Real Name: Conrad Josten

Identity/Class: Human, technology user

Occupation: Super-hero

Group Membership: Thunderbolts (Atlas/Erik Josten, Blizzard/Donald Gill, Fixer/Paul Norbert Ebersol, Joystick/Janice Yanizeski, Mach-IV/Abner Jenkins, Radioactive Man/Chen Lu, Songbird/Melissa Gold, Swordsman/Andreas von Strucker); formerly Redeemers (Beetle (Leila Davis), Charcoal, Citizen V (John Watkins III), Fixer, Jolt, Meteorite (Valerie Barnhardt), Scream), Thunderbolts

Affiliations: Baron Zemo (Helmut Zemo), Captain America (Steve Rogers), Commission on Superhuman Activities, Rebel, Dallas Riordan, S.H.I.E.L.D., Miles Warton

Enemies: Church of the Universal Wellspring, Destructon, Dr. Doom, Grandmaster, Graviton, Henry Peter Gyrich, Humus Sapien, Supreme Power (Doctor Spectrum/Alice Nugent, Hyperion/Zhib-Ran, Nighthawk/Kyle Richmond), Young Allies

Known Relatives: Kurt Josten (father, deceased), Anna Josten (mother, deceased), Erik Josten (Atlas, brother), Lindy Josten (sister, deceased), Carl Josten (brother, deceased)

Aliases: None

Place of Birth: Madison, Wisconsin

Base of Operations: Baron Zemo's Folding Castle, Germany
formerly Mt. Charteris, Colorado
formerly Cliff's Edge, Virginia

First Appearance: (as Conrad Josten) Thunderbolts I#16 (July, 1998); (as Smuggler) Thunderbolts I#47 (February, 2001)

Powers/Abilities: The Smuggler possessed a costume which allowed him to manipulate energy from the darkforce dimension. The Smuggler could reshape his body, elongating himself, and could hide within shadows, using them for teleportation. He could also strangle people with darkforce energy drawn from his victims own shadows.

Height: 5'10" Weight: 150 lbs. Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown

History: (Thunderbolts I#16 (fb)) - Conrad was the youngest brother of Erik Josten, who became the notorious super-criminal Power Man (later Smuggler, Goliath and Atlas), and his brother's reputation ruined the Josten family, forcing them to sell their farm. Conrad's parents grew sick and died and Conrad's brother Carl lost track of him. Carl believed that Conrad was living under a new alias.

(Thunderbolts I#50 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Conrad was approached by agents of the Commission on Superhuman Activities, and given an opportunity to redeem his brother's evil by joining their Redeemers program, in which he became the darkforce-manipulating Smuggler, taking an old alias of his brother's.

(Thunderbolts I#47) - As Atlas had Jolt and Scourge (Jack Monroe) shrink him down in size until he exploded due to ion flux, Conrad watched the event on television, and wished his brother "good riddance."

(Thunderbolts I#48) - Smuggler trained with the Beetle and Citizen V at the Redeemers' base in Cliff's Edge, and they were introduced to their newest member, Valerie Barnhardt, Meteorite.

(Thunderbolts I#49) - Smuggler trained with Meteorite, the Beetle, Scream and Citizen V, and later held a meeting with their other member, the Fixer, as they prepared for their mission to confront Henry Peter Gyrich, a rogue CSA agent seeking to destroy Earth's superhuman population.

(Thunderbolts I#50) - The Redeemers invaded the CSA building in Washington D.C., and were confronted with a Destructon robot Gyrich had reprogrammed. Smuggler tried to break the robot apart by sliding his darkforce into its shell, but Scream blasted it first. Then Gyrich confronted them, and revealed that he had infected the team with nano-probes, placing them under his control.

When the Thunderbolts and Scourge invaded the building, Smuggler joined the Redeemers in fighting them, and began to choke Jolt with darkforce. Smuggler revealed himself to the Thunderbolts as Conrad, and stated how he hated them for making Atlas famous. Charcoal grabbed Smuggler from behind and started to burn him, but Jolt called him off, and her bio-electric field removed the nano-probes from Smuggler and his teammates. Jolt revealed to Smuggler that she was partially paralyzed, and convinced him they were trying to atone for the things they had done. Smuggler joined the Redeemers and Thunderbolts in facing Gyrich again, and MACH-2 destroyed Gyrich's controls. With Gyrich's defeat, Jolt and Charcoal were added to the Redeemers, and moved to the Thunderbolts' base, Mt. Charteris, to be trained by Captain America until Citizen V completed a V-Battalion mission.

(Thunderbolts I#51) - Smuggler joined the Redeemers in a training session with Captain America, and then set out with him on a mission to Doomstadt, Latveria, where they clashed with Rebel, a mercenary from Counter-Earth serving Dr. Doom. Dr. Doom appeared to the Redeemers as a hologram, and arranged to release the Thunderbolts' ally Dallas Riordan to them if they would stop the Counter-Earth terrorists Young Allies from releasing a bio-weapon in Doomstadt.

