Eel (comics)

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The Eel is an alias used by two fictional characters in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The first character to take up the identity was Leopold Stryke who first appeared in Strange Tales #112, while his successor, Edward Lavell, first appeared in Power Man and Iron Fist #92 (Apr 1983).

Eel (Leopold Stryke)[edit]

Publication history[edit]

The original Eel first appeared in Strange Tales #112 (September 1963), and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

The character subsequently appears in Strange Tales #117 (February 1964), Daredevil #6 (February 1965), Fantastic Four Annual #3 (1965), X-Men #22-23 (July–August 1966), Captain America #158-159 (February–March 1973), #163 (July 1973), #180-181 (December 1974-January 1975), Defenders #36-38 (June–August 1976), and Ghost Rider #21-22 (December 1976-January 1977), in which he died. The character appeared posthumously in Alpha Flight Special Edition #1 (June 1992), Untold Tales of Spider-Man #11 (July 1996), and Marvel: Heroes and Legends #1 (October 1996).

The original Eel received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #17, and in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition #2.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Eel I
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Strange Tales #112 (Sept 1963)
Created by Stan Lee
Steve Ditko
In-story information
Alter ego Leopold Stryke
Team affiliations Maggia
Serpent Squad
Emissaries of Evil
Fellowship of Fear
Abilities Electrified lubricated costume

Leopold Stryke was the first criminal known as the Eel.

In Stryke's first appearances, he battled the Human Torch when he stole a nuclear device.[1] Stryke was also a teammate of Plantman, Scarecrow, Unicorn and Porcupine when they worked as henchmen for Count Nefaria. He was dispatched to battle the original team of X-Men.[2] He then served as a henchman of the original Mister Fear, along with the Ox as part of the Fellowship of Fear.[3]

Leopold and his brother Jordan, who was the original Viper, were later members of the original Serpent Squad. This first lineup battled Captain America.[4] Leopold also aided the Serpent Squad in a plot to raise the continent of Lemuria. They battled the original Nomad and Namor.[5] When Madame Hydra reorganized the second Serpent Squad, Leopold remained unaware that she had murdered his brother and taken his alias.

Leopold Stryke is fatally mutilated in Las Vegas by Gladiator, who was sent to acquire a disintegrator ray that the Eel had in his possession.[6]

Eel (Edward Lavell)[edit]

The second Eel first appeared in Power Man and Iron Fist #92 (April 1983).

Fictional character biography[edit]

Eel II
Cover art for Captain America (vol. 5) #28.
Eel is in the bottom left.
Art by Steve Epting.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Power Man and Iron Fist #92 (Apr 1983)
Created by Kurt Busiek
Denys Cowan
In-story information
Alter ego Edward Lavell
Team affiliations Serpent Squad
Maggia
Thunderbolts
Masters of Evil
Enforcers
New Enforcers
Partnerships Nightshade
Abilities Electrified lubricated costume

Edward Lavell is first seen attempting to break Hammerhead out of prison. He battles Power Man and Iron Fist.[7] Later working with Nightshade, the second Eel is defeated again by Iron Fist and reformed criminals Discus and Stiletto.[8]

The Eel is seen working with the criminals Blitz and the Vanisher.[9] The trio is defeated by Spider-Man. Lavell also aids a group of villains attacking the Fantastic Four.[10]

In hopes of gaining revenge against the criminal Mister Hyde, the Eel arranged a murder of a woman he had befriended, framing Hyde. Lavell also secretly impersonated Snake Marston, joining his team, Enforcers, and led them in throwing off Daredevil’s attempts to find the true killer. Ultimately, the Eel sucker-punched Daredevil and gloated of his plans, but the Enforcers overheard and turned on him. The Eel was taken into court to clear Hyde’s name and was remanded to custody.[11]

Lavell was a member of Justine Hammer's Masters of Evil, and is defeated by the Thunderbolts.[12] After the Masters of Evil are apprehended, he was seen among the Maggia leaders assembled by the Grim Reaper who tried to claim leadership of the scattered, fractious families on behalf of Count Nefaria. He was captured when the hero team Avengers invaded the meeting place.[13] Eel once worked against Hammerhead, transporting the Lifeline Tablet on behalf of Caesar Cicero, although Hammerhead soon recovered the Tablet for his own purpose.[14]

Lavell was next seen participating in the Bloodsport tournament at Madripoor. There, he put on a poor showing. He is defeated by Toad, who seemingly crushes Lavell using his extremely long and powerful tongue.[15]

Lavell apparently survives the fight and is briefly seen as a client for the law firm Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway. He is discussing action to be taken against Power Man and refers to an 'Eel-Mobile'.[16]

Lavell plays a small role in the "Secret War" crossover event.[17]

During the Civil War storyline, Eel is apprehended by the Thunderbolts to serve in the so-called Thunderbolt Army.[18]

Following the disbanding of the Thunderbolt Army, Eel was among the villains at Stilt-Man's funeral at the Bar with No Name at which Punisher poisoned the drinks and then blew up the bar.[19]

Lavell turned up as a member of a new Serpent Squad led by Sin, the daughter of the Red Skull. He participates in several murderous missions, including one intended to damage the Asian stock markets.[20] He breaks Crossbones out of jail and later attacked the White House, but he was stopped by the new Captain America.[21]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Leopold Stryke designed the original Eel costume, which consisted of electrically superconducting fabric sandwiched in between body insulation and a layer of near-frictionless synthetic fabric. The Eel costume featured small devices capable of generating large and small bursts of electricity. It could fire electrical bolts (initially only through his suit's chest protector) and give off bright glows, as well as set up an electric current in the costume that would shock anyone touching it. The costume was coated with a greasy silicon substance (which was sometimes asbestos grease) that made it slippery. The costume could operate underwater. The battle suit also projects an electrical field which allows him to sense his surroundings, even in total darkness. The Eel used various weapons, including a specially designed helicopter, an Aqua-Attractor gun, and an Eel-Cannon.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strange Tales #112, 117
  2. ^ X-Men #22-23
  3. ^ Daredevil #6
  4. ^ Captain America #163
  5. ^ Captain America #180-181
  6. ^ Ghost Rider Vol.1 #21
  7. ^ Power Man and Iron Fist #92
  8. ^ Power Man and Iron Fist #110
  9. ^ Web of Spider-Man #100
  10. ^ Fantastic Four #335
  11. ^ Daredevil #356-357
  12. ^ Thunderbolts vol. 2 #24-25
  13. ^ Avengers vol. 3 #31
  14. ^ Spider-man: Lifeline #1-3
  15. ^ Wolverine vol. 2 #167
  16. ^ She-Hulk vol. 2 #6
  17. ^ Secret War #3-5
  18. ^ Thunderbolts vol. 2 #104
  19. ^ Punisher: War Journal vol. 2 #4
  20. ^ Captain America vol. 4 #28-29
  21. ^ Captain America vol. 4 #35-36

External links[edit]