STILETTO

Real Name: Tom Stuart

Identity/Class: Human, technology user

Occupation: Mercenary, criminal

Group Membership: Justin Hammer's agents, unnamed team under Nightshade's leadership

Affiliations: Discus (partner); Justin Hammer, Erik Killmonger, Nightshade (former employers);
Sphinx (Anath-Na-Mut)-formerly allied with Justin Hammer;
Beetle (Abner Jenkins, aka Mach-1-3+), Blizzard (Gregor Shapanka), Bombshell, Boomerang, Constrictor, Hydro-Man, Leap-Frog (Vincent Patilio),
Man-Killer, Melter, Porcupine, Rhino, Speed Demon, Spymaster I, Water Wizard (aka Aqueduct), Whiplash (Mark Scarlotti)--all fellow operatives under Hammer
Cottonmouth, Eel (Edward Lavell),
Cockroach Hamilton, Man Mountain Marko, Morgan--allies under Nightshade

Enemies: Black Goliath, Black Panther (T'Challa), Captain America (Steve Rogers), Comanche, Falcon, Iron Fist, Iron Man (Tony Stark), Mrs. Jenks, Misty Knight, Power Man (Luke Cage), Albert "Billy Bob" Rackham, Det. Rafael Scarfe, Shades, Spider-Man;
New Warriors (Firestar, Namorita, Night Thrasher, Nova, Silhouette)

Known Relatives: Tim (brother, Discus), Tyler (father)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: New York City; formerly Justin Hammer's floating island villa; Ryker's Island prison

First Appearance: Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#16 (December, 1973)

 

Powers: None. Stiletto uses knives as throwing weapons, and he is a talented knife-thrower. He uses a number of knives containing various weapons, such as: explosives, an electric blaster, noxious gas, and a cryogenic weapon.
He also can fire flechettes (tiny little knives), in great number and rapid speed, from his gauntlets. He has at times worn a jet pack, and has also used grappling hooks with cables able to be fired from his wrist launchers.
Stiletto has at times believed himself to be a vigilante, trying to bring in Luke Cage, whom he saw as a criminal, but his behavior goes way beyond that, and he is more than willing to sacrifice innocent lives when going after Cage. In addition, neither the fact that Cage was judged innocent in a court of law, nor that his own father, Tyler Stuart, does not blame Cage have turned him from this mission.

 

 

History: Tom Stuart is the older brother of Tim, and the son of Tyler Stuart, who was briefly the warden at Seagate. Tom was a prize student, although the extent of his education is unknown.

BTS - After Carl Lucas became the first man to escape from Seagate, warden Tyler Stuart was fired from his job. Tom blamed Lucas and sought vengeance on him. He somehow contacted Justin Hammer and was given the costume and advanced weaponry to become Stiletto.

(HfH#16) - Stiletto followed Shades and Comanche, who had recently escaped from Seagate as well. These two led him to Luke Cage (the new name taken by Lucas) and Billy Bob Rackham (who had been an antagonist of Tyler Stuart at Seagate, and had also murdered reporter Phil Fox). Seeking to take them out all at once, Stiletto fired a series of explosive flechettes into the building, not caring that the relatively innocent Mimi Jenks was present as well. The building collapsed on them, but Cage managed to prevent the deaths of anyone (from the collapse, anyway...). Cage pulled himself from the wreckage and went after Stiletto. Stuart managed to nail Cage several times, but the determined hero continued to fight back, and Stiletto eventually fled.

 

 

(Power Man#22) - Stiletto returned, now assisted by his younger brother, who had been similarly outfitted and now was Discus. They ambushed Cage in his apartment above the Gem Theatre, knocking him through the wall, and out onto the streets of New York. Their fight carried them across the city, but Cage eventually got the better of them, and he threatened Stiletto, attempting to force him to reveal his reasons for coming after him. Tyler Stuart himself arrived in time to save his sons from further beatings, revealed them to be his sons, and convinced Cage to let him take care of the situation.

