D.A.N.T.E.

MEMBERSHIP: Emil Stein (leader)

PURPOSE: Establishing a name for themselves as a terrorist cadre to be reckoned with

AFFILIATIONS: Beck

ENEMIES: Captain America (Steve Rogers), "Dum Dum" Dugan, Nick Fury, Iron Man (Tony Stark), Mr. and Niki Nishimura, S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate), Tom Tojumi

BASE of OPERATIONS: Mobile across the planet in their flying headquarters, which never stayed in one place long enough to be located

FIRST APPEARANCE: Tales of Suspense II#1 (January, 1995)

 

 

 

 

 

 

POWERS/WEAPONS: DANTE used a cadre of agents wearing armor derived from unknown sources; though it did roughly resemble Iron Man, it was not Stark technology. The agents could fire and fire energy blasts, and had some degree of enhanced strength and durability.

 

 

 

 

HISTORY:
(Tales of Suspense II#1 (fb) - BTS) - D.A.N.T.E. was founded by Emil Stein, a former Nazi. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall (see comments), many of the former members of the East German secret police vanished into the terrorist underground. Stein eventually led some of these to form DANTE.

(Tales of Suspense II#1 (fb) - BTS) - Seeking to establish DANTE as a credible threat, when he was contracted to assassinate a diplomat on holiday in Switzerland, they leveled the Alpine hotel where he was staying, killing eighty-nine.

(Tales of Suspense II#1 (fb) - BTS) - In pursuit of an undetermined target, DANTE took out a passenger aircraft, killing all 316 passengers.

(Tales of Suspense II#1 (fb) - BTS) - DANTE took out a politician's house in London and office in Budapest.

(Tales of Suspense II#1 (fb) - BTS) - DANTE decimated a skyscraper in Sydney.

(Tales of Suspense II#1 (fb) - BTS) - DANTE (or other terrorists) uncovered an unnamed SHIELD agent who had infiltrated the European terrorist underground for two years. The agent was found floating face-down in the Danube.

(Tales of Suspense II#1 (fb) - BTS) - DANTE was hired by a cadre of businessmen who believed that stronger ties between America and Japan would be averse to their own personal fortunes. These businessmen paid DANTE a fortune to kill Japanese businessman Nishimura while he visited the US, intending to bring disgrace to America for failing to protect him and to drive a wedge between the two nations.

(Tales of Suspense II#1 (fb) - BTS) - Though DANTE's stealth technology had allowed them to elude SHIELD, they did learn that the terrorists planned to assault trade talks between the American government and a delegation of Japanese corporate heads. Due to the perceived importance of this meeting to the American economy, the US government refused to cancel the talks, instead directing SHIELD to protect the talks and/or stop DANTE.

(Tales of Suspense II#1) - Fury drafted Captain America and Iron Man to protect the talks and/or stop DANTE. Meanwhile Stein recruited Beck to work with DANTE. Despite the heroes investigations and efforts, DANTE successfully stole information from Stark Enterprises regarding how machinery could be made to interact with the human body. They also stole Nazi Sleeper technology from an installation in Paris (the French Underground had obtained it during World War II) as well as technology from a computer research facility in Texas. Stein used the information from Stark and the technology from Paris and Texas, combined with technology developed in East Germany to transform Beck into a powerful cyborg warrior.

    SHIELD mistakenly believed that the President of the USA was DANTE's target, but they instead gave Nishimura food poisoning, and then targeted him as he recovered some distance from the trade talks. Captain America was captured by DANTE, and Stein enjoyed taunting him with his plans, but Captain America broke free and destroyed DANTE's headquarters before heading to stop him. Iron Man defeated the lot of DANTE's armored warriors by magnetizing them all to him and then introducing a computer virus into their systems which shut them down. However, it shut Iron Man's armor down, too, and he fell towards certain doom until Captain America rescued him.

    Cap brought Iron Man to Nishimura's townhouse, arriving before Beck could kill him. Captain America outmaneuvered and apparently slew Beck, and Iron Man removed much of his armor so that he could move more freely, and he slew Stein.

COMMENTS: Created by James Robinson and Colin MacNiel.

DANTE is never spelled out.
    I vote:                                
Destruction, Assassination, Nihilism, Terror, and Extortion
Ronald Byrd suggests:          Directorate Attached to National Terrorist Endeavors...Neo-Nazi would also work well there.
Markus Raymond suggests: Deutsch Arische Nationalisten Terror Einheit which would mean German Aryan Nationalists Terror Unit.

I'd guess that Stein had to have some sort of enhancement (beyond his braces) to remain active at eighty years old plus. Such treatment might have allowed him to survive a laser blast to the chest. The same possibility of survival is true of Beck.

