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Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Amazing Spider-Man #113 (Oct 1972)
Created by Gerry Conway
John Romita, Sr.
In-story information
Alter ego unrevealed
Team affiliations Maggia
Sinister Twelve
Mister Negative
Notable aliases Mr. H
Abilities Upper body skeleton made of adamantium, heightened strength

Hammerhead is a fictional character, a supervillain that has appeared in various comic book series published by Marvel Comics. He is primarily an enemy of Spider-Man and a member of organized crime who exists in Marvel's main shared universe, known as the Marvel Universe. The character first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #113.

He is closely associated with the Hammerhead "Family" of the Maggia crime family. Hammerhead distinguishes himself from other villains in that he dresses up and acts somewhat like a gangster from the 1920s. Due to an injury he suffered, much of his skull was replaced with an unbendable steel alloy by Jonas Harrow, giving his head a flattened shape.


Conception and creation

In the 2004 Starlog special Spider-Man and Other Amazing Comics Heroes(Inside Comics Heroes#3) , Hammerhead's creator, Gerry Conway, noted that he wanted to introduce a Dick Tracy style foe into the series. Based on this reference to Dick Tracy, many have noted Hammerhead's obvious visual similarity to Flattop Jones, in turn possibly based on Pretty Boy Floyd.

Fictional character biography

Though Hammerhead's real name is not known, bits of his past have been revealed. Hammerhead's family immigrated from Russia to Italy when he was a child. His father ran a garage in Toirrano, where he insisted a young Hammerhead speak only in Russian, beating him severely with a mallet when he wouldn't. All the while, Hammerhead dreamed of becoming a gangster. He is recruited into the Maggia when a member oversees Hammerhead murdering a childhood bully and his girlfriend in a theatre showing The Godfather. Hammerhead quickly rises through the ranks of the Maggia, while hiding the fact that he's actually Russian so he can be "made". In his final test, Hammerhead is brought to his father's garage (with the Maggia apparently unaware of their relationship), where he proceeds to kill his father, while telling him in Russian that he doesn't truly hate him, and that he made him (Hammerhead) this way. [1] Hammerhead was originally a small-time hit-man employed by one of the "families" of the criminal organization known as the Maggia, the Marvel Universe version of the Mafia. He was found beaten, disfigured, and delirious with pain in an alley in New York City's Bowery by Jonas Harrow, a surgeon who had lost his medical license due to his illegal experiments. Seeing the opportunity both to save this man's life and to redeem his reputation, Harrow operated on the gunman for three days, replacing much of his shattered skull with a strong steel alloy.[2] During the surgery, the unconscious Hammerhead fixated on the only memory he retained: an image of a poster for a movie called "The Al Capone Mob", which was hanging in the alley where he lay beaten and bloodied before Harrow found him. When he recovered, the memory of the poster and its images of 1930s-era gangsters prompted Hammerhead to start a gang of his own in the style of Capone and other mobsters of the 1920s. He even dressed as if he were living in that decade. Though not much is known about his life before he became a professional criminal and supervillain, he is known to have a sister. Later on, Hammerhead's entire skull was replaced with or reinforced with some type of nearly unbreakable metal (possibly vibranium or secondary adamantium).

A gang war broke out between Hammerhead's mob and Doctor Octopus's criminal organization. Hammerhead was forced to flee the country due to Spider-Man's interference.[3] He later had a rematch with Doctor Octopus next to an atomic breeder reactor on a remote Canadian island which caused a chain reaction, blasting Hammerhead "out of phase" with this dimension.[4] Some time later, he appeared as an immaterial ghost-like being to haunt Doctor Octopus. Doctor Octopus then unwittingly restored Hammerhead to a material state. Hammerhead kidnapped Spider-Man's Aunt May, who was then rescued by him as Doctor Octopus caused Hammerhead's helicopter to plummet into the Hudson River.[5]

Hammerhead then proposed that all Maggia "families" unite under his leadership. Wearing a strength-enhancing exoskeleton, he battled the Human Torch, who then fused the exoskeleton's power pack.[6] Hammerhead was nearly assassinated by the Kingpin's Arranger during a gang war. Hammerhead was forced out of a major role in New York City organized crime by the Kingpin.[7]

