MASTERS OF EVIL

Membership: Beetle, Egghead, Moonstone, Radioactive Man, Scorpion, Shocker (Herman Schultz), Tiger Shark, Whirlwind

Purpose: To assist Egghead in making technological breakthroughs

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Avengers (Captain America, Captain Marvel, Hawkeye, Henry Pym, She-Hulk, Thor, Wasp)

Base of Operations: Egghead's laboratory, Manhattan, New York

First Appearance: Avengers I#222 (August, 1982)

History: (Avengers I#222) - Deciding that he needed assistance in his plot to make money by developing cutting-edge technologies through illegal means, Egghead sent a missile to break Tiger Shark out of his Atlantean prison, then had Tiger Shark break Moonstone, Whirlwind and the Scorpion out of Ryker's Island. He then met with the four villains, and appointed Moonstone as his deputy leader. He informed them that their first mission would be to steal data and supplies from a Manhattan medical research center.

Since he wouldn't be needed until that evening, Whirlwind decided to confront the Wasp, having learned that she had been divorced from Hank Pym. His assault on her brought him to the attention of the other Avengers, and Moonstone led Tiger Shark and Scorpion to Avengers Mansion to help bail Whirlwind out. The Avengers easily defeated the disorganized villains, and Egghead resolved to recruit another team.

(Avengers I#228 (fb) - BTS) - Egghead had Tiger Shark and Moonstone released, but left Whirlwind and Scorpion in prison. He also recruited the Shocker and Beetle for the Masters of Evil, and sent an invitation to Radioactive Man. Intending to bring Henry Pym over to his side, Egghead brainwashed the Shocker so that he could be set up later on.

(Avengers I#228) - Radioactive Man arrived at Egghead's lab to accept his offer just as Tiger Shark and Shocker fell through the ceiling, fighting each other. Moonstone and Beetle ended the fight, only for Tiger Shark to insult Radioactive Man by calling him a "gook." After learning who he was, Tiger Shark backed down.

When Henry Pym went to trial, the Masters of Evil burst into the courtroom to "rescue" him, claiming that he was their leader. The Avengers fought the Masters, and Shocker was incapacitated by Hawkeye's arrows. Radioactive Man managed to transform the She-Hulk back into Jennifer Walters, and the Masters managed to escape them, leaving Shocker behind. When the Wasp questioned Shocker, he claimed that Pym had hired him. When Pym arrived at Egghead's lab, Egghead showed him on the news that the public now believed he was their leader, so he had no choice but to assist him in his life-prolongment project.

(Avengers I#229) - While Pym set to work, the Avengers determined that Shocker had been brainwashed, and Shocker disclosed the Masters' location to them. Pym finally claimed to have completed Egghead's life-prolongment device, but Egghead doubted him. The Masters decided to test the device out on Pym to make sure it wasn't a trap, and strapped him in. However, Pym had actually designed a weapons arsenal, and surrounded himself with a force field. He then brought down the Masters one by one, overriding the Beetle's guidance systems, grabbing Radioactive Man with grippers then slamming him into Tiger Shark, and blasting Moonstone with a disruptor. The Avengers had arrived by then, and were confronted by the out-of-control Beetle, who came bursting out of the house, and was finally halted in his tracks by Thor. Hawkeye used the tunnel the Beetle had made in order to gain access to the lab.

With the Masters defeated, Pym confronted Egghead and noted how he had beaten him as Hank Pym, not as a costumed hero. Egghead lunged at Pym, only to be struck down. Pym turned his back on Egghead just as he reached for a laser gun. Hawkeye saw Egghead reach for it and fired an arrow into the gun's shaft. The gun overloaded and killed Egghead.

(Avengers I#230) - Moonstone was the first of the Masters to revive, and briefly considered striking down the Avengers from behind, but then decided to retreat-- only to run into Captain America, She-Hulk, Thor and the Wasp. She surrendered to them, and offered to plea bargain. Moonstone was joined by the Beetle in submitting evidence showing how Egghead had framed Henry Pym. Hawkeye and Pym were both cleared of criminal charges, and Egghead's ashes were scattered by his niece Trish Starr.

Comments: Created by Jim Shooter, Steven Grant and Greg LaRocque.

by Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
Egghead's Masters of Evil should not be confused with:


Images taken from:
Avengers I#228, page 14, panel 4


Appearances:
Avengers I#222 (August, 1982) - Jim Shooter & Steven Grant (writers), Greg LaRocque (pencils), Brett Breeding (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Avengers I#228-230 (February-April, 1983) - Roger Stern (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Brett Breeding (#228) & Joe Sinnott (#229-230) (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)

Last updated: 12/06/04

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