Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Human technology user
Group Membership: Third World Army (see comments)
Affiliations: Nimrod Strange (later Arsenal)
Enemies: Benjamin Abramov, Marlene Alraune, Jean-Paul "Frenchie" DuChamp, Eban, Moon Knight (Marc Spector), Mossad, Strelgov
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Currently unrevealed;
formerly mobile; possibly Nimrod's Strange unidentifed island base
First Appearance: Moon Knight I#17 (March, 1982)
Powers/Abilities: The Master Sniper used a firearm device that fit into a right wrist gauntlet sort of deal, able to fire conventional or explosive bullets over a significant distance; the latter can blow a door in or tear a hole in a conventional wall. He wore a sort of helmet that incorporated a sighting scope over his right eye, though it is unclear whether this is simply a helmet or whether it was perhaps attached to his skull; it did not seem to be a bionic attachment or to possess computer-assisted sighting, but that is unconfirmed.
The Master Sniper is a skilled marksman, though distances, moving targets, high winds, and other factors can affect his accuracy. He is also reasonably skilled in hand-to-hand combat, enabling him to roll with assaults, flip an attacker over his body, and to use his metal gauntlet to enhance his striking force.
Height: Approximately 6'3" (he looked pretty close to Moon Knight's height)
Weight: Approximately 210 lbs.
Hair: Unrevealed (if any); black eyebrows
(Moon Knight I#17 (fb) - BTS) - The man known only as the Master Sniper joined Nimrod Strange's Third World Army, a coalition of extreme leftist and rightest terrorists. Privately disavowing all political affiliations, they publicly played both ends against the middle, accepting aid and weapons from communists and right-wing dictators alike. Their goal was to bring the world, both East and West, to its knees; while the world powers scoffed at them, they exploited their amused neglect to build themselves into a position of strength.
(Moon Knight I#17 (fb) - BTS) - The Master Sniper became Strange's right-hand man, striking like a ghost and disappearing similarly. After his hits, no man with a rifle, concealed or otherwise, was ever seen departing, nor was an abandoned weapon ever found near the scene.
(Moon Knight I#17 (fb) - BTS) - Israeli agent Benjamin Abramov learned that Nimrod Strange's organization was prepared to attack US soil and several other locations simultaneously; as the CIA (and the British, French, and German governments) still did not believe Strange or his army a legitimate threat, Abramov decided to seek aid from his old ally Marc Spector.
(Moon Knight I#17) - Abramov warned his old ally Marc Spector of Nimrod Strange and his armies, asking him to deliver a coded message to a man named Strelgov, in Lausanne, Switzerland. However, the Master Sniper then struck, shooting Abramov. Dying, Abramov referenced his third rib over his heart before perishing.
Spector changed into Moon Knight and pursued, leaping atop the Sniper's shoulders, only to be thrown to the ground and shot (in the lower chest or upper abdomen) by the Sniper before he could recover. The Sniper prepared to finish off his helpless victim, but instead fled at the approach of Jean-Paul DuChamp (aka Frenchie) and Marlene Alraune, uncertain of their number, weaponry, etc.
(Moon Knight I#17 (fb) - BTS) - Not believing Spector was Moon Knight, the Master Sniper concluded that Moon Knight had somehow tracked him independently.
(Moon Knight I#17) - Marlene and Jean-Paul removed Spector's Moon Knight costume and rushed him to a hospital, where the bullet was removed.
(Moon Knight I#17) <2 weeks later> - Spector and Marlene arrived via plane in Switzerland, where Spector tracked down and met with Strelgov (who initially suspected Spector was allied with the Third World Army/Slayers). As they spoke (including Spector relating the Master Sniper's murdering of Abramov), the Master Sniper struck again, shooting one of Strelgov's men from behind. Spector tossed Strelgov his gun and told he and his remaining agent to defend themselves as he went after the Sniper. Dashing out of sight and changing into his Moon Knight costume, Spector circled behind the Master Sniper and spotted the hidden gun barrel protruding from his cuff and noted how he clenched his fist with each shot, leading him to conclude there was a trigger in the palm. When the Sniper ran out of bullets and prepared to reload, Moon Knight struck the Sniper in his right hand with a crescent dart as he leapt, slamming into the Sniper a split-second later.
