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MATADOR

Real Name: Manuel Eloganto

Identity/Class: Human, costumed criminal;
   citizen of Spain

Occupation: Currently unknown; former matador

Group Membership: Electro's Emissaries of Evil (Electro, Gladiator, Leap-Frog, Stilt-Man)

Affiliations: Former ally of Carlos Manos, Man-Bull; former pawn of Ringmaster, allied with Ilsa at the time;
    possibly Bova, a
Minotaur, and Toro Rojo

Enemies: Daredevil (Matt Murdock), Hulk (Bruce Banner), Man-Bull, Scourge (Priscilla Lyons); bulls in general;
    possibly Jester (Putt)

Known Relatives: Unidentified sister, unidentified mother (deceased), Miguelito (nephew) and his sibling

Aliases: El Supremo (see comments), Masked Matador; Miguel Eloganto (maybe a play on the old Matt/Mike Murdoch deal?), Dr. Arnold Quaid

Base of Operations: Manhattan, New York; formerly Los Angeles; Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn; Spain

First Appearance: Daredevil I#5 (December, 1964)

Powers/Abilities: None. The Matador used his red cape to distract his opponents, causing them to aim their attacks where it was, rather than where he was. He was swift and agile, and had excellent reflexes. He also carried a sword, and he had some skill in using it. He liked to taunt his opponents with "Ayyy, Toro! Ole!" He also possessed some safe-cracking and acrobatic skills.

Height: 6'
Weight: 219 lbs.
Eyes: Black
Hair: Black

History:

(Smash!#38 (fb) - BTS) - Along with his advisor Carlos Manos, the matador known as el Supremo cooked up a scheme to make himself the most worshipped bull-fighter in all the world. Prior to fights, they would have an inch of the bull's horns filed off, so the animals would misjudge when they tried to hook things; they kept the creatures in total darkness for several hours so that the sudden release into sunlight blinded and disoriented them; and the Banderilleros' darts were secretly tipped with a special drug which greatly weakened the bull without making this obvious to the spectators.

   The two conspirators planned to have el Supremo's fame and adoration grow, touring countries where bull-fighting was popular, until he was considered almost as a god by the inhabitants, allowing him to start a revolution and seize open power in both Spain and South America. Then "El Supremo, could hold the balance of power between the Eastern and Western worlds!"

(Smash!#38) - His sudden fame having swept across Spain, el Supremo fought another bull in the Plaza Del Toros in Granada in front of a cheering crowd of twenty thousand fans, while the same number, unable to fit in the arena, waited outside in the hopes of catching a glimpse of him. His apparent bravery, barely moving as the animal charged him, and the final killing stroke of his sword, caused the crowd to erupt in tumultuous applause.

   Afterwards el Supremo was driven from the bull-ring, the car fighting through hordes of adoring fans. Inside the vehicle with el Supremo was his confidential advisor, Carlos Manos, who commented that while other matadors had been idolised before, the "fools" outside worshipped the bull-fighter like a god. El Supremo responded that he recognised it was Carlos' assistance in fixing the fights with the bulls which had allowed him to make his meteoric rise. They discussed el Supremo's eventual plan to seize power after completing a tour of South America, intended to make him as popular there as he was in Spain, and el Supremo noted that he had only one more engagement before this trip: the fight in Seville.

   The next day el Supremo stood before yet another adoring crowd and faced another bull, unaware that Bruce Banner, who had been hiding in an empty pen, had overheard Carlos discussing how the animal was to be drugged. While the arrogant Supremo toyed with the bull and secretly laughed at his fans, thinking them fools, Banner's anger at the impending butchery of the animal triggered his transformation into the Hulk. The gamma powered giant deliberately released another (undoped) bull into the arena. Confronted with a genuine opponent, Supremo tried to flee, but the bull's horn caught the seat of his trousers, ripping them and throwing him through the air. Landing on his feet, Supremo was chased around the ring, his shirt tail flapping out the hole in his pants. Stunned silence from the audience changed to uncontrollable laughter, and as Supremo reached shelter, he realised his carefully constructed image of confidence and heroism had been irretrievably shattered and replaced by ridicule.

