Real Name: Luchino Nefaria
Identity/Class: Human (Italian) mutate (ionic)
Occupation: Would-be world conqueror, criminal mastermind; former Maggia leader
Group Membership: Maggia
Affiliations: Cyclone, Eel (Leopold Stryke), Grim Reaper
(Eric Williams), Hood (Parker Robbins), Doctor Krang, Doctor Manning, Mr. Hyde, Nitro (Robert
(Samuel Smithers), Porcupine
(Alexander Gentry), Vittorio Salvani, Scarecrow
(Ebenezer Laughton), Snapdragon
(Sheoke Sanada), Morgan Stark, Steelskulls,
Professor Kenneth Sturdy, Sturdy's assistants (Hellen Rachelson, Dr. Archibald
Stancheck, Withers), Unicorn (Milos Masaryk), Whiplash (Marc Scarlotti);
former ionic slave master of Atlas (Erik Josten), Wonder Man (Simon Williams);
former employer of the Ani-Men, (Ape-Man/Gordon "Monk" Keefer, Bird-Man/Henry Hawk, Cat-Man/Townshend Horgan, Dragonfly/Veronica Dultry, Frog-Man/Francois "Frog" LeBlanc), Death Squad (Airborne, Boobytrap, Firefight, Rocket Launcher, Smokescreen), Lethal Legion (Living Laser/Arthur Parks, Power Man/Erik Josten, Whirlwind/David Cannon);
former unwitting lackey of Krona;
formerly Dr. Karl Malus, Quaid
Enemies: Avengers (Black Panther/T'Challa, Black Widow/Natalia Romanova, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Captain America/James "Bucky" Barnes, Luke Cage, Echo/Maya Lopez, Giant-Man/Hank Pym, Iron Man/Tony Stark, Mockingbird/Bobby Morse, Ms. Marvel/Carol Danvers, Ronin/Clint Barton, Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff, She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters, Spider-Man/Peter Parker, Spider-Woman/Jessica Drew, Thor/Odinson, Triathlon/Delroy Garrett, Vision/"Victor Shade", Wasp/Janet Van Dyne, Whizzer/Robert Frank, Wolverine/James "Logan" Howlett, Wonder Man/Simon Williams), Daken (Akihiro), Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom), Lieutenant General Fredericks, Colonel Hendershoot, Inner Guard, Ka-Zar (Kevin Plunder), Los Angeles Police Department (Paul Hall, Quaid, others), Buck "Bucky" Lime, Dr. Karl Malus, Masque, Moon Knight (Marc Spector), Nefarius (Lloyd Bloch), Night Shift (Dansen Macabre, Digger/Roderick Krupp, Misfit/Mitchell Godey, Needle/Josef Saint, Tatterdemalion/Arnold Paffenroth, Tick-Tock), Superman (Clark Kent), Shanna the She-Devil (Shanna O'Hara), SHIELD, Teen Brigade, Therak (Theodore Davros), Thunderbolts (Charcoal/Charlie Burlingame, Hawkeye/Clint Barton, Jolt/Hallie Takahama, Mach-2/Abe Jenkins, Moonstone/Karla Sofen, Songbird/Melissa Gold), Valeria Richards, X-Men (Angel/Warren Worthington III, Banshee/Sean Cassidy, Beast/Hank McCoy, Colossus/Piotr Rasputin, Cyclops/Scott Summers, Iceman/Bobby Drake, Marvel Girl/Jean Grey, Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner, Storm/Ororo Munroe, Thunderbird/John Proudstar, Wolverine/James "Logan" Howlett, Professor X/Charles Xavier)
Known Relatives: Renata Nefaria (wife, deceased), Guilietta Nefaria (Madame Masque, daughter)
Aliases: Kingpin of LA, Stox, Dream Maker, Dream Master, "Nefertiti" (nickname used by Hawkeye)
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly Puglia, Italy;
formerly his Los Angeles hideout, California;
formerly the Raft, New York City, New York;
formerly his castle in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, Canada;
formerly his castle in the Savage Land;
formerly his New York City townhouse, New York;
formerly Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado;
formerly his base in Washington D.C.;
formerly an old Nazi bunker, Norway;
formerly his castle in New Jersey;
formerly his castle in Sicily, Italy
First Appearance: Avengers I#13 (February, 1965)
Powers/Abilities: Before his ionic augmentation, Luchino Nefaria possessed no known superhuman powers. After Kenneth Sturdy's experiments with Baron Heinrich Zemo's original ionic process, Nefaria was granted the combined powers of Whirlwind, Living Laser and Power Man, amplified a hundred times. Now comprised of ionic energy, Nefaria has no need for sustenance or oxygen. He is potentially immortal, provided he has access to sufficient ionic energies to replenish his own, vast stores. At full strength, Nefaria is super strong, exceeding Class 100. His form is superhumanly durable, making him almost impossible to injure physically. Apart from his resistance to most conventional weapons, concussive forces, high caliber bullets or temperature extremes, he has a regenerative healing factor that rapidly rids him of all ill effects. Nefaria's stamina is so great, he can exert himself at peak capacity for three weeks before he is affected by fatigue. Nefaria can generate laserbeams from his eyes that hit with devastating effect, melting most metals within seconds. Thanks to his superior, ionically augmented coordination, he can fire his eyeblasts with laser pointer precision. Nefaria is also an energy vampire, able to drain other ionically powered individuals to add to his own power. He can use a variation of his vampirism to control other ionic lifeforms. Nefaria can fly at speeds up to 5000 miles per hour, he can also leap and run at tremendous speeds. Nefaria can simulate telekinesis by manipulating his ionic energies to pick up objects. Prior to his transformation, he was already known as a criminal scientist who wielded advanced esoteric technologies such as the Dream Machine, a paralyzing Time Transcender Ray and the Electro-Disc. Nefaria preferred to have scientists construct these inventions. He is a brilliant criminal mastermind and an expert tutor in the ways of crime. Arrogant and enamored with the ways of old, Luchino Nefaria deems himself a born leader whose very name should invoke fear and respect. Pre-transformation, Nefaria would wear a monocle and use a walking stick. In recent times, well after his ionic rebirth, he has been seen with the eyepiece though nowadays it's most likely an affectation rather than a necessity. Despite his many crimes, Nefaria enjoys diplomatic immunity and can't be prosecuted.
Weight: 230 lbs.
Hair: Black (greying at temples)
(Avengers I#13 (fb) - BTS) - Italian born nobleman Count Luchino Nefaria was a world famous figure because of his incredible wealth. Few people however knew the source of his riches stemmed from his activities with the Maggia, the world's largest organized crime syndicate.
(Avengers III#33 (fb) - BTS) - Growing up, Nefaria was taught to believe it was his family's birthright to command power and respect, since it had been that way for generations. Over time, Nefaria assumed his place as head of the European Maggia.
(Avengers I#13 (fb) ) - As a major player within the Maggia and the head of the Nefaria family, the count oversaw operations on several continents from his ancestral castle on the island of Sicily. Thanks to an inventive interplanetary communications system consisting of the Electro-Ray and the Electro-Disc he could make his presence felt everywhere on Earth.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#16) - Nefaria married a woman called Renata who bore him a daughter, while she herself died during childbirth.
(Iron Man I#8 (fb) - BTS) - Nefaria, somewhat disappointed he didn't have a son, called his child Giulietta. Coming up with a complicated scheme to assure his legacy would be secured, he had her raised by corrupt American banker Byron Frost who was secretly working for the Maggia, laundering their money through Wall Street. Nefaria figured that his child would be relatively safe and grow up to be a respectable society figure as well, thereby securing her legacy if she one day were to take over from him.
(Avengers I#13 - BTS) - When the Avengers stopped a New
York Maggia ring from stealing priceless furs, Count Nefaria was
informed of their failure.
(Iron Man I#8 (fb) ) - When Byron Frost died, Nefaria made his presence known to his daughter who up until then thought she'd been living a charmed life as society girl Whitney Frost. She was horrified to learn her true legacy and refused to become part of his insane, criminal plans. He assured her however, that she'd have nowhere to turn once it became public knowledge her father was the leader of Maggia. Months later, Whitney returned to her father, after all her high society friends had left her. He personally oversaw her training, both in weapon use and hand to hand combat.
