Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human technology user

Occupation: Professional criminal

Group Membership: None;
formerly "Astonishing Avengers" (Absorbing Man/Crusher Creel, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Carnage/Cletus Kasady, Deadpool/Wade Wilson, Enchantress/Amora, Hobgoblin/Roderick Kingsley, Loki/Loki Laufeyson, Mystique/Raven Darkholme, Nomad/Ian Rogers, Sabretooth/Victor Creed, Spider-Man/Peter Parker), Savage Six (Crime-Master/Bennett Brant, Death-Adder/Roland Burroughs, Fly/Rick Deacon, Megatak/Gregory Nettles, Toxin/Eddie Brock)

Affiliations: Assassins Guild of New Orleans, Blackout (Lilin), Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom), Gracie, Letha (Hellen Feliciano), Lascivious (Davida DeVito), Tiger Shark (Todd Arliss), Whiplash (Anton Vanko)

Enemies: Apocalypse/Genesis (Evan Sabahnur), Betty Brant, Cape Crow, Elektra (Elektra Natchios), Dr. Ferid Ekmecic, Matchmaker, Red Skull/Red Onslaught (Johann Shmidt clone), Kento Roe, United Nations Mech-Troopers (Tom Gormin, Marvellino, others), Venom (Flash Thompson), X-Men (Angel/Warren Worthington III, Colossus/Piotr Rasputin, Havok/Alex Summers, Iceman/Bobby Drake, Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner, Kitty Pryde, Rogue/Anna Marie, Storm/Ororo Monroe, Sunfire/Shiro Yoshida)

Known Relatives: Unidentified parents (deceased)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
an abandoned shipyard on Staten Island

First Appearance: Venom II#1 (May, 2011)

Powers/Abilities: A skilled assassin, Jack O'Lantern is a master of torture and terrorism. He wears an armored costume and helmet; the helmet can "vomit" flaming acid from its mouth. He carries a number of exotic weapons, including acidic "candy", an expanding plastic "ghost" that entraps his foes in a cocoon, a large sickle, a wrist-mounted flamethrower, a finger-mounted energy blaster, and pumpkin bombs. He also carries a conventional pistol. He frequently employs several miniature devil doll robots with flight capabilities, flamethrowers, and pitchforks; the robots can also self-detonate. He rides a remote-controlled rocket broomstick, and can use its thruster as a weapon. He briefly possessed pyrokinesis, and was able to wreath himself in flame and superheat the air around him; he apparently no longer possesses this ability (see comments).

Height: 5'10" (by approximation)
Weight: 155 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Green
Hair: Brown

History: (Venom II#11 (fb) ) - A sociopathic child ran away from his parents on Halloween night, only to knock on the wrong door; the house's occupant, the Crime-Master, gassed him and took him to his basement, where, over the course of the next several years, he indoctrinated him in nihilism, murder, and mayhem. He trained the boy, who had come to believe the Crime-Master was his true father, in assassination, demolitions, and terrorism. To complete his training, the Crime-Master sent the boy home to his overjoyed parents...and had him murder them. As he killed his mother, he thougt up the act that would become his signature - scooping his victims' brains out, then placing a lit candle in their hollowed-out skull.

(Venom II#4 (fb) - BTS) - Taking on the name and costume of the Jack O'Lantern, the boy killed the previous bearers of the identity - or at least claimed to have done so.

