Characters : Hammerhead
Strange shaped flat head
Criminal organisation, hand-to-hand combat
For a while, used an exo-skeleton invented by the Tinkerer
Steel alloy skull, great for charging
Above Average Human
Tommy guns, machine guns, other heavy weaponry - sometimes uses "stun" bullets
Unknown, Presumably Limited
Maggia, Chameleon, Various other Crimelords as necessary
Antonia (sister), Unnamed wife
Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus, Kingpin, Other Crimelords
Like many criminals, the man who became Hammerhead had a rough childhood. A Russian immigrant living in Italy, he was often beaten by his father for not speaking Russian. The continual beatings made him a violent man, such as when he beat a bully and his girlfriend to death in a movie theater. That crime brought him to the attention of the local mafia. In an ironic twist, the mob forced him to kill his father. Speaking in Russian, Hammerhead told his father that he gave him credit for making him this way.
Following a brutal fight in which his head was shattered, Hammerhead was found in an alley by Jonas Harrow. The disgraced surgeon operated on him - replacing his broken skull with his metal replacement in an attempt to regain credibility. Upon awakening, Hammerhead was infatuated with the 1920's movie poster which was the last thing he saw before awakening. Having forgotten his name, he adopted the role of the mobster "Hammerhead", favoring 20's clothing and weaponry, and the talk and behavior of the criminals of that time. Needless to say, Hammerhead has a screw or two loose in that metal skull of his. Understandable then, that he could work with Deadpool in his early years, who also isn't quite all there.
Hammerhead first appeared in Spidey's neck of the woods when Doctor Octopus tried to join the major leagues in the mafia. Ock tried to muscle in on Hammerhead's territory and the mobster struck back after he was beaten by Spider-Man. Octavius escaped the battle but Spidey was grazed by a bullet, knocking him out. After he woke up, he was a prisoner of Hammerhead, who demanded that Spider-Man join him in his gang war against Octopus. Spidey was weakened by his fight with both Ock and Hammerhead and was left with two goons while Hammerhead went to Westchester to pay a visit to Octopus. Spidey escaped and made his way to Westchester.
Hammerhead and his goons made their assault on the house, but his men were outmatched by Ock's technology and gas bomb throwing henchmen. Hammerhead took on Ock in the control room but was quickly defeated. His mob thugs came his his rescue and forced Ock to run. Spidey took on the mobster in Ock's control room but he escaped and Spider-Man chose instead to go looking for May Parker, who was somewhere in the building. As Hammerhead left the New Jersey airport, he was pleased at the information he had gotten from Otto's control room.
In his next appearance, Hammerhead was a pawn of the Jackal, who hoped to make Octopus, Spider-Man and Hammerhead to kill each other. After recovering from a fight with Hammerhead that left him unconscious, Spidey found an envelope with May's name on it near his spider-mobile. After reading it, he rushed to a site where Ock was attempting to marry his aunt. Hammerhead busted into the ceremony, forcing Ock and May to escape in a helicopter. Hammerhead and his goons followed them in their own helicopter, eventually ending up on a Canadian island with a nuclear reactor. May fainted from the stress of witnessing Ock and Hammerhead's goons shoot it out and Spidey commandeered a jet to take her to safety. Meanwhile, Hammerhead demanded to know why May was so important to Octavius and charged him to get the information. He hit the reactor, starting a chain reaction that made it go kablooie.
Octavius escaped the explosion by hiding in an emergency shaft and coiling his tentacles around himself. Hammerhead was not so lucky and was killed in the explosion. He only stayed kinda dead, as his ghost reappeared and sought revenge on Doctor Octopus. He followed Ock everywhere, from May's home in Queens to Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island. It was there that Hammerhead tricked Ock into using a particle accelerator to reconstitute his body. Hammerhead's goons showed up and kept Ock and Spidey from reaching May before the old lady could be rescued from the mobster. The two enemies put their past aside and went after Hammerhead, ending up at an old night club that he used as a hideout. They fought their way through a gang of Hammerhead's thugs only for him to try to escape in his helicopter. Ock managed to crash the machine by throwing trash cans at it, severing one of the rotors.