The German reunification doesn't have to be topical. While the date of the fall of the Berlin Wall remains fixed in 1989 (see below from the Wikipedia), the formation of DANTE did not have to follow it immediately. A cabal could have made plans before going public years or even decades later.

On August 23, 1989, Hungary removed its border restrictions with Austria, and in September more than 13,000 East Germans escaped through Hungary. Mass demonstrations against the government in East Germany began in the fall of 1989. Leader of the German Democratic Republic, Erich Honecker, resigned on October 18, 1989. He was replaced by a short-lived successor, Egon Krenz, a few days later.

The travel restrictions for East Germans were somewhat lifted by the new government on November 9, 1989. After a misunderstanding, GŁnter Schabowski announced in a press conference that all restrictions had been abandoned, and tens of thousands of people immediately went to the Wall where the border guards opened access points and allowed them through. November 9 is thus considered the date when the Wall fell.

    Holy Dr. Evil, Batman! Stein has Captain America at his mercy, then leaves him unsupervised and strapped to a table, intending to kill him later? Super-villains always do this, and it is so often their downfall. He even explained his secret plans (so Cap could foil them once he got free), and Captain America easily and quickly blew up DANTE's headquarters, hinting that perhaps it had a large, flashing red button labeled "Self-Destruct."

The Tales of Suspense, Tales to Astonish, and Strange Tales one shots in 1995 were all works of art! Highly recommended. Despite the above paragraph!

There's a guy who looks somewhat like Emil Stein in the flashback to the postwar V Battalion days in Citizen V and the V Battalion I#1.
--Sean Curtain

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No known connection to:

Emil Stein has no known connection to:

Beck has no known connection to:


Emil Stein

    A former Nazi agent, he opposed Captain America "a couple of time" during World War II, and Cap referenced him as "right up there with the Red Skull and Zemo."

 

 

 

 

In the modern era, he worked in East Germany until forced to flee during the German reunification in 1989. At some point he organized a group of former East German secret police to form DANTE. He enlisted Beck and masterminded the assassination attempt on Nishimura, but though he could have just fatally poisoned Nishimura (rather than just giving him intestinal issues), he chose a more bold route, which he felt would be better remembered. He also left Captain America unsupervised, which allowed Cap to: (1) Break free, (2) destroy DANTE's ship, (3) save Iron Man's life, and (4) kill Beck, stopping him from killing Nishimura. In addition, it was Iron Man who stopped Stein from killing Nishimura and killed Stein. Bad move.

    After Beck's death, Stein prepared to slay both Nishimura and his daughter Niki, but the otherwise immobilized Iron Man removed much of his armor and tackled Stein, using his laser cane to blow a hole through his chest.

    Stein wore a crude exoskeleton which granted him some degree of enhanced strength despite his advanced age. He used a cane which could discharge a deadly laser blast.

--Tales of Suspense II#1 (1(fb), 1

 

 

 

 


Beck

    A premiere assassin, after successfully completing a mission to kill Amir Cullah, he was taken aboard DANTE's ship and made an offer by Stein. Beck had no interest in the money Stein would have offered him, but he was interested in the power to become an even better assassin. For DANTE, Beck stole Nazi Sleeper technology from a Parisian agency (alleged to be the equivalent of SHIELD), which, combined with computer research technology taken from a firm in Texas, information from Stark Enterprises regarding how machinery could be made to interact with the human body, and technology developed in East Germany--a means to graft plastic and alloy devices onto and into human tissue, resulting in a symbiotic mechanism, was used to transform Beck into a powerful cyborg warrior.

    Beck was sent to assassinate Nishimura in the most sadistic manner he could think of. At first, Beck felt somewhat detached from reality in his new cyborg body, but after battling Captain America, his hunger for victory and death returned. Captain America initially attacked him in a suit of armor taken from DANTE's headquarters, but Cap noticed that while Beck was absorbing any energy assaults, his skin was scratched in one of their struggles. Unable to keep up with or injure Beck in the armor, Cap stripped it off and managed to knock Beck off balance, skewering him on a multi-spike ornament.

--Tales of Suspense II#1

 

 

 

 


images:
Tales of Suspense II#1, p40 (ship)
    p2 (Stein);
    p6, panel 3 (Stein face);
    p29, panel 3 (World War II);
    p5, panel 1 (Beck normal);
    p54 (Beck cyborg);
    p7, panel 7 (armored agents)
   


Appearances:
Tales of Suspense II#1 (January, 1995) - James Robinson (writer), Colin MacNeil (artist), Marc McLaurin (editor)


Last updated: 10/02/11.

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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