As a wealthy and widely hailed philanthropist, the man known as Martin Li uses his financial resources to help those in need. But in his other identity, that of the ruthless underworld figure Mister Negative, he uses his extradimensional energy powers to corrupt anything he touches as the leader of a criminal empire.

Land of Opportunity

While his real name remains unknown, details about Mister Negative have emerged, as per his own account. Years ago, he was a “snakehead slaver,” or human smuggler, who oversaw the transport of Chinese citizens to the United States aboard a cargo ship called Golden Mountain. The immigrants included businessman Martin Li, of Fuzhou City. Li intended to go to the United States to join his wife, Yana, who had arrived there months earlier through a student visa. During the sea voyage, several of the passengers died of pneumonia—and Martin Li was one of them.

As the Golden Mountain approached Queens, New York, a storm endangered the ship and disrupted an arrangement between the snakeheads and a Chinatown gang the Dragon Lords, who were scheduled to pick up the passengers and ferry them into the city. Seizing control of the ship, the supervising snakehead caused the Golden Mountain to run aground. The crew fled in the only lifeboat, leaving the snakehead and the Chinese passengers to swim for shore. The snakehead, who had a criminal record in the U.S. and China, took Martin Li’s identity papers. He was the only one still healthy and strong enough to survive and arrived safely at New York Harbor.

Seeking his colleagues in Flushing, New York, the snakehead found them dead—killed by Maggia gangsters led by Silvermane, who was expanding his influence over the area. Silvermane handed the snakehead over to his employee, the chemist Simon Marshall, who was testing a potentially profitable synthetic drug on unwilling subjects. The snakehead was experimented upon, along with teenage runaways Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen, among others. Through the tests, Tyrone, Tandy, and the snakehead acquired super human powers derived from the extradimensional Darkforce, and then escaped. Tyrone and Tandy eventually became the vigilantes Cloak and Dagger, while the snakehead adopted the identity of Martin Li and found anonymous work at a garment factory in Chinatown. He became Mister Negative, determined to become a crime lord and take revenge on the Maggia.

Becoming Mr. Negative

As his wealth grew, the snakehead (as Li) bought the factory and became a generous donor to humanitarian causes. But as Mister Negative, he took over the Dragon Lords, expanded the snakehead operation, and moved into illegal gambling, and other criminal areas, aided by his loyal operatives, the Inner Demons. Negative continues his relentless quest for power and influence, looking for revenge against his enemies.

Darkforce Rising

As a result of the drug tests to which he was subjected, Mister Negative can generate and manipulate a form of extradimensional Darkforce energy. It enables him to transform from a seemingly normal human being into a polarity-reversed version of himself and back again, with his voice, appearance, and personality changed in the process. Through touch, he can charge objects (such as weapons) with electrical energy and boost their efficiency. He can also cure peoples’ ailments by strengthening their natural immune systems—but apparently, he is limited to using destructive power as Negative and healing power as Li.

When he makes physical contact with another person, even through clothing, Negative can “corrupt” that person into his service and trigger a polarity-reversed appearance much like his own. Once corrupted, the victim’s abilities are heightened, and the stronger a victim’s good nature, the more powerful they become. However, individuals of supposed overwhelmingly evil nature are apparently immune to the touch. Similarly, a sufficiently strong-willed person can overcome the corruption, expel the negative energy, and return to normal.

The Mister Negative persona possesses super human strength and reflexes, enabling him to dodge bullets. He is an accomplished swordsman and is fluent in English, Mandarin, and Russian. Negative’s operatives, including the Inner Demons, are combat-trained and use electrified versions of nunchaku, bo staffs, and similar weapons. The Inner Demons are Mister Negative’s elite force, and he has given them the ability to regenerate from seemingly lethal wounds within seconds. It is unknown whether Negative himself has this ability.

Mob Mentality

Mister Negative’s activities bring him into conflict with heroes and villains alike. His vendetta against the Maggia leads to his first encounter with Spider-Man (Peter Parker), who intervenes in Negative’s effort to use a poison called the “Devil’s Breath” to wipe out the Manfredi and Karnelli crime families. Spider-Man has since become one of Negative’s most frequent opponents.

Mr. Negative fighting Spider-Man

In his efforts to expand his criminal empire, Negative has had to contend with the Hood (Parker Robbins), another underworld figure on the rise—one who has proven to be immune to Negative’s corruptive touch.

Mister Negative is also intent on taking revenge against Silver Fang, the gangster who originally forced him to become a snakehead slaver. Silver Fang has since turned over a new leaf and is now known as Shen Quinghao, one of China’s most powerful businessmen and considered a great humanitarian—but Negative wants to expose him as a fraud and kill him.

The Martin Li persona makes enemies through his political activism. During a New York City mayoral race, Li supports candidate Bill Hollister, which earns him a grudge from media mogul Dexter Bennett, publisher of The DB (formerly the Daily Bugle), who supports Hollister’s opponent, Randall Crowne. Hollister wins the election, but when a scandal forces him to step down, Li runs for mayor in a special election, but loses to former Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson.

Uneasy Alliances

Both Martin Li and Mister Negative have a number of allies, but their shared existence makes those relationships difficult, if not impossible, to maintain. Li’s founding of the F.E.A.S.T. Project (Food, Emergency Aid, Shelter and Training), a series of homeless shelters and outreach programs, wins him recognition as a generous philanthropist, and friendships with prominent New Yorkers, including attorney Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil. May Parker, aunt of Peter Parker, volunteers for the F.E.A.S.T. Project and becomes one of Li’s most dedicated and enthusiastic supporters. But when she walks into his private quarters as he disciplines an Inner Demon for failure, Mister Negative subjects May to his corruptive touch, turning her innate kindness into hostility toward her loved ones.

Li once encounters Eddie Brock, who was terminally ill with cancer and praying for forgiveness in a church. Li convinces Murdock to have Brock exonerated for his past crimes, the blame for which is placed on the influence of the Venom symbiote. Li then gives the grateful Brock a job at the F.E.A.S.T. Project, and cures Brock of his cancer just by touching him. When Brock’s successor as Venom, Mac Gargan, attacks a F.E.A.S.T. Center in search of Spider-Man, Brock, empowered by Li’s energies, transforms into the super human Anti-Venom and rushes into battle. As Anti-Venom, Brock becomes a vigilante and targets Mister Negative’s operations, unaware of Negative’s other identity. After accidentally seeing Negative transform back into Li, Anti-Venom’s confidence is shaken. He later teams up with Spider-Man and the Wraith (NYPD captain Yuri Watanabe) to take down Negative and expose his true identity.

Amongst the underworld, Negative forms working relationships—sometimes tenuous—with the likes of Hammerhead, Overdrive, the Spot, and Norman Osborn (the Green Goblin). But for Li and Negative, perhaps their most significant alliance now is with each other.

Mr. Negative changing back

Apparently, their identities are two separate personalities, with only Negative fully aware of their shared existence—and with Li expressing contempt for Negative and believing himself to be a good man with no ties to crime. But recently, Negative leaves a video message for Li and manages to convince him that they should work together to destroy Shen Quinghao.




180 lbs.




Martin Li: black, Mr. Negative: white


Martin Li: black, Mr. Negative: white

Universe, Other Aliases, Identity, Powers
  • Universe

  • Other Aliases

  • Identity

  • Powers

Double Life

During the early days of Mister Negative’s existence, the Dragon Lords went to the widow of the real Martin Li, Yana, and demanded payment for the delivery of his corpse. Yana proved unable to pay, and the Dragon Lords tortured her until Mister Negative took over the gang and, for his own reasons, freed Yana.

p> Years later, having become a billionaire, “Martin Li” received a Presidential Medal of Freedom for his humanitarianism, and his political donations earned him amnesty for his status as an illegal immigrant. He then used Yana’s debt to him to guarantee her silence about his false identity.


Pursuing his vendetta against the Maggia, Mister Negative allied himself with Bruno Karnelli, a relative of both the Manfredi and Karnelli crime families. Negative also hired the nanite-using criminal, Overdrive, to steal the Lemurian Tablet of Death and Entropy, twin to the Tablet of Life and Time once used by both Silvermane and Hammerhead. When Overdrive, on his way to deliver the tablet, was defeated by Spider-Man, Negative hired corrupt NYPD Detective Willowby to steal the tablet from police headquarters. Negative’s underlings attempted to take the tablet from Willowby without paying, but Negative, mindful of his reputation, brutally killed them and paid off Willowby, whom he expected to spread word of Negative’s treatment of allies and adversaries. Using the Tablet’s secrets and blood taken from Bruno (against his will), Negative created the “Devil’s Breath” poison, designed to be fatal to members of either of Karnelli’s family lines. He unleashed the poison at a Karnelli/Manfredi summit meeting, killing nearly every gangster present. Negative then tried to poison the families’ children, who were attending a circus with their mothers. Spider-Man intervened and rescued the children from the poison, but Negative took a young girl hostage. Bargaining for the child’s life, Negative received a sample of Spider-Man’s blood to create Devil’s Breath to use against the hero’s family if necessary. He then tossed the child from a dock and escaped while Spider-Man saved her.

In another confrontation with Spider-Man, Negative managed to use his corruptive power on the web-slinger himself. Meanwhile, Daily Bugle reporter Betty Brant, having researched Martin Li’s past in Fuzhou City, located and interviewed Yana Li, who revealed that the man known as Martin Li was not her husband. Concerned that Brant had learned too much, Negative set the still-corrupted Spider-Man against her, but the wallcrawler ultimately overcame Negative’s influence.

During a battle with the Hood, Negative revealed how he came to the U.S., adopted the Martin Li identity, and gained his powers.

More recently, after his dual identity was exposed and he was taken into custody, Negative escaped and made his way to China to take revenge on Quinghao. Along the way, he corrupted Cloak and Dagger to make them loyal to him, and he developed a new drug called Shade—a refined version of his corrupting touch. Negative confronted Peter Parker and touched him, thinking that he had successfully corrupted the young scientist and that Parker would help him destroy Quinghao. But the corrupting touch only works on a person one time. And Negative, unaware that Parker is Spider-Man, did not know that he had already corrupted Parker once before. Negative’s plans were ultimately foiled and he lost control of Cloak and Dagger.

Nevertheless, he escaped, and in a video message left behind for Spider-Man, Cloak, and Dagger, Negative declared that he and Li were now united and working together, and that he intended to stay in China to deliver vengeance to those who wronged the both of them.

Mr. Negative with Parker
fighting skills