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Marvel Villains Timeless by Alex Ross


Marvel's Greatest Villains Join Together on Comic Visionary Alex Ross' Newest 'Timeless' Piece

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The Best Stories from Daredevil’s First-Ever Series

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Raised by his overprotective mother, Maxwell Dillon dreams of being an electrical engineer. But when struck by lightning, he gains the power to generate and control electricity. He creates a costume, turns to a life of crime as Electro, and becomes an enduring adversary to Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man


The Shock of His Life

Max Dillon was a good linesman, but selfish and friendless when not on the job. One day, while repairing a downed power line, an unexpected thunderstorm rolled in. After being struck by lightning, Dillon foolishly grabs the power line. The two shocks cancel each other out, and instead of leaving Dillon dead, they grant him extraordinary powers. 

Upon discovering he possesses the ability to generate, store, and project electrical charges, the arrogant Dillon seeks a more lucrative profession: crime. Donning a colorful costume, Dillon chooses J. Jonah Jameson as his first victim, successfully looting Jameson’s safe in front of the newspaperman’s very eyes.

An enraged Jameson makes the bold claim that Electro was simply Spider-Man in disguise. Spider-Man could hardly resist that challenge, and he set out to fight Electro to prove they were not the same man. Totally unprepared for Electro’s attack, Spider-Man nearly perishes when he receives a jolt of electricity just from touching the villain. He realizes he could defeat Electro only by outsmarting him; spotting a nearby fire hose, Spider-Man short-circuits his enemy.

Seeking revenge, Electro joins the original Sinister Six, but the webslinger defeats the villain by deactivating his power source. Grounding himself with a steel cable, Spider-Man closes in for the knockout punch.


Take Charge

Unenhanced by an immediate power source, Electro possesses normal human strength. When electrically charged, Electro's physical strength is enhanced, and he can lift (press) about 500 pounds at maximum charge.

Electro possesses the ability to bodily acquire, store, and manipulate electrostatic energy, which he can release or harness for several effects. Typically, Electro absorbs this energy from an external power source, but in the absence of an external supply, he can generate a limited amount of electrostatic charge by transforming chemical energy from within his own body, although this will physically weaken him.

Electro can also act as a transformer, touching an outside power source (such as a generator) and channeling it through his body for use without intermediate storage.

Electro has been observed generating lightning bolts in air with a range approaching 100 feet. This requires an electrical potential difference of at least 30 million volts compared to the target point. Analysis of the resultant damage caused by Electro’s bolts indicates that the current flow can rise as high as 200 amps over short periods. Corresponding analysis of video footage indicates that over the course of a battle Electro can (without recharging) generate around 100 seconds of current (approximately 1000 bolts with an average duration of 1/10 second). Hence, it appears that Electro can store at least 20,000 coulombs (amp-seconds) of charge.

Electro can employ his electrostatic energy in a number of ways. The simplest manifestation is the emission of a lightning-like electric arc from his fingertips, which can propagate through air or other conducting mediums. This discharge, whose total voltage can be regulated within certain limits, travels at the speed of lightning about 1,100 feet per second. The course of the electrostatic bolt, like lightning, does not always follow a straight line since conducting substances like metal or other electrical fields may influence it. If his target is not grounded, his electrostatic bolt will have little effect. The maximum effective range of his bolts is about 100 feet.

Electro can propel himself along the accompanying magnetic lines of force in objects that have great electric potential, such as high-tension electrical lines. He generates tight, eddying electrical fields around his legs, which develops an intense, opposing magnetic field that can support him above the electric cable’s magnetic field. By creating imbalances in his field, he can ride along magnetic ripples at speeds of up to 140 miles per hour, the maximum speed at which he can still breathe unaided. He can sometimes create electrostatic bridges to traverse upon, although the expenditure of energy is enormous.

