Real Name: Wylie Lemmick
Identity/Class: Human technology user
Group Membership: Gang of Four (Copperhead, Owl (Leland Owlsley), Stilt-Man (Wilbur Day))
Affiliations: Jack Abbott, Vincent Grazia, Kenny Fitzgerald, Mr. Fear (Lawrence Cranston)
Enemies: Daredevil (Matt Murdock), Kingpin, Spider-Man (Peter Parker)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: New York City, New York
First Appearance: Daredevil I#366 (August, 1997)
Powers/Abilities: In his first costume, Gladiator had spiked gloves and spinning buzzsaws on his shoulders and wrists, which he could fire at opponents or use to block small attacks. He wielded a burning torch as a weapon. Gladiator is in great physical shape.
(Daredevil I#367 (fb) - BTS) - Under unknown circumstances, a man later known to be Wylie Lemmick went to prison under unknown circumstances.
(Daredevil I#367 (fb) – BTS) – Mr. Fear found an inmate who suffered from delusions of grandeur and gave him a copy of the Gladiator costume. To be sure that Gladiator knew who was in charge, Fear exposed him to fear gas, an experience Gladiator didn’t want to repeat.
(Daredevil I#366) – As he induced the prison into a riot with fear gas, Mr. Fear ordered Gladiator to attack the defenseless blind attorney, Matt Murdock, who was under the influence of the fear gas.
(Daredevil I#367) – Gladiator punched Murdock down, ordering all the other inmates to back off; while Vincent Grazia watched helplessly. He got caught up in a full delusion of being a Roman warrior and hesitated to fight a defenseless man, but Mr. Fear goaded him on. Murdock evaded Gladiator’s next swipe, but easily fell with a kick. Mr. Fear ordered Gladiator to break him, but he wanted a glorious triumph, not just cash. Fear reminded him of the fear gas, so Gladiator promised to kill Murdock swiftly. Fear left to take care of business. Gladiator agreed to cover Murdock’s face, understanding the desire to be masked, then Murdock shockingly turned off the lights, evading Gladiator’s buzzsaws. Daredevil soon arrived, hitting Gladiator, who held a lit torch. Pleased at having a true opponent, Gladiator screamed when his knee got kicked in. He crashed through a wall and attacked with his saws, but Daredevil evaded. Gladiator grabbed Daredevil and started to crush him, but Grazia hit Gladiator in the stomach with a water hose while Daredevil choked the unmasked villain into unconsciousness. Gladiator was soon put back in his cell.
(Daredevil/Spider-Man#3 (fb)) – In jail, Lemmick, who’d been released on a day-pass to minimum security in order to monitor his delusional episodes, met up with the Owl and Stilt-Man. The trio, under the guise of group therapy, began spending a lot of time together and planning future conquests, deciding they’d call themselves the Gang of Three. They eventually broke out of prison and united with Copperhead, calling themselves the Gang of Four and deciding to go after the Kingpin’s territory.
(Daredevil/Spider-Man#1 (fb) - BTS) – The Gang of Four started their war on the Kingpin’s holdings. Stilt-Man hit a shit, stealing merchandise from it, and they attacked a restaurant and a warehouse that had Kingpin holdings. They also worked to recruit lower level criminals, such as Kenny Fitzgerald and Jack Abbott, into working for them as their reputation for ruthlessness grew.
(Daredevil/Spider-Man#1) – As Stilt-Man worked on his stilts in a fowl mood, he expressed his frustration at not going after the Kingpin directly, threatening Gladiator when he tried to console him. Owl approached, admiring each of them for their potential for success and riches. That night, they attacked the kingpin’s building. Copperhead killed a security agent, leaving a coin on his head, while Stilt-Man and Gladiator made their way into the penthouse, taking out any guards they passed. The Owl then, from his helicopter, fired missiles at the penthouse, hoping to kill the Kingpin and his men.
(Daredevil/Spider-Man#2) – The Owl was furious to learn from the media that the Kingpin had somehow survived. Spider-Man and Daredevil came looking for the Gang of Four in their underground hideout, but the heroes were taken down by a set explosion as the villains surrounded them.
(Daredevil/Spider-Man#3) – As Daredevil lay unconscious, Stilt-Man held Spider-Man, who sorrowfully claimed that Daredevil was his brother and dead, at gunpoint and explained how they’d formed as a gang. Daredevil threw sludge in Stilt-Man’s face, causing the villain to fire his gun accidentally, collapsing the ceiling around them and opening the ceiling to the street above. Gladiator leapt at Spider-Man, who evaded him, then Gladiator was hit by Daredevil. Stilt-Man fired on the heroes, who dodged and escaped to the street. The Gang of Four pursued them and Spider-Man knocked down Gladiator while Daredevil kicked down Copperhead. They were then surrounded by the Kingpin and a group of armed men. Owl leapt in a fury at Kingpin, but the men opened fire on him as he attacked. A massive battle followed, during which Stilt-Man punched Spider-Man and Daredevil tossed a gunman into Gladiator. When the cops arrived, Owl attacked Spider-Man and Stilt-Man exploded the cop cars with his guns. Daredevil approached Copperhead, asking who had brought him back and how he was alive, so Copperhead pulled off his mask to show that he wasn’t alive at all.
(Daredevil/Spider-Man#4) – Copperhead invoked the name of his demonic master and trapped a three block section of New York under a mystic force field, calling it New Perdition. Copperhead unleashed zombies on Daredevil and Spider-Man, then took Stilt-Man and Gladiator to the Clinton Mission Shelter, where he suspended them upside down and made them face visions of being eternally judged. Spider-Man rushed to free the villains, and was caught up in a similar vision himself. Daredevil held a gun to his head, willing to end his own life rather than let Copperhead make others suffer, butt he Owl stopped him. Facing up to his own evil, Owl seemingly sacrificed his own soul to save Daredevil’s. He knocked Copperhead through a portal back to hell and was taken with him. Stilt-Man and Gladiator fell to the floor and were presumably later arrested.
Comments: Created by Joe Kelly, Gene Colan, and Al Williamson.
Profile by Chadman.
Gladiator should not be confused with
has no known connections to
images: (without ads)
Daredevil I#366, p22 (main)
Daredevil I#367, p23, pan3 (2nd)
Daredevil/Spider-Man#3, p8, pan3 (3rd)
Daredevil I#366 (August, 1997) - Joe Kelly (writer), Gene Colan (penciler), Al Williamson (inker), Jaye Gardner (editor)
Daredevil I#367 (September, 1997) - Joe Kelly (writer), Gene Colan (pencils), Bud LaRosa & Harry Candelario (inks), Jaye Gardner (editor)
Daredevil/Spider-Man#1-4 (January-April, 2001) – Paul Jenkins (writer), Phil Winslade (penciler), Tom Palmer (inker), Nanci Dakesian (editor)
Last updated: 03/10/11
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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