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Art by Leinil Francis Yu.
|First appearance||Daredevil #150 (Jan 1978)|
|Created by||Jim Shooter (writer)
Carmine Infantino (artist)
Heroes for Hire
|Notable aliases||Paul Dennis, Paul Denning|
|Abilities||Highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant
Skilled marksman, actor, espionage agent, bodyguard and detective
Slightly superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, and durability
Use of stun gun
Wears bulletproof body suit
Helmet with belt activated faceplate
Infrared vision via helmet's lenses
Paladin is a fictional character, a mercenary appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. While he claims that Paladin is his real name, he often goes by the name Paul Denning (an obvious play on his nom de guerre). Though not precisely a supervillain, his mercenary activities often bring him into conflict with superheroes.
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Paladin first appeared in Daredevil (Vol. 1) #150 (January 1978). The character had a one-shot story published in Marvel Premiere #43 (August 1978), and was a billed guest star in the Spider-Man team-up title Marvel Team-Up (Vol. 1) #108 (August 1981).
From there on, Paladin has mostly appeared as a guest star across the Marvel Universe, with occasional forays as a superteam member, in Silver Sable and the Wild Pack, Heroes for Hire and Thunderbolts, and occasional feature appearances in the Marvel Comics Presents anthology.
Fictional character biography
Paladin is a mercenary and private investigator, whose past is largely unrevealed. When first seen, he sought Daredevil while engaged in an assignment to track down the Purple Man, and battled Daredevil. He clashed with Daredevil a second time after the crime fighter inadvertently interfered with Paladin's search for the Purple Man. Paladin allied with Daredevil in battle against the Cobra, the Jester, and Mister Hyde, who were under control of the Purple Man.
Paladin next battled the Phantasm. Paladin aided the Wasp against Baron Brimstone, acquired a modified uniform, and began a romance with the Wasp. Paladin aided the Avengers in battle against the Masters of Evil IV. Paladin allied with Spider-Man and the Wasp against mobsters; despite respecting Spider-Man's abilities, Paladin is incredulous that Spider-Man offers his heroic services without charge (Paladin literally laughs in Spider-Man's face upon learning this), while Spider-Man in turn is disgusted by Paladin's mercenary ways. Paladin also considers Spider-Man's incessant battle banter "unprofessional."
Paladin was later employed by Silver Sable to investigate a conspiracy which threatened her native country of Symkaria, and he allied with Spider-Man. Paladin was then hired by Diamondback to raid Serpent Society headquarters. He was captured, but freed by Captain America. Paladin accompanied Captain America in his search for Diamondback, the Asp, and Black Mamba. With his new allies, Paladin battled Superia's horde of female superhumans.
An unabashed womanizer, Paladin will often flirt with any woman who catches his eye. He briefly dated the Wasp at a time when she was separated from Hank Pym, much to the Black Knight's jealousy, who was also attracted to her.[volume & issue needed] For a time, he also enlisted Generation X into helping him retrieve a sword for Adrienne Frost, the sister of current X-Men member Emma Frost.[volume & issue needed] During this period, the mutant known as Jubilee was strongly attracted to Paladin, but that affection disappeared when Generation X and Paladin later went their separate ways.[volume & issue needed] He has also been a longtime ally to Silver Sable and her Wild Pack organization, working for pay, of course. He once helped them protect a scientist from a kidnapping attempt by the Heroes for Hire, a group he would later join.[volume & issue needed] His main opponent was Misty Knight, who seemed to be an equal match.[volume & issue needed]
Paladin has a certain amount of honor. For example, he was once hired by a corrupt government to assist rebels as part of a sting operation. He aided the rebels in a bomb-laying operation at a government facility. When the rebels were caught, his government handler remarked how lucky they were that the bomb had not gone off. Paladin replied, "I'm sorry, that would have been extra," and activated the bomb by remote control while driving away.
In the 1990 one-shot The Punisher: No Escape, he was offered 10 million dollars by mobster Vincent Mangano to kill The Punisher. Paladin agreed to this arrangement, but did not succeed, and in the ensuing fight both of his legs were broken by the U.S. Agent.[volume & issue needed]
Paladin once took down Daredevil with a sniper rifle from a helicopter at a great distance. He did so for the FBI, in exchange for getting his record expunged. The hit, while serious, was not fatal; Paladin's sniper attack led to Daredevil's arrest.
