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The Eel is an alias used by two fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The first character to take up the identity was Leopold Stryke who first appeared in Strange Tales #112 created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, while his successor, Edward Lavell, first appeared in Power Man and Iron Fist #92 (Apr 1983). Both Eels were at one point a member of the Serpent Squad even though the character they portray was not actually based on a snake. Neither Eel has ever been featured as a regular character in any of Marvel's ongoing or limited series.
The original Eel character, Leopold Stryke, wore a suit that could generate an electrical charge like an Electric eel and was coated with a slippery substance. He was often depicted as a henchman, normally teaming up with other criminals such as Plantman, Scarecrow, Unicorn and Porcupine. He later became a founding member of the Serpent Squad along with his brother Jordan, the original Viper. He even worked for Madame Hydra, unaware that she killed his brother. Stryke was killed by the Gladiator during a heist.
The second Eel, Edward Lavell, started out as a foe of Power Man and Iron Fist, but later became a general henchman like the original Eel working for Justine Hammer's Masters of Evil and the Maggia. At one point Lavall appeared to have been killed, but later appeared as part of the latest incarnation of the Serpent Squad led by Sin, the daughter of the Red Skull. Subsequently the Eel became part of "Serpent Solutions", the evolution of the Serpent Society.
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
|First appearance||Strange Tales #112 (Sept 1963)|
|Created by||Stan Lee
|Alter ego||Leopold Stryke|
Emissaries of Evil
Fellowship of Fear
|Abilities||Wears electrified lubricated costume
Use of various weapons
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. 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. He then served as a henchman of the original Mister Fear, along with the Ox as part of the Fellowship of Fear.
Leopold and his brother Jordan, who was the original Viper, were later members of the original Serpent Squad. This first lineup battled Captain America. Leopold also aided the Serpent Squad in a plot to raise the continent of Lemuria. They battled the original Nomad and Namor. When Madame Hydra reorganized the second Serpent Squad, Leopold remained unaware that she had murdered his brother and taken his alias.
Cover art for Captain America (vol. 5) #28.
Eel is in the bottom left.
Art by Steve Epting.
|First appearance||Power Man and Iron Fist #92 (Apr 1983)|
|Created by||Kurt Busiek
|Alter ego||Edward Lavell|
|Team affiliations||Serpent Squad
Masters of Evil
|Abilities||Wears electrified lubricated costume|
Edward Lavell is first seen attempting to break Hammerhead out of prison. He battles Power Man and Iron Fist. Later working with Nightshade, the second Eel is defeated again by Iron Fist and reformed criminals Discus and Stiletto.
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.
Lavell was a member of Justine Hammer's Masters of Evil, and is defeated by the Thunderbolts. 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. Eel once worked against Hammerhead, transporting the Lifeline Tablet on behalf of Caesar Cicero, although Hammerhead soon recovered the Tablet for his own purpose.
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.
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'.
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. He breaks Crossbones out of jail and later attacked the White House, but he was stopped by the new Captain America.
During the Original Sin storyline, Eel is relaxing in his lounge alongside his goons when he receives an unexpected visit from Black Cat. Eel taunts her with the fallout from her capture by the Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus' mind in Peter Parker's body) and then attacks her. Black Cat retaliates revealing her companion Electro who attacks Eel's goons while Black Cat taunts Eel saying that she'll take everything from him. Mister Negative and Phil Urich (who is now leading the remnants of the Goblin Underground as the self-proclaimed Goblin King) are waiting for Eel in order to divide the criminal underground after Norman Osborn's downfall, but they are stunned by seeing Eel crashing into the place when Black Cat comes into view.
Powers and abilities
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.
- Strange Tales #112, 117
- X-Men #22-23
- Daredevil #6
- Captain America #163
- Captain America #180-181
- Ghost Rider Vol.1 #21
- Power Man and Iron Fist #92
- Power Man and Iron Fist #110
- Web of Spider-Man #100
- Fantastic Four #335
- Daredevil #356-357
- Thunderbolts vol. 2 #24-25
- Avengers vol. 3 #31
- Spider-man: Lifeline #1-3
- Wolverine vol. 2 #167
- She-Hulk vol. 2 #6
- Secret War #3-5
- Thunderbolts vol. 2 #104
- Punisher: War Journal vol. 2 #4
- Captain America vol. 4 #28-29
- Captain America vol. 4 #35-36
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #5
- Captain America: Sam Wilson #4
- Eel (Leopold Stryke) at Marvel.com
- Eel (Edward Lavell)
- Eel (Leopold Styke) at MarvelDirectory.com
- Eel (Leopold Stryke) at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- Eel (Edward Lavell) at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- Eel (Leopold Stryke) at Marvel Wiki
- Eel (Edward Lavell) at Marvel.com