POWER BROKER

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human mutate (? - see comments)

Occupation: Businessman

Group Membership: Power Broker, Inc. (Sergei, others)

Affiliations: Blacklash, Count Nefaria (Luchino Nefaria), Plantman (Paul), Sergei, Wizard (Bentley Wittman);
formerly Paul Brokeridge, Augustine Cross, Darren Cross, Hardball (Roger Brokeridge), Slug (Ulysses X. Lugman), Stinger (Cassie Lang)

Enemies: Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Paul Brokeridge, Cross Technologies (Augustine Cross, Darren Cross, Crossfire/William Cross, others), Hardball (Roger Brokeridge), Slug (Ulysses X. Lugman), Stinger (Cassie Lang)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "The Broker," "Dude," "Mister Broker," "You Lousy Nut"

Base of Operations: Silicon Valley, California, USA

First Appearance: Avengers: The Initiative I Annual#1 (January, 2008)

Powers/Abilities: The Power Broker could fly under his own power and could project energy strong enough to destroy an entire yacht, incinerate human beings and even melt guns and cellphones.

His armor housed advanced communications systems, allowing the Power Broker to perform video conference calls from nearly anywhere and he had vast resources including technology capable of granting superhuman powers to others and advanced I.T. solutions sufficient enough to design and code several different software applications.

Height: 5'9" (by approximation)
Weight: 155 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Yellow with blue irises (glowing orange)
Hair: White; formerly blonde

History: (Avengers: The Initiative I Annual#1/3 (fb) - BTS) - Deciding to become the new Power Broker, an unidentified man gave himself superhuman energy-manipulating abilities. After setting up his power-granting business, the new Power Broker gave steroid-using wrestler Paul Brokeridge superhuman strength and durability but neglected to inform Paul that he would also be making others just as strong, ultimately resulting in Paul being crippled by another fighter.

(Avengers: The Initiative I Annual#1/3) - After finding the Power Broker's business card in the now-invalid Paul's room, Roger Brokeridge left to exact revenge on the Power Broker for Paul's condition. Feigning interest in obtaining superpowers, Roger met with the Power Broker, who commended Roger for being wise enough to seek out the Power Broker. Warning that power came with a price, the Power Broker asked if Roger was prepared to pay that price. Roger responded by revealing his intentions and brandishing a gun, threatening to shoot the Power Broker for misleading his brother Paul. Noting Roger's desperation, the Power Broker offered to grant Roger enough power to allow Roger to help his family monetarily take care of Paul in exchange for seventy percent of the money Roger earned or anything Roger stole with his newfound power. After Roger reluctantly agreed, the Power Broker transformed Roger, warning that the power would come with terrible pain that would ultimately pass.






(Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt#3 (fb)) - Reminding Roger of his contract, the Power Broker made Roger his pawn and when Roger registered with the Fifty-State Initiative as Hardball, the Broker forced Roger to become a double agent by promising to heal Paul until Roger's double agent status was publicly revealed.

(Astonishing Ant-Man I#3 (fb) - BTS/Astonishing Ant-Man I#9-12 (fb)) - The Power Broker started a software application called Hench, which would allow others to easily find and hire supervillains to act on their behalf.

(Astonishing Ant-Man I#1 (fb) - BTS) - After creating the Hench app, the Power Broker arranged a meeting with Darren Cross of Cross Technological Enterprises in hopes of getting Cross to invest in the app.

(Astonishing Ant-Man I#1) - As Darren Cross grumbled about the idea of investing in a software application, Power Broker introduced himself and began his pitch to convince Cross to invest in the Hench app. Demonstrating the app, the Power Broker searched the app for Cross' nemesis, Ant-Man, and the app determined Whirlwind as a match for Ant-Man. Whirlwind was quickly dispatched by Power Broker's Hench app and the Broker showed video of Whirlwind's encounter with Ant-Man to Darren Cross, who appeared thoroughly impressed. Before Cross could see Whirlwind kill Ant-Man, the Power Broker explained that Whirlwind's attack on Ant-Man was merely a trial example of how the Hench app worked and what it was capable of should Cross decide to invest in it. When Power Broker admitted he couldn't just kill Ant-Man for free, Darren Cross demanded to know how much the Broker wanted him to invest, announcing that he would pay anything to see Ant-Man dead. As the Power Broker blathered on about Hench's first round of backing, Cross repeated that he would pay anything, suggesting fifty to one hundred thousand dollars. Smiling, the Power Broker explained that Hench's first round of backing raised 1.2 billion dollars and Cross angrily refused to pay that much, prompting the Power Broker to cancel Whirlwind's attack on Ant-Man via the app. The Power Broker then calmly announced his demonstration ended and began to leave, remarking on how sorry he was that they couldn't reach an agreement as Cross demanded the Power Broker stay put. Power Broker instead kept going and an angry Cross uncontrollably grew in size to match his anger, accidentally getting his head stuck in the conference room ceiling.

