Real Name: Nicholas "Nick" Powell
Identity/Class: Human technology user
Occupation: Criminal-for-hire, professional gambler
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Batroc the Leaper (Georges Batroc), Boomerang (Fred Myers), Bulldozer (Henry Camp), Foreigner, Angela Golden, Mr. Grouper, Daniel Gump, Justin Hammer, Hector, Jackal (Miles Warren), Johnny, Lady Stilt-Man, Noel MacReady, Robert Phalen, Plantman (Sam Smithers), Scorcher (Steven Hudak), Stephanie, Taskmaster (Tony Masters), Trapster (Peter Petruski), Elmo Twig, Vulture (Adrian Toomes), White Rabbit (Lorina Dodson), Wrecker (Dirk Garthwaite)
Enemies: André Bouillon, Captain America (Steve Rogers), Captain America (Sam Wilson), Cardiac (Eli Wirtham), Orin Concardi, Carlie Cooper, Daredevil (Matt Murdock), Deadpool ("Wade Wilson"), Tulio Guzman, Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Life Foundation (Carlton Drake, Protectors, Roland Treece), Spider-Man (Otto Octavius), Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Spider-Man (Ben Reilly), Nigel Townes, Trace (Marcia Guzman), Raymond Trask, Enos Warwick
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: A penthouse apartment at Riverside Drive and 73rd Avenue, Manhattan, New York
First Appearance: (behind the scenes) Web of
Spider-Man I#14 (May, 1986);
(full) Web of Spider-Man I#15 (June, 1986)
Powers/Abilities: Chance's primary weapons are his wrist-blasters, which can fire laser beams, concussive blasts, and acid-filled darts. He wears ankle-jets that allow him to fly, and can safely support both his weight and an adult passenger's. His helmet gives him cybernetic control of his weaponry, and also grants him 360-degree vision; he can also see directly above him, but does not allow him to see directly below himself. His weapons, boot-jets, and helmet are all powered by a back-mounted power pack. He once used a large flying buzzsaw weapon. He briefly possessed superhuman abilities akin to Spider-Man's during the "Spider-Island" crisis. Powell is a skilled combatant, but he sometimes takes unwise gambles.
Weight: 185 lbs.
History: (Web of Spider-Man I#15 (fb) ) - Finding modern life too boring, professional gambler Nicholas Powell decided that only risk made it tolerable, and so became the high-tech mercenary Chance, who never charged outright for his services, but took payment for them in the form of bets and wagers.
(Web of Spider-Man I#15 (fb) ) - Powell lost a coin toss to dry cleaning delivery boy Johnny, costing him $1000.
(Web of Spider-Man I#14 - BTS/Web of Spider-Man I#15 (fb) ) - Displeased that underworld fence Andre Bouillon wouldn't join his intelligence organization, the Foreigner hired Chance to kill him, which he did.
(Web of Spider-Man I#15) - Chance spotted Spider-Man leaving Andre's home, and wagered the Foreigner his fee, double or nothing, that he could take him out in 24 hours. Amused, the Foreigner agreed. Chance tracked down Spider-Man and Andre's friend the Black Fox, and attacked. Spider-Man evaded his acid darts and laser blasts, then seemingly dove off the rooftop. Chance's 360-degree vision soon revealed that Spider-Man had crawled around the building and was sneaking up behind him; Chance feigned ignorance, then lashed out with another laser barrage. Spider-Man kept dodging, however, and the fight soon attracted the attention of the building's occupants. Chance spied one, holding a shotgun, creeping onto the roof, and surmised that there would soon be more. He shot a chimney, and fled while Spider-Man saved the man from the crumbling masonry. Powell put out the word that he was looking for the Fox, who had been spotted in Spider-Man's company. Later, at his penthouse apartment, Johnny delivered his dry cleaning; Powell wagered his bill against a thousand dollars, on a coin toss. After winning the toss, Powell got a message from fence Elmo Twig, who had spotted the Black Fox. Chance found Spider-Man at a nearby construction site, and opened fire. Spider-Man, remembering Chance's 360-degree vision, tried attacking him from above, but found that he could see there, too. After hitting him in the torso with a loose board, he disappeared from sight; Chance lost him until Spider-Man attacked from below, pulling him through the floorboards and knocking him to the ground. He then tore off the connection between Chance's helmet and power supply, shutting down his weapons; the sudden interruption of his cybernetic link also knocked Chance out. Spider-Man left him for the police.
