EEL

Real Name: Leopold “Leo” Stryke

Identity/Class: Human technology user

Occupation: Criminal;
former aquarium manager

Group Membership: None;
formerly Serpent Squad (Cobra, Princess Python, Viper (Jordan Stryke), Viper), Crime Wave (Cowled Commander, Plantman (simuloid), Porcupine (Alex Gentry), Scarecrow (Ebenezer Laughton), Viper (Jordan Stryke)),
Celestial Mind Control Movement (Nebulon/Mr. Nebul, Porcupine (Alex Gentry) ), Emissaries of Evil (Egghead, Solarr, Rhino, Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne), Power Man (Erik Josten)), Maggia (Count Nefaria, Porcupine (Alex Gentry), Plantman, Scarecrow (Ebenezer Laughton), Unicorn), Fellowship of Fear (Mister Fear (Zoltan Drago), Ox (Raymond Bloch))

Affiliations: Doctor Doom, Electro (Max Dillon), Moxie Gahagan, Grey Gargoyle, Plantman, Unicorn

EnemiesBluebird, Captain America/Nomad (Steve Rogers), Peggy Carter, Sharon Carter, Chester, Dave Cox, Daredevil (Matt Murdock), Defenders (Doctor Stephen Strange, Nighthawk, Jack Norriss, Power Man (Luke Cage), Red Guardian (Tania Belinsky)), Enforcer, Falcon, Fantastic Four (Human Torch (Johnny Storm), Invisible Girl, Mister Fantastic), Flight (Groundhog, Saint Elmo, Smart Alec, Snowbird,  Stitch, Wolverine), Gladiator (Melvin Potter), Iron Man (Tony Stark), Joe, Charles Lawson, Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, Singh Ram, Redwing, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Thor, X-Men (Angel (Warren Worthington), Beast (Hank McCoy), Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (Jean Grey))

Known RelativesJordan Stryke (brother, Viper, deceased)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: None

First Appearance: Strange Tales I#112/1 (September, 1963)

Powers/Abilities: The Eel costume possessed devices capable of generating large and small bursts of electricity, though insulated to protect its user. It could fire electrical bolts (initially only through his suit's chest prod) and give off bright glows, as well as set up an electric current in the costume that would shock anyone touching it. The costume was coated with a greasy silicon substance (which was sometimes asbestos grease) that made it slippery. The costume could operate underwater. The Eel used various weapons, including a specially designed helicopter, an Aqua-Attractor gun, and an Eel-Cannon.

Height: 5'8"
Weight: 180 lbs.
Eyes: Green
Hair: Brown

History:

(Strange Tales I#112/1 (fb) - BTS) - Leopold Stryke managed an aquarium and was an expert on the care of fish, yet still pursued a life of crime, stealing quietly and amassing a large fortune for himself. With his stolen funds, he developed a suit with a slippery coating and an electric chest prod. He donned the costume, calling himself the Eel, and continued pursuing his life of crime, developing a name for himself, and hiding out in the aquarium. At some point, he used his fortune to develop a helicopter for himself. He stole a few revolutionary devices from little-known inventor Charles Lawson, including an Aqua-Attractor gun, should he ever run across the Human Torch.

(Strange Tales I#112/1) - In his helicopter, Eel broke into Lawson's place again, stealing a cryptically marked Project X. Ignoring Lawson's warnings, Eel shocked the inventor, then returned to the aquarium, the helicopter hidden safely in the roof. He opened Project X, and discovered a box with a lever on it. He decided not to flip the lever and moved to sell the box, but soon learned, from fence Moxie Gahagan, that Lawson had informed the police that the box was a miniature atomic bomb that would explode after an hour if the switch wasn't flipped immediately. Recognizing his mistake, Eel deposited the bomb in the woods where he figured it wouldn't harm anyone, not realizing that a veterans' hospital was nearby. Human Torch attacked Eel aboard his helicopter, and formed a flaming dome over the ship to force it to land. Eel used his Aqua-Attractor gun to snuff out the Torch's flames (by drawing water from the atmosphere and beneath the earth), then gave him an electric shock, inadvertently allowing the Torch to resume his flame. The Torch left Eel with the police then saved the city from the bomb.