(Astonishing Ant-Man I#7 (fb) - BTS) - After taking a job for Augustine Cross, Ant-Man allies Machinesmith and Grizzly hacked into the Power Broker's data systems and Machinesmith left himself access to that data following the hacking.

(Astonishing Ant-Man I#3 (fb) - BTS) - The Power Broker arranged a meeting with the crimelord Slug and allowed Slug a trial run of the Hench app by aiding Slug in hiring the Hijacker to steal a Giganto monster from S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.

(Astonishing Ant-Man I#3) - Upon defeating the criminal Hijacker, Captain America (Sam Wilson) explained to Ant-Man that Hijacker had been hired by the crimelord Slug using the Power Broker's Hench app and asked Ant-Man if he had heard of the app. When Captain America suggested returning to Miami to help Ant-Man take care of the Hench app, Ant-Man asked Cap to let him handle it and Cap relented, reminding Ant-Man that Power Broker and Slug were typically Captain America foes before departing. As Cap left, Ant-Man thought about how it would feel good to bust some supervillains and figured neither Power Broker and Slug were happy with him for defeating Hijacker at that moment. Watching the battle between Captain America, Ant-Man and Giganto from the Slug's boat, the Power Broker expressed hope that the Slug had enjoyed his trial run. When the Slug seemed excited for having trafficked drugs while Giganto had kept heroes distracted, the Power Broker asked if he could assume that Slug would now want a Hench premium membership that came with a free hat. Surprisingly, Slug admitted that while he was impressed by the Power Broker's technology, Hench was not the only villain-hiring application out there. Shocked, the Power Broker was shown a video announcing Cross Technologies' Lackey app on the Slug's phone. Angry that his idea had been stolen, the Power Broker destroyed the Slug's phone and when the Slug joked that the Power Broker would now be "power broke" with Lackey's half-off sale, the Power Broker destroyed the Slug's yacht and proclaimed that the Slug's jokes were terrible. Announcing the Slug muted and blocked, the Power Broker had Siri call his development team to inform them of an impending long night of upgrading the Hench app to version 2.0.

(Astonishing Ant-Man I#6 (fb) - BTS) - Angry that Cross Technologies had stolen his idea, the Power Broker brutally hacked into Cross Technologies' security mainframe and found video footage of a recent battle between Ant-Man and Darren Cross, who had kidnapped Ant-Man's daughter Cassie Lang in an attempt to harvest her Pym Particle-infused heart to cure his own heart condition.

(Astonishing Ant-Man I#5) - As a drunken Augustine Cross celebrated the success of the Lackey app alongside his uncle, the villainous Crossfire, Crossfire reminded Augustine that the success was only because Cross Technologies had stolen the idea from the Power Broker, who would likely come back at Cross Technologies in retaliation. At that same moment, the Power Broker was meeting with his developers, who informed him that the Hench upgrade would take at least another month. Reminding his developers who he was and asking if they had seen the old trope where the villain kills one of his men to encourage the others, the Power Broker eradicated all three developers present, announcing that they were all replaceable. Remarking that he now wouldn't have to listen to his developers whining about local housing prices, the Power Broker ordered his assistant Sergei to bring him a new batch of coders, as the countdown to change the world had begun. A short time later, the Power Broker held an investors meeting and left the new Blacklash to help guard the doors. While the Power Broker spoke, Ant-Man and the new Giant-Man (Raz Malhotra) arrived and attempted to get inside, only to be met by Blacklash, who announced that the Power Broker was busy and they would have to deal with her. As Giant-Man and Ant-Man battled Blacklash outside, the Power Broker reminded the supervillain investors of Hench's success within the past year and announced the impending version 2.0 upgrade with a new feedback system and new customization options. Announcing the final proposed upgrade to Hench, the Power Broker revealed his idea to empower criminals for use with the Hench app following a strict background check that encouraged a felonious past. With this new idea revealed, the Power Broker then announced the debut of the Hench X app, upgraded from the previous Hench app and launching first in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Miami before going live throughout the country and eventually, worldwide. Thanking the audience, the Power Broker then exited through the building roof as Blacklash escaped Ant-Man and Giant-Man. Returning to Ant-Man's lab, Ant-Man and Giant-Man discussed having Giant-Man focus more on his lab for the time being and leaving villains like the Power Broker to Ant-Man.

(Astonishing Ant-Man I#6 (fb)) - Cassie Lang heard about the Hench X app from some kids in her new school and soon learned the Power Broker was using the app to engineer supervillains. Figuring she could get empowered by the Power Broker then turn on him to shut his operation down, Cassie set up a meeting between herself and the Power Broker.