Hammerhead then allied himself with the Chameleon in the latter's bid to become the new crime-lord of New York City. The two served as partners in a splinter group of the Maggia.[8] Hammerhead hired Tombstone as a bodyguard and hit-man.[9] He hired the Hobgoblin to kill Joe Robertson, who posed a threat to Tombstone; the assassination attempt failed.[10] Hammerhead was kidnapped and beaten by Tombstone, who had gained superhuman powers and resented Hammerhead for not sending him to kill Joe Robertson.[11]

Hammerhead later attended a Las Vegas crime conference to divide the resources left by the Kingpin's downfall at the time.[12]

Hammerhead is a major player in underworld activities in the Marvel Universe and is highly sought after for elimination by the Punisher. He is currently one of several gang warlords struggling to control the criminal underworld in the major cities of the Eastern United States. During one of the first meetings of such warlords, Hammerhead was almost killed by the Strucker twins Fenris. This meeting was being manipulated by Baron Von Strucker, the head of HYDRA. When Don Fortunato made a bid for control of the New York underworld, Hammerhead opposed him and was almost killed as a result. When every other crime-lord surrendered to Fortunato and his HYDRA allies, Hammerhead went rogue, launching a raid on Fortunato's home and successfully fighting off a HYDRA attack on his own headquarters. He did have assistance from Spider-Man and Morbius, the Living Vampire. For a time, the hero known as S.H.O.C. also assists Hammerhead. Later he was hired as by Norman Osborn to be a part of the Sinister Twelve.

Close calls with death

Hammerhead has cheated certain death several times over the years. During a gang war with Doctor Octopus, Hammerhead was consumed by a nuclear detonation, a unique chain of events transforming him into a "living wraith" rather than killing him. In recent years, Hammerhead was slain by CLOC, the computerized majordomo of the Sentry. Shortly thereafter, Hammerhead was almost killed in prison by Bullseye.[13]

During the events of the Civil War, Hammerhead used the vacuum left by the incarceration of the Kingpin to gain a greater foothold in the ranks of organized crime, attempting to organize an army of costumed villains (consisting of the Ani-Men VI, Answer I, Aura, Bloodshed, Clown, Cyclone III, Discus, Electro, Great Gambonnos, Kangaroo II, Man Mountain Marko, Mauler, Mindblast, Override, Ringmaster, Stiletto, Spot, Squid, Trapster, and Will O' The Wisp) to enforce his new criminal empire.[14] The Kingpin manipulated various hero factions, most notably S.H.I.E.L.D. and Iron Man into breaking up Hammerhead's first convening of his army. During the conflict, Hammerhead was shot numerous times by Fisk's agent Underworld, who later confronted Hammerhead while he lay in prison. Underworld then shot Hammerhead at point-blank range with adamantium bullets.

The bullets, while not penetrating his skull, did cause severe trauma to his brain, resulting him in needing surgery, but the hospital he was brought to was unable to treat him. In mid-surgery however, men working for Mister Negative come in, kill the hospital staff, and take Hammerhead away. Negative then has his surgeon Doctor Tramma revive Hammerhead and offers to transplant his brain into a new robotic adamantium skeleton, which Hammerhead agrees to.[15]

Working for Mister Negative

The operation is a complete success, and Hammerhead is restored to full mobility without any ill effects. He swears loyalty to Mister Negative in exchange for his restored life, and proceeds to shape a gang of lowlife thugs into an effective army for his benefactor. He then proceeds to battle Spider-Man, besting him with no efforts for the first time in years. Later, he has a rematch with Spider-Man with Spider-Man dislocating Hammerhead's hip bone.[16]

Mister Negative sends Hammerhead to help Spider-Man (who Mister Negative corrupted) take down the Hood, who launches an attack on Negative's headquarters. He blackmails H.A.M.M.E.R. director Norman Osborn into forcing Hood to pull out of Chinatown.[17]

Hammerhead later begins to doubt his loyalty to Mister Negative when Silvermane appears to return. Unknown to Hammerhead, it is actually an android controlled by Mysterio to plant such seeds of rebellion. Nevertheless, he flees a shootout with the Maggia when the Silvermane robot calls him a traitor. It is shown that Mister Negative had a computer chip put in Hammerhead's head to deliver an electroshock when necessary, which he promptly uses to punish him and remind him who's in charge.