(Thunderbolts I#52) - Smuggler joined the Redeemers in battling the Young Allies, and ultimately learned that their bio-weapons were inert, and could not harm anyone. With the successful completion of their mission, Riordan was released to the Redeemers.

(Thunderbolts I#53) - Smuggler joined the Redeemers in journeying to the site of a battle between Charcoal and the Imperial Forces, only to find that the fight was already over by the time they arrived.

(Thunderbolts I#54) - Conrad left Mt. Charteris for a hike one day, just as Captain America turned the team back over to Citizen V. Smuggler found a giant footprint left by his brother, and pondered whether he was trying to redeem his brother's evil, or live up to his good. When Smuggler returned to Mt. Charteris, he found the Redeemers facing Humus Sapien.

(Thunderbolts I#55) - Smuggler joined the Redeemers in confronting Humus Sapien, and they ultimately aided him by creating a stargate that would send him off-planet. Just as he departed, Graviton arrived, wanting to destroy the Thunderbolts in order to impress Moonstone.

(Thunderbolts I#56) - Smuggler watched as Charcoal, Jolt and Scream all seemingly died, and Citizen V fled. Just as Graviton sent Meteorite into orbit to suffocate, Smuggler entered Graviton's body through his shadows, and began to harm him. Graviton flew into the sun in order to drive the Smuggler out of his body. As Conrad died, his last thoughts were: "I tried to be a hero...I tried to live up to my brother's standard..."

(Thunderbolts II#100 (fb) - BTS) - Smuggler survived his seeming death, and escaped into the Darkforce Dimension.

(New Thunderbolts #17-18 - BTS) - Smuggler was retrieved from the Darkforce Dimension by Fixer, MACH-4 and Blizzard, but he was rampaging out of control. Fixer used non-stop porn to quiet him down. They then placed him inside of Blackout so that Baron Zemo could use him as leverage against Atlas.

(Thunderbolts II#100 (fb)) - Zemo revealed to Atlas that Smuggler was alive as he was trying to claim the life of Photon (Genis-Vell). Atlas turned on the Thunderbolts in exchange for Conrad's life, and Zemo used the darkforce from Blackout/Smuggler to kill Photon, then set Conrad free.

(Thunderbolts II#101) - Conrad and Erik were finally reunited, and Erik apologized to Conrad for dragging him into his world and nearly costing him his life, but Conrad forgave him.

(Thunderbolts II#103) - Smuggler officially joined the Thunderbolts as they began collecting super-villains on behalf of the CSA. Smuggler helped the team against Quicksand, and three college students wearing MACH-4's old Beetle armors. During their missions, he saw Spider-Man unmask on television, and was surprised to see that they were about the same age.

(Thunderbolts II#104) - Smuggler, Songbird, And Atlas apprehended the Mongoose and recruited him into the Thunderbolts. They had made a bet with the Fixer and MACH-4 field teams, and wound up bringing in their target first. Zemo was proud of the army of villains they had recruited it, and considered it the Thunderbolts "as they should have always been."

(Thunderbolts II#106-108) - Smuggler joined the Thunderbolts in their final battle against the Squadron Sinister and Grandmaster over the Wellspring's energies. When Zemo drew all of the Wellspring's power together, Conrad's costume was drained of its power. Atlas ultimately plugged the Wellspring with his own body.

(Thunderbolts II#109) - Conrad was joined by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in caring for his brother, now unconscious from his efforts as they hoped to find a means to revive him.

Comments: Created by Kurt Busiek, Fabian Nicieza, Mark Bagley, Greg Adams and Scott Hanna.

Well, if it's a title written by Nicieza, it's bound to have a darkforce user in it sooner or later, isn't it? Poor Smuggler didn't even live long enough for the inevitable "darkforce user consumed by inner darkness" story. (but he is back now)

Smuggler has a profile in the All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update#1.

by Prime Eternal

The Smuggler should not be confused with:

Images taken from:
Thunderbolts I#48, page 12, panel 2 (not counting ads)
Thunderbolts I#50, page 18, panel 4

Thunderbolts I#16 (July, 1998) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts I#48 (March, 2001) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Greg Adams, Mark McKenna & John Livesay (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts I#49 (April, 2001) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Patrick Zircher (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts I#50 (May, 2001) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Greg Adams, Al Vey & Scott Hanna (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts I#51-56 (June-November, 2001) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Patrick Zircher (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts II#100 (May, 2006) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Tom Grummett (penciler), Gary Erskine (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts II#101 (June, 2006) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Dave Ross (penciler), Cam Smith (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts II#103-104 (August-September, 2006) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Tom Grummett (penciler), Gary Erskine (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts II#106-109 (November, 2006-February, 2007) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Tom Grummett (penciler), Gary Erskine (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)

First Posted: 05/15/2005 Last updated: 11/13/2013

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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