(Venom II#1) - The Crime-Master sent Jack to the European country Nrosvekistan to find Dr. Ferid Ekmecic, who the Crime-Master had supplied with Antarctic Vibranium in the hopes that he would find a way to weaponize it; Ekmecic did so, but then used it for himself, starting an ethnic war. The Crime-Master wanted Ekmecic's weaponization process, and ordered Jack to bring him in alive. Before doing so, Jack amused himself by killing a number of UN Mech-Troopers and a few Nrosvekistan citizens, remotely broadcasting the carnage to the Crime-Master, who insisted that he focus on the mission. Jack spotted Ekmecic's Vibranium tank, but soon another player entered; US agent Venom, who had also been sent to retrieve Ekmecic. When Venom tore the hatch off the tank, Jack trapped him in a plastic ghost and blasted him with his rocket broomstick, then took Ekmecic for himself. Venom escaped and fired on the fleeing Jack with Ekmecic's tank, then gave chase. Jack attacked him, slashing at him viciously with his sickle, before Venom's symbiote took over and punched Jack away. Jack hit Venom with his rocket broomstick and cornered him again until Venom used a webline to grab a grenade and shove it in Jack's helmet. It exploded, blowing much of Jack's face off, but he stuck to the mission, fending off Venom with his flamethrower and taking off with Ekmecic. Venom grabbed Ekmecic's head with his webbing and pulled, snapping his neck and leaving Jack empty-handed.

(Venom II#2) - As the Crime-Master watched Venom battle Kraven in the Savage Land, he saw him without the symbiote and learned that he was Flash Thompson. Jack eagerly volunteered to kill him.

(Venom II#3) - Jack kidnapped Thompson's girlfriend, Betty Brant, and strapped her to a giant bomb. He then accompanied the Crime-Master to meet Venom, who the Crime-Master had blackmailed into bringing him his Antarctic Vibranium, and watched as the Crime-Master directed Thompson to where Jack had left Betty.

(Venom II#4) - Learning that Venom had left a bomb in the Vibranium, Jack chased after Flash, who had just seen Spider-Man save Betty. Jack attacked him with his devil doll robots before diving in himself, tackling Venom in midair into an office. Jack entrapped Venom in a plastic ghost, chained him to his broomstick, and took him for a ride, slamming him into chimneys until the Crime-Master called, telling him that the Vibranium he was supposed to be guarding had been intercepted by the government. Jack took off, but promised Venom that they would meet again.

(Venom II#10) - A disguised Jack attended the funeral of Thompson's father. He introduced himself to Betty as an old Army buddy of Thompson, and slipped away with him to the Crime-Master's hideout. After flirting with hench-ghoul Gracie, he took Thompson to see the Crime-Master, who ordered Flash to take his symbiote to Las Vegas, lest he have Jack kill all his friends and loved ones.

(Venom II#11) - Jack and his devil-bots greeted Flash in their motel room, having been sent by the Crime-Master to keep an eye on him. Jack mockingly offered the recovering alcoholic Thompson a drink, then ribbed him about his dead father. The next day, while driving, they heard a radio report about a cave-in at a nearby mine; Thompson insisted that they go rescue the trapped miners. Venom held the ceiling of the collapsing mine up; when one of the miners refused to leave his trapped, dying friend, Jack shot and killed the trapped man so they could get back on the road. When they stopped at a roadside diner, Jack was cruel to their waitress and the owner, but Flash smoothed things over. As they ate, Jack explained his origins to Flash. Horrified, Flash let Jack go and pay the check - in reality, Jack killed the waitress and the owner in his customary fashion.

(Venom II#12) - Jack monitored Thompson from the air as he infiltrated the Devil's Den Casino in search of the Crime-Master's ultimate goal - the Toxin symbiote, kept in a secret lab within the casino. Unfortunately for them, once Thompson reached it, his symbiote went berserk and took control of him, trying to kill the other alien in a murderous frenzy. Jack burst into the lab to accost Thompson, but the maddened Venom tackled him out the window - although not before Jack secured the Toxin symbiote in a canister. Jack contacted the Crime-Master, who could only advise Jack to run. Jack rocketed away on his broomstick, threatening Thompson's family, but accidentally crashed into the electric Circus Circus sign. Jack was helpless before Venom, but one final threat to Thompson's mother put Flash back in control. Jack flew off, promising Flash that they were even now.

(Venom II#39 (fb) ) - Jack placed some of his gear in a storage unit, along with a specially-rigged devil doll that could overwrite someone else's personality with Jack's.