Powers and abilities

Hammerhead has no superhuman abilities, yet his skull is now surgically reinforced with adamantium, making his head flat on top. This metal can absorb physical impacts that would otherwise fracture human bone. Hammerhead is in peak physical condition comparable to that of an Olympic level athlete. He is a formidable hand-to-hand combatant whose most dangerous tactic is charging head-first like a bull toward an opponent. Hammerhead once utilized a strength-enhancing exoskeleton designed by the Tinkerer.

He typically carries a 1920s style tommy gun. He uses his head as a weapon in unarmed combat by charging his enemy.

After an assassin's adamantium bullet penetrated a part of his head not protected by his adamantium skull, Hammerhead is surgically rebuilt by Mister Negative. Breakout surgeries replace the upper half of his skeleton with an adamantium endo-skeleton (the skeleton is clearly shown to have a network of hydraulic servomechanisms reminiscent of the Terminator). The upper portion of his body is now superhumanly strong as a result of the additional, hidden, cybernetic musculature, making him able to effortlessly beat a superpowered foe such as Spider-Man. It should be noted that Mister Negative doesn't use on Hammerhead the same Lord Dark Wind bonding process, used on the similarly empowered Wolverine and Lady Deathstrike for coating their bones in adamantium: instead he replaces Hammerhead's bones with replicas fashioned in the invulnerable metal. Is still unknown how his artificial skeleton can carry on biological functions.

The intervention of Mr. Negative also radically changed Hammerhead's personality. Hammerhead now recalls his life as Russian immigrant prior to the accident in which he adopted the 1920s gangster persona. Consequently, Hammerhead no longer speaks like a 1920's movie gangster, but instead behaves as a typical modern Russian mobster and hit-man, as this was apparently his original personality prior to his head injury.

Hammerhead is highly skilled in the organization, concealment, and management of criminal enterprises. He is an effective hit-man, a skilled marksman, and an excellent street fighter. In his original incarnation Hammerhead was able to hold his own against Spider-Man despite being an ordinary human by using his superhumanly durable skull as a blunt instrument. After his recent augmentation he is now capable of grappling with and physically overpowering Spider-Man to the extent that he could eventually crush his foe.

Other versions

House of M

Hammerhead is one of the gang leaders defeated by Luke Cage in his rise to power in Sapien Town.

Marvel Zombies

In the Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness miniseries, Hammerhead briefly appears among the various under-bosses of the Kingpin at a meeting to discuss how to survive the zombie outbreak. This version of Hammerhead is killed by the Punisher. [18]

Ultimate Hammerhead

Ultimate Hammerhead

Hammerhead first appears in Ultimate X-Men issues thirteen and fourteen as a mobster who has killed the parents of a little girl. The girl stumbles upon local street performer/magician Gambit, who takes the girl in and decides to protect her from the mob. The girl is kidnapped and Gambit goes on a rampage to find her, blindly running into an ambush Hammerhead set up. Gambit gets out of the ambush and chases Hammerhead down. In the end, Gambit charges Hammerhead's inorganic skull full of bio-kinetic energy and causes his head to explode.

In Ultimate Spider-Man, Hammerhead was revealed to have survived Gambit's attack, though how is not explained. ("It sucked. I came back.") He kills Silvermane in the beginning of the Warriors story arc and becomes the new leader of the Enforcers. He burns down one of the Kingpin's warehouses. After an intense battle with Spider-Man, Black Cat, Moon Knight, Iron Fist, and Shang-Chi, he was put in a coma when Elektra brutally stabbed him in the chest with her sai and flung him out a window.

In other media


Spider-Man (1981)

Hammerhead appeared in the Spider-Man episode "Wrath of the Sub-Mariner." Hammerhead was said to maintain crime in the mid-west. He alongside Silvermane (and his henchman Man Mountain Marko) and Caesar Cicero meet with the Kingpin when his scientist Dr. Everett has created a dissolving fluid. He is webbed up by Spider-Man.

Spider-Man: The Animated Series

Hammerhead as he appears in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.