   That evening Supremo sat in his hotel room bewailing the loss of his dreams of power, stating that from that day wherever he went in Spain, the people would laugh at him. "Instead of a ruler, I am a clown!"

(Daredevil I#5 (fb)) - Manuel Eloganto was once the most famous, most controversial bull-fighter in all of Spain. His mastery of the bulls was unquestioned, but his cruelty, and his brutality towards the bulls made the crowds hate him. In fact, during his last public appearance, the audience was actually heard to cheer for the bull. This so infuriated the temperamental matador, that he turned to hurl an epithet back at the jeering crowd...and that bull got him good. He was rushed to a hospital where his life was saved. However, he blamed his injuries on his fellow man, and he vowed revenge upon all mankind. After his release, he mysteriously vanished.

(Daredevil I#5) - The Matador appeared suddenly in the path of an armored car. At the last second he hurled his cape over their windshield and leapt out of the way, causing them to swerve into a streetlight pole. Daredevil appeared on the scene to stop him, but had to leave to save a falling window washer, and the Matador made his escape.
That same night, the Matador appeared in full costume at a masquerade party, where he fit right in. Using his cape as cover, he picked the lock on the wall safe. Matt Murdoch was present, and he directed everyone's attention to the Matador. As the Matador easily avoided the assaults of the party-goers, Murdoch changed to Daredevil to confront him. However, the Matador's rustling cape "vibrates the air around him, fogging my radar sense", and between that and the confusion of the large crowd and its associated noise, the Matador got the better of DD, knocked him to the ground, and escaped again.
As the days went on, the Matador continued his daring crime spree, while Murdoch held his head in shame (as well he should have!). Murdoch made a public announcement that the Matador actually was Daredevil, using a body-double somewhere in order to throw off suspicion. As planned, this drew the Matador to confront Murdoch at his office, where Daredevil was waiting for him. Daredevil led the Matador out in the open, where, without the noise and distraction of a crowd, Daredevil made short work of the Matador. The police arrested the Matador.

(Daredevil: Father#5 - BTS) - Daredevil rescued a girl from the Matador. The girl was the niece of FBI Agent Guida who felt he owed Daredevil a debt.

(Daredevil Annual#1) - Electro recruited the Matador to be one of his Emissaries of Evil in a plot of revenge against Daredevil for previous defeats. Daredevil happened across their recruitment meeting and attempted to bring them in, but Electro managed to knock him out. The Matador suggested that they finish him then, while they had the chance, but Electro declined, because that would be too easy. Later, as part of Electro's plan, the Matador followed Daredevil and ambushed him, but DD easily overcame him. The Matador was knocked into the water by the docks and escaped. The Matador was with the rest of the Emissaries for one final, mass-assault on Daredevil. He managed to cover Daredevil with his cape and began pummeling him relentlessly, but when he uncovered the cape, he found that he actually had Leapfrog in it, and DD surprised him and dropped him with a single punch. Daredevil wrapped the whole group up in a lasso and left them for the cops.

(Daredevil I#129) - The Matador offered sanctuary to the on-the-run Man-Bull. The Matador offered to pay the Man-Bull's way out of the country if he would steal the Golden Bull of China for him. The Matador planned to betray the Man-Bull and kill him to prevent him from sharing in the money the Golden Bull would bring. However, the Man-Bull got in a fight with Daredevil, and became so enraged that he hurled the Golden Bull at him, shattering it against a wall. The Man-Bull escaped, and returned to the Matador, deciding to get rid of him. The Man-Bull tackled the Matador into the bay, where they both disappeared beneath the surface.

(Marvel Year-in-Review 1992) - Matador attended the Springdale branch of the Bar with no Name, enjoying the company of Bova, Man-Bull, Minotaur, and Toro Rojo. He was heckled as Daredevil's most ludicrous adversary by the Jester. The Matador rose and held out his cape, challenging the Jester, who placed his fingers on his head, mimicking the horns of a bull, and charged him. After a few steps, however, the Jester stopped, whipped out his yo-yo, and threw it at the Matador's forehead, knocking him out cold.

