Membership: Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Crimson Cowl (Ultron-5), Klaw (Ulysses Klaw), Melter (Bruno Horgan), Radioactive Man (Chen Lu), Whirlwind (David Cannon)

Purpose: To blackmail New York

Affiliations: Edwin Jarvis

Enemies: Avengers (Black Panther/T'Challa, Goliath/Henry Pym, Hawkeye/Clint Barton, Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff, Vision/"Victor Shade", Wasp/Janet Van Dyne), Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Liberators

Base of Operations: Beneath a condemned building in New York

First Appearance: Avengers I#54 (July, 1968)

History: (Avengers I#54 (fb) - BTS) - Ultron-5 assumed the identity of the Crimson Cowl in order to gather a new team of the Masters of Evil, including the Melter, Klaw, and Whirlwind. He also set Radioactive Man free from the prison he had been kept in.

(Avengers I#54 (fb)) - Dane Whitman, nephew of Nathan Garret (the Black Knight who had been a member of Heinrich Zemo's Masters of Evil), received the Crimson Cowl's offer in his uncle's mailbox, as Ultron was unaware that Nathan Garret was deceased. The Black Knight joined the team in order to spy on them, pretending to be his uncle.

(Avengers I#280 (fb)) - Ultron sought out the Avengers' butler Edwin Jarvis and used his encephalo-beam to twist his mind and make Jarvis think the Avengers wouldn't pay for his mother's medical bills. Ultron then blackmailed Jarvis into providing the Masters of Evil with the new security plans to Avengers Mansion, and used him as a decoy in the Crimson Cowl costume.

(Avengers I#54) - When Jarvis arrived with the plans to the new security systems at Avengers Mansion, the Crimson Cowl knocked him out with a gas gun rather than pay him. As the Masters prepared for their attack, the Black Knight set out for Avengers Mansion to warn the heroes, but the Cowl had anticipated his betrayal and had the rest of the team waiting for him. Before being beaten down, the Black Knight sent his horse Aragorn into the sky, hoping he might warn the Avengers. Hawkeye spotted Aragorn, but not before the Melter had already broken into the mansion. The Masters used their knowledge of the Avengers' security systems against the heroes, and had them all captured. They then opened a channel to the Crimson Cowl to present their captives, and the Cowl was unmasked as a robot, but the Avengers and Masters were made to believe this was only a decoy, as the "real" Crimson Cowl unmasked himself as Jarvis.

(Avengers I#55) - The Masters returned to their base with the captured Avengers, and Klaw led the prisoners in, only for Goliath to break free. The Crimson Cowl put Goliath under with his gas gun, then berated Klaw for his incompetence. Klaw attacked the Cowl with a sonic blast, but the Cowl was unaffected, and made Klaw grovel before him.

The Cowl had the Avengers placed inside of a hydrogen bomb so that they could blackmail the city and the Avengers' lives. The Cowl then revealed that he was not Jarvis, but rather Ultron-5, and told the Melter to dispose of Jarvis. However, Jarvis escaped the Melter and was soon found by the Black Knight, who set after the Masters' airship. The Black Knight managed to rescue the Avengers, and the Masters of Evil were all defeated, save Ultron-5.

(Avengers I#83) - Now led by Klaw, the Masters attempted to kidnap scientist T.W. Erwin while he was appearing in a Halloween parade in Rutland, Vermont, but the Avengers were also present, and the two teams fought. Although the Masters held their own for a while, they were overwhelmed by the arrival of the Liberators, a team of female heroes led by the Valkyrie (Enchantress), and the villains were defeated.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, John Buscema and George Tuska.

Additional image (Avengers I#54 cover) by Ron Fredricks.

Profile by Prime Eternal

Ultron's Masters of Evil should not be confused with:

Avengers I#54, page 4, panel 4 (Klaw, Whirlwind, Melter, Black Knight, Radioactive Man)
Avengers I#54, Cover (Melter, Whirlwind, Klaw (holding jar containing Wasp), Radioactive Man; Black Knight astride Aragorn (background); Hawkeye, Goliath, Black Panther (foreground))

Avengers I#55 (August, 1968) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils), George Klein (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Avengers I#83 (December, 1970) - Roy Thomas (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Avengers I#280 (June, 1987) - Bob Harras (writer), Bob Hall (pencils), Kyle Baker (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)

First Posted: 03/09/2005
Last updated: 02/22/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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