Demolition Man (comics)

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Demolition Man
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance (As Dennis Dunphy)
The Thing #28 (October, 1985)
(As Demolition-Man)
Captain America #328 (April 1987)
Created by Mike Carlin (writer)
Ron Wilson (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Dennis Dunphy
Team affiliations Night People
Inuit Tribe
Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation
US Military (unknown what service branch)
Partnerships Captain America
Notable aliases D-Man, Demolition Dunphy, Scourge of the Underworld
Abilities Skilled aircraft pilot
Excellent hand to hand combatant
Superhuman strength, stamina and durability

Demolition Man (Dennis Dunphy), also known as D-Man, is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Publication history[edit]

Dennis Dunphy first appeared in The Thing #28 (October, 1985) and was created by Mike Carlin and Ron Wilson. He first appeared as Demolition-Man in Captain America #328 (April 1987).

Fictional character biography[edit]

Dennis Dunphy was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. Dennis became an aspiring athlete who received the strength augmentation treatments offered by Power Broker, Inc. Finding himself too strong now for normal sports, he became a professional wrestler and member of the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation (UCWF) along with other superheroes and supervillains such as the Beyonder, the Thing, and Screaming Mimi. He refused to throw a fight with the Thing, and was defeated.[2] He was later mentally compelled by the Puppet Master to attack the Thing.[3] Dunphy refused the Power Broker's order to help kill Ms. Marvel. He revealed his addiction to the Power Broker's drug to the Thing, and went through a painful withdrawal when the Power Broker cut off his drug supply.[4]

After the fall of the UCWF, Dunphy became the Demolition Man and teamed up with Captain America to investigate Power Broker, Inc. His costume was intentionally designed so the body of it was a duplicate of Daredevil's first costume, and the hood was a knock-off of Wolverine's. He was successful in rescuing Captain America from Karl Malus and helping Captain America catch him.[5] Dunphy was captured by the Power Broker and subjected to further treatments which augmented his strength further but damaged his heart. While under the influence of the stimulant, he went mad and attacked Captain America. Dunphy suffered a heart attack, his second augmentation was reversed and he was hospitalized.[6] Dunphy took a step back from superhero activity to take over Captain America's hotline.[volume & issue needed]

Soon after this, Steve Rogers was stripped of his Captain America costume by the Commission on Superhuman Activities (CSA) and went missing. Demolition Man joined Falcon, Nomad, and Vagabond in searching for Rogers. They discovered Rogers, who had renamed himself simply "The Captain", and they all became a short-lived informal team. They defeated the Serpent Squad in their first outing.[7] D-Man aided the Captain, Falcon, and Nomad against Famine.[8] D-Man was nearly killed in battle by Titania.[9] He began teaching Vagabond hand-to-hand combat, but was attacked by a jealous Nomad. He fought Anaconda and Slither of the Serpent Society.[10] He was attacked and poisoned by Viper, and mistakenly fought Battle Star. Dunphy was arrested by the CSA and held for questioning about The Captain's activities.[11]

When Dennis was finally released by the CSA, he sought out the Captain, discovering that not only had his team disbanded, but that the East Coast Avengers team had also just disbanded and that the Captain was seeking new members. The Captain asked Demolition Man to join the Avengers and they almost immediately left on a mission at the request of Battlestar. Battlestar's partner was John Walker, Captain America's replacement, who was captured by Flag-Smasher and his group ULTIMATUM. While Battlestar and the Captain investigated ULTIMATUM's Arctic base, Demolition Man was left with their plane. During the fight, the Captain discovered that Flag-Smasher's base contained a doomsday weapon (an electromagnetic pulse generator), and he ordered Dunphy to set the plane on course to crash into the base and then bail out. Dennis set course, but then saw an enemy agent land on the plane. Dunphy elected to stay on the plane to ensure that it crashes. The plane exploded apparently with Dunphy in it, and Captain America was unable to find any trace of him.[12]


In a later adventure with Jack Frost, Cap saw what he believed to be Dunphy's body frozen in suspended animation in ice near the North Magnetic Pole in the Arctic. However, he was unable to free him at that time.[13] Demolition Man had survived the explosion, but suffered wounds that rendered him mute and in a stupor, and was discovered living among the Inuit. During a backup story to "Operation: Galactic Storm", he was rescued by U.S. Agent and the Falcon and recovered under Avengers' care.[14] In time he became a hero of a subterranean group of homeless people called the Zero People. Dennis assisted the Avengers were attacked by Morgan LeFay's forces. His inattention to hygiene caused many to sit far away from him.[15]

It was later established that Dunphy had become delusional and mentally unstable.[16] His intentions remained pure, but he had begun to believe that a "Cosmic Gamemaster" had asked him to retrieve the seven Infinity Gems, which D-Man carried out by stealing common jewelry. At Ben Urich's request, D-Man's hero Daredevil descended into the sewers and persuaded Dennis to get some help.[17]

In Civil War: War Crimes, an unnamed newspaper carried the headline "D-Parted: D-Man On The Run After Whereabouts Revealed By Anonymous Tip."