(USAgent I#1) - Priscilla Lyons, having just joined the Scourge organization, was sent to assassinate the Matador. She found him in Los Angeles, living in poverty, helping his sister care for her children. As Scourge, she prepared to blow him away, but he told her how he had retired long ago, and paid his debt to society. He refused to beg, but requested that she send the children out of the room so they wouldn't see him be killed. Lyons didn't have the heart to kill him, so she fled, and for her failure became a target of Scourge herself.

(Daredevil II#23) - Manuel Eloganto apparently returned to Manhattan, where he was seeing a therapist named Dr. Arnold Quaid. Quaid was actually the Ringmaster, and was testing his new powers of mesmerization sans hat that he had been recently granted. The Ringmaster had set Daredevil up in a frame for reckless destruction, for which he was being sued by Samuel Griggs, another client of Quaid's. Daredevil's investigations uncovered the involvement of Quaid, and the Ringmaster then used his powers to take control of Eloganto. The Ringmaster set Eloganto up as Quaid, so that it was he who was confronted by Daredevil. Eloganto revealed his own true identity and "confessed" to being the man behind Griggs. Eloganto summoned Ilsa to stop Daredevil, but he defeated her instead. Daredevil then brought Eloganto to Griggs' office, hoping to expose the deception. However, Griggs, of course, had never met Eloganto, and so Daredevil's plan fell apart. Instead, Griggs captured Daredevil's seemingly paranoid accusations and rantings on video tape, and they used it against him in the trial to undermine his credibility.
Daredevil was eventually cleared of charges in a convoluted series of events, and the Ringmaster exposed himself as the head of the plot, but only to Daredevil. Eloganto presumably went about his own life.

(Spider-Man's: Tangled Web#13) - The Matador, in full costume, appeared at one of those "Bar with No Name" joints where costumed super-villains hang out. He was enjoying a few beers and some casual conversation with Stilt-Man. Eloganto took offense when Stilt-Man questioned his masculinity based on his costume, but he let it drop when Stilt-Man offered to buy the next round.

(Daredevil: Father#5) - FBI Agent Guida approached lawyer Matt Murdock, whom the FBI suspected of being Daredevil. Murdock was also suspected of having some connection to serial killer Johnny Sockets (Maggie Farrell), who left Murdock's address book at the scene of her latest murder. Agent Guida, indebted to Daredevil for rescuing his niece from the Matador years before, met Murdock at his office to allow him to inspect the evidence. With his enhanced senses, Murdock detected the scent of Old Spice and chemotherapy chemicals on the address book, eventually unearthing Johnny Sockets' real identity. Murdock thanked Guida, who told him that his niece is doing fine and one day wants to be a lawyer. Agent Guida tells Murdock, "A couple of years ago, Daredevil saved my niece's life from some idiot dressed like a bullfighter."

Comments: Created by Stan "The Man" Lee and Wally Wood.

Marvel Atlas#1 revealed that Matador and El Supremo are in fact the same character, the separate profiles have since been merged into one. The Matador portion was written by Snood and the El Supremo portion was written by Loki.

In my opinion, the Matador is the lamest character ever put out by Marvel. Daredevil had a tough time getting a real rogue's gallery. I'm not saying there aren't tons of "blah" characters. But read Daredevil I#5...
How exactly is a two-dimensional red cape distracting to a blind guy with radar abilities? At one point, the Matador covered DD's head with his cape, which rendered DD completely helpless??? Another time, the Matador did the same thing, and it didn't affect DD in the least.
I am very happy that they have stopped trying to use the Matador as a serious threat, and I'm even more happy that they've gotten good use of his character since his retirement.

"Arnold Quaid" was the name the Ringmaster used while altering the memories and controlling others in his plot against Daredevil. The name was an homage to "Total Recall," which featured Arnold Swarzenegger as Douglas Quaid.

The Golden Bull of China is the same artifact seen previously in Thor I#146.

