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Electro is the name of several fictional characters that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics, including two from Marvel's predecessors, Timely Comics and Atlas Comics. The most prominent Electro is Maxwell Dillon, a supervillain and an enemy of Spider-Man. He was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in The Amazing Spider-Man #9 (Feb. 1964).
Electro (Timely Comics)
The first comics character of this name was the robot hero Electro, who possessed superhuman strength and could run at 100 mph, a backup-feature star in Marvel Mystery Comics, flagship title of Marvel's Golden Age predecessor, Timely Comics. Created by writer-artist Steve Dahlman, Electro appeared in Marvel Mystery #4—19 (Feb. 1940—May 1941). His origin story described his invention by Professor Philo Zog, one of a group of twelve known as the Secret Operatives.
Electro appears, part of a cadre of heroes trapped in a secret bunker during the Battle of Berlin, seemingly for examination by Nazi scientists. After the fall of the Third Reich, the eleven heroes are left in suspended animation, with no one knowing of their final fate, and Electro is cut off by the telepatic mindwaves of Philo Zog.
When, sixty years later, the Twelve are recovered and brought back to New York, in a safehouse for rehabilitation to modern times, the still inactive Electro is stored in a garage in the same safehouse, its property contended by Elizabeth Zogolowski, niece of Philo Zog, and the U.S. Government, willing to disassemble Electro for the secrets of his telepathic interface. Miss Zogolowski reveals how the telepathic bond between Philo and his creation was so strong that Philo died shortly after the war from an acute withdrawal syndrome: essentially, his mind died of solitude.
Miss Zogoloswki is able to obtain temporary custody over Electro, but lacks the wealth necessary to reclaim its possession: the Blue Blade steps in, offering her all the needed money in exchange for using Electro in his cabaret-like show.
Electro influences the time-traveling adventures in the Avengers/Invaders crossover. As one of the heroes lost in an alternate-universe World War II, Iron Man uses his armor's holograms to disguise himself as Electro. This fails to work for the Red Skull has already slain Electro, along with most of the 'Mystery Men'.
Electro (Atlas Comics)
Marvel's next Electro was a Communist supervillain created during the unsuccessful attempt by Marvel's 1950s predecessor, Atlas Comics, to revive superheroes in that decade. This Electro, a Soviet citizen named Ivan Kronov, appeared on the cover and in the six-page story "His Touch is Death" in Captain America #78 (Sept. 1954), penciled and inked by John Romita Sr. and almost certainly if unconfirmably written by Stan Lee. Many years later, this Electro reappeared in What If? #9 (June 1978), "What If the Avengers had been Formed During the 1950s?" and, in flashback, in Captain America Annual #13 (1994).
Electro (Marvel Comics)
Early in its return to super-hero comics in the 1960s, Marvel introduced a new Electro as a foe for Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man #9. He can control electricity and is one of Spider-Man's most well-known foes.
- Guide To Marvel's Golden Age Characters profile for the Timely Comics character, Jess Nevins
- International Catalogue of Superheroes profile for the Timely Comics character
- Mystery Men's Dozen: Brevoort Talks "The Twelve", July 26, 2007, Comic Book Resources
- 12 Days of the Twelve: Elektro, August 8, 2007, Newsarama
- The Twelve #1, 2008
- The Twelve, 2008
- The Twelve, 2008
- Avengers/Invaders #9-12