(Power Man and Iron Fist#50) - At a victory party celebrating Cage's exoneration of all previous charges, Stiletto and Discus once again attempted to take their vengeance on him. Cage was assisted by his allies, Iron Fist and the Daughters of the Dragon. Stiletto fired a barrage of flechettes at Iron Fist, but was astounded when the martial arts battered every single one of them out of the air. Iron Fist easily got the drop on the surprised Stiletto. Discus and Stiletto fled form the battle, but then ambushed Iron Fist as he followed them, causing him to fall off the top of a building (he survived...duh!). Meanwhile, the police arrived on the scene, led by Det. Rafe Scarfe, and followed by Misty Knight. Stiletto fired a flechette at Scarfe, and Misty Knight returned fire, shooting Stiletto in the shoulder. Power Man then caught a bullet aimed at Stiletto's head by Misty, in retribution for the seeming murder of her former partner. Stiletto and Discus were defeated and carted off to prison, and Scarfe revealed that the flechette had struck his badge, saving him.

(Iron Man I#126, 127) - Discus and Stiletto were part of an army of super-villains stationed on Justin Hammer's floating villa and used in an effort to capture Iron Man. Neither of the pairs' weapons could damage his armor, and Iron Man reflected Discus' attack back on them, taking them out of the fight early on.

(PM/IF#110(fb)-BTS) - Discus and Stiletto found religion while in prison, and decided to turn away from their violent past.

(PM/IF#110) - Tim and Tom were sent to an address for a Miss Tilda Johnson, who would be able to help them find work. The whole thing was a set-up, as Tilda was the criminal Nightshade, and she doped them up and had them assist her in another plot to rob the wealthy attending the Debutante Cotillion of Millie Hogarth's. Unbeknownst to Nightshade, Millie's father, Jeryn Hogarth, was the agent to Power Man and Iron Fist, who attended the ball at Millie's request as her escorts. Alongside Eel and Man Mountain Marko, Discus and Stiletto began looting those present, but soon found themselves in conflict with the Heroes for Hire. However, the drugged Tim and Tom's hearts weren't in the struggle, and once Nightshade was knocked out (by Millie herself), the regained their senses and stopped fighting. They even helped defeat the Eel, and so they were set free on their own recognizance.

BTS - Tim and Tom's spiritual strength apparently faded as the rent became due, and they soon found themselves again working for Justin Hammer.

(Spectacular Spider-Man Annual#12, Web of Spider-Man Annual#8, New Warriors Annual#2) - The Sphinx allied himself with Justin Hammer and others in a plot to capture a number of super-powered beings to siphon for power to replace his own supply. As a growing number of super-heroes began to oppose and investigate this plot, Hammer volunteered the services of his operatives, in exchange for an increased share of the profit, of course.
Stiletto was not at his top performance, exemplified by the fact that Spider-Man sprayed him in the face with webs, then said, "Oh my gosh! You're Going Blind!" To which Stiletto responded, "B-B-Blind?! Noooo!", and then started firing his blades at random, sending his partners scrambling, while Spidey came swooping in and corked him in the head, knocking him out. Stiletto recovered later and paired off against Namorita, and succeeded in keeping her off balance long enough (as she dodged his blades) for Discus to take her out. In the final battle, Spidey snagged him with a piece of webbing and swung him into his own allies, knocking he and a group of them out.

(Captain America I#411-413, [414]) - Stiletto was present at the AIM Weapon Expo on Boca Caliente, and was part of the literally dozens of super-villains who dogpiled on top of and attempted (and failed) to capture Captain America.

(Black Panther III#16, 17) - Alongside Cottonmouth, Cockroach Hamilton, and the former crimelord Morgan, Stiletto was employed by Nightshade (who was working for Erik Killmonger) to take down the Black Panther. T'Challa was assisted by the Falcon, Black Goliath, and Power Man and Iron Fist, and their combined forces defeated the group of criminals. Brother Voodoo was also present, but he did not get involved in the fight.