The story where El Supremo debuted has the distinction of being the first U.K. produced strip set in the Marvel Universe, and pre-dates the creation of Marvel U.K. In 1966 Marvel strips were being licensed for reprint in serial format in titles owned by Odhams Press. For some reason the Hulk strip in Smash! was unable to use a reprint story for#38, and so a quick filler was produced (though the story was produced for a non-Marvel title, there was a small copyright notice in the comic noting that the strip belonged to Marvel Comics, not Odhams). Set immediately after the Hulk and Sub-Mariner's fight with the Avengers in Avengers I#3, it saw Bruce Banner fleeing that battle. Realising he was in Gibraltar, he hid in a truck which crossed into Spain, which in turn led to him hiding in a pen in the bull fighting arena in Seville. After humiliating El Supremo, the Hulk departed Spain, setting off to swim the Atlantic.

It has to be said that El Supremo's plan to seize power ranks up there with the schemes of such supervillains as the Brain from "Pinky and the Brain". When I first read it, I could genuinely hear the voices of the two mouse characters from that cartoon discussing the plan.

There's no credit in the Smash issues, so nobody was listed. However, I've found a discussion of the strip by a group of former Marvel UK staff (editors, writers and artists) on a Marvel UK facebook group, also trying to figure out who drew it, and they believe it is Spanish artist Jose Garcia Pizarro.
--Loki

Thanks to Wolfram Bane for pointing out Matador's BTS appearance in Daredevil: Father#5.

Matador has an entry in Marvel Legacy: The 1970's Handbook.

Profile by Snood & Loki

Clarifications:
Matador (formerly El Supremo) should not be confused with:

Carlos Manos has no known connection to:


Ilsa

She was most likely an agent of the Ringmaster, and she was used to battle Daredevil after he confronted Eloganto, presumably to add credence to his claims of being the one behind Griggs' memory alterations. She may well have been a "normal", civilian athlete, forced into costume and action by the Ringmaster. Daredevil side-stepped her into a wall, knocking her out. She was tough and fast, but had no special abilities or weapons.

--Daredevil II#23










Carlos Manos

Carlos was El Supremo's trusted advisor, who saw to the doping of the bulls before each fight. After his master was humiliated, Carlos spotted the Hulk and realised the behemoth was to blame. He ordered a Banderillero to throw some of the drugged darts at the Hulk, gloating that it would make the green giant as weak as a kitten, but the Hulk caught them and threw them back, puncturing Carlos' posterior. Later, while El Supremo bemoaned his lost glory, Carlos was unsympathetic, since he felt he was suffering more -- because of where the darts had struck and stuck, he couldn't sit down, but because of the drugs, he could barely stand either.

--Smash!#38










images: (without ads)
Daredevil I#5, Cover (main image)
Smash!#38, p13, pan2 (upper body, El Supremo)
Smash!#38, p11, pan11 (Bull-fight shot)
US Agent I#1, p3, pan6 (versus Scourge)
Daredevil II#23, p16, pan3 (Miguel in a new wardrobe)
Daredevil II#23, p17, pan3 (Ilsa)
Smash!#38, p12, pan1 (Carlos)


Appearances:
Daredevil I#5 (December, 1964) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Wally Wood (artist)
Smash!#38 (22nd October 1966) - unrevealed creative team
Daredevil Annual I#1 (1967) - Stan Lee (writer), Gene Colan (pencils), John Tartaglione (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Dareevil I#129 (January, 1976) - Marv Wolfman (writer), Bob Brown (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Marvel Year-in-Review '92 (1992) - Peter Sanderson
US Agent I#1 (June, 1993) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), M.C. Wyman (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Daredevil II#23 (November, 2001) - Bob Gale (writer), David Ross & Mark Pennington (pencils), James Hodgkins (inks), Stuart Moore (editor)
Daredevil: Father#5 (January, 2006) - Joe Quesada (writer/penciler), Danny Miki (inker), Axel Alonso (editor)


First Posted: 12/29/2001
Last updated: 08/22/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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