DEATHSTORM

Real Name: Gabriel Gant

Identity/Class: Cybernetic human

Occupation: Terrorist for hire

Group Membership: Agent of A.R.E.S., former member of Omega Strike

Affiliations: Associate of Emil Tessler, Cygnus, and Scorch; former ally of Solo

Enemies: Solo, Black Cat, Spider-Man, Cygnus, Emil Tessler, Detective Snider, Ambassador Oscar Ortega

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: A.R.E.S. headquarters beneath the Adironack Mountains in upstate New York

First Appearance:
Amazing Spider-Man Annual#27 (1993)

 

Powers/Abilities: Gant initially gained super-human powers by having a special chip implanted in his head that enabled him to teleport, similar to Solo’s powers. Presumably A.R.E.S.’ scientist enhanced Gant’s powers so that they exceeded Solo’s, as Deathstorm made comments to the effect that he bad better teleporation powers than Solo.

Gant also had further cybernetic enhancements performed on him, which presumably endowed him with superhuman strength. He had weapons such as his tendrils, which could ensnare and electrically shock his enemies. He also utilized weapons such as explosive pellets, guns, and knives. He utilized a device resembling a tuning fork to torture victims, presumably by shocking them.

From his days as a counterterrorist, Gant presumably received some training in hand- to-hand combat and other such military skills.

History: (Solo#1 (fb))- Gabriel Gant served as one of 12 members of a crack NATO counter-terrorist squad called Omega Strike. Military scientists had discovered a way of spacial displacement that entailed the implant of a cyberchip. The few who could tolerate the cyberchip had it linked to their adrenal glands. They could jump in and out of hostile environments with impunity. Gant went through ten months of training with James Bourne, Rowena Maclean, and others. All were later debriefed by Strike leader Emil Tessler about a mission in Italy.

Terrorists had hijacked a plane, and already killed three hostages, threatening to kill more. Gant and Maclean led the terrorist termination unit, Bourne led the hostage recovery unit. Bourne’s division transported into the plane’s cargo hold, as planned, but the terrorists knew their plan, too. They shot Bourne’s soldiers, although Bourne managed to jump to the passenger section. To his horror, he saw Gant and Rowena had slain everyone around them. Gant revealed that he and Tessler had been paid to sabotage the mission. In the future, this money would serve as the seed for their own terror network. For the moment, Gant shot Bourne. Bourne, however, managed to teleport away to safety and medical attention.

Later, Bourne uncovered reports that Rowena, Tessler, and Gant had died in a plane crash fleeing justice. Also, Tessler had left behind false documents that implicated Bourne in the conspiracy. His reputation ruined, Bourne eventually re-emerged as the driven counter-terrorist Solo.

 

(Amazing Spider-Man Annual#27/2)- Gant and Tessler set up a front company that sold valuable, stolen works of art in order to raise funds for operations for their terror network, called A.R.E.S. (Assasination, Revenge, Extortion, and Sabotage.) In a remote section of Long Island lay the headquarters of Romulus Exports. Solo caught on to A.R.E.S.’ act, and one night saw the Black Cat (who had been hired to reacquire a stolen painting for the museum that had owned it) attempting to break in. Seeing her accosted by guards, Solo killed them.

Inside, Gabriel Gant-- known now under the nomme de guerre Deathstorm-- killed a subordinate named Lawrence (who stated that his men could handle the protection of Romulus) for failure, as the Black Cat and Solo had so easily defeated them. Deathstorm then teleported to the building’s computer room, where Solo had gone. Solo had directed the Black Cat to a sub-basement to find the painting she had sought. The Cat left to get it, and Solo began downloading A.R.E.S.’ files. Deathstorm arrived and engaged Solo in battle. Deathstorm used an electro tendril to try to kill Solo, but Solo managed to jam an explosive compound into the tendril launcher. It destroyed Deathstorm’s cybernetic arm, but he teleported away.

(Solo#1)- A.R.E.S. began a campaign to destroy all intelligence files that government organizations had about them. During one of these strikes, Rowena encountered Solo. Deathstorm attended a meeting with Rowena, Tessler, and a leading subordinate named Scorch to discuss the organization’s later plans.

Later, Deathstorm led an attack on a U.N. Secretary Press Conference. Deathstorm encountered Solo there, but Deathstorm teleported away to save Rowena from a Detective Snider who had managed to get the drop on her. Deathstorm shot Snider and left the scene of the battle.

(Solo#2)- At A.R.E.S. headquarters, Deathstorm demonstrated the organization’s prowess to the Delvadian Liberation Front, and participated in a training session with the elite A.R.E.S. guard.

Later, in the (hidden by a cloaking device) A.R.E.S. helicarrier over New York City, Deathstorm prepared for a mission at the Delvadian Embassy. The object of the mission entailed persuading an ambassador Ortega into voting down a current U.N. resolution that would hamper A.R.E.S.’ clients from gaining control of Delvadia. Deathstorm duly teleported in, ordering Scorch to go down to the building’s basement to set up a "going-away gift" in case the mission called for it.

