Real Name: Herb and Sheila Hollister

Identity/Class: Humans

Occupation: Hit Men

Group Membership: The two of them posed as one person;
At least one was on the "Speedball Revenge Squad" (the Basher, Bonehead, the Bug-Eyed Voice, Fred Caskey, Leaper Logan, the Sticker, the Two-Legged Rat)

Affiliations: Nathan Boder, Clyde (employers), Justin Baldwin, Alex Bow, Maddie Naylor

Enemies: Speedball (Robbie Baldwin), Speedball (Darrion Grobe)

Known Relatives: They were husband and wife; otherwise none.

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Mobile, but on at least two occasions Springdale, Connecticut

First Appearance: Speedball#7 (March, 1989)

Powers/Abilities: Both Herb and Shiela have shown skill with pistols.

History: (Speedball#7 (fb) - BTS) - Sheila and Herb Hollister once lived in Springdale and were friends of Justin Baldwin, Maddie Naylor and Alex Bow. At some point they left Springdale working as hitmen, while posing as a single person, the Harlequin Hit Man.

(Speedball#7) - The Harlequin Hit Man was hired by Nathan Boder. The Hit Man follwed a chain of blackmailers who would have been able to incriminate Boder. The Hit Man would force each one to give the name of someone else who knew something. In the meantime, as Herb and Sheila, they rekindled their friendships with Justin Baldwin and Maddie Naylor.

When Philip Barton gave the name of Emil Conroy and bother were killed a clerk at the County Courthouse who had evidence against Boder and had been working with Conroy was afraid he would be next. He set up a meeting with Justin Baldwin, planning to tell him everything. The Hit Man shows up at the meeting and knocks out Baldwin when he arrives. Speedball shows up in time to save is father, but the clerk is shot and killed. Speedball knocks out the Hit Man, only to be attacked by another. After they're both out, Speedball leaves and Justin wakes up to unmask the Hit Men as his friends. Both are taken to jail, but they were successful in their job and nobody is left to incriminate their boss.

(New Warriors I#66 (fb) - BTS) - At least one of the duo was among many costumed criminals who were broken out of jail by Clyde.

(New Warriors I#66) - The Harlequin Hitman and many other criminals were employed by Clyde to find Dr. Benson's cat Niels, which had powers similar to Speedball that Clyde intended to steal. The Harlequin Hitman actually made the capture by shooting it so that it would bounce and become stuck in the Sticker. When Speedball showed up, he made short work of the group and the Hit Man went back to jail with all the others.

(Dark Reign Files) - Quasimodo researched Harlequin Hit Man for Norman Osborn.

Comments: Created by Steve Ditko, Roger Stern and Bruce Patterson

I don't entirely buy Clyde's claim to have been behind all the villains of Springdale. In the case of the Harlequin Hit Man, they were simply killers wearing costumes. Nothing for Clyde to be involved with.

There only appeared to be one of the two working for Clyde. I'd suspect that it was Herb because Sheila would've been sent to a women's prison, but Herb could've been broken out at the same time the others were.

My understanding is that the Speedball in the New Warriors issue wasn't really Speedball, but Darrion Grobe, who actually thought he was Speedball. That doesn't make much difference here though.

In Marvel Year in Review '92's text story "Losers!," the Harlequin Hit Men (note, men) were mentioned to have been early patrons of the Springdale Bar With No Name.

by Patrick D Ryall

The Harlequin Hit Man should not be confused with:

Images taken from:
Speedball#7, page 6, panel 5
Speedball#7, page 2, panel 10

Speedball#7 (March, 1989) - Steve Ditko (plot/pencils), Roger Stern (writer), Bruce Patterson (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
New Warriors I#66 (December, 1995) - Evan Skolnick (writer), Patrick Zircher (pencils), Andrew Pepoy (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Dark Reign Files (February, 2009) - Michael Hoskin & various others (writer), Jeff Youngquist (editor)

Last updated: 09/12/04

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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