DIGGER

Real Name: Freddie Carnevale, Santo Castellani, Jimmy "Little Man" Desanti, Louis Fredone, Tony Mascapone, George Sims, and seven other unnamed mobsters

Identity/Class: humans, mutates (13 gangsters put into one enhanced being through gamma radiation), (1957 to modern era)

Occupation: Formerly mobsters

Group Membership: Wise Guys (former gang)

Affiliations: Multiple mob goons back in the days

Enemies: Spider-Man, Morris Forelli, and probably some of the himself that were enemies of another of himself (if that makes sense...see history)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: The Vegas Thirteen

Base of Operations: Currently the sewers of New York
formerly a
hole deep in the Nevada Desert

First Appearances: Amazing Spider-Man II#51 (May, 2003)

Powers/Abilities: Superhuman strength probably around class 60 with other physical abilities enhanced similarly. Digger's body was powered by gamma energy, but had no means of recharging itself, and could be exhausted of all energy and destroyed by constant battle.

History:
(Amazing Spider-Man II#51 (fb)) - The mobsters Freddie Carnevale, Santo Castellani, Jimmy "Little Man" Desanti, Louis Fredone, Tony Mascapone and their six lieutenants, as well as George Sims, lieutenant of another lord, Morris Forelli, got together, unarmed, to work out a peaceful solution to their conflicts. Since Sims was present, and he was known to be Forelli's right arm, none of the other bosses found Forelli's "delay" strange. Except Forelli found out Sims was working for one of the other families, and had helped to arrange a recent hit on one of Forelli's sons. Only when they saw the 4 gunmen show up did they realize they had been betrayed. That story became known as the story of the Vegas Thirteen, 6 mob lords and their lieutenants, plus the lieutenant of the executor, all killed in one night. Their bodies were buried deep into the Nevada Desert, never to be found again.

(Amazing Spider-Man II#51) - Many years later a gamma-bomb was detonated in the Nevada Desert, near the site where the bodies were buried. A leading scientist in that field of research, Dr. Henry Davis, theorized that gamma rays may have been instrumental in developing life on pre-historic Earth. He might have been on to something, because a green guy climbed out of ground zero, and walked away following some abandoned railroad tracks.

The green guy called himself Digger (because he dug out of a hole? Because the Thirteen were killed in the Golddigger Hotel and Casino?), and when he reached New York, the body count started. He started attacking Forelli's men and establishments, referring to himself as "we".

(Amazing Spider-Man II#52) - He first struggled with Spidey in a night club, which is when Spidey started wondering that his green skin might mean something more than just being weird. After he easily rips apart two cartridges worth of webbing, Spidey realized that his skin was green due to gamma radiation. After the fight, Digger fled into the sewers, feeling strangely tired.

Forelli, knowing Digger had come for him, contacted Spidey to protect him, paying him quite a deal of money to do it. He let Spidey in on part of the story, but always omitting any of his involvement in it. While Spidey got acquainted with Digger's background, Digger got acquainted with all that happened between his death and rebirth, as well as sinking a boat carrying contraband for Forelli, killing all the crew.

(Amazing Spider-Man II#53) - Spidey went to Nevada, and visited the blast site. The hazmat crews there were puzzled by the lack of several body parts and the marks of something digging it's way to the surface. Spidey finally realized what Digger really was. He's was not one, not two, but all of the Vegas Thirteen, their bodies puzzled together and their minds inhabiting the end result, a gamma-powered zombie.

Meanwhile, Digger realized his families (not the mob ones, the conjugal ones) were all long dead. He went after another of Forelli's operations, and this time his fight with Spidey was crashed in by 4 guys with machine-guns (deja vu), who were agents of Forelli. They barely were able to hurt him. He brought the whole place down, and Spidey only managed to save the shooters. He turned them to the cops, collected some green goo Digger had shed, and went to Forelli to give him a couple of words, letting him know about his displeasure on the use of hired guns to stop Digger.

(Amazing Spider-Man II#54) - After analyzing the green goo, Spidey found out that the only thing holding Digger together was the gamma radiation, since the differences between the cells of the Thirteen would naturally reject each other. Then Peter theorized that when the Hulk turned back to Bruce Banner, it's because he was recharging, because turning into a green behemoth had a big strain on his system, and he needed to build up again until his energy levels were up, and adrenaline triggered another transformation. He thought it must be the same with Digger, only since he couldn't turn human, he was constantly losing energy. He could rest, but it just was not the same. So all Spider-Man had to do was wear Digger out until he ran out of juice.

Spidey then went to Forelli's house. He asked Forelli about the truth behind Digger's vengeance quest. Forelli didn't come clean. Digger arrived, and tried to kill Forelli's daughter. Spidey intervened, and Forelli told Digger that his beef is with him: he ordered the execution, he got the approval of the other Families, everything. Digger told him that his daughter will die anyway, and Spidey ordered Forelli to leave.

Peter fought Digger relentlessly, forcing him to expend his energy at a rapid rate, until Digger started to collapse. He ran to the sewers, and Spidey followed. Digger ended up losing all his energy, breaking apart, and dying.

Comments: Created by J. Michael Straczynski, John Romita Jr., and Scott Hanna

Peter couldn't be more wrong about the Hulk. While it's funny he entertained the notion that he could kill the Hulk, there's about one chance in a million that it can happen. If Spidey tried to wear down the Hulk, he'd fail. The Hulk's energy wouldn't end. He'd get more angry, thus he'd get more powerful. Spidey's punches would barely scratch him, and each hit that the Hulk would land would certainly break a few bones.
--While the Hulk is my favorite Marvel character, I have to believe that given the proper motivation, especially with the benefit of being able to plan the fight, that Spidey could possibly take out the Hulk. In general, I'd sure put my money on ole' greenskin, though--Snood.

I can remember after Digger's first appearance how Henrique was certain that George Sims would be revealed to have been connected to Ezekial. This may still happen in the future, though it was not brought up in this story arc.
Also, it was a big deal over at Spider-Fan that Spidey killed Digger. Since Digger was sort of a zombie, I'd go with an exception on that one. Since he was reanimated, it was just his form that was destroyed, and we have no evidence that he can't reform in the future. It's kind of like thinking the Absorbing Man is killed every time he gets blown up.

Digger was one of many old foes Spider-Man fought briefly as he traveled through time in Amazing Spider-Man II#500.

Thanks to Leader's Lair for providing the image.

Digger is among the Gamma Mutates in World War Hulk: The Gamma Files.

By Henrique Ferreira, Reformatted By Stunner

CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with:


Appearances:
Amazing Spider-Man II#51-54 (May-August, 2003) - J. Michael Straczynski (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)


Last updated: 03/25/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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