Real Name: Henry David Cavanaugh (see comments)

Identity/Class: Human, exotic technology user

Occupation: Electrician, adventurer

Group Membership: Anti-Registration Undergound (All-Out/Unarmed Training Automaton, Attacker/Richard Kaine, Awe-Striker/Cecily Johnson, Basic Black/Norman Gentry, Battlestar/Lemar Hoskins, Brain Spasm/Dennis Hoxie, Captain Kinship/Edward Randlebuck, Dahntu/Charles Luc Phan, Freeware/Kurt Duryea, Gladiatrix/Robin Braxton, Green Guardswoman/Natalie Bell, Harbormaster/Sean Beckett, Haunter/Mark Runnemyer, Human Haze/Steve Cochrane, Iguanid/Tom Boldstep, Johnny Justice/Jonadab Megyscol, Kruzado/Dorothy Cardoza, Lawman/Leon Frankfurt, Leather Angel/Andrew Mussawyr, Masked Rose/Josie Tyler, Natural/Beru Addison, Network/Valerie Martin, Orange Crusher/Andy Gardner, Panthrax/Alex Mitchell, Peace-Lover/Barry Kanczeski, Qiblah/Jared Nelson, Saint Hildegard/Sonya van Jagt, Scorecard/Bill Merrick, Skybolt/Zack Zimmerman, Solo/James Bourne, Spaceheat/Charles Yaméogo, Staten Island Star/Russell Feldman, Stone-Tough/Ted Pendleton, Tosser/Ferris Hartke, Typeface/Gordon Thomas, U.S. Annie/Harriet Best, Warbug/Bernard Van Buren, Winter Woman/Angela Stover, Xantippe/Mandy Atkinson, Zapster/Langley Saint-Margaret, others); see comments

Affiliations: See comments

Enemies: (At least formerly) S.H.I.E.L.D. and its "Cape-Killers"
see comments

Known Relatives: See comments

AliasesSee comments

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    previously an unidentified Anti-Registration Underground safehouse in Manhattan, New York
    see comments

First Appearance: (Unidentified) Civil War: Front Line#4 (2006);
   (identified) Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#14: Anti-Registration Underground profile (2010)

Powers/AbilitiesSee comments

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 6"; see comments)
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 186 lbs.; see comments)
Eyes: Unrevealed (see comments)
Hair: Unrevealed (see comments)

History: See comments.

(Civil War: Front Line#4 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#14: Anti-Registration Underground (fb) - BTS) - Following the Stamford disaster, where hundreds had perished during a battle between New Warriors and four Raft escapees, Iron Man (Tony Stark), Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards) and others worked with US officials to develop the Superhuman Registration Act (SHRA), outlawing any crimefighting activities by unregistered super heroes. 

    Vigilante Typeface, although his identity was already known, resolved to fight a perceived assault on freedom, and he organized an Anti-Registration Underground, beginning with ex-government operative Battlestar and anti-terrorist Solo, to support super heroes who continued fighting crime without SHRA approval. Their ranks were soon supplemented by mystic-armored Freeware; bodysuit-enhanced Green Guardswoman; Masked Rose, leader of super-team TJAW (Truth, Justice, and the American Way), empowered by accidental mutant blood exposure; exoskeleton-empowered Network; and cyborg Skybolt. Via a covert interview with Alternative reporter Sally Floyd, ARU members publicized their perspective, and several other anti-registration heroes joined, including Canasta.

(Civil War: Front Line#4) - Canasta was present at the ARU base while the ARU members debated whether to seek and join Captain America (Steve Rogers)s Secret Avengers, a better organized and equipped anti- SHRA unit, or to remain independent. Suddenly, armored S.H.I.E.L.D. Cape-Killers, accompanied by Iron Man, Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers), Wonder Man (Simon Williams) and at least ten unidentified flying heroes, raided the base. Caught by surprise, few ARU members managed to effectively fight back against their more powerful and organized opponents. Although S.H.I.E.L.D. captured over 40 members, Canasta, the Awe-Striker, Dahntu, the Green Guardswoman, the Harbormaster, and the Tosser evaded capture, as did the Masked Rose, who had been absent seeking new recruits. 

(Civil War: Battle Damage Report) - Tony Stark considered Canasta as a potential Initiative recruit.

Comments: Created by Paul Jenkins, Sean Chen, Rick Magyar;
    Codename, real name, and nature provided by Ronald Byrd

   During the production of the Civil War: Battle Damage Report (2007) writer Paul Jenkins provided Ronald Byrd with authorization to provide identities, real names for the various background Anti-Registration Underground characters, and to flesh them out as much as he wanted. Ronald provided identities and real names for the Anti-Registration Underground entry in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#14 (2010). There wasn't room to provide much more than that in that entry. However, Ronald had backgrounds and histories in mind for these characters when he provided their names.
    While the information is unofficial until it sees print, here is the full story behind Canasta:

REAL NAME: Henry David Cavanaugh
The Card Cutter of Crime
Publicly known
OCCUPATION: Electrician
PLACE OF BIRTH: St. Petersburgh, Maryland
Arthur Cavanaugh (father), Jessica Cavanaugh (nee Carney, mother), Carnegie Rooney (ex-wife)
Formerly Anti-Registration Underground
EDUCATION: College degree
SHRA CLASSIFICATION: Exotic Technology User
FIRST APPEARANCE: Civil War: Front Line#4 (2006)

