Real Name: Andreas Kapelos

Identity/Class: Human (presumably Greek; see comments) technology user

Occupation: Weapons dealer

Group Membership: Leader of a weapons dealer ring

Affiliations: Dreadnoughts, Flaming Sword, Mandarin, Masters of Evil (Crimson Cowl (Justine Hammer), Cyclone (Fresson), Flying Tiger, Klaw, Man-Killer, Tiger Shark), Don Fortunato (see comments);
employer of many unidentified agents

Enemies: Michel Dufours, Iron Man (Tony Stark), Countess Stephanie de la Spirosa, Thunderbolts (Atlas (Eric Josten), Citizen V (Helmut Zemo), Mach-1 (Abner Jenkins), Meteorite (Karla Sofen), Songbird (Melissa Gold) )

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Dufours Precision Manufacturing Corporation near Zermatt, Switzerland

First Appearance: Thunderbolts I#3 (April, 1997)

Powers/Abilities: Kapelos was an expert weapon designer.


(Iron Man III#3 (fb) - BTS) - Andreas Kapelos blackmailed the Dufours family to gain access to Dufours Precision Manufacturing Corporation's resources. In a secret base beneath the corporation's main factory in Switzerland Kapelos built weapons.

(Iron Man III#3 (fb) ) - Michel Dufours introduced Kapelos to his wife Staphanie as an old friend of his family.

(Iron Man III#3 (fb) - BTS) - Kapelos killed Michel when he didn't cooperate anymore.

(Iron Man III#3 (fb) ) - Kapelos continued to do business with DPMC, now owned by Michel's widow Stephanie.

(Iron Man III#5 (fb) - BTS) - Arms Merchant provided technology to the Flaming Sword, later utilized in Firebrand's harness.

(Thunderbolts I#3) - Arms Merchant and an agent sold high-tech weapons to Don Fortunato's men. The transaction was guarded by Crimson Cowl's Masters of Evil, who were attacked by the Thunderbolts. Arms Merchant's agents tried to escape, but the Black Widow caught them. (see comments)

(Iron Man III#2 (fb) - BTS) - Mandarin became a client of Arms Merchant.

(Iron Man III#6 (fb) - BTS) - Arms Merchant partially designed a battle station for Mandarin.

(Iron Man III#3 (fb) ) - When Stephanie started to ask uncomfortable questions about irregularities in the books, Kapelos pressed her to sell the corporation to him and threatened her life. She called Tony Stark for help.

(Iron Man III#2 - BTS) - Kapelos' agents attacked Iron Man when he snooped around in the hidden facility. He escaped them and went to Stephanie to ask her if she needed help. Stephanie's bodyguards turned out to be employees of Kapelos and attacked Tony and Stephanie. The Mandarin sent Dreadnoughts when he heard of Iron Man's attack on his weapon supplier. Iron Man fought Kapelos' agents and then saw Dreadnoughts destroy Stephanie's chalet with her still inside.

(Iron Man III#3 - BTS) - Iron Man tricked the Dreadnoughts to attack Kapelos' agents. Stephanie and her butler had survived the attack and Iron Man later called the media to tell them he would reveal the illegal activities of the Arms Merchant.

(Iron Man III#3) - On his way to Kapelos, the Arms Merchant, Iron Man was once again attacked by Mandarin's Dreadnoughts. They followed him inside the hidden facility, where they were attacked by more of Kapelos' agents. Iron Man overheated the Dreadnoughts with molten steel and explained to Kapelos that the Dreadnoughts would soon explode and kill him. Iron Man lured the Dreadnoughts away after Kapelos gave him a coded disc with information on all his jobs. Iron Man couldn't find any useful information on Arms Merchant's clients.

(Iron Man III#6 - BTS) - In a facility in the Australian Outback a battle station for Mandarin, partially designed by Arms Merchant, was built by several kidnapped scientists under the supervision of Tuatara.

Comments: Created by Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley & Vince Russell.

The character in Thunderbolts was clearly identified as the Arms Merchant. It is possible that Kapelos sent a replacement to the United States or the Thunderbolts just let him go. After all they were only posing as heroes at the time.

At the time Thunderbolts I#3 was published Don Fortunato was on the rise in the New Yorker underworld and he worked together with Hydra, like Black Widow surmised.

Kapelos sounds Greek, but I'm not sure about his heritage.

More on the name from Dim I Nticoudis:

I am Greek and the closest sounding word would be "Kapelo". Quoting the Papyros dictionary, a Greek publication which covers alternate meanings and origins of various words, the primary meaning would be "hat". It is a loan word from the Italian "capello". A secondary meaning in everyday use means "illegal overcharge"/"illegal price hike up". Basicaly every rise of a price beyond the limits set by law.

Derivatives include 1) "Kapeloma". Its primary meaning is "to cover somehing with a hat". Secondary meanings include "to hit someone wearing a hat", "to cover-up/maintain the silence over something bad or illegal", "to promote or enforce my own will over those of others", "to be a guardian over a ward/someone legaly unable to take care of himself/herself". 2) "Kapelono". This is a verb. Primary meaning is "to place a hat over someone's head". Secondary meanings include "hitting someone wearing a hat", "covering up/maintaining the silence over something bad or illegal", "enforcing my own will over those of others", "serving as guardian over a ward".

Profile by Markus Raymond.

Arms Merchant has no known connection to:

Arms Merchant's agents

They were the guards of the hidden facility in Switzerland. Armed with crossbow-like energy rifles and wearing full body armor, they proofed to be threats even for Iron Man. Some of them used skycycles for transportation. A larger group flew with a heavily armed flying vessel into battle.

--Iron Man III#2 (Iron Man III#2-3

images: (without ads)
Thunderbolts I#3, p12, pan6 (main image)
Iron Man III#3, p18, pan1 (head shot)
Iron Man III#2, p9, pan5 (high-tech agents)

Thunderbolts I#3 (June, 1997) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Vince Russell (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Iron Man III#2 (March, 1998) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Sean Chen (pencils), Eric Cannon (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Iron Man III#3 (April, 1998) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Sean Chen (pencils), Eric Cannon, Hubbs & Sean Parsons (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Iron Man III#5 (June, 1998) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Sean Chen (pencils), Sean Parsons & Eric Cannon (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Iron Man III#6 (July, 1998) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Patrick Zircher (pencils), Jon Holdredge (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)

First Posted: 08/30/2008
Last updated: 08/30/2008

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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