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DIGGER

Real Name: Roderick Krupp

Identity/Class: Human mutate;
    citizen of the United States of America (see comments)

Occupation: Professional criminal;
    former TV host;
    former monster hunter;
    formerly grave digger

Group Membership: Night Shift (Dansen Macabre, Misfit/Mitchell Godey, Needle/Josef Saint, Tatterdemalion/Arnold Paffenroth, Tick-Tock);

Affiliations Black Talon (Samuel Barone), Captain America (Steve Rogers), Headstone P. Gravely, the Hood and his "villain army" (Centurius, Crossfire and others), House of Shadows, Snapdragon;
    formerly Brothers Grimm (Percy and Barton Grimes), Hangman (Jason Rolands), Gypsy Moth (Sybil Dvorak), Satannish, Shroud (Maximilian Coleridge), Werewolf (Jack Russell)

Enemies: Avengers (Hawkeye/Clint Barton, Iron Man/Tony Stark, Living Lightning/Miguel Santos, Mockingbird/Bobbie Morse-Barton, Moon Knight/Marc Spector, Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff, Spider-Woman/Julia Carpenter, Tigra/Greer Nelson, USAgent/John Walker, Vision/"Victor Shade", Wonder Man/Simon Williams), Blazing Skull (Jim Scully), Calamari Brothers, Count Nefaria (Luchino Nefaria), Echo (Maya Lopez),  Dr. Karl Malus, the Midnight Sons (Daimon Hellstrom, Jennifer Kale, Man-Thing, Michael Morbius, Werewolf/Jack Russell), Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Dr. Stephen Strange, Power Broker (Curtiss Jackson), Satannish

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Your favorite graveyard ghoul" (nickname he used himself);
    "Doglick", "Frankie-boy", "Frankenstein Jr." (insults used by Mockingbird)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly the Tower of Shadows, Los Angeles, California

First Appearance: Tower of Shadows I#1 (September, 1969)

Powers/Abilities: Digger reportedly possessed no known super human abilities (see comments); however, he had sufficient strength to break through cement and was strong enough to fight off and subdue up to three adult men single-handedly.

    Obsessed with ghoulish tales, the deranged former gravedigger believed even the living were already dead and needed to be buried. A gifted storyteller with a flair for the dramatic, he formerly worked as a TV show host and real estate agent specializing in acquiring, taming and selling haunted properties like the Tower of Shadows. Digger seemed able to instinctively sense the elusive Tower of Shadow's location.

    His weapon of choice was a special alloy shovel of unidentified design that he wielded with deadly accuracy. While he was briefly empowered by Satannish, he was significantly stronger, durable and agile. 

Height: 7'4"
Weight: 240 lbs.
Eyes: Green
Hair: Brown

History:

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe III#5) - Roderick Krupp worked as a grave digger in Los Angeles.

(Marvel Monsters: From The Files Of Ulysses Bloodstone I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Through unrevealed ways, Krupp came across the elusive and dangerous haunted mansion known as the House of Shadows. He somehow managed to domesticate the mansion and moved into it.

(Marvel Monsters: From The Files Of Ulysses Bloodstone I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Krupp was approached by a television producer to host two late night horror TV shows, the Tower of Shadows and Chamber of Darkness along with a sidekick called Headstone P. Gravely (see comments). Playing off his former career as a grave digger, Krupp took the name Digger.

(Tower of Shadows I#1) - Digger presented three ghoulish tales: At The Stroke Of Midnight in which a greedy couple inherited a haunted mansion that repays them for their avarice; From Beyond The Brink in which a ghost tried to enter the afterlife in a most unusual way; and A Time To Die, which showed that the price for immortality was sometimes too high.

(Chamber of Darkness I#1) - With Headstone P. Gravely taking care of the first two tales, Digger introduced the third terrifying thriller, Always Leave 'Em Laughing, in which a man who hated to be laughed at travels back in time to reclaim his dignity, only to be forced to become a court jester.

(Tower of Shadows I#2) - Digger introduced two chilling stories: Witch Hunt!, in which TV producer Winston Tate hated his critics and paid the price; and Look Out, Wyatt... Automation's Gonna Get Your Job, which saw miner Jake Wyatt sabotage the mining robot that could have saved his life following a cave in.