(Venom II#17) - Crime-Master called a meeting in his hideout, calling in Jack, his new recruits Death Adder and Megatak, and the newly-escaped Human Fly. The Crime-Master declared them all to be the Savage Six (despite there only being five of them), but their meeting was soon disrupted by Venom, who had come to kill the Crime-Master, and Eddie Brock, who had come to kill Venom. Jack and the other villains attacked Venom; Jack promised that, with their deal broken, he'd have to kill Thompson's family. Venom, although badly injured, escaped, but left the webbed-up Brock behind. Jack and the Crime-Master took him captive and used him as the new host for the Toxin symbiote, making him the sixth member of the Savage Six.

(Venom II#18) - An uncostumed Jack found Betty at the Empire Java coffee shop. She remembered him from the funeral, but when he told her they needed to talk, she was hesitant. As he grabbed her arm, Venom burst into the shop and began pummeling him, only for Betty to defend Jack with sonic pepper spray. She fled, much to Jack's amusement. He summoned backup in the form of Megatak, but Venom webbed up Jack's face and swung him into Megatak, then went off to find Betty.

(Venom II#19) - Jack found Flash's sister, Jessie, and her husband. He killed the husband and took Jessie, leaving behind his devil dolls as a trap for Venom. After leaving her atop St. Patrick's Cathedral, he went back to watch Venom find his brother-in-law's body and fight the devil dolls. Venom survived, and followed Jack's smoke trail back to the church, where Jack ambushed him. Venom shot Jack in the side, prompting the villain to blast him with flaming acid, then hurl Jessie from the top of the church. Venom saved her, only for Toxin to make off with Betty. Jack flew off, taunting Flash about his mother, who had been left to the cannibalistic Fly.

(Venom II#20) - Jack, Megatak, and Toxin joined the Crime-Master as he greeted the captive Betty with the revelation that he was her brother, Bennett.

(Venom II#21) - When Venom invaded the Crime-Master's base to find Betty, Jack went out to fight him. Venom made short work of him, knocking him off his broomstick and into one of the Crime-Master's chemical pits.

(Venom II#22 (fb) ) - Jack crawled out of the chemical pit to find that Venom had killed the Crime-Master. He went on a killing spree, leaving arrows in iridescent paint to point Venom to his whereabouts. He dug up Thompson's father's corpse, lit a candle in his hollowed-out skull, and rigged it to explode.

(Venom II#22) - When Venom triggered Jack's trap, the cackling villain was there to watch. He attacked the reeling Thompson, slashing him badly with his sickle, but Venom turned the tables on him, shooting him and shattering his helmet. He stopped short of killing him, and handed him over to the police, who sent him to the Raft prison.

(Elektra III#6) - Hired by the Assassins' Guild to kill Cape Crow and his son Kento Roe, Jack O'Lantern teamed with the vampiric Blackout to attack them in Arizona, but they were defeated by Elektra.

(Elektra III#7) - Jack, along with fellow failed assassins Tiger Shark and Whiplash, were given power upgrades by the Guild and sent to kill Cape Crow in New Orleans. They attacked during Mardi Gras; Jack, now armed with pyrokinesis, hurled a pumpkin bomb at them, but Elektra kicked it into Tiger Shark's face, blinding him. After she felled Whiplash, Jack blasted her with fire; protected by Crow's armor, she tackled him and knocked him out.

(All-New Captain America#2) - In Bagalia, Jack went to a nightclub and enjoyed the company of Letha and Lascivious.

(Magneto III#11 / Avengers & X-Men: Axis#2) - To defeat the Red Skull, who had acquired Professor X's psychic powers and transformed into the psionic juggernaut Red Onslaught, Magneto recruited a group of super villains, including Jack, and brought them to the ruins of Genosha to battle his Stark Sentinels, which had been designed specially to counter super heroes.