HISTORY: When electrician Henry Cavanaugh and several friends, during a lull in a poker game, watched TV reports of a battle between the Avengers and Baron (Helmut) Zemo's Masters of Evil, one of the game attendees brashly opined that, if he tried hard enough, he could build advanced weapons as effective as those used by costumed heroes and villains. The declaration escalated into a standing challenge to all attendees, who spent the next few days attempting to build such weaponry. Although most soon lost interest and admitted defeat, Cavanaugh, seeking a distraction from his recent divorce, devoted extra time and energy to the project, ultimately creating two bracelets capable of firing multiple projectiles. Allowing his friends to believe he too had failed the invention challenge, Cavanaugh developed the costumed identity of Canasta (based on the rummy card game of that name) and became active as a costumed adventurer, neither publicly revealing his identity nor particularly concerning himself with keeping it secret. Occasionally defeating criminals for whose capture rewards were offered or whose stolen goods were similarly worth rewards if returned, Canasta, unlike many such adventurers, willingly accepted any such reward money eligible to a costumed adventurer, donating some of his justly earned funds to charities and investing others, eventually expanding his electrician business, Cav-Tech Elec-Trec, to the extent that he could delegate more responsibilities to employees and devote additional time to costumed adventures.

    Following the passage of the Superhuman Registration Act (SHRA), Canasta declined to register out of an incorrect presumption that the SHRA was primarily a publicity exercise and that non-registrants would suffer no consequences more serious than a fine. Since Canasta had, when accepting reward money, made little effort to conceal his transfer of such funds to personal and work-related bank accounts, S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives had little difficulty tracing him to Cav-Tech; however, their attempt to arrest Canasta was hindered by some of Canasta's employees, allowing him to escape. He was eventually recruited into Typeface's Anti-Registration Underground and was present when SHIELD raided the ARU's safehouse and arrested most of its members. Canasta was one of the few ARU members to evade capture. 

    Following the SHRA's repeal, Canasta, learning that his employees had themselves been imprisoned for helping him escape, declined to return to costumed action and instead initiated the lengthy but necessary legal proceedings to have them released.

HEIGHT: 6' WEIGHT: 186 lbs.
EYES: Black HAIR: Black (balding)

ABILITIES/ACCESSORIES: Canasta wears twin bracelets equipped to fire any of four metal projectiles, shaped like the symbols of traditional card suits, each of which is attached to a grappling line for rapid fire and retraction; the projectiles and lines are stored in individual canisters, which Canasta wears on his belt and attaches or detaches to his bracelets as necessary. 

    Club-shaped projectiles serve as blunt striking instruments. 

    Diamond-shaped projectiles as cutting blades or grappling hooks. 

    Heart-shaped projectiles deliver electrical shocks of up to 500 volts on contact, the level adjustable by Canasta as needed.

    Spade-shaped projectiles adhere to any object, which can subsequently be retracted to Canasta's grasp; adhesive projectiles can be separated from captured objects by a built-in dissolvent, although this renders the projectile useless for further adherence unless the adhesive is reapplied. 

    Canasta can also use the various projectiles as hand-held weapons if necessary; he can only use two cartridges at a time, one on each wrist, and he customarily carries at least three of each type of cartridge on his person. 

    Canasta is an accomplished inventor and electrician, as well as an above-average athlete and hand-to-hand combatant.

  Profile by Ronald Byrd, Snood, and Multi-Tasking Mike Fichera.

Canasta has no known connections to:

images: Civil War: Front Line#4/1, Page 8, Panel 3 (without ads)

Civil War: Front Line#3/1 - BTS (September, 2006) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Ramon Bachs (penciler), John Lucas (iniker), Cory Sedlmeier (editor)
Civil War: Front Line#4/1 - BTS (September, 2006) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Ramon Bachs (penciler), John Lucas (iniker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Civil War: Front Line#4/3 (September, 2006) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Sean Chen (penciler), Rick Magyar (iniker), Molly Lazer, Aubrey Sitterson (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Civil War: Front Line#5/2 - BTS (October, 2006) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Steve Lieber (artist), Molly Lazer, Aubrey Sitterson (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Civil War#6 -BTS (December, 2006) - Mark Millar (writer), Steve McNiven (pencils), Dexter Vines (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Civil War#7 -BTS (January, 2007) - Mark Millar (writer), Steve McNiven (pencils), Dexter Vines, John Dell & Tim Townsend (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#14 (June, 2010) - Jeff Christiansen & Mike Fichera (head writers/coordinators), Markus Raymond & Mike O'Sullivan (coordination assistants), Stuart Vandal, Sean McQuad, Michael Hoskin, Ronald Byrd, Markus Raymond, Mike O'Sullivan, Madison Carter, Kevin Garcia, Gabriel Shechter, Jacob Rougemont, Rob London, Rich Green, Chris Biggs, David Wiltfong, Jeph York, Mark O'English, & Mike Gagnon (writers), John Denning (associate editor), Alex Starbuck (assistant editor), Thedore Kutt (copy editor), Mark D. Beazley (editor, special projects), Jeff Youngquist & Jennifer Grunwald (editor)

First posted: 01/06/2022
Last updated: 03/04/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are   and 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:

Special Thanks to for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters