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|First appearance||The Amazing Spider-Man # 502|
|Created by||J. Michael Straczynski
John Romita Jr.
|Full name||Leo Zelinsky|
|Supporting character of||Spider-Man|
Leo Zelinsky is a fictional tailor in the Marvel Universe, who owns Leo's Tailoring on 23rd near 8th in New York. His first (named) appearance is in Marvel Comics' The Amazing Spider-Man #502 where he was created by J. Michael Straczynski and John Romita Jr.
Fictional character biography
Leo Zelinsky is a tailor who repairs ordinary clothes and as a sideline, patches costumes of both superheroes and supervillains. His first customer was The Thing, whose clothes were burned off by a fire-wielding villain. After that, it snowballed. When his police officer son was killed, Leo assumed custody of his grandson Mikey. Word got around and eventually members of the Avengers began commissioning costumes. Then the X-Men. Costumes became his specialty. He described working for Captain America as an honor - Cap had taken a slash across the waist, but went to Zelinsky before seeing a doctor, stating that "The important things come first." Then things got complicated - Doctor Doom shows up demanding repairs to his cloak, and soon a veritable rogues gallery formed in his shop like Blob and Electro. He got around this by serving heroes and villains on alternating days - heroes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and villains on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. He even alternates his magazine rack - newspapers, Newsweek and Time for the heroes, Penthouse and Guns and Ammo for the villains. This is how Leo overhears one of his customers named Killshot was planning a murder with the possible target being the local District Attorney. He does not wish to go to the police because his business might be ruined and also Killshot might hurt his grandson Mikey in revenge. Mikey pleads with his grandfather to do something for he knows somebody is going to be killed. Leo takes a late night walk and encounters Spider-Man. He tells him everything. The next day, Killshot is prevented from killing the District Attorney, but escapes Spider-Man. He rushes back to Leo, intending to take revenge. Leo takes a bullet in his arm. Spider-Man rescues them both. The District Attorney realizes that Leo and Spider-Man are responsible for saving his life and discreetly decides to leave the pair alone. The District Attorney tells the uniformed officers that there is no need to deal with Leo anymore.
Leo Zelinsky later worked on a costume for an aspiring supervillain called War-Man at the time when Spider-Man needed the shirt for his costume fixed.
An unnamed character strongly resembling Leo appears in Civil War: Frontline, where he provides Robbie Baldwin AKA Penance (formerly Speedball) with a new armored costume, expressing dismay when Baldwin asks for his help putting on the suit, as its interior is covered in sharp spikes. Penance's entry in Civil War: Battle Damage Report confirms that this man and Leo are one and the same. On a related note, Leo Zelinsky once designed one of Robbie Baldwin's earlier Speedball costumes.
Leo later designs a different suit for Spider-Man, a black and blue costume with a four on the chest. Spider-Man intended to use it while on adventures with the Fantastic Four, but they force him to change the outfit as it was disrespectful to their decision to retire the Fantastic Four and instead be the Future Foundation.
Leo later offers Spider-Man a new costume he's designed at a discount - a reversible jacket. This was in response to his criticism that the hero's usual tight costume is unsanitary for his skin, threatening to cause athlete's foot all over his body. This costume is seen during the Grim Hunt storyline in an alternate future reality where Spider-Man kills Kraven the Hunter and lives a darker life. On a related note, this same outfit was later seen during the "Spider-Verse" storyline being worn by an alternate version of Ezekiel who became the "Old Man Spider-Man" of Earth-4 after his version of Peter Parker was killed by Morlun.
The following have had their costumes created or patched up by Leo Zelinsky:
- Doctor Doom
- Captain America
- Captain Marvel (prefers Mar-Vell)
- Robbie Baldwin
- Some members of the Avengers
- Some members of the X-Men
- Amazing Spider-Man #502. Marvel Comics.
- Amazing Spider-Man #528. Marvel Comics.
- Civil War Frontline #10. Marvel Comics.
- The Amazing Spider-Man #658. Marvel Comics.
- The Amazing Spider-Man #637. Marvel Comics.
- Edge of Spider-Verse #5. Marvel Comics.