(Avengers I#13) - Furious that the New York branch leader couldn't even competently run a heist, he ordered the local leader to communicate with him using the Electro-Disc and Ray. The man's image was instantly transported to Nefaria's Italian castle where the furious count summarily dismissed him from the Maggia. Taking matters into his own hand, Nefaria decided to deal with the Avengers himself. He concocted a complicated scheme that saw him spent a vast fortune transporting his family castle across the Atlantic to have it rebuilt in New Jersey, allegedly as a tourist attraction. Nefaria even invited the Avengers to attend the grand opening, which the heroes agreed to because Nefaria had announced all the profits would go to charity.
(Avengers I#13 - BTS) - In reality, Nefaria had his castle rebuilt with several high-tech inventions of Maggia design. Apart from his Electro-system, he had special rooms prepared with covert time-transcender beams that would freeze whoever they hit in suspended animation while also creating copies under Nefaria's control. The count planned to copy the Avengers and use these "clones" to discredit the heroes.
(Avengers I#13) - The Avengers showed up at Nefaria's
castle for the opening day ceremonies, accompanied by Rick Jones and the
Teen Brigade. Luchino warmly greeted the heroes, ushering them inside
and showing them their rooms they could use to freshen up before the
official opening would commence. The Brigade was told to stay outside,
while the Avengers entered their individual rooms and were quickly taken
over and copied thanks to Nefaria's time-transcender. Safe behind his
control panel, more than content to pull the strings from afar, he sent
his Avengers copies to the Pentagon where they announced they'd be
taking control of the U.S. government effective immediately.
(Avengers I#13 - BTS) - Thanks to Nefaria's machinations, the Avengers were branded traitors to their country and within hours the media had picked up the news, turning the entire nation against them. At the same time, the Teen Brigade were tired of waiting outside Nefaria's castle and snuck inside, only to be quickly spotted and tossed into one of the castle's padlocked cells.
(Avengers I#13) - Nefaria shut off the time-transcender and sold the Avengers a fake story about unforeseen circumstances that forced him to postpone the official opening for a day. Slightly annoyed, the Avengers agreed to return tomorrow if their schedule permitted it. However, as soon as they left the castle they inexplicably found themselves under attack by the U.S. army and airforce.
(Avengers I#13 - BTS) - The Avengers eventually escaped the military and retreated to their emergency headquarters where they first realized what had turned the country against them. They concluded the current crisis was tied to their visit to Castle Nefaria, as well as the disappearance of the Teen Brigade and decided to return to New Jersey to investigate.
(Avengers I#13) - Count Nefaria intercepted a makeshift radiosignal sent
by the Teen Brigade from their prison. He ordered the youths moved to
Dungeon K, which was a small, mechanical cell outfitted with suction cups
containing a paralyzing paste. Nefaria trapped the Teen Brigade, causing
the cell to slowly close in on itself until the Teen Brigade couldn't move
an inch without touching the cups. He mocked them with the antidote that
was only a few feet away, explaining that he had one rule: he would never
hurt anyone directly. If Rick or the others got injured, it would be of
their own doing because they touched the cups.
(Avengers I#13 - BTS) - The Avengers attacked Nefaria's castle, but only Captain America was able to get inside to free the Teen Brigade. He sent them out while he went to look for Nefaria.
(Avengers I#13) - Nefaria quickly captured Captain America again using the Time-Transcender. He had the Avenger taken to Dungeon G where Cap was chained up. Nefaria mocked the Captain, telling him the authorities would thank him for his assistance for having captured the supposedly treasonous hero.
(Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes I#5) - Nefaria mocked the trapped Cap some more, pointing out that all men wear masks, because it is the way of the world. However, Luchino felt that behind the masks of heroism, respectability and nobility he and Cap were all the same face. Defiant, Captain America denounced these words, calling Nefaria even more twisted than he had thought.
(Avengers I#13) - Thanks to the Teen Brigade having freed the other Avengers, Iron Man was the first to show up and intervene on Cap's behalf.
(Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes I#5) - Thor was furious with Nefaria for his deeds and threatened to kill him with Mjolnir, promising the "conniving villain" he would "grind his bones to dust". At the same time, Giant-Man hacked Nefaria's computer systems, uncovering his connections to the Maggia just as the military arrived. Once the soldiers were convinced Nefaria was the true culprit, the count was taken away.
(Avengers I#13) - The authorities decided to have Nefaria deported immediately, which did little to raise the count's spirits: after all, he knew the Maggia punished failure.
(Iron Man I#8 (fb) - BTS) - By the time Nefaria got arrested and exposed as leader of the Maggia, his daughter's training was completed. Now calling herself Big M, she set out claim her rightful place.
(Tales of Suspense I#67) - No longer in charge of the Maggia, the count
retreated to an abandoned Nazi bunker off the coast of Norway where he
planned his revenge on the Avengers. There, he constructed a device that
would make him the master of dreams. Using his worldwide electro-scanner,
he located Iron Man, figuring the other Avengers would fall in no time
once Tony Stark's bodyguard was out of the way. Catching Iron Man just as
he had dozed off while charging his chestplate, Nefaria used his
technology to enter Tony's dreams. He summoned up nightmarish visions of
Iron Man's enemies the Unicorn and the Crimson Dynamo while a confused
Tony Stark tried to make sense of the situation. He briefly fought the
villains before waking up, incorrectly thinking it had merely been a
dream. Meanwhile, Nefaria concluded his test a success and planned his
next move, content that Iron Man wasn't aware that if he happened to die
in his dreams, he'd perish in real life as well. Things did not go
according to plan for Nefaria when he next struck. He besieged Iron Man
with dream-versions of Gargantus, the Black Knight, Crimson Dynamo and the
Melter fully expecting the Avenger not to bother defending himself because
it was just another dream. But Iron Man fought for all he was worth,
greatly taxing the Dream Machine especially when Nefaria continued to
increase its output. The device short-circuited and blew up in Nefaria's
(Tales of Suspense I#68) - To get back at Tony Stark, the count sought out Stark's cousin Morgan who owed him a considerable amount after playing Nefaria's Monte Carlo casinos. Luchino offered to forget Stark's gambling debts if he'd help him destroy Tony. The opportunistic Morgan agreed to help and went to the United States to see his far more successful cousin. Over the next few days, Morgan used visio-projector technology supplied by the count to make Tony Stark and Iron Man see things that weren't there, from a nearby nuclear missile about to go off to a flying saucer right down to an alien invasion. Stark's stories about what he'd seen quickly damaged his reputation to the point he was about to lose his position as a defense contractor with the government. However, Iron Man eventually saw through the ruse and detected Morgan's involvement in this. After clearing Tony Stark's name, Iron Man very publicly thanked Morgan by sending him back to Monte Carlo where a very displeased Nefaria was waiting for him.
(X-Men I#22) - As part of a scheme to regain control of the Maggia, Nefaria decided to recruit supervillains as his lieutenants. He secured the services of the Eel (Leopold Stryke), Plantman (Samuel Smithers), Porcupine (Alex Gentry) and Unicorn (Milos Masaryk). Though they seemed loyal, Lunchino was well aware of their hidden ambitions. He suspected all the villains were conspiring against him to take over control of the Maggia. Nefaria next figured they could recruit the X-Men, incorrectly figuring the mutant youths were criminals based on biased newsreports. He used his machinery to first lure Angel (Warren Worthington III) to Central Park where he was overwhelmed by the Scarecrow's crows and captured inside adhesive netting. Nefaria's other lieutenants overpowered and brought in the other X-Men.