(Astonishing Ant-Man I#6) - After making Cassie Lang wait for awhile due to shortstaffing constraints at Power Broker, Inc., the Power Broker greeted Cassie and apologized for the delay, explaining that the Hench X app kept crashing and he had investors to ensure. The Power Broker then explained that while he didn't normally interview with Hench X candidates personally, he took a special interest in Cassie due to her status as a former Avenger. When Cassie claimed only to have been a Young Avenger, the Power Broker nonetheless suggested she would be the perfect candidate for the Hench X platform and remarked that they should go ahead and make a supervillain. As the two walked and talked, the Power Broker admitted he had two red flags about Cassie that needed addressing, the first of which was whether she was sincere about becoming a supervillain since her past track record as a hero painted her as very upstanding. Thinking her cover might be blown, Cassie uttered "um...no?" and the Power Broker changed the subject to Cassie's past heart trouble and her two heart transplants. When Cassie's memory proved somewhat hazy about her most recent transplants, the Power Broker displayed an image of Darren Cross, whom Cassie recognized as a villain who had forced Cassie's heart doctor to perform transplants on the homeless before Ant-Man stopped Darren and rescued Cassie from Darren's clutches. Revealing to Cassie that Darren was once more alive, the Power Broker revealed the video footage of Ant-Man's recent battle with the revived Darren Cross. After revealing that Cross had stolen Cassie's heart, forcing her second transplant, the Power Broker admitted that he knew Cassie had no real interest in becoming a supervillain but offered the empower Cassie for free if she would be willing to break into Cross Technologies and liberate the Power Broker's Hench technology. Soon after Cassie agreed, the Power Broker acquired Pym Particles to re-empower Cassie and while Cassie geared up, the Power Broker revealed that his company had stolen Cassie's new costume designer away from Marc Jacobs. The Power Broker then explained that Cassie's new helmet would allow her to communicate with over five thousand insect species then thanked Cassie for creating an account with Power Broker as the costumed Stinger.

(Astonishing Ant-Man I#7/Astonishing Ant-Man I#9 (fb)/Astonishing Ant-Man I#11 (fb)) - Upon learning Cassie was missing, Ant-Man traveled to her home and found a Hench app decal. Assuming the Power Broker had kidnapped Cassie, Ant-Man realized the Power Broker was in town for a Hench X launch party and traveled to confront the Broker. Indeed at a Miami launch party, the Power Broker welcomed the audience to be evil and become a supervillain using his latest Hench X app. Trusting they had already seen his live streams and interviews, the Power Broker called audience member Paul onstage and led him into a transformative Hench pod, announcing Paul as the new Plantman after Paul had been transformed into a plant-like creature. Moments after, Ant-Man arrived on the scene and accused the Power Broker of kidnapping his daughter, prompting the Power Broker to unleash the new Plantman against the hero as an unplanned test of his Hench X app. Once Ant-Man defeated Plantman, the Power Broker commended Ant-Man on his victory but commented that Ant-Man's social presence was lacking. He then bombarded Ant-Man with energy from his hands, causing an explosion and using his powers to knock Ant-Man aside, sternly claiming that he did not kidnap Cassie Lang and remarking that he could not wait until Ant-Man discovered the truth. He then said goodbye and departed into the sky, leaving an injured Ant-Man behind. Following the battle, Ant-Man's allies Machinesmith and Grizzly revealed that they had taken a job from Darren Cross to steal data on the Hench app for Cross Technologies and Machinesmith admitted that he left himself access to the Power Broker's data. Machinesmith then revealed that his data access to the Power Broker's systems had revealed that Cassie was working for the Power Broker and infiltrating Cross Technologies on his behalf.

(Astonishing Ant-Man I#8) - As Stinger infiltrated Cross Technological Enterprises on the Power Broker's behalf, she reported back to the Power Broker, informing him that she had arrived. The Power Broker led her to a ventilation shaft that she could enter and Stinger admitted that she was somewhat new to the whole "super villain" thing and Power Broker replied that if she decided to remain a villain, his company was always looking to empower self-employed contractors. Focusing on the task at hand, the Power Broker then led Stinger into Cross' Server Room and warned her not to get overconfident, as they still had a long way to go in their revenge scheme on Cross. The Power Broker then instructed Stinger to plug a flash drive containing a virus into Cross' first server but Stinger was quickly caught by Darren Cross, Augustine Cross and Crossfire.

(Astonishing Ant-Man I#10 - BTS) - When Ant-Man was captured while trying to rescue Stinger, Stinger returned and gathered some of Ant-Man's allies to help in rescuing Ant-Man but Machinesmith remarked that unless the Power Broker had made her the new Captain Universe, they wouldn't be enough to handle Darren Cross and his agents.