Hammerhead appeared in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, voiced by Nicky Blair. He first appeared in the Insidious Six two-parter as one of Silvermane's loyal henchmen and amongst the other crimelords against Kingpin. In the second part, he was hired by Silvermane that since Kingpin failed to kill Spider-Man, he was supposed to have Kingpin killed. But Kingpin used the Insidious Six, the team that failed to kill Spider-Man for the Kingpin, to kidnap Silvermane, in which they successfully did (ironically, one of the Insidious Six members, the Chameleon, was disguising as Hammerhead to save Silvermane from the Six and when they entered an elevator to get Silvermane to escape in the basement, the Chameleon transformed into Kingpin and had Silvermane get to the roof where Silvermane was kidnapped, but Chameleon guised as Silvermane to trick Silvermane's henchmen into believing he was all right. Luckily, Silvermane escaped, thanks to Spider-Man).

Later, Silvermane hired Hammerhead again to steal the Tablet of Time so Silvermane can get his youth back, as the Tablet's ability was to restore youth into elderly people like Silvermane. But when Hammerhead failed due to the arrival of Spider-Man, Silvermane was displeased of Hammerhead's failure and even though he didn't fire him, he told him he was going to hire someone new and better. Hammerhead secretly quit Silvermane and started working for Kingpin. After Alistair Smythe, Kingpin's right hand man, stole the Tablet from Dr. Curt Connors and Tombstone, Silvermane's new hired man, had kidnapped Connors, Hammerhead figured out Tombstone had also kidnapped Kingpin's wife, Vanessa, even though Kingpin didn't know about it until Silvermane sent him a note, telling him he held her hostage. So Hammerhead kidnapped Silvermane's daughter, Alisha, before Kingpin knew about the kidnapping of his wife, and Kingpin was pleased about Hammerhead's work. When Silvermane then figured out Hammerhead betrayed him and kidnapped his daughter, Silvermane and Kingpin organized a meeting that Alistair Smythe's robot and Spider-Man had intervened. Hammerhead tried to re-kidnap Alicia but the helicopter he was kidnapping her in was out of control and landed on a roof. Spider-Man then arrived and defeated Hammerhead, but Alicia then used a stun-blaster on Spider-Man, knocked him out and kidnapped him. Alistair Smythe then used his robot again to steal the Tablet of Time from Silvermane (as Tombstone had stolen the Tablet and kidnapped Dr. Conners and his wife) but when the robot was defeated, Kingpin sent Hammerhead to retrieve the Tablet. While Spider-Man was dealing with the Lizard, Silvermane, Tombstone and Alicia, Hammerhead slipped by and stole the Tablet with the good guys thinking it was destroyed in the explosion of Silvermane's building, as Alicia wanted this process to come because she blamed everyone against her about her father becoming a baby (Silvermane actually overused the Tablet) and tried to kill them by blowing the building up with them inside, though all of them escaped. After Kingpin's wife left him because of his life of crime, Kingpin thanked Hammerhead for successfully taking the Tablet but told him to get rid of it, as it has led to the destruction of his relationship with his wife. Hammerhead did do as what Kingpin told him to - by selling it to Adrian Toomes for the villain to put his plans into action by the two-part second season finale.

The Spectacular Spider-Man

Hammerhead as he appears in the The Spectacular Spider-Man

Hammerhead appears in the The Spectacular Spider-Man voiced by John DiMaggio. Hammerhead once worked for Silvermane, and was in a romantic relationship with his daughter, Silver Sable. Now, he is shown working for Tombstone and organizes the Enforcers to take out Spider-Man. Hammerhead later gives Montana the equipment to become Shocker and contacts Norman Osborn to make him an offer on behalf of Big Man: make supervillains to distract Spider-Man from Big Man's operations. He bails two criminals out of jail, only to subject them to Osborn's illegal experiments that turn them into Sandman and Rhino. Hammerhead later speaks with Norman Osborn about the Green Goblin interference. Hammerhead ends up kidnapped by the Green Goblin, but is rescued by Spider-Man and Tombstone. He was later seen helping the Sinister Six, Ox, and Fancy Dan break out of jail, and employing Sandman to steal a large oil tanker for profit.