Naturally, Hammerhead survived. He soon took on the Human Torch after the Tinkerer gave Hammerhead an exoskeleton that increased his strength. The Torch had been searching for who framed a former friend, Georgie Munson, for a murder he didn't commit. He eventually learned that Hammerhead had been behind the crime and defeated him despite his upgrade. (Fantastic Four #233)
Soon after he fought Power Man and Iron Fist. He stayed out of Spider-Man's path for a while, until the gang war involving The Rose, Silvermane, the Blue Boys and the Arranger. (The gang war started after Wilson Fisk disappeared from the head of the mafia after losing a battle of wills against Daredevil. The power vacuum caused in-fighting among the lesser crime lords.) While at dinner at a fancy French restaurant, Hammerhead was nearly assassinated by a bomb under his table but his entourage was killed. He sought a partnership with the Rose, whom was reluctant to join the war any more than he had to. Hammerhead soon had to fight off the Jack O'Lantern, who was working for the Arranger and was sent to bust up a gang that hadn't been paying their protection money. Hammerhead and his thugs quickly chased off Macendale.
After Fisk returned to the top of the mob hierarchy, he called a meeting of all of his lieutenants, including Hammerhead. He regretted that he couldn't hit Fisk while he was out of town but knew that any attempted murder of the Kingpin at that point would likely fail. So he kept out of sight and boded his time. Kingpin made it seem that he was going to kill all of the assembled lieutenants until Spider-Man and Daredevil arrived to stop the assassins. However, the bullets were all blanks and the lesser gangsters were all arrested, making deals with the police to turn over evidence.
After getting out of jail, Hammerhead was hired by the Chameleon to take on the Kingpin. Smerdyakov wanted to take Fisk's place in the mafia and several lower mobsters had told him to talk to Hammerhead. Spider-Man briefly fought Hammerhead after the web swinger tried to break into Fisk Towers but both men managed to escape. Meanwhile, a gang war between the Lobo Brothers and the Kingpin began, which Fisk saw as pointless. He called for a meeting with the Lobo's and Chameleon used that information to set up an ambush with Hammerhead's help. As Hammerhead's hit men attacked the Lobo's and Fisk at the meeting place, Chameleon and Hammerhead discussed which parts of New York would be their territories. Smerdyakov wanted the upper west side and Hammerhead wanted everything south of Central Park. Kingpin escaped the massacre and Hammerhead and Chameleon took their respective territories.
Soon Hammerhead took Tombstone (aka, Lonnie Lincoln) into his ranks and to keep his new lieutenant happy, Hammerhead put a hit on Robbie Robertson for testifying against Lincoln in a murder trial. Jason Macendale was hired to do the hit, which didn't sit well with Tombstone, who wanted to kill Robertson himself. When Hobgoblin arrived at Robertson's home to carry out the murder, he was stopped by the Puma, Spider-Man and Tombstone. A few days later, Hobgoblin returned to Hammerhead, claiming that he and Carrion II (Malcolm McBride) had captured Spider-Man. He wanted Hammerhead to pay him to do it and the mob boss told him to bring him the vigilante's head and they would talk money. The Hobgoblin was beaten when Carrion turned on him.
Later, Tombstone was doused in a plant preservative called DIOX 3 at Osborn Industries during a fight with Spider-Man the Molten Man and the Green Goblin (Harry Osborn). The chemical made his skin extra tough, even bullet proof. This was proven to Hammerhead when Lincoln burst into his private movie theater covered in scratches from bullets after he was shot by Hammerhead's guards. He told his former boss that things were going to be different from that point forward. Tombstone badly beat Hammerhead and Robbie Robertson showed up, on orders from Lincoln. Spider-Man knew of the meeting between Robbie and Lincoln and arrived just in time to save his friend. Hammerhead came to and fired a machine gun at his former assistant, to no effect. However, one of the bullets hit an ammo storage unit and caused an explosion. Spidey and Robbie escaped.
Hammerhead didn't show up again until after Peter lost his spider powers and Ben Reilly had taken over as Spider-Man. Peter and Ben Urich were on a case for the Daily Bugle investigating a mafia meeting in an old theater when Peter saved Hammerhead from an exploding briefcase. Peter and Ben Urich escaped despite the gunfire from the mobsters and Spider-Man was busy saving another gangster, Jimmy Six. Later, Hammerhead was getting medical attention after the fight with Don Fortunato's thugs and demanded to meet with Ben Urich.
Hammerhead wanted to know more about Fortunato and reasoned that a journalist like Urich would be the person to ask. Reilly saw Urich get kidnapped and followed the kidnappers to Hammerhead's hideout. Hammerhead wore a new technology-suit that enhanced his abilities, which Spider-Man soon tore him out of. Hammerhead escaped after some oxygen tanks blew up. Meanwhile, Hammerhead was expecting to go to war with Fortunato. That full out war never came about.