(Daredevil I#246) - Chance was hired by a crime cabal to kill cabbie Nigel Townes, who had witnessed one of their members, Robert Phalen, kill another, Gromosky. The cabal left Chance waiting in their lobby, however; angered at being treated like a common thug, Chance took out the cabal's guards and blasted into their conference room. Before he could leave, the cabal agreed to hire him. Chance attacked a motel near the Holland Tunnel where Townes was in protective custody; smashing into the room, he drove Townes into the parking lot, only to be attacked by Daredevil. He dodged DD's inital assault, and avoided his ricocheting billy club thanks to his 360-degree vision. DD tossed a garbage can at his head; Chance easily blasted it away, but DD took advantage of his distraction by hitting him in the knee with his club. With his knee starting to lock up, and Townes headed for safety, Chance fled. Back at his penthouse, he challenged Hector to a game when he arrived with his groceries - placing five overturned cups on his counter, he told Hector that one had a fifty-dollar bill underneath it (enough to cover the groceries), one had a thousand-dollar bill, and the other three were empty. Hector chose correctly, and got the thousand, but declined to go double or nothing, as his wife had just had a baby. As Hector left, Powell silently chided him, as he'd known about the baby, and had put a thousand under all five cups. He watched a news report on Townes, and learned that he'd defied the odds in his own life. He got a call from his employers, whose sources had sighted Townes in Queens, and headed out. When Nigel returned to his apartment, Chance was there, waiting for him. Townes told him to get it over with, but Chance, impressed with Townes' luck and having learned that Phalen had been killed anyway, told him to leave. Just at that moment, however, Daredevil burst in. Chance offered to flip for Townes' life - heads he lives, tailes he dies! Unbeknowst to DD, he was using a trick double-headed coin, and thus the vigilante knocked the coin aside with his club. Displeased, but unwilling to waste any more time on this assignment, Chance slapped Townes aside and blasted away through the window.
(Amazing Spider Man I#298) - Hired by Roland Treece to assassinate former associate Orin Concardi, who had turned states' evidence against him, Chance assaulted the Yonkers safehouse he was being held at. After taking out the US Treasury agents tasked with guarding him, Chance blew up Concardi's car - with Concardi inside - and flew off, reporting his victory to Treece. That night, after enjoying a date at the Hearth restaurant with Stephanie (who assured him that her husband was still in Madrid), he was called away on business. He took a taxi, betting the driver $500 that he couldn't reach his building in five minutes; although Powell lost the bet, the rush was worth it. Back at home, he contacted his caller - financier Carlton Drake, who had a $20,000 wager for him. Interested, he met Drake the next day in the boardroom of Drake's survivalist Life Foundation. Drake requested that he steal a shipment of Euro-Arms weapons for them that night; Chance refused, as he had no desire to work for terrorists, but reconsidered when Drake told him the weapons would be used for defense...and also upped the wager to $25,000. The next day, Chance opened fire on the soldiers guarding the shipment before grabbing their commander - demonstrating his power by destroying a radar tower, he told the captain that he'd fire on the ammo crates next, killing all of his men. The captain surrendered, and Drake's men began loading the weapons onto their hidden submarine. When the docks were struck by a sudden blackout, a guard took advantage of the confusion and grabbed for his rifle, but Chance, able to see in infrared, gunned him down. This prompted Spider-Man (who had been staking out the docks) to leap into action. Angered at the guard's death, Spider-Man was sloppy; although he dodged Chance's weaponry, he managed to snap the wall-crawler's webline and then shoot a crane with his acid darts, forcing Spider-Man to catch the falling crane while Chance made his escape. Back at Drake's office, Chance signed a cash receipt for "internal bookkeeping", only to be knocked out by a hidden stun plate in Drake's desk.