Paladin was a main character in the 2006 Heroes for Hire series, although as Misty Knight said he was just there for the money. As it turns out, he was a traitor to the group, only using the Heroes as a means to hunt down Captain America for S.H.I.E.L.D. as part of the Civil War.[volume & issue needed]
He single handedly defeated Captain America and the entire Heroes for Hire team, with the exceptions of Tarantula, and Orka, who weren't present when the fight took place, with a special gas weapon that affected the nervous system.[volume & issue needed] He then radioed S.H.I.E.L.D. and told them he had Captain America in custody. However, he did not account for Shang-Chi's ability to hold his breath over an extended period (thanks to his martial arts training) and was overpowered by him.[volume & issue needed] Shang-Chi then aided Captain America. Captain America switched costumes with Paladin so S.H.I.E.L.D. took Paladin into custody in his place.
During the Dark Reign storyline, Paladin is a member of the post-Secret Invasion Thunderbolts. Now under the direct control of Norman Osborn, the Thunderbolts serve as his personal black ops team.[volume & issue needed] Hired to assassinate the H.A.M.M.E.R. prisoner Elektra for 82 million dollars, Paladin broke into H.A.M.M.E.R. headquarters. However Elektra overpowered him by choking him with one of her teeth that was loosened when Paladin punched her. Begging for his life, Paladin gave Elektra the key to escape her prison.
During the Siege of Asgard, Paladin and the other Thunderbolts are sent to Asgard with the mission of stealing the Spear of Odin for Osborn. After fighting through a contingent of Asgardians, they manage to find it.[volume & issue needed] Paladin, finally having had enough of serving a madman like Osborn, turns on his teammates and tries to take back the Spear. After being attacked by fellow Thunderbolt, Grizzly, Paladin is saved by Ant-Man. Grizzly then loses the Spear to Mr. X, who is in turn easily defeated by Quicksilver. Ant-Man recovers the Spear and gives it to Paladin, who decides to take the Spear in order to keep Osborn from using its power for his own ends. Paladin then departs from Asgard after saying goodbye to Ant-Man.
During the Shadowland storyline, Paladin is paired with Silver Sable, Misty Knight, and Shroud when Daredevil's Hand ninjas end up targeting members of the mafia. Following this, Misty Knight reopens Heroes for Hire under the influence of Puppet Master; Paladin joins the team and soon realizes this and frees Misty from Puppet Master's control with the help from Iron Fist. After the defeat of Puppet Master, Paladin convinces Misty to keep operation open, but under their terms.
Powers and abilities
Paladin's physical strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, and durability are all slightly superhuman. He is also a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant, with knowledge of boxing, and some Judo and Tae Kwon Do. In addition, Paladin is a skilled marksman, actor, espionage agent, bodyguard and detective.
While he has been written using lethal force, his preferred weapon is his stun gun, which fires a beam which scrambles the signals within the target's nervous system sufficiently to render most people unconscious. The range and effectiveness are unknown. The gun is equipped so that only Paladin may operate it.
Paladin wears a body-suit of synthetic stretch fabric, and his boots, gloves, helmet, torso, and knee and elbow guards are made of bulletproof composite materials. Paladin's helmet is equipped with a belt activated faceplate which slides down to make the helmet airtight, and has its own one-hour air supply. The lenses in Paladin's helmet can be adjusted for infrared vision.
In other media
- Paladin appears in the Spider-Woman motion comics. In this series, he is voiced by David J. Murphy.
- "GCD :: Issue :: Marvel Premiere #43". Comics.org. Retrieved 2011-02-06.
- "GCD :: Issue :: Marvel Team-Up #108". Comics.org. Retrieved 2011-02-06.
- Daredevil #152, 154
- Marvel Premiere #43
- Avengers #251
- Avengers #271
- Marvel Team-Up #108
- Spectacular Spider-Man #105-106
- Heroes for Hire #6
- Amazing Spider-Man #320-321
- Captain America #381-382
- Captain America #386-392
- Amazing Fantasy, Vol 2, #16
- "Vincent Mangano (Punisher foe)". Marvunapp.com. Retrieved 2011-02-06.
- Daredevil issue 79 by Brian Michael Bendis on November 23 2005
- Heroes for Hire v2 #2
- Heroes for Hire v2 #3
- "The Osborn Supremacy: Thunderbolts". Comicbookresources.com. Retrieved 2011-02-06.
- Dark Reign: Elektra #1
- Thunderbolts #143
- Shadowland: Blood on the Streets #1
- Heroes for Hire Vol. 3 #1-5
- Ultimate Spider-Man #80