Electro’s electrical powers also grant him certain sensory and manipulative abilities. By “feeling” the course of electricity through the circuitry of any electrically powered device, Electro can override the system and make the device obey his mental commands. Electro can disconnect alarm systems, control computers in a limited way, or overload any electrically controlled system that is insufficiently shielded.

The electric flux of Electro’s skin is such that when his electric charge is at its maximum, a person touching him is in danger of being electrocuted. Electro’s body is immune to the effects of its electricity and that of other sources as well. Hence, Electro cannot be electrocuted no matter how great the voltage. By using an external electrical power source to recharge his body’s energy reserves, he can expend electrical energy indefinitely without diminishing his personal reserves. The electricity coursing through his altered body augments his strength, speed, and recuperative powers.

Note that the preceding statistics apply to “normal” conditions. However, on at least two separate occasions, Electro has been seen to greatly surpass these power levels—in one case absorbing sufficient energy to power a large part of downtown Manhattan. Both scenarios corresponded to extreme states of mental distress and frustration, and hence it could be surmised that Electro’s typically observed power limitations are predominantly psychological rather than physical.



Maxwell Dillon has been one of Spider-Man's most frequent and enduring adversaries. To avoid further humiliation, Electro tries to get back at the wall-crawler but often fails. As such, he teams up with some of the more powerful masterminds in the web-head's rogues gallery, rather than creating intricate plots of his own.

Electro also comes into conflict with Matt Murdock, AKA Daredevil, early in his career.


Sinister Associates

When Electro fails to defeat Spider-Man time and time again, he joins the Super Villain team, the Sinister Six, led by the multi-armed madman Otto Octavius, AKA Doctor Octopus. He joins the winged menace Adrian Toomes, AKA Vulture, maniacal big game hunter Sergei Kravinoff, AKA Kraven the Hunter, the master illusionist Quentin Beck, AKA Mysterio, and the shape-shifting William Baker, AKA Sandman, and they plot a plan to take out Spider-Man, a first of many.

Seeking revenge against Daredevil, Electro forms an Emissaries of Evil team gathering hornhead’s enemies Wilbur Day, AKA Stilt-Man, Vincent Patilio, AKA Leap-Frog, Manuel Eloganto, AKA Matador, and Melvin Potter, AKA Gladiator. Individually and collectively, they fail to defeat the hero and are left tied up for the police. He later teams with Gregor Shapanka, AKA Blizzard, to battle Daredevil and Spider-Man together.

Ever the team player, Electro joins the Frightful Four in an attack on the Fantastic Four, though fails against them numerous times.




165 lbs.






Reddish-brown (often shaved bald)

Universe, Other Aliases, Education, Place of Origin, Identity, Known Relatives, Powers, Group Affiliation
  • Universe

  • Other Aliases

  • Education

  • Place of Origin

  • Identity

  • Known Relatives

  • Powers

  • Group Affiliation

An Electrifying History

Following many failures despite his tremendous powers, Electro suffered a crisis of confidence. Attempting to go straight, he ended up as a freak show act in a Coney Island carnival. Unable to bear the crowd’s laughter, Electro cracked. In a spectacular bid to overcome his self-doubt, he stood on the roof of the Top of New York Hotel and gradually absorbed all the power in Manhattan. Spider-Man arrived, and Electro easily blasted him off the edge of the building. But even Electro has his limits: With his head throbbing near to the bursting point, he attempted to discharge the excess electricity, but found he had overloaded his abilities. In that moment, his self-doubt came flooding back. Returning to the scene, Spider-Man reassured the confused Dillon. Treating Electro as an equal, Spider-Man convinced him his problems were purely psychological. The hero’s pep talk worked, and Electro gradually returned the charge to the blacked-out city. In an unexpected mea culpa, the grateful Electro thanked Spider-Man profusely and went willingly to serve his jail sentence.

