issues shifted Mary as a more timid and innocent personality, while Mary's original personality became Typhoid; and the more aggressive one became Bloody Mary.
- Does Not Like Men: The Bloody Mary persona hates all men.
- The Dragon: Once fulfilled this role for Kingpin.
- The Dreaded: For Marvel's street-level superhuman community due to her bloodlust and psychic powers. New York's criminal underworld panics when they heard she was coming back, trying to hire any muscles available in case she comes to kill them, one even tried calling Bullseye but he didn't pick up the phone.
- Evil Redhead: Particularly when she's in either of her not-so-good personalities.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Her costume usually invokes some leather.
- Jekyll & Hyde: The existence of her two or three distinct personalities often forms a key plot point.
- The Mentally Disturbed: Mary's one of the rare supervillains to be genuinely legally insane. Depending on the Writer, Typhoid Mary is depicted either constantly switching between personas, unable to stop herself; or singing down the street while burning people alive.
- Mutant: She is a mutant. The effectiveness of her powers differs on which personality is in control.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Typhoid Mary and Bloody Mary.
- Nice Girl: The Mary Walker persona.
- Outdated Outfit: There's a good reason for her Hotter and Sexier "leather jacket with tank top/no shirt" look. When she first debuted in 1988, her costume was already a dated relic from the New Wave Music era with her fishnet stockings mixed with a glowing pink baggy blouse and huge spiky '80s porn hair that looked like it used a whole can of hairspray to stiffen. Also her weapon of choice were a pair of machetes, rather than the katanas she favors these days.
- Playing with Fire: She has the power to ignite, extinguish, and control/manipulate fire.
- Psychic Powers:
- Mind over Matter: She can levitate small objects over short distances (such as weapons of under 10 pounds; knives, razors, etc.), making a knife spin in place or retrieving her weapons if they're dropped.
- Telepathy: She can implant mental suggestions in the minds of others. She can induce sleep in weak-minded individuals and most animals, or create "sensory ghosts" as a distraction, causing people to look away because they think they saw a flash or heard a noise.
- Psycho for Hire: The Typhoid Mary and Bloody Mary personas.
- Sadist: Bloody Mary, who just likes hurting people. To put this in perspective: she once scared off Deadpool, the one person who, due to his healing factor, could take all the punishment she could dish out.
- Shrinking Violet: Mary Walker is quiet, nervous, and timid.
- Split Personality: She has three separate personalities. The "Mary" personality is a timid, quiet, pacifist; her "Typhoid Mary" persona is adventurous, lustful, and violent; her "Bloody Mary" personality is sadistic, brutal, and hates all men. Typhoid was so different than Mary that even Daredevil was, at first, unable to tell they were the same person, even with his enhanced senses. (It seemed that the change even affected her body odor somehow.)
- Split-Personality Merge: The whole reason Mary signed up to the Shadow Initiative was that they'd help her with her DID. It didn't work out when SHIELD was disbanded, so Mary took over and left... which was probably safer than remaining around Norman Osborn.
- Spy Catsuit: As Mutant Zero.
- Stripperiffic: Most of Typhoid and Bloody Mary's costumes.
- Talkative Loon: At least when Bendis writes her.
- Tattooed Crook: She's adorned with tattoos.
- Two-Faced: Traditionally, she sports white makeup on the right side.
- Villainous Crush: On Daredevil.
- Well, This Is Not That Trope: Used by her during Avengers: The Initative, when Taskmaster asks which of her alters he's speaking to at that moment. She replies "you know the Mary who plays with men to get what she wants? I'm not that one."
- Yandere: Because of her split personalities.
- You Are Number 6: As Mutant Zero. Explained (sort of) by Henry Gyrich that while at the time there were officially one-hundred and ninety-eight Mutants, she'd be no. 0. Because she doesn't exist.