(X-Men I#23) - Implementing the next phase of his plan,
Count Nefaria took his lieutenants and the captured X-Men to Washington
D.C. Disappointed to learn the mutant teens were heroes after all, he
nevertheless went along with his original plan. Using his advanced
technologies, Nefaria erected a seemingly indestructible, crystalline
dome over the city. Its appearance caused widespread panic, with
authorities sending in the army led by Lt. General Fredericks and
Colonel Hendershoot, though they were unable to breach the dome. Nefaria
then used his time-transcender to make copies of the X-Men and sent them
to the Senate to make his ransom demand of 100 million dollars while the
real X-Men were locked up in his base. Nefaria also sent his lieutenants
out to guard the faux X-Men, unaware they were already plotting against
him with Unicorn as their new leader. Professor Xavier soon involved
himself when the fate of the X-Men and the outrageous ransom demand made
the news. He went to Washington D.C. where he telepathically contacted
the X-Men and proved instrumental in freeing them via long distance. The
X-Men confronted Nefaria who was behind his controls and convinced them
if they hurt him or destroyed the console, the dome would collapse and
kill everyone. After a thoroughly convoluted turn of events, Nefaria and
the Unicorn thought they had escaped both the X-Men and the authorities
with the 100 million dollars. However, the ransom money turned out to be
an elaborate telepathic illusion concocted by Professor Xavier. Left
empty-handed, Nefaria and Unicorn went their separate ways.
(Iron Man I#19 - BTS) - Iron Man learned that his girlfriend Whitney Frost was actually Giulietta Nefaria, daughter of the villainous count.
(Avengers I#166 (fb) - BTS) - Nefaria was approached by Professor Kenneth Sturdy who had once worked for Baron Zemo on the ionic augmentation process that had led to the creation of Wonder Man. Sturdy claimed to have perfected the procedure and offered to make Nefaria powerful, for a price. Realizing the opportunities having actual superpowers could provide him, Nefaria accepted and commenced Project N.
(Avengers I#164 (fb) - BTS) - Sturdy and his team, including Stancheck and Withers, set up an elaborate lab underneath Nefaria's New York townhouse in preparation for their plans. However, Nefaria required considerable funds because Sturdy demanded a "Fuhrer's ransom" for services.
(X-Men I#94) - Having laid low for quite some time, Count
Nefaria decided it had become time to act. He recruited the services of
the Ani-Men, promising he'd help them return to their human form, and
came up with a plan to invade NORAD headquarters at Colorado's Valhalla
Mountain Complex. He wanted to take control of the Doomsmith Command
System which would allow him access to America's strategic missile
force. After successfully teleporting the Ani-Men into the heart of
Valhalla, Nefaria quickly unleashed knockout gas throughout the
complex, so they would not be opposed by the armed forces guarding the
mountain. He took control of the Doomsmith and then sent out a message
to the nations of the world demanding they all paid him ransom money,
depending on the size of the individual countries' income. If they
refused to cooperate, he would fire the missiles.
(X-Men I#94 - BTS) - Nefaria's televised message was picked up by the Avengers' member Beast. With the team unavailable and Nefaria only allowing the world three hours to consider his demands, Beast contacted Professor Xavier who quickly ordered the recently formed new team of X-Men to fly to Colorado and stop Nefaria.
(X-Men I#94) - As soon as the X-Men's Blackbird jet reached the Colorado Rockies, Nefaria turned the base's defense systems on the approaching Black Bird, using missiles and sonic disruptors to destroy both the jet and its escape vessel.
(X-Men I#95 - BTS) - Thanks to Storm and Banshee, all the non flying mutants safely reached the ground. With limited time to disable the Doomsmith system, Cyclops ordered them to invade Valhalla Mountain. Nightcrawler managed to teleport inside, only to be spotted by Frog-Man. After a brief fight, during which Nefaria was alerted to the X-Men's presence, Kurt defeated Frog-Man. Locating the manual controls for the surface access hatch, he allowed the other X-Men to enter.
(X-Men I#95) - Despite Nefaria's best efforts, nothing he threw at them stopped the X-Men. When the Doomsmith controls were inadvertently damaged during the X-Men's fight with the Ani-Men, a countdown to nuclear missile launch was activated (no one realized it was a false reading). Unable to stop this, Nefaria decided to bail and headed for the nearest hangar. He was spotted by Banshee and Thunderbird who tried to prevent him from escaping. Nefaria reached a fighter jet and was ready to take off, even though Thunderbird jumped on the plane as it took off. Banshee pleaded with his fellow X-Man to jump off, claiming he could stop the craft with a sonic blast. Proudstar wouldn't listen, not even to Professor Xavier's telepathic projection. As he kept tearing at the aircraft, Nefaria ordered the madman to stop before he killed them both. Proudstar's assault eventually caused the jet to explode, seemingly killing both men.
(Avengers I#165 (fb) - BTS) - Nefaria escaped death by teleporting out at the last possible moment.
(Avengers I#164 (fb) - BTS) - Because Nefaria was now unable to provide them with the financial compensation promised to them, Sturdy and his colleagues abandoned the project. With Nefaria's finances just about drained, he was forced to let both his driver and his housekeeping staff go, which meant he had to drive himself around. He nevertheless convinced Sturdy and his people to return to work, promising them he'd sort out their payments shortly.
(Avengers I#164) - Nefaria's first order of business was securing the aid of Erik Josten, the former Power Man who had also been subjected to a variation of Zemo's ionic augmentation. On his way to the docks where Josten was now working, loathing the fact he had to drive himself, Nefaria spotted the Avenger Beast basking in the adulation of his many female fans. Once Nefaria's limousine reached Josten's place of business, the count faced the less than friendly supervillain who even threw a loaded crate at him. Ever the skilled illusionist, Nefaria had tricked him with a hologram of himself. Now in a better mood to talk, Josten eagerly accepted Nefaria's offer to come work for him in order to be remade with increased power.
(Avengers I#164 - BTS) - Acting on Nefaria's orders, Josten assumed his Power Man identity once again and freed locked up supervillains Living Laser and Whirlwind from jail. They all agreed to work for Nefaria as well. Several days later he sent them to rob the Union National Bank to acquire some much needed funds. The trio was opposed by the Avengers, but managed to escape with the loot because of the heroes' lack of teamwork.
(Avengers I#164) - While Whirlwind and the
others were robbing the bank, Nefaria met with Sturdy and his team of
scientists who praised the count on his new superpowered lackeys who
would be ideal subjects for Project N. Luchino ignored Doctor Wither's
backhanded compliments, telling them all he was sick and tired of
relying on others and failing because of the errors of others. He went
on to assure the scientists he'd dismiss them as well as soon as they
completed their work. When Sturdy piped up to remind the count he
still had to pay them the promised "Fuhrer's ransom", Nefaria
activated a camera feed that showed Whirlwind and his associates
arriving home with the cash. Nefaria immediately summoned them to the
underground lab where Project N began in earnest.
(Avengers I#165 (fb) - BTS) - Nefaria was presented by Sturdy with what he considered a ludicrous costume. Yet, because the professor claimed it was necessary to conduct the super energy from the machine into his body, he agreed to wear it anyway.
(Avengers I#166 (fb) ) - While Whirlwind, Power Man and Living Laser believed Sturdy's experiments were permanently increasing their powers, they were actually meant to analyze their three unique energy signatures in order to transfer them to Nefaria who was kept in a separate room ready to receive the villains' power in a hundredfold. When it was done, Nefaria destroyed the lab, thinking he'd killed Sturdy and his men so they could never repeat the process ever again.
(Avengers I#164 - BTS) - Unaware of all this and more than a little overconfident thanks to their upgrade, the three villains attacked Avengers Mansion. Nefaria was close by, waiting for his lackeys' powers to give out and fully empower him.
(Avengers I#164) - The Avengers were surprised when their three powerful opponents suddenly lost consciousness. Before they could come up with an explanation, Count Nefaria revealed himself by causing a giant shockwave that shook the pavement and knocked the heroes back. He announced to the astonished heroes he could do anything he wished and that the next whim he wished to indulge was slaying them all.