Dennis was being considered as a "potential recruit" for the Initiative program, according to Civil War: Battle Damage Report.[18]

During the Dark Reign storyline, D-Man was shown to be serving in the U.S. military in his civilian identity and covertly in his Demolition Man costume. For a while, he inspired several of his fellow soldiers to operate covertly in costumes as well, but he put a stop to that out of concern for their military careers. He continued operating by himself. How he recovered from the brain damage/mental instability he had been suffering from is unknown at this point.[19]

In a one-page strip in I Am An Avenger #2, D-man attended a picnic at Avengers Mansion and competed in a pie-eating contest, besting The Thing, Protector, and Valkyrie.[20]

D-Man made an appearance in New Avengers #7, while various heroes are being interviewed to be a nanny for Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. He appeared to be spontaneously weeping and his only lines were "I am so lonely...", "I think I came off desperate before--" and "Does Captain America ever talk about me?". When Jessica Jones said her mind is made up on a nanny (Squirrel Girl), Cage quipped "D-Man it is." to which she responds "Cute."[21]

Demolition Man is later recruited by Wonder Man to join his Revengers.[22] Demolition Man and the rest of the Revengers are defeated by all three Avengers teams and is remanded to the Raft. Demolition Man claimed the Grandmaster called him to reclaim the Infinity Gems from the Avengers and that the Avengers haven't been returning his calls leading him to be recruited into the Revengers.[23]

He has been revealed to have been chosen by a brainwashed Henry Peter Gyrich to become the new Scourge of the Underworld.[24] Captain America tracks down the new Scourge and the two engage in an intense fight. During the altercation, Captain America recognizes his strength and voice and pleads with him to stop fighting. Demolition Man accuses Captain America of making deals with villains and providing them with new lives instead of punishment, and he takes control of the brawl and Captain America's shield. As Demolition Man is about to strike the killing blow, Sharon Carter arrives on the scene and fatally shoots him.[25]

Someone in Demolition Man's costume is later seen as one of the heroes being mentored by Roderick Kingsley during AXIS. It is unclear if this was Dennis or someone else.[26]

During the Secret Wars storyline, Dennis was accidentally resurrected by a young sorcerer that mistook the name "D-Man" for "demon." After visiting the Avengers Mansion and meeting with Edwin Jarvis and Rage, he had the best day of his life, just before being killed by the incursion between Earth-616 and Earth-1610.[27]

After the eight month timeskip following Secret Wars, Demolition Man is seen as one of the partners of Sam Wilson (now the new Captain America). It's not explained how he recovered from his seemingly fatal injuries, but Sam simply remarks "He's a survivor." As part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel event, Dennis started working for Captain America as a pilot, mechanic, technician, and field backup. Dennis also bought himself battle armor to "finally look cool."[28] He later returns to the UCWF for a special charity match against Battlestar, and the two men end up foiling an attempt to steal the money raised by the event. It is also revealed that he has a boyfriend.[29][30]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Augmentation of Dennis Dunphy's physical attributes by Dr. Karl Malus on behalf of the Power Broker increased his physical strength, stamina and durability to superhuman levels. Dunphy possesses superhuman strength sufficient to enable him to lift at least 15 tons. He was addicted to a drug supplied by the Power Broker based on a lie that it was needed to stabilize his augmentation, but was used to keep him dependent on the Power Broker.[31]

He has a heart condition, increasing his vulnerability to excessive exertion.

Dennis is a skilled aircraft pilot. He is also an excellent hand-to-hand combatant, especially in wrestling, and received further training from Captain America.

Other versions[edit]

Queen's Vengeance[edit]

When Morgan le Fay usurps the Scarlet Witch's powers and remakes the world in Avengers vol. 3, all of the Avengers members are remade into medieval versions possessing the same powers. In this reality, Demolition Man is renamed Serf.


  1. ^ New Avengers Annual vol. 2 #1 (2011)
  2. ^ Thing #28 (October 1985).
  3. ^ Thing #34 (April 1986).
  4. ^ Thing #35 (May 1986).
  5. ^ Captain America #328 (April 1987).
  6. ^ Captain America #330-331 (June–July 1987).
  7. ^ Captain America #336-337 (Dec. 1987–Jan. 1988).
  8. ^ Captain America #339 (March 1988).
  9. ^ Captain America #340 (April 1988).
  10. ^ Captain America #342 (June 1988).
  11. ^ Captain America #344 (August 1988).
  12. ^ Mark Gruenwald (w), Al Milgrom (i). "Icecap" Captain America 349 (January 1989), Marvel Comics
  13. ^ Captain America #384
  14. ^ Captain America #400-401 (May–June 1992).
  15. ^ Avengers Volume 3, #1 (Feb 1998).
  16. ^ The Pulse #13 (March 2006).
  17. ^ The Pulse #15
  18. ^ Anthony Flamini & Ronald Byrd (w), Scott Kolins (p), Scott Kolins (i). Civil War: Battle Damage Report 1 (March 2007), Marvel Comics
  19. ^ "Marvel Assistant Size Spectacular" #2 (March 2009).
  20. ^ I Am An Avenger #2 (2010)
  21. ^ New Avengers vol. 2 #7
  22. ^ New Avengers Annual 2011
  23. ^ Avengers Annual Vol. 4 #1
  24. ^ Captain America #12
  25. ^ Captain America Vol. 6 #14
  26. ^ AXIS: Hobgoblin #1-3
  27. ^ Secret Wars Too #1
  28. ^ Captain America: Sam Wilson #1
  29. ^ Captain America: Sam Wilson #15
  30. ^
  31. ^ Thing vol. 1 #35-36

External links[edit]