(Avengers & X-Men: Axis#3) - Jack and the other villains took on the Sentinels and the Skull, allowing the Scarlet Witch and Dr. Strange to complete a spell intended to overwhelm the Skull with Xavier's innate goodness. Instead, it reversed the moral axis of all present, imbuing Jack and his fellow villains with heroic instincts, while the heroes were left in thrall to their baser instincts. Confused, Jack and the other villains departed.

(Avengers & X-Men: Axis#6) - Steve Rogers, Spider-Man, and Nomad gathered the inverted villains, including Jack, and formed them into an impromptu "Astonishing Avengers" to stop the threat of Apocalypse and the inverted X-Men.

(Loki: Agent of Asgard#9) - Jack attended a strategy meeting at Avengers Mansion with his fellow inverted villains.

(Avengers & X-Men: Axis#9 (fb) ) - Jack and the other inverted villains recorded a video in which they claimed responsibility for the mayhem that had arisen from the botched inversion spell, in order to later absolve the heroes of the blame.

(Avengers & X-Men: Axis#7) - Jack and the other "Avengers" attacked Apocalypse's ship in Manhattan; Jack criticized Carnage's dated pop culture references, and saved Sabretooth from Storm.

(Avengers & X-Men: Axis#9 - BTS) - The now-heroic Red Skull, Dr. Doom, and Doctor Voodoo combined their powers to reverse the inversion spell, reverting Jack and his fellow villains back to their villainous selves.

Comments: Created by Rick Remender, Tony Moore, Crimelab! Studios, Sandu Florea, and Karl Kesel.

What a wonderfully horrible villain. I'm usually not crazy about serial killer super-villains who kill people for yuks, but there's just such creativity and twisted glee in Remender's Jack O'Lantern that I can't help but be fascinated by him.

Jack is also well-versed in spooky poetry. In Venom II#1 he quotes Theodosia Garrison's The Neighbors (At first cock-crow the ghosts must go/Back to their quiet graves below) and a poem that seems to have originated in a Victorian Halloween card (May jack-o-lanterns burning bright/Of soft and golden hue/Pierce through the future's veil to show/What fate now holds for you).

Did Jack really kill off the previous Jack O'Lanterns? Levins and Macendale are, of course, dead already, Berkhart and Beck, at least, are well-versed in faking their own deaths, and Levins' brother is a magic guy, so I wouldn't necessarily count them out just yet - not to mention that Jack is, you know, a crazy person.

Jack is kind of the odd man out in Axis - he's definitely less prominent than all of the other inverted villains, and he doesn't really bring anything to the table that Hobgoblin and Carnage don't already do - he doesn't even get a recruitment scene in Magneto III#11 like the other villains. Where did Magneto even get him from, a temp agency? He's pretty much just in there 'cause Rick Remender likes him, but hey, that's fine by me.

In Venom II#12, we see Jack taking some unspecified "medicine" from an eyedropper, and later mentions the Crime-Master getting into his "blotter butterscotches", so Jack is probably a habitual LSD user, which would explain a lot.

Although his compatriot Tiger Shark was clearly mutated by the Assassins Guild, given that Jack exhibits no sign of flame-based powers in his Axis appearances, I assume the Guild just gave him a fancy suit or something, then took it back when he failed.

Profile by Minor Irritant.

Jack O'Lantern should be distinguished from:

Jack O'Lantern's parents

(Venom II#11 (fb) ) - When their son ran away on Halloween night, an unnamed couple was devastated. They were given a brief moment of joy some time later when he returned to them - but it was short-lived, as the Crime-Master had twisted their already-troubled son into a merciless killer. He murdered mother of his parents, scooped out their brain, and placed a candle in their hollowed-out skulls.

