THE PRAETORIAN GUARD
Membership: Several unnamed members
Affiliations: Rebecca, "Richard Fisk" (actually Alfredo, see comments)
Enemies: Five unnamed crime bosses, Hobgoblin (Macendale), Mary Jane Watson Parker, May Parker, Spider-Man, The Rose (Blume), Twitch
Base of Operations: Mobile
First Appearance: Web of Spider-Man I#87 (April, 1992)
Powers/Abilities: Each guard member had a suit of armor that could withstand high powered bullets from a gun ship. Some of the members were able to send electricity through their gauntlets and into a victim. One Guard member was seen using an electrified chain to keep a victim docile while conscious. They all used powerful guns and their armor gave them super strength (@ enhanced human).
HISTORY: At some point and time, the Praetorian guard organized and established themselves as very capable mercenaries. They also had contact with Jason Macendale, who would later become the Hobgoblin.
(Web of Spider-Man I#87) - "Richard Fisk" (see comments) made a business deal with the Hobgoblin, who in turn directed Fisk to hire the Praetorian Guard. Fisk was actually not Fisk, but rather Fisk's friend Alfredo Morelli. Alfredo instructed the Praetorian Guard to capture Spider-Man, who had been interfering in his plans. The Praetorian Guard ambushed Spider-Man, and using good strategy and high-tech weapons, along with the element of surprise, succeeded in soundly defeating Spider-Man and taking him captive, much to the delight of Alfredo and Macendale.
(Web of Spider-Man I#88) - The Praetorian Guard, acting as the bodyguards for Alfredo, brought Spider-Man along when Alfredo wanted to go to his "Father's" (the Kingpin of Crime's) ruined former base of operations to think things over. They kept Spider-Man docile via an electrified chain he was tied in that kept his muscles from responding. Suddenly, a gunship sent by The Rose (Blume) arrived and assaulted Alfredo and the Praetorian Guard in an effort to kill Alfredo and capture Spider-Man to employ his aid. The Praetorian Guard immediately threw themselves in front of Alfredo and protected him while simultaneously attacking the gunship. They then retreated with Alfredo, and managed to prevent him from sustaining any major injury. They did however, lose Spider-Man. Later, a member of the Guard was with Alfredo in his apartment guarding him, and he talked with Alfredo about what was next for him now that his "father's" criminal empire had fallen. The member of the Guard said he thought it was just the beginning, and hinted that he thought that Alfredo should take over his father's criminal empire. The conversation was interrupted when some other mercenaries busted in and tried to kill Alfredo to attain a bounty placed on his life. The Praetorian Guard member present soundly defeated them all with minimal effort. He then held a mercenary who had taken Alfredo's fiancée hostage while Alfredo killed him with a knife.
Meanwhile, another member of the Guard (and two other thugs) went to the Catskill mountains intending to take Mary Jane Watson and May Parker hostage to bring out Peter Parker, who had a bounty placed on his head by Fisk (long story). However, Peter Parker, as Spider-Man, showed up with several agents of the Rose and defeated the Guard Member. But before he had a chance to enjoy the victory, three other members busted in and immediately knocked out Spider-Man and killed the Rose's agents. They then watched as Alfredo killed the Rose.
(Web of Spider-Man I#89) - Several crime bosses refused to accept Alfredo as the new Kingpin, and when he called them all to a meeting, only five showed up. They all expressed their disapproval. In response, Alfredo left the room while a Guard member killed all five crime bosses. He then instructed the Guard member to do three things, call off the hit on Peter Parker, put out a hit on Nick Katzenberg, and send a body part of the dead crime bosses to the other crime bosses who didn't show up. Later, Alfredo received a letter from the new Rose, calling himself Blood Rose, and was asked to meet him in private. Members of the Praetorian Guard reluctantly waited outside the warehouse where the meeting between the two was to take place, though they expressed that they thought they should go with Alfredo. Before long, Spider-Man and Hobgoblin, who was angry at Alfredo for backing out of their business deal, came to the warehouse, and Hobgoblin left Spider-Man alone against the Praetorian Guard while he went to confront Alfredo. This time however, the Guard did not have the element of surprise and Spider-Man defeated them all. They were presumably taken into police custody.
COMMENTS: Created by Howard Mackie and Alex Saviuk
Everyone in the story thought that Alfredo was really Richard Fisk. Alfredo had undergone extensive plastic surgery to look like Richard in an attempt to infiltrate Kingpin's operations in Richard's place because Alfredo had real combat experience. Richard never became the new Kingpin, it was Alfredo who became the new Kingpin very briefly and was pretty much driven mad with power. The people from Spider-Fan, or at least the ones I've heard from, hated this story, and I have to agree that Howard Mackie wasn't very true to the characters. I think (and I be wrong) that the Richard Fisk in the story was originally intended to be the real Richard Fisk, and people just didn't buy it so they changed him into Alfredo.
While I didn't like this story arc very much, I did like the Praetorian Guard, and wouldn't mind seeing them again. The African American Guardsman who is electrocuting Spider-Man in the second picture and holding him up in the first did just about all of the talking for the guard and appeared to be the most formidable of them and their leader.
If you look very very closely, you'll see that the top image has a tear in the arm of the Guard member that was holding up Spider-Man. The tear is kind of near the shoulder. Notice it? I accidentally tore it and then I used my superb taping skills to tape the two sides together so precisely that its hard to spot.
Profile by Stunner
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Web of Spider-Man I#87-89 (April-June, 1992) - Howard Mackie (writer), Alex Saviuk (pencils), Sam DeLaRosa (inks), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Last updated: 10/25/12.
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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