|First appearance||Defenders #17 (Nov. 1974)|
|Created by||Len Wein
|Alter ego||Brian Philip Calusky|
|Team affiliations||Wrecking Crew
Masters of Evil
|Abilities||Superhuman strength, durability and endurance
Piledriver (Brian Philip Calusky) is a fictional supervillain in the Marvel Comics universe. He is a member of the Wrecker's Wrecking Crew. The character was created by Len Wein and Sal Buscema and first appeared in Defenders #17 (November 1974).
Fictional character biography
||This article does not follow Wikipedia's guidelines on the use of different tenses. (September 2011)|
Brian Philip Calusky, though born in Brooklyn, NY, was raised on a farm and eventually becomes a farmhand. Life on the farm is too slow for Calusky and he decides to enter a life of crime for excitement. His criminal activities eventually land him in prison, where he meets and becomes cellmates with Dirk Garthwaite, who is known as the Wrecker.
Garthwaite, together with Calusky and two other inmates at Ryker's Island Prison, Dr. Eliot Franklin and Henry Camp, make a successful jailbreak and manage to locate his crowbar. Willing to share his power with his allies, The Wrecker has the three other convicts join him in holding onto the crowbar outside during an electrical storm. Lightning strikes the crowbar, magically distributing the enchanted strength bestowed upon The Wrecker among the four of them. The Wrecker's three allies then adopt costumes and aliases as well: Franklin becomes Thunderball, Camp becomes Bulldozer, and Brian Philip Calusky becomes Piledriver. As a result of his new-found powers, Calusky's hands become over-sized in proportion to his body. Together the four superhumanly strong criminals become known as The Wrecking Crew, who are led by The Wrecker himself. They battle the Defenders while attempting to locate the Gamma Bomb; Piledriver is defeated by Power Man in this encounter.
With the Wrecking Crew, Piledriver next battled Captain America and Iron Fist while trying to lure Thor into battle. The Wrecking Crew then did battle Thor in a revenge attempt. The Wrecking Crew were among the various criminals taken to the Beyonder's Battleworld, including a number of super-powered criminals and superheroes. Bulldozer got the opportunity to face off against the Avengers, Hulk, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and other superheroes. Piledriver stole computer disks from Dextron labs, and the Wrecking Crew next battled Spider-Man and Spider-Woman II. Along with the Wrecking Crew, Piledriver next joined the fourth Masters of Evil, which attacked and took over Avengers Mansion. Piledriver helped defeat the god Hercules in combat, but was drained of his superhuman powers by Thor. He was freed from prison by the Wrecker, but without his superhuman powers he was defeated by Spider-Man and Spider-Woman. He regained his powers, and escaped from the Vault. He defeated Captain America and encountered Damage Control personnel. With the Wrecking Crew, Piledriver freed the Wrecker and Ulik from police custody, and battled Hercules and Thor. They battled Thor, Excalibur, Code: Blue, and Ghost Rider II. His powers were then again drained by Loki, but he escaped.
Piledriver has the demeanor of a "good ol' country boy" (despite being born in the very urban Brooklyn, NY). He has fought many of Marvel's superheroes over the years, including Spider-Man, the Avengers, the Defenders, and most often, Thor. He, as part of the Wrecking Crew threatened the lives of the innocent civilians of Damage Control. Thunderball, who has a soft spot for man in charge, John Porter, actually attacks Piledriver and the others, via trickery, allowing the D.C. employees to escape.
Unlike Thunderball, Piledriver has remained loyal to the Wrecker and has only been separated from the Wrecking Crew through various incarcerations in prison. While Piledriver and the rest of the Wrecking Crew have faced defeat on many occasions, they always come back for more, making them one of the most enduring supervillain teams in Marvel's history.
Piledriver discovers that he has a son named Ricky Calusky. The boy lived with his grandparents, but when he discovered who his father was, he ran away and joined the Wrecking Crew (to the pride of his father) under the name Excavator. Ricky even gains a mystically charged shovel. However, he and the rest of the Crew were defeated by the Runaways during a bank robbery.
The Hood has hired him as part of his criminal organization to take advantage of the split in the superhero community caused by the Superhuman Registration Act. He helps them fight the New Avengers but is taken down by Dr. Strange.
As part of the Hood's gang, he later joins the fight against the Skrull invading force in New York City. He joins with the Hood's gang in an attack on the New Avengers, who were expecting the Dark Avengers instead.
Powers and abilities
Thanks to Asgardian magic, Piledriver possesses superhuman strength and a high degree of imperviousness to harm. He can withstand high amounts of concussive force and is virtually bulletproof. Piledriver's power augmented his entire body, strengthening his bone, muscle and flesh. Because of this, he's capable of withstanding the impact of high caliber bullets. Because of his strength and particular talent, he has oversized hands which are more powerful than the other members of the Wrecking Crew, with the exception of the Wrecker himself. His superhuman abilities are currently four times greater than when he originally shared the Wrecker's power, making him somewhat stronger than an average well-trained Asgardian male.
House of M: Masters of Evil
Piledriver (alongside the other Wrecking Crew members) appears as a member of Hood's Masters of Evil. He ends up absorbed into Scramble's body when the Masters of Evil arrive in the Central American country of Santo Rico.
In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Piledriver, as a regular civilian, worked for the restoration company called Damage Control. As in regular continuity, he and his friends gained superpowers. They seized control of the Flatiron Building, took hostages and demanded a ransom. Zarda, sometimes known as the Power Princess defeated them in battle.
In other media
- Piledriver appears in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "To Err is Superhuman" voiced by Travis Willingham.
- Piledriver appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Thor the Mighty," voiced by Nolan North. He appears as a member of the Wrecking Crew, and returns in the episode "Gamma World" enhanced with Gamma boosters by the Leader.
- Cam Clarke reprises his role in the Avengers Assemble episode "Avengers: Impossible."
- Piledriver appears in the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "The Skaar Whisperer" where he had no dialogue and was later voiced by Jonathan Adams in "The Big Green Mile".
- Piledriver (alongside the other Wrecking Crew members) appeared in the video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, voiced by Michael Gough. He and the Wrecking Crew are seen guarding the gates at Bifrost Bridge. A VS simulation disk has the heroes fighting Piledriver in Asgard.
- Piledriver was released in a two-pack with Hawkeye in the third wave of Secret Wars figures from Hasbro's 3.75" Marvel Universe line.
- Piledriver was released in the Armin Zola wave of the Return of Marvel Legends line as a running change variant to Thunderball.
- Defenders #17-19
- Iron Fist #11-12
- Thor #305
- Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #1-12
- Spectacular Spider-Man #125
- Avengers #273-277
- Spectacular Spider-Man #126
- Damage Control Vol. 2 #1
- Thor #418
- Thor #426-428
- Secret Invasion #6
- New Avengers #50
- Damage Control v.2, #1 (1989)
- House of M: Masters of Evil #1
- House of M: Masters of Evil #2
- "Ultimate Hulk Annual" #1 (2009)
- Comics Continuum
- Piledriver at Marvel.com