Later, Hammerhead represents Tombstone in a bid organized by Oscorp to sell a chip that could produce Rhino soldiers. When Silver Sable shows to the meeting, he resents her and tries to outbid her, only to be beaten by Roderick Kingsley. Hammerhead goes after Kingsley and Sable, but when Spider-Man and Rhino interfere, he reluctantly teams up with his ex-lover to fight the two. He escapes police custody. Hammerhead becomes angered when Tombstone contacts the Enforcers directly and without his help, with Tombstone stating he's fed up with all of his failures, from creating supervillains, to the oil tanker fiasco, and the Rhino chip failure. When Hammerhead contacts Osborn in creating yet another supervillain, he gives him advice that inspires him to betray Tombstone, starting by sabotaging the escape of the Enforcers from the police.

Hammerhead later secretly calls a Valentine's Day meeting between Tombstone, Doctor Octopus, and Silvermane. There, he betrays them all with the help of a mysterious stranger by attacking Silver Sable and Vulture, and framing it on his boss, causing the crimelords to fight against one other, leaving Hammerhead able to become the new Big Man. After Tombstone and the others were arrested, he fires him, and after he is bailed out of jail, figures out that the stranger that helped Hammerhead overthrow him was the Green Goblin.

Hammerhead is much less belligerent and more cool-headed and intelligent than he was portrayed in original animated series. He also uses brass knuckles as weapons, unlike other interpretations of the character, but retains his usual strength, as seen in "The Uncertainty Principle". His hair also is presented as being parted and joining at his forehead, as opposed to the other versions of the character, and lacks his vest under his jacket.

Video games

  • Hammerhead appeared in the Spider-Man: The Animated Series video game for Super NES. He only appeared on Hard mode on the Construction Zone level.[citation needed]
  • Hammerhead is a boss in the game Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro voiced by Dee Bradley Baker. In the game, Hammerhead is joined by Electro, Sandman, Beetle, and Shocker. When it came to Electro's plans to abduct Dr. Watts, he introduces Hammerhead who goes through the Villains Insurance Policy. He and his Henchmen break into the New York City Science Industry Ball. His men hold several people hostage while Hammerhead goes after Dr. Watts. After Spider-Man defeats all of Hammerhead's men and free the hostages, he goes to face Hammerhead. After Spider-Man buys time for Dr. Watts to escape, Hammerhead sent his men to go after Dr. Watts. Meanwhile, Spider-Man and Hammerhead have an intense fight. Spider-Man defeats him by making his steel head crash into several walls, making him dizzy and then, Spider-Man punches Hammerhead unconscious.
  • Hammerhead also briefly appeared as a villain in Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace for Game Boy Advance. He had been helping Mysterio get some holographic technology with Big Wheel, Electro, Rhino and Scorpion.[citation needed]


  • Amazing Spider-Man #113-115, 130-131, 157-159, 181, 206, 284-285, 288
  • Amazing Spider-Man: Extra! #1
  • Avengers #39
  • Civil War: War Crimes #1
  • Dark Reign: Mister Negative #1-3
  • Fantastic Four #233
  • Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #3
  • Power Man and Iron Fist #92
  • Silver Sable #33
  • Spider-Man Vol. 1 #73-74
  • Web of Spider-Man Vol. 1 #55


  1. ^ Amazing Spider-Man EXTRA!, July 2008
  2. ^ Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City. New York City: Pocket Books. pp. 18. ISBN 1-14653-141-6. 
  3. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #113-115
  4. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #130-131
  5. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #157-159
  6. ^ Fantastic Four #233
  7. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #284-288
  8. ^ Web of Spider-Man #51
  9. ^ Spectacular Spider-Man #157
  10. ^ Spectacular Spider-Man #161
  11. ^ Web of Spider-Man #68
  12. ^ Daredevil #307-309; Nomad #4-6; Punisher War Journal #46-48
  13. ^ ;;Daredevil vol.2 #86
  14. ^ Civil War: War Crimes #1 (February 2007)
  15. ^ Amazing Spider-Man EXTRA!, July 2008
  16. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #575
  17. ^ Dark Reign: Mister Negative #2-3
  18. ^ John Layman (w). "Marvel Team-Ups" Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness 1 (2) ({{{date}}}), Marvel Comics and Dynamite Entertainment

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