(Chamber of Darkness I#2) - Digger introduced a tale called The Face of Fear in which a man found a terrified stranger's face staring back at him in the mirror.

(Tower of Shadows I#3) - Digger related the story of the Terrible Old Man in which three burglars meet their demise in a manner most mysterious.

(Chamber of Darkness I#3) - Digger introduced the story Something Lurks on Shadow Mountain, in which the villainous Pandora tried to get one George Ashton to open her box.

(Marvel Monsters: From The Files Of Ulysses Bloodstone I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Both TV programs were eventually cancelled, though they'd developed such a fan base that the shows eventually became cult classics and were scheduled for DVD release.

(Spider-Woman I#47 (fb) - BTS) - Still living in the Tower of Shadows, now located in the San Francisco area, Krupp seemingly lost his mind and started to believe everyone alive was really already dead and took it upon himself to bury them. He began to bury people alive, seemingly at random. The husband of one of his victims eventually hired private investigator Jessica Drew to look for her.

(Spider-Woman I#47) - After weeks of searching, Drew, as Spider-Woman, caught up with Digger just as he was getting ready to bury his latest victim. She tried to subdue him with her venom blast, but Digger shook it off while explaining his mission to bury the living corpses. Sickened, she knocked Krupp out and took him to the nearest precinct.

(Captain America I#330 (fb) - BTS) - Escaping jail and returning to the Tower of Shadows, Digger was eventually recruited by the Shroud as a member of the newly formed Night Shift. Krupp offered the Tower as the team's base and bought the Shroud's lie that the Night Shift would be preying on other villains strictly to improve their own position in the underworld. Though they housed in the Tower, the team used the LA sewer system as their underground transportation way. At some point, the Power Broker (Curtiss Jackson) began to use the sewers to rid himself of his failed power-augmented subjects. The mentally deranged brutes began to roam around in packs, a threat to the general public. Shroud had Digger and the Night Shift take down and lock up as many mutates as they could find.

(Captain America I#330 - BTS) - Captain America, while looking for his friend D-Man, entered the LA sewers and found himself surrounded by several of the Power Broker's failed mutates. Some of the Night Shift came to his aid. At the same time Digger, Werewolf, Shroud and Dansen Macabre captured Dr. Karl Malus who was also in the sewers trying to get away from his creations.

(Captain America I#330) - After the fight, Captain America ran into the fully assembled Night Shift, but the Shroud quickly used his powers to quietly inform the Avenger of his true motives and asked him to play along. Shroud told Dansen Macabre to use her dance to entrance the hero, which she happily did. However, Shroud secretly covered Cap's eyes with his darkness, allowing the Avenger to remain unaffected. Digger and the others believed the dance had worked and had no problem with Captain America joining them in an attack on the estate of the Power Broker. Driving up in three hearses, the Night Shift entered the premises and were attacked by the Broker's enhanced guards. Digger, using his trusty shovel, helped fight them off while Cap went forth to confront the man himself.

(Captain America I#331 - BTS) - After the Power Broker's defeat, Shroud ordered Digger and the other Night Shift members to bring in the 29 or so mutates they had previously captured so they could be cured.

(Solo Avengers#3/2) - Digger and the other Night Shift members watched as Moon Knight (Marc Spector) tried to make his way into the hazardous Tower of Shadows. Unbeknownst to the hero, who merely wanted information on criminal Cornelius van Lunt, Shroud considered the Fist of Khonshu as the team's potential new leader. After surviving the lethal traps and a fight with the Shroud, Moon Knight declined the team's offer and departed.

(West Coast Avengers II#40 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, one of the Power Broker's failed mutations joined the team, taking the name Misfit.

(West Coast Avengers II#40) - On an autumn night in the heart of LA, Mockingbird came across Digger who was right in the middle of burying the three criminal Calamari brothers in the street. As he was digging them in, he told his "captive audience" a "bad-time story". Not wasting any time, she attacked him. She quickly defeated Krupp by literally tripping him up with his own shovel and turned him over to the local authorities.

(West Coast Avengers II#40 - BTS) - The Gypsy Moth learned of Digger's defeat at the hands of Mockingbird and informed the Night Shift. Unaware Mockingbird was no longer a member of the team, Tatterdemalion became infuriated with the Avengers for trying to muscle in on their turf. This convinced Dansen, acting as deputy leader in the Shroud's absence, that a retaliatory strike on the Avengers in their compound was the right move. Despite their best efforts, the Night Shift proved no match for the more powerful Avengers Vision and Wonder Man. Even though they were overpowered quickly, the Shroud's arrival allowed them to escape.

