Determined to defeat wrestling god el Dorado, who killed his father, and earn the right to his family’s legacy mask, Juan-Carlos Estrada Sánchez becomes the Luchador known as el Muerto.
Generations ago, the self-proclaimed wrestling god known as el Dorado (“the Gilded One”) bestowed the mystical Mask of El Muerto upon a man named Estrada, granting him superhuman strength and endurance; however, every subsequent generation in the Estrada lineage was forced to fight el Dorado ritualistically for the right to retain the mask. One member of that lineage, young Juan-Carlos Estrada Sánchez, had been trained since childhood by his father, Marcus Estrada de la Garcia—that era’s mask-bearer—for his eventual battle with el Dorado, but when the time for his test finally arrived, the frightened Juan-Carlos did not want to fight. His father died instead, beheaded while attempting to prevent the god from killing Juan-Carlos for his failure. El Dorado then bestowed the mask upon Juan-Carlos out of respect for his father’s bravery, allowing Juan-Carlos 10 years to train before requiring him to find a masked champion to humiliate and unmask publicly in order to expunge the taint of his cowardice.
Juan-Carlos trains for the next decade and becomes a professional wrestler.
Mask of El Muerto
El Muerto’s mask grants him superhuman strength (optimally lifting 30 tons) and endurance. He is a highly skilled wrestler, extensively trained in both freestyle and shoot-style grappling. Fluent in Spanish, he speaks some English.
Empowered by his mask, Juan-Carlos goes up against gods and men, from the wrestling god el Dorado who took his father to a thief in the night. As a professional wrestler, he also battles opponents in the ring, most notably Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man, who he nearly unmasks.
Despite fighting Spider-Man at a charity wrestling match, the wall-crawler ultimately assists Juan-Carlos outside the ring against el Dorado. Together, they defeat the god.
Ten years after losing his father, Juan-Carlos as el Muerto traveled to New York City and saved the lives of Daily Bugle owner J. Jonah Jameson and his son John Jameson from a gunman. In return, Jonah organized a televised, million-dollar-charity wrestling match between el Muerto and Spider-Man. During the match, Spider-Man inadvertently wounded el Muerto.
Rushed to the hospital, el Muerto faced el Dorado, who intended to kill him for failing to unmask Spider-Man; however, el Muerto and Spider-Man kept el Dorado occupied long enough for Spider-Man to concoct an acidic solution (aqua regia) capable of dissolving el Dorado’s mystical gold armor. Now vulnerable, el Dorado disappeared before el Muerto and Spider-Man could defeat him.