(Civil War: War Crimes) - Stiletto joined Hammerhead's "villain army" in order to take advantage of the raging superhero Civil War. Before they could begin doing so, however, their headquarters was raided by Iron Man and a small army of SHIELD agents. Stiletto's fate in the ensuing melee is unknown.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#562) - Stiletto attended a Bar With No Name in New York City, where he and a number of other supervillains watched the Basher challenge Spider-Man to a fight via YouTube. He and a number of other villains placed bets with the Bookie that Spider-Man wouldn't show up, and turned on him angrily when an imposter Spider-Man showed up at the fight. He was still at the bar when the real Spider-Man arrived, following a tip from the imposter.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#563) - Stiletto and the other supervillains in attendance battled Spider-Man, but they stopped when the bartender reminded them that the Bar With No Name was a sanctuary for those being hunted by the law - which currently included Spider-Man. Spider-Man then pressed the bar's tight-lipped occupants for information on the Bookie, finally extracting some from Deke.

Comments: Created by Tony Isabella and Billy Graham.

Discus and Stiletto apparently parted company after the encounter with the Sphinx. I don't know any reason for this. Perhaps Discus retired for good after seeing the dangers involved in interacting with beings of such power. Another possibility: Discus accidentally shorted out the Beetle's system during the middle of a fight in Web of Spider-Man Annual#8. Perhaps the Beetle came back and laid the smackdown on him, not killing him, but perhaps badly injuring him and/or making him rethink his career. Or perhaps a steady diet of tacos finally began to catch up with him, and he was in the bathroom during the last few struggles.
--Per
Bob Almond, inker of the Black Panther, Discus was in the original plot, but was switched to Cottonmouth for unknown reasons. In addition, the Gamecock was also in the original plot, but he was switched to Cockroach Hamilton because the editor, Ruben Diaz, was a big fan of Cockroach, and requested Priest use him.

Stiletto and Discus discussed having a "third partner" who had outfitted them with their advanced weaponry, but this wasn't clarified until they both were revealed as agents of Justin Hammer in the pages of Iron Man. The fact that they worked for Hammer in the past should mean that they've got that control deal inside of their system (see mid-to-late 60s issues of the Thunderbolts). Maybe they'll show up as part of that plot.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No known connection to:
Stiletto, an assassin hired by Rosalie Carbone to kill the Punisher (Frank Castle), @ Punisher War Zone#8
The Walking Stiletto, an AIM robot, @ Captain America I#113
Adam Clayton Powell, regarding whom Luke Cage said, " I don't know you from..."
--I ASSume it's this guy,
Adam Clayton Powell, whom I don't know from Stiletto...

Stiletto worked with Cottonmouth, formerly of the Serpent Society, @ Captain America I#310, while serving Nightshade
He has no known connection to:
Cornell Cottonmouth, a superhumanly strong crimeboss, @ Power Man#18, 19


Appearances:
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#16 (December, 1973) - Steve Englehart, Billy Graham & Tony Isabella (writers), Billy Graham (pencils), Frank McLaughlin (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Power Man#22 (December, 1974) - Tony Isabella (writer), Ron Wilson (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Power Man and Iron Fist#50 (April, 1978) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Dave Cockrum & Dan Green (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Iron Man I#126-127 (September-October, 1979) - David Michelinie & Bob Layton (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Bob Layton (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Power Man and Iron Fist#110 (October, 1984) - Tony Isabella (writer), Greg LaRocque (pencils), Jerry Acerno & Brad Joyce (inks), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man Annual#12 (1992) - David Michelinie (writer), Scott McDaniel (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Web of Spider-Man Annual#8 (1992) - David Michelinie (writer), Scott McDaniel (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
New Warriors Annual#2 (1992) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Brandon Peterson (pencils), Keith Williams, Mark Stegbauer, Al Milgrom & Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Captain America I#411-413 (January-March, 1993) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Black Panther III#16-17 (March-April, 2000) - Christopher Priest (writer), Sal Velluto (pencils), Bob Almond (inks), Ruben Diaz (editor)
Civil War: War Crimes (February, 2007) - Frank Tieri (writer), Staz Johnson (penciller), Tom Palmer & Robin Riggs (inkers), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#562 (August, 2008) - Bob Gale (writer), Mike McKone (penciler), Andy Lanning (inker), Stephen Wacker (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#563 (August, 2008) - Bob Gale (writer), Mike McKone (penciler), Marlo Alquiza (inker), Stephen Wacker (editor)


Last updated: 08/24/08

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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