(Strange Tales I#117/1) - Let out of jail on good behavior, Stryke decided to don his Eel suit as he made his way home, just for a lark. Human Torch attacked Eel and returned him to the police, soon realizing that Eel was free and innocent. Eel, acting repentant, was awarded his job at the aquarium again. That evening, he donned his Eel suit, which could now conduct an electric current through the entire suit, and robbed a priceless stamp collection, having disabled the alarm with an electric charge. The next morning, he read that the Prince of Turkistan, Singh Ram, would be displaying the famous Ram Ruby in the city, and that night he broke in to steal it before realizing it was a trap placed by the Torch to catch him. He fled to his helicopter and escaped by spraying Human Torch with his prepared jets of water and laughing gas. The next day, Stryke saw Human Torch at the aquarium and rushed to don his costume. He attacked Human Torch with a bear-hug, having coated his Eel suit in an asbestos grease. He knocked Human Torch out and prepared to throw him in a shark tank, but Torch flamed free, sending the Eel's electric shock back at the villain. Eel then slipped in his own grease, and surrendered rather than fall into a tank full of electric eels, considering the creatures far too dangerous.

(Untold Tales of Spider-Man#11) - Eel used his helicopter to break out of prison and sought out Electro (Max Dillon), thinking the two of them could form a partnership since they both had electric powers. They attacked the power company and demanded ten million dollars to stop them from crippling the city's electricity, then escaped in the helicopter. Back at their power station headquarters, Eel and Electro were attacked by Spider-Man (Peter Parker) and Bluebird, who tried unsuccessfully to apprehend Eel. Spider-Man used an anti-magnetic inverter on Eel, reversing the polarity of his costume, and caused him and Electro to stick together like magnets. Bluebird then kicked the villains into the water, defeating them when their systems were shorted out.

(Daredevil I#6 (fb)) - New criminal Mister Fear hired Eel and Ox to work for him in the new team, the Fellowship of Fear. Mister Fear demonstrated his new fear-causing gas gun.

(Daredevil I#6) - The Fellowship hired a camera crew to film them performing a robbery, pretending to be actors in order to get away with it, but Daredevil foiled the robbery, trying to restrain the Eel who slid away easily. They briefly traded blows with the hero until Mister Fear arrived and sprayed Daredevil with fear gas, and the hero fled. To lure Daredevil in, Mister Fear placed a statue of the hero in a wax museum, and had Eel and Ox pose as wax statues. Daredevil arrived that night and they attacked him again, but when civilian Foggy Nelson aided Daredevil, the villains chose to make a run for it after Ox hurt Nelson. They later posed as doctors coming to operate on Nelson, planning on killing him instead, but Daredevil attacked and scared them off again while Karen Page ran for help. They returned to the wax museum to make more plans, where Daredevil was posing as a statue, ready to attack them. The hero knocked their attacks aside, then managed to douse the villains in the fear gas. Daredevil soon threw sand over Eel's costume, negating his slippery nature, then knocked Eel out with a few punches. He left the three villains tied up and called the police.

(Marvel: Heroes and Legends#1) - At the wedding of Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman, Plantman, Grey Gargoyle, Eel, and Unicorn attacked Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor. Thor took down Eel with his hammer -- the villains were influenced there by an emotion charger used by Doctor Doom.

(X-Men I#22) - Count Nefaria recruited several villains to serve as his Maggia lieutenants, and involved them in a large blackmail plot. The villains -- Eel, Plantman, Porcupine, Scarecrow, and Unicorn -- were assigned to capture the X-Men. Eel attacked Iceman, zapping apart a block of ice meant to trap him, but was felled by an optic blast from Cyclops. Unicorn arrived to aid him, and the two of them managed to apprehend both X-Men.

