Real Name: Steve Petty

Identity/Class: Human mutate

Occupation: former student

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Jake Dorman, Ronda Kramer, Living Brain

Enemies: Jake Dorman, Spider-Man

Known Relatives: Mr.Petty (father)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: formerly Midtown High School, Queens, New York

First Appearance:
    (Petty): Web of Spider-Man#35 (February, 1988)
    (Phreak): Web of Spider-Man#36 (March, 1988)



Powers/Abilities: Steve was skilled with electronics and robotics, and was able to rebuild and even revamp the Living Brain. He briefly used the robot as a weapon.

    As the Phreak, he could fly and had electrical powers, able to absorb and release huge amounts of electricity.

(Web of Spider-Man#35 (fb) - BTS) - Steve Petty was a student at Midtown High School, where he spent most of his free time time working on robotics. His father, the creator of the Living Brain robot, worked for ICM (the International Computing Machines Corporation), and helped to supply the school with computers and parts for Steve to work on. Steve rebuilt the Living Brain robot, and spent little time interacting with his classmates, as he had a much easier time with machines.

 (Web of Spider-Man#35) - Steve met his idol, Peter Parker, who had come back to Midtown to teach. Parker broke up a near fight between Steve and Jake, a more athletic student. While Steve showed Parker his robotics work, Peter tried to convince him of the value of making friendships, but Steve wanted nothing to do with it. Later, Steve's glasses broke during another confrontation with Jake. Pushed over the edge, Steve activated the Living Brain and sent it out to get revenge on Dorman. Spider-Man managed to overcome and deactivate the Living Brain.

(Web of Spider-Man#36) - That night, Steve sought vengeance by another means, completing an exo-skeleton in the basement at Midtown. The energy flashes released in the process drew the attention of Jake and his girlfriend Ronda, who were making out in the school parking lot. Investigating, they entered the room Steve was working in, but when Jake turned on the lights, it caused a feedback that sent energy through Petty, mutating him into the Phreak.

    As the Phreak, Petty went after Peter Parker, whom he saw as having betrayed him, but not understanding his problems. He first found Mary Jane, and when Peter tried to stop him, Petty caused an explosion that pumped his leg full of shrapnel. Petty pulled MJ out onto the streets of New York , where he drove off a cop who tried to stop him. He brought MJ with him to Times Square, where he began to absorb huge amounts of electrical power and cause a spectacle. Spider-Man confronted him and tried to stop the Phreak, but couldn't get past his defenses or attacks. Then Jake and Ronda showed up, and Jake apologized for inadvertently injury Steve. The Phreak was stunned by the apology and Spider-Man managed to get in a good punch, knocking him back, but it was more the words of Jake which helped him regain his senses. Somewhat stunned, Steve dropped to the ground, where Jake admitted his own involvement to the police. Steve was impressed that Jake stood by him, though both they and Ronda were taken away by the cops.

Comments: Created by Gerry Conway and Alex Saviuk

The word phreak refers to one who hacks into phone and computer lines, especially in an effort to break through security systems. Steve said the name was co-opted to refer to electronics engineers.

No known connection to:


Jake Dorman and Ronda Kramer

A pair of students at Midtown, Ronda tried to keep the peace and make friends with Steve, while Jake, an athlete, was constantly getting into fights with him over their differences. After Jake shoved Steve and broke his glasses when he accidentally spilled food on his new pants, Steve sent the Living Brain after him. He was saved by Spider-Man, but that same night, he walked in on Steve, who was working on an exoskeleton, and inadvertently caused a feedback that mutated him into the Phreak. Jake found Steve in a rampage at Times Square and apologized, helping him to regain his wits. Jake promised to stand by Steve throughout his problems.


--Web of Spider-Man#35 (36



images: (without ads)
Web of Spider-Man#36, p19, pan1 (main image)

#35, p9, pan6 (original face)
#36, p12, pan3 (head shot transformed)
#36, p14, pan4 (Jake & Ronda)

Web of Spider-Man#35-36 (February-March, 1988) - Gerry Conway (writer), Alex Saviuk (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)

Last updated: 05/25/03

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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