After Ben Reilly was killed by the original Green Goblin, Peter resumed as Spider-Man. Spidey was soon in a tough fight with Morbius the Living Vampire when he, Morbius, Dr. Andrea Janson and SHOC were kidnapped by Hammerhead's goons. When Spidey woke up, he was restrained next to Morbius and SHOC. Hammerhead was about to kill Spidey when SHOC breaks out of his shackles. Hammerhead suggested that SHOC and he work together to bring down Fortunato and SHOC agreed. For his troubles, Spider-Man got thrown over the side of Hammerhead's building. Hydra agents and Fortunato's gang soon show up and a shootout follows. Morbius, Hydra and Crown are defeated and Hammerhead thanked SHOC and Spider-Man by not killing them.
Sometime later, Hammerhead hired Boomerang to steal lost tablets with mystical knowledge. Spider-Man was taking pictures of the unveiling for the Daily Bugle but failed to stop the theft. Spider-Man went to visit Dr. Strange after the tablets were stolen, who explained to him that the extra pieces were necessary to get the magic right, or else a person could de-age into non-existence, as Silvermane had done years prior. Boomerang delivered the tablet pieces to Hammerhead, who had forced Dr. Curtis Connors to help by kidnapping Martha and Billy. The tablets, when used properly, lead to a person gaining their full evolutionary potential and Connors ends up drinking the formula, becoming a super Lizard.
Lizard escaped and controlled himself long enough to create more of the formula. Turned out that Hammerhead wanted the formula to give to his long lost sister, Antonia, who was in the hospital with cancer. Hammerhead took the Lizard's formula and gained the powers of a god. With his new power, Hammerhead changed Connors back to normal and offered to bring Gwen Stacy back to life, but would have to take other lives, to keep the universe in balance. He didn't get a chance, because he went back to being a mortal and was sent to prison.
Hammerhead started a brief gang war with various ethnic mobs, from the Jamaicans, to the Chinese, to the Polish and the French. The Polish hired the Rhino and Uber-Machine, who defeated each other. Several of the gangs were defeated, as were some trouble makers in Hammerhead's own organization. This all worked out well for Hammerhead, whose entire plan was to break up some of the competition.
During the Superhuman Civil War, Wilson Fisk sat in jail and Hammerhead gained rank in the organization and created a small army of loyal super criminals: Electro, the Great Gambonnos, Will O' The Wisp, Trapster, Spot, Ringmaster and others. From prison, Fisk hired a gunman named Underworld to kill Hammerhead. The mobster ended up riddled with bullets and was sent to the hospital, where Underworld tracked him down and shot him in the head. His adamantium skull protected him but he still suffered severe brain damage. During surgery to save him, the hospital staff was killed by agents of Martin Li, aka Mister Negative. Li's doctors saved his life by transplanting his brain into a adamantium enhanced skeleton and Hammerhead swore allegiance to Mister Negative.
Hammerhead assembled an even larger gang for his new boss, which brought him into conflict with Spider-Man. For the first time in years, Hammerhead thrashed the wall crawler but Spidey returned and beat him in the rematch. Later, Silvermane seemed to have returned from the dead, causing Hammerhead to question his loyalty to Negative. Little did he know but "Silvermane" was just an android controlled by Mysterio to cause in-fighting in the gangs. Hammerhead fled when "Silvermane" called him a traitor and Mister Negative punished him by activating a microchip in his skull that gave him an electric shock.
At a later date, Hammerhead and Mister Negative were invited by Doctor Octopus to attend a meeting to get a certain item for him. Octavius was dying and wanted to get access to Lily Hollister's unborn baby, which had Harry Osborn as its father. The Goblin serum had been passed from Harry to the baby, making a new species that Ock believed could hold the key to his recovery.
|Oct 1972||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #113|
|Nov 1972||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #114|
|Dec 1972||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #115|
|Mar 1974||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #130|
|Aunt May & Doc Ock|
|Apr 1974||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #131|
Here is the Full Appearance List (48 Apps) for Hammerhead.
The assistance of the Marvel Chronology Project is gratefully acknowledged.
Some of the above information is extracted from the various versions of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe and the more recent Marvel Encyclopaedias.