(Avengers I#165) - Unfamiliar with Nefaria's
newfound power, the Avengers tried to attack him. He easily held off
Captain America, Black Panther and the Beast, who he explained to how
he'd survived the incident at Valhalla Mountain. He next showed off
his laser vision against the Scarlet Witch's hex power hurled
boulders. His reflexes proved fast enough to grasp Captain America's
shield in mid-flight, though he was unable to break the discus. In the
end, Nefaria grew tired of fighting the heroes and decided to topple a
40 story building on his opponents, burying them under a mountain of
debris. Amidst the chaos, he walked across New York City, looking for
the nearest bank and noticing that Sturdy's costume somehow felt right
after all, because it exuded an air of drama. Once he'd ripped open
the vault, the reality of his new situation hit home: he was now
unstoppable and no longer had the need to acquire money, gold or
jewels. He could just take whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted it.
With that, he grabbed an attractive female bank teller and took off
with her because he wanted to "revel in the glory of his rebirth".
Landing on a nearby rooftop, the woman was struggling to break free
while Nefaria attempted to explain to her the origin of his powers and
Sturdy's foolish desire for wealth that had blinded him to the
possibilities of endless power. He was opposed by the aging 1940s hero
the Whizzer (Robert Frank) who had seen the news and rushed to give
aid. Despite his speed, the Whizzer was no match for Nefaria who
easily grabbed him and began to choke the life out of him. Yet, the
speedster managed to unnerve his vastly superior foe by bringing
up the fact Nefaria, despite all his power, would not live long enough
to enjoy his might. After all, even if he managed to conquer the
world, he was already over 50 and well past his prime so the world
would be rid of his tyranny within twenty or thirty years. Scared to
lose everything he'd gained, Nefaria released Whizzer and jumped away
to think this latest setback through. Soon, he realized the way to
solve the situation was by becoming immortal. Figuring the best way to
do so was through Thor, he went back to Avengers Mansion to find the
heroes had survived the brickstone avalanche. He ordered them to
summon Thor, brutally beating them when they refused. Only after
all the Avengers had been defeated did Thor suddenly appear, throwing
his hammer at him (Thor was
actually time-displaced, courtesy of the Collector who wanted to
protect the Avengers so he could add them to his collection later).
(Avengers I#166) - Nefaria was initially intimidated by the arrival of the Asgardian god of thunder, timidly trying to evade his blows until it dawned on him he was holding his own against a god. His confidence restored, Nefaria took to the offensive. Thor saw no other recourse but to banish Nefaria to an extradimensional reality but the count prevented this end game strategy by toppling over yet another office building, burying Thor and his dimensional portal. Satisfied he had dealt with the thunderer, Nefaria turned to kill off the other Avengers before digging out Thor's hammer. But moments later Thor had freed himself and attacked, summoning thunder and lightning only to be stunned when Nefaria instinctively stopped him from landing a blow with Mjolnir. Thrown off balance, Thor was vulnerable to one of Nefaria's punches. Briefly dazed, Thor dropped his hammer allowing Nefaria the chance to grab it. Before he could lift the mallet, Vision appeared and interfered but Nefaria's energy form proved too supercharged even for the android's intangible form. Just as Nefaria was preparing a final offensive against the Avengers, out from the shadows came the stumbling, severely injured Professor Kenneth Sturdy. The scientist mocked Nefaria, pointing out that the ionic augmentation had accelerated his aging process: the count was aging a month for every ten minutes. Looking at himself in a storefront window, Nefaria noticed he was looking appreciably older. Sturdy collapsed, calling Luchino a fool because he was the only one who could have saved him. Panicked and beyond reason because he was about to die, Nefaria went on a rampage throughout the city. He destroyed property as easily as he held off the Avengers. He was finally knocked out when the Vision flew high into the air before he shifted his density to diamond hard so he could drop down on Nefaria with the impact of a small meteor. Nefaria was quickly taken into custody by the team, even as Yellowjacket had learned from the dying Sturdy that the villain's ionic transformation had made Luchino immortal. The rapid aging had just been a temporary side effect.
(Iron Man I#114 (fb) - BTS) - The Avengers returned Count Nefaria to the mansion where the by now ancient looking villain was kept in suspended animation to slow down his inevitable rejuvenation.
(Avengers I#175 - BTS) - Wonder Man started
to notice something was wrong with Thor when the thundergod had no
idea who Simon Williams was, even though they'd fought against Nefaria
together (accidentally caused by
the Collector who had been randomly picking Thor out of the
timestream to aid the Avengers whenever he felt they needed his
(Iron Man I#114) - Iron Man had brought the unresponsive Unicorn to Avengers Mansion, hoping the team's resident biochemist Yellowjacket could find a cure for his condition. Observing the scene, Wonder Man couldn't help but notice how the heroes had become a nursing home for ailing super villains, pointing at the Eternity Man (Jason Beere) and Nefaria who were in nearby cryo-units.
(Iron Man I#116 (fb) ) - During a fight against Arsenal and the Unicorn in Avengers Mansion, the cryo-unit containing Nefaria was damaged which led to the pod releasing the count. Still too weak to walk but determined to escape, the elderly Luchino crawled towards freedom. Unaware his aged state was but a temporary situation, he decided to make the most of his time by finding a way to restore his youth. He recruited the Ani-Men who accompanied him to his daughter Giulietta who was living a double life as Madame Masque ánd Tony Stark's lover. Nefaria forced his daughter to help him, which she did by taking her father and the Ani-Men to Tony Stark's penthouse apartment. The plan was to wait for him to return so he could be forced to aid Nefaria.
(Iron Man I#115) - After a tiring day, Tony
Stark returned to his penthouse home to find Madame Masque, the
wheelchair bound Nefaria and the Ani-Men waiting for him.
(Iron Man I#116) - True to his Maggia roots, Nefaria ordered the Ani-Men to work Stark over until he was feeling "cooperative". However, after a while the ailing count dozed off even as the Ani-Men hurled the badly beaten Stark in a corner right next to his suitcase containing the Iron Man armor. Madame Masque was aware what was happening but her love for Tony prevented her from speaking up until the armor was on and Iron Man attacked the Ani-Men. At the same time, Spymaster carried out a separate mission to kill Stark by remote detonating explosive charges he'd set up in the apartment.
(Iron Man I#116 - BTS) - Madame Masque managed to get Nefaria to safety, escaping the explosion by exiting through the service entrance. She took her father to the Long Island division of Stark International where she used the technology available to her to put the count back in suspended animation in preparation for his revitalization.
(Iron Man I#116) - It didn't take long for Iron Man to catch wise to Madame Masque's plans. He followed her to Stark Long Island and pleaded with Masque to return Nefaria back to Avengers Mansion so they could at the very least monitor the rejuvenation process. When he decided his duties as an Avenger superseded his feelings for her, Madame Masque grew furious and summoned up Stark's gigantic, experimental Jupiter Landing Vehicle. Swiftly entering the heavily armored craft, she attacked Iron Man who accidentally ended up hurling the craft into the machinery keeping Nefaria alive. A heartbroken Madame Masque left the scene before making sure her sire might have survived.
(Iron Man I#139 - (fb) - BTS) - Watching
her lover crush her father to death led Madame Masque to fully embrace
her criminal roots, taking full control of the Maggia as their new
head of operations known only as the "Director".
(Iron Man I#153 - BTS) - As a result of being tricked by Count Nefaria to participate in Project N, the Living Laser found his metabolism had been altered. He was now constantly absorbing energy from any source of light.
(Iron Man Annual I#7 (fb) - BTS) -
Following his dealing with Count Nefaria, Erik Josten found his
superstrength had all but gone. After a brief stint as a villain
called the Smuggler left him caught by Spider-Man and in jail, he
dreamed of regaining the power that Nefaria took from him. In prison,
he learned of the work of Dr. Karl Malus who was said to be able to give
(Iron Man Annual 1999 (fb) - BTS) - Thanks to the aid of his daughter, Count Nefaria survived the Jupiter Landing Vehicle incident and was even allowed to complete his ionic transformation. He managed to restore his vitality and youthful appearance by draining ionic energy from other sources. Content with his new existence as an ionic vampire, Nefaria began to rebuild his criminal empire from his castle in Sicily. He secured the services of the criminal Vittorio Silvani, the Death Squad, Nitro and Whiplash, keeping them on retainer. Silvani went out and located ionically powered superhumans for Nefaria to drain.