(X-Men I#23) - Nefaria took the city of Washington D.C. hostage and demanded millions of dollars in payment. He sent the X-Men to retrieve the money from the military, hoping to frame the heroes in the end, and sent his Maggia lieutenants to watch the heroes, but the lieutenants decided to betray Nefaria and take the money for themselves. They fought off the military after the X-Men had the cash (Eel using electric blasts) and then attacked the X-Men. Eel blinded Marvel Girl to obtain the money, but Unicorn betrayed them and took the money from Eel. The others fought their way through the military and fled.

(Alpha Flight Special Edition II#1) - Eel joined Egghead's Emissaries of Evil alongside Porcupine (Alex Gentry), Solarr, Rhino, Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne), and Power Man (Erik Josten). They traveled to Canada where Egghead planned to blackmail the world with a nuclear missile. The villains were shocked that Egghead actually planned to destroy New York. Canada's Flight (Groundhog, Stitch, Wolverine, Smart Alec, Snowbird, Saint Elmo) attacked. Eel ran for it.

(Captain America I#158 (fb) - BTS) - The Cowled Commander hired Porcupine, Scarecrow, Eel, and Plantman as his Crime Wave and assigned them to spread chaos throughout New York City.

(Captain America I#159) - The villains robbed a jewelry store and were attacked by Captain America; Plantman's vines kept the street clear. Captain America dodged several blows, then Falcon attacked with Viper's (Eel's brother, Jordan Stryke) unconscious form . They grabbed Viper and fled. Eel was shocked to find Jordan working for Cowled Commander. They conferred at their headquarters only to be attacked again by Captain America and Falcon. After a brief series of battles, the villains were defeated and arrested.

(Captain America I#163) - Eel and Viper got hold of their costumes and burst out of jail, meeting up with Cobra, who invited them to join the Serpent Squad. Eel scoffed at Viper's plans to defame Captain America through an advertising campaign. When they heard Captain America was in Virginia, they agreed to go to kill him in revenge. They attacked and Eel managed to shock Captain America. When Peggy and Sharon Carter entered, they fled. After a while, they attacked again with artillery -- Eel, using an electric bolt gun called the Eel-Cannon. They brutally attacked Captain America's friend, Dave Cox, before Captain America. When Captain America defeated Cobra, Eel fled right into Falcon. Eel knocked a tree branch into Falcon, then fended off Redwing, firing blasts blindly until he was knocked out.

(Captain America I#180) - Madame Hydra killed Viper and took the name Viper for herself. She had Princess Python rescue Cobra and Eel from jail to recruit them to the new Serpent Squad. Eel initially thought his brother was responsible for his release. They met up with Viper, and Eel demanded to know why she was using his brother's name and costume, and learned Jordan was dead (but not that she had killed him). In deep mourning, he listened to Viper's plans. Soon, they attacked a theater giving a patriotic presentation. A new hero, Nomad, fought them, dodging Eel's blasts, but they escaped with a hostage, the president of Roxxon. Viper revealed their other ally, Warlord Krang, holding the Serpent Crown.

(Captain America I#181) - Planning to raise the undersea kingdom of Lemuria, Krang placed the Serpent Crown on the head of a Roxxon executive. The Squad moved to a floating oil platform, and Eel scattered workers Chester and Joe. Nomad attacked again, backed by a helicopter with artillery, and the Squad retreated, leaving Krang behind.

(Defenders I#36) - Hearing of the new enlightenment movement called the Celestial Mind Control Movement, Porcupine, Plantman, and Eel determined to join up and see if they could become more effective villains. They met Mr. Nebul (secretly Nebulon) and clown-clad cheerleaders, but Plantman stormed away in frustration.

(Defenders I#37) - At Celestial Mind Control Movement headquarters, Eel and Porcupine shot a reflection of their 'Bozo' selves, fully converted to CMCM cause. They soon attacked a hospital and knocked unconscious Doctor Strange, Red Guardian, Power Man, and Jack Norriss, at Nebulon's orders.