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#299) - Drake transported a sedated Chance to the Life Foundation's Sanctum Maximus base in northern New Jersey. When he awoke, Drake explained to him that the Foundation wanted to reverse-engineer his wrist-blasters and ankle-jets for their clients, but were unable to ascertain how their cybernetic controls worked. When he wouldn't tell them, Drake had him beaten. Before long, however, Spider-Man tracked the weapons down to Sanctum Maximus and found Chance. He explained everything, and exhorted Spider-Man to free him so they could take down the Life Foundation together. Spider-Man released him from his shackles, and, after donning his gear, Chance blasted through the Foundation's Protector guards, who soon panicked and fled, as did Drake. Before long, Chance found the ammunition he'd stolen and blasted it; he grabbed Spider-Man and flew him to safety just as the resulting conflagration consumed Sanctum Maximus. In gratitude, Chance flew Spider-Man back to New York on his back, but promised that their truce would be over the next time they met.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#336) - Mr. Grouper, an associate of the Kingpin's, came to Powell's penthouse; after he won a cointoss, Powell agreed to listen to his proposal, which was to wager him $100,000 to back up the Vulture in assassinating casino owner Raymond Trask. Although he didn't like being back-up for anyone, Powell liked the price, and took him up on his offer. The next day, at the christening of Trask's new yacht, after Spider-Man took down the Vulture, Chance moved in. Spider-Man dodged his laser blasts, then webbed up his wrist-blasters. Before Chance could burn through the webs, Spider-Man webbed up his helmet, blinding him and sending him crashing into a water tower. Unable to see a thing, Chance fled.
(Amazing Spider-Man Annual I#25/4) - Chance received a surprise visit from Raymond Trask at his penthouse; although Chance expected him to be seeking revenge, Trask instead told him that there was going to be another attempt on his life, and wagered Chance $20,000 that he couldn't keep him alive until one o'clock the next day. At noon, Chance flew out to Trask's yacht, where the hit was supposed to take place, only to find it equipped with automated weapons systems, including steel net launchers, spear guns, and laser cannons - all of which were trained on him! Flying through a hole blasted in the deck, Chance found the ship's ammunition stores, then burned a hole in the ceiling with his acid darts. The laser cannon locked in on him and fired, but Chance got out of the way just in time for the laser to hit the ammo, destroying the ship. Chance came to Trask's offices in his casino, the Trask Temple, and collected his $20,000. Both men swore vengeance on the other.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#388/3 (fb) ) - Noel MacReady, the head of a nutritional supplement company, called in Chance to deal with his competitor, Enos Warwick, whose muscle-building sonic enhancers were about to enter the market. While Chance wasn't willing to be hired, he agreed to wager MacReady $20,000 that Warwick would "cease to be a problem".
(Amazing Spider-Man I#388/3) - Chance melted through the lock at Warwick Enterprises' factory, and found Warwick himself overseeing the first shipment of sonic enhancers. He took out Warwick's men, then went after Warwick himself; Warwick tried to flee out the door, but Chance melted it shut. Before he could deliver the killing blow, however, Cardiac (who had come to destroy the enhancers, over concerns that they caused brain damage, but had no intention of killing Warwick) stopped him. Unwilling to compromise, Chance blasted Cardiac, but he was saved by his Vibranium-mesh armor and brought the ceiling down on the mercenary. Undaunted, Chance used his lasers to blast through the rubble, but Cardiac hurled his staff at Chance and caught him in the midsection, knocking the wind out of him. As Cardiac moved to destroy his power pack, Chance mustered the last of his strength and swept his leg, knocking Cardiac down onto the sonic enhancer Warwick had hidden inside. Opening it, Chance and Cardiac found that the device had wiped Warwick's mind, leaving him completely amnesiac. After helping Cardiac to destroy Warwick's inventory and computer files, Chance gleefully left.