(Iron Man III#1 - BTS) - When Tony Stark and Iron Man returned along with most of Earth's heroes after being presumed dead for a year, Count Nefaria decided to have his revenge against and sent the Death Squad against him. They stalked Stark for a while, but he proved too much for them.
(Iron Man Annual 1999) - Silvani pointed
Nefaria towards the likes of Charlie Gray and Nefarius.
(Iron Man III#16) - Nefaria caught up with Gray who was working at a Los Angeles security firm. He had his men set up a roadblock with his limo, causing Gray to stop in a back alley. Nefaria's goons dragged Gray into the limo where Nefaria was waiting to drain his ionic energy.
(Thunderbolts I#18 (fb) - BTS) - Now a part of the renegade would-be heroes the Thunderbolts, Erik Josten thought back on his life and decisions. It seemed he'd always been looking for people who told him what to do like the Mandarin, the Grim Reaper and Count Nefaria who tricked him and stole his powers. In retrospect, Josten felt that back then the count had actually done him a favor and that he should have been glad to be human again so he could get his act together.
(Avengers III#11 (fb) - BTS) - Celebrating the Avengers' return, a televised parade was thrown in their honor. Over the course of the broadcast, the team's many highs and lows were covered, including the Avengers' rogues gallery that featured Count Nefaria among others.
(Iron Man Annual 1999) - After killing Gray, the count went after Nefarius who happened to be stalking the Thunderbolts in Denver.
(Iron Man Annual 1999 - BTS) - After desecrating the grave of Rafe Michel, SHIELD and Iron Man started to notice a pattern. With a little help from Project: PEGASUS' resident superhuman expert Doctor Jason Rivera, Iron Man correctly deduced that the next victim would be the grave of the ionically empowered Zodiac member Aries. The Avenger waited at the gravesite to see who would show, only to be confronted by Nitro, Whiplash and the Death Squad. After a brief but intense fight, the Squad and Whiplash escaped aboard an airship headed for Sicily. Iron Man gave chase.
(Iron Man Annual 1999) - Upon reaching the castle that the ship carrying his foes landed on, Iron Man was confronted by his old opponent Vittorio Silvani who quickly revealed the operation's true mastermind: Count Nefaria. Shocked to see the powerful supervillain restored to full health and vigor, Iron Man was in for the fight of his life. Nefaria took almost gleeful pleasure in fighting the golden Avenger, even toying with him, all the while unaware it was Iron Man's strategy to completely drain the villain of his stolen ionic energies. In the end, Iron Man unleashed nearly all his armor's energy reserves to bury Nefaria underneath tons of rock. Surviving this left Nefaria sufficiently weakened to be taken into SHIELD custody.
(Iron Man Annual 1999 - BTS) - Nefaria didn't remain behind bars for long. The Sicilian authorities insisted that Luchino be tried on his native soil, only to set him free as soon as SHIELD released him into their custody. The authorities also granted the count diplomatic immunity, making it impossible to prosecute him.
(Iron Man Annual 1999) - The count happily continued his vampiric practices, using the captured Deathweb member Therak as a permanent source of nourishment while he planned his inevitable revenge.
(Captain America III#29 (fb) ) - Nefaria became interested in the various species inhabiting the Savage Land and led an expedition there, accompanied by Dr. Manning, a geneticist who worked under Arnima Zola himself. Nefaria decided to disguise himself, posing as a man called Stox. Together, they began experimenting on the natives, both humanoid and saurid, causing horrible mutations.
(Captain America IIII#29 (fb) - BTS) - One of their experimental subjects was a small dinosaur who didn't develop any mutations after being injected with Manning's mutagenic compound. Deemed a failure, he was set free again though Nefaria and Manning were unaware the dinosaur had developed human sentience and the ability to speak.
(Captain America III#30 (fb) ) - Nefaria's goal in the Savage Land was to create a new race of super-powered beings not only would they be subservient to him, they'd also be able to supply him with an infinite amount of the ionic energy he craved. When Ka-Zar learned of Stox's activities, he led a small army against him, but the lord of the Savage Land was no match for Stox's ionic might. Ka-Zar, Shanna and their son Matthew were captured and put in suspended animation with most of the other humans living in the Savage Land. He replaced them with clones who proved to be faulty, leading them to age rapidly.
(Captain America III#29 - BTS) - The talking dinosaur was eventually encountered by SHIELD agent Sharon Carter who had come to the Savage Land in part to think over her relationship with Captain America. It didn't take long for Carter and the dinosaur, who she nicknamed Barney, to be captured by Nefaria's men who took great interest in the talking reptile.
(Captain America III#30 - BTS) - Effectively in control of
the Savage Land, Stox had a castle erected there reminiscent of the
Nefaria ancestral home in Sicily. There, he kept Sharon, Barney and his
lab equipment, including the captured Ka-Zar, Shanna and the others.
(Captain America III#29) - The lovelorn Captain America eventually came to the Savage Land looking for Sharon and encountering the madness caused by Stox instead. He teamed up with who he believed was the now mature Matthew Plunder and Zabu to storm the castle. Moments after encountering Stox, the Avenger recognized his old enemy Nefaria. With no more reason to keep up the pretense, the count revealed himself and quickly took out his enemies.
(Captain America III#30) - Even though he was captured, imprisoned and slowly choked to death by a giant snake, Captain America still managed to disrupt Nefaria's plans. He threw his shield just as Dr. Manning was preparing his ion beam to turn Barney the dinosaur into the first living ion-battery for Nefaria to feed on. The shield caused the beam to go haywire, which caused overall panic and confusion. Cap freed himself and the others, just as Nefaria figured he'd once again been beaten and tried to escape. As he was making his way towards a waiting jet, Nefaria concluded that somehow all his plans were always thwarted by the Avengers. But before he was able to get away, Captain America and "Matthew Plunder" captured him. With his ionic energies at an all-time low, Nefaria could do little to resist.
(Captain America III#31) - Nefaria was seen trapped in a vine cage, awaiting the justice of the Savage Land. The still defiant count assured anyone who would listen that soon his followers would come and free him.
(Avengers III#33 (fb) ) - Escaping the Savage Land through
unrevealed ways, Nefaria returned to the United States where he started
to plan anew. Deeming the breeding of ionic power sources beneath him,
he decided to capture other ionic beings and make them do his bidding.
Nefaria discovered he could bond ionically enhanced humans to him by
draining enough of their energy to make them his slaves. His first target
was Wonder Man (Simon Williams) who quickly became Nefaria's thrall.
Wonder Man was sent to "recruit" Atlas (Erik Josten).
(Avengers III#34 (fb) - BTS) - Thinking on a global scale, Nefaria decided the only way to get the respect and obedience he was due was to detonate an ionic explosive so massive that everyone on Earth would be contaminated with ionic energy. As a result, he would be able to control everyone.
(Thunderbolts I#44 (fb) - BTS) - Nefaria had his castle in the New Jersey palisades moved to the woods just north of Crowsnest, in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada. There, he ordered construction of the ionic bomb. To cover his tracks, he had the area shielded, making it appear as if there were no ionic emissions at all.
(Avengers III#31 (fb) - BTS) - Nefaria, determined to regain all he had lost, wanted to reconnect with his elusive daughter Madame Masque. He acquired the services of the Grim Reaper and his Steelskulls to seek her out. The Reaper ran into quite a few bio-duplicates the paranoid Masque had been using in recent times. One encounter led to a confrontation with the Avengers, which Reaper managed to escape from.
(Thunderbolts I#42 - BTS) - The Nefaria-controlled Wonder
Man tracked down Atlas to Burton Canyon where he was drowning his misery
at a local sportsbar. Smashing the place up, the mute Avenger attacked
Atlas. Their fight attracted the attention of the other Thunderbolts,
but they could do nothing but watch as Wonder Man assumed control over
Atlas' ionic form. Sticking his fist inside Josten's body, Wonder Man
flew off with him to parts unknown. The Thunderbolts' leader Hawkeye
decided he had to call on the Avengers to sort this out.
(Avengers III#32 (fb) - BTS) - The paranoid Madame Masque
had been preparing defenses should her father ever return. Calling these
measures the Nefaria protocols, she kept them inside her butte
headquarters, guarded by her robotic Inner Guard. Nevertheless, Nefaria
and the Reaper discovered her location. The Reaper took his Steelskulls
in first to soften up the defenses of the butte in preparation for
Nefaria's arrival. They were both unaware the Avengers were on the case
(Avengers III#32) - After the Avengers had fought the Reaper and the Steelskulls for a while, right outside Madame Masque's headquarters, Nefaria showed up with Wonder Man and Atlas as his mindless slaves to end things once and for all.
(Thunderbolts I#43 - BTS) - While Nefaria was getting ready to reconnect with his daughter, he had sent a Maggia science team with Cyclone and Dr. Karl Malus to Baron Zemo's abandoned South American laboratories in the hopes of uncovering the secrets of ionic emission. However, they ran into opposition from the Thunderbolts and Black Widow who were unable to stop Cyclone but did capture Malus who was all too eager to fill the heroes in about his activities there.
(Avengers III#33) - The Avengers tried to fight Nefaria,
his ionic thralls, Grim Reaper, the Steelskulls and Madame Masque's
forces but the analytical Goliath (Hank Pym) correctly concluded there
was no chance the heroes could win. Throughout the mayhem, Nefaria
calmly levitated in the air, almost arrogantly chiding his daughter she
should cease this "rebellious tantrum" or else he'd have to become
stern. In response, the Avengers' leader Wasp ordered the fight to be
taken to Nefaria, but even Ms. Marvel and Vision's best efforts didn't
even faze him. Wasp eventually flew up to Nefaria, futily zapping him
with her bio-blasts while the count explained that he was doing all this
just to get the respect he was due. He briefly recounted his origins and
how he had always striven to be people's better. Luchino assured the
Wasp that he'd soon have the power and the position in global affairs
befitting a Nefaria. He then warned her away, because he correctly
sensed his daughter was about to fire her biggest weapons at him.
Moments later, Madame Masque fired twin beta-cannons at Nefaria but the
energy discharge barely tousled his hair. When Madame Masque threatened
to unleash the Nefaria protocols, the count had Atlas and Wonder Man
destroy the butte. Her headquarters and the Nefaria protocols destroyed,
Madame Masque tried to escape using her underground shuttle system but
Nefaria's enhanced hearing picked up the launch. Correctly figuring his
daughter would be on board the biggest one, he ripped open the ground
and pulled Madame Masque out of her craft as she was passing. However,
the Avengers had planned for this: they piled on the count while
Triathlon, using his enhanced speed, rushed Madame Masque away from the
scene of the crime. When Nefaria's minions were prevented from pursuing
them by Vision who crashed into them, the count got fed up and left the
scene. As he was leaving, he pointed out the fight had become
meaningless, especially since he would soon rule them all. Madame Masque
accompanied the Avengers back to New York.
(Thunderbolts I#44) - After meeting up with the Thunderbolts and comparing notes, the Avengers began to search for Nefaria's whereabouts. Finding his old New Jersey castle had gone missing, they checked for recent increases in ionic emissions only to come up empty. In the end, they found him when they looked into places that suddenly lacked any ionic emissions at all and came up with Crowsnest, in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada. The heroes traveled there and did their best to quietly infiltrate the premises. But despite their best intentions Nefaria soon discovered them. After setting his watchdogs Wonder Man and Atlas on them, he then blew up part of his castle, triumphantly showing off the giant ionic explosive he was preparing to launch into the atmosphere.
(Avengers III#34) - The Avengers and the Thunderbolts tried to reach the bomb, but Nefaria kept them at bay and occupied by destroying part of a cliffside, causing an avalanche that hurtled towards the nearby town of Blaircrest. Nefaria then went into the town to keep the heroes even more distracted, throwing trucks, destroying gas mains and forcing his opponents to divide their attention between fighting him and keeping innocent civilians safe. As he fought the heroes, Nefaria once again emphasized that all he wanted was simple, old-world respect and that he didn't care if millions died as a result of him irradiating the planet in order to get it. The fight continued, but Goliath calculated Nefaria's current energy expenditure and concluded they would have to constantly fight him for three straight weeks before he'd even show signs of slowing down. Moments later, the ionic bomb launched. As Nefaria was keeping himself busy toying with the Avengers and the Thunderbolts, Madame Masque arrived with the finished ionic lock, the pinnacle of the Nefaria protocols. The lock could disrupt an ionic being's energy, causing him to unleash all his reserves at once. However, she was hesitant to use it because in her paranoid mind the possibility still existed that the Avengers and her father might be working against her. She was confronted by Masque, her bio-duplicate and former Avengers ally, who once again tried to convince her of the heroes' good intentions. When Madame Masque refused to listen to reason, her duplicate grabbed the ionic lock weapon and went out to fight Nefaria. Not thinking twice and believing he was facing his daughter, Nefaria used his lasersight to incinerate her. This convinced Madame Masque who truly was on her side. She emerged from the bushes, grabbed the lock and shot her father who as a result began leaking ionic energy. The heroes redoubled their efforts so he would expend even more energy, draining him further. The lock also disrupted Nefaria's control over Wonder Man and Atlas who decided to chase the ionic bomb and defuse it into space. When the explosive went off, Nefaria was elated but grew furious when he realized Atlas and Wonder Man were absorbing the ionic payload, thereby disrupting his plans completely. Enraged and completely out of control, Nefaria flew up, leaking massive amounts of ionic energy until he dissipated in the atmosphere.
(New Avengers I#2 (fb) - BTS) - The count was able to reassemble himself and ended up incarcerated at the Raft, the island prison off the coast of New York through unrevealed circumstances. He was still there when the supervillain Electro, under orders from a Skrull invasion force (though he was unaware of this), short-circuited the security systems.
(New Avengers I#2) - Nefaria managed to escape the Raft, cleverly avoiding a confrontation with the superheroes who had come to the island to quell the uprising.
(New Avengers: Most Wanted Files#1) - Following the massive prison break at the Raft, the Avengers helped SHIELD compile files on all the supervillains involved in the conflict. Analyzing Nefaria, Iron Man claimed that in a way Nefaria was all that Tony Stark had tried to avoid becoming: a person of vast intellect, wealth and power twisted to selfish, destructive ends. He added that if and when they caught up with the count, he hoped Whitney wouldn't get caught in the crossfire.
(Deadpool Annual III#1 (fb) ) - Despite his best efforts, Nefaria fought the Avengers in Hell's Kitchen under unrevealed circumstances. The altercation was observed from a distance by Deadpool who was annoyed that the many superhero fights in New York prevented him from carrying out his mission: killing Matt Murdock.
(New Avengers: Finale#1 - BTS) - Nefaria went to Los Angeles where he disappeared into the underworld, setting himself up as a major Maggia backed crimeboss. He also managed to restore the troubled relationship with his daughter Madame Masque.
(JLA/Avengers#4) - When the mad Oan scientist Krona, native to a Divergent Continuum, weakened the barriers between Earth-616 and his home reality, the Avengers and the Justice League of America decided to team up to restore order to this new actuality. During the heroes' final assault on Krona's power base, the Oan summoned dozens of villains from both universes to defend him, including Count Nefaria. He was seen fighting Superman (Clark Kent). Even though Superman wielded Captain America's shield in combat, the two appeared evenly matched.
(Dark Reign Files#1) - Following Norman Osborn's takeover of SHIELD, he had the living computer Quasimodo compile comprehensive data profiles on all available allies, enemies and possible operatives. Count Nefaria was listed as an immense potential threat they needed to devise strategies against. Describing him as a man of vast power, influence and ambition who was impossible to intimidate and nearly incapable of physical defeat, Quasimodo's suggested course of action was depriving Nefaria of ionic energies long enough for him to become vulnerable.