Fearing the murderous Kaine would come for him, Electro escaped and joined the Sinister Seven in self-defense. Afterwards, Electro struggled with his own self-worth—residual damage done to him in childhood after having been abandoned by his violent father and smothered by his overbearing mother. Realizing he had reached a crossroads and remembering his moment of ultimate power atop the Top of New York Hotel, Electro prepared to take one more gamble in his quest for self-esteem. He allowed Jacob Conover, AKA the Rose, and Delilah to strap him into a super-charged electric chair. The gamble paid off; Electro’s powers were temporarily enhanced tenfold. In return, Dillon had promised to aid the Rose and Delilah in their gangland ambitions.

But his drive for vengeance against Spider-Man—and indeed, the whole of Manhattan—took precedence. He created a plan to set off a chain reaction among the New York power stations that would destroy most of the city. Even equipped with an insulated costume, Spider-Man barely managed to defeat him.

Electro and the Vulture were then hired by Leland Owlsley, AKA the Owl, to collect 20 million dollars owed to Wilson Fisk, AKA Kingpin; the duo decided to keep the money for themselves.

When Spider-Man, desperately searching for his kidnapped May Parker, AKA Aunt May, sought help from the Owl, the Owl lied telling Spider-Man Electro and the Vulture had the woman. Though Electro barely walked away from the ensuing fight, Spider-Man was hospitalized. Electro joined the short-lived Sinister Twelve, battling Spider-Man and Felicia Hardy, AKA Black Cat, after the hero was forced to liberate Norman Osborn, AKA Green Goblin (the true kidnapper of May Parker) from prison. 

Electro was the key player in the massive Ryker’s Island Super Villain breakout and also the reason for the New Avengers to form, who captured him in the end. In the aftermath of Spider-Man publicly revealing his secret identity, Electro joined the Dmitri Smerdyakov, AKA Chameleon’s Exterminators team to seek revenge, but quickly met defeat. Electro, like the rest of the world, had mystically forgotten Spider-Man’s true identity.

After experiencing instability with his powers, Electro works for the Mad Thinker who helps him control them. He bribed Dexter Bennett and with the money he earned, he upgraded his powers.

While scheming with the Sinister Six again, Electro and the team were interrupted by Spider-Man and the Avengers. A battle followed and the Super Villains were all defeated with Electro being tossed into space by Thor. Returning to Earth and wanting revenge, he forced Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.) scientists to make him generate protons versus electrons, and yet again was defeated by Spider-Man, who at this time was possessed by Doctor Octopus’ mind and who converted him into protons, capturing him. Taken to “Spider-Man’s” secret lab underwater, he was placed next to Sandman, the beginning of his plot to create the mind-controlled Superior Six. Used by “Spider-Man”, Electro and the other collected villains eventually broke free but were stopped by “Spider-Man” and Sun Girl.

Since “Spider-Man” had turned him into a puppet, Electro lost all credibility in the criminal community, so he decided to attack the Conway Penitentiary but lost control of his powers and destroyed the building. With nowhere to go, Black Cat gave him an offer he could not refuse: to end Spider-Man. With Electro at her side, Black Cat led the criminal underworld. Their efforts led to unmasking Spider-Man on live television, and they infiltrated Parker Industries and enhanced Electro’s power. Spider-Man and Cindy Moon, AKA Silk, intervened, as such Black Cat overloaded Electro to slay the wall-crawler but it just depowered Electro, who was subsequently captured.

Not long afterward, he was liberated by Aleksei Sytsevich, AKA Rhino, and Dr. Curt Connors, AKA the Lizard, thanks to Ben Reilly, who had taken Miles Warren’s Jackal identity and desired to restore his powers. The Jackal brought in Francine Frye whom Electro had previously killed by accident, who convinced him to go through the procedure, but it failed. Francine kissed Electro and absorbed all the energy from his suit, taking the remaining power and his life.

Doctor Octopus, no longer in Spider-Man’s body, and at the request of Kindred, resurrected Electro, whose powers were also restored. Electro then joined Doc Ock’s new Sinister Six known as the Savage Six.