(Spider-Man Unlimited I#14 (fb) - BTS) - Chance became a player in the Great Game, an organization that wagered on superhuman battles. Unlike the other players, who worked for wealthy sponsors, Chance was his own sponsor.
(Spider-Man Unlimited I#14) - When Spider-Man (Ben Reilly, who had unwittingly been entered into the Game) intervened in an attempted hit on Game sponsor J. Jonah Jameson by rogue player el Toro Negro, Chance leaped in, teaming with el Toro to take down the wall-crawler - as he'd wagered his entire Game earnings on the match. Before long, though, Spider-Man's ally Cardiac joined the fray, saving Spider-Man, who promptly took off. Chance flew after him, gaining an unwanted passenger in el Toro, who used Chance as a launching pad to leap onto Spider-Man. Chance waited for Spider-Man to defeat el Toro, then grabbed the webbed-up mercenary and delivered him to Justin Hammer to collect a hefty bounty.
(Thunderbolts: Life Sentences) - Having been arrested and imprisoned at Seagate Prison, Chance and fellow inmates Wrecker, Plantman, Boomerang, and Bulldozer got in a fight with Hawkeye, who had surrendered himself to the authorities to get clemency for the other Thunderbolts. Before they could kill him, however, they were stopped by Mentallo, who was also imprisoned at Seagate.
(Marvel Knights Spider-Man#6) - Chance attended the Tinkerer's auction of Eddie Brock's Venom symbiote at the Ditko Theater.
(Amazing Spider-Man II#668) - The Jackal hired Chance, the Scorcher, and the White Rabbit (all of whom had been infected with his "spider-flu" and had thus developed spider-powers) to stake out his old lab at Empire State University. There, they encountered police scientist Carlie Cooper and her boyfriend, Peter Parker.
(Amazing Spider-Man II#669) - The three villains moved in - Chance bet Scorcher his share of the take that he could kill both of them. They dodged Parker and Cooper's web-barrage with their newly-developed spider-senses, but Parker, who, in additon to being Spider-Man, had been studying martial arts under Shang-Chi to compensate for his own lost spider-sense, made quick work of them. He webbed all three into a web-ball and took them to the police.
(Amazing Spider-Man II#670 - BTS/Amazing Spider-Man II#672 - BTS) - Chance presumably was mutated into a mindless spider-monster along with the rest of Manhattan, but was restored to human form when Spider-Man used an army of mentally-controlled Octobots to administer the antidote.
(Avengers: Solo#1/1) - Hired by Angela Golden to assassinate Tulio Guzman at the Sherman Hotel, Chance did so, now clad in a revamped costume. Hawkeye, who had a meeting with Guzman that night, soon caught up with Chance; Golden doubled down and offered him $500,000 for Hawkeye's head. Hawkeye knocked Chance from the sky onto a rooftop, where he offered him a new wager - if Hawkeye won, he'd get the name of Chance's employer. They both struck simultaneously - Hawkeye shot an arrow into Chance's ankle-jet, grounding him, but Chance blasted the Avenger's bow in half. Chance used his one remaining jet to leap at Hawkeye, only to be punched across the building by mysterious vigilante Trace. As Hawkeye confronted Trace, Chance got to his feet and charged Hawkeye, but the archer grabbed an arrow from his quiver and jammed it into Chance's shoulder. Crippled with pain, Chance nevertheless refused to honor their agreement, citing third-party interference. He was taken away by the police.
(Avengers: Solo#3/1) - Hawkeye came to see Powell at Ryker's Island, where they cut cards; if Hawkeye won, Powell would tell him about his employers, and if Powell won, Hawkeye would pull some strings to get him sent to a minimum security prison. Hawkeye won, prompting Powell to tell him about Golden and her shell company, PBI. Hawkeye let him keep the cards, and Chance advised him to watch his back.
(Deadpool V#10) - Hired by precognitive businessman Daniel
Gump when he foresaw an attack by the mercenary Deadpool, Chance (back
in his original costume) joined Batroc the Leaper, Lady Stilt-Man,
Taskmaster, and Trapster atop Gump Tower when the mercenary Deadpool and
his ally, Spider-Man (Otto Octavius) came for Gump. Having been
expecting only Deadpool, Chance tried to renegotiate his wager with
Gump, but Gump refused; nevertheless, he opened fire on them both until
Spider-Man swung him into Lady Stilt-Man's legs. Chance crashed to the
rooftop, only to be stuck there when Deadpool shot the Trapster's
glue-hose, flooding the rooftop with glue.
(Captain America: Sam Wilson#9 (fb) ) - Chance was transformed and brainwashed into a civilian by Kobik, a sentient Cosmic Cube, and sent to live in Pleasant Hill, a SHIELD prison masquerading as an idyllic small town.
(Captain America: Sam Wilson#9 (fb) ) - Chance escaped during a mass breakout, and resolved to turn his life around. He put his weapons in storage and started attending Gamblers Anonymous meetings. He longed for the day when SHIELD's crimes would be exposed and punished. When all that came of it was the return of Steve Rogers to vitality, however, Change resolved to take action.
(Captain America: Sam Wilson#9) - When Rogers attended a
rally in Central Park, Chance attempted to assassinate him with a
buzzsaw weapon. The new Captain America, Sam Wilson, pushed Rogers away
at the last minute, and spotted Chance on a nearby rooftop. The two
engaged in an aerial dogfight; Wilson exploited Chance's blind spot,
took out his jetpack, and grounded him. As he was taken away by the
police, Chance told Wilson why he'd done it, and told him that for all
his talk, he wasn't such a different Captain America after all.
Comments: Created by David Michelinie, Mike Harris, and Kyle Baker.
Chance's real name is probably a reference to 1934 movie The Thin Man, which stars William Powell as Nick Charles. Of course, Nick solved crimes, whereas Chance commits them...Chance was clearly a favorite of Michelinie's, and saw a lot of use when he was writing for the Spider-books; once he left, Chance's appearances became fewer and far between. He's had something of a renaissance the past few years, though.
Profile by Minor Irritant.
Nicholas Powell, alias Chance, has no known connections to:
(Web of Spider-Man I#15 (fb) ) - Dry cleaning delivery boy Johnny won $1000 from Nicholas Powell on a coin toss. He used the proceeds to pay off his scooter.
--Web of Spider-Man I#15 (15 (fb), 15
(Daredevil I#246) - Grocery delivery boy Hector, whose wife had just had a baby, delivered Nicholas Powell's groceries. Powell offered him a challenge for his bill - five upside-down cups. Beneath one was a thousand dollar bill, beneath another was a fifty (the amount of the grocery bill), and beneath the other three, nothing. Hector chose correctly, winning the thousand, but when Powell offered to go double-or-nothing, Hector declined - unaware that Powell, knowing about the baby, had cheated, putting a thousand under every cup.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#298 (fb) ) -A former associate of Roland Treece, Orin Concardi accepted immunity for his many crimes (including murder) to testify against Treece.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#298) - Holed up in a US Treasury Department safehouse in Yonkers, Concardi left the house under guard to testify - only to come under attack by Chance, who Treece had hired to silence him. Concardi got in the car and tried to escape, but Chance shot the gas tank with a laser, destroying the car and incinerating Concardi.
--Amazing Spider-Man I#298 (298 (fb), 298
(Amazing Spider-Man I#298) - Stephanie went on a date with Nicholas Powell at New York's world-famous Hearth restaurant, safe in the knowledge that her husband was still in Madrid. When Powell was called away on business, he sent Stephanie home in a limo.
--Amazing Spider-Man I#298
(Amazing Spider-Man I#336) - An associate of the Kingpin's, Mr. Grouper bet one million dollars that the Vulture would successfully assassinate uncooperative casino owner Raymond Trask. He watched a demonstration by the winged killer on a deserted Long Island beach. He wasn't convinced that the Vulture was the right man for the job; the Kingpin didn't share his concerns, however. To ensure that the hit was successful, he made an arrangement with Chance to serve as the Vulture's back-up if something went awry; he offered to pay the mercenary ten percent of his million if Trask was killed. Unfortunately for Grouper, Spider-Man defeated the Vulture and Chance, and he presumably lost his million dollars..
--Amazing Spider-Man I#336
(Amazing Spider-Man I#388/3 (fb) ) - A manufacturer of high-calorie food supplements for weight lifters, Noel MacReady was concerned to hear about rival Enos Warwick's sonic enhancers, which could put him out of business. He tried to hire the mercenary Chance to take out Warwick, but was rebuffed; instead, Chance wants to bet that he could take out Warwick, instead. While Chance didn't kill Warwick, he did end up destroying his sonic enhancers and inadvertently wiping Warwick's mind, ensuring that MacReady would pay his fee.
--Amazing Spider-Man I#388/3 (388/3 (fb)
images: (without ads)
Amazing Spider-Man I#336, p16, pan3 (main image)
Amazing Spider-Man Annual I#25/4, p50, pan4 (Powell)
Web of Spider-Man I#15, p8, pan5 (Chance's in-helmet POV with 360-degree vision)
Avengers: Solo#1/1, p8, pan1 (revamped costume)
Amazing Spider-Man I#298, p3, pan1 (power pack)
Web of Spider-Man I#15, p14, pan6 (Johnny)
Daredevil I#246, p19, pan4 (Hector)
Amazing Spider-Man I#298, p2, pan6 (Concardi)
Amazing Spider-Man I#298, p9, pan1 (Stephanie)
Amazing Spider-Man I#336, 6, pan6 (Grouper)
Amazing Spider-Man I#388/3, p3, pan1 (MacReady)
Web of Spider-Man I#15 (June, 1986) - David Michelinie (writer), Mike Harris (pencils), Kyle Baker (inks), Jim Owsley (editor)
Daredevil I#246 (September, 1987) - Jim Owsley (writer), Tom Morgan (pencils), Tony DeZuniga (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#298-299 (March-April, 1988) - David Michelinie (writer), Todd McFarlane (pencils), Bob McLeod (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#336 (August, 1990) - David Michelinie (writer), Erik Larsen (pencils), Mike Machlan (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man Annual I#25/4 (1991) - David Michelinie (writer), Steve Ditko (art), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#388/3 (April, 1994) - David Michelinie (writer), Larry Alexander (art), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Spider-Man Unlimited I#14 (December, 1996) - Glenn Herdling (writer), Joe Bennett (pencils), Joe Pimentel & Tim Dzon (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Thunderbolts: Life Sentences (July, 2001) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Charlie Adlard (art), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Marvel Knights Spider-Man#6 (November, 2004) - Mark Millar (writer), Terry Dodson (pencils), Rachel Dodson (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man II#668 (October, 2011) - Dan Slott (writer), Humberto Ramos (pencils), Victor Olazaba (inks), Stephen Wacker (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man II#669 (November, 2011) - Dan Slott (writer), Humberto Ramos (pencils), Carlos Cuevas (inks), Stephen Wacker (editor)
Avengers: Solo#1/1 (December, 2011) - Jen Van Meter (writer), Roger Robinson (art), Tom Brennan (editor)
Avengers: Solo#3/1 (February, 2012) - Jen Van Meter (writer), Al Barrionuevo (pencils), Raul Lopez (inks), Tom Brennan (editor)
Deadpool V#10 (July, 2013) - Brian Posehn & Gerry Duggan (writers), Mike Hawthorne (art), Jordan D. White (editor)
Captain America: Sam Wilson#9 (July, 2016) - Nick Spencer (writer), Angel Unzueta (art), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Last updated: 01/11/17
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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