(New Avengers: Finale#1) - Following the failed siege of Asgard and the downfall of Norman Osborn and the Cabal, the now powerless Hood (Parker Robbins) fled the scene with his lover Madame Masque. Taking her advice, they went to see Count Nefaria in Los Angeles in the hopes he could help the Hood regain his lost superpowers. Nefaria initially taunted Robbins, telling him he knew how it felt to have superpowers only to lose them, the feeling of loss was enough to contemplate suicide. Nevertheless, he agreed to help the Hood because he was his daughter's paramour. Nefaria ordered his chief scientist Dr. Krang to start work on Robbins immediately. However, moments later a team of Avengers crashed into Nefaria's luxurious skyscraper hideout, having followed Hood and Masque. Furious by this outrage, Nefaria's ionic powers flared up as he attacked the heroes. The count turned out to be ill-prepared for Ms. Marvel's energy absorption powers, draining him sufficiently for the otherwise severely outmatched team of heroes to take him down. As a final insult, the Avengers delivered a naked Nefaria (his attire had been destroyed during the fight), as well as the captured Madame Masque, the Hood and his ally John King to SHIELD director Maria Hill in Broxton, Oklahoma.
(Moon Knight IV#1 (fb) - BTS) - Nefaria somehow escaped SHIELD custody and returned to Los Angeles.
(Moon Knight IV#12 (fb) - BTS) - To make sure the police wouldn't bother him, he paid a substantial amount of money to police chief Quaid who promised to prevent any inquiries into the count's businesses.
(Moon Knight IV#1 (fb) - BTS) - Nefaria received word that Mr. Hyde was selling an inert, decapitated Ultron.
(Moon Knight IV#1) - Nefaria sent some of his goons to make the deal with Hyde who kept the Ultron remains on a boat. The transfer was interrupted by the vigilante Moon Knight. During the altercation, the count's men were killed forcing him to take an active hand in matters. Just as Moon Knight had grabbed Ultron's head and tried to leave the boat, the vessel was lifted up by Nefaria who got into an argument with Hyde over payment. Even though he spotted Moon Knight holding the Ultron head, the count chose to fully focus on Hyde. He blew up the boat and claimed the Adamantium body, but was unable to prevent Moon Knight from escaping with the head.
(Moon Knight IV#2) - Moon Knight, suffering from multiple personality disorder and thinking himself surrounded by Wolverine, Spider-Man and Captain America, disrupted one of Nefaria's operations ran by Snapdragon (Sheoke Sanada). As a result of his actions, he also uncovered Echo (Maya Lopez) who had been trying to infiltrate Nefaria's organization. Both Moon Knight and Echo escaped, forcing Snapdragon to beg her boss for another chance to deal with this new vigilante menace. Nefaria, already interested in getting his hands on Moon Knight and the Ultron head, granted her the opportunity to assemble a team and take him down.
(Moon Knight IV#3 - BTS) - On Nefaria's orders, Snapdragon sought out and recruited the L.A. based team of superhuman misfits known as the Night Shift.
(Moon Knight IV#4 - BTS) - The Night Shift located Moon Knight but were hopelessly beaten by him and his ally Echo. Their fight was interrupted by the LAPD.
(Moon Knight IV#5 - BTS) - While Moon Knight escaped, the Night Shift were taken into custody. Nefaria made arrangements to have them released thanks to some clever judicial reasoning.
(Moon Knight IV#6) - Snapdragon had the Night Shift met with her boss. Nefaria 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.
(Moon Knight IV#7) - Nefaria fell for a ruse Moon Knight had set up to get him out in the open. Moon Knight's ally and tech-genius Buck "Bucky" Lime approached Snapdragon, claiming he wanted to sell the Ultron head for 20 million dollars and a ticket out of the LA slums. He insisted he met with the real power behind the throne, which Snapdragon after calling the count arranged. Nefaria met with Buck who handed him the Ultron head (though it was a fake containing power-dampening liquid). Nefaria immediately realized the head wasn't authentic and smashed it, thereby dousing himself in the liquid. Moon Knight, somewhat apprehensive because he was about to face Nefaria, engaged the villain and got him to flee, leaving Snapdragon behind to be captured. The entire, humiliating exchange was filmed by Echo.
(Moon Knight IV#8 - BTS) - Moon Knight delivered Snapdragon to the LAPD detective Paul Hall, telling him she was serving the kingpin of Los Angeles: Count Nefaria. He even handed the police officer a USB-stick containing the footage of their recent fight, proving Nefaria's connection to criminal activities. Hall tried to convince his boss Quaid to take action, but found himself stonewalled and sandbagged. He covertly decided to implore his higher ups to take action, but even they had trouble finding the right way to deal with a villain who had taken on the likes of Thor and survived.
(Moon Knight IV#8) - Moon Knight and Echo were stalking Nefaria's secret hideout, even sharing a passionate kiss as they were readying themselves to move in. They were unaware Nefaria had already snuck up on them.
(Moon Knight IV#9) - Nefaria chased Echo and Moon Knight through the abandoned amusement park that was serving as a cover to his headquarters. Even though he was vastly more powerful than they were, he wanted to make an example of the two low-powered vigilantes who had beaten him before and even spread footage of that humiliation. However, because of the new weaponry Buck Lime had designed based on Captain America, Spider-Man and Wolverine, Moon Knight was able to hold his own against the count for a long time. Even Echo got a few decent licks in because Buck had outfitted her staff with Vibranium strips. In the end, Moon Knight had an opening to kill the count with his "Wolverine" claws, but hesitated because the voices in his head were arguing. This left Nefaria with the opportunity to hit Echo through the stomach with his laser beams. Furious, Moon Knight jumped on the count, ready to rend him to pieces.
(Moon Knight IV#10 (fb) - BTS) - Nefaria was able to evade the killing blow, though he ended up wounded. Before retreating, he injured Moon Knight while Echo's lifeless body lay there.
(Moon Knight IV#10 - BTS) -
Nefaria had such trouble keeping himself in check
while his injuries healed, his staff decided to
call in the services of his daughter Madame
Masque. She went out on her father's behalf,
checked the morgue where Echo was kept and traced
down the Vibranium used on her stick to Buck Lime.
She then broke into the warehouse Bucky and Moon
Knight (himself severly injured) had been using
and departed with the Ultron head.
(Moon Knight IV#11) - Madame Masque, the Ultron head in her possession, called with her father to find out what he planned to do with it before he gave it to her. In an uncharacteristic display of rebellion, Madame Masque brusquely said to Luchino that they both knew he wasn't as smart as he thought he was. Nevertheless, the count ordered his daughter to bring the head. Before she could get underway, Moon Knight tracked her down and attacked. At the same time, the LAPD showed up at Nefaria's door with an arrest warrant and a subpoena. When the count heard it involved Moon Knight, he became irked.
(Moon Knight IV#12) - Nefaria was fed up with the indignity of having police enter his house. He flew off, razing several LAPD helicopters, on his way to the police station to settle matters with Quaid and Snapdragon, who was still in custody.
(Moon Knight IV# 12 - BTS) - Nefaria's actions were monitored by Moon Knight using the police scanner. Aware of where the count was heading, he called in the Avengers for help. They agreed that Moon Knight would face Nefaria first, luring him outside so they could deal with him.
(Moon Knight IV#12) - Nefaria entered the police station, revealing his ties to chief Quaid who he wound up incinerating with his eyebeams before Moon Knight arrived. After a brief, ferocious fight that saw Nefaria getting ever more unhinged, the count grabbed his opponent and forced him to reveal the location of Ultron's head. Moon Knight told his opponent that the head was outside in the parking lot. When Nefaria stormed out, he found the Avengers waiting for him. It merely took one blow of Thor's hammer to put him down for the count.
(Daken: Dark Wolverine#20) - Daken was tasked to bring down the "Kingpin of Los Angeles". Tracking down Count Nefaria, he patiently waited until the right time to end his life with a well-placed sniper bullet. However, Daken was disappointed to find out Nefaria simply brushed off the hit, politely waving at him from a distance to mock the assassin for even trying.