Deathstorm had Ortega bound and tortured him. He also threatened Ortega’s son, but Rowena objected, and took the latter away. Rowena returned to witness Deathstorm’s killing of the recalitrant Ortega. Deathstorm ordered the killing of all other hostages. Just then, Solo and Spider-Man arrived. However, Deathstorm, remembering Bourne’s feelings for Rowena, took her hostage. Had he shot through Rowena, Solo could have gotten Deathstorm, but he could not bring himself to do so. Deathstorm again escaped. However, Scorch, whose teleportation chip was damaged in battle, could not teleport away and was captured.

(Solo#3)- At A.R.E.S.’ headquarters, Deathstorm was reprimanded for his handling of the mission, as A.R.E.S. almost lost their client’s account. However, the Delvadian Liberation Front decided to retain A.R.E.S.’ services to deal with a special closed door session on the Delvadian question at the U.N. However, Tessler disapproved of Gant’s loose cannon tactics, threatening to eject him from A.R.E.S. Deathstorm grabbed Tessler by the neck, but had to release him, as an A.R.E.S. agent announced that they had located Scorch’s location by his jump pulse (the emanations of his chip). They prepared to teleport Scorch back to headquarters. They discovered that somebody was near Scorch, and sent Deathstorm with armed A.R.E.S. agents to "greet" whoever arrived with Scorch.

Scorch duly arrived, but so did Spider-Man, who had come to interrogate Scorch, and grabbed him when he started to disappear. Spider-Man engaged the A.R.E.S. agents in battle. Solo also arrived, having discovered the proximate location of A.R.E.S.’ base from a person A.R.E.S. had bribed, as well as using the emanations from the jump pulses to narrow things down. Solo attacked Deathstorm.

Meanwhile, Tessler and Rowena fled A.R.E.S.’ base in a helicarrier. Tessler took the time to have his men disable Bourne’s and Gant’s chips, then engaged the base’s self-destruct sequence. Both Solo and Deathstorm felt sharp pains when their chips were neutralized. However, Deathstorm used exploding pellets as a smoke-bomb to elude Solo and Spider-Man. Solo and Spider-Man escaped the building, though Deathstorm did not completely avoid the fall-out. He presumably survived due to his cyborg parts.

(Solo#4)- At a warehouse on the Lower West Side, Deathstorm persuaded other members of A.R.E.S. that Tessler had abandoned them, to support him against Tessler. Lorenzo, Tessler’s former head of Research and Development, reactivated Deathstorm’s chip.

Tessler, meanwhile, held the delegates at the U.N. conference hostage on Delvadia hostage. However, when Solo arrived, Tessler teleported back to the helicarrier. Rowena and Solo followed, as Rowena had decided to aid Solo in defeating Tessler-- having finally revealed to Solo that Tessler was her father. Tessler’s agents accompanying him on the mission also attempted to teleport away, but found that their chips had been deactivated. They were defeated by Spider-Man.

Rowena and Solo arrived on the helicarrier bridge to discover that Deathstorm had taken control of it. Deathstorm then broke Tessler’s neck. During the ensuing battle, the camoflauge and guidance systems of the helicarrier were disabled, and it crashed.

The helicarrier crashed in the water near a pier on West 38th Street. Solo, Rowena, and Deathstorm survived the crash. Solo and Deathstorm again confronted one another, with Deathstorm taunting Solo as the police and Spider-Man arrived. Deathstorm prepared to teleport away, but Solo impulsively shot him, thinking he had to take a last shot at ending Deathstorm’s rampages. Deathstorm died. (Sadly, the bullet Deathstorm was killed with penetrated his body and killed an innocent bystander named Dolores. Solo turned himself into the arriving police.)

Comments: Created by Eric Fein and Scott Collins.

I much preferred how Deathstorm was drawn in the Solo mini-series to his appearance in the Amazing Spider-Man annual. He seemed a little more menacing in the latter.

Solo himself first appeared around 1986. He made numerous appearances, mostly in Spider-Man titles afterward. One story, Web of Spider-Man#20, which involved the IRA, actually ended incompletely, as Marvel received too much criticism about it. (Garth Ennis, the Northern Ireland born writer, remembered that Spider-Man meets the IRA story as a horrible one.) The single-minded counterterrorist Solo received an entry in Update ‘89#7. His name, James Bourne, may or may not serve as an homage to Jason Bourne, of the Robert Ludlum novel series that began with the Bourne Identity (recently turned into a Matt Damon movie). Solo has made few appearances since the 1994 mini-series, but his venue, that of retaliation against terrorists, seems a bit topical in these days since September 11th.

Thanks to Brandon Nash for pointing out Ambassador Ortega's first name from Delvadia's Marvel Atlas softcover entry.

Clarifications:
Deathstorm should not be confused with:

by Per Degaton


Appearances:
Amazing Spider-Man Annual#27 (1993) - Eric Fein (writer), Scott Kolins (pencils), Bud LaRosa (inks), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Solo#1-4 (September-December, 1994) - Eric Fein (writer), Ron Randall (pencils), Sam DeLaRosa (inks), Danny Fingeroth (editor)


Last updated: 09/03/16

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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