Real Name: Ray Jones
Identity/Class: Human, crime boss
Occupation: Criminal mastermind
Group Membership: Leader of his own gang
Affiliations: Employer of "Cockroach" Hamilton, one-time employer of Rat, Terror, Inc.
Enemies: Power Man (Luke Cage); Quentin Chase; the Punisher (Frank Castle); Terror, Inc. (sorta); The Mob Princesses
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: New York City;
later Stamford, New York
First Appearance: Power Man#30 (April, 1976)
Powers: Piranha Jones was a brilliant crime boss. His real teeth have been replaced with sharpened steel spikes, which Jones used in combat as a real piranha fish would. He was a somewhat skilled hand-to-hand combatant. Jones also kept pools of pet piranhas in his various headquarters, the better to dispose of his enemies.
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 190 lbs.
History: "Piranha" Jones was born into poverty. By age 15, his teeth had rotted and fallen out, presumably because he could not afford dental care. Jones began a crime empire of some sort, and eventually became a wealthy man. At some point, Jones had sharpened steel teeth riveted into his jaw.
(Power Man#28 BTS, 30-31) - Along with his enforcer "Cockroach" Hamilton, Jones bought information from Harry Wentworth concerning the Adonis Chemical Company's shipments of a lethal bacteriological agent through New York City. Luke Cage was hired to find out who Wentworth was selling information to, but was unable to prevent Hamilton from killing Wentworth. Though Cage was fired by the Adonis Chemical Company, he determined to prevent the theft after learning how dangerous the shipment was.
Jones and Hamilton sent their agents to hijack the truck, but Cage and police Lieutenant Quentin Chase appeared on the scene. Jones joined Hamilton in physically battling Luke Cage, who was horrified when Jones actually tried to bite out his throat. During the course of the fight, a canister of the bacteriological agent cracked, and Cage was forced to pound it until it exploded to save the city. However, Cage was left unconscious by the blast, and Jones and Hamilton carried him to Jones' penthouse suite. Jones attempted to impress Cage with a lavish dinner and his own pseudo-intellectual discourse, but Cage naturally broke free and began fighting the two again. Jones managed to knock Cage into his indoor piranha pool, but Cage defeated Jones in combat and even knocked out some of his steel teeth. Cage elected to save Jones from his pet piranhas, and left Jones in the suite for the police.
(Terror Inc. I#6 (fb) ) - Jones managed to escape conviction for all the charges against him, and relocated to the suburban community of Stamford with Hamilton in tow, hoping to leave his criminal life behind. He maintained his fearsome reputation for protection, but found that the community would not accept him. Three women, Vita Buchetta, Ann Repucci, and Annette Cortese came forth and shamed the community into accepting Jones. Unfortunately, the trio were simply using Jones to start their own criminal careers. When they became publicly known as criminals, Jones' community standing was again ruined.
(Terror Inc. I#6-7) - Terror was hired by an unknown party to kill Piranha Jones, and both he and the Punisher interrupted Jones' attempts to buy a disk with information about the the women's criminal acitivities from Rat, who Jones had hired to steal it, when they tried to kill him. Rat had secretly hidden the disc in a video game cartridge and wouldn't give it up until Jones paid him. While Terror, Inc. and the Punisher battled, Jones made his escape. Back at his headquarters, Jones ordered his men to find the cartridge, biting off one underling's nose to make his point. Terror, Inc. decided that his best course of action would be to find the cartridge. Jones, Hamilton, their gang, and the three mob princesses all arrived at the mall at once, and Terror, Inc. tricked them into a firefight to cover his search for the cartridge.
On examining the information on the cartridge, Terror, Inc. realized that Jones had hired him. Terror, Inc. saved Jones from the mobsters and the arriving Punisher, at one point using Jones' teeth to deflect a bullet, and evaded all parties in a car chase. At Jones' headquarters, he and Terror, Inc. convinced the Punisher that Terror had killed Jones. Using a mild neurotoxin injected into his skin, Terror allowed the Punisher to throw him into the pool of piranhas. The Punisher left, thinking Terror dead, but he emerged from the pool shortly after the Punisher left, the neurotoxin having killed the fish. Jones explained that he had really wanted to start over, but he realized that the only way he could really be free of his past and stop the mob princesses was to frame them for hiring Terror, Inc. to kill him. To avoid ruining his own reputation, Terror, Inc. redrew their contract so that a large fee was sent to charity, and then killed Jones for the sum of one dollar.
Comments: Created by Don McGregor and
Mob Princesses created by D.G. Chichester
Another great Don McGregor villain. I strongly recommend any of McGregor's Marvel work, which included the old Killraven series; Power Man#28, 30-35; and the great Black Panther serial in Jungle Action.
The Power Man story was interrupted because McGregor and/or Buckler couldn't make their deadlines, leading to the infamous "Mr. Fish" fill-in.
In the original Power Man issues, it's completely unclear what Jones plans to do with the bacteriological agent. Presumably it's an extortion scheme of some sort, but who knows?
I am pretty sure that Jones' criminal empire was based on heroin dealing. Luke Cage got info on the criminal's plans from a heroin addict in Power Man#30, and in Terror, Inc. #6 his crime enterprises are referred to as a vice empire. Vice traditionally included both drugs and prostitution, but aside from Cockroach Hamilton's outfit I see no evidence for the latter.
His first name was revealed in the All-New OHotMU A-Z 2006 entry for Cockroach Hamilton.
Profile by Omar Karindu.
Piranha Jones is not to be confused with:
Piranha Jones' first gang were elite costumed thieves. They wore bulletproof chestpieces, but their facemasks afforded no such protection. They also carried unusually high-caliber handguns. They attacked the chemical shipment by throwing a steel net over the truck to stop it. Quentin Chase shot it out with several of them, and killed at least one member.
The MOB PRINCESSES
Ann Repucci, Vita Jane "the Headcutter" Buchetta, and
They were apparently three "mob princesses." That may mean they were related to actual Mafia..I mean, Maggia figures, or they may have just been three suburbanites who turned to crime. They vouched for Piranha's reputation, but soon afterwards began making demands of him and launched their own brutal crime syndicate. They all carried assault weapons, and had no regard for the lives of bystanders. Presumably they were convicted when the evidence against them came to light, but if Piranha Jones could beat the charges against him, I'm sure they could too.
--Terror Inc. I#6-7
Power Man#31, Cover (main image)
Power Man#30, p9, pan2 (head shot)
Power Man#30, p14, pan5 (his gang)
Terror Inc. I#6, p21, pan2-4 (Mob Princesses)
Power Man#30 (April, 1976) - Don McGregor (writer), Rich Buckler & Arvell Jones (pencils), Keith Pollard (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Power Man#31 (May, 1976) - Don McGregor (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Crusty Bunkers (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Terror Inc. I#6-7 (December, 1992 - January, 1993) - D.G. Chichester (writer), Jorge Zaffino & Mark Texeira (#6) (pencils), Jorge Zaffino (inks), Marc McLaurin (editor)
Last updated: 12/18/16
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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