The Master Sniper concluded that Spector was indeed Moon Knight, who asked why he killed Abramov. The Sniper explained that he worked for Nimrod Strange, the "greatest man who ever lived! And even if you stop me, Moon Knight, the Third World Slayers (see comments) will go on -- until the world is brought to its knees!" His tirade was interrupted by a shot from Strelgov of his ally bouncing off a nearby rock, at which point the Sniper punched away Moon Knight (who was stunned by the impact of the gun barrel) and leapt atop a suspension cable car; by the time Moon Knight recovered, the car was too far away, and Moon Knight slipped on the ice and slid off the edge of a dock, narrowly catching himself on the edge.
Having had time to reload, the Master Sniper fired at the helpless Moon Knight (but the poor visibility, wind, and distance presumably prevented his success...or he just wasn't really that good of a marksman), who also realized that Marlene and Jean-Paul were in a cabin on the other side, where the Sniper was heading. Leaping into the chasm, Moon Knight used the winds, his cape, and his truncheon's grappling hook to snag the cable-car as it reached the far side.
Running for the cabin, the Master Sniper changed out his ammunition for the larger, explosive shells, to take no changes on Spector's friends, after which he planned to check and see if Moon Knight had died in his apparent fall from the chasm. He fired a shot as he approached the cabin door, just as Marlene approached the door to check on Spector. Though knocked back by the impact, she was relatively unhurt, but as the Sniper continued to fire into the cabin, Jean-Paul recommended they grab the microdot slide and use their skis to flee before the whole cabin came down on them. Per Marlene's advice, they skied low and split up to spread apart the targets. Moon Knight arrived just as they left the back of their cabin, and when the Master Sniper got Marlene in his sights (thinking how she was beautiful and an excellent skier; a pity she must die), Moon Knight slammed into him as he slowly clenched his fist to fire. The Sniper angrily noted how his shot had been spoiled, striking the edge of the cliff and starting an avalanche. The ground collapsed beneath his feet, and the Master Sniper fell.
The incapacitated Sniper was located by EMTs (or Switzerland's equivalent) who strapped him to a stretcher as they examined him.
Spector gave the microdot slides to Strelgov, who hoped the dot would reveal the location of Strange's training base.
(Moon Knight I#19 - BTS) - Strange noted that Marc Spector had slain the Master Sniper.
(Moon Knight I#19 - BTS) - Strange noted that with the recent loss of both the Master Sniper and the Slayers Elite, that they needed someone colorful to take their place...someone who was more than a normal man...someone from whom men could draw inspiration. Donning the weaponry of the Master Sniper, as well as his Slayers Elite (Jou-Jouka, Kareesh-Bek, & Sumaro), and Chu-Lin as part of his new costume, he took the name Arsenal.
Comments: Created by Doug Moench, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Steve Mitchell.
In Moon Knight I#17, Strange's army was consistently referred to as the "Third World Slayers." In #18-20, they were consistently referred to as the "Third World Army." While the general policy is to follow the precedent, it seems to me that since the writer (Doug Moench) was consistent throughout the whole arc, the latter name was a correction of an earlier error...perhaps confusing the names of his "Slayers Elite" and the "Third World Army," or perhaps Third World Army and Third World Slayers are two names for the same group?
Additionally, it's consistently Strelgov in Moon Knight I#17, but I think it switches around in subsequent issues. I'll sort it out when I eventually get to a profile on Strelgov.
Profile by Snood.
Master Sniper be distinguished from:
images: (without ads)
Moon Knight I#17, pg. 1 (extreme close-up of upper face);
pg. 7, panel 2 (mostly full);
pg. 8, panel 1 (firing);
pg. 16, panel 7 (being tackled by Moon Knight; showing boots)
pg. 17, panel 4 (face; more full/straight)
Moon Knight I#17, 19 (March, May, 1982) - Doug Moench (writer), Bill Sienkiewicz (penciler), Steve Mitchell (inker), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Last updated: 02/26/15
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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