Boasting a villainous career as the professional costumed criminal Leap-Frog, Vincent Patilio struggles with despair and a change of heart concerning his son, who leaps into danger to become the opposite of his deplorable dad: a Super Hero.
A small-time inventor from with big dreams, New York City native Vincent “Vinnie” Patilio creates mechanical novelties for toy companies. Failing to be profitable, he turns to crime to support his wife and son. Designing powerful springs powered by a battery pack, Patilio dons a mask and tests the coils at a New York airport. His random leaping causes chaos on the runways, but security proves unable to touch him. Building on the leaping theme, he designs a frog costume and became the Leap-Frog. He robs the first jewelry store he sees, but flees when Matt Murdock, AKA Daredevil, confronts him. Patilio attempts to rob a bank courier the next day, but Daredevil again intervenes, captures, and arrests Patilio. At his trial, he reacquires his springs and escapes, but breaks his leg while leaping from the courthouse. He’s promptly re-arrested, found guilty, and imprisoned. Fellow Daredevil foe Wilbur Day, AKA Stilt-Man, seeks a partnership with Leap-Frog, but promptly abandons him after Patilio breaks his leg.
The Leap-Frog suit contains electrical boot coils, which greatly enhance the wearer’s leaping ability, allowing them to achieve lengths up to 60' at a 45-degree parabolic arc reaching 15' at the apex, or 30' straight up, powered by the battery pack on the suit’s back. The suit is heavily padded, and smaller coils inside the suit’s skin cushion the wearer from impacts. Recent versions of the suit include a powered strength-enhancing exoskeleton (enabling the user to lift 1 ton) and computer-controlled gyroscopic stabilizers.
Super-People to Punch
As Leap-Frog, Vincent contends with Super Heroes Daredevil, Sam Wilson, AKA Falcon (later Captain America) and Brunnhilde, AKA Valkyrie. He also fights Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man, and Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man.
Frog Legs Run in the Family
Vincent and his son, Eugene, AKA Frog-Man , have a fraught relationship, partially due to Vincent’s physical abuse. Vincent goes out of his way, even to violate his parole, to protect his son when he chooses a Super Hero lifestyle, but he continually refuses to support his heroic activities.
As Leap-Frog, Vincent joins several Super Villain crews, including Justin Hammer’s agents—where he befriends Abe Jenkins, AKA Beetle—The Defenders imposters, Matt Dillon, AKA Electro’s Emissaries of Evil, and Damage Control. He also allies with his son and even Spider-Man, his former enemy, when his criminal career comes to a close.
Criminal Record to Budding Hero
Patilio was later broken out of prison by Matt Dillon, AKA Electro, to join his Emissaries of Evil alongside Manuel Eloganto, AKA Matador, Stilt-Man, and Melvin Potter, AKA Gladiator. Daredevil defeated the group, and Patilio was accidentally severely beaten by the Matador. Leap-Frog was later freed by the android Libra and recruited into the villainous Defenders imposters, battling Falcon and Valkyrie, among others. After fighting Spider-Man, Patilio was hired by Justin Hammer as a technician (where he befriended the Beetle), until Iron Man attacked Hammer’s home, defeating Leap-Frog and several other villains.
Returned to prison, Vincent learned that his wife, Rose, was diagnosed with breast cancer, which eventually killed her. Vincent’s son Eugene was placed in the custody of Vincent’s sister Rosemary “Marie” and her husband Gus Colorito. Gus also passed away not long thereafter, and when Vincent was paroled, he moved into Marie’s Brooklyn home. Meanwhile, Eugene, hoping to dissociate himself from his father, called himself “Eugene Colorito.” As such, the news once called Vincent “Colorito” in error.
Vincent found humiliating work in commercials promoting a local used car dealership dressed as the clownish “Frog-Face” while Eugene donned his father’s costume to seek revenge on school bullies. Vincent violated house arrest to rescue his son. Struggling to go straight, Vincent moved to uptown Manhattan and worked as a low-level salesman.
During an argument, the bitter Vincent, ranting about Super Heroes, lost control and slapped his son. Eugene concluded that he would atone for his father’s sins by using one of Vincent’s costumes to become a hero, the Frog-Man. Though Eugene’s haphazard debut as a hero earned Vincent’s reluctant approval, it was quickly rescinded as Vincent feared that his son would be killed. Contacted by criminal Joe Face to team with the White Rabbit, and worried about Eugene floundering in battle, Vincent instead went to the police and infiltrated the gang wearing a wire. Spider-Man and Frog-Man both independently pursued the Rabbit, and Vincent ended up facing down his own son; however, the Rabbit was captured and Vincent earned a hefty reward for his efforts, and the conviction to let go of his past.
Despite his father’s disapproval, Eugene continued to covertly act as Frog-Man. Vincent once dragged Eugene home from a fight with the Walrus during an audition for The Defenders membership. Vincent and Eugene later moved back into Marie’s Brooklyn house. When Eugene helped foil the villainous Plan Tzu, AKA Yellow Claw (aided by heroes contacted by Vincent), Vincent felt some pride in his son’s heroic accomplishments.
After Eugene left home for college, Vincent worked briefly with Damage Control, where Eugene Strausser made some repairs and improvements to the Frog-Man suit. Vincent became skilled with computer technologies and designed an exoskeleton for the Frog-Man suit as well as a computer guidance system to control the suit’s chaotic leaping. When the White Rabbit and the Walrus sought revenge against Frog-Man, Vincent used his new Leap-Frog costume to help Frog-Man and Spider-Man defeat the criminal duo. One of Vincent’s costumes was stolen by Buford Lange who has also operated as Leap-Frog.