(Avengers West Coast I#77 - BTS) - Digger spent several months in prison during which he shared his trademark ghoulish stories with his fellow inmates. When the Satannish empowered Night Shift, led by the new Hangman, vanished after capturing USAgent, Spider-Woman and Hawkeye, the Avengers contacted the prison. Iron Man convinced the warden to let Digger escape, figuring the ghoul would lead them to the Night Shift. 

(Avengers West Coast I#77) - Digger took the bait and escaped using a shovel (conveniently left in the prison yard for him to find). He quickly made his way to the Tower of Shadow's newest location in Thousand Oaks, unaware he was being followed by Iron Man and Living Lightning. Digger entered the Tower, just as Hangman and the Night Shift were in the process of summoning Satannish to Earth. Stunned by this scene, Krupp was even more surprised when the Avengers showed up to rescue their teammates. With the summoning ritual interrupted, Dansen Macabre used her enhanced powers to teleport Digger and the other Night Shift members away. The Night Shift later took over the set of Devoured, the monster movie Simon Williams was working on, as part of the Hangman's plan to reclaim the role he had lost in the film. Afraid the Night Shift might hurt the crew, Wonder Man played along.

Avengers West Coast II#78) - Following a quick rewrite of the Devoured script to work in the Night Shift, Hangman and Wonder Man began shooting their "opus", now titled The Night Shift Takes Hollywood. To lure Hangman and his team out of hiding, the Avengers convinced the real crew of Devoured to replace the missing Wonder Man with USAgent. In the meantime, Iron Man visited Dr. Strange for help regarding Satannish. The Night Shift attacked the Devoured set again, and captured USAgent. Digger figured hitting the Agent in the back of the head with his special alloy shovel would knock him out, but the super strong Avenger remained conscious long enough for the Hangman to deliver the knockout blow.

(Avengers West Coast II#79) - Using her enhanced powers, Dansen Macabre teleported the Tower of Shadows, including the hill it sat on, right next to the movie set. Despite this display of force, the hostage crew members attempted to fight back against the Night Shift, and were almost killed before the Avengers arrived and rescued them, releasing their comrades Wonder Man and USAgent in the process. Mockingbird tried to fight Digger, but noticed he had gotten far stronger compared to their previous encounter even though Iron Man's repulsor blasts gave him pause (see comments). Hangman then conjured Satannish who began to manifest in this dimension, actively empowering the Night Shift members who grew even more powerful. However, Scarlet Witch was able to summon Dr. Strange who quickly deduced the Night Shift's souls were stolen. He used his spells to return their souls upon which Dansen Macabre and the others joined the Avengers in opposing Satannish who was eventually cast out. In the aftermath, Digger and the other Night Shift members were apprehended by the Avengers.

(Captain America I#420 - BTS) - Digger and the other members of the Night Shift soon escaped prison and resumed their activities though Digger was particularly shaken up about having lost his Satannish granted powers.

(Captain America I#420) - Digger was tracked down by the Blazing Skull (Jim Scully), who wanted to investigate the Night Shift's ties to Satannish. Digger, furious to see the demonic looking hero, attacked but proved no match for the super-powered Skull who broke his shovel and knocked him out. Moments after the fight, Captain America arrived to stop the battle but Skull believed the Avenger to be a Night Shift member in disguise and attacked. Their confrontation was interrupted by Digger's teammates Misfit, Needle, and the Brothers Grimm who wanted to know which one of them was responsible for manhandling Krupp. Teaming up, Cap and Blazing Skull defeated the foursome just in time for Digger to wake up and surrender himself. He was sent to prison once again.

(Marvel Monsters: From The Files Of Ulysses Bloodstone I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Figuring there might be a demand for properties similar to the House of Shadows, Krupp entered the fast-growing field of haunted real estate by starting the Unreal Estate agency. His portfolio included the Taco Stand of Despair and the Beelzebungalow which he stalked, captured and trained to be sold to people with an affinity for the supernatural.