(Fantastic Four V#5 (fb) - BTS) - Nefaria returned to Italy where he used his powers to lord it over the local population of Puglia.
(Fantastic Four V#5) - As part of her attempt to reform Victor von Doom, Valeria Richards convinced him to do good for goodness sake. They traveled to Puglia where Valeria watched Doom take on Nefaria single-handedly. He used the energy absorption modules in his armor to drain Nefaria's ionic energies to the point Luchino became an old, infirm man unable to defend himself.
Comments: Created by Stan
Lee (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks).
What if Marvel had an evil Superman? Meet Count Luchino Nefaria. The perfect example of how to take an old, dime a dozen early Silver Age villain and reinvent him into someone quite memorable. For my money (and I paid for 'em), the three issue Nefaria arc in Avengers I#164 - 166 counts as some of the best superhero fare Marvel ever put out. From the late 70s John Byrne art, back when he felt backgrounds weren't superfluous hindrances, to the captivating story by Jim Shooter. It was a great moral and ethical dilemma that Nefaria faced after gaining all that power: he was already in his 50s, how long did he think he was going to live to enjoy it? To think it took the Whizzer of all people to point out the inevitability of mortality. Pretty heady stuff, add to that plenty of brightly colored men and women in tights fighting the good fight and you're hooked for life. From then on, the menace of Count Nefaria was real and whenever he appeared, you knew the stakes were high.
That's why it's all the more baffling that Nefaria
remained out of circulation for close to 20 years. His last actual
appearance was in November 1978's Iron
Man I#116 and even though he survived getting crushed by the
Jupiter landing vehicle he wasn't seen or heard from until Kurt Busiek
rescued him from obscurity in March 1998's Iron
Man III#1. Busiek began a slow burn storyline that culminated
in 2000s Avengers/Thunderbolts crossover that had the same epic feel as
the first time Earth's mightiest fought the count..
The Luchino Nefaria appearing as part of the Grim Reaper's Legion of the Unliving in Avengers I#353 was merely a zombie fascimile.
Also, bless George Pérez and his eye for detail: you can't help but smile when Nefaria and the actual Superman squared off during JLA/Avengers#4.
Count Nefaria had full profiles in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#13 (February, 1984), Official
Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#16 (June, 1987), Official Handbook of the
Marvel Universe Master Edition#17 (1992), Official Handbook of
the Marvel Universe: Avengers 2005 (2005) & Official Handbook of the Marvel
Universe A-Z HC#2 (June, 2008).
Profile by Norvo.
Count Nefaria should not be confused with
images: (without ads)
Thunderbolts I#44, p22, pans1&2 (main image)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Master Edition#17 (master handbook)
Avengers I#13, p15, pans4&5 (scared of Thor's hammer)
Iron Man I#8, p12, pan1 (reveals himself to his daughter)
Tales of Suspense I#67, p17, pans4&5 (as the Dream-Master overloading his machinery)
X-Men I#23, p15, pan5 (and the Unicorn tricked by Professor X)
X-Men I#95, p15, pan 4 (considers Thunderbird a madman)
Avengers I#165, p10, pans5&6 (unnerved by the Whizzer)
Avengers I#166, p5, pan5 (stops Thor's hammer)
Thunderbolts I#18, p3, pan4 (should have been thanked)
Iron Man Annual 1999, p50, pans6 (drains Therak)
Captain America III#29, p10, pan1 (as Stox experimenting in the Savage Land)
Captain America III#31, p31, pan6 (ready to break free)
Avengers III#34, p9, pan4 (explains what he wants)
JLA/Avengers#4, p27, pan2 (versus Superman)
Moon Knight IV#7, p11, pan1 (as the kingpin of LA)
Fantastic Four V#5, p11, pan2 (beaten by Doctor Doom)
Avengers I#13 (February, 1965) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Don Heck (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks)
Tales of Suspense I#67 (July, 1965) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Don Heck (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks)
Tales of Suspense I#68 (August, 1965) - Al Hartley (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Mickey Demeo (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
X-Men I#22 (July, 1966) - Roy Thomas (writer), Jay Gavin (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
X-Men I#23 (August, 1966) - Roy Thomas (writer), Werner Roth (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Iron Man I#8 (December, 1968) - Archie Goodwin (writer), George Tuska (pencils), Johnny Craig (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Iron Man I#19 (November, 1969) - Archie Goodwin (writer), George Tuska (pencils), Johnny Craig (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
X-Men I#94 (August, 1975) - Chris Claremont (writer), Dave Cockrum (penciler), Bob McLeod (inker), Len Wein (editor)
X-Men I#95 (October, 1975) - Chris Claremont (writer), Dave Cockrum (penciler), Sam Grainger (inker), Len Wein (editor)
Avengers I#164 (October, 1977) - Jim Shooter (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Avengers I#165 (November, 1977) - Jim Shooter (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Avengers I#166 (December, 1977) - Jim Shooter (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Avengers I#175 (September, 1978) - Jim Shooter & David Michelinie (writers), David Wenzel (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Iron Man I#114 (September, 1978) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Keith Giffen (pencils), Bruce Patterson (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Iron Man I#115 (October, 1978) - Bill Mantlo (writer), John Romita, Jr. (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Iron Man I#116 (November, 1978) - David Michelinie (writer), John Romita, Jr. (pencils), Bob Layton (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Iron Man I#139 (October, 1980) - Bob Layton (writer, pencils & inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Iron Man I#153 (December, 1981) - David Michelinie & Bob Layton (writers), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Bob Layton (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Iron Man Annual I#7 (October, 1984) - Bob Harras (writer), Luke McDonnell (pencils), Ian Akin & Brian Garvey (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Thunderbolts I#18 (September, 1998) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers III#11 (December, 1998) - Kurt Busiek (writer), George Pérez (pencils), Al Vey & Bob Wiacek (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Iron Man Annual I#1999 (August, 1999) - Kurt Busiek & Joe Casey (writer), Terry Shoemaker (pencils), Bud LaRosa (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Captain America III#28 (April, 2000) - Dan Jurgens (writer), Andy Kubert (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Captain America III#29 (May, 2000) - Dan Jurgens (writer), Andy Kubert (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Captain America III#30 (June, 2000) - Dan Jurgens (writer), Andy Kubert (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Captain America III#31 (July, 2000) - Dan Jurgens (writer), Andy Kubert (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Thunderbolts I#42 (September, 2000) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers III#32 (September, 2000) - Kurt Busiek (writer), George Perez, Paul Ryan (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers III#33 (October, 2000) - Kurt Busiek (writer), George Perez, Paul Ryan (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers III#34 (November, 2000) - Kurt Busiek (writer), George Perez (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts I#44 (November 2000) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Greg Adams (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
JLA/Avengers I#4 (December, 2003) - Kurt Busiek (writer), George Pérez (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
New Avengers I#2 (February, 2005) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), David Finch (pencils), Danny Miki & Mark Morales (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes I#5 (March, 2005) - Joe Casey (writer), Scott Kolins (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
New Avengers Finale I#1 (June, 2010) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Bryan Hitch & Stuart Immonen (pencils), Butch Guice, Andrew Currie & Karl Story (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight IV#1 (July, 2011) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight IV#2 (August, 2011) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight IV#3 (September, 2011) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight IV#4 (October, 2011) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight IV#5 (November, 2011) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight IV#6 (December, 2011) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight IV#7 (January, 2012) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight IV#8 (February, 2012) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight IV#9 (March, 2012) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight IV#10 (April, 2012) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight IV#11 (May, 2012) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Moon Knight IV#12 (June, 2012) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Daken: Dark Wolverine I#20 (March, 2012) - Rob Williams (writer), Alessandro Vitti (pencils & inks), Jeanine Schaefer (editor)
Deadpool Annual III#1 (January, 2014) - Ben Acker & Ben Blacker (writers), Evan Shaner (pencils & inks), Jordan D. White (editor)
Fantastic Four V#5 (July, 2014) - James Robinson (writer), Leonard Kirk, (pencils), Jay Leisten & Rick Magyar (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Last updated: 12/24/15
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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