(Astonishing Ant-Man I#11) - From a Savage Land beach, the Power Broker communicated with the investors of Hench X, informing them that the app had run out of funds. When the investors grew angry, the Power Broker admitted that he may need a new funding round and remarked that not all apps could become as popular as Facebook. After being accused of stealing the investors' money, the Power Broker admitted that the act was super criminal but explained that he was beta testing a new travel app called Lair, which allowed users to vacation in former super villain lairs. When the investors refused to work with him and told him to go to Hell, the Power Broker callously remarked that perhaps Mephisto's Hell realm would be an interesting vacation spot before the investors hung up on him. Commenting to himself that Steve Jobs was also laughed at, the Power Broker was soon surprised by Stinger, who had shrunk down to take out the Power Broker. Announcing herself as a disgruntled former employee, Stinger blasted Power Broker and carried him off.

Comments: Created by Dan Slott, Christos Gage and Steve Uy.

Online sources list this Power Broker as being mentioned in Captain America: Sam Wilson I#2 but the mention is actually a reference to the Power Broker (Curtiss Jackson), not this guy. Ditto Guardians of Infinity I#1. Similarly, a man resembling a bald Power Broker with a cybernetic arm appeared in a ball room scene in Agents of SHIELD I#3 but this man does not seem likely to be Power Broker. I get the confusion, however, as the man does seem to be pink or purple-skinned due to the coloring of the scene and does have a jaw that resembles Power Broker's jaw-line/costume piece but Power Broker has not displayed a cybernetic arm anywhere else and he was definitely not bald. One could argue artistic interpretation but my guess is that it's a different character entirely.

It is my understanding that this Power Broker's Power Broker, Inc. company is actually a different company than the one originally ran by Curtiss Jackson, as both were seen active around the same time. This Power Broker first came on the scene with his company in 2008, whereas Curtiss Jackson's version of Power Broker, Inc. has been seen as active in 2012 in Avengers Solo.

It was unclear if the Power Broker's flight and energy projection powers were result of some sort of mutation or if they were a product of the armor he always seemed to be wearing...

Profile by Proto-Man.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Power Broker has no known connections to:


Sergei

Sergei was the Power Broker's assistant. After an angry Power Broker killed his programming team, the Power Broker ordered Sergei to bring him a new batch of coders, claiming that they were about to change the world.





--Astonishing Ant-Man I#5


images: (without ads)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#1, p10, pan4 (Power Broker in business suit, main image)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#1, p17, pan3 (Power Broker, headshot)
Avengers: The Initiative I Annual#1, p20, pan1 (Power Broker's original costume)
Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt#3, p1, pan2 (Power Broker in original costume, with energized fist)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#3, p19, pan4 (Power Broker flying)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#5, p15, pan5 (Power Broker announcing one more thing)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#6, p16, pan1 (Power Broker walking through his offices)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#8, p19, pan1 (Power Broker looking at computer screens & communicating with Stinger)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#11, p11, pan2 (Power Broker on the beach)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#5, p7, pan5 (Sergei)


Appearances:
Avengers: The Initiative I Annual#1 (January, 2008) - "Be All That You Can Be" story - Dan Slott, Christos Gage (writers), Steve Uy (art), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt#3 (September, 2011) - Sean McKeever (writer), Mike Norton (art), Lauren Sankovitch (editor)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#1 (December, 2015) - Nick Spencer (writer), Ramon Rosanas (art), Wil Moss (editor)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#3 (February, 2016) - Nick Spencer (writer), Ramon Rosanas (art), Wil Moss (editor)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#5 (April, 2016) - Nick Spencer (writer), Ramon Rosanas (art), Wil Moss (editor)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#6 (May, 2016) - Nick Spencer (writer), Annapola Martello (art), Wil Moss (editor)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#7 (June, 2016) - Nick Spencer (writer), Ramon Rosanas (art), Wil Moss (editor)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#8 (July, 2016) - Nick Spencer (writer), Brent Schoonover (art), Wil Moss (editor)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#9 (August, 2016) - Nick Spencer (writer), Ramon Rosanas (art), Wil Moss (editor)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#10 (September, 2016) - Nick Spencer (writer), Ramon Rosanas (art), Wil Moss (editor)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#11 (October, 2016) - Nick Spencer (writer), Ramon Rosanas (art), Charles Beacham (editor)
Astonishing Ant-Man I#12 (November, 2016) - Nick Spencer (writer), Brent Schoonover, Ramon Rosanas (art), Charles Beacham (editor)


First Posted: 01/30/2019
Last updated: 01/30/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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