Real Name: Brady Briedel

Identity/Class: Human mutate

Occupation: Professional criminal, chemist

Group Membership: Villains for Hire (Avalanche (Dominic Petros), Bombshell (Wendy Conrad), Bushmaster (Quincy McIver), Death Stalker, Headhunter, Purple Man (Zebediah Killgrave), Scourge (Paladin), Shocker (Herman Schultz), Tiger Shark (Todd Arliss))

Affiliations: Mister Fear (Alan Fagan)

Enemies: Crossfire (William Cross), Heroes for Hire (Gargoyle (Isaac Christians), Misty Knight, Paladin)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly a walk-up lab off Yancy Street, Manhattan

First Appearance: Heroes for Hire III#9 (September, 2011)

Powers/Abilities: Monster is an empathic metamorph; whenever he encounters an individual, he immediately shapeshifts into their greatest fear.  He apparently cannot control this power, and shapeshifts unconsciously.  In his various forms he exhibited superhuman strength and pyrokinesis - presumably he can display any superhuman powers, if his target is afraid of some entity that possesses them.  His default form has sharp horns, teeth, and claws, and presumably exhibits superior strength and endurance due to its size; its torso and head are constantly wreathed in green flames, the nature of which is unrevealed. Briedel is also a skilled chemist.

History: (Heroes for Hire III#9 (fb) ) - All his life, chemist Brady Briedel was bullied and abused, and he was too fearful to stand up for himself.  He was intimidated into making designer drugs and specialist compounds for criminals; eventually, he found himself making fear-gas for Mister Fear in a walk-up off Yancy Street. Despite the lousy pay and miserable conditions, Briedel agreed to do it anyway.

(Heroes for Hire III#9) - When the Thing (possessed by the Dark Asgardian Angrir, Breaker of Souls) devastated Yancy Street, Briedel's lab was destroyed with him in it.  Slashed to pieces by shattered glass and doused in scores of chemicals, Briedel felt his fear slipping away as he believed he was dying - instead, however, the chemicals transformed him, making him into something to be feared.  Eventually, he emerged from the rubble as a gruesome monstrosity, terrifying a pair of Yancy Street survivors.

(Heroes for Hire III#10) - The survivors, dubbing the creature "Monster", led the heroes Gargoyle and Paladin to Monster, who first appeared as a divine figure to the deeply religious Gargoyle, terrifying him with the knowledge that he'd embraced the power of darkness to fight evil.  The Gargoyle reverted to his stone form in fright, his cries summoning Paladin.  Monster changed into a "superior" version of Paladin, who taunted the mercenary and beat him to a bloody pulp.

(Heroes for Hire III#11) - Monster wandered through the wreckage of Yancy Street, glorying in his new power; he became a giant rat to frighten a woman, a raging fire to terrify a paramedic, and a monstrous clown to traumatize a little girl.  He saw Misty Knight coming to the aid of the fallen Gargoyle and Paladin, and watched her go hunting for him.  She finally found him...only for Briedel to become a child - the child that would have been the result of the phantom pregnancy she had with Danny Rand.  Trapped in the body of a frightened child, Briedel fled.

(Villains for Hire #0.1 - BTS) - Headhunter contacted Monster and recruited him into the new criminal organization Villains for Hire for her employer, the Purple Man.

(Villains for Hire #2) - When a VfH mission to steal a shipment of Adamantium-etched iso-chips in the meatpacking district was disrupted by Misty Knight's crew of hired villains, Headhunter deployed Monster to the scene.  There, he tangled with Crossfire, shapeshifting into Crossfire's nemesis Hawkeye.  Despite Monster's presence, however, Knight's crew escaped with the merchandise.

(Villains for Hire #3) - VfH, now joined by several defectors from Misty Knight's crew, launched a mass assault on Knight's headquarters.  They triggered the building's defenses, however, and Monster was ensnared in a sticky polymer gel.

(Villains for Hire #4) - Monster and most of his teammates were apprehended by the police.

Comments: Created by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Kyle Hotz, and Bob Almond.

After being featured fairly prominently on the cover of Villains for Hire #1 (an issue he doesn't appear in), Monster does a whole lotta nothing in the rest of the series.  He gets a fight scene in #2, and then a single panel in both #3 and #4.  Weirdly, the recap pages consistently put him with Misty Knight's crew, even though he was always depicted working with VfH.  I almost wonder if he, and not Paladin, was originally going to be the mysterious Scourge - after all, what would frighten a bunch of b-list super-criminals more than the latest incarnation of the legendary villain-killer?

The story doesn't mention which Mister Fear Briedel was working for, but of the two living ones, we know that Larry Cranston was in jail and only escaped during the Fear Itself breakout, so I think we can assume that it was Alan Fagan who hired Briedel.

Monster's powers are extremely similar to those possessed by the Initiative's Trauma, who was later revealed to be the son of Nightmare.  Maybe Briedel was a more distant relative of the Fear Lord (a grandson, maybe, or a great-nephew or something) and his mutation only activated his latent powers?

So what does Briedel turn into if he runs into two people at the same time?

Profile by Minor Irritant.

Brady Briedel, alias Monster, has no known connections to

images: (without ads)
Heroes for Hire III#9, p16, pan1 (main image)
Heroes for Hire III#9, p7, pan1 (pre-mutation headshot)

Other Appearances:
Heroes for Hire III#9-11 (September-November, 2011) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Kyle Hotz (pencils), Bob Almond (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Villains for Hire #0.1 (January, 2012) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Renato Arlem (art), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Villains for Hire #2-4 (March-May, 2012) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Renato Arlem (art), Bill Rosemann (editor)

First Posted: 06/22/2013
Last updated: 06/22/2013

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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