Dilbert Trilby


Real Name: Dilbert Trilby

Identity/Class: Normal human

Occupation: Obituary writer, the Daily Bugle

Group Membership: None

AffiliationsOscar the intern, Joe Robertson, Ben Urich, other staff members of the Daily Bugle

Enemies: "Blanks", Dr. Octopus (Octavius) and other superhumans who return from the dead

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: New York City, USA

First Appearance: Spider-Man Unlimited I#3 (November, 1993)

Powers/Abilities: The extent of Trilby's education in the field of journalism is unrevealed.


(Spider-Man Unlimited I#3/Spider-Man Unlimited I#18 (fb) - BTS) - Dilbert Trilby, the Daily Bugle's jaded obituary writer, conducted thorough interviews with former classmates, neighbors, co-workers, and associates of Otto Octavius, aka Dr. Octopus, for an advance obituary to keep on file in the event of Octavius' demise.

(Spider-Man Unlimited I#18 (fb) - BTS) - Trilby also filed obituaries for Spider-Man, Daredevil, the Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers, all of which were used when the heroes were reported dead only to later be retracted.

(Spider-Man Unlimited I#3) - While working on obituaries for people he regarded as "blanks" -- unaccomplished people whose deaths left a blank page for him to fill in -- Trilby received a call from Daily Bugle Editor-in-Chief Joe Robertson informing him that Dr. Octopus robbed the Robeaux Research Center and to update his obituary in case something should happen. Taking Oscar, an intern, with him to find Dr. Octopus' file, Trilby lamented the problem with writing obituaries in advance when so many superhumans reported dead later reappeared alive. Trilby recounted the life of Octavius, his tumultuous childhood, employment at the U.S. Atomic Research Center, brief engagement to co-worker Mary Alice Anders, and the death of his mother, all leading to the accident that bonded four mechanical arms to his back. Completing his update to Octavius' obit, Trilby was a little disappointed to learn that Dr. Octopus was eventually captured alive. Handed the name of another "blank", Trilby tossed it aside, not noticing that the deceased was Octavius' ex-fiancée, Mary Alice.

(Spider-Man: Funeral for an Octopus#1) - Trilby attended the Dr. Octopus' funeral alongside other members of the Daily Bugle's staff, remarking to himself that his obituary would finally be put to use.

(Spider-Man Unlimited I#18 (fb) - BTS) - Following their apparent deaths stopping Onslaught, Trilby's obits for the Avengers and the Fantastic Four were used.

(Spider-Man Unlimited I#18) - Learning of Dr. Octopus' return from the dead from fellow reporter Ben Urich, Trilby questioned the good of even writing the obituaries for reported deceased superhumans if they all show up again. Complimented on his research into Octavius' past, Trilby and Urich discussed the life of Dr. Octopus and his connection to Spider-Man, occasionally speculating on how different things might have turned out for him. Arriving at Octavius' death, Trilby questioned how he could have come back from death when every witness and police officer questioned confirmed his demise. Assured by Urich that the death must have been a hoax, Trilby questioned whether or not people can't really come back from the dead.

Comments: Created by Tom DeFalco (writer), Ron Lim (penciler) and Jim Sanders III (inker).

Trilby's obituary for Dr. Octopus was published soon after his funeral (shown in Spider-Man: Funeral for an Octopus#1), following his death in Spectacular Spider-Man II#221. It was retracted following his resurrection in Amazing Spider-Man I#427. His obituaries for the Avengers and the Fantastic Four were used following their deaths in Onslaught: Marvel Universe (and eventually retracted following Heroes Reborn: The Return).

Trilby's a great character -- totally jaded, strung out, and unappreciated. It's too bad the character doesn't show up more since he's a lot of fun and it's nice to see how the high recovery rate for deceased superhumans is handled by the civilian population of the Marvel Universe. Here's hoping someone picks up on him soon.

Profile by G Morrow.

Dilbert Trilby has no known connections to


Oscar was a high school intern for the Daily Bugle with aspirations of becoming a reporter. Delivering an assignment list to obituary writer Dilbert Trilby, Oscar listened while Trilby recounted the origins of Dr. Octopus for an update of his on-file obituary. Later returning to tell Trilby that the obituary wouldn't be needed following Dr. Octopus's capture, Oscar handed him his latest assignment sheet.




--Spider-Man Unlimited I#3

images: (without ads)
Spider-Man Unlimited I#3, p2, pan2 (main image)
Spider-Man Unlimited I#3, p2, pan5 (close-up)
Spider-Man Unlimited I#3, p25, pan3 (Oscar)

Spider-Man Unlimited I#3 (November, 1993) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Jim Sanders III (inks), Danny Fingeroth (editor)

Spider-Man: Funeral for an Octopus#1 (March, 1995) - Tom Brevoort & Mike Kanterovich (writer), Stewart Johnson (breakdowns), Al Milgrom (finishes), Danny Fingeroth (pall-bearer)
Spider-Man Unlimited I#18 (November, 1997) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Joe Bennett (pencils), Joe Pimentel (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)

First Posted: 05/18/2008
Last updated: 05/17/2008

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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