(Marvel Monsters: From The Files Of Ulysses Bloodstone I#1) - Digger discovered the location of the House of Shadows and sent an electronic newsletter to all his clients, including Elsa Bloodstone, to drum up interest in the haunted mansion. In his usual, boastful way he talked up its many unique qualities such as walls that grow scary eyes for staring contests and its ability to banish the unwary into the Shadow Realm, calling it the ultimate in home security systems.

(Dark Reign Files) - Quasimodo analyzed Digger and the other Night Shift members' potential usefulness to Norman Osborn. The living computer concluded that with their most powerful members gone and without reliable leadership, the team's current potential was low, though they could be used by the Hood to gain a foothold into the West Coast criminal scene via the Brothers Grimm.

(Marvel Zombies 4#2 (fb) - BTS) - Digger, as part of the Night Shift, was  recruited into the Hood's villain army.

(Marvel Zombies 4#2) - The Hood called the Night Shift (Dansen Macabre, Digger, Needle, and Tatterdemalion) to accompany him to a meeting with the Black Talon on the island nation of Taino. The Talon had invited the Hood to discuss the purchase of an other-worldly virus that induces zombification. Sensing the presence of the Midnight Sons, a group organized to eradicate the virus, the Hood sent the Night Shift to stop them from interfering. Though they ambushed the Midnight Sons, the Night Shift was soon overpowered. Digger initially got the drop on Morbius, knocking him out. But as he was burying him, the living vampire woke up, tasted his own blood and descended into a vampiric feeding frenzy effortlessly beating Digger and even ramming his shovel in his head. Regrouping, the Night Shift lurched forward, ignoring a warning from their foes that the plague approached. The plague tore the Night Shift apart, disintegrating their remains.

(Marvel Zombies 4#4 (fb) - BTS) - Dormammu resurrected the Night Shift as mangled zombie versions of themselves, Digger's shovel still stuck in his head, and sent them after the Midnight Sons to distract them while he wrested control of the plague.

(Marvel Zombies 4#4) - Bursting into the Black Talon's plantation while the Midnight Sons and a powerless Hood worked to stop the plague, the Night Shift were held back by the Hood, Morbius, and Hellstrom. With the plague successfully contained within Simon Garth, the Night Shift returned to their human forms and were ultimately teleported away by a re-powered Hood.

(Moon Knight VI#3) - Digger and the other members of Night Shift were hired by LA crimeboss Snapdragon (Sheoke Sanada, acting on orders from Count Nefaria) to seek out and capture Moon Knight.

(Moon Knight VI#4) - The Night Shift caught up with Marc Spector who was having a talk with Maya Lopez (the deaf vigilante Echo) outside on a bench. When Spector refused Tick-Tock's polite invitation to accompany them, the Night Shift attacked. Tick-Tock tried to shoot Echo, but ended up hitting Tatterdemalion instead. In response, Echo knocked out Digger and used his shovel to stab Tick-Tock. The two Avengers managed to defeat the Night Shift, who were arrested by the police.

(Moon Knight VI#5 - BTS) - The Night Shifters were released from jail after their lawyer made the case they really were the victims of two outlaw vigilantes beating on them.

(Moon Knight VI#6) - Snapdragon brought Dansen and the other Night Shift members to meet with her boss who wanted to discuss why the six of them had failed to capture the two heroes. Nefaria insulted the team for their bumbling incompetence, which they took offense to. But before anyone could act, they were incinerated by Nefaria's ionic energy blast. As the Night Shift's remains continued to smolder, Nefaria turned to Snapdragon and requested she aimed a bit higher the next time she hired outside help.

Comments: Created by Jim Steranko (writer, pencils, inks)

    Digger's official handbook entry states he has no superhuman powers whatsoever, which makes it hard to explain why he looks like a green skinned, bargain basement Frankenstein's monster smashing cement with his bare hands and brushing off Spider-Woman's venom blasts. Incidentally, in his most recent Moon Knight appearances, it's suggested Digger and the other Night Shift members were "mental patients jacked up on Mutant Growth Hormone (MGH)," though that comment was made by the Wolverine personality in Marc Spector's head so that won't exactly hold up in court either.

    Avengers West Coast I#79 suggests Digger was also enhanced by Satannish, even though he was still in prison when Hangman tricked the other Night Shifters to sell their souls for increased powers in #76. Perhaps Hangman offered up Digger's soul in a separate deal with Satannish in between the pages?