--Venom II#11 (fb)

images: (without ads)
Venom II#3
, p2, pan1 (main image)
Venom II#2
, p20, pan3 (unmasked headshot)
Venom II#11
, p17, pan3 (as a youth, pre-scarring)
Venom II#4
, p12, pan4 (Jack's devil doll robots)
Elektra III#7, p12, pan 3 (with pyrokinesis)
Venom II#11, p18, pan2 (parents)

Venom II#1 (May, 2011) - Rick Remender (writer), Tony Moore (pencils), Crimelab! Studios with Sandu Florea & Karl Kesel (inks), Stephen Wacker (editor)
Venom II#2 (June, 2011) - Rick Remender (writer), Tony Moore (pencils), Crimelab! Studios (inks), Stephen Wacker (editor)

Venom II#3 (July, 2011) - Rick Remender (writer), Tom Fowler (art), Stephen Wacker (editor)

Venom II#4 (August, 2011) - Rick Remender (writer), Tony Moore (pencils), Crimelab! Studios (inks), Stephen Wacker (editor
Venom II#10-12 (February-March, 2012) - Rick Remender (writer), Lan Medina (pencils), Nelson DeCastro (inks), Tom Brennan (editor)
Venom II#17 (July, 2012) - Rick Remender & Cullen Bunn (writers), Kev Walker (pencils), Terry Pallot (inks), Tom Brennan (editor
Venom II#18-19 (July-August, 2012) - Rick Remender & Cullen Bunn (writers), Lan Medina (pencils), Nelson DeCastro (inks), Tom Brennan (editor)

Venom II#20 (September, 2012) - Cullen Bunn & Rick Remender (writers), Lan Medina & Robert Atkins (pencils), Nelson DeCastro & Rick Ketcham (inks), Tom Brennan (editor
Venom II#21 (September, 2012) - Cullen Bunn & Rick Remender (writers), Lan Medina (pencils), Terry Pallot, Chris Sotomayor, & Karl Kesel (inks), Tom Brennan (editor)

Venom II#22 (October, 2012) - Cullen Bunn & Rick Remender (writers), Declan Shalvey (art), Tom Brennan (editor)
Venom II#39 (October, 2013) - Cullen Bunn (writer), Kim Jacinto & Mike Henderson (art), Sana Amanat (editor)
Elektra #6-7 (November-December, 2014) - W. Haden Blackman (writer), Alex Sanchez (art), Sana Amanat (editor)
Magneto III#11 (December, 2014) - Cullen Bunn (writer), Gabriel Hernandez Walta (art), Daniel Ketchum (editor)
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #2 (December, 2014) - Rick Remender (writer), Adam Kubert (art), Tom Brevoort, Daniel Ketchum, & Wil Moss (editors)
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #3 (December, 2014) - Rick Remender (writer), Leinel Francis Yu (pencils), Gerry Alanguilan (inks), Tom Brevoort, Daniel Ketchum, & Wil Moss (editors)

Avengers & X-Men: Axis #6 (January, 2015) - Rick Remender (writer), Terry Dodson (pencils), Rachel Dodson (inks), Tom Brevoort, Daniel Ketchum, & Wil Moss (editors)

Avengers & X-Men: Axis #7 (February, 2015) - Rick Remender (writer), Adam Kubert (art), Tom Brevoort, Daniel Ketchum, & Wil Moss (editors)

Avengers & X-Men: Axis #9 (February, 2015) - Rick Remender (writer), Jim Cheung, Leinil Francis Yu & Adam Kubert (pencils/inks), Terry Dodson (pencils), Mark Morales, Dave Meikis, Guillermo Ortega, Mark Roslan, & Rachel Dodson (inks), Tom Brevoort, Daniel Ketchum, & Wil Moss (editors)

Loki: Agent of Asgard #9 (February, 2015) - Al Ewing (writer), Lee Garbett (art), Wil Moss & Lauren Sankovitch (editors)

All-New Captain America #2 (February, 2015) - Rick Remender (writer), Stuart Immomen (pencils), Wade Von Grawbadger (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)

Last updated: 10/28/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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