(Defenders I#38) - The Defenders, including Nighthawk, attacked the CMCM headquarters with an other-dimensional primate in pursuit of them. Power Man held Eel in a bear hug, shrugging off Eel's electrical blasts, while Red Guardian knocked Eel out. Nighthawk then knocked Porcupine into Eel, and the electricity knocked Porcupine out.

(Ghost Rider II#21 (fb) - BTS) - At the insistence of his probation officer, Leopold Stryke was hired by Delanzy Studios as a marine-life advisor for an episode of the Stuntmaster TV show. He got an apartment at a flophouse.

(Ghost Rider II#22 (fb) - BTS) - As the Eel, he appropriated a disintegrator device that he planned to sell to the Enforcer, but the criminal Gladiator sought to steal it from him. Eel hid the device at the flophouse.

(Ghost Rider II#21) - Gladiator sought the device at Delanzy Studios, but was repelled by Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze). Blaze investigated Stryke, knocking on his door to ask his questions, but Stryke refused to answer, trying to protect the device inside. Suspicious, he donned his Eel costume and slid out the window with the device, only to be attacked by Ghost Rider. Eel zapped Ghost Rider aside and fled.

(Ghost Rider II#22 (fb) - BTS) - Enforcer stole the device from Eel as he fled.

(Ghost Rider II#21 - BTS) - Gladiator found the Eel and, seeing him without the device, murdered him with wrist blades.

(Ghost Rider II#21) - Ghost Rider came across the Eel's corpse. 

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Dick Ayers, and Jerry Siegel.

Eel received an entry in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#17 and Master Edition#2. Special thanks to John Kaminski for his help with Untold Tales of Spider-Man#11!

I obviously only have a black and white copy of Strange Tales I#112. If anyone wants to provide color scans, then fantastic!

Profile by Chadman.

CLARIFICATIONS:

Eel's costume was later adopted by Eel (Edward Lavell).

Eel has no known connections to


images: (without ads)
Defenders I#37, p17, pan3 (main)
Strange Tales I#112, cover (original costume)
                                    p5, pan3 (face)
Alpha Flight Special Edition II#1, p22, pan1


Appearances:
Strange Tales I#112 (September, 1963) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jerry Siegel (writer), Dick Ayers (penciler/inker)
Strange Tales I#117 (February, 1964) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Dick Ayers (penciler/inker)
Daredevil I#6 (February, 1965) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Wally Wood (penciler/inker)
Fantastic Four Annual I#3 (1965) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker)
X-Men I#22-23 (July, August, 1966) - Roy Thomas (writer), Werner Roth (penciler), Dick Ayers (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain America I#158-159 (February-March, 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), John Verpoorten (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Captain America I#163 (July 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Jon Verpoorten, Tony Montellaro (inkers), Roy Thomas (editor)
Captain America I#180-181 (December, 1974-January, 1975) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Defenders I#36 (June, 1976) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Klaus Janson (inker), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Defenders I#37-38 (July-August, 1976) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Klaus Janson (inker), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Ghost Rider II#21 (December, 1976) - Gerry Conway (writer/editor), Gil Kane (penciler), Sam Grainger (inker)
Ghost Rider II#22 (January, 1977) - Gerry Conway, Don Glut (writers), Don Heck (penciler), Keith Pollard (inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Alpha Flight Special Edition II#1 (June, 1992) - Scott Lobdell, Simon Furman (writers), Pat Broderick (penciler), Bruce Patterson (inker), Rob Tokay (editor)
Untold Tales of Spider-Man#11 (July, 1996) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Pat Olliffe (penciler), Al Vey, Pam Ecklund (inkers), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Marvel: Heroes and Legends#1 (October, 1996) - Stan Lee, Fabian Nicieza (writers), Sal Buscema (penciler), Tom Palmer (inker), Bob Harras (editor)


Last updated: 12/26/13

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