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Real Name: Anthony Cavelli

Identity/Class: Normal human

Occupation: Criminal

Group Membership: None;
   formerly Maggia

Affiliations: His henchmen ("Big" Mike Mallony, Seymour "Simian" Simms, others)

Enemies: Dracula, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Dexter Bixby, Dr. Hennessy, Elvira Kaufman, Dr. Alice J. Maxfield, other passengers/crew of the cruise ship S.S. Wendell

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Whisperer

Base of Operations: Mobile internationally

First Appearance: Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1 (1974)

Powers/Abilities: Brutal and ruthless, Anthony Cavelli was an expert knife-fighter, although age had dulled his skills, and he carried a switchblade in his shirt sleeve cuff. His voice was limited to a whisper.

Height: 5'11" (by approximation)
Weight: 155 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Gray
Hair: Black with white temples


(Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Anthony Cavelli developed a quiet, rasping voice, earning himself the nickname "Whisperer". A Maggia crimelord, he was forced to live outside the USA for fear of arrest. Desperate to return, he decided to kidnap eccentric Dr. A.J. Maxfield and the new influenza vaccine the doctor had developed in the hope of trading them for a pardon and a passport. Not realizing Maxfield was a woman, he followed the name to an American-bound cruise ship, the S.S. Wendell, accompanied by his armed thugs, but was also unaware that Dracula and Spider-Man (Peter Parker) were also after Maxfield for their own reasons.

(Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1) - Choosing the cruise ship's masquerade ball to make his move, Cavelli, along with his top lieutenant Seymour "Simian" Simms, told his six other armed and costumed henchmen to find Maxfield and the vaccine. Various separate scuffles by Cavelli's henchmen opposed by Spider-Man or Dracula led to ship medic, Dr. Hennessy, frantically entering the ballroom. Cavelli sought to distract Hennessy by feigning ill health, but was himself noted by Dracula as connected to the gunmen. Out on deck, thinking Hennessy was Maxfield, Dracula confronted Cavelli and Hennessy, but the mobster lunged at Dracula with a knife. Dracula laughingly shrugged off the stabbing, then overpowered and killed Cavelli. The mobster's death sigh was a whisper.

Comments: Created by Len Wein (writer), Ross Andru (pencils) and Don Heck (inks).

There's no blood on Cavelli's corpse or knife after Dracula attacked him, so it may be that Dracula bit him during the scuffle among the vampire's cloak.

The British Marvel Pocket Book reprint (2010) shows A.J. Maxfield as a light blond with armor colored similar to Valkyrie (black and silver).

Profile by Grendel Prime.

Anthony "Whisperer" Cavelli has no known connections to:

Dexter Bixby

Dexter Bixby

Dexter Bixby was a passenger on the cruise ship who mistakenly thought dressing up as Spider-Man for the masquerade ball would win him a prize, but "Simian" Simms almost shot him by mistake before Bixby unmasked himself and ran away.







--Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1

Dr. Hennessy

Dr. Hennessy

Dr. Hennessy (first name unrevealed) was the doctor assigned to the cruise ship S.S. Wendell. He first unwittingly encountered Dracula while taking photos of guests at the masquerade ball, saving Dr. Maxfield from being a victim of Dracula's hunger. He responded to his captain's call when Peter Parker brought vampire victim Elvira Kaufman to the sick bay, but was kidnapped by Cavelli's henchmen when they thought he was Maxfield. He was rescued by Spider-Man and rushed to warn people of the gunmen, but was distracted by Cavelli feigning illness. Dracula, also thinking Hennessy was Maxfield, followed him and killed Cavelli before throwing Hennessy overboard. Spider-Man again rescued him. Hennessy tended to "Simian" Simms after the thug had been fear struck by Dracula earlier.






--Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1

Elvira Kaufman

Elvira Kaufman

Elvira Kaufman had boarded the cruise ship seeking romance. Dracula saw her as sustenance and easily hypnotized her, but she screamed as Dracula fed. She collapsed alone before Peter Parker arrived to help. Her breathing shallow, Parker took her unconscious body to the ship's medical bay where he encountered Dr. Hennessy and the incognito Dr. Maxfield. However, "Simian" Simms' violent arrival forced Parker and Hennessy's departure.




--Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1

Mike Mallony

"Big" Mike Mallony

"Big" Mike Mallony was one of Cavelli's costumed and armed henchmen. Mallony and a fellow gunsel harried Dracula on the ship, then fired on him as he tried to brush past, but the bullets went through Dracula's mist form. The two henchmen were terrified as Dracula hypnotized them and forced them to march silently over the side of the ship where they drowned.







--Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1

Dr. Alice Joyce Maxfield

Dr. Alice Joyce Maxfield had discovered a vaccine that countered a dangerous new strain of influenza. However, she was eccentric in nature and refused to travel by aircraft, and so went by cruise ship from Europe to the USA. She preferred to be known by her first two initials, that is A.J. Maxfield to avoid "gawkers"; this led to many underestimating her brilliance and assuming the vaccine discoverer was male. As she liked to travel incognito, only the captain and ship's doctor knew who she really was on the ship. Dressed as a shield-bearing warrior for the masquerade ball, she took in the night air on the ship's deck, and almost became a victim of Dracula's bite, but was saved by ship's doctor Hennessy's camera flash. She accompanied Hennessy to the sick bay, but despite her defiance, was knocked unconscious by Cavelli's thugs. As the chaos subsided, she revealed her identity to Spider-Man and agreed to go with him to New York with the life-saving vaccine in the special vehicle he had loaned from the Fantastic Four.





--Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1

Seymour "Simian" Simms

Nicknamed "Simian" for his semi-apish appearance, Seymour Simms was Cavelli's chief thug. Brutal and quick to violence, he ordered his men search for Maxfield, leading to chaos and gunfire during the cruise ship's masquerade ball. He mistook ship's doctor Hennessy for Maxfield and kidnapped him, but was countered by Spider-Man; however, a fellow passenger dressed as Spider-Man, Dexter Bixby, was almost killed by Simms in error. Simms returned to protect Cavelli and confronted Dracula when the vampire followed the mobster, but angered, Dracula glared at Simms, leaving him fear struck. Ready to fire his gun at fear-driven delusions, he was knocked out by Spider-Man. Hennessy then tended to him.




--Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1

images: (without ads)
Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1, p24, pan3 (main image)
Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1, p26, pan3 (headshot)
Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1, p19, pan5 (Bixby)
Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1, p23, pan2 (Hennessy)
Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1, p14, pan1 (Kaufman)
Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1, p12, pan4 (Mallony)
Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1, p16, pan3 (Maxfield in costume)
Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1, p30, pan5 (Maxfield with vaccine)
Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1, p28, pan4 (Simms, body shot)
Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1, p15, pan6 (Simms headshot)

Giant-Size Spider-Man I#1 (1974) - Len Wein (writer), Ross Andru (pencils), Don Heck (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)

Last updated: 08/17/17

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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