    In a rather clever move,
Marvel Monsters: From The Files Of Ulysses Bloodstone ret-conned Digger's earliest appearances in the late 1960s horror anthologies Chamber Of Darkness and Tower Of Shadows as actual episodes of TV shows he hosted. One tiny problem though: having those stories turn out to be fictional might cause somewhat of a continuity problem if characters or elements resurface again. Then again, it's also possible Digger overheard these tales in the actual Tower of Shadows and shared them with the producers who used them as inspiration for their shows.

   Presumably an alternate Earth version of Digger was the host of the MAX title Dead of Night featuring Man-Thing#1-4 (April-July, 2008), a retelling of the Man-Thing's origin.
    Digger, as part of the Night Shift, received a profile in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89#5 and Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update#2 (2010).

    Nice profile, and I have just stumbled across an interesting possible note. It seems Digger nearly became part of a heroic "horror" character team run by Dr. Doom, alongside Shroud, Tatterdemalion, Werewolf by Night and Misfit - basically, the Night Shift turned heroic, and now using the name Fear Force. You can see what few details there are on this, and some art, here:
http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2008/11/06/comic-book-legends-revealed-180/3/
--Loki

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Digger should not be confused with


images: (without ads)
Tower of Shadows I#1, p1, pan1 (main image)
Tower of Shadows I#2, p12, pan4 (close up)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89#5, p29, pan2 (handbook image)
Spider-Woman I#47, p2, pans 6&7 (believes we're all dead already)
West Coast Avengers I#40, p4, pan2&3 (taken out by Mockingbird)
Avengers West Coast I#77, p3, pans2&3 (escaping prison)
Marvel Zombies 4#2, p16, pans2&3 (attacked by Morbius)


Appearances:
Tower of Shadows I#1 (September, 1969) - Jim Steranko (writer, pencils, inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Chamber of Darkness I#1 (October, 1969) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), John Buscema (pencils), John Verpoorten (inks)
Tower of Shadows I#2 (November, 1969) - Roy Thomas (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Dan Adkins (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Chamber of Darkness I#2 (December, 1969) - Archie Goodwin (writer), Syd Shores (pencils & inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Tower of Shadows I#3 (January, 1970) - H.P. Lovecraft & Roy Thomas (writers), Barry Windsor-Smith (pencils), John Verpoorten & Dan Adkins (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Chamber of Darkness I#3 (February, 1970) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils),  John Verpoorten (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Spider-Woman I#47 (December, 1982) - Ann Nocentin (writer), Brian Postman (pencils), Carl Potts (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Captain America I#330 (June, 1987) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Tom Morgan (pencils), Sam DeLaRosa (inks), Don Daley (editor)
Captain America I#331 (July, 1987) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Neary (pencils), Vincent Colletta (inks), Don Daley (editor)
Solo Avengers I#3 (February, 1988) - Roger Stern (writer), Bob Hall (pencils), Stan Drake (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
West Coast Avengers II#40 (January, 1989) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Gustovich (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)

Avengers West Coast#76 (November, 1991) - Roy & Dann Thomas (writers), David Ross (pencils), Tim Dzon (inks), NelYomtov (editor)
Avengers West Coast#77 (December, 1991) - Roy & Dann Thomas (writers), David Ross (pencils), Tim Dzon (inks), NelYomtov (editor)
Avengers West Coast#78 (January, 1992) - Roy & Dann Thomas (writers), David Ross (pencils), Tim Dzon (inks), NelYomtov (editor)
Avengers West Coast#79 (February, 1992) - Roy & Dann Thomas (writers), David Ross (pencils), Tim Dzon (inks), NelYomtov (editor)
Captain America I#420 (October, 1993) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Marvel Monsters: From The Files Of Ulysses Bloodstone (January, 2006) - Michael Hoskin (headwriter), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Dark Reign Files (February, 2009) - Michael Hoskin & various others (writer), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Marvel Zombies 4#2 (July, 2009) - Fred Van Lente (writer), Kev Walker (pencils & inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Marvel Zombies 4#4 (September, 2009) - Fred Van Lente (writer), Kev Walker (pencils & inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Moon Knight VI#3 (September, 2011) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight VI#4 (October, 2011) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight VI#5 (November, 2011) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight VI#6